Tuesday, July 23, 2013

FitTip Tuesday: The Truth About Carbs

Let me explain something….carbs are NOT the devil. They are NOT bad for you, nor do they make you gain weight. So many people are confused on this and fear carbs, they fear eating them past a certain time at night and when trying to lose weight, it is generally the first thing cut from somebody’s diet.

When somebody wants to lose weight or gain muscle, carbs should make up the highest percentage of macros in their diet. (Remember macros are Fats/Proteins/Carbs). This means that the majority of a person’s calories should come from carbs.

Here’s a little math for you: 1 gram of carbs=4 calories, 1 gram of protein=4 calories and 1 gram of fat=9 calories.

For most moderately active adults, it is recommended you need between 45% and 65% of your calories to come from complex carbs which are your whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables. For example a person on a 2000 calorie a day diet would need approximately 225 to 325 grams of carbs a day that is roughly 900 to 1300 calories from carbs a day. This will provide the necessary fuel for energy during your workouts and throughout the day.

Weight loss or gain is primarily related to calories in versus calories out, not the macro profile of the diet. You MUST be at a caloric deficit for weight loss. It is that simple.

Remember that long-term weight loss success is achieved by eating in a way that is maintainable, not one where you deprive or omit yourself of certain macros.

We all have a certain amount of calories we can eat without gaining weight. As long as we don’t exceed the amount of calories for our body composition, then we will maintain or lose weight. 

The amount of calories for our bodies to maintain weight is determined by our BMR (basal metabolic rate) which is simply how much our body burns just by being alive. You can get a good estimate of yours here http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

To figure out an estimated amount of calories you need a day to maintain your weight, lose weight, or even gain weight check out these websites as well


  1. I would be really interested in learning how to figure out my macros needed for losing weight...
    I've tried to find calculators online, but the only thing I've found is for weight maintenance. : /
    Any chance you could help a girl out or lead me in the right direction?
    My email address is lydiajkassinger@gmail.com, if that is easier, and of course if you do find the time! I know you're a busy mama! : )

  2. Great information! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is all interesting. So carbs are important for building muscle...I always thought it was protein....

  4. Hey Miss Erica! I am so excited that you are blogging!!! I love following you on instagram and watching your sweet babies grow! And that pup, LOVE! :) SO here is my question for you. I have a fabulous desk job for 9 hours a day and live 45 min away from said desk job. So including a lunch break I am gone 11 hours a day. I lost over 30 lbs last year before I started working full time and now eventhough I'm getting up and working out 3 days a week nothing seems to be happening! I don't know how to incorporate all I need to be eating (which I am extremely picky) and working out into this lifestyle (enter mommy guilt). I get home at 7-8 most nights and hate eating that late when I try to be in bed by 11. Help! :)

  5. Oh my goodness..

    I can't tell you how much I love this post. I stumbled over here from SkinnyMeg and read this, and all I want to say is THANK YOU for setting the record straight with people, and being living proof that it is true!

    My degree is in Human Nutrition, and I can't tell you how frustrating it is when people go on and on about how good low to zero carb diets, high protein diets, high fat diets (seriously?), carb cycling methods, etc are to gain muscle and shed fat, and they think this is a healthy lifestyle approach. Sticking to the lower end of the 45-65% carbs? No problem. But 5-10% carbs? Come on. Balance. You NEED all 3 macros to live, and you need them to be properly distributed across your diet for a long and healthy life.

    Thanks Erica - I am already loving your blog! ps. you are gorgeous!

  6. I don't know why, but I always have a hard time understanding this calorie deficit thing. I think mainly because when I enter my eats and moves into MFP, it subtracts my move's calories from my eat's calories and telling me I have more calories I can eat. I'd love to see a simple post on this! Thanks :-)

  7. Thanks for the links to the calorie calculators! I have been using MFP and I know the calories they calculate are too low for me, but your post just confirmed it. I have been adding more cals in, plus adding in for workouts too.

    One question though about the number of calories that I need based on the IIFYM calculator since this number is so much higher than my original number in MFP...do I still need to add in more calories after workouts (like MFP does for you when you log in your workouts) or should I just strictly stick to the calculated number from IIFYM and not add in more for my workouts?

    Hopefully you can help me figure this all out!

  8. but what are the right ratios ....it's so tough to figure out. Right now I am 45% protein and 25% carb and the rest fat....