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Can you still lose weight on a high carb diet?

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Old 08-06-2004, 03:12 AM   #1
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Default Can you still lose weight on a high carb diet?

Yes. I've done Atkins in the past. It worked INCREDIBLY well...I got down to 103lbs. But the problem was, I gained EVERYTHING back and more within 2 weeks (I'm not kidding) because I couldn't stand the meat and fat for every meal. I was wondering if it's still possible to lose weight eating high carb items, like bread with jam, white rice...etc as long as I stay in a low calorie range? I'm very confused. I've lost 7lbs so far...so from 120lbs to 113lbs. That's not bad, right? In the next two weeks I'd like to lose 3lbs and I'm wondering what the best way to do it is. PLEASE HELP ME!
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:43 AM   #2
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Not if you want to be healthy. Brown rice, whole grain breads, etc. are great - IN MODERATION. Why would you want to eat jam, white bread, white rice that has most of the nutrition stripped out?
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Old 08-06-2004, 01:48 PM   #3
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Well, I work at a sushi restaurant, and the chef gets really insulted when I don't eat the lunch he prepares for me...always consisting of white rice. I do eat whole grains, though. I find it's actually more tasty than white bread/rice. ~~MissyK~~
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Old 08-06-2004, 03:24 PM   #4
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I am not sure about Atkins, I've never been on it nor do I intend to. I know that to burn a pound of fat you need approximately to burn 3,500 cal, over a week that would be 500 per day, eating less or exercising more than the average calorie intake for your height, weight, activity level that maintains weight (example: for me it's about 1750 for light/average activity, so if I eat 1250 every day and still light exercise e.g. walk or clean the house, I should be losing about a pound per week). I like meat so I eat it regularly, but I try to choose less fat meat like chicken breasts or lean turkey or fish fillet. I think too many fat products can harm your cholesterol, this is partly why I am skeptical about Atkins. I don't often eat high-fat foods, but I allow carbs, both in vegetables and fruit, but now also some bread occasionally or crackers or oats. I think it is possible to lose while eating carbs if you're cutting calories overall / exercising more. There are many examples to that, me including lol!
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:25 PM   #5
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I think *everything in moderation*. While white rice might not be as nutritionally sound as whole grains, sushi has a lot of positive attributes because of the protein and nutrients in the fish and the vegetables. The Japanese diet is generally a very healthy one, so I think it's safe to say that sushi is *not* bad for you.

Calories in, calories out is the primary equation for weight loss. Just make sure you're getting plenty of whole grains elsewhere in your diet, and you'll be fine!
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Old 08-06-2004, 05:00 PM   #6
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Everyone else has basically covered it. You need carbs, they give you energy to help you function. Carbs are in everything too, fruit, dairy, some veggies, you can't avoid it. I'm currently trying to mimic my food intake after the food pyramid. I have the average amount of servings per day (fruit's 2-4 servings, I have 3, that kind of thing). This way, you aren't skimping on the precious nutrients that you need, and you are getting a full, healthy balanced diet. And when you do have carbs, choose the healthier kinds: whole grains, fiberous and not enriched! I hope this helps as well. Keep at it!
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:43 PM   #7
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Thanks, gals! I suppose I was tempted to try low-carb again because of the faster weight loss. But since you all have lost on carb-containing diets, I'm no longer skeptical!
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Old 08-07-2004, 10:44 AM   #8
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How did you get down to 113 lbs!?
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Old 08-08-2004, 04:10 PM   #9
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One of the most important rules of weight loss and maintenance is, "Never eat to make someone else happy."

Having said that, YES you can certainly eat carbohydrates -- both simple and complex -- and lose weight. People have been doing it for decades, if not centuries. As you've observed, Asians eat white rice all day long and, as a general population, they have much fewer weight problems than westerners. I know there are many people on these boards who firmly believe that only a very small amount of carbohydrates are healthy, and they must always be complex. While eating 100% whole grains and the like is certainly ideal, not doing so will not prevent you from losing weight.

The problem with the western diet is not that people eat simple carbohydrates, but that they eat so many of them, and so few fruits & vegetables. I am on a plan that is about 60% carbohydrate, 20% protein, 20% fat. I have lost 144 pounds in the last 3 years. My blood sugar and all other statistics are absolutely healthy normal. Because I am on Jenny Craig and use their packaged food, the majority of the starch I eat IS white. But I eat lots of fruit & vegetables, healthy fats, etc. And, when I do eat meals/days on my own, I do choose whole grain products when I can.

A lot of people will be shocked to see that 60% of my diet is carbohydrate. But, first, that carbohydrate comes from a lot of sources -- not only the starches but dairy and fruit as well, plus a tiny bit from the vegetables. Second, the TOTAL amount of carbohydrate I eat is still quite low -- I'm eating 1500 calories per day, and my starch intake (again, not counting dairy & fruit) is equal to about 6 slices of bread per day. Again, that's a lot higher than a low-carb diet would allow, but compared to what I ate before I went on this program, it's almost nothing.

So yes, enjoy your white rice (if that's what you want) in moderation, and just be sure to balance your day with some complex carbohydrate sources, and you'll be just fine. Weight loss is more about portion control than it is eating particular foods, despite the fad of the day. Even in the healthiest diet, there is room for simple carbohydrates in small doses.

P.S. The "rapid weight loss" you experience with low-carb diets comes from water weight primarily. When your body takes in little or no carbohydrates and is burning other sources for energy, it retains much less water. Also, low-carb diets will cause your body to burn your own muscle tissue in addition to fat tissue, because certain types of fuel that your body needs cannot be found in fat, but can be found in carbohydrates and muscle. So, it turns to muscle when it doesn't have any carbs coming in, and THAT makes your weight drop quickly. However, your body composition actually gets WORSE -- and when your lean body weight decreases, your metabolism drops.
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Old 08-09-2004, 09:44 AM   #10
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I started out with a carb-rich diet. Pasta, potato's, bagels, ect..but I kept my fat and cals low. My average ratio of carbs, protein, and fat was 60/20/20 Using that method I've lost 35lbs already.

This is not the healthiest method though and I became incredibly constipated. (sorry for the personal info) So now I am working on balancing my carb and protein intake and switching to whole grain healthy carbs instead of refined carbs. If you're interested I'll let you know if I notice a difference in my weight loss.
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Old 08-09-2004, 01:59 PM   #11
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Thanks, everyone! These are the replies I want to hear LOL! Yeah, I've noticed that Asians are generally not as worried about weight gain (being Asian myself) due to carbs. My mom, for instance, eats burgers and fries for lunch, and then for dinner a HUGE bowl of rice with meat and veggies followed by sweet potatoes or ice cream for dessert, and STILL weighs 115lbs. But having tried Atkins, and reading the bookTWICE, I can't help but think anti-carb thoughts.

Quote:
P.S. The "rapid weight loss" you experience with low-carb diets comes from water weight primarily. When your body takes in little or no carbohydrates and is burning other sources for energy, it retains much less water. Also, low-carb diets will cause your body to burn your own muscle tissue in addition to fat tissue, because certain types of fuel that your body needs cannot be found in fat, but can be found in carbohydrates and muscle. So, it turns to muscle when it doesn't have any carbs coming in, and THAT makes your weight drop quickly. However, your body composition actually gets WORSE -- and when your lean body weight decreases, your metabolism drops.
Thanks, funniegrrrl, you've officially cured my "carb-phobia".

Yes, I'd LOVE to hear about your progress, The Lumpy Shadow! Please do update me! Thank you for taking the time to do so.

Oh, and to reply to Cyndy's question:

To lose this weight, I made changes in my lifestyle. I was a binge eater...consuming about 3000 calories a day on average, and going to bed with my heart racing and a painful stomach. It was horrible, although it did not last long. It was due to depression, and other factors. I found a weight loss buddy on another teen site, and she told me that I had this problem. It really opened my eyes, since although I knew I had binge eating disorder, nobody came straight out and told me. Sooo I tried to stop...the binges became less and less frequent. I started working out, even if it was just 50 crunches before bedtime. I do 200 now, though. Well...these small changes made me lose 7-8lbs. I could have lost more, but since I was recovering from binges, I'd have the occasional "mass consumption of calories". I try not to do that anymore...but hehe I just did it yesterday. The only difference is: now even if I binge, I'd still work out.

Hope this helped!

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Old 08-09-2004, 02:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funniegrrl
P.S. The "rapid weight loss" you experience with low-carb diets comes from water weight primarily. When your body takes in little or no carbohydrates and is burning other sources for energy, it retains much less water. Also, low-carb diets will cause your body to burn your own muscle tissue in addition to fat tissue, because certain types of fuel that your body needs cannot be found in fat, but can be found in carbohydrates and muscle. So, it turns to muscle when it doesn't have any carbs coming in, and THAT makes your weight drop quickly. However, your body composition actually gets WORSE -- and when your lean body weight decreases, your metabolism drops.
I have to speak up and disagree here. I've been following the Atkins plan for over a year and found great success. I seriously doubt that I've lost 71 pounds of water and my body composition had improved a great deal as well as my metabolism.

As with anything, you have to know what you're doing and do it right. And I've learned that it all basically comes down to the same thing anyway: Eat your veggies (the colorful ones!), stick with whole, unprocessed food, drink your water, and exercise. Low carb does not mean high fat. It's higher fat and higher protein and IMO, pretty darned healthy.
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Old 08-09-2004, 03:20 PM   #13
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I think it comes down to the fact that some people do better with carbs than others, many many people succeed with doing a low-carb diet and it works for them, and many many others need carbs. Personally I can live without rice, pasta and bread, but I know people who won't give up those things in order to lose weight. You just need to find the balance thats right for you
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Old 08-09-2004, 04:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarPrincess
I have to speak up and disagree here. I've been following the Atkins plan for over a year and found great success. I seriously doubt that I've lost 71 pounds of water and my body composition had improved a great deal as well as my metabolism.
I didn't say ALL the weight a person loses comes from water, I said the RAPID weight loss one experiences at the beginning of a low-carb program comes largely from water. People think that they are losing FAT quickly, when they're not, and that provides a false basis of comparison.

I know that some people do moderate fats, eat vegetables etc. on a low-carb plan, and that's good. But, that is a RECENT modification to how these plans are marketed. Atkins himself fairly chortled for 30 years about eating all the saturated fat you could stomach. But, that's beside the point. I didn't say that all low-carb plans were patently unhealthy.

My point was that the current "common wisdom" that the only way to lose weight is by eliminating carbohydrates, or all simple carbohydrates, is incorrect. The original post implied a belief that it was impossible to lose weight by eating simple carbs, and that just ain't true. As I said, I've lost nearly 150 pounds by eating 60% of my calories in carbohydrate, including white rice/flour. My overall diet is chock-full of fruits & vegetables and my health and blood counts are EXCELLENT. I -- along with millions of other people -- am living proof that a person can have a healthy diet that is carbohydrate-rich and includes some simple carbs, and enjoy excellent health and weight loss. If a low-carb plan makes you happy, great. I was simply trying to counter the notion that eating white rice at lunch would make it impossible to lose weight.
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Old 08-09-2004, 05:16 PM   #15
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Swimgirl, I think you have it right. Different people need different things nutritionally. Nobody needs bacon every morning and steak every night, because that's not good for the heart, but certainly some people metabolize carbs differently than do others.

I, personally, don't metabolize refined carbs very well--and I have more food cravings when I'm not being conscious of my carb intake. But I'm not on a low-carb diet, because I really like carbs, and in the end, the only diet that works is the one you can stick to forever. I count calories, and try not to eat more than one product made with white flour or sugar per day. In the meantime, I eat fish, poultry, lots of veggies and some whole grains. It's an eating plan I can live with, and I've just begun my fourth month on this plan. I've lost 30 pounds so far.

I have an ex-girlfriend who used to eat carbs constantly. She was very tall and willowy, and never more than 125 pounds. She was a vegetarian, and she ate a pasta dish with Italian bread on the side pretty much every night. She really got her best energy from carbs, and admitted that she became a vegetarian mostly because she didn't feel good after eating animal protein. I don't think she digested it well. When she tried to re-introduce fish into her diet because she was anemic, it made her feel stick to her stomach even after several months. She's an example of a person who always did well eating carbs; some do, some don't. Just find a plan that works for you, MissyK.
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