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March 17, 2017
To Cut Carbs or Calories: A Primer
When it comes to weight loss, everyone has an opinion on what is the best way to shed some pounds. With summer just around the corner, we decided to tackle the classic weight loss debate: Is it better to cut carbs or calories? Read along as we compare the two techniques and gain motivation for your own weight loss journey.
First, let's take a look at carbs. According to the Dietary Guidelines of Americans, carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories. Carbs give you energy, keep your heart pumping, and promote a healthy digestive system. So what's all this talk about cutting them out? Well, weight loss is driven by hormones, especially insulin. Carbs make more of an impact on insulin instead of fats or proteins. This means that carbs drive insulin levels through the roof, causing weight gain. So in order to prevent this, many are choosing to lead a low-carb lifestyle. If you ask these people whether to cut carbs or calories, now you know what the answer will be!
Healthy Carbs vs. Naughty Carbs
The important thing to remember when consuming carbs is that carbs by themselves aren't the enemy – it's the TYPE of carbs you have to watch out for. That means it's time to put down the flour-filled cakes, cookies, pies, and white, refined breads and pastas. These are empty carbs that can backtrack your progress. When starting a low-carb diet, it is important to eat carbs rich in nutritional value. Don't be afraid of nutrient dense foods such as sweet potatoes, seeds, whole grains, nuts, lentils, and fibrous fruits. The secret is your portion size, which is where calories come into the picture.
Don't complicate calories. It's simple. Calories refer to energy consumption through eating and drinking, and energy usage through physical activity. In order to achieve that beach-ready body, the secret lies in the negative energy balance. If you consume fewer calories than you burn, it will ultimately result in weight loss. Each person has a different amount of calories they should be consuming each day that is unique to their age, weight, and height. When deciding whether to cut carbs or calories, if you decide on the latter, use a calorie calculator tool in order to find your perfect balance.
Here's a tip: Use an app like MyFitnessPal (get it for iPhone and Android) to help you track calories, or purchase special stationary that you'll want to use in order to stay motivated! For even more digital help, check out our latest guide to fitness devices and how you should use them.
Choosing the Best Method For YOU
Like most things in life, success comes from a healthy balance. While simply cutting calories might work for one person, going low-carb might work for another. So why not try both (or a combination of each at the same time!) and see what works for you? Sustainable and healthy weight loss will come in the form of slow and steady progress, so allow yourself enough time to adjust to your new lifestyle!
No matter which method you use to achieve your goal weight, our original meal management bags can hold all of your low carb or low calorie choices on the go. Achieve optimum nutrition in style – and always remember to #TravelFit!
Always remember to consult your doctor before making any major changes to your diet.