Low Carb Frequently Asked Questions - Where to start?

View Full Version : Where to start?

09-16-2012, 08:11 PM
Hi everyone! I'm a long time calorie counter and it's been the thing that's worked best for me, but I notice each time I start watching my intake that I eat a lot of carbs.

I love carbs. I have carbs at almost every meal. And I mean like grains or bread. I often have two eggs and some whole grain cereal for breakfast, probably 20gs of carbs from that.

I will often eat a sandwich for lunch. 20-40ish grams from that.

And at dinner I usually go all out. I'll have quinoa, brown rice noodles, something with tortillas or bread.

I just find my meals aren't satisfying without these carbs. I try to have a salad or vegetable with my meals, and snack on fruits and nuts. I drink almond milk.

I think my diet is generally healthy, but it seems I love carbs too much!

I obviously eat other things, cheese sometimes, eggs, chicken, veggies, nuts, fruits, beans...etc.

So, I might like to try low-carb for a while and see what happens. It could be good or bad, but I'll see.

Where is a good place to start? Or places, I know there's a lot of info out there. To be honest I don't think I'd like to try Atkins, but maybe that's just me being prejudiced since I've read so many things about the Atkins diet that I disagree with.

09-24-2012, 11:49 AM
I was first introduced to lower carb by marksdailyapple.com. He has a couple books that step you into the diet. The emphasis is on high quality foods and staying under 100 carbs a day for losing weight. I feel that my hunger is at bay when I stick to about 75 carbs a day. I track it on myfitnesspal.

Another great site is whole9life. They have a program called the whole30, where you stick to certain foods for 30 days. It gives your body a chance to heal and reduce inflammation. I've done it a couple times and feel amazing afterwards.

What derails me is not planning ahead. Inevitably, I end up being in a hurry or too hungry to make good choices.

Steve Troutman
09-24-2012, 05:06 PM
Help me understand why you think your carb intake is a bad thing? If you're successfully controlling/losing weight with your current diet structure, which you seem to imply at the beginning of your post, what's the issue?

Not that weight loss is the barometer of all things health.

I'm just a bit confused and I'm hoping you're not jumping on the low carb bandwagon just because it's what 'all the cool kids are doing nowadays.' Make no mistake, some people are better suited for a low carb diet. On the flip side though, and this is what very few people talk about nowadays, some folks are better suited for a higher carb diet.

It's tough to be objective in this world of flashy marketing and zealotry... so I just want to be sure you're making decisions that are based on logic rather than emotion.

That said, I'm all about experimentation, and if that's solely what this is about... I'm all for it.

09-24-2012, 10:51 PM
Have to agree with Wendyland. Check out Marks Daily Apple (and there are some excellent forums on that site as well). You can have carbs on the plan, though you will still have to skip the bread, pasta and potatoes. But you can have sweet potatoes! I think 20 net carbs a day (Atkins induction) is tough to follow, but mark recommends 50-80 for weight loss. And if that's too much of a carb cut for you, you could consider cutting carbs out for 2 out of three meals?

It's a place to start.

Mark's site has a lot of research to back up the low carb/primal lifestyle. But check out Gary Taubes Why We Get Fat (he also has some free articles on the nytimes website).

Steve Troutman
09-25-2012, 12:11 PM
I've heard good things about marksdailyplate. So if you find that low carb is something that might fit your lifestyle/body... then it's likely a good resource. As for Taubes and my own 2 cents... I'd try to avoid alarmist journalists and cherrypicked research as best possible.

11-22-2012, 05:26 AM
Sorry this is late but my reasoning was that I have trouble with compulsive overeating and binging. I had heard low carb can help cravings.

Trust me, I am not a bandwagon-jumper. I heard about low carb quite a few years ago, so I think there has been enough time passed to tell if it's been a simple fad. Many people seem to have done well. When I wrote this post originally I had been doing well with counting calories. It works, when I can overcome the horribly strong cravings and urges to eat when not hungry.

I am looking for something safe and do-able that might help me. So, I hope that reasoning suits you.

11-22-2012, 03:41 PM
Low carb has helped me with cravings, and I do feel a lot more energetic when doing low carb. I'm a former binger as well, but I don't seem to have the problem when I'm on a low carb diet. I'm also crazy when I get hungry, I get tempermental and go nuts about needing to eat, but on a low carb diet I can handle the hunger and wait until I can get something to eat.

I do Atkins personally, I find it easy to follow and I like the plans structure with allowing back in certain foods as you lose. Marks Daily Apple is a great site as well.

11-23-2012, 12:18 PM
Eating lower carb is the only thing that controls my cravings and hunger. I feel ravenous on a low fat calorie counting diet. I prefer the paleo way of eating because of the simplicity and its natural. no diet cokes and splenda. I make vegetables the bulk of my diet. Protein for breakfast, big salad plus protein for lunch, protein plus a cooked vegetable or two for dinner. I usually have applesauce or a piece of fruit in the evening. I stick to 50 to 75 total carbs. The closer I get to 100 carbs a day, the more cravings I get. I try to keep it really simple during the week and try harder recipes during the week. The books I recommend are "it starts with food" or anything by mark Sisson or Robb wolf. There are also some great cookbooks out there.