I have been Low Carbing for a while now and although I've lost weight, it's just so hard to stick with. I've even gone as far as doing zero carb or very low carb losing 17 lbs in one week once.
While I do think watching carbs are important I'm just not so sure anymore if it's "The Most Important". I think bottom line calories is what dictate the weightloss and carbs may play a role in the "healthy" aspect of a diet.
I'm just so tired of the yo-yoing, I feel like what I've been doing is a form of an eating disorder. I'd be eating pretty good then end up binging on junk gain a lot of water weight and get very strict with low carb and drop the wieght very quickly.
I see so many on low carb plans and afraid to eat vegetables or fruit and limit their carb intake not b/c they think it's healthier but b/c they have an unhealthy relationship with food..... afraid to eat carbs (good or bad).
I don't want to be that person anymore but have to admit I am freaking out over adding them back in b/c I've been doing this for so long. I'm tired of not being able to enjoy an evening out with family and friends b/c I'm stressing about 2 extra carbs in a meal.
I think a controlled carb plan can be a great way of eating but if one is eating alot of low carb alternatives like sugarfree treats and boat loads of diet soda are you really getting the benefit of low carbing?
That's what I was doing making alot of low carb treats full of artifical sweetner, gallons of diet soda because I felt so deprived I would end up binging on this stuff. So yeah I was losing weight and lowering the carbs but what was I really doing to my health?
Anyway for those who made the transition how was it for you?
What made you switch?
What Low carb plan were you on and how long?
Did you gradually add the carbs?
Do you have any tips?
I've never done low carb but I think the best way would be to start counting your calories now.
I will say if you have done low carb for a while and are still doing it, expect a slight gain at first of about 3-5 lbs. That is the glucose returning to your cells. It is one of the reasons low carbers will show a big loss their first week. Don't worry about it, it isn't fat but it will show on the scale.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
I always thought the way South Beach adds in carbs seemed a healthy way to do it.. and still keep them in control. I am very carb sentitive and crave them.. I know I have to keep adding in protein and minimize my carbs to keep in control I do use fruit and all manner of veggies but just control white stuff..i.e bread, sugar, potatoes , white rice.. flour and go for the whole wheat and whole grains for my carbs.
I have learned calorie counts for just about most of my foods but I track protein to be sure I have enough in each meal otherwise I go haywire...
Anyway just what I do.. Good luck with the transistion.
Anyway for those who made the transition how was it for you? I think it was pretty easy because *this* time I wasn't on low carb for that long
What made you switch? I just felt like I needed to do something that I could see myself doing long term. That meant that sometime in the next year or so I might want a slice of pizza and I didn't want to be neurotic about it. If I can't maintain my lifestyle now, who's to say I'll be able to maintain it when I get to where I want to be.
What Low carb plan were you on and how long? I've been on several. Most recent was South Beach...and only like a week LOL. I was counting calories the whole time though. But I've been on Atkins, regular old low carb, the pcos diet, etc etc
Did you gradually add the carbs? I did, but mainly because I had been in phase 1 of south beach with almost no carbs and was nervous about adding them in. I now strive for between 30-40% of my calories from carbs. But only healthy carbs if I can help it.
Do you have any tips? Just go gradually. Still stick to "good" carbs, but I really like that with calorie counting I have more wiggle room and if we go somewhere and I'm hungry I don't have to worry that my meal will send me off of my diet. Think long term...is what you are doing now what you want to be doing when you get to goal? I know for some people the phase approach works, but for me it sooo doesn't. What I am doing now I know I will still be happy to do 100 lbs from now, so it works for me.
When I started out a couple months ago I seriusly considered going way low carb. But I realised quickly that I love my fruit too much to do that. And like other posters I wanted something that I could see myself doing forever. And it's working wonderfully for me.
I totally avoid carbs like bread, flour, pasta, rice and potatoes during the week and focus on a protein, grain, fruit and veggie rich diet. On weekends I relax a bit especially when I go out. I can't say no to something like pancakes or naan bread every now and then!
Thank you guys so much I appreciate your responses. I really like the "freedom" of calorie counting but realize since I do have binging issues I need to be careful with the type of food I eat b/c some carbs do cause cravings.
With that being said I am still going to monitor my carbs meaning I am still going to stay away from "empty calorie junk food" which suprisingly isn't even on my "can't wait to eat list" being low carb fo so long I really craved things like sweet potatoes, fruit, whoe grains. Yeah imagine that a person wanting to lose weight craving healthy food LOL!!
For example this morning I didn't want some sugar laden cereal, pop tarts, doughnut, etc... I wanted plain oatmeal with a 100 cal pack of almonds/walnuts and a little box of rasins mixed in and that's what I ate.
I think another issue is going to be patience because I am so use to seeing the weight melt off with LC that seeing it come off in a slower pace is going to take some getting use to.
The funny thing is I have no idea how the weight would've come off if I had stayed with LC consistently. I've always started and would drop 10-17 lbs in a week then maybe another 5 the next week then I would slip up and gain some back then start the process all over so I have asked myself what if I had continued with LC and the weight would have come off 2 lbs per week anyway?
Anyway, I'm pretty excited about "starting over" even though I have pretty much been on a diet half my life for some reason now I feel in control and like I'm doing it the right way and I haven't felt like that in a long time.
I'm a current low carber but I don't count carbs, only calories! You're right, it's the calories that count ultimately but for me the low carb way of eating controls how much I eat. If I have too many carbs I end up overeating. I'd say just start counting your calories now and be careful how you add in foods. One way to add in your carbs is to eat no carb unopposed, meaning to have protein along with the carby food, like cottage cheese and fruit for example or tuna on whole wheat toast. Good luck with the transition and congratulations on the weight you have lost so far!
I've gained weight now that I'm counting calories. Only a few but it's still frustrating. I have to really, really watch my carb intake. For one thing, so I don't keep gaining, and for another, as mentioned above, it really sends me into binge mode.
So far so good it's actually not as hard as I thought, I still look at the carb count and ingredients in food because I am definitely trying to stay away from alot of added sugar.
I bought some Cliff Bars becuase I was looking for an alternative to the Atkins Bars which gave me tummy trouble. I went with the Cliff bars because although they are 22 carbs (3 fiber) I do net carb so I count it as 19 carbs verses the 3 net carb in Atkins bars the Cliff bars are organic and I figure it's better as far as ingredients and nutrients.
So I'm slowly getting the hang of it and trying to make healthier choices.
I always had a problem with any bar foods because of the soy they usually contain. Soy gives me tummy aches due to gas. I do so much better eating whole foods. Yes and I tried going from low carb to a higher carb eating with calorie counting. It sounded good in principle but in practice it just got me into binging. I have to stay low carb to control my calories enough to lose weight.
Maybe that's an indication that the transition isn't right for you.
I've finally come to terms with (at least I think I have) the fact that low-carb dieting works better for me - for physiological and psychological reasons.
Through my food journals, I've proven to myself that I lose more weight on 1800 calories of low-carb as I do on 1800 calories of high-carb. If calories in, calories out worked the way most people say they do, this shouldn't happen.
All I can say is that something about low-carb changes the calories out part of the equation. If I burn more calories on low-carb, it makes the most sense (at least to someone who enjoys eating as much as I do) to do what work (especially since low-carb also reduces many of my health issue symptoms).
I follow a low-carb exchange plan. I tweaked one I found on the hillbilly housewife website (although they call it a high protein plan).
I occasionally swap protein exchanges for more starch servings, but when I do that too often my weight loss slows or stalls. I limit fruit to 4 servings but don't limit veggies, in fact I aim for 6 servings or more per day.
For me, the exchange plan allows me to count and control calories but also control and count carbohydrate rich foods. Like calorie counting, I can budget in almost anything (although as in calorie counting, there are some things are impossible to budget in at this time - at least full servings. If I want to do the math I can include a couple bites of anything).
I have to say that as impractical as I thought low-carb was, it's turning out to be a whole lot more practical just to run with it. I still don't like giving up the high-carb foods, and I still struggle with it. I don't think my weight loss will really kick into high-gear until I do.
I'm not sure if I'm ready or willing to go that strict with the low-carb. I'll either learn to get over my reluctance, or I'll continue to make steady, but snail-slow progress.
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I think the problem is when I do "low carb" it is VERY strict and extreme which causes the frustration and later binge. I don't even want to eat the carb laden junk, but b/c I have done extreme low carb for sooooo long that it literally was hard for me to eat an apple without freaking out about the carbs.
I actually like eating whole food (veggies, protein, fruit and grain) but I wasn't allowing myself to eat those things b/c I felt like in order to get the weight off fast was to go extreme LC (all protein 0 carbs) and of course it wouldn't work then I would binge on junk out of frustration.
Sooooooo what I have come to realize is I can still eat a healthy diet and be mindful of my carbs (what foods they are coming from verses how many).
I needed to stop using Induction and/or extreme versions and move on eating a range of food.
Last night I ate some brown rice (which I love) with some cubed garlic herb chicken breast, mixed steamed veggies, peppers and onions.
This morning I had some 7 grain bread (45 cals per slice 9 carbs), scrambled egg with cheese. Snack small apple with Natural PB, for lunch I have a salad with left over cubed chicken breast, black olives, jalapeno peppers, cucumbers and sugar free balsamic italian dressing.
For dinner it will be country style ribs (less fat), and roasted asapragus.
No junk food and I'm happy with this menu, this is how I want to eat but for so long I've been so hung up on getting it off fast and didn't care how that eating the above menu would not have worked.
My body responds well to whole foods for example my skin is amazing when I cut out added sugar and other junk.
So yeah it took some time............... okay alot of time but I think I am on the right path. I am no longer racing to get the weight off fast only to detour back to the starting line. This time I am going to plan ahead and enjoy the scenery on my journey. It's not going to be easy and I know I have to take it one minute at a time but I had to stop doing extreme low carb b/c it was driving me crazy and getting me no where fast!
So my plan is whole food (not saying I will never eat anything processed) but my main focus is whole food with limited processed food and although I am not shooting for a particular carb limit I am going to be mindful of how much I consume and what kind I consume. I just don't want to obsess about anymore!
I just switched from low carb (0-10 carbs daily) to calorie counting about 2 weeks ago. I jumped right in and started eating alot of carbs again and gained 5 pounds in the first week!
I kept my calories quite low for the first 3 days, kind of accidentally....way TOO low. But the second week I upped it to 1400 calories and I've lost 4 of the 5 I gained, so it must be working now. I really started exercising more the first two weeks also. I went from 3 days a week to 5 days a week, but this week I am going back to 3 days to see what happens. I stay pretty active having 5 kids anyways.
The initial weight gain when transitioning from low-carb is typically water-retention rather than fat gain - because (as I understand it) your body needs more water to digest carbs than it does protein and fat.
Even though I try to stick to low-carb, because it works best for me, I do have occasional high-carb, low-calorie days - but I have to ignore the temporary weight gain knowing it will disappear when I return to low-carb (or if I continued to diet high-carb).
I have found that low-carb though is an amazing temporary "cure" for water gain. I tend to gain 8 to 10 lbs of water weight during TOM. It drives me batty, and I hate it. I can minimize that water gain by going super low-carb during my period. It also helps minimize carb cravings (another big TOM disaster. If I indulge a carb craving during TOM it only makes them worse).
I think the first 3 to 5 lbs (maybe more if you're very heavy, for me it seems to be 8 to 10 lbs) that you gain when transitioning from low-carb to high-carb, is generally just the extra water that your body needs to process more carbs. You'll put that water on fast, but you won't keep gaining unless you're eating more calories than you need. Just as the first few pounds you lose when you transition from high-carb to low-carb isn't really fat loss either, it's just the water your body sheds because it doesn't need as much when you're eating low-carb.
I think the initial weight gain going from low-carb to higher carb panics many folks. It seems like a gain for no reason, and the frustration (if you're not careful) can inspire "what's the use" thoughts that can lead to compulsive eating.
As long as you keep your head, and don't panic at the transitional weight gain, there's no reason you can't switch between plans as often as you'd like - just remembering that your "low-carbing weight" is going to be about 3 to 5 lbs lower than your "high-carbing weight."
The small difference in water-retention probably isn't a health risk or a health advantage, it's just a difference in the amount of water you need to carry depending on what you're eating.
It's sort of like when I transitioned from a low-volume high calorie diet to a high-volume diet rich in vegetables and fruit. The extra fiber in my digestive tract initially gave me a gain on the scale, until my body adjusted it's (to be blunt) bathroom habits. I was carrying around more undigested food in my digestive tract, so it looked like I gained 5 lbs before I started losing.
Until there's an easy way to distinguish at home between the weight of muscle, fat, water, and digesting food/waste, we've got to read the scale with a grain of salt. All gains are not equal.
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