View Full Version : Carb Continuum
05-14-2009, 06:36 PM
Has anyone see the carb continuum over at MDA? Just wondering it's validity. Seems really simple, eat below this mark and fat will melt away. Basically, if you haven't seen it, over 300 grams per day is danger zone, 150 is maintenance, 100 is fat loss, 50 is rapid fat loss. I know paleo doesn't have to be low carb, but combined with these numbers, would it dial in fat loss? Are carbs the only element you have to avoid overeating?
05-15-2009, 06:27 AM
If you create a negative energy balance either through eating less, exercising more or a combination of the two you'll lose weight some of which will be fat. If cutting carbs helps contribute to that negative energy balance then yes it'll help you lose weight but so would cutting fat or protein. Ultimately it all comes down to energy-in vs energy-out so the idea that simply cutting carbs by some arbitrary amount will cause fat to melt away is nonsense.
05-15-2009, 08:37 AM
If you are eating just "Paleo" carbs...won't matter too much....as your insulin will be in control....but if someone is eating breads, cereals, zone bars, rice, ice cream, etc....then those need to be controlled/portioned/eliminated.
Lots of individual factors to come into play....such as insulin resistance...level of workout intensity....outside activity level....etc. One person can lose fat at 50g per day.....another may lose at 150g/day (just look at people doing Zone with higher carb intake yet lower calories). Most important factor is enough protein so you are not wasting away your fat burning muscles, and then the other macronutrients can be juggled around it to your liking. If you are in calorie deficit...you will burn fat.
It does just make it easier to go through cycles of "low" carbs to help keep calories in control (and your carb choices better) to allow more oxidation of fat at lower intensities (aka like walking).
Many approaches work.....just find what works for you. You could probably rotate eating a snickers bar and McDonalds cheeseburger every 3 hours and still burn fat.....if you are in calorie deficit at the end of the day.
05-17-2009, 04:33 PM
Like the others have said, it's more about calories.
Get enough protein, EFAs and it doesn't really matter unless there are underlying issues like insulin resistance or even diabetes, thyroid out of whack etc. Then some tweaking one direction or another needs to be done.
It really should be the calorie continuum. Eat over maintenance and you'll add weight/fat. Eat at maintenance and you'll stay the same weight/fat (assuming variables are in check). Eat below maintenance and you'll lose weight/fat.
Of course, glycogen depletion can help to increase fatty acid oxidation, but it's not really that important unless you're into extreme approaches (NHE, AD, UD2.0, Body Opus etc.).
05-18-2009, 08:18 AM
I strongly disagree that it is a simple matter of calories in/calories out, and really the science doesn't back the In/Out theory either (check out "Good Calories, Bad Calories" for a thorough discussion of the subject).
If you're 100lbs and taking in 6000 calories a day, you are not going to lose weight no matter what the macronutrients are (unless you have some kind of insane activity schedule).
But I've found, and I know a lot of other people have found, that restricting carbs to below the common wisdom of 60% of your diet or whatever has been pretty crucial for ensuring long-term weight loss and maintenance of that weight loss. The numbers you threw up jibe pretty well with my personal experience.
05-19-2009, 12:10 PM
Good Calories, Bad Calories may not be all it's cracked up to be either.
(not sure the links are w/f/s, use caution as always)
I don't think anyone except the FDA is recommending a diet based on 60% carb. intake anymore. But carbs get too much of the blame. They play an important role in performance.
If one is a desk jockey, carb demands are low, just as caloric demands are low. If someone is an olympic swimmer (Michael Phelps), carb demands are high just as caloric demands are high. Weightlifters, not a ton of activity, but a solid amount of stress, caloric demands should meet whatever it takes to stay in a weight class, probably not much room for carbs.
This is all assuming people are getting their protein of course.
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