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  • Optimal Carbs

    So here's my target intake, and I'm wondering if it's accurate.
    I'm 6'1, I weight about 180
    I'm pretty unhealthy, (due to illness) and plenty of that is body fat.
    I'm doing light physical therapy, I walk about 2 hours a day (Minimum, i rest for a couple days after 3 or 4 days of walking.)
    Note: I want to be athletic, getting into weight training and running, martial arts and sports again.

    This is what I'm aiming for as an average intake.

    Protein: 200g
    Carbs: 150g
    Fats: ?

    Can anyone tell me if I can up the protein? (I'm recovering from pretty severe muscle weakness.)
    Also, should I up the carbs if I'm walking so damn much, with occasional sprints? (I eventually want to do more.)

    What about fats? Should I be concerned at all with how many fats I'm getting?

    And, what is the minimal calories I should be taking in? (Is there really a maximum?)

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    You've been ill, you need good quality nutrition.

    Just eat real food. Several times a day. Every day. Don't eat junk.

    Your body will do the rest.
    Last edited by Annieh; 03-07-2013, 03:19 AM.
    Annie Ups the Ante
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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    • #3
      Typically what I do with my carbs is that as my exercise frequency/intensity goes up, carbs go up as well (typically post-workout).

      It's very difficult to prescribe a set number, so just listen to your body. If you feel sluggish during your workouts, maybe up the carbs in the post-workout window. If you feel like you're accumulating body fat, decrease the carbs a bit and see how you feel.

      The key is being able to listen to the signals that your body gives you and adjust from there.

      Probably not exactly the answer you wanted to hear, but I hope it helps a bit.
      My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Annieh View Post
        You've been ill, you need good quality nutrition.

        Just eat real food. Several times a day. Every day. Don't eat junk.

        Your body will do the rest.
        Couldn't agree more. Just listen to your body and eat well.

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        • #5
          I agree with the "listen to your body" bunch. But also keep an open mind. I, for one, don't do carbs well (even after being a vegetarian for 10 years pre-PB... NOW i know why i never felt good!). Anyway, even vegetable carbs, including the ones that are "good" for muscle building after/before workout, like starches and potatoes, don't digest well and i feel sluggish WITH them.
          FOR ME, I had to up the protein WAY up, lower the fats to just what i need for cooking and taste (i don't digest them well apparently) and make my main macro protein. I'm 125, 106 lbm, and routinely eat 125-175 grams of meat protein per day, sometimes higher. When i try to add more carbs (vegetable) or more fat to my macro to make it more like everyone else, i feel terrible. Who knows? So play with it a bit. I'm suspecting that my macros will change at some point and settle into some less extreme proteiny thing, but until then, i'm enjoying meat a LOT, and the muscle building that goes along with it.

          So stay open minded all.the.time.

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          • #6
            You don't need that much protein for your current level of activity. The recommendation runs from 1g per kilogram of lean body mass to 1g per pound. You can easily cut back to 150g, giving you more calories to consume as vegetables, fruit, and nuts.

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            • #7
              Thanks for all the tips!
              I quit eating crap food about a month and a half ago. I only eat real food now. So maybe I'm being a bit impatient? There is a definite improvement. I absolutely delight in carbs, Bread used to be my main diet. Today is day 5 without grains...
              But a single banana makes me feel wonderful.

              I suppose that for awhile I'm going to try a 200g carb maximum. I have been feeling very sluggish. And I'm not exactly sedentary.

              I'll just make nutrition my main focus.

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              • #8
                It can take several weeks to adjust to lower carbs. The Primal way would be where you are, 100-200 gm of carbs. For alternatives see The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Phinney and Volek, and read Dr. Peter Attia's blog, eatingacademy.com. There are a lot of ways to skin this cat and you'll have to see how your particular body responds. I'm 58 and have to watch carbs or my waist turns from a six pack to a keg. Have been on 20-40 gm of carbs for eight months and in that time have lost 20#, raised HDL from 50 to 77, restarted weights, running, and am excited to get back on my road bike soon if it will quit snowing already. It is possible with adaptation and care to exercise and get in great shape on very low carbs if you are strategic with it. That is also probably the fastest way to lose weight for most people (not all.)

                Nothing is true for everyone. Some people can eat pasta and coca cola all day and be skinny. Others will blimp. I think the Primal approach is good for many people; if you don't lose weight, at least consider a lower carb option.

                If the carbs make you feel THAT great, you might be one of the carb sensitive folks who unfortunately needs to really chop them for a while.

                Good luck!
                10/2/12: 169 lbs, 37"waist
                Now: low 150's, 33" waist
                Blog: http://paleopathologist.com/

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                • #9
                  Thanks for that great input jmsmall. Fortunately, I don't need to worry about weight too much. I'm one of those fat skinny people. Meaning, I'm unhealthy anyways. I would happily trade away my crappy health for 50 pounds any day. Fortunately, I've actually burned about 2 or 3 sizes in the past month and stayed the same weight. My biggest concern is exercising myself sick. For now, I'm going to just focus on nutrition and rehab. I am pretty active, so I NEED carbs, or do I? I'd like to be making the best choices possible here, but I'm really not that knowledgeable. If carbs are making me sick, maybe I will cut them drastically. I'm thinking about a 10 vegetable juicing fast.

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                  • #10
                    You've dont the most important thing, namely, gotten rid of processed foods.

                    How many carbs should I eat each day? | Mark's Daily Apple

                    I have found Mark's carb curv to be right on the money. Yes, we are all unique individuals but its a good guide, and maybe a better one than what your body is telling you if you are unhealthy. So, 150g of carbs is on the high side for your current activity level. You may do better around 50 until you add significant intense excersise (sprinting, heavy lifting) into your routine which burns a significant amount of glycogen. But, as mentioned, drop your carbs gradually and replace with clean saturated fat, especially coconut oil. Give your body a few weeks to become fat adapted or a sudden drop in carbohydrate could produce a nasty bout of low carb flu.

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                    • #11
                      You've dont the most important thing, namely, gotten rid of processed foods.

                      How many carbs should I eat each day? | Mark's Daily Apple

                      I have found Mark's carb curv to be right on the money. Yes, we are all unique individuals but its a good guide, and maybe a better one than what your body is telling you if you are unhealthy. So, 150g of carbs is on the high side for your current activity level. You may do better around 50 until you add significant intense excersise (sprinting, heavy lifting) into your routine which burns a significant amount of glycogen. But, as mentioned, drop your carbs gradually and replace with clean saturated fat, especially coconut oil. Give your body a few weeks to become fat adapted or a sudden drop in carbohydrate could produce a nasty bout of low carb flu.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Nobody NEEDS carbs. people can live happily for years on 20 gm/day. Carbs are a completely optional energy source. Except at anaerobic levels of exertion muscles prefer fat. Brain can switch from glucose to ketones and be just fine. It does take a couple of weeks to switch your metabolism though.

                        The gatorade industry tells us we need carbs but there are folks running marathons with no carbs. Your activity level seems way below anaerobic to me.

                        So read the above stuff (book is available on Kindle, eatingacademy is free). See if it might work for you. It's totally individual.
                        10/2/12: 169 lbs, 37"waist
                        Now: low 150's, 33" waist
                        Blog: http://paleopathologist.com/

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