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Old 04-22-2011, 05:40 PM   #1
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Smile Question: switch from low carb to calorie counting...

Hey all!

Just a quick question. Is there a way to successfully switch from low carb (like South Beach) and go to calorie counting. I wanna do less carbs to rid myself of certain addictions but I don't want to give up all foods for life. Im not sensitive to 1 Snickers just 3 is a bit much lol

TIA
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:03 PM   #2
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I switched from Atkins to calorie counting. No problem, Atkins worked but I felt it was too restrictive. Calorie counting is much more flexible and has worked well for me.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:10 PM   #3
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I have great success with calorie counting, but I didn't do any low-carb plan first; not sure if my advice will be totally helpful, but I'll try.

I think making the switch is as easy as getting used to weighing/measuring your portions. Calorie counting allows you anything you want--as long as your portions are reasonable. It's easy to mistake "big" for "reasonable," at least it is for me, so I weigh out my food on a kitchen scale. Using measuring cups and spoons also works, although you have to remember that heaping cups are not allowed.

I don't think that most low-carb plans involve much counting, so that's an aspect that might be a little new. You probably won't need to change a thing about how you treat vegetables, though, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the fruit options you have. There are a lot of higher-carb fruits that are stilll plenty low in calories, so you can indulge pretty freely in them.

One thing that has helped me a lot is that I only enjoy the really calorie-dense stuff that I could eat by the pound in small doses--I don't even bring a big package of them into my house. For example, if I'm fiending for some chocolate, I walk to the store, buy a single small candy bar (no king sizing), and enjoy it. Once it's gone, there are no more within easy reach, so I'm not tempted to go overboard.

Some people can do those 100-calorie snack pack boxes. I cheerfully admit that I am not one of those people. If I had those in the house, I would eat an extra 800 calories that day, 100 calories at a time. Instead, I get low-calorie treats that fulfill the same desires for crunchy/salty/sweet/whatever and work those into my 1500-calorie-a-day plan. For sweets, I eat fruit or occasionally Skinny Cow frozen treats. For salty crunchies, I eat fresh vegetables with hummus or (rarely) Popchips.

Hope that's some help.
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:47 AM   #4
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Totally.

Like Nola said above, invest in a pair of measuring cups, spoons, and a scale (digital if possible). A small calorie book too helped me a lot. I got the Calorie King one... its purse size and goes well anywhere you go!

I typically try to keep to 4 to 5 servings of carbs a day myself (a serving is 24 grams) cos if I go over that, even if I stay within my calories I find it harder to lose.

I also recommend keeping a food journal if you're going to calorie count. It helps you keep track of your calories and you can look back and see what you did in the recent past, especially if you're not sticking to a strict daily count (I zigzag... I find its more flexible and more easy to maintain.... to me, every day life isn't always going to be the same! Plus, you burn yourself out more if you're too strict)

Good luck!
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:19 AM   #5
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Thank you for asking this question! You have lost so much weight! Awesome! I hope I can get there with the counting. What exactly is the SBdiet?
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:05 AM   #6
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One thing to be aware of, is that if you transition from one food plan to one that's higher in carbs, you may see a weight stall or even a gain on the scale. This isn't something to be afraid of, it's just a result of the body needing to hold onto more water to process more carbs. The fewer carbs you eat, the less water you need to carry in you.

That doesn't mean that it's something to shoot for, it's just something to be aware of - that carb levels affect water levels.

I do find it helpful psychologically to eat fewer carbs during TOM when I usually retain a lot of water. It's just nice to see a lower number on the scale.

I also find that I can eat more calories on low-carb to lose the same amount of weight. For me, the difference is profound, like 300 to 500 calories. I'm also less hungry on 1200 calories of high-carb than on 3000 calories of high-carb.

Of course, none of this may apply to you. If there's one thing I've learned after 40 years of dieting, is that there really is a lot of variability - not only between people, but even across a lifetime. What I have to do to lose weight is a lot different than what I had to do 35 years ago, or even 10 years ago.

That's why a food journal can be such a valuable tool. You can use it to find out what works best for you.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:40 AM   #7
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I use sparkpeople to count cals, love it, if you have a smart phone you can get a calorie counting app, makes it easy for eating out.

I did atkins years ago, it made my skin grey. Can't be good, I'm vegan now and I currently eat about 150 carbs a day, which is moderate I guess since most plans tell me to eat almost 300. I just kind of messed around with fat, carbs, protein and fiber ratios until I found what kept me feeling fuller longer and it took awhile but I have it down now. I customize all my macro-nutrients on spark, I don't let it chose for me. I think customization is important because we are not cookie cutter eaters and what works for you may not work for me.
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:25 AM   #8
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I did both...Southbeach and calorie counting. Works well. I think you should try it.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:11 AM   #9
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I used to do the low carb thing (SBD), but it just wasn't the thing for me. Now I combine calorie counting with the IR diet principles. I balance all of my carbs with protein. For the switch I suggest getting your scale (digital that measures in grams and ounces) and other measuring implements and starting to measure and count calories before you actually make the switch. Start counting the calories of your low carb food plan. There are lots of websites out there that can give you a baseline for what your calorie intake should be and help you track them. You may have to adjust from what they tell you though since each person is unique. Add the carbs back in gradually and stick to 'good' carbs as much as possible. Multi-grain bread rather than white, whole wheat pasta rather than regular, oatmeal rather than rice crispies, whole grains from the bulk section of whole foods if you have one, stuff like that. I'm not saying that a snickers every now in then is going to kill you, but it shouldn't be a staple in your diet even if you aren't low carbing. Also, as Kaplods said, you may have a stall or a slight bump up in the scale as your body adjusts to the new plan. It is temporary, the scale will start moving downward again, be patient. Good luck and enjoy your new carbs.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:24 AM   #10
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I've sort of unintentionally made this move. I was on a high protein, low carb-sodium-fat diet which I enjoyed, but gradually I've shifted to calorie counting. However, I'm still following the basic priniples of my original plan -- which didn't outlaw any food -- I've just sort of blended the two.

In calorie counting I want to 'spend' more of my calories on protein anyway -- the carbs that I used to eat just took up too many of them. Now on occasion I'll have some potato or soft (wheat) bread, but it's not daily, and it's not in the quantities that I used to allow myself.
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:04 PM   #11
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I am actually doing this right now. Just this week I got together a new plan where I am bumping up my carbs and starting calorie counting again. I was eating about 85 g carbs/day and now am higher but not SKY high (120 or so yesterday) and ranging from 1200-1500 calories per day (sparkpeople).

How I did this was, I still am not eating grains yet. Grains, even whole wheat or oatmeal, trigger me to want MORE. So I am now letting myself have the higher carb veggies like peas, carrots, yams... but NOT white potatoes. No pasta yet either. I might add those back in later, occasionally, but I don't need triggers now.

I also am limiting fruit to 2 servings/day and dairy to 1-2 servings/day. Lots of veggies (3 servings non carby and 2 other servings than can be carbier or not) and lean protein.

So far so good.
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyn2007 View Post
I am actually doing this right now. Just this week I got together a new plan where I am bumping up my carbs and starting calorie counting again. I was eating about 85 g carbs/day and now am higher but not SKY high (120 or so yesterday) and ranging from 1200-1500 calories per day (sparkpeople).

How I did this was, I still am not eating grains yet. Grains, even whole wheat or oatmeal, trigger me to want MORE. So I am now letting myself have the higher carb veggies like peas, carrots, yams... but NOT white potatoes. No pasta yet either. I might add those back in later, occasionally, but I don't need triggers now.

I also am limiting fruit to 2 servings/day and dairy to 1-2 servings/day. Lots of veggies (3 servings non carby and 2 other servings than can be carbier or not) and lean protein.

So far so good.
Seen your pics, you are looking great!
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