Has anyone found any benefit in terms of bodyfat loss by increasing carbs? I'm talking about increasing them from ketosis levels (-50 g a day) to something like 100 g a day. I know this seems counterintuitive, that if we want to keep losing bodyfat it would make more sense to remain in ketosis and keep the carbs lower. But I guess that's why I'm asking the question; maybe my assumption here is wrong, and upping the carbs has actually helped?
asked byBrad (1982)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on March 31, 2011
at 10:52 PM
It's nice to see several people here like our approach, and that Heather has benefited from it.
The main benefits of slightly higher carb are:
1) It helps partition calories toward muscle and away from fat. So while it doesn't cause weight loss directly, it helps you maintain a more desirable body composition during weight loss. (Hat tip to Travis who mentioned this point.)
2) It avoids invoking the starvation response from a deficit of glucose or protein, which tends to make long-term weight loss more difficult, and can lead to long-term health problems.
So it can be a healthier way to lose weight, but not necessarily a faster way to lose weight.
Note that 100 g/day is still a low-carb diet, in the sense that glucose still has to be manufactured from protein. So blood glucose and insulin levels remain low.
I do recommend intermittent fasting, so that you are in ketosis for part of the day. This helps eliminate the appetite-enhancing effects that higher carb intake can have.
on March 31, 2011
at 06:17 PM
To lose fat you have to burn more fat than you store. People have had success doing this with all kinds of macro nutrient ratios. You have to find what works for you.
For me personally, I lost 60lbs and was becoming muscular on a high carb diet with lots of white bread, beans and rice, but little sugar. I gained fat consistently when I went low-carb paleo.
Over the past few weeks I've been eating more Jaminet PHD with less of an emphasis on fat (which is what they recommend for weight loss). I went from maybe 30-60 carbs a day to 90-120. I don't shy away from fat in meat or to cook with, but I don't go out of my way to eat a certain amount. And when I eat fat as a condiment, like butter on my potatoes, I use modest amounts.
The difference in my hunger and satiety has been dramatic and immediate. I eat 300-600 calories less everyday than when I was trying to get full on fat. I can IF, which was impossible on low-carb for me, and I have the energy to really up my exercise and be successful with my strength training. All of these factors are important for being able to burn more fat than I store. Many people get there on low carb diets. This is what is working for me.
It's still early to tell how successful the change is, but I'm excited to see where I'll be in a couple of months. I can already see the definition in my arms and core coming back.
So you just have to experiment and see.
on March 31, 2011
at 06:29 PM
As far as fat loss goes, the macronutrient ratios are only relevant insofar as they yield a high degree of satiety coupled with a relatively low energy density. If high fat yields high satiety with fewer calories, then it's a good route for someone. Personally, I get fatter if I up my fat intake above what I would naturally add to food. I can easily make 500 calories of butter disappear into my mashed potatoes, but I don't get 500 calories worth of satiety back out of that.
If the central nervous system, red blood cells, kidneys etc. are using 130g or so of glucose a day, then it's really not going to be a problem to eat that amount. On days where you are doing anaerobic activity, you'll likely be able to eat quite a bit more without the possibility of shifting your energy substrate oxidation from fat to glycogen.
In addition to that, low carb tends to be anti-androgenic and catabolic.
on April 01, 2011
at 12:40 AM
I'm in the 150-300 grams per day of carb range nowadays. Caveat: I lift heavy twice per week. I go in fasted on both days. Then after the workout on each day I pound down a full 16 ounces (one full pound) of baked sweet potato and another full pound of lean protein. Essentially NO fat. Then dinner on those days is the same. On other days I am higher fat and lower carbs. The carbs are mostly, if not all, from vegetables rather than starch. Lifters generally just call it "cyclic low carb." just means you are lowish carb on "normal days" and then high carb with low fat on heavy lifting days. One important note, that seems to be slowly gaining in popularity in paleo circles, is that if you DO increase you carbs from say 50/day to something like 200 or 300/day you must reduce reduce your normally higher fat intake. Fat, while healthy and tasty wonderful, is just plain old calorically dense at the end of the day, and you can easily pack in 1000 cals if you don't pay attention.
on March 31, 2011
at 10:08 PM
i would personally recommend cycling: low (or zero if you can tolerate) carb during a period of several days followed by a relatively highish carb intake timed after a heavy workout... or, for unrepentant harboholics, an almost carb only meal (something along the lines of white rice + brown sugar/honey)