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DEBBIE84 Posts: 2,915
2/14/14 11:22 A

I have found that the only way I can lose weight is to severely restrict my carbs, which also helps my blood sugar. I have considered a Paleo diet, but I just don't think I can completely give up cheese and milk...though I do not usually have a lot of either. It is amazing how many carbs some veggies have in them. I have done the Protein Power diet before and it was difficult to only eat 30 grams of carbs a day so I really don't know how anyone can do Atkins 20 grams a day. Fruit is the most difficult thing for me to give up with a restricted carb diet, so I have decided to settle and be happy if I keep my daily carb intake between 50 and 100. I also have trouble sleeping when my daily carb intake is down below about 50 grams, so I have to be careful about that as well.

MAMA_CD Posts: 1,507
1/31/14 7:22 P

For the past 8 years I've been doing Low Carb with a Brain, in other words, Atkins with sensible balances (not lbs of bacon as people tend to think). I eat approx. 30-50g carb, and about 80-100g fat and protein. Since fat has 9calories for every 4 in a gram of protein or carb. I eat a lchf diet. Most of my diet consists of low glycemic types of veggies, salad greens, cabbage etc. I also use a few "low carb" products as treats and a diet soda once in a while, for the rest of the time, it's very balanced, satisfying and little or no cravings.

JAZZID SparkPoints: (44,498)
Fitness Minutes: (53,978)
Posts: 8,792
1/2/14 1:10 A

I might be the odd man out because I follow a hybrid type diet using the principles of paleo, primal and low carb (Protein Powder by the Eades). I have found that paleo/primal can be either high, moderate or low carb, but for me to lose weight I have to keep my carbs low.

I have been paleo/primal for a little over 2 years now, tending to be more primal than paleo because I have not eliminated dairy, i.e., Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, butter, cream and cheese. I am not lactose intolerant and have no problems with dairy, but I don't eat a lot of it on a daily basis either.

I am still learning how to balance a low carb diet. A few months ago I found that when I followed a ketogenic diet for a month, I started to bruise. I have had breast cancer and my doctor/nutritionist advised me to cycle my carbs. I cycle them between 50 - 100 grams, based on the intensity of my workouts.

RUSSELL: Thank you that information it is very helpful. For me though, I have not completely eliminated starches like potatoes & white rice because I enjoy eating them, and they don't cause me any inflammation; if my weight stalls, I adjust accordingly.

I still have so much to learn about all of this and finding that balance is proving to be quite challenging. Great thread! emoticon

Edited by: JAZZID at: 1/2/2014 (01:14)
WOUBBIE Posts: 13,568
12/27/13 7:11 P

I did the same thing. I flipped over to a low carb lifestyle like throwing a switch, and I didn't have a lot of low sugar/low starch food in the pantry, fridge, or freezer except for meat and dairy.

I think it's been a great learning experience, because there were a ton of veggies I had never thought to try before, or didn't eat very often. Who knew that roasted radishes taste as good as or better than potatoes? Or that arugula is really tasty, especially with some homemade horseradish dressing? Shopping is simpler. If I can't eat it raw, I can't buy it. (Not that I eat most things raw, just that I have to be ABLE to eat things raw.)

For various reasons I haven't lost as much weight as I would have liked to by now, but I've also come to realize that losing the fat is secondary to having better overall health, which I absolutely do. I think this surprises a lot of people who have been told basically that "only skinny people can be healthy". I'm thinking, no, not really.

I will be healthier with each pound of fat gone, but even at 199 my blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides, and overall cholesterol numbers are all awesome, and that's while eating 2400 calories a day at 70% fat!

My endurance has improved too. It's SO much easier to be active when you're a fat-burner rather than a sugar-burner!

Edited by: WOUBBIE at: 12/27/2013 (19:13)
JUST-ELIZ Posts: 5,363
12/27/13 6:09 P

Great post Russel!

I agree- it takes time to learn this by trial and error! I started out eating lots of meat. Slowly I learned to make it good foods- healthy foods.

Also even without losing weight right now and maintaining my loss- you couldn't pay me to eat any other way.
I LOVE low carb!!! Now why isn't there an emoticon for that!! LOL!!

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
12/26/13 3:24 P

I often wonder if the best thing about low carb is just SOME of the foods we eliminate. Meaning that we tend to cut out 90 % of the carbs, which is necessary to eliminate all our trigger foods, as well as junk food/sweets. Not sure if the whole 90 % was the problem though. Of course, when I was having 8,000 calorie binges, all I wanted was for it to stop. If one more person had suggested willpower, or smaller portions, I would have snapped... their neck. I ate small portions.. 1 bean burrito.. at a time.

I have now been on low carb for 4.5 years, and lost 170 lbs. It works, but I have learned a LOT in the last 2-3 years. When I started I ate lots of fatty meats, eggs, butter, and not much That isn't a complaint, but a list. I loved it.

What really was a problem for me, was losing weight too fast, so I started eating vegetables to slow down the weight loss. If you lose 5 lbs a week, you will feel horrible. So now I eat about 10-12 servings a day of fruit ( 1 ), and veggie ( 9-11 ). I still stick to about 70 grams of TOTAL carbs, and this has helped with the amount of nutrition I get,

Low carb is meant to be High vegetable. These are the most nutrient dense foods, and where we should be getting most of our carbs from. So, I could eat a steak, fried on grease for dinner, OR, I can have 8 ozs of chicken thighs ( diced, b/s ), and have 2 cups of vegetables and some olive oil to cook it in. Both are low carb, but the second has more complete nutrition.

It takes a while to learn how to do this properly, and when people are starting, and the only help given to them, is people yelling " You're brain will shut off! ", it just takes them longer to go from meat, eggs, and butter to a more sensible meat and vegetables stir fry form of the diet.

I think once a person makes that switch, and is enjoying vegetable omelettes, and chicken stir fry ( no rice ), with broccoli and tomatoes, and snacks of cheese, nuts, and berries, as well as the occasional chili with beans, they can't be convinced to switch back. Especially if they are losing weight. I listen to people tell me all the time that their diet is so much healthier than low carb, and in my mind I am thinking " I eat 2-3 times the vegetables you do, and none of the junk! ".

While meat and eggs are okay on low carb, I don't see many people following that meal plan for more than a few years. We all tend to evolve into a higher vegetable diet, and I love most vegetables, so this isn't a problem for me.

GIASBASH6260 Posts: 170
12/23/13 8:59 P

The Perfect Health Diet is one of my favorite books, it makes so much sense, I highly recommend it. Mark Sisson is also a good one, introduce yourself to him on his web site: Mark's Daily Apple!

WOUBBIE Posts: 13,568
12/23/13 8:28 P

I really like Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint philosophy. He advocates whole foods, and mostly pre-agricultural foods, but he's also a pragmatist.

For instance, 60-70% of the world's people become lactose intolerant at around age 3. But some lucky folks (mostly northern and eastern Europeans) have a mutation that enables them to continue to make the enzyme needed to digest dairy throughout their adult lives.

So Mark's approach is that if you can eat dairy without negative reactions, then eat it. If it causes problems, however, you can certainly live, and live well, without it.

Strict paleo, on the other hand, cuts out dairy entirely, I believe. For some people that is actually a godsend, since dairy can cause so many problems, from acne and allergic reactions through serious gastro-intestinal distress!

My diet relies a lot on cream, butter, and cheese, so I'd be lost on Paleo. Primal is a better fit for me.

I don't, however, eat much in the way of grains - don't miss them either - and only a tiny amount of beans. I'm not so sensitive to grains that I get totally sick when I eat them, but I sure do get gassy! (I think one of the least mentioned but best side effects of low carb is the reduction in gas, lol!)

Oh, and getting back to Primal Blueprint, I like his holistic approach to wellness. You don't go to the gym, you just do things that give you a workout and are either productive or fun! Much better than spending my life on a treadmill to nowhere.

And rest. That's one that I plan on focusing my attention on this coming year. Lots of rest and relaxation!

Edited by: WOUBBIE at: 12/23/2013 (20:30)
MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,145)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,765
12/23/13 2:15 P

I believe in sugar, flour, and grain free living for optimum health. I think veggies, fruits (amount depending on person's needs), wild/organic proteins, and healthy fats are the staples a human body needs to reach its maximum potential.

JUST-ELIZ Posts: 5,363
12/23/13 1:16 P

We were HUGE meat (lamb, beef, chicken, Cornish hens, pork- very little ham) and sea food/fish fans growing up. Especially with Norwegian and UK/Irish heritage.

But the adults in our families were all fat. Well except my mother who thru vanity kept her figure. (rolling my eyes here)

So the adults were told to stop eating our high fat-lots of protein- seasonal fruit- diet and eat high carb so they could get thin. We craved our meat!!! (oddly mom craved carbs- which she took minute bites of) Everybody got fatter. And when I hit puberty- I did too.

Now I see that we should have eaten MORE of what we loved and not listened to the darn Dr. Grandpa died from type 2 at 53, Grandma had a heart attack at 70- oh the irony of it all . :o(

KJEANNE SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (31,713)
Posts: 2,093
12/23/13 11:45 A

You made a good point! We all have to figure out what eating plan works best for out body!!!!

HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
12/23/13 1:50 A

there are some great recipe resources on the low-carb, paleo and primal teams on spark. You will also find links to blogs that have more recipes.
One popular low-carb recipe site is here:

I wish I had more recipes to share but I love to experiment without ever writing anything down. It's just fun to experiment with food, I guess it awakens the child in me. emoticon

GDY2SHUZ Posts: 19,519
12/23/13 12:08 A

T hank you Brigit. I hope to get some recipes and new ideas. emoticon

HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
12/22/13 11:06 P

I have to say that variety is pretty important for me also, both for getting all my nutrients and because I get bored eating the same foods all the time. I like food that has a lot of strong flavors and dislike foods that taste fairly bland. For this reason paleo/primal-type diets suit me well. Anything with rice, grains or starches tastes pretty bland to me anyhow. I love the variety of flavors I get from many kinds of veggies, herbs, mushrooms and berries. I also love how fat increases the flavor of foods and that's where high-fat/low carb comes in. There are few things as tasty as dishes made with lots of butter, cream, cheeses, coconut milk or coconut cream to me. Often I add garlic, onions, hot sauce, lemon and vinegar for stronger flavors. I also love chili, curries. I grew up on mostly beef and chicken but now I also appreciate lamb, game meat and fish. Since we have our own ducks for eggs I've learned to make many wonderful baked goods without flour or sugar, just by adding nut flours and eggs and sometimes dairy. Having so much variety makes it so much easier to live without all the grains and sugars I can't have any more. So restricting carbs has been super-easy after the first few weeks. Having learned a lot about raw vegan has added to my paleo-type diet the variety of veggies I would never have been aware of, incl. lots of leafy greens.

WOUBBIE Posts: 13,568
12/22/13 10:58 P

Yum! I don't know much about the Eat to Live plan but I just looked at the recipe list and it looks scrumptious!

The pumpkin pie with almond crust looks like a keeper!

12/22/13 10:27 P

I've tried just about every diet out there. I've learned that I must have variety. On low fat weight watchers, I wrecked my body, on Atkins I found that I don't process fat very well. As a vegetarian, I ended up with panic attacks. Just to make sure, I tried being a vegetarian again this fall and sure enough, the panic attacks started again.

So, I the "diet" that gives me the most flexibility and fits best with my lifestyle is Eat to Live. My doctor is happy with the results and I'm losing weight. Avoiding processed and fast foods has been key for me. Eating foods with high nutritional values is my goal.

WOUBBIE Posts: 13,568
12/22/13 6:42 P

I think the only really difficult part of any of the low carb and/or ancestral ways of eating is the educational aspect. There is a lot of misinformation about what the different plans entail and which one will suit you best.

Just yesterday my niece dismissively mentioned "doing low-carb" as being the period when she ate Jack In the Box burgers without the bun. There's the education aspect for you. If she had stuck to it for more than a couple of weeks and really read the Atkins book she would have realized that she should have been buying and making whole foods, including lots and lots of low starch veggies.

I like the way that most of the ancestral eating community agrees that human beings have a wide range of foods that we're able to eat, with various degrees of healthful consequences, but some things are clearly detrimental, with sugar leading the way and highly processed grains in a close second.

I'm only about 90% strict about eating primal (unlike paleo, primal does allow dairy if you can tolerate it). I do allow a few processed items into my diet, but the longer I stick to it (2 and ½ years now) the fewer factory-made foods are on my shelves. Sure, it means a lot of cooking, but, isn't that why we're all obsessed with the Food Channel? We'd all LOVE to have fresh-made food!

Another concern about eating mostly whole, fresh food is that people think it's expensive. Not at all. Compare the outrageous price of a box of nutritionless corn cereal (3 or 4 or 5 dollars; even more when you add in the cost of the obligatory milk!) with a bunch of corn on the cob in season. Not even close.

My kids aren't truly low carb yet, but my older son, a college freshman, is on an n=1 experiment in dorm food and dorm cooking, and he is totally noticing how much better he feels all morning long when he has an egg on a multi-grain flat bread as opposed to a muffin or a bagel.

12/22/13 4:48 P

I am new to low carb, started at my doctor's advice. I try to keep my carbs below 20 grams per day, and protein over 70 grams per day. I am not restricting fat at all, so a dab of butter on my veggies, or a slice of bacon is okay sometimes.

No milk, fruits, grains or nuts at this time. Although I have had a handful of almonds occasionally when I am really hungry.

My family is not going low carb with me, but the kids are VERY happy to have more frequent home cooked meals, lots of yummy veggies, and cheese. My daughter even likes almond milk and coconut milk. For now, we often have a high carb side with meals, like noodles or potatoes. The kids enjoy it, and it saves money.

If you want to give it a try, read up first. There are some things that you need to know about what foods are allowed, and what are not. And I needed to change from a low sodium diet to a high sodium diet (and I am enjoying pickles again!)

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
12/22/13 2:48 P

Your message is a great one - you found what works for you. That's what I think the key to long term success is, as well.

JUST-ELIZ Posts: 5,363
12/22/13 2:40 P

When I started Low Carb for my type 2 diabetes, I was watching carbs only. It was all about the carbs. The lower the better. My risk for type 2 is so high carbs are not my friend.

And then I started getting educated on SP. About Grains and wheat- GMO corn (which I knew some about) pesticides, hormones with antibiotics, the advantage of organic. Good fats- better fats, moderate protein.

And I loosened up. I eat almonds for dessert, I eat lots of low carb veggies without worry of "counting" as long as I'm not over eating them- which it's kind of hard to over eat cabbage! LOL! I have coconut and fish oils, oils high in calories without worrying about "their" higher calorie count.

Then I learned about Paleo ~ but I LOVE my Heavy Whipping Cream, cheese and butter from grass fed hormone-antibiotic free cows.

I also enjoy a piece of 85% cacao with my almonds. So I think I'm an LC- moderate protein- high fat- semi primal person!

So for what it's worth that's my journey and my humble opinion. emoticon

SONOFCZAR SparkPoints: (7,360)
Fitness Minutes: (5,205)
Posts: 49
12/22/13 1:23 P

Even though there are differences in people, the vast majority of us would benefit from a lower carb diet. Most of the carbs people eat are the result of refined foods and added sugars. If you eat "real" foods, your carbs will naturally be reduced significantly.

HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
12/22/13 12:30 P

I just read a blog post by Chris Kresser who talks about a paleo/low-carb template rather than a diet with the meaning that there are individual differences in the kind of diet that people do well on. Some can handle more carbs, some can handle dairy, some can handle some starches, some can handle saturated fats etc. . Other people have food allergies and need to completely exclude some foods.
Recognizing that we don't all respond the same way to foods is a great start. Strictly following one diet because we like the person who developed it may not be in our best interest.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
12/22/13 12:23 P

I do pay attention to the nutritional value of the foods I eat. We're restricted-carb, but also Primal (since I still eat some cheese and dairy).
On our diet, we're encouraged to keep our daily carb grams to about 70g/day... our endocrinologist would like us in the 30-50g range! That's considered "ketogenic." I feel pretty good about myself if I keep my carbs below 100g, and strive for the 70.
Where you get your carbs is important. Bread-y or processed foods aren't on the plan! all the healthy carbs from veggies (which are the foundation for most of these plans) definitely *are*. Healthy fats are also an integral part of the profile.

Ancestral diets are those which attempt to follow what we believe to be the diets our paleolithic ancestors would have been eating. Primal allows some dairy, whereas Paleo tends away from it. Fruit is seasonal to what would have been available during those seasons, not necessarily the modern availability year-round. And most of those fruits aren't the super-sweet hybrids we enjoy today. They're mostly the slightly tart ones, like berries.

RYDERB Posts: 11,096
12/22/13 11:53 A

I have friends that follow "low carb" diets, but really only seem interested in the carb counts of the food they eat rather than the nutritional value. I'm not sure if that's normal for low carb plans or not, since I've never researched it.

Before starting a Whole30 last year, I had no idea what Paleo or Primal meant. I used to try to eat in the "Zone". Actually I still have no idea what the technical differences are between Ancestral, Primal, and Paleo. The only reading I've done, on the subject is It Starts with Food, and the cookbooks I've purchased, which all say Paleo on the cover.

What about you?

Edited by: RYDERB at: 12/22/2013 (11:54)
EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
12/22/13 9:27 A

There are many similarities and differences between these approaches. I’ve noticed they are confusing to many – so I’m hoping we can possibly open a discussion for those interested in any of them to get some background info.

Please feel free to ask specific questions of those of us who are using them, or combinations thereof!

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