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How many carbs do you NEED exactly?

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  • How many carbs do you NEED exactly?

    I've been eating about half a kg of meat a day for the last 2 weeks (I select the cuts with the most fat and protein per unit weight) and a dose of the most nutrient dense vegs I can find, brussels' sprouts being one of my favorites, and they have almost no carbs (and they are the only veg that I like). The half a kg a day is because I'm a student and I can't afford much more than that (pastured meat), which is also why I'm picky about my cuts to maximize my nutrients. If I could afford I'd probably eat a kg of meat every day.

    Anyway, so I have a diet of varied cuts of meat every day and varied veggies. It's been going well so far and I feel more energetic than ever. I'm very surprised about what the body can function on.

    I've been having a problem for a few days. I've been getting headaches for like 3 days now. I figured it was just a phase I had to get over, so I just went on for a few days but it didn't go away. I'm starting to think that I might have a deficiency of carbs and my body has gone through its carb stores or something. I'm pretty sure that glycogen is needed for brain fuel, so maybe the headaches are for that. I figure should probably eat a few grams of carbs every day, like 10-20. I'd have to get cheap carbs, like oranges. There's also apples but the sugar craving they give me is too strong. I hate having a sugar craving... the absence of craving food is one of the things I love about this diet and a major reason for doing it. I can go over a day without food now without feeling hungry at all now. If I had to eat fruit every day it would have to be something mass produced cheap like oranges, apples or bananas. I prefer bananas and oranges out of those because apples do not have a thick peel that stops pesticides from infiltrating and they give me more of a craving. So I have a few questions I'd like you guys' input on.

    1) What amount of carbs do you guys think is necessary? What about for you personally?
    2) What carb sources do you think are best (given my situation)? I suppose the slower digested ones are better because they do not induce a spike.

  • #2
    You've gone very low carb pretty quickly. Your electrolytes need balancing. More salt, preferably sea salt and supplement Magnesium in a chelate for like Mag Citrate or Glycinate.

    Magnesium will also help with the carb cravings.

    We have no physiogical need for carbs, but some folks prefer to eat them.

    Personally, I feel best in ketosis, with carbs around 40 gm or less.
    If you are eating such low levels of carbs, I don't think it matters what kind of carbs, unless the foods trigger cravings for you.

    These posts may help:
    http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/k...low-carb-pt-i/

    http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/s...ow-carb-pt-ii/
    Last edited by Dragonfly; 07-05-2013, 08:35 AM.
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    • #3
      Personally, I'd go for starch over very sugary fruits. But this is really a choice thing and will vary for each person's needs. A banana would help provide potassium, which will help with the electrolyte balancing too.
      Depression Lies

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      • #4
        Originally posted by s0meguy View Post
        1) What amount of carbs do you guys think is necessary? What about for you personally?
        2) What carb sources do you think are best (given my situation)? I suppose the slower digested ones are better because they do not induce a spike.
        1) Like Dragonfly said, you have no physiological need for carbs because your body can derive glucose from other dietary sources. How many carbs should you consume? It depends on your goal. Are you active or sedentary? Those who are active will require more carbohydrates than sedentary folks. It just takes some experimentation. Some people do great on low carb, some people do horrible. You have to find what works for you.

        2) Potatoes and rice are always my go-to carbs (along with oats sometimes, if you can handle them).
        My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

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        • #5
          All look like good answers to me. Only thing I have to add is that if you are a student consider eye strain and posture a possibility in why your getting headaches along with other usual suspects outside of dietary sources (getting ill, overexertion, too much caffeine or withdrawl ect...)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
            All look like good answers to me. Only thing I have to add is that if you are a student consider eye strain and posture a possibility in why your getting headaches along with other usual suspects outside of dietary sources (getting ill, overexertion, too much caffeine or withdrawl ect...)
            There's simply no such thing as too much caffeine
            My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

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            • #7
              I should be fine on magnesium because its in the veggies that I eat and I also eat some (salted) nuts every day. Though I do not add salt to meat because I think it brings out the taste and texture of the meat more when I don't. I just enjoy it more. If I do have a deficiency I'd plug it with real food. I wouldn't do supplements at all. I cannot understand how using supplements is accepted among a community that is supposed to be about eating like our ancestors did.

              I avoid caffeine unless it's absolutely necessary like I'm too sleepy before an exam. Do not really have any health issues. I sit a lot to study but I also walk in the natural park and bike every day.

              I suppose I'll experiment with eating just a little fruit and with starch. Though I find potatoes and rice to be too bland. Also isn't rice supposed to be a type of grain, or similar to it.
              Last edited by s0meguy; 07-05-2013, 08:53 AM.

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              • #8
                You need way more than what comes in the veggies naturally or on the nuts. When I first made the transition I thought I might die, especially around week 5 of the transition. A teaspoon of salt licked off my hand plus magnesium, calcium and potassium supplements helped a lot.

                The reason why you need the extra is your kidneys are flushing the water that has been stored in your cells throughout your body. Unless you supplement, you're going to feel pretty awful until you reach equilibrium. After that, you can choose to stay super low carb or consume a little more. And of course, you can always choose to consume lots more primal healthy carbs at any time.

                You probably have no reason to be low carb at all. It's primarily a big help for people who resemble Ken Korg--i.e. the middle-aged office guy with the big belly, the high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I don't think that is you.
                Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                • #9
                  OP, what is your goal? Like sbhikes said, it doesn't seem like you have a great reason to go low carb.
                  My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

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                  • #10
                    My major reason for being low carb is eliminating food craving. Simplicity is also nice. I eat one big meal a day and the rest is purely optional. I do not have to carry food around all day. Ever since I stopped eating fruit I feel like I've released myself from sugar slavery. I can choose what to eat when to eat and I do not have to constantly resist the urge to eat. I do not think you need medical reasons or anything to go low carb. It can be just because you like it.

                    Now that you mention it, I realize that I've been drinking more water lately. I guess that means I need more salt?
                    Last edited by s0meguy; 07-05-2013, 09:08 AM.

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                    • #11
                      i think you need to increase your potassium as your intake is probably very low with your current nutrition. you can do this by eating spinach (Quite cheap) kale (even cheaper) fruit ( look for reduced for quick sale) or fish(tinned sardines and pilchards are cheap, you can also usually find cheap tinned tuna; look for fresh fish reduced for its sell by date too).
                      if you dont much like spinach or kale mix it with some beef stock and make a smoothie you can just chug down and get it out of the way.
                      supplemental potassium,though,is safe, cheap and easy and should contain nothing but potassium and is no different to adding salt to your food
                      which ever way you choose increase it
                      When I'd had enough of the grain and starched based 'diabetic eating for health' diet (eating for health, my ass!) my weight was 242.5 lbs. On starting primal- 18th April 2013 weight : 238.1.
                      27th July 2013. weight after 100 days 136.9 weight lost 101.2lb ; that's 105.6lbs since I stopped the 'diabetic eating for health'
                      new journal http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ml#post1264082

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                      • #12
                        Brussels sprouts, that I eat a lot of, contain a lot of potassium, like Spinach and Kale. But I guess it's not enough. I'll try eating a banana a day. They seem to have a lot of that stuff.

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                        • #13
                          Check out Peter Attia atThe interplay of exercise and ketosis
                          As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jennifla View Post
                            The OP has not mentioned exercise.
                            My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by s0meguy View Post
                              Brussels sprouts, that I eat a lot of, contain a lot of potassium, like Spinach and Kale. But I guess it's not enough. I'll try eating a banana a day. They seem to have a lot of that stuff.
                              I eat about 50 carbs btw
                              When I'd had enough of the grain and starched based 'diabetic eating for health' diet (eating for health, my ass!) my weight was 242.5 lbs. On starting primal- 18th April 2013 weight : 238.1.
                              27th July 2013. weight after 100 days 136.9 weight lost 101.2lb ; that's 105.6lbs since I stopped the 'diabetic eating for health'
                              new journal http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ml#post1264082

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