Carb Counters - New to the whole carb thing




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ilidawn
04-04-2011, 03:22 PM
After my father's constant pressing of the subject, I've decided I'll try the whole no/low carb thing. I don't think I'll try to get rid of them entirely but I want to try limiting myself.

Out of curiosity if I do eat rice or pasta (brown and whole wheat), how bad would that be? I'll only have small amounts of them but would that make shooting for low carb intake pointless?

Sorry, this is probably like the dumbest question.


kaplods
04-04-2011, 03:48 PM
It's not a dumb question. The whole "carb thing" is complicated, and even the "experts" don't agree on how low is too low (or if there even is a too low).

There's no harm in experimenting. Keep a food journal (especially if you also log how you're feeling physically and mentally) you'll find the perfect carb level for you. And it isn't necessarily (and probably isn't) zero carb, because you do still want to include low-cal/low-carb non-starchy veggies.

I follow a low-carb exchange plan, one I adapted slightly from one I found on the hillbilly housewife website. On it, I can have up to two servings of starchy food per day. I try to pick the highest fiber/protein food I can for that choice (that is whole grain), because it fills me up better, and is less likely to trigger "carb hunger".

Brown rice and whole wheat are whole grains, so they're much better choices than refined grains. Personally I have issues with wheat, so I am biased, but I find that quinoa pasta is more filling (and I love the taste), so it feels like "more" pasta than lower fiber/protein pastas (such as wheat, corn and rice pastas).

However it's also harder to find and more expensive (although I recently found my Quinoa pasta at Walmart for only $1 more than regular pasta).



Even among the low-carbers here and on other forums, it seems that everyone's "perfect level" of carbs is different. You want to find the level at which you lose weight consistently, and yet feel your best physically - with minimal hunger and maximum energy.

I lose fastest on almost zero carbs, but I feel like crap (and not just for the two weeks or so that low-carb diets call carb withdrawal). Finding the level on which I feel good and lose steadily is still a work in progress (and may always be, because as I lose weight, I find I need to be more careful about cutting carbs than I was when I started).

Don't be afraid to experiment. Experiment with different carb levels, and different kinds of carbs.

I like exchange plans, because I can compare diet changes and focus on balance, more easily. Also they're just the most familiar for me (I joined WW for the first time when I was 8, and prior to the mid 1990's, Weight Watchers was always an exchange plan).

ilidawn
04-04-2011, 03:52 PM
Thanks! That's great to know it's more about what works for me and if one plan doesn't work it doesn't mean I failed. I love the idea of exchange plans. I've been working on finding foods suggested for low/no carb diets and keeping a notebook on what I find. I think I'll get back to keeping a food journal again but I never thought of putting how I'm feeling with it. That's a great idea! I'll definitely give it a shot.


beerab
04-04-2011, 05:55 PM
I'd count what you are eating in a normal day then go from there. I used to eat over 200 grams of carbs a day. Now I eat around 80-120. I find days I get closer to 80 I lose better, days I happen to get 120 or more grams I don't lose or can even go up on the scale.

The key is to just get into ketosis- you don't need to go all the way down to less than 20 grams of carbs a day to do that. I find when I'm under 100 grams (80-100) I am in a light state of ketosis and that's good enough for me :)

Brown rice isn't going to kill your day but I'd shoot for no more than half a cup of rice.

I track my calories and carbs and for me the goal is to do meals that are 25 grams of carbs or less a day, that doesn't include my daily snacks, which is how I'm able to get under 100 grams of carbs on a normal day. :)

Walmart sells Ketone strips for like $7 for a box of 50 if you want to see how many carbs a day gets you into ketosis. :) I read somewhere that a light state of ketosis is enough to get your fat burning - extreme ketosis isn't necessary unless you are trying to lose faster, and I'm happy at my pace. :)

JustJ280
04-04-2011, 06:56 PM
Everyone has given you great advice! And I'd do just that -- start writing down your food journal and track where you're going right now for about a week. You may see that your carbs are well over 250, which is average. Once you see what your daily average is, you can decide how much you want to go down. I know for me that even at 80, I lose but it is VERY slow, but I have PCOS. I am at around 40 now and seem to lose fine! But you'll have to find YOUR sweet spot! Some people as mentioned, are pretty high. And you can always instead of NOT eating something, just eat less. So, if you normally eat a cup of rice, you can cut it down to 1/2. South Beach does that a lot. Not familiar with many other LC diets as I've always done Atkins, but I did it in reverse this time. I started out at regular, then cut back to where I was probably around 80, then went down to 40. Then once you've gotten close to goal, you'll need to start adding them back in slowly, like 5g at a time, to find out what the number of carbs you can eat on a regular basis to not gain. THAT is where most people mess up the 'low carb' lifestyle. But the truth is, it's really the same for no matter which plan you choose. At some point when you hit goal, you'll think 'Oh, I'm skinny now and I can eat whatever!' Well, you can't! And it doesn't matter if you do LC or low fat or what. You will ALWAYS need to eat healthy and make good decisions no matter what your plan. No diet is an end all to the fat and it just goes away. You just have to find what works best for you and stick to it. Good luck! And BTW, there are very few stupid questions!

Brooklynn
04-04-2011, 06:57 PM
Im not going to say it will be pointless but maybe keep your carbs a little higher if you want to add those in. Almost anything made with starch or sugar I couldnt touch on induction because one serving of them would be more then 20 that I was allowed in a day. but if you are staying at or around 100 you could eat it once in a while I just dont know how much weight you will lose doing it that way and I dont think you will go into ketosis. and if you are going to try to be in ketosis those things are pretty much no nos because they will knock you out of it. and then you have to start again (more then likely not from the beginning) but it will feel like a waste of days to have to start again. at least thats how I feel about it.

ilidawn
04-04-2011, 08:16 PM
I'm on the fence about ketosis since I don't really know that much about it. I read in a few places it's potentially dangerous but other sites say it's the best way. I think until I know a heck of a lot more, I'm just going to work on cutting carbs, sugars, and fats. I'll keep researching though, thanks so much everyone for the help!

Brooklynn
04-04-2011, 08:22 PM
yep I recomend that you do more research and find whats best for you. But I have found that ketosis is not a bad thing and I have been doing very well in this state. But again not everyone feels the same way and needs to know more for their own peace of mind. Good luck to you I hope you find everything you need and good luck with cutting those things I wish you the best!

Linsy
04-04-2011, 10:57 PM
A lot of people feel great when they're in ketosis and I believe it also suppresses appetite. Just figure out what works for you! Good luck!

beerab
04-05-2011, 11:21 AM
I'm on the fence about ketosis since I don't really know that much about it. I read in a few places it's potentially dangerous but other sites say it's the best way. I think until I know a heck of a lot more, I'm just going to work on cutting carbs, sugars, and fats. I'll keep researching though, thanks so much everyone for the help!

You might be confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis. Ketosis is not dangerous- Ketoacidosis is. There is a difference between the two.

Ketosis is the process in which your body burns fat instead of glucose.

Ketoacidosis usually occurs in diabetic people who do not have enough insulin and burns fat instead. The problem here is that your blood sugar is not controlled (usually a type 1 diabetic problem that can occur).

You can get into ketoacidosis by being in Ketosis for long- but from my understanding that is very rare and unless you are consistently eating under 20 grams of carbs a day I wouldn't be worried about it. If you are diabetic your doctor should know if you are doing a low carb diet.

Here's a really great link that explains the difference between the two:

Ketosis Vs. Ketoacidosis (http://barnson.org/node/1773)

theCandEs
04-05-2011, 12:47 PM
I hate counting anything, calories, carbs, whatever. So I cut out sugar, starches (especially wheat), and starchy vegetables. I cut fruit at first, but now I eat a bit. I think I will have to cut back on the fruit again, though. I've recently cut out artificial sweeteners, and it's really got me bummed. I'm trying to get through it, though. Oh, and I cut out dairy, too. The only dairy I was eating was yogurt, but I just don't like it unsweetened, so I don't eat that anymore, either.

FitnessTo
04-06-2011, 07:11 PM
I am not sure if anyone specifically said it but just so you know, even the 100% whole grains, though better than refined grains, go against low-carbin.

Unfortunately, they too stimulate an insulinigenic response. Therefore it best to avoid them as 2 cups of rice is already pushing your daily limit.

ilidawn
04-08-2011, 01:42 PM
I actually knew that (it's pretty obvious..you have to have no intelligence at all to think a whole grain isn't a carb) thanks though. I've just heard a lot of people say they do low-carb but stick to whole grains so I wondered if it still works or if it's just a healthier type of carb.

JustJ280
04-08-2011, 02:00 PM
I am not sure if anyone specifically said it but just so you know, even the 100% whole grains, though better than refined grains, go against low-carbin.

Unfortunately, they too stimulate an insulinigenic response. Therefore it best to avoid them as 2 cups of rice is already pushing your daily limit.

There are all different kinds of 'low carb' though. There are low carbers who eat NO grain, low carbers who only eat a certain amount of grain, and low carbers who eat grains but stick with whole ones. It's just about what works for each person. An example of this is those who diet based on Glycemic Index or South Beach or even maintenance of Atkins. Like I said before, different people have different tolerances so the original poster may be able to have some and still lose whereas, I cannot. She will just have to track her food and see when and where she sees changes.

ilidawn
04-08-2011, 02:15 PM
I've actually lost weight cutting out bread but I'm still eating rice (at the moment white because it's all I have and I haven't made it to the store yet to get some brown). We're all different so different things work. It's hard though because some people swear by their diets and think the whole world will be skinny on the same method lol oh well, that's the great part of 3FC, it's a great place to learn and get ideas to experiment for ourselves :)