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Old 04-06-2013, 10:03 PM   #16  
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I think counting calories is easier - so if that works for you, I'd just stick with that. If you start having problems, then consider carbs. It doesn't work for me to just count calories- no matter what my calories if I don't pay attention to carbs, I have trouble losing weight. Now counting carbs, you still have ot make sure you don't overeat, but for some people (myself included) I do get to eat significantly more calories and lose weight if I count my carbs.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:13 PM   #17  
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I am insulin resistant and pre-Diabetic. I can be ravenously hungry on 1400-1600 calories of high-carb/low-fat, and completely satisfied on 1200 calories of low-carb/high-fat. I lose more steadily on lower carb, and my blood glucose does not spike or plummet.

So for me, it's both. Low-carb to control hunger, cravings, and blood sugar. Low-calorie to lose weight.

Last edited by synger; 04-06-2013 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:40 AM   #18  
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The basic weight loss game is calories in/calories out. BUT, some people do better with carbs than others. My sister is able to lose on a high carb low fat diet. I would be chewing on the walls if that was my diet. I'm a big advocate of trying something to see if it works (within reason). So, try it. Try lowering your carbs and check out how you feel a week later.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:54 AM   #19  
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To lose weight and get in shape you must have a good diet and exercise regularly to burn fat. The first thing you must understand about exercise is that just because you are burning calories does not mean you are burning fat. Your main focus when you exercise should be losing body fat, and you can’t lose body fat just from burning calories. When we exercise, our bodies will start burning calories, but the calories that are burned are the calories from carbohydrates in our system. In order to burn calories from your stored fat, your body requires the presence of oxygen. There is a certain amount of oxygen that your body needs in order to start burning fat and the only way for you to measure the amount needed for your own body is to keep up with your target heart rate during exercise. Please understand that if you continue to only burn calories from carbohydrates, you will lose mostly “water weight” which leads to a decrease in your metabolism. Also, think of the calories that are burned from carbohydrates as your energy calories. If you lose too much energy calories then your muscles will not receive enough energy to increase your metabolism which indirectly burn fat. Therefore you must increase your calorie intake when you are on an exercise program to replace your burned energy calories.

Burning Fat Calories during exercise

During aerobic exercise, your body goes through several stages before it reaches the point where you are burning fat. You will hear people say that you are only burning sugar (carbohydrates) not fat during the first 10 minutes of exercise. This is true to a certain extent. I say this because you will continue to burn sugar past the 10 minute mark if you are not working out hard enough for your body to want more oxygen; or you are working out too hard and you can’t supply your body with enough oxygen for fat burning. When you exercise you must move at a steady pace (not too fast, not too slow) so your body will utilize your stored fat (not carbohydrates or sugar) as its energy source. Also remember that just because you reached the fat burning stage does not mean you will stay there. Staying at the fat burning stage once again depends on if you are moving at a pace that is right for your body. Make sure that you are within your target heart rate range.

Burning Fat Calories at rest

The only way for you to continue to burn fat calories hours after you have finished working out is through the anaerobic exercise of weight training. Weight training is the key to burning fat at rest. Weight training is an anaerobic activity that will cause you to burn more calories than aerobic exercise. The calories that you are burning during weight training exercises are mostly calories from carbohydrates (meaning you must eat even more calories per day for energy); but the calories you burn at rest are mostly calories from fat. The reason you are burning fat at rest is because weight training increases your metabolism which uses your stored fat as energy.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:53 PM   #20  
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I eat a lot of protein (130g-150g) to help preserve muscle during weight/fat loss. When I'm in a calorie deficit, I only eat 1300 calories a day, so it doesn't leave much room for "processed" carbs, like breads, rice and pastas. My carbs usually end up around 80-100g mostly because I've used my calories on proteins and fats, and since I eat 2 fruits, 1 ww wrap & Greek Yogurt everyday, that's usually about 60g right there.

In the end, it really doesn't matter...fat loss is sticking to your calorie deficit. Even bodybuilders/competitors will use the "If it fits your macros" approach to cutting fat.

However, eating lower carbs and "clean" does help me feel less bloated and helps me to retain less water. But if you stick to your calorie deficit, and exercise (yes, weight lifting is the best fat loss exercise), then you will lose.
Eventually people stall during the weigh loss process, so they may try new approaches like cutting back on their carbs, trying calorie cycling or even IF.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:01 PM   #21  
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Originally Posted by sparklegirl07 View Post
I find that I'm never satiated after a meal unless there are enough carbs in it...

Two meals can be equal in calories but adding the carbs in (rice, bread) makes a much bigger difference in whether I snack or not...I know this is not the general mindset here, so just thought I'd share my experience

I also find that when I lose weight by cutting carbs too severely I tend to gain it back much quicker when I inevitably reintroduce carbs. I've had to come to terms with the fact that low carb is not a sustainable lifestyle choice for me personally, therefore going low carb means being on a DIET. I'm trying to avoid that whole diet concept since diet is indicative of short term and is tied to the yo-yo phenomenon. I have cut my carbs, but that means eating 1 serving instead of 2 or 3 and not eliminating an entire food group. This, like most choices with regard to lifestyle, is individual. I've learned what works and doesn't work for me through some trial and error.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:03 PM   #22  
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There are many reasons and ways in which all calories are not created equal. Just one example (that bugs me a lot) is the inclusion of fiber calories on nutrition labels. Humans cannot digest cellulose (dietary fiber), so those calories don't count (and in my opinion should NEVER be included on a nutrition label meant for humans.

Also, it's important to remember that calories aren't units of to-be-used-by-the-body energy, they're units of "burnability." And calories in food, are incompletely and only metaphorically "burned" in the human body. There's more and more evidence coming out that all calories are not burned similarly. Some foods are burned more or less efficiency than others, and a lot of foods leave our body incompletely digested, meaning there is still undigesteed food and it's "calories" that leave our body in our fecal waste (which is why many birds get their calories by eating the grains and seeds found in other animals' poo - gross, but it illustrates the point well, perhaps a little too well).

Calories in, calories out, is still technically accurate, it's just impossibly to precisely measure either side of the equation.

It's calories in, minus the calories burned through exercise and digestion, and minus the calories that leave the body in our poo.

Only the "calories in" part do we have any control over, and since so many calorie counting tools DO count the fiber calories (which again, people can't use) it makes 50 calories of apple seem equivalent to 50 calories of oreo cookie.

All that being said, calorie counting (or something like it) as flawed as it is, is one of the few ways available to calculate the "in" part of the equation. Personally, I prefer exchange-based plans, in which foods are grouped in categories (usually proteins, starches, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and fat) and a certain number of each group are eaten each day.

All that being said, it doesn't really answer YOUR question, but I think that (aside from the fact that I always tend to ramble), is because there is NO answer for your question that will apply to everyone, and in fact the question isn't even that important (in my opinion).

I think we focus too much on which plan "is better," as if one type of plan will work (for everyone) and another will not work at all (again, for everyone).

We also act as if you must pick one and only one plan, from day one to our goal weight (if not beyond) and any deviation will result in our success evaporating in a metaphorical poof of smoke.

I think a better way to approach weight loss is to start a plan, any plan, and to experiment and tweak as you go.

I've lost 100 lbs on probably a dozen different plans. It's worked for me, because I transitioned from one plan directly to another, without the "tradition" of bingeing and regaining in between plans.

I learned a lot from my experiments, but I can only be confident that they're true for me and me alone, especially regarding how carbohydrates affect my health and weight loss. I've learned from many good people here that not everyone reacts to carbohydrates in the same way.

One thing to remember though when comparing YOUR body's response to a low-carb diet, is that you can't really count the weight lost or gained in the first week or so of switching between low-carb and high-carb. The body needs more water to process carbohydrates so you naturally weight a little more on a high-carb diet than a low-carb diet from the water your body holds on high-carb to process those carbs. The first five to ten pounds (for most folks) lost on low-carb or gained when returning to high-carb is only water.

Experience switching back and forth will eventually tell you how much water weight you can expect to see. For me, it's usually about 5 to 10 lbs (the high end being seen around TOM).

For me, lower carb works better overall, but I can't dismiss the hunger factor. I'm less hungry on low-carb and less likely to binge or feel "out of control" of my eating. I also feel better physically on moderately low-carb (too low and I tend to feel exhausted, light headed, and even nauseous).

I think there's only one way to discover what food plan(s) work best for you, and that is to experiment - and experiment a LOT. A very helpful tool is a journal in which you log food, exercise, weight, and other potentially relevent symptoms (such as headaches, mood, and any health issue symptoms that you have).

It sounds like a lot of work, and none of it is necessary if you can be happy losing by a "good-enough" method. If you don't have pesky health issues and are losing weight at a pace you can accept, you can pick a weight loss plan simply by preference - how do you LIKE to eat.

And if you don't know, you can still experiment to find out. I do have a lot of pesky health issues and I found that I feel much, much better on a moderately low-carb, mostly "paleo" diet. However, even though I love the paleo food, it's hard to stick with the paleo diet (or any lowish-carb diet) because it's so different from the carboholic diet pushed by our culture.

Which reminds me of another HUGE weight loss myth that becomes a stumbling block for so many of us... you do not have to find a diet you can "stick with," as if any imperfection in diet dooms weight loss.

I have an absolutely horrible time sticking to the diet I feel best, and lose weight best on. Heck, I have an absolutely horrible time sticking to ANY diet, but I don't have to be perfect. I just have to do better, and "well enough" to lose (and more importantly) avoid gaining.

To summarize all my rambling nonsense, it's more important to start than it is to start in the "best" place. Learn as you go and don't worry about whether it's the best or fastest way, just stumble along, and you'll get there eventually as long as you don't fall into the traps that have become so ingrained a tradition that most of us don't realize we're falling into them (for example, when deciding to try a new food plan, taking a "break", binging, and regaining before starting the "new" plan).
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