What about Carbs?
When I eat, I do not count calories and I do not count macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat). Strictly focusing on primal/paleo foods, I minimize carb intake while optimizing fat intake. When it comes to protein intake, Mark Sisson said, “Your appetite will guide you effectively to meet your protein requirements, just as your thirst does for hydration requirements.” This intuitive approach to eating feels just right to me.
If one wants to lose weight, it is important to keep in mind that too many carbs will trigger a high insulin production and this will put one’s body into fat-storing mode. The Primal Blueprint Carbohydrate Curve highlights what may be the best daily carb intake, in most cases, whether we have a few pounds to lose or for “effortless weight maintenance.” So here’s the suggested carbohydrates’ consumption range:
0 to 50 Grams of Carbs Per Day
So few carbs a day will put one in ketosis and usually allow for quick fat loss. This might be alright for a day or two (like when doing Intermittent Fasting), but it is definitively not recommended for long periods of time for the majority of people.
50 to 100 Grams of Carbs Per Day
This amount of carbs is the “weight loss sweet spot.” Insulin production is still fairly low, so the body will be able to tap into its fat stores and produce ketones. At the same time, it is alright to eat from the whole selection of primal nutrient-dense whole foods (meat, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, vegetables, and low-glycemic fruits).
100 to 150 Grams of Carbs Per Day
This amount of carbs is what works for most people for “effortless weight maintenance,” after reaching ideal body composition goals. I would say that this is when intuitive eating is king, provided there are no grains or processed foods eaten.
150 to 300 Grams of Carbs Per Day
Eating that many carbs each day will likely trigger “insidious weight gain” as insulin will have to be produced in greater quantities throughout the day. This amount of carbs can easily be reached when one eats grains and sugary snacks.
300 or More Grams of Carbs Per Day
So many carbs undoubtedly puts someone in a situation where measures have to be taken in order to head back in the right direction. Processed foods have to go!
This carbohydrate curve is a nice help when we try to figure out what may be the next best step to reach optimal body composition. It takes time to be attuned to one’s body, especially after years of eating the Standard American Diet. But after switching to primal/paleo nutrient-dense foods, intuitive eating comes much more easily. See how your body responds to the changes you introduce. We are all unique individuals so you will have to decide for yourself what to eat depending on your daily activity levels. And of course, always consult your primary physician before starting anything new!
Until next time!
Sisson, Mark. The New Primal Blueprint : Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy. Oxnard, Ca, Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2017, pp. 414–26, 448-50.
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