The internet is swarming with misinformation, which makes finding simple answers to questions like how many carbs per day should I eat suuuper hard to find!
The answer is simple, you just need to decide:
- Which low carb lifestyle do you plan to follow? Keto, low carb diet, USDA rec.
- Do you want to count the total or net carbs of your keto foods and low carb recipes?
If you have no idea what that means, fear not, we’ll delve into that below.
So, here are the facts so you can make the best decision for you!
Carb Counting Facts
You can calculate how many carbs per day based on percentages, grams, or calories — here’s a little clarity on exactly what that means:
Grams + Calories
Each gram of carbohydrate or protein provides 4 calories, while each gram of fat has 9 calories — so if your goal is to eat 80 carbohydrate calories at each meal, you’d eat 20 grams.
Percentages are based on the caloric percentage of the food you eat. To make it easy, say your goal is to eat 50% of your caloric intake in carbohydrates — that means half the food you eat would be carb calories.
Carbs Per Day For Ketosis
A keto diet is less than 50 grams of carbohydrates or 200 carbohydrate calories.
That said, many following atkins or keto count net carbs as opposed to total carbs. Net carbs are total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols — the number you’re looking for if you’re wondering how many carbs for ketosis.
This is because the function of carbohydrates vary depending on the type of carb you’re eating — for example, soluble fiber is a complex carbohydrate that can improve blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar. Whereas sugar is a simple carbohydrate which quickly spikes your blood sugar.
If you decide to go the net carbs route, be leary of products flaunting “active / impact carbs”, as there’s no legal definition for these terms. Unfortunately, this often means manufacturers are adding ingredients that can affect your blood sugar.
Carbs Per Day For A Low Carb Diet
According to the Mayo Clinic, a low carb diet consists of 20-60 grams of carbohydrates or 80-240 carbohydrate calories.
USDA Carbs Per Day
As a frame of reference, The American Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming 45-65% of your caloric intake in carbohydrates — So for a person consuming 2,000 calories a day, that would be 225-325 grams.
Which may seem like a lot, but according to the Institute of Medicine, most people exceed this “how many carbs per day” recommendation!
How Many Carbs Should You Eat?
Figuring out how many carbs should I eat a day has taken testing, time, and advice from doctors.
Knowledge is also a big part of it — you can’t eat low carb foods, if you don’t know which foods are low in carbs and which aren’t.
For those interested in switching to low carb foods, identify your goal: whether it’s health, weight loss, or more energy — write it down, and talk to a health professional to see if eating low carb will help you achieve your goals.
Then start learning about eating low carb. It’s actually really simple, just get the basics down and you’ll be golden.
How to Track Your Carbs
There are quite a few ways to track your daily carb intake — it boils down to personal preference.
That said, countless studies have found that people who journal are twice as likely to lose weight compared to those who don’t.
Sufficed to say, journaling will help you stick to your how many carbs in a low carb diet goal. Whether it be an app on your phone or a good old pen and paper. Once you’ve established how many carbs you’ll eat in a day, pick the method that you’ll most likely stick to.
I use a printed low carb meal plan with my goals and daily carb intake (I like to see it all in one place).
Others prefer apps such as My Fitness Pal. These are mobile and super convenient. That said, these apps contain user uploaded nutritional info, so it’s common to find errors. Just be aware, you can easily make adjustments for this.
More Keto Tips
If you’re new to low carb eating and are looking for some delicious recipes to help you stick to your goals, here are some options!
- Keto Breakfast. Smoothies, quiches, and casseroles!
- Keto Dinner. Everything from soup to casseroles to salads.
- Keto Lunch Ideas. Easy meals to make ahead!
- Keto Snacks. From sweet to savory.
- Keto Desserts. Every craveable dessert recipe!
I hope this article helped shine light on how many carbs in a low carb diet there are!
Again, if you’re wondering how many carbs in a low carb diabetic diet or any other health-related questions, it’s important to consult with your doctor.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on workmanship like
Glad you enjoyed!
You could certainly see your expertise within the work you write.
The world hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not
afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.
Thanks again Lindsey, this is very helpful.
Yay! Happy to hear that James! Thank you 🙂
Great info!! Love your recipes!
Thank you SO much Raegen!! That means the world!
Love getting the emails, always informative and recipes!
Yay! That means the world Joanne! Thanks for being here ?
Love getting all this awesome FREE info from you. I started my Keto journey in January this year and by following your blog and recipes, I have reached my first weight loss goal of 20lbs. All I can say is THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for being available to all us folks out here who really needed something SIMPLE, SAFE and EASY to stick too. I have been introduced to so many new amazing foods that my meals are NEVER boring.
Keep up the good work Lindsey, WE ALL APPRECIATE WHAT YOU DO.
Thank you so much for your kind words Gayle! That means the world ???
Thank you, Lindsey. This low carb is all new to me and your information really helped. I still do not quite understand the difference between total carbs and net carbs.
Hello Walter! Total carbs – fiber = Net carbs, Meaning total carbs include all the different types of carb in a food or meal. Net carbs, on the other hand, only include carbs that the body can fully digest into glucose. Hope this helps and wishing you the best of luck!?
I entered my email twice but can’t get the printable guide. Love the website though!
Sorry about that! I just emailed it to you 🙂 🙂
for the good advice
You’re welcome Michelle?
I think your math is a little off in the part at the beginning about counting carbs. If you want 80 carbohydrate calories, that would be 20 grams of carbs, not 10, because there are 4 calories per gram.
Love your site!
Hi James! YIKES! You’re totally right, and I appreciate the feedback. Thanks so much!
I can’t get the printable guide either. I’ve tried a few times.
Hello Jon! Please check your inbox, Hope you enjoy!?
Thank you for the info this cleared up a lot for me, Also it’s great to be able to get some info without being charged.. Thank you very much
Yay! Thanks for being here Mary?
None of the links in the post work for me. The list of recipes and snacks, guide, etc.
Hi Michele! I believe you emailed me about this? All links have been checked and are working, LMK if there’s a particular link I can send your way. Thanks!