Top 3 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Carbs


Sick of your friends talking about keto?

I get it.

Every time I turn around, it seems carbs are getting a bad rap. And without going into a ginormous rant on the diet industry in general, let me just summarize, politely, and say that the heat on carbs is really not fair. It’s undeserving and completely misguided.

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve worked with that have actually found when I increase their carbs, they have more energy and feel so much better.

If your energy is in the tubes and you can’t seem to lose weight even though you’re eating super healthy food, then keep reading.

top 3 signs youre not getting enough carbs

It’s very possible you’re not getting ENOUGH carbs and that could be really getting in the way of you reaching your weight loss goals.

It’s very possible you’re not getting ENOUGH carbs and that could be really getting in the way of you reaching your weight loss goals, not mention making it harder for you to also finally get those blood sugars under control.

Here are The Top 3 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Carbs:

  • You don’t have the energy you want
  • You can’t lose weight (even though you’re eating super healthy! WTF)
  • In spite of working out most days, you just can’t seem to build any muscle

Let’s break these down, one by one.

#1 You wonder: Why the BLEEP am I so tired?!

If you’re dragging your buns at 3pm, looking for that afternoon pick me up at the office, or if you find yourself falling asleep on the couch after watching 2 minutes of the evening news every single night, even after a good sleep the night before, take a good, hard look at your carb intake.

Your body requires carbs (aka glucose) for energy.

If you deprive yourself of sufficient carbs, you gotta move to alternative sources of fuel for your cells to fuel the necessary processes in your body. Don’t forget: your brain and spine prefer glucose for energy.

Don’t forget: your brain and spine prefer glucose for energy

The reason why a lot of people who “go keto” and then feel like they have more energy is because they cut out the crap in their diet (processed foods, refined grains, etc) so yeah, that’s an awesome move and will generally make most people feel better.

The issues comes up when there isn’t enough carbs to sustain them, a lot of people can’t stay keto for any length of time that’s meaningful.

This is of course, assuming you’re in the “I want to change my lifestyle for my health”, and you’re done with quick fixes.

In your muscle cells, glycogen (a bunch of glucose strung together) sits and waits to power you when you need it most. Think lugging the really heavy grocery bags from the trunk into your house, along with that 3 year old that really should be walking but won’t.

There’s some storage of glycogen in your liver too.

So when you’re chronically skipping the rice at dinner and passing on the pasta dish at your friend’s engagement party, you’re depriving your muscles of this storage tank of energy.

Sure, fettuccine alfredo with extra alfredo isn’t your best friend if you’re looking to lose that extra weight but skipping healthy, whole fueling carbs altogether could be the worst thing you do for your health.

Bottom line: if you feel sluggish and aren’t sure why, take a hard look at your diet: are you avoiding carbs in hopes that it’ll give you more energy? You may in fact be shooting yourself in the carb-deprived foot.

how many carbs should I eat

Reason #2: You can't lose weight

In working one-to-one with people, I’ve seen many times too. Maybe you can relate:

You’re already eating healthy but you can’t lose weight and you have no idea what you’re doing wrong.

Here’s what I’ve often found in this case:

When people really take a hard look at it, their carbs are at, let’s say 60% of their total calories and fat is over 30%.

This means, because we only have carbs/protein/fat to look at, they likely aren’t getting enough protein to build and maintain lean body mass.

And it’s the type of carb they’re eating isn’t doing them any favours (hellloooo, refined, crappy carbs) 🙁

This over-reliance on crappy carbs, combined with too much fat and not enough protein, is a recipe for taking in more calories than you actually need.

And you might be reading this, thinking: but I do eat healthy! And I still can’t lose weight!

Well, I got some straight up news for you: even too much of a good thing (ie, too many calories, even if they’re healthy calories) can cause weight loss to stall.

I know though. It’s totally unfair: I eat healthy, and I can’t lose weight. When I told my sister-in-law that even too much healthy food causing weight gain, she was not impressed! 😉

Finally, having a high intake of crappy carbs can often result in more cravings for even more sugar! It can leaves you a little sluggish with less energy than you’d like and you can feel bloated, not getting the benefits of clean and healthy bowels.

how to tell if you're not getting enough carbs

In this case, an adjustment to the macronutrients of the diet can really help to balance things out. 

If you’re not sure how much you’re eating now, consider tracking your food using a free app, like MyFitnessPal.

That way, you can see where you stand and decide if you want to tweak things to get some results.

Reason #3: Lack of muscle growth

I think Sarah explained it best- her disbelief that when I increased her carbs, she saw more muscle definition.

And she’s not alone.

If you’re working out (ie, doing resistance training) and think protein is all you need to get those biceps popping, you’re in for a surprise. You need carbs to grow and develop muscles too.

Watch Sarah tell us her results from INCREASING her carbs


Yes, you need protein (amino acids) to build muscle, of course. But the idea that you need a TON of protein to build MORE muscle is just not true.

You need to do resistance training to build muscle and your diet needs to be sufficient in protein (need would vary by your body weight but it’s around 0.8-1.2g/kg of body weight) as well as sufficient in carbohydrates.

If you don’t have enough carbohydrates coming in, your body has to use the protein for reactions in the body that normally use glucose. This means the protein can’t do one of it’s main jobs: build and maintain lean body mass.

If you’re really working out, watching your diet carefully and going low on the carbs and not seeing muscle growth like you’d expect, check your carbs. Be sure you’re getting at least 40% of your calories from carbs as a start.

Yes, you need protein (amino acids) to build muscle, of course. But the idea that you need a TON of protein to build MORE muscle is just not true.

how many carbs should I eat?

If you’re feeling confused about carbs and you’ve already done the super low carb diet and found out it just was not for you, try hitting the 40% mark from the highest quality carbs you can get your hands on.

Grab my cheat sheet below if you need more help with it.

Let me know what you find 🙂

Hugs and high fives,


how many carbs should I eat

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