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Carb low-down if you want to lose weight

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Whether you're trying to get a summer body, slimming down for your wedding or have just decided now is the time to drop some pounds, we bet all of you dieters have waved goodbye to carbohydrates. Yes - no more pasta dinners or delicious filled rolls for lunch, and as for doughnuts, cakes and biscuits, I don't think so! But be careful not to cut all carbs out, warns nutrition and wellness coach Liz Blom.

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"Carbohydrates are a foundation of a healthy diet, providing a ready source of energy for all the body's activities," Liz told Women's Health magazine. "In addition to the energy carbohydrates provide, they are needed for building non-essential amino acids that the body uses to create proteins. They also help in the processing of fat and in the building of cartilage, bone, and the tissues of the nervous system."

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Cutting down on carbohydrates can help to aid weight loss

So how many carbs should we be consuming if our mission is to lose weight? It's all to do with factors including age, sex, height, weight, activity level and genetics, among others. But Liz says that as a general rule carbs should make up 45 per cent of your daily calorie intake. To work this out calculate how many calories you're eating a day, then find out what 45 per cent of that is, and divide that number by four to find out how many grams of carbs you should be getting.

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Liz adds that some people will need to play around with the 45 per cent rule, and she suggests that if you don't lose any weight in the first week, try going lower. But the reverse should also be taken into account; if you start losing weight but are feeling tired, up your intake. Just make sure it never exceeds 65 per cent of your daily calories. "This will leave less room for protein and healthy fat intake, which will support satiety (feeling full) and other weight loss benefits," Liz commented.

The carbs you should be loading up on are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and even dairy products. And of course you can indulge in 'bad' carbs every now and again, but just be aware of what you're taking in. For example if you can't resist pasta, half the portion and boost it with extra veggies.

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