Low Carb Frequently Asked Questions - Trying Low Carb this time

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05-03-2011, 08:36 PM
I'm 15 years old (will be 16 on May 5)
I've been tyring to lose weight since I was about 9 years old.
My weight goes up and down.
This time, I'm trying a low carb diet. I'm attempting to eat under 100 grams of carbs per day, and around 1,300 calories per day. (I track on FitDay)
At this rate, with occasional walks, and 1 day off a week(on fridays I don't watch so much), would you believe that I would successfully lose weight this way? If possible, include personal experience :)

05-03-2011, 10:05 PM
I would believe it, if Fridays you don't go too off-plan; though I'd recommend slowly reducing your carbs even more. They can cause cravings, making you more likely to binge.

I've been using South Beach, which is a low carb diet, and have found it effective. It's even more so with exercise, however. Even if it's only 15-20 minutes a day, it really helps your metabolism.

05-03-2011, 10:25 PM
Low carb works very well. Most people are finally beginning to realize that it's not the fat, it's the sugar.
Watch this video. Maybe it will help. Good luck!
Sugar - The Bitter Truth

05-03-2011, 11:08 PM
This video is fantastic.
Thank you very much!

05-04-2011, 12:37 AM
I was put on my first diet in kindergarten, and by 8th grade, I wieghed 225 lbs. I dieted like I saw my mom and grandma diet, and I dieted the way I saw and heard other girls my age dieting.

A lot of those diets were stupid and dangerous, and all of them were temporary.

I tried Atkins, and other super-low carb diets, but they made me sick, so I thought all low-carb diets were unhealthy.

It took me decades to do low-carb dieting in a way that I find not only successful, but comfortable.

You're being a lot smarter about this, than I was at your age, and I definitely believe you can be successful.

The best piece of advice I can give (and wish I had felt this way as a younger person - heck even 15 years ago) is to be kind to yourself. When you think you've made a mistake, treat yourself as your best friend, not your worst enemy. You woudn't call a friend nasty names or bully them for making a mistake, or tell them that they can't succeed because of a mistake, so don't do it to yourself.

Everything else you can figure out as you go. Really just not "giving up" may be the only universal truth in weight loss that applies to everyone.

On a practical note, I would highly recommend a food journal, and not just writing down what you eat, but also how you feel physically and emotionally.

Also, be prepared to tweak and change your plans without judging youself. See it as an experiment, not punishing or reacting to mistakes. If an experiment doesn't yield the result you want, it isn't a mistake or a failed experiment. Instead, you will have successfully determined what not to do (at least not in that same exact way) in the future.

I'd also suggest that you be careful with your day off. A lot of people handle a day off with no problems. I never did. I could easily undo all the progress I made all week, duirng my day off. Also, if your carb intake is drastically higher on your day off, you might experience more hunger and cravings (which may or may not be a problem for you, just be prepared to make adjustments if you need to).

If you find it a problem, don't feel bad or make yourself miserable, just learn, modify and move on. Personally, I'd suggest using your food journal even on no-counting days. It will help you see if your day off is a problem.

If it is, you can modify your plan, maybe still counting, but giving yourself a higher budget on your day off or on the weekend.

I also think gradually reducing carbs was more effective for me, than low-carb diets that have you start very low, and then add back in carbs. For me, tapering off was more effective and definitely more comfortable than "cold-turkey."

Another "big" tip is try really hard to fight the "all or nothing" mentality. Remember that every pound is important. On those days when you think "I can't do this, I can't lose any more weight," remember to focus on keeping off what you've lost and "maybe" trying to lose "just one more."

One of the strongest enemies of weight loss is thinking you've blown it, so bingeing doesn't matter. You might as well keep eating the rest of the day or weekend, and you can start fresh the next morning or the next Monday.

Every choice has the potential to be a good one (even if you made a hundred less than great ones in the past hour, your next choice can be a better one).

And above all, remember that all of the suggestions and tips you get from everyone and anyone (including me), might not be right for you. Experiment with what sounds interesting, fun, or potentially useful, but don't stress too much over the fact that some of it seems confusing or contradictory. Trial and error is still the main route to finding what works for you. What works for other people may or may not work for you, and there is no single, one, right way to do this.

05-04-2011, 05:02 PM
kaplods, that may be the most useful piece of advice I've gotten in a long time! Very inspiring. Thank you!

05-05-2011, 11:31 AM
I wouldn't try to restrict calories too much if you're already doing low-carb. I do count my calories but I don't mind if they get a bit higher than usual on any given day. If I feel hungry, I eat more - I just make low-carb choices.

I think you should try the reduced-carb thing without giving yourself a day off. I used to take days off when I was only restricting calories, but I find that I'm so satisfied now that I'm on low-carb that I don't want to deviate from my normal eating. After all, fat is just as delicious as sugar and far more satisfying! I bet if you just try it continuously for a few weeks you'll find a way of eating that you can enjoy every day. If not, then try the day-off approach.

06-20-2011, 11:14 PM
Remember that your body is still growing, hon, and to get in all of your nutrients. Don't go below 1400 calories per day, and eat plenty of fresh, real food. Yogurt, fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy.

If you go less than 1400, your metabolism could be stalled for many years and it would make you gain weight.

06-21-2011, 01:01 AM
Remember that your body is still growing, hon, and to get in all of your nutrients. Don't go below 1400 calories per day, and eat plenty of fresh, real food. Yogurt, fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy.

If you go less than 1400, your metabolism could be stalled for many years and it would make you gain weight.

I'm sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree. The idea of starvation mode is a myth. Every body is different and will respond differently. I eat less than 1,000 calories a day, exercise daily, and lose steadily, with no adverse affects in terms of health, energy, ability to sleep, etc.

I'm not advocating that my way of eating is for everyone. I'm saying that it's different strokes for different folks.

06-21-2011, 06:32 PM
Fair enough. I agree that every body is different. But, for a developing 15-year-old eating less than 1,000 per day isn't healthy. For an adult woman, it could be, but in general mammals need quite a bit more than that. I work with a lot of college students who trashed their developing metabolisms doing extreme diets (including myself).

Mammals do need quite a few calories per day, that's no myth. Less than 1000 is considered starvation. The United Nations and the World Health Organization classify starvation as less than 1600 calories per day. Now, I know that this is a weight loss forum, but, when you're a growing girl or boy, to grow your adult body, brain, produce hormones, and the like, you need to be eating enough or the long term effect on your body can be incredibly dangerous.

06-21-2011, 06:34 PM
Emma, I applaud you for getting on board with a healthy lifestyle. I'd advise you to eat vegetables, lean meats and fish, and dairy (lowfat greek yogurt, cottage cheese). Organic, as much as possible. Good for your body and great for your waistline. I dropped 40 pounds when I was 19 doing that. My calories were around 1800 a day, and granted I'm about a foot taller, but if you stuck to a healthy 1600 to 1800 you won't be able to keep the weight on.

07-28-2011, 09:37 AM
Holy crumbcake Batman. Thank you so much, hatgirlie, I think this video has changed my thinking. I was already thinking about how hideous hfcs is. And how Americans have gotten so much bigger since it started showing up in everything. I was already thinking low carb was the way to go and now I'm convinced. I have been a soda junkie for decades, but I think I will never be able to drink one again. I will always think of this video.

08-15-2011, 10:49 PM
Hatgirlie, that video is great. I'm gonna a share it with friends who already see sugar as a poison, but also with someone who thinks she doing good by giving my children juice and pops :)

03-14-2012, 10:55 AM
Thank you for the video!! Fructose syrup=eviiillll

03-14-2012, 02:28 PM
The advice I wish I had at your age:
1. Ditch the grains, my joints no longer give me trouble. May have made it to a few more gym classes this way :)
2. /try cutting out dairy for a couple of weeks and pay close attention to how you feel adding it back in.
3. Fat is your friend! Don't worry so much about calories and don't skimp on the fat.

Good luck, and remember that no matter what the number on the scale is you are beautiful and that's what is really important.

03-21-2012, 05:32 PM
God I wish I had known about a low-carb diet when I was 15. Let me give you just a little advice;

1) Do not forget to eat lots of fat and lots of salt - they're important!
2) Carbs can lurk in some strange places like carrots, nuts and beans.
3) Just a little time on a low-carb diet can do strange things to your taste buds. Sweet things will taste much sweeter - sometimes almost sickeningly so.
4) Spices! Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Cinnamon, Cumin, Garlic, Nutmeg, Onion, Oregano and Paprika are just a few of the things I make sure to keep in my pantry. The right seasonings can take a meal from "meh, okay I guess" to "oh my god this is the best thing ever" while simultaneously making you feel fuller. Play with them, find your favorites :)