So finally, do you think it’s high time you control your uncontrolled weight, which is expanding like anything, and trying to sketch out your diet? The first thing which will bother you will be whether to count calories or carbohydrate intake. Well, don’t worry. Your body requires both in their proportions. Today, we’ll discuss all the prospects around calorie and carbohydrate consumption and things to be taken care of before configuring your diet for choosing the intake. But before jumping to the calorie vs carbohydrate counting, let’s first understand the chemistry and biology of calories and carbohydrates in your body.
1. Dynamics Behind Calorie vs Carbohydrate Counting
The notion of calories in and calories out is used while calorie counting. You must spend more calories than you consume to lose weight. One pound can be shed by burning 3,500 calories more than you take in. You should set a daily goal for your calorie intake when tracking calories to lose weight. Cutting 500 calories from your daily diet is one example. This would result in around a pound of weight loss over a week. Calories are usually consumed in sugar, fats, and carbohydrates. Excessive consumption of carbohydrates led to a rise in calorie levels in the body. (See Busted! 27 Myths About Fitness Exercises and Workouts)
Carbohydrate counting is a strategy of eating that entails keeping track of how much carbohydrates you consume at each meal and snack. The total number of carbs consumed in food is called total carbohydrates which include nutrients (dietary fiber), sugars, and starches. Carbohydrates like starchy, sugary, and refined foods are major sources of fat in people’s diets. Let’s dive into the discussion which will give you an idea of whether to count calories or carbohydrate intake further. Read the 270 really delicious national food of the World.
2. Calorie Intake in the form of Sugar
Added sugar in small amounts isn’t always harmful. Furthermore, several nutritious foods, such as fruits and dairy products, include natural sugars that aid in energy production. However, many of you unknowingly consume excessive amounts of sugar as many processed foods you consume have sugar added to them. Even if the food isn’t sweet, it may have added sugar, such as ketchup, salsa, or canned soups. Sugar is also abundant in many of the drinks you consume.
Sugar consumption has been related to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. According to several specialists, the more sugar you consume, the more sugar you desire. Sugar reduction may reduce sugar cravings in certain people, resulting in lower total calorie intake and weight loss. (Also read 9 Diseases Caused by Obesity)
3. Calorie Intake in the form of Fats
The calories in a single gram of fat are 9. Your overall caloric intake can quickly rise because the calorie amount is so high when you eat high-fat foods. However, it is critical to consume healthy fats for good health. (Also read 40 Lesser Known Facts About Fast Food)
You will feel full and satisfied if you consume enough fat. You might feel full sooner and eat less overall if you eat a tiny amount of fatty food. As a result, meals high in healthy fats, such as some types of fish, nuts, and avocado can help you lose weight. Several critical fat-soluble vitamins require fat for absorption. When carbs are unavailable, fats are used for energy. Check out the 21 healthiest fish for fishetarians.
4. Calorie Intake in the form of Carbohydrate
Carbohydrates are an excellent energy source for your body, with 4 calories per gram. Excessive calorie intake from refined carbs such as white rice and white bread can lead to weight gain, triglyceride elevation, and weariness. These processed carbohydrates are also devoid of fiber and other elements in whole grains, such as B vitamins. (See Where Did Pasta Originate?)
Furthermore, when you eat low-nutrient carbs, they take the place of better meals like protein, making you feel full and helping you eat less. If you opt to lose weight by counting carbohydrates, make sure you eat enough fruits, veggies, and whole grains to get the vitamins and minerals you need. Read the 11 health benefits of eating ice apple fruit.
5. Pros and Cons of Limiting Calorie
You should always count calories or carbohydrate intake as tracking calories can make you find the calorie content of any food item. You don’t have to exert much effort to keep your portion sizes under control. You can easily track your breakfast as it needs to be 300 calories.
People who suffer from obesity or cardiac problems may benefit from a low-calorie diet. However, severely limiting your calorie intake might be hazardous to your health and may not aid in weight loss. (Also read 20 Revolutionary Diet Plans to Lose Weight)
6. Is it Fruitful to Count Calories?
Yes, it is beneficial to count calories or carbohydrate intake. Calories do matter, but they aren’t the only consideration. Varying foods have different calorie counts. Many items associated with a low-calorie diet are poor in healthful fats and protein.
- A 300-calorie salad, popcorn, and fruit will supply vitamins and fiber but not protein or good fats. Three hundred calories of chicken, avocado, and spinach are packed with vitamins, fiber, protein, and healthy fat.
- Protein and fat break down more slowly than carbohydrates, resulting in a slower rise in blood sugar. This will make you feel satiated for a longer time. (Also read How many Seeds does a Strawberry have?)
Because a low-carbohydrate diet contains more filling and satisfying protein and healthy fats, it may help to minimize cravings for some higher-carbohydrate foods. According to one study, people who reduced their carbohydrate intake had fewer desires for high-carb items over two years. One day, you could be shocked to discover that you don’t miss the meals you gave up as much as you imagined. (See 10 Most Common Food Cravings and their Alternatives)
7. Prospects of Carbohydrate Intake
On considering whether to count calories or carbohydrate intake, it is about figuring out how much net carbs you’re taking in. Fiber is subtracted from total carbs per serving to arrive at this figure. Several diet programs call for ingesting a low amount of carbohydrates each day. Only 60 grams of carbs can be consumed per day. Although it is not required to track calories on most low-carb diets, doctors advise that the amount should not fall below 1200 for women and 1500 for men for safe weight loss. Must read the 12 health benefits of green apples.
People with type-1 and type-2 diabetes use carbohydrate counting to keep their blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. Diabetes patients may require insulin to allow their bodies to utilize carbs for energy. They can better forecast how much insulin will be needed if they use a carbohydrate counting method.
Food labels are an essential aspect of both diets. You read the calories per serving when you use a calorie counting method. The portion size per serving is crucial. You might be consuming more than one serving of the cuisine you’re considering. This is something you’ll have to consider. Carbohydrates appear on food labels as well. Carbohydrates have few listings and are discussed in the next segment. (Also read 10 Rose Apple Benefits)
8. Carbohydrate Intake in the form of Dietary Fiber
The quantity of dietary fiber in food that is not digested is dietary fiber content. Fiber helps you feel fuller for longer by adding weight to your stool. Fiber is found in higher concentrations in healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. (See Why is vitamin C good for you?)
9. Carbohydrate Intake in the form of Sugar
Monosaccharides and disaccharides are sugars that occur naturally or are added to foods and beverages like cakes, nougats, pastries, and soft drinks. Sugar is naturally present in some meals, such as fruits, but sugar is also added to others. You should avoid it because too much sugar can increase calories, a surge in blood sugar. (See Is Nougat Healthy?)
10. Pros and Cons of Counting Carbohydrate Intake
Finding the appropriate amount of carbs in food, unlike calories, can be complex as it might be tiresome to count calories or carbohydrate intake. There is a possibility that you won’t be able to find the net carb content of every single item. Carbohydrates may be listed under three separate sections in supermarket food: total carb, dietary fiber, and sugar. Furthermore, you are free to eat whatever you want, all you have to do is watch your calories and portion sizes. A low-carb diet can help people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels. To stay in shape after losing weight on a low-carb diet, you may want to stick to the same calorie intake for a while. Pros of carbohydrate counting include the strategy that may be useful for those who must limit their carbohydrate intake, such as diabetics.
However, carbohydrates are not found in all foods. For instance, a porterhouse steak contains no carbs but is heavy in fat and calories. The carbohydrate restriction alone isn’t enough to ensure a healthy diet. (See 65 Little Known Fast Food Chains In America)
11. Ways to Count Calories or Carbohydrate Intake
A calorie deficit is necessary for optimal weight loss. The number of calories you burn in a day through various activities must be greater than the number of calories you ingest. This forces the body to burn fat stored in the cells for energy, resulting in weight loss. When you count calories or carbohydrate intake calories, merely observing or memorizing food intake isn’t enough to calculate the consumption.
While reading serving sizes on a product label is an excellent way to practice portion management, knowing how many calories are in a serving is more complicated. Because you may not always have access to a nutrition label, portion control is crucial for carbohydrate counting. Carbohydrate-counting dieters frequently memorize portions to make eating selections easier. For example, around 15 grams of carbs are found in the following foods:
- 1 piece of bread,
- 1 tiny fruit (apple or orange),
- 1/2 cup fruit (canned or fresh),
- 1/2 cup starchy vegetables (cook corn, peas, lima beans, or mashed potatoes),
- 34 cup pasta,
- 34 cup rice,
- 3/4 cup cereal (dry)
Some foods, such as nonstarchy vegetables (like lettuce or spinach), and many fruits have minimal carbohydrate content that may be overlooked. So for a healthy lifestyle, you should count calories or carbohydrate intake. (Also read 20 Amazing Health Benefits of Bananas)
12. Comparing Low-calorie Diet and Low-carbohydrate Diet
- Your body releases the hormone insulin when you consume carbohydrates. The more carbohydrates you consume, the more insulin you require to keep those carbohydrates under control. Because insulin has a minor suppressive influence on metabolism, lowering its requirement can be helpful.
- Let’s not forget that high-carbohydrate diets can produce hormonal changes in the body, encouraging calorie storage in fat cells while also boosting hunger. On the other hand, reduced carbohydrate intake may boost metabolism while lowering the appetite.
- Diets with a somewhat low carbohydrate content give a balance of vitamins and fiber from vegetables and protein from lean meats, meatless protein dishes, etc. At the same time, compared to a standard low-calorie or low-fat diet, this plan has fewer carbohydrates. This means you’ll feel fuller for longer while losing fat and retaining muscle mass. Check out the top 20 foods that contain antioxidants.
- On the other hand, traditional low-fat diets have resulted in muscle loss and fat increase rather than long-term weight loss in some people.
- If you can gradually increase your fiber intake, weight loss and maintenance will be considerably easier. According to some studies, people who consume 35 grams of fiber daily metabolize 3–5% fewer total calories from their food.
- Additional benefits of eating 25–35 grams of fiber per day (vegetables) include maintaining gut bacteria, regular digestion, cardiovascular health, and some malignancies. (Also read 12 Health Benefits of Mangoes)
Your dietary requirements may change due to your height, weight, and daily activity. We hope this article sorted most of your confusion about whether to count calories or carbohydrate intake. However, you should consult a doctor or a dietician to determine safe calorie and carbohydrate consumption. If you’re still stuck and can’t count calories or carbohydrate intake, reach out to us directly! (See What Everybody Ought to Know About Medicinal Uses of General Spices)