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TONKA14 Posts: 4,947
8/17/12 1:53 P

I will add to what was just shared to also share that if protein is being broken down for fuel for the brain, it will NOT and IS not available to function in its important role as protein such as

Helping to build, repair, and maintain body cells and tissues like your skin, muscles, organs, blood, and even bones.

Form enzymes and hormones that enable your body to function normally. Enzymes enable chemical reactions to take place in your body. Hormones signal the appropriate enzymes to start working on what the body needs.

Serve as antibodies to protect you from disease-carrying bacteria and viruses.

Control your body’s acid-base balance.

Help regulate the quantity of fluids in the compartments of the body to maintain your fluid balance.

Coach Tanya

SALONKITTY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (6,605)
Posts: 672
8/17/12 10:22 A

Just to clear up the nonsense that is repeated over and over:

Our brains do NOT need "carbs" to function. The brain needs glucose. Those two things, carbohydrate and glucose are not interchangeable terms. They are not the same thing at all.

Protein converts to glucose, though in a very inefficient manner.

Fat converts to glucose too. Here is what Dr. Eades writes on his blog:

“Fat is the perfect fuel. Part of it provides energy to the liver so that the liver can convert protein to glucose. The unusable part of the fat then converts to ketones, which reduce the need for glucose.”

If “you’re following a low-carb diet…the protein you eat is converted to glucose….If you keep the carbs low enough so that the liver still has to make some sugar, then you will be in fat-burning mode….How low is low enough? Well, when the ketosis process is humming along nicely and the brain and other tissues have converted to ketones for fuel, the requirement for glucose drops to about 120-130 gm per day. If you keep your carbs below that at, say, 60 grams per day, you’re liver will have to produce at least 60-70 grams of glucose to make up the deficit, so you will generate ketones that entire time.”

Fitness Minutes: (823)
Posts: 11
8/17/12 9:49 A

Good to have all the feedback.

And thanks, Nireen, but I'm not interested in adding more carbs. I was just wondering what worked best for others. I generally eat anywhere from 30-85 carbs per day, a very good percentage of that being made up by vegetables.

Heh. I don't keep whole cakes in the house. To be fair, I think all I have in my house right now is some peanut butter, soy sauce, a thing of almonds and a way-past-its-prime cucumber. The company I work for, in addition to demanding a ridiculous time commitment, provides breakfast, lunch and (if you stay past 7, which for me, has been every day but one in two months) dinner for its employees. On the one hand, it's great, because I work in midtown New York, and anything that delivers is an option. On the other, it increases temptations and makes tracking more difficult. Restaurant portions for every meal, sauces, unknown method of preparation. I also fight with this bizarre feeling of waste. We get a very generous amount per meal ($10 breakfast, $20 lunch, $35 dinner). That buys way too much food at all but a small handful of expensive restaurants. The temptation to not "waste" your meal allotment by using as much of it per day as you can? Pretty sure that's at least partially to blame for the extra 40 lbs I'm trying to get off :)

A single bad choice for me is a slippery slope. I typically stick with ordering salads with lots of meat/cheese/nut/avocado "goodies" or cuts of meat or fish with vegetables. It's the way I feel most comofrtable that I know what I'm eating. But you just have to scroll another half second and there are the desserts ;)

NIRERIN Posts: 14,249
8/17/12 7:53 A

numerically speaking what is "way under on carbs?"
also, if you do want to add in carbs, try focusing on vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes. they're carbs. they're good for you because they are full of fiber. and they're good for you because eating the rainbow of fruits and veggies gets you all kinds of nutrients.
i mean, if you're going to have cheese, why not have it on a half cup of broccoli? if you're making a wrap with turkey and avocado, try adding in some sliced or shredded carrots, cucumber, radishes, lettuce, peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, red russian kale, tomatoes or any other veggie you can think of [at least one if not two. you don't have to all of them every time].

personally i eat at least 50% carbs, 10% protein and 20% fat, the remainder being split up between.

also why are you keeping cake in the house? or does having whole wheat pasta incite you to leave the house and actually go out in search of a whole cake? because whole cakes simply should not be a pantry staple in your house. having one every now and then is one thing, but if you don't keep it in the house, you'd have to make one or go get one and that tends to at least give people pause if not stop them entirely. by the same token keeping the add water boxed mixes is also not a great idea. it's too quick and easy. if you do need cakes somewhat often, find a really good from scratch recipe and keep the ingredients in your house. having to make the whole thing from scratch can be a deterrent and it can also give you time to steel yourself to one piece or come up with another plan of action while that cake is actually baking.

CHIHAYA SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (8,249)
Posts: 434
8/17/12 7:29 A

I believe macro nutrient suggestion of Spark comes from USDA diet guideline for Americans. For most people, it's statistically proven low risk diet of health related issues.

But guideline is a guideline. The number is adjusted by many factors, including political pressure or cultural heritage. So, it's not like "if we didn't follow it, we would die tomorrow" thing. Required nutrition might be differ by ethnic group, or even person to person. So if you are OK with it and natural to you, it might be actually good for you.

But I would take a caution. It's been known vegan, atkins or whatever diet is not necessary cholesterol problem or other food related issue free. So I would ask my doctor blood test regularly.

Edited by: CHIHAYA at: 8/17/2012 (07:44)
SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (247,280)
Fitness Minutes: (41,424)
Posts: 26,811
8/17/12 7:19 A

I am wondering why type of carbs you over-eat on when you eat less fat??? Remember, there are 3 types - sugar, starch and fibre. The fibre is still included as carbs even tho' it goes through us therefore technically not absorbed. It is the PROCESSED carbs which are more inclined to leave a person feeling hungry and THIS is what needs to be lowered. Don't lower the carbs at the expense of the fibre or starch. Our bodies NEED that, particularly our brains. Below are a couple SP links re Carbs and Fats you may wish to read:

My own pie chart is usually fairly close to the suggested pie chart, but SLIGHTLY higher on the carbs and slightly lower on the fat. When I first started here and had to drop my calories a wee bit I had to make a concentrated effort to UP my fat because I always knew I ate a really low fat diet, but didn't realize how much too low, and then reducing the calories a little, I started to get really hungry.


Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 8/17/2012 (07:33)
SALONKITTY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (6,605)
Posts: 672
8/17/12 6:28 A

I feel much healthier when I don't eat a lot of carbs, and when the carbs I do eat are exclusively from veggies and certain fruits. I eat between 30-50g carbs/day. The rest of my intake is fat and protein. Upping my saturated fats has been very important in terms of how I feel physically, as well as improving my moods and general attitude. Getting enough protein has also been important.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
8/17/12 2:13 A

The Atkins diet is a high-fat low-carb diet plan that tends to work. People lose a lot of weight quite easily.

Most people find it's not a sustainable lifestyle, return to old habits, and gain it back. But if you naturally prefer a similar way of eating, and this is working for you, I would suggest that it's probably not terribly harmful.

If you can reduce the fat amounts there's probably some health benefits to that. Eating a lot of fat can't be good for you, even good healthy fats. But it's probably much more important, while losing weight, to feel comfortable and sated so you can stick to a sensible total calorie intake.

Just as long as you're not on the Twinkie diet... ;)

STRONG-IN-FAITH SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 1
8/17/12 1:33 A

I would say try to get your % of fat down to 30 or so if possible. If you're eating that much fat, then you're most definitely lacking in the nutrients you get from protein and carbs. In general, I don't count calories or track anything. I just try to have a lean protein, a source of healthy fat, a vegetable or fruit and a complex carb at each meal. Snacks should be a combination of at least 2 macros or it will not likely make you feel full. Basically, balance is key. Good luck!

Fitness Minutes: (823)
Posts: 11
8/16/12 9:28 P


i've noticed that since i've started tracking on spark, my calorie intake has been fine, but my macronutrient percentages are way off the recommended. I typically eat 50-60% of my calories from fat, near the target in protein and way under for carbs. Normally my fats are good fats, like nuts, vegetable oils and avocados (though today i did have a pork chop, bacon *and* cheese- heh- I swear my only red meat day in two weeks :)

And yet, making sure I have this much fat in my diet is really important for me. I'm not a volume eater I guess. It's not as important to me to eat a big portion of food. But I never really feel sated unless I have a decent amount of protein and fat. And if I start eating a ton of carbs, I tend to be more prone to sugar binges. Pasta and breads (even whole wheat varieties) often lead to piece of cake. A piece of cake to a whole cake, etc.

I guess I just wanted to put that out there and see what everyone else's experiences were. Can you tell a difference in how you feel/your success when eating a particular concentration of carbs vs. fats. vs. proteins? How in line is the concentration that works best for you also in line with Spark's recommendations?

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