T Nation

counting carbs

Hey Everyone,

I am slowly but surely getting my girlfriend to adopt some better eating habits and an excercise routine.

My first goal was to get her to cut out all the ritz crackers, bagel chips, etc, basically all the high carb foods that she loves.

Getting her to quit eating all the crackers and stuff was suprisingly easy. Now our next goal is to try and get her carb intake down somewhat. I was reading one of the hot rox faq articles and it said that for steady weight loss a good goals is one gram of carbs per pound of body weight per day. She isn’t using hot rox, but the article suggested that the guide lines were good for anyone to follow.

My question about carb counting is this, should we be counting every single carb in every little thing she is eating, including vegetables and fruits? Or should we just be counting the carbs you get from bread, pasta, etc.

For example today her goal was 120g of carbs, and she actually ended up eating 150. Its really suprising when you add it all up the end of the day. She was eating alot of carrots, brocoli, and other veggies, which all contain carbs and add up at the end of the day.

Anyways, if anyone can help me answer my question about counting carbs that would be great.



Yo Tones,
YEah…a carb is a carb my man! The only way you can get out of “counting” a carb per say is when you factor in the fiber content of a particular food. For instance, a serving of green beans has a total of 4 carbs, yet 2 of those carbs comes from fiber. Fiber isnt digested by the body so there is no insulin response to it. Hence, in all actuality, you only need to count 2 of those carbs. So yes, your girlfriend should count carbs coming from veggies and fruit. However, since she is “over” her goal CHO intake by 30 grams…she might want to get rid of the carrots…they tend to be one of the veggies which is high on the GI and II scale. In terms of veggies, try to get her to stink to the low GI greens, such as spinach, broccoli, and green beans. In terms of fruits…have her stick to low GI as well, such as apples, oranges and berries. Hope that helps my man…Tony G

You should count all carbs if you’re looking to go ketogenic. (You weren’t really specific about that…) However, for general health and weight loss, it’s hard to go wrong eating good fibrous veggies. A diet full of broccoli and cauliflower isn’t going to make anyone fat. The only thing to watch out for is if the carb consumption starts to interfere with her getting enough protein and/or EFAs. But I doubt that’d be something that you’d realistically have to deal with.

I agree with the above replies also. A carb is a carb. However, my wife is a total carb junky also, and when I got her to cut out starches and replace them with fruits/veggies she hardened up in about two weeks. When you consider both the fiber content and the lower GI of most fruits and veggies there’s really no need to stress over their carb content. If you’ve managed to cut out most starches your total calorie intake takes a real nosedive. Tell your girlfriend what I told my wife—EAT UP!!!

I would save the money on the supps right now until she gets her nutrition down.

And realize that she doesn’t need to do all this over night or in one week. She has a lifetime; therefore proceed with “baby steps” or one step at a time.

She’s cut out processed food, is that what you’re saying? Good. What’s her protein intake like? Protein satiates. Cuts down on cravings. Besides bein’ pretty damn handy when one is embarking on a training program.

I eat the brunt of my carbs earlier in the day. If I want a bagel as part of my breakfast then dammit, I’m eating a bagel. It ain’t gonna kill me. As the day progresses, then I eat either less carbs or exchange fibrous for the starchy. Especially if you’re wanting to drop BF. Eat more fibrous carbs (as was suggested above).

Thanks very much for the advice everyone. Yea, i am trying to do this one small step at a time.

Thanks for the info about the fiberous carbs. It didnt even occur to me. So basically you all are saying that even though stuff like brocooli, peppers, beans, etc contain carbs, they are more fiborous and low GI, so i shouldn’t worry to much about them? What about bananas? I know they have carbs, any idea on what type they are?

I think so far things are going well, i am getting her to participate in my submission wrestling class, and we are working on hitting the weights a few times a week, plus some other stuff. One step at a time i guess.



You wrote:

“So basically you all are saying that even though stuff like brocooli, peppers, beans, etc contain carbs, they are more fiborous and low GI, so i shouldn’t worry to much about them?”

Yes. That’s what I’m saying. (Except that I spell and punctuate better. :wink: )

Funny stuff Char, thanks for the laugh.

banana’s are considered a high GI fruit…like I said…you’re better off sticking to apples, oranges, and berries for your fruit. Then again, Like Patricia said…if you/she are going to eat alot of carbs…eat the,m earlier in the morning and taper off. In that case, if you’re craving a banana, eat one! Just eat them earlier in the day. And YES…stick to fibrous veggies. They are the way to go. But you still need to “count” the carbs, you just dont have to be as concerned about them as would with starchy food.