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Old 09-22-2007, 04:35 PM   #1
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Default Are carbs the devil incarnate

My boss at work is on Atkins, with great success. I'm happy for her and give her props for not giving in to temptation, as bread is one of her favorite foods..or, uh, was...

I am doing weight watchers, with success as well. When we are talking about what we're going to have for lunch, and I mention hummus on a whole wheat pita, she comments on the amount of carbs in the pita.

I really don't care. I don't do low carb. I tried for 2 days and Felt absolutely awful, not to mention my doctor warned me that the high protien can be harder on my kidneys, and the lack of carbs makes my hypoglycemia go haywire

Are carbs that bad? I do agree that complex carbs are different than refined carbs as far as nutritional value, but isn't a lot of it a matters of calories in vrs calories out?

What is so evil about carbs? If Atkins works for some people and they can stick with it, good for them, but how do I convince my boss and other low carbers I've met that I'm not headed toward ill health and obesity because I choose to have a different lifestyle?

I guess this is more an issue of frustration. What works for some people doesn't always work for other people...there's as many diet plans out there as there are people. I actually eat a higher carb diet, but Im still losing weight and feel great...so carbs can't be that bad, can they?

Even if I found out that carbs were the devil incarnate, I doubt Id stop eating them. I love corn, potatoes, english muffins, starchy vegetables and pastas too much to omit them from my diet.

Has anyone had any similar experiences with people trying to convince you that lowcarb is the only way to go, even when your health says otherwise?

Just curious..maybe Im just too sensitive?

Thanks so much!!
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Old 09-22-2007, 04:42 PM   #2
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Hey, I know the Atkins diet has had a lot of hype, but its not a well balanced plan for long term. It does show results very quickly but for those of us trying to make our weight loss a lifestyle (I do WW CORE plan ) Atkins is not a healthy choice. Your body needs carbs to function properly and as long as you take a look at the Food Pyramid and make sure you are balancing the amount of carb intake with veg/fruit, protein, etc, then your body ABSOLUTELY should have some carbs everyday. Obv there are some better choices for carbs, but a healthy well-balanced lifestyle needs them to survive.

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Old 09-22-2007, 04:54 PM   #3
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It's been my experience with people that I know who have been on this, ALL of them gained the weight back. One of them catastrophically -- my cousin's wife, she lost about 70 lbs but gained back 90 and now she has a host of health problems and get this: Her husband's a Dr.!!

I'm on the Sonoma diet which emphasizes good carbs (veggies, beans, etc.). I'm not a heavy meat/fish/poultry eater myself, so Atkins wouldn't work for me.
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Old 09-22-2007, 05:04 PM   #4
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I think that some people are more "carb sensitive" than other people. Personally, whether it was Phase I of the South Beach Diet (VERY similar to Atkins) or Atkins, which I'm on now--those were the diets I've been successful with losing weight on. I lost 20 pounds on SBD Phase I, then decided to eat a more "balanced" diet for a year and I lost and regained the same five pounds, while counting calories--eating a carb-heavy diet causes me to binge regularly. I decided to try Atkins after that year and so far on it, I've lost another 12 pounds. Low Carb works for me.

I don't think that a plan like Atkins is unlivable if you follow the plan by-the-book and transition into maintenance. We have several people on this forum who have maintained for years after losing on Atkins. Atkins does NOT say that you have to go without vegetables and fruit (the fruit thing is only for two weeks, as with SBD Phase I--and vegetables are ALWAYS emphasized in the plan. I eat more of those now than I ever have). High-fiber veggies and fruit are suggested instead of starchier/higher glycemic ones.

So, please, let's not bash Atkins.

That said, I think that if you can lose weight doing WW, that's awesome! I don't think there's anything wrong with high-fiber carbohydrates. Whole-grains, vegetables, fruit...these are great! I also don't see anything wrong with having a refined carbohydrate treat once and awhile.

Everyone's body is different. Everyone metabolizes certain nutrients in different ways. What works for me might not work for you, and vise versa. So, I say, if your co-worker starts bugging you about carbs again, tell her that "hey, we have different bodies--what works for you may not work for me in the same way--we're both losing weight successfully, so what's the problem?"

Last edited by Azure; 09-22-2007 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 09-22-2007, 05:11 PM   #5
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Well said Azure! I think it all comes down to the person I have pcos/insulin resistance and it seems like i'm very sensitive to carbs but I can have some whole grain carbs but not cake, cookies, sugar.
Optical Goddess when you eat and they tell you how much carbs are in it just say thank you but I'm not concerned about that and change the subject they will hopefully drop it. But I know how it is when someone thinks there diet is better than yours. Good luck with your WW's!
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Old 09-22-2007, 05:14 PM   #6
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Many people are misinformed & miseducated about low carb plans like Atkins. They believe its dangerous & unhealthy...they believe we on Atkins do not eat carbs. That is simply untrue. The key to Atkins or any other weight loss plan for that matter...is to do it correctly.

If I listened to what people have to say about Atkins...I'd have been dead a few years ago! When people make ignorant remarks about Atkins, I simply ask "Have you ever read the book?"....that usually quiets them right down. When they see me eating veggies & salad, they sit there with their mouths wide open shaking their heads because they didn't think those kind of things were allowed on Atkins! They think we sit and eat pounds of meat, bacon & butter all day!!! Of course, when they see I've lost over 100 lbs doing this and have kept it off for over 2½ years now....results speak for themself.

I'm not trying to convince anyone low carb is the way to go. It works for me and I am very happy it does! I just do not think its fair for people to bash something they are not educated about. That would be like me saying eating plans other than Atkins do not work....that is simply ridicilous!

I feel this way, I used to be 245 UNHEALTHY pounds when I started this way of life....thanks to Dr. Atkins and his awesome eating plan, I've lost over 100 lbs!!! I defy anyone to tell me what is unhealthy about that!!!

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Old 09-22-2007, 05:16 PM   #7
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According to the National Weight Control Registry, those who lose weight on a low carb diet stand a better chance of maintaining if they transition to a diet higher in carbs and lower in fat. Statistically, low carbers stand a great chance of regaining, and regaining faster than those who regain after a higher carb diet.

I've never had a low carber try to convince me to convert. Frankly, because I don't personally know any low-carbers in the real world that were successful with it. But they do exist, and there are plenty in our own forum. Weight Watchers has a higher success rate when you consider long term weightloss and maintenance. Even more dieters are successful when they "do their own thing" instead of low carb, WW, or other published diet plans.

I think the best thing you can tell your friend is that low carb is a choice, like any other diet plan, and they ALL work if you stick with them. Let her know that countless people have been very successful in losing weight and keeping it off with a diet high in carbs.

Carbs aren't just pasta and potatoes. Carbs include blueberries, broccoli, tomatoes, and everything else that isn't a protein or a fat. My body needs the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and everything else they provide. My body doesn't need as much fat or a high protein diet because of the way my body reacts to them. I have kidney problems and heart disease. We're all unique, with our own physical needs and goals, and our diets should be personalized as such.
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Old 09-22-2007, 06:07 PM   #8
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Carbohydrates, fats, protein. You will find many diet plans that will vilify one of these. You will find information that says we only need 1 ounce of protein a day, and shouldn't eat more than 3 ounces daily. Others advocate a low fat diet, and others still low carbohydrate. The minimal amount of each, and/or the ideal percentage is hightly debated. There seems to be a diet pendulum in terms of popularity. Low carb, low fat, high carb - have been cycling in popularity for 80 years or more.

Personally, I think different people respond differently to different diet patterns. I am insulin resistant, and my husband is diabetic on insulin. If he tried to eliminate or even reduce carbs to Atkins induction rate (under 20g per day), he would become dangerously ill due to low blood sugar levels. He must eat at least 15g per meal. Even 100 - 150 g of carbs daily is considered "low carb" by some standards. I have found for myself that reducing carbs overall, and to a much greater degree concentrated and processed carbs (white flour, bread, white rice, sugar, and even white potatoes and honey...), I have much better control of my appetite, so I try to do that.

Trial and error is unfortunately just part of the weight loss process. You have to find what works for you, and is workable in the long term. When you're given or read weight loss advice, be suspicious of any plan that tells you that you need to eliminate an entire food classification or food group (even a tiny bit of fat is necessary in the diet). A basic nutrition book is often helpful (something like nutrition for dummies, or something published by the American Dietetics Society).
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Old 09-22-2007, 06:25 PM   #9
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I do think it's individual, also that some forms of carbs (like sugar, white flour, high-fructose corn syrup) are really not good for anybody, just empty calories.

That's not to say that healthy carb foods like brown rice, oatmeal, beans, fruit and veggies are bad.
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Old 09-22-2007, 06:45 PM   #10
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I have to say that all the vegans I know are uber-healthy and not fat....Alicia Silverstone used to struggle with weight issues before going vegan (remember the awful "Fatgirl" comments from her Batman days?)

It would seem to me that a vegan diet is the polar opposite of Atkins, in that it would be comprised of mostly carbs?

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Old 09-22-2007, 06:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Optical Goddess View Post
Are carbs that bad? I do agree that complex carbs are different than refined carbs as far as nutritional value, but isn't a lot of it a matters of calories in vrs calories out? What is so evil about carbs?
No, carbohydrates are NOT the devil incarnate and carbohydrates are not "bad"! Yes, calories matter but so do the quality of them, as you noted. Whole foods are best.


As far as veganism is concerned, :raises hand: Hi, I'm a fat vegan and I eat really healthy (I'm the only fat vegan I know or have ever known though). Another example of how weight loss or gain usually is ultimately contingent upon calories in versus calories out (with illness and hormonal imbalances aside).
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Old 09-23-2007, 10:47 AM   #12
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I think part of the problem with carbs is what we do to them. A potato is not a bad thing but last night I was served that hashbrown casserole!

In my head, there are four catagories of carbs ...
not even food carbs ... cake, doughnuts ... I eat them once in a while
overt ... bread, crackers, pasta ... I eat them a few times a week
necessaries ... oatmeal, rice, fruit ... every day
and incidental ... vegetables ... several times a day

And yes, that's what I learned works for me over years of trial and error.
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