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An experiment with lower carbs...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Seeing the whole lotta nothin' that was happening for me on the scale all week (despite staying at the low end of my calorie range and exercising my hardest ever with C25K), I was feeling open to a little change. I came across an article suggesting that having a large, high-carb and high-protein breakfast, followed by a medium-carb lunch and low-carb dinner is beneficial for weight loss. I've also read that for folks with low thyroid function, restricting carbs to under 50% can really aid weight loss. Sadly, as a vegetarian and someone who loooooooooooves carbs, I've never managed to get mine that low - 55-60% is about as low as I've managed regularly.

But yesterday, a lot of things went really well. I had my usual breakfast (oatmeal, flax, milk, fruit), a medium-carb lunch (lentil spinach soup and an orange), a low-carb mini-meal at 4pm (boca burger, broccoli, marinara sauce, parmesan - like all my pasta toppings without the pasta!), and a low-carb mini-dinner at 8pm (2-egg omelet with 2% cheddar and peppers/onions). For the first time in what feels like forever, my carbs were under 50% (48%, to be exact), and even though my carb-loving mindset was half-convinced that those 2 later "meals" weren't complete without some sort of carb (no whole wheat pasta with my sauce & veggies? no ww toast with my omelet?), I didn't feel any hungrier than I usually do in the evenings.

I also worked out REALLY hard (for me, anyway) - I did two levels of Jillian's 30Day Shred (1+2) for TNT plus a solid 30 minutes on the elliptical including high-intensity intervals going as fast as I could for 30 seconds, with 90 seconds recovery in between.

Amazingly, the scale finally budged this morning! In the right direction! From 163.7 (where I've been stuck for the last week or two) to 162.8 - almost a pound! Finally!! Now, I know that lower carbs can cause a decrease in water weight without a decrease in fat. And maybe the apparent loss was related to yesterday's workout. So, I'm not counting any chickens until next Wed's weigh-in for BLC (which, unfortunately, will also be right after Valentine's Day, where I am already planning to splurge with the boy. Doh!).

But the scale's progress has given me hope. And in the spirit of keeping things interesting, I'm going to do a "lower carb" experiment for the next week or two, trying to have at least 2 of my 4 mini-meals each day be low-carb, and keeping my overall carbs under 50%.

So, sparkbuddies - have you experimented with low(er)-carb living? Do you have any vegetarian-friendly suggestions for meals or protein powders that I should consider?

*Update: I stayed under 50% carbs for a second day in a row yesterday, and was rewarded on the scale again this morning. It said 162! Of course I'm skeptical - 2 pounds in 2 days?! - but hope springs eternal that at least some of it is real weight loss!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CHEEKY1000
    Long ago I tried Atkins, but it wasn't a lifestyle I could maintain. However, I like the idea of having the larger carb meals early in the day. I might try that. In fact, I'm not even worried about the total carbs. It would be interesting to see if just the time of day that I eat them makes a difference.

    I think I would still continue with my 2 meals a week anything goes plan, though. That way, any major cravings I'm having can be appeased and I don't seek satisfaction all week long--especially when I know I'll be able to indulge during 2 meals.

    What would you say your avg calorie count is per meal? Currently, my highest calorie meal tends to be dinner...which is likely the worst meal of the day to be high in cals.

    Can't wait to hear the results of your experiment. Have a fantastic time with the boy!
    2258 days ago
  • FITAT50
    I do much better keeping my carbs lower. It will be interesting to see how you do, keep us updated.
    2259 days ago
  • KARMA70
    When I'm being "good" I tend not to eat a lot of carbs like bread and pasta just because they are high in calories. But I don't put any restrictions on carbs like veggies. I usually try to have at least some complex carbs with protein at every meal. When I watch what I eat and don't just have a free for all this works really well for me!

    I really like the Clean Eating magazine and cook books. You should check them out, the philosophy behind clean eating is very healthy and there are a lot of vegetarian options.

    What you ate yesterday sounds delicious to me! Funny, your usual bf is exactly the same as mine :)

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    2260 days ago
    Sounds like an interesting plan. Sadly, I don't have any advice, as I haven't ever followed a low-carb vegetarian plan. It does sound like it's working, though, so it could be what you needed to get the scale moving in the right direction!
    2260 days ago
  • 4CYNDI
    Sounds like a good solid plan with plenty of variety. I tried both Atkins and South Beach but couldn't stick with them long term. This however, if it works might be a way to go. Of course I'm not vegetarian but I could probably do with less carbs in my diet as well. Something to think on which is always a good thing.

    Good luck! Wishing you success.
    2261 days ago
    I do the south beach. If you like hummus, try it as a dip with your celery or carrot sticks. I like it on romain and roll it up.
    2261 days ago
  • DEE797
    Sounds like an interesting plan, definitely worth a try. Do keep us posted on how it's working for you. Wishing you success on your journey! emoticon
    2261 days ago
    Interesting experiment.. Definitely try it for several weeks to really guage it's effectiveness... I do find that my normal carb percentage is about 35-40% Only when I have wine and bread night is it over 50%. Low carb diets have always dropped my weight, but then I binge from the deprivation.. Since this isn't low carb you aren't depriving, just keeping things balanced, which is great! Good luck!
    2261 days ago
    Right now I am being tempted by Paleo... well that is not vegetarian by any means but it does help cut the carbs, which is one of my big downfalls as well. In fact I would say carbs is the category I regularly meet... always pretty low on protein and moderate on fat. If I could say goodbye to cheese and types of breads I think i would be at my goal weight in 2 weeks (lol) but I know me and I know I can't live that way for the rest of my life... so I have to find some balance. Let us know how it goes with you.
    2261 days ago
    I think smoothies would be the way to go.... add protein powder or peanut butter and the fruits/veggies.

    Very interesting experiement- please keep us posted. emoticon
    2261 days ago
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