2

votes

Carbohydrate Guilt

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 04, 2012 at 10:55 PM

I've been Paleo for about 2 1/2 months and it's going great. My carbs come in around 40-70 grams everyday, usually on the lower end of the scale.

My issue is I oftentimes will feel very guilty if my carbs creep up over 50 or so. As an example, tonight after dinner I had 3/4 of a cup of blueberries and a cup of strawberries for a total of about 30 carbs. Total carb intake for today was 35.

Now, as I sit here, I feel guilty thinking how much more weight I might have lost if I had just resisted the fruit and called it a night.

Is this a common feeling for folks, or am I getting a little to militant with trying to lose weight?

Cf4e7d927a48582cc22adbe59bfd0b2d

(753)

on July 10, 2012
at 06:30 AM

I'm not understanding what I said that was nonsense? I simply noted that Shari said that it didn't make sense how someone could lose weight on such-and-such carb intake, and that it only worked on LOWER intake. Which is thereby making the same blanket statement. I was pointing out that weight loss is different or everyone, and so is the macro nutrient threshold.

D8763e93652ca9436bfd25e6b5e311a1

(290)

on July 06, 2012
at 03:11 PM

Definitely. I know it does for me.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on July 06, 2012
at 02:24 AM

This feeding was so preposterous that I barely ate anything but a lb of beef all day today.

61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on July 05, 2012
at 11:02 AM

Can't stress on how true this is. Great post. This one should be at the top. Sadly one man one vote.

C4a0c9f9a748f1d3354055bc6d020c7e

(298)

on July 05, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Stressing about it will probably make it take longer.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 05, 2012
at 02:25 AM

We need a special badge for this.

F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on July 05, 2012
at 02:10 AM

You get the Carb Eating Award for today.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on July 05, 2012
at 01:07 AM

very true...+1,000,000

6bce08b072e3cea49b292658b9d5d197

(1144)

on July 05, 2012
at 12:07 AM

Great point, Christopher. I think frustration is the better word to use. Frustrated that I let myself get 30 pounds overweight and now want to get back where I should be. I started eating paleo about 2 1/2 months ago and have lost 20 pounds, so I know it's working and I'm doing well; just frustrated I suppose.

1407bd6152d9fdbc239250385159fea1

on July 05, 2012
at 12:01 AM

He's pulling the number's from Mark Sisson's recommendations. That said, it doesn't matter the amount of carbohydrate consumed in a day for weight loss--energy balance governs. There is no evil insulin; there is no metabolic advantage. Kenzie, that's nonsense. It's fully possible to lose weight on ANY intake level of carbohydrate. Though it means nothing to the population as a whole, I too can state my personal numbers to make a point: Just finished a 365g carb day and approaching single digit body fat percentage. But oh god, how my liver will weep in agony and insulin will smite me. Rant over

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on July 05, 2012
at 12:00 AM

I tend to agree - especially during the summer when fruit is abundant and in-season.

Cf4e7d927a48582cc22adbe59bfd0b2d

(753)

on July 04, 2012
at 11:51 PM

You're also doing the same thing^. It is possible for many people to lose weight at around 60-80 a day. I do. But for some, such as yourself, it's not.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 04, 2012
at 11:35 PM

Alvaro where do you get those numbers from? I can't lose on more than about 25g a day and to maintain I need to stay in the 70-80g range/day. Are you saying YOU can lose weight as long as you stay under 100g a day and YOU can take it up to 150g a day or that everyone can? Or what? Seems like you're making promises you absolutely cannot keep unless you are only talking about your own body.

Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 04, 2012
at 11:28 PM

Well said McSlothy

Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 04, 2012
at 11:27 PM

How much weight do you want to lose ? Once you are happy with your weight, you could take it up to 150 gr. a day, if your goal is to lose weight stay below 100 gr. You are doing great, keep it up!

80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on July 04, 2012
at 11:17 PM

40-70 is fine. Don't sweat it. You don't eat so many berries every day, so let it go. Guilt isn't the point here. Just eat sensibly the rest of the day and then start back up tomorrow. Forgive your self, love yourself, and leave your obsessions about food behind you. ;)

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8 Answers

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12
A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on July 05, 2012
at 12:00 AM

You ask a good question that deserves contemplation. Guilt is definitely a terribly common emotion about food, but I like to challenge it whenever it surfaces because I find it mostly destructive.

I'm interested to know if you truly feel guilt or something else. I feel guilt works best when it prevents us from doing something unethical or harmful to others, and seems less helpful in controlling our behavior when it concerns only ourselves.

I've repeated this refrain before, but we don't owe our dietary fidelity to anyone else (excepting during pregnancy/nursing, perhaps), so guilt doesn't seem the best tool for behavioral modification in terms of diet. Like most people, I do experience moments of guilt when I choose foods I find less ethical, whether from an environmental/sustainable point of view, or animal/human welfare. Having said all that, I recognize the impact of having our goals frustrated, and that's the emotion--frustration--that I experience, not guilt.

I realize this musing doesn't really help you control your eating behavior, but feel strongly that the kind of self-talk we do around food can reinforce negative emotions instead of diminishing them, and can lead to some obsessive thinking that doesn't seem helpful. This is something I'd like to see us challenge more often. (The same goes for the use of the term "cheat" regarding food.)

Even at 70 grams, your carbs seem pretty low, and if I understood correctly, they typically come from nutrient rich berries whose carbohydrate content includes fiber. I don't believe most people will get or stay fat on berries, and every vegetable or fruit one eats contains carbohydrates--even if mostly fiber. If eating some berries helps keep you sane, and prevents you from indulging in candy and other refined, nutrient-depleted foods, the overall benefit might outweigh the benefit of a faster weight loss. As usual, no black and white answer/solution exists, only shades of grey.

6bce08b072e3cea49b292658b9d5d197

(1144)

on July 05, 2012
at 12:07 AM

Great point, Christopher. I think frustration is the better word to use. Frustrated that I let myself get 30 pounds overweight and now want to get back where I should be. I started eating paleo about 2 1/2 months ago and have lost 20 pounds, so I know it's working and I'm doing well; just frustrated I suppose.

61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on July 05, 2012
at 11:02 AM

Can't stress on how true this is. Great post. This one should be at the top. Sadly one man one vote.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on July 05, 2012
at 01:07 AM

very true...+1,000,000

22
D8763e93652ca9436bfd25e6b5e311a1

on July 04, 2012
at 11:17 PM

Most important thing I've learned: The weight will come off when it comes off. Stressing won't get you there any faster. Just keep doing what works and for god's sake, enjoy some blueberries.

Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 04, 2012
at 11:28 PM

Well said McSlothy

C4a0c9f9a748f1d3354055bc6d020c7e

(298)

on July 05, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Stressing about it will probably make it take longer.

D8763e93652ca9436bfd25e6b5e311a1

(290)

on July 06, 2012
at 03:11 PM

Definitely. I know it does for me.

20
1407bd6152d9fdbc239250385159fea1

on July 04, 2012
at 11:56 PM

Not to be offensive, but this is absolutely nonsensical. Carbohydrates are not equivalent to tiny body fat-carrying boogiemen out to sabotage your fat loss. 40-70 grams/day is already very low, so please, for the sake of all things good and holy, don't beat yourself up over some damn berries.

15
Bb1ba0d71083ceaecd3a3b405a977454

on July 04, 2012
at 11:44 PM

I know others may disagree, but I never, ever, feel guilt when I eat whole, real food like you did today. Eating berries (or any other real food containing carbohydrate) should make you feel nothing but a healthy sense of enjoyment. Carbs from whole, real food is not the enemy.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on July 05, 2012
at 12:00 AM

I tend to agree - especially during the summer when fruit is abundant and in-season.

5
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on July 05, 2012
at 01:31 AM

Christopher has a good point and I think your post deserves more than a knee-jerk "screw low carb" response.

I have found in my life that I've always carried guilt over some kind of forbidden food. As a kid it was guilt over the third cookie (because I was only ever allowed to have two cookies.) When low fat became the rage, I felt guilty to eat any fat. I felt guilt-free to shovel tons of fat-free cheese down my gullet! When I decided to just not eat after 6pm, anything after that time gave me guilt but nothing before did. When I went vegetarian, if I ate something that had a ham bone in it I felt guilt but I never felt guilty to eat twinkies. When I went low carb, the guilt came up with wholesome foods like berries.

My advice to you is to just stay the course. If what you are doing is working, just keep doing it. Recognize the guilt when it comes up and then let it go. Eventually this way of eating DOES heal your relationship to food. It heals the body. Your guilt will lessen. You'll eventually see that your body is more flexible than it used to be and you'll be able to not worry so much about the carbs because they will no longer have control over you or harm you. You may choose to continue to stay away from them (as I have chosen) or you may choose to eat more carbs, but you won't have to feel so vigilant or guilt-ridden about it either way.

2
5f3e1f803d7a9b8704bb11cda26bcf9a

on July 05, 2012
at 01:02 AM

Check out the book Diet 101 by Jenny Ruhl. Only you can find your personal best level of carbs (and type of carbs) for weight loss and this book really helps especially if you are in any way insulin resistant or have metabolic issues (and if you spent a good part of your life eating SAD, you may very well be) She recommends testing your blood sugar levels and see how different carbs affect you. You will be different than anyone else here giving advice. Once you get this information, you can plan out your weight loss without guessing. It is working for me, and I have been unable to lose weight, even though strict Paleo for over a year. Now the weight is coming off and I feel like I am in control because I know my body better. Then you can throw the guilt out the door. :)

1
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on July 05, 2012
at 01:16 AM

Today I ate almost 1000 grams of carbs. All paleo. All post workout and within an 8 hr feeding window, it was most glorious. FAntastic. Orgasmic even. Happy 4th of JulY=y!

F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on July 05, 2012
at 02:10 AM

You get the Carb Eating Award for today.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 05, 2012
at 02:25 AM

We need a special badge for this.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on July 06, 2012
at 02:24 AM

This feeding was so preposterous that I barely ate anything but a lb of beef all day today.

0
4eb67cdd9ea0ab45ee9a8f74ce6ae66c

(144)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:43 AM

I've maintained the same weight for a while already, along with a 250g carb intake (however, my fat intake is only about 50g). Whatever I eat, I sweat off. Do not stress over it, just enjoy every meal :)

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