At this point we’ve cleared up the most common myths and misconceptions about how your daily carb intake truly affects your body, your health, and the overall goal of your diet.
In addition, you learned about various different “types” of carbs (simple or complex, high or low glycemic, “good” or “bad”) and how they directly and indirectly influence your ability to lose fat or build muscle.
All we need to figure out now are the specifics. As in, exactly how many grams of carbs should you actually be eating per day and what foods should they come from?
Let’s get to it…
How Many Grams Of Carbs Should You Eat Per Day?
Ideal Daily Carb Intake: however much is needed to meet your ideal calorie intake after an ideal protein and fat intake have been factored in.
Meaning: Total Calorie Intake – Calories From Protein & Fat = Calories From Carbs
Confused? Don’t be.
At this point, you’ve figured out how many grams of protein and fat you will be eating each day. You then factored them both into your ideal total daily calorie intake to see exactly how many calories each will account for.
Remember how that step seemed sort of confusing and pointless at the time? Well, here comes the point.
You know all of the calories that are still not yet accounted for in your diet in order to reach your ideal total? Well, those calories will all come from carbs.
And, since 1 gram of carbs contains 4 calories, you’d just need to divide this left over amount of calories by 4 to figure out exactly how many grams of carbs you’d need to eat each day.
Here’s a step by step example…
Still confused? Here’s a simple example using completely made up amounts and figures:
- Let’s say some example person figured out that they should be eating 2500 calories per day for their goal.
- Let’s also say that they then figured out that they should be eating 180 grams of protein each day. So, since they also learned that 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories, they’d now do 180 x 4 and find that 720 calories out of their 2500 total will come from protein each day.
- Next our example person learned that about 25% of their total calorie intake will come from fat. So, since 25% of 2500 is 625, they figured out that 625 calories out of their 2500 total will come from fat each day.
- At this point our example person knows that 720 of their daily calories will come from protein, and 625 will come from fat. Combined that means 1345 calories out of their 2500 total are now accounted for (in the form of protein and fat).
- That means there are still 1155 calories that have not yet been accounted for in this example person’s diet (2500 – 1345 = 1155). Well, guess what? All of those 1155 calories will come from carbs.
- And, since 1 gram of carbs contains 4 calories, all our example person would need to do now is divide 1155 by 4 and get 288.
- Which means, this example person would need to eat about 288 grams of carbs per day.
Now just repeat these steps using your own amounts for calories, protein and fat that you’ve already calculated earlier in this guide.
Figure out how many calories are still left over after protein and fat are factored in, and then just divide that left over amount by 4. The answer you get is how many grams of carbs you should eat per day.
Did you do it? Awesome! Your daily carb intake is now all figured out.
Now let’s figure out which foods should supply those carbs each day…
Examples Of Foods High In “Good” Carbs
Below is a quick, simple and basic list of the most common foods considered high quality sources of carbs:
- Brown Rice
- White Rice
- Sweet Potatoes/Yams
- White Potatoes
- Various Whole Grain/Whole Wheat Foods
This is by no means meant to be a definitive list of every healthy and high quality high carb food, but it is a list of the ones that should end up providing the majority of your carb intake each day.
Pick your favorites (more about how to do that later).
And with that, you now know exactly how many grams of carbs you should eat per day and which foods they should come from.
The question is…
Well, let’s do a quick recap of what you’ve done so far:
- First you figured out how many calories you need to eat per day for your specific goal (losing fat, building muscle, or maintaining your current weight).
- From there you figured out where those calories should come from each day by calculating your ideal daily intake of protein, fat and just now, carbs.
So, first and foremost… congrats! The most important parts of your diet plan (calories, protein, fat, and carbs) are officially all set up and ready to go. Awesome!
What we need to do next is figure out how to put it all together in the way that will make you most likely to stick to it and actually enjoy it!
Let’s begin by killing a whole bunch of stupid myths…
(This article is part of a completely free and amazingly awesome guide to creating the absolute best diet plan possible for your exact goal and preferences. Check out the entire guide here: The Best Diet Plan)