August 2018

Don’t Count Calories, Count Carbs

Want to lose excess body fat? The truth is out: If you want to manage your weight, don’t count calories, count (and reduce!) carbohydrates.

Not all calories have the same metabolic effect. While carbohydrate rich foods and protein contain about 4 calories per gram, fat contains more than twice that amount at 9 calories a gram. Yet diabetics are taught to count carbohydrate, NOT fat, when they estimate how much insulin they will need for a specific meal. This is because carbohydrates will increase blood sugar much more quickly than protein, while the blood sugar increase from fats is negligible.  Reducing carbohydrate consumption is the fastest and safest way to reduce the need for insulin, which is a fat-storage hormone. 

Mark Sisson is author of The Primal Blueprint, and the blog called Mark’s Daily Apple. He has illustrated the effects of eating carbs with a chart he calls The Carbohydrate Curve. Based on the numbers and descriptions below, how many carbs should you eat?


300 or more carbs a day is The Danger Zone. This diet is loaded with grains, sugars, cakes, soda, crackers, bagels, chips, pasta, rice, beans, potatoes. It is highly inflammatory and can lead to chronic illness or even death.

150 to 300 carbs a day will result in insidious weight gain. Unless you are an elite athlete with a high demand sport, you will not be able to out-exercise a diet this high in carbohydrates. The result will be a slowly increasing waist line at the rate of about a pound and a half a year, minimum.

100 to 150 grams of carbs a day. This amount of carbs will result in maintenance of a healthy weight when your dietary carbohydrates come in the form of non-starchy vegetables and fruits, and very little or zero grains and sugars.

50 to 100 grams carbs a day. This is the range to aim for if you want effortless excess fat loss. >>READ MORE


Martha Schade

Rev. John M. Schmidt

Board of Pensions, California-Nevada Conference, United Methodist Church
1337 Howe Ave. Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95825
916-913-1049 |