Lately I’ve been eating about a 1/2 box of cereal a day, along with about a pound of bread, and a bunch of tortillas. Before I learned about de novo lipogenesis, and how excess carbs are not easily turned into fat, I thought this would be a recipe for instant weight gain. I didn’t know it was just the dietary fat that got stored in our adipose tissue, while the carbs are just stored as glycogen, or burned off.
Plus, I didn’t know that these “carbs” contained all the protein I needed. I probably would have added some meat, afraid of being protein deficient. Of course, that meat just contains a bunch of fat that my body would store, and I’d get fat. Then I’d probably blame the “carbs”, because that’s been the popular message for the last 15 years.
Nowadays, I think of the bread and cereal as “carbs and protein” that’s fat-free. Basically, most starches contain about 12% protein, by calories. So, if I eat about 3000 calories of bread, etc., it’ll contain (3000 kcal)(12%)(g protein/4 kcal) = 90g of protein. That’s way more than I need, which is at most (1.2 g protein / kg of body weight)(77 kg) = 92g.
The beauty of eating almost no fat is that I don’t bother even thinking about calories anymore, let alone count them. I just eat the cereal and bread until I’m full. Then I probably eat some more cereal out of the box while watching tv on the sofa. No problem. My body will top off its glycogen stores, then burn off the rest.
I didn’t ride the bike on Monday or Tuesday, so my glycogen stores were completely maxed out for tonight. When I started my ride, my legs felt very strong. (Normally, they’re tired from day-after-day riding.) I rode my usual 5th Ave hill reps, and I PR’ed the 5th Ave Cedar to Laurel segment, taking 3rd overall with a 1:57 (out of 770 riders).
The biggest problem with constantly eating carbs is that it probably forfeits some opportunities to burn fat. I might return to eating more vegetables and lower calorie density starches like potatoes. But for the last few weeks, I’ve pounded down unlimited refined carbs (bread, noodles, and tortillas), and still lost weight. That’s a nice lesson to learn.