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RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
5/19/13 10:24 A

If you go moderate carbs, you will have to pay attention to the calories.There are a lot of low carb vegetables and fruits. Look at their carb per serving. Green beans and berries are very low carb, and half of the carbs in green beans are fiber.

Low carb tends to work in 2 ways. One is Atkins, which starts very low, gets rid of cravings, and slowly works up to a mid-level range of carbs. Contrary to popular belief, you eat a LOT of vegetables on low carb, and some fruit. You budget your carbs, just like you do sweets.

The other way is the South Beach way. Start with X amount of carbs, and lower the amount slowly till you start losing. This takes more willpower, and patience, but if you enjoy your carbs, this avoids the lowest levels of carb intake, which can be hard to stick to.

So if you are at 150 g of carbs, just drop to 145, and wait 2 weeks,then 140, until you see some steady drop in weight, and then just stick to that level. Over time you will lose plenty, and probably increase your exercise as the weight comes off.

Stick to your caloric range to, since that is the other factor, and you should lose well, and still be able to eat most carbs. I would pay most attention to bread, noodles, potatoes, and corn. Try to limit them if they cause problems, but if they don't slow your weight loss, why worry about it? The goal is weight loss, and better health, not sticking to one diet or another. Whatever works is best.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,216
5/19/13 8:28 A

It's much more important to track protein, fiber, and fattty acids as fatty acids assist the adrenal/thyroid glands, which may also help regulate weight and omega 3's ( fatty acids) lead to a decrease in insulin resistance...sardines, wild salmon, rainbow trout, oysters.

Check the sodium and sugar content in your foods....

When decreasing carbs insulin levels are lowered and you will start to lose weight...when I was pre-diabetic I counted calories and had carbs from my non starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, romaine, asparagus, mushrooms and leafy greens. I incorporated onions, green and red peppers, red onions, califlower, cabbage, green beans, tomatoes, spinach, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, kiwi, apples, and all sorts of berries and I counted calories and was just aware of the carbs. My carbs came from veggies, fruits, chickpeas, oatmeal, grits, Kashi Pilaf, Kashi 7 whole grain puffs, quinoua and Kasha a in the right portions.

Veggies like broccoli, spinach, artichoke, peas, cabbage and carrots are excellent sources of minerals while being low on calories..Cucumbers are low on calories and rich in water content adn about 1/2 cup is 2 carbs, rasishes too! ... One cup of arugula contains 1g of carbs....One-half cup of raw sliced white mushrooms contains 2g of carbs...One-half cup of carrots contains 6g of carbs. Two medium stalks of celery contain 2.5g of carbs.

1/2 Avocado with stuffed crabmeat 4 ounces crabmeat with mayo on a bed of lettuce about 6 carbs

Stuffed Green Pepper Made with Ground Sirlion or ground turkey, Chopped Fresh Tomatoes, Garlic, 1/2 Onion Chopped, 1 Small Can of Tomato Sauce 2 Sugars 4 rice

Apples are fine because the skin provides dietary fiber and that helps to lower the net carbs in the apple.

Stay away from trans and saturated fats. Eat foods that have soluable and insoluable fiber like oatmeal and barley...these carbs are fine

There is alot to eat on a low carb diet....healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, black olives, and nuts...peanut, almond, or macadamia nut butter....sliced beef, pork or chicken
raw veggies & hummus..fresh mozzarella balls or even string cheese, pair with pepperocini's, hard-boiled eggs into egg salad or add them diced to tuna or chicken

Hope I helped in a small way. A weekly calorie deficit of 500 calories a day is needed in order to lose one pound of fat per week and all exercise will burn calories and ultimately fat...start moving every 20 minutes all day long helps alot!

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
5/19/13 7:16 A

you've received lots of great answers.

You need to keep within the range on ALL things, by using your nutrition tracker.
That way, you don't have to focus on any ONE thing in particular.

That said, there are better choices than others when it comes to anything.

5/18/13 8:10 P

If you want to do a slighly lower carb intake, then stick to the lower end of your SP carb range---probably around 130 grams. Now you will be able to fit in those smart carbs: fruit, milk, yogurt, beans, lentils, whole grains.

SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

LADYSTARWIND SparkPoints: (83,102)
Fitness Minutes: (65,019)
Posts: 4,896
5/18/13 8:00 P

Carbs are NOT your enemy! Even Diabetics eat them---the key is moderation, and timing. I believe the previous Posters have given you all the advice you need to succeed!!

If you are using the Nutrition Tracker, do delve into the Daily Feedback and Nutrition Reports---there's so much good information there, and you can choose what you want to include in the Reports (and yes, you can go backwards in time) to get a good feel for where you've been, where you are now.... and then you can wisely choose where you wish to be!

Enjoy your journey!!

ANARIE Posts: 13,179
5/18/13 7:39 P

First, do you have any health issues? The advice I'm going to give you assumes that you're healthy other than being overweight. If you have insulin resistance or diabetes, then ignore what I'm going to say (and what anyone else says) and get your advice from a registered dietitian or diabetes educator.

But assuming that you're healthy, what matters for weight loss is controlling your calories. The best way to do that is different for every person, but most folks have the best success on a plan that lets them eat foods they like. Somebody who loves steak and cheese isn't likely to succeed on a vegetarian non-fat diet, because they'll hate it and they'll quit. Somebody who loves fruit, bread, and cereal isn't likely to succeed on Atkins because they'll hate it and they'll quit.

I lost weight while eating 75% or more of my calories from carbs (whole grains, fruit, and veggies.) I didn't set out to do that and I don't recommend it, but when I was paying more attention to calories than anything else, that was the combination that worked for me. I'm perfectly happy eating whole-grain pasta with marinara sauce and veggies for dinner; I don't need any meat to make me feel satisfied. In fact, if you give me a steak or chicken breast or sausage, I could eat a whole plate of it and still not feel like I'd had a proper meal-- my brain would be asking, "but where's the bread?" However, I know people who've lost weight while eating 30% of their calories from carbs. They can eat pasta and bread all day, but if there's no meat, their brains say, "What is this c***? Where's the beef?"

Neither one of us is right or wrong; we just found that different things work for us.

My advice is always to look at what you eat, eliminate the stuff you KNOW is junk (nobody loses weight eating candy and hot dogs), and then take a hard look at what's left. Figure out where the large amounts of calories are coming from, and decide whether you love that particular food. If you don't, skip it. If you do, figure out a lower-calorie, healthier version of it. For me, that meant switching from mac&cheese with smoked sausage as my "easy go-to meal" and replacing it with whole-grain spaghetti with veggies and tomato sauce. I like that just as much, but it has about half the calories. For someone else, it might mean switching from pasta with Italian sausage and cheese to home-made chicken breast parmesan with no pasta. That lets them have their meat but cut half the calories.

If you're uncomfortable and unhappy with what you eat, you're not going to stick with it long enough to lose the weight, and you definitely won't maintain the loss. You have to find what makes you as comfortable as possible within your calorie range.

Oh, and as someone pointed out already, it's not really a question of whether to *count* calories or carbs. You count both-- the tracker here does that automatically. The question is which of those to *control,* and for that, the right answer is usually calories. Even controlling carbs only works because it's a shortcut to controlling calories. As a carb-loving friend of mine said during a (very brief) try at Atkins, "Yeah, I can have all the butter I want-- but I can't PUT it on anything!" She was down to 1000 calories a day or less because she couldn't figure out anything she wanted to eat that wouldn't put her over her carb limit.

(She lasted 11 days on Atkins. Her husband lasted 18 hours!)

SLASALLE SparkPoints: (265,104)
Fitness Minutes: (100,721)
Posts: 11,576
5/18/13 5:49 P

SparkPeople should give you the carb "range" you need to eat between, along with the ranges for proteins, calories, etc. The reason they give you a range is if you feel you want to go lower carb, you can go to the low end of the range.

Not all carbs are created equal. We need carbs just as much as we need protein and fat.

AND veggies ARE carbs, as are fruits. They're good for you. If you stay away from what I call the great white carbs (white breads, pastas, sugar, etc.) and stick with your apples, bananas, carrots, etc., you should be fine.

Others maybe disagree, but this has worked for me. Good luck!!!

ONLINEASLLOU SparkPoints: (73,365)
Fitness Minutes: (57,011)
Posts: 4,787
5/18/13 5:24 P

Why do you assume that you have to choose to count EITHER carbs OR calories? Why not be sensible about BOTH? That's what I do. I keep my calories within the range recommended by SparkPeople for someone of my size ... AND I keep my carbs just slightly lower than the recommended amount as I am insulin resistent.

It seems to me that you are looking for the "right" formula to lose the weight fast. Why not try the SparkPeople approach and take a few easy steps to improve your habits this week. See how that goes and then take another step. You didn't gain the weight overnight -- and it is going to take you a while to lose it in a healthy, long-lasting way. Establish a healthy lifestyle that you can maintain in the long run for long lasting effects. It sounds like a really low-carb plan would be one you would not be able to stick with for very long.

Explore the site and read about the SparkPeople approach as you familiarize yourself with the tools available on this site. Hopefully, you will see that the step by step approach works for a lot of people over the long term better than anything extreme.

For me, I did go very low carb for a little while in the beginning and I don't regret it. (Yes, my diet was mostly meat and vegetables -- no fruit, no grains.) It helped me to break my "carb addiction" and carb cravings. I still do that for a few days occasionally whenever I find myself slipping and the carb cravings start returning. But most people don't need to do that and they have trouble maintaining a very low carb lifestyle.

Try the standard plan first and see how that goes before trying anything more extreme.

Edited by: ONLINEASLLOU at: 5/18/2013 (17:28)
TBRICE82 SparkPoints: (49)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 1
5/18/13 4:33 P

Hi, everyone!

I have recently decided that it was time to get healthy! Over the last few years I have become health conscience, and I know obesity causes many health problems. When I first started dieting, about 3 weeks ago, I was counting calories only. I would consume about 1,690 a day; however, a friend of mine swears by the low carb diet! Yes, I know protein and veggies are important, but if you limit yourself to 60 carbs a day (that's where I was planning to start), you can't eat ANYTHING! I love apples, bananas, carrots, and other "healthy" foods, but ALL Of those are HIGH IN CARBS! I am so frustrated right now! Please help. :)

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