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AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (66,733)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
10/11/13 4:37 P

I think that there is a happy medium between Atkins and the typical American diet. I try to stay around 100 G/day and to get my carbs from vegetables, whole grains and (limited) fruit. I don't eat much white flour, white rice or sugar. I don't eat bread, except for the occasional slice of Dave's Killer Bread, which is whole grain. If I have pasta, it is Barilla Plus and in extremely limited quantities.

For me this is a necessity due to medical issues. I would never lose any weight at the 150G/day that Spark recommends for me, in spite of otherwise eating healthy and getting a fair amount of exercise.

It was hard at first, but it gets easier. For me, the hardest thing is limiting fruit because I LOVE it and can easily go overboard. It's also challenging because most of my ethnic foods involve rice...and because I just don't like meat that much!

1GROVES2 Posts: 10,236
10/11/13 12:00 P

I bought the Adkins Diet Book this summer and just never did try it...my sister was diagnosed with diabetes (she is vegan, exercises 3-6 hrs a week and weighs 119# at 5ft 5in)...she was told to follow the Adkins diet and she has nearly kicked her diabetes...she no longer has to take meds, but does check her blood regularily.

ANARIE Posts: 12,527
10/11/13 11:24 A

Some people have specific health conditions that make low-carb a good choice, just like some people have specific health conditions that make low-fat a good choice. For most of us, though, what matters is limiting calories, and how you choose to do that doesn't much matter.

Personally, I would say wait on a "low-carb" diet until you've followed a "low-cr*p" diet for a few months. Get rid of the foods you KNOW are not good for you, the cr*p like potato chips, fast food, fried frozen stuff, packaged cookies, and so on. Replace all that stuff with foods you KNOW are good for you-- fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, vegetables, lean protein, vegetables, and vegetables. And then eat more vegetables, and have some vegetables along with that.

Most people know perfectly well which foods are healthy and which are cr*p. There may be some stuff in the middle you're not sure about, but you can decide on those as you go along. Chances are that if you follow the calorie guidelines SparkPeople (or your doctor) gives you while getting at least 5 servings of vegetables and eating no junk food most days, that's all you need. You'll find the carb/fat/protein ratio that works for you.

(I get about 75% of my calories from whole-food carbs. I don't recommend that for anyone else, but I consider it proof that low carb isn't the only or even the best way to lose weight and maintain the loss.)



ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
Fitness Minutes: (7,415)
Posts: 1,299
10/11/13 9:22 A

BLUEYCHEESY: Give it a try. I haven't tried it and have absolutely no intention of ever trying it. However, you might enjoy it and have fun trying a different diet. What few people I know who have tried it eventually got away from it, for the most part.

PLAINJANEDOE Posts: 114
10/11/13 8:02 A

I have done low-carb-ish.I kept in plenty of fruits and vegetables but really steered clear of things like bread, pasta, pretzels, etc. I really liked it because I am really sensitive to sweets and so on.

DEEINRI SparkPoints: (19,238)
Fitness Minutes: (32,865)
Posts: 36
10/11/13 7:02 A

I have tried low carb and I'm best limiting to vegetables and fruits a a few whole grains thrown in. I feel that everything in moderation is best for me. Although I haven''t eaten meat or poultry in almost two years and I feel so much better.

DEESHAREE SparkPoints: (50,567)
Fitness Minutes: (40,467)
Posts: 563
10/11/13 5:50 A

I have tried low carb several times. For me it's just not sustainable long-term. You may want to try something like South Beach or Eat Clean. I basically feel better eating fruits, veggies and whole grains as well as low fat dairy, lean protein and healthy fats.


AVERYSMOM92 SparkPoints: (87)
Fitness Minutes: (43)
Posts: 8
10/10/13 10:32 A

I did Atkins for a week and I couldn't take it. I love pasta and cereal, and I'd much rather have those things in moderation than not at all. I would only do it if I could stand not having those things ever again.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
10/10/13 9:06 A

I eat low carb. Currently I am struggling a bit,but overall, I am still down 140 lbs. I lose very rapidly on low carb, and tend to get run down, so I then try to up carbs to slow down weight loss, and end up cheating. In that regard, it can be a challenging diet to do.

For people who are losing at the same pace as a regular diet ( 1-2 lbs. a week ), this would not be an issue. I am still working on finding a balance. Of course, I would rather struggle at 140 lbs. lighter. So not much to complain about. It is just more work for me. I think I am more sensitive to low carb because I am diabetic, and low carb manages blood sugars. I have been off all my diabetes meds for 41 months now.

While I do believe that low carb is harder to follow at times, and not the best option for everyone, I do believe cutting out certain foods, and limiting carbs in general is beneficial. Obviously, you start with the carbs our dietitian pointed out. No one should eat those. However, as a diabetic, I used to take my blood sugars daily, and I tested the foods I ate vs. my blood sugar readings. What I found, was that foods higher on the glycemic index made my blood sugars go past 300 ( normal is 70-120 ). These were bread, cereal, pasta etc., but also some veggies.. like potatoes, lima beans, beets, carrots, and peas, as well as milk. In my body they spike my blood sugars. In a healthy body at 120-130, the body releases Insulin, and removes this overload of glucose, as it is supposed to do. Unfortunately, as blood sugars plummet, you feel hungry again, which is why lots of carbs cause overeating.

It is why SP recommends a balance diet. I have to give them that. However, they push healthy carbs so much, that people associate carbs as healthy, and you see people eliminating fat and protein sources, and eating mainly carbs. This isn't them following SP's advice, but it is what is happening in America. People pick out tidbits of information, and construct a diet from them.

So we have an obesity epidemic, and when people try to eat healthy, they think of carbs mostly. The problem is that the carbs we reach for are not that healthy. We have sweets, and processed foods in almost every aisle of the store. People think smoothies are healthy, when all it does is spike your blood sugars.

Low carb came along as a " corrective " diet. It was meant to fix the problem we had from eating this way. First of all, if you feel hungry, getting into ketosis will end that, and this by itself can cause many people to achieve a healthy weight. Since we aren't hungry, we eat less. Of course, this only works early in life, and if we taught children to eat the proper foods, then Becky Hand's scenario would work very well. We could reduce our carbs to just the healthy ones, and enjoy more of them. Once you start bingeing, or develop an addiction to certain foods, that doesn't work for most people.

That is when low carb is most effective. Like all diets, it isn't for everyone. If you have 15 lbs to lose, you can probably do it by reducing unhealthy carbs, For me, low carb IS a healthy eating plan that I enjoy the foods and can stick to for the rest of my life.

One thing I do find interesting about our dietitian's post is her statement " Many who use a low carb approach also regain the weight because they have not "learned" to control the typical environment which does include many carb type foods. ".

They regain weight because they start eating a normal diet which does include many carb type foods. The opposite of that is controlling your environment, which is exactly what low carb is. The idea that we shouldn't eat low carb ( which works ), is that we will regain the weight because junk food is all around us. The other option is for us to continue eating carbs, and hope we can control our hunger. Since it is the carbs that caused the hunger, how can we control it? Think of the last time you overate, and what it was. If it was carbs, like pizza, pasta, burgers, subs, etc., ask yourself why you didn't stop when full?

I agree with a lot on SP, like that sweets are a problem, and reducing them can help.. I just carried that idea out farther. I think other carbs are also a problem, not just sweets, and I also believe that at a certain point a small reduction in carbs is not enough. If your system is out of whack, you have to correct that, and how far out of whack it is, determines how extreme the correction is. Low carb is extreme, but the food is tasty, and when you are on plan, you are never hungry. Yes, with one cheat, you can open up the possibility of gaining back weight, but as evidenced by most of America, the average person isn't re-gaining weight.. THEY NEVER LOST ANY. The argument that low carb is not that great because I lost 160 lbs, and gained back 20 is ridiculous.

If you are thinking of doing low carb, I would recommend some reading on the subject first. You may decide to not do it after reading what it entails. I would recommend Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, but mainly because I follow that diet. However, the first chapter that asked " Is this you? " sold me on the idea. It described me perfectly. The first thing you need to do is find out if you think carbs are a problem for you, and whether you can stick to the food on the diet. Like I said before, it isn't for everyone. I will assume that you tried eating the way our dietitian recommended, and failed. If not, you might want to give that a serious try. This is not about low carb vs. the world. Whatever works to get you to a healthy weight is great. If you have exhausted other options though, low carb just may be the answer.


MI-ELLKAYBEE SparkPoints: (165,606)
Fitness Minutes: (156,635)
Posts: 3,958
10/10/13 8:52 A

I stay at the low end of my daily carb requirements .

JUSTEATREALFOOD Posts: 1,653
10/10/13 8:10 A

I eat a low carb diet. I get most of my carbs from vegetables and fruits and I eat a small amount of gluten free carbs. I get the majority of my calories from fats.

I don't think it's really difficult. Most starchy carbs are quick foods like bread, bagels, cereal, and muffins. These things you would mostly avoid on a low carb diet. Instead you eat healthy things like carrots, fruit, salad, nuts, eggs, meats and even potatoes. The nutrient quality of your diet will vastly improve on a proper low carb diet.

A great place to start with low carb is by reading the book - Living the Low-Carb Life: From Atkins to the Zone Choosing the Diet That's Right for You: Jonny Bowden PhD
www.amazon.ca/Living-Low-Carb-Life-Atkins-
Choosing/dp/1402713983


DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,934
10/9/13 8:18 P

Research shows that people lose slightly faster on a low carb diet, but by 6 months out---the weight loss is the same for someone following low carb or someone on a more traditional diet. Many who use a low carb approach also regain the weight because they have not "learned" to control the typical environment which does include many carb type foods.

The bottom line is to find a healthy eating plan that you enjoy the foods and can stick with for the rest of your life.

I would first suggest that you continue to include the healthy carbs: fruits, starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, lima beans, sweet peas; milk, yogurt, whole grains, etc.
And limit greatly the crappy carbs: pop, candy, cookies, cake, chips, etc.

Do this---and you have the system under control

Becky
your SP Registered Dietitian



BLUEYCHEESY SparkPoints: (3)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 1
10/9/13 5:53 P

I'm told it's really effective, but also seems pretty difficult... any thoughts?

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