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Sunday, July 23, 2006

How Many Carbs Daily Do You Eat On Low-Carb?

"Hey, you've lost weight on that low-carb thing, so how many carbs do you eat per day when you are on that diet anyway, dude?"

You know, I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard that question asked. I would be a very rich man. But the answer is simple and complex at the same time.

First the simple answer: When you first start livin' la vida low-carb, the object is to keep your carbohydrate intake near 20g to help get your body into ketosis so it will start burning fat. This two-week Induction phase is absolutely necessary to rid your body of sometimes years of built-up sugar and carb addiction that MUST be dealt with before you can move forward in your weight loss.

When this happens, your body can go through some pretty radical changes for a few days which can make you feel absolutely awful, with extreme weakness and tiredness like you've never gone through before, and basically make you think you're going to die. For people like me who were VERY addicted to sugar primarily, that was my experience.

But the great part of this is that it doesn't last for more than a few days. Once you get past the addiction-breaking aspect of livin' la vida low-carb, the rest of the diet is a breeze in comparison! It always cracks me up to hear people talking about how they went on low-carb to lose weight and it was the worst week of their life. LOL! Yeah, that's a good one...worst WEEK of their life. Hee hee! HA HA! Try committing yourself to a bare minimum of six months to give low-carb a fair shake people!

Now to the more complex answer: After Induction, the carb intake will vary from person to person depending on their body. For me, I had to eat between 30-40g carbs daily to lose weight. I know others who are in ketosis and losing weight as high as 50-60g carbs. We are all different and so you will need to find the level of carbohydrates that works for you to lose weight. Of course, that number will rise even more AFTER your weight loss as you seek to maintain your loss.

To find your personal level of carbs that you need to eat daily when you are livin' la vida low-carb after Induction, slowly increase your carb intake by 5g per week until your weight loss stops. When this happens, back down 5g carbs and stay there until you reach your weight loss goal. Of course, when you hit the inevitable stall, resist the urge to lower your carbs again to try to jumpstart your weight loss. Just be patient and let your body adjust because it will.

Remember, you can contact me ANYTIME if you have a question about low-carb living or if you just need a word of encouragement as you go through this amazing lifestyle change for yourself. Don't be bashful, I'm always here for you. :)

18 Comments:

Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

I think people need to understand some simple truths:- Pick a plan, buy the book, take the advice, and just do it!

I recommend the Atkins book for those who are action orientated.

It worked for Jimmy, it works for all of us!

Dave

7/24/2006 4:19 AM  
Blogger Invisible Blogger said...

it's been my experience that, as long as your carbs are "low" the actual number doesnt mean much of anything. Sure, you can lose weight, to a point, by keeping carbs low or low-ish. But when the weight stops for real, you can add back and subtract 5 carbs all you want, your weight ain't gonna budge. Not until you start watching those calories, no sirree bub!

7/24/2006 9:06 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I don't buy into that Invisible Blogger. I never once watched my calories during my weight loss. There will be a stall, but it will have nothing to do with the amount of carbs you eat. It's just something that you go through with ANY weight loss plan. The key is to NOT GIVE UP when this happens.

7/24/2006 9:41 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Invisible Blogger is right to a certain degree. Once you reach your true goal weight you can eat how much you want. Your body has a natural "fat-o-stat", 11-15% for men and 18-23% for women. Once you reach that point then you have to restrict calories to lose further, but I don't think that's the issue here.

My true goal weight is 140-150lbs. I have been over 300 pounds since I was 13, except for a small handful of times. I know that I'll never lose and maintain eating 40-60g of carbs a day, and I'm probably not much different than most people on low carb. I'm not sure why people want to stop too soon, but my guess is that people eat a high enough amount of carbs that they stopp 50-80lbs short of their true goal.

And as far as Atkins goes, find the 1972 version of his book. He's nowhere near as liberal with carbs in 1972 as he was later when he tried to expand his diet to include people who like vegetation to broaden his book sales.

7/24/2006 10:44 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

correction, that should be "Until you reach your goal", not "Once you reach your goal"

[url=http://zerocarbpath.blogspot.com/]The Zero Carb Path[/url] and now [url=http://zerocarbdaily.blogspot.com/]The Zero Carb Daily[/url]

7/24/2006 10:47 AM  
Blogger Invisible Blogger said...

All I know in that in my case, controlling carbs to a bare minimum, and eating all I want otherwise, I only get down to about 195ish, on a six foot frame. Which is still somewhat overweight. And I'd guess a fair sight over 11-15% body fat. This isn't a stall, since I lost all the weight in the first 6 months and have maintained it for four years now.
I've just recently started experimenting with eating only enough to curb my hunger and NO MORE. In otherwords, watching calories, or portion control, or whatever you want to call it. As a result, I do seem to have started losing again - my scales were under 194 for the first time in years the other day.
So, in my own case, I am positive it's the calories, not the carb count, that matters at this point.

7/24/2006 12:23 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Just curious, what do you consider cutting carbs to the bare mininum?

My carb intake is roughly 10-15g per day, and that's pretty much from eggs (8 a day is roughly 5g of carbs) and cheese (another 5g approx) and another 5 or so for creams/coffee. Other than that I eat no veggies, fruit, fake-o sugar alcohols, fake-o low-carb products and fake-o starches.

Otherwise, as long as carbs are kept to the absolute minimum there should be no abilitiy to gain weight or to hit a long term stall, since dietary fat can't be stored in adipose tissue, thus, as long as you eat only animal sources there should be reason for the fattening hormone (insulin) to be an issue.

Perhaps you're eating just enough carbs to stall you at 195, just 20 pounds short of your BMI weight?

7/24/2006 3:21 PM  
Blogger Invisible Blogger said...

"since dietary fat can't be stored in adipose tissue"

Rob, where do you get this information?

if what you say is true, that if dietary fat cannot be converted to body fat, and if you dont eat any carbs at all, where does whatever body fat you have left come from? let's say your body does set itself at 11 - 15 percent - where does that come from? according to you, it ain't from the carbs and it ain't from the fat you eat, I guess it's converted from the protein you eat?

7/24/2006 3:45 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

The fat this is "left" is your natural "fat o stat" meter. I'm not sure how the body does this, but it regulates the natural fat stores. Once you reach the set point, then you have to restrict calories , but if you unrestric calories the fat o stat gets refilled. I would have to do some follow up, but my guess is that the fat logged in your "fat o stat" is different than the reserves in adipose tissue. In which case perhaps it does convert protein into non-adipose fat.

As far as proof goes, there's some radioactive isotope research that Bear refers to, but it's also based on experience and common sense. Sure, as Bear stated, "a very tiny amount of osmotic exchange in short chain fatty acids MAY occur, however studies with radioactively tagged dietary fat and glucose show NO radio-tagged fat winds up in the tissues from fat and ALL the radiotagged glucose is found in fat in the adipose tissues.

I might remind all readers that bogus claims and false data is VERY common in the scientific literature.

We do not question that fatty acids enter somatic muscle cells only that it is not stored in adipose cells."

The question still remains: what do you consider the bare minimum of carbs?

7/24/2006 4:35 PM  
Blogger Invisible Blogger said...

these days the carbs I get are from cream in my coffee,eggs, cheese, the occaisional small amount of fruit (a banana here, some grapes there), and a pretty modest amount of vegetables - really just a few bites of brocolli or spinach or asparagus or what have you...

and, oh yeah, my achilles heel, I do like to sip fine whisky and drink a few beers now and then!

I tried the meat only diet for about six weeks, it didn't do much for me. It might have worked better if I had forgone the booze, but I'll never do that, ha haa!

7/24/2006 5:18 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Booze and beer will definitely stall you, at least it does for me. I used to love tequilla but alcohol is 7cal/gm (more than regular carbs) and it totally screws up fat metabolism (not to mention being hard on the liver).

Depending on how much fruit and veggies you realistically eat that could be more carbs than you think, AND fructose is readily absorbed into the blood even faster than glucose.

Years ago I did the weight watcher thing and even though I was restricting calories, the amount of glucose my body had to deal with (high carb/low fat) whatever benefit the calorie restriction was doing was offset by my body's ability to convert glucose and store it to fat. I did it for 2 months and lost a whopping 7 pounds.

7/24/2006 7:00 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

60g is maintenance for me, less if I want to lose weight.

7/24/2006 11:23 PM  
Blogger Invisible Blogger said...

I only recently added back the fruit and a modest amount of vegetables, after trying the all meat thing for several weeks.
For example, yesterday's carbs came from:

4 hard boiled eggs
10 or so seedless grapes
7 or 8 stalks of frozen asparagus
a bite of my gf's watermelon

this morning's weight is a new record for me: 193!

I should add that I've been following a new strength training program called "Slow Burn" - that might have something to do with my recent improvements, who knows?

anyway, I remain convinced, that for me at least, the actual number of carbs doesnt mean much, as long as it is below a certain threshold, say 50 or 60 or so.

7/25/2006 7:40 AM  
Blogger TESS said...

Calories do count. My weight loss stalled for 7 months and only started again when I started counting calories as well as carbs.Very few people are lucky enough to be able to eat counting carbs only. It is the every body is different thing and if nothing else is working then individuals should be encouraged to take a look at the calories they are consuming. The objective is weight loss and whatever it takes to get there eating healthy is what you should encourage.You absolutely can't discount calories for every one.

7/26/2006 6:35 AM  
Blogger Invisible Blogger said...

I think this is a point that Dr. Atkins himself was a little too vague on. He advised to eat till your satisfied, and you'll end up as skinny as you were in high school. Well, it just ain't so! And how do you define "Satisfied?"

it's interesting, to me at least, that Dr. A. was my height and my weight too, when he slipped on the ice. Which means that he wasnt obense or horribly fat, but he WAS overweight.

7/26/2006 7:40 AM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

Yes, he was a little overweight. He was also a 60+ year old man who needed to carry some extra fat weight so as not to look gaunt.

I could get down to my high school weight, but would that look good on me as a 35-year-old woman? No way.

You have to look at age, not just weight and height, and unlike many people his age, he played tennis and was quite fit, so he probably had quite a bit of muscle.

7/26/2006 9:22 PM  
Blogger Invisible Blogger said...

he was actually in his seventies, I think. I read that his weight was fluctuating between 195 and 200, which was exactly what mine did before I starting watching my portion sizes (I'm 50, btw). If you look at pictures of him over his lifetime you'll see he was always a little pudgy, sometimes more than a little. Which is ok, probably means he would have been a very fat man if he didn't eat low carb.
From my own experience, as well as counteless stories I've read on al the forums and blogs, it's pretty apparent that the "eat-all-you-want-as-long-as-it's-low carb" model does work, but it only works to a certain point. From then on, you gotta decide whether or not you want to lose more. And if you do, in addition to restricting carbs, you have to watch your calories. Nothing else works, for me anyway, and I've tried it all.

7/27/2006 8:45 AM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

Same here. I have to count calories or I overeat. I have an appetite much larger than my metabolism.

And hey, Dr. Phil has a diet book (it was actually pretty good - I read it), and he's definetly overweight.

It's good to see people like Drs. Mike and Mary Eades taking up the fight now that Dr. Atkins is gone. We need more doctor willing to speak the truth.

I laughed at the low-fat recommendations my doctor gave me, but how many will succumb to it and make themselves sicker without even knowing it?

7/28/2006 12:59 AM  

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