14

votes

I feel so confused about carbs...can anyone clarify this controversy for me?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 25, 2012 at 2:39 PM

I'm a pretty avid follower of the paleo blogosphere, and I must admit that I'm feeling very confused these days as to how I should be eating. It seems as if we are moving away from the low-carb paradigm towards one that includes safe starches. I used to hang my hat on the low-carb theories, but now I'm not so sure anymore. I understand that ideal macronutrient ratios really depend on the person, but I'm not sure how to interpret the data in a way that clearly delineates what I should be doing.

Background: I'm a 22 year old female and currently about 20 lb overweight. I was heavy during my childhood and peaked in weight during my high school years. I believe that my weight issues began when I started eating emotionally as a child to deal with my parents' separation. I have dealt with these underlying emotional issues, and I've dropped about 50 lbs since my heaviest. Now I'm just looking to lose the last 20-30 lbs.

I've been slimmer (and nearly at my goal weight) in the past in extreme situations (studying abroad at a high altitude, working on a dairy farm) but anytime I return to a "normal" American lifestyle, I can't seem to maintain that body composition. I am worried that I may have unintentionally starved myself during these periods, especially when I was in South America, had a nasty parasite, and had absolutely no appetite for about a month. Anyway, I digress...

This whole controversy over whether low-carb is good or bad for weight loss is taking a toll, because I'm having a hard time sticking with any sort of protocol. I will commit myself to low-carb then find myself out at a sushi restaurant with friends, justifying white rice and sweet potato, and then suddenly I'm down the rabbit hole and eating cups of pineapple or coconut ice cream by the pint. I definitely have an addictive/compulsive personality, which is how I became overweight/metabolically deranged to begin with, so my first inclination is to really cut out the sugar/carbohydrates. I've had success with it before. I guess my real question is, am I setting myself up for failure? Am I struggling with sugar binging because I was so restrictive in the past? I know I can lose weight with very restrictive low-carb, but I don't want to set myself up for failure in the future if low-carb is going to make my body think it's starving. At the same time, I've heard eliminating carbohydrate can help heal the metabolism and insulin/leptin resistance issues. I just don't know what to do, and I'm finding it paralyzing.

Any insights you have would be extremely appreciated. I'm sure I'm not the only one struggling with this issue.

Ac7edffeaea00e2076762ea16d19c239

(192)

on November 01, 2012
at 07:17 PM

I don't agree with Stefani, every woman is different. I only lose weight on low carb, high fat, med protein and fasting. I fast 18 hours a day and I am a 39 year old female... I have lost 40 pounds when nothing else has worked.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on March 27, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Excellent answer! So simple.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on March 27, 2012
at 07:12 PM

Meditation has really helped me with this aspect of diet; to be able to be quiet and listen to what my body feels like eating. If I do that, I keep it interesting and have less cravings. I also find that like you said, sometimes it's my brain that is hungry (or bored!).

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on March 27, 2012
at 07:06 PM

Huh. I just realized that I do this without meaning to. Eggs or whole yogurt for breakfast, salad and meat for lunch, sweet potato or white rice for dinner. If I ever start with carbs in the morning, it ends up being a high carb day.

A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on March 27, 2012
at 06:19 PM

For me it is 75% ground beef. Yum!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 27, 2012
at 06:08 PM

The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet strikes again!

7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on March 26, 2012
at 01:49 AM

There are two separate issues – diet strategy and diet science. An individual has to follow whatever strategy works best, and when it no longer works find something that does. Just because Taubes’s Insulin Theory may be crayon science, it doesn’t mean that low-carb doesn’t work as strategy. Some people though may run into problems when going too low of carb and some people can do better adding rice and potatoes. Just avoid the foods that cause overeating. Really the main problem is when people get locked into the ideology and continue to follow a strategy that fails them.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 25, 2012
at 09:20 PM

Damm, I am starting to think that I am the only one who enjoys plain, steamed tubers.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 25, 2012
at 06:57 PM

I've lost over 120 lbs eating PHD. My version was certainly lower in cals (hard to lose weight without lower cals) but was not low fat. In 2011, my diet also included weekly cheat meals that were higher in carb. #werealldifferent

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on March 25, 2012
at 06:01 PM

I lost 170 lbs eating low carb so I know it works for me. This past year I've been experimenting with adding "safe" starch and other carbs only to find myself with a new roll of fat around my middle and cravings that seem out of control. I agree with you Joshua that PHD-type eating plans seem best for those who are not seeking significant weigh loss as their primary goal.I know PHD has one flagship weight loss success story so it can be done but he also ate very low fat/calorie. If you prefer carbs to fat and the carbs don't set off cravings it might work well for you but for me it's a no go.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 25, 2012
at 05:18 PM

I think JL needs to decide whether the food is triggering her physiologically or psychologically. If the former, then sure, avoid eating it. But I think it's more often the latter. This is what happens when you're white knuckling your way thru your diet and one "off-plan" meal triggers the "what the eff" response. If eating carbs doesn't cause actual physical symptoms (gastric distress, too high BG levels) and not eating them is stressing you out, I say see if a middle road regarding carbs provides more flexibility. It does for me!

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on March 25, 2012
at 05:17 PM

This is what I'm experimenting with now too. Two meals a day, the first VLC, then eating "normal" portions of carbs as my evening meal. This really, really helps for me as I find carbs very addictive, but if I completely eliminate them I start feeling deprived eventually and will go off the wagon entirely.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 25, 2012
at 05:09 PM

As they say, your mileage may vary, but I'm following a safe-starch approach to weight loss. But definitely second the idea to find out what works for you.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 25, 2012
at 05:06 PM

I'm 66 and have been low carb for almost as long as you've been alive and intend to stay that no matter where others dash off to with their current whims. Just reading your question I would say you've given your own answer. Forget what the theorists say and do what works for you. Quit being an avid follower and follow your own path.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 25, 2012
at 04:33 PM

@Eric, in my experience you're correct. Morning carbs lead to afternoon/evening cravings. Protein/fat in the morning doesn't do that and I can calmly enjoy my carb allowance without having to struggle to control myself.

095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on March 25, 2012
at 04:13 PM

Outstanding answer sir.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:34 PM

EFT works well for cravings and you can do it yourself. www.tapping.com for free how-to videos

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:19 PM

For many people. Once you introduce carbs during the day it can lead to craving carbs. However if you do it this way it can be very good.

1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

(1295)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:14 PM

Why do you say that, Eric?

1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

(1295)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:14 PM

for the record, I did not put in that outside link

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:11 PM

I agree Melissa!

1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

(1295)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:08 PM

yes, I definitely had that experience when I was living in the Amazon for a week. All we ate for 7 days was yucca and plantains. I hated it. Even when it was fried, I found it pretty unpalatable. I didn't feel any binge inclinations then. Hmmmmm.

  • 1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

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15 Answers

19
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:41 PM

The majority of folks that I have seen, in my experience, that advocate a safe-starch diet aren't necessarily looking for weightloss but for a suppression of physical symptoms and discomfort.

Speaking as a recovering food addict, the only way I have been able to lose weight, whilst staying healthy, is via low-carb paleo. I experimented with carbs and some of my old symptoms came back (slow, leaky gut, gas), and more importantly, I couldn't control my binge impulses. On the weight loss front, the results were disasterous.

What works for me will not work for you, but it can provide a framework for you to develop your own self-experimentation. But what you can (and should) walk away from this knowing, is that every person, while being the same species, is shaped by their genetics, their own neurosis, food concepts, gut bacteria, and histamines that control how, why, and what they can eat.

It can be hard being the lone voice in a small room, and the success of higher carb paleos out there is fairly hard to ignore, but you must find your own voice and know what works for you. Otherwise, you are leaving your health in the hands of strangers, even the well-meaning, well-educated strangers here on Paleohacks.

095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on March 25, 2012
at 04:13 PM

Outstanding answer sir.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 25, 2012
at 06:57 PM

I've lost over 120 lbs eating PHD. My version was certainly lower in cals (hard to lose weight without lower cals) but was not low fat. In 2011, my diet also included weekly cheat meals that were higher in carb. #werealldifferent

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 25, 2012
at 05:09 PM

As they say, your mileage may vary, but I'm following a safe-starch approach to weight loss. But definitely second the idea to find out what works for you.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on March 25, 2012
at 06:01 PM

I lost 170 lbs eating low carb so I know it works for me. This past year I've been experimenting with adding "safe" starch and other carbs only to find myself with a new roll of fat around my middle and cravings that seem out of control. I agree with you Joshua that PHD-type eating plans seem best for those who are not seeking significant weigh loss as their primary goal.I know PHD has one flagship weight loss success story so it can be done but he also ate very low fat/calorie. If you prefer carbs to fat and the carbs don't set off cravings it might work well for you but for me it's a no go.

10
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 25, 2012
at 02:58 PM

If a food triggers compulsive eating, you shouldn't eat it. So maybe low-carb works best for you, but if you do eat carbs, I would suggest sticking with the sashimi at the sushi restaurant and limiting yourself severely in terms of carbs to things like PLAIN steamed tubers. Based on my high-carb low-reward paleo experiment, those so suck so bad that you might start to actually even hate carbs.

I know it's often worthless advice since psychologists cost a pretty penny, but if you can, it is worth looking into cognitive behavioral therapy.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:11 PM

I agree Melissa!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:34 PM

EFT works well for cravings and you can do it yourself. www.tapping.com for free how-to videos

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 25, 2012
at 09:20 PM

Damm, I am starting to think that I am the only one who enjoys plain, steamed tubers.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 25, 2012
at 05:18 PM

I think JL needs to decide whether the food is triggering her physiologically or psychologically. If the former, then sure, avoid eating it. But I think it's more often the latter. This is what happens when you're white knuckling your way thru your diet and one "off-plan" meal triggers the "what the eff" response. If eating carbs doesn't cause actual physical symptoms (gastric distress, too high BG levels) and not eating them is stressing you out, I say see if a middle road regarding carbs provides more flexibility. It does for me!

1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

(1295)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:08 PM

yes, I definitely had that experience when I was living in the Amazon for a week. All we ate for 7 days was yucca and plantains. I hated it. Even when it was fried, I found it pretty unpalatable. I didn't feel any binge inclinations then. Hmmmmm.

1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

(1295)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:14 PM

for the record, I did not put in that outside link

6
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 25, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Well, based on the answers so far, I don't know that your confusion will be cleared up at all. To carb or not to carb is a topic that is almost as polarizing as some in the political sphere. Folks on both sides of the argument are passionate and well-meaning. But we're also pretty much engaged in a philosophical (or physiological) tug-of-war.

I suggest you consider splitting the difference. Go lower carb than you would if eating SAD or the USDA food plate, but not so low that you have to fixate on counting carbs religiously or be anxious about the lack of carbs messing up your metabolism.

Eat small amounts of carbs with meals that also include protein and healthy fat to slow absorption and thus avoid any blood glucose spikes (test for these if you like, but only after you have had carb in your diet for a few days).

Eat fewer carbs on days you are less active. Eat more on days you exercise. Stick with whole food sources of carbs: fruits, tubers, and sure, the occasional white rice.

Think about this as something you practice. Barring food sensitivities or similar issues, there's no reason that you can't periodically indulge with your friends. But see if you can approach your diet so that your diet isn't so restrictive that when you do indulge, it's like a dam bursting. A cheat meal won't hurt occasionally ... it's when that cheat meal turns into cheat week or cheat month (or months) that it's a problem.

And remember, you can always adjust. Stressing about it is certainly not going to help, and since PaleoHacks is unlikely to resolve this for you, you're going to have to go with your gut and experiment with what makes the most sense to you. Best of luck!

6
4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on March 25, 2012
at 04:42 PM

i feel like i've been struggling very much with the same issues -- the constant back and forth between various "protocols" and feeling the need to justify and adjust my eating plan based on "evidence." most recently i decided to say: SCREW IT too all of that.

like you, i could stand to lose about 20 lbs, so i've tried the low-carb thing, and eliminating all starchy veg, dairy, and fruit. the only thing that happened on that eating plans, is that i started craving a ridiculous amount of dark chocolate (90% but still, if you eat a half a bar or more a day, that doesn't do you any favors). i noticed that when i introduced "safe starches" a la PHD, those cravings immediately stopped. in either scenario my weight actually stays pretty much exactly the same, except that i hold 2-3 lbs. more of water when i eat the starches. i know this is not "real" weight gain, since i can lose it pretty much on command by going low-carb again.

since i'm an active person (occasional bike commute, 1+ hours each way, cross-fit or weight lifting several times a week, running races fairly regularly on weekends, and generally a lot of walking due to living in NYC), i decided that i need the carbs. more than that though, i decided i need to let go of all the mental energy i put into my eating. therefore, i decided to eat based on what i feel like eating, whether carb or not, assuming that my body knows what it needs. and yes, it annoys me that my weight seems to be staying the same, but in the end i'm healthy, i feel great and my mind isn't so preoccupied with eating.

it feels weird to have whole meals without significant amounts of protein - like lunch today was a baby kale salad with sweet potato, avocado, feta, sundried tomato, and sunflower seeds - but i'm currently going through a phase where my body simply doesn't want a lot of protein and fat. why should i convince myself otherwise simply because i can recite a cases of weight loss that deemed eating plenty of protein as crucial? in the end, i'm the only one who can know what makes me feel good at the moment.

i've been doing so much eating based on external cues (research studies, paleo/primal blogs, other people's weight loss success stories...), but in the end it's about what suits ME. if that means that i have rice crackers or rice noodles and a bunch of fruit, so be it. i think the body should be pretty good at self-regulating. as long as i listen closely to my body, i'll head the right direction, and eventually, my body will reflect that.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on March 27, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Excellent answer! So simple.

6
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:10 PM

What might work for you is no carbs until dinner. Eat a large breakfast and lunch and then for dinner have some carbs.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:19 PM

For many people. Once you introduce carbs during the day it can lead to craving carbs. However if you do it this way it can be very good.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 25, 2012
at 04:33 PM

@Eric, in my experience you're correct. Morning carbs lead to afternoon/evening cravings. Protein/fat in the morning doesn't do that and I can calmly enjoy my carb allowance without having to struggle to control myself.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on March 27, 2012
at 07:06 PM

Huh. I just realized that I do this without meaning to. Eggs or whole yogurt for breakfast, salad and meat for lunch, sweet potato or white rice for dinner. If I ever start with carbs in the morning, it ends up being a high carb day.

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on March 25, 2012
at 05:17 PM

This is what I'm experimenting with now too. Two meals a day, the first VLC, then eating "normal" portions of carbs as my evening meal. This really, really helps for me as I find carbs very addictive, but if I completely eliminate them I start feeling deprived eventually and will go off the wagon entirely.

1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

(1295)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:14 PM

Why do you say that, Eric?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 27, 2012
at 06:08 PM

The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet strikes again!

4
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on March 25, 2012
at 04:25 PM

I will... find myself out at a sushi restaurant with friends, justifying white rice and sweet potato, and then suddenly I'm down the rabbit hole and eating cups of pineapple or coconut ice cream by the pint. I definitely have an addictive/compulsive personality

It doesn't sound like there is low carb controversy so far as your particular case is concerned. If you gain weight and lose the ability to 'intuitively eat' as soon as you eat any carbs, even 'safe' ones, then you would be better off not eating them. If you could eat just as much white rice/sweet potato as you felt like and then stop then there might be some controversy, but not if it automatically leads to pints of ice cream. Similarly, safe starches might be perfectly satiating if you just eat plain potatos or white rice all day long and so lose interest in eating, but otherwise it may not.

If you think that low carb will lead to bad metabolic effects then I would suggest finding the smallest amount of carbohydrate you can without leading to a landslide of sugar consumption and make it easy on yourself by eating bland carbohydrates possibly from lots of vegetables and eating your carbohydrate after exercise or fasting and with some protein.

3
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 25, 2012
at 04:41 PM

What worked for me has varied over time. During the first few months, I ate high protein/fat and low carb. Once I was better nourished, I gradually reduced protein/fat and increased carbs. Nowadays, if you look at total food volume I'm eating about 75% plants and 25% meat. Nutrient density is closer to 50/50 most weeks--on a day-to-day basis that varies widely.

Another evolution has been the breakdown of red meat vs. fish/shellfish; as I became better nourished and healthier my appetite for salmon/sardines/shellfish increased markedly.

I don't "need" a large leafy salad every day anymore but I'm hungry for it 2-3 days per week.

The bottom line for me is don't eat until you're hungry (stomach/gut, not brain) and eat whatever you're hungry for. Doing that definitely causes me to eat less overall but it also causes great variety from day to day and week to week.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on March 27, 2012
at 07:12 PM

Meditation has really helped me with this aspect of diet; to be able to be quiet and listen to what my body feels like eating. If I do that, I keep it interesting and have less cravings. I also find that like you said, sometimes it's my brain that is hungry (or bored!).

3
Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

on March 25, 2012
at 03:40 PM

Like so many other things with diet, the amount of carbohydrate one should eat will vary from person to person. It sounds like low-ish carb might be a good approach for you, to help you get some cravings under control, but low-carb isn't necessarily the answer for everyone. Someone who's very active will likely do better with some starchy carbs, at least on workout days. Diane Sanfilippo (Balanced Bites) has a "21-Day Sugar Detox" that focuses on limiting certain foods for 3 weeks to get those cravings under control. I'll be trying it out soon, as I still battle a sweet tooth at times, and one little slip can easily send me sliding down the slope... one thing that does help me is to eat some fatty foods when I have those cravings - bacon, avocado/guacamole, or something like that.

A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on March 27, 2012
at 06:19 PM

For me it is 75% ground beef. Yum!

2
B4661e44912c6f7c5eb26f36d15dd604

on March 25, 2012
at 03:18 PM

A lot of more mainstream researchers ect. are coming around to the low carb for weight loss idea so I'd say that it's probably true.

However low carbs for optimal health is less convincing. I'd pay closer attention to the glycemic load of the meals/snacks you eat that way you can control the insulin exposure of your fat cells without going too low on the carbs.

1
Ed2157b3a5560af0f2c507c8fc4f5a2a

on March 28, 2012
at 04:31 PM

This may be coming a little late, but based on my experimentation with both Paleo and Primal diets, I say you might have more successes going Primal.

Primal is essentially very close to Paleo in terms of low carb and a significant protein intake with lots of veggies, but the difference is that you partake in saturated fats, as well as other fats, which keep you full and VERY satisfied.

I'm working more so on going as close to Primal as possible.

This may help.

Check out more info HERE:

http://www.marksdailyapple.com

1
F80aaa96354eb749a8a5efdda3feba7d

on March 25, 2012
at 07:41 PM

I don't think your problem is to eat them or not but more so to not have such an all or nothing mentality. I know this from experience. Low Carb will help you lose weight. No doubt. Our bodies just don't need the carbs given we're healthy other ways. But it's OK to eat a few safe starches every once in awhile especially when we're socializing g. Ot because our body needs them but because physiologically you need them to feel normal. And that is OK! It's when you go home and binge because your so upset so you figure what does it matter anyway.

I always say there are two ways to live your life. First you could be in a 30 day detox so things like sweet potatoes and fruit are very sparse and rice non existent. Remember this way of life is more of a short burst of health. Or you live the 80/20 life because face it we're human and need to enjoy life. And if rice and sweet potatoes are your 20 then I say you're on the right track.

  • sent from phone sorry for silly mistakes.

0
B3a6def88179da51602547b32268264d

on November 01, 2012
at 06:11 PM

Low carb is significantly more effective for men than it is for women. As a woman, your biological need for carbohydrate is greater than men's and you will not see the same rapid and easy weight loss a man does simply by going low carb. Check out Stefani Ruper's woman-targeted advice here: http://www.paleoforwomen.com/carbohydrates-for-fertility-and-health/

Personally I don't low-carb, but the bulk of my carbs do come from vegetables. But because I know my body needs starches, I aim to eat a decent portion of safe starches (potatoes, sweet potatoes, white rice) about once a week, and usually end up eating some about 2-3 times in the week just before my period. I don't do this religiously, it's just what feels right/works for me.

Ac7edffeaea00e2076762ea16d19c239

(192)

on November 01, 2012
at 07:17 PM

I don't agree with Stefani, every woman is different. I only lose weight on low carb, high fat, med protein and fasting. I fast 18 hours a day and I am a 39 year old female... I have lost 40 pounds when nothing else has worked.

0
F524eaa9d58e5cd2d2368ff7bfffda9c

(480)

on March 28, 2012
at 03:47 PM

It would be wise of you to resolve your emotional/mental issues surrounding food rather than continuing to stress on the amount of carbohydrates you are eating. You will be healthier in the long run.

0
A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on March 27, 2012
at 06:17 PM

I had to double check to make sure I hadn't posted this question myself and just forgotten! I also have been dabbling with more carbs lately and “fell down the rabbit hole”. I find certain carbs make me yearn uncontrollably for junk food. Perhaps the relationship with carbohydrates can best be likened to alcohol. Most people tolerate a certain amount just fine; others get drunk and pee in the closet. Are some of us are just “carboholics” and will forever need to avoid them for better or worse? Of course it is much easier to avoid booze, carbs are everywhere! I do not think avoiding carbs makes you binge on them later; anymore then avoiding alcohol would make you binge on it later.

My question would be “why carbs?” Does it make you feel better to consume them? Do they lend something to your health goals? If not, ditch them!

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