Can You Lose Weight Without Cutting Carbs?
Are you struggling to lose weight and people keep telling you you have to cut out carbs?
Watch this video for the truth about carbs and weight loss.
Hi, it’s Ivana, helping you get fit, healthy and strong at any age.
Is everyone telling you that you need to cut carbs in order to lose weight?
The ketogenic diet is so hot right now, so a lot of that is going around. We’re going to explore carbs and you’ll find out how, if at all, carbs fit into your weight loss plan. I’ve been a fitness and nutrition coach for 20 years and I’ve helped hundreds of clients lose weight with a variety of nutrition strategies.
I don’t really believe in fad diets. I think there are a lot of strategies that can be successful and we’re going to look at how carbs can be useful or not so useful for you.
All Carbs Are Not The Same
So, carbs are found in highly processed foods like pasta, pizza, bread, pancakes, bagels, those types of things, as well as fruits and vegetables, including those starchy ones like potatoes and sweet potatoes and other root vegetables like carrots. So, there’s a wide spectrum of carbs and we often treat them the same.
The highly processed foods like pizza, those are also high calorie and hyper palatable foods.
They make it very easy to over consume and they’re also very calorie dense. In a small doughnut, you might have 250-300 calories depending on what what kind of icing you have or something like that.
So, doughnuts in a small serving are going to provide you with a lot of calories, a lot of carbs and fat. And for instance, if you have a whole cup of strawberries, that’s only going to be about 60 calories.
There’s a big difference for your weight loss, whether you choose doughnuts more often or strawberries more often.
That’s not to say you can’t have both within your nutrition plan, but if you’re all doughnuts or all strawberries, then you’re going to see what the difference is in terms of weight loss.
Weight loss comes down to creating a calorie deficit, so you need to be burning off more calories than you consume.
So, you’re much more likely to be in a calorie surplus in that you’re gaining weight if you’re eating a lot of doughnuts because it’s very easy to over consume those. Very few people over consume strawberries for instance, and it would take a lot of strawberries to create a calorie surplus.
So, we have to look at the components of the carbs and not just the fact that there are carbs in that particular food in order to find out how beneficial it is for weight loss.
Let me know in the comments what your favourite carbs are, whether it’s doughnut-like or strawberry-like.
How Many Carbs Should You Eat?
Like almost everything in nutrition, the answer is it depends.
The ideal nutrition plan, that’s what I like to call diet, is different for everyone.
Nutrition is highly individualized.
So, in terms of the number of carbs that you should be consuming, it depends. If you’re very active, you should probably be consuming more carbs or you can certainly have more carbs.
When people are leaner, they tend to have better tolerance to carbs for lack of a better way of saying it. So, you can utilize the carbs better, but your body processes them more efficiently than someone who is carrying a lot more body fat. If you’re looking to lose weight, often the answer can be to reduce your carbs, but it could be to reduce other things. We’re going to discuss that a little bit further later on.
Will Cutting Carbs Help You Lose Weight?
Maybe. It’s quite possible. A lot of people suffer from carb cravings and these uncontrollable carb cravings can cause you to overeat on a regular basis, and that means you’re in a calorie surplus on a regular basis. So, that means you’re putting on fat and that’s definitely not what you want to be doing if your goal is weight loss. I want you to check out my other video about carb cravings.
I’m going to include the link below, and that’ll kind of set you up for reducing carb cravings. And one of the things I mention there is that lower carb diets can help you manage your appetite better. So, if you don’t have as much carbs in your diet, you can manage your appetite so you’re not eating as much. And then as a result, you’re in a calorie deficit and then you start to lose weight.
So, anything that helps you control your appetite is eventually going to lead you to weight loss. So, now we’re coming down to the final question.
Can You Lose Weight Without Cutting Carbs?
No reason why you can’t lose weight without cutting carbs.
However, you do have to change something else or you have to cut something else. So, the less effective way of doing this is to increase your energy expenditure significantly. So, a lot of exercise, couple of hours a day, a lot of daily activity.
And I mean, that can help for some people if they have plenty of time and they can do that.
For sure, you’re going to get a little bit of weight loss there. I don’t want to say bad things about exercise because I strongly believe in it. However, in terms of weight loss itself, nutrition is really the side that you want to focus on and it doesn’t have to come from carbs. So, you do have to reduce your calories in some way, but you can reduce them by slightly reducing your fat intake. Even your protein intake if it’s very high.
The Protein Goal
But for most of my online coaching clients, I try to get them to focus on the protein. We keep that stable, we set a protein goal and then they can choose whether they want to reduce fat a little bit or they want to reduce carbs slightly.
So, everyone has a preference. Some people like more fatty foods. Some people prefer more carbs in their diet. And if someone suffers from a lot of carb cravings, I try to encourage them to reduce those carbs. But that’s their choice, whether they’re going to go that way. Essentially, it’s going to come down to whether you’re creating a calorie deficit or not. So, you can do that with other macronutrients. It doesn’t have to be carbs. So, reducing carbs can absolutely be helpful for weight loss. I’m not denying that.
For a lot of people, a low carb strategy is really the way to go.
Especially if you experience a lot of carb cravings, it’s very helpful.
It was actually the way that I originally was able to finally get my weight under control after many, many years.
I reduced my carbs. I went on a lower carb diet.
Now, that has become a little bit of a routine and also now that I’m a leaner, I can get away with eating more carbs when I’m more active especially, and it’s not really a problem. But that low carb strategy is a really good one for a lot of people. So, just because you don’t need to cut carbs to lose weight doesn’t mean that it’s not often an effective strategy for a lot of people. So, don’t discount it as ineffective. It does work. You just don’t have to.
So, let me know in the comments how you feel about carbs.
Do you love them?
Are you controlled by them?
Do you think you should probably cut down?
Hopefully you have a more reasonable take on carbs after watching this video.