Carb confusion

Are most of you counting total or net carbs?

20replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • I count net

  • I’ve been trying to stick with NET carbs but the daily calorie limit is based on ALL carbs .., seems like a flaw in how the app illustrates macros goals

  • My bad. Changed settings to total carbs

  • What matters most is net carbs. 

  • I’m doing Net carbs .... I am doing more than 20 net carbs a day tho. I do more like 40 net carbs since I am breastfeeding. 

  • I like to stay under 20 total carbs based on Dr. Eric Westman's recommendations, and also because of hidden carbs (such as spices, supplements, etc.) that may not be accounted for in my tracking.  Most days I will be at 20 or less total and about 10 to 15 net.   I was pre-diabetic so in addition to weight loss I am aiming for lower blood glucose levels.  I think most people do Net Carbs though. I say try both and see what works best  for you.

    Like 1
  • 23 net grams a day keeps me in ketosis. I'm 6'3", 59yo. 

  • Should I count net carbs or total carbs?

    Dr. Stephen Phinney and the Virta Team

    We recommend counting total carbohydrates, with the most of your food coming from real, whole foods. 

    With some exceptions, unprocessed non-starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds contain a relatively small (<25%) of their total carbs as soluble fiber. The use of net carbs 1) assumes there is little to no impact of both fiber and sugar alcohols on blood sugar (responses can vary among individuals so discounting them is not appropriate) and 2) often promotes the use of a lot of products like bars, low carb breads, etc. While they may be “low in net carbs” this can lead to a significant amount of added carbohydrates to your daily total.

  • I always use the net carb as a guide while keeping an eye on total carbs . If a person is tracking their daily goals and being honest then that should be fine . Assuming there is no underlaying condition . Besides , trying to stay under 20 total carbs per day is next to impossible and I can see that frustrating users . I generally stay between 35 and 45 total each day . 

  • Mark People should do what works for them.  If you are getting the results you want on 35-45 grams per day, that's fantastic!  I try to keep mine 20 or under (total) and for me, that's what works and it really hasn't been difficult.  Wish I could do more than that, but I find it's incredibly slow going for weight loss if I go over 25.

  • ja9kjohnsona69c  I've been seeing more and more posts about folks doing 20 total carbs per day . Much of what I eat has at least 1 carb or more and I'm talking healthy foods like vegetables and berries . I stay away from high carb veggies like carrots and peppers . 

    For the life of me I cannot get under 35 total carbs for the day though I can stay under 21 net fairly easily . You say you mainly stay at 20 or under . Could you give me a example of a daily menu . Stats aren't necessary , just the foods .

    Thanks in advance .

  • Mark I've been doing the Squeaky Clean Keto Challenge which eliminates a host of food groups associated with inflammation.  Basically, I cut out all dairy except for butter (I make my own ghee and use that - removes the milk solids from the butter), all nuts except coconut, all legumes except green beans (I limit those as they are high in carbs), all grains, no added sugar or sweeteners (sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, stevia, monk fruit, sucralose, aspartame, xylitol, saccharin, erythritol, etc.), no alcohol except for extracts like vanilla.   I eat chicken, pork, beef, bacon, sausage, eggs, avocado, green leafy veggies, small amounts of salsa verde, home made mayo, Whole 30 dump Ranch dressing,  small amounts of dill pickles, and use MCT oil in my coffee in the morning.  There are a bunch of recipes on the web site for the Squeaky Clean Keto Challenge and Melissa is coming out with a SCK cookbook in May, which I am looking forward to.   I think the biggest help was eliminating the dairy and nuts. Good luck and I hope this helps! PS: I know the restrictions sound hard to do, but honestly it was not that big of a deal for me and I've just kept going with it after the 30 days was up.

  • ja9kjohnsona69c Thanks for the response . I am no way "squeaky" clean so I guess I am doing "dirty" Keto . I understand everyone is different and has to do what is working for them and this is working for me . I commend you for being able to sustain that rigid of a diet . I am losing slowly but I only have 8 more lbs. to lose before maintenance so I'm good to go . According to Carb Manager I should attain that goal by the end of March .

    Thanks again .

    Like 1
  • ja9kjohnsona69c 

    and I thought I was going good at 100 carbs. I was binge eating on sweets. I would eat a cake til it was gone so 100 carbs is very little to my body. I’d like to lower them on down though. What are some good snack and dinner ideas for low carb? 

  • Mark following as well 

  • Attached is an actual daily food log from 3/14/2020 . Most of my days are like this and I seldom fill all the macros in the bars . I do watch the percentages though . They are set at 5% carb. ,20% protein and 75% fat . Hope that helps . 

  • I just read in Keto for Beginners a post that is claiming if you freeze bread and then toast it that it reduces the carbs by 1/2 because it changes the molecular make up of starches . Anyone read anything similar ? 

  • Mark   When I first read your post, I thought, ‘oh sure, like THAT would be true (I love bread!).

    But then I did some checking and I’ll be damned!  It seems like it IS true!

    look what I found at the US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health

    “The impact of freezing and toasting on the glycaemic response of white bread.

    Burton P1, Lightowler HJ.

    Author information



    To investigate the impact of freezing and toasting on the glycaemic response of white bread.


    Ten healthy subjects (three male, seven female), aged 22-59 years, recruited from Oxford Brookes University and the local community. A homemade white bread and a commercial white bread were administered following four different storage and preparation conditions: (1) fresh; (2) frozen and defrosted; (3) toasted; (4) toasted following freezing and defrosting. They were administered randomized repeated measures design. Incremental blood glucose, peak glucose response, 2 h incremental area under the glucose response curve (IAUC).


    The different storage and preparation conditions resulted in lower blood glucose IAUC values compared to both types of fresh white bread. In particular, compared to the fresh homemade bread (IAUC 259 mmol min/l), IAUC was significantly lower when the bread was frozen and defrosted (179 mmol min/l, P<0.05), toasted (193 mmol min/l, P<0.01) and toasted following freezing and defrosting (157 mmol min/l, P<0.01). Similarly, compared to the fresh commercial white bread (253 mmol min/l), IAUC was significantly lower when the bread was toasted (183 mmol min/l, P<0.01) and frozen, defrosted and toasted (187 mmol min/l, P<0.01).


    All three procedures investigated, freezing and defrosting, toasting from fresh, and toasting following freezing and defrosting, favourably altered the glucose response of the breads. This is the first study known to the authors to show reductions in glycaemic response as a result of changes in storage conditions and the preparation of white bread before consumption. In addition, the study highlights a need to define and maintain storage conditions of white bread if used as a reference food in the determination of the glycaemic index of foods.”


    And here’s the actual location of this abstract:

    Again, wow!

  • Mark sent you a reply - yes, it appears to be true (wow!!!).   My reply is pending review as I included the actual website link where I copied my reply.

    Hope this helps - and hopefully the reviewers will approve my reply.

  • Pat F Seems to take them forever . I had posted with a graph of my food wheel 8 days ago . Still pending . I will watch for your reply . Thanks .

    Like 1
Like Follow
  • 6 days agoLast active
  • 20Replies
  • 204Views
  • 10 Following