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Old 02-28-2008, 11:02 AM   #1
Jason Naubur
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My zone is too low in carbs - implications?

I have been zoning for a year, usually measure most things and keeping decent track of my intake. My BF is low, strength is good, but my increases have been slowing or stagnant, especially in Metcons.

I threw some quick 'usual days' for me in fitday and get this:
2035 cal
38%fat
28%carb
35%pro

I was going to try upping my fat as seems to be recommended, but maybe I need to up my carbs first? Could that be what is causing my low Metcon performance? I guess my mental calculations on values have skewed over time. I am on 16 blocks.

My fitday page (wfs). I had to make some guesses on equivalent foods on fitday so take it with a grain of salt, but you get the picture.
http://fitday.com/WebFit/PublicJourn...l?Owner=naubur

jason
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:19 AM   #2
Emily Mattes
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Re: My zone is too low in carbs - implications?

From what I've heard, plenty of people on the boards have found success with carb intakes even lower than yours, so it is quite possible your issues are from low calories overall, not low carbs. Try upping the fat for a month and see how that works. Or use the ice cream method mentioned in another thread!

What's your weight, height, and body fat %? That would help people here determine whether you are eating enough.
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:25 AM   #3
Jason Naubur
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Re: My zone is too low in carbs - implications?

I am 5'8", 170lbs and depending on how you measure, I am between 7 and 9% body fat.

Jason
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:39 PM   #4
Tarun Suri
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Re: My zone is too low in carbs - implications?

Your likely burning 1800-2000 calories by doing nothing during the day with that mass. If you add your WoD workouts, I'd say you need to consume more calories.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:06 PM   #5
Elliot Fuller
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Re: My zone is too low in carbs - implications?

I've always assumed that having fewer carbs is still acceptable in the Zone. I think you could technically have ZERO carbs and still consider it in the Zone. I may be completely mistaken here, but that's how I figure it. I think the lower the carbs, the better. But if you're going to eat carbs, you just need to make sure you're eating enough protein (your "protein prescription," as Dr. Sears calls it) to balance it out and get rid of the insulin spike.

Someone correct me on this if I'm not even in the ballpark with this understanding.

If you feel like you're eating enough, stomach-wise, then olive oil is a great source of the excess calories and fat that you might need, and it won't push you from "stuffed" to "overflowing."
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:06 PM   #6
Ryan Jones
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Re: My zone is too low in carbs - implications?

If you eat ZERO carbs your body will cannibalize your muscle to feed your brain, the brain needs carbs! If you want to reach Dr. Sears zone of optimal performance then the 30/40/30 ratio is important for hormonal (eicasonoids) reasons among others.
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Old 02-28-2008, 06:19 PM   #7
Elliot Fuller
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Re: My zone is too low in carbs - implications?

Interesting, Ryan... can anyone else confirm this? I loaned out my Zone book so I don't have the reference in front of me

I wonder about the effectiveness of Paleo/IF without Zone proportions, then, as they tend to be pretty low carb most of the time for me.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:16 PM   #8
Craig Van De Walker
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Re: My zone is too low in carbs - implications?

After an adjustment period of a couple of weeks you can maintain muscle just fine without consuming any significant amount of carbs!

Documented cases of scientists going more than a year on an all meat diet with no deleterious effects.

Some old time body builders even went significant low carb for a period prior to contests and carbed up just prior

"Arnold and many of the bodybuilders of the 60's were on the Vince Gironda's diet of steak, eggs, protein powder mixed with whole cream, etc. It was a healthy moderate fat, high protein, low carb diet with plenty of green veggies." (from a web site covering some of Vince Gironda's stuff.)

This may not be the road to ultimate high intensity met con super stardom, but you can maintain muscle and decent performance

Last edited by Craig Van De Walker : 02-28-2008 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:40 AM   #9
Elliot Fuller
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Re: My zone is too low in carbs - implications?

I'm more curious about the Carbs question in an "overall health" sense than in a "can I maintain muscle" sense. We all know there are plenty of horrible ways to maintain muscle out there. I wonder how _healthy_ it is to really go low carb and if it can still be called the Zone or not.

I'm going to stop hijacking Jason's thread now
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:05 AM   #10
Scott Clark
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Re: My zone is too low in carbs - implications?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Jones View Post
If you eat ZERO carbs your body will cannibalize your muscle to feed your brain, the brain needs carbs! If you want to reach Dr. Sears zone of optimal performance then the 30/40/30 ratio is important for hormonal (eicasonoids) reasons among others.
Not exactly. The brain can convert protein to use to fuel the brain, and it won't necessarily "cannibalize your muscle" to do so. Mind you, I'm a believer in a high carb diet (mine is around 60% carb) and as much as I don't go for the low-carb stuff, there is a lot of misinformation regarding low carb and what the body "needs" to function.

There are dozens of low carbers here on the forums who will be more than happy to share the benefits of their beliefs, or they will tell you to use the search function
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