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Laura, one of my staff nutritionists, kicked things off with an article called “Is a Low-Carb Diet Ruining Your Health?”, and I followed up with an article called “7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-Carb Diets”. Then Kelsey, my other staff nutritionist, wrote an article called “The 3-Step Process for Determining Your Ideal Carbohydrate Intake”. In the near future, we’ll be featuring an article about the therapeutic uses for very low-carb and ketogenic diets.Are you on an “accidental” very low-carb diet? Can you be gluten intolerant without having celiac disease? Can gluten cause symptoms not related to digestion?
A growing body of evidence proves that non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is not only real, but possibly a larger problem than celiac disease. Learn MoreThyroid DisordersAn estimated 20 million Americans have thyroid disorders, but more than half don’t know it. Find out why thyroid problems are so often mis-diagnosed, what really causes them, and how to heal them naturally. Learn MoreGut HealthResearch suggests that healing your gut may be the single most important thing you can do to improve your health. These issues were obviously of paramount importance given his job.About a year prior to our first visit Frank had started a low-carb Paleo diet. Some of his colleagues on the SWAT team were doing it with great results, so he figured he’d give it a try. In this eBook, you’ll learn how to burn fat without trying, while eating delicious, nutrient-dense food.
He wanted to lean out and lose about 5 pounds of belly fat that he was having trouble getting rid of. After a few months on the low-carb Paleo diet, Frank did reach his target weight and body composition. But then the fatigue and insomnia started. A few months after that, he noticed he was having trouble keeping up with his training routine (which is, as you might imagine given his profession, quite rigorous). Frank reads my blog and listens to my podcast, and he had heard me say that some people can experience problems on a very low-carb diets. This helped a little bit, but when he finally set up an appointment with me he was still struggling. When I talked to Frank, I asked him how he would characterize his diet.
After reading this eBook, you’ll be able to understand the many factors that play into how a person handles a low carbohydrate diet, and whether or not their health will improve on such a plan. Learn MoreFood Additives Are common additives to food and supplements like soy lecithin, carrageenan, xanthum gum, and magnesium stearate harmful–or harmless? Read this eBook to find out which ingredients you should be concerned about, and which are safe.
I asked him specifically how much carbohydrate he eats in the form of starchy plants and fruit (more on this below) on a daily basis. Learn MoreNutrition for Healthy SkinSkin problems like acne, eczema, and rosacea are epidemic, yet conventional treatments rarely work. Find out what really causes skin problems, and how simple dietary changes can restore the clear, beautiful skin you desire.
In order to simply maintain his weight, he would need to eat about 3,000 calories a day.If we define a moderate carbohydrate diet as 25% of calories from carbohydrate, that means Frank would need to eat 750 calories a day as carbohydrate.
At 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate, that comes out to about 188 grams of carb each day, or 1,316 per week.A large sweet potato contains 37 grams of carbohydrate. Cut through the confusion and hype and find out which sweeteners are safe for you and your family. In addition to these amounts of starch and fruit, Frank ate about 3-4 servings of nonstarchy vegetables each day (about 25 grams of carbohydrate on average).
In this eBook, you’ll learn the three biggest obstacles to Paleo success, and how to overcome them. Given these numbers, Frank was eating about 365 grams of carbohydrate a week.At 3,000 calories a day, this works out to about 7% of total calories from carbohydrate. Learn MoreB12 DeficiencyWhat do memory loss, depression, anxiety, fatigue, nerve pain, and infertility have in common? Frank’s experience.When I explained all of this to Frank at our appointment, he was pretty shocked. Find out why B12 deficiency is more common than most doctors think, how to know if you’re deficient, and what to do about it. He was under the impression that eating a few sweet potatoes and some berries throughout the week put him in the “moderate carb” category. Learn MoreThe Diet-Heart MythDoes eating cholesterol and saturated fat really cause heart disease?
Obviously, this was not the case given his weight and activity level.He was even more shocked when we calculated how much carbohydrate (again, from starchy plants and fruit) he’d have to eat to get to the “moderate” carbohydrate level of 25% of total calories. Find out what the latest research says in this eBook, and learn how to prevent and treat heart disease naturally. But again, when we I dug a little deeper it became less clear that it was carbohydrate in general that caused weight gain, but a certain kind of carbohydrate (namely, processed and refined carbs). Turns out that Frank had very strong cravings for carbohydrate after a while on the VLC diet.
Instead of increasing his intake of starchy plants and fruit, he’s stay extremely low-carb and then fall off the wagon by eating bread, pizza, or something like that. He said he didn’t know, because he had never tried eating the quantities of these foods that I was recommending. So of course that became our next experiment. When I spoke to Frank about ten weeks later, he was ecstatic.
On the contrary, he had lost a further 3 pounds of fat and was more “lean and ripped” than he had been on the VLC diet. If this had been an isolated experience with a single patient, I wouldn’t even bother writing this article. I have every patient I see fill out a diet diary which shows me exactly what they eat on an average day. I often hear people make recommendations for the number of grams of carbohydrate someone should eat. 75 grams a day may be a moderate-carb diet for a sedentary woman eating 1,600 calories a day, but it would be a very low-carb diet for a highly active male eating 3,000 calories a day. The table below illustrates the ranges for “very low carb”, “low carb”, “moderate carb”, and “high carb” using percentage of calories for carbohydrate.
This depends on your height, weight, activity level, and goal (weight loss, maintenance, or gain). You can use any number of online calculators to get this information.Once you have your daily calorie intake, multiply that number by your target percentage of carbohydrate.
If you’re like many of my patients, you might be surprised to learn that you’re eating a lot less carbohydrate than you thought.Now I’d like to hear from you.
When you calculate your carbohydrate intake as I described above, are you lower-carb than you thought? Have you found that eating more “real food” carbs addresses your carb cravings without causing weight gain or other symptoms?
You will pay the same price for all products and services, and your purchase helps support Chris‘s ongoing research and work. Since tapioca is derived from bitter cassava, it may have cyanogenic glucosides – correct? Also, would you suggest spacing the carbs out throughout the day or having more at night vs.
I’m convinced you wrote this post partly out of pity for the sad question about exercise intolerance I submitted to your podcast.
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