Eating too many carbs can lead to weight gain.
Your total calorie and carb intakes are equally important for maintaining a healthy weight and meeting your daily nutrition needs. Your total calorie intake determines your body weight. However, if you're trying to lose weight, adjusting your carb intake may help reduce your calorie intake.
Your calorie requirements are based on your current body weight and activity level. To maintain your weight, Harvard Health Publications recommends consuming 13 calories per pound of your body weight if you're sedentary, 16 calories per pound if you're moderately active and 18 calories per pound of body weight if you exercise regularly. If you're overweight or obese, eat 10 calories for each pound of your desirable body weight daily, suggests the University of Washington. For example, if your desirable body weight is 120 pounds, you should aim to consume 1,200 calories per day.
Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram and are your body's main fuel source. Adults should aim for a minimum of 130 grams of carbs each day, according to the Institute of Medicine. Choose from nutrient-dense, carb-rich foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and low-fat milk or yogurt as your main sources of carbohydrates. Avoid highly processed carbs and added sugars, such as white bread, white rice, sweets and sugary beverages.
To help meet your daily nutrient needs, follow the Institute of Medicine's Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range, or AMDR, which is a guideline for carbohydrate, protein and fat intakes. The Institute of Medicine recommends you obtain 45 to 65 percent of your calorie intake from carbohydrates, 10 to 35 percent from protein and 20 to 35 percent of your calories from fat. Since carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram, you require 225 to 325 grams of carbs daily when following a 2,000-calorie diet.
Reducing your calorie intake, or boosting your calorie expenditure, is an effective way to lose weight, regardless of your carbohydrate intake. However, a review published in a 2008 edition of the вЂњAmerican Journal of Clinical NutritionвЂќ suggests protein increases satiety more than carbohydrates or fats. Therefore, eating a high-protein, lower-carb diet can help reduce your calories to lose weight successfully. Healthy, protein-rich foods include lean meats, egg whites, seafood, skinless poultry, soy products, low-fat dairy foods, seitan, legumes, nuts and seeds.