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Does low carb just not work for some people?

(34 Posts)
Purplemonkeydishwasherpimp Sat 14-May-16 22:14:48

So I've been low carbing this year since Jan. I don't actually weigh myself (past history of eating disorders) as I would become obsessive. I don't think/feel I've lost much if anything I'm still a size 12ish. I got a tape measure and I've been measuring the past month or so but not much difference. Ketostix show I'm in ketosis (is it possible to be in ketosis and not lose) I have the occasional carb reefeed and go back but now I'm not sure whether to just try low calorie as I feel like a failure.
Any helpful tips?

stilllovingmysleep Sun 15-May-16 14:04:35

Hi purplemonkey Sorry to hear that. Perhaps people who are more knowledgeable than me will come to advise you. However, wanted to ask what do mean the 'occasional carb refeed'? What do you mean refeed? And also how occasional is occasional?

Purplemonkeydishwasherpimp Sun 15-May-16 14:24:29

My birthday in March I allowed myself a day off, also one day in April I ate a chocolate waffle - thats my carb reefeed, basically feeding myself some
I'm just pissed off as people go on about losing 7lbs in a week and I doubt I've lost that in 5 month despite being in ketosis sad

Micah Sun 15-May-16 16:10:42

Nope, doesnt work for me.

Calorie counting is the only way i lose weight.

It has been shown that atkins etc has no actual magic metabolic process, you just get so sick of bacon you eat less smile.

HumphreyCobblers Sun 15-May-16 16:15:41

have you counted your carbs? Just in case you are eating more that you think you are? I have fallen into this trap before.

I have low carbed very successfully in the past, but this time I am finding I actually don't seem to be losing any weight. I do have to give up dairy usually in order to lose weight, but this time it hasn't seemed to be working. I am finding it most frustrating and it is harder to stick to without the weight loss, although reducing pmt still happens.

HermioneWeasley Sun 15-May-16 16:16:11

I tried it once. Worst two hours of my life.

HumphreyCobblers Sun 15-May-16 16:19:23


before my last baby low carbing CHANGED my life! I got thin! I had a regular cycle with no mood swings and my anxiety decreased. I just wish it would happen this time...

Purplemonkeydishwasherpimp Sun 15-May-16 17:15:41

Yeah I'm eating consistently less than 20g carbs a day, like I said I am in ketosis just not losing weight. Im not gaining either so I'm just maintaining, not sure if going lower with fat would help but having said that I don't think I'm eating too much fat. I'm not one of these who puts cream on everything.

I guess it just doesn't work for a small minority and I'm one of those people.

HumphreyCobblers Sun 15-May-16 17:20:43

Have you tried giving up dairy?

NameChanger22 Sun 15-May-16 17:30:08

I stuck to a nearly zero carb diet for 2 months. I'm also a size 12 (ish). It was difficult because I'm vegetarian so I ended up eating lots of eggs but I was very strict and didn't eat much at all really. In the first week I lost 2lb, second week lost 1lb, third week stayed the same weight, fourth week gained 1lb, fifth week gained 1lb, sixth week gained 2lb, seventh week stayed the same, final week I gave up. For me it's the same with every diet. Within 3 weeks or so my body realises what I'm trying to do and my metabolism gives up.

The people who annoy me the most are the ones that say they just gave up alcohol and lost 3 stones in 2 months. I don't drink ever, in fact when I did drink years ago I was a lot slimmer than I am now.

Purplemonkeydishwasherpimp Sun 15-May-16 19:45:42

Haha NameChanger22 - yep when I used to drink every weekend I swear it kept me thinner, now I barely touch it I'm heavier.

With regards to giving up dairy no, as far as I was aware low carb/atkins dairy is fine to eat. I only have a bit of cheese and don't touch butter or cream, cutting out the cheese seems a bit too extreme.

My other half seems to think it's because I "don't have much to lose" but I just feel like a lard arse and would have expected a least a stone off since January sad

I suppose I'll plod on for now as at least I'm not getting fatter.

stilllovingmysleep Mon 16-May-16 09:47:29

Purplemonkey that is perhaps why you're not losing: you're eating too LITTLE fat rather than too much. Low carb diets are based on the ratio of: a lot of fat / quite a lot of protein (less than fat) / veg and salads. If you're not eating enough fat then you're not doing low carb properly. I've done the same and didn't lose for a while. I upped my fat intake and my water and started losing.

What you say Micah is simply not true. Where are you basing it? There are many reasons why low carb diets work. One important one is that get rid of cravings and hunger and thus are less hungry and eat less overall. You completely get over those carb / sugar cravings that lots of us suffer with and which are not helped by low calorie diets. There's a lot of info on all this in the low carb Bootcamp thread that's picking up at the moment.

Micah Mon 16-May-16 10:34:41

There are many reasons why low carb diets work. One important one is that get rid of cravings and hunger and thus are less hungry and eat less overall. You completely get over those carb / sugar cravings that lots of us suffer with and which are not helped by low calorie diets. There's a lot of info on all this in the low carb Bootcamp thread that's picking up at the moment.

Show me the research that proves it. I've just done yet another trawl of the academic literature and there is nothing I can find that concludes that LCD are more effective for weight loss than any other. There is very little research on the supposed metabolic effects.

All the less cravings/less hungry/burn fat stuff is purely anecdotal, as far as I can tell. Great if it works for you, but it's still about reduction in calories overall.

I read an article, granted many years ago now, which described a trial of atkins followers- actually putting them into chambers to measure their metabolic output to see if they burned calories differently. The conclusion was that those that lost weight didn't burn increased calories, they just ate less. But other groups that cut out whole food groups also did the same. Vegetarians, dairy free etc.

stilllovingmysleep Mon 16-May-16 13:07:55

I read Gary Taubes' book 'why we get fat' which has loads of very convincing research. I also want to make the point that it's true: LC is not the only diet that works for everyone. But for those who are insulin resistant (like I believe I am) it really is the only thing that consistently works. I couldn't care less btw if I'm eating fewer or more calories. What I care about is being less hungry. That is what makes a diet work or not work in the long run and LC does that very well. My experience of reduced hunger with LC is not anecdotal. It is mirrored by the experience of many others.

I do of course accept that many people don't need to do strict LC to lose weight and can do so just by reducing calories. Some though cannot. It is not sustainable in the long run to eat very reduced calories as you'll get hungry and end up breaking the diet. While it's certainly sustains in the long run to eat a moderate version of LC and keep it up enough to lose weight.

Micah Mon 16-May-16 13:48:09

My experience of reduced hunger with LC is not anecdotal. It is mirrored by the experience of many others

That's the definition of anecdotal: "2. Based on casual observations or indications rather than rigorous or scientific analysis:".

Your observation is just that. The fact others have the same observation does not make it scientific fact.

Gary Taubes is not a biologist or a biochemist. His degree is applied physics. He has never studied or published work on metabolism, or worked in the field. It is all his interpretation of the science.

Like I said, in the scientific literature, there are no studies or trials that definitively show that LCD work better than any other weight loss method.

Insulin resistance is interesting, as there is some evidence that diabetes can be managed with low GI carbohydrates and high GI carbohydrate restriction. But no evidence to say that effects weight loss, just management of your blood glucose. Have you ever had blood glucose measured?

stilllovingmysleep Mon 16-May-16 20:15:26

I'm not sure what your point is Micah. Is it that you disagree with what Gary Taubes claims? If so, fine. But that has nothing to do with what he has studied. Clearly he has immersed himself in the relevant science for years and writes intelligently about it. If you disagree with what he claims, what in particular do you disagree with? And why do you find it important to dispute the experience of many people who say that LC works very well for them when other diets don't?

Equiem89 Mon 16-May-16 20:20:14

What's your daily food plan?
Are you eating too much protein and not enough fat?

OneMoreForExtra Mon 16-May-16 20:35:50

Purplemonkey, I've had this same experience after losing a stone, when I plateaued for 3 months in a rigorous low carb diet. Some people have very little trouble and carry on down to a healthy weight, but for others of us it takes some fine-tuning after the initial loss.

A couple of links below (sorry can't do nice hyperlinks on kindle) both give a good summary of things to check. In your case I'd look at whether your protein is too high, you're close to target, your dairy or nuts are too high or you're stressed, for starters.

Are you on the low carb boot camp thread? Just starting today, so do come on over for lots of support and expertise if you haven't already!

HumphreyCobblers Mon 16-May-16 21:25:55

those links are very interesting - thanks

Purplemonkeydishwasherpimp Mon 16-May-16 21:53:31

Thanks for being so helpful everyone - I'm really really appreciative of all your comments smile

I probably don't eat enough if I'm being truthful,
breakfast - normally don't bother.
Lunch - chicken and salad lettuce/just chicken on its own/maybe a few babybels. Tuna with mayo (salad)It depends on how busy / stressed I am.
Dinner - could be anything from a low carb curry and cauliflower rice, steak and salad, celeriac chips, Turkey more salad. Use mayo but not excessively. I do snack sometimes on chorizo bits.

I'm currently being tested for Polycystic ovaries and apparently low carb is the best method to lose with that (if I have it) I'm just at a bit of a loss.

Onemore I'll check out those links and the bootcamp thanks smile

Equiem89 Mon 16-May-16 22:25:46

Ok it looks like you aren't eating enough fats. Low carb eating really is high fat eating, not low carb high protein.
breakfast - I'm not a breakfasty person but I always try to have some cheese or meat, normally 2 babybels and some ham.

Are you eating chicken breast or thighs. Thighs are much better with skin on.
Do you use any oil on your salads? Try to use olive oil.
I joke that I have some tuna with my mayonnaise, rather than mayo with tuna. For a can of tuna I probably have 2-3 big tablespoon dollops.
I put butter on all my veggies, lots of butter. I love sautéing leeks and shallots in butter so they go all soft and yummy.
Your dinners are good. I like to make curry with full fat coconut milk. Steak I always have a nice fatty ribeye. I love pork belly! Cabbage carbonara is a good receipe, it's basically carbonara with cabbage, sounds weird but really good, it's on the good food website.
I snack on pork scratchings, chicken with mayo, chorizo, cheese.
Basically if you can add fat then add it. You can't eat too much fat.
Some people find dairy hinders them, personally I don't.
I have PCOS and take metformin, low carb is the only way I lose weight and TBF it's the only way I like dieting. I get hungry and miserable if I calorie control. My favourite cuts of meat have always been the fattier juicier cuts so by eating this way I get to eat what I want all the time smile

Purplemonkeydishwasherpimp Mon 16-May-16 22:53:03

Equiem89 thank you so much for your post. I'll perhaps try to up the fats.

Metformin is that for insulin resistance? I'm not sure if I have that (sure I'll find out with these medical investigations) do you find it helps? Both ways really do find both Metformin and low carb help with the pcos?

Purplemonkeydishwasherpimp Tue 17-May-16 10:03:46

See this is my issue, travelling today for a meeting.
As usual no breakfast was rushing around to get my train.
Lunch... It's likely to be catered sandwiches which I can't have so I'm likely to not bother and just have my dinner tonight.

Would salted peanuts be OK as a lunch/snack - kp ones don't have too many carbs if I remember rightly, or is this too much fat/calories? Half my Issue is probably I'm very very used to skipping meals and not eating properly sad

Then on the other hand I think balls to this I'll just order dominoes and binge eat.

Purplemonkeydishwasherpimp Tue 17-May-16 10:06:01

(not binge ate in many many years)
Have eaten dominoes this year (birthday celebration days off)
Sorry for the rant just annoyed and I can't smoke my electric cigarette on the train!

alexzee Thu 08-Sep-16 18:08:06

Low carb diets don't have to be very restrictive. I would definitely try ketogenic diet. It is low carb - high fat diet that have helped me tremendously. All the recipes are pretty easy to make.

The main reason I switched was because I completely stopped having food cravings while on this diet.

I followed this 7-day meal plan to get started with keto:

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