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Do Carbohydrates Ever AID weight loss?

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  • Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
    The whole thing is pretty complex. You can't insist that active people can get away with unlimited carbs. Fat former thru-hikers are a dime a dozen, even ones who dehydrated their own meals. Most of you seem to want a one-size fits all answer. I don't think there is one.
    I don't get the sense that anyone's arguing for unlimited carbs. As I recall, Choco says he averages around 150g but that varies by day because of refeeds. I'm somewhere in the 100-150g range most days (closer to 100g I think) but now and then drop under 100g by my estimates, but I don't track macros anymore so I can't give specific numbers. The highest I'm seeing here is some people's refeed days at 300g or @lex averaging about 200g. I don't see people advocating for eating bushels of fruit and potatoes.

    In CW terms, even 150g is a low carb diet. SAD eaters can quite commonly be in the 450+ range, and confounding the issue even more is the overall poor quality of both the carbs they eat (refined sugars, grains) and the rest of the average person's intake.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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    • Originally posted by activia View Post
      3 months at 100% long enough for you?
      What's 100% mean? You were absolutely positively 100% primal? That's tough to do in the first place. And what was your definition of VLC at that point?
      Fighting Primal - A Savage Performance and Recovery Blog for Primal Combat Athletes

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      • Originally posted by kevingeary View Post
        150g is the cutoff, it doesn't mean that's optimal or "just as healthy" as 50g might be. It's still an arbitrary number. If we're talking about poison, you're not going to argue that 150g of poison is just as healthy as 50g of poison, right?
        At least you're being honest about how you really feel now.

        Some people tend to view glucose as a poison (as does the body to some degree). So the smaller amount of a poison is always better than a larger amount. And for clarification, this is all about long-term effects. Nobody is going to drop dead from ingesting 200g of carbs a day for a month. But the effect on insulin receptors over 40 years might tell a different story.
        The problem is, it isn't strictly a poison. There are many, many things, including certain essential vitamins, that are beneficial in low to moderate quantities, that can become toxic/harmful in excess. Clearly you agree that the latter part of this statement is true of carbohydrates. The distinction here is that most of us here believe that the former is true too, namely that carbohydrates can have beneficial effects in limited quantities. Remember, health is the product of an utterly complex system that is incredibly hard to analyze over long periods of time. I would be willing to wager a large quantity of money that when comparing a <50g carb/day diet to a moderate(say, somewhere between 100-200 g/day of "clean" carbs with minimal sugar) carbohydrate diet over a period of decades, that there would definitely be certain areas where the lower-carb diet fares better, but also certain areas where the higher-carb diet comes out ahead. There simply does not exist sufficient data at this point in time to suggest that one is better than the other with respect to every situation.

        Additionally, using a hard cutoff, and failing adjust thresholds based on individual factors is a serious flaw. At 6'6", 190 lbs, my optimal level of food intake is going to be considerably higher than someone who's 5'3", 110. Throw in the fact that I'm pretty active, and it should be obvious the "right" level of carbohydrates(or the "limit", if you're so inclined) for me could easily be twice that of someone who is both smaller and less active.

        I don't have a problem with those who advocate the benefits of lower-carb diet as it has clear benefits in a number of situations, but the extreme dogmatism, to the point of refusing to acknowledge that there are situations/individuals for whom a higher-carbohydrate diet might be more effective tends to undermine your credibility.

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        • Originally posted by activia View Post
          You're without hope then.

          Think of it this way.. less efficient cars require more gas to go the same amount of miles..

          less efficient energy sources require more energy to get the same return. More energy used = more fat to be burned.
          Therefore to burn fat people should eat more of a less efficient fuel (like carbs)? Isn't this how we got into this mess to begin with? Why wouldn't I just fix or convert my car/body to run more efficiently?

          Dr Rosedale, a portion of Boston Speech at the Heinz Conference - YouTube

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          • Why wouldn't I just fix or convert my car/body to run more efficiently?
            I dunno, maybe because you enjoy food....maybe you are trying to balance quality of life with efficiency? Because sweet potatoes, pineapple, a bit of sugar in the coffee taste good? Because a glass of wine goes great with a steak?

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            • Originally posted by yodiewan View Post
              The poison is in the dose. All antioxidants are technically toxins, but at the doses present in almost all food, they exhibit a benign or beneficial effect. It's called hormesis. Does this also apply to carbs? I don't know.
              The "poison depends on the dose" is irresponsible medicine.

              I'll give you a perfect example. Using chemo to treat cancer is effective. Obviously, people survive chemo treatments at levels that aren't deathly toxic. But that doesn't mean everyone should enjoy a small amount of chemo on a daily basis.

              If added glucose is toxic to the body, then "safe starch" is an oxymoron. People won't die. But that doesn't mean that there won't be ill-effects (even if they're miniscule).

              The point being, toxic is toxic. Now we need to stop arguing that we need more toxins to perform better. If you're willing to take the risk (long term) presented by going high carb, then so be it. But stop saying it's necessary. 200g will always be more toxic than 50g.
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              • Originally posted by js290 View Post
                Therefore to burn fat people should eat more of a less efficient fuel (like carbs)? Isn't this how we got into this mess to begin with? Why wouldn't I just fix or convert my car/body to run more efficiently?

                Dr Rosedale, a portion of Boston Speech at the Heinz Conference - YouTube
                You are neglecting the other needs of your body. I can tell you not everyone sees more weight loss by lowering their carbs. The same goes by lowering your calories. Sorry its not as simple as you think. The body is very complicated. Over simplification whether it be "eat low fat", "eat less calories and move more", "eat less carbs" is a big mistake. There is no simple answer. Stop victimizing, and start opening your mind, experimenting... I personally think varying your diet with lower/higher carb days is best..same with calories.. same with fat.. If you do it in rhythm with activity, you are even better off. Understand the role of each.. These change ups I believe is what will lead to the greatest weight loss.

                Do you know that your brain runs more better on glucose? It is what it craves and needs. Which is why I believe people get headaches when they go too low carb.

                You should learn to see the benefit in all the different primal foods and stop demonizing an entire macro nutrient.
                Primal since March 2011

                Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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                • Originally posted by kevingeary View Post
                  The "poison depends on the dose" is irresponsible medicine.
                  No, it's not. Did you not read the rest of what I said what you quoted? Did you not read js290's lastest post? Some things are beneficial in small doses, but those same things are harmful in higher doses. Again, look up hormesis.

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                  • Originally posted by kevingeary View Post
                    The point being, toxic is toxic. Now we need to stop arguing that we need more toxins to perform better. If you're willing to take the risk (long term) presented by going high carb, then so be it. But stop saying it's necessary. 200g will always be more toxic than 50g.
                    Many vitamins are toxic when consumed in excess. Does that mean we should avoid them entirely? Nope. Sun exposure creates vitamin D and can help with mood and other factors in reasonable quantities, but some of us burn to a crisp and have increased risk of skin cancer when it's taken to excess. Is being outside in the sun inherently bad? Hell no.

                    The argument you're making here is horribly flawed. Clearly eating a ton of sugar isn't good for us. But the same is true of many things - things that are beneficial in reasonable quantities, but harmful/dangerous in excess. Ignoring this fact completely undermines the argument you're trying to make.

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                    • Originally posted by kevingeary View Post
                      The "poison depends on the dose" is irresponsible medicine.

                      I'll give you a perfect example. Using chemo to treat cancer is effective. Obviously, people survive chemo treatments at levels that aren't deathly toxic. But that doesn't mean everyone should enjoy a small amount of chemo on a daily basis.

                      If added glucose is toxic to the body, then "safe starch" is an oxymoron. People won't die. But that doesn't mean that there won't be ill-effects (even if they're miniscule).

                      The point being, toxic is toxic. Now we need to stop arguing that we need more toxins to perform better. If you're willing to take the risk (long term) presented by going high carb, then so be it. But stop saying it's necessary. 200g will always be more toxic than 50g.
                      Now you are REALLY stretching!

                      I guess we should think water is a toxin as well? Did you know if you drink too much water you can die???

                      Glucose is not a toxin! Sheeesh.. yes too much of it can kill you, the same with water!
                      Primal since March 2011

                      Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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                      • In response to the original post:I was VLC/near ZC for oh, I guess 18 months. I lost a good amount of fat. But I was not recovering from my workouts enough, my mood was not ideal, and generally felt worn down, despite eating a *LOT* of fat- thousands and thousands of calories a day of it. I drank bacon grease, ate sticks of butter, doused fatty meats in more fat, ate spoonfuls of coconut oil, you name it. I had also stopped leaning out, and started getting a little fatter, though not dramatically. So I decided to try adding back in carbs. Mind you, I was not trying to lose any more fat- I was trying to feel better. Before I knew it, I shed another couple of percent of BF%. My mood skyrocketed, and my workout recovery and generally sense of health did as well. I bumped up starches more, and lost some more fat. So my n=1 tells me that at least once, carbs aided weight loss.
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                        • Originally posted by kevingeary View Post
                          The "poison depends on the dose" is irresponsible medicine.

                          I'll give you a perfect example. Using chemo to treat cancer is effective. Obviously, people survive chemo treatments at levels that aren't deathly toxic. But that doesn't mean everyone should enjoy a small amount of chemo on a daily basis.

                          If added glucose is toxic to the body, then "safe starch" is an oxymoron. People won't die. But that doesn't mean that there won't be ill-effects (even if they're miniscule).

                          The point being, toxic is toxic. Now we need to stop arguing that we need more toxins to perform better. If you're willing to take the risk (long term) presented by going high carb, then so be it. But stop saying it's necessary. 200g will always be more toxic than 50g.
                          Excess glucose in the bloodstream is toxic. However, there is clearly not a direct correlation between glucose intake in the form of safe starch and glucose in the bloodstream. That's the concept you're failing to grasp.

                          Fructose, on the other hand, is scientifically speaking a toxin because it's metabolised almost exclusively by the liver and is not used as a source of fuel by other cells (apart from cancer cells that start expressing genes for fructose transporters).That's one reason why I'm much more careful about limiting my fructose intake than I am glucose.
                          F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                          • Originally posted by Owly View Post
                            I don't get the sense that anyone's arguing for unlimited carbs. As I recall, Choco says he averages around 150g but that varies by day because of refeeds. I'm somewhere in the 100-150g range most days (closer to 100g I think) but now and then drop under 100g by my estimates, but I don't track macros anymore so I can't give specific numbers. The highest I'm seeing here is some people's refeed days at 300g or @lex averaging about 200g. I don't see people advocating for eating bushels of fruit and potatoes.

                            In CW terms, even 150g is a low carb diet. SAD eaters can quite commonly be in the 450+ range, and confounding the issue even more is the overall poor quality of both the carbs they eat (refined sugars, grains) and the rest of the average person's intake.
                            Just to put things in perspective, I'm by no means the average person when it comes to activity level. I routinely work 10-13 hour days on a farm and mma and functional strength training are two of my favorite hobbies. I also love to hike and mountain bike since my area is full of great trails ( the Adirondack mountains) and I enjoy walking miles in to get to a specific pond or stream and take advantage of the tasty trout and other fish there. All this needs to be said because my carbs need to be viewed within the context of my total intake. On days where I'm not doing much I'll eat 400 or so out of 1800-2000 calories as carbs, but on active days I'll eat 800-1200 of the 3500+ calories I consume as carbs. The number and percentage varies with my activity level, just like my calories. So while I may average 150-200 grams a day the number fluctuates regularly.

                            Has anyone here ever woken up at 4 in the morning and tried to do 13 hours of hard manual labor on a farm while eating a diet that ruins their energy levels and makes them feel like shit? Has anyone here ever tried to physically overpower and dominate another human being on a diet that makes them perform poorly? Has anyone here lived my life and my experiences? Until you've lived my life in my body you can keep your mouth shut about what I need and what's optimal for me because you know jack shit about my specific needs outside of the basics that all human beings need to survive. Anyone who tells me that I should go from a diet that has me losing weight, building muscle,seeing improved performance in both my jobs and my hobbies, and increased overall health to one that showed itself to have negative affects on all these things can, and no offense here, go fuck themselves.
                            Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own experience.

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                            Goals for 2012: Lose a bit more fat and start a serious muscle and strength routine

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                            • Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                              I dunno, maybe because you enjoy food....maybe you are trying to balance quality of life with efficiency? Because sweet potatoes, pineapple, a bit of sugar in the coffee taste good? Because a glass of wine goes great with a steak?
                              What about people who don't necessarily crave these foods? I mean, I like chocolate, but I can definitely eat 100%, which is pretty low in carbs like any other plant matter. I force myself to eat a sweet potato because I need the glycogen for sprinting and lifting. I like it, but I don't WANT any sugar/carbs, really. Wouldn't it be a lot easier to have the body burn all sources of fat really more efficiently so that it doesn't have to struggle to take it off your own body? Doesn't the inefficient burning of carbs as a fuel source just lead your body to crave more anyway?
                              Last edited by sakura_girl; 02-27-2012, 04:20 PM.
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                              • Originally posted by activia View Post
                                I can tell you not everyone sees more weight loss by lowering their carbs. The same goes by lowering your calories. Sorry its not as simple as you think. The body is very complicated. Over simplification whether it be "eat low fat", "eat less calories and move more", "eat less carbs" is a big mistake. There is no simple answer. Stop victimizing, and start opening your mind,
                                The lack of dogmatic BS in this post is refreshing. Will you marry me?

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