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  • Accelerating fat loss - carbs < 50g per day

    Hi all!

    This is my first post, so please be nice I've not yet learnt all the necessary customs and the like

    I am an avid weight lifter and general sports enthusiast with an healthy obsession with nutrition and more specifically shedding body fat safely and healthily.

    I am a 5'6", 63KG / 138.8 lbs, 25 year old male who's lost nearly 3 st / 19 kg / 42 lbs and I'm trying to get rid of a shrinking beer belly. I am currently restricting carbs to <= 50g a day and am eating a mixed diet of meats, fish, nuts and seeds. I consume little to no sugar (little as in the rare treat at a birthday, if at all) and don't eat grains. Heavily primal, if you will.

    A breakdown of my typical food consumption and workout routine is below, but first some questions

    My concerns are the following:
    • To restrict to < 50g carbs a day when your only carbs are veg seems to be desperate - I am having *tiny* portions of veg and occasionally some fruit; I read of 'hearty lunchtime salads' but cannot fathom how these people are restricting to 50g of carbs from a large salad. Are my portions all wrong or is restricting to 50g carbs really this limiting veg wise?
    • I target my carbs around workout - I use graze.com dried fruits or nuts/seeds just before and just after, and then maybe have steamed broccoli & carrots in the evening with lots of protein. Am I eating too little here?
    • I don't eat carbs in the morning. Sometimes I'll have a mushroom or two with my omelette, but nothing large or heavy carb wise; is this a good idea?


    My diet:
    Mornings: an omelet of 2 eggs + 2 egg whites, with 3-5 bacon or 1 fillet of mackerel or kipper. * on the mornings after the gym, I'll have a whey protein shake too
    Lunch: meat with 1 or 2 boiled eggs or mackerel with small portions of salad - beetroot, carrot (shaved), sweetcorn or green beans.
    Dinner: meat or fish with steamed veg, again small portions to stick to < 50g carbs a day and just before bed I'll have some cottage cheese with cinnamon and vanilla extract.

    Pre and post workout I have dried fruits from graze.com to get me going, with a whey protein shake.

    My long term goal: cut as much body fat to not have a belly when I relax my stomach i.e. see my abs; currently my belly & lower back are where my fat is. Very little elsewhere.

    Am I being healthy? When I feel I've not eaten enough fruit I'll have a multivitamin just in case; not grok-like sure, but safest no doubt.

    Any replies or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Don't count fiber.

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...roducts/2359/2

    50g of total carb from broccoli is 5 cups.
    Active carb(total - fiber) 50 g is 12.5 cups!

    50g active carb from iceberg lettuce is over 3 large heads

    Comment


    • #3
      actually you could eat a mountain of leafy greens and stay under 50 g. Now the dried fruit on the other hand is nothing more than health store candy. I would ditch that right away. Also, i saw you listed sweet corn as part of your meal. Corn is a grain, toss that as well. With your eggs, why the egg whites? Just eat 4 eggs, or add in extra yolks not the whites. But the dried fruit and corn alone will put you over 50 g. and corn is a cardinal sin around here. If you haven't read The Primal Blueprint yet, I would start there. Also go to the main site and read all of Mark's blog archives, there is a ton of info there.

      Good luck.
      My blog: My Primal Adventure

      "I've come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass...and I'm all out of bubble gum."

      Comment


      • #4
        What is "sweetcorn"?. From what you've said, it seems like you know to avoid grains. Maybe it's a term that I'm not familiar with, but where I'm from, it refers to a type of maize. Anyway, other than sweetcorn, your diet looks good, but maybe kinda low in calories overall. I guess that's fine if you're trying to lose some weight though.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by bcbcbc2 View Post
          Don't count fiber.

          http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...roducts/2359/2

          50g of total carb from broccoli is 5 cups.
          Active carb(total - fiber) 50 g is 12.5 cups!

          50g active carb from iceberg lettuce is over 3 large heads
          I don't count fiber, and I've weighed my portions. My insecurity is the guess-work I'm doing from the portions at work from the salad bar there. I'll need to do some better weighing up at home for homemade salads I think, that'll stop my guessing (which is always bad!).

          Originally posted by skink531 View Post
          actually you could eat a mountain of leafy greens and stay under 50 g. Now the dried fruit on the other hand is nothing more than health store candy. I would ditch that right away. Also, i saw you listed sweet corn as part of your meal. Corn is a grain, toss that as well. With your eggs, why the egg whites? Just eat 4 eggs, or add in extra yolks not the whites. But the dried fruit and corn alone will put you over 50 g. and corn is a cardinal sin around here. If you haven't read The Primal Blueprint yet, I would start there. Also go to the main site and read all of Mark's blog archives, there is a ton of info there.

          Good luck.
          Argh, I hadn't thought of bloomin' sweetcorn, thanks for pointing that out! I've eliminated all grains - everything from rice to flour, to cous cous - but somehow stupidly missed that glaring problem! I've read a lot of info on this blog but perhaps a good read of the book would help. Thanks for the heads up. Ahh, and the eggs thing is that 4 eggs in the morning would potentially be too much fat for me, I'm quite short and wouldn't want to be full right up until lunch as I'd like to hit ketosis at some point to ensure I'm burning fat.

          Thanks for the replies.
          Last edited by atc; 09-15-2010, 06:18 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Wait...you're weighing? As in 50g on a scale?

            Nope, not 50g by weight....go by the food labels. It's about calories, not weight. 50g of carbs is 200 calories worth of carbs.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Dannielle View Post
              Wait...you're weighing? As in 50g on a scale?

              Nope, not 50g by weight....go by the food labels. It's about calories, not weight. 50g of carbs is 200 calories worth of carbs.
              Yes I'm weighing. For instance, I'll get my plate, zero the scales (digital), and then put some broccoli on - a couple of 'trees' - and then lookup the equivalent carb content for that amount on fatsecret/google/wolframalpha. So if two trees weighs in at 15g, I'll lookup nutritional information for 15g of broccoli and then see how many carbs that contains.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by bcbcbc2 View Post
                Don't count fiber.

                http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...roducts/2359/2

                50g of total carb from broccoli is 5 cups.
                Active carb(total - fiber) 50 g is 12.5 cups!

                50g active carb from iceberg lettuce is over 3 large heads
                He's in the UK (next county over from me) our NI labels are completely different from yours - when you read a UK label, you DO NOT need to subract the fibre, as it is NOT included in the amount of carbs shown. In other words, take a really fibrous vegetable, say parsnips:-

                The carbs info would look something like this (this is per 100g)

                Carbohydrate: - 12.5g
                of which sugars: - 5.7g

                Further down, you'll see the fibre (in this case 4.6g). This is NOT included in the carbs, so the figure next to where it says carbs is the NET carbs - nothing needs to be subtracted (f it included the carbs, the carbohydrate amount would read 17.1g, and the fibre amount listed next to fibre would then need to be subracted).

                The reason for this is there is no nutritive value in fibre, therefore the Department of Health decreed that it shouldn't be included in the total carbohydrate amount (which is pretty sensible when you think about it...)

                Does that make sense...?
                La tristesse durera toujours...

                Comment


                • #9
                  You can eat all the fat you want and it wont affect going into ketosis. Ketosis has to do with your carbs. The fat will keep from from feeling hungry, and there's nothing wrong with skipping a meal or 2(or 3). But then again I'm one of the guys who actually enjoys a long fast, so that could be me.
                  My blog: My Primal Adventure

                  "I've come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass...and I'm all out of bubble gum."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by skink531 View Post
                    You can eat all the fat you want and it wont affect going into ketosis. Ketosis has to do with your carbs. The fat will keep from from feeling hungry, and there's nothing wrong with skipping a meal or 2(or 3). But then again I'm one of the guys who actually enjoys a long fast, so that could be me.
                    Fair point, but then it can boost my total caloric consumption for that day beyond the 2k mark for maintenance-500 to further encourage fat loss. Thanks!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ditch the idea of "maintenance - 500." It doesn't really work that way. "Calories in, Calories out" is largely a CW myth. I was eating more than 4,000 calories of food per day, at about 80% fat, when I started - and I lost weight. It isn't about the calories.
                      Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

                      Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


                      Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

                      My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Griff View Post
                        Ditch the idea of "maintenance - 500." It doesn't really work that way. "Calories in, Calories out" is largely a CW myth. I was eating more than 4,000 calories of food per day, at about 80% fat, when I started - and I lost weight. It isn't about the calories.
                        I've been told so many conflicting things on this, and read a fair amount too. Will take this discussion to another thread though
                        Last edited by atc; 09-15-2010, 07:12 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by atc View Post
                          I've been told so much conflicting things on this, and read a fair amount too. Will take this discussion to another thread though
                          Yes, this is a frequently debated topic. I am more on the side of calories in calories out based on my experience. I would love to be able to eat 3000 calories per day, but I would be obese if I did. I found my maintenance level of around 1900-2000 calories per day, and in order to lose weight, I have to hit about 1600-1700. That's even with half my calories being fat and only getting around 50-100g carbs per day. Everyone is different.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Griff View Post
                            Ditch the idea of "maintenance - 500." It doesn't really work that way. "Calories in, Calories out" is largely a CW myth. I was eating more than 4,000 calories of food per day, at about 80% fat, when I started - and I lost weight. It isn't about the calories.
                            i think the important thing here is 'when i started' i was eating 4000 calories... when one makes that 'switch' from ketosis to keto adapted or carb burning to ketoadapted there is a 'sparing' effect. it doesnt last forever and i doubt you would lose(without exercise factored) on 4000 calories now...

                            My take on one CONVERTING to keto and the fact that it needs to be high FAT, not high protein if you want to make the fat-burning switch. I am no science expert but this is how I see it:

                            The subject of fat storage is a complex one. It is true that when we eat a high carb diet, the main hormone regulating fat storage is insulin, however, when eating a high fat diet with little or no carbs then there are other mechanisms. Much of my Journal is about testing Taubs theory of "no carbs, no insulin, no fat gain". I found this to be wrong.

                            First, it appears that there is a lot of fat loss because initially our bodies are conditioned to process carbs. Since there is plenty of glucose in our blood, our cells are conditioned to utilize this as their primary fuel. Metabolizing glucose is a rather simple process much like yeast and fermentation.

                            For our cells to use fatty acids as the primary fuel is much more complex. Mitochondria are needed for this process. Since most of our lives we’ve had plenty of glucose available as fuel, we only have the minimum level of mitochondria in our cells and not near enough to convert fatty acids directly to fuel.

                            When we stop eating carbs and start eating fats, our bodies are very inefficient in using the new fuel. Our cells are demanding glucose as they can’t use fatty acids efficiently until they create more mitochondria which takes time (often several months). The fat we eat (and the body fat we store) is in the form of triglycerides. This is three fatty acids clustered around a glycerol molecule. Glycerol can be converted to glucose, but it is very inefficient. It takes 2 glycerol molecules to make one glucose molecule. Our liver will take the triglycerides we are eating (as well as some from body fat), strip off the fatty acids and convert the glycerol to glucose as this is what our cells need until they adapt and make more mitochondria to be able to use fatty acids directly. This means that the body needs two triglycerides and is throwing away 6 fatty acids (75% of the energy) just to be able to make one molecule of glucose. And, you guess it, we start rapidly loosing weight. (the excess fatty acids are turned into ketones and eliminated through sweat, breath, and urine.) If the body is still short glucose it will use dietary protein as well as sacrifice muscle tissue to create the needed glucose through the process of gluconeogenisis. We get the impression that calories don’t count because we just can’t eat enough food to create the necessary glucose that our body wants from the fat we are eating when 75% of the energy is being thrown away because the cells can’t use it. Therefore, the body consumes body fat and some muscle tissue to make up the short fall in glucose and we lose weight.

                            Over time, our bodies begin to adapt to the new fuel source. The cells add mitochondria and most of our body tissues will convert to using fatty acids and/or ketones as fuel rather than glucose. When this happens we find that the level of ketones being thrown away in the urine drop to very low levels (because our body is now using them), and weight loss slows or stops completely. Suddenly calories start to count again, and in a big way because now our bodies are using 100% of the energy contained in the fat as the cells are using the three fatty acids directly as fuel and the left over glycerol is still being converted to glucose. Body fat is no longer being used to fill in the energy gap.

                            Now comes the issue of body fat storage. When we are eating fat and protein and little or no carbohydrate, fat storage is accomplished through an enzyme called ASP (Acylation Stimulating Protein). This little jewel has the ability to directly store fat in the fat cells bypassing the glucose and insulin pathways.

                            On a zero carb diet(protein and fat), excess fatty acids not immediately needed for energy will be directly stored in the fat cells through ASP. This stored fat will then be called upon as the body needs energy and is mobilized out of the fat cells through Hormone Sensitive Lipase (HSL) which will only allow body fat metabolism if insulin, a hormone, is low, hence ‘hormone sensitive’.

                            As long as the total fat stored is equal to the total fat consumed, body fat will not accumulate. However, if, on average, less energy is needed than was stored, not all fat stored by ASP from the ZC meals will be remobilized by HSL and body fat will rise. So eventually, calories start to count again.

                            When someone first converts from a lifetime of high carb they can eat 4,000 to 5,000 calories per day and lose weight. The body cant use most of the energy so it threw it away(FOR A TIME PERIOD). The ketones in my urine were running the darkest color on the Ketostix, and breath has an acetone smell from ketones being eliminated through the breath.

                            After about 18 months the body has adapted to using fatty acids rather than glucose as its primary fuel and the ketone levels dropped to Trace levels and the acetone breath went away. Once their bodies are fully adapted to using fatty acids as their primary fuel, they start to gain weight unless they reduce their calorie intake.

                            Hope this makes sense. If not, feel free to ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer.

                            There are a couple of issues. The primary issue seems to be whether our bodies have adapted to the food. In the case of carbs, the cellular metabolism is fermentive and all cells can use glucose without adapting, however, if the main fuel available suddenly becomes fatty acids, then the cells must create mitochondria to be able to use the fatty acids directly as fuel.
                            Until sufficient mitochondria and the associated enzymes have been built up in the cells, the cell’s ability to take up the available energy from fatty acids is impaired and the results are the same as if we just didn’t eat those fatty acids in the first place as the energy from them is mostly unavailable. In other words, it appears that calories don’t count. Once the cells adapt, then either form of energy source (glucose or fatty acids) will be efficiently metabolized and generally speaking, weight will be gained or lost depending on overall energy balance.

                            In a nutshell, I think this is WHY carb cycling works to benefit fat loss. It is very very hormonally related.
                            Get on my Level
                            http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by john_e_turner_ii View Post
                              Yes, this is a frequently debated topic. I am more on the side of calories in calories out based on my experience. I would love to be able to eat 3000 calories per day, but I would be obese if I did. I found my maintenance level of around 1900-2000 calories per day, and in order to lose weight, I have to hit about 1600-1700. That's even with half my calories being fat and only getting around 50-100g carbs per day. Everyone is different.
                              i agree mostly. i think i have figured out how to cycle in and out carbs to the poin that calories dont really matter. if i was eating the same macros everyday, then yea i do think calories matter. it is simply because the body expects and gets use to the same macros or foods everyday (like 2000 cals and 50 carbs)
                              Get on my Level
                              http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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