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Thread: Information overload (calories, fruits and ketosis) page

  1. #1
    Charlie Primal's Avatar
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    Information overload (calories, fruits and ketosis)

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    Hey folks,

    Just joined this site and started living primal last weekend!

    I have been reading through the copious amounts of info on here and have a couple of questions.

    I average around 2,600 calories per day (6ft tall, fairly active guy).

    Roughly 180g of protein, 120g of carbs, and 70% of calories from fat. All from animal meat, fresh veg, fruit, good oils and nuts/seeds. Does this sound about right as a nutritional breakdown? My flatmate nearly had a total meltdown when I casually mentioned that I now eat 70% fat and that grains are basically the devil. Want to make sure I'm on the right track with the whole primal eating thing.

    Also there seems to be a bit of a stigma against fruit here. I eat a portion of berries, an apple and a banana or two with my post workout protein shake on a daily basis, is this OK? I am very lean naturally so I don't need to lose weight, but I read on the site today that in order to switch to fat burning mode one needs to go into ketosis which requires dropping below 100g carbs daily (meaning I would have to drop the fruit). But Mark's carb chart suggests that dropping below 100g would result in weight loss (which I'm not interested in). So I'm a bit confused.

    Do I have to eat less than 100g carbs per day in order to give my body a chance to adapt to fat burning? I'm having fairly brutal carb flu symptoms (brain fog, headache, blocked sinuses, sick feeling and aching bones/muscles although in a kinda good way...it hurts so baaaaad, lol) and don't want to drag it out by eating too many carbohydrates.

    Would welcome any responses!

    By the way, Hi! name's Charlie, looking forward to getting to know some of you

    Also, if any newbies (or pros) want to do a daily/weekly buddy check in to make sure we stick to primal eating during the entry phase just let me know. I am having crazy cravings for all kinds of heavy carb foods so having to check in with someone would probs stop me demolishing the local chippy or munching through an entire cheesecake in one sitting.

    Peace,

    C

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    Drumroll's Avatar
    Drumroll is online now Senior Member
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    Wait, I'm confused... Is ketosis a goal of yours or not? If not, then as long as you're not gaining weight, fruit is fine, you carb levels are good, just keep the grains out.

    By the way, when you lower carbs at first, your body has to get used to using fat. The muscle aches, the "flu-like" symptoms (we often call it carb flu), are perfectly normal. You just have to give it time for your body to get used to the new source of fuel is all. It won't be easy, but the rewards are worth it. You don't have to drop to ketosis-level carbs to do it either, but probably less that you're consuming now.

    Keep at it! You're on the right path now.

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    Charlie, the rough outline sounds fine - the foods you are eating sound appropriate. Not sure how you're getting 70% fat from the macros you outlined, seems like that's 28% protein, 18% carb, and 54% fat - not that that's bad. I don't think you need to go keto necessarily, although some folks regularly do with good results and everyone seems to respond uniquely to different macro ratios. Unless there is some need to lose weight or to address a specific condition, I think you're fine eating what you're eating.

    I eat fruit, but don't overdo it. Some days I'll go very low carb/keto, others not. For me, varying things keeps my metabolism "honest." I've been at the same weight for about a year (would like to drop 20 more pounds), but people have told me I look much more lean than a year ago, so I think that eating cleanly and getting your workouts can result in positive body recomposition.

    There's a wide variety of opinions on eating fruit, but I say do whatever feels right for you. How is your energy overall with and without fruit, how are your workouts, etc. Just self-monitor. If you're already lean, I don't know that you need to emphasize aiming for a fat-burning metabolism so much as finding what foods are optimal for you. As for carb cravings, I'll let rip with some bad stuff under 80/20, but I start to crave good foods - not out of guilt, just feel the need to get back to them after cake or chips or something.

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    Charlie Primal's Avatar
    Charlie Primal is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumroll View Post
    Wait, I'm confused... Is ketosis a goal of yours or not? If not, then as long as you're not gaining weight, fruit is fine, you carb levels are good, just keep the grains out.

    By the way, when you lower carbs at first, your body has to get used to using fat. The muscle aches, the "flu-like" symptoms (we often call it carb flu), are perfectly normal. You just have to give it time for your body to get used to the new source of fuel is all. It won't be easy, but the rewards are worth it. You don't have to drop to ketosis-level carbs to do it either, but probably less that you're consuming now.

    Keep at it! You're on the right path now.
    AHH OK. The forum posts I was reading made it sound like you HAD to drop to ketosis-level to become fat adapted. That must have been for people who's goals are weight loss. Sounds like I don't have to worry about it.

    Thanks a lot for the info.

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    Charlie Primal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegans Wake View Post
    Charlie, the rough outline sounds fine - the foods you are eating sound appropriate. Not sure how you're getting 70% fat from the macros you outlined, seems like that's 28% protein, 18% carb, and 54% fat - not that that's bad. I don't think you need to go keto necessarily, although some folks regularly do with good results and everyone seems to respond uniquely to different macro ratios. Unless there is some need to lose weight or to address a specific condition, I think you're fine eating what you're eating.

    I eat fruit, but don't overdo it. Some days I'll go very low carb/keto, others not. For me, varying things keeps my metabolism "honest." I've been at the same weight for about a year (would like to drop 20 more pounds), but people have told me I look much more lean than a year ago, so I think that eating cleanly and getting your workouts can result in positive body recomposition.

    There's a wide variety of opinions on eating fruit, but I say do whatever feels right for you. How is your energy overall with and without fruit, how are your workouts, etc. Just self-monitor. If you're already lean, I don't know that you need to emphasize aiming for a fat-burning metabolism so much as finding what foods are optimal for you. As for carb cravings, I'll let rip with some bad stuff under 80/20, but I start to crave good foods - not out of guilt, just feel the need to get back to them after cake or chips or something.
    Cool thanks a lot for the feedback. Yeah you're right, I must have miscalculated the fat percentage of my macros.

    I'm reluctant to go too low carb as I'm getting mauled by the carb flu as it is. Also, if anything, I want to gain a bit of weight so it sounds like I should stick to my guns. Also tempted to try a bit of intermittent fasting as that sounds fun.

    With the primal approach to food is it necessary to eat directly after a workout? I know the standard advice is to NEVER STOP EATING if you lift weights, but with primal the rules often seem to be different.

    Cheers

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    Just read and follow the PB book and you'll be fine. If you wanna gain weight then yes eat a lot. Nothing really changes there. I lost 15 lbs doing primal...then I purposely put 10lb of lean clean muscle back on....also eating primal, just more of it

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    You can feel better during the carb flu by consuming the following:

    - plentiful salt, lite salt with half and half potassium chloride and sodium choloride is even better
    - magnesium citrate or magnesium malate before bed
    - a little fruit if you feel dizzy or hypoglycemic

    Since you aren't trying to lose weight and probably have no metabolic damage, you don't need ketosis. You can also train your body to be a "fat burning beast" by doing low-level aerobic exercise such as walking, hiking on moderate trails, running extremely slowly. Did I mention "extremely slowly"? Even slower than that. So long as it's excruciatingly slow, it's not chronic cardio.

    If you feel you need more carbs, eat more yams, sweet potatoes and root vegetables.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Highest squat: 167.5 x 2. Current Deadlift: 210 x 3

  8. #8
    otzi's Avatar
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    The Primal biggies are "no refined sugar, grain, or industrial vegetable oils", all the rest is tweaking it to match your needs.

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    Increasing salt intake (using about 1/2 tsp per day) can help with 'carb flu' as what happens is that initial weight loss is water loss and this also means electrolytes.

    What sbhikes said lol

    Has anyone here tried treating carb flu with coconut water?
    Evolutionary. Ideology that fits biology

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    I read on the site today that in order to switch to fat burning mode one needs to go into ketosis which requires dropping below 100g carbs daily (meaning I would have to drop the fruit). But Mark's carb chart suggests that dropping below 100g would result in weight loss (which I'm not interested in). So I'm a bit confused
    I think it was on one of Jimmy Moore's podcasts where I heard Mark asked about his carb curve and ketosis, and if I remember correctly, he basically said that although the < 50g per day region is labeled as "keto", that even the 100-150g 'maintenance' region is still pretty low carb by typical diet standards and low enough that you're still going to be burning enough ketones to be "keto-adapted." However, if you're not keto-adapted to begin with (i.e. carb flu), I suppose you might get there faster by going lower carb for awhile. I think the more important point is eating a lot of healthy fats.

    I'd also say the carb curve is pretty qualitative and just intended as a general guideline. Very low carb doesn't necessarily guarantee weight loss if you are getting enough calories from fat and protein to meet your daily needs.

    The forum posts I was reading made it sound like you HAD to drop to ketosis-level to become fat adapted. That must have been for people who's goals are weight loss. Sounds like I don't have to worry about it.
    There are some arguments suggesting ketone burning is superior to sugar burning for general health and longevity and not just fat loss, and that any spike in blood sugar and insulin is undesirable even if you aren't metabolically compromised. But it depends on which guru you ask and how far you want to push the idea of optimization. I came to this through Nora Gedgaudas who strongly advocates very low carb ketone burning as a long term lifestyle regardless of weight loss goals, so I have generally been avoiding even 'safe starches' as something I'd eat on a regular basis, but I'd say it's probably not something to obsess about (although it might be worth researching the various arguments).

    Also there seems to be a bit of a stigma against fruit here. I eat a portion of berries, an apple and a banana or two with my post workout protein shake on a daily basis, is this OK?
    The problems with sugar are distinct from the potential problems with starch, and modern fruit has been bred to be unnaturally high in sugar. Look for lectures by Robert Lustig and Richard Johnson for details, but basically, fructose is processed by the liver in much the same way as ethanol, with many of the same problems resulting from overconsumption. Berries are usually recommended for being high in antioxidants and relatively low in sugar, but other fruit is probably not a problem if it's eaten sparingly so as not to overwhelm the liver's immediate capacity to process the fructose. If you want to eat two bananas a day, it's probably better to cut them in half and eat a quarter at a time throughout the day instead of all at once. You might consider experimenting with different shake ingredients to try to reduce the sugar content, as it's a great way to squeeze more vegetables into your diet. I started with a lot of fruit like bananas and apples in my shakes and have gradually moved to vegetables and berries, including some sweet vegetables like beets (a little bit goes a long way) and carrots so the taste remains pleasant but not excessively sweet, and is more nutritious overall.

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