Weight Loss News and Current Events - Interesting Article about Low Carb vs. Other Plans




lin43
06-27-2012, 09:12 AM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-06-27/calories-low-carb-weight-loss/55843134/1

I am not on a low carb plan, but I've toyed with the idea of making more of my meals lc and/or reducing my carbs a bit. It seems like more and more evidence points to the benefits. (But I could never go mainly lc----love them too much).


hatgirlie
06-27-2012, 10:39 AM
Interesting! I do the low carb...my sis does the low glycemic. Always works for me as long as I stay with it. It's working for her, too. I could never do the low fat. Thanks for posting the article.

NateC
06-28-2012, 12:27 AM
great article, thanks for posting.

found this line to be helpful:

"you can do well on any diet as long as you stick to it. Adherence is the major key for weight loss and maintenance"


sontaikle
06-28-2012, 03:25 AM
My diet is probably one of the lower carb ones they're talking about—close to a Mediterranean diet actually if I ate more fish. I can't go super low carb though. Haha it's funny that that works for me though, most of my ancestry is Mediterranean (Italian, Sicilian and Spanish), maybe that's why? :lol:

I've actually been doing some research into the specific needs for women though, because a lot of these nutrition sites and studies throw men and women into the same mix. The diets are designed for men and women are tacked on as an afterthought (which I wouldn't be surprised if that happened here in this study). As far as I'm concerned we have different needs than men and I feel that the medical profession—and most certainly the diet industry—neglects that.

I've only done a little bit of research, but I've found some evidence from women-specific sites that suggests that we need carbs and shouldn't go down into that super low carb range (i.e. less than 50g) but should rather stay within a mid-carb range—100-150g or perhaps even 200g—to ensure our bodies function properly. I find this to be true regarding my own body; I function best at that 100-150g range (and for those wanting to avoid grains, this can certainly be done without eating grains).

There was also evidence to suggest that IF doesn't work for women (in that we were accustomed to eating throughout the day). Now I've seen a lot of women here do fine on IF, so I'm skeptical, but it was interesting because I'm one of those who prefers to eat throughout the day rather than have fewer large meals.

coffeebrain
06-28-2012, 12:37 PM
I totally agree with sontaike. I'm keeping my carbs down too, but I don't count carb grams. I avoid most grains because I have gluten intolerance, but I eat a lot of beans, fruit, veg, including starchy veg, and a limited amount of gluten free grains when I want them.

The bottom line for me is calories, but I feel healthier eating a lot of protein, within my calorie range.

I tried low carb diets. I tried them for the longest time, but bottom line was I just ate too much even though my carbs were kept super low. It's quite easy to OD on proteins and fats if you eat too many of their calories, and that's what I did. I NEVER lost weight and even gained a little.

So low carbing alone never worked for me.

JerseyGyrl
06-29-2012, 11:55 AM
I'm a long term low carber. I've been on Atkins slightly over 8 years now. I do not eat bread, potatoes, rice, pasta. I eat lots of veggies (non-starchy) & salads and minimal protein. It works for me but, that being said, everyone is different.

kaplods
06-29-2012, 01:19 PM
I find it very interesting that the study found a 300 calorie difference, because (as I've said here on 3FC several times) by tracking my calories and experiments with carb-levels in my food journal, I've found that I lose about as well on 1500 calories of high-carb as on 1800 calories of low-carb.

Several folks have argued that my experience had to be uncommon, and I accepted that they were probably correct. Looks like my experience may be more common than I thought (or this study just happened to assign freaks like me to the low-carb diet group).

I also used to believe that I couldn't ever do low-carb or carb-restricted for the long term, because I loved carbs too much. After 41 years of dieting and failing, and learning that only carb-restriction works for me in the long run, I have to learn to give up what I love (or at least eat them very, very rarely - and always look at them as the exception rather than the rule).

I've come to realize that carb-dense foods, especially the high glycemic ones are addictive to me. Whenever I tell myself I can't give them up because I love them too much - I ask myself whether I would say the same of alcohol or heroine, or even my prescription pain meds (which I use, but don't "love").

I use my pain meds because they currently provide more benefits than negative consequences. However, if I ever felt that I was using my pain meds because I loved them too much to give them up, I'd remind myself that my love has nothing to do with whether pain meds should or shouldn't be in my life. The only thing that should matter is whether the pain meds were contributing more to my life than they were taking away.

So I look at carbs the same way. My love of them doesn't matter. What matters is the bottom line of quality of life. If carbs are taking more from my life than they are giving, then I have to give them up (or accept that I'm losing more than I'm benefiting).

I'm not carb-free, and may never be, but I do have much higher standards for my food than I used to. Whenever I want to eat some high-carb food, I try to be sure that the food is going to give me more than it takes away - and for most high-carb foods, the cons outweigh the pros. I still may choose to eat the food anyway, but it's because I've decided that the psychological benefit outweighs the physiological con. However, when I have decided that, I've often been wrong.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that I have to give up more carbs than I have already, but I try to remember that "love" really can't have much to do with the decision (unless it's loving myself enough to value myself more than sugar).

stunzorz
06-30-2012, 09:50 AM
I've tried super low carb time and time again, and even at 20 or 40 grams of carbs a day, I become ridiculously tired and cranky. Going up to 80g, it was like night and day. It's unfortunate, since lower carb does seem to help weight loss, but what can ya do?

lin43
06-30-2012, 06:02 PM
I find it very interesting that the study found a 300 calorie difference, because (as I've said here on 3FC several times) by tracking my calories and experiments with carb-levels in my food journal, I've found that I lose about as well on 1500 calories of high-carb as on 1800 calories of low-carb.

Kaplods, I thought of you when I read that article and was hoping you would pop in to comment on it. I also remember you writing that your body temperature was actually a bit higher on your reduced carb plan. That makes sense in terms of the study and its findings on increased metabolism.

kaplods
06-30-2012, 09:30 PM
I've tried super low carb time and time again, and even at 20 or 40 grams of carbs a day, I become ridiculously tired and cranky. Going up to 80g, it was like night and day. It's unfortunate, since lower carb does seem to help weight loss, but what can ya do?

At 80g per day, you are benefiting from the advantages of low-carb. I'm not sure why, but it's a common myth in our culture that for low-carb to work or have any advantage at all, it must be a super low, virtuallly no-carb diet to be effective.

Some of the experts in the field of dietetics for weight loss, diabetes, and other metabolic issues that benefit from carb-restriction consider any plan that contains fewer than 200g of carbs, or any diet containing less than 70% of total calories coming from carbs as a reduced or low carb diet.

Others choose 150g or 100g, or 60% of 50% calories for the cut-off.

It all proves that low-carb is in the eye of the beholder, and is all dependent upon what you're used to.

I consider my exchange plan a low-carb exchange plan, even though I average about 100g to 150g of carb per day. Right now, most people don't consider that low-carb, but it's about 1/3 of the national average (if I'm remembering the statistics right).

If your income were 1/3 the national average, you'd consider yourself lower income, and I think 2/3 of people eating more carbs than you also makes your diet low carb.

Kaplods, I thought of you when I read that article and was hoping you would pop in to comment on it. I also remember you writing that your body temperature was actually a bit higher on your reduced carb plan. That makes sense in terms of the study and its findings on increased metabolism.


Yep, my body temp is about a full degree (sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less) higher on low-carb. My normal high-carb temperature is around 97.4 give or take .2 degrees. My normal low-carb temperature is between 98.0 and 98.6 depending on how low-carb I'm eating.

On high-carb I also feel incredibly lethargic, and have a lot more pain, fatigue, mobility issues and other health problems.

On low (but not too low) I feel much better and have the energy to do more. Too low and I do end up getting unpleasant symptoms.

If I could go lower, I would lose faster, but faster isn't always better (despite what popular magazine covers would lead us to believe).

time2lose
07-02-2012, 11:39 AM
This is such an interesting discussion. I lost 100 pounds and then gained 40 back. I have really struggled getting back on track because of cravings. I knew that I needed to lower my carbs to get control of the cravings. I found trying to determine how many grams of carbs to shoot for very difficult. I decided to eat within my calorie limit (1200 - 1400 range), track my carbs and adjust according to my cravings.

My average carb consumption for the past two weeks has been 150 grams and is always less than 50% of my caloric intake. My cravings have pretty much disappeared (Whew.......). I have lost 3 pounds in the last two weeks. I know that does not sound like much for some of you but that is a huge loss for me. Also, I have been feeling well.

The failing perfectionist in me has said, "150 grams is not low carb!" I so appreciated Kaplods posting about various carb levels. I have told myself the 150 g is reduced carb compared to the amount of carbs that I had been consuming.

Of course, now I am consuming much more protein than the "recommended" amount but I don't know any other way to reduce my carbs. I think that I am going stay on my current carb level for another week to see if my trend continues. Then I may experiment with dropping my carb level another 25 g or so to see what happens.

Thank you for all the posts on this thread!

Laurlie
09-12-2012, 12:07 PM
I routinely eat more protein than "recommended". I just love protein, period. I hate that government agencies still push a diet that is killing our nation!

Euphy
09-15-2012, 04:57 PM
It's too hard for me to do super low carb. I'm just not a fan of eating spinach all the time. I try to limit my carb intake to 80g a day. I usually go higher, but usually never past 100g. Basically how I see it is if I have that croissant I really want for breakfast, then later in the day I should have a salad for a side instead of rice or potatoes. It has allowed me to eat the things that I want, but I have to be more choosy.

rubidoux
11-04-2012, 06:39 PM
I've tried super low carb time and time again, and even at 20 or 40 grams of carbs a day, I become ridiculously tired and cranky. Going up to 80g, it was like night and day. It's unfortunate, since lower carb does seem to help weight loss, but what can ya do?

For some people, 20 g of carb is still too much. For me, it is way too much. I'm doing great now on about 7 g carb a day and 55-70 grams of protein (usually it's about 60). Everything else I eat is fat, so that leaves me with probably around 80% fat, but I haven't tracked my calories or measured/counted how much fat I'm eating. I don't care as long as I'm actively losing and all of the fats I'm eating are good fats.

Anyway... I feel much better eating this way than I do at higher carb levels and I am losing. I'm not suggesting that you should try it, but an alternative to eating more carb is eating less.

1spunkygal
11-04-2012, 06:58 PM
Thanks for this article lower carb works for me. I'm not perfect @ it but that's how I've lost most of my weight.

Radiojane
11-04-2012, 07:21 PM
The improvements in my energy level, stamina and weight loss since going low carb are phenomenal. That being said, the "carb flu" I went through was hellacious. I was foggy, irritable and tired for a good week. But when that week was over, I felt fantastic.

I think a lot of the reason people give up on low carb or paleo is because they think the withdrawal symptoms are permanent or the sign of a health problem. In reality, it's a detox,similar to quitting drinking or drugs. Your body is fighting for something it THINKS it needs.

Jentry07
12-14-2012, 01:05 PM
I agree, I think doing zero carb is not healthy for your body as glucose is your brains number one source of energy! I try sticking to only whole grain and complex carbs such as oatmeal, brown rice, and veggies.
Very interesting article though, thanks for sharing that one!

kaplods
12-14-2012, 02:09 PM
I agree, I think doing zero carb is not healthy for your body as glucose is your brains number one source of energy! I try sticking to only whole grain and complex carbs such as oatmeal, brown rice, and veggies.
Very interesting article though, thanks for sharing that one!

No reputable low-carb plan is zero carb, but as long as a person is eating plenty of lowish carb veggies and fruits (in which most of the carbs are coming from fiber, and the fewest carbs are coming from sugar and simple starches), there's no real need for grains and high sugar fruits...

For hundreds of thousands of years (if not millions), humans did well on virtually no grains and very little sugar (fruits were seasonal and very low in sugar. Virtually all modern fruits are many times sweeter than what would have been available even 400 years ago).

However, for about fifteen thousand years, we've bred the fiber out of our food and bred sugar and simple starches into it. Grains also have "antinutrients" that leach nutrients from the body, so if you eat grains, you actually have to compensate with other foods or supplements that you wouldn't need if you eliminated the grains.

I was skeptical when I read about all of this in the low-carb books (after all they have a not-so-hidden agenda in persuading the reader to their viewpoint). However, when I started researching autoimmune disease when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease attacking my joints, respiratory tract and skin). I was shocked to read much of this same research, and even the book authors who believed giving up grains was impractical, they still argued that those with autoimmune disease should at least try a diet very low in carbohydrates, most especially grains.

I was still skeptical, but thought it was worth giving a shot. I'm far from perfect, but even from just drastically decreasing grain and sugar intake my autoimmune disease symptoms are almost non-existent (flaring only when I "cheat" and eat significant amounts of grain or sugar - wheat being the most likely to trigger a symptom flare).

Now, it could all me coincidence in my case, but the research out there is pretty convincing.

Most people probably don't have to give up all fruits and grains, but most people also probably should eat far less than they do.

TripSwitch
01-07-2013, 02:43 AM
I'm very interested to see the research that this article is based on...

EagleRiverDee
01-07-2013, 03:08 PM
I have good success with low carb. For me, I've learned that three things alone have a huge impact:
-No wheat
-No sugar
-No processed foods

If I do only those 3 things, I lose weight. Right now I'm doing Primal Blueprint (a variant of Paleo) and it's more strict than that, but those are the 3 biggest helps.

AnnRue
01-08-2013, 08:19 PM
I find it very interesting that the study found a 300 calorie difference, because (as I've said here on 3FC several times) by tracking my calories and experiments with carb-levels in my food journal, I've found that I lose about as well on 1500 calories of high-carb as on 1800 calories of low-carb.

I just wanted to point out, doesn't protein have a thermogenic effect? I thought I heard that every gram of carb burns off 1 calorie to digest, but protien is 4 calories per gram.

So if you eat 100 g of carbs in a day and 40gs of protein (ignore everything else) you burn off 161 calories digesting the food.

But if you eat 30gs of carbs and 100gs of protein (ignore everything else) you burn off 430 calories digesting the food.

So low carbing tips your food consumption more toward protein.

katrinakit
01-23-2013, 01:45 PM
I don't think it is 4 calories per gram because there are 4 calories IN a gram of protein but I have heard that you burn about 10% more digesting protein than carbs.