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What qualifies as long term low carb?

by (1600)
Updated about 6 hours ago
Created April 06, 2013 at 6:34 AM

SO and I have been experimenting with macros lately. Bringing our carb consumption up to a seemingly reasonable amount. Less than 200g per day for sure and mostly hovering around 150 or so. There have been a few side effects and it just seems really... odd to be adding carbs on purpose to meals. Even more odd to be subtracting fat. In fact it has been hard to even reach 150 carbs. Out of curiosity what qualifies as long term low carb (regarding the side effects that sometimes develop)? Would 100 grams or less be healthy long term without messing with insulin resistance? We would like to avoid the long term effects of super low carb on the body while still staying pretty low carb. Does anyone know where that line is?

*We are trying to cut calories in general and mathematically it seems to be easier by adding some carbs and making the ratios more balanced. In my opinion (grain of salt) it seems that eating tons of calories of any kind will stall weight loss so being conscious of amounts is logical. Fat is 9 calories per gram where as carbs are only 4 so....

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3150 · April 06, 2013 at 3:42 PM

I don't have any interest in arguing, just in depicting the truth :) It wont hurt to provide the article on Mark's Site where the graph came from, he also has in mind the different context that many people can fall in, which I agree again, is really important. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dial-in-your-carb-count/

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc
14877 · April 06, 2013 at 3:31 PM

It just looks like you're agreeing with me not arguing against me. Also yeah the people who work hard in the gym only obviously have 1 of those things covered (not being sedendtary) but could improve food quality and marco nutrient balance.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · April 06, 2013 at 3:23 PM

I think it's pretty obvious that this numbers aren't supposed to go alone but accompanied with protein and fat, that when in high amount and surpassing total maintainance body-weight calories, then can lead to trouble. I agree that overeating & quality is the real issue here. But the hormonal responses to high-carb may be worse when indulging than when low carbs are present, that's the point in the graph I think (and you can or not agree on this, depending on if you believe in the carb hypothesis). And I see folks everyday at the gym that work hard, yet are still fat. I wonder why...

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14877 · April 06, 2013 at 3:01 PM

I don't advocate high carbs but this chart is lame and woefully innacurate. 150-200 grams of carbs is only 600-800 calories. So remind me again, how does 600-800 calories lead to insidious weight gain? Oh right it can't. "Danger zone?" If you do not recognize this as pseudo-science than there is no hope for you. "carbs" generally aren't the issue people! Food quality, sedentary lifestyles, and overeating are. Jesus!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc
14877 · April 06, 2013 at 3:01 PM

I don't advocate high carbs but this chart is lame and woefully innacurate. 150-200 grams of carbs is only 600-800 calories. So remind me again, how does 600-800 calories lead to insidious weight gain? Oh right it can't. "Danger zone?" If you do not recognize this as pseudo-science than there is no hope for you. "carbs" generally aren't the issue people! Food quality, sedentary lifestyles, and overeating are!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc
14877 · April 06, 2013 at 2:59 PM

I don't advocate high carbs but this chart is lame and woefully innacurate. 150-200 grams of carbs is only 600-800 calories. So remind me again, how does 600-800 calories lead to insidious weight gain? Oh right it can't. "Danger zone?" If you do not recognize this as pseudo-science than there is no hope for you.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · April 06, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Pretty sound advice, I follow similar patterns.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · April 06, 2013 at 1:47 PM

I agree that the chart may not suit every single folk and that's why I stated 'if I were to pick' ... because this has worked pretty well with me so I commit to this. But I also have a constant amount of protein (near 140 gr/day) because I workout a lot and a decent amount of fat that fluctuates a little. So then the ammount of carbs plays a great role. Maybe someone who is a fruitarian and eats +300gr a day but almost no protein and fat can stay lean as hell (like durianrider) because of the total lower calorie intake. But for most people, I think that this depicts pretty well the panorama.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab
32518 · April 06, 2013 at 1:35 PM

The chart was designed for "average" adults, not for athletes or teenagers.

A08b210e4da7e69cd792bddc1f4aae4b
1031 · April 06, 2013 at 9:27 AM

"Most people" being who exactly?

5dd50f78f47b8848d93724d6eb38d4c1
887 · April 06, 2013 at 8:45 AM

That chart is why most people consider paleo a comedy of errors based on psuedoscience and woo

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e
1600 · April 06, 2013 at 6:59 AM

Thanks that was actually really helpful!

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · April 06, 2013 at 6:52 AM

Edited and added some more info concerning that, just what I gathered searching the web, I'm no expert on this though, take it with a grain of salt ;)

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e
1600 · April 06, 2013 at 6:46 AM

I kinda dig the chart too but I am somewhat concerned about the effects of long term low carb that are surfacing.

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32518 · April 06, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Everyone's metabolism is so different, I think you will simply need to experiment.

My n=1: I've been eating 50-100 carbs a day for the last 3 years. No problems.

Eating dairy, organ meats and a reasonable amount of seafood gives me the iodine, A & K2, and minerals I need (I also supplement 350 mg Magnesium.)

I suspect that many (if not all) of the folks having trouble with low carb are either eating too few carbs for their specific activity level/metabolism, accidentally restricting calories too much, or missing some vital micronutrients.

Since I do very little highly strenuous exercise, (dance "sprints" once a week, lots of walking/biking, BBS-style workouts every 4 days) I feel fine on this level. 2-3 hour hikes at a comfortable pace, no problem. I can generally go 5-7 hours between meals--longer if necessary.

I definitely feel the effects of low carb-induced insulin resistance at this level, but it really works for me since I no longer want to drink super sweet latt??s anymore!

If I need to carb up for any reason, I do it with rice or potatoes alongside fat & protein to slow the absorption of glucose into my bloodstream. I only do this before a more strenuous hike or longer dance session.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · April 06, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Pretty sound advice, I follow similar patterns.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
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3150 · April 06, 2013 at 6:42 AM

I guess that would depend a lot on the philosophy of a certain crew. For example, I doubt that the Paleo crew or other VLC advocates would understand 'high carb' the same way that could, for instance, the Zone Diet advocates or fruitarians, just to give an example.

It also may depend a lot on the current hormonal status for every certain folk, as everyone of us has a personal metabolic condition that allows for more or less carbs tolerance depending on many things like insulin sensitivity, thyroid function, total fat cells on the body, if you do strenuous exercise or are sedentary, and the list may go on.

If I were to pick a standard, I'd pretty much agree with the following Mark Sisson chart.

what-qualifies-as-long-term-low-carb?

And as for the consequences of a long-term VLC diet, some think that it could lead to a lower thyroid function (it seems that low carb may lower T3), see this article from Dr. Paul Jaminet High LDL on Paleo Revisited: Low Carb & the Thyroid. Others think that this should not be an issue at all, like Dr. Ron Rosedale and Jack Kruse which are VLC advocates. Some people think that a minimum of 60 to 80 gr a day may be the sweet spot to get rid of possible issues due to VLC while keeping reasonably low.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · April 06, 2013 at 3:42 PM

I don't have any interest in arguing, just in depicting the truth :) It wont hurt to provide the article on Mark's Site where the graph came from, he also has in mind the different context that many people can fall in, which I agree again, is really important. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dial-in-your-carb-count/

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc
14877 · April 06, 2013 at 3:31 PM

It just looks like you're agreeing with me not arguing against me. Also yeah the people who work hard in the gym only obviously have 1 of those things covered (not being sedendtary) but could improve food quality and marco nutrient balance.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · April 06, 2013 at 3:23 PM

I think it's pretty obvious that this numbers aren't supposed to go alone but accompanied with protein and fat, that when in high amount and surpassing total maintainance body-weight calories, then can lead to trouble. I agree that overeating & quality is the real issue here. But the hormonal responses to high-carb may be worse when indulging than when low carbs are present, that's the point in the graph I think (and you can or not agree on this, depending on if you believe in the carb hypothesis). And I see folks everyday at the gym that work hard, yet are still fat. I wonder why...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc
14877 · April 06, 2013 at 3:01 PM

I don't advocate high carbs but this chart is lame and woefully innacurate. 150-200 grams of carbs is only 600-800 calories. So remind me again, how does 600-800 calories lead to insidious weight gain? Oh right it can't. "Danger zone?" If you do not recognize this as pseudo-science than there is no hope for you. "carbs" generally aren't the issue people! Food quality, sedentary lifestyles, and overeating are. Jesus!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc
14877 · April 06, 2013 at 3:01 PM

I don't advocate high carbs but this chart is lame and woefully innacurate. 150-200 grams of carbs is only 600-800 calories. So remind me again, how does 600-800 calories lead to insidious weight gain? Oh right it can't. "Danger zone?" If you do not recognize this as pseudo-science than there is no hope for you. "carbs" generally aren't the issue people! Food quality, sedentary lifestyles, and overeating are!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc
14877 · April 06, 2013 at 2:59 PM

I don't advocate high carbs but this chart is lame and woefully innacurate. 150-200 grams of carbs is only 600-800 calories. So remind me again, how does 600-800 calories lead to insidious weight gain? Oh right it can't. "Danger zone?" If you do not recognize this as pseudo-science than there is no hope for you.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · April 06, 2013 at 1:47 PM

I agree that the chart may not suit every single folk and that's why I stated 'if I were to pick' ... because this has worked pretty well with me so I commit to this. But I also have a constant amount of protein (near 140 gr/day) because I workout a lot and a decent amount of fat that fluctuates a little. So then the ammount of carbs plays a great role. Maybe someone who is a fruitarian and eats +300gr a day but almost no protein and fat can stay lean as hell (like durianrider) because of the total lower calorie intake. But for most people, I think that this depicts pretty well the panorama.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab
32518 · April 06, 2013 at 1:35 PM

The chart was designed for "average" adults, not for athletes or teenagers.

A08b210e4da7e69cd792bddc1f4aae4b
1031 · April 06, 2013 at 9:27 AM

"Most people" being who exactly?

5dd50f78f47b8848d93724d6eb38d4c1
887 · April 06, 2013 at 8:45 AM

That chart is why most people consider paleo a comedy of errors based on psuedoscience and woo

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e
1600 · April 06, 2013 at 6:59 AM

Thanks that was actually really helpful!

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · April 06, 2013 at 6:52 AM

Edited and added some more info concerning that, just what I gathered searching the web, I'm no expert on this though, take it with a grain of salt ;)

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e
1600 · April 06, 2013 at 6:46 AM

I kinda dig the chart too but I am somewhat concerned about the effects of long term low carb that are surfacing.

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