If you read all the answers here, you'll see that you're not going to get a clear answer. Doctors do not agree... you can find some who swear by a vegetarian diet, others who swear my a very low carb, meat based diet, and you'll find people who thrive on both of these, and who swear by their particular choice. There's lots of low-fat information at this website and in most of the diet books written in the last 40 years (the years of the growing obesity epidemic.) If you want the actual science behind low-carb eating, read "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living (aimed at doctors, but not hard to read), and/or Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. A low-fat, vegetarian diet (started in the 70's, followed for twenty some years) made me fat and sick. It does NOT do that for everybody. I really liked eating that way, but my body didn't respond well. You'll have to find out what works for you personally. Read all the science you can manage, pick a plan, stick with it for a while, and see how it works. How is your blood pressure, your energy level, your weight. If it's not working after a good try, then make some changes. Don't just jump in without getting some information first, though. If you decide to cut your carbs, and you don't get all the extra salt and minerals you need, you'll likely have a pretty rough time at the start. Sorry there's not an easier answer.
If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got.
I have been using the Sparkpeople website for a few years now and I have not had much success just using their recommendations. I actually didn't lose weight until I started a low carb/low calorie plan. For me it's not as simple as calories in, calories out. I have never lost weight beyond 3-5 lbs. I have found that low carb eating not only helped me finally lose weight but I feel better than I have in years! I love low carb eating! I eat tons (4 cups) of lower carb veggies every day...I just don't eat bread, potatoes, rice and, while in the weight loss phase, I am not eating dairy. Once I get to my goal weight, I will begin to eat a little bit more carbs at a time to see where my maintenance level.
I am not implying that low carb works for everybody but it's the only thing that has worked for me in all these years! So happy!!!
Yes you can be perfectly healthy eating next to no carbs, like the native Alaskans before the white man showed up, or a few of our ultra lowcarbers on this very site. And you can eat a boatload of low and moderate carb vegetables and fruits and still stay below 100 carbs per day.
Spark recommends I get a minimum of 190 carbs in a day. If I ate that much carbohydrate, my blood sugar would shoot up like a rocket. I would have to take insulin all day to keep any semblance of control.
Fitness Minutes: (5,830)
2,821 4/7/13 8:59 A
I prefer low-carb.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
4/7/13 8:51 A
You can't really expect to go ultra-low (or god forbid zero) carbs and be healthy. Carbohydrates include, besides grains and the simple starches and sugars that everybody loves to hate, all of your fruits, all of your vegetables, all of your legumes and pulses. Nuts and seeds have carbohydrates. Dairy has carbohydrates. Remove carbohydrates and you lose the vast majority of the potential nutrients that your diet can include -- you are left with nothing but meat, refined oil, and eggs.
Can people survive with next to zero carbohydrates? Yes, they actually can, but they don't eat like average Americans do. They do things like eat tons of organ meat, which gives them their vitamin C. And their diet is extremely high in fat, another thing most people who visit websites like this one wouldn't tolerate.
You can certainly eat lowER carb if you wish to, but you have to realize what carbohydrates acctually are, first.
Edited by: RENATARUNS at: 4/7/2013 (12:30)
Height 5'8 1/2" SW: 190+ CW: 141.0 Woohoo!
5K 4/21/11: 31:55
Fitness Minutes: (21,289)
4/7/13 8:16 A
I think that your best bet is to give spark people's recommendations a try-- stick to their calorie recommendations and the amount of carbs/protein/fats they suggest and see how it works for you.
The problem with a low-carb or no-carb diet, or any diet that wants you to cut out huge groups of food for long periods of time, is that even though you might lose weight, it is VERY hard to maintain that as a lifestyle. Eventually most people are going to just not be able to resist the temptation to indulge in those carbohydrates, and since their whole diet is based on that, the weight is likely to pile back on. In addition, eliminating carbs takes out a whole ton of healthy foods that give your body the nutrients you need. Carbs are great for quick energy, too.
The key to losing fat is to eat less and move more. Fad diets may work for awhile, but if you want a combination that has stood the test of time, that is solidly based in science, and that is fairly easy to maintain, well, that's it. Eat fewer calories. Burn more calories. And make the calories that you do eat count-- fill your diet with healthy fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and heart-healthy oils and fats. All calories are not created equal. You might lose weight only eating 1400 calories of junk, but you're going to feel like crap.
Yesterday I saw an infographic that showed 1,320 calories worth of Burger King food-- basically it was a Whopper value meal with a 22-ounce pop. And then they showed how much food you could eat for that same number of calories if you were making healthy choices. Enough for a whole day's worth of meals. The point is, you don't just want to go low-calorie; you want to go HEALTHY.
So again, I would just challenge you to trust sparkpeople's recommendations for a month or two and see how you do. Fill out your information, including how much you work out, and go by how many calories they tell you to eat, and just see what happens. I believe in this website and the message of balanced diet and exercise that they promote. I have had success in the past and am having success again using their program.
I personally do well on a high fat/moderate protein/lower carb diet(when compared to SP's recomendations). Lower total carb grams, however by volume my carbs aka vegetables take up 60-75% of my plate at lunch and dinner they are usually liberally coated in butter.
Low fat has been proven to work for some as has low carb. The one thing all successful diets have in common is eating lots and lots of vegetables.
ETA - My lower carb diet is most definitely not low calorie.
Edited by: JUSTEATREALFOOD at: 4/7/2013 (07:11)
JERF - Just Eat Real Food
I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.
I'm not a doctor or dietitian. I'm just a real whole foods nutrition nerd.
I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!
Fitness Minutes: (0)
4/7/13 2:24 A
Well thank u again for every bodies advice and since this is kinda new to me I really never even thought it would be this deep of a topic makes me wonder about the carbs and how that even effects our body in general and if having less carbs to pretty much even hardly any would that or could that help with belly fat and fat anywhere else as well? Or pretty much is a very low fat low calorie a better option sorry to ramble on but it anyone has experience that wouldn't mind sharing is very appreciated
4/6/13 10:11 P
Anyone who tells you to cut carbs out of your diet lacks an understanding of what carbs do.
4/6/13 4:40 P
Our bodies (especially our brains/nervous system) need fat in order to function properly. Given time it will be the low fat diet which will be viewed as the fad. Once the diabetes epidemic gets even more out of control, people will return to fat for satiety. Check out the book by world famous cardiologist, Dr. Sinatra called The Great Cholesterol Myth. He explains that saturated fat is not the cause of heart disease but it really is inflammation caused by sugar/carbs.
The best diet for weight loss is one that you can sustain. Low carb diets are popular, but like any other fad diet, once you get off of them, many people regain their weight. By controlling your calories, you're controlling your portion sizes. You're being taught to eat well. But even by restricting your calories, you could still end up eating 1200 calories of junk.
Spark people's guidelines have you watching calories and nutrition. And it's sustainable and can easily transition into maintenance.
Low carb diets have been shown to bring about a slightly faster weight loss in the first several weeks---by 6 months the weight loss is the same as a lower fat "traditional" weight loss eating plan. Bottom line---make sure you are eating within your SP calorie range. If you want to do lower carb, stick to the lower end of your SP carb range (or just slightly lower). This will allow you the greatest variety of food intake from lowfat dairy (milk, yogurt), lean meats and protein, plenty of fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Becky
Fitness Minutes: (0)
4/6/13 2:08 P
Hi my question is when it comes to dieting to lose weight which one between low calorie diet or low carb diet? what is the reall difference in this between the two? is one better than the other i heard the low carb to no carb works alot faster than the other but really its basically low calorie? isnt it? im just confused and like anyone else i want to lose the pounds the best way possible any help is kindly appreciated
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