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Old 11-03-2008, 09:55 PM   #16
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Do the maintainers out there ever find that eating grains, breads, potatoes, pasta other starches cause you to gain weight or crave more?
Although I don't eat white potatoes or white rice, I do eat grains like couscous, quinoa and, occasionally, brown rice. These don't cause me to gain weight and, in fact, when I became a vegan, I lost weight. Whole grain breads don't bother me either.

Baked goods, however, are another story. It's the sugar. Once I have it, I want more in whatever form I've eaten. Zucchini bread, even made with no oil or eggs, can be a trigger food. Peanut butter, the staple of many a vegan diet, is also off limits to me, although I found one that my DH likes and I don't so that's working quite well. Thank you, Costco.
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:10 PM   #17
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Do the maintainers out there ever find that eating grains, breads, potatoes, pasta other starches cause you to gain weight or crave more? Or have you found ways to incorporate them without a problem?

Being a vegetarian for 26 years, I can't imagine maintenance without breads, pastas and grains. They are a daily staple for me. That being said, like Sheila, I eat whole grain varieties whenever possible. I make my own breads, and use my rice cooker to prepare brown rice, couscous, lentils, split peas, quinoa, etc. I also like sweet potatoes and use them in vegetable bakes quite often.

I try to keep a 40/30/30 balance to my eating, with 45 percent of my calories coming from carbs fairly often. I have found that I can't eat carbs alone. I must balance every eating occasion - not just strive for an overall daily balance. Carbs alone definitely trigger binge eating.
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:14 PM   #18
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I ate something resembling the Primarian diet when I was losing weight originally, although it did have starches, just very controlled portion sizes. I had to add more carbs back in when I started running, because I felt like **** all the time and was starting to binge pretty regularly on sugary things. Moderating that intake got me back on track. I do have trigger foods, and some are sugary/starchy, but they are very, very specific. For example, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups will set me off every time, but I can just eat a single "fun size" Snickers with no problem. Of course strawberries and (separately) shrimp also have no stopping point for me, but who cares?

I can (not that I do) eat nothing but sugary candy for lunch and feel fine after, no crashing, no cravings. My blood sugars were perfect when I was 300 pounds. I know I'm lucky, but that's how I am. I am a classic pear shape and my waist measurement is in the normal healthy range, even if my BMI is on the high side.

These days I try to get my carbs in unrefined form as much as possible, starchy vegetables, potatoes with skins, whole grains, but I can't seem to give up regular pasta and reasonably healthy breakfast cereals and don't really want to. I'm also known to eat sugary stuff as well, gummi bears, jelly beans, and yes, chocolate, preferably dark. BTW, I'm pretty hard over on making sure all this stuff is portion-controlled. I measure the 1 cup of cooked pasta I get, or weigh the 2 oz of dry. I put 31 grams of Special K w/ 15 g of Fiber One in my bowl. I count the jelly beans. This is not so much because these thing trigger cravings, but because they are caloric and I get a bad case of portion creep, 2 cups starts to look like 1 cup in a short span of time. Yeah, even after 6 years. It isn't so big a deal.

My DH, a maintainer of about a 30 lb loss for about 4 years now, lost most of his weight simply by giving up Pepsi and cutting back on junk food. He still eats almost every kind of junk under the sun, and as much of it as he wants, at least while he's running (he's become quite the marathoner), with PopTarts themselves being almost an entire food group. No vegetables to speak of, unless I force him. His bloodwork is beautiful though. Great sugars, triglycerides, cholesterol. If my resting HR wasn't lower than his, I'd be jealous.

My stats since I don't dwell on them or keep a ticker: Max weight 289, maintenance weight in the 170s. I'm currently working on getting back there after a difficult pregnancy and have about 35ish pounds to go. Going slow now because I'm still breastfeeding, but its coming off steadily. I'm confident I'll be back there because 1) the alternative is unthinkable, and 2) I returned to that weight after similar circumstances with my first child. I'm also a distance runner/triathlete in all my spare time.

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Old 11-03-2008, 11:14 PM   #19
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Although I've recently added a couple of pounds (still hoping that it is muscle from increasing my exercise regime in both time and intensity-ha!), I am lucky in the fact that I do not seem to have food related triggers which lead to excessive eating. My issues seem to be all emotionally related. I keep my breads whole wheat, and usually stay with flaxseed enriched, low-carb products such as the Joseph's brand pitas and lavash breads. But, ice cream has certainly remained a staple of my diet. Artificial sweetners are what keep me sane, and I add a Nutrasweet Vanilla Syrup to... almost everything, really. I count calories, (I have for the last 2+ years, and expect to forever) and measure food with a measuring cup and spoons, as opposed to by actual weight. Hope that my experiences add to the general pool of knowledge!
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Old 11-04-2008, 01:14 PM   #20
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I haven't read the book (and judging from my to-be-read stack probably won't be able to for awhile) but I feel the need to comment anyway.

It is correct that publishers look for a hook or a twist for books. I used to follow a blog of a woman who was an intern for an agent and she would blast query letters for weight loss books that alluded to "eat right & exercise". Publishers buy books that they think will sell and your average every day "eat right & exercise" does not spur the American consumer to spend $$ on books. They want a secret or a trick or the next new diet.

But I am pleased that the topic of maintenace has found its way to publishers in this way.

As for carbs, like Anne, I run and bike some distances and I do eat carbs. I typically control the serving size, quality & number of serving sizes. I choose whole grains, beans, & oatmeal usually. I rarely eat pasta and rice, but I do like my flour tortillas. I find that if I run or cycle longer than 45 minutes and I have NOT had a carb serving prior to the exercise, I hit a major wall. Oddly, I ran on an empty stomach this am and hit that wall at about 30 minutes. Heck if I know why. I should have had some peanut butter toast before I ran.

I do focus on protein, healthy fats, and lots of fruits & veggies as well. My fitness goals include both distance running events & weight-lifting. Sometimes my nutrition plan seems to be at odds with attempting both of these goals. I probably eat more carbs than other weight lifters and more protein/fewer carbs than other distance runners, but it's not like I'm looking to be a world class athlete in either. I eat healthy foods in appropriate amounts and do the types of exercise I enjoy.

Carbs do not seem to be a trigger for me. Now, I LIKE a lot of foods that are carby and I can and will eat more than I should cause I like the taste and mouth feel. But my triggers really seem to be fatigue and stress, so as long as I keep a handle on those things, I am fine.
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Old 11-04-2008, 02:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Do the maintainers out there ever find that eating grains, breads, potatoes, pasta other starches cause you to gain weight or crave more?
I don't do grains. Just doesn't work for me. I just can't/won't/can't? do grains moderately. No brown rice, whole wheat breads or pastas or nothing.

When I started my weight loss journey I did eat whole wheat pita bread and brown rice. But for me, being a calorie counter first and foremost, I simply found I was not getting enough volume, and therefore *satisfaction* out of the grain products. 1/2 cup of brown rice just doesn't do it for me. I would rather have an entire head of cauliflower for the same amount of calories.

Although I'm pretty sure that the grains in and of themselves don't *cause* me to gain weight. It's the fact that I want to and DO tend to overeat them. In other words, if I was still consuming the same amount of calories while eating grains, chances are there would be no difference in my journey.

And I'm with Circebee. I use artifical sweetners. Splenda. I'm sure I eat waaay too much of it. But it does help me to stay on plan. And for now, I'm just not getting rid of it.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:28 PM   #22
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This is a very interesting thread and discussion. Thanks Anne for starting it, and Barbara for sharing your insights.

Quote:
Do the maintainers out there ever find that eating grains, breads, potatoes, pasta other starches cause you to gain weight or crave more?
I don't find that starches cause me to gain weight or crave more. I do tend to overeat them because like Midwife, I like them. But as long as I eat a measured portion, they cause me no trouble. Sugars, esp in the form of candy is a much larger problem. Once I have one piece, I want more, and more, til it's gone. Interestingly, I can resist chocolate easily, as well as ice cream and baked goods. It's things like skittles, good & plenty, or Anne's favored PB cups that do me in. If I just say NO the first time, I'm fine. I just can't start.

I've read too much about artificial sweetners to use them much, besides I don't like the aftertaste. I grew up with soda being only an occasional treat, and so I've never really had a habit of drinking them. I will occasionally drink a diet coke/pepsi, but less than once a month. I don't like yogurt with AS either. I prefer to buy plain and add my own fruit.

I lost 70 lbs doing WW, and learned early on that eating whole foods gave me a lot more food for my points. I did eat grains and starches throughout though, and also still drink a glass of wine several times a week. Interestingly, I have a sister who was probably more than 50# heavier than me at our highest weights, chose to have lapband surgery. While she's lost a lot she can't eat much, and she often chooses foods that would be better avoided. She's not finished her WL journey, and I'll be interested to see what happens when she's where she and her doctor want her to be. I am glad however, that she chose the lapband over the bybass surgery.

Okay, I'm wandering now. Just wanted to say thanks for this thread, and to respond to the starches question.
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:10 PM   #23
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I haven't read the book yet but I love whole grains (and sweet potatoes and beans) and I ate them while I lost weight and I eat them to maintain. I do manage these foods - I always measure pasta or brown rice.

Whole grains don't seem to trigger cravings like processed, refined grains. I can eat a portion of brown rice with stir fry and be fine. If I eat a plain white flour Saltine cracker - mmmm, it's like the best cracker ever and I want 10 more!
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:27 PM   #24
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Hello to all. Just want to ask you what I'm doing wrong. i asked to follow this thread but after i get one notification or so that there's a post, I don't seem to get any more. Forgive my amateur status, but should I be doing something else?

Anyway, i have been fascinated by all of your replies. If you guys do wind up reading the book, please be sure to note that I don't ban grains or starches or even sugar. I just recommend that you be careful with them. The "rule" I use in the book is that you eat foods that were original to the human diet (lean animal protein, veggies, fruit, nuts, eggs, seeds, berries) 90% of the time. Since no one can really judge what 90% is, that simply translates to: choose those kinds of foods most often. Each individual will be different in terms of response to grains. I find that those who have had elevated blood sugars or elements of the metabolic syndrome are most vulnerable. The reason, i believe, is that both starches and sugars wind up as simple sugar in the blood (glucose). Glucose triggers insulin and in those who are insulin resistant, ALOT of insulin. Insulin stores fat and creates hunger. This is the reason starches often lead to weight gain and to hunger as well. This is not true for everyone. For those who can add back grains while maintaining, there is probably no reason to avoid them. Except for two possible concerns. There are some scientists who are worried about the role of grain in causing possible autoimmune problems. Why? There are proteins in grains that look alot like some human proteins. The body responds to these as antigens (invaders) and in sending an immune response against them, may get confused and send the same response against its own tissues. We know for sure that this happens in people who have sprue, which is a sensitivity to gluten. The question is, could grain cause similar problems with other tissues.? Some gastroenterologists are endorsing a grain free diet for inflammatory bowel, as it seems to lower inflammation in this disease. What about other autoimmunes? Still unknown.
A second issue is the phytates in grains. Phytates are compounds which bind minerals in other foods and so prevent absorption. They are called antinutrients because they lower the nutrients absorbed. There is also another interesting issue: no primate eats grain in the wild, and we are primates. For all of these reasons, there is a red light blinking in my head about grain. But it's too early to know for sure. The lines of inquiry I've discussed above are not included in my book. They are still too uncertain. But I do feel very comfortable saying that we know that foods that humans have always consumed do not cause a problem. That's the reason I mostly endorse those foods.

For the moment, the issue is keeping off the weight. If you can do it while eating grain, I think you're lucky. Wish i could!
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:37 PM   #25
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Barbara:

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Old 11-05-2008, 11:54 PM   #26
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I find the possible connection to autoimmune disease fascinating. I have fibromyalgia, IBS, insulin resistance and a suspected autoimmune connective tissue disorder (respiratory tract). Like many with fibro, eating too high a proportion of carbs (especially flour and sugar) seem to worsen or trigger pain/fatigue/memory problems. With the insulin resistance, I definitely have noticed the carb hunger cycle. When I do not control carbs, I experience a literally constant hunger that is unbearable. I continue to feel starved even when I've eaten to discomfort (and this has been true all of my life, since before my first "diet" at age 5. For as long as I can remember, I could never eat enough to feel full).

Since discovering that reducing carbs helps control my fibro and hunger,
I've focused on the number of carbs and eliminating refined carbs, but
I've never thought of eliminating grains altogether, but I think it's definitely worth giving a shot.
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:52 AM   #27
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There are some scientists who are worried about the role of grain in causing possible autoimmune problems. Why? There are proteins in grains that look alot like some human proteins. The body responds to these as antigens (invaders) and in sending an immune response against them, may get confused and send the same response against its own tissues. We know for sure that this happens in people who have sprue, which is a sensitivity to gluten. The question is, could grain cause similar problems with other tissues.? Some gastroenterologists are endorsing a grain free diet for inflammatory bowel, as it seems to lower inflammation in this disease. What about other autoimmunes? Still unknown.
Barbara, this is very interesting! Do you some references for this? I have a friend who has these kinds of issues (unrelated to weight loss/maintenance) and would be interested to learn more about this. Yes, we're both recovering scientists and go to the original peer-reviewed literature when possible, so please don't take this request as a challenge, just a request for more information. She is quite fluent in the medical and biological literature; I, sadly, much less so.

Thanks,

Anne
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:42 AM   #28
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Hi Anne,
A recovering scientist, eh? Why do you need to recover?
At any rate, I'll get back to you shortly with some references. I also find this potential link fascinating. There seems to be an incredible amount of autoimmune disease developing. The NY Times ran an article last week about the increase in rheumatoid arthritis in women. We've seen a great deal of this in our area, also including psoriatic arthritis and other connective-tissue-like syndromes.

Once more on a technical note: I'm still not getting notification of posts. When I click on the thread tool it just says "view printable version" or "email". I assume that's because I've already subscribed to the thread. Is there any way to resubscribe?
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:05 PM   #29
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I haven't read the entire discussion but I've read some of it.

When you are discussing grains, do you also mean things like quinoa and amaranth? I had heard that they are grain like but that they really aren't a grain and so are sometimes referred to as a pseudo-grain.
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:13 PM   #30
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Barbara, I checked and your account settings had been set to not subscribe to threads so I fixed it. You now should be getting an email notification when there are responses to this thread. If it still isn't working, let us know and we'll figure it out. Thanks for being so patient!
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