"No-carb" and "low-carb"--meaning eating a diet with far fewer carbohydrates and mostly fat and protein instead--is still a popular weight-loss method, and there is evidence that's effective for taking off weight. But when it comes to good nutrition and making sure you have enough energy to exercise regularly, you'll need to include some carbohydrate in what you eat, along with fat and protein. All three matter.

You need carbs primarily because they are your body's main source of fuel, so they provide energy for all the things you need to do--including working out. Your brain, kidneys, and muscles (including your heart) all need carbohydrate. You can find higher amounts of carbs in grains, cereals, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that most people get between 45 percent and 65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates. So if you eat 2,000 calories a day, roughly 1,000 calories would come from carbohydrate and the rest from a mix of protein and fat (these are the three main components of nearly all foods and drinks).

This is one of 10 swaps you can make that will get your eating on track and give you enough energy to fuel your workouts. If you make all 10 swaps, you'll be well on your way to a healthy diet.


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