T Nation

Q? regarding counting carbs

How does everyone count their macronutrients? What I mean is this…

The beef jerky I eat has 4g/carbs to its 12g/protein. The nuts I eat have something like 16g/fat, 8g/protein, and 6g/carbs per serving. My protein powder has 5g/carbs to its 22g/protein…though I normally eat these foods as protein or protein-fat meals, the carbs add up quickly…I include them in my daily total of carbs–should I?

I hope this question is clear and useful.

…Why on earth wouldn’t you?

I try to keep good estimates on total calories, and all macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat).

You’re doing the right thing to count them and include them in your totals. As you said, they can definitely add up, and not counting them can give you completely different totals at the end of the day.

dont count fiber or sugar alcohols…i dont even count fiber as calories…but sugar alcohol are caloric…just not really effecting blood sugar…in like 99% of ppl…1% it does though hehe.

My 2 Sense.
Count your calories…for about 2 weeks, then sit down and write every possible meal menu that fits into your plan, i.e. if you are trying to make every meal 600cal with a 33/33/33 macro count, sit down and write every combination that fits into that.
Once you’ve got a good base of menus, throw away your calorie journal! most of us do anyway but have nothing to fall back on so eventually the diet becomes corrupt .

Counting calories just plain sucks, why should I count the same calories over and over and over.
i.e. I have about 25 good solid a.m. meals that I alternate between, I like 'em all and I can change them depending on what’s in the cupboards how I feel etc. My menu is always evolving, as I discover or read about new foods.

Just a suggestion hope it helps someone. P.S. the 33/33/33 example was just that, your macro split is personnal, you need to experiment to find out what works for your situation, I like the 33 split when I’m at maintenance weight, but when I’m cutting I never keep the same split for more than 2-3 weeks.

Thunder Wrote: [quote]You’re doing the right thing to count them and include them in your totals. As you said, they can definitely add up, and not counting them can give you completely different totals at the end of the day.[/quote]

Gotta agree with that statement.

Sugar alcohols, as far as I have heard the jury is still out on them as far as how much they impact your insulin. I personally just stay away from the stuff as much as possible. Just more highly processed empty calories as far as I am concerned.

Phill

[quote]
dont count fiber or sugar alcohols…i dont even count fiber as calories…but sugar alcohol are caloric…just not really effecting blood sugar…in like 99% of ppl…1% it does though hehe [/quote]

So you think how a food affects blood sugar determines its effects on you? So one could consume 150g of sugar alcohols a day and just ‘ignore’ it? You’re ignoring the entire concept of calories.

Thanks all.

Lonelobo–I DO count them in my totals, but in doing so I’ve begun to wonder how guys like CT, when he did his transformation, kept carbs to a given number, especially when using something like Surge which provides a large amount of carbs at once. My problem was that even in my P + F meals, the carbs add up…

I think it is pretty easy to hit a specific amount of carbs or whatever macronutrient you have.

It requires some time and effort though. What you need to do is weigh the food or measure out everything. So if you know that cottage cheese has 15g P, 2g of Fat, and 6 g of carbs per cup, you just measure out the unit, and count the macros. Record them in a book and keep track of the book all day.

Read the labels and keep a count to determine what you can and can’t eat.

The other thing that helps is to know what foods contain what. It may require you eating very repitiously, but once you know what food combos give the right macro breaks for massive eating style, it becomes much easier to hit the daily limit.

So with a little due diligence one can hit the goals within +/- 15 cals of the guidelines.

To recap…get food guide, read labels to determine macros and calories, weigh and measure, and muck down.