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Old 11-17-2009, 11:33 AM   #1
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Default Carbs question..

Hi there! I have a question about carbs and am hoping this is the right place to post....

General belief seems to be that a calorie is a calorie. Obviously, some have more nutritional benefit than others. However, if I eat 1500 calories/day, and eat strictly lean protein, fruits and veggies, I'll lose more that week than if I still only eat 1500 calories/day but eat maybe some whole wheat pasta or bread another week - even though my calorie count doesn't go up!

Could that be right? Or am I dillusional?
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:48 AM   #2
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You're not delusional, many of us find this to be true, and "a calorie is a calorie," in the sense of believing that calorie output is unrelated to the source of the calories, is not nearly as widespread a belief as you'd might think. More and more common folk and medical professionals are realizing that the source of the calories can change the weight loss outcomes for a variety of reasons.

Usually, those who see a difference say that carbohydrates or high glycemic carbohydrates seem to slow their weight loss, even if they restrict their calories even further.

For me, on 1800 calories of high carb foods (more so on junk, but even on whole foods, especially grains) I lose little to nothing. If I see a half pound loss, that's pretty good. However, I also have difficulty sticking with 1800 calories on those foods, because I'm hungry all of the time. If I cut grains, and eat vegetables, fruits (more vegetables than fruits, because even fruit sugars can be a hunger trigger for me), moderately lean proteins and healthy fats, I generally lose about 2 lbs a week.

I haven't been losing at all, because I keep trying to add whole grains at least a couple times a week (I like them, and despite evidence to the contrary, I keep thinking as I've been taught to for over 30 years that "a calorie is a calorie." My own fault for listening to advice I've proven to myself is not true.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:05 PM   #3
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Nope, you aren't delusional....I'm living proof that low carb works
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:19 PM   #4
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For me, I'd say it is the quality of the carb that matters in my weight loss. If I eat a lot of processed carbs (bread, pasta, whatever), then it is harder for me to lose than if I eat things like beans, quinoa, veggies and some fruit. I have found that I can lose quite a bit on a high fruit diet but I don't feel as well and cravings are harder to manage so I have cut down on my fruit somewhat.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:30 PM   #5
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Nope you aren't delusional- I have PCOS and insulin resistance issues so following a high carb diet doesn't work for me at all. I'll maintain or gain- but rarely, if ever lose. That's why I follow south beach and it seems to work well for me.

It really all depends on the person and their metabolism and other health factors involved- if I tried to eat like my husband (oh wait I did that for 3 years) I'd gain a lot of weight, but if he tried to eat like I did he'd probably lose a ton- he eats a LOT of carbs, is 6'3" and 190 lbs!

Last edited by beerab; 11-17-2009 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:14 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone! Glad I'm not imagining things.

I have tried South Beach, but I find I do best when I don't think specifically about being on a plan. Ideally, on a good week, I figure I'm on phase 2 or 3 of South Beach, but I don't count any carbs or anything. I just knock out the grains but get carbs with fruit and the occasional piece of wheat bread.

I've decided this week since I had a big carb binge on Sunday I'll do lower carb - still eat fruits and the high carb veggies - but stay away from the processed breads and pasta, even whole wheat products. I'm like you Kaplods in that even one slice of whole wheat bread will trigger carb cravings.

Again - thanks everyone. I really need to see a loss this week, it's been a few weeks and it's very discouraging. No matter how much I work out and the sweat and hours I put into it - 15 minutes on the couch with a bag of the wrong thing and it's alll over for me!
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:14 PM   #7
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For me, I'm not sensitive to whole grains (have lots of love for the protein-tastic grains like quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth) and carbs that are nutrient-dense but for sure I see a slow down if I eat junk but stay at my calorie goal. If I give my body the fuel it needs then I'll lose quicker. So a calorie is a calorie but nutrition is not created equal. I agree with everyone that people can be sensitive to certain substances. My goal is too eat nutrient-dense food, feed my muscles and brain, and use exercise to burn fat.

Good luck!

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10% loss (27lb):243 met 01/31/2010
no longer severely obese: 224
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