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  • Nutrition/Carbs for Newcomer?

    First of all I am a very active person, and I am struggling with getting enough carbs. I also have a journal here (Primal Journal: Catherine (Goal: leaner, faster, stronger). This is what I ate yesterday and it also shows my exercise for the day.I am on day 12 of my first 30 days. I wasn't eating processed foods before, so all I had to do was to drop the grains, stop consuming large amounts of non-fat dairy. I still have a cup of whole milk a day, though once my body is adjusted to the rest I will try a dairy free experiment to see how that feels.

    I am having problems even getting 70 grams of carbs, and I know I need more than that. I don't want to break 100, but I am too active to cut them overly low. I don't care for sweet potatoes though I can choke them down - and I need to find some way of evenly dividing my carb intake throughout the day and not save them for fruit with dinner.

    My protein intake is the same as it was before - but I think my fat intake yesterday was a bit high and the carbs a bit low. Opinions? Normally my lunch salad has more variety of veggies but I needed to go shopping.

    My energy levels are pretty good, have had some instances of fluctuation but I don't think I am in "carb flu", at least not yet.

    Yesterday:

    B: 3 eggs sauteed in coconut oil with spinach and mushrooms, coffee

    1 hour group training session - I hit the leg press machine afterwards pretty hard.
    14 ounce Muscle Milk (I know this isn't especially good for me but this was the best choice I had at the time)

    1 boiled egg before a 45 minute easy bike ride a couple of hours later

    L: Lots of baby mixed greens topped with 4 ounces grass-fed ground beef and a bit of olive oil

    D: 1 tin Sardines in olive oil, olives and red peppers (never had sardines before!), roasted kale chips - roasted them in coconut oil as an experiment). 1/4 honey dew melon. 1 cup organic whole milk

    Calories: 2,002 (met my hard workout day calorie goal - I have to track as I've a problem getting enough calories if I do not)
    Breakdown: Fat 156.1g (66%), Carbs 67.5g (13%), Protein 115.6g (22%)

  • #2
    More veg? . If you really need the carbs you could add some rice as well.
    If your energy levels are good then you may be getting better at using your fat stores and it may not be an issue.
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
    PS
    Don't forget to play!

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    • #3
      It's a fallacy that you need a lot of carbs for exercise. Phil Maffetone, www.philmaffetone.com - Fitness
      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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      • #4
        If you feel ok with current carb level, why change? Certainly I wouldn't "choke down" anything I didn't like. There are a lot of higher carb veg is you really want to try getting higher % of carbs - beetroot, carrots, parsnips, yams, even white potatoes (I don't see much wrong with them). Or rice, as mentioned above.

        I am 5ft10, 140 pounds, 15% BF, and usually consume well over 2000 cals a day, keeping my carbs under 10% (usually around 50g), fat about 55% and protein takes up the rest. I have constant levels of energy and train quite hard (4 heavy and intensive weight lifting sessions of over an hour weekly) and generally move quite a lot (fast walking well over an hour a day, some cycling or other "low intensity" cardio). On training days I burn 800-1000 calories (as measured by my HRM) in exercise. I do a "cheat" meal once a week when I consume something higher in carbs (normal/sweet potatoe mash, rice, a lot of fruit), on that day my carb intake usually goes up till 150. For now I feel happy with where I am.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
          It's a fallacy that you need a lot of carbs for exercise. Phil Maffetone, www.philmaffetone.com - Fitness
          Maffetone's work is great - low level aerobic work for long durations over time. He does advocate intervals once the aerobic base is built. Interestingly, his 180 -age to find max working HR equates quite well to be close to the 75% Heart Rate Max that Mark Sissons advocates for the long slow activities.

          He also has quite a good section on diet, and the 2 week test eliminates ALL processed food, dairy, grains and legumes. Pretty much a primal diet, with carbs being very slowly introduced afterwards to find the tolerance level (sweet spot??)
          Last edited by PureFunctionalFitness; 08-30-2012, 08:29 AM.

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          • #6
            potatoes, sweet potatoes, white rice, acorn squash, butternut squast, spaghetti squash, berries, fruit. all perfectly ok carb sources.

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            • #7
              Very interesting read, I checked out his forum questions on carbs while/during racing and he made significant mention of the role of fat burning for those whose bodies have adjusted to it. He never once used the term "paleo" or "primal" but he certainly didn't say anything different. Thanks for the confirmation my feeling that he wasn't far off from Mark.

              Thanks for the good comments - and I just need to buy more berries - I LOVE berries Squash...I need to figure out how to cook it as it's never really been in my diet but I can do that. I am being very careful with sugar - I've reversed diabetes 2 but am very "sugar shy", so need to be careful with what fruit I do eat.

              Inesenite - thanks for sharing. It sounds like we have similar activity levels though our activities are a bit different. I also use a HRM to keep track - it keeps me honest. I am a mountain biker who also rides on the road, and do 2 intense group training sessions a week. I like the idea of a "cheat meal", considering my long rides can reach > 5 hours I think those are the perfect days on which to do that.
              Last edited by Catrin; 08-30-2012, 08:41 AM.

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              • #8
                I've personally found that once I become well-adapted to a low carbohydrate diet, I do have a lot more energy for physical activity. It's also more steady and reliable energy. I love being able to exercise strenuously without getting tired or hungry. I do some strength training and sprinting, but I don't make that my primary thing. I consider myself mainly an endurance activity person. I love hiking, walking, riding my bike to work, sometimes even slow running.

                If you read more of Maffetone's website, he is not quite paleo or even low carb because he does advocate eating beans and some grains, just not refined grains (i.e. flour) or sugar. He recommends the Mediterranean diet but he has a page where he says that what people think is a Mediterranean diet and what it actually is are two totally different things, that a true Mediterranean diet has no pasta and has plenty of seafood and lamb. He also seems to be more against saturated fat than the Primal or paleo diets, although after I read his essay about what kinds of fats to eat, I was left with thinking maybe he just never considered the fatty acid profile of grass-fed ruminants in his suggestions.

                I've ordered his Big Book of Health and Fitness and am waiting for it to arrive. It might actually contain information that could turn my boyfriend more toward the primal side, so even though I wanted the book for myself, I didn't get a kindle version because I plan to just leave it lying out somewhere where he might see it.
                Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                • #9
                  Good comments sbhikes - I didn't look further than the discussion on carbs/exercise. Thankfully I've just my own diet to concern myself with - I can see how it can get challenging if we have a partner who isn't on board. I continue to be surprised at how well I feel - just waiting for that carb flu shoe to drop - perhaps I will be lucky

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                  • #10
                    I found the calculations on MDA to determine our optimum macro-nutrient splits and was immediately floored. I keep forgetting that I am only 5'3, and as it turns out I am still getting too many carbs at 60 and 70! Using the lower range my carb split comes out to be only 27 grams of carbs (and Paleobird was kind enough to verify this for me). I am going to go with the higher end of the range which puts it at almost 50 grams of carbs daily - and to make this a bit more sustainable for me, I will use NET carbs.

                    So never mind, I am getting more than enough carbs. Perhaps this is why I've not seen this "carb flu" I've heard of, just a little minor energy fluctuations during a couple of hard workouts but that has resolved. Time to think about how to drop it a bit further...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Catrin View Post
                      I found the calculations on MDA to determine our optimum macro-nutrient splits and was immediately floored. I keep forgetting that I am only 5'3, and as it turns out I am still getting too many carbs at 60 and 70! Using the lower range my carb split comes out to be only 27 grams of carbs (and Paleobird was kind enough to verify this for me). I am going to go with the higher end of the range which puts it at almost 50 grams of carbs daily - and to make this a bit more sustainable for me, I will use NET carbs.

                      So never mind, I am getting more than enough carbs. Perhaps this is why I've not seen this "carb flu" I've heard of, just a little minor energy fluctuations during a couple of hard workouts but that has resolved. Time to think about how to drop it a bit further...
                      I don't understand. You say that it's too many carbs for you at 60 or 70 on Mark's curve. Mark's curve uses gross carbs--fiber and sugars. So if you follow this other plan to aim for 50 carbs and only count the sugars, you'll actually be above Mark's amount.

                      There's nothing wrong with aiming for however many carbs as you want, but if your goal is lower carb, you're going backwards.

                      It's really not that hard to stay around 30 carbs. Once you get the hang of it and get used to it. You just pretty much just stick with vegetables.
                      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                        I don't understand. You say that it's too many carbs for you at 60 or 70 on Mark's curve. Mark's curve uses gross carbs--fiber and sugars. So if you follow this other plan to aim for 50 carbs and only count the sugars, you'll actually be above Mark's amount.

                        There's nothing wrong with aiming for however many carbs as you want, but if your goal is lower carb, you're going backwards.

                        It's really not that hard to stay around 30 carbs. Once you get the hang of it and get used to it. You just pretty much just stick with vegetables.
                        Right, I now do only mixed organic frozen berries, small handful, tossed in my morning whey& water smoothie, as soon as I get home post-workout. Lately I mostly don't eat fruits during the day (except for those hot summer months, mmm watermelon). Basically I eat animals, oils, veggies, eggs, kefir & yogurt, condiments & spices, drink mostly filtered water, coffee on weekends, some green & herbal teas.

                        I've recently cleared out all nuts from the house, except for the macs in a bag I keep 1 eye on, but haven't touched since last week. My intention with those macs, is to make a primal trail mix for my mom, something primal that won't melt in her car, as she skips meals & gets hungry sometimes but has little resistance to convenience foods when she gets in one of those spaces...

                        Originally posted by Catrin View Post
                        First of all I am a very active person, and I am struggling with getting enough carbs...

                        ...My protein intake is the same as it was before - but I think my fat intake yesterday was a bit high and the carbs a bit low. Opinions? Normally my lunch salad has more variety of veggies
                        As has been said already, increase the amount & ratio of fat, try to decrease the carbs (for a while, til you find your sweet spot) & try to also lose the unfounded fear of lowering your carb intake while you're at it, 60/6/34 is a good target to shoot for. I don't count calories or carbs, but I eye ball things & then forget about it. I'm not trying to lose weight, rather my goals are gaining muscle & increasing my endurance.
                        Last edited by Betorq; 08-30-2012, 08:09 PM.
                        "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
                        "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
                        "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

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                        • #13
                          I was over-thinking and just confused myself. I was looking at Mark's carbohydrate curve and his statement about the "sweet spot" for carbs was between 50-100. Then I calculated my splits with his formula and my eyes popped when I saw how low the carb portion was.

                          Sbhikes -thanks for the encouragement. I am going to go for the upper range given my activity level. Paleobird tells me there is a range of .5-.8 on the HSIS multiplier on carbs. Using the .8 allows me 43.5 daily carbs so I will go with that and drop the net carb idea.

                          I really only want to lose 5-10 pounds, what I am really interested in is building upper body strength (I can leg press over 300 pounds but can't lift 20 pounds over my head - I know there isn't any comparison between leg and shoulder strength but it IS a bit frustrating), and changing my body composition. I am quite sure that my current carb intake of ~70 is far better than the 200 I was getting a few short weeks ago - but I know my body won't adapt with too high an intake.

                          Thanks to all for the comments, they are appreciated and helpful. Betorg - thanks for the split suggestion. Eventually I will get accustomed to this and be able to stop counting so carefullly, but it helps. So, for now, back to my journa

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