Which is more important for weight loss?

It’s important to know whether carbs or calories are what you need to be counting when trying to lose weight or gain muscle. At the end of the day, both are important elements of fitness, but you need to know which is more important and when.

Now, it’s not completely easy to pick one out of the two without knowing exactly what they are. In fact, it might not be easy to know which one to give more importance to.

Carbs or calories: what are they?

So, first, let’s get to know what these are.


This is one of the top three macronutrients that you should focus on along with protein and fat when creating your diet chart.

Carbs are the primary source of energy for the body. They are made up of fibre, starch and sugars and have four calories per gram.


Calories are a measurement of energy. It gives us the amount of energy a particular food can provide.

Which is more important?

To lose weight or gain muscle, you need to focus on both. First, you need to focus on calories and then carbs.

If your goal is to add muscle, your diet will be a calorie-surplus diet. If your goal is to lose weight, your diet will be a calorie-deficit diet.

Therefore, the first step is to figure out if you want to be on a calorie-surplus or on a calorie-deficit. Once you’ve figured that out, the next step is to focus on carbs, fat and protein.

If you’re on a traditional diet, you will first figure out how many grams of protein you need on a daily basis. Ideally, it should be 0.8 to 1 gram per lean body mass.

Next, subtract those calories from your overall diet. Your second focus is on fat. Ideally, it should be 0.2 to 0.3 gram per lean body mass. You need to subtract this calorie from the remainder.

Now, whatever calories remain in your diet will be covered up by carbohydrates. Essentially, carbohydrates will take up most of your diet.

On the other hand, if you’re following a keto diet, your focus will only be on protein and fat. This is when you do not need to worry about carbs at all. Your entire diet will consist of these two macronutrients, and the carbs will be merely 6% to 7% of your diet.

Finally, if you’re focusing on carb cycling, you will need to focus on carbs quite a bit.

At this point, it’s not carbs or calories but carbs and calories. Your calories will remain the same, but your carbs will vary from day to day. Make sure you’re not crossing your daily calorie intake by excessively pushing your carb in-take.

So, ultimately, whether you focus on carbs or calories will depend heavily on the diet you follow.

Carbs or calories: bottom line

In the battle of carbs vs calories, neither wins. It’s not about either of the elements but what both means for your diet and physical fitness. If you focus on only one and ignore the other, it won’t help your goal in any shape or form.

However, if you can find the proper number of calories you need to consume and how many carbs a day you should consume, you will benefit in your physical fitness journey.

However, if you absolutely have to choose one, focus on your calories first, as you will not gain muscle if you’re on a deficit or lose weight if you’re on a surplus. The number of calories you consume will always determine whether you’re gaining weight or losing it.


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