7

votes

Primal Blueprint Carbohydrate Curve

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 10, 2012 at 12:18 AM

I can definitely say I'm paleo and not primal, but I found Sisson's Carbohydrate curve interesting. I was wondering what people around here thought about it. Here's the link

Sisson Carb Curve

Just wanted general thoughts. Do any of you follow it? Is it a crock of shit or is it pretty spot on?

0bd9775b305d2a602d496649982bc614

(252)

on January 10, 2012
at 11:32 PM

hahaha thanks- made me laugh +1!

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 10, 2012
at 06:56 PM

I think it's a good starting point for people on the Standard American Diet. Needs tweaking and refining for your personal needs as you get more knowledgeable and have a cleaner diet.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on January 10, 2012
at 05:49 PM

Hey Nance! I must say that my roughly 100 lb weight loss doing VLC with some cheats was relatively effortless. But it did require fashioning a plan to allow for maximum consistent compliance. My body responded very well for a good amount of weight loss. But there are too many people who do not lose, or like myself, plateau out at a way higher weight than should be attainable. When I started adding in some more carbs, I lost a bit more if anything. I went to grad school with a lot of Chinese -- as in foreign students from China. They all ate well more than 150g/day of rice and were thin.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 10, 2012
at 04:27 PM

And to those who can not figure out that its a generalized guideline and not "set points"....well good luck in life! Will the 151st gram send you into insidious weight gain? Or will it be the 126th or the 212th? Get a grip people. No guideline fits 100% of the population, but they are a good place to start and I'd be very willing to contend that this hits the majority of the bell curve.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 10, 2012
at 04:14 PM

Yeah....seems pretty likely that the overall reduced exercise volume and leanings toward strength training could account for it.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 10, 2012
at 04:10 PM

Still, though, I've had pleasing results so it's either a fluke or there's something to it.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 10, 2012
at 04:09 PM

I can't down-vote you, Evelyn! You're a favorite. I guess I have to concede your point, too. I'm probably one who's used "effortless" in comparison to my 50 other eating changes that always made me fit for an asylum other than yours. :-

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 10, 2012
at 04:07 PM

@Melinda, I've had the dry eye problem too--once when I went too low on carbs and when I tried Stevia. The Stevia experiment wrecked me for a week so I shudder when I read glowing endorsements.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 10, 2012
at 02:32 PM

Me neither...I'm with some others that think down votes should be explained in comments so it becomes a teaching moment for both the poster and the voter.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 10, 2012
at 02:00 PM

Why did this get a downvote? I cannot figure out what is remotely controversial about it.

Medium avatar

(1536)

on January 10, 2012
at 03:08 AM

I definitely don't eat crap, but I seem to eat a huge volume. The past year I was focusing on Ultradistance running (26-34 miles). Minus the oatmeal I would eat pre/post run, I ate very primal. Over the past 2-3 weeks I've reverted back to straight paleo and have been lifting weights 3 days a week, rock climbing once a week, doing tabata sprints once a week, and either doing a long hike (2-3 hours) or a 3 mile(ish) run once a week. My weight has been creeping up and my carbs have been always under 200 grams for the most part. Could be muscle gain since I was a scrawny distance runner though

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on January 10, 2012
at 02:26 AM

The idea that eating more than some arbitrary number of carbohydrates per day (Sisson says over 150 I think) will lead to insidious weight gain is ridiculous. There is nothing magic about carbohydrate.

Medium avatar

(1536)

on January 10, 2012
at 02:22 AM

Lol, Apologies for the "foul" language :)

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on January 10, 2012
at 01:11 AM

It has a lot to do with activity, age and individual tolerance for sure. Some people are carb intolerant, some do well with higher amounts. Personally, I do best with specific carbs. I can eat fruit all day, but add any rice (a PHD staple) and a bloat like no one's business.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 10, 2012
at 12:51 AM

I mean, when I had the BF of a competitive athlete I could eat at twice as much food as peers I knew so you have to learn what your curve is. The Sisson curve is a great way to begin experimenting though.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 10, 2012
at 12:50 AM

I agree, Beth, that YMMV. And it's more than just age and activity, too, because despite my age and moderate activity level I seem to have a fairly high metabolism now that I'm off wheat. Some younger and more active women commenting on PH seem to have a more restrictive curve than I do.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 10, 2012
at 12:49 AM

Silly to expect anything to be so one-size-fits-all as to fit both sedentary menopausal women and 20-something triathlete guys. ;)

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10 Answers

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11
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on January 10, 2012
at 12:39 AM

I totally like the concept of the carb curve but question the idea that the actual endpoints of the various sections are absolute. I believe that where you are on the curve largely depends on your activity level. If you're a sedentary menopausal woman, your "primal blueprint maintenance range" is very likely different from a 20-something male who is a triathlete.

60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on January 10, 2012
at 01:11 AM

It has a lot to do with activity, age and individual tolerance for sure. Some people are carb intolerant, some do well with higher amounts. Personally, I do best with specific carbs. I can eat fruit all day, but add any rice (a PHD staple) and a bloat like no one's business.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 10, 2012
at 06:56 PM

I think it's a good starting point for people on the Standard American Diet. Needs tweaking and refining for your personal needs as you get more knowledgeable and have a cleaner diet.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 10, 2012
at 12:49 AM

Silly to expect anything to be so one-size-fits-all as to fit both sedentary menopausal women and 20-something triathlete guys. ;)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 10, 2012
at 12:51 AM

I mean, when I had the BF of a competitive athlete I could eat at twice as much food as peers I knew so you have to learn what your curve is. The Sisson curve is a great way to begin experimenting though.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 10, 2012
at 12:50 AM

I agree, Beth, that YMMV. And it's more than just age and activity, too, because despite my age and moderate activity level I seem to have a fairly high metabolism now that I'm off wheat. Some younger and more active women commenting on PH seem to have a more restrictive curve than I do.

8
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on January 10, 2012
at 01:21 PM

It's a crock. C'mon.

150-300 grams/day ??? Steady, Insidious Weight Gain

The 151st gram of carbs is a running joke on my blog. There are too many black swans swimming around to justify this contention. I think there's quite a few right here at PH.

Whenever I see "effortless" coupled with weight loss I cringe. For most it requires some effort, even if that effort involves sticking to a low carb diet. Mark Sisson has authored too many scientifically inaccurate posts for my taste. Let the downvoting begin ;)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 10, 2012
at 04:10 PM

Still, though, I've had pleasing results so it's either a fluke or there's something to it.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 10, 2012
at 04:09 PM

I can't down-vote you, Evelyn! You're a favorite. I guess I have to concede your point, too. I'm probably one who's used "effortless" in comparison to my 50 other eating changes that always made me fit for an asylum other than yours. :-

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on January 10, 2012
at 05:49 PM

Hey Nance! I must say that my roughly 100 lb weight loss doing VLC with some cheats was relatively effortless. But it did require fashioning a plan to allow for maximum consistent compliance. My body responded very well for a good amount of weight loss. But there are too many people who do not lose, or like myself, plateau out at a way higher weight than should be attainable. When I started adding in some more carbs, I lost a bit more if anything. I went to grad school with a lot of Chinese -- as in foreign students from China. They all ate well more than 150g/day of rice and were thin.

6
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 10, 2012
at 12:31 AM

I've followed the "steady weight loss" curve of 50-100 off and on for 8 months. Since Sept, I've lost 5 inches off my waist so I'm pretty happy with the curve and I'm not sure how many I lost before that but it was more than 4" for sure.

In actual practice, my sweet spot is 60-80g. I don't know yet whether or not that will change as I get closer to my desired weight (at least 8-10 more inches off the waist) but there's been no change at all so far and I'm about halfway now.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that my carb intake has always been about 50% fruit and 50% vegetables. I don't subscribe to the fruit-phobia expressed by many on PH.

5
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 10, 2012
at 01:06 AM

My general thoughts are that it is a useful general outline. I agree with Beth and Nance that each should test what level of carbs works for us to be at (or getting to) a healthy stable weight. For some the sky may be the limit. I shoot for 60gms of "safe" starch and don't count the ones in vegetables as I don't eat too many and have only a small amount of fruit. I'm guessing that I have 60-100 grams of carb a day and I'm still shrinking. Below 50 grams, as per the chart=the accelerated weight loss zone, my eyes become dry and I don't feel as well. Clint, mind your potty mouth, I like my crock pot too much to put anything but meat in it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 10, 2012
at 02:32 PM

Me neither...I'm with some others that think down votes should be explained in comments so it becomes a teaching moment for both the poster and the voter.

Medium avatar

(1536)

on January 10, 2012
at 02:22 AM

Lol, Apologies for the "foul" language :)

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 10, 2012
at 02:00 PM

Why did this get a downvote? I cannot figure out what is remotely controversial about it.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 10, 2012
at 04:07 PM

@Melinda, I've had the dry eye problem too--once when I went too low on carbs and when I tried Stevia. The Stevia experiment wrecked me for a week so I shudder when I read glowing endorsements.

1
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 21, 2012
at 02:21 AM

Is this useful for new paleo users? If not what is a better measurement of how many carbs to eat?

1
00867d0f4235f1ea619a820dc7f28075

on January 10, 2012
at 03:32 PM

I've been following the general principles of the "Curve" and have lost over 50 pounds in the past three months...Eating moderately strict and limiting carb intake. My mom and sister have experienced the same results as well as coworkers that I know are following a carb restrictive diet. I agree that it seems to be a little "cut and dried" but the principles (in my experience) are sound and have delivered the results mentioned...As with everything else it's something that each person has to work through and experiment with on your own. Saying "it's a load of BS" isn't helpful or constructive and is an opinion that many on here (I'd suspect) and thousands on Mark's site would disagree with you on. Disagree if you want but respect the fact that countless people have had success with it and attack the weaknesses of the article (ie, it's cut and dried, people have to experiment on their own, it's different for everyone, etc.) if you like but don't discount the success people have had with it.

Just my thoughts...and testimonial...and opinion...

1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 10, 2012
at 03:00 AM

I would say its bout spot on in my case. Realistically if you are not eating crap good luck eating more than 150 grams of carb/day. Really should be hard to do, but unlike you I would go ahead and call my diet primal. It just is more well defined for how i eat.

Either way if I eat under 100 grams a day I can lose about 2lbs a week. A little more than that and weight loss stops. A lot more than that (which I can only reach that level by going off the reservation) and I could continue to gain. Following these past couple of months worth of holidays that mixed lots of food and booze I'm back to eating clean (50-100g carbs) which will have me dropping 5-8 lbs in a month and back to normal.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 10, 2012
at 04:27 PM

And to those who can not figure out that its a generalized guideline and not "set points"....well good luck in life! Will the 151st gram send you into insidious weight gain? Or will it be the 126th or the 212th? Get a grip people. No guideline fits 100% of the population, but they are a good place to start and I'd be very willing to contend that this hits the majority of the bell curve.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 10, 2012
at 04:14 PM

Yeah....seems pretty likely that the overall reduced exercise volume and leanings toward strength training could account for it.

Medium avatar

(1536)

on January 10, 2012
at 03:08 AM

I definitely don't eat crap, but I seem to eat a huge volume. The past year I was focusing on Ultradistance running (26-34 miles). Minus the oatmeal I would eat pre/post run, I ate very primal. Over the past 2-3 weeks I've reverted back to straight paleo and have been lifting weights 3 days a week, rock climbing once a week, doing tabata sprints once a week, and either doing a long hike (2-3 hours) or a 3 mile(ish) run once a week. My weight has been creeping up and my carbs have been always under 200 grams for the most part. Could be muscle gain since I was a scrawny distance runner though

0
51cc3cc4afbd0407ac565a7780252433

on July 18, 2013
at 03:00 PM

I think it's really helpful to see it set out like that. Of course it may differ from person to person but it's a useful set of measurements for those with quite a bit of weight to lose to experiment around.

Less carb certainly seems to stop people feeling hungry which for most of us is the biggest issue around trying to lose weight.

0
D5c8768927c463b363b109f18b7c16c4

(375)

on January 10, 2012
at 04:05 PM

Well, when you run out of ideas, you make up shit. This is the case with carb curve too.

0bd9775b305d2a602d496649982bc614

(252)

on January 10, 2012
at 11:32 PM

hahaha thanks- made me laugh +1!

0
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on January 10, 2012
at 01:55 PM

Its a load of BS, from the biggest bs'er himself.

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