Carb Counters - Low carb during the week. No rules Sunday? Does this work?

05-14-2010, 04:41 AM
My boyfriend is yet again trying the low carb diet. His goal is very low carbs 6 days a week and then a cheat day Sundays. I didn't think that was the way it worked but wanted to ask you guys for your opinions on this. Is this a healthy or managable way to go?

I'm all for whatever but it I also don't want him inhaling butter by the stick and then having that sunday make it go straight to his heart. I don't want him to die :(

I'm doing low carb also but my way. Not overloading on fat but doing major veggies so.. not sure how low carb that is since he won't step near a tomato..


05-14-2010, 07:20 AM
His goal is very low carbs 6 days a week and then a cheat day Sundays.

When you say his goal is very low low are you talking about and what exactly is he eating?

05-14-2010, 09:53 PM
I think he said 20-30.

05-14-2010, 09:57 PM
I think he said 20-30.

Ok. What does a typical day of eating look like for him?

05-14-2010, 10:01 PM
I am doing something similar. I am doing semi-lo carb (still have fruits, veggies, dairy and 1 bowl of oatmeal). I take sundays off but only one time have I really done too much. I found when I did by evening I was craving healthy protein again.

It works for me because of knowing sunday is coming I don't cheat. I know I can later so i just wait.

05-15-2010, 02:03 AM
well I am just wondering about the ketosis and fat. will taking a day off ruin ketosis and make the whole Atkins style diet moot and hence make all the fat consumed go straight to his heart.

I asked him and he said he wants to eat about 25 carbs per day. Sometimes I eat with him. Today he made this sorta gyro thing. He enjoys making new recipes which is great. It was hamburger and onions with a sour cream ranch dressing with 2 small pieces of tomatoes (tomatoes are high in carbs) and he put my cucumber slices in it. It was actually SUPER good. and then he had another serving for dinner and then complained he thinks he went over his carbs due to the sour cream.

Last night he cooked steak with an entire stick of butter garlic and onions then for a snack a few hotdogs.

05-15-2010, 02:04 AM
he is now having a snack of cheese cubes tomatoes (he LOVES tomatoes) onions and ranch and I think he went over his limit

05-15-2010, 08:57 AM
Unfortunately, most people are under the false impression low carb is all about eating excessive amounts of meat, butter & cheese. To do low carb correctly, the focus should be on plenty of green veggies & salads as well as fats. The principle of low carb is that it converts the fat you eat for fuel & energy. This is the basic concept of Ketosis. While Ketosis is not a dangerous condition, it is often confused with Ketoacidosis, which is a serious complication associated with Diabetes.
It doesn't sound like your BF is doing a particular plan like Atkins but, more or less his own version of low carb. That being said, he might be interested in doing further low carb research. I would recommend reading Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution (2002 or prior versions), Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes and The Protien Power Lifeplan by Dr's Michael & Mary Dan Eades. All those books provide a better understanding of exactly how & why low carb lifestyles work effectively.
While tomato's & onions are permitted on low carb, they are on the higher end of the carb spectrum. A half cup of onion contains 6.9 total carbs or 5.5 net carbs (net carbs = total carbs minus dietary fiber) and 1 tomato contains 5.7 total carbs or 4.3 net carbs. Sour Cream, also permitted, should be limited to no more than 3 Tbsp per day. Calories should also be taken into consideration and while butter is encouraged on low carb...keep in mind, an entire stick contains 800 calories! Processed foods such as hotdogs are not encouraged on low carb and cheese's should be limited to certain varieties as well as to 3-4 ozs. per day.
Speaking strictly for myself, a once a week "cheat day" would not work. I agree not only would it interfere with Ketosis but, (again this is for ME), it would provoke cravings making it that much more difficult to get back on track come Monday. That being said, everyone is different and responds differently and since your BF is doing his own version of low carb, he may find he is able to be successful with a "cheat day". I on the other hand need a more regimented agenda.
If he's serious about sticking with this, I'd strongly suggest him reading those books for further insight. You may want to consider reading them as well to further educate yourself regarding low carb therefore, offering him further support in his endeavor.
All the best to the both of you!:)

05-15-2010, 10:00 AM
People do "low carb" LOTS of different ways. People have different limits or goals for carb consumption, some allow certain types of carbs and not others, some count total carbs while some count net carbs, some eat processed foods while others try to go more natural, some also count calories while others don't...and lots of different plans work for lots of different people.

Going off plan once a week will not undo all he's done all week long. In fact, you don't actually have to be in ketosis all the time for a low carb plan to work. Recent studies are showing that even saturated fat does not have negative health consequences UNLESS also eaten in conjunction with carbs. So, if he's only really eating carbs once a week, then no, the fat he ate earlier in the week won't magically start clogging his arteries days after eaten.

If your guy is a doctor-phobe like mine is, I believe you can even buy home cholesterol tests at a pharmacy or Walmart or Target so you can track that in addition to just the number on the scale.

05-15-2010, 01:07 PM
Great answers above, but I wanted to add something about the cheating that I've adjusted with great results, as in I am not cheating at all yet.

I do not like the idea of planning to cheat. Look at it from a legal standpoint. A premeditated crime is worse than a crime of passion. Repeated premidated crimes get the label career criminal. I understand cheating is going to happen and shouldn't be compared to car theft, but I think it should be more in line with a crime of passion. Stick to your low carb plan with no premeditated schedule for cheating. Cheat when a situation arrives like pizza with friends, or someone brings amazing danishes by, or you find yourself famished and staring at bagel fresh from the oven somewhere. Then don't punish yourself for cheating. It's just part of life, not a planned part, but sometimes carb happens. ;)


06-13-2010, 01:31 PM
Cheat days (assuming he means a high carb day) don't work. Low carb is basically using food fat and body fat for fuel instead of carbs. If you break that process by eating a lot of carbs, you are messing with the efficiency of the process.

Atkins a great diet but it takes discipline to work it. You BF may do better with a paleo slant (NeanderThin is my favourite) or The Paleo Diet (controversial) or the latest Primal. These types of diets are low carb and are very easy to follow without a lot of counting. But as in all diets, it does require care in food selection and they do not recommend "cheat days".

I encourage my husband to just eat a bit more of his diet foods on the days he feels he needs more, rather than hit the junk.

06-14-2010, 01:53 PM
Before I decided to do just low-carb, I was thinking of doing a cyclical ketogenic diet. It's something that bodybuilders and other hardcore athletes do in order to have enough energy to work out during the week, so if your bf doesn't workout a lot, it may not work. But it's basically what you described earlier - 5-6 days of low carbs, and then a day for "refueling." what makes it work i think is that you have a limit on carbs and fat (There are a lot of calculations involved) so you don't go crazy. If you google it you'll find a lot of discussion about it. There are people who claim after a while they stay in ketosis even while they are "carbing-up" because their body simply uses the carbs to fuel their workouts and keeps using fat for fuel as well. It seems pretty interesting for someone who isn't psychologically addicted to carbs and who really won't cheat during the rest of the week. (I decided that wasn't me lol)