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Anyone had success with low carb/ high fat eating?

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Old 11-01-2011, 02:34 PM   #1
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Default Anyone had success with low carb/ high fat eating?

If so do you count fat or does it just have to come front certain sources? Do you still eat fruit? I'm really interested in this but I want some more info before I start. Thanks!
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:08 PM   #2
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Check out this forum http://www.reddit.com/r/keto and the FAQ on the sidebar. Low carb/high fat diet is essentially what the keto diet is, a.k.a. putting your body into ketosis where it burns fat for energy instead of carbs. (That is the really watered-down science of it...much more detail in those FAQs.) I personally haven't tried it, but I have seen some amazing results in other people. Not sure how it interacts with the PCOS factor given our predisposition to cardiac and cholesterol issues.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:36 PM   #3
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I lose much better, with less hunger on a low-carb diet, but I don't feel well on "too low" so I've had to experiment to find the right balance - low enough carb to lose weight and avoid "rabid" hunger, but high enough that I don't get headaches, lightheadedness, moodswings especially rage, nausea, and even vertigo.

To be able to compare diets (making sure the calorie counts were the same) I decided to use exchange plans. I used, modified, and experimented with exchange plans of different carb levels (the frugal abundance website gives example of exchange plans of different carb levels).


I learned that I lose better and am less hungry on an 1800 calorie low-carb exchange plan than an 1800 high calorie exchange plan, and began experimenting with different ways to distribute my exchanges (and carbohydrate and fat levels).

I'm still fine-tuning (for example, fruit exchanges and starch exchanges have the same amount of carbs, but the fruit usually has more fiber, so I've been trading some of the starch exchanges for fruit exchanges - to see if there's any advantage).

I used exchange plans to do low-carb, with extra fat exchanges and without any dairy, starch or fruit exchanges (to simulate Atkins induction and other very low-carb, high-fat diets), but I didn't feel great on those plans. I started adding back these exchanges one at a time, to see how they affected my weight loss. The exchange plan I'm using now, doesn't include many starch exchanges (usually only two, although I'll drop it even lower if I'm retaining water to help drop the water weight, for example durint TOM), and I usually limit fruits to 4 exchanges or less .


Keeping the calorie count consistent helps me compare the effects of different exchange distribution. Just as an example, when I started experimenting, I assumed that on low-carb I would lose more weight in the first couple weeks (because low-carb releases more water weight), but that beyond that I would lose about the same on high or low carb (in other words, I expected that "a calorie is a calorie).

Instead I found that I actually lose more weight on low-carb. The hunger difference is amazing too.

Some of the low-carb "experts" and book authors argue that low-carb works best for everyone. I'm rather skeptical of that claim. I believe that some people are more sensitive to carbs than others. However, I do believe that refined carb probably aren't good for anyone.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:53 AM   #4
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I have had success losing weight on low-carb, but I always put it back on faster than I lost once I start eating regularly.
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:50 PM   #5
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I have had success losing weight on low-carb, but I always put it back on faster than I lost once I start eating regularly.

I used to think that too. I always seemed to "gain it back faster" on low-carb, but with more experimentation and logging everything, I discovered that it's really only true for the couple weeks. The body needs more water to process carbohydrates, so it both "releases" and "picks up" the excess weight very quickly when going from high-carb dieting to low-carb dieting.


I discovered that if you don't count this water weight (by not counting the first two to three weeks of loss), the gaini rate is pretty similar to going off any diet.

A lot of people find that the loss rate on low-carb isn't any faster than high-carb, if they account for this weight too. They lose very rapidly on low-carb for the first three weeks (it's all that water) and then lose about the same as on higher carb diet of the same calorie level (I was absolutely shocked to discover that I lost more on 1800 calories of low-carb than on the same calorie level of high-carb beyond - not just during the water weight loss phase of the first few weeks, but months and months into the diet).

Another reason that the gain can be faster when switching from low-carb to "normal eating" is that there is an instinctive drive to take advantage of carbohydrate sources (especially when the flavor combination is sweet/fat/salt - The book The End of Overeating, explores the "addictive" nature of these substances not just for humans, but for all mammals).

So when a person has been eating low-carb, they often don't return to "normal" eating when they go off the diet. They go on a crazy carb binge/bender, eating every fatty,sugary carb they can get their hands on.

A lot of people use this experience as justification for believing that low-carb diets are unsustainable. They're only unsustainable, if you think you can return to your normal eating at the end of the diet (which is absolutely untrue no matter what diet you follow).

It is very hard to add very high-carb foods back in, especially when doing so in unlimited and uncontrolled amounts.


I've broken the myth that you can't ever eat high-carb foods ever again or you'll gain it all back. I switch between low-carb dieting and higher carb dieting all the time. I do see a big gain (of up to 5 lbs) when switching to high-carb, and see the same amount of loss when switching back to low-carb.

This isn't a "real" gain or loss, it's just the body picking up the water it needs when it needs it and losing the water it doesn't need when it doesn't. So I can't really "count" this discrepeancy between the two plans, but when I switch plans I need to know it's going to happen. I look at it as my "current" weight for low-carb dieting is 296 lbs, but my current on high-carb dieting is 300 lbs. And my low-carb weight will always be a little lower than my high-carb weight.

Personally, I don't think I'll ever be able to return to full-time high-carb eating. I can eat high-carb for a day or two without permanent weight gain (just the water weight that comes to digest the extra carbs), but it's with a great deal of effort, because carbs trigger such intense hunger that I call it "rabid hunger." I can "white knuckle" it through a day or two, but permanently returning to a high-carb diet would result in a return to constant rabid-hunger, and my willpower would never hold out in the face of such strong hunger.

As with all weight loss strategies, you do have to be willing to make permanent changes. You either have to find changes you ARE willing to make permanent, or you have to become willing to make the changes permanent.

For most of my 40 years of dieting, I wasn't willing to make low-carb dieting permanent (because I thought it was unhealthy and impractical). When I realized that it's the only way I've ever controlled hunger and have been able to sustain weight, I had to find a way to make it permanent (and to find a work-around for days in which low-carb wouldn't work).


I do have high-carb days, and it doesn't permanently affect my weight loss (but I have to control calories even stricter on those days - a day "off" from counting inevitably results in a "real" gain that doesn't go away after a few days or a week back on low-carb).
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:44 AM   #6
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... but with more experimentation and logging everything, ...
Kaplods, I am supremely impressed with your wealth of information. It sounds like you have mastered the art and science of turning your own health into a research project. I have to ask, how do you do it??? Do you have oodles of time, have you streamlined it somehow? Do you spend a lot of time prepping (meal plans, shopping, pre-preparing foods, etc.)? I LOVE the feeling I get when I can track everything. I love data. But I just can't seem to get the hang of it and make it ROUTINE. Any tips??

Sorry to threadjack.
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:11 AM   #7
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I have PCOS and 46 years old... Been on every diet out there, my battle has been on going for the 26 years. Oct 1st I started Ideal Protein, very low carb (Ketosis), healthy low fat proteins. As of today I lost 20lbs, in 5 weeks, without exercising. I maintained the diet for 3 weeks losing 16 lbs, one week off but healthy carbs, back on for at least 3 more weeks. Basically I'm dropping 5 lbs a week while on Ideal and maintaining through the off week. I have never lost weight this fast. Prior to starting this diet I ate 1400 cal well balanced and spent 6 hours a week at the gym for 6 months and only lost 5lbs. Once I reach my goal weight I will be allow to increase my calories and carbs but only the healthy ones, the low-glycemic load foods. I have a few friends that have lost 70+ pounds in 6 months and maintained for over a year.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:11 AM   #8
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I had great success with this kind of diet. I lost 20 pounds in 3 months and I also got pregnant! I didn't follow a specific diet plan, I just eliminated sugar and starch and only ate 2 pieces of fruit daily. I ate lean protein, olive oil, nuts, low fat cheese and lots of non starch veggies.

I found out later that my way of eating resembles a lot with a popular low carb diet plan. I also ate this way when I was pregnant, but at the end of the second semester I started eating sugar and I gained 16 pounds...

I believe that going low carb will help you a lot. Just make sure that you choose good fats, such as olive oil and nuts.

good luck
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoozlebug View Post
Kaplods, I am supremely impressed with your wealth of information. It sounds like you have mastered the art and science of turning your own health into a research project. I have to ask, how do you do it??? Do you have oodles of time, have you streamlined it somehow? Do you spend a lot of time prepping (meal plans, shopping, pre-preparing foods, etc.)? I LOVE the feeling I get when I can track everything. I love data. But I just can't seem to get the hang of it and make it ROUTINE. Any tips??

Sorry to threadjack.


Sorry I didn't notice your comment sooner.

Well, I have to admit that I actually do have tons of time, because I had to go on disability about 6 years ago, because of multiple health problems, including osteoarthrits, possibly mild rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and an autoimmune disease attacking the connective tissue of my joints and respiratory system. I've had to make regaining my health, my "full time job."


I think it can be done while juggling other responsibilities, but as much as being on disability sucks, it has given me more free time (not initially, because I was so sick at first that I was sleeping up to 20 hours per day. Not laying in bed for 20 hours, being unconscious for 20 hours).


As for tips, I'd greatly suggest the book Memory Minder (also called Health Minder). You can buy it on Amazon.com - and it's a health journal. This is what I started with, before I even had a diagnosis, when I was still working (with a job with 24/7 responsibilities - I worked 50 hours a week and was always on call).

My doctor had suggested a symptom log to help us find patterns in my strange symptoms, and I found Memory Minder and bought it (It's no called Health Minder and it includes space to write down your medications, your body temperature, the weather, pain diagrams and spaces to write down specific symptoms and diet - but the space for food is really awfully small. The "Minder" authour also has a diet and fitness log, and it's more handy for diet and exercise. Filling out two journals was awkward, so I ended up creating my own journal pages, modeled after what I found important information to log. For example, I don't log my daily medications any more, because they don't change.

Every day, I filled out the symptom log - and I started to see patterns.

For example, I never would have never thought of taking my temperature every day. But by doing it, I learned that when I eat lower-carb, my body temperature is higher (closer to normal. My "normal" body temperature is more than a degree lower than most folks, sometimes even more). I also found that I lose weight more consistently. This suggests to me that lower-carb eating seems to actually increase my metabolism.


It also helped me find weather patterns to my fibro. My fibro symptom flares of fatigue and pain actually precede drastic weather changes. I knew that I didn't always feel well during storms, but I didn't realise that the worst symptoms were actually right before the actual weather change. Once I got suddenly sick at my MIL's house and just wanted to go home. We were inside, so I didn't know it had gotten cloudy, and when we left it was still fairly nice. On our way home (about an hour drive), it started REALLY getting dark and scary, and we just barely got home before a very big hail storm hit. Turns out we were just ahead of a tornado.

My husband said "next time you get sick like that, have me check the weather channel."

Really the HealthMinder log, or something similar would be my best recommendtion to anyone with multiple health issues, or even just for weight loss - to find out what diet you feel the best on. There are a lot of ready-to-use logs available, so you don't even have to invent one, and it doesn't have to take a lot of your time.
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:17 PM   #10
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I did South Beach and lost 5 lbs the first week no problem-which is huge for me because I struggle to loose aNYTHING, let alone 5lbs in a week. However, I did not feel well at all on South Beach- it restricted fruit-starchy veggies-and of course carbs on phase 1. I can't really explain it but I had this bad taste in my mouth after about 4 days of it and I just felt off. I added fruits back in before phase 1 was over and that helped a lot. Now I am on metformin, working out 1-2x week and eating low carb -but not as restrictive as South Beach phase 1. This is helping loose, but it isn't melting off as fast as before but I am going in the right direction and I feel HEALTHY- better energy-acne clearing up-etc.
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:28 AM   #11
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Yeah, about taking the metformin, is it true that if you eat high-carbs on the perscription you'll actually gain weight?
Because when I used to take it for my insulin resistance, I gained 20 pounds in half a year. Not sure if it was from my insulin resistance, metformin or what??? (really frustrating)
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:52 PM   #12
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I've lost 62 lbs on high fat - low carb ( early June to late Oct). I'm one of those folks who carb-binge and I know I can never go back to eating 'regularly' again.

I track percentages, not grams. I try to stay at about 65 to 70% fat, 10% carb, 15 -20% protein. If I eat around 1200 to 1500 calories, I stay the same. If I up it to 2500 - 3000 for a few days, I lose. If I drop my fat % and make it up in protein %, I stay the same or gain.

Every body is different :-)

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Old 12-04-2011, 02:33 AM   #13
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Yeah, about taking the metformin, is it true that if you eat high-carbs on the perscription you'll actually gain weight?
Because when I used to take it for my insulin resistance, I gained 20 pounds in half a year. Not sure if it was from my insulin resistance, metformin or what??? (really frustrating)
I think it depends on your level of insulin resistance (and again, everyone's different...same reason some people gain weight on oral contraceptives, some people lose). But in general I was under the impression that metformin actually HELPS the body process extra carbs; i.e., carbs wouldn't have as drastic of an effect on insulin production as they would in the absence of metformin.

Speaking of metformin, does anyone have any info on doing a low-carb/high-fat diet while taking metformin? I don't think the conversation I had with my doctor was really clear enough for me to get a good answer on this. Is it safe to take metformin doing LC/HF if you have PCOS? (it is apparently NOT safe for diabetics to do LC/HF while on metformin)
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:45 AM   #14
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I'm losing well enough on low carb/low fat. Not stunning rates but good enough and, more to the point, my usual Seasonal Depression has not kicked in, so maybe I suit low carb generally, even if I were slim. As a bonus, I don't have the internal noises, which carbs give me.

As to the fat - I adore fat: when I eat high carbs, fat is no problem to me - bacon sandwich? love it. roast pork and crackling? bring it on! However, on low carb, the fat (excuse the following description, I heard it on a sitcom and it tickled me) the fat puts a road right through me.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:04 PM   #15
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@ Becky in Tx:Are you following a specific diet? Would love to know more.

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