Posted by / Wednesday, April 9, 2014 / No comments / , , , , ,

How many carbs should I be eating?

carbs. They are awesome. But… too much of anything is never good and not getting the adequate amount of something that your body needs, is just as bad. I’ve experienced both sides of the spectrum.
Before I started making smarter choices with nutrition, I would over eat everything. Over eat fast food, over eat snacks, over eat Taco Bell at 3am. You get the picture. Once I got more involved in the “fitness world” one thing that I began to look at with an evil eye was carbs. I didn’t even know how much my body actually needed to perform basic bodily functions. I just wanted to “get skinnier”. 
What happened? I did get skinnier. But it didn’t last and led to “I’m having a bad day, give me 5 baskets of Red Lobster!” binges. You know what else happened? Mood swings, constant headaches, always feeling tired, bloated, etc. Not fun. 
Once I started working with a nutritionist–who didn’t care if I was leaning, she cared that I was pleasant to be around and my brain was running properly–I started incorporating more carbs in my diet the smart and healthy way (based on current and longterm fitness goals).
Here’s how I did that. 
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the average woman needs between 45-65% of their daily calories to come from good quality carbohydrates. 
After determining your caloric needs from the table below you can easily calculate a carbohydrate range. (Remember, everyone’s body is different and these are guidelines for the average, healthy individual trying to maintain weight. Find what works best for you.)
Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 7.38.51 AM 
 Let’s take myself for instance. I work at a desk daily and exercise 3-4 days a week. I would be considered Active. 
First let’s find my caloric intake.
  2,400 Calories
-   400 (for weight loss)
  2,000 Calories PER DAY
Now let’s find my carb intake.
   2,000 Calories
x     .45 (for % of carbs I need) 
900 Calories from Carbs
Okay, cool.  I know how many calories from carbs that I need.  Now, how many grams is that?  Since 1 gram of carb = 4 calories, we divide 900 (calories from carbs) by 4.  It’s simple math that looks like this:
945 / 4 = 225 g carb per day.
When I first saw that number after being on a low carb diet, I was so confused. However, once I started trusting that my body needs carbs and providing it with good quality carbs –whole grains, veggies, fiber rich fruits– not only did I get the “skinny” feeling I wanted, but I FEEL good now. I don’t have constant headaches, feel like I need a nap throughout the day, or snap at my loved ones for who knows what.
My mindset is healthier too. I don’t feel the need to devour 5 bread baskets each time I’m out to eat. I enjoy a few because my body isn’t in an, “Omg, I have to have that now” mode. (The staff at Red Lobster appreciates that from me now too). 

This is definitely something I emphasize with my #Fitnation girls and we have already had some amazing success stories from it and I want you to have that same feeling too!
“Down 3 pounds this week, feeling great, and eating more carbs than I normally do…makes for a happy me!” -Julie M.
“I put on jeans for the first time since I started this program and they are HUGE on me! I had to go shopping for new ones and guess what?! I went from a size 4 to size 2! Doing less cardio and lifting heavy and eating more carbs than I have in years” Megan K.
If you’re currently on a low carb diet and are dealing with negative effects like I did above, then slowly start incorporating them back into your diet. Give it time and find what works for you. Just remember, good quality carbs are your friend not your enemy.
If you feel like you need more guidance on how to healthfully incorporate carbs, sign up for my FREE COACHING You’ll also be given a chance to sign up for my private, online community where you’ll have access to me and other fitness and nutrition experts daily. It’s Awesome.

Can’t wait to hear your feedback on this! Leave a comment below on your experiences with this or any questions you may have!

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