Carb Counters - So confused on where to go

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01-03-2014, 04:43 PM
I have tried many diets since I was a kid. I am 31 now and need something I can live with. I need to start slow because when I restrict carbs too much I get extremely tired and headaches and no energy. I started by eating a cheeseburger with half the bun. I don't know. I hope these small changes will work. I ate a chicken sandwich that is breaded but with only half bun . I know I am doing it all wrong. Not sure what to do. I am 400 pounds and 31. I love carb laden foods. I like meat but am used to bread, tortillas, rice, beans, pasta. Someone help me please. I am at a place in my life where I can't stick with anything!

01-03-2014, 05:10 PM
If I were you, I would start with learning your BMR. Given what information you have provided, I assume you are 400#, 31, 6'2...and what...male? I assume you are fairly sedentary, as most obese people tend to be. Given those stats (if any of them are wrong then it changes the number I am about to provide) your BASE needed calories to maintain your mass is going to be roughly 4600. That's a lot of calories. Most people can easily trim 500-1000 calories off their BMR to lose weight. You are at a range where you could likely go from 1000-1500 (my doctor put me at 1500 less than my BMR at first.) So, in order to lose weight, you should eat no more than 4100 calroies, but really, should aim for 3600 or even 3100. You can get a lot of food in with those ranges.

Get a My Fitness Pal account and track every bite you take...everything adds up. It only takes about 2 weeks to figure out your eating habits and where you are taking in unnecessary calories.

You can do low carb without doing low carb. Some experts say low carb is no more than 25g or even 50g. But truth of it is, low carb is relative to your intake calories. I don't feel like writing a novel on the science of it, but suffice it to say that the larger you are, the more carbs you need, even on a low carb diet, as you need to be able to have some reserves at all times.

Let's say you decide to low carb. Going by the equations my doctor gave me, you'd be looking at something like this
Calories: 3600
Carbs: 270g
Protein: 450g
Fats: 80g

Now, let's say you don't want to low carb, and there is NO shame in that...then according to FDA guidelines, you'd be looking at something like this:
Calories: 3600
Carbs: 405g
Protein: 315g
Fats: 80g

Losing weight is 80% mental, 20% diet. 80% diet, 20% exercise. You have to be in the right frame of mind to move forward. Once there, then it really isn't all that hard, not in the grand scheme of things. You can do it. I know you can, because I did and still am. Whereas I did not start off as high as you did, I was told to file disability and was told to keep my exercise routine to nothing more than walking from my bed to my couch. That was 08/2012. Today, I run. I lift weights. I weigh less. And the doctor who told me that crap? Yeah, he can bugger off.

Have faith in yourself. It is a hard long road, but it is worth it, worth every second.

***This is all recommendations that was given to me by my weight loss doctor. I am not a doctor, do not claim to be one, and did not devise this plan myself. My calculations are based off a formula model that was provided to me by my doctor ***

01-03-2014, 05:46 PM
Thanks for the comment. I have done My Fitness Pal and the whole counting calories thing doesn't work too well for me. I am considering the Slow Carb diet I seen on another post. I am still trying to see what works best for me. Haven't found it yet. And yes the stats were right.

01-03-2014, 09:54 PM
It sounds like you want to try a low carb diet. I lost a large amount of weight counting calories but struggled and then regained. I have lost the weight that I regained on a low carb diet and find it so much easier. I still use an online food log, my daily plate, so I count calories while counting carbs. I struggled to eat 1200 calories before starting low carb but now don't have a problem keeping my calories low.

I recommend that you watch a video on youtube of Dr Eric Westman - Duke University. He outlines his low carb diet and addresses the problems that you had. The URL is

The best advice I can give you is to not give up. If low carb does not work for you, try something else. There is more than one way to lose weight. Keep trying to you find your way!

01-03-2014, 10:00 PM
Stick with the small changes and weigh daily.

Small changes at higher weights work really well and motivate you to take additional small changes that add up to bigger changes.

One step at a time...

So if you see the scale fall, use that to motivate a new small change and so on.

There's no rush. And there is no right or wrong. You need to learn how your body works and to find the diet that works for you based on your small changes.

I'd list my small changes but it would bore you and will be different to the ones you need to take that *work for you*.

For example, 25.6lbs down eating half a bun sounds pretty good to me. How about no bun?

01-03-2014, 10:19 PM
Well I am actually down 25.6 from Weight Watchers counting points that I did a year ago. I got down to 386 and after a year maintained between 395-405

01-03-2014, 10:22 PM
That's great progress.

So just keep doing what you are doing if you are continuing to lose or make a small change if you are not.

It really is about small changes that add up to a lot. And, in my opinion, learning how your body works.

01-03-2014, 11:48 PM

The most important part of your body you need to focus on is your mind!

When you get that heading in the correct direction, the rest will follow.:D

After getting your head in the game, the rest is data. Track everything, good, bad, ugly, and learn from it.

This means not only tracking food, and it's particular impact on your weight, or exercise and it's impact, but probably more important, is tracking your head, what were you thinking, why were you thinking that particular thing at that particular time?

There is no failure, only feedback!

Learn from it. If A isn't working, try B, if that does not fly, continue on, until you find your sweet spot!:hug:

01-04-2014, 12:04 AM
I am considering the Slow Carb Diet. Thanks everyone for your help, ideas and support!

01-04-2014, 08:09 AM
I need to start slow because when I restrict carbs too much I get extremely tired and headaches and no energy.

It is a transition period. I felt the same exact way for the first 3-4 weeks. It sucked, BUT it was also THE BEST thing I have ever done for my health.

I am virtually free of hunger now. Priceless. I agree adding small changes is generally the way to go. But for someone eating a lot of carbs you might want to be more aggressive to start.

It is very possible your body has lost its normal carb utilizing ability and is just storing them as fat and keeping you always hungry. But you can restart a normal metabolism.

I went cold turkey on bread, pasta, potatoes, fast food, junk food, snacks in general. It sucked but worked. I have seen many posts on 3FC that were successful this way. You just get free of the stuff. I personally don't think I would have succeeded any other way. Everyone is different though, but something to think about.

How you were feeling meant it was working. And it is so worth it. I feel better than I thought possible, every second of every day. Most energy of my life by FAR eating fewer carbs, after the transition. I felt really noticeably bad on the transition really only a handful of days, less than a week. Then merely not so good for a couple of weeks. But for a lifetime of feeling great? Best decision ever.

01-08-2014, 11:30 AM
Does anyone know about Patrick Holford's diet The Low GL diet? Read something about it on Huff Post?