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I'm confused. So control insulin but still restrict calories?

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  • I'm confused. So control insulin but still restrict calories?

    Ok. I'm a newbie here and I promise I tried to search for an answer first before posting this. I found a lot of complicated information about insulin but I haven't been able to figure out this apparent fallacy -

    In Mark's book he says that the key to weight loss is keeping the carb count below 100g a day. He says if you do that, you will lose weight. Then in the example diet he sets up for Korg, Mark calculates daily required intake and the target calorific deficit.

    So here's the question. If calorific deficit is required for weight loss (and other studies seem to say that including the Harvard one which pitted different diets against each other), then why does he say keep carbs under 100g? What if I kept carbs under 100g yet my overall daily calorific intake (from fat and protein) exceeds my daily expenditure? Does that still guarantee that I will lose weight?

    Also, if I try to understand the body's fat storage mechanism from an evolutionary perspective, it wouldn't make sense that the body would store fat only if carbs were consumed but not fat. Isn't fat and protein the primary diet of Grok, from Mark's book? So Grok's body would have to learn to store whatever he consumed as fat if say Grok wasn't spending much energy trying to ride out a lean period.

    The key it seems is Grok's activity level that determines whether his body packs on fat, not what he consumes. Imagine that... Grok eating all the meat and fat he can get for some impending crisis (say he had to recede into the hills to escape flood waters for a week or two) and not putting on an ounce of body fat. Obviously, we don't see that in nature. Animals that gorge on food but lay around get fat - my cat eats fat and protein pretty much exclusively and lays around all day and she's gotten fat!

    The only thing common to "fit" animals it seems, whether it be Grok the imaginary prehistoric man, or the lion and cheetah is that they had to expend significant amounts of energy throughout their regular day. (mostly to hunt and gather their next meal).

    So where does this insulin and carb thing come in?

    Sorry for the long post and I'm sure this has been discussed before, but can anyone tell me where am I going wrong in my thinking?

  • #2
    I weighed over 300lbs at the first of the year. I started watching my carbs ONLY and am now at 237. I haven't counted a calorie once in that time. A blood sugar meter is a must if you are going to do this. Can't fool a meter. My goals are 100 fasting, 140 one hour after a meal and 120 two hours after a meal. I usually beat this pretty easily. I believe you should use a meter at first even if you aren't diabetic because it will show you how your body reacts to food.

    Good luck.

    twoidhd

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    • #3
      For us moderns, it is incredibly easy to overindulge in carbohydrates, so watching our intake of those is more important than counting calories. What happens when you consume fewer than 100 g of carbohydrates a day but increase your intake of healthy saturated fats and leafy green veggies is that you are satisfied quicker and for longer, so you naturally eat less in terms of calories. You can force yourself to eat beyond satiety with protein and fat, of course, but it's very unlikely if you just go by how you feel.

      Now, it IS very hard to put on body fat eating lots of protein and fat. But Grok typically fattened up in the autumn, when two key foods were available: fruit and nuts. In other words, carbs (and in the case of nuts, carbs and fat), which are, as you know, great for packing on the pounds.
      You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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      • #4
        Calories still matter, it's just that low carb makes it easier (and tastier). And healthier I guess.
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        • #5
          Insulin is a hormone. Most understand the primary role of insulin is to maintain a steady level of blood glucose (blood sugar). However, that is just one of the tasks that insulin provides. It is actually more of a nutrient storage hormone. If blood glucose is not burned off quickly after being consumed, insulin quickly moves to store it into your fat cells. The vascular system is just unable to handle high levels of glucose and so when you eat carbs you must burn them or store them (and right away).

          Fat is another form of energy and that is the type of energy that humans evolved to use. Insulin is much less responsive to blood fats than to blood sugars. Eating fats allows you to burn them off slowly over a longer period of time.

          It does take time for your mitochondria (the energy conversion factories in each of your cells) to adapt to burning fat instead of carbs but once you have adapted, one can go for longer periods without eating and your metabolism will also adjust so that you can more steadily burn what you consume with less worry about storing it.

          Yes eventually you will plateau if you have large amounts of weight to loose. But that is where the fun starts and you try and learn how to manage your metabolism through manipulation of your hormones. The journey is all about orchestrating the hormonal balances though diet, exercise, rest, and stress management. Enjoy the journey.
          “It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creeds into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.”
          —Robert A. Heinlein

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          • #6
            I appreciate all your responses.

            Primalchild, I think what you say about feeling fuller faster makes sense. Although I have on occasion gorged on 16 oz steaks and bbq, so I do think its possible to overeat even with meat.

            twoidhd. I think your progress is wonderful! Its heartening to know that you were able to control your weight without counting calories.

            About low carb being tastier, I think it may very well be a cultural thing. I come from a south asian background and grew up eating pretty much vegetarian food. I did eat meat on occasion. I was thin and active growing up and never even imagined I would be worrying about my weight. After moving to the US in my early twenties, its meat and fat that I got hooked on, not chips and cookies (I don't feel like eating sugary foods very often) and put on 30 lbs which I haven't been able to shake off.

            The only time I was able to lose some weight was a stretch when I ate only vegan, but I had gotten so addicted to fat that I was craving meat all the time and gave up. Now, I'm trying low carb again for the third time and I feel sick without flat bread, lentils, beans and rice. Having a hard time keeping up with this low-carb lifestyle.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by nikdom View Post
              I appreciate all your responses.

              Primalchild, I think what you say about feeling fuller faster makes sense. Although I have on occasion gorged on 16 oz steaks and bbq, so I do think its possible to overeat even with meat.
              16 oz of beef is approx 700 calories. not that much when you think about it.

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              • #8
                Steak 3 oz - 174 calories, Therefore 16 oz steak = 928 calories http://www.livestrong.com/thedailypl...-ribeye-steak/

                I would have to eat four full cups of white rice to match that (and that's a lot of rice) - http://caloriecount.about.com/calori...regular-i20045

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                • #9
                  Hm.

                  In my opinion, there's nothing inherently wrong with eating a traditional (in your case, south east asian) diet. Keyword is "traditional" - which varies extremely from how the American culture portrays ethnic diets (Japanese = teriyaki...right...).

                  To answer your original question of:
                  "then why does he say keep carbs under 100g? What if I kept carbs under 100g yet my overall daily calorific intake (from fat and protein) exceeds my daily expenditure? Does that still guarantee that I will lose weight?"

                  Carbs, especially those found in American diets, are overly processed and contain additives much worse than your traditional SE asian carbs. They are not satiating in the least (and in fact, promote hunger). So, by keeping carbs under 100g, you are essentially eliminating (or should be) 100% of those American-standard processed carbs (a good thing).

                  As for caloric intake and exceeding expenditure. Its a little more complicated than just "Calories In - Calories Used = +/-". Short answer: Yes, intake matters.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nikdom View Post
                    Steak 3 oz - 174 calories, Therefore 16 oz steak = 928 calories http://www.livestrong.com/thedailypl...-ribeye-steak/

                    I would have to eat four full cups of white rice to match that (and that's a lot of rice) - http://caloriecount.about.com/calori...regular-i20045

                    hmm....confusing
                    Get on my Level
                    http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nikdom View Post
                      Steak 3 oz - 174 calories, Therefore 16 oz steak = 928 calories http://www.livestrong.com/thedailypl...-ribeye-steak/

                      I would have to eat four full cups of white rice to match that (and that's a lot of rice) - http://caloriecount.about.com/calori...regular-i20045
                      Rice has absolutely nothing useful to the body, and it doesn't taste very good plain. What's your point?
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                      • #12
                        information on the web has beef anywhere from 35 cals per oz to 58 per oz, depending on leanness i guess....thats why i said approx. 700 cals, as i went with a number in between, around 43 cals per oz, which is 688 cals.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lmyers04 View Post
                          information on the web has beef anywhere from 35 cals per oz to 58 per oz, depending on leanness i guess....thats why i said approx. 700 cals, as i went with a number in between, around 43 cals per oz, which is 688 cals.
                          according to a few sources I found, a ribeye is between 80 - 95 cals per oz due to the fat content
                          "I am a member of PETA...People Eat Tasty Animals"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rphlslv View Post
                            Rice has absolutely nothing useful to the body, and it doesn't taste very good plain. What's your point?
                            From just a calorie intake perspective, I was trying to show that a 16oz steak is a lot of calories. If one were to eat a meal made of rice and other vegetables, like a lot of people do in my culture, one would need to eat a lot of rice to match how many calories a steak packs in. That's all I was trying to say.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mr.M View Post
                              Carbs, especially those found in American diets, are overly processed and contain additives much worse than your traditional SE asian carbs. They are not satiating in the least (and in fact, promote hunger). So, by keeping carbs under 100g, you are essentially eliminating (or should be) 100% of those American-standard processed carbs (a good thing).
                              I don't think Mark is referring to "bad" carbs in his book in the carb chart. He wants us to give those up completely. Its after one starts eating primal, that he recommends keep total carb intake to less than 100g from all the vegetables, fruits and leafy vegetables.

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