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carb sensitive question re: maintaining

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Old 04-01-2010, 12:42 PM   #1
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Default carb sensitive question re: maintaining

Alright, so I might be carb sensitive. Probably am. I can handle doing a low carb...dare I say it?...DIET. Bah! But it IS a diet and I already know it is not sustainable because...well...BEEN THERE DONE THAT!

I can handle going low carb until this weight is off. But after that, can a carb sensitive individual reasonably maintain and eat berries and fruit and quinoa and brown rice, etc??? I love my current sustainable way of eating that has plenty of these good, healthy grains and fruits. It seems so wrong that my body doesn't like them!

So I need to get in the right frame of mind NOW. Is this low-carbing thing a DIET or do I have to wrap my brain around it being a way of life?
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:55 PM   #2
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I don't think anyone can answer that question but you and only once you get there. I would eliminate then slowly add back in one at a time for a few weeks to see which ones give you the most grief. I know, it sucks, I'm sorry.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:59 PM   #3
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I agree that you won't know until you get there.

The answer also depends on what you define as low-carb. I've seen people say they're low-carbing on anywhere from 0 to 200 grams of carbs a day. Will you need to keep your carbs under 30 grams for life? Doubtful. Under 150 grams? Quite possibly.

For me personally, I need to keep my carbs around 100 grams and one serving of starchy carbs a day in order to maintain. More than that even in healthy, whole grains will cause me to gain. But it's a personal thing and you'll find out when you get there and play around with calories and carbs. It all depends on your unique body and how it reacts to carbs and calorie levels.
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:08 PM   #4
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I agree with Meg - I try to keep mine under 100g a day and it's not too difficult. I eat most of my carbs at breakfast and lunch, and I don't feel like I'm depriving myself at all. On occasion, I eat Dreamfields pasta for dinner (supposed to be for diabetics but it only has 5g digestible carbs) when I need a "starchy" fix.
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
It also depends on what you define as low-carb. I've seen people say they're low-carbing on anywhere from 0 to 200 grams of carbs a day. For me personally, I need to keep my carbs around 100 grams and one serving of starchy carbs a day in order to maintain. More than that even in healthy, whole grains will cause me to gain. But it's a personal thing and you'll find out when you get there and play around with calories and carbs. It all depends on your unique body.
What Meg said!
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:51 PM   #6
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I don't know the answer....and you've gotten some good thoughts. It occurred to me that you might check at the Low Carb forums - they might be able to give you insite, also.
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:07 PM   #7
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I don't know the answer, but I hear what you are saying, Eliana-- when someone suggested to me, a couple of weeks ago, that if my plan wasn't working I needed to drop ALL grains, ALL bread, and almost all fruits, I got really depressed, then I decided that maybe I should not shoot for having a normal BMI because that way of eating seems unsustainable to me long-term.

But, I think maybe you are just being impatient. As long as you are losing, then you really don't HAVE to worry about it right now. Then it's a trade-off-- do you want to lose FASTER? If so, keep subtracting things and tweaking. Or are you happy enough with your rate? In which case, stick with something tha works and content yourself with minor tweaks.
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Old 04-01-2010, 03:25 PM   #8
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Eliana, I've been thinking of cutting back the carbs also....and dreading the idea of cutting so many healthy foods out. A while back I was on the carbohydrate addict's diet. I lost 35 lbs on that eating at least 1000 calories more per day than I am now. It consists of eating two meals and a snack similar to the atkins plan, but at one meal per day you eat protein ,with plenty of carbs( fruit, grains included), preceeded by a salad . The only rule is that the meal must be eaten within one hour. The idea here is that glycemic response...and insulin resistance become stronger with repeted spikes.... Sounds crazy, but it worked ....I missed the starches at lunch and breakfast, but having them at dinner made it easier somehow. After a while I simply stopped loosing though...probably because the calories were quite high. This time I might try it around 1600 calories...to see what happens. I am at 1300 right now, and I am losing very slowly.
I think I may always be inclined to have problems with carbs, but from what I have read, insulin resistance ( like diabetes) is helped by weight reduction. ...so in theory, to finally answer your question, it should get easier to have a more "normal" diet later on.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:15 PM   #9
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I eat under 70 grams of carbs per day, generally my daily total is in the 50-70 range. Some folks think over 30 grams per day is high and some think that any carbs as long as they are "good" are ok. I also count calories. So I think there can be too much of a "good" thing too. Those carbs consist mainly of one serving of fruit (higher fiber kinds like apples, berries or grapefruit) and lots of vegetables. I also eat brown rice, quinoa, and on occasion potatoes. I
don't feel deprived but someone else eating my way might. I will say this, when I was only counting calories at the weight I am now I was a full clothing size larger. I have no idea why but I'll take it. Don't do it if you don't think you can maintain it. I have health issues which this method of eating aleviates entirely so I have added incentive to stick with it. I have also had zero cravings that couldn't be worked in to this method and zero hunger compared to when I was calorie counting alone. This is just me though. Lots of people have success with calorie counting or exchange plans alone. If low carb did not work for you before that may be a consideration. Calorie counting alone did not work for me before so I would not go back to it.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:24 PM   #10
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I find that I eat around 100 grams of carb a day, which by most lights is fairly low carb. I had a few of my daughter's fries, today, for instance, but didn't have any with my meal. And two bites of my husband's tiramisu dessert. That little bit (eaten with a meal that focused around protein and veggies), didn't spike my glucose too badly. And so long as I keep my blood sugars fairly even, and my calories cycling between 1500 and 2000 (averaging around 1700) I find I lose weight slowly but steadily.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:53 PM   #11
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I suspect that I will always have to be somewhat careful around carbs. I may be able to eat more servings at my goal weight, and then again, maybe not.

I can't lose weight very well, except by low-carb, so the point is moot for me. I have to learn to MAKE low-carb sustainable, because it's the only WOE that has ever allowed me to lose weight and and improves my health symptoms without feeling so hungry I could gnaw my own leg off. Low-carb eating is not a "practical" or an easy WOE, but it's my best shot - so what choice do I have? Right now it seems "extreme morbid obesity," or "learning to stick with low carb").

Right now, learning to stay on my low carb plan is the most attractive choice.


I do think that I may be able to add back in some healthy carbs, but how many, and how often... there's no way to know at this point, and I'll just have to experiment when the time comes.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:49 PM   #12
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I don't know much about low-carb--I kinda skipped that whole phase--but when you all talk about your daily carb counts, are you including fiber? Because I eat tons of fiber, and I can't imagine cutting that could possibly help--it's the only way I feel full!
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:29 PM   #13
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Most low-carb plans do not count fiber, or address fiber differently than "other carbohydrates," because dietary fiber (primarily cellulose) is a carbohydrates that humans cannot digest. A very minute amount of fiber may be digested in the intestinal tract, but for the most part, no energy is obtained from the fiber (none of the calories in the fiber are used - in the case of humans).

Some calories still "count" because the non-fiber nutrients in fruit and vegetables are used. The calories from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates other than fiber are digested resulting in calories burned.

A termite, elephant or a cow can digest cellulose, so the calories would count for animals who eat a large amount of cellulose from wood and grasses, but they don't count for humans. A cow can live on hay, but a human would starve to death. It's why fiber is called "nature's broom," not only does it sweep out the intestinal tract, the broom sweeps itself out as well (the broom leaves the body chemically unchanged. It's also why birds and other animals are able to gain nutrition from their own or other animal's poo).


Because most fruits, and some vegetables have a lot of carbohydrates/calories that do NOT come from fiber, most low-carb plans limit these at first. It's possible (some plans suggest) that different people may respond differently to different levels or sources of carbs, so often plans have people add most fruits (except for the very low calorie ones like berries), starchy veggies, nuts, legumes and whole grains gradually, so that people can judge by their results on the scale which foods may be problematic.

Low-carb plans should not be confused with no-carb plans. Most low-carb plans would be more accurately described as "moderate carb" plans, as many low-carb plans may include up to 200 g of carbs daily. While Atkins starts people much lower, even so, after only a couple weeks, carbs are added back gradually until the person stops losing weight, then they're told to reduce carbs just enough from that point to be able to continue to lose weight. The goal (which is rarely correctly described) is to allow a person to eat as many carbs as continued weight loss allows (and specific recommendations are given for the best sources of those carbs).

A person who is following Atkins as intended can be eating very similarly to someone on South Beach, but generally Atkins is given a bad rap, because only induction is described (which lasts as little as two weeks, it's unfair for a plan to be judged only on it's first two weeks, when the rest of the plan is quite different).
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:30 PM   #14
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When I eat only healthy carbs and always pair them with healthy proteins and watch my calorie intake, I can lose. If I eat over 2 starchy carbs a day or over two fruits a day, my weight loss stalls. As you can see from my ticker, I stopped doing what worked. But, I recommend you give it a try. A good book to teach this technique is the Insulin Resistance Diet. I don't agree with everything they say in this book, but it does help with understanding how to eat and still lose weight if you are carb/starch sensitive. I also recommend the Southbeach Diet. Phase 1 stinks and I generally bypass that part. But, Phase II is awesome if you cook with the recipes and don't rely on processed Southbeach approved foods.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:52 PM   #15
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I don't consider myself a low carber, although I average about 175 gr a day, or just under 50% of calories from carbs. A lot of that is from veggies and 0-2 pieces of fruit a day, the rest from grains and starches. One thing that helps me a lot is that I'll have about 1/3 to 1/2 a "normal" portion. So I might have 1 oz of pasta instead of two, and I supplement that with veggies, like having freshly steamed broccoli along with that small portion of pasta with clam sauce or scampi. I find that I am very satisfied with the small amount, whereas skipping it completely leaves me feeling more deprived.

At least for me, long term sustainability means making those sorts of trade offs rather than completely eliminating things. And I consider myself in practice for maintenance - I want to get into the habit of eating the way I eat right now to be so well established that I'll eat this way forever. Not that I plan to stop calorie counting at any point, but I'd still like to naturally gravitate to a healthy and balanced diet that I also happen to find delicious!
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