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View Full Version : How many carbs a day?



Zole
04-05-2003, 12:34 PM
Let´s say we´re in gaining mode, but we´re trying not to gain much more (body-)fat, protein intake is moderately high and fat intake is "moderately medium" (going to cut it down by some grams next week) but how much carbs do we actually need to make a body weight gain and/or muscle mass gain?

Thoughts ?
Recommendations ?
Advice ?

I need every advice I can get hold of.

:D

Ironman8
04-05-2003, 12:39 PM
You don't really need a certain amount of carbs to gain weight. It all comes down to calories. Carbs count as 4 calories per gram, so eat as much as you can.

Behemoth
04-05-2003, 12:48 PM
I disagree. To gain weight yes you just have to eat more, but to gain quality weight eat quality carbs, and lots.

Vido
04-05-2003, 01:03 PM
I agree that to gain "quality weight" you should be eating clean, but I don't think carb intake is overly important. My view is that in terms of macros, the order of importance is protein, fat, and then carbs. That being said, a keto diet is clearly not optimal for gaining mass, but you don't need 3 g of carbs per lb of bodyweight like the muscle mags would have you believe.

AJ_11
04-05-2003, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by Behemoth
I disagree. To gain weight yes you just have to eat more, but to gain quality weight eat quality carbs, and lots.

I completly agree.

bradley
04-05-2003, 02:02 PM
I would just make sure and get about 1 gram of protein per lb of bw, make sure and not skip out on the healthy fats (approximately 25-30% of daily cals from fat), and fill in the rest of your daily cals with low GI carbs. With the exception being postworkout in which I would recommend high GI carbs. Keep upping the cals until you are gaining a small amount of weight each week.

aka23
04-05-2003, 02:10 PM
The page at http://www.exrx.net/Nutrition/Carbohydrates.html gives a good summary of the advantages and disadvantages of carbohydrates in sports nutrition. In the article at http://www.thinkmuscle.com/articles/mcdonald/baseline-diet-02.htm , Lyle Mcdonald discusses carb, protein, and fat intake in a "Baseline Diet" for bodybuilders. I would recommend something similar. Some relevant quotes from the article are listed below.

"5. Carbohydrate intake: 45-55% of total calories from a mix of starchy and fibrous carbohydrate sources, high GI carbs right after training "

"For mass gains, I think 45-55% of total calories as carbs is a good place to start although some will do better with more, some better with less. This will generally allow protein to be easily set at 1 gram/lb. as well as allowing sufficient dietary fat intake to optimize testosterone levels (see next section) and satiety."

gopher
04-05-2003, 04:12 PM
Carbs make me fat. Even when I am gaining I try to keep my carb intake under 300 gr. I do much better when I get my additional calories from protein and fats. My current gaining diet is right around 4000 calories. 400 P, 300 C, 130 F.

Ironman8
04-05-2003, 05:23 PM
Carbs aren't making you fat, it's that you're eating excess calories in carbs. As I said, carbs=4 calorie grams. It takes about 3,000 calories to equal a pound of fat. It could be that you're eating past 3,000 calories in carbs. Remember, it's excess calories that make you fat.

gopher
04-06-2003, 12:45 AM
I am speaking from 12 years of personal experience regarding my own personal eating habits. I do much better on a lower carb diet. When I have bulked using 4000 calories and a higher carb percentage I gained much more BF than when I bulk eating 4000 calories with less carbs and more fat.
I did not say I was fat. I said carbs make me fat. Others may have more luck with a higher carb diet. It doesn't work well for me. People who are carb sensitive have a greater insulin response to high carb meals which causes them to convert calories to BF much faster than those who are not carb sensitive.

Vido
04-06-2003, 01:00 AM
Same problem here gopher. I keep carbs extremely moderate even when bulking.

Zole
04-06-2003, 01:14 AM
Interesting thoughts about insulin response to high carb intake, gopher !

Zole
04-06-2003, 03:46 AM
By the way, when we´re talking about metabolism and calorie intake.

How many calories do we burn each day?
Is there a site where we can calculate this?
If not how do you calculate how many calories you burn each day?

If I must consume more calories than I burn to actually gain weight, I better know how many calories I do burn by today :D

Suggestions?
Tips?
Advice?

bradley
04-06-2003, 05:05 AM
Originally posted by Zole
By the way, when we´re talking about metabolism and calorie intake.

How many calories do we burn each day?
Is there a site where we can calculate this?
If not how do you calculate how many calories you burn each day?

If I must consume more calories than I burn to actually gain weight, I better know how many calories I do burn by today :D



I would recommend keeping a food journal for a week which tracks cals throught the week. Weigh yourself at the beginning and end of the week and then if your weight stays constant then that is your maintenance calorie level. On the other hand if your weight increases or decreases then you are either in a caloric excess or caloric deficit. This would be easier than trying to figure out how many calories you burn through various activities, and the formulas for calculating maintenance cals are not reliable IMO. Remember to weigh yourself at the same time, and in the morning before eating would probably be the best. You can use a site like www.fitday.com to help you track your cals if you wanted.

bradley
04-06-2003, 05:07 AM
Originally posted by Ironman8
Carbs aren't making you fat, it's that you're eating excess calories in carbs. As I said, carbs=4 calorie grams. It takes about 3,000 calories to equal a pound of fat. It could be that you're eating past 3,000 calories in carbs. Remember, it's excess calories that make you fat.

It's more like 3,500 calories in a pound of fat.

Zole
04-06-2003, 11:53 AM
Thanks a lot for the info bradley !

GIS
04-07-2003, 11:52 AM
It's easy to say less carbs=less calories and fat gain, but there are several things to keep in mind.

First off, if you are aiming for 4,000 calories and you cut your carbs way down, that means those calories will need to come from the less calorically dense proteins and fats. This may be expensive and in some ways unhealthy if your fat intake and protein (to a lesser extent) are too high to accomodate your bulking calorie needs.

Next, you need carbs... period. Your diet will be worthless if you do not have the energy to workout hard. If you are trying to cut down on carbs, WHEN you take them during the day will be crutial. Some low GI carbs are very important first thing in the morning, as are carbs before (low GI) and after (High GI) working out. Remember... the body requires a certain blood-sugar level to be effecient in all aspects of functionality including muscles and the brain itself. Too few carbs=difficulty in concentrating and energy levels.

Keep in mind that what I said is reffering to a double digit carb intake. Just don't let carbs scare you because it is the calories that make you fat. Carbs wont as long as they are consumed within reason according to your metabolism.

Manveet
04-07-2003, 12:11 PM
You can always cycle your carbs according to the days you train. So you would go little higher on training days, and then back down to moderate on off days.

Vido
04-07-2003, 12:12 PM
GIS, I agree with you for the most part, but first I have to point out a mistake you made. Carbs and protein are equally calorically dense, and fat is MORE than twice as calorically dense as either of the other two macros per gram. Also, while protein may be expensive, fats are certainly not. A big tub of natural pb is damn cheap, as is something like olive oil.

I would just like to point out that neither I, nor gopher, said to not eat carbs at all. I always eat carbs for breakfast, and before and after training like you suggested. I'm sure gopher does something similar as well. However, I have always felt that those with a slower metabolism are much better off cutting off carb intake in the late afternoon or early evening and focusing only on proteins and fats at this time. This goes for when you are bulking or cutting.

Of course, it is the calories that make you fat, but I do not believe the old "all calories are created equal" bit that many people believe, especially if one has a poor metabolism.

raniali
04-07-2003, 12:24 PM
i wish i would have read this sooner ... as i also work well on less carbs. right now ... i am about 200 g p, 200 g c, and 90-100 g f --> coming out to about 32/32/35. if i eat more than 200 g carb, you can bet i will be nothing but bloated and usually more fatigued. i have PLENTY of energy and have continued to gain and grow on this type of breakdown so those over-generalized comments that include EVERYONE and ALL really need to be re-evaluated. that is all.

GIS
04-07-2003, 11:38 PM
200g of carbs is not considered to be too few at all. Some people take 'cut out the carbs' far beyond what they should and end up getting maybe 100g when trying to bulk.

As for my comments about the calories in types of food, I completely hacked apart what I was trying to say. I meant to say that by cutting a considerable amount of carbs out of their workout they will need to resort to foods that tend to contain fewer calories than those with a considerable amount of carbs. A good example would be weight gainer shakes. Low calorie whey protein shakes have only a few carbs, but tend to be around 200 calories. On the other hand, a weight gainer might have 60g carbs and contain 600 calories. So by cutting carbs you will have to resort to ultra-high protein foods and fatty (hopefully good fat) foods, both of which tend to be more expensive than foods with carbs. I hope you get my drift... I certainly did a poor job explaining it in my first post.

aidano
04-08-2003, 12:24 AM
As a matter of interest, for you people who say you do better on lower carb diets - what type of metabolism do you have?

MrWebb78
04-08-2003, 12:29 AM
when i bulk, i BULK, i eat alot of everything, and im a carb lover so its not a problem. excuse me while i eat my dairy queen blizzard with reeses cups.

Vido
04-08-2003, 12:50 AM
Originally posted by aidano
As a matter of interest, for you people who say you do better on lower carb diets - what type of metabolism do you have?

Slow

raniali
04-08-2003, 12:16 PM
:withstupi

Zole
04-08-2003, 12:26 PM
Well my metabolism is kinda high, always been.

So, dunno ´bout the low carb method, sounds like a bad idea for my muscle gain :D

The thing is not to gain much more fat than necessary and still get a pretty good & decent muscle weight gain.
I do not plan bulking, probably never will either.

So, I guess we all have to calculate, plan and do some trial and error to actually get an idea what works for one and other ?

Of course there will never be a formula that 'does the trick' but if I only could get a hint :D

gopher
04-08-2003, 02:12 PM
Zole, you just hit the nail on the head with your trial and error comment. Everyone is different and we all have to experiment to find out what works best for us. Pick a plan and stick with it. If you decide to modify your plan make only small changes then give it some time to see what happens. Many times people will make several changes all at once and then notice improvements. The problem with that is you can't be sure which change is responsible for your new progress. Like I said above, I've been at this for just over 12 years and I am still learning. I pretty much have my diet and nutritional needs figured out but I am always looking for ways to make even more progress.