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7/6/14 9:43 A

The latest weight loss research is showing that there are many ways (eating plans) to safely lose weight. It can be a lower fat diet, or a lower carb diet, etc. They all work because you are eating fewer calories than your body is burning. One is not better than the other.

The key is that you are restricting calories (in some way).
It is important that you are meeting your overall nutritional needs. should be a plan that you enjoy and can live with for years to come.

You and your husband do not need to be following the exact same plan. You can both be using a plan that works best for you. (as long as it is safe). You can both be successful and improve your health.

So based on your comments, it sounds like you would do best with a more "moderation" plan. You will be eating some meat---but not to an amount that you find unpleasant. You will be including healthy types of carb foods: fruits, starchy veggies, whole grains, milk, yogurt, beans, etc. And you will be including healthy fats to add a little texture and flavor. In controlled portions you will not feel guilty when you have a small sweet food (candy, cookie, etc).

If you want, you can make your nutrition tracker public and we can give more helpful tips. Let me know if you need the steps to do this.

Hope this helps.
Your SP Registered Dietitian

And to answer your other question....there is no legal definition for the term low carb (which adds to the confusion). Some research indicates less than 40% calories coming from carb, some use 35%, some 20%. The same holds true for the amounts of protein and fat to be included.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/27/14 4:15 P

" I thought if I ate one more sausage, egg, chop or steak I would heave. "

Statement like these make me laugh. On a low fat diet, people also tend to eat a restricted diet. Take cereal for example. There are 11-16 servings in most boxes, and we tend to get 2-3 boxes, and eat the same food for breakfast for weeks at a time. No one says " if I eat one more bowl of granola, I might heave " or any other food hat we eat multiple times a week.

Two points:

One: Most people have no issue eating eggs daily, or a certain kind of meat daily.

Two: There is no need to eat the same foods on a low carb diet. If I do eat eggs daily, I can add dozens of vegetables to the egg dish, or have dozens of fruits on the side. I can eat many kinds of meat, fish, or fowl, which all taste different. I can eat almost any vegetable on the side, or in a meat dish. Nuts, dozens of kinds of cheeses, beans, dairy etc.

The only reason that a person would " heave ", is due to not liking the food on low carb, which most people love, or lack of imagination, limiting themselves to too narrow of a list of foods. Most people who do low carb correctly, eat a lot more variety than the average person.

For many people low carb isn't their thing, but most of the time this is just a preference for carby foods, or a misunderstanding of how to do the diet, based on popular opinion of what the diet means.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
6/27/14 2:57 P

Wow - Congratulations Exotic!!!


EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
6/27/14 2:23 P

What RUSSELL_40 and JERF said!
And check my ticker. That's *all* low-carb. No exercise (I'm disabled).

That noted, it's not for everyone. I'm a real carb addict, and that makes it tough to stick to. I fall off regularly, unfortunately. But I keep plugging away. I've also developed some autoimmune-related GI issues lately, which makes it even more challenging to stick with. But I feel a lot better, so I know I need to do it.

I second the notion to join the LC forums here. There are several.
And find one of the original Atkin's books. I don't promote one LC lifestyle over another, since any of them will require tweaking to your own body's needs... but the Atkins book gives you the foundational science and a good organizational plan to follow while you learn how to do LC. It helps to know *why* you're eating that way, and to have some template to get started with.

LC is *not* high protein. It's "normal" protein, but higher fat. You have to reorient your thinking there if you hope to be successful with the lifestyle. Lots of good nonstarchy veggies are de rigueur. You can find all the food do's and don'ts in the book, or from SP members in the forums.

I wish you luck and improved health!

6/27/14 2:29 A

I tried low carb for about three months and lost about 30 pounds, great for me. My husband lost 40. I just couldn't continue to eat that way. I thought if I ate one more sausage, egg, chop or steak I would heave. I just wanted to have an ordinary sandwich or a little bit of rice with my Chinese food. I gained all that weight back and more. I have been using a combination of Spark People and Weight Watchers ( I need the meetings). It has been slow (three years in October) but I have lost 108 pounds. The great thing is I'm still at it and I haven't gotten bored or burned out with the food. I eat what I want working always to improve my level of nutrition.
Everyone is different. It sounds like you like fruit and dairy. I like fruit but have to make myself eat dairy but I do it. I throw a bit of flax seed in my cereal or yogurt and I add an extra veggie or fruit to every meal. I find I do better when I add in good things rather than totally eliminating things. I have a lot less guilt because nothing is totally off limits. Good luck with whatever you decide but don't make it too hard on yourself.

Edited by: CLARISSABOND at: 6/27/2014 (02:31)
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6/26/14 8:10 A

Low-carb means less than 20% of the calories are from carbohydrates.

AMANGES SparkPoints: (385)
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Posts: 48
6/26/14 7:38 A

I have another question about carbs...what daily number do you have to hit for carbs for it to be considered a "low carb diet?"

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/25/14 10:48 A

While it is true that low carb is really a high fat diet, it is a tough diet to do with little to no meat. Is it possible? Yes, but why do a diet that you don't like. I have lost 1/2 my weight following low carb for over 5 years, but I liked the meat, eggs, and lots of fat.I averaged about 10/25/65 for most of that time, and my carbs were completely from vegetables, starting at 20 grams a day. I am now up to 70 grams a day, and eat 10-15 servings of veggies and now eat fruit, beans, some starchy vegetables, as well as low carb tortillas.

The diet has varying levels, and while your husband may need to be very low carb, you may find that you can do a more moderate version... say 150 grams a day, but eat healthier carbs. Switch to 10 + servings of veggies, have a couple sweet potatoes, or brown rice/pasta servings a week. Focus on cutting sugar, and processed foods, and instead eating whole, real foods. You have already seen a benefit by eating healthy for 3 months, so it is working already, so you don't need to make big changes, if any. You COULD just continue doing what you are currently doing. However if you are worried about carbs, I would do a more moderate version, since you can lose weight on a normal diet.

I am on several low carb teams, but the one that I would suggest for you is SMART CARBING. There are a lot of members there eating 100-150 grams a day, so they might be closer to a diet that you would want to follow, so you did not have to eat a lot of meat. Maybe discuss it with some people( including your doctor ), read a few books on it, like The Zone, or South Beach, or look at a Mediterranean Diet book, and see if you can flesh out a plan that seems OK to you. Obviously, Atkins would be a little too tough for you to do, but there is a benefit to making any healthy choice. Focus on the quality of your carb, and maybe you can eat more quantity.

I would try cleaning up the carbs you do eat, and see if that is enough, before trying out anything. This will give you some time to do some research, and talk to a dietitian or doctor. Get everything worked out BEFORE you start, like whether you plan on eating 30 or 40 % carbs, how much protein, and how much fat, and which foods you want to eat to hit those macro percentages.

If you choose 40 % carbs/ 20 % protein/ 40 % fat for example, you will have lots of carbs, but will want to get rid of most sugar, and packaged, processed foods. Without eating a lot of meat, you will need items like dairy, and beans to get enough protein, if you limit meat to 4 ozs. a day ( example ). Google high protein foods, and get a list of foods that you would eat that aren't meat to fill out your menu. With fat at 40 %, you have a lot of choices. Low carb diets suggest eating nuts, butter, olive oil, avocados, meat, eggs, and dairy to get most of that fat. Still there are fats to avoid, like trans fats, and the arguments about saturated fats ( talk to your doctor ), as well as the advice of not eating vegetable oils, or eating more Omega 3's, and less Omega 6's. If you are okay with eating 4 ozs. of " meat ", you may want to get that from mostly poultry, or fish.

You want to decide all that BEFORE you change your diet, which is working. Three months ( 13 weeks ), with 7 lbs lost, is over 1/2 a lb a week, or 26 lbs in a year. That is better than 80 % of dieters, so don't be in a rush to make changes. If you make a change, you want it to at least help you lose more than 1/2 a lb a week, or you might as well have just stayed on your current diet, right? The last thing you want to do, is try a diet that you won't enjoy, or stick to, when you already have that.

If you do make a change, get the diet set in your mind, pre-plan meals ahead of time, and don't make any changes for at least 3 months. You will hear all kinds of things day to day. Every food is good/bad, eat more/ less saturated fats, have coconut/ almond oil/butter. Etc., etc., etc. Don't change the diet based on the topic of the day. You can always implement changes after 3 months.

My last advice is to not eat any " low carb " products. In my opinion, they are junk. Sugar alcohols, and SF foods stall a lot of people, so if you aren't currently eating SF jell-o for example, don't start. Everyone tries to sneak in some sweets, or " healthy " versions of foods they used to eat, but it usually ends in disaster. They end up eating a 12 pack of " low carb " ice cream bars.

I think you are going to get 50/50 advice here, with some saying to just tweak what you are doing, and others telling you how great low carb is for them. Both ways can work for you, if done properly, but which one will you stick to and enjoy?

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 6/25/2014 (11:09)
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6/25/14 9:25 A

Alvaria, maybe you can find some happy mediums. If your family likes fried snacks, then try some similar vegetable sources, such as kale or carrot chips - these are especially good if you make them at home with just cut up kale leaves or carrots shaved lengthwise with a peeler, an olive oil mister, seasonings (such as smoked paprika, garlic), and an oven that goes down to a low temperature. You can oven-fry your daughter's potatoes and fish, too, if she agrees. If your husband likes ketchup or Italian food, all those tomato products definitely count as "vegetables" (just be sure there isn't any high-fructose corn syrup hiding in there!). If he likes other fruit, that may be an option, too - berries, nectarines/peaches, and all kinds of melons (including watermelon) are relatively low in sugar and can help balance fats and sugars (and are available frozen and canned in natural juice all year long). If he liked mashed potatoes before his current diet, you can make something similar with well-steamed cauliflower. Along the way, you might find other ideas, such as hearty vegetable or vegetable-meat soups and stews. Any little improvement is still an improvement, even if it isn't perfect. emoticon

ALAVARIA SparkPoints: (4,805)
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6/25/14 8:47 A

I do eat some higher fiber cabs like brown rice. Once or twice a week. We also have lentils mixed in with the rice. But this is a recent addition. I'm trying to be healthier so I am making switches and my daughter and I are slowly eating healthier. But she just wants to eat potato waffles and fish fingers with ketchup all the time :/

ALAVARIA SparkPoints: (4,805)
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Posts: 67
6/25/14 8:45 A

Thanks for the posts, there is some really good advice on here. Yep I went to top up my electric today and I did NOT buy any candy. Thats my husbands issue he doesn't like vegetables. As for my daughters snacks, she gets a small 6 pack of chips a week and maybe one candy thats it really. They are cheaper at that store vs the supermarket. I know I just need to learn self control. My friends are helping my husband diet because he just won't do it by himself. He lives with them. In all honesty as long as he looses it's going to be good for him. Because being nearly 400lbs is not healthy for him at all. I will ask him about the veg later. I think he's supposed to eat green vegetables. I don't know if he has or not. It sounds like the Dukan diet.. or similar..

NIRERIN Posts: 14,275
6/25/14 8:26 A

if your biggest problem really is that you overdo it on the candy, then finding somewhere else to to up your electricity is going to do more for you than changing your carb ratios if doing that prevents you from buying and eating too much candy. if you have to go to that corner store, going with no more money than your electricity/snacks will take and going only after you have just eaten can help.
if you're just not feeling satisfied overall, then you might need to change your ratios. if you're interested in learning about if low[er] carb can work for you, start searching out recipes. check the low carb teams here on spark and check out some low carb cookbooks from the library. see if there are any recipes that look good to you. try out some of the more promising recipes and see how they sit with you. if nothing else i think that the lowest carb recipes highlight some of the best fruits and vegetables for you.

ANARIE Posts: 13,192
6/25/14 8:25 A

Its a question of happy mediums. In fact, I would say that for both of you, the issue is as much what you're NOT eating as what you are eating. He needs vegetables-- high protein diets "work" over the very short term, but he's likely to run into health issues if he tries to keep it up for as long as it will take to lose the 150+ pounds he needs to lose.

And you also need vegetables, plus maybe some higher-fiber carbs. You're probably right that the problem isn't what you eat intentionally, but the junk you eat from the corner store (although it would probably be helpful to think really hard about whether that IS part of what you "regularly" eat. If it's happening more than once a month or so, then it actually really is part of your regular pattern.) Think about whether you can avoid that corner shop stuff altogether, because the truth is, you don't have to get your daughters snacks from there. It's not doing them any good; those foods are probably more harmful to children than to adults. And if you want to add more protein look at things like legumes (pulses), higher-protein vegetables, a hard-cooked egg added to a salad now and then, and so on. It won't be the same as his high-protein/low carb plan, but it will be higher protein and higher fiber than what you're doing now.

Since you live apart, just let him do what he wants to do, and you do what you feel is best for you. He will probably lose his enthusiasm for it eventually, and if not, you can deal with the differences when you start living together again. If you feel like he's pressuring you now, you can either say, "I'm comfortable with what I'm doing now" or you can say, "Mm, yeah, I'll think about it," depending on how you generally deal with differences.

6/25/14 7:49 A

Firstly a low carb diet is not a high protein diet. A low carb diet is a high fat diet.

Low carb diets promote eating 10+ servings of non starchy vegetables a day. Lots of healthy fats make up the bulk of daily calories and the same amount of protein that SP recommends, less than 30% of total calories from protein. Some low carb diets allow starchy carbs, I eat a lower carb diet and eat potatoes, sweet potatoes and banana everyday.

Replacing carbs from sugars and refined grains with carbs from fresh vegetables and fruits will only make you healthier. Remember all successful "diets" have one thing in common, they include lots of fresh produce in them! So keep eating those cucumber, carrots and berries.

You husband needs to eat some vegetables.

How Carbohydrates Work in the Body According to JERF

Carbohydrates are ingested, simple carbohydrates (like sugar) hit the bloodstream very fast making your insulin levels rise fast. Complex carbohydrates (like sweet potato) are more slowly digested making your blood sugar rise more slowly over a longer period of time.

The body is only able to use a very small amount of sugar at any given time. I believe we're only able to have 5 grams in our blood at one time.

If you eat too many simple or complex carbohydrates you will have too much sugar in your bloodstream and the body will store the excess sugar for later use. The body stores the sugar as fat.

If you constantly have too much sugar in the body then your body will not be able to access all that stored energy in your fat. In the absence of sugar the body can use a process called gluconeogenesis to turn stored body fat into usable energy. Thereby reducing your overall body fat.

Make sense?

Also the body has a process which turns excess protein into sugar, so eating too much protein is not really the way to go if your goal is fat loss.

Hope that helps,

Edited by: JUSTEATREALFOOD at: 6/25/2014 (09:14)
ALAVARIA SparkPoints: (4,805)
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Posts: 67
6/25/14 7:43 A

Ok so my husband has started this high protein diet thing (we currently live apart btw) his friend lost 100lbs or something similar on this. I know my aunt also did the Dukan diet and lost 45lbs over 5 months. My husband is 390 so much larger than me.. but the thing that gets me about this diet is he doesn't calorie count, he eats meat rolls with mustard, nuts (almonds) and basically eggs and meat. Now it's great he is doing it I think it's fab for him. But he is telling me I should do it too.

Basically I eat a lot of carby type foods... cucumber (snacks), carrots, berries, low fat yogurt, and heaven forbid skimmed milk! Infact I can list off basically the types of stuff I eat on a daily bases. I mainly recently have had a mixed berry smoothie 2-3 times a day I make myself 10oz skimmed milk, Sometimes I add low fat yogurt, always berries or low fat mixed fruit. I don't eat so great for dinner, but all the stuff I buy is pre-frozen as it's cheaper. I've lost about 7lbs since I started eating healthier, over around 3 months and I have noticed that my size 16(US) are starting to get more comfortable rather than tight.

Would I benefit from less carbs? I do have a lot more too loose but I don't like meat very much so I am not sure what exactly my husband expects me to eat... I literally very occasionally have chicken or bacon. I eat fish regularly as it's cheap.

I'd rather stick to something thats maintainable, it's not what I regularly eat thats the issue, it's staying away from the candy aisle when I top up my electric at the corner shop because I get my daughters snacks from there. I just don't know how carbs work and although I'd like to give this low carb thing a try, I can't think of any protein foods that I actually like enough to just eat that.. I like eggs but I'm not going to sit there and just eat eggs..

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