If you’re looking to lose weight, eating fewer carbs may help. How many carbs you should eat daily depends on your age, sex, body type, and activity level.

Reducing carbs tends to make you less hungry and can lead to weight loss without the need to count calories.

For some people, a low carb diet allows them to eat until fullness, feel satisfied, and still lose weight. This article reviews how many carbs you should eat daily to lose weight.

If you’re not looking to lose weight by cutting carbs, then you can follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend that carbs provide 45% to 65% of your daily calorie intake for all age groups and sexes.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value for carbs is 275 grams (g) per day when eating a 2,000-calorie diet.

How many carbs should I eat in a day to lose weight?

Deciding exactly how many carbs you should eat depends on individual factors such as age, weight, physical activity, and medical history.

In general, if you’re looking to lose weight by reducing carbs, you can start removing the unhealthiest carb sources from your diet, such as refined wheat and added sugars. But to unlock the potential metabolic benefits of low carb diets, you also need to restrict other carb sources.

That said, while it’s a good idea to watch your carb portions, it’s also important to eat quality foods instead, such as high fiber carbs like vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.

If you only cut carbs without paying attention to the rest of your diet, you may not see the best results. You also may not get all the nutrients you need.


It’s a good idea to watch your carb portions, but how many carbs you should eat depends on many factors. It’s also important to make sure to replace the carbs with other quality foods.

Some of the benefits of eating fewer carbs include:

Weight loss

Studies show that low carb diets can reduce a person’s appetite, lead to them eating fewer calories, and help them to lose weight more easily than other diets, provided they maintain the diet.

In a study comparing low carb and low fat diets, researchers found that participants who ate a low carb diet saw better weight loss results for up to a year compared with those who ate a low fat diet.

The researchers also found that the same people who ate a low carb diet had lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), but they also ended up with an increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, as well as total cholesterol.

Another study focusing specifically on people living with obesity didn’t find a substantial difference in weight loss for 24 months after either a low-carbohydrate or a low fat diet. These studies suggest that a low carb diet may help some people lose weight but may not be right for others.

Other benefits

Low carb diets also have benefits that go beyond just weight loss. They can help to lower blood sugar, which is important for people living with diabetes. Research also shows a low carb diet can also help lower your blood pressure.

Low carb diets such as the ketogenic diet help reduce your blood levels of insulin, a hormone that brings the glucose from carbs into the body’s cells.

One of the functions of insulin is to store fat. Many experts believe that the reason low carb diets work so well is that they reduce your levels of this hormone.

Another thing that insulin does is to tell the kidneys to retain sodium. This is the reason high carb diets can cause excess water retention.


Many studies show that low carb diets can be more effective than low fat diets for weight loss, but the research is inconsistent, showing a potential for an increase in cholesterol. That said, low carb diets can help reduce blood pressure, sodium, and glucose.

Researchers define low-carbohydrate diets as ones that contain less than 20 to 120 g of carbohydrates per day. That said, different diets may restrict carbs to a different degree. Some may allow you to eat a bit more.

Examples of diets that can be considered low-carbohydrate include:

That said, an individual’s ideal carb intake depends on age, sex, body composition, activity levels, personal preference, food culture, and current metabolic health.


Low carb diets usually contain fewer than 20 to 120 g of carbohydrates per day. But optimal carb intake varies between individuals, depending on activity levels, current metabolic health, and many other factors.

A low carb diet isn’t just about weight loss. It may also improve your health. For this reason, the diet should be based on whole, unprocessed foods and healthy carb sources. Low carb junk foods are often unhealthy.

If you want to improve your health, aim for unprocessed foods such as:

  • lean meats
  • fish
  • eggs
  • vegetables
  • nuts
  • avocados
  • healthy fats

Look for carbohydrate sources that include fiber. If you prefer a moderate carb intake, try to choose unrefined starch sources, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, oats, and brown rice.

For more details on specific foods to eat, check out this list of low carb foods and this detailed low carb meal plan and sample menu.


It’s very important to choose healthy, fiber-rich carb sources. A healthy diet includes plenty of vegetables, even at the lowest level of carb intake.

Research has found that the average weight loss within 12 months tends to be about 13 pounds (lb) or 6 kilograms (kg). That said, the study showed that a low fat diet can also lead to similar weight loss within a year.

Another study also found that participants on a low-carbohydrate diet for 8 weeks lost 22.8% of the fat in their abdominal cavity, also known as visceral fat or belly fat, compared with people who were on a low fat diet, who lost only 1%. Visceral fat is the most dangerous fat and is strongly associated with many diseases.

Keep in mind, these results were average for this specific research study. You may lose more or less depending on your body and the specific factors that may be influencing your metabolism.


There are a few studies estimating an average weight loss amount, but they can’t be applied to everyone, as each person’s body and weight loss journey can be unique.

Is 100 g of carbs a day low carb?

As long as you’re eating less than 150 g of carbs a day, you’re eating a low carb diet.

Can you lose weight on 50 g of carbs a day?

You may lose weight faster on 50 g of carbs a day or less, but it depends on what else you’re eating, how many calories you’re consuming, how active you are, and many other factors. In addition, eating slightly more carbs may lead to lower but more sustainable weight loss.

Is 30 g of carbs a day ok?

Eating less than 50 g of carbs a day is the most limiting low-carbohydrate diet. That said, consider seeing a healthcare professional or dietician first to see what diet is best for you given your specific needs and health parameters.

Before starting the low carb diet, try tracking how many carbs you eat on a typical day and whether they’re healthy or unhealthy. There are free apps that can help.

Because fiber doesn’t really count as carbohydrates, you can exclude fiber grams from the total number. Instead, count net carbs using this calculation: net carbs = total carbs − fiber.

If you’re not losing weight or your weight loss slows down during the low carb diet, check out these possible reasons why.