Carbohydrate Counting


What is carbohydrate counting?

Carbohydrate counting is a meal planning approach that focuses on the amount of carbohydrate eaten at meals and snacks. It is based on the assumption that carbohydrate is the main nutrient affecting post meal blood glucose readings. Carbohydrate counting is designed to increase flexibility of your food choices as well as to help you achieve good blood glucose control.

If we look at how carbohydrate, protein and fat are digested, we must consider that about 90% of the carbohydrate we eat is converted to glucose within 1-2 hours after eating. Twenty percent of the protein we consume is converted to glucose within 2-4 hours and 10% of the fat we eat will convert into glucose within 4-6 hours. Although protein and fat have little effect on our blood glucose, it is important to limit your intake of these nutrients, as weight gain may occur if they are disregarded.

Eating sugars and sweets

The good news is, research has proven that it is more important for people with diabetes to keep track of the total amount of carbohydrate in their diet rather than the source of the carbohydrate.

In other words, its okay to have high-sugar foods or sweet drinks for part of the carbohydrate in your food plan once in a while, as long as you stay within the goals of total carbohydrate at a given meal or snack time. It is also better to include these types of foods at meals in order to prolong the time that it takes for them to enter into your bloodstream.

Remember though, foods high in sugar are also often high in fat and low in nutrients.

calculator and laptop

Carbohydrate Calculator

A Carbohydrate Calculator makes it simple to implement a low-carbohydrate diet into your lifestyle. Just submit your weight, height, age, gender, and activity level, and this calculator will predict the amount of carbohydrates you need to consume per day!

Carbohydrate Calculator

In the last decade, a revolution of the low carb diets has created a science for people to drop weight rapidly and successfully. Although some people swear by their low carb diets, sceptics also have their opinions of whether carbohydrates are as bad as they are made to be.

You can decide for yourself which diets are most effective for you, however knowing how many carbohydrates you need to consume for your specific circumstance can be very useful in customizing a Low Carb/Low Fat diet plan best suited for you.

Counting Carbs

It is very easy to count carbs, and once you know how many carbohydrates your body needs, you can begin to monitor your carbohydrate intake closely. To count carbs, you will need to keep close track of reading labels of food. If the labels seem unclear, and you are having a hard time consult the Internet. It has many resources to help you with the nutritional content and carbohydrate percentages in food.

Also, you may want to write in a food diary so that you can see each day how many carbohydrates you need, and which system is working best in your weight loss endeavours.

How Many Carbs Does My Body Require Per Day?

The amount of carbohydrates a person needs to consume per day as discussed above will vary according to several factors, mainly activity. The more energy your body burns, the more carbohydrates you will need to eat to produce the energy to sustain you. However, each person’s hereditary, body make up, and circumstances are unique.

You can find out how your ideal carbohydrate intake by using our carbohydrate calculator above. This will give you an accurate estimate of what can help you to improve your weight loss results.

Carbohydrate counting

To Carb or Not To Carb?

Some people are in sway over whether they should consume carbohydrates in their diet. The amount of carbohydrates and individual requires is dependent upon many things such as age, height, weight, gender, and specifically- activity level.

Activity level plays a key role in how many carbohydrate grams a person needs to sustain their energy.

Carbohydrates are foods that possess sugars, essential fibres, starches, and grains. These foods transpire in the body and are exported as energy.

If you have tried many diets, and have failed miserably- you may want to try a low carb diet. Eating a diet high in proteins can assist your body in muscle building as well as help you to lose excess body weight and fat. However, it is important to remember that the body cannot function properly without a certain amount of carbohydrate calories.

Good Carbs versus Bad Carbs

I am sure that you have heard the terms good carbs and bad carbs. However what are they really, and how can you decipher which ones you should eat, and how much you can eat?

  • Good Carbs- Good carbs as they are often referred, are foods that contain carbohydrates that are not detrimental to glucose levels in the body, are natural whole foods that are less the preservatives, sugars, and that are refined. Good carbs also have shown that they do not cause weight and fat retention. These carbs serve the purpose of supplying the body with energy, however they do not pose the detriments that so called bad carbs do. Good carbohydrate foods are: natural grains, green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, beans, whole-grain cereal products, and legumes.
  • Bad Carbs– Bad carbohydrates are mainly foods derived from sugars, white flours, processed foods, and that are not refined. These carbs can cause adverse health effects and can result in blood glucose level fluctuations which cause fat to be stored in the body. They may assist the body in obtaining energy, however these energy spurts are short-lived as the glucose levels crash. Bad Carb foods are: baked goods that are sweets, white breads, white rice, candies, snacks, non-diet soda pops, and pastas. There are many associated health risks with consuming too many bad carb foods such as heart disease, hypertension, increased risk of cancer, high body fat ratio, and diabetes.
Healthy Eggs Breakfast

Low Carb Food Alternatives

Many of us all know that the best way to health and fitness is to simply diet and exercise. What does that mean exactly, and how do we fit it into our already hectic lifestyles?

Starting with the basics is always a great approach.

If you have a gym membership, that might be a wonderful place to start. Schedule a time that it is convenient so you can work out and then continue with your day from there. Plan to go before work perhaps, shower, and head off to work. Try to incorporate your weekend errands around a workout.

When it comes to food, no one wants to sacrifice taste with generic substitutions. We don’t want to cut out our favorites either. A wonderful place to start, when it comes to food, is figuring out what it is about your favorites that you like. Is it the texture or texture combined with taste in some cases? Finding low carb alternatives to some great foods will not only help increase your health but will also decrease your waistline.

Low Carb Benefits

Introducing a low carb diet into your life can have many great benefits along with lowering the readings on the scale. After a few weeks of eating lower carb meals, many people feel more energetic; the cravings for sweets and compulsive eating all but vanish. Many people report feeling more alert during the day.

Some people may feel that they look healthier with better skin tones, possibly have fewer headaches, less heartburn symptoms and better digestion. The term “carb crash” might be all too familiar to many of us who load up in the morning on carbs then by late afternoon have “crashed.”

Sticking to a leaner meat, lower carb diet coupled with exercise can help alleviate that feeling. Eating smaller meals during the day and incorporating vegetables and higher fiber fruits can help fight compulsive eating feelings as well.

The Food Staples

For some, it would be unheard of to eat steak and not have mashed potatoes. No burger would be complete without fries. Why would anyone want eggs without hash browns? Why bother with meatballs if you had no spaghetti?

The trick is to find some low carb substitutions that work and taste great. A good way to begin finding potential low carb changes is to look at your home eating habits first. Do you repeatedly make the same dishes week to week? If so, look at your side dishes. Are they heavy in carbs? Replace those sides with steamed vegetables.

For mashed potatoes, you can use cauliflower. Steam a bunch and mash; add some skim milk, little butter if desired, salt and pepper taste. After a few bites, you will forget you aren’t having your favorite mashed potatoes. Adding some beaten egg to sweet potato wedges (or anything you wish to add a crunch to) while baking will give you healthy fries for that burger.

For breakfast, you can grate up some summer squash, use an egg as a binder with some salt and pepper and form into patties. Lightly fry in olive oil and you now have a low carb version of your hash browns. Summer squash tastes very similar to potato. While on the squash topic, the best low carb substitution I can find is spaghetti squash.

For the best natural spaghetti around, cut a cooked spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds. Get a large plate and placed each halved squash, cut side down onto about a ¼ cup of water.  Place in the microwave for about 10 minutes, let cool and scrape out the amazing spaghetti noodle like flesh.

Top the spaghetti with those meatballs and sauce, a little grated cheese and you now have your lower carb Italian style, natural alternative. The best part of the noodles is you can use them in soups and any other dish you may call for pasta!

handful of strawberries

Reducing Carbs Better than Lowering Fat Intake for Metabolic Syndrome

Reducing fat intake has been the standard diet recommendation for people with metabolic syndrome. Continued research is showing that reducing carbohydrates in the diet may be more effective at improving symptoms. Since metabolic syndrome is associated with an insulin imbalance, reducing carbohydrates may help to improve insulin’s response.

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors. When someone has three or more of these interrelated risk factors, they are considered to have metabolic syndrome. The risk factors are:

  • An elevated fasting blood sugar: When the blood sugar taken before breakfast is 100 mg/dl or higher it could indicate insulin resistance. This is when the body does not use the hormone insulin as it should. The insulin is unable to convert the sugar (glucose) into energy. The body will continue to make insulin but since it does not work, the blood’s glucose will continue to be high.
  • High blood pressure: A blood pressure of 130/85 or higher is a risk factor. This includes people who are currently taking high blood pressure medicine.
  • A large waist size: Abdominal obesity is considered a waist of 35 inches or larger in women, and 40 inches or larger in men.
  • High triglycerides: A triglyceride level of 150 mg/dl or higher is a risk factor. This includes anyone taking cholesterol medicine.
  • Low HDL level: This is the good cholesterol. An HDL level less than 50 mg/dl for women or less than 40 mg/dl for men is a risk factor. Like triglycerides, this includes people who take cholesterol medicine.

If you have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome you are not alone. It has been estimated that close to 40 percent of Americans are affected. This puts people at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.


Standard dietary treatment is to follow a heart healthy diet. This includes foods low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and trans-fat. Limiting salt intake is also recommended. This is still good advice and should be followed.

Data is showing that reducing carbohydrates in the diet may actually help better than reducing fats when it comes to controlling the symptoms of metabolic syndrome. The logic is that since metabolic syndrome is closely linked to the imbalance in insulin that controlling the carbohydrates will help to control the insulin and its response.

According to a study by Volek and Feinman restricting carbohydrate intake will control high blood sugar, lower the triglycerides, raise the HDL, and lower blood pressure. It is interesting to note that when someone follows a low-fat diet but consumes a large amount of carbohydrates that the triglyceride level actually increases, the HDL decreases and the blood sugar is more difficult to control.

The cause of metabolic syndrome is unknown but the generally accepted theory is that obesity causes it. This includes a diet chronically high in carbohydrates that leads to the body producing elevated levels of insulin. Weight loss is an important part of treatment as well as exercise.

The study concluded that all five of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome were improved by following a low carbohydrate diet.




Instant Knockout Fat Burner supplement

Should You Take Carb and Fat Blockers to Lose Weight?

Can carb blockers and fat blockers help you lose weight? Do they really work? Chances are, you have heard about these weight loss supplements (like Instant Knockout) and their promise of guilt-free carbohydrate and fat consumption. But do these weight-loss products deliver on their promises?

According to some medical professionals, fat and carbohydrate blockers can be beneficial to your weight loss routine — but not to the degree you might think. They are dietary supplements, not prescription drugs, and their effectiveness is different.

Weight Loss Supplements

Carb blockers and fat blockers are not the same as acarbose, for example. Acarbose is the generic name for a drug used to treat Type 2 diabetes. Marketed under the brand name Precose, acarbose slows starch absorption for blood sugar control.

Carbohydrate blocking and fat blocking pills are marketed as weight loss supplements. As dietary supplements, they do not go through the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process. As a result, their safety and effectiveness is not regulated in the same way medications are regulated.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) is a trade group for the dietary supplements industry. It represents the manufacturers and ingredient suppliers for supplement products. The manufacturers are responsible for marketing safe products, and the CRN says studies show carb blockers and fat blockers to be safe and promising for overweight and obese people.

The Role of Carb Blockers

Carbohydrate blockers, also known as starch blockers, contain an ingredient derived from white kidney beans. Known as phaselous vulgaris, the extract works to block alpha-amylase, a starch-digesting enzyme found in a person’s pancreatic juice and saliva. Carb blockers keep your body from absorbing carbohydrates, allowing them to pass through your small intestines undigested or partially digested. The result is fewer carb calories and, hopefully, weight loss.

The Role of Fat Blockers

Fat blockers, also called fat binders, have received as much press as carb blockers. Considered weight loss pills, they claim to block your body’s absorption of dietary fat. Fat binders may contain a drug called a lipase inhibitor or a natural ingredient called chitosan, commonly found in shellfish. Many of the popular fat blockers in today’s market contain an ingredient known as opuntia ficus-indica, an extract taken from the prickly pear cactus. These products claim they can bind nearly 30 percent of a person’s fat consumption.

Essentially, fat blockers are designed to “bind” dietary fat to keep your digestive system from metabolizing it. Medical experts believe that some fat blockers do contain ingredients that can interfere with the body’s fat absorption. But studies have not revealed any substantial weight loss from taking these products.

Benefits and Side Effects

Fat binders and carb blockers do work, to some degree, to keep your body from digesting and metabolizing dietary fat and starches. They also help you eliminate the undigested or partially digested nutrients through bowel movements. But taking these pills as part of your weight loss routine is not a license to eat excessively. You still need to watch your food intake for successful weight loss and weight management.

Dieters should be aware that fat blockers and starch blockers can have unpleasant, unwanted side effects. By preventing the body from breaking down nutrients, including fats and starches, these pills can cause a variety of gastrointestinal problems. Carb and fat blockers commonly cause painful gas, bloating, and diarrhea. In addition, these pills can block the absorption of vital nutrients that normally travel with the fat and starches.

On the other hand, some carb blockers today include fiber among their ingredients. Fiber is good for the body — it fills you up, curbs your hunger, and satisfies your appetite. Diets that are rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, generally provide enough fiber for most diets. Fiber tablets and powders are available to supplement the natural fiber. Research shows that people who get up to 20 grams of fiber — whether from their diet or from dietary supplements like carb and fat blockers — are generally more successful in controlling their weight.

A Magic Weight Loss Bullet?

Overall, carbohydrate blockers and fat binders are no magic bullets. There is nothing magic about these pills. But that does not mean they cannot be helpful for your weight loss routine. Part of their effectiveness comes from their psychological benefits. Taking dietary supplements gives you a sense of control, a sense that you are doing something good for your body. In this regard, carb blockers and fat binders may be just the thing to help you stick to your program. After all, it is ultimately the healthy diet, the exercise, and the “stick-to-it-iveness” that will help you lose the weight.

To view all the weight loss supplements we have reviewed look here.