The amount of carbohydrates that someone eats can depend on various factors such as age, sex, activity level, and body composition.
Low carb diets can be a great weight loss strategy, however, it is important to remember that weight loss and fat loss are not the same.
Low Carb Approaches
There are many ways to go about deciding your carb intake and what foods you will fill them with. Depending on your goals and timelines, different carbohydrate levels may be preferred.
This range will still be relatively moderate and effective for most people who are active and lean. This range of carbs can be easily met with mostly veggies, fruits, and various healthy starches (sweet potato, potato, oats, etc.)
This is considered a much lower carbohydrate intake that can be met with mostly fruits and vegetables. Starches may be included but may significantly reduce the food volume of carbs being eaten.
This is considered very low and will be effective in putting the body in ketosis (burning fat as the primary source of fuel). This will most likely need to be achieved through mostly all vegetables as the source of carbs.
Carbs are muscle sparing.
Although the lowest carb diet may seem better compared to the rest of the options, it is important to note that carbs are muscle sparing. This means that when you eat carbohydrates, your body is less likely to break down your muscle to create the energy it is lacking from the diet.
In addition to this, carbs are better at triggering insulin, which most people associate to fat gain. But, insulin actually is a very anabolic hormone that is needed to build muscle tissue as well.
The best approach?
Regardless of how much carbs you decide to eat, it is important to be in a slight caloric deficit (around 250-500 calories per day) in order to lose fat optimally while reducing the risk of muscle loss. A healthy approach is a diet that is high enough in protein and has a good balance of carbs and fats to create a slight caloric deficit.
It is important to note that everyone has a variety of factors that may impact what is best for them, but overall food choices will be one of the most important aspects for maintaining health.
**Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making dietary/lifestyle changes.**