Are you eating enough carbs?
“This is delicious.” She picked up the container of fresh lentil soup. Her eyes got big. “Oooooh, 24 grams of carbs. Too much.” She put it back and closed the case.
It has lentils, carrots, quinoa, herbs and spices. All recognizable ingredients, gluten-free, vegan, and made with love. Besides the sodium content, I think it’s one of the healthiest ready-made foods at Trader Joe’s. I’ve stayed lean and kept all my weight off while eating it regularly through the fall and winters.
I stared at her with compassion, as it’s not the first time a woman has expressed her fear of carbs to me. “24 grams of carbs is not a lot,” I told her.
She asked, “Are you serious? What’s a good number for the day?”
A “good” number of carbs for the day is determined by way too many factors for YOU to even use the number I’m going to share with YOU.
Hypothetically, you eat a few meals and a snack that add up to 2000 calories for the day. It’s recommended you get 20-35% of your calories from fat, 50-65% of calories from healthy carbs, and 10-20% of calories from protein.
Carbs help us live. They support BRAIN FUNCTION. Don’t try to eliminate carbs or go too low with them… unless you eventually want a foggy mind, and want to feel lethargic. It’s not a way to live.
Back to the math. If you get 50% of your daily calories from carbs, that’s 1000 calories from carbs. There are 4 calories in a gram of carbs, which translates to 250 grams of carbs during the day. Does 24 grams of carbs in a serving of lentil soup seem so bad? NO.
Even if you take in less daily calories, you may be looking at around 200 grams. EATING HEALTHY CARBS WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT.
Two things to remember:
- Where you can get into trouble is with extremes. Suddenly you realize you’ve been eating ALL the carbs, so you go LOW carb. Because you’re thinking, “Carbs made me fat! They’re bad!” Extremes don’t work. Don’t even use the M-word (moderation), either. Most people don’t understand what moderation looks like. It’s not about moderation. It’s about being totally present when you eat, enjoying one bite at a time, and being mindful about ending your meal a little BEFORE you’re full. Simple, but not always easy. Still, it’s simple. If you are brave, you can do it. Be present. It’s an act of courage.
- Do not allow fear to rule your decisions. Allow kindness, honor and love to guide your decisions. Do you set guidelines for yourself because you don’t want to be fat? That’s allowing fear to run the show. Do you set guidelines because you want to honor your body? That’s allowing love to run the show. Love puts on a good show, I’ll tell you.
Let love rule.