Low Carb Frequently Asked Questions - How Many Grams of Carbs

View Full Version : How Many Grams of Carbs

03-26-2011, 10:44 PM
I don't know all of the low carb diets. I am actually kind of doing my own thing mixed up with recommendations from my doctor and trainer. I was curious what low carb diet you are doing and how many grams of carbs you are allotted. I also wondered if all low carb diets do net carbs based on the fiber you take in. I also wondered which low carb diets count calories too.

03-27-2011, 01:55 PM
Well, I am on Atkins and we don't count calories. You're really only restricted on carbs in the Induction period. After that, you have to figure out what amount your body can tolerate and still lose. This is called OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) and you add in 5g of carbs weekly on the 'carb ladder' to find out your number. When you hit a stall, you know you've either reached it or slightly passed it. I know at 45 I slow way down. So, I stay under 40g of net carbs. I know Atkins does net, but not sure about other LC plans.

03-30-2011, 11:02 AM
I track both my calories and carbs. This is very easy to do, no extra work, using software programs (apps) on my iTouch. This gives me the range of calories & carbs I can budget for MY body during various times in my cycle. While you are tracking these values, I would suggest tracking other symptoms or reactions as well- skin, allergy, joints, hunger, cravings, sleep, etc... Again very easy to do with journaling type programs.

Good luck on your journey of discovery:hug:

06-05-2011, 06:42 PM
If you're counting carbs, there really is no need to count fiber carbs (because humans can't digest them. If you were a cow, you'ld have to count those calories, but humans no). Subtracting sugar alcohols is a slightly different matter, because there's some evidence that some of those sugar alcohols may be digested (it looks like some people can digest them, and some people can't. Some choose to assume they do or don't, and other's choose to compromise and count half).

Plans that count total carbs are only doing so to make your math easier, not because they believe you can digest undigestible carbs. Most foods do not contain very large amounts of fiber or sugar alcohols (if they contain them at all) so slightly over- or under- estimating the carb content isn't seen as a big deal.

Anyone that tells you that you MUST count total carbs (or for that matter net carbs), is being anal about the math. You don't have to be anal about the math to succeed. A few carbs under or over counted is not going to make or break your weight loss.

I chose a low-carb exchange plan, so while I don't count carbs or calories directly, the exchange plan does it for me (because every food within each exchange group contains approximately the same number of carbs and calories).

To create my plan, I slightly modified one of the high-protein plans I found on the hillbilly housewife website (the high-protein plans are moderately low-carb).


My current modification (I've tried several variations) is to use the 1800 calorie high-protein plan, but to use the 4 bread exchanges as floating exchanges (meaning I don't have to spend them on bread exchanges, but on any combination of bread, dairy, protein, & fruit).

If I want to go a little lower carb for a day or two (for example when I'm retaining water and want to be rid of it quickly) I will spend all of my bread exchanges on protein, and sometimes even my fruit (usually I keep at least two servings of fruit though, but I'll spend them on lower carb fruits like berries).

The important thing to remember is that there is no magic carb or calorie level. You just find a range that works best for you, by experimenting. Built-in experimentation is a strength of both Atkins and South Beach. I have to give kudos to both plans for teaching me the value of "tweaking."

I needed the added element of portion/calorie control because I could and did eat enough of the unlimited foods to stall my weight loss. Both plans rely on learning not to overeat by learning to recognize hunger and satiety. I think my hunger and satiety detectors are broken from years of yoyo dieting (or maybe I was born without them). All I know is that I'm very prone to feeling hungry, even when I've had enough food. So for me, the exchange plan tells me when I've had enough.

A lot of people though don't need a calorie control element as long as they keep carbs below a certain level. I think the least restrictive plan that works for you makes the most sense.

I don't find exchange plans very restrictive though because I've been doing exchange plans so long (since 1972) it's almost automatic. Slightly easier and faster than calorie counting (at least in the long run).

06-13-2011, 06:08 PM
I did the Lindora plan and keep my carb count under 50. Most of the carbs come from salad and fresh fruit. This has really worked for me. :)

07-14-2011, 05:15 PM
Hello, I am wondering if there is a magic number of carbs I should be staying under on the IP plan to remain in ketosis? Does anyone have suggestions? I know every person is different but during Phase I of the plan I'm really trying to do the best I can do for my weightloss goals.

Slow Weave
11-20-2011, 05:55 PM
I have been following the IP that I found on 3 Fat Chicks and when I included the carbs in my Gummy Multi-Vutamin,Gummy Calcium, and Gummy Fibre, my overall carb intake is around 60-70 for the day. I realize I could reduce it if I wasn't using "Gummy" vitamins but I absolutely hate choking down pills. The Gummy version is like a treat at the end of the day for me and I am always willing to take them. I have stayed at a steady 1-1/2 pound loss every week. May not be fast but it has been healthy. I was told that Phase 1 of IP is actually under 50 carbs but it may be a bit severe for many folks. By staying under 100 and over 50 I figure I am still losing but perhaps not quite so severe. It works for me.

12-28-2011, 01:11 AM
Carbs : I eat no more than 30-35grs net carbs per day, with fiber it can go up to 60-65 most of the days. I like to eat a minimun of 20grs of fiber, little much don't hurt me either. Never more than 30grs of fiber, though. I'm on a cyclic keto diet, so i have a high carb day every week when i eat carbs without counting them but still tracking my cals.

Calories : I also keep track of my calories with an excel calculator i made for myself with the foods i normally consume

I guess most of the LC plans don't count calories but personally i think is nonsense, is all about calories in vs calories out ... the thing with LC plans is that a lot of people tend to eat hypocaloric not even knowing it, cause proteín make us feel full, but for people like me that can eat 2000 calories in beef, is necesary to count.

08-07-2012, 01:31 AM
I don't know all of the low carb diets. I am actually kind of doing my own thing mixed up with recommendations from my doctor and trainer. I was curious what low carb diet you are doing and how many grams of carbs you are allotted. I also wondered if all low carb diets do net carbs based on the fiber you take in. I also wondered which low carb diets count calories too.

I'm doing my own thing as well. My limit right now is less than 80 grams a day. I often end my day under that limit so far, whether I try to or not. It's just too easy to eat fewer carbs.

I don't do net carbs at this point in time. I do this to keep myself honest. If I flat count carbs, I'm making darn sure I'm at or under my limit.

I will continue limiting my carbs to 80 max til I stop losing weight, at which point I will lower to 70, then 60, etc. I will only lower the carbs once I'm sure that the carbs are the problem (ie: not too much sodium, dairy, too little exercise, etc).

Hopefully this made sense. Basically, I'm just going to keep fiddling with it til I find exactly what works for me. :)

09-02-2012, 08:52 AM
when I did ideal protein, they said that to keep ketosis, it had to be under 35gr of carbs a day but I guess they counted the fibers in this too. 35 grams is pretty hard to keep up for most people though. When i get on it, I can keep it under 20gr a day.

is there such a thing as not enough carbs? I agree with lyla, if it's not in a program of some sort, calorie count will help as much as carb count in my opinion but maybe I'm wrong, it has been a long time since I read a lot on the subject :)

09-09-2012, 11:14 PM
I eat 60g of carbs. It isn't calories in and out with me at all. I can eat 1000 cal and not lose weight, or very slowly, if eating carbs primarily.

12-15-2012, 11:02 PM
How do you count your carbs to keep under your limit? Total carbs minus fiber? Or straight up amount of carbs?

12-17-2012, 03:27 PM
I am brand new to this site and to the IP diet plan, of which I have spent several hours reading and preparing. I believe I will do the hybrid using Pureprotein supplements and a combination of prepared foods I do myself and protein supplementation. I am not a huge proponent of processed foods and all the additives used, but think the convenience will assist while I am nursing 12 - 14 hour days! Lots of preparation if I am going to make this work.

Any helpful hints (as I have read so many this morning) are welcomed! Looking forward to a 20 lb loss!

12-20-2012, 12:42 PM
hi everyone,

Interesting posts! I have used a lot of low carbohydrate plans over the years (beginning in the 70s); at first it was easy, because my metabolism was still fast. I lost 25 pounds in one month that first time. Of course, I went back to eating sugar and bread and pasta etc. so the weight came back.

Then I did it again after getting up to what seemed like a HUGE weight at the time. I lost 40 pounds in a few months, using the Carbohydrate Addicts' Diet. I ate hot fudge sundaes sometimes after my Reward Dinner!

Then that blasted fat came back. :mad:

This time, I was 65 years old, and I have had to really restrict my carb intake, and it has taken me nearly a year of dieting to lose 41 pounds.

My ability to metabolize carbohydrate intake reduced each time I dieted, as I aged. This has to be the final diet for me.

01-02-2013, 02:08 PM
Yay! I went down another pound and a half!

207.4 / 165 / 155


01-28-2013, 05:52 AM
yayyyyyyyyyy Enjah.....good job!

03-05-2013, 11:45 AM
Glad I found this thread. I have been doing IF with counting calories and carbs because I'm to an age where I have to count everything to lose weight. I read that 75-80 g of carbs a day is in the "sweet zone" to assure fast weight loss. And it worked -- was losing easily 5 pounds a week. However, last week I started really feeling weak, having headaches, having trouble sleeping -- just generally felt BLAH all the time. It was to the point where I thought I needed to go to the doctor to see if I had anemia or something.

Finally looked online about the effects of low carb diets, and all of my symptoms were listed. Yesterday I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted, but with plenty of carbs. Feel 100% better today. Now, the down side is that as with all low carb diets, eating all out means there was weight gain this morning, and obviously I can't keep doing this. But, I think for me it's going to mean having to increase my carb intake each day -- will just mean that the weight loss is slower which is ok as long as I don't feel like I have for the past week.

In reading this thread it sounds like the carb limits are all over, and I'm assuming that what this means is basically figuring out what you can tolerate and then go with that. Has anyone else had problems with reducing their carb intake too severely?

03-05-2013, 12:02 PM
Carb limits really are all over. I've been at what Atkins calls "Induction" level and what other plans call "very low" for 7 months. I feel fine, and it's solved a lot of my issues. I have another "diet buddy" who does excellent at 100g a day and cannot drop below that or she gets wonky. I myself have to up my limit around TOM.

April Snow
03-05-2013, 12:05 PM
How long had you been doing low carb? A lot of people go through an "Induction Flu" period where they feel pretty lousy as their body adjusts to the reduced carbs, but after that, they feel good.

Fit dad 2b
03-05-2013, 01:07 PM
My main focus is hitting my calorie target (1800/day), but a close second is monitoring my carbs.

I have a friend who was diagnosed diabetic, lost a bunch of weight and got healthy, and has been successfully maintaining for 5 years. I'm not sure if he and his doctor worked this out, or if it is something that he just "qualitatively" does, but he makes sure that he doesn't go over 50g of carbs for any single meal (not counting fiber).

So I try to keep this in mind for my daily carb intake. I'm very happy if I can keep it under 100g for the day, and I make sure to not go over 50g/meal, which keeps it at less than 150g/day (since I'm eating 3x/day).

The other thing I've found for me, is that I can have very few, if any, of these carbs coming from white flour, sugar/corn syrup (and the like), or potatoes. If I do, intense cravings get the better of me.

I use a free app on my iTouch called "Calorie Counter", only because it was the first one I downloaded and worked fine for me. Foods are easy to log, and you get your total calories, carbs, protein, and fat numbers presented for each meal and each day automatically.

03-05-2013, 08:32 PM
I don't understand this whole "carbs not including fiber"
Can someone dumb this down for me? I read the every carbs on every food label. This is different?

OK, I looked it up, so when I am counting carbs, I subtract the amount of fiber from the carbs, and that is the number I keep track of, correct?

Fit dad 2b
03-05-2013, 08:40 PM
I don't understand this whole "carbs not including fiber"
Can someone dumb this down for me? I read the every carbs on every food label. This is different?

The way I understand it, is that fiber is carbohydrates, but humans don't digest/process them. So if you are eating something that has 20g of total carbs, but 5g of fiber, your body is only processing 15g "net" carbs.

03-05-2013, 10:52 PM
I started just LOOKING at my carb intake and I have to say, it is SCARY.
Easily in the 200's everyday, but looking at the fiber, it brings it to the 100's which is still scary... But better! lol

02-18-2014, 10:25 PM
Thanks for explaining the carbs and fiber. Now I know how to figure out how many carbs I need to lose weight.

10-06-2014, 09:33 PM
I use Fitness Pro to track and plug in 60% protein, 20% fat and 20% carbs to lose. I love the scan feature and very easy to track.