100 GRAMS OF CARBS DAILY
Aim for a limit of 100 grams of carbohydrates each day.
Target 100 has only one target focused on food. One nutritional “rule” to follow. Just one. That means one number to remember and just one number to look up.
When you limit yourself to 100 grams of carbs each day, you don’t have to bother counting calories, or grams of protein or fat—these fall into place by default. You naturally increase your consumption of proteins, fats, and filling vegetables, and reduce your consumption of sugar and processed foods. Blood sugar levels out, keeping your energy on a steady keel, and you are released from the cycle of cravings. The foods you eat are more satisfying and keep you fuller longer, making it easier to avoid temptation.
Study after study has shown that lower-carb diets are more effective than traditional low-fat or calorie-restricted diets for weight loss (and for health in general).
I've found that a target of about 100 grams per day strikes the ideal balance between livability and effectiveness. By limiting carbs to 100 grams, clients saw significant weight loss. The target of 100 grams will naturally move you away from processed foods and toward more nutritionally rich choices, but nothing is “off limits,” and this threshold won't force you to “give up” certain foods entirely. It is very doable, while still requiring what I consider the most important ingredient in any eating plan for weight loss: awareness. You have to start thinking a bit about the choices you make at each individual meal and how these fit into your day as a whole. You can work in your favorite dessert or cocktail; it will simply serve to push out other carb-laden choices.
As with every target, the number 100 is what we aim for, not what we must hit every day to succeed. You didn’t “miss” if your day comes in at 109 grams. What’s more, though the target is a limit of 100 grams, there’s no extra credit for keeping your carbs super low—this kind of mind-set will backfire; you won’t feel as satisfied and will be more likely to quit. You can eat all 100 grams every single day and lose weight.
THE OTHER FIVE TARGETS
A tip on Tracking
One of the great things about the target of 100 grams of carbs is that it won’t require the obsessive tracking that calorie counting does, but, especially at the beginning, you will need to keep track of your daily carb count. You can do this in a very simple way in a small notebook or using the notes app on your phone.
Remember your habit loop—perhaps use alarms on your phone around the time of each meal to remind you to track, or begin preplanning and pre-tracking.
As you become confident and begin to see where the carbs live in your diet and what foods are relatively free of them, don’t even bother to track those like meats, eggs, cheeses, green veggies and so on that have negligible carb counts.
Instead, simply record only the carb-heavy foods you eat throughout the day.