Weight Loss Support - Can you still lose weight on a high carb diet?




MissyK
08-06-2004, 03:12 AM
Yes. I've done Atkins in the past. It worked INCREDIBLY well...I got down to 103lbs. But the problem was, I gained EVERYTHING back and more within 2 weeks (I'm not kidding) because I couldn't stand the meat and fat for every meal. I was wondering if it's still possible to lose weight eating high carb items, like bread with jam, white rice...etc as long as I stay in a low calorie range? I'm very confused. I've lost 7lbs so far...so from 120lbs to 113lbs. That's not bad, right? In the next two weeks I'd like to lose 3lbs and I'm wondering what the best way to do it is. PLEASE HELP ME!


QuilterInVA
08-06-2004, 08:43 AM
Not if you want to be healthy. Brown rice, whole grain breads, etc. are great - IN MODERATION. Why would you want to eat jam, white bread, white rice that has most of the nutrition stripped out?

MissyK
08-06-2004, 01:48 PM
Well, I work at a sushi restaurant, and the chef gets really insulted when I don't eat the lunch he prepares for me...always consisting of white rice. I do eat whole grains, though. I find it's actually more tasty than white bread/rice. ~~MissyK~~


carito
08-06-2004, 03:24 PM
I am not sure about Atkins, I've never been on it nor do I intend to. I know that to burn a pound of fat you need approximately to burn 3,500 cal, over a week that would be 500 per day, eating less or exercising more than the average calorie intake for your height, weight, activity level that maintains weight (example: for me it's about 1750 for light/average activity, so if I eat 1250 every day and still light exercise e.g. walk or clean the house, I should be losing about a pound per week). I like meat so I eat it regularly, but I try to choose less fat meat like chicken breasts or lean turkey or fish fillet. I think too many fat products can harm your cholesterol, this is partly why I am skeptical about Atkins. I don't often eat high-fat foods, but I allow carbs, both in vegetables and fruit, but now also some bread occasionally or crackers or oats. I think it is possible to lose while eating carbs if you're cutting calories overall / exercising more. There are many examples to that, me including lol!

teapotdynamo
08-06-2004, 04:25 PM
I think *everything in moderation*. While white rice might not be as nutritionally sound as whole grains, sushi has a lot of positive attributes because of the protein and nutrients in the fish and the vegetables. The Japanese diet is generally a very healthy one, so I think it's safe to say that sushi is *not* bad for you.

Calories in, calories out is the primary equation for weight loss. Just make sure you're getting plenty of whole grains elsewhere in your diet, and you'll be fine!

Fashionista84
08-06-2004, 05:00 PM
Everyone else has basically covered it. You need carbs, they give you energy to help you function. Carbs are in everything too, fruit, dairy, some veggies, you can't avoid it. I'm currently trying to mimic my food intake after the food pyramid. I have the average amount of servings per day (fruit's 2-4 servings, I have 3, that kind of thing). This way, you aren't skimping on the precious nutrients that you need, and you are getting a full, healthy balanced diet. And when you do have carbs, choose the healthier kinds: whole grains, fiberous and not enriched! I hope this helps as well. Keep at it!

MissyK
08-06-2004, 08:43 PM
Thanks, gals! I suppose I was tempted to try low-carb again because of the faster weight loss. But since you all have lost on carb-containing diets, I'm no longer skeptical!

cyndy
08-07-2004, 10:44 AM
How did you get down to 113 lbs!? :)

funniegrrl
08-08-2004, 04:10 PM
One of the most important rules of weight loss and maintenance is, "Never eat to make someone else happy."

Having said that, YES you can certainly eat carbohydrates -- both simple and complex -- and lose weight. People have been doing it for decades, if not centuries. As you've observed, Asians eat white rice all day long and, as a general population, they have much fewer weight problems than westerners. I know there are many people on these boards who firmly believe that only a very small amount of carbohydrates are healthy, and they must always be complex. While eating 100% whole grains and the like is certainly ideal, not doing so will not prevent you from losing weight.

The problem with the western diet is not that people eat simple carbohydrates, but that they eat so many of them, and so few fruits & vegetables. I am on a plan that is about 60% carbohydrate, 20% protein, 20% fat. I have lost 144 pounds in the last 3 years. My blood sugar and all other statistics are absolutely healthy normal. Because I am on Jenny Craig and use their packaged food, the majority of the starch I eat IS white. But I eat lots of fruit & vegetables, healthy fats, etc. And, when I do eat meals/days on my own, I do choose whole grain products when I can.

A lot of people will be shocked to see that 60% of my diet is carbohydrate. But, first, that carbohydrate comes from a lot of sources -- not only the starches but dairy and fruit as well, plus a tiny bit from the vegetables. Second, the TOTAL amount of carbohydrate I eat is still quite low -- I'm eating 1500 calories per day, and my starch intake (again, not counting dairy & fruit) is equal to about 6 slices of bread per day. Again, that's a lot higher than a low-carb diet would allow, but compared to what I ate before I went on this program, it's almost nothing.

So yes, enjoy your white rice (if that's what you want) in moderation, and just be sure to balance your day with some complex carbohydrate sources, and you'll be just fine. Weight loss is more about portion control than it is eating particular foods, despite the fad of the day. Even in the healthiest diet, there is room for simple carbohydrates in small doses.

P.S. The "rapid weight loss" you experience with low-carb diets comes from water weight primarily. When your body takes in little or no carbohydrates and is burning other sources for energy, it retains much less water. Also, low-carb diets will cause your body to burn your own muscle tissue in addition to fat tissue, because certain types of fuel that your body needs cannot be found in fat, but can be found in carbohydrates and muscle. So, it turns to muscle when it doesn't have any carbs coming in, and THAT makes your weight drop quickly. However, your body composition actually gets WORSE -- and when your lean body weight decreases, your metabolism drops.

The Lumpy Shadow
08-09-2004, 09:44 AM
I started out with a carb-rich diet. Pasta, potato's, bagels, ect..but I kept my fat and cals low. My average ratio of carbs, protein, and fat was 60/20/20 Using that method I've lost 35lbs already.

This is not the healthiest method though and I became incredibly constipated. (sorry for the personal info) So now I am working on balancing my carb and protein intake and switching to whole grain healthy carbs instead of refined carbs. If you're interested I'll let you know if I notice a difference in my weight loss.

MissyK
08-09-2004, 01:59 PM
Thanks, everyone! These are the replies I want to hear LOL! Yeah, I've noticed that Asians are generally not as worried about weight gain (being Asian myself) due to carbs. My mom, for instance, eats burgers and fries for lunch, and then for dinner a HUGE bowl of rice with meat and veggies followed by sweet potatoes or ice cream for dessert, and STILL weighs 115lbs. But having tried Atkins, and reading the bookTWICE, I can't help but think anti-carb thoughts.

P.S. The "rapid weight loss" you experience with low-carb diets comes from water weight primarily. When your body takes in little or no carbohydrates and is burning other sources for energy, it retains much less water. Also, low-carb diets will cause your body to burn your own muscle tissue in addition to fat tissue, because certain types of fuel that your body needs cannot be found in fat, but can be found in carbohydrates and muscle. So, it turns to muscle when it doesn't have any carbs coming in, and THAT makes your weight drop quickly. However, your body composition actually gets WORSE -- and when your lean body weight decreases, your metabolism drops.
Thanks, funniegrrrl, you've officially cured my "carb-phobia".

Yes, I'd LOVE to hear about your progress, The Lumpy Shadow! Please do update me! Thank you for taking the time to do so.

Oh, and to reply to Cyndy's question:

To lose this weight, I made changes in my lifestyle. I was a binge eater...consuming about 3000 calories a day on average, and going to bed with my heart racing and a painful stomach. It was horrible, although it did not last long. It was due to depression, and other factors. I found a weight loss buddy on another teen site, and she told me that I had this problem. It really opened my eyes, since although I knew I had binge eating disorder, nobody came straight out and told me. Sooo I tried to stop...the binges became less and less frequent. I started working out, even if it was just 50 crunches before bedtime. I do 200 now, though. Well...these small changes made me lose 7-8lbs. I could have lost more, but since I was recovering from binges, I'd have the occasional "mass consumption of calories". I try not to do that anymore...but hehe I just did it yesterday. The only difference is: now even if I binge, I'd still work out.

Hope this helped!

~~MissyK~~

StarPrincess
08-09-2004, 02:22 PM
P.S. The "rapid weight loss" you experience with low-carb diets comes from water weight primarily. When your body takes in little or no carbohydrates and is burning other sources for energy, it retains much less water. Also, low-carb diets will cause your body to burn your own muscle tissue in addition to fat tissue, because certain types of fuel that your body needs cannot be found in fat, but can be found in carbohydrates and muscle. So, it turns to muscle when it doesn't have any carbs coming in, and THAT makes your weight drop quickly. However, your body composition actually gets WORSE -- and when your lean body weight decreases, your metabolism drops.

I have to speak up and disagree here. I've been following the Atkins plan for over a year and found great success. I seriously doubt that I've lost 71 pounds of water and my body composition had improved a great deal as well as my metabolism.

As with anything, you have to know what you're doing and do it right. And I've learned that it all basically comes down to the same thing anyway: Eat your veggies (the colorful ones!), stick with whole, unprocessed food, drink your water, and exercise. Low carb does not mean high fat. It's higher fat and higher protein and IMO, pretty darned healthy.

SwimGirl
08-09-2004, 03:20 PM
I think it comes down to the fact that some people do better with carbs than others, many many people succeed with doing a low-carb diet and it works for them, and many many others need carbs. Personally I can live without rice, pasta and bread, but I know people who won't give up those things in order to lose weight. You just need to find the balance thats right for you :)

funniegrrl
08-09-2004, 04:32 PM
I have to speak up and disagree here. I've been following the Atkins plan for over a year and found great success. I seriously doubt that I've lost 71 pounds of water and my body composition had improved a great deal as well as my metabolism.

I didn't say ALL the weight a person loses comes from water, I said the RAPID weight loss one experiences at the beginning of a low-carb program comes largely from water. People think that they are losing FAT quickly, when they're not, and that provides a false basis of comparison.

I know that some people do moderate fats, eat vegetables etc. on a low-carb plan, and that's good. But, that is a RECENT modification to how these plans are marketed. Atkins himself fairly chortled for 30 years about eating all the saturated fat you could stomach. But, that's beside the point. I didn't say that all low-carb plans were patently unhealthy.

My point was that the current "common wisdom" that the only way to lose weight is by eliminating carbohydrates, or all simple carbohydrates, is incorrect. The original post implied a belief that it was impossible to lose weight by eating simple carbs, and that just ain't true. As I said, I've lost nearly 150 pounds by eating 60% of my calories in carbohydrate, including white rice/flour. My overall diet is chock-full of fruits & vegetables and my health and blood counts are EXCELLENT. I -- along with millions of other people -- am living proof that a person can have a healthy diet that is carbohydrate-rich and includes some simple carbs, and enjoy excellent health and weight loss. If a low-carb plan makes you happy, great. I was simply trying to counter the notion that eating white rice at lunch would make it impossible to lose weight.

likemarigold
08-09-2004, 05:16 PM
Swimgirl, I think you have it right. Different people need different things nutritionally. Nobody needs bacon every morning and steak every night, because that's not good for the heart, but certainly some people metabolize carbs differently than do others.

I, personally, don't metabolize refined carbs very well--and I have more food cravings when I'm not being conscious of my carb intake. But I'm not on a low-carb diet, because I really like carbs, and in the end, the only diet that works is the one you can stick to forever. I count calories, and try not to eat more than one product made with white flour or sugar per day. In the meantime, I eat fish, poultry, lots of veggies and some whole grains. It's an eating plan I can live with, and I've just begun my fourth month on this plan. I've lost 30 pounds so far.

I have an ex-girlfriend who used to eat carbs constantly. She was very tall and willowy, and never more than 125 pounds. She was a vegetarian, and she ate a pasta dish with Italian bread on the side pretty much every night. She really got her best energy from carbs, and admitted that she became a vegetarian mostly because she didn't feel good after eating animal protein. I don't think she digested it well. When she tried to re-introduce fish into her diet because she was anemic, it made her feel stick to her stomach even after several months. She's an example of a person who always did well eating carbs; some do, some don't. Just find a plan that works for you, MissyK.

Suzanne 3FC
08-10-2004, 11:51 AM
My point was that the current "common wisdom" that the only way to lose weight is by eliminating carbohydrates, or all simple carbohydrates, is incorrect. The original post implied a belief that it was impossible to lose weight by eating simple carbs, and that just ain't true.

Boy, do I agree :D I think that one of the biggest problems dieters face today is from the media and manufacturers. Everywhere you go, you see "low-carb" on labels, with special displays in the middle of aisles, etc. The average dieter is then tricked into thinking that low carb is the only way to go, when that just isn't true!

The reason we're tripping over low carb products in the aisles is because they can charge more for low carb products. It's a business decision. It has nothing to do with our health or well-being. Many manufacturers have scurried to relabel products that were already naturally low in carbs, to put big low carb labels on them, then they raise the price a little to make up for it. Now, they are beginning to panic. Two weeks ago, it was in the headlines that manufacturers are beginning to regret this move because the low-carb industry has hit a plateau. People are losing interest. They also are losing sales because most people that are not on low carb diets will not buy these products because they are perceived as being unhealthy.

Only a small percentage of people are on a low carb diet anyway. Weight Watchers is still a very successful plan, with all the carbs. Also, we tend to forget that there are countless people out there that don't follow "popular" diets, or diets that come from a book or paid program. People lose weight successfully by simply cutting back, increasing their activity, or devising their own personal plan based on their personal needs.

I have tried low carb, moderate carb, and high carb. I personally do best with moderate to high carb, moderate fat. I avoid saturated and trans fats whenever possible because I have heart disease. I prefer to avoid high protein because I have gout in my knees and prefer to be able to walk :) I don't have a problem with simple carbs because I don't pig out on them, plus I'm not insulin resistant. White pasta didn't make me or anyone else fat. Platters of white pasta, combined with lack of activity is what made us fat. Italians eat more pasta than we do, but they also eat lots of fresh vegetables, seafood, olive oil, and they get a LOT more activity than we do. Their obesity rates are less than half of ours. I prefer to avoid adding sugar to foods because it's empty calories. In the end, it's the calories that count, and I try to spend them wisely. I like whole wheat bread, but I'm not afraid of white bread. I don't like whole wheat pasta, and I don't eat foods that I don't like. I eat white pasta, but I limit it to 1/2 cup serving. Portion control is probably the number one thing we should all consider.

Regarding choosing a diet...

Low carb does result in quicker weight loss initially, but studies have shown that over time, both low carb and low fat result in the same loss. Low carb starts out fast but slows down. The same studies showed that of those that regain the weight, the ones that lost with low carb gain it back faster. Studies have also shown that low carb, low fat, high carb, etc, all work equally as well for weight loss. Equal :)

The diet plan that works best for the individual is the one you will actually follow. They all work -- if you stick with them. So, choose a diet plan that fits your personal tastes and lifestyles. Look over the plans. Do you like the foods they offer? Will you be satisfied? Deprived? Hungry? Happy? Does it fit your budget? If you brown bag lunches, will this work for you? Can you feed your family on this plan? Do you go out to eat a lot, and will this plan fit your social life? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself when you choose a diet plan. It doesn't matter at all what plan your friends were successful with. You are unique. Choose your plan accordingly.

You may have to take medical reasons into account when choosing a plan. If you are diabetic, or have been diagnosed (actually diagnosed, not assumed) insulin resistant, you may need a lower carb or sugar restricted diet plan. If you have gout, kidney problems, or heart disease, you may need to avoid a higher fat, higher protein diet. With any of these conditions, (and many others) you should always ask your doctor what type of diet plan is best for you. Don't ask other people or depend on the diet books to tell you. Once again, you are unique, and only your doctor knows enough about your personal health to guide you in the right direction.

The Lumpy Shadow
08-10-2004, 12:00 PM
Wow, am I grateful for this thread. I've been on and off plan for almost 2 weeks now because I keep trying to cut back carbs and stop eating my high-carb lean cuisines. The thing is, I HATED every freaking wheat snack I tried and instead of feeling ok I felt deprived...so I kept cheating. Now I have confirmation for what I'd been hoping. I can still lose weight on my carby diet as long as I cut back fat and calories. I do weight lifting too and I suppose to get the form I want I may eventually have to balance more, but for the moment I am going to eat my flavored rice cakes and throw the whole wheat bread sticks in the garbage!!!

QuilterInVA
08-10-2004, 03:02 PM
Research came out this week that tied high carb diets to breast cancer. I think moderation and complex carbs still rules.

StarPrincess
08-10-2004, 04:05 PM
They all work -- if you stick with them.

Amen, sister!

Suzanne 3FC
08-10-2004, 11:39 PM
Research came out this week that tied high carb diets to breast cancer. I think moderation and complex carbs still rules.


That's what the headlines read, but down towards the end of the news report, it said something different. They said that these studies were done on Mexican women that consumed most of their carbs from corn that was not enriched with folate and other nutrients that protect against cancer, like we have here. They said that they had no idea what the results of the same study would be if it were done in the US, and they recommended that we not change our eating patterns based on that study. I hope they will conduct similar studies here, though, it's not fair to make a bold statement like that and leave us hanging.

It's funny how the media grabs onto the most controversial statement in a report and uses that as the headline, even if the rest of the report says something different. I've noticed that quite a bit lately :(

featherz
08-11-2004, 01:44 AM
I decreased my carbs to roughly 40% of my daily calories and switched over to MOSTLY 'better' carbs and managed to lose weight just fine. I still have a small amount of pasta a day and the occasional rice, but very little in the way of sugar. Still, it's at least 150 carbs a day, not low carb by anyone's estimation!

I tried low carb, just wasn't for me.

JayEll
08-11-2004, 06:32 AM
Isn't it interesting how different people are? When I started my weight loss program last May, my roommate and I "uncoupled" our meals so I could follow my food guidelines. So, I've been eating what I'm supposed to, and she's been eating what she wants.

She has always eaten more carbohydrates than I could get away with, even has them late in the evening. Well, doing it her way, she dropped 10 pounds in the next three months, not even trying. :?:

Jay

MissyK
08-12-2004, 02:14 AM
Arrgh that typo is driving me insane!!! Let me correct myself: "Can you still LOSE weight on a high carb diet"

Anyway, thanks again for all the posts. I don't know anything about WW except that you watch points. Do people lose because they eat more complex carbs? As for me, I lost the 7lbs by eating more carbs than protein and fat. There are days when the only protein I'd eat is an egg.

Suzanne 3FC
08-13-2004, 12:03 AM
I don't know anything about WW except that you watch points. Do people lose because they eat more complex carbs?

People lose on WW because it limits overall food intake, restricting the number of calories you consume. Just like any diet, whether it's low carb, high carb, etc. Some diets reduce your overall food intake by eliminating whole food groups, thereby limiting your choices. Other diets limit portion sizes.

Whichever diet you choose, you are consuming fewer calories than you did before, and that's what causes the weight loss. That is, of course, if you follow the diet properly. There are some people out there now that are not following low carb properly and are gaining weight. Consider the 1200 calorie "low carb" meals that a lot of restaurants are serving! Live on those, and you will still gain weight. It's like the Snackwell's phenomenon of the 90s. Everyone was pigging out on fat free cookies, because they assumed that fat free meant unlimited, and they hurt their diets.

In the end, calories do count.