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How Many Carbs Can You Have On A Low Carb Diet?
One of the main focuses of any ketogenic diet is keeping carbohydrate intake relatively moderate to low but is there a definite number on how many carbs on a low carb diet are actually permitted? Lets find out in this article!
How Do You Lose Weight On A Low Carb Diet?
The reason why low carb diets are keeping carb intake low is so that your body goes into a state called ketosis. When we keep carb intake low for a prolonged period of time your body eventually has to switch to using fat as its primary source of energy instead of glucose which are stored in our bodies when we consume high amounts of carbohydrates.
When fat is broken down for energy generation, they are converted into ketones which can be used by most of your cells in your body for energy, replacing glucose. This is what is most commonly referred as ketosis.
Of course every dieters goals is first and foremost losing body fat and as such a low-carb or ketogenic diet can assist in forcing your body to break down its body fat stores for providing your body with energy.
You would not want to completely stop consuming carbohydrates because your body needs some carbohydrates to function properly. Thats one of many misconceptions around the ketogenic diet. This diet isn´t supposed to be a total zero carb diet.
Keep reading to discover the type of foods with carbs that fit well into a low carb or keto diet.
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How Many Carbs Can You Have on Keto?
Now, how many carbs on a low carb diet are allowed? Carbohydrate restricition differ from individual to individual. There are people who can get away with consuming more carbohydrates and stay in ketosis, while other individuals need to be more careful about their carb intake.
Our muscles are storing glycogen from carbohydrates for quick energy unlike fat which is stored below our skin. So basically more muscular people (athletes, bodybuilders) would be able to eat more carbohydrates and still stay in ketosis, because the reason carbohydrates can make you gain weight is, that your body need to convert the excess carbohydrates (to fat) when your glycogen stores are full (and for a person with normal muscles they are filled pretty quickly).
A rule of thumb of most low carb diet guidelines recommend staying withing a range of 15-30g of net carbohydrates daily which would make 5-10% of your total daily calories.
If you are a person who happens to work out regularly you are more likely to be able to eat more carbs and keep your body in ketosis.
Which Carbs To Avoid To Lose Weight?
Certain food choices contain very high amounts of carbohydrates and as such need to be avoided for switching your body into ketosis to lose weight.
Some foods which are not optimal for consuming during a ketogenic diet are: White pasta, candy, pastry products, pancakes, soda, bread, juices and white rice.
Which Carbs Are Allowed On Keto?
While there are many foods to avoid entirely when doing a ketogenic diet, there are still some keto-friendly carb sources you can still include into your diet.
The following foods on the list below contain some amounts of carbs, so you always need to check out the labels and record your carb intake so you dont accidentally eat too much, especially if you are just starting out with keto.
Most veggies contain sugar as starch. Vegetables low in starch also have a lesser sugar content and as such are more suitable for a low-carb diet. Most often they are also high in fiber, have not much calories and pack a lot of nutrients beneficial for weight loss, making them a good fit for any serious ketogenic diet.
A lot of these vegetables low in starch contain high amounts of fiber. While fibers are considered carbohydrates, they are not broken down into glucose and for the most part will be excreted without being converted into sugar or glucose. This means that you can neglect the fiber count in the foods you eat because they wont count as carbohydrate intake in a traditional sense.
Besides fiber has shown to have many health benefits and also improve digestion and aid in saturation.
Veggies which are perfectly fine to consume during a low-carb diet are:
Pro-Tipp: Switch from mashed potatoes to mashed cauliflowers for your favourite dishes such as salmon or your meat dishes as a side. It makes a delicious keto friendly alternative to mashed potatoes!
Dark Chocolate & Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
A great alternative for satisfying your sweet tooth and to swap common chocolate bars is dark chocolate and cocoa powder. These are considered a superfood due to their high amounts of antioxidants which come with a lot of health benefits which not only will you assist in your weight loss journey!
The antioxidants found in dark chocolate and cocoa powder are linked to the risk reduction of heart disease by being able to lower blood pressure.
Make sure that you choose dark chocolate with at least 85% cocoa and dark unsweetened cocoa powder instead of many breakfast cocoa mixtures which already are packed with a lot of additional sugars.
Pro-Tipp: A great keto friendly dessert you can make with cocoa powder is the classic mousse au chocolat. Simply add cocoa powder to whip cream (choose 15% fat over the 30% fat variation) and whisk with your mixer for 5-10 minutes to get a creamy and tasty low-carb mousse au chocolat alternative. If you like to add some sweetness to it, add some stevia.
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Berries happen to be low in carbs and high in fiber content, making it a perfect choice for including these healthy fruits into your weight loss diet!
Berries are a great source of antioxidants which have shown to fight off free radicals in your body and provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
But while they are the perfect food choice for any weight loss diet, always keep track of their carbohydrates because they still come with low amout of carbs and sugars.
Konjac noodles (also shirataki noodles) are a good choice for people on a ketogenic diet who miss eating pasta. This product has less than 0,9g of carbohydrates because this processed plant root contains mainy water and fiber.
You can get these online on Amazon or even your local health food store and they come in many shapes such as linguine, spaghetti and rice shape.
Combined with eggs and tuna you can mimic a fried rice recipe or together with self-made tomato sauce and parmesan to mimic your favourite spaghetti bolognese dish.
But be careful because this product can be very hard for your stomach to digest. Many people eating konjac root have an upset stomach after. Try little at a time and see how your stomach reacts.
Avocado is essential in many ketogenic diets. They provide a lot of essential vitamins & minerals and are a good source of healthy natural fats. It´s high mineral content can make your adaption to a ketogenic diet much easier because it replenishes your body with the valuable minerals it excreted during the keto adaptation stage.
With only about 2g of net carbohydrates per serving, Avocados make an optimal keto food choice.
Like already mentioned above, cauliflower is a superstar in any ketogenic diet because of its versatility in the kitchen. You love rice? Try to replace it with fine chopped and boiled cauliflower?
You love mashed potatoes? Boil cauliflower and mash it together with butter & cream, season with salt, pepper and a little bit of muskat and you´ll have the perfect low-carb alternative for mashed potatoes.
With only about 2 grams of net carbohydrate per cups, cauliflower will be your new best friend in your ketogenic journey.
If you like your ketogenic dishes to have a touch of mediterranean flavour, olives are a perfect choice. A 15g serving of olives only contains about 1g of net carbohydrates.
Besides studies have shown that the polyphenols (class of antioxdiants) found in olives can help to reduce inflammation, protect against cancer and decrease blood pressure.
We hope we helped you to find an answer on how many carbs on a low carb diet are actually allowed. Keep in mind that your carb cravings will be through the roof when you first start out with a ketogenic diet but don´t give in! This usually is only temporary and fades when your body gets used to break down body fat for energy.
With some creativity and professional guidance you can help yourself during that phase by replacing your favourite carb heavy foods with tasty low carb alternatives. Knowledge is key!
These low-carb alternatives can also make you stay full for longer and reduce your cravings once your body has adapted to them.
If you don´t know where to start, click here to get your fully customized ketogenic diet plan with lots of delicious recipes and creative ideas which will make you forget about your favourite carb heavy meals from the past.
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