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Scaling up carbs

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  • Scaling up carbs

    I'm currently trying to stay very low carb for a month with no fruits, nuts or carby vegetables, and now I'm thinking about dropping butter for the rest of the month, too. Just an experiment to see what it does for my body fat.
    When my body gets to the point where I want to maintain, I'd like to be able to enjoy fruit and sweet potatoes a few times a week. What I'm wondering is what will happen if I go from vlc (I think I'm probably around 20 a day, not really counting because my only vegetables atm are leafy greens) to eating berries/apples/sweet potatoes/what have you. Will this cause my bodyfat to increase, or will I be okay if I keep my calories reasonable and don't get too crazy with the carbs? I know this probably sounds like I'm overthinking it, but if my bodyfat does decrease, I don't want all my work to go down the drain. Should I slowly start increasing carbs week by week, like starting with a turnip or whatever and then working my way up to fruit?
    I don't think I have a problem with carb-intolerance, because I was able to have those days where I ate MASSIVE amounts of sugar and other nutritionally-useless food and not gain weight, but I'm just wondering if things will be the same if my body gets used to not having very many carbs.

    Thanks for reading my paranoid query, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    I'm also vlc at the moment. My understanding is that low carb will only help you decrease calories without feeling deprived. Remember, you still need a calorie deficit to lose body fat.

    It depends on how the higher carbs affect your appetite. If they cause you to start eating more calories than you need, then best to keep them low. I get carb cravings from eating carbs, so I need to keep mine lowish. You'll just have to see how you feel. Everyone is different.
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    • #3
      I was wondering the same thing. I'm looking forward to being in maintenance so I can eat fruit and berries. According to the book, 150g of carbs is easy maintenance. Going from 20 to 150 sounds like a real treat. But I'm reading Why we Get Fat and it says that some people are just more sensitive to carbs and they can never eat any without gaining weight. So I'm guessing we each have to test our limits. But I only plan on testing once I'm in maintenance. I'm staying vlc until I lose all the weight first.


      • #4
        I wouldn't think you'd start gaining weight specefically by going from 20 to 100-150grams of carbs per day, but of course it depends on how many calories you're taking in from other sources.


        • #5
          You should switch up your diet and find out what works... ? "Maintenance" should be everyday, regardless of how much you weigh. Eat real food, and only eat fruit every other day or so. After a jog, moving boxes, playing with your kids, lifting, or sex, eat a sweet potato. If you feel like you're depriving yourself, it's not really a proper way to live, yeah? Buttery carrots? Fuck yeah! Have some turnips.

          Just be aware of what food does. For instance, lets eat some cottage cheese. Not incredibly high in micro-nutrients, but a decent amount of protein and fat. More protein than fat though, and it causes an increased insulin response, being dairy. Now we should eat veggies (micro-nutrients), up fat (dull insulin response), and ideally cause muscle damage (exercise) so that protein gets some use.

          Carbs above 150 causes too much of an insulin response to be manageable with fat, and takes the place of real food you could be eating. Carbs below that can be handled just fine, the details of which you have to determine with trial and error.


          • #6
            When you're transitioning to higher carb levels, my advice (based on personal experience) is to do it the Atkins way--go up slowly with specific foods each time to see how well you do with them. Some people can tolerate some things; others not. Just pick the carbs you want to add, and add them one at a time--not all at once. I'd never go from 20g to 100g at one time. I'd add carbs in 10-20g increments, maintaining each level for at least a week, preferably two.

            For example, if you want to add fruit a couple of days a week, so that for about two weeks and see how your respond. Then you might want to add nuts OR sweet potatoes, etc. Keep in mind that if you keep adding carbs to your regular menu, you're adding calories, too, so you should monitor your weight during this process to insure that you are not going beyond maintenance level to calorie excess.


            • #7
              I think this is EXTREMELY personal. And it depends on your body in this moment as well. If you've read any of Rivvin's posts, he's a great example. I believe he went quite low carb for a while and lost LOTS of weight, felt great, became very active and once he was at his goal weight for a while tried adding in starchy veg and higher carb fruits and feels amazing doing so.

              There is definately an emotional/mental/how-does-my-body-react-to-eating-carbs issue as well. Some of us (ahem--me) tend to go hog-wild if we are eating carbs in the form of starchy veg or carby fruits (sweet potatoes, bananas, etc). There are all sorts of reasons this happens, but I think it is very dependent on *you*. You really can't know until you try it. Self experimentation (IMO) is the best and simplest way to figure out what does and does not work for you atm. And things can always change...

              Also, I would say to anyone trying vlc, to make sure to eat lots of good fats and get in some good organ meats if you're not eating lots of nutrient dense veggies. Just my .02!
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              • #8
                Thank you all for the helpful responses!
                I'll try slowly upping carbs and see what happens over the next month. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to reply.