There are three macronutrients that provide the majority of your daily calories. They are carbs, protein, and fat. Each nutrient has a different effect on your metabolism.
By dropping your carb intake from 250 grams per day to 25, your metabolism shifts from relying on glucose for energy to burning fat for fuel. In this post, I’ll explain why it makes sense to lower your carb intake and show you what a 250-carb day looks like compared to a menu that provides 25 grams.
250 Carbs vs 25 Carbs – At-A-Glance
- A disciplined person who practices portion control may feel fine on a high-carb diet (250g).
- The challenge with a high-carb diet is that your blood sugar spikes then drops, which makes you crave more carbs.
- When you cut carbs, your metabolism can shift to running on its alternative fuel, which is fat.
- Once your metabolism has adapted to running on fat rather than carbs, hunger comes and goes in gentle cycles, so you don’t feel that desperate need to eat right away.
250 Carbs vs 25 Carbs | What They Look Like | How They Affect You [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- The effects of a high-carb diet.
- The difference between a diet with 25 grams of carbs and 250 grams.
- The effects of a low-carb diet and meal plans for low-carb success.
250 Grams of Carbs in a Day
Like many people my age, I followed the conventional wisdom regarding diet throughout most of my life, which meant that I ate a low-fat, high-carb diet.
When I started teaching, I taught these same principles, which were displayed in the classic food pyramid. You were to focus your diet on carbohydrates like breads, grains, fruits and vegetables, and keep fats and oils to a minimum.
In a disciplined person, this low-fat, high-carb model can work. However, because carbohydrates encompass such a wide range of foods, this style of eating leaves a lot on the table in respect of appropriate food choices.
For instance, a high-carb diet that provides 250 grams of carbs per day could start with toast and orange juice for breakfast, followed by a sandwich and potato chips for lunch, and pasta for dinner.
A disciplined person who practiced portion control may feel fine on this diet. Depending on their metabolism, they find that they can maintain or even lose weight.
Challenges of a High-Carb Diet
The challenge is that these foods break down and get absorbed and used very quickly by your body. The demand to fuel your metabolism is constant throughout the day.
When your body burns through the carbs from your last meal, your blood sugar drops making you crave more carbs.
Because breakfast, lunch, and dinner are separated by four to six hours, you must either use willpower to stave off cravings or have a high-carb snack to bring your blood sugar back up.
Using the sample menu that I mentioned, that means you could have a cookie and sugary coffee drink in the afternoon and ice cream as a bedtime snack and still stay around 250 grams of carbs for the day.
High Carb vs. Low Carb
Eating a high-carb diet is much like driving a big truck that is not fuel-efficient. The vehicle has a lot of power and energy but needs to stop at the gas station often to refuel.
When you cut carbs, your metabolism runs more like a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle. When fuel is not coming in from your diet, your metabolism can shift to running on its alternative fuel, which is fat.
You experience sustained energy all day long with less need to refuel or eat.
25 Grams of Carbs in a Day
What does a daily menu of 25 carbs look like? Here is a sample day from my 21-Day Keto Challenge. Your day can start with eggs and a breakfast meat. You can have a high-fat salad filled with antipasto-style ingredients like meat, cheese, and peppers for lunch. For dinner, you can have fish with bacon-wrapped asparagus.
If you feel a need to have a snack in the afternoon, a handful of raw almonds will break down slowly providing you with sustained energy.
This low-carb menu is high in fat. Because dietary fat has little effect on your blood sugar, you are not subjected to the blood sugar peaks and crashes that can result from a poorly formulated high-carb diet, so you experience hunger much differently.
A Guide to Low Carb Dieting
Once your metabolism has adapted to running on fat rather than carbs, hunger comes and goes in gentle cycles, so you don’t feel that desperate need to eat right away.
This shift from a carb-burning metabolism to a fat-burning metabolism will not happen overnight. If you want your body to complete this shift, you’ll succeed most if you consistently follow a low-carb diet for a few weeks.
Thank you for reading, and I will see you back here next week. Thanks!
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.