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ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
1/24/13 10:14 A

Whatever you do, you have to fit what you eat into a calorie limit. This is the bottom line, and all other diets basically give you variations on how to move food groups around within that limit. The Beverly Hills Diet, which stressed fruit (and therefore was high in carbs) managed this - and had devotees who swore by its success. Any diet will do, as long as you stay within your calorie limit, but you have to eat that way for life, so the healthiest diet with the most variety that allows for sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc., without pointing you to supplements for those, will be your best bet, health-wise.

A piece of birthday cake is carbs. A slice of sprouted grain bread is carbs. A Mars Bar is carbs. A plate of risotto with calamari is carbs. You get to choose. But all of these choices give your body different things and each has a caloric price-tag!

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
1/23/13 2:32 P

I agree with CEDARBARK. I eat very low carb, but most important is to make the carbs you eat count.

Kristen. Not only will you retain water, since exercising the muscle is stress, and damages the muscle, so it rebuilds stronger.. and bigger, which increase the weight of your body as well as water weight. Eventually your muscle loss will slow, and you will resume losing weight.

TACBG. I have to disagree with you. I eat 50 grams of carbs a day or less, and do a 90 minute walk 5 days a week. The other 2 days, I play basketball. I spent 75 minutes this morning doing just that, with plenty of energy. Your body produces glucose on its own in the liver, and along with the amount we eat is plenty. So our brain continues to work ( Kristen ), and so do our bodies. Just better. Carbs make me sluggish, and devoid of energy.

To the OP: My advice would be to go with SP's ranges, and give it a month or 2. If you lose weight, and feel full, it is what works. You can always cut carbs later if you gain, feel hungry, or barely lose weight. You will need a starting point though. You don't want to eat 98 grams today, then 162 tomorrow, and then 122. Stick to a smaller range. The middle of your calorie range is 1350 ( 1200-1500 ), and 55% is the middle of your carb percentage ( 45-65% ). That is 742.5 calories or 185 grams. I would add 10, and subtract 10, and try to stay in that range ( 175-195 ). If that doesn't work after you give it a fair shot, just start lowering the range by 10 grams every 2 weeks till you lose a lb a week. Stay there as long as you are losing. Hopefully it is a high number, so you can have more variety. Why cut more carbs than you need to?

Above all eat healthy carbs. If you cheat, be honest with your assessment. Your goal is to eat as many carbs as possible while losing, and being able to say, I can eat 140-160 grams a day and lose 1/2 a lb a week. That gives you control. Drop down to 110 a day, and you might lose 1 lb a week. Protein should remain steady. Calories too. Fat will go up, and carbs will come down.

Most people can lose weight by eating better carbs, cutting sweets/pop/sugar, eating more vegetables/fiber.

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 1/23/2013 (14:36)
TACDGB Posts: 6,136
1/23/13 1:55 P

I do know that you have to fuel your body. Good carbs like fruits, veggies and whole grains are so important. I also believe that working out you need some carbs to fuel that workout. I so do believe that it is also based on any health issues you have. I eat lower carbs then sparks recommends because it is better for my hypoglycemia........

STEPHEN_NANNY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (16,232)
Posts: 385
1/23/13 12:54 P

CEDARBARK explains it very well - looking beyond the numbers, and more at the quality of the carbs.

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (81,454)
Fitness Minutes: (47,657)
Posts: 5,092
1/23/13 11:52 A

That sometimes happens when you start exercising. Someone correct me if I'm wrong or explain this incorrectly, but your muscles have a tendency to retain water when you start exercising. I'm not even gonna try to explain this further, but here's an article:

Also, the closer you get to your goal weight, the harder it is to lose weight. It took me a almost a year and a half to lose the last 10 pounds, so hang in there.

CEDARBARK1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 996
1/22/13 9:35 P

Actually, one might want to think about the QUALITY of the carbs,, rather than the percentage. I'm perfectly willing to give up sugar and pasta since they have low nutritional levels, but load up on broccoli and turnips.

I also note that low fat processed foods are usually supplemented by simple sugars and empty starches. It was by bringing my own food to work, from home, home-cooked, that I was able to lose weight -- not by eating the "healthy choice" cafeteria food that was provided. . Plus I was able to source healthier fats, and carbs.

It's a matter of balance, and investigating what works best for your own body, along with eating less processed when you get the opportunity.

Edited by: CEDARBARK1 at: 1/22/2013 (21:39)
MISSYK25 SparkPoints: (3,440)
Fitness Minutes: (1,215)
Posts: 109
1/22/13 8:50 P

Hi Dragonchild,

I have 25 pounds to lose. When I go to settings in my ticker it says pounds, but for some reason isn't showing up as that?

MISSYK25 SparkPoints: (3,440)
Fitness Minutes: (1,215)
Posts: 109
1/22/13 8:49 P

Hi Kristen,
I started eating better in November, and 20 pounds came off pretty quickly. Then I must have hit a plateau, because barely anything has some off in the past month, and I also started exercising about a month ago. I'm just frustrated with this plateau because I feel like if I'm exercising shouldn't I be doing a little better?

1/22/13 7:06 P

Our Sparkpeople carbohydrate ranges come from the "Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids" from The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, The National Academies. You can do a search for this and actually read the complete report as well as the extensive studies that were used to establish the recommendations.

Carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of one's calorie intake

SP Registered Dietitian Becky

SPKRAUSE Posts: 543
1/22/13 5:30 P

And when you consider that the growth of popularity of certain fad diets (and, yes, I consider most of them 'fads' ... even if *some* are medically good for a *certain small range of people*, they're fads for most) during the 'Internet Era' of the late 90s to mid-2000s -- things like Atkins & South Beach, and then raw and paleo, and raw paleo, gluten-free, etc. ... almost all of which are low-carb or anti-certain-carbs --, it's not surprising that you'll find a large number of websites coming up that recommend lower carb levels. Add to that the backlash against, say, soy from the dairy industry (things like the hacks at the Weston Price foundation, Dr. Mercer, etc.) and that a standard recommendation from the USDA, Mayo Clinic isn't going to create the internet 'buzz' of the anti-carb stuff. Nobody is fanatical about, "hey, I lost *so much weight* by eating the USDA recommended % of carbs!"

Perhaps it's a bit too late for "sorry if I'm ranting ..." :)

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
Fitness Minutes: (15,545)
Posts: 9,713
1/22/13 5:26 P

I see you have a total of 55 pounds to lose, is that correct?

If that's so, the problem may be that 1200 calories isn't enough for you!

What are your current weight loss goals and target dates? I wonder if your goal is too aggressive. Are you exercising any? How much and how often?

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (81,454)
Fitness Minutes: (47,657)
Posts: 5,092
1/22/13 5:19 P

Don't be frustrated, you won't lose a steady amount of weight from week to week. When did you start? And what other changes have you made?

MISSYK25 SparkPoints: (3,440)
Fitness Minutes: (1,215)
Posts: 109
1/22/13 5:01 P

When I first googled "carb intake" the first 10 or so websites that popped up had very low numbers (one had 20, yikes :s). But then when I went to the U.S. government website (Canadian wouldn't load for me) it did recommend 169 and up for a 1200 calorie diet.
I think I'm frustrated because I've made so many changes, including eating mostly complex carbs now, and I don't seem to be budging on the scale at all.

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (81,454)
Fitness Minutes: (47,657)
Posts: 5,092
1/22/13 4:47 P

If I remember correctly from my nutrition class two years ago, 130 is the minimum for brain function, although I hear that's a myth. SparkPeople's range for carbohydrates are set so that 45-65% of your calories come from carbs.

COUNTRY_QT SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,548)
Posts: 73
1/22/13 4:44 P

It's a little difficult to answer this without knowing more information - what websites are you looking at? (some websites also tell you to drink lemon juice for 10 days to lose weight fast)

What are your goals? Are you trying to lose weight? Gain a lot of muscle? Do you have any medical issues that limit what you can/ should eat?

Check out this article, you might find it helpful

It talks some about low-carb diets and why we need carbs.

This one is good too

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
1/22/13 4:36 P

I am pretty sure that SP is just following the guidelines set forth by the government.

MISSYK25 SparkPoints: (3,440)
Fitness Minutes: (1,215)
Posts: 109
1/22/13 4:31 P

I've been looking on a lot of different websites, and all of them are saying the amount of carbs people receive in a day should be much lower than what sparkpeople has recommended for me? One website said the average carbs should be around 130. (The website did include complex carbs as well as simple ones).
Is there a reason it's so high on sparkpeople?

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