One of the most common questions I get asked by people trying to put together the best diet possible for their goal (to lose weight, build muscle, etc.) is how many grams of carbs they should eat per day.
This never surprises me, because carbs are pretty much always the nutrient that people are most often scared of and confused by these days. Why? Because all of this talk about good carbs and bad carbs, simple and complex, the glycemic index and the various low carb diets and low carb foods is enough to drive a person insane.
To help end your insanity, let’s figure out exactly how many grams of carbs you should eat per day to lose weight or build muscle, and cover what types of food sources they should come from.
How Many Carbs Per Day?
Let’s start with the biggest question first… how many grams of carbs should you actually eat per day? Answering this question is actually REALLY easy once you understand a few simple facts about how the rest of your diet should ideally be set up.
What I mean is, before we can figure out your daily carb intake, we need to take 3 other steps first. Let me show you what I mean…
Step 1: Figure Out Calories
Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle or do anything similar, every diet plan starts with calories. They are ALWAYS the #1 key to making your body do what you want it to do, so they are always the first thing that needs to be figured out. I’ve already written full articles that explain how to calculate how many calories you need to eat per day for your goal, so feel free to do that using the following links:
Step 2: Figure Out Protein
Once your calorie intake is all figured out, you then need to figure out how many grams of protein you should eat per day. Why? Because protein is the next most important part of every diet plan.
My article about the high protein diet explains why it’s so important when trying to lose weight or build muscle, and my article about how many grams of protein per day explains how much you should eat. To save you the time, 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight is usually the ideal range for most people.
Step 3: Figure Out Fat
With calories and protein set, we’re still not ready for carbs just yet. Why? Because fat is actually the next most important part of your diet. My article comparing good fat vs bad fat also covers how much you should eat per day. To again save you the time, usually about 25% of your total calorie intake should come from fat in most cases.
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