T Nation

Carb Phobia?

I would like you guys opinion. Are we developing a “carb phobia” much like the “fat phobia” of the 80’s and 90’s? Reading this Forum sometimes makes you think so! I have to be honest…I don’t eat carbs with the same “enthusiasm” I do protein…and THAT’S crazy! Your thoughts…

I’d have to agree. I was the same way. I went on a keto diet and actually put on weight. Anyway, that cured my carb phobia pretty quick. Of course so does being a poor student. My main issue with carbs are all the refined ones people eat. For example, I almost never buy bread because even the whole wheat bread is more refined than it used to be. The only kind thats seems to be any good is the health food store stuff, which is pricey. I stick with raw oats, brown rice, and un-pearled barley. Some people love higher fat diets because of the fact that the alternative(in their minds) is a diet with refined carbs. Most people still don’t understand the difference between the types of carbs, but I notice they know the difference between types of fats. Its really quite odd.

Generally, yes. I think what will happen is that we’ll realize, “whoah…hey, certain carbs are bad (simple carbs), but complex carbs offer alot of benefits.” Just like everyone did with fat. Even the authors praising ‘hunter/gatherer’ type diets don’t tell you to eliminate all carbohydrates. But, you see, ‘balance’ isn’t sexy, it’s not exciting…so we need extreme diets. It’s just boring eating a ‘balanced’ diet. Also, it is faster to lose weight on a keto diet, what with the water loss and all. But a balance of all the macronutrients (like with the Zone) offers the best overall program for weight loss, muscle growth, and health/longevity. Interestingly enough, carbs are ‘anti-catabolic’ in the sense that the more carbs you ingest, especially while dieting, the less muscle tissue will be prone to ‘dismantle’ and free amino acids for gluconeogenesis (this particular role of carbs is called its protein-sparing action).

Blame Jenifer Aniston, Lisa-Marie and the like.

It’s good that 1g of carbs produces 4.2 kCal and 1 g of fat produces 9 kCal… so the fat phobia is more than twice bigger than carb phobia. :wink:

I personally think the Fat Fasters and keto guys and the like go through way too much pain and sacrifice unnecessarily. First of all, it’s pretty unhealty. Second, you feel like shit. Third, it hampers muscle gains. Fourth, it’s unnecessary. It comes down to calories in vs. calories out (for the most part). I’ve gotten ripped while eating white rice daily. Plenty of carbs.

I tried the no carb thing a few years ago. I lasted one day and said, “Fuck this!” I can’t live without carbs. I increased my protein intake in February and am now getting at least 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight. My carbs were sacrificed slightly to do that, but I still get my daily servings of fruits and veggies. The only thing I have changed when it comes to carbs is no more white breads, white rice or very little to no pasta unless it’s whole wheat. That refined flour is horrible stuff to the body. I can live on fruits and vegetables for carbs and do just fine.

As far as carb phobia, just look around you in the gym. People are not putting on size very fast anymore. You see a lot of small ripped people doing excessive isolation movements at the exclusion of power movements like deadlifts and squats all walking around talking about how much protein they are eating. If you aren’t taking in enough calories to increase your muscle mass and consuming enough to carbs to replenish glycogen stores, while maintaining a fat intake that keeps your body running smoothly, you are not going to grow. Massive protein intake does not mean massive muscle growth. The majority of the protein that makes up muscle tissue is formed by your body(non-essential amino acids). The majority of muscle tissue is water(nearly 75%) which is replenished by carbs(since for every molecule of carbohydrates there are three molecules of water). This is the significance behind carb loading, you are simply giving your body enough carbs to increase intra-muscular water.
Professor X

Professor: Intriguing and VERY thought provoking…I tell you, that “high protein/isolation movement bandwagon” is a tempting one. However, the more I push iron, the more I ascribe to the adage “keep it basic”. QUESTION: IN YOUR OPINION, what is 1) A good starting point in terms of cals/pound? 2) A good starting point for grams/pound of protein and most importantly 3)a good macro ratio? (For me: 15cals/lb. (to start; then adjust); 2-2.5 grams/lb of protein AND/OR about 40-50% of total cals; about 40% carbs;and about 10-15% fat).RIP THIS UP IF YOU’D like, guys; my mind STAYS open to new ways to look at things and the way the T-Mag community approaches their diet and workouts…

Just a reminder of what John wrote:

“Remember, however, that when constructing your eating plan you must realize that just because you’re following a diet with 50% carbs, 25% protein, and 15% fat or a diet 30% carbs, 40% protein, and 30% fat, that doesn’t mean that each meal is made up of these proportions. In fact, the meals should not all be of these proportions because this will mean undesirable blood levels of fat, carbs, and insulin. So using the techniques I taught you during the meal combination section, design a plan that has different proportions of macronutrients during different meal times but that achieves the optimal proportions of (40-30-30 or 50-25-15) by the end of the day.”

(Note: You determine a good ratio for you based on your level of insulin sensitivity).

Professor X, if I may correct you, one amount of muscle GLYCOGEN and not CARBS is responsible for triple that amount of intramuscular water.

Number one, Sasa Aksentijevic, I understand that carbs are stored in liver and muscle as glycogen, however, not everyone else does which is why I used that word but thank you for the concern. Mufasa,
QUESTION: IN YOUR OPINION, what is

  1. A good starting point in
    terms of cals/pound?
    I have begun to tell people to just multiply their weight by 15 if they have an average amount of body fat (ie. 10-15%), however, even this has its faults and is open to interpretation depending on the amount of body fat a person is carrying. So to avoid even getting into that discussion, will just tell you to monitor your caloric intake over the course of a week if your weight has been remaining constant and that is your maintenance.

  2. A good starting point for grams/pound of
    protein
    I am not one of those that tell people that they need to consume enough grams of protein to fill a Mack truck several times over considering your overall caloric intake is what determines whether you are gaining or losing weight in the first place. I would, however, tell someone looking to maintain or increase muscle mass to get AT LEAST 1 gr per pound of body weight. There are way to many guys trying to match Nasser in terms of the amount of protein eaten everyday, however, for some reason they don’t seem to be growing that much. Strange, huh?

and most importantly 3)a good macro ratio?
I have always liked 60% carbs-40% protein-20% fats, if you are looking to increase size since carbs are what provides your body with energy in the first place. Who cares how much protein you are eating if your glycogen stores are empty and you aren’t meeting maintenance?

Mufasa, I am sorry about that, I meant 50% carbs. I understand it may be a little difficult to give more than 100% of your effort into this.
Professor X

and 30% protein, damn, I wish this board had an “edit” button.
Professor X

Professor,you sound like you’re easily offended - apologies if I’m wrong. :wink:
If you take lots of protein and your carb intake is lower, some of the protein
will be excreted from the body and some of it will be converted to glycogen in the process
of gluconeogenesis. Therefore, my theory is that excessive protein intake will also
replenish glycogen stores in the body, not quickly and immediately like high GI carbs, but
it will happen nevertheless. During that process a lot of the protein will simply be wasted
and a significant termogenesis will occur. Of course it would be much cheaper to use carbs…
but I guess that the way from excessive carb intake to fat storage is much shorter than
the way from excessive protein intake to fat storage.

There are no essential carbs!! There is however essential fatty acids & amino acids