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View Full Version : Going from 100g carbs a day to 200g - big deal?



BigStu81
11-05-2015, 03:37 AM
Hey guys,

I've been eating around 100g lean carbs (broccoli, plum tomatoes, etc) a day for a couple months now. It's really helped accelerate my fat loss. However, I feel like I'm struggling to get in enough potassium on this amount of carbs - I work in an office so steaming spinach is a no go. I generally tend to use bananas, baby plum tomatoes, dried fruits, etc.

Since trying to hit my potassium, I feel MUCH better. In particular, I used to have regular calf cramps which no amount of foam rolling/stretching would cure, and I also regularly got eyelid twitching which I always put down to tiredness. Now I know that both of these are symptoms of low potassium and interestingly they have both completely vanished since I've upped my intake.

I'm wondering if ~200g of carbs is still considered low carb?


Here are my cutting macros:

239lbs bodyweight (quite chubby, estimate around 30% bodyfat)
Sedentary desk job, training 3x a week on strength program

2300 cals
Carbs: 173g
Fat: 77g
Protein: 230g

Also, does my fat look too low? I was on 100g before, but low carbs were killing my deadlifts/squats and I was always feeling burnt out...

BigStu81
11-05-2015, 03:48 AM
BTW, I got these figures from the Freedieting calculator. The updated IIFYM now confuses me because it isn't clear whether 'minutes exercised per day' relates to every day or just the training days - the values can change drastically depending on interpretation.

I also wonder if 230g of protein is too high as I've got a fair amount of fat and seems to be the consensus that only 0.8 is needed - although I do like a little headroom when cutting.

gbullock32
11-05-2015, 03:50 AM
Low carb is relative to the individual, some would say yes and others no...

Eat as many or few carbs as you want, they are discretionary once fat/protein needs are met.

BigStu81
11-05-2015, 03:53 AM
Cheers mate, repped for taking the time to answer.

Do you think my fat/protein look reasonable? I'd estimate that I'd be around 200lb (maybe just under) if I was 'slim'. I'm a naturally big guy and I'm 6'2.

I know that it's stupid to obsess over minute details, but I just want to ensure I'm not headed for deficiencies etc...

gbullock32
11-05-2015, 04:14 AM
Cheers mate, repped for taking the time to answer.

Do you think my fat/protein look reasonable? I'd estimate that I'd be around 200lb (maybe just under) if I was 'slim'. I'm a naturally big guy and I'm 6'2.

I know that it's stupid to obsess over minute details, but I just want to ensure I'm not headed for deficiencies etc....8g of protein per pound, .4g fat per pound; hit those minimums and you're fine.

jampottt
11-05-2015, 04:16 AM
It's not silly to obsess over tiny details, if anything it's a good thing because you're taking what you want seriously.

Your fats are quite low for your current stats, you'd be better off around 96g of dietary fat to stop you feeling lousy. For cutting, a little higher than 0.8g can be good for maintaining strength, but if you want to drop to 0.8g per lb to factor in the extra carbs, try it and see how you go. From my calculations, you could keep your protein the same, move your fats up to 96g and reduce carbs to 128g to keep your calories around the same. I wonder if you're cutting too much though, if I was to cut now I'd be looking at 2300 cals and we're the same height, but 80lbs apart.

Fats can work as a great fat source, and I've found high fat to be better for keeping me energised than high carbs, but each body is individual. Keep mixing things up, and as long as you're making progress with your weight going down and your lifting not being affected too much, you should be fine.

ShyGuyXS
11-05-2015, 04:19 AM
How much weight are you losing per week/month? You might be able to eat a bit more while still losing weight (depending on activity and other factors).

Protein is more than sufficient. If you find yourself struggling with energy, etc., don't be afraid to increase dietary fat intake. (It's not extremely low but a little lower than the general recommendation of .4g/lb.) If you feel fine right now, that's fine, but it's the first thing I would increase. Everyone's body is slightly different. Some prefer fats being quite a bit higher than the minimum recommendation while others do best with ~.4-.45g/lb.

Here are the recommendations from Emma-Leigh's sticky:


2. Fats: Generally speaking, although the body can get away with short periods of very low fat, in the long run your body NEEDS fat to maintain health, satiety, and sanity. Additionally - any form of high intensity training will benefit from a 'fat buffer' in your diet - which controls free radical damage & inflammation. General guides:
Average or low bodyfat: 1-1.5g fat/ kg body weight [between 0.4-0.7g total weight/ pounds]. But up to 2g/kg might be needed.
High bodyfat: 1-1.5g fat/ Kg LEAN weight [between 0.4-0.7g LEAN weight/ pounds]. But up to 2g/ kg lean might be needed.
Low cal dieting: You can decrease further, but as a minimum, I would not suggest LESS than about 0.30g/ pound.

DGMan99
11-05-2015, 04:21 AM
Cheers mate, repped for taking the time to answer.

Do you think my fat/protein look reasonable? I'd estimate that I'd be around 200lb (maybe just under) if I was 'slim'. I'm a naturally big guy and I'm 6'2.

I know that it's stupid to obsess over minute details, but I just want to ensure I'm not headed for deficiencies etc...

In with GBullock. You could decrease protein, its higher than it needs to be, in order to increase your carbs and help you reach your 'potassium goal' .

FYI- Potassium isn't only in carb foods. Greek yogurt and dairy in general is rich in potassium, as is most meat, vegetables and nuts.

BigStu81
11-05-2015, 09:24 AM
Ok, I'm thinking...

Cals: 2300
Protein:200
Fat: 96
Carbs: 160

I've both increased fat and reallocated some protein to carbs. I think 200g is plenty of protein considering that I'm at least 30 lbs overweight - still gives over 1g per lb of LBM and 0.8 is meant to be enough...

Mrpb
11-05-2015, 10:47 AM
I never understand why people set their macros to the gram. I just heard Eric Helms saying in an interview he doesn't even track his macros most of the season. And that's a competitive power lifter.

Protein and fats are minimums. As long as you reach them you can eat whatever you prefer. If you eat 120 gram carbs one day and 180 gram carbs the next day it's doesn't matter one iota. Just keep hitting your calorie goal for the week.

BigStu81
11-05-2015, 11:29 AM
In practice I don't follow them to the gram. However, I find that I need a strict plan to achieve a moderate level of success.

That said, I think that having revised my macros to free up 60g of carbs will go a long way to hitting my potassium macro as discussed above, and I don't think it's foolish to be trying to achieve the minimum recommended fat intake either...

BigStu81
11-05-2015, 11:35 AM
Also, don't forget that I'm cutting. Going 60g over on carbs would mean getting insufficient protein/fat which would surely be detrimental if done often enough. Of course, this would be different at times when I'm able to hit my minimums with extra cals to burn.

Jasonk282
11-05-2015, 11:41 AM
Also, don't forget that I'm cutting. Going 60g over on carbs would mean getting insufficient protein/fat which would surely be detrimental if done often enough. Of course, this would be different at times when I'm able to hit my minimums with extra cals to burn.

How so? carbs have protein in them as well.

As long as you are hitting your protein and fat numbers it really doesn't matter if you go over on carbs, as long as you stay in a calorie deficit you're fine.

Mrpb
11-05-2015, 11:48 AM
Cals: 2300
Protein:200
Fat: 96
Carbs: 160


This is the idea:
Cals 2300
Protein minimum 200
Fat minimum 96

Rest of calories: any mix of carbs, protein and fat you prefer.

There's no benefit to setting your carbs in advance. It's unnecessary and limits your options.

Just eat the foods you prefer, make sure to hit your minimum protein and fat and let the rest fall into place.

BigStu81
11-05-2015, 01:15 PM
Ok, cheers for the advice. I didn't explain myself as well as I could've. I meant that going over on carbs means I usually have to either overshoot calories or sacrifice hitting pigeon/fat - e.g. too many oats for breakfast and I start running out of cals.

I like your approach tho and will certainly be mixing it up when I have more leeway with my cals. I might also try and do some cardio so I can eat more. I really want to hit my micros like iron, fibre, potassium, magnesium, etc, and it's so hard to do with the limited calories - I end up driving myself insane with trying to plan foods that hit all goals.

I'm not an OCS nutter though! I just had a ****ty diet for years and found that upping potassium has really helped my energy etc, so I want to experiment with all the other micro nutrients.

Jcart159
11-05-2015, 01:46 PM
Ok, cheers for the advice. I didn't explain myself as well as I could've. I meant that going over on carbs means I usually have to either overshoot calories or sacrifice hitting pigeon/fat - e.g. too many oats for breakfast and I start running out of cals.

I like your approach tho and will certainly be mixing it up when I have more leeway with my cals. I might also try and do some cardio so I can eat more. I really want to hit my micros like iron, fibre, potassium, magnesium, etc, and it's so hard to do with the limited calories - I end up driving myself insane with trying to plan foods that hit all goals.

I'm not an OCS nutter though! I just had a ****ty diet for years and found that upping potassium has really helped my energy etc, so I want to experiment with all the other micro nutrients.

You don't necessarily need to hit micronutrient minimums on a daily basis, but should look more to cover daily average minimums over a few days, or even a week.

I don't really have any sources to cite my claims (negs welcomed) but hopefully someone with some actual info can shed some more light on that.

The point I am trying to get at is that you don't need to micromanage things to quite the extent you are trying to do to have optimal nutrition for your exercise goals, and your health.

BigStu81
11-05-2015, 01:58 PM
Glad to hear that man! I thought 'it can't be THIS hard!' But then I started thinking that was maybe why some body builders eat the same thing almost every day and follow a diet to the letter. Maybe I'll start trying to hit them just mon-fri.

BigStu81
11-05-2015, 02:00 PM
I do take magnesium, Omega caps and a decent multi (Alpha Men) as well.

Lack of potassium info on food really bugs me to be fair. I had to actually set up a custom food on MFP with just one gram of potassium as the sole nutrient. This allows me to just add to it as I go - e.g. if a food has 50g potassium then I can add 50 servings of this entry to my log.

ErikTheElectric
11-05-2015, 06:17 PM
Hey guys,

I've been eating around 100g lean carbs (broccoli, plum tomatoes, etc) a day for a couple months now. It's really helped accelerate my fat loss. However, I feel like I'm struggling to get in enough potassium on this amount of carbs - I work in an office so steaming spinach is a no go. I generally tend to use bananas, baby plum tomatoes, dried fruits, etc.

Since trying to hit my potassium, I feel MUCH better. In particular, I used to have regular calf cramps which no amount of foam rolling/stretching would cure, and I also regularly got eyelid twitching which I always put down to tiredness. Now I know that both of these are symptoms of low potassium and interestingly they have both completely vanished since I've upped my intake.

I'm wondering if ~200g of carbs is still considered low carb?


Here are my cutting macros:

239lbs bodyweight (quite chubby, estimate around 30% bodyfat)
Sedentary desk job, training 3x a week on strength program

2300 cals
Carbs: 173g
Fat: 77g
Protein: 230g

Also, does my fat look too low? I was on 100g before, but low carbs were killing my deadlifts/squats and I was always feeling burnt out...


No, it hasn't.


The term "Low" or "high" anything is subjective and they can mean anything to anyone.

IMO, it would be considered moderate.