What is an Optimal Level of Carbohydrates to Eat?

Okay, I am back with part 2 with John Rowley.

If you missed part 1, you can check it out here.

Lets get to the questions with John:

Rick Kaselj: One concept that you talked about in your book was called OCA, or Optimal Carbohydrate Approach. That is a neat concept because a lot of people say, “don’t eat any carbs” while some people say, “only eat carbs” and you kind of hit something in the middle with this. Maybe you can explain your approach when it comes to carbs.

John Rowley: The bottom line, can you live on a low carb diet? Yes you can!

Your body will burn fats and your body is designed to burn fat as a fuel source. With cholesterol issue being so large today, and insulin, and everything else being an issue with obesity today, using fat for fuel is a positive thing.

But most people are not going to live their full life on a low Carbohydrate diet.

Low Carb Diet

If you want to use a low carbohydrate diet, the way your muscles respond is they will be filled with Glycogen and that’s what gives them their size.

Now there’s the Zero Carb gang which I have tried. I am good friends with many people that preach it.

There are lot of ways to do zero carb while still maintaining a healthy looking physique and energy.

But then you have other guys out there, the high carb guys. I find a lot of people who struggle with their weight and have insulin issues often times they start eating more carbs.

One side comment. The palm size and the hand size thing throws me off. What if you have small hands? What if you have big hands? There are better ways in doing it than using your hands to measure food consumption.

The bottom line is a lot of people won’t stay on a high carbohydrates on a regular basis, they will start craving for more carbohydrates so that is not the best way to do it anyway.

My thing is really simple. Not necessarily high carbs, not necessarily low carbs, something in the middle based on how your body responds. 

If you are heavy and you are loosing fat at the carbohydrate level you are at plus you feel good and you don’t feel sluggish and tired, that’s a good level for you for now.

weighing scale

As you start losing weight, you may need to lower the carbohydrates. Once you get real lean, you may need to raise it a little bit. You need to find your set point.

For me, if I stay at under 100 grams of carbohydrates a day, I am burning fat. If I go over 100 grams of carbohydrates to 200 grams of carbohydrates, I can be in maintenance mode. If I go beyond 200 grams, I start putting on body fat but I will start feeling tired. I know where I fall because I played with it over the years.

Now, do I manage that efficiently all the time? No. I still got few pounds to drop myself but how I am going to drop those extra pounds is by lowering my carbohydrates which I have just done and I feel better.

Anyway to answer your question, optimum carbohydrates means just whatever works best for your body. Everybody works a little bit differently.

Rick Kaselj: Thank you, John.


If you would like more information on John’s Old School New Body, you can check it out here:

Rick Kaselj, MS

Slim & Heal