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What's the best way to eyeball grams of carbs?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 03, 2011 at 7:35 PM

To keep myself sane and not obsess too much about counting calories, I'm trying to "eyeball" carbs, trying to focus on Mark Sisson's Carbohydrate Curve by staying below 100g/day. So far, I've only come across basic things like:

1 slice bread (20 grams) 1 Tbsp honey/syrup (15 grams) 1 apple (20 grams) etc...

If my diet is basically the same and controlled, this becomes unnecessary. But if I need to vary it a bit (cheat meal, etc.) I'm trying to limit the damage. Anyone have any tips along these lines, including if you've had luck doing so?

This would get more complicated, say, if I wanted to eat a cheeseburger. I know a hamburger is like a big slice of bread (25grams), cheese+ketchup (5 grams). So my cheeseburger maybe has a total of about 30grams of carbs. But that's the general idea. And if I have to guess, I'll over-estimate.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 04, 2011
at 04:39 PM

Ive had to lose a lot of weight too so I know what you are going through. Just remember to drop the mindset of working in absolutes. Used to be that when I messed up, I was totally derailed. Now when I mess up I just blow it off and resume eating properly. You have to break the guilt cycle.

Medium avatar

(154)

on September 04, 2011
at 04:49 AM

Definitely, but if my diet is basically the same, the eyeballing should be easy. I guess this whole question is geared to eating out more than anything. I'm using myfitnesspal.com which is good so far, plus great interface with my Android so easy to log in on the road.

Medium avatar

(154)

on September 04, 2011
at 04:47 AM

Thanks vdh1979...Definitely, at my weight, any change (even going vegan - gag) will work. However, when I get to a point where I'm exercising more and have less to lose, I'll have to tighten it.

Medium avatar

(154)

on September 04, 2011
at 04:46 AM

Thanks Dylan, yeah, using a food diary to get a baseline...then I'll slowly cut the cord and see how I do. If I stick well under 100g a day, then I'll have a good cushion if I underestimate.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on September 04, 2011
at 03:22 AM

I wouldn't worry about carbs in a cheat meal. That meal is supposed to provide reprieve from counting and judgment. Just eat what you want and feel happy and satisfied so you can jump back on plan the next meal.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:31 PM

ALso Fish Oil is very helpful as well...

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:28 PM

Read Taubes Why we get fat. That will help with your weight loss goals. There are lots of improvments to be had by avoiding vegetable oils and proceesed foods.

Medium avatar

(154)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:20 PM

Thanks Eric! For now, I'm doing the 80/20 buy-in to paleo. It will be awhile before I can completely give up things such as beans (I'm middle eastern, so lentils and chickpeas are in my blood, LOL). I'm trying to approach paleo as my ideal template, and as long as I'm losing weight and feeling better in general, I hope that it's enough. Fortunately I don't have any serious health issues except being quite overweight (80lbs) so for now, super-strict paleo will have to wait until I get to a healthier point where I am more consistent in my eating (and exercise) habits.

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4 Answers

best answer

1
6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 03, 2011
at 09:53 PM

I don't really count carbs. However I do stick to foods that are naturally low in carbs such as meats and eggs. I also eat the veggies with the lowest carb counts. Sweet potatoes are the only thing I eat that I limit since they're higher in carbs.

Read Mark Sisson's approved food list and if you follow it, you should be good to go for a while. When you hit weight loss plateaus you will need to eliminate foods like nuts and/or dairy.

Good luck!

Medium avatar

(154)

on September 04, 2011
at 04:47 AM

Thanks vdh1979...Definitely, at my weight, any change (even going vegan - gag) will work. However, when I get to a point where I'm exercising more and have less to lose, I'll have to tighten it.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 04, 2011
at 04:39 PM

Ive had to lose a lot of weight too so I know what you are going through. Just remember to drop the mindset of working in absolutes. Used to be that when I messed up, I was totally derailed. Now when I mess up I just blow it off and resume eating properly. You have to break the guilt cycle.

2
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:10 PM

Welcome to Paleo Hacks.

Bread and grains are not Paleo and a lot of folks avoid them even on a cheat day. However corn and rice are more frequent cheats.

I eat no carbs except vegetables and berries (and sometimes sugar in home made vanilla ice cream for dessert). This should keep you easily in the 100-150 gram range. Lower if you want to do so.

You could count carbs on most days and not count them on a cheat day. Eventually you may want to cheat with items high in fat and low in sugar such as ice cream:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/45846/ice-cream-recipes#axzz1WvEcNYDU

Again Welcome and Best Wishes - Eric

EDIT:

Also if you limit the number of items you cheat with you can more easily track carbs.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:31 PM

ALso Fish Oil is very helpful as well...

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:28 PM

Read Taubes Why we get fat. That will help with your weight loss goals. There are lots of improvments to be had by avoiding vegetable oils and proceesed foods.

Medium avatar

(154)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:20 PM

Thanks Eric! For now, I'm doing the 80/20 buy-in to paleo. It will be awhile before I can completely give up things such as beans (I'm middle eastern, so lentils and chickpeas are in my blood, LOL). I'm trying to approach paleo as my ideal template, and as long as I'm losing weight and feeling better in general, I hope that it's enough. Fortunately I don't have any serious health issues except being quite overweight (80lbs) so for now, super-strict paleo will have to wait until I get to a healthier point where I am more consistent in my eating (and exercise) habits.

1
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on September 04, 2011
at 04:08 AM

While I'm working on losing weight I'm doing a lot of measuring and weighing and recording in Fitday. I don't worry about calories though. Basically I just set myself an upper limit of how many carbs I want to have and eat within that range. Over time though you get a basic feel for what foods fit well into your plan and what don't. Once I get to where I am maintaining my weight I will set a less restrictive limit for myself and eventually I will drop Fitday altogether once I have a good feel for how I am eating. I do think it's helpful at first to have the feedback of making measurements and counting, especially if you are accustomed to eating a very different way. Eventually I am sure I will be able to eyeball it though. It just takes some training.

Medium avatar

(154)

on September 04, 2011
at 04:49 AM

Definitely, but if my diet is basically the same, the eyeballing should be easy. I guess this whole question is geared to eating out more than anything. I'm using myfitnesspal.com which is good so far, plus great interface with my Android so easy to log in on the road.

1
22424c9eef944ade83d4e4ffda907056

(1402)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:47 PM

The best thing I can think of would be to weigh the food (this is probably going to be with your hand and guessing) and compare it to known data for a sample of that food using a food diary (most people use an app for this). It helps if you have a decent idea of what a pound feels like.

Medium avatar

(154)

on September 04, 2011
at 04:46 AM

Thanks Dylan, yeah, using a food diary to get a baseline...then I'll slowly cut the cord and see how I do. If I stick well under 100g a day, then I'll have a good cushion if I underestimate.

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