It's quality that matters when it comes to carbs. If you bump them up by eating real whole foods like fruit, vegetables and beans....... You won't have any issues. If you bump up by adding processed white flour high carb foods you run the risk of blood sugar spikes that lead to cravings...... Which make you overeat.
One thing that I do not think is stressed enough is sustainability. Most diets can cause weight loss, and whether you do low fat, or low carb, should be based on your preference of food, and whether you will stick to it. If you are on the diet a year from now, most likely you will be lighter, and healthier.
Then you just need to figure out the healthiest way to follow your diet guidelines.
Replace carbs with " vegetables " ( carbs ), and ask the question again.. Will upping my vegetables make me gain weight? Probably not. The quality of the carbohydrate matters as much as the quantity. French fries can make you gain weight, but spinach won't.
Research studies have shown that one will lose slightly faster on a low carb diet the first few months, but after these few months--weight loss is the same with low carb or low fat. So the key is to find an eating plan that: --you can enjoy and use for years to come. --meets your overall nutritional needs. --promotes overall health and well-being.
There are several categories of carb containing foods that do help support overall health. These include: fruit, milk, yogurt, beans, lentils, whole grains, and both starchy and non-starchy veggies.
the only thing that i will add to eelpie's first response is how do you like the way you're eating now? is this a way that you could see yourself happily eating for the next year, five years, ten years, twenty years? if so, then being a little under in carbs, particularly if you're getting almost a hundred grams of them, isn't going to be a big deal. if your first response to the idea of eating that way forever is cringing and longing over something that's not included, then you likely need to make some changes to either include what you're missing or find something else that hits that spot equally well. if you do choose to up your carbs, you might have a little water retention, but that's not actual weight gain. in any case just make sure that the carbs that you are eating skew more towards the fruits and vegetables kinds of carbs and less of the hohos and you should be fine. some people do well at 50 g carbs a day, others at 300 g a day. most people fall somewhere between.
6/6/14 8:04 P
"I'm saying is there are risks with maintaining a low carbohydrate diet for an extended period of time"
PARISCARP-Please cite your source's and include what these specific risks are. If available longitudinal studies would be helpful. If you go to UPTODATE and type in low carbohydrate diet you will find evidenced based information with links to citations of the research this information is based on. With this information we can all look at your sources.
"The impact of specific dietary composition on weight change remains uncertain. When energy from dietary carbohydrates decreases, energy from fat sources tends to increase. The reverse is also true; when energy from dietary fats decreases, energy from carbohydrate sources tends to increase. The debate has mainly centered on whether low-fat or low-carbohydrate diets can better induce weight loss and sustain it over the long-term".
Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone diets for weight loss and heart disease risk reduction: a randomized trial. Dansinger ML, Gleason JA, Griffith JL, Selker HP, Schaefer EJ JAMA. 2005;293(1):43.
6/6/14 6:49 P
I would have to wholeheartedly disagree that because I eat low carb I am now lacking micronutrients.
" there's some group of micronutrients missing from your diet."
You simply cannot make these claims about my diet, and be factual. Quite frankly, you have no idea of what foods I eat; how many servings of fruit a day I get, how many servings of vegetables a day I get, how many servings of dairy per day I get, how many servings of meat per day I get, how many serving of whole grains per day I get, how many servings of legumes a day I get, how many minutes per day of sunshine I get.
Edited by: EELPIE at: 6/6/2014 (19:01)
Fitness Minutes: (19,679)
283 6/6/14 6:39 P
I realize "Low" is difficult to define: people count net carbs, fiber, and all that jazz. I would say if your average intake is below the minimum recommendation, there's some group of micronutrients missing from your diet. The effects of which may not be felt yet because they take time to develop. Low carb is great for weight loss itself because it restricts your carbs to healthy options like fruit/veg/lowGI (some people need that tight control, however an adequate carb intake can also incorporate this). Weight maintenance shouldn't incorporate a consistent deficiency.
6/6/14 5:42 P
But what is your idea of low? 5 grams? 20? 70? 100? 120?
I've been doing 100 on slow carb (low gi foods) and have felt fantastic, as well as losing all the weight I wanted to.
Fitness Minutes: (19,679)
283 6/6/14 5:32 P
All I'm saying is there are risks with maintaining a low carbohydrate diet for an extended period of time; especially if you're active. I'm thinking long term outcomes. Right now, it might seem fine. Naturally, everyone would lose weight initially with low carb, because it decreases the amount of glycogen we store in our liver and muscles. This decreases total body water retention. And diabetes individuals have the same carb recommendations as the rest of us, according to the American Diabetes Association. It's all about excess.
Paricarp, while I personally eat at least half my day's calories in carbs (I feel yucky if I dip too far below that on anything other than an occasional basis), other people can and do follow a low-carb diet - and by diet, I mean menu setup, not short-term eating purely for the purposes of losing weight - and thrive. There are medical conditions that make it a necessity for certain people. Eating too many carbs at the expense of other macronutrients also has adverse impact on a body, which is why I stated it would not cause weight gain unless one consumes too far out the other side of the carb count.
Every person is different. Every body is different. Most of us do require a pretty extensive amount of carbs per day, but not everyone does.
Edited by: KASTRA at: 6/6/2014 (16:39)
6/6/14 4:13 P
I'm confused why you are shocked...
I do what is best for me. I lose weight eating lower carb.
If I eat excess carbs, especially "bad" carbs, I actually eat more food, which equals weight gain.
If you do not eat low carb, or have a need to, that's fantastic...for you.
"Depriving yourself of anything will just make your diet less sustainable, and cause you to binge as your body's evolutionary mechanism to consume sufficient nutrients."
My diet has been going fantastic, and hope yours does, as well.
Fitness Minutes: (19,679)
283 6/6/14 4:07 P
I'm shocked at the posts I've seen thus far on this message. Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy. Hands down. They should comprise about half of your daily calorie intake and you minimally want to get betting 5g/kg of body weight. "Insufficient [carb] intake can lead to hypoglycemia and both acute and chronic fatigue" (Dunford & Doyle, 2012).
Carbohydrate does not make you gain weight. Eating too much of anything makes you gain weight. If you overload your body with protein and fat (which are the only two alternatives) then you will be stressing your body in its attempts to digest these complicated molecules, and risk entry into Ketosis and vitamin deficiency. This holds it's own health issues.
Depriving yourself of anything will just make your diet less sustainable, and cause you to binge as your body's evolutionary mechanism to consume sufficient nutrients. Of course, opt for healthy carbohydrate sources like whole grains, vegetables and to a slightly lesser extent, fruits.
In short: there's a reason the offered diet plans by Sparkpeople suggest a carbohydrate with every meal.
We have no idea what your range is , so an average of how many grams you have per day may be of some help. I am diabetic, and have issues with binges when I eat sugar, pasta, cereal etc. So I eat 20-50 grams a day, and get most of them from vegetables, and have lost weight quite nicely, with no hunger, or cravings.
If I eat over 50, I run the risk of getting out of ketosis, and having cravings return, and going on a binge of 5000-8000 calories. So for me, upping calories is not an option. However, if you are at 150 grams a day, and need to pop up to 180, then the effect will be minimal, and as long as you don't eat something that makes you lose control of your appetite, you will be fine.
The problem with carbs, is that they make most people eat more calories. About 400 more on average I read. That translates into weight gain. If you can avoid eating those 400 extra calories, then you won't gain weight.
You have two choices. One, you can continue doing what has been successful. Being slightly low in carbs is not a problem. Carbs are not essential. You are eating plenty of carbs. The other is what types of carbs you eat. There is a huge difference between different types of carbs. Obviously vegetables are better than ice cream, but they are all on a scale, and all the other carbs are in between. You eat more of the healthier carbs, and less of the unhealthy carbs, and maybe the extra carbs won't have any effect.
The best thing to do, is test the idea for 2-4 weeks. If you gain weight, go back to your original level of carbs, doing what has worked for you.
Increasing your carbs probably will not make you gain weight unless you go too far out the other side, but if you're tracking now and all other nutrients are in line (don't forget the major ones for women that are not auto-tracked: calcium and iron - you can add them on your own) and everything else other than carbs falls into place...enjoy what works for you!
Plenty of people do a low-carb diet for medical reasons (diabetes to name just one) and live perfectly happy, healthy lives. Every body is different and needs different things.
Edited by: KASTRA at: 6/5/2014 (16:45)
Fitness Minutes: (200)
6/5/14 4:20 P
Yes, after unlinking my two trackers, the fitness and nutrition.... and then eating some dark chocolate last night, my carbs evened out to just over the low end for yesterday and then day before was only 30 grams shy of what the tracker asks... So it sounds like even if I eat less then I should be in the good! :) Which I think I may do, at least under 80 grams.. I aim to only get the good carbs so I think that should be good?
It's very excited to put my diet to the tracker test and see that relatively I have been doing everything the smart healthy way and being able to see success the right way!
Edited by: HEATHER_DEHART at: 6/5/2014 (16:21)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
6/5/14 2:00 P
If you feel satiated on your meal plan and you have lost 25 pounds so far, I would say don't change a thing! Here's the long version: For whatever reason, the recommended daily value for carbohydrate levels are too high for most people. Increasing the amount of carbs that you eat affects more than just your total calorie consumption. All carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars in your body and therefore when you consume large amounts at one time (even 20-30g) you will get a spike in your blood sugar and an ensuing spike in insulin levels. This will lead to the body craving more sugar and more food. When insulin levels remain elevated, our appetite suppressing hormones are dulled and our hunger increases due to unstable blood sugar! As you can see, there are a host of reasons to keep your carbohydrate levels lower than recommended. When you choose nutrient dense foods like vegetables and some fruits and nuts for your carbohydrates you will be getting lots of healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants without going overboard on blood sugar spiking carbohydrates.
Hope this helps! I got to my goal weight this way and am now in maintenance. I normally eat somewhere between 30g (on a low carb day) and 80g (on a high carb day). I also consume more fat than recommended. I make sure it is from healthy natural sources. Eating fat keeps me satiated without causing the crazy hormonal hunger response that eating carbohydrates does.
Edited by: LRAJALACOLLETT at: 6/5/2014 (15:04)
Fitness Minutes: (5,830)
3,190 6/5/14 1:47 P
I would keep doing what you've been doing.
6/5/14 1:13 P
How many carbs a day do you get?
Some people here do very low carb (30-70 rough guess) and do very well. I do about 100, and am doing good. Some people do 180, and do good, etc.
It depends on the person, that is why there is no "One size fits all approach" to dieting - everyone is different. I might do great on my plan, but Joe might not, and what works for Joe, might not work for Anne.
So how many carbs a day do you average? And from source do they come from?
An asides...as long as your plan is healthy, and you are losing weight - there is no need to change it.
Fitness Minutes: (200)
6/5/14 11:51 A
Okay so I have only been tracking two full days so far but am pretty sure that it's been about the same all along. My carbs are low... I've lost 24-25 pounds and everything seems to be right on track with my nutrition tracker (Fat is a little high) but the carbs, it wants me to eat about 50 grams more carbs just to make the the low end of my carb intake. Yikes- The idea of adding in more carbs is a little intimidating.
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