Carbs versus net carbs


I meant the tomatoes and avocado (I know it’s fruit but it can be vegetable too as the two things aren’t against each other, vegetable isn’t a botanical term), they are raw I suppose. And tiny raw vegs feel more and they are nicer, juicier than a bunch of vegs fried, at least to me. Fried cauliflower? I couldn’t stop until 1000g (in raw weight). Raw cauliflower (raw vegan kitchen influence…)? Barely any but it’s not juicy so let’s say a small cucumber (it’s even low-carb and mostly water, about zero nutrition but I ate my vegs for joy and to satisfy some part of mine as I just didn’t function without vegs for some reason back then).
Of course many vegs are better fried or whatever. I disliked steam ones but many people like them too. And you can eat tiny amounts so it’s fine for you. I always needed a lot of vegs not raw. Except maybe in soups, I kept my veggie soups even on keto while veggie dishes pretty much had to go. I did eat vegs but not like before. My vegetable dishes were way too carby for keto. Except my light thin soups. My SO’s veggie soups were too carby for me.

No weighing? Brave! Avocados may be similar sized but most fruits and vegs aren’t. But if it works for you, fine. We can’t track precisely anyway and we usually don’t know our limits first either… Still, I couldn’t have guessed if I ate 20 or 80g carbs without weighing everything! Now it’s easier as I mostly eat carnivore food.

Oh you do it simple, I am still not as good with it after several years… But it’s way better than it was.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #22

Regaining the ability to metabolise fatty acids is indeed metabolic flexibility, since the cells of our body never lose the ability to metabolise glucose (i.e., carbohydrate). Damaging our mitochondria from eating too much glucose, on the other hand, costs us our flexibility, since fatty-acid metabolism requires working mitochondria, but once they heal again, that returns us to true metabolic flexibility.

I certainly sympathise. I felt the same way when I decided to stop drinking alcohol, that I was chopping a whole swathe of pleasure out of my life. But I eventually realised, to my surprise, that I am much, much happier with alcohol out of my life. I am starting to think the same sort of thing about carbohydrate. Sugar no longer holds any appeal for me, but bread is clearly an addictive substance for me. I’ll be a lot happier when it loses its appeal, that’s for sure!

(Robin) #23

@never2late Never say never, never too late! Of course you know your own body and your psyche. You may not choose to sustain a low carb lifestyle indefinitely.

But you might also, given enough time, be surprised at what you do NOT miss. For many of us, we no longer miss inflammation, diabetes, arthritis, acid reflux/gert, poor sleep, low energy, sluggish brain, aches and pains, etc.

I still love miss ice cream, but not the accompanying achy joints and lethargy. I miss potato chips, but not the heavy feeling and intense cravings they brought.

I’m not trying to talk you out of eventually widening your choice of foods to suit your preferences. Just maybe not predetermine that yet… not until you have reaped the full benefits for several months.

However, it always comes down to you do you. And no one can decide that but us.


I suppose there are always going to be foods we’ll miss, perhaps because they’re attached to memories, or perhaps their smells just really really appeal to us, like bread, in my case. But yeah, knowing inflammation and pain will follow those foods is a great motivator to stay away from them. My aim is to do keto for at least six months to a year and then see what I want to do. I have already made saturated and unsaturated fats equal on this WOE and it may be, sometime in the future, beyond that experimental year, I move on to a more mediterranean style WOE if I feel that benefits my lipoedema more. I have already lost weight on keto, but I was slim to start with. I have already lost an inch of my waist which is now 26" (I really don’t need to lose more there), my hip circumference is "35. And at 114 pounds, 5.2 I don’t have a lot of weight to lose. But lipoedema is more than a fat disorder, it’s a loose connective tissue disorder, where fluid gets trapped in the fat and that’s problematic even if there’s not a lot of that fat, and causes bruising, spider veins and varicose. My only exercise is 45 min walk daily and that seems to be helping alongside keto to firm up the skin a little. But it’s going to be tricky I’ve realised, not to lose the weight that I don’t need to lose, and have my lipoedema (hopefully) eaten away by my own body once it reaches fat-adaptation, so to me this is all very experimental and intuitive.

(Robin) #25

I had somehow missed that you were already at a good weight! Absolutely, you are not the usual candidate for keto. I hope you may be able to maintain your weight on low carb and still help your condition. But only time will tell. I am so sorry you are dealing with this.


Thank you. I am feeling pretty good, and feel lucky to have got my lipoedema diagnosis early, as I know a lot of women goes through years of the frustration of not knowing what is wrong with them. And without knowledge they are unable to change their circumstances. I feel lucky to have both the tools of keto and IF in my tool belt though I do go a bit easy on IF and wouldn’t do any extended fasts as I’d be too low on energy. But I do 16:8 which works well. I think what makes me feel so positive is I am both experiencing health benefits from keto as well as enjoying the new food. One rather funny aspect of this lack of swelling I am experiencing is my engagement ring is now too big for my finger and keeps falling off, if that continues I’ll have to get it adjusted.


For most there’s no point in counting total, if your body doesn’t digest them, it doesn’t digest them.

That comes simply from more regular carb consumption. Metabolic flexibility is more something you lose, than you get. If you haven’t been keto for long, you’re metabolically flexible right now! It’s when you restrict carbs to keto levels and never change it that you lose it.

I’m very much for metabolic flexibility, our bodies should be able to burn any fuel we give it, without making us jumping off a cliff or like we have the flu because we eat some carbs, that’s insane. That’s trading one screwed up version of a metabolism for another.

I do a Hybrid of CKD and TKD, when I was super-duper strict keto guy for years, if I ate some carbs (usually crappy, but even good ones) I’d want to die. I’d feel like I got backed over by a truck, got tired and passed out, typically didn’t feel right the next day either. Now if I eat strict keto for days, eat some carbs, maybe its the day before a crazy leg day at the gym and I eat a decent amount of carbs, nothing happens. I can flip flop 100% seamlessly, it’s just all fuel now. But that took a while to get back, the biggest thing I noticed with adding them back in slowly is that with them in their more regularly, they stopped causing binges after the fact. Which for me was a HUGE problem!


Hi, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience. I suppose that’s why I am reluctant to give up carbs, and I mean the good ones, vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts and seeds, because I believe they should have a place in my life and I wouldn’t want to lose my ability to digest them. I believe Nature granted us these foods for a reason, and so for me personally, a diet has to have some carbs as well as healthy fats, mineral and vitamin rich foods, and proteins. I am basically thinking to keep these foods and that I will gradually also include more of them so long as it all still feels healthy and yields results.

(Christian Hirose Romeo Graham/廣瀬 グラハム クリスティン 路美男) #29

“Nature granted us these foods”
Most fruits and vegetables you see today, are hybridized and cultivated, so not quite the same as you’d seem them in nature.


Well I do realise that. And in an ideal world we’d all be growing our own food, have our own farm or know other farmers so well we could entirely trust their word and produce. But living on a budget it’s going to be the supermarked. And the same you just mentioned about plant-based foods also apply to meat and fish. Just as it’s the same principle there, that organic free range chickens and grass-fed cows and wild caught salmon are off the menu. So it’s about doing the best we can in these modern times. When I grew up my parents and grandparents all grew apples, pears, strawberries, rhubarb, raspberries etc, and I remember the sheer joy of picking them. And harvesting blueberries up in the mountain. But when you don’t have this opportunity you simply have to go with what’s reasonable for your wallet. And still try to eat intuitively and consciously.

(Allie) #31

This is very true, it’s all a case of doing the best we can with the options available to us.


It depends where you live and what data sources you use. For example, in the US and Canada (using US/Canadian data sources) net carbs are calculated by subtracting total fibre from the total carbohydrate. In the UK and much of Europe*, that calculation is already done so total carbs is the same as US net carbs. i.e if you then subtract fibre from UK/EU data source carbs you are double subtracting and may significantly underestimate the carbs contained in a particular foodstuff.

So, yes, counting carbs is “safer” if you are at all uncertain of the data source origin.

  • plus Australia, NZ, Mexico and a number of other countries.


If this is true then I’ve been over my carb allowance of 20 grams since the time I started (12 Oct). I have lost 8 pounds, and am now 114 pounds and I have noticed health benefits already from keto so something must’ve worked regardless. But if I’ve been going over 20 everyday, perhaps then I’m not in ketosis. As a little experiment I shall go stricter. Today my total UK carb amount so far is, according to google, 6 grams carbohydrates (approx)

I’ve so far had 10 almonds, 3 brazil nuts and 1 square of dark chocolate.

(Robin) #34

You don’t “lose the ability” to digest them. Your body had no choice but to digest them for your whole life. When you give your body choices, it will respond emphatically as to what it prefers.
If I were to suddenly reintroduce all the foods I’ve eliminated, my body would deal with it and digest it. And I would eventually feel like crap again.

Keep in mind some cravings are emotional, not physical. It takes a good long time to really feel the difference. Probably took me a good 6 months.


Not exactly as sweeteners are included too. That part is often a mystery, there are a few sweetened items where I have no idea about the net carb content, it’s good I don’t eat them… Sometimes there is a row for polyols but some polyols have a higher net carb content than others so it the item has different ones, the net carb content is still a mystery.
But the fibers are listed separately and there is always a row for sugars here (Hungary).

(Allie) #36

There’s nothing set in stone about the 20g, it’s just where most people are guaranteed to get into ketosis. You’re likely one of the people with a higher tolerance, I know I am.


My body always readily used both fat and carbs for fuel (probably protein too sometimes as I always ate more than enough from it but that wasn’t so important) but I never stayed away from either for very long… It would be interesting to be on keto for months, I just doubt I can pull it off, I don’t even see the point, I just like to eat as little carbs as comfortably possible (that means going off regularly but usually staying close to carnivore), my body likes that (unless I overdo my off days).
I wouldn’t think we can mess with our ability to digest carbs as it’s a very basic thing for our body but we surely can get unused to certain things if we are really strict… But I don’t know much about such things. I only experienced that my body refuses to work with as much carbs as before since it tasted a better option. It handles it, sure if it’s forced but it definitely expresses its displeasure. Nothing too bad but I practically always feel a tiny bit worse when I eat carbs. I still feel fine but not quite as well as without them. It’s a tiny but noticeable change and if I keep eating much carbs, it progressively gets worse but I doubt I could reach the level of serious pain.
If I lost this ability to handle carbs well, I am very sure I could get it back in little time with minimal inconvenience in a need (imminent carby apocalypse or something. sudden carby apocalypse would be worse. and death is maybe preferable over low-carb) so I never will fear some carnivore-ish months, actually it’s my goal if I can pull it off.
But I understand other people have a different attitude as they have plenty of things different from me as well.

I would gladly read more about long term ketoers who ate more carbs at some point. I know some can go (and they actually do it) back to even a very unhealthy and intense high-carb for months and they don’t really suffer as they stay there… I am not that “good”, I would get bellyache after a week at most and run back to carnivore for a while… But carbs don’t entice me as much as some people.
While others eat a tiny veg and gets sick for days. And everything in-between these extreme cases.
Maybe some people lose flexibility while others don’t, maybe the ones who do are more suited to keto and they actually shouldn’t eat more much carbs than necessary for them… My body prefers as low carb as possible so it makes sense it’s reluctant to let me back but almost nothing happens if I eat 2 packets of Timtam or 1 kg fruits or whatever. And even my fruit and sweets lover high-carber SO gets a bit sick when he eats 1kg cherry at once. But I never felt really, really great on high-carb. I felt quite healthy but I felt better on low-carb. The people who are thriving on high-carb surely don’t get this slow sugar poisoning that I had even way before keto.


You might be right. When I did eat a high carb diet I was probably eating up in the 800s carbwise, and I only weighed a couple more kilos than I do now. Those kilos I’ve lost this first month on keto were likely just water loss. Now at 52kg I look the same as I did when eating all those carbs, my clothes fit the same, and only a month into keto I wouldn’t expect anything different. I’m a tricky case because I am not doing keto for overall weightloss, but to target my lipoedema areas. Sometimes I think about this and it sounds ridiculous, I’ve got absolutely nothing to loose on top. But anyway, I allow myself more freedom because I am not attempting to lose weight as such, but to treat my lipoedema swelling and inflammation. So far, even though I’ve probably made mistakes along the way, it seems to be working.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #39

The 20 g/day recommendation on this site and from various researchers is pegged at a level that works for almost everyone (some really insulin-resistant people may need to have an even lower limit). A lot of people might have a higher carb tolerance, as you seem to have, but it all depends on how insulin-resistant or -sensitive the person in question is.

If things are working for you, then don’t worry. But if you decide you want to try counting total carbs, then add the “carbohydrate” and the “fibre” lines from the nutrition label together, to get the correct figure. (Nutrition labels in the U.S. and Canada now say “total carbohydrate” instead of simply “carbohydrate,” which is a big help to everyone.)

Our general advice is to stick to a 20-g limit (net or total) until the person has been doing keto for at least a couple of months, before experimenting with a higher carb load. A lot of people find that once they have achieved fat-adaptation, their interest in eating carbs has dropped, so they never bother to experiment. A lot of other people consider themselves carbohydrate addicts, and they eat as little carbohydrate as they can, so as to avoid triggering a binge. You just have to know yourself.

Personally, I find that I can stay in ketosis at a carb intake above 20 g/day, but even so, there is a limit to how much carbohydrate I can eat without seeing my arthritis, age spots, acne, and greasy face and scalp turning up again. Waking up stiff and creaky is a good reason to avoid the extra carbs, let me tell you! If we pay attention to our body, it let’s us know what’s good for us and what is bad.


I remember having joint aches, before I went keto I had a lot more aches, lipoedema pain as well as varicose pain. It all went the first week after I had started eating ketogenically. However, I gave up gluten and have long suspected gluten intolerance to be one of the inflammary components so just giving up that might have made a really big difference. I do plan to give keto a year, and if the results are what I hope for then it might be something I could very well continue for life. It’s early days and will probably require a bit or a lot of experimentation, but time only will tell if it’s the right thing.