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Old 08-24-2010, 12:47 AM   #1
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Post Low carb and counting calories?

So I'm really liking counting calories, because it gives me more freedom in my choices. But, I have been on 2000 a day and haven't been losing anything for the last 3 weeks at least. I heard on a couple of other posts that a higher amount of calories but on a low carb diet is better than a higher carb diet with less calories. Does anyone do both and is it working better?
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:51 AM   #2
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Hm. How much of your diet is coming from carbs right now? I haven't been having too much problem with counting calories, but I tend to try not to overdo carbs, and keep them somewhat complex.

I find the whole "carbs are the devil" mentality kind of irrational, but I'm no nutritionist. Everyone's bodies are different, but carbs can be good as long as we aren't talking sugar and Wonderbread. LOL

Maybe you need to go down to like 1800 a day? *is not a doctor*
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:24 AM   #3
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I'm not exactly sure what is coming from carbs, I have just been counting the calories. I tend toward making healthier carb choices anyway (brown rice, wheat bread, staying away from any overly-processed carb, etc), but it does vary depending on the week, time of the month, which is why I like the calorie counting. Generally speaking I stick with wholesome, unprocessed foods, but I am going to try going down to 1800 this week and the next to see if maybe that just helps nudge me in the right direction.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:29 AM   #4
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OP - do you use any programmes to track your calories? If you enter what you eat and drink in sparkpeople or fitday or dietpower, it'll show you how many carbs you're eating, and from what.

This time round, I began on low carb, less than 15g a day, but it made me ill. So for the last 8 weeks I've been counting calories (1400) but also the carbs - usually 100, leeway to 110; most of them from veg. and fruit and oats, none of them from convenience food or processed stuff or wheat. It's working OK, 29lbs in 13 weeks.

Some days, just for variety, I eat more calories but then I keep the carbs lower. If I eat to the top end of my carbs, I tend to reduce the calories a bit.

I don't know if this pattern does any more than keep me interested but, like I say, it's working.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:13 PM   #5
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Are you exercising? That is important too.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:58 PM   #6
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I have been exercising, for the last week or actual gym time has dropped off because I've been crazy working, but I still have been moving and walking quite a lot. I am looking forward to getting back into regular workouts, my body feels so much better. I am going to keep going as usually, but working on some tweaking as I go. Also started keeping the fitday journal to help keep track on carbs too. I'm not too preoccupied with the scale number, because I can tell I've lost fat. I suppose it will all even out in the end, if I keep up with it all. Thanks guys!
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:28 PM   #7
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I count calories and carbs indirectly, through an exchange plan (in an exchange plan each exchange consists of foods with very similar carb and calorie counts). I follow an 1800 to 2200 calorie low-carb exchange plan that I adapted from the "high-protein plans" I found on the hillbillyhousewife website.

I've also kept a food and health journal, tracking not only food, but exercise and health symptoms (I started keeping the health journal after a doctor recommended it. I'm on disability for multiple health issues).

I've been dieting for 39 of my 44 years, and I didn't believe the carb=evil theory either, and I still don't but I'm starting to swing that way. I've found that grains especially, but carb level in general has been associated with flares of many of my symptoms. Because I could see it in writing, and not just rely on what I thought in the moment was going on, I've proven that carbs may not be evil, but they can do evil things to my body if I don't keep them in check.

There isn't a single legitimate low-carb diet that eliminates carbs, or restricts them severely indefinitely - but low-carb plans are judged by their kick-start phases. People bash Atkins, one of the lowest carb, low-carb diets; but they judge it only by the induction phase - not the phases in which carbohydrates are reintroduced. It's unfair to judge a diet plan, without judging the entire plan.

Limiting carbs, especially refined and highly-concentrated carbs has been a miracle for me. Weight loss is really the tip of the iceberg. Managing my health issues and improving my pain and autoimmune symptoms has been the larger blessing. Weight loss is just the bonus.

So while I think some low-carb diets can unjustly condemn carbs, I also think that there's a grain (pardon the pun) of truth in the anti-carb sentiment. It's not just hype and superstition, there are disadvantages to a high-carb diet (even a high "good carb" diet), at least for some people.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:56 PM   #8
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The idea of using low carbs is pretty popular in the fitness/figure/body building industry. In that business, the point is that if you eat low(er) carb ratio, you eat higher protein ratio. The point is to preserve as much muscle mass as possible through high protein intake, because you inevitably lose some muscle along with fat when you are dieting down.

Some people associate low carb with "evil carb", but for a lot of people, it has nothing to do with carbs being bad - just that a higher protein intake is more optimal than a higher carb intake. This can be because someone has carb issues (ie they crave more and more), or just a personal preference. There ARE some people that truly think carbs are evil - but I think those people are misguided (perhaps they are just parroting what they've heard without understanding why people do low carb).

Personally, I eat 100g carbs 6x per week (180g protein) and 180g carbs 1x per week (160g protein).
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:24 PM   #9
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I eat low carb and count calories.

If you would like to read the science of how proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are metabolized for yourself, there are some good books such as

Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.

Here are a few websites that might be of interest:

http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/

http://www.paleonu.com/

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/

The biochemistry of how macronutrients are metabolized is fascinating. I went low carb due to reading about this biochemistry.

Someone can sincerely believe in something which may or may not be true.

The science won me over, rather than anecdotal reports, even though those can be of use and are sometimes rather compelling.

Hope this is of some use.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:41 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the info! I've been tracking on FitDay all day today, and I'm realizing most of my calories are coming from fats, but carbs and proteins are about even today (a function of not having gone to the grocery store in too long, will go soon!). I am going to aim for under 100 carbs per day and up the protein goal to 160-180 or so on 1800 cals and see how it goes.
I'm definitely not one of those people who thinks carbs are evil, your body needs a decent mix of carbs and protein to operate efficiently, but I am definitely going to kick up the lean protein and the exercise. I have no wish to cut all carbs out, what kind of life is that? LOL, but I do tend to really like high-protein things (nuts, beans, meat, although I tend to avoid cheese b/c I can't quite deal digestively speaking). Thanks for all the input, I'll let you know how I fair!
Love the articles Silverlife! I find this topic quite fascinating so I am going to delve into them quite deeply. Thanks :-)
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:41 PM   #11
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I'm losing by counting calories, and eating a high protein/low carb diet, (50% protein, 30% carb, 20% fat).
I eat protein with every meal(5), eat mostly fibrous carbs, no starchy carbs in PM.
I'm zig-zagging... 3 days lower carbs, 1 day higher carbs.
On the higher day I add carbs to increase my calories by 200-400.
I drink 60oz water minimum each day.



TIPS:
count calories in everything
measure and/or weigh food for accuracy
eat 3 meals and 2 small meals/snacks
eat lean protein & fibrous carbs every meal
eat whole grains
no starchy carbs in PM
drink at least 64oz water daily
reduce sodium
don't skip meals
no eating 2-3 hours before bedtime
add few more carbs every 4th day
eliminate processed foods as much as possible
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverLife View Post
I eat low carb and count calories.

If you would like to read the science of how proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are metabolized for yourself, there are some good books such as

Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.

Here are a few websites that might be of interest:

http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/

http://www.paleonu.com/

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/

The biochemistry of how macronutrients are metabolized is fascinating. I went low carb due to reading about this biochemistry.

Someone can sincerely believe in something which may or may not be true.

The science won me over, rather than anecdotal reports, even though those can be of use and are sometimes rather compelling.

Hope this is of some use.
I implement this approach exactly as well. The nice thing about being an experiment of one, we have the freedom to conduct our own "studies" to see if carbs, fat, protein, etc.. effect our unique chemistry in a way that a large body (the gov.) would have a much harder time to do. Always bear in mind however, the difference between causality and correlation.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:20 PM   #13
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what a coincidence you asked, I was going to post about low carbing myself.

people do seem to lose more low carbing...like the first phase of South Beach and Atkins I hear people losing 10+ pounds in the 2 weeks and I hear to cut carbs from dinner because our body doesn't need them at night.

SilverLife posted some good links. basically when your body runs out of glucose/carbs it turns to fat. so while carbs aren't evil , cutting them out while losing weight might help speed things along?
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