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Old 06-03-2011, 04:08 PM   #1
Patrick Fitzgibbon
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Paleo and Carbs

Just started the Paleo diet and a "nutritionist" friend was concerned with what he conceived to be a lack of carbs in this diet. I normally do a lot of running with a wod. My question is how essential are carbs to a diet and how many should I be consuming? I'm 6'1" and weigh around 208. I'd ideally like to be down to 185. Thanks for your help!
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Old 06-03-2011, 04:35 PM   #2
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Paleo and Carbs

Ask your nutritionist friend what types of foods he considers to be carbs. Then ask him what he thinks fruits and vegetables are. If necessary, give him a hint that they're not protein and they're not fat.

How many carbs someone needs per day is highly individualized and varies based on goals, body composition, and type/frequency of training. This (WFS) is a decent starting point though.
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Old 06-03-2011, 04:53 PM   #3
Ian Nigh
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Re: Paleo and Carbs

There is no such thing as essential carbohydrates. Fatty acids? yes. Amino acids? yes! Carbs? Nope. Do a search for gluconeogenesis and ketosis.

Will you perform better if you eat some carbohydrate? That depends on many factors including the type, duration and intensity of your physical activity, your genetics, and how much else you are eating. Mark's blog linked above is a great source of info, as is a book called The Paleo Solution, by R. Wolf.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:36 AM   #4
Shane Skowron
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Re: Paleo and Carbs

Optimal endurance performance is inhibited by lack of carbohydrates. There are studies on this. However if you are not interested in optimal performance and losing weight is more important to you, it may be worthwhile to sacrifice some carbs.

If you do a lot of low intensity aerobic exercise (defined as easy running, rowing, cycling, swimming, walking) the body will tend to burn more fat from the body and will require less caloric intake to replenish.

A very talented ultramarathon runner used to train by going as slow as possible and not taking in any calories during the training or for several hours afterward. The theory here was that by doing this you are teaching the body to oxidize fat as fuel. (see: wfs)

On the other hand high intensity work will burn more calories in general (good for losing weight) but it also takes a great toll on the body for recovery, which can be averted by consuming more calories. So it's a catch-22.
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