- Do not skip any food group, including carbs, for weight loss
- Practice portion control and never starve yourself
- Eat local, seasonal and cultural foods for optimum nutrition
Which number is a better indicator for weight loss- calories or carbs? Calories in and calories out is a simple way to decide how much you should eat. For weight loss, the number of calories you take in must be lesser than the number of calories you burn in a day. When it comes to carbs, you need to count the number of net carbs, which is obtained by subtracting fibre from total carbs per serving. Now to say which one of these is better, we would say neither.
Carbs or calories: What should you count for losing weight?
Nutritionists like Rujuta Diwekar and Nmami Agarwal believe that neither count calories nor count carbs are an effective way to lose weight. According to them, you must focus on practicing portion control and eating in moderation at all times.
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For weight loss, Diwekar advocates eating local, seasonal and cultural, in time-tested proportions. Your diet should include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season, pulses, lentils and legumes, nuts and seeds. Also what is important is to eat good fats like ghee, coconut oil, groundnut oil, mustard oil, etc, to provide your body with essential fatty acids. All of this, when combined with regular exercise (including both cardio and weight training) can help you lose weight effectively and sustainably.
We speak to nutritionist Nmami Agarwal, about which of the two approaches are better for weight loss, calorie counting or carb counting. She says, "While counting calories does help in managing your weight because you take care of the whole algorithm of calories in versus calories out. But the shortcoming with only counting calories is that you are just focusing on the number of calories, and not on the nutrients."
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One can also count carbs for losing weight, however, the problem with this approach would be that it focuses on just one macronutrient. Along with carbs, the other two macros: proteins and fats, also need to be tracked. "Carbohydrate counting is usually a scientific approach used for diabetic patients, under the supervision of an exper. It helps in regulating insulin doses," Agarwal informs.
Thus, when it comes to losing weight, the best approach is to be mindful of your proportions and keep a note of where your calories are coming from in terms of nutrient profile.
For both approaches, eating complex carbs that come from whole grains, proteins from lean meat or pulses and legumes, and fats from healthy sources like nuts, seeds, eggs and ghee, are the best choices, says Agarwal.
She further recommends that one should avoid refraining any major food groups for the purpose of weight loss. All three macros need to be consumed in a balanced and correct proportions for achieving weight loss that is sustainable in nature.
Also read: Weight Loss Tips: Can Heavy Breakfast Help You Burn Double The Calories? Here's The Answer
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
(Rujuta Diwekar is a nutritionist based in Mumbai)
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