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mrtbone99 02-25-2012 01:45 AM

Carbs vs Protein
 
So I was just wondering how to keep carbs at only 40 percent a day? It seems like theyre in everything you eat unless you only eat meat. Protein is usually easy to get to 30 percent and fat because they arent abundant in every food group but carbs just seem to be everywhere so I was just looking for some tips on how to keep them in check.

01gt4.6 02-25-2012 01:48 AM

Try to limit bread, pasta, potatoes, sweets, etc. You don't have to eliminate but cutting back will easily get you to 40% or less.

VitoVino 02-25-2012 12:58 PM

Why do you want to keep carbs at 40%???

mrtbone99 02-25-2012 02:02 PM

I try to keep it at 40 percent carbs, 30 fat, and 30 protein

VitoVino 02-25-2012 02:10 PM

Well, FYI I lost all my weight keeping carbs at 45-55%. Now my carbs are at 55-60% and I'm STILL losing weight, even though I'm well into a healthy BMI. In fact, I'm not even TRYING to lose weight at this point; it's just keeps coming off.

So, in my opinion, it's not the carbs that are 'bad', all you have to do is eat clean and the weight will come off.

mrtbone99 02-25-2012 04:07 PM

My activity level should be fairly high with more carbs though right? Otherwise the excess carbs turn into fat?

VitoVino 02-25-2012 04:27 PM


Originally Posted by mrtbone99 (Post 74063)
My activity level should be fairly high with more carbs though right? Otherwise the excess carbs turn into fat?

Good point. But what use is it to diet, trying to lose weight, without exercise? You'll still be fine at 45% carbs without exercising. With exercise, a lot of cardio, you should be higher. Around 50-60 percent. The "Runner's Diet" calls for 60% carbs, and you'll notice you won't have any energy if you're doing a lot of cardio and you're below 50%.

rpmcduff 02-27-2012 08:21 PM


Originally Posted by mrtbone99 (Post 74063)
My activity level should be fairly high with more carbs though right? Otherwise the excess carbs turn into fat?

While carbs are the easiest to turn into fat reserves the body will also convert fat and protein to fat reserves if you are taking in more calories than you are expending. Spacing your carbs throughout the day will help ensure that your body converts the carbs to glycogen to be stored in your muscles and used as energy rather rather than filling your glycogen stores and then converting the rest to fat stores.

Reynedrop 03-17-2012 02:16 AM

sorry this is so long! I think it might be worth reading though, if anybody wants to know how low-carb diets work.

I get to use my (kind of...) vast knowledge of physiology!

Both people above me are correct. Above a certain level of carbohydrates, when metabolism is functioning relatively properly (the way we either evolved or the way we were made, depending on what you "believe"), calories are calories, and that's why high-fat diets tend to pack on the pounds just as much as high-carb diets. Calories *tend* to be calories, regardless of what they're from. As rpmcduff noted, most of your energy when you are not at rest is taken from glycogen tanks. Glycogen is a modified storage carbohydrate found in muscle tissue and the liver. Glycogen tanks are quite large; they can sustain most people throughout whatever workout they have. However, have you ever worked out so hard that you felt like you just hit a wall, and suddenly it became very hard for you to continue? That's the glycogen tanks running out- and now your body is searching for another source of energy, and it's difficult!! That is why a lot of runners will take "energy packs" (they're gel-filled shiny packs that runners can consume quickly without stopping) or refuel with higher-calorie gatorade when running in races. You want to make sure that those tanks are as full as they can get to fuel yourself so you don't hit that wall, and why so many runners have 60% or more coming from carbs. As glycogen is a carbohydrate, it is easier to get that from carbs than from proteins and fats, which are metabolized different.

Carbs go through the typical metabolic process known as respiration to get ATP (aka, "energy"). Fats and proteins go through a separate process- even their digestion is different! While carbs begin chemical digestion in the mouth, proteins start in the stomach, and fats in the intestines. Proteins and carbs, usually hydrophilic, can be transported easily in the blood stream, but fats have to be specially packaged into something called a chylomicron- basically, the fat is broken down into a triglyceride and fatty acids, then transported inside another cell where it gets reassembled into the full fat again, and then it's transported out- and not into the blood stream but in the lymphatic system to THEN be transported into the blood stream.

Cool right?

So I'm sure most if not all of you learned about cellular respiration during some biology course: you take a sugar, add in oxygen, combustion occurs and you get carbon dioxide, water, and energy. But, as we know, we get energy from fats and proteins- they enter into the same cycle as the sugars as an intermediate, but they (quite obviously) have to shed off a lot of their excess "stuff." Proteins enter in as pyruvate, acetyl CoA, or other intermediaries in the citric acid cycle- but as a result, they have to get rid of their nitrogen... in the form of ammonia. Ammonia is actually *very* toxic and must *very* watered down to be "safe" for animals, hence why only fish excrete pure ammonia. In us, it's converted to urea, which in turn is excreted by the kidneys.

This is why proteins are actually NOT good for us to have in bulk. With oxygen, glucose respiration is not toxic. But, because our bodies have not been "designed" or selected to deal with high amounts of ammonia, too much protein taxes the liver (where ammonia is converted to urea) and the kidneys (where urea is filtered out of the blood). Urea also takes energy to make- but I want to say (though I might be wrong) that this is taken into consideration when talking about the usable calories in a gram of food.

Anyway, with fats, the byproducts are called ketones- which is where "ketosis" (really, ketoacidosis- what you want to be "in" during Atkins) gets its name- the ketones are released inside the body and excreted, again, through the urine (and please remember- our kidneys really are not supposed to filter out a large quantity of ketones at a time over an extended period of time). You NEED to be in ketosis to function on a low-carb diet, by the way. Brain cells can only gather energy through either glucose or the ketones, so if you are restricting carbs beyond a certain level but aren't yet to the point of ketosis, you're going to see loss of cognitive functioning and even some cell death. When you're in ketosis, the brain can take in those ketones and use that for energy (though it is NOT preferred- it can be used to synthesize other lipids, though, because some ketones are out of the body within 5 hours).

So, basically, my point is: when you eat low-carb, your brain is forced to find a new way to get energy, and that comes from ketones. Because proteins do not offer the brain any energy, it will take up the ketones found in the blood stream- and this is where I begin speculating because I truthfully have not studied this enough.

I assume that when you are on a diet like Atkins, your brain, in desperate need of energy, will first sap up all of the glycogen stored up, and then will send hormones for the further respiration of fats. As other organs, tissues, and cells can use fats and proteins found in the blood stream to make energy, your body isnít set to starvation mode, because it is still getting adequate calories for that. So, basically, it is your brainís need to function in such an environment that drives the fat loss.

And this is where I know stuff again :P So, the brain needs ketones in the blood stream, but again, these ketones will be filtered out in the urine. Once the fat molecule is used for ketones, it canít be stored again- so any excess ketones will be excreted. This is why you see such a huge weight loss on Atkins and low-carb diets. While the brain needs some glucose to function (those 20 grams a day are actually important!), it gets the rest from ketones from the breakdown of fats in the body, and there will be excess that cannot be stored. You arenít burning more energy; youíre wasting it!

Ironically, this is the same process that can happen in diabetics. If you donít know, one sign of diabetes is unintended weight loss- thatís because the body canít regulate glucose levels in the body anymore. Some diabetics will go into ketoacidosis- and this is very risky for them (though the biggest issue is with the glucose- because they still have glucose; they just canít utilize itÖ). Personally, I find it a bit odd that otherwise healthy people find something that can be fatal to others for cosmetic purposes.

Anyway, back to a 40/30/30 diet. This is typically NOT enough of a carb restriction to put your body in ketosis- and really what you will begin to see in any carb-restricted diet is sluggishness and potential damage to the kidneys and liver if you arenít careful (I know a couple people who had to be hospitalized for dehydration despite drinking as much as they could and even renal failureÖ They were on Atkins, though- not a 40/30/30), though I hope you arenít taking in more than 175 grams of protein (I could go on about protein requirements in the body if youíd like :P) It really is not the best ratio when working outÖ even when youíre weight lifting, itís carbs you want after a workout, not protein.


Now then, onto the other question regarding your activity level needing to be higher with an increase in carbs:
Not completely true. Though your body might be more in need of ketones than usual at a 40% level, the amount needed is not enough (in my opinion) to justify staying at that level when you're having difficulties already. You probably are not restricting enough to be in full ketosis (it's not just % but overall grams), as I just said, so really all it will do is lower the amount of taxation on the vital organs and give you more energy to workout. If indeed you do need to expend any more energy during the day to still lose weight, trust me, when you work out, it will just come naturally. You can push yourself harder and often times will without even noticing it. Workouts will become easier- performance increase! And that doesn't mean you're burning less. It means you're using your body the way it was meant to function. Personally I prefer that!

Everybody has their own ďgolden ratioĒ though- at least, I think so. For me, Iím best at 60-65% carb intake, 20-25% protein intake, and around 10-15% fat intake. I function my very best when Iím getting around 290-305 grams of non-fibrous carbohydrates, 90-105 grams of proteins, and less than 35-40 grams of fat. I actually lack an enzyme to break down certain fats, so I end up feeling really sick when I eat those- and theyíre the kind most commonly found (like butterÖ). Thus, itís harder for me to go into ketosis with any shred of safety, and as a student studying long hours to make a double major and minor meet (I kid you not, I am in lecture, lab, or studying probably 10-12 hours a day), supplying my brain with adequate glucose is a must. Your own personal ratio will be different, obviously, but donít get stuck in the ďso and so said this was the best ratio for what I want to do, and he has a book/TV show/movie/masterís in nutrition/whatever!Ē mindset. The BEST thing to do is to try to see where you physically feel best.

Remember the goal of weight loss is NOT to lose weight as quickly as possible. It's to find a lifestyle you can sustain and watch the weight shed after that. Too many people "diet," but if you feel awful while you do it, will you really want to keep doing that?

Good luck though! And if you do feel best at 40/30/30, try added-fiber foods, like Fiber One cereal, or sugar-alcohol products (1-3 calories per gram instead of 4), like those breads or various products that have usually boast a low net carbs, if you feel like you need more to eat.

janabee57 03-18-2012 03:53 PM

Good Write Up
 
good write up it helped me a lot as I did not know about what any ratios ment as I am new to this diet thing and did not know if I was completely out of line Thank You

kkotelman 07-06-2012 01:08 PM

I look at it this way. Just eat real food most of the time. Shoot for fresh veg, meat, fruit, nuts, and fat in that order of volume. When I eliminated processed food I didn't need to count carbs, they were just low.
When the weight loss stalled I started upping the exercise. I added more low GI carbs such sweet potato, or more fruit like apples, pears, or banana; and tree nuts.
I learned to listen to what my body needs. I have learned; more carbs on HIIT days, more protein on lifting days, fast or fat on a long slow walk/jog days, no exercise or recovery eat balanced or whatever till satiated. Some days I eat like 3500 calories and others 800.
Everyoneís different. Use low carb to kill insulin resistance and remind your body how to burn fat as fuel; then adapt the carb level based on your activity. Some thrive on med-long term very low carb while others do well with a lot more.

Borg-mx5 07-07-2012 01:45 AM

Glad you wrote that all up instead of me! My current ratios are 25% fat (9% Saturated), 57% Carbs and 18% Protein. My protein is that high because it is just too easy to get protein (and fat) in a typical American diet. Knocking it down to 10-15% would be a chore.

As was mentioned. Nice write up. I agree 100%

perfectparanoia 07-09-2012 06:08 PM

Sorry, guys. I just can't agree with you. It's fine and dandy to say that 65% carbs and 10-15% fat works for you but some of us just can't do that.

If I were to aim for that, I would have two really big problems:

1. If I eat that many carbs, I just keep wanting more carbs. It is a recipe for overeating for me. (Yesterday, I was at 55% carbs because someone ordered a pizza and I am paying for it today.)
2. That little fat makes me very, VERY hungry. I need some fat. Nuts are my go-to but without a reasonable (25-30%) fat level I just want to eat. ALL THE TIME.

So, I am also aiming for 40% carbs, 30% fat and 30% protein. I feel full most of the time and I don't feel like bingeing.

I strongly believe that if you are getting your nutrients and are losing (or gaining or staying the same whatever your goals) that you should just tweak the percentages until you are comfortable with them.

RunbikeSki 07-09-2012 08:30 PM


Originally Posted by perfectparanoia (Post 85047)
Sorry, guys. I just can't agree with you. It's fine and dandy to say that 65% carbs and 10-15% fat works for you but some of us just can't do that.

If I were to aim for that, I would have two really big problems:

1. If I eat that many carbs, I just keep wanting more carbs. It is a recipe for overeating for me. (Yesterday, I was at 55% carbs because someone ordered a pizza and I am paying for it today.)
2. That little fat makes me very, VERY hungry. I need some fat. Nuts are my go-to but without a reasonable (25-30%) fat level I just want to eat. ALL THE TIME.

So, I am also aiming for 40% carbs, 30% fat and 30% protein. I feel full most of the time and I don't feel like bingeing.

I strongly believe that if you are getting your nutrients and are losing (or gaining or staying the same whatever your goals) that you should just tweak the percentages until you are comfortable with them.

Yup, that's about what I shoot for too. If I am trying to drop a couple of pounds, I'll lower the carbs and up the protein and let the fats fall where they may.

And I totally agree about the addictive nature of carbs, once I start down that road... a chip here, a cracker there... it is very hard to get it back under control :eek:

CRAZYNAN68 07-11-2012 12:16 AM

Carbs and Protein and Fat Ratio
 
Could anyone suggest what these ratios should be for myself--I am 68 and have about 85 pounds to lose--cannot seem to find any info on this on this site--Thanks--Nancy:D

catebert 07-11-2012 02:53 AM


Originally Posted by CRAZYNAN68 (Post 85175)
Could anyone suggest what these ratios should be for myself--I am 68 and have about 85 pounds to lose--cannot seem to find any info on this on this site--Thanks--Nancy:D

Hi Nancy, I think you will just have to work that out for yourself as everyone is different and therefore the ratios are dependent on what works for YOU.

Some people can lose on low-calorie plans, others on low-fat plans, but for myself, I am doing Atkins (Low-carb) because I am diabetic and needed to lower my blood sugar drastically and quickly or I would have to go on insulin injections. I'm happy to say after about 24 hours low-carb my blood sugar stabilized at near-normal levels and that is no longer an issue.

My ratios are about 65% fat, 23% protein and 12% carbs. I have lost 7 lbs. so far on this ratio and I am now working on trying to lower the fat content a little and would like to boost the protein up to about 30% while keeping the carbs at 12% or lower. I do not eat sugar of any kind, bread, wheat, oats, pasta, white rice, potatoes, or any other starches, all my carbs come from veggies, and only recently I have added back a little yogurt and some (few) berries now and then. I have to really watch my carbs because if I go much over 30 grams/day I will stop losing or even gain.

I think there are a couple of other threads discussing the carb/protein/fat ratio, but I'm sorry I don't know how to link to them. Hope this helps.

CRAZYNAN68 07-11-2012 01:45 PM

Having sAID WHAT i SAID LAST NIGHT--WENT LOOKING AND FOUND WHAT i NEEDED--IT EQUALS OUT TO ABOUT--CARBS,45-60;Fat,15-20;Protein20-25--youi are so right--I will try this and if need be dio some adjusting--everyone is different--you sound like you are doing well--hang in--Nancy


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