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  • Question--very low carb

    Hi everyone,

    I've been following Mark's Daily Apple since January and have been actively following the Primal Blueprint since February or so. It's given me a much healthier outlook not only on what I eat but also on the way I live my life and protect my health, and I love it. However, I've recently decided I'm not totally happy with my body composition and want to get a little leaner, so I was going to attempt to go lower carb for a little while--just a few days at first--to see how that feels and if there are any results.

    My goal starting yesterday is not to exceed 50 grams, but I realized right away that was going to be really tough. Using an app on my phone I estimated by intake yesterday to be 56 grams, and today about 63 grams (I really wanted broccoli at dinner!). I'm a vegetable lover, and resisting the urge to eat lots and lots of veggies seems very hard and unnatural. My question for all of you who are on very low carb diets or who have done them in the past is…what do you eat?? I know leafy greens are good, but I found myself eating copious amounts even of baby spinach. I love nuts (and probably eat way too many), but what else do you recommend that isn't meat (or nuts…I eat way too many nuts as is)? If I eat too much meat in one day I start to feel a little sick.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Are you counting fiber? If so, don't. Track NET carbs and you will find it much easier to get a bigger selection of them in.

    You can easily have 8-10 servings of low-carb veggies a day and stay under 50g. Avocado, all leafy greens, cauliflower, tomato, celery, cucumbers, zucchini, String beans, etc. are all very low once you subtract dietary fiber.
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    • #3
      if that's the case, then I'm VLC -- once I subtract out the fiber. Which I generally don't. I get 80-90 g/day on average (fiber included).

      The question is, then what does Mark mean when he says "below 50" does he mean "50 net" or "50 total" -- I suggest the second one, just because of how the articles are written.

      Which would mean, then, eating fewer vegetables even though you love them. Also, figure out what is lower and higher in carb but also makes you feel happy. I like to have some fruit each day -- so I go for things that are "lower carb" apples, bananas, etc -- those are "out" -- but a kiwifruit (sm/med) or berries or similar are fine (lower carb).

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      • #4
        It's going to be fifty net, because fiber is not absorbed as a nutrient like starch and sugar carbs are.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by zoebird View Post
          if that's the case, then I'm VLC -- once I subtract out the fiber. Which I generally don't. I get 80-90 g/day on average (fiber included).

          The question is, then what does Mark mean when he says "below 50" does he mean "50 net" or "50 total" -- I suggest the second one, just because of how the articles are written.

          Which would mean, then, eating fewer vegetables even though you love them. Also, figure out what is lower and higher in carb but also makes you feel happy. I like to have some fruit each day -- so I go for things that are "lower carb" apples, bananas, etc -- those are "out" -- but a kiwifruit (sm/med) or berries or similar are fine (lower carb).
          Mark is an advocate (for simplicity's sake) of counting total carbs including fiber. But from a reality standpoint, the metabolic impact of fiber is so infantessamaly small that they really don't contribute to insulin levels and caloric totals for purposes of maintaining a VLC diet or being in ketosis or whatever.

          In fact, the doctors who recently rewrote the book on Atkins dieting INTENTIONALLY said to count "net" carbs over total simply because they believe veggies are an important part of the diet and didn't want fiber to be the reason that people restricted their vegetable intake.
          "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Drumroll View Post
            Mark is an advocate (for simplicity's sake) of counting total carbs including fiber. But from a reality standpoint, the metabolic impact of fiber is so infantessamaly small that they really don't contribute to insulin levels and caloric totals for purposes of maintaining a VLC diet or being in ketosis or whatever.

            In fact, the doctors who recently rewrote the book on Atkins dieting INTENTIONALLY said to count "net" carbs over total simply because they believe veggies are an important part of the diet and didn't want fiber to be the reason that people restricted their vegetable intake.
            Yes. What she said. There is no point in counting something that has no impact on insulin, calories, or any metabolic or digestive function. I think Mark's carb suggestions in general are kind of simplistic at best and overly generalized at worst.

            Counting total carbs without subtracting dietary fiber is like weighing yourself with clothes on. The clothes may add bulk, but they aren't a true reflection of your actual scale numbers.
            Last edited by j3nn; 12-12-2012, 10:04 PM.
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            • #7
              I see what you are saying. It's mostly the difference of how much that number means to you.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by j3nn View Post
                Yes. What she said. There is no point in counting something that has no impact on insulin, calories, or any metabolic or digestive function. I think Mark's carb suggestions in general are kind of simplistic at best and overly generalized at worst.

                Counting total carbs without subtracting dietary fiber is like weighing yourself with clothes on. The clothes may add bulk, but they aren't a true reflection of your actual scale numbers.
                I always counted net. However just recently I quit counting veggies at all per PHD (not talking squashes (fruits), starches, fruit) but veggies. I wish I had done that when I was LC. It all adds up and I would have felt so much better adding even My Daily Apple which I could have done if I wasn't counting a BAS and other veggies. But it was kind of one or the other if I wanted to stay under a certain amount of grams.
                65lbs gone and counting!!

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