How many carbs should you target? – Keto and Low-carb diets

Keto is a great way to eat low carb, but it
isn’t the only option. What are the different kinds of low-carb diets? And which one is right for you? Plus, what are “net carbs”? In this video, I’ll answer all of these
questions. I’ll also share the biggest mistake that
people often make when choosing their carb level. Let’s get into it. Hi, I’m Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, CEO of Diet
Doctor. Today I’ll be talking about three different
low-carb approaches and how to know which one is right for you.

On any low-carb diet, you cut back on carbohydrates,
also known as carbs. Carbs are found in sugary foods — like candy
and desserts — and starchy foods like pasta, bread, and cereal. But how low do you go? At Diet Doctor, we support three levels of
carbs: strict low carb — which we often call “keto”
— moderate low carb, and liberal low carb. The difference is in the amount of carbs eaten
in a typical day. With keto, you’ll want to keep carbs very
low — no more than 20 grams of net carbs per day. That means meals should stay at or below about
7 grams of net carbs each. Net carbs are total carbs minus dietary fiber;
we’ll explain this in more detail later in this video. On a moderate low-carb diet, you can eat more
than that — up to about 50 grams of net carbs per day. And on a liberal low-carb diet, you can eat
50 to 100 grams of net carbs each day. Even at 100 grams, you are still well below
the 250 grams of carbs that most people eat daily.

Do you need to stick to a keto diet, consuming
under 20 grams of carbs a day? Or would you get good results with a moderate
low-carb diet, consuming 20 to 50 grams? People with a lot of weight to lose — or
with conditions like type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, or food addiction —
may find that they get their best results on a keto diet. In general, the fewer the carbs, the bigger
the impact on speeding weight loss, improving metabolic conditions, and reducing
hunger. So if you fall into one of those categories,
you may do well starting out on a strict keto diet.

This will give you the best idea of how low
carb makes you feel, how it impacts you, and what sort of results
you might get. However, there are three main downsides of
a strict low-carb approach. The first, and most obvious, is that you have
to limit more types of food to keep your carbs very low. The second is that you may experience keto
side effects, like the keto flu, until you’re adapted to burning more fat. So if you start with keto, stay hydrated and
make sure you get enough salt, too. And third, if you take medications to lower
your blood sugar, a keto diet may potentially lower your blood sugar to dangerous levels. Make sure you consult with your doctor if
you take blood sugar medications before starting a strict low-carb diet.

If you want to lose some weight and don’t
have any blood sugar issues, you may do very well on a moderate low-carb diet. Weight loss may be slower, but you’ll be
less likely to experience significant side effects. And you’ll be able to enjoy a little more
fruit and other higher carb foods. Lean, active, and healthy individuals often
do very well on liberal low carb. Your diet will be less restrictive and still
very healthy. However, you may not see quite as much weight
loss or metabolic improvement. If you start with a strict or moderate low-carb
plan, as you achieve your health and weight goals, you can try to add more carbs back
into your diet. Individuals differ, but maintenance is often
possible with a more liberal approach. Or, if you try a strict low-carb diet and
find it to be too restrictive to stick with, you can switch to a moderate or liberal low-carb
diet. Many people get good results just by getting
carbs below 100 grams a day. In this video, we’ve been talking about
grams of “net carbs.” This simply means that when we count grams
of carbs, we exclude the grams of fiber.

This is because you can eat all the fiber
you want from keto vegetables without seeing a significant blood sugar or insulin impact. Most people only need to limit sugars and
starches, not fiber, since fiber can't be digested and absorbed into your body. For example, when you eat green beans, about
half of the carbs are fiber — 3.5 grams per cup. You don’t have to count those fiber carbs
when you think about the “net carbs” from the green beans on your plate. However, be very careful of the term “net
carbs” on labels of low-carb products, especially processed foods like protein or energy bars. Some manufacturers use “net carbs” as
a way to disguise ingredients like sugar alcohols that may slow weight loss and impact blood
sugar. Our advice is to keep it simple. The most effective keto diet — and the healthiest
— is based on natural, whole foods rather than processed products. To sum it up, low-carb diets focus on healthy
whole foods and keep carbs low. Keto is the lowest, with net carbs below 20
grams a day.

A moderate low-carb diet allows 20 to 50 grams
of net carbs, and a liberal one allows up to 100 grams of net carbs. And remember, “net carbs” are just carb
counts without the fiber. So, what’s the biggest mistake you might
make when deciding how many carbs to include in your diet? It’s a lack of flexibility. Many people try just one level of carbs, and
give up quickly if it doesn’t suit them. And that’s a shame, because finding the
right balance is a key to low-carb success. So, maybe you dove straight into keto and
found the transition too tough. Don’t give up. Instead, try a more moderate low-carb approach. Or, maybe you started out slow, with a liberal
low-carb diet, and you aren’t seeing the results you hoped for. Again, don’t give up. Instead, see if being stricter with carbs
gets you to where you want to be.

There isn’t one ideal level of carbs for
everyone. At Diet Doctor, we give you the tools to find
a diet that works for your body and your preferences. Do you want to learn more about the different
levels of low carb, and how to choose the right one for you? See our guide, “ How low carb is keto?” You’ll find the link below. And if you’re interested in more low-carb
support, consider signing up for a free trial at

We've helped thousands of people succeed on
their low-carb journey, and we can help you, too. Our members get access to meal plans, videos,
courses and other exclusive benefits. Good luck, and I’ll see you in our next

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