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Bloating and carbs

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Old 05-21-2012, 04:45 PM   #1
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Default Bloating and carbs

I think it is pretty much common knowledge that increasing carbs makes you retain water, and when you go low-carb you lose a lot of that water. And therefore, if you low-carb most of the time and have a high-carb day, you'll gain several pounds of water weight.

Here's my question: are carbs from fruit the same--do they make you retain water? I've never eaten fruit and WITHOUT eating other carbs in order to observe whether i retain water or not. If i don't care that much about eating low-carb, but i just don't want to be bloated, would it work to eat a lot of fruit on a daily basis, and then eat junky carbs once a week? For example, let's say i eat 3 pieces of fruit every day, and then once a week i eat a slice of cake with sugary frosting...or 3 cookies or whatever (you get the idea). In the past, cookies or cake would have made me retain water because i didn't eat carbs most of the week. But if i had been eating fruit all week, would i not retain water from the cake? Or would i have just been bloated the entire time from the fruit?
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:17 PM   #2
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Fruit does not make me bloat. I stick to things like berries, and they have no effect. Wheat, sugar, corn... forget about it... I feel like the staypuffed marshmallow man! Eating fruit doesn't prevent cake bloat. Step away from the cake!
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:22 PM   #3
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Fruit does not make me bloat. I stick to things like berries, and they have no effect. Wheat, sugar, corn... forget about it... I feel like the staypuffed marshmallow man! Eating fruit doesn't prevent cake bloat. Step away from the cake!
Darn! I was hoping that if i had been eating carbs all along (from fruit), then i wouldn't experience bloating when i ate junky carbs.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:20 PM   #4
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In my experience, even fruit "counts" toward the carbohydrate count contributing to water retention, but it really depends on how much you worry about a little extra water weight (for the most part I don't).

To carry the least amount of water, I would need to eat super low, nearly-zero carb. But I feel crappy on zero carbs, so I'd much rather accept the two or three "extra" pounds of water that my body needs to process those carbs.

However, I'm not willing to accept the ten to fifteen pounds of extra water that I need to carry around with me to process a very carb-heavy diet. Not only because it's ten to fifteen pounds I don't have to carry, but because of the discomfort in my abdomen and skin from the swelling.

If you aren't particularly carb-sensitive, it probably doesn't matter how many carbs are in your diet (because it's only water weight and there's a limit to how much water your body can hold). As long as you keep a constant carb-level, you don't have to really worry about how much water you are or aren't carrying. Afterall, it's fat loss that's really important, not water loss (unless you're dealing with actual edema).

Just as an example, I do have a high-carb "back-up" food plan. It's low-calorie so I know that I will lose fat weight on such a plan, but I won't see it and will actually see a gain until 1. I return to my lower-carb plan, or 2. I stick with the high-carb plan long enough to see the fat loss that will occur.

If you're only interested in temporary weight loss, you can eat very low-carb to acheive that loss, but it's going to be mostly if not entirely water and water really isn't all that important in the scheme of things. So find which carb-level works best for you in terms of hunger control and feeling your best, and don't worry about the water. As long as your carb level is constant, you don't really have to worry about "how much" is water.
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:05 AM   #5
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Your body cannot tell the difference between fruit and grains when it comes to the carbohydrate level. All sugars and starches are processed the same. So basically (and very simply) if you take in excess carbs, you produce more insulin to clear them. This is one issue. The bloat/gain from this comes when low carbing for awhile and using up the stored glycogen then filling up the storage cells again with glycogen.

Grains have another issue and that is they have other compounds that can cause inflammation in the body. Weight gain/bloat can come from the body's reaction to theses substances.

According to Dr Steven Phinney, it takes 2-4 weeks to become keto adaptive, meaning that the body is fully adapted to a low carb intake and all it's benefits. Cheats of any kind (carbs more than 50g a day) will knock this fine tuning out and one has to start over again. So if you eat low carb during the week and splurge on the weekends, low carb isn't doing you any good because your body is never getting the chance to function on low carb.

So you have some very good questions, but just as all calories are not the same, all carbs are the same either. Experiment and see how you feel and how it affects weight/bloat for you. My personal preference would always lean towards a from-nature food over a processed one, so fruit would be chosen before processed grains. Unfortunately both are not a part of my ketogenic level diet during my weight loss phase.

Please share your experience with whatever you decide to do, it could be helpful to many struggling with the same issues and concerns!
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:29 PM   #6
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Useful info! Thanks!

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Originally Posted by mysleepingdragon View Post
Your body cannot tell the difference between fruit and grains when it comes to the carbohydrate level. All sugars and starches are processed the same. So basically (and very simply) if you take in excess carbs, you produce more insulin to clear them. This is one issue. The bloat/gain from this comes when low carbing for awhile and using up the stored glycogen then filling up the storage cells again with glycogen.

Grains have another issue and that is they have other compounds that can cause inflammation in the body. Weight gain/bloat can come from the body's reaction to theses substances.

According to Dr Steven Phinney, it takes 2-4 weeks to become keto adaptive, meaning that the body is fully adapted to a low carb intake and all it's benefits. Cheats of any kind (carbs more than 50g a day) will knock this fine tuning out and one has to start over again. So if you eat low carb during the week and splurge on the weekends, low carb isn't doing you any good because your body is never getting the chance to function on low carb.

So you have some very good questions, but just as all calories are not the same, all carbs are the same either. Experiment and see how you feel and how it affects weight/bloat for you. My personal preference would always lean towards a from-nature food over a processed one, so fruit would be chosen before processed grains. Unfortunately both are not a part of my ketogenic level diet during my weight loss phase.

Please share your experience with whatever you decide to do, it could be helpful to many struggling with the same issues and concerns!
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:07 PM   #7
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"Grains have another issue and that is they have other compounds that can cause inflammation in the body."

Sorry to thread jack, but this thread really relates to me right now. I am currently experiencing painful bloat/skin stretching sensations after two weeks of a very carb-heavy diet. I normally keep to a lower carb diet. I have also been experiencing pain in my joints - much like arthritis - over the past 2 weeks. Could I be experiencing inflammation in my joints because of all the carbs I have been consuming?
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
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Could I be experiencing inflammation in my joints because of all the carbs I have been consuming?
Probably not all, but some. Fruits don't cause inflammation, grains can.
And also one thing about a matter from the beginning of this thread - if someone thinks a cake is just a hi-carb thing - check how to bake a cake, read the ingredients list, and you'll see it's mainly a hi-fat, hi-carb food, with inflammation-causing flour. You shouldn't expect to stay lean on that. Better eat a pound of carbs from bananas, dates and melons than a muffin.
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