2

votes

Which is worse, stress or carbs?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 24, 2011 at 7:48 PM

I have found that when I don't worry about what I eat, ratio wise, as long as it is in Paleo guidelines, I feel like I make more progress than when I stress over counting carbs and whatnot. So, which hinders fat burn more? Stressing over what I eat, when I eat, how much I eat, and how much I exercise or eating more carbs (over 50g a day).

As a side note: My ultimate goal is fat loss, but not necessarily weight.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 09:44 PM

No link to paper?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 01:05 PM

To see how might it happen check out http://www.springerlink.com/content/q732223446717617/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 01:04 PM

CHeck also this one: http://www.springerlink.com/content/q732223446717617/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:57 PM

Cliff, this paper measures cortisol in obese subjects - it turns out it is most elevated in high carb low fat diet. See table 3 for cortisol measure.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:51 PM

It isn't necessarily true Nemesis. There are other mechanisms. Who knows what dominates. Cliff, by hyperinsulinemia.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:48 PM

This is what I am talking about - chronic hyperinsulinemic hypoglicemia: http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/75/5/1293.short Guess what rises insulin chronically ...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:33 PM

This one contains some relevant info also: http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/88/8/3554.full

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:30 PM

Exercise is different. Irrelevant. This is relevant: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/002604958190055X http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/content/61/2/214.full

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:29 PM

For instance, on longer low carb diet kidney starts to support gluconeogenesis and it does so better then liver.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:28 PM

cliff, I am aware of such studies, but I am not sure if they are tested for longer low carb folks. It looks like adaptation may change the outcome. Carbs definitely reduce cortisol since it gets elevated with hypoglicemia. All in all, I think isolated carb eating is not a problem, it might get problematic if you base your diet on it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:25 PM

Its not for all people. Hyperinsulinemaia leading to hypoglicemia leads to cortisol increase. Thats the reason for **could be**

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:25 PM

Its not for all people. Hyperinsulinemaia leading to hypoglicemia leads to cortisol increase.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:09 PM

Good points citrus. Ketogenic diets may not be inherently stressful but diets that include carbs are anti stress, so in comparison ketogenic diets are stressful for normal people imo

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:07 PM

How do carbohydrates cause hypoglycemia? What is the mechanism?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:06 PM

Eating carbohydrates with every meal lowers cortisol

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:05 PM

www.springerlink.com/content/g88103256065813n/ "carbohydrate loading increases immersion exercise output with less stress as determined by serum cortisol and urinary chromium losses."

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:02 PM

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0024320587900865 "cortisol concentrations were consistently lower during the high carbohydrate diet than during the high protein diet ?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 11:59 AM

wheres the proof they elevate cortisol?

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on October 25, 2011
at 11:21 AM

Your brain uses carbs to regulate serotonin, a known stress-reducer. http://aya-katz.hubpages.com/hub/Serotonin-and-Carbohydrates

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 09:22 AM

And that is typical for many people - fruit as snack, cereals/bread/pasta/potato/rice for each meal.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 09:21 AM

I mean constantly eating them with every meal and snack.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on October 25, 2011
at 09:12 AM

I think you should define what you mean by chronic CHO.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 08:05 AM

It all depends. Carbs can cause hypoglycemia which IS stress. You feel better because your opiate system starts working.

Af005ec9a8e028f2b04bf5367b64e0d6

(2797)

on October 25, 2011
at 03:37 AM

Good link but I think the best answers in there explain why it's stressful (even if you can make some counterarguments against certain points). Your body is made to readily use carbohydrates (or should be if you do not have various diseases/metabolic problems). It is the default. Ketosis is basically a survival mechanism. Its a real stretch to imagine that it is an optimal way of running an active body. Maybe if you are super sedentary or very overweight it can improve your health. But to say carbs are bad for that reason?? Silly and completely throwing people off about what paleo is about

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:32 AM

well animal studies say otherwise

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on October 25, 2011
at 12:30 AM

Carbs make me crazy, and stressed out...so, again, nice to not generalize.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:34 PM

Some really interesting stuff in terms of "allostatic load" as our set point of chronic daily stress has been researched in terms of neurology and such.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:32 PM

Why do you presuppose carbs are bad at all when most people here think otherwise?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:14 PM

@Ambimorph - Do you ever get the feeling you are having to repeat yourself? :)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 24, 2011
at 10:45 PM

It's news to me. See http://paleohacks.com/questions/25449/why-do-people-consider-ketosis-stressful-to-the-body

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 24, 2011
at 09:32 PM

or OJ, whatever clean sugar you want as long as you get enough nutrients

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on October 24, 2011
at 09:07 PM

Or maybe a pile of mashed sweet potato and a ton of delicious butter.

93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:55 PM

To be more specific: M&M's and milk shakes are your best friend.

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:03 PM

I think the type of stress she is describing is inherently problematic.

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14 Answers

5
2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:33 PM

I would go with stress. First of all I do not think it is fair to label carbs as bad, just like fat is not bad. One macro-nutrient can not be all bad. There are good and bad carbs, just like fat.

Besides that, if you do not have a handle of your stress, your diet won't even matter. For example, you could be eating a perfectly healthy diet, yet still be putting on weight.

Stress and sleep deserve more attention, as in my opinion they are much harder to control than diet.

4
Af005ec9a8e028f2b04bf5367b64e0d6

on October 24, 2011
at 09:14 PM

If you limit carbs (e.g. < 50g / day) that is a stress on your body. I'm guessing from the question that that is news to a lot of people. Paleo does not mean low-carb. Low carb is great for some people who are very overweight and/or have metabolic problems, and some people like it a lot, but carbs are far from inherently harmful. You should eat carbs unless you have a good reason not to. And, on the other side, you should not be stressed unless you have a good reason to be.

Af005ec9a8e028f2b04bf5367b64e0d6

(2797)

on October 25, 2011
at 03:37 AM

Good link but I think the best answers in there explain why it's stressful (even if you can make some counterarguments against certain points). Your body is made to readily use carbohydrates (or should be if you do not have various diseases/metabolic problems). It is the default. Ketosis is basically a survival mechanism. Its a real stretch to imagine that it is an optimal way of running an active body. Maybe if you are super sedentary or very overweight it can improve your health. But to say carbs are bad for that reason?? Silly and completely throwing people off about what paleo is about

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:14 PM

@Ambimorph - Do you ever get the feeling you are having to repeat yourself? :)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 24, 2011
at 10:45 PM

It's news to me. See http://paleohacks.com/questions/25449/why-do-people-consider-ketosis-stressful-to-the-body

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:09 PM

Good points citrus. Ketogenic diets may not be inherently stressful but diets that include carbs are anti stress, so in comparison ketogenic diets are stressful for normal people imo

4
Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

on October 24, 2011
at 08:06 PM

My n=1 is definitely stress. I remember hearing Kurt Harris say somewhere than when his mind is in the right place he thinks could basically eat anything and not gain weight. I know my health problems didn't really start to flare up until I got hit with a bunch of non-health related stressors at once. There's definitely a balance to reach between eating healthy and not stressing a crap ton about eating healthy.

4
4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:02 PM

Stress. .

2
742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:10 PM

Don't stress over eating carbs.

2
8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

on October 24, 2011
at 11:02 PM

Depends on how bad the stress and how bad the carbs...

I wouldn't stress on the carbs unless you are sensitive to them - inflammation and/or weight gain. VLC (less than 50 grams carbs a day), and LC (less than 150 grams carbs a day) are for people who have been unable to achieve their optimum health with higher carbs. They are not for everyone.

I won't deny that there are some carb-sensitive people out there and they have to eat that way but first figure out if you are one of them. Not everybody is an Inuit (Eskimo) or has genes like that!

Some people even need some carbs to burn fat. The hubby and I accidentally started to do LC Paleo (got lazy making starches - was in the middle of winter and less produce anyways where I live) and some days of VLC. My hubby's waist didn't budge until we started increasing to some starches (bananas, tubers, and white rice) with every meal - then he dramatically had weight loss! Now keep in mind when we upped the carbs (20-25% calories from carbs) this is still a lower carb then Standard American Diet! We had both had better performance in the gym as well. You have to experiment and see.

Some people feel good in LC/VLC for a month or two and then start to develop new symptoms - dry mucus organs such as the eye, scurvy (wounds not healing properly, etc.). The Jaminets describe this in the Perfect Health Diet book and blog (I like to call Paleo 3.0).

1
Medium avatar

on October 25, 2011
at 04:43 AM

The comparison of stress and carbs = categorical error of the apples/oranges type.

Bad stress is to be avoided. As defined by Hans Selye and others. "Good stress" is the stuff that leads people to reach beyond their grasp, and thrive in the process.

Oh, and mediocre stress: "...lives of quiet desperation." Advantage: massive support group, known as Society.

1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 24, 2011
at 10:47 PM

Dont stress over the small stuff....and its all small stuff.

1
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:30 PM

Carbs curb stress. So carbs are your best ally in optimal body composition for health.

93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:55 PM

To be more specific: M&M's and milk shakes are your best friend.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:32 AM

well animal studies say otherwise

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on October 25, 2011
at 11:21 AM

Your brain uses carbs to regulate serotonin, a known stress-reducer. http://aya-katz.hubpages.com/hub/Serotonin-and-Carbohydrates

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on October 24, 2011
at 09:07 PM

Or maybe a pile of mashed sweet potato and a ton of delicious butter.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:51 PM

It isn't necessarily true Nemesis. There are other mechanisms. Who knows what dominates. Cliff, by hyperinsulinemia.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on October 25, 2011
at 12:30 AM

Carbs make me crazy, and stressed out...so, again, nice to not generalize.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:07 PM

How do carbohydrates cause hypoglycemia? What is the mechanism?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 24, 2011
at 09:32 PM

or OJ, whatever clean sugar you want as long as you get enough nutrients

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 08:05 AM

It all depends. Carbs can cause hypoglycemia which IS stress. You feel better because your opiate system starts working.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:57 PM

Cliff, this paper measures cortisol in obese subjects - it turns out it is most elevated in high carb low fat diet. See table 3 for cortisol measure.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 09:44 PM

No link to paper?

1
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on October 24, 2011
at 07:57 PM

Neither stress nor carbs are inherently problematic. That said, first, I'd tie the number of carbs you eat to your activity (which could vary day to day). And then second, do whatever you will do regularly ... I like Yoni Freedhoff's idea that you need to live the life you'll love, not the one you'll tolerate.

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:03 PM

I think the type of stress she is describing is inherently problematic.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 08:07 AM

Chronic stress could be as bad as chronic carbs. Both lead to the same output - elevated cortisol, a stress hormone. Acute stress is beneficial as much as acute carbs.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:33 PM

This one contains some relevant info also: http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/88/8/3554.full

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:06 PM

Eating carbohydrates with every meal lowers cortisol

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 01:04 PM

CHeck also this one: http://www.springerlink.com/content/q732223446717617/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:48 PM

This is what I am talking about - chronic hyperinsulinemic hypoglicemia: http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/75/5/1293.short Guess what rises insulin chronically ...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:25 PM

Its not for all people. Hyperinsulinemaia leading to hypoglicemia leads to cortisol increase.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on October 25, 2011
at 09:12 AM

I think you should define what you mean by chronic CHO.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 09:22 AM

And that is typical for many people - fruit as snack, cereals/bread/pasta/potato/rice for each meal.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 01:05 PM

To see how might it happen check out http://www.springerlink.com/content/q732223446717617/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 09:21 AM

I mean constantly eating them with every meal and snack.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:28 PM

cliff, I am aware of such studies, but I am not sure if they are tested for longer low carb folks. It looks like adaptation may change the outcome. Carbs definitely reduce cortisol since it gets elevated with hypoglicemia. All in all, I think isolated carb eating is not a problem, it might get problematic if you base your diet on it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:29 PM

For instance, on longer low carb diet kidney starts to support gluconeogenesis and it does so better then liver.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:02 PM

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0024320587900865 "cortisol concentrations were consistently lower during the high carbohydrate diet than during the high protein diet ?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:25 PM

Its not for all people. Hyperinsulinemaia leading to hypoglicemia leads to cortisol increase. Thats the reason for **could be**

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 11:59 AM

wheres the proof they elevate cortisol?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:05 PM

www.springerlink.com/content/g88103256065813n/ "carbohydrate loading increases immersion exercise output with less stress as determined by serum cortisol and urinary chromium losses."

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 12:30 PM

Exercise is different. Irrelevant. This is relevant: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/002604958190055X http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/content/61/2/214.full

0
Medium avatar

(2301)

on October 25, 2011
at 02:56 AM

I think my body tells me when it wants to eat carbs.. so just listen to yours and don't stress over it too much?

0
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:22 PM

Stress (financial, emotional, etc, not "acute" stress like almost being run over by a car) is pervasive. You wake up with it, live with it, and go to sleep with it. It affects your sex life, your relationships and your entire environment.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:34 PM

Some really interesting stuff in terms of "allostatic load" as our set point of chronic daily stress has been researched in terms of neurology and such.

0
Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on October 24, 2011
at 11:09 PM

Excess stress is beyond what we normally call "toxic." It wrecks lives through and through and impacts everyone you come into contact with.

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