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XCLOSED Posts: 671
7/9/13 9:23 P

thank you everyone. I appreciate the experiences you have shared, and I'll be reading more and considering if a low(er) carb approach is something short term or even sustainable for me. It's a hard go for someone who adores sweet treats, but that is why I'm here. Time to lose some weight, 1 healthy way or another!

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 65,898
7/9/13 7:03 P

This thread seems to be headed in a negative direction, so I'm going to ask that the back-and-forth arguments stop. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and as long as they aren't stating their opinions as fact, but rather sharing experiences and information, it is up to each of us to decide what works best for us.

Coach Jen

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
7/9/13 6:35 P

Not even sure who you're responding to, to be honest.... if me, then your response leaves me perplexed.

I am not interested in debating "low carb"... I have no vested interest in it at all. The singling out of the anti-low-carber with a series of aggressive "you must be doing it wrong then" posts, though, that I did find unpleasant.

7/9/13 6:18 P

There was no attempt at silencing anyone on this thread. Honestly that's a little much when in the previous paragraph you mention no need to defame anyone. Clarification was asked for based on the thought that if one is not actually eating a low carb diet then to blame said diet isn't really fair that's all.

It really is sad that low carb threads often get so argumentative. The resources that are available about nutrition today are as varied as the person writing them. Everyone just needs to find what works for them and then stick with it.

NAYPOOIE Posts: 11,906
7/9/13 6:15 P

Well, let's suppose that I didn't try to "rescue" these people from not trying it. They would then read post after very long post about how awful low carb is, and nothing to suggest that they should try it. So why should they try it if so many people say it's bad?

Yeah, people can decide for themselves whose opinion they favor. But only if all the opinions are out there for them to see. So yes, I ask these negative people to validate what they say. Then they jump up and say I'm bullying them by asking? I don't try to silence them. I'm asking them to speak more, give some specifics. I would really like to have something specific to discuss.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
7/9/13 4:51 P

I think that anyone reading this post can decide for themselves whose opinions they wish to pay attention to, and whose they wish to disregard. There is no need to defame another poster regardless of how you feel about their opinion, no need to try to invalidate the comments of others because they had a different experience than you.People should feel equally free to say "yes, I love low carb it worked great for me, i bet it would work great for anyone!" AND "no, i tried it and didn't like it at all, i can't see how it would work well for anyone!"

You don't have to try and rescue others from potentially being "prevented from trying it"... just give your honest positive experience, maybe somebody will try it based on the enthusiasm and success you and others report. But let's also think about this from the flip side. What about people who are trying low carb it but it ISN'T a good fit for them.... wouldn't it be reassuring for them to read posts from others who tried but did poorly on low-carb? If they stick to low carb thinking it is the only-way-for-all-people, THIS might prevent them from trying something different that might have been more personally suitable! This might prevent them from experiencing the crushing feeling of personal failures for not being able to "do this program that works for everybody else, why can't i make it work for me?"

There is value to having both positive and negative opinions presented. Please contribute to the positive ones without attempting to silence the negative ones.

" She wants to keep them from trying." - I have seen no evidence to support this claim. She expressed that it did not work for herself, isn't working great for her sister, and she doesn't personally know a lot of role models in her own life that have used it successfully for the long term. That is her experience. It is valid to report this experience. The reporting of this experience should not be confused with an attempt to "keep others from trying it."

Edited by: BUNNYKICKS at: 7/9/2013 (16:55)
NAYPOOIE Posts: 11,906
7/9/13 4:08 P

BunnyKicks, L4k is trying to convince people that low carb doesn't work by going into great detail how it didn't work for her, her sister, etc., and then goes on to claim that Taubes is putting out erroneous information. I ask her questions designed to demonstrate the validity of her claims, but she won't respond beyond insisting again that it doesn't work.

It isn't an argument (pointless or otherwise) about whether she should do low carb. She shouldn't, that's obvious. I have no intention of beating my head on a brick wall trying to convince her otherwise. I'm fine with her finding success in other ways.

My objection is to the fact that her negativity could prevent someone from trying it, and maybe finding that it is the best thing they could have done for themselves. If it turns out that it isn't, they've lost a couple weeks, and are now able to seek elsewhere, knowing more about themselves. Or maybe it will work superbly for them, as it does for so many, and their life will be much improved. You don't know until you try. She wants to keep them from trying.

COUPONANGELTERI SparkPoints: (30,722)
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7/9/13 3:04 P

My house has two people with VERY DIFFERENT eating habits. Hubby has to eat low carb for pre-diabetic issues. I need to carbs because they help stabilize my stomach issues. I try to cook one meal a day that is low carb and supplement with a small amount of carbs for me. When he cooks, he cooks food that will work for me like burgers (turkey or beef) that way I get a bread and he can leave it off.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
7/9/13 3:00 P

Low carb: People's experience varies.

That's kind of where the discussion has to end. People have related their experiences and opinions. It's unlikely anyone is going to change anyone else's opinion. So "declining to answer" seems like a great way of terminating a pointless argument that nobody is going to "win" so why bother.

NAYPOOIE Posts: 11,906
7/9/13 1:43 P

L4K, I'm very positive about low carb. I think it can help almost everybody. However . . .

I asked you what you ate when 'low carbing'. You declined to answer.

I asked you why you keep trying to discourage people from trying something that could do them a lot of good. You declined to answer.

I asked you to state specifically what Taubes was wrong about. You declined to answer.

That's kind of negative response.

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
7/9/13 1:35 P

I am simply letting people know of my experiences with the diet and also what has happened to others I have known who have tried it. It doesn't work for most people. No one I know has found it enjoyable or sustainable. The OP asked if people had tried it and if they liked it. I told the truth.

What is in it for you that you are basically trying to bully me into silence? Actually, never mind, I really don't want to know. My sister does something similar, I think. She's been trying low carb and not succeeding for years now and I worry about her a lot. Sadly, whenever I've ever tried to talk to her about it and suggest she might want to try something different, she gets really upset and starts bullying me. So, I've given up trying to talk to her about things and I just continue to worry in silence. I really don't want to have the same sort of futile conversation with you here. I don't need or enjoy the negativity and I really just find it a waste of my time and energy. But, I will continue to share my experiences and views on the low carb diet whenever someone asks. I hope you will cease trying to bully me into silence.

NAYPOOIE Posts: 11,906
7/9/13 1:25 P

L4K, I've not read Taubes, so can't comment on it myself. However, from your comment I assume you have read him?

Please tell us specifically what he says that is wrong, and what the truth is about the issues to which you refer (I'm assuming there's more than one). If he's passing out false information, it is the duty of those who know the truth to speak it.

7/9/13 1:24 P

I have a problem eating low carb. It kicks in craving and throws my blood levels all off. I prefer a more balanceed diet.

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
7/9/13 1:14 P

Gary Taubes, unfortunately, draws a lot of incorrect conclusions in his book. I know that what he writes seems to make sense and seems logical to a lot of people, but the body really just does not work in the manner that he says it does.

NAYPOOIE Posts: 11,906
7/9/13 1:10 P

Sorry Love4Kitties, I'm a numbers person. Without numbers, it's just words.

You know, it isn't that I want you to do low carb. For whatever reason, it's not going to work for you, and you've found something that does. That's great.

But you're out here saying it doesn't work for you and you don't believe it will work for most people, and in general trying to discourage people from trying it. What's that about? It does work for a lot of people, and it could save some people's lives, or at least a leg. What's in it for you that you want to warn them off?

7/9/13 1:06 P

As most people have said here, lower-carb is definitely the healthiest option, and it's generally the way I eat most times. Do I like it? Yes, for the most part, I definitely feel better when my carb intake is lower, but sometimes I really miss my white bread and pasta meals. So, what do I do? I have it every now and then and then I return to my normal eating habits. Normal being, good protein, lots of vegetables and some health complex carbs such as whole grain breads and brown rice. My goal is to stay away from processed carbs, those pre-packaged high sodium snacks that inevitably got me to be overweight in the first place, all other carbs are good, in moderation! :)

GIPPER1961 Posts: 766
7/9/13 12:58 P

I personally found the Taubes book to make perfect sense. A book called wheat Belly makes a very similar case. Another book that is interesting but takes a slight turn by implicating sugar and processed foods is Fat Chance by robert Lustig. This one I have found to be very helpful as eliminating sugar has been a revelation to me. No cravings anymore except the occasional mental desire for comfort food which I am much more able to withstand when I am not eating sugar

XCLOSED Posts: 671
7/9/13 12:22 P

Thank you! I am trying to follow Taube's reasoning, it is quite dense material and very different from calorie counting and balanced food groups in moderation.

emoticon A book I read before "The end of overeating" by Kessler talks about the new emerging research and ideas on food addiction, how highly processed carbs, especially excess carbs with excess fats and excess salts combined (think pizza and ice cream & butter frosting) trigger a real chemical food addiction process in the brain and trigger a vicious cycle and voracious appetite that rings a bell with me.

So I get the need to reduce the fast/processed foods. I'm just still working to understand Taubes argument, it goes so far beyond what I've previously read, and find myself rereading what he says...

It's almost like he's saying the cart pulls the horse instead of the horse pulls the cart. Does not make intuitive sense to me, like calorie counting makes sense to me. I'm not sure if that is because the argument and reasons are new to me or what...

BEARCLAW6 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 1,939
7/9/13 9:35 A

Gary Taubes gives an excellent set of reasons why a low-carb diet can work and be sustainable. Yes, it is definitely not for everyone. If you are EVER hungry on a low-carb diet, then something needs to be adjusted or you need to try another way. For me, if I am hungry when I judge I shouldn't need to be, it usually means that I am either aiming for some emotional eating or am behind on calories despite what I may think. In those cases, avocado, nuts or cheese come to the rescue.

Strangely enough, for some of us, eating 2 Tbs of peanut butter on two slices of whole wheat bread leaves us hungry in an hour, while just eating those 2 Tbs of peanut butter alone keeps us happy for 2-3 hours. Insulin in action!

XCLOSED Posts: 671
7/9/13 2:04 A

emoticon Thank you everyone, I appreciate your thoughts and experience.

I picked up a book by Gary Taubes to read to try to understand the argument, especially with respect to insulin and insulin resistance.

emoticon I do appreciate all the resources & support here, and appreciate the argument for making sustainable changes we can live with for a lifetime. It is why I am not quite sure I can tolerate a very low carb plan... I will give it some more real thought.

Edited by: XCLOSED at: 7/9/2013 (02:12)
LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
7/8/13 11:03 P

Low carb works for some people, but it is definitely not for everyone or (IMO) even the majority of people. No one I've actually known (and I've known many people who have tried it) has ever found it to be sustainable for them. I'm glad it worked for you. It didn't work for me and has also not worked for anyone in my family. No, I did not restrict fat or calories, which is why (lack of calorie restriction) I didn't lose weight. I was hungry and eating all the time. Even right after meals, I was miserable and craving carbs. My meals were not satisfying. I could literally eat 600-700 calories for a meal and still feel hollow and be craving carbs right afterwards.

I very much dislike these diets where, if it doesn't work for you, followers try to find something you did that was "wrong" and so can lay the blame with the person instead of the diet. It's seems very odd and I have to say that it reminds me of that Plan diet that's so popular right now, but which has been made so complex that it's impossible for anyone to follow it to the letter and there will always, very conveniently, be something that can be picked out that the person did "wrong." No, I'm not going to go into specifics about my low carb dieting experience except for what I've said and to also say that I most assuredly did follow a specific, popular, plan and I followed it to the letter. My husband said he'd never seen anyone follow a diet so closely. After a several month trial (two times) failed, I did make some attempts to restrict calories on the diet and not just eat whenever I was hungry, but this left me even more miserable, tired, etc.

You seem happy with your diet. I'm glad that you find it sustainable. I definitely wish you all the best in your quest for a healthier life. I sincerely hope that you achieve all your goals. But, low carb is not, in my opinion, something that the majority of people will find do-able/sustainable.

Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 7/8/2013 (23:22)
7/8/13 8:14 P

I eat carbs. I eat what is recommended for my calorie intake and I am losing weight. I don't believe in the Low carb diet. i believe in moderation in everything.

NAYPOOIE Posts: 11,906
7/8/13 7:38 P

No, there's no legal definition of low carb. But there are definitions of low carb that wouldn't work for anyone. For instance, low carb with low fat will almost certainly leave you hungry and miserable, maybe even tired and weak. But people have been told for so long that fat is bad, they try it that way anyway, and then say low carb doesn't work.

I strongly urge anyone contemplating low carb to read and follow one of the major programs. Follow it to the letter. Don't assume you can make it better until you've seen how it works as specified. Then you can make intelligent tweaks.

7/8/13 6:46 P

There are many safe and effective strategies to lose weight--research supports this.
Counting calories is a strategy.
Using meal replacements is a strategy.
Using a lower carb intake is a strategy.
Getting in more physical activity.
Decreasing TV time.
Etc, Etc

The key for weight loss and weight maintenance is to find the strategies that not only sheds pounds, put also keeps you energized, no excessively hungry, works with your budget, and is something you can maintain for the rest of your life.

Remember that low carb is not a legal definition. It can mean different things to different people. Some say it is less than 20 grams daily. Some use phrases about net carbs. Some say it is less than 35% of your calories coming from carbs. So you may all be "talking" a different language since the term "low carb" really carries no legal definition.

SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 7/8/2013 (18:49)
NAYPOOIE Posts: 11,906
7/8/13 6:33 P

Love4Kitties, you realize that the fact that you refuse to relate how you ate "low carb" is why we suspect you did it wrong? I've seen you say (many times) how miserable and hungry you were, but I've never seen you say that you read (for example) Atkins' book and did exactly as he specified (which includes eating something if ever you feel hungry).

Just tell us your macro nutrient levels, grams of carb, fat, and protein, that you ate while doing "low carb". Or at least tell us what book you read, what program you followed, and how closely. Tell us you didn't deliberately try to restrict fat and calories. Then maybe we can concede that you did it right, in a manner that works for most people, and it still didn't work for you.

FROGMAN2013 SparkPoints: (1,747)
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7/8/13 4:07 P

Sorry, Love4kitties. Let me rephrase it. Low-carb eating is definitely not for everyone. If you are miserable on any diet, then it will matter how perfectly you follow it. Your sister needs to try something else that leaves her happy and satisfied AND approaching a healthy weight.

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
7/8/13 4:00 P

As I said, my sister is CURRENTLY "cheating" daily on low carb. Surprisingly, she is losing weight while she is cheating, something that has never happened during the long stretches where she has followed low carb to the letter. She has gone through long time periods where she has not "cheated" and she has also not done well during these times--she has been moody, tired, craved carbs, been hungry, etc. Her carb cravings continue even with long stretches where she does not eat them, as did mine when I was doing low carb. With all due respect, I do not want to be told that, when low carb doesn't work, it's because it's not being done "right." It has been done right by me, my sister and by her husband for long periods of time. It does not work for us and it is not sustainable. It has nothing to do with our failure to do something "right."

I can only think that you must have not read my entire post or that you must have not read it thoroughly before writing your own, saying that low carb hasn't worked for us because we are doing something wrong.

Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 7/8/2013 (16:10)
FROGMAN2013 SparkPoints: (1,747)
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7/8/13 3:48 P

Love4Kitties, your sister sounds like someone who is not the right fit for low-carb eating. Also, if she is essentially cheating every day, no wonder she craves carbs. The whole point of eating low carb is to eliminate the cravings and you are not going to do that with a blast of nutella every night. Nutella is basically chocolate and sugar with a hint of hazelnuts other words a carb bomb. That would sort of like being a heroin addict who expects one hit per day to give the same positive life-changing effect as cold turkey. The point of low-carb eating is to break the cravings for carbs and then slowly add back in carbs to find out which ones are fine for you (beans and veggies for me) and which are never a good idea (sweets and grains for me). There may also be carby foods that you are tolerant of in small portions (fruit and dairy for me).

No matter if you are a low-carb eater or not, I highly recommend that people eliminate (yes, I did say eliminate) white carbs from their diet. This includes potatoes, refined wheat, white rice and added sugar. They provide NOTHING that you can't get from a better choice like veggies, whole grains or fruit. And, if that should happen to put you on the low end or below goal for daily carbs, do not worry about it!

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
7/8/13 1:50 P

I tried low carb a couple of times for several months at a time. It was a pretty bad experience both times and the only reason that I stuck with it so long was because my sister kept encouraging me, telling me that this was THE way to lose weight. Basically, I was miserable the entire time, constantly craved carbs, was hungry a lot, experienced extreme fatigue, had really bad constipation, bad breath, difficulty concentrating, etc. I stuck with it, though, for several months each time. My husband said he'd never seen anyone stick with something so completely and he was surprised that it wasn't successful for me. Both times, I lost weight fairly rapidly for the first couple of weeks (about 10 lbs each time), but it was mostly just water weight, then I stopped losing weight altogether. It came back just as soon as I stopped eating low carb. Overall, it was an unsustainable, miserable, failure both times. After I gave up trying to do something that obviously wasn't going to work for me, I managed to lose almost 100 lbs following the recommendations given here on Spark People. It really wasn't that hard, either, at least nowhere as hard as I found trying to force myself to eat low carb.

So far as my sister, she has basically been torturing herself with low carb for about 4 years now. She goes on it, is miserable (and makes everyone around her miserable because she is always in such a bad mood, tired, etc.) but manages to lose some weight, then starts "cheating" because it is not sustainable for her, gains the weight back, etc. She makes her husband eat low carb too.

I am also a little concerned about her mental health. Right now, she has convinced herself that she cannot eat carbs because she believes they cause her a variety of health problems (which I think are probably related to being overweight). She claims that carbs make her "swell," yet I believe the swelling (which is in her legs) is due to varicose veins that she needs to have taken care of and the doctor agrees with this assessment. Yet, they refuse to take care of her varicose veins because she is overweight and they won't do anything for them unless she is normal weight. The swelling doesn't go away even when she avoids carbs as completely as possible.

In any case, she says she cannot eat bread (meaning wheat or any other grains), potatoes, starchy vegetables, legumes, etc. She even says that broccoli has too much starch for her. Yet, she seems desperate for carbs and, currently, on almost a nightly basis, she consumes a good amount of Nutella (which is loaded with sugar/carbs, fat and calories) directly out of the jar. Oddly enough, she has been losing weight because she doesn't eat much throughout the day. I think most of her calories are currently coming from the Nutella. She says her husband is also sensitive to carbs and cannot eat them. He tends to eat about a thousand calories of almonds every night because he is so hungry and miserable (and, yes, he is craving carbs too but he eats the almonds instead, trying to fill the void, I think). He also drenches his salads with about 600 calories of olive oil. He hasn't lost any weight even though he eats very few carbs. He's obviously eating way more calories than he needs because, to put it simply, he is hungry and miserable on a low carb diet.

So, that's my experience with low carb and my experience watching two people I really love do/try to do low carb.

Also--I just wanted to add that, in my experience, when you fail on low carb, some people who follow low carb diets start telling you how you've done it wrong and so it's your fault. They will tell you that, if you do it "right" you will lose weight, not be hungry, etc., etc. Every time I post about my own personal experience with low carb, I have been told this, even though I have never posted details about what I ate, etc. Just saying I was hungry and miserable is enough for me to get told that I was obviously "doing it wrong." Without getting into details I can assure you that this was not the case.

Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 7/8/2013 (14:06)
STEFANIAREALI SparkPoints: (0)
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7/8/13 12:21 P

I really enjoyed eating low carb. It is difficult though when eating out or around other people. I was happier, had plenty of energy, and I even had recipes for delicious low carb desserts. If you are willing to find low carb alternatives then you won't find that it's hard to switch to a low carb diet.

ANARIE Posts: 13,200
7/8/13 11:24 A

Since you have specific health issues, advice from your own medical providers gets first priority. Tell your doctor(s) that you are committed to weight loss and you need a referral to a registered or licensed dietitian, and hopefully that will solve most of the dilemma. That said, you're asking for opinions, so...

You say you're confused because the experts disagree. But the fact is, when it comes to weight loss for obese people, the experts don't disagree in any important ways. They agree that it requires reducing calories and increasing activity. Low carb versus paleo versus DASH versus low-fat & high-fiber... Those are all just different ways of controlling calories, for the most part. The differences might matter for losing the last 10% of what you need to get rid of, and they do matter for controlling health conditions other than weight, but when it comes to getting started on losing a large amount of weight, it doesn't really matter which path you choose.

If you're not sure of which way is better, start with what you ARE sure of. You know that sugar and white flour and hydrogenated oils aren't healthy, so avoid those. You know that non-starchy vegetables are healthy, so eat more of those. Once you've established a pattern of eating at least 5 vegetable servings a day with little to no white flour and virtually no processed sugar, chances are that the rest will fall into place. Once you don't have blatantly unhealthy foods to navigate, it's very likely that you will naturally gravitate toward healthy foods that you like and that make you feel good, and that's how you get sustainable weight loss.

I lost my weight while getting 65-75% of calories from carbs. I didn't set out to do that; it's just what happens when I get rid of high-calorie foods that I don't love and eat more of the healthy foods that I do like. If I'm making a low-calorie pizza, I'd rather have a little more whole-grain crust and more veggies, and I can skip the meats. Other people would rather go with super-thin crust, or maybe a cauliflower crust, so they can toss on some turkey pepperoni and grilled chicken strips.

It's a matter of personal preference, not of good and bad. I don't think that animal fats are bad in small amounts, but for me, cutting fat is the best way to reduce calories without feeling like I'm sacrificing too much. On the other hand, my brother lost weight successfully on low carb plans. He's a big meat-eater and likes milkfat, but he doesn't care much about cereal and bread and pasta, so for him, cutting starches was the best way to reduce calories without feeling like he was sacrificing. Mom, on the other hand, went low-carb, hated it, never got her carbs down to where the "diet" said she should, and eventually gained it all back. She finally said to heck with the "experts" and is slowly losing on her own hybrid-- mostly just cutting out junk food and eating more vegetables.

It looks as if you have more than 100 pounds to lose. That means that for now, just getting down into your SparkPeople calorie range, learning to eat veggies, cutting out obvious junk food, and walking more will get you started. You can go for 6 months/50 pounds just doing that, and use that time to read more, learn more, and think more about what's sustainable for you. Then you'll be prepared if you reach a point where the details really matter.

7/8/13 8:45 A

Since you don't feel you could follow a low carb lifestyle emotionally for very long----then I would suggest a healthy eating plan with a "moderate" carb intake.

Weigh and measure your food and beverage portions. Enter this into your SP nutrition tracker. Stay within you SP calorie range. Is your range 1200-1550??? And stay at the lower end of your SP carb range using healthy carbs (brown rice, whole grains, lowfat milk, yogurt, beans, lentils, fruits, etc)


CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
7/8/13 8:35 A

I've followed Atkins previously, and it was very successful.
Upon moving, and adding in a whole lot of unhealthy, processed foods, I regained the weight.

When I restarted this healthy eating plan, my intent was to change my menu into a healthier option, and it has progressively morphed as I've become more conscious of what I'm eating.

I've pretty much eliminated all processed foods (like baked goods, packaged stuff), but maintained the healthier options (frozen without additives; canned tuna and salmon, etc.).

Because of lack of processed foods (mainly baked goods), my menu is considered lower in carbs than the SAD (Standard American Diet), but I don't follow anything that specifically says it's a "low carb" plan

GRACE1054 Posts: 605
7/8/13 8:32 A

I've done different LC programs over the years and definitely lost weight. But, I have come to accept the philosophy that any program that eliminates an entire food group probably isn't the best in the long term. Everyone loses weight differently and everyone will give you an opinion on what has worked for them. Unless you want to avoid carbs for the rest of your life, a balanced sustainable approach to weight loss is what will help you lose weight AND keep it off.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
7/8/13 8:02 A

On Atkins Induction, you will drop off all carbs except those in eggs, or 2-3 cups of vegetables. These will be greens, or salad veggies, not corn, beets, or potato. I would suggest reading Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution before starting, so you don't do it wrong, and then say it didn't work for you.

Within 5 days, you will start dropping a few pounds, and have no cravings, if you do it right.

I lost 140 lbs, and have been off my diabetes meds for 3 years of the 4 I have been doing low carb. The biggest problem for you is GERD. It is always an issue, when you have other health issues. I have CHF, and diabetes, and am on Coumadin, so I have to limit greens, and make sure I have some carbs with each meal, or I get low blood sugars. Also, if you go to hospital, they will kick you off plan, and you will need to start all over.

Any stomach pain I had beforehand cleared up as soon as I started low carb, but you need to get a list of the allowable foods, and quantities, and pre-plan your tracker, and see if 1 ) it sounds like something you would like/ can stick to, and 2) would not cause issues with your GERD.

If you think you would be okay with trying it, then don't go halfway. I eat high fat, moderate protein, and very low carb.. under 10%. If you just cut some carbs, and add some fat, you won't get any of the benefits.

If you have any doubts, try another plan.

XCLOSED Posts: 671
7/7/13 4:19 P

Thanks, Appreciate the comments!

I'm just starting a low carb plan for a bit at least, and I'm just starting to learn about it and what it means; the pros & cons and what people who've tried it think.

I am not sure I would tolerate a low carb plan emotionally for long, so wonder how people adjust to it.... is this something that works for you & why or why not?

All thoughts, advice, experience, hate/love anecdotes welcome :)

Edited by: XCLOSED at: 7/7/2013 (17:22)
7/7/13 1:44 P

I may be able to give more helpful tips with your eating plan for GERD and insulin resistance, if you make your nutrition tracker public. Let me know if you need the steps to do this.

SP Registered Dietitian

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
7/7/13 12:11 P

Hmm well with complications such as insulin issues and GERD, you'll have to eat in a way that "works for you" and that might or might not be "low carb." Talking to a nutritionist/dietician could be helpful, and listening to your own body's cues is the best thing you can do - if certain foods or eating habits worsen your GERD, you will want to avoid those, even if for others they are the "perfect" foods.

We are omnivores capable of pulling nutrition from a huge wide range of plant and animal products, we are adaptable in what we can "make do" on and we are widely diverse in what we as individuals may "thrive" on. So don't worry about looking for The Perfect Plan - as there really isn't one! You need to find the best plan for YOU.

Protein is super-important, however, no matter how you look at it, you need it for body maintenance and repair. Lots of times we shortchange our body on protein because we spend too much of our calorie budget on other things. Why not try making a point of ensuring you get at least the minimum protein your range suggests, and then letting the rest evolve around your own preferences? As you mentioned, whatever dietary changes you make, you'll need to stick to for the long-term. If you can only envision "low carb" as something you "can force yourself to do for a few weeks in order to lose weight" then it is likely not the right approach for you. Before attempting something like that, why not just work on "trying to meet your minimum spark range but not exceed your maximum spark range, in the 3 categories of fat, protein and carbs?" While you're at it, work on reducing "junk" carbs (refined sugar, junky foods like potato chips) and replacing with "complex" carbs (beans legumes fruits veg), as this can really help with your nutrition, feeling of satisfaction and control over "cravings" and overall good health.

XCLOSED Posts: 671
7/7/13 11:58 A

I am very confused, and have read a few things recently that suggests lowering carbs to non-starchy veggies + lean protein (mod to high) + healthy fats. (mod to high) will help improve insulin resistance and blood sugars. I wonder about gerd. Mine seem to be worse with increased saturated fats (think cheese/fatty meats), and I am not sure I follow the arguments for this kind of eating approach.

It confuses me that the experts disagree. The other recent information I read is the opposite, high freggie, with very little non-freggie lean protein and healthy non-meat fat sources. My gerd is better with this but not my insulin resistance.

I am not sure what the cons are for a low carb approach other than it is not as emotionally satisfying for someone who loves all kinds of carbs... I would eat 95% carbs, so I realize I definitely need to reduce carbs and improve quality. But the argument(s) seem so strong to go Atkins type low carb for blood sugar reasons from those proponents but not like the ADA....

and of course, I wonder if the weight lost from either approach is sustainable... I realize that will require a permanent change in the way I eat, and I suspect, weight loss under either approach hopefully will improve health.

appreciate everyone's thoughts, emoticon

Edited by: XCLOSED at: 7/7/2013 (12:37)
7/7/13 8:45 A

I eat low carb, moderate protein, high fat in that I mostly avoid grains and legumes because I have digestive issues with both. Simply because I get my carbs from vegetable and fruit sources my diet is "low" carb. I get the majority of my daily calories from fat.

The closest "diet" to the one I eat is a primal/atkins maintenance diet. Although I at no point cut my carbs to Atkins induction levels, for me it wasn't necessary, my carb intake does vary quite a bit some days it's quite low 40g and some days it's quite high 100g.

I eat a ton of vegetables. I feel great, I'm athletic and strong. I enjoy stable blood sugars.

edited to clarify - now that I'm properly awake :)

Edited by: JUSTEATREALFOOD at: 7/11/2013 (07:46)
ZELDA13 SparkPoints: (79,833)
Fitness Minutes: (26,215)
Posts: 3,497
7/6/13 10:49 P

I seem to have more success when I eat less starchy carbs like bread and potatoes. I still eat within my range with the vegetables I eat, and I go easy on fruit.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
7/6/13 10:14 P

I don't follow any "low carb" plan (like Atkins or whatever).

BUT over time I have naturally gravitated towards a lowER carb regime. I've cut wayyyyy back on "starchy carbs" (bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, grains) and way way way way wayyyy back on sugar... I and get the majority of my daily carbs from fruit, veg, and sometimes beans or legumes. I'm almost always at the low-low end (or just a touch under) of my Spark range for carbs.

I like it. This gives me more flexibility to add more protein (and I used to really struggle to get in my minimum protein) and healthy fats.... these increase my satisfaction and satiety more than I ever get on a carb-heavy menu. I do not miss the starchy carbs. I am quite happy to eat them in half-portions or not at all, no loss. I'd rather have double the meat and half the carbs, any day!

KPA1B2 Posts: 785
7/6/13 9:55 P

I've replaced some of my recipes with low carb versions. When I first started I was making my own bbq sauce and wraps. Never had enough time to do bread. I mostly cook from scratch and have found several recipes, i.e. taco seasoning that if I make my own has a lot fewer carbs.

When I go grocery shopping & generally buy the version that has the lowest amount of carbs. Next I check for sodium & sugar amounts.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,314
7/6/13 8:39 P

In my opinion carbs lead to weight gain...why?...because it leaves many people hungrier after a carb rich meal...The insulin hormone is responsible for fat storage in the body...since I started eating low carb, I lost 96lbs and have maintained my weight for about a year now...I'm good proof low carb works.

I also watched and continue to watch sugar grams and sodium intake.

Just remember that Fat is far more satiating than carbs.

If you cut down on carbs and feel ravenous, this will be a signal... that you haven't replaced them with sufficient amounts of healthy fat....a couple of avocado slices, a tbsp. of Olive Oil for cooking, fatty fish.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
7/6/13 7:18 P

No. I prefer a moderate approach to macronutrients. My macronutrient breakdown more closely resembles the zone. 40-45% carbs, 25-30% fats and 30% protein.

I tried carb cycling and even dropping to 30% destroyed me. I was miserable/irritable, in a brain fog, tired all the time, my workouts suffered greatly and my legs became so heavy and dead it required super human effort to lift myself from my chair. Brutal. I started binging on carbs and eventually threw in the towel. It took 2-3 weeks to fully recover.

I've always done better on a higher carb diet. I just choose the healthiest carbs. Whole foods and watch my added sugars. Lots of fresh veg, legumes, fruit and a bit of whole grains (mostly oatmeal, occasionally a slice of whole grain bread, quinoa).

I prefer to listen to my body. If my body is throwing out warning signs that it doesn't like what I'm doing to it, I'm going to listen.

Of course you're going to find those who have done very well on low carb diets and it works for them. I'm just not one of them.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 7/6/2013 (20:12)
7/6/13 5:16 P

I'm now (after over a year of "Sparking") undoubtedly lower carb - but that's lower carbs that I was and to many it might not seem all that low. I love my carbs (mainly whole, which helps with staying full) I am undoubtedly a carbivore and if for some crazy reason I tried to cut them out altogether I'd go nuts after a day and start eating entire supermarket bread bakeries.
If I thought I couldn't have my gorgeous home made bread toasted every morning there's no way I'd stick to it, I just make sure I find a way to make it fit.
Cutting out carb loaded drinks made a huge difference for me though. (Apart from lager, I love a few lagers at the weekend!)

Edited by: NOTTINGHAMKATE at: 7/6/2013 (17:17)
7/6/13 4:38 P

I totally support a "lower carb-smart carb" eating plan, about 40-45% of calories coming from carbs---using foods such as fruits, whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal, corn, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, lima beans, beans, lentils, legumes, lowfat milk, yogurt, etc.

While limiting sugar, refined grains, candy, pop, cookies, chips, snack crackers, etc

SP Registered Dietitian

ANGELCITYGAL SparkPoints: (38,869)
Fitness Minutes: (20,298)
Posts: 1,724
7/6/13 4:15 P

I'm following the DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution by Marla Heller. I've lost 30 lbs on it since 3/8/13. I love it. It is also excellent for hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and pre-diabetes.

DASH is definitely carb-managed. It's lower carb than I ever ate before, but certainly there are plenty of carbs. I get about 110-120 g. of carbohydrate per day. I usually eat no more than 1 serving of whole grain per day. The rest of my carbs come from veggies, fruit, legumes, and dairy. I also eat eggs, poultry and fish.

Edited by: ANGELCITYGAL at: 7/6/2013 (20:34)
MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,272)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,790
7/6/13 4:15 P

I think lowcarb is the healthiest plan, when it is followed correctly and naturally. A good LC plan includes veggies and eventually fruit when the body's insulin response is more stable.

That said, the first induction phase is a temporary, critical necessity for most people.

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 7/6/2013 (17:17)
XCLOSED Posts: 671
7/6/13 3:36 P

Have you ever tried a low carb eating plan? Do you eat that way now? Why? Why Not? Like it? Hate it? Quit it? Plan to keep doing it? Etc... Would appreciate your experience and thoughts.

Am seriously trying to learn about and understand what low carb eating means, the pros & the cons.

Thank you!

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