How Many Carbohydrates?

- POSTED ON: Apr 14, 2011

Some of you might be interested in the above
 detailed nutritional information chart which is based on
my daily food-intake data over the past  six years.

Around the middle of 2010,
I became interested in experimenting with low-carb issues,
primarily due to Taubes’ Good Calories Bad Calories,
as well as my own weight-maintenance difficulties.
I made several brief (failed) efforts during 2010.
At the beginning of 2011, I started a Low-Carb Experiment-of-One
In the years prior to that time, I did not consciously try to restrict carbs.

Calorie Restriction has always been
my primary method of weight-loss and maintenance.

While reducing my calories, I made a conscious effort to eat a reasonable amount of protein.
Even though I primarily ate low-fat, fat is in just about everything.
So, due to my calorie restriction,
there were simply less calories available to take in as carbohydrates.

Taubes’ writing has made me aware of the fact that
in every diet throughout my lifetime….and there have been a lot of them….
my calorie restriction has also inadvertently resulted in a reduction of carbohydrates.

I remember that in years prior to the end of 2004,
during the times when I wasn’t restricting calories,
my primary food was carbs
…sugars, simple and complex carbs, and fat.
I believe that, at that time, I ate about the same amount of protein that I do now.

 I have detailed daily records of my food-intake from 9/20/2004 through today.
For the past 2398 consecutive days, I have entered all my food into my DietPower log.
The DietPower program stores that data, and makes it readily accessible to me.
I can easily access my data in “averages” for specific time periods,
or for exact amounts within individual days.
This gives me the ability to make an accurate personal analysis of my own behavior.
which is limited of course, by my own insufficient skills of analysis.

I began maintaining my current weight in January 2006,
and have now done so for the past 5 years.

During that 5 year period, I have experimented with a number of different issues,
involving food-intake and exercise,
by using a number of different methods and ways-of-eating.
Eating more, eating less; exercising more, exercising less etc.

Leaving the issue of ongoing Hunger and Cravings aside,
I’ve been concerned about the fact that..
..….independent of any exercise or ageing issues…..
my calorie requirement to maintain my current weight has dropped over time.

It is impossible for anyone outside a lab to ever accurately count calories,
because all calorie counting involves estimates along with a reliance on food labels.
Therefore, the ACTUAL CALORIE NUMBER, can be inaccurate.
However, my focus is on my personal Calorie deviations over time.
I weigh/measure foods and count the calories in them
the same manner, and by the same methods
so...Over Time... I am actually measuring my own behavior BY my own behavior…
…which I believe is as accurate as anyone can ever be in real life.

The FACTS are:

To maintain at or near my current weight:….
1st year of Maintenance: 2006 – Calorie intake 1505
2nd year of Maintenance: 2007 – Calorie intake 1408
3rd year of Maintenance: 2008 - Calorie intake 1179
4th year of Maintenance: 2009 – Calorie intake 1045
5th year of Maintenance: 2010 – Calorie intake 1076

This calorie deviation is not explainable by exercise or aging…
and probably not even by carbohydrate intake.

During my 16 months of weight-loss my calorie intake averaged around 1200 calories,
and I lost from 190 to 115, which is 75 lbs.

During the first two years after that, I maintained around 115 lbs
while eating about a 1450 average calorie intake.

During the 3rd year, in order to maintain close to that same weight,
it was necessary to drop my calories about 250 calories a day.

During the 4th and 5th years, in order to maintain close to that same weight,
it was necessary to drop my calories an additional 120….
which is about 370 less a day than I ate during the first two years,
and about 150 daily calories less than I ate during my 16 month weight-loss period.
There simply don’t appear to be any factors….
….outside my body’s own desire to regain lost weight….
that adequately explain this to me.

As a result of the above-information, I have come to the personal conclusion that
the simple Calories-in/Calories-out, together with the Theory – 3500 calories = 1 fat lb,
just don’t adequately explain what is going on inside my own body.

I feel certain that this is PARTIALLY due to the fact
that I am maintaining  in a "normal" weight-range LONG-TERM,
after many years of obesity,
which puts me into the category of
a "reduced obese" person,
No Scientific Research Study Results exist in that area,
for many obvious reasons.

However, I am also personally very interested in the fact
that "The GREAT CALORIE THEORY" i.e. 3500 calories = 1 fat lb.

doesn't actually seem to accurately apply for many people
who are at the height of their morbid obesity,
or for formerly "reduced morbidly obese"  people
who are maintaining in a "normal" weight range.

I am becoming convinced that there are unknown factors regarding this issue
that have not yet been discovered by Science.

However, I'm not waiting for that discovery to determine my personal eating behavior,
because it might never happen....Not in my lifetime anyway,
and I have really grown fond of  living inside a normal size body.
My plan is to continue to engage in whatever eating behavior it takes
for me to maintain my current body size.


Leave me a comment.

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Existing Comments:

On Apr 14, 2011 wrote:
2398 days in a row of writing down your food is Monumental!

On Apr 14, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Thanks Toni. This is definately a major element of my weight-loss and maintenance success.

On Apr 14, 2011 Karen925 wrote:
Have you been able to see a correlation of eating lower carbs and then the ability to have more calories? I do not think that this is an infinite number but perhaps a couple hundred or so. That is the questions I have for myself, my cal/carb budget. I am more complicated as I have hormonal swings which effects these values and food desires. When I get some time this weekend, I intend to review my data for the past 6-9 months and see if there is a trend. For me, the extra calories want to come as a form of carb- rarely do I desire to eat more fat or protein.

On Apr 14, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Karen, so far my data is inconclusive, but there is a possibility that I can have somewhere from 70 to 100 more calories when doing Very-Low-Carb which is below 30 net carbs--or an average of about 20 net carbs. However, thus far, that evidence indicates those extra calories need to be fat, since at that number, I will have already met my carb quota and exceeded my protein quota. ************************8*** After doing several weeks of very-low-carb, my physical cravings for carbs appear to be somewhat reduced--but not necessarily my mental cravings. White sugar and white flour aren't normally the issue, but I find myself longing for complex carbs like oatmeal, whole wheat, corn, beans, brown rice etc. ALSO, despite the majority claims to the contrary, even when getting slightly higher calories in a moderate-protein, and very-low-carb total calorie allotment...I haven't found myself to be less physically hungry than I am when I normally restrict calories only---while maximizing my nutritional values. ***** ****************** Of course, I would be far more hungry, if what I ate was 1000 calories of refined carbs...but that has not been my maintenance style, so that is not the food plan that I am measuring low-carb against. ****** ****** **** The experiment has been interesting, and my intention is to continue it for at least a couple of months more. However, thus far, I've found the results to be less than satisfactory. I believe this is probably because I am a "reduced obese" person who has been maintaining a long-term weight loss. I might have better low-carb results if I were willing to allow my weight to increase 40 lbs or so perhaps just to the low border of obesity ...but I do not find that an acceptable option.

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