Carb Counters - Is low carb worth a try when I know I can't do it forever?




beth4365
04-14-2010, 06:59 PM
Hello All,

Firstly, thank you for being willing to view my thread and question! ;)

Okay, here's the deal. I've accomplished a lot of things in my life. Losing weight is about the only thing I feel I've worked hard at and failed.

A long time ago I tried Physician's Weight Loss, which was a low carb diet. If I recall correctly, I lost a little bit of weight (less than 10 pounds) and quit the expensive program because I simply couldn't eat the foods I was required to eat AND because I physically felt *awful*. I seem to remember lots and lots of cheese and bacon. Ugh.

So, I've been trying to do calorie counting and working out with a personal trainer. He and I were talking about nutrition today and he is going to talk to me soon about a low carb diet. He was talking briefly about it and said that he was going to suggest that I cut out almost all carbs (would only have them in the morning? Not sure I understood correctly).

Here's the thing. If I understand correctly, low carb basically means high fat. I would assume that the number of calories still matters? I am just about certain that I cannot maintain a low carb diet for the rest of my life. I *prefer* healthy, unprocessed fruits, vegetables and whole grains. I dislike eating most meats and really only eat it as a source of protein.

Anyway. One of the things I believe and read a lot is that we should find a plan that we can do forever. Should I try low carb again almost certain that it isn't for me? Should I try it, keeping in mind that I will only do it for a little while? Or, do I tell my trainer that I just need to keep working with the calorie counting (which isn't working very well... as ususal)?

I didn't mean to make this post so long and if you're still reading and have any advice, I'll really appreciate it. Thanks!


caryesings
04-14-2010, 07:20 PM
Personally, no, I wouldn't do anything that I couldn't keep doing for the rest of my life.

kaplods
04-14-2010, 08:20 PM
Even most low carb diets aren't "very low carb forever." Even Atkins, often considered one of the more extreme low-carb diets has you adding back carbs until you reach the point at which you stop losing weight, and if you're need to lose more, you back up the carbs until you start losing again. Once you reach maintenance you continue at the carb level that allows you to maintain your weight.

I tried low-carb diets in the past, but never for more than a few weeks, because I thought they were unhealthy and unustainable. I've slowly come to realize that I just don't do very well on a high carb diet. I feel hungrier, I have more autoimmune symptoms, my IBS flares more.... Reducing carbs isn't an easy diet for me, but it is one I feel best on. It's changed my view of the "feasibility" of carb-controlled dieting.

I do believe that you can choose a different route for maintenance than weight loss. I've used at least three different methods to lose the 80 lbs I've lost so far, and I didn't gain it all back when I switched methods. Even now, I continue to experiment with different nutrient levels. I've chosen an exchange plan, but I do occasionally change the number of carb/protein/fat servings. My maintenance plan may be different than my weight loss plan. I believe that it's perfectly fine to find a plan you see yourself doing "for now" or for a limited time, as long as you're comitted to finding another plan the moment the first one no longer serve your needs.

However, that's not what you believe. You've said that you believe that you should find a plan you can do forever - so do that. You've got to work in accordance with your own beliefs, but don't be afraid to experiment if you're not sure.

I wish I had not been so prejudiced against low-carb plans, because I don't think I ever gave them a fair trial. I always had an "all-or-nothing" approach to them, thinking that if I wanted a piece of cake once a year then it meant that low-carb diets "weren't for me."

Instead I've come to a practical conclusion. I do best physically and mentally on a low-carb diet, but I don't always eat what's best for me. I need to learn to eat closer ot the plan I feel best on, but it doesn't change the fact that I do feel my best when I'm avoiding processed and simple carbs (and even need to limit the high-carb whole foods, maybe not forever, but definitely for now). So for me, learning to make low-carb a sustainable plan for me is a higher priority than finding a plan I can easily stick to (I find there is no such plan, at least low-carb allows me to stick to it without feeling ravenously hungry).

Low-carb diets do not have to be incredibly high in fat, but they do have to be sufficient in fat. South Beach is a nice moderate-carb (or "good carb") plan.

But ultimately, you need to make choices based on your own belief system. Know what works for you, and if you don't know, experiment.


srmb60
04-14-2010, 08:23 PM
There are many forms of lower carb.
Lots of folks eat oatmeal for breakfast and then just protein, fruits and vegetables later in the day.
I'm doing Primal Blueprint. Your amount of carbs depends on your goal.
My SIL is eating far less carbs than she used but doesn't count.
I think (you'll have to check this out) that a few lower carbs plans start your amounts very low and then increaase for maintenance.

Do your research, low carbs may not be as restrictive as you'd guess. I resisted for a lot of years but I'm really enjoying it now.

ValentineNicole
04-14-2010, 08:39 PM
The first time I heard about low carb, I was 12 years old. A decade ago and a half ago - LONG before the Atkins craze. My dad's parents were both diabetic as long as I knew them, and my dad was always researching the best ways to avoid diabetes. He now has full control over his blood sugar by maintaining a low carb diet.

But that's not the point. The point is, I remember hearing no corn and no pineapple (two of my favorite foods!) and thinking that it was stupid. Those are healthy foods! I resisted and resisted, eating whatever I wanted. I stayed relatively slim - but here's the shocker. My blood sugar soared. It was 99 last I checked, about 3 months ago.

That plus the need to lose a little pregnancy weight made me chose low carb. Will I never eat chocolate again? Not a chance. But when I do eat it, it will be calculated portions, preferably after a meal to avoid blood sugars from soaring.

I don't want to eat meats and fats alone for the rest of my life. No one does, as far as I know. But for me, 2 weeks is fine. Then I can begin adding a bit more every week, until I've lost all my weight and hit a maintenance weight I enjoy. And I've learned things about myself - I used to HATE cheese. Now, it's something I look forward to every day. The veggies taste richer, without comparing them to chocolate. I'm learning to eat in a way that is healthy, for me.

So before you write it off as "No carbs forever," look into it a little more. Its not "no carbs" - it's low carb. And eventually, "Healthy Carbs."

I'll also say, I'm losing weight a LOT quicker on low carb than I was calorie counting :) I had a month long standstill, tried low carb, and instant pounds gone. And my actual calories per day have gone UP. There's something to be said for low carb.

MikoMarcia
04-14-2010, 08:46 PM
What have you got to lose? You may find it easier then you think... and if you don't... well you stop and find something else. No harm no fowl. :D

luciddepths
04-15-2010, 12:30 AM
yah you need to keep carbs, carbs are actually healthy!!! its mostly the "hi" carbs that diabetics cannot have that you want to avoid.. but getting rid of carbs completely :( is not a good idea. Learning to balance between protein and carbs might be a better option and looking for HEALTHY carbs.

kaplods
04-15-2010, 01:34 AM
Do not confuse low-carb with no-carb. No reputable low-carb plan eliminates carbs. It's an unfortunate and untrue stereotype that low-carb dieters constantly face and struggle against. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people tell me that I "have to eat fruits and vegetables to be healthy," thinking that I am eating meat, fat, eggs, cheese and water and nothing else. I am eating a great deal of non-starchy vegetables, a moderate amount of fruit, and not much more meat than I did when I wasn't low-carbing (I've found that low-carb cuts my hunger so much, that I probably ate more meat when I was high-carbing just because I ate more food overall because I was hungry all of the time).

There are a few plans that start people out with very few carbs for the first couple weeks. The rationale given is to break carb cravings, but I think it's something much simpler. People want a jump-start to weight loss, and they expect rapid loss in the first couple weeks. For a weight loss book to sell well, for it's plan to become popular, it has to deliver impressive results in the first few weeks. People buy the book because "so and so lost 6 lbs the first week."

The Zone diet for example recommends 40% of calories coming from carbs, 30% from fat and 30% from protein.

Now, whether the Zone diet is a low-carb diet is open to some debate. The definition of low-carb isn't universal. Opinions and definitions vary, and there's a lot of disagreement even among low-carbers as to how low is too low, and how high is too high. A common definition of low-carb diets are diets that provide fewer than 200g of carbohydrate. Although under 100g is another common definition.

Many low-carb diets will argue that anything lower than their plan is too low, and anything higher than their plan is too high

That's why it's so important to understand the carb-controlled or carb-restricted diets, so you can understand what you're judging. How low do you have to go? How low should you go.


I highly recommend the book The Low-Carb Bible, by Elizabeth M. Ward. It's no longer in print, but it can be picked up cheap on amazon.com or you may be able to order it through interlibrary loan if your local library doesn't have it.

The book provides overviews and reviews of popular low carb plans such as Atkins, Carbohydrate Addicts, Neanderthin, Protein Power, Schwarzbein Principle, South Beach, Sugar Busters, Suzanne Somers, and the Zone.

I've also heard good things about Low-Carb Dieting For Dummies by Katherine B. Chauncey, but I can't recommend it personally as I haven't read it.

You will find that some plans (such as Neanderthin, The Paleo Diet, and other "ancestor" diets) do recommend avoiding most grains.

However, before you decide that this means "eliminating a food group," it's important to realize that the nutrients in grains can be obtained from other sources, and that grains are relatively new to the human diet (if human existence to this point were compared to a single day, we've only been eating grains for the last 6 minutes).

It's also important to realize that the concept of food groupings is somewhat arbitrary. It's neither universal or static. Even the "experts" in the field are not all using the same system (The current American standard is not the only system) Food can be grouped in many ways, and there is no universal agreement on how food should be grouped and how many groups should exist. There are many ways to group foods for nutritional purposes and there are many systems still in use today. Americans are often concerned about eliminating the food group of grains, but you don't usually hear about people concerned about the elimination of the food group of insects or the food group of bones and connective tissue.

I'm really going off on a tangent, because most low-carb plans don't eliminate grains. Most low-carb plans aren't drastically high in fat, either (although you should be careful with plans that combine extreme low-carb with extreme low-fat, they can be dangerous).

There are so many myths about low-carb plans, that it's no wonder people view it as unhealthy - but they're not judging based on reality, but on perception. Or they're judging all low-carb plans by the most extreme low-carb plan they can find.

beth4365
04-15-2010, 06:43 AM
So grateful for all of these answers...

Thanks to each of you for taking the time to lend your time and expertise.

I'm going to spend an hour next week going over nutrition with my trainer. In the meantime, I'm going to do some more research. I am at least more open to trying low carb again. I have thought more about it and I am pretty sure that I can't maintain the plan. As I've read more I remember having an awful taste in my mouth that I couldn't get rid of and that alone makes me feel that I can't maintain the plan... but... I am willing to give it another try.... and... if it doesn't work... well.. then.. as some of you have said... I just go back to the drawing board and try again.

While I've never been particularly successful, at least I've never quit.

So, again, thank you ladies, for all your wisdom and input. Maybe someday I'll find the right path for me, too.

rafibarlev
04-21-2010, 03:23 AM
Yes, calories still matters in a low carb diet. I think you should give it a try and see if you can find some foods that you like better. If it doesn't work well...counting calories is still there. :)

kaplods
04-21-2010, 05:11 AM
The "icky taste" of low-carb can be dealt with in several ways. You can make sure you're eating all of your vegetable alottment and drink more water (those two things usually takes care of it), you can use sugar-free breath mints and gums, or you can raise your carb levels until the bad taste disappears.

Something to keep in mind - there are dozens (if not hundreds) of reduced-carb plans, and the degree of carb-restriction varies tremendously. All low-carb plans are not the same, and you don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Watching carbs doesn't have to be any more complicated than calorie counting. Some people may choose to keep carbs lower so they can occasionally splurge on something high-carb once in a while, while others may decide on a daily carb "budget." And there are thousands of other ways you can choose to interpret your food plan.

YOU not only can choose your food plan, you can create it from scratch too. Diets aren't magic formulas that must be adhered to exactly or poof they don't work - you can make your own rules. If you don't have much of a nutrition background, it does help to have the input of a doctor or dietitian, or books written by medical and nutrition "experts" but you get to tweak whichever plan you follow, and you can make changes as fequently as you like.

You don't have to decide before you start, what you can do forever. You can experiment along the way. Your starting plan does not have to be your maintenance plan.

I also suspect that you're not very familiar with low-carb plans, because a major part of most low-carb plans is adding carbs during maintenance and often even during weight loss phases as you get closer to maintenance. So even following low-carb plans as written, you're not expected to follow the most restrictive phase forever. On maintenance you'll be eating more carbs - and you'll only have to restrict carbs as much as necessary to maintain the weight.

You also can tweak plans as you see fit (it may not work - but a failed experiment is not the end of the world. It teaches you what works for you, and what doesn't).

I cannot, for example follow Atkins induction (20g of carbs). It makes me dizzy and light headed (and it doesn't "go away" so it isn't "carb-withdrawal" as often alluded to). In the past, that always drove me away from Atkins, and it really didn't have to (I'm not following Atkins or saying anyone else should or shouldn't). Now that I'm on diabetic medications, it's even more important that I don't drop my carb-intake to induction levels. I have to use at least 40g of carbs or I feel sick. So, I don't drop carbs that low.

It sounds like you're very resistant to the idea that low-carb could work for you. I can relate, because it took me nearly 40 years to even consider trying low-carb seriously. Because induction-level made me sick, light-headed, dizzy, nauseous (I even passed out) and left the sticky, yucky taste in my mouth - it was proof enough that the diet wasn't healthy. What I never tried (until fairly recently) was to modify the plan until it stopped making me sick. To add back carbs until I found the level that allowed me to lose weight comfortably.

My attitude towards low-carb is practical. I can lose more weight on 1800 calories of low-carb than I can on 1800 calories of high-carb eating - and I'm less hungry when doing so. So, it makes sense to eat in the way that allows me to eat more and feel less hungry. I could change to high-carb eating at any time, but I'd have to drop my calorie level lower and I'd have to deal with more hunger. You have to know what the trade-offs are and what you're willing to trade.

I'm losing slowly, simply because I do often choose to eat higher-carb than I feel is perfect for me. I could lose weight quicker by eating lower-carb, but I'm ok with slow weight loss so I can eat higher-carb (but even "higher" is relative. My food plan is low-carb by many definitions. Certainly by the under 200g criteria).

Experiment until you find what works for you. The least restrictive form of carb-consciousness is avoiding the "white" foods of sugar, flour, rice and potatoes most of the time, so many people start there.

Again, I'd highly recommend Elizabeth Ward's book The Low-Carb Bible, because it provides an overview of many low-carb plans, it will help you decide whether (and if so which) plans are suited to you. There are so many different plans, I find it hard to believe that not a single one would meat your needs. The Carbohydrate Addict's diet or maybe Protein Power (I forget which. I've read both books) allows you "cheat meals" at which you can eat high-carb foods (even cake), but only at certain times/intervals.

I'm sure you can find, or create a plan that works for you.

sarahinparis
04-29-2010, 06:01 AM
I would never have thought that low carb would work for me, but I've been really happy with it, and because I've really liked how I felt (high energy, NO HUNGER) I decided I COULD do it for long-term.

I got into low carb after reading Gary Taubes' book "Good Calories, Bad Calories" and decided to give low carb a try - and immediately had the hunger monster which I've battled all my life calmed down & manageable. It was a dramatic shift. My weight loss has not been dramatic but it's been consistent, and it's been that way despite enormous personal stress (I could have easily gained 50 pounds, instead I lost 35).

If nothing else, several weeks of low carb should give you information about how you personally react to carbs, and it could lead to you making changes to just gently reduce certain foods (my sister did this approach - dropped sugar & bread & lost 20 pounds).

I have been a whole-foods, mainly-organic eater for about 10 years so the idea of a low carb diet was pretty shocking to me, but I found it to be really useful, so you might too...

synger
04-29-2010, 09:59 AM
I am eating FAR more veggies while I cut back on carbs than I ever did before, even when I was doing the super-strict low-fat vegetarian Pritikin plan!

kate87
04-29-2010, 01:56 PM
I never thought I could follow a low carb plan but have been doing so for 12 weeks now. I chose Ideal Protein and it's definately changed my life for the better. I have tried many low-fat, low-calorie diets. I've felt slightly deprived but I'm getting ready for phase 2. In maintenance I get all of my food groups back and have 1 day a week where I eat whatever I want. This is definately do-able for me!! Losing weight is a process, no you can't go back to your old habits, but I could do the low-carb short term knowing I'll get a full balanced diet back in the long run. I feel better than every, my body seems to be functioning more efficiently, and I feel in control now. In the end choose what's right for you:)

katerina11
05-11-2010, 03:31 PM
I would never have thought that low carb would work for me, but I've been really happy with it, and because I've really liked how I felt (high energy, NO HUNGER) I decided I COULD do it for long-term.

I got into low carb after reading Gary Taubes' book "Good Calories, Bad Calories" and decided to give low carb a try - and immediately had the hunger monster which I've battled all my life calmed down & manageable. It was a dramatic shift.


This for me.

I was very resistant to low-carb. I am a nurse and everything I had ever learned about nutrition and the human body was turned on it's head when I read Good Calories Bad Calories. It is a very well researched treatise on nutrition.

Since going low carb, I have been able to lose weight without the hunger. There were carb cravings to be sure, but they have lessened. When I am hungry, I eat from a wide variety of vegetables, meats, nuts, and fruits. I eat until I am full and that's that. No having to leave half of my plate, or no worries of binging. It's been a real life changer just in the short time I've been doing primal eating.

Shyanara
05-12-2010, 05:04 AM
You mentioned in your post that your trainer said something about having carbs only in the mornings. That's what I do. :) I have a low-protein, low-fat breakfast with wholewheat bread and fruit, and then I eat low-carb for the rest of the day. It works wonderfully! I am also allowed to have carbs for lunch every now and then, and for me that means if I want to have a piece of cake on the weekend - that's my lunch! :)

I eat mostly unprocessed food (meaning I make most of my food myself from scratch), a lot of fish, some meat (mostly to keep my husband happy), lots of vegetables. The only thing I'm gonna miss are potatoes, because I love them and they are the only carbs I can't have for breakfast (but I might add them to my lunch when I'm in maintanance). Now I haven't got any weight loss to show, but I've only just started properly. But I do know I'll easily eat like this forever. It actually makes me feel great, I sleep better, my body already feels firmer (I seem to retain less water), and it makes me feel like I'm doing something really good for my health.

Low-fat or high-fat is subject to perception, I think. As I've always rather eaten food that is more "natural", I never bought low-fat cheese or stuff like that in the first place (with the exception of mozzarella, where I actually prefer the low-fat version). I eat regular cheese, I fry my food in a variety of vegetable oils and I still cut off the fatty bits of my ham. That is just a normal, healthy amount of fat to me. To someone used to a low-fat diet, it is probably high-fat. ;) But when you cut out lots of carbs, your body needs energy from somewhere else.

Autumn Gold
05-23-2010, 09:22 AM
Interesting.

I am actually pro-low carb even though I've only tried it for limited times in the past. I did try Atkins and lost a lot of weight, but I knew I couldn't maintain it for life. However, limiting carbs, rather than cutting them almost completely, does sound more managable.

I have always lost more weight when I ate fewer carbs.

Do you low carb-ers cut out all carbs except for veg after lunch, then?

srmb60
05-23-2010, 09:28 AM
Nope. I eat vegetables and some fruit whenever I want.

JerseyGyrl
05-23-2010, 10:01 AM
Interesting.

I am actually pro-low carb even though I've only tried it for limited times in the past. I did try Atkins and lost a lot of weight, but I knew I couldn't maintain it for life. However, limiting carbs, rather than cutting them almost completely, does sound more managable.

I have always lost more weight when I ate fewer carbs.

Do you low carb-ers cut out all carbs except for veg after lunch, then?

I would be real interested in just exactly how you did Atkins. Atkins is about limiting carbs, not cutting them almost completely.

As for cutting out all carbs except for veggies after lunch, I've never heard of such a thing:shrug::shrug::shrug:

kaplods
05-23-2010, 10:59 AM
However, limiting carbs, rather than cutting them almost completely, does sound more managable.
Do you low carb-ers cut out all carbs except for veg after lunch, then?

I'm not on Atkins (I have portion control issues that stall my weight loss, even on induction level carbs), but the diet influenced my food philosophy very much. I owe a lot to Atkins, and I hate to hear it so often critiqued on points that aren't really those of the diet. Most often, the critiques are based on a part of the diet that doesn't even have to be followed for more than the first two weeks.


Atkins does NOT eliminate carbs. Atkins is all about limiting rather than cutting out carbs completely. You start with 20g of carbs, but after two weeks, you can start adding them back in - steadily increasing the quantity and the variety of carbs.

Did you read the book, and did you ever go on to OWL, that is did you ever start increasing your carbs from induction level (if not, you weren't following Atkins as written)?

Was it induction or OWL, that you you couldn't imagine sticking with for life (you're not supposed to, as you get closer to goal, you're supposesed to be adding in more carbs from more sources - eventually even whole grains)? What's not sustainable about adding back carby foods gradually, following a protocol?






However, limiting carbs, rather than cutting them almost completely, does sound more managable.

Do you low carb-ers cut out all carbs except for veg after lunch, then?


I don't recall Atkins suggesting any particular timing for carby foods (and the vast majority in this thread are going to be Atkins followers, not all the low-carbers following other plans would read or post in this thread. I read all the new threads, and post whenever the impulse strikes, even if I'd normally not be a part of a thread. What can I say, I'm nosy and bold).


I've been on several low-carb diets that have allowed carby foods only during certain times of the day. Protein Power comes to mind and the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet (though I read those a long time ago, so I could be wrong). I think Suzanne Sommers also gives some pretty complicated food combining and timing rules, if I remember correctly.

Some of the diets only allow specific carbs in the morning or only in the evening or only with a meal (some let you choose which meal).

For a while, I had success with allowing myself a high carb snack at bedtime (late enough that I fell asleep before it would cause the blood sugar crash that would make me hungry).

This didn't work in the long run, and it started and encouraged bad habits, that eventually led me to wake in the middle of the night starving (at first I was too lazy to get out of bed to eat, but eventually it led to larger (and dumber choices of) snacks before bedtime and even in the middle of the night, after waking hungry (and at 3am, still half-asleep I don't always make the best decisions about food).

Rosinante
05-25-2010, 03:09 AM
Only got to the end of page 1 of this thread but got to get up and get out. I'll come back later.

Great question and great answers, thankyou!

I'm just about to start India and Neris's Idiot Proof Diet, which is NOT the Idiot Proof one with the bad name, its subtitle is "From Pig to Twig" :) . I've done versions of most diets under the sun, and have resisted low-carb for a long, long time. My biggest fear (TMI alert) is constipation - so any help in that er area would be good!

Good luck, OP!

CJZee
05-25-2010, 09:25 AM
My biggest fear (TMI alert) is constipation - so any help in that er area would be good!

Hi Rosinante -- since you are eating percentage-wise a higher fat diet, constipation should not be a problem or at least it isn't for me. Do not make the mistake of being scared of fat -- olive oil, butter, animal fat. (Avoid all seed oils like corn, sunflower, soybean, safflower, etc.)

To the OP --
I eat way more veggies than I ever did before on my low-carb primal type diet. I have cut out added sugar totally, which I think will be for life, even after I reach goal weight. The "real food" carbs like potatoes I will use moderately. Wheat has problems of its own for me, and I do NOT think of it as a "healthy whole grain".

I do often switch from low-carb to calorie-counting depending on what is going on in my life (ie, if I'm traveling and eating out a lot). But even if I'm calorie counting, I tend to stay "lowish" carb which I define as approximately 120 grams of carbs a day. My calorie-counting software tracks carbs too, so it's easy.

greenfishgirl
05-25-2010, 09:51 AM
I love this thread!

Rosinante
05-25-2010, 12:47 PM
Do not make the mistake of being scared of fat -- olive oil, butter, animal fat. (Avoid all seed oils like corn, sunflower, soybean, safflower, etc.)

If this is too much of a thread-hijack, let me know and I'll start another one: Yes, I'm afraid of fat: most of my diets have been low fat or low cal, and I'm absolutely not knocking either one; the only problem with them has been my willpower recently.

I have done no-carb in the past (Stillman?Stilmann) 20lbs in a month but breath like a sewer.
I have done Atkins induction and into the next stage for a while. I remember eventually finding it restrictive (again, I offer no blame, it's me) but I also remember how great the absence of fluid retention in my ankles and fingers was, and that's largely the reason why I'm revisiting it in Pig>Twig.

I Will go back to the book but I want to ask too, please: Can someone point me to some comments/threads/reliable not scaremongering or diet-promoting articles about which fats are good and why?
Thankyou.

CJZee
05-25-2010, 01:53 PM
If this is too much of a thread-hijack, let me know and I'll start another one: Yes, I'm afraid of fat: most of my diets have been low fat or low cal, and I'm absolutely not knocking either one; the only problem with them has been my willpower recently.

Can someone point me to some comments/threads/reliable not scaremongering or diet-promoting articles about which fats are good and why?
Thankyou.

Hi Rosinante -- I can give you lots of technical information supporting which fats are healthy. In the meantime, I'm going to point you to a post at Stumptuous.com which outlines it pretty well. Here is the link. (http://www.stumptuous.com/all-about-fat-1)

To skip to her recommendations, they come down to this:

You should aim to get most of your fat intake from a balance of:

omega-3 fatty acids (fatty fish, fish oils)
naturally occurring monounsaturated fats (avocados, olive oil etc)
naturally occurring saturated fats (meats, eggs, etc) You should avoid:

artificially created trans fats
artificially created, highly processed oils such as sunflower, canola, corn, and safflower
artificially created oil products like cooking sprays and I Canít Believe Itís Not Butter (they should call that ... I Canít Believe This Gets Sold As Food)
excessive consumption of omega-6 fatty acidsThere are a variety of reasons we should avoid seed oils (corn, soybean, canola, safflower, etc.), not the least of which it messes up our Omega 6/Omega 3 fatty acid ratio (seed oils are heavy in Omega 6's).

A lot of this started by the way in 2002 when Gary Taubes wrote an article in the New York Times called "What if it's all a big fat lie" (http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/07/magazine/what-if-it-s-all-been-a-big-fat-lie.html?pagewanted=all) which discusses the villification of fat and why it is wrong. Out of this came his epic book, Good Calories, Bad Calories.

BibBob
05-25-2010, 03:32 PM
Great post CJZee.

I've had more bacon this month than I did in the last year. More butter and more beef fat too. And way more veggies. It's amazing how much room there is for good food when you cut the sugar, grains, rice, potatoes and other empty calories. I have lost a ton of weight, dropped my blood pressure from scary to normal, relieved a three year old belly ache, solved my very difficult bowel movement issue, have healthier skin, healthier hair, healthier sleep, more job productivity, and a happier, healthier child. Sure bread and pasta and desserts are tasty. Cereal is convenient. They ain't THAT good though. I cannot imagine going back. I am having too much fun with this food and the way I feel. I eat like a king. I feel sorry for people filling up on bread.

Rosinante -- This isn't easy, but it isn't ridiculously hard either. If you eat enough of what you're allowed to eat, and you're allowed to eat really good food, then the poisonous processed stuff you've eliminated won't be missed after some struggles kicking the addiction. Low carb flu is a real condition. Just understand that your body is adjusting from burning sugar (carbs) and storing fat -- to burning fat. It takes awhile for your system to transition. Once that's done it's a matter of how bad you want it. We all cheat, so don't let that stop you or even be a worry. The reason some low carbers opt for high fat, it because it is the fuel we now run on, and eating it keeps us running on it. Some paleo low carbers run on 80% fat, and that's mostly saturated fat, and they are lean as ****, mocking the conventional wisdom that banishes fat. It is the fuel we burn most efficiently once the liver, pancreas and the rest of the endocrine system get on the right page.

I'm becoming a low carb evangelist. The Taubes article at the bottom of CJ's post is what started it all for me. It's long, but it's worth reading and digesting. So is his book, Good Calories Bad Calories.

Rosinante
05-27-2010, 01:32 AM
Thankyou, CJZ and BibBob, very helpful posts. I've stuck to plan so far this week, and because life has kind of got in the way of shopping - busy, car hit by a bus, car later being towed home on a truck (separate incident) - I've really relied on the quite high fat things I already had in. I might have spread them out a bit more, if I'd had more supplies in.
Monday - a semi-lowcarb day: meant to be Day 1 but suffered from foodpoisoning type symptoms all day.
Tuesday - stuck to it absolutely.
Wednesday - felt a bit 'distant' in the morning but kept on with it.
Thursday - feeling fine, I feel to have lost a lot of bloat.

Happily, today I get to go shopping!

Karen925
06-16-2010, 09:37 PM
This for me.

I was very resistant to low-carb. I am a nurse and everything I had ever learned about nutrition and the human body was turned on it's head when I read Good Calories Bad Calories. It is a very well researched treatise on nutrition.

Since going low carb, I have been able to lose weight without the hunger. There were carb cravings to be sure, but they have lessened. When I am hungry, I eat from a wide variety of vegetables, meats, nuts, and fruits. I eat until I am full and that's that. No having to leave half of my plate, or no worries of binging. It's been a real life changer just in the short time I've been doing primal eating.

I have found this to be true. In fact, I am eating more veggies now that I have eliminated the whole grain starches(excepting oatmeal in the morning). I intend to slowly add them back in, using my food journaling as a guide. Ordered Gary Taubes book. I think I have seena dn heard all the talks he is done online:-)

joyful retiree
07-16-2010, 09:01 AM
If I had to choose between low carb or high carb, LOW carb would win hands down. The original poster is correct in that choosing a WOE you can sustain is important. We each have to find our own answer to that, however, appetite control is almost always an important part of the equasion. Some people are so sensitive to carbs that a very low carb diet works best for them. Some of us are able to eat a more moderate (I define moderate as about 80 to 100 carbs daily) amount of carbs. I'm fortunate in finding that The Insulin Resistance Diet way linking of protein to carbs works well for me. Good luck in finding what works best for you.

jhawk76
07-18-2010, 08:39 PM
I am in week 3 of a low carb/high protein/low fat diet as prescribed by my doctor and I couldn't be happier. I have a list of good veggies/fruits/low fat proteins to choose from and I am always satisfied. I feel like this is finally the lifestyle change that will work for me. Nothing else worked for me like this. Other things that have helped me are lots of water, one 5-htp (an amino acid that addresses any carb cravings) and green tea while eating every 2-3 hours.

jenlag
07-18-2010, 08:50 PM
Low carb doesn't have to be high fat. I lost 60 pounds low carb, low calorie, low fat and high protein. Lots of lean poultry and steamed vegetables. I am now having whole grains and maintaining. For me, I have trouble losing while consuming carbs. Whenever I get into game mode, I have to restrict carbs to lose. That's just my body though.

Shortymac
07-19-2010, 02:12 PM
I'm on a semi-low carb diet myself, I've had a lot of success with it. However, no matter what diet you're on it always requires portion control, which is what got me in High School with Atkins.

I love stat fats and cheese and tend to overdo it, other people however are easily satisfied with a tiny bit. I still regulate my calories.

If you don't like meat, there are non-meat ways to eat lowish-carb, tofu (stay away from meat subs though), eggs, protein powders (i like isoflex), nuts, and nut flours instead of wheat.

I wouldn't really do no-carb, at least not not a long period of time, if you do make sure to take benefiber or something to stay regular

fatmad
08-06-2010, 01:03 PM
Hello All,



So, I've been trying to do calorie counting and working out with a personal trainer. He and I were talking about nutrition today and he is going to talk to me soon about a low carb diet. He was talking briefly about it and said that he was going to suggest that I cut out almost all carbs (would only have them in the morning? Not sure I understood correctly).

Here's the thing. If I understand correctly, low carb basically means high fat. I would assume that the number of calories still matters? I am just about certain that I cannot maintain a low carb diet for the rest of my life. I *prefer* healthy, unprocessed fruits, vegetables and whole grains. I dislike eating most meats and really only eat it as a source of protein.

Anyway. One of the things I believe and read a lot is that we should find a plan that we can do forever. Should I try low carb again almost certain that it isn't for me? Should I try it, keeping in mind that I will only do it for a little while? Or, do I tell my trainer that I just need to keep working with the calorie counting (which isn't working very well... as ususal)?

I didn't mean to make this post so long and if you're still reading and have any advice, I'll really appreciate it. Thanks!

So the only thing is , you can't maintain the diet you are on for the rest of your life, since it isn't working, you are not feeling healthy and you are overweight, or you wouldn't be asking these questions. So you will have to change your diet, yes?
Most of us who have done lower carb have found that we can stay there.
I know I couldn't go back to a high grain diet. I feel pretty crummy if I overdo the grains. I can eat some on occasion if combined with other good foods. But I have come to love my high veggie diet. (if I call it that, people don't lecture me) I can sustain this diet, or one like it, over the long term, recognizing that I won't always do it perfectly. I will have chocolate or cake or pie on occasion. But not regulary, not the whole cake or pie, and always with exercise.
GOod luck in finding the path that suits you.

Mikkijoe
08-06-2010, 03:35 PM
A person who eats fast food every day cannot image going through life without it
A person who eats tons of fruit and vegetables cannot imagine going thorugh life with out them

But we can quickly change out brain, and our taste buds, and you may be surprised what you can live with, And you are right, a Diet needs to be maintainable for life. BUT I dont think you can gauge a plan until you have tried it, as many food groups change your cravings.
Sugar and white flour elimination alone can change your life forever, and is liveable! Especially when you go into it with the mind set that your life depends on it--because for many of us it does!

albagbr
08-15-2010, 02:23 PM
Just eat real food like the food detailed in the Harcombe Diet. It's low in carbs but you don't count anything. She has completed over 20 years of research and says that sugar and carbs are addictive and shows you how to eliminate cravings. It's a plan for life rather than a diet..

ma26
08-15-2010, 02:43 PM
I would recomend reading Joel Fuhrmen's "Eat to Live". If you prefer eating whole foods and fruits and veggies, then I don't think you should do low carb. Like already mentioned by others you need a diet you can do the rest of your life. I did low carb once years ago, and it worked great. Except as soon as I started eating carbs like fruits and veggies I gained weight back. Now maybe if I hadn't become so discouraged and threw the towel in on healthy eating at the time, I imagine I would have beeN able to maintain fine eating whole healthy foods. But its better to get all the nutrients and vitamins from whole foods and know the way your eating as you lose iS essentially how you'll eat always.

kaplods
08-15-2010, 03:53 PM
People fail at low-carb diets for the same reason they fail at other diets... they stop following them.

low-carb has a bad rep, because there isn't any consensus on which diets are low-carb and which aren't. Some consider low-carb to mean a diet that has virtually no carbs (meaning not only no fruits, but little to no vegetables as well - this is not a legitimate low-carb diet).

How many carbs, before a plan is low-carb? Even the experts don't agree (many of them consider Eat to Live, as well as South Beach low-carb diets, others call them "good carb" diets).

Some experts call any diet that comes from 60% or fewer calories low-carb. Others put the cut-off at 50%. Others say 200g of carb or less. Others 100g or less. Some say 60g or less and others say 40g or less. Others say eliminating or limiting fruit and grains...

Even in the most carb-liminting low-carb diets, at your goal weight or before, you keep adding greater amounts of carbohydrate foods until you stop losing or start gaining, then you step back to a level that was working and use it as long as it works. You make adjustments as you need to.

People don't follow these guidelines and then say low-carb didn't work. If you abandon the food plan, you're going to gain back. It doesn't matter which food plan you're on. That's not the result of the diet, that's the result of going off the diet.

For most of my life I thought low-carb plans were undoable - what I meant was that I wasn't willing to follow them. I wasn't willing to follow any of the plans I tried, and so I gained back the weight and some extra, each and every try (even though only a few, an extremely tiny minority of those attempts were low-carb plans)

When my doctor suggested low-carb, I thought he was crazy (after all, everyone knows they're unhealthy). It took me almost a year to follow his advice.

I've learned that the only diet that works for me is "low-carb" in that I need to virtually eliminate grains and I need to limit fruit. If I don't I get overhungry and I overeat. I make a lot of mistakes, because it is a difficult diet to follow (any diet is).

I could have decided that I shouldn't eat low-carb - or for that matter that I shouldn't diet at all, because diets never worked for me forever. I didn't need to find the diet that I could invision doing forever - I had to learn to follow the diet that worked and follow it forever (or for as long as I want to keep the weight off).

For me, that plan is drastically limiting carbohydrates (compared to what I was eating, and compared to what most people in the nation eat). Right now I aim at 100g or less (and I do consider it low carb).

If I wanted to lose faster, I could limit calories and carbohydrates more, but I'm ok with the level I've chosen. For now. I don't have to be ok with it forever, but I do have to be ok with it for now.

If I want the results to last forever, I have to be willing to do something forever. It doesn't have to be the same something, it just has to be a something that works. There's no reason that I can't switch to a high-carb diet when I'm at goal, as long as it's a high-carb diet that allows me to keep the weight off. If you're on a 1200 calorie low-carb diet, switching to a 1200 high-carb diet is going to result in a small amount of weight gain (just because your body will retain the extra water it needs to process higher carb foods). However, it would be virtually impossible to remain obese on a 1200 calorie diet. If you regain after abandoning a low-carb diet, it's not from eating carbohydrates, it's from overeating food.

Commit yourself to low-carb, or commit yourself to any other diet you find effective, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you commit to following an effective strategy. It can be any strategy that you find effective. You can even change your strategy (every week if you want to, every day or every hour if you want to) you just have to commit to following a strategy that you find effective. If it isn't effective, abandon it for something that is but don't "just abandon it." That is never effective.

BibBob
08-18-2010, 01:02 PM
I've learned that the only diet that works for me is "low-carb" in that I need to virtually eliminate grains and I need to limit fruit. If I don't I get overhungry and I overeat.

Another terrific post, kaplods. I have been down many of the same roads and always resisted low carb. I did that for a variety of reasons. I'm athletic and need the carbs for energy. I love pasta and bread too much to mess with something unsustainable that tries to eliminate them. I'm social and low carb dieting would make me a weirdo in a big Italian family. What about eating out? It would be impossible as a low carber. It's unrealistic and inconvenient to eliminate handy carbs from my lifestyle. And on and on and on. All baloney. All BS. All wasting years as I increasingly became more unhealthy.

The only diet that works for me IS low carb. Any other plan stokes my appetite and I over eat. I recently increased carbs to change my acidic body chemistry and battle a case of gout (kidneys were over worked by an overabundance of acidic ketones and uric acid). My calories creeped though I tried very hard to control them. I gained about 10 pounds in a week. Just getting back to ketosis is a major battle with my new appetite.

luvs_violets
09-04-2010, 04:16 AM
Hi I decided I'd give South Beach a try as its not fat encouraged but lean meat and dairy etc. Thought I'd go the week on SB and have Sat. off to have any favs. I was missing and Sun hopefully a vegetarian day to eat lots of my fav. fruits.Well one week in I lost 4kg during the week and today eating bread I havn't even enjoyed it. So I will be happy to start again on Mon. Maybe I won't need a day off next weekend good luck

luvs_violets
09-04-2010, 04:20 AM
Hi I decided I'd give South Beach a try as its not fat encouraged but lean meat and dairy etc. Thought I'd go the week on SB and have Sat. off to have any favs. I was missing and Sun hopefully a vegetarian day to eat lots of my fav. fruits.Well one week in I lost 4kg during the week and today eating bread I havn't even enjoyed it. So I will be happy to start again on Mon. Maybe I won't need a day off next weekend good luck;) I also got into trying some of the recipes such as using almond meal which made lovely pancakes for a breakfast change and didn't eat many eggs at all:)

luvs_violets
09-04-2010, 04:23 AM
Well feeling stupid here it says wait and try again so added a bit more but did't think both would go through sorry