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LowER carb. Still worth doing or only works if really slash carbs?

(14 Posts)
Alsoflamingo Thu 23-Oct-14 09:53:51

I have read somewhere that if you want to go into ketosis and really shift weight, you have to basically cut out all carbs. But think have ALSO heard that just reducing the amount of carbs and upping the percentage of protein in your diet is good for weight loss. Just wondering…… I am trying to go 40% protein and 30% carb, 30% fat. ISH. So definitely a higher protein weighting (and lower carb weigh) than 'normal' diet. But is that just pointless and will I only get results if I go much lower on carbs? Just seems a bit bonkers to cut out fruit and veg and and stuff plus may die if I can't have the odd bagel Keen for input from people who actually know how this stuff works (not me, clearly).

FavadiCacao Thu 23-Oct-14 12:18:45

Yes, lower carb will work. smile
The numbers you are suggesting would count as a High Protein, Low Carb diet.
Other than ~5kg on <50 carb/day, I had lost the other ~30kg eating around 80-100 carbs/day.
Recently, I lost almost 10kg on even higher carbs ~35%. (~40% protein, ~25% fat).

There are many Low Carb diets (low carb = less than 35% carb) and not all are high fat (high fat = more than 40%), so it can be a bit confusing but
there are rimmets of medical papers suggesting High Protein, Low Carbs diets as highly effective. smile
In brief, proteins fill you up and reduce the amount of Fat Free Tissue loss (not just muscle); lower carb minimises sugar spikes and subsequent crashes, improving insulin response and many metabolic conditions. Beware that not all carbs are made the same, some will make blood sugar rise quicker (eg sugar, bread, pasta) than others (veg, low GI fruit); although a bagel will not necessarily set you back in your weight loss it might create a sugar craving and set you back into old habits.

Alsoflamingo Thu 23-Oct-14 12:50:30

Thanks so much Fava. Very helpful. You are dead right about bagel or any yummy white bread frankly triggering cravings. I keep telling myself it won't happen, but it pretty much always does. If I allow myself a bit of quinoa or brown rice then I don't feel so deprived so trying to make that sort of thing be my carb.

HolgerDanske Thu 23-Oct-14 13:00:27

It depends if you are doing it for properly medical reasons. So for myself, for example, I have to be very strict because carbs are not good for me, however 'healthy' a carb it is. Even the Lower GI foods are unacceptable for me from the perspective of my condition, in all but the most minuscule portions. I also can't eat fruit on the whole, except maybe a few berries here and there.

It also depends if you will continue having very strong carb cravings if you are eating a moderate level of carbs. Everyone's threshold will be different. If you are trying to eat lower carb but constantly sabotaging it because it's too hard to stick to it, it's counter productive in the long run. Going very low is much easier after the first few days or weeks, because the cravings go.

Next point is weight loss. The more strict you are (at first) the quicker your body will make its adjustments and start using fat for energy which is what makes it such a good lifestyle for losing weight. Once you are losing you can up your carb intake by a bit and still lose weight as long as you are careful.

But from a purely health-conscious perspective, any lifestyle in which you limit your intake of the not-all-that-good-for-you carbs will better for you, so whatever you do is an improvement.

HolgerDanske Thu 23-Oct-14 13:07:07

Also you don't cut out veg by any means! You might have to leave some out for the first little while because they're too carby, but generally your diet will consist of lots of veg. So you certainly won't be depriving yourself.

Alsoflamingo Thu 23-Oct-14 13:18:56

Thanks Holger. No proper medical reasons - pure vanity! I only need to lose 4 kilos or so - so not a massive deal. I think you are right that being too strict can just result in endless sabotage and yo-yoing (although some say that yo-yo ing is quite good at 'confusing' the metabolism). I was just really wondering if tweaking my current diet (normally have large bowl of pasta every other night or so, for instance) will do it, or whether I need to do something more drastic. My 'normal' diet is healthy, I'd say. Loads of fresh fruit and veg, fish, lean protein etc. I am not the type to live off fast food and biscuits. The trouble is I LOVE the starchy carb bit that goes with the healthy bits (bread, pasta, rice etc). Find it really hard to enjoy meals without any of that stuff.

HolgerDanske Thu 23-Oct-14 13:22:18

Ah well I actually meant if you're not strict enough it's much more likely you will self-sabotage, particularly with low carbing. If you don't do it right you will likely make things worse and more difficult for yourself.

Perhaps 5:2 or a variation thereof would work better for you? You get lots of health benefits and the weight loss will be a happy secondary effect.

FavadiCacao Thu 23-Oct-14 14:56:28

Knowing your downfall(s) means you are already a step ahead. smile
Like you I was passionate about bread and pasta and I knew they had to go for the duration of losing weight. Rather than cooking the sauces to go with the pasta I couldn't have, I cooked meals that went well with potatoes or rice -which meant minimum disruption as a family.

possomcandle Tue 04-Nov-14 22:16:40

I've been trying to switch carbs for vegetables with pretty good results and tasty meals. Eg.courgette ribbons instead of pasta, turnip for potato and cauliflower rice. Its great psychologically because it looks the same quantity but is much lower carb (and calorie) and has loads of healthy stuff too. It also works well if you are cooking for others in your family who still want the same meals because they can just have the same but with their pasta etc.
I really know I won't stick to measuring the amounts of carbs in everything everyday. But this way I know I am making a good reduction without much fussing which works for me.

miffy49 Wed 05-Nov-14 13:43:47

Have you tried celeriac? That makes an excellent substitute for potato. Makes lovely chips. Some people mash it too but I prefer cauli mash.

possomcandle Wed 05-Nov-14 18:22:49

I've never cooked celeriac myself. Only ever had it as part of a meal. Sounds like a good idea though, thanks!

ppeatfruit Mon 10-Nov-14 16:35:51

Good idea about celeriac it's nicer than potato Imo, also you can now buy good rice noodles or pasta made from whole rice which is lovely with a pesto type sauce; you wouldn't know you're not eating wheat and it's soo much more better for you.

TimeForAnotherNameChange Tue 11-Nov-14 14:10:07

Well I've lost over two stone doing 40%F 30%C 30%P on around 1400-1600 cals a day, and it amounts to about 100-110g carbs. It would never be described as low carb by devotees, but it allows me the odd slice of bread, the odd potato with sunday lunch, a controlled meal out etc. I'm happy eating this way for good.

ppeatfruit Tue 11-Nov-14 14:30:01

Yes TimeFor I'm LOWISH carb. (no wheat) I eat fruit and whole rice etc. and lost almost 3 stone with Paul Mckenna following a healthy diet; not counting calls. or weighing anything and I'm maintaining doing the same it's a way of life.

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