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View Full Version : i'm trying low carb...

05-21-2007, 05:41 PM
i was a little embarassed to say this because i know how many people are anti-low carbing.

as a vegetarian, a low carb diet is something that i've never given serious thought to. i started at around 220. i first lost a lot of weight by slowly making changes (giving up sugary sodas, eating more vegetables, exercising, etc.). i maintained at around 165 for about a year. then i found sparkpeople, faithfully followed their program and lost about 20lbs, down to 143. there i've been maintaining for about another year. i would eat whatever i wanted, but still maintained my exercising.
around december of last year, i decided to try to lose a bit more weight before moving back to the us. i went back to spark, followed the program, counted calories and exercised. for two months. nothing. the scales didn't drop and i didn't lose any inches either. i even tried switching to all whole grains.

so now, here i am at the same weight (well, i gained a bit when i was staying at my mother's house for two weeks, but that weight came off effortlessly once i moved away).

i want to lose some more, so i started to look into low carbing. i know that it seems a little crazy as a vegetarian (especially one who doesn't like eggs), but after looking at things, it seems doable, at least for 2 weeks where i can see what happens and then start to re-introduce some whole grains. we'll see what happens. at the very least, i'm hoping that it breaks me of any sugar addictions that i might have.

just a little confession...


05-21-2007, 07:16 PM
I'll confess too then so you're not alone! http://www.wahm.com/forum/smileys/smiley36.gif

I found an article in my new favorite magazine called Fitness Rx that offers up a low carb/high proteinplan called the Ultimate Bikini Body plan or something like that. It's not as restrictive as Atkins or anything like that, and actually, I am modifying it just a tad bit because for the first week, I thought the carbs were a bit low since I'm weight training(50g). I just started today and all I'm saying is Iknow I made the right decision.

The reason I am doing it is because I think I am carb sensitive or something and I want to find out. I am not eating bread at ALL this week- no whole grain bread, no wheat bread, none of it, which doesn't bother me, but will start adding it back in next week and see what happens.

The great thing I have found is that I can still have my shakes or my smoothies with the soy protein I use, so that makes me very happy! http://www.wahm.com/forum/smileys/smiley32.gif

I'm not a vegetarian, but I did see something online today that talks about vegetarians being able to do low carb with no problem, so good luck to you and I hope it helps!

05-21-2007, 07:26 PM
yay! i started today too!
so far it's been pretty good. i found some low carb tortillas which i'm thinking will be a godsend. i'm gonna try it with a quesadilla tonight (and a salad and some steamed broccoli).
i also think i may be carb-sensitive. i remember being a bit "pudgy" when i was 10 or so and my mom took me to a dietician (i've been vegetarian my whole life, but my family is not. i think mom just wanted to make sure she was doing things right). the dietician had my mom track the calories i was eating and turned out i was only eating around 1200 a day! or at least not much more!

so i'm just giving it a try. i figure two weeks isn't that long. we'll see what happens.


05-21-2007, 07:48 PM
The reason I think I may be is because whenever I eat carbs, it is not long after that I am completely fatigued, "fuzzy headed," bloated, I experience edema, and if I eat them in the late evening, I wake up with what I call a "carb hangover" - headache, stiffness, and just "blah" feeling. I can't wait to wake up tomorrow and see how I feel.http://www.wahm.com/forum/smileys/smiley1.gif

05-23-2007, 03:14 PM
What constitutes low carb? It is a certain number of grams per day?

edited because I kant speel.Edited by: chrlstoncharmed

05-23-2007, 03:30 PM
i think it depends on what particular program you're following.

I've heard 60 (WAY too low for me to function), and I know BFFM considers 25%-30% of your total calories from carbs very low.

hope this helps

~ vilma

05-23-2007, 03:40 PM
Just found this...

There is no strict (or official) definition of the words "Low Carb",
and due to recent popularity, the phrase has become its own brand for
selling products. Generally any diet with < 45% carbohydrate ratio
could be considered low carb. Reference (http://www.freedieting.com/low_carb_diet.htm)

The fact is that there is no one carb level that will be best for
everyone. Atkins talked about “metabolic resistance”, others talk about
“sugar sensitivity” or “carbohydrate tolerance”. They all essentially
are driving at the same thing: different bodies have different
abilities to handle carbohydrate, and the trick is to figure out what
is best for your body.

While Atkins starts people at 20 grams of daily carbohydrate, the Eades
of Protein Power say 30 grams, Diana Schwarzbein of The Schwarzbein
Principle says at least 60, the Zone says 100-150, and Sugar Busters
would probably be around 140-200 grams. All of these are considerably
under standard nutritional advice, which is generally around 250-300
grams of carbohydrate daily (depending upon calories and other factors)...

What Carb Level is right for you? (http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/lowcarb101/a/carblevel.htm)

~ Vilma smileys/smiley1.gif

Edited by: veperez

05-23-2007, 05:39 PM
Melle, I was wondering that the other day, Monday, and I was looking online and found this at everydiet.org:

All food is made up of three primary macro nutrients - carbohydrates (or sugars), proteins, and fats. Low carb implies that the percentage of carbohydrate (by calorie) is low - but lower than what?
<LI>High Carb 50-70% (USDA Food Pyramid)
<LI>Moderate Carb 40-50%
<LI>Low Carb 25-39%
<LI>Very Low Carb 0-25% </LI>[/list]

But the plan I am kind of going by (so that I would have something to actually tell me how many grams) says to start out at 50g for the first week, which I thought was too low, so I aim for 85 to 100 grams per day. Then it's 100 for 2 weeks and then on maintenance, I'm not sure. I know you add more in, but I don't remember off the top of my head the # of grams.
I can tell you that I am loving this! I cannot tolerate 250-300 grams per day, and I was eating around 175 grams before I did this and it was still way too much for me. I haven't experienced all the side effects that I read about (fatigue, mental fog, etc.) and have had the opposite effect just in the past 3 days.

I will also say that I over indulged while I was in Pittsburgh last weekend when we ate at Red Lobster, PLUS I had soda all weekend!!! smileys/smiley3.gif I went on a slight binge, of sorts, for some reason, but the huge thing was I gained 4 lbs.!!!!! I could not believe when I weighed myself Sunday how much I had packed on, even though I walked for 4 hours on Friday! I mean I was so mad at myself. But I must have been very, very bloated from all of the carbs (can we say Red Lobster cheesy bread? LOL) because I have already lost those 4 lbs. plus another 1 lb. and I have noticed that my feet and hands aren't swollen at all. Oh, and my workouts are not suffering, quite the opposite. I actually burned more calories today during my weight training workout than I have at any other time I have done itin the past 2 weeks doing the exact same workout for the exact same amount of time. That tells me something too.

So I think I have finally found the "right" number for me as far as carbs go. I intend to keep paying attention to how I feel and keep tracking it at fitday and see how things go. I can only imagine that they'll just get better as I go along. smileys/smiley1.gif

05-23-2007, 09:27 PM
good for you! i'm glad that you found your balance.
i haven't had any of the negative side effects either, except that i might be hallucinating. haha. last might my husband and i were standing by a newspaper rack outside. on top, someone had left a magazine open and spread out. it was a little windy and the pages would occasionally move. well, a big gust of wind came and blew a page harder and i jumped a mile. i *swear* i saw a cat jump up there. hahahahaha.

i'm "loosely" following the atkins induction plan. that's 20g a day. i say loosely cuz on this plan you can eat as much meat and fish as you want, a certain amount of cheese, and two small salads. but i'm vegetarian. haha. so the way that i'm doing it is not strictly counting the carbs in cheese and nuts (which are not supposed to be eaten for first two weeks, i think). but trying to stay around 20. probably if i included the cheese and nut carbs it'd be more like 30.

i've got the testing strips to see if you go into ketosis and after 48 hours it was starting to show trace amounts.

however, i'm starting to have that "wait...could i be pregnant?" feeling. i'm going to take a preg test on friday and if it's positive, then i'm not gonna limit carbs anymore.


05-24-2007, 06:24 AM
Thanks for the explanations! It really helps to know what is "low". I think I fit more in the moderate area, according to percentages. I hover around 40% carbsand 40-50% protein. It varies, daily.

05-24-2007, 06:59 AM
Here is my understanding. Absolute number of carbs is important, but there are other factors. Most people should be as concerneed or more concerned about what those carbs are doing to your hormone levels, as that is what regulates fat. Spike your blood sugar, get on the insulin rollercoaster.

How much you get at one meal is important. What else you eat with it is important. Adding protein or fiber first will slow the impact of the carbs and moderate theeffects on insulin. Some carbs are better than others (with respect to insulin). Some are free (real carbs = carbs - fiber).

Ideally, you want to purge your muscles of carbs each day through exercise. This is the normal functioning, and preps your muscles to accept more. When your body (via insulin levels)is "force-feeding" your muscles more sugar than they want, that is what creates that "muscle fatigue'.

According to my previous doctor (leading national expert on bariatrics), there is a minimum level of carbs that our body needs each day. Our body needs a certain amount to feed the brain, which can not run on fat (despite any opinions you have about fat-heads). Our liver needs a certain number of carbs to fire the furnace that converts fat to usable energy. If you do not get enough carbs for brain or liver, your body can synthesize what it needs from protein (but not from fat). This iswhy there is a big risk of muscle loss if you do not get enough carbs everyday. According to her, the magic number is 60.

Interestingly, the cleanse program that I am starting uses sugar (not sugar-substitute) in it's protein powder. Now that I am thinking about it, the last program that I lost weight on also used sugar instead of nutrasweet. Sugar may be the real secret to weight loss. http://www.wahm.com/forum/smileys/smiley36.gif
Edited by: Yogi

05-24-2007, 07:11 AM
Thanks for the explanations! It really helps to know what is "low". I think I fit more in the moderate area, according to percentages. I hover around 40% carbsand 40-50% protein. It varies, daily.

Yes, me too. Since I am weight training, I CANNOT make it on just 60g of Carbs a day. My averages are big (150-200 g), and i've had good results. I really don't like low carb... the lowest i'll go is 100 g.

I think my training routines would suffer if I went lower. Like I said in a previous post, it really depends on what your goals are &amp; training routine is.

I am, however, carb sensitive... I think, and i'm trying to manage that by eating the right carbs for ME. That's a WHOLE other story... smileys/smiley36.gif

Cool article jnmurra.

~ Vilma

Edited by: veperez

05-29-2007, 05:22 PM
When I did Atkins and lost 80 pounds on it, I ate only 20-30 carbs a day for an entire year and a half that I was on the plan. I had ALOT of weight to lose though. I basically stuck on the induction part of it the whole time. I modified it a little of course, for sanity reasons.

I ate berries and nuts, which is not allowed on induction. I still only stayed around the 20-30 carbs a day though. I did lose, but I plateaued alot. I'd go off plan for one meal, then back on the next morning to break the plateau. Not recommended by the Atkins people by the way.

I must ad though, I was not following any particular exercise plan. I guess you could say I was doing my own walking routine, but that's it. Going to the mall, the store, etc. Just walking around as much as possible. Parking far from the store to get the exercise.

I personally could not stick with the Atkins plan. It takes alot of will power, and when you go off, it's soooo hard to get yourself back on because you put those nasty carbs back in your body and then you crave them like crazy.

I think a more senseable alternative would be a diet of lean meats, fresh veggies, low in fat, low in calories, but also incorporating carbs into it that are low on the glycemic index. Things like whole grains, brown rice, etc. These things are essential. On Atkins, you find yourself having to take excessive amounts of fiber supplements in order to simply get enough fiber to keep things functioning right. smileys/smiley2.gif Not healthy I don't think. Just my opinion.

05-30-2007, 08:52 AM
Well, if you stayed in the induction phase, I can see why you couldn't stick with it. Doing an exercise program is not advised during the induction phase ... not sure if many people know that.

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