Low Carb Frequently Asked Questions - Low-Carb newbie... a few questions

03-06-2012, 11:59 AM

I am thinking of starting a low carb diet to lose some weight... Preferably starting soon! I have a few questions...

Will going from lots of carbs to very few affect academic performance? I have an exam soon so I may have to put it off if going into ketosis makes things difficult.

If you're doing low carb, and get into ketosis (I'm assuming ketosis only happens when you go low carb?) do you have to eat at a calorie deficit? Or will eating maintenance calories still result in weight loss?

And last but not least... Is it possible to eat low carb without eggs, milk or meat? Is soya milk okay or is it too high carb?

And... which low carb diet would you recommend / how did you find it and how much weight did you lose?

Thanks :)

03-06-2012, 06:04 PM
There are people who do low carb and vegan, but it is really, really hard. I reccomend reading "the Vegetarian Myth" or something like it before ditching all animal products.

Brain fog can occur when suddenly dropping carbs, so you may just want to taper off gradually since you are in school and in need of a well functioning brain.

Calories are something that depend entirely on the individual. Plenty of people lose just fine without counting them. Others need to reduce when they get closer to goal, and some people just have to count no matter what. Initially, keep a food journal on paper so if you find you are having a problem after the first few weeks, you can plug it in online and see what's going on. Pay attention to your fat intake, a low carb diet is a high fat diet!! This is super important!

I eat paleo (no legumes, no dairy, no grains. Lots of meat and veggies) and aim for 60-80% calories from fat. And I have to keep the carbs under 50 or so a day (preferably lower) to actually lose. So far I'm at 30+ pounds lost.

Good Luck! One last thing, pick one plan and stick to it for at least 2 months before changing anything, then only change one thing at a time so you know what is working and what isn't.

03-06-2012, 07:46 PM
I eat just meat, veggies, and fats. It is so satisfying and I am never hungry. I am in ketosis. Last fall I was in ketosis for 5 straight months and I felt awesome...never felt down or weak.

I love meat....I can imagine this would be hard without eating meat.

My typical day looks like this:

eggs, meat, cheese around 7am with 36 ounces of water

salad veggie with meat, cheese for lunch with blue cheese dressing with 20 ounces of water

meat, veggies, and fats for dinner (cream, butter, oils to make sauces from Suzanne Somers book). with 20 ounces of water.

after getting in ketosis I no longer need snacks because I am super full all the time.

03-09-2012, 08:11 AM
Thanks for the replies! I am still not sure if I will go full out Atkins or do my own plan of limiting carbs to say <40g a day. I think I shall start out trying with <40g and seeing if I can get into ketosis with that. I won't be eating bread, pasta, pastries etc, and will just get carbs from things like cottage cheese, maybe a little fruit, and vegetables. If that doesn't work I'll switch to Atkins induction... I've ordered the newest Atkins book (New Atkins New You I think) so I'm hoping it will be useful even if I'm not following the plan!

I'm not sure if I should aim for a calorie deficit or not... Any ideas?

03-09-2012, 08:12 AM
Darbs7, do you know how many grams of carbs you eat a day? :)

03-09-2012, 12:06 PM
pixelchi, be careful with the cottage cheese. Low fat dairy products have a lot of carbs in them. I would weigh and measure and log everything you eat too because there are a lot of ways that carbs can creep into your diet.

I do Atkins and I eat around 20 net carbs a day (carbs - fibre content of foods) I eat 3 eggs a day for breakfast with butter, lunch is a protein and a veggie (sometimes pepperoni sticks, sometimes meat roll ups), and dinner I'll bake chicken or make steak or do a pot roast and more veggies as well.

Best of luck! Most people do well on low carb, I find I lose weight quite easily on it. I'm on medication that causes weight gain right now, and though my weight loss has slowed I'm still losing on this medication.

03-10-2012, 07:13 PM
Thanks Stephanie! I'm on medication which can cause weight gain too, so good to know that low-carb still works!

Do you have to watch your protein intake? I have read that too much protein can be bad, so am a little worried. :(

03-12-2012, 10:47 AM
Make sure your getting more fat than protein. I do have trouble with this sometimes, mayo is one way I get extra fat into my diet.

03-13-2012, 08:09 PM
how long does it take to go into ketosis - i have 50 to 60 lbs. to lose and i want to look as good as i can for a special event May 18th -any advice? this is my first post

03-14-2012, 09:07 PM
It's different for everyone, could be a few days to a week or more.

03-15-2012, 10:19 AM
thanks for the info! Iím a real coffee freak - cutting out my lattes is going to be really hard -

03-21-2012, 02:59 PM
You probably can do Vegan Low-Carb if you don't mind eating lots of fake-meat like Facon and Tofurkey.

When I first got on a low-carb diet I started getting pretty bad cramps in my legs - something I knew from past experience meant I needed more Potassium, which confused me because I was eating plenty.

It turns out that as your Insulin drops it also causes the release of Salt from your liver (which can result in higher blood pressure for the first 2-3 weeks, but then it usually goes back down to, or even below, where you started) only if that happens too fast the liver freaks out, holds onto its salt and uses Potassium instead. Ultimately the solution to my problem was to drink chicken broth because its high in salt - although if you're going Vegan, vegetable broth or just salt water might work equally well.

03-21-2012, 03:43 PM
how long does it take to go into ketosis - i have 50 to 60 lbs. to lose and i want to look as good as i can for a special event May 18th -any advice? this is my first post

It took me about a week to get into ketosis.

03-22-2012, 12:16 PM
i went into ketosis ablut 4 days after i started my diet - i’ve lost 4 lbs. in a week - i feel like i should be losing more