Low Carbs/High Protein

another carb question. When you are cutting carbs to drop weight, I have been told that you should increase protein intake as it helps eat up bodyfat when carb intake is low.

Again, is this true?

No, protein does not "eat up" bodyfat.

Well, if you put together a very lean andhugry Bentali tiger, let's say, and a very big and fat domesticated pig... I suppose in a way 'protein' could eat up 'bodyfat'..... but.....

Okay that was lame. Count Dante, if cutting out all carbs, chances are something has to increase, but that's just because you don't want to cut calories *too much*. That is, something like more than 20% belowmaintenance level actually will stop fat loss dead in its tracks. 'Starvation mode' is what you see it called in dieting books.

Generally, low-carb diets depend on putting you in a state of ketosis--that is, glucagon levels go up as insulin levels go down in the absence of carbs, and fats get converted to ketones for. If you eat *too much* protein, relative to fat, you will prevent this process, due to carbs being formed from stripped proteins (gluconeogenesis is the term). This is a muscle-wasting state, not a muscle-preserving state.

That sounds too technical to you, would be my guess... but the point is, get a low-carb book if you're going to go this route and follow it. Don't make up stuff that 'seems' to make sense about how much protein to add, because the truth may be couterintuitive.

basically, I am not eating white breads and white potatoes and no pasta.
(Dropped 3 lbs in 1 week. 5 more pounds to go and I hit 172 lbs and them I am not going to drop any more)

I was drinking the SOBE Energy drink (like one a day) until I found out I was ingesting 70 grams sugar/78 grams carbs.
(The label 1 bottle=2.5 servings when I thought 1 bottle equals 1 serving)

BTW What would be considered the proper amount of carbs per day??

Proper amount for what? For a low-carb diet? LOW. Like less than about 30. Aim for zero, b/c there will be hidden carbs. But learn what you're doing.

It's not the best diet for athletes, by any means. Just one way to burn fat.

"Low" would be highly dependant upon which diet model you are attempting to follow; ie DiPasquale's 'Anabolic Diet" carb intake is restricted to 30g/day on low carb days, NOT including post workout nutrition. Also, different people posses different endocrine response sensitivity; some can get away with higher levels of carb intake and still have fat-metabolizing mechanisms active, while others require further restriction.

You can easily cut out breads, pastas, and potatoes for your whole life. Why wouldn't you be able to? Humans did without bread and pasta (and usually without potatoes) for tens of thousands of years.

There are diets which cycle carbs at specific times in relation to workouts (Anabolic Diet, Bodyopus Diet, Faigin's book from Dragondoor has been mentioned as well); and there are diets which cut them out virtually completely (Atkins, earlier weeks of Protein Power). The latter two in particular are not good for athletes of any stripe, IMO. The others include carbs, yet are still often called 'low carb' diets.

I'm not jumping into the fray on what's 'needed' and not. Too much semantics on 'need.' But I don't think any of these are really ideal for martial artists who train more or less all the time. They can work if the goal is really just fat loss and someone is willing ot have some performance decrement for a while. And the whole question of 'necessary'.... more semantics. They're not necessary in that there are other ways to lose fat. They might be necessary for an individual who can follow one of these diets and can't seem to follow any others. It happens. But Count Dante, the real point is.... you've gotta do some research into one of the diets you are interested in. You're not going to get enough details on the forum, here, to make it fly.

I agree with Ali that (very) low carb diets aren't ideal for athletes. But there are plenty of carbs that aren't from bread or pasta.

I know for myself if I eat a big plate of pasta, the last thing I feel is full of energy. I feel like crap and need a big nap. From my limited knowledge, (I'm just starting to learn about nutrition) I take this to mean I am insulin sensitive. I feel much more energetic eating lower glycemic carbohydrates.

What's more, most breads and pastas are big nutritional zeros. No fiber. No vitamins. Very little protein. Only calories from high glycemic carbohydrates.

On recommendation of my chiropractor, I've basically
cut off starches and sugars (though I cheat a bit). I
eat as many fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, etc. as I
want. The effect has been to drop 20 pounds of weight
in very short order (at last count--it may be more
now), and that at a time when I've resumed weight
training along with continuing my martial arts
activities. I can safely say I'm stronger than I've
ever been, judging by what I'm lifting, the number of
pullups I'm doing, etc. I'm also feeling quite healthy
if a bit tired due to getting too little sleep. The
odd thing is, the diet was given to me to deal with
pain in my back, which was evidently connected to
something on the gall bladder meridian and thus
probably a "sugar-handling" problem. The pain went
away when the diet changed, and the rest was just
icing. My brother tried the switch and dropped 20
pounds as well, in a shorter period of time, and he's
feeling fine, too.

So tell me again, why do I have to have starchy foods?

Glenn Sunshine

A recent study found whole grains had an independent effect in lowering stroke incidence in women.

Any indication why? I'm not being argumentative, I'm
just interested--it's my health we're talking about
here! Fiber is often cited as a reason, but with
everything else I'm eating I suspect I'm OK there ....


It was in the September 27 issue of JAMA. (JAMA 2000; 284:1534-1540) I haven't read the actual study but Dr. Simim Liu of Harvard Medical School is quoted by Reuters Health saying "Whole grains not only contain many micronutrients, vital chemicals, antioxidants, B vitamins, folic and magnesium--all of which are beneficial nutrients that might have a protective effect--but the structure of whole grains can lower glucose and insulin response, which can, over the long-run, reduce the risk of ischemic stroke."

It should be noted that "whole grain" labels on processed foods can be highly deceptive; often, only a fraction of the grain used is "whole"-so the breads still posess the higher glycemic index, nullifying the benefit of "but the structure of whole grains can lower glucose and insulin response, which can, over the long-run, reduce the risk of ischemic stroke."

Hello everyone!
On this low carb paleolithic diet, I am a biochemist and it makes sense at every turn (increased antioxidants, decreased inflamation etc..) I won in my weight class (181 at a NASA sponsered state meet for powerlifting). I have great endurance in all of my martial arts activities. MY mother who suffered from Lupus and diabetes(2) for years is in remission from BOTH diseases six months after eating this way. As to the necessity of carbs in the diet, green vegetables are important, but I have never heard of an essential carbohydrate, but there are a number of essential amino acids and faty acids. One final thing (maybe!) when one looks at all of the studies addressing macronutrient consumption and athletic performance (strength and endurance) increased fat and protein yeild increased performance, increased carbohydrate does not.

Caleb, if you disagree then please cite one single study that shows he is wrong. Just one.

Standard disclaimer: I'm not a nutritionist. But as I
understand it, fat contains far more calories per unit
than do carbohydrates. That's another way of saying
they store more energy. If you metabolize fats--and
evidently you can get your body to burn them preferentially--they yield far more energy than carbs.
It's a matter of which energy system is active in your
body at the time. If it's a fat-burning mechanism,
you're going to have a lot more energy available, at
least according to the sources I read. It's not
standard nutritional advice, but it seems to work,
judging from the results cited in the books I've read
on it.

Glenn Sunshine

Carbohydrates are more readily available for energy, in most cases. However, a gram of fat contains 10 kcal, and 1 gram of carbohydrates contains around 4 kcals. Calories are units of energy, so technically fats contain more energy than carbohydrates.


I'll check my references when I get home and get back
to you.

Glenn Sunshine

caleb, do you have any references to back up anything you say? (Flex/Pump mags. & Mike Mentzer excluded) =D