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How Many Carbs Do I Need?

Here’s a guide on carbohydrate intake for losing bodyfat while still gaining muscle mass.

How Many Carbs Do I Need?

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Of the three macronutrients that make up our diets, carbohydrates are by far the most stress-inducing of the bunch.

A few decades ago, everyone was afraid of dietary fat, but now we understand the importance of healthy fats. As for protein, everyone knows it’s great for building muscle and staying lean, so no concern there.

This leaves us with carbs — the “scary” macro that diehard Keto fans say will make you fat and ruin your health.

Fear not. When the right types are consumed in proper amounts, carbohydrates aren’t scary at all. In this article, I’ll show you how to calculate how many carbs to consume every day based on your protein and fat requirements and total caloric intake.

Determining Carbohydrate Needs from Protein and Fat

Before we can determine carbohydrate needs, we need to know how many calories are already being consumed from protein and fat. In my protein and fat articles, I gave my daily recommendations for both of these macronutrients: 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily for protein, and 0.5 grams of fat per pound.

In both articles, I used a 200-pound individual as an example, which equates to 200 grams of protein (going off the low end of the protein range) and 100 grams of fat per day.

I keep these protein and fat recommendations pretty much constant from person to person regardless of goals (with a few rare exceptions), as both of these guidelines support muscle building, fat loss, and strength gains. It’s also important to note that your body requires a certain level of protein and fat in the form of essential amino acids and essential fats, respectively, to function properly. Yet, there are no “essential” carbohydrates that your body absolutely needs.

All that said, carbs end up being the ideal macronutrient to

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