Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Carb Levels and Sources

Today was super busy with running kids to and from school/college, dental and eye appointments, dance class, and errands. I got in lots of walking, but no formal exercise (yet). This is the time I am glad to have a (mostly completed) home gym where I can go bike for a bit once my little one is in bed.

I logged my food again today with these results:

1516 calories
170 g carbs (43%)
88 g protein (22%)
62 g fat (35%)

Once again I feel the carbs are too high; 88 grams of that total came from two items: some poppy seed dressing that had no label but turned out to be loaded with sugar when I looked it up later, and half a cupcake. Aside from those two things I would have had carbs well under 100 today.

Breakfast was a low carb high protein shake and black coffee. For lunch I had leftover sloppy joe meat and beans over salad. Snacks were a protein bar, a few peanuts, and an iced Americano with a splash of half and half. Dinner was a huge spinach salad with hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, red onions, mozzarella cheese, and bacon bits.

So now, I am trying to figure out: if I am eating about 1500 calories a day, is my carb level enough to make me *not* lose any weight? Of course I am thinking about this because of the (awesome and interesting) comments on my last couple of posts. Is 170, or 150, or 130 grams of carbs a day going to keep me from losing weight even at 1500 calories (or less)? If I ate the same 1500 calories a day but kept my carbs at 120 or 100 or 70, would the weight start falling off? Would it have to be lower, say 50 or even 20 grams of carbs a day? Does the source of these carbs matter at all? What if my stats today were the same but instead of carbs from dressing and a cupcake, they came from fruit? Or oatmeal? Or brown rice? Would it matter?

It strikes me that I was eating an insane amount of carbs before... way back before the blog. A whole pizza? Whole bags of chips and cookies? An entire bowl of brownie batter?? How many carbs are even IN that amount of food?? I used to eat several candy bars at a time. As a SNACK. I ate very little protein and probably NO "healthy" fat at all back then. I wonder if my carbs were over 1000 grams some days, when I was binge eating at my worst. I think I was killing myself. I am serious about that. I might be dead by now if I had kept that up. I would surely be diabetic... and over 350 pounds. I wonder what that kind of eating did to my internal organs... my system.

Anyway, obviously I look over my stats and regret the half cupcake. I am not destroyed over it, though. It is part of the process. My hope is that as I continue tracking, I will become more aware and make better choices regarding carbs and fat as they come into my path. I think as I review my stats each day I will see my mistakes and think of what I might have done differently, and I will get better at this week by week. At some point I will hit a carb level that *works* for energy and weight loss, and that's what I will stick with.


Anonymous said...

I came across this:


Another thing that you may have to realize (as I had to) is that you may not be able to eat everything you want to, ever. You'll have to say no to sweets, no to snacks, no to treats forever. Not all of us can have the Weight Watcher mentality of "a little bit of everything". But if that's what it takes to get the weight off and keep it off then so be it.


Karen said...


I fit closely to the cut offs on this curve. I f you track your food and weight, you can see if this fits your carb intake and where your cut offs are.


Might try some of these suggestions and see which work for you. Or ask a counselor why you keep choosing foods that cause you physical pain (wheat) and cannot stop. Perfect counseling topic, if you choose to tackle it. May help you get to root causes faster?

Of course food sources matter. If wheat is inflammatory to you , it will effect much more than just weight on the scale and how your clothes fit. Look at blood work CRP, lipids , cardiac risk with HDL levels , HA1c, triglycerides, metabolic syndrome ( Pre-diabetes. ), blood pressure.

Do you want to make changes or stay the same? Has to come from you, not us. The answer is inside you.
Karen P

arlene said...

I know I can eat a LOT of calories, and keep the weight off, but if my carbs go up over 50/day, I gain weight. I lost 60 lbs in a few months by cutting my carbs to 20/day. Now, a year and a half later, I can eat more carbs, but still have to stay low carb. I feel so much better, and when cravings hit (especially in the beginning) I know I can eat something full of fat, and then be amazed when the scale drops. I never feel deprived.

deezer said...

I definately think it matters where those carbs come from - if they come from fruit and veggies, versus if they come from sugar and processed bread.

If you drop to 20g of carbs a day i would fear that this is too little for the energy that we get from carbs, and the nutritional value that they do offer.

Good luck Lynn

Anonymous said...

Your fat is higher than your protein, your fat should really be the lowest portion a good combo is 40/40/20.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the best explanarions of wheat-is-murder Ive ever read. Exceptionally detailed but user friendly research. ------- http://www.zombieinstitute.net/Serenity.htm wheat destroys me physically and mentally, yet still I crave it like a street junkie on hiatus!

andrea. said...

Have you heard of the book "Why We Get Fat"? It's worth a read -- it really shifted my view on weight loss. Essentially his argument is that the 'calories in / calories out' theory is fundamentally flawed -- that we don't gain weight because we eat more calories, we actually eat more calories BECAUSE we're gaining weight. Our growing bodies need more calories - so we're biologically compelled to eat more and move less. But the only reason our bodies are GROWING like that is because our hormones are totally out of whack -- because of carbs and sugar, which mess up our insulin and pretty much every other regulatory hormone (leptin, etc.)

I don't think it explains EVERYTHING about weight loss (if you follow his theory all the way through, he basically says that just cutting calories will NOT cause you to lose weight and that you can eat ALL the fat and protein you want and NEVER gain weight, which, I don't think so.) But it's very eye opening and definitely makes you think different about how we eat. And why we get fat.

Anonymous said...

I suggest you simply just track calories for awhile while trying to eat fewer to no sugary treats or packaged foods. I find this approach works well for me and causes much less grief and obsessing about food :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn, I've been following your journey for a few years now silently wishing you well but never commenting. I too have my weight struggles and the past year despite all of my exercise efforts (I traing for and completed my 1st triathlon) I could not lose any weight UNTIL I cut out gluten from my diet. I've been about 90% gluten free for the past two months and I've managed to drop about 13 pounds so far. I can still have rice, potatoes, and gluten free carbohydrates (in moderation of course) if I so choose to. I know everyones bodies are different and that gluten actually does effect my internal systems since I have rehumatoid arthritis but I thought I'd share that with you. Might be worth a shot for a month to try it out :-)

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to give yourself a pat on the back for eating HALF a cupcake rather than the whole cupcake or two cupcakes. You may decide half a cupcake is too much, but it's also a success that you can now limit yourself to just a half.

Anonymous said...

hi, could the fat consumed each day be too high?....

Anonymous said...

also try to stick to the 1500 calories a day. i think tracking on sparkpeople may be your best bet...stick to those carb, protein and fat goals they suggest on spark people....my weight goes no where if i don't stick to those goals they suggest.

Taryl said...

Yes, your carbs are high enough to either kick in cravings or keep your insulin so elevated that your body is resisting fat burning. When calories are low, in particular, it benefits you to eat a lower carb diet to circumvent lean mass losses caused by protein catabolism. Though I am a bigger fan of Atkins/Bernstein et al for dietary carb control, Mark isn't wrong. I'd keep your net carbs sub-70 grams per day along with those calories, and again If you're consistent I'd be shocked if you didn't lose significant amounts of weight over the longer term.

Anonymous said...

I'm basically with Arlene.....within a 5 hr period, no more than 20 grams and that is AFTER going 2 months solid with only 5 net carbs per 5 hrs. Ive been doing this for years now and there are days yes, that I eat way more carbs and not gain weight. It's one day, not months of eating like that, one day doesnt make you gain 20 pounds. For weight gain purposes, I dont think it matters where the carbs come from, fruit, pasta, candy, whatever, doesnt matter......it obviously matters for health purposes though:)