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Thread: success in more carbs, less protein experiment page

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    milly3's Avatar
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    success in more carbs, less protein experiment

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    For the past 4 weeks I've been experimenting with eating a modified Primal diet that includes rice, potatoes, and soaked legumes. I have rice or potatoes at every meal. I've scaled back my meat consumption accordingly, so I'm eating the same amount of calories as last month. My typical daily menu is:

    Breakfast: 1 white or sweet potato with 2 tb butter, cooked broccoli, and spices
    Lunch: stir-fry vegetables in coconut oil with 1 egg, over rice
    Dinner: ground beef stir fry/chili or chicken soup with soaked beans or lentils

    This is about 40% carbs/40% fat/20% protein, and about 1900-2200 calories/day.
    My previous diet was 20% carbs/40% fat/ 40% protein, and the same amount of calories (from FitDay.com).
    I haven't changed my dairy intake, I still eat a little chocolate and fruit maybe once a week. I can't think of any other confounding factors...

    I did this mostly because I'm on a tight budget and I wanted to see if it was sustainable.

    To my surprise, I've experienced positive changes. Over the month I dropped from a size 6 to size 4 jeans, lost 6 lb.
    It wasn't muscle loss, because I've been continuing my workout routine (BodyRock.tv) and this week I broke my 15 pushup and 20 burpee personal records. I haven't had any energy loss- if anything, I feel better.

    Basically, I'm wondering if anyone else has similar experiences. I am not saying it would work for everyone; I'm not trying to lose weight (though apparently I did). But clearly my body is happy at a higher carb level, so it might be something to consider if you're at a plateau.

    From an evolutionary perspective...I do have trouble seeing how eating animal protein at every meal would've been possible in our primate past. It seems likely that hunter-gatherers would base their diet on tubers and nuts most of the time, then gorge on meat when they get it.

    What do y'all think?
    Last edited by milly3; 04-02-2012 at 02:09 PM.

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    iniQuity's Avatar
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    I don't touch the "what did humans of old eat?" debate with a ten-foot pole but I commend you for trying something, and actually TRYING SOMETHING instead of having 2-3 meals of higher carb, gaining a little water weight and calling the whole thing a failure. Congratulations on your success.

    For money reasons my gf and I are also eating mostly vegetables and starches but we do get some sort of protein with every meal, but we're def not eating steaks all the time either. Lord knows I'd love nothing more than to have a ribeye steak every day, but it's just not feasible.

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    paleo-bunny's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing milly3. That's useful information. I've embarked on a similar experiment a few days ago, and haven't gained any water weight. I'm feeling better for it and positive I will see good results. It's making breakfasts a lot easier to prepare and hopefully will save me a bit of cash to spend on other things.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    Wow, your previous diet was like pretty darn excessive in protein it looks like. Where you having any symptoms with that high of intake? I eat fairly low carb but don't go over 25% protein as a normal. I think it was a good idea to change something there.....fat or carbs had to replace some of that excess protein at some point IMO.

    Then again as I think on it I could be wrong....if you are eating at a caloric deficit your 40% protein intake may actually be closer to 20-30% of what your actually burning. I.E. burning your body fat stores.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 04-02-2012 at 02:34 PM.

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    jakey's Avatar
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    i've found that if i consistently eat bodybuilder recommendations of protein (1 gram per lb), i feel crappy. i weigh 160lbs at 5'8", i'm athletically built, and i lift weights, but to eat 160 grams of protein a day from whole foods is just ridiculous. some days i get there, and it feels fine. i certainly don't make it a point to do so every day. and i'm perfectly happy with my gains, btw.
    Last edited by jakey; 04-02-2012 at 02:48 PM.

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    activia's Avatar
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    I really see no reason to play around with protein. It should stay consistant no matter what you are doing. 1g-1.5g per lean body mass. What you can play with is fat/carb ratios. Protein will give you the MOST satiety overall. I dont see the need to add legumes.. why not just sweet potatoes/fruit and a little white rice? With that I don't over analyze at all. I just make sure I get a good amount of protein every meal..sometimes fattier then other times. I try not to have a lot of fatty protein more then once a day... if its especially fatty I pair it with a low fat protein meal.
    Primal since March 2011

    Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakey View Post
    i've found that if i consistently eat bodybuilder recommendations of protein (1 gram per lb), i feel crappy. i'm way 160lbs at 5'8", i'm athletically built, and i lift weights, but to eat 160 grams of protein a day from whole foods is just ridiculous. some days i get there, and it feels fine. i certainly don't make it a point to do so every day. and i'm perfectly happy with my gains, btw.
    Same here.....we have about the exact same build it sounds like, and I cant put down that much protein and feel well either. About 120 grams a day is probably my average.

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    jakey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Same here.....we have about the exact same build it sounds like, and I cant put down that much protein and feel well either. About 120 grams a day is probably my average.
    aw man, you got to the comment before i could edit out my idiot spelling/syntax. glad to know you have the same experience though...

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    paleo-bunny's Avatar
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    ^ Good points activia. I'm playing with fat/carb ratio as well as swapping some protein for carbs. Mostly the former, but then I hadn't been eating anywhere near 40% of calories as protein.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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    jakey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by activia View Post
    I really see no reason to play around with protein. It should stay consistant no matter what you are doing. 1g-1.5g per lean body mass. What you can play with is fat/carb ratios. Protein will give you the MOST satiety overall. I dont see the need to add legumes.. why not just sweet potatoes/fruit and a little white rice? With that I don't over analyze at all. I just make sure I get a good amount of protein every meal..sometimes fattier then other times. I try not to have a lot of fatty protein more then once a day... if its especially fatty I pair it with a low fat protein meal.
    for me to hit 1.5 grams per lb of lean body mass would come to 216 grams of protein every single day. it gets a bit tough to do that... plus it doesn't feel good! that would be almost a thousand calories of protein a day. at 5'8" and 160lbs, about 10% bf, how many calories would i want to eat in a day anyway? for me, it's usually between 1800-2200. that amount of protein doesn't work.

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