Permanently Lean Carbohydrates or Calories? What to look for when losing weight

Permanently Lean Carbohydrates or Calories?  What to look for when losing weight

Do you want to lose weight and do without carbohydrates? Then you are fully in the low-carb trend: We’ll tell you here whether this trend makes sense or whether you count the calories at the end of the day!

Carbohydrates have fallen into disrepute in recent years. Similar to doing without normal dairy products or gluten, all those who want to lose weight do without potatoes, pasta, rice and bread rolls. But is this method really promising for losing weight? And does it make sense to track the calories or rather the carbohydrates? We compared both methods for you and put them to the test.

Carbohydrates or calories: what you need to count to lose weight

Those who want to lose weight these days eat one thing above all else: vegetables, protein and little fat. Where many people were on a low-fat diet until a few years ago, now everyone is doing without the “bad” carbohydrates. Because bread rolls, pasta and Co. are considered to be real fattening foods. Others still count calories. And for one simple reason: if you know your basal metabolic rate, i.e. the number of calories your body needs every day, you can easily reduce this amount of calories. And that way, at the end of the week, there’s less on the scales. Anyone who counts the carbohydrates takes it a little more precisely. Carbohydrate tracking is more about what you eat, not just how much you eat. But which method is better now?

Advantages of the “count calories” method

  • As soon as you know your basal metabolic rate and know how many calories you want to eat per day, all you need to do is add up the calorie information on the packaging or track your calories with a nutrition app.

  • Either way, saving calories will help you lose weight.

Disadvantages of the “counting calories” method

  • This method does not give you an overview of the nutritional values ​​and the composition of the food. Basically, you could also eat two large burgers a day. As long as you stay below your calorie target, it would still be part of your diet. From a health point of view, however, that makes little sense.

  • If you reduce too many calories, you will quickly suffer from the yo-yo effect. Because every diet that works with abstinence stresses your body. And so sooner or later he will get back what you have denied him.

Advantages of the “count carbohydrates” method

  • Keeping your carbohydrate intake low also means keeping your blood sugar levels down. This is especially important for losing weight. Because the lower the sugar content in your food, the less fat you can put on. All kinds of carbohydrates (pasta, rice or flour) are metabolized into glucose in the body. If you eat too much of it, the excess glucose goes to the liver and is there directly converted into fat cells.

  • As with counting calories, you can see how many carbohydrates are in your food by looking at the nutritional table.

Instead of calories or carbohydrates, you can also count points: This is how losing weight works with Weight Watchers.


Weight Watchers
This is how losing weight works

At Weight Watchers, you count points instead of calories. You can find out from us how the concept works, whether the program is suitable for you and what other users say.

Disadvantages of the “count carbohydrates” method

  • There are foods that are not exactly suitable for a diet and contain hardly any carbohydrates. So you can’t track a large beef steak that has been seared in lots of oil with this method. That means: Just because you control your carbohydrate intake does not guarantee a successful diet.

  • Even a low-carbohydrate diet is not necessarily a healthy diet. Because even with this method you deny your body an important source of energy. So if you overdo it with this type of diet, you can expect a yo-yo effect.

Losing weight – but with which method?

What is clear is that none of these methods are a safe way to lose weight. Because only a change in diet can bring success in the long run. So you can actually take the best of both methods and combine them with a healthy lifestyle. And it could look like this:

  • Reduce your number of calories to a healthy extent, based on your basal metabolic rate (a maximum of 200 calories less per day)

  • Reduce your carbohydrate intake to a healthy degree. How many grams that are exactly depends on your individual metabolism. As a rule of thumb, half of your plate should be filled with vegetables. A quarter of protein and a quarter of carbohydrates are enough. Also, make sure you only eat long-chain carbohydrates: whole wheat pasta, whole wheat flour or oatmeal and millet. They fill you up longer and contain less sugar.

  • Try to increase your vegetable consumption. Because the fiber also keeps you full for a long time. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your nutrients. You should include at least five handfuls of vegetables a day in your diet.

  • Try to eat plenty of protein, especially when you exercise. This also keeps you full for a long time and helps you build muscle. They can then burn calories and help you lose weight. When choosing your protein, make sure you have a healthy mix of lean animal protein (chicken and dairy products) and vegetable protein (tofu and legumes).

  • Include fats in your diet as well. They stimulate the metabolism and help you lose weight. Oils like rapeseed oil, walnut oil, or linseed oil are best.

  • Wait at least four hours between meals. This way you can regulate your blood sugar level down and lose weight even better.

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