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Old 08-20-2010, 11:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Low Carbs

Low Carbs for me..
Hi all, have just found this site and it is seriously fantastic.
I got here via quitline, a site for quitting cigarettes which i have done (yay) but in the process the kilos were creeping up and up and no i said to that, having had an issue with weight all my life..so boring..
My bod dosnt process carbohydrates well, they tend to bypass being used for energy and just store as fat, ewwww...
I have been on a low carb eating plan for 5weeks and am feeling much better. I would hate to know what i weighed before i began as i know i have lost kilos but as i refused to weigh myself i dont know.
I have since bought some scales and i weigh myself once a week to keep self honest.I have been a victim of the scales in the past when my day was dictated, either good or bad according to the weight shown, and i will no longer be pulled into such an obsessive and quite mad thinking.
I have found my appetite to be much more managable, im not so hungry with this way of eating. I would welcome any input from others re low carbs..
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Congratulations on quitting smoking--and managing to successfully drop weight in the process!

What kind of low carb plan are you following? (Atkins, Paleo/Primal, Zone?) I've long followed the conventional low-fat, avoid processed sugars/carbs approach... but recent research is leading me in another direction. I'm transitioning towards Primal (still have to read the book, just got it, but too busy recovering from last week's flood to sit down and read), and have cut back drastically on carbs (can't bring myself to throw away food, so I'm slowly eating through what's in the house without replenishing any of it.) But I'm finding hunger and cravings to be a real problem--did you experience that in the beginning at all? I attempted Atkins a few years back in an effort to support the girlfriend, but I barely made it two days--I physically couldn't take induction so I'm not sure coming off carbs cold-turkey is the answer for me. Guessing I probably haven't ramped up my fat intake enough--I just bought my first jar of coconut oil this week. Just a bit leery of adding the fats prior to getting the carbs under 100 or maybe 125g consistently.
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Old 08-21-2010, 05:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I am bascially following Atkins but a modified version, i eat oatmeal (porridge) for breakfast with cream because i love it and not many other carbs for the rest of the day.
I felt like shite when i first started, cutting the carbohydrates to 20 only per day, had headaches, was irritable and it lasted 2 weeks..books that i read said i would only feel like that for 2 or 3 days, not true.
I agree with the palo diet theory you are about to read but personally for me i am doing this to shift the weight fast to begin with and to give myself something other than wanting to smoke cigarettes to focus on.
I have done atkins before and it works, it was just my laziness that sees me back here.
A book i found very useful was Living Low Carb by J.Bowden.
Lots of information about why cutting out carbs works so well.
Like you the low fat way of eating dosnt work for me- when i read the labels i found the food was full of sugar. Disaster!
And yes i was hungry to start with but after eating mostly fat and protein and vegetables for a week the cravings subsided- i found out that the more overweight you are the hungrier you are, the more you eat!
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow... two weeks? I thought I was going to die just the second day into induction (I wasn't overweight at the time, and had a naturally fast metabolism, which may have made it worse.) This transition isn't as bad, but I'm still looking forward to getting my intake under probably 75g, with nearly all of that being veggies and fruit (mostly berries.) I'm doing a bit better than I thought, after checking my food log today: most days are 150-160g, occasionally hitting 200g. You're absolutely right about the food labels--I've always been pretty good about processed foods, sticking to what CW says are the "healthy" options, so I've still got a bit of bulk steel cut oats, a few packages of Arborio (for risotto) and brown rice, some whole grain pasta, etc, left to work through--I figure I was probably over 400 daily on somewhere around 65/25/10 split before I started experimenting. I'll look forward to the hunger and cravings decreasing as I progress further.

One thing I have that's helping me is seasoning liberally. I've freshened up my spice rack, and grow herbs on the patio, and that makes a huge difference for me. I have a ton of food allergies (including low-carb friendly foods like fish, seafood, tree nuts, mustard, most beans & legumes) so variety can be especially tough for me. Of course, the fresh herbs have other health benefits, as well.

Avocados. I was never an avocado person, but am really growing to enjoy them now, and have found a simple guacamole (half an avocado and a chopped jalapeno, maybe with some onion, a little garlic, or fresh squeezed lime) is a nice replacement for sauces, especially with chicken or pork dishes. They're becoming a daily food for me now, just wish they weren't so expensive here.

I stumbled onto something else just this week: I've avoided sweetened drinks for most of my adult life, but I've never gotten the promised appetite-suppressing effect from water (or tea or whatever.) Squeezing half a lime (or lemon) into a big old 20oz glass of sparkling water curbs my cravings and eases hunger for a bit.

Congratulations again on your success simultaneously quitting smoking and losing weight--curious to hear any other low-carb advice anyone else may offer here as well.
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Just noticed you're in New Zealand, virginnia.

One area of particular interest for me with the primal approach is the emphasis on eliminating, as best as possible, grain-fed meat and eggs (and something I need to be concerned about, with my fish/seafood allergies leaving me unable to really supplement my Omega-3 intake, and an unfortunate genetic predisposition to heart disease.) Is this something that is a concern for you in NZ? Or is it more an American problem?
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You mentioned floods a way back, what part of America are you?
Hawaii is the only part of America i have visited...
As to food, well, NZ has grass fed cattle-everywhere! No cows inside..dairy is what we do, although i see most of our best produce is exported so, no, not the grain fed problem.
Avocados i love also, they cost about $1.50ea here and i use chili flakes to spice up my food. Bummer about allergies re seafood and other foods, all my reading so far has pointed to sugar being the main culprit in heart disease. I find it ironic that ever since the low fat way of eating was touted as the way to go, we as a species have never been fatter and diabetes is epidemic.
Just today i was at my brothers place and he was talking low fat diets. I have to keep my mouth shut about my ideas on the food pyramid, which i think is all wrong, about consuming fat being bad for cholesterol.. diabetics are still being told by their doctors to eat low fat =high sugar diets!
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi virginnia,

The flood was local... I'm in Ohio. It was an isolated thing--we had a short but intense cloudburst last Wednesday night: 2.5 inches of rain in about 10 minutes. My first floor took on some 3,000 gallons of water (1,600 sq ft, over 3" deep) in less than five minutes... so any spare time has been all about cleanup for the past 10 days.

Avocados are $1.79 at my local grocery store, but I can occasionally get them for less at the warehouse club, four for $5.

Here's an interesting read (regarding consuming saturated fats) that you may enjoy, and may want to share with your brother. The point is made with humor, and I think it's brilliant. This is what led me to to look into the whole paleo/primal thing:
Fat Head » Can Your Own Bologna Kill You?
I'm not at all familiar with the movie, I think I'll need to look that up, but the post made a light bulb go off in my head. Really, every weight-loss diet is a high-fat diet in the end. In my case, about 30lbs of fat... roughly 105,000 calories of saturated fat, which is analogous to pig fat in composition. Any doctor will tell me that eating 105,000 calories of lard is all kinds of bad for me, but consuming 105,000 calories of my own body fat is good for me. The logic breaks down there--in the end, it's all the same process... and every diet that leads to weight loss is effectively a high-fat diet, as far as cellular metabolism is concerned.

Last edited by m330; 08-22-2010 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey m330, I followed your link and some of the associated articles mentioned in the replies to it. In a general way, it makes sense but I'd like to see what a biochemist has to say about it. I know the article is more of a jab at people on a "low fat diet" (and thus showing that fat isn't the enemy), but I've also read a lot of other articles suggesting that purposely consuming higher fat in conjunction with failing to lower carbs can cause problems for folks. I'm no dietician so I could be wrong about this...

Anyway, it leaves me wondering two things. First, are there different processes involved in metabolizing fat from your own stores as opposed to ingested fat (no matter how similar the basic composition)? And secondly, what happens when these dieters transition from following their diet/eating plan and into a maintenance stage while continuing to consume the same macronutrient ratios through food?

The article certainly got me thinking, but the argument in it seemed a little... I don't know... unfinished (??). Are the low fat diets (for the purposes of weight loss) being posited as, in fact, high fat truly equal to a high fat (presumably high protein) diet? Are there health risks associated with a high fat diet (whether from your own stores or from diet) in conjucntion with failure to decrease carbohydrate levels? Hopefully that makes sense...
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey SailorDoom,

I haven't read all the linked articles, and I just looked into the movie after posting the previous comment (ordered the DVD from Amazon today. I also found it available as a torrent, but I hope that if anybody goes that route--considering that the guy self-produced and 100% self-financed the film, that they'd at least donate via his website)--when I first saw the article, Paleo/Primal was new to me, and from there I took a liking to Mark's Daily Apple, and from there I'm expanding outward.

I think you hit on a key point when you say:
Quote:
I've also read a lot of other articles suggesting that purposely consuming higher fat in conjunction with failing to lower carbs can cause problems for folks.
Which, to me, lends credence to the argument that it's not about the fat, but about carbs and insulin. I think you're absolutely right--increasing fat intake while maintaining high carbs won't work. I'm not a dietitian either, although as a sophomore I studied clinical nutrition before deciding on a major, back when I was a real gym rat and aspiring bodybuilder (worked my way through school landscaping 40+ hrs/wk, and doing double splits at the gym)... so I've long held to the conventional wisdom/dogma about a low-fat, "healthy" carbs, train-your-ass-off approach. My normal everyday diet most of my life has been about avoiding refined sugars and flours, eating lots of chicken/turkey, minimizing red meat, avoiding fat, and focusing on whole-grain goodness and lots of fiber. Being a natural ectomorph, it worked for me for a long time. So this is all rather new to me, and I'm focusing on Mark Sisson's "primal" approach for several reasons (I'm by no means 100% primal or radically low-carb yet, but everything I'm learning makes logical, consistent sense to me, and I'm beginning to see the results as I transition.) I really feel better overall, and get through my workouts easier. And when I look at my calorie intake (I'm still tracking most days at livestrong Daily Plate), it's really not as bad as full-on calorie restriction (for a long time, I was starving on six meals a day... I realize I'm actually doing better overall on fewer meals now.) It's been very hard to accept increasing my fat intake... protein, yes, but fat seems like heresy to me. I started by using butter and bacon, then switched to whole milk and even cream instead of skim (not truly Paleo, although Primal is OK with it if you don't have dairy issues, and thankfully I don't). Felt guilty for my lunch today... made a protein shake/smoothie with my chocolate protein powder, about a cup of fresh raspberries... and cream (!) instead of water or milk. Hah! But it sated me enough that I basically fasted for dinner tonight, just now nibbling on some carrots as a snack. My weight loss had stalled for a few weeks... but even without working out (unfortunately, I've only taken one long walk, and had no lifting or any kind of workout other than cleaning my house in over 10 days) and upping my fat intake, I've lost three lbs the past ten days--in spite of one day when I went off the reservation and wolfed half a pizza in 10 minutes, and another day indulging in far too many Vodka/Coke Zeros (stress relief the day my buddy helped rip out sopping wet carpeting and padding.) Of course, that's anecdotal, and doesn't mean much in the grand scheme, but at least for me, it's opened my mind.

Quote:
First, are there different processes involved in metabolizing fat from your own stores as opposed to ingested fat (no matter how similar the basic composition)?
OK, so it was 1992 when I took those clinical nutrition classes, and it's far enough back in my memory that I no longer recall the exact chemistry involved... but to our cells, a saturated fat is a saturated fat (mono-unsaturated is mono-unsaturated, etc) and there shouldn't be any difference when it comes to our metabolism. On a molecular level, no difference whatsoever. I don't see anything logically inconsistent with Naughton's point (admittedly, he's promoting his film, and it's not a complete argument... just an intriguing idea and, for me, a jumping-off point.) Of course, I'm a painter/accountant/entrepreneur, not a scientist, but to my mind, it's sound, and led me to dig deeper.

Quote:
And secondly, what happens when these dieters transition from following their diet/eating plan and into a maintenance stage while continuing to consume the same macronutrient ratios through food?
As long as the maintenance stage is carb-restricted, I think they'd be fine... but where my thinking has changed is that I now question whether there is such a thing as a truly healthy 60% or 50% or even 40% carbohydrate macro ratio for most of us. For me, personally, as I noted above... Atkins induction absolutely killed me. Worse than any hangover I'd every experienced, I was completely non-functional when I tried it... and I never took seriously any Atkins people, just seeing it as a temporary effect, like a bodybuilder's cutting phase prior to competition, before those last few days of carb-loading to stuff as much glycogen and H20 in to bulk the muscles the last few days. I can't conceive of eliminating fruits and vegetables to get my carb intake to a certain level... but I'm questioning the need for grains and most starches at this point. I'm not swearing them off (even now, I'm just cutting back, hovering around 150g/day), but I'll choose when to indulge, with full awareness of what I'm doing to my body.

Quote:
Are there health risks associated with a high fat diet (whether from your own stores or from diet) in conjucntion with failure to decrease carbohydrate levels?
Again, I *think* the problem here is the high carbs--whether the fat intake is high or low, the high carb intake is a real problem (and I'm slowly realizing that I personally prefer higher fat intake, for feeling better, being less hungry, and losing body fat.) The Primal/Paleo approach would advocate that throughout human history, we've evolved to eat protein/fat, supplemented with occasional fruits/berries/roots/veggies. I'm sure I'm probably butchering the science, but on the most basic level it seems our bodies either metabolize the sugars in our bloodstream (producing triglycerides and storing fat) or burn fat, but we can't do both at the same time. I'm not sure that current science proves any link between high saturated fat intake and high blood levels of triglycerides and cholesterol: if anything, what I'm seeing seems to indicate the opposite. I just wish I'd seen my doctor recently to get a full workup and empirically track what's going on. Regardless, though, I'm feeling better, and I'm shrinking, so for now I'm trusting the results while I pursue the knowledge...

If one is an endurance athlete, then I think a case can be made for a higher-carbohydrate diet... but for an average shmoe like me, I'm not so sure. My body needs protein to heal and maintain itself, and requires fat to maintain proper cell function. Carbohydrates, as far as metabolism are concerned, would be the luxury nutrient--our systems can manufacture the glycogen we need from the other macros. Again, I'm not an authority... just setting out on the journey myself, and looking forward to where it leads

by the way, SailorDoom, I hope you don't mind the cut & paste quote/response I did there. I know it can be done to be argumentative or confrontational sometimes, and didn't mean it at all like that... just wanted to respond to some points you made that I've considered myself, as well.

Last edited by VitoVino; 12-21-2011 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Wow, that turned into a long post. Hopefully we're not hijacking your thread, virginnia...
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