Carb Counters - Newbie to low carb eating - How low do you go? And what is your caloric intake?
04-20-2012, 05:30 AM
Hi! I have a question about low carb eating - I've been told by both my holistic doctor as well as my regular family doctor to go on a low carb diet due to my PCOD and other health conditions.
I also need to lose a ton of weight - and I've recently become a vegan.
My question is - how many carbs a day should one eat? I've read that 50g and below is the best number for losing weight? But I've found that when I've been eating 50g and below, my caloric intake is super low - like 600 - 800. Here's what I generally eat on an average day (since I've started trying to maintain a fairly low carb diet):
breakfast - fruit and a little bit of something more substantial like vermicelli
lunch - a good amount of brown rice (flakes) with a different lentil curry and atleast 2 different vegetable dishes.
evening snack - coconut water and some tofu and veggie dish - i try to eat something with tofu
dinner - soup and veggies
I also try to drink atleast 2 litres of water a day.
My carb intake is usually between 40g - 55g, but my calories are on the lower end (600 - 800). I'm 5'2, 22 years old and I weight 170 pounds. Do you all generally end up eating fewer calories on a low carb diet? How does this work? Is there anything I should add to my diet? Any responses would be appreciated! Thanks :)
04-20-2012, 12:59 PM
I use a reduced-carb exchange plan, and my plan averages about 1800 calories and about 100g of carbs. I've been having some hunger issues and weight loss stalls, so I've been thinking of lowering my calories or perhaps just my carbs (by eliminating a few starch/bread and/or fruit exchanges and if I decide not to lower my calories, I'll substitute them with the lower-carb exchanges like fat and protein).
I use an exchange plan to control my carbs, because I can overeat enough to stall weight loss on even the lowest carb diet. I need an element of calorie/portion control, and exchange plans work best for me. Most of my 40 years of dieting were done with exchange plans, so they're the most comfortable type of dieting for me, so adapting it to low-carb was very easy. I do have several exchange plan resources (books and online sites) but I have most exchanges memorized I've worked with them so long.
04-21-2012, 05:32 AM
Ohh okay thanks! I'm not sure what an exchange plan is, but I'm going to look it up now, thanks a ton for your response! I'm finding it a bit confusing because when I eat 'low carb' it ends up being super low in calories as well..I guess I just need to add more vegetables and maybe start replacing my papayas and mangoes with melons. And btw WOW congratulations on your progress, so amazing!
04-22-2012, 12:07 PM
I'm not going to say that a vegan can't go low carb because it is possible. But, it isn't easy and you will need to really, really work on nutrition. The reason you are finding you have to eat such low calories is that being a vegan many of the foods you can eat are high carb.
The book New Atkins for a New You by Eric Westman does have information about how vegetarians and vegans can follow Atkins so you might want to look at it.
You may want to put some nuts into your diet as well since that will give you some healthy fats.
04-24-2012, 07:11 AM
Great, i'll look into that, thanks a ton!
05-19-2012, 06:32 PM
well I'm the same as you, my calorie intake is somewhere between 600-900 which is alot lower than i want it to be, but i guess while low carbing you dont have much of an apetite and anything you eat doest have loads of calories in it.
07-01-2012, 03:37 AM
It is tough to try and do low carb as a vegan and I admire you for trying. I was also trying to be a vegan for the last few years and didn't succeed and gained a ton of weight (but I blame that on myself, not on the vegan diet). I've gone back to a lower carb plan and I tried to find a vegan version that would suit me but I just couldn't do it. So I'm back to eating dairy and eggs for now. My plan is to lose the weight I need (or most of it) and then move to a plan that is vegan which allows for more carbs.
Right now, my carb level is at 80-90 grams a day and my calorie level for my planned menu is about 1250. I say planned because I don't always make that level. Yesterday, for example, I was probably more around 1150 because there were some things on my planned menu that I didn't end up eating because I wasn't hungry.
It's actually quite ironic. I used to do the ultra low fat vegan diets advocated by Ornish, McDougall, Fuhrman, and Barnard. These doctors went on and on about how high fat foods equals high calories and how their plans had you naturally eating a low calorie diet even without counting calories because they didn't add any fat. And yet, my calorie intake with those plans was more around 1400. So it was much higher than what I'm doing now and I'm not sacrificing the amount of veggies that I eat and I'm not totally skimping on the fat (though I am not at an ultra high fat level either - about 30%). So much for that theory :D.