2

votes

Low Carb frustration

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 26, 2012 at 10:56 PM

I've been eating paleo for a while, and I thought I would try limiting my carbs some since I was becoming a nut and fruit maniac.

SO, now that I've been keeping track of the numbers, I've been finding it really difficult to keep everything under 100 grams/day without going totally nuts. I am not hungry per se, I just feel crazy because I can't stop thinking about food... especially my beloved fruit.

I'm not a meat/egg fiend (although I do like it, I just don't crave it), so possibly I also need to amp that up a bit? I noticed my protein is a little low (about 100 grams/day and I'm a 130 lbs, 5' 7.5" female).

Maybe I just need more carbs to compensate for my physical activity? I workout every day alternating 3 mile runs (3x/wk), kickboxing, elliptical, and light weightlifting.

OR does this just come with the territory and I just have to accept that I will feel a little nuts for the first few days?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 03, 2012
at 12:18 PM

So, logically, if I want to increase my fat calories, I should eat more ice cream?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 28, 2012
at 05:01 AM

ice cream, by percentage of calories, has more fat than carbs. A carb is a carb and nothing else. Durianrider got skinny eating carbs...not ice cream. I agree that sugar is sugar, but sugar and fat is not sugar.

5ca795698083eb1bf18fc3802952e7a3

(10)

on September 28, 2012
at 01:37 AM

I get that 100g is not low. That's just where it's ending up because, until late afternoon I'm at 30ish and then I get these cravings and go nuts.

5ca795698083eb1bf18fc3802952e7a3

(10)

on September 28, 2012
at 01:31 AM

I get that 100g is not low. That's just where it's ending up because, until late afternoon I'm at 30ish and then I get these cravings and go nuts.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 27, 2012
at 06:41 PM

Can I get an exemption to upvote LLM's comment a bunch of times?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:48 PM

I added a space to his answer. It is edited. Feel free to remove your downvote.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:46 PM

As a formerly obese per I will tell you flat out from active experimentation that fructose is fructose and you are craving sweets it doesn't f-ing matter if you are swilling OJ, eating sugar cubes or downing several pounds of fruit. Numbers don't lie and gm of sugar matter. Cravings are absolutely a sign of metabolic inflexibility.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:02 PM

Yeah Jason that was a bit harsh I'm sorry. I knew what you meant but then you threw in that number... if you edit your post I'll remove the downvote (as of now it is impossible until the post is edited in some way).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 27, 2012
at 02:30 PM

^^^ The reason people are obese- they think of carbs and they think processed neolithic crap and not whole foods like fruit and root vegetables.

E6c14efded576a0bea38a2fe2beced6a

(689)

on September 27, 2012
at 01:09 PM

I agree with foreveryoung that giving an actual number is very arbitrary but I agree with the idea that Jason presented that most of us do have a carb threshold when dealing with cravings.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 27, 2012
at 11:30 AM

Ha. I wish I could down vote this 100x. You can't give an arbitrary number and call it low carb. Low carb is relative, and it depends on your body composition, the amount and type of activity/exercise you engage in, and even the type of carb consumed (fruit vs starch).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 27, 2012
at 06:34 AM

Awesome. I've been craving a gallon of chocolate ice cream. Sometimes your body gets confused.

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10 Answers

9
8e798ac91e38294ff6e4b6397eebab2d

(106)

on September 26, 2012
at 11:51 PM

Oh my god, just eat the carbs! Listen to your body, because it's smarter than any dietary dogma.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 27, 2012
at 02:30 PM

^^^ The reason people are obese- they think of carbs and they think processed neolithic crap and not whole foods like fruit and root vegetables.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:46 PM

As a formerly obese per I will tell you flat out from active experimentation that fructose is fructose and you are craving sweets it doesn't f-ing matter if you are swilling OJ, eating sugar cubes or downing several pounds of fruit. Numbers don't lie and gm of sugar matter. Cravings are absolutely a sign of metabolic inflexibility.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 27, 2012
at 06:41 PM

Can I get an exemption to upvote LLM's comment a bunch of times?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 27, 2012
at 06:34 AM

Awesome. I've been craving a gallon of chocolate ice cream. Sometimes your body gets confused.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 28, 2012
at 05:01 AM

ice cream, by percentage of calories, has more fat than carbs. A carb is a carb and nothing else. Durianrider got skinny eating carbs...not ice cream. I agree that sugar is sugar, but sugar and fat is not sugar.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 03, 2012
at 12:18 PM

So, logically, if I want to increase my fat calories, I should eat more ice cream?

2
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:29 PM

I do not think that being physically active requires a large quantity of carbs to be consumed. In fact, if you reduce your heart rate, you can exercise for hours and hours using your body fat for energy rather than stored glycogen. I have been experimenting with this and my sense of energy and well-being has improved even with consuming less than 50g of carbs a day and doing running and biking for 2.5 hours a day at 133 beats per minute heart rate or less. I've even started to lose weight again after half a year of being stalled.

I don't know what the answer is for you. Perhaps you are overtraining and wearing yourself out. Perhaps you are not eating enough fat or enough food in general to support your physical activities. Perhaps you are eating too much protein or carbohydrate to allow for a full transition to fat-adapted exercise. Perhaps making that transition really isn't important for you to achieve the health and fitness you desire. The only thing you can do is experiment and figure it out for yourself.

2
6d080fe822d37abed7bc579b1dadd4ca

on September 27, 2012
at 12:16 AM

Most people find the first few days of low carb the hardest. After a few days to a week your body should start to adapt to eating low carb. By low carb, I mean ~30g or less. Anything more than that and the cravings will probably remain.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 27, 2012
at 11:30 AM

Ha. I wish I could down vote this 100x. You can't give an arbitrary number and call it low carb. Low carb is relative, and it depends on your body composition, the amount and type of activity/exercise you engage in, and even the type of carb consumed (fruit vs starch).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:02 PM

Yeah Jason that was a bit harsh I'm sorry. I knew what you meant but then you threw in that number... if you edit your post I'll remove the downvote (as of now it is impossible until the post is edited in some way).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:48 PM

I added a space to his answer. It is edited. Feel free to remove your downvote.

E6c14efded576a0bea38a2fe2beced6a

(689)

on September 27, 2012
at 01:09 PM

I agree with foreveryoung that giving an actual number is very arbitrary but I agree with the idea that Jason presented that most of us do have a carb threshold when dealing with cravings.

1
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on September 27, 2012
at 11:20 AM

100 grams isn't low.

Keep it as low as possible for the first three weeks to make sure you've adapted.

1
Efd28623add25421afa2884b466163c4

(163)

on September 27, 2012
at 08:02 AM

The typical low carb recommendation is under 50g per day, not 100. You could be eating just enough to not get fully into ketosis, which would explain the cravings. As for protein a good number to shoot for is 0.75 multiplied by your weight. So for you, it would be ~97.5g of protein per day.

If you're still within the first two weeks of the diet then it's expected that you will have trouble. Just make sure to keep your fat intake high and start supplementing sodium after you've reached ketosis.

1
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on September 27, 2012
at 07:01 AM

When you cut carbs you have to replace them with something. That something is fat. If you cut carbs without increasing fat, no wonder youre obsessed with food. You are probably eating too little in terms of calories, too.

People typically feel lousy at first because the diuretic effect of reducing carbs causes depletion of sodium and potassium. Drinking salted broth helps.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 27, 2012
at 06:38 AM

If your goal is long-term health I really would adjust your workouts a bit, give it 30 days at a very low carb level just to get over those cravings and then re-introduce. I do not believe that 30 days will do long-term damage and if those cravings are from metabolic inflexibility the conversion could be very rewarding. That said you need to lower amounts gradually, not crash your diet. You also need to adjust your activity to account for the fact that a major diet change is itself a training stimulus.

1
B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on September 27, 2012
at 03:04 AM

You are very active. Why do you think you need to reduce your carbs further?

Now that I've been Paleo for over a year, I find that when I drop my carbs below about 70 carbs a day, the cravings go away pretty quickly (unlike at the beginning when it took a few weeks). When I hover around 100 grams/day, I start to battle carb cravings and giving into them just makes them worse. If I back off to 50-70 carbs a day, they go away within 2-4 days. I'm sure most people have a magic "go away" point for the crazy carb cravings, too. You may have to experiment for a while.

0
Medium avatar

on September 27, 2012
at 01:20 PM

do you have fruit cravings or "sugar" cravings? most people will tell you that sugar cravings are a symptom of having too little fat

However you said you train "every day" ???? Well, running, kick-boxing, weight lifting... 7 days a week is a lot. That sounds a lot as you might be overtraining and sugar craving a side effect. In any case, I do believe that people heavy into sports do need more carbs than other paleo people.

Personally I have less productive workouts if I go very low-carb. In my case I also believe that working out two days in a row means that the first day you did not work hard enough, unless you are an athlete.

0
2c24b5d535ab1322e037099d023039f4

on September 27, 2012
at 12:04 AM

Yeah I'm about the same weight and height as you...also a woman. I tried to limit the carbs and it just sent me into a bunch of binges. I started upping the carbs a bit (more potatoes, occasional high-fiber tortilla, some fruit, starchy veggies) and already feel LOADS better.

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