Realistic about carbs - inspiration

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #1

One of the first questions we all ask when starting keto is probably “How am I going to eat less than 20 grams of carbs per day, every day?” Followed quickly by “Do I really have to?”

Eating SAD or some variation all our previous lives, consuming literally hundreds of grams of carbs per day, it’s understandable to wonder how on earth can one possibly do it. Pretty much all of us wonder “what am I going to eat?”

First the bad news. There is no perfect keto food that contains zero carbs but has the perfect ratio of fats and protein plus micro-nutrients and is as cheap as the carbs you’ve been eating. If there were, we’d all be eating it every day and telling you to do so.

The good news is, there are many alternatives to the carb-loaded foods you’re accustomed to eating that have low to no carbs and good if not perfect fat to protein ratios. In combination, you can devise a varied, nutritious and appetizing menu that reduces carbs to a minimum and maximizes healthy nutrition. And tastes far better than you think. Probably better than you have ever experienced, and doubt can.

And the better news is you will figure it for yourself! Believe it or not, over the course of the first few months you will discover how to eliminate carbs from your life, not miss them a bit and start to enjoy the full benefits of ketogenic eating. You will learn to read food labels. That’s a simple thing, and a necessary thing. You will learn to look up nutritional data online. That’s a simple thing, and a necessary thing. You will learn that this is not rocket science, but it does require diligence and not fooling yourself with wishful thinking. You will discover many helpful suggestions on this forum. You can live without carbs, no matter what anyone says.

“Yes, but do I really have to keep sub-20 grams of carbs per day?”

Even Phinney and Volek say 50 grams per day or less. Many folks on this forum say they can maintain ketosis while eating 60, 70 or even 100 grams of carbs per day. Whaaaa…!

My advice is this. There is no essential carbohydrate, thus no necessary nutrient that is not available in fat and/or protein. Carbohydrate is just another name for sugar; our metabolism synthesizes all the sugar (glucose) we need so there is no need to eat it. Eating sugar in anything more than insignificant and incidental quantities introduces risk of metabolic disorder and disease. Maintaining ketosis brings a host of healthful benefits. Eating carbs not so much. And if you are dealing with obesity, Type 2 diabetes and/or insulin resistance, eating carbs is the worst thing you can do to yourself. I don’t care what your doctor says about it.

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(Susan) #2

Excellent post, Michael, I wish I could give it more than one Like =).

(Bunny) #3

Long-term that way of thinking is a big NO NO! And why some (most) will gain all that weight back around the waist?

Yes I agree about being realistic about carbs and here are some realistic inspirations:

Once you throw off your nitrogen balance and start catabolizing muscle from over-eating protein (are you pumping iron? or are you sedentary?), then any little carb you eat, in the way of junk food could be stored as fat.

All depends on how physically active your are like lifting weights and even better when combined with moving more.

Eating one way when sedentary will catch up to the dieter eventually (they start feeling ill e.g. like they are going to pass out and dry heaving nauseous from the constant lack of not increasing carbohydrates to at least 100 or more long-term and why they give up all together) and will not work on one who is more active long-term.

Generally it is said metabolically healthy people should eat the way it is pointed out in the link below (what works for the majority of the populous):

Most of us need some carbs:



We will get some people responding to this post saying “well I’ve been doing this long-term with no ill effects and and your just wrong?” and that all depends on their own state of metabolic fitness and how they are managing it, and that will not necessarily apply to others?

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #4

Carbohydrates - Classification

There are a variety of interrelated classification schemes. The most useful classification scheme divides the carbohydrates into groups according to the number of individual simple sugar units. Monosaccharides contain a single unit; disaccharides contain two sugar units; and polysaccharides contain many sugar units as in polymers - most contain glucose as the monosaccharide unit.


  • Glucose
  • Galactose
  • Fructose
  • Ribose


  • Sucrose
  • Lactose
  • Maltose


  • Starch
  • Cellulose
  • Glycogen


Carbohydrate is just another name for sugar.

(Bunny) #5

…And other factors to consider when adding carbohydrates?

  1. Eating time frames?

  2. Strategically adding or subtracting carbohydrates, fats and proteins and switching sources of the three?

I could easily eat more carbohydrates (micro nutritional values) but not eat so often and lose body fat at the same time by not eating so much of it or as often long-term?

Is the carbohydrate classified as a junk food or whole food?

(Monique) #6

what are you advocating for @atomicspacebunny? Eat less protein, more carbs and lift?

(Bunny) #7

Shallow thinking may account for your summation?



(Monique) #9

I don’t want to make this personal. I’m trying to understand where you are coming from. I’ve noticed a lot of focus from you lately about lifting weights, lowering protein, restricting calories and allowing increased carb consumption and I am utterly baffled as to whether you’re just sharing your n=1, or you’re saying everyone should be doing keto more like you.

(Bunny) #10

I’m trying to understand why people don’t read anything?

(The remembrance of bacon past.) #11

Okay, time out, everyone. Remember that we want civil discourse. Knocking people’s ideas is one thing, knocking people is another. Chill for a while, and resume later.

(The remembrance of bacon past.) closed #12

(The remembrance of bacon past.) opened #13

This topic was automatically opened after 9 hours.

(Cristian Lopez) #14

Ok bunny I think we’re all losing you, can you simply bullet point the commandments to the way you do keto? I’ll do the same after you post yours, then we can compare, contrast, and figure out an answer to this thread. I say this in a friendly way.

(Bunny) #15

The theme of the thread seems to be about how carbohydrates are not essential, how I keto is another topic in and of itself and I’m not discussing just myself we are discussing the essentiality or non-essentiality of carbohydrates.

So let’s stay on topic?

(Bunny) #16

Nice list of different types of sugars I would have added oligosaccharides to the list?

We have endogenous glucose and fructose sugar production going on in the human body and then we have exogenous sugars that we eat called “free sugars” (processed and highly refined) and then we have natural sugars in fruit with-in its own skin with vitamins, minerals and trace elements? E.g. sugar cane and then beet sugar?

Take away the ratios (refining process) of natural fiber, vitamins, minerals and trace elements in the fruit itself and the human body is more likely to store pure fructose or glucose as fat?

So what is really happening is fear of carbohydrates because of the damage done to public health by the refining processes, thus all carbohydrates are bad because person X says so?

(Monique) #17

Spot on. Great, legitimately helpful, simple advice for newbies. Carbs are a choice, not a necessity.

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #18

From Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (2005).

Page 165:

The primary role of carbohydrates (sugars and starches) is to provide energy to cells in the body, particularly the brain, which is the only carbohydrate-dependent organ in the body. The Recom- mended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for carbohydrate is set at 130 g/d for adults and children based on the average minimum amount of glucose utilized by the brain. This level of intake, however, is typi- cally exceeded to meet energy needs while consuming acceptable intake levels of fat and protein (see Chapter 11). The median intake of carbohydrates is approximately 220 to 330 g/d for men and 180 to 230 g/d for women. Due to a lack of sufficient evidence on the prevention of chronic diseases in generally healthy individuals, no recommendations based on glycemic index are made.

Then just 10 pages further on, page 275:

The lower limit of dietary carbohydrate compatible with life apparently is zero, provided that adequate amounts of protein and fat are consumed. However, the amount of dietary carbohydrate that provides for optimal health in humans is unknown. There are traditional populations that ingested a high fat, high protein diet containing only a minimal amount of carbohydrate for extended periods of time (Masai), and in some cases for a lifetime after infancy (Alaska and Greenland Natives, Inuits, and Pampas indigenous people) (Du Bois, 1928; Heinbecker, 1928). There was no apparent effect on health or longevity. Caucasians eating an essentially carbohydrate-free diet, resembling that of Greenland natives, for a year tolerated the diet quite well (Du Bois, 1928).

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #19

If you think you’re ‘giving up’ anything by eating keto, read this.

(Bunny) #20

I find that a rather strange statement? When you could easily eat a little protein to release glycogen then the brain gets endogenous glucose? That’s only if it needs it, If enough of the three ketone bodies are not available to it?


[1] “…Ketone bodies are particularly important for the brain which has no other substantial non-glucose-derived energy source. The two main ketone bodies are acetoacetate (AcAc) and 3 -hydroxybutyrate (3HB) also referred to as β-hydroxybutyrate, with acetone the third, and least abundant. …” …More



[2] “…During starvation, the kidney becomes an important site of gluconeogenesis and may contribute as much as half of the blood glucose. Liver: The metabolic activities of the liver are essential for providing fuel to the brain, muscle, and other peripheral organs. …” …More