How Many Carbs Should You Eat to Lose Weight?
There’s no end to the list of low-carb weight-loss approaches out there. You’ve got Atkins, South Beach, the Zone, plus a slew of ketogenic (nearly carb-free) diets, just to name a few.
All of them are based on the premise that to lose weight, you need to cut carbs. And while there’s no one universally accepted definition for going low-carb, one Tulane University review (that concluded low-carb diets are beneficial both for weight loss and improving cardiovascular health) defines low-carb diets as those in which less than 45 percent of daily calories come from carbohydrates. Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, that would mean eating no more than 900 calories from carbs (that’s 225 grams) per day. (Each gram of carbs contains 4 calories.)
For comparison’s sake, the Zone recommends getting 40 percent of calories from carbs; South Beach excludes most carbs during Phase 1, allowing for up to 140 grams per day during Phase 2 and 3; the Induction phase of Atkins limits carbs to 20 grams per day and then allows 80 to 100 grams per day in its later phases. Ketogenic diets typically never go above 50 grams of carbs per day. (You’ll get that by eating just two apples or one bagel.)