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Started low-carb - loss seems slow?

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Old 07-06-2012, 11:02 AM   #1
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Default Started low-carb - loss seems slow?

Hello, one and all! I have been a calorie-counter for several years, with mixed results (directly related to intake). But I have always battled cravings and late-afternoon starvation (well, just uncontrollable cravings). Breads, sweets and munchies - couldn't seem to get enough...I would *usually* keep the numbers in check - but not always...

In perusing the various threads lately, I have been reading with much interest the advantages of low-carb...specifically, carb-addictions and Paleo-type plans. After reading the Heller's Lifespan Program, and the blog, Mark's Daily Apple, I decided to alter my food intake several days ago. I would keep the carbs at a very extreme minimum for most of the day, and eat the balance of the carbs at dinner. I am trying to keep the carbs at/around 100g, and my calories 1500-1600.

Now, it's been three, going on 4 days, and I have found some interesting things:

*I am not that hungry during the day! Any craving "echos" seemed more from habit, rather than a full-blown craving!

*Went to the grocery store yesterday - stood in front of the ice cream cooler, then walked to the munchie food section - thinking about what can I get for the evening meal (since I could have those carbs)...bizarro, I walked away - didn't have any desire for a substantial carb-fix! I bought instead a package of dark chocolate-covered almonds, and had _one_ serving after dinner! (Totally OUT of character!!!)

*I do feel fuller on what seems to be less food - I am eating more fats and protein, and find I am satisfied.

Now, to my query:

The scale hasn't moved - I am staying on plan for #'s, I feel as if the fat stores in my belly are decreasing (the roll is shrinking a bit), and the energy is steady - no shakies or fuzziness. BUT the scale isn't moving! Yeah, I KNOW it's only been three days, but is there an adjustment period, when my system (hopefully) starts burning the residual fats, before the scale reflects the change?

Regarding exercise: have been briskly walking (and 'short' bursts of jogging) a hilly 5K three or four times a week, in addition to garden and yard work (mowing the lawn burns a LOT of calories!) (power push mower). Would love to see that elusive 1** on the scale this summer!

Thanks for any input - this community is amazing!
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:31 AM   #2
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What were your carbs at before? (Just curious)

I'd think that it's probably that 100g of carbs isn't low enough to get that typical big initial low carb loss (read - water loss).

My carbs are usually around 100 and my calories usually around 1500-1600 too. You WILL lose, keep at it!
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:47 AM   #3
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Reducing carbs doesn't guarantee a rapid weight loss. Even if you were on 20g of carbs or less (as in Atkins induction) you might or might not experience rapid loss (or might experience a one-time rapid loss of water weight).

I do lose a litle faster/reliably on lower-carb. I seem to lose about the same amount of weight on 1500 calories of high-carb or 1800 calories of moderately low-carb. With low-carb the weight loss is more gradual and consistent. With high-carb, the weight loss tends to happen in whooshes (I'll lose nothing for several weeks and then lose several pounds overnight).

The dramatic difference isn't in weight loss as much as it is in hunger, energy level, and feeling decent.

Hang in there. Also consider that you may need to portion/calorie control in some way. If I eat high enough carb to not feel sick (and it's not induction flu, it only gets worse, not better after two weeks), I also am eating enough to stall weight loss. I need to control carbs AND calories (so I use a reduced-carb exchange plan).
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LockItUp View Post
What were your carbs at before? (Just curious)
Averaging 150 - 200g per day
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
With high-carb, the weight loss tends to happen in whooshes (I'll lose nothing for several weeks and then lose several pounds overnight).

The dramatic difference isn't in weight loss as much as it is in hunger, energy level, and feeling decent.

If I eat high enough carb to not feel sick (and it's not induction flu, it only gets worse, not better after two weeks), I also am eating enough to stall weight loss. I need to control carbs AND calories (so I use a reduced-carb exchange plan).

Yes, the high-carb seems to give only losses in dribs and drabs...

The low-carb definitely keeps the hunger at bay. And I will be keeping the calories in control...


But, this "induction flu" you speak of - what is that? Is there physical anomalies with low-carb that I should look out for? I have noticed, since there is less fiber, that things tend to move slower (ahem), so I will be trying to find a low-carb fiber supplement...(sorry - TMI).

Thank you for your input, kaplods and LockItUp!
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:27 PM   #6
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By my definition and many other low carb definitions, that is actually a moderate to HIGH carb diet, my friend. If you're looking to move the scale you're probably going to have to consume far more fat and far less carbs than I imagine you're getting now. Low carb isn't a magic bullet but it does help with a myriad of health issues, cravings included. However for weight loss having carbs in the sub-60 range is usually required (and I promise it isn't hard to do).

Could you post a sample menu of what you've been eating? We may be able to come up with some ideas to tweak your intake in your favor and get the scale moving.

For the record I average 40-50 carbs per day on a normal, non-holiday day (these are total carbs, my net is closer to 20-30 with the fiber subtracted out) and eat closer to 1800 calories. This still loses me a good 1-2 pounds per week and I eat about seven cups of veggies and a cup of fruit per day. So it isn't like keeping carb levels low means no roughage or incredible restriction. It does, however, require wise choices on where my nutrition is coming from and a certain shunning of conventional wisdom regarding diet . Doesnt three hundred more calories and better losses sound nice? I have found that far superior to calorie counting, which I used to do!

So as I said, a sample menu might be helpful in figuring out what could be preventing your weight loss. But I imagine it is that your diet is heavy on fruit, light on fat, and more time will be needed to see changes if you don't cut carbs much lower.
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Last edited by Arctic Mama : 07-06-2012 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:14 PM   #7
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I would tend agree with Taryl. I definitely don't consider myself to be on a low carb diet at 100g. I consider it (for myself) moderate carb. Before I focused on my macros and was soley focused on calories, my carbs were WELL over 200, usually closer to 300. So for me it is definitely lowER carb, but considering people who intake less than 30g carbs/day, in comparison, 100g is A LOT.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:21 PM   #8
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OK, here was yesterday's menu: (all #'s from FitDay)

Breakfast was a 2 egg, 1 egg white omelet with 1.5 cup cooked broccoli and one ounce raw milk cheddar. Cal - 311, F-19.9g, Carb-8.5g, P-26.3g

Lunch was a large salad made of 3.5C spinach, 1/2 haas avocado, 3.5 oz. chicken breast (no skin), sauteed with 1T olive oil and 3 or 4 cloves garlic, one whole tomato (lg), 1/2 oz pumpkin seeds, 3 T light salad dressing. Cal -518, F- 30.1g, carb - 27.7g, P- 39.6g

Dinner - 1/2c pasta w/pesto sauce, 1/2 cup cooked shrimp, 1/2 chicken sausage, 1 c chopped broccoli, 1 1/2 T pesto sauce. Cal - 536, F-71.7g, carb - 23.1g, P-41.7

After dinner indulgence: 12 chocolate covered almonds and 1/2 c ciao bella blood orange sorbet. Cal -304, F- 16g, carb - 35.4g, P- 6.4 g

Grand totals for the day: 1668 cals, 97.8 fats, 94.8 carbs, 114 protein

The number on the fats seems sooo high to me! That's a little freaky - for one who had lo-fat/no-fat drilled into the brain from a very young age....

So, I can drop the carbs further?!? Is it okay to do that gradually?
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:29 PM   #9
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The pasta I'd drop, in addition to the sorbet. A better low carb dessert is frozen berries with heavy cream and stevia/Erythritol/splenda/no-carb-sweetener-of-choice. Broccoli is also pretty high in carbs, just swapping out a serving of that for bell peppers, mushrooms and the like would cut carbs and give you more nutrition. Pumpkin and squash is moderately high in carbs but the nutritional bang for the buck is high, so that might be another swap to consider.

Drop the low calorie salad dressing for real vinaigrettes and creamy dressings. That ups your fat grams (good!) and removes some artificial junk and sugar in the dressing. Lite dressings are almost always high in carb, and real dressings (especially homemade one's) taste better AND are better for you.

The rest looks good, just light on fat. Fat is satiating and metabolically neutral - it doesn't negatively impact insulin as carbohydrates AND protein does, and it is well known to kick up hormones like leptin and grhelin, which make controlling your appetite go much better.

Really the worst stuff in your day are your treats - just subbing in darker chocolate, or a lighter sugar alternative, would make your overall numbers significantly better. Many of your veggie choices were higher carb but good, so I'd consider looking at a food list like Low-GI or Atkins induction and seeing if you can swap some of your current fare for lower carb alternatives.

But yeah, the treats and fake dressing are issues and the pasta is awful, but the rest is excellent. You have a solid base to tweak from and I think we can get you more food and more satiety with less carbs, all for slight tweaks
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:03 PM   #10
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Thank you for all the info! Yeah, the pasta was supper for the guys, and I was just gonna do the veg & meat with the pesto - but thought I had to get more carbs in. Ditto with the sorbet...but, dang, that is good stuff! Hafta learn how to make my own version with stevia and fresh fruit! Went with the low cal dressing due to concern over too many calories...Tough breaking out of the low cal/low fat mindset!


Would the following be ok? I wasn't certain of the carbs -
I have a 'connection' for raw milk - I get a gallon a week, and have set aside the cream - was thinking about making homemade ice cream with it. Guess the only thing to worry about is the carbs! I use the milk to make raw milk yogurt, and that is delish! It also makes really good mozzarella cheese...

Most of the time the kids and hubby get the "good stuff" - guess I can too?
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:12 PM   #11
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I highly reccomend you get a book on the diet of your choice. It will help you understand what you should be doing. I am in Atkins Induction and I average 20 net carbs/day, I read thr book first to understand how it works and it includes meal plans and recipes. Atkins website is helpful as well. I avoid using the bars and shakes though. Good luck, all of these lovely ladies have great advice.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:33 PM   #12
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Raw heavy cream is excellent! And yes, you can definitely find low carb, no sugar recipes for icecream with it so if you must have a treat that's a good way to go.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:22 AM   #13
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Thank you, one and all! I appreciate your suggestions and help!

I have read the Heller's book "The Carbohydrate Addict's Lifespan Program" - it was a good starting point, but have some questions on the whole: "eating the meal with carbs within one hour" thing...Can I eat non-carb items after the carb meal? Have been perusing Mark Sisson's blog, Mark's Daily Apple - I like the concept, and that it takes into account life in our time. Primal makes sense to me.

I think I suffered through a bit of the carb flu the last few days, so it seems my body is starting to adjust to the changes. Saw a slight drop this a.m. on the scale, in spite of being at the top end of my normal calorie count (!), so am hopeful in this life shift. Yesterday managed to get the carb total down below 70, so will keep whittling at that.

Seeing as venison is a great choice for protein, I'll have to get the guys to fill the freezer this fall!

Again, my thanks, and I will be popping in periodically to post - but I am here almost daily for inspiration!
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:31 AM   #14
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It's been 4 days? My friend, we are in this for the long haul. Relax, find a plan you can live with long term, and stick with it. And, raw cream? Yum!
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:05 AM   #15
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I am not a carb expert.

I will address your walking though.

Quote:
Regarding exercise: have been briskly walking (and 'short' bursts of jogging) a hilly 5K three or four times a week, in addition to garden and yard
Keep your exercise up, it will pay off in the long run. Sometimes when we start a new exercise plan, our body retains water, I think in the muscles.

So sometimes it doesn't look like you are losing, but you are.

You are probably retaining water. drink plenty of water, limit salt intake.

Also take pictures.

Take them today, write down your weight, and keep up with your plan. a month from now, write down your weight again, and take more pictures.

I have seen some times more progress in my pictures then on the scale.

Try using fitday.com if you want to track calories or look up approximate carb grams for foods.

Good luck!
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