Many posters here are high fat, anti carbers. For a long time, I understood this. I have read the Kruse books, Ketosis books, "Good Calories" etc. I understand the science behind it and it makes total sense to me. My sister is Diabetic (juvenile onset, not due to diet or obesity) and I have been preaching this to her for a long time.
My question is this: has anyone gone from VLC/LC to a Mod. Carb diet and felt great? I am quite active. I train 5x per week in the gym and ski or do something active once a week. I was VLC for a while, and gaining weight/super stressed/falling asleep at any time except when I needed to be be sleeping.
This week I had 2 white potatoes and one sweet potato (3 meals on 3 different days) and I feel great. I am no longer so stressed or tired, I have lost 3lbs of inflammation I had been carrying in my back, despite knowing that carbs hold 3g of water per gram. This has also happened in the past where I have done "off diet" for a week or so and felt amazing.
I'm not saying everyone should eat a potato, but if you feel kinda crappy or aren't seeing the results others have from VLC maybe give it a shot. If you don't have insulin problems (I was a fitness competitor for years, so the body was used to eating sweet potatoes and buckwheat, because I am Celiac and can't have oats) there shouldn't be a problem with having an apple or a potato with lunch/dinner.
I have been Paleo for a year and a half and have experimented with every different ratio you can imagine. All in all, I feel best with about this ratio 170g protein, 70-80g fat, 80g carbohydrates, on training days. I am 5'9 and weight 136lbs (female).
My answer is based on something that I've always had a hunch about, but didn't fully come to grips with until paleo released me from the clutches of the toxic food environment in which I've lived my entire life. And that is this: my body and brain actually can effectively communicate my needs to my consciousness--if only I can hear it.
I was doing pretty low-carb at first, which turned out to be a great kick-start in this process. I lost a sh*tload of weight quite fast, and felt terrific.
Then one day (just last Tuesday) a meal very much like many others I'd been eating resulted in some rather unpleasant stomach/GI distress. Suddenly, I had a strong desire to fast for about 12-16 hours (intermittent fasting!), and when my appetite returned, I mainly wanted something starchy.
I followed my "gut" and ate some white rice, along with raw fish--sushi. For three days I ate rice and fish (raw and cooked). Beef sounded dreadful. And my GI distress resolved. Furthermore, I lost 2 lbs during this period. Then the rice craving continued, but instead of fish, I wanted a spicy lamb curry, with tangy yogurt. I've been eating that for two days now.
As of today, I sort of feel like I've had my fill of rice. I'm starting to daydream about a simple steak and some good braised collards or kale--that might be nice Sunday night dinner. Maybe even a sweet potato--haven't had one in a long time, and it really sounds good.
A couple weeks ago, I couldn't seem to get enough eggs--I was making eggs with various meats/fish, greens, and gobs of hollandaise sauce (more eggs--plus grass-fed butter!) every day for a week. I'm a hollandaise-making machine now--I can practically make it my sleep! Then suddenly, that desire disappeared and I haven't wanted eggs or hollandaise since.
I suppose my point is that when I'm listening to what my body wants, and then I provide it (within reason), I tend to feel better. I'm pretty dismissive of any sort of dogmatic reasoning, whether it be religious or dietary. But I'm rather a believer in listening to the signals my body sends me, and when I do that, I generally feel better. (Thankfully my body has NOT sent me signals telling me to eat wheat/pasta/sugar--and if it does, I'll try to channel that into healthier choices.)
This all makes sense to me, because it's doubtful that early humans had a reliable enough food supply that they could eat a "balanced" or predictable diet most of the time. There must have been frequent fluctuations and cycling in what foods were available. These berries are ripe now--let's eat as many as we can get! There goes a buffalo--let's eat meat for a few days. Look--a nest full of eggs--guess what's for dinner! When I'm foraging at my local food co-op, if something seems especially appealing, and it's not full of post-industrial, processed awfulness, I go for it. The other day it was kumquats and blood oranges (it's the season for exotic citrus!). I find the cycling of food cravings to be a pretty rational idea, and when those cravings aren't manipulated and deranged by processed food madness, I find them to be pretty reliable.
We're so conditioned by our food environment to expect the same foods and same tastes all the time, to be able to plan a predictable quotidian diet. It's easy for us to translate this mindset into paleo eating as well. We trade the predictable dosing of processed industrial foods for the same predictable dosing of paleo foods. But food was never terribly predictable for most of us until relatively recently. I love that truly good chefs create menus around what's in season. It's not only the freshest food, but it also recognizes that natural food comes in cycles.
The details of your question suggest perhaps your body wants your macro-nutrient ratios to fluctuate from time to time. Maybe it wants the carbs, and perhaps the extra potassium too, or something else. Maybe your gut microbes want the sugar. Who knows? I say, if potatoes are making you feel good right now, eat them without compunction, or even with wild abandon (and perhaps abundant sour cream and butter!). And remain open to the idea that next week those potatoes may sound terrible, and you might want/need something else entirely.
I'd agree with Chris. Though it is a complex thing to figure out, cravings do exist for a reason, and it's good to figure out how to listen to them in healthy and balanced ways. For example, when I crave ice cream (it's a weakness, I admit), I instead go for full fat Greek yogurt and maybe some nuts or berries mixed in. It turns out I'm usually craving fat, and the nutrients found in dairy.
It's also crucial to remember that each person is unique in their needs. My mate is also paleo, but I need more carbs in my diet than she does in order to feel my best -- and I know this even while still trying out different ratios. So, if you need moderate carbs, okay. Just continue working toward being healthy.
Last, just because it comes to mind. The body has different cycles of hormones and everything else. Perhaps at different points you need more carbs, and at other points more protein.
Good luck, and well done on your successes.
Bad Mood on Paleo Diet: Hack It 13 Answers
Final Carb Back-Loading question! 0 Answers
Big guy eating too little? 1 Answer