If you’ve been following health trends, you must have heard about carb restrictions. This ranges from not eating bread to obsessively counting your macros, trying not to go over the magic limit of 50g, where our body uses ketones instead of glucose for our daily functions.
It is also quite possible that you have become quite overwhelmed by the keto – that it makes you feel uncomfortable as it requires concrete changes in your diet.
Let me assure you that a low-fat diet does not in any way mean you have to »become keto«. Ketosis is only one side of a very large carb spectrum.
Low carb means consuming less than 150g of OH per day.
This is almost 900g of potatoes (uncooked), 500g of rice (uncooked), 250g of chickpeas or a whole kilo of oats.
As you can see, you can still eat your carbs quite freely at dinner or lunch.
The question now becomes – why should I limit carbohydrate intake?
Personally, I believe EVERYONE should check and adjust their carb intake. The real question is – by how much? The answer depends on gender, age, stress levels, our (in)activity, general health and of course our goals, so it is virtually impossible to tell the exact amount.
However, I believe it is worth considering a lower carbohydrate intake (50-100g / day) in the following cases.
1. If your goal is to lose weight.
Yes, it is true that we should be in a caloric deficit, but things are more complicated than that. If we only looked at how many calories a certain food has, we could assume that we should stuff ourselves mostly with carbs. But the fact is that carbs cause blood sugar to rise significantly, which is followed by a massive drop, which causes us to be hungry again after a very short period of time. In addition, it is very difficult to eat small portions or the recommended portions of carbs, while protein and fat saturate us faster and keep us full for a much longer time. Because of that, we don’t need snacks, and as a result we eat less and let our body use stored fat for energy (pretty cool, huh?)
2. If you have a sedetary life style
If you are sitting most of the day, it is virtually impossible to burn through all the glucose your body receives from carbohydrates if they are your main source of energy. Only a limited amount can be stored in the body (in liver and muscles), and whatever is left, is converted into fat. If you exercise a lot, you are emptying the storage in your muscles, but if you don’t really move, your body will keep on converting all those calories into body fat. Therefore, it is important to adjust the amount of carbs to your activity.
3. If you are often hangry between meals
Has anyone already mentioned to you (or did you notice yourself) that you are annoying or almost impossible unless you are “fed” regularly? Maybe your hands start to shake or you can’t think straight when there’s been more than a couple of hours since your last meal or snack. If you wish this to stop, if you want constant energy to be as productive and focused as possible, reduce the amount of carbs and exchange them for proteins and healthy fats.
4. If you consume too much sugar
Do you always have one hand in a cookie jar or are you constantly reaching for chocolate? Perhaps you just can’t resist bread, croissants, pasta or pizza. Too much sugar is a problem most of us have, and often don’t even realize how much of it we actually consume through the day. By simply reducing your carbohydrate intake, I assure you that you will be consuming far less sugary foods and replacing them with healthy, nutritious alternatives (you know – veggies😉).
5. If you notice that you are reaching for food when you are sad, stressed or bored
The last point is one of the biggest problem of our modern society. We are very busy and we feel isolated and so food has become our friend. Or perhaps there was a lack of food when we were younger and now we just don’t want to be without it. If you have noticed that you are reaching for food to console cheer yourself up or to calm down, this is a clear example of emotional eating. In majority of the cases we go for carbs, because they quickly give us that hit of dopamine (the happy hormone) we need to feel a little better at least at that moment. We often feel like we’re unable to resist – that we simply JUST CAN’T STOP. The main problem are carbohydrates, especially those that are heavily processed – flour, sugar, industrially produced food. Remove all three from your menu and you will take the first step in regaining control of your emotions and life.