Carb Counters - I hear a lot about carb-counting, but...

10-17-2010, 04:03 PM
but see very few low-carb foods. I see tons and tons of websites, but with little actual evidence. I mean I know it works, and I know it exists, but what am I missing?

I'm so tired of people telling me that an "ultra-low carb diet is not safe or practical" when they don't even know what the **** they're talking about, as I've never said "I'm going no-carb" or anything even close. I only said I wanted to cut back. So, obviously people off the Internet aren't the right ones to ask.

The main culprits:


Are there any other problem foods I'm missing?

I eat pasta a lot. So I'm going to cut back on that. I also eat bread a lot, so I'm going to cut back on that, too. I rarely have potatoes, so I'm not worried about them, same goes for rice. Actually, I plan to completely cut out bread and pasta for a month and see how it goes.

Will this get my carb count down (I mean I really just eat too many- I only had breakfast and lunch today, and so far my carb count is at 101g), or am I missing something?

EX: Tonight we're having beef stew, with onion, carrots, garlic, corn, potatoes.

If I only have 1 cup, with beef, some broth, onion, carrot, garlic and corn, minus the potatoes, is that okay? Or since they've been soaking together for 2 hours, am I still somehow ingesting too many carbs? I don't know how this stuff works- I seem to find conflicting information everywhere I look.

10-17-2010, 04:26 PM
I cannot explain how the low carb diet plans like South Beach and Atkins work because I know nothing about them.

People who express concern about low carb are those that assume you are doing a diet that induces ketosis, meaning you cut your carbs to 10% of your caloric intake. Many people believe that forcing your body into ketosis is unhealthy and/or dangerous. I can't say whether or not it is because, again, it's not something I've researched.

What I do is to limit my carbs to a max of 25% per day which is considered low carb. I try to get the majority of those carbs from fruits and vegetables. I allow myself one grain carb - bread, pasta, rice, potatoes - per day.

If you use this calculator ( to determine how many fruits and vegetables you should be eating daily, you'll find that if you meet those requirements, you are close to meeting 25% of your daily calories. You can use this calculator ( determine how many grams of carbs would be 25% depending on your caloric intake.

ETA: About the beef stew. Potatoes, corn, and carrots are all rather high carb. (In fact, I count potatoes and corn as grains rather than vegetables.) I would recommend eating only the beef and having a different lower carb veggie (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, brussels sprouts, salad).

10-18-2010, 12:37 PM
Low carb is quite diverse and there are many different levels and many different diets. A few low carbs diets:

Protein Power
CAD (Carbohydrate Addicts Diet)
Sugar Busters
South Beach
Paleo (Neanderthin, Paleo Diet, Primal Blueprint)
Schwarzbein Principle
Go Diet
William Banting (the first published low carb diet -1862)

Using the standard american diet, 300g a day is generally considered "normal". Half this amount is healthier for most people.

A general rule of thumb is root veggies, grains, milk, sugar, soft cheeses, legumes and fruit have the higher high carb range. (Corn is a grain).

Above ground veggies, berries, nuts, seeds, full fat dairy (butter, hard cheese, cream) have a lower carb range.

Meat and fat have no carbs.

Each person has to find the right level of carbs, protein and fat within their calorie range that works best for them. some people (like myself) do best on a ketogenic diet. I prefer the way I feel when my carbs are under 40g per day. Some have a desire for more carbs to be able to enjoy the foods they like or fit within a social situation. I recommend that anyone considering reducing their carbs to start at 150g a day for awhile to get use to making choices. Then drop to 100g and see if there is an improvement. Stay at the level you feel best on. Low carb is one of the more difficult diets to do long term as today's fast food and restaurant environments encouraged high carb foods. Whatever you choose to eat, should make you feel great, energetic and help you lose or maintain your weight.

Best wishes.

10-19-2010, 06:06 PM
To make it easier for yourself, I would suggest you choose an established plan, eg South Beatch or Atkins, and read the book on it. That will give you some of the more fundamental explanations of how things work.

10-19-2010, 06:20 PM
Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes is an excellent read and there are a number of interviews on youtube and internet.

Dr. Robert Lustig has an excellent lecture Sugar The Bitter Truth.

I do reduced carb within calorie counting, even though I have done SB successfully in the past, as well have read Atkins many times and use some of his principles. It all works together.

I needed a calorie deficit to lose weight but where those calories came from made a big difference in my journey. By keeping a food journal, I could see what my cal/carb levels were. I also recorded any symptoms from eating various foods to see if there is a pattern.

10-20-2010, 09:15 AM
Huh, thanks everyone, that clears some stuff up!