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Low carb or count calories?

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Old 02-01-2014, 10:50 PM   #1
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Default Low carb or count calories?

I have an insulin resistance. My blood sugar is less than 100, but it's still higher than I'm comfortable with. I also have dark skin on the back of my neck, my inner thighs, my underarms. I know I'm headed towards diabetes, so I'm kicking my own butt trying to FINALLY get healthy.

I just finished a 5 day juice cleanse and I started eating veggies again today. I'm wondering what I should do... low carb or calorie count? I've noticed in the past that low carb helps me shed off a lot of weight, but counting calories seems like what has helped most people on here. With my insulin resistance, I feel like I should go low carb, but after you go low carb and reach a healthy weight, can you go back to eating healthy carbs and counting calories without gaining a ton of weight back?

Thanks for any and all help
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:57 PM   #2
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divinechaos, I have type II diabetes. I have gone low carb but I also count calories on MFP. Thanks for posting the question re: adding carbs back in. I do plan to do that. ... good job on your bs being under 100. I am still trying to get there.

I look forward to reading the responses that you get Best of luck to you on this journey
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:07 PM   #3
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I too do a combination of both myfittnesspal really has been a great tool to hepl me keep trake of everything.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:16 AM   #4
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I have decided to calorie count and thought I should cut down on bread, potatoes and pasta too. I am so scared of getting diabetes, hormonal cancers and heart disease. I have found counting cals naturally makes me only have a few refined carbs which is great as I want as much food for my daily allowance. I love my fitness pal too for tracking.

Whatever you decide I hope it works well for you
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:58 AM   #5
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The only way to answer this question is to do the science experiment. Pick an approach, stick to it for a month or two, and see how it feels. By how it feels I mean any and all of the following:

* How do you feel, in terms of energy levels, mood, etc.?
* Are you feeling satisfied most of the time or do you have to white-knuckle your way through serious bouts of hunger? Is it unreasonably difficult to find the discipline to stick to plan?
* How is the weight loss looking?
* Is the effort that it takes to fit the plan into your life reasonable?

The answers to these questions will be different, for different people, for different plans. Only you can say which plan is best for you, and you really can't evaluate in a meaningful way without trying one for long enough for your body and your mind to adapt to the changes in your diet - that's why I say a month or two. Two is better.

By the way, I am a calorie counter, and my plan has never been low-carb by any means - all through my weight loss (and still) I ate a sandwich on bread for lunch nearly every day, a small bag of pretzels after lunch, and 3-4 pieces of fruit every day as well. I have found, however, that other types of carbs - potatoes, pasta, rice - tend to be self-limiting for me, in the sense that when I am deciding what to spend my calories on, I rarely find these things worth the calories. Don't get me wrong, I love them - but I find I would usually rather spend 150 calories on a heaping pile of roasted vegetables than on a demure little half-cup of rice.

But that is me - my discovery about myself after doing my own science experiment for many months. You need to try something and decide what works for you.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:22 AM   #6
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LOL I always feel like I'm commenting after others have already posted great advice! Since I have blood sugar issues though i had to chime in. For me, low carb was the way to go but I ALSO watch my caloric intake. For me it's a nice even balance of feeling full on high protein and also tracking my calories to make sure I'm not going overboard.

It's just such a personal decision though so I'd think really thoughtfully about what will work for you.

It was hard for me to give up most breads, pastas, potatoes...but I made peace with the fact that these foods were quite literally killing me (I had constant blood sugar fluctuations, sweats, shakes, passing out, excessive urination). Again, I'm just referring to myself here. I did find there were some really nice alternatives out there (there are TONS of low carb recipes out there! Also, a lot of folks have found natural, alternative, products to replace the flours and starches they eliminated from their diets and they are quite tasty, affordable, and available!)

Like others have said though, take the time and figure out what works for you! It's a hard thing to do, as you can see I've been a member for a long time, have fallen off the wagon more times than I can count, but I come back, stronger, and more informed each time! The main thing is is figuring out what's going to work in your lifestyle.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:11 AM   #7
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Thank you for your help, everyone. Carter I'll try that science experiment I'll go low carb (while counting calories to make sure I'm not going overboard) for two months and see how I'm doing overall. I'll check my blood sugar regularly throughout it as well as my weight loss. Then I'll see if I need to switch to counting calories but incorporating healthy carbs.

vealcalf, I've also been a member for a long time but would stop checking the forum and gain more weight rather than lose it. I think I was 40 lbs heavier this time than when I first joined. But as you said, I've been coming back stronger and more informed each time

Thanks for your help, everyone. And if anyone else has more advice, I'd love to hear it!
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:06 PM   #8
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I have done both. I lost the first chunk of weight counting calories and not paying attention to carbs or protein. Then after a long stall I did low carb and lost more. The problem I ran into is, for me, it seems "low carb is forever." I lost weight well low carbing, but anytime I eat higher carbs I regain rapidly, even if I count calories. So now I do both. I vary my calorie level based on results and try to keep carbs between 100 and 140g/day.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:05 PM   #9
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I've never been able to just calorie count. The only thing that consistently works for me is a low carb lifestyle. And, I find I have to keep it up to keep the weight off. My body just doesn't react very well to refined carbs. I've done everything from very low Atkins (around 20 carbs/day) to a more modified effort with more like 100 carbs per day. A friend who is actually diabetic says her doctor told her to have no more than 40 carbs at each meal.

Check out a book called Metabolism Miracle. I'm a lot like you -- although I wasn't diagnosed as insulin resistant, I know I was/am. My blood sugar always hovered just below 100, but I had the skin condition you described since I was 10 years old. Even a dermatologist didn't figure out it was related to pre-diabetes and not just a rash. My blood sugar is better, now, with the weight loss, but I know I feel funny when I eat carbs.

Best of luck to you! You're young and smart to get a handle on this now.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:36 PM   #10
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If you are insulin resistant I am sure you are going to discover you will have to watch carbs very carefully. But by doing this you will be eating less and so are also going lower in calories. So many people end up following a combination of both.
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