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Low carb for those of us who aren't hardcore enough for Bootcamp/Atkins induction etc

(680 Posts)
QueenStromba Fri 06-Jul-12 22:02:53

This is a thread for anyone who wants to eat fewer carbs but has either failed on plans than start out really low carb or just doesn't want to eat very low carb for whatever reason. I'm of the opinion that the high carb diet recommended by the government is the cause of obesity and related diseases and that any reduction in carbs will boost health.

While the Bootcamp threads are fantastic, I think a lot of people find it difficult to dive straight into eating very low levels of carbs which leads to giving up by day five. I did this myself when I first tried low carbing last April. I wasn't even trying to eat induction level carbs, just cut out the obviously high carb elements of my diet (rice, potatoes, pasta, bread etc) and I still nearly killed my housemates. It was about six months before I tried low carbing again and I went about it in a completely different way and have ended up eating induction level carbs through preference.

First I cut down my carb portions slightly in each meal, waited a week or two then cut down the portions even further so I was only eating about half the starch element that I had been in each meal. The next thing I did was completely remove the starch from one meal - I think it was breakfast I did first. I had been eating a poached egg on a slice of toast with a slice or two of lean bacon and some mushrooms or spinach - all I did was cut out the slice of toast and replace it with more veg or an extra egg depending on how hungry I was feeling. Once I was happy with that I started on dinner. Instead of rice I had cauliflower rice, instead of potato mash I had cauliflower, swede or celeriac mash and instead of noodles/pasta I had either shirataki noodles or thin ribbons of courgette. For the first while I still mixed in half a small portion of e.g. rice with my cauliflower rice. I normally made enough dinner to have leftovers for lunch the next day. I lost really well on that without worrying about how many carbs were in veg and I still had milk in my tea and berries with yoghurt. I also had a couple of beers a week and the odd slice of cake or whatever. I only went very low carb after doing a lot of reading and deciding that eating a diet very low in carbs and high in fat (including saturated fat) is the healthiest diet for us.

Sprogged Tue 17-Jul-12 10:00:47

Thanks QueenStromba, and thanks for all the great ideas and recipe links, it's going to make it so much easier. I spoke to hubby last night and he's in, we're visiting relatives this weekend (and our house is full of carbs) so we're starting in earnest on Monday and we'll be stocking up on mushrooms (for breakfast), cauliflower and celeriac. Yeah he really disagrees with the idea of no fruit, I think he might of said because of the way body digests it but I'm not certain. He's out today, I'll ask him to post when he's got a minute. We don't eat much in the way of rice or potatoes now, just been cutting out wheat, but it's going to be so much nicer now to have a replacement for them.

quirkychick I think dh said is the blog he goes by, he's looked into nutrition for ages now and he really likes that site.

I just checked coconut, 12g carbs per 80g, pah!

SharonGless Tue 17-Jul-12 10:07:44

creamtea you have a few replies on the other thread grin

QueenStromba Tue 17-Jul-12 10:57:52

Hi Creamtea. I looked up your post on the other thread. You can still be salt deficient even without drinking loads of water especially if you are eating mainly unprocessed food. Don't forget that sodium chloride isn't the only salty tasting thing so your salt craving might be driven by low potassium or one of the other electrolytes. Have you been putting normal salt or lo-salt on your food? Salt cravings plus lack of weight loss even though you've stuck to the diet makes me think that you are probably potassium deficient since low potassium will make you retain water.

Creamtea1 Tue 17-Jul-12 11:18:18

Queen - yes you could be right, I have been retaining water as drinking a reasonable amount but not that many wee's - it's just normal salt (sea salt) I have on my food.
Should I get some kind of supplements or is there a potassium rich food I could up?

QueenStromba Tue 17-Jul-12 12:01:24

Hi captainmummy, I'm not a dietician or a nutritionist, I'm doing a genetics/evolutionary biology PhD at the moment. I started low carbing to lose weight and found that I felt a lot better and that my fasting blood glucose went from borderline prediabetic to perfect and my blood pressure dropped by 30/20. This made me wonder why a diet that goes against everything that is claimed to be healthy drastically improved two things that were a worry on a normal diet. So I've done a lot of reading into the science behind it and into the politics of how we ended up with the dietary guidelines we have. Probably the last person you should listen to about nutrition is a nutritionist because they have to tell you to eat a low fat diet because that's what the government advocates.

QueenStromba Tue 17-Jul-12 12:09:54

Switch to lo-salt and eat some avocados is my advice Creamtea, spinach is good too. I drink a lot of water (4-5 liters a day) so I find that I need to supplement with electrolytes - I take a half teaspoon of this stuff whenever I notice the signs of low electrolytes which is 2-3 times a week at the moment but probably once a week over winter.

theQuibbler Tue 17-Jul-12 13:01:43

Hello all, I’d really like to join in or at least mark my place on this thread. I low carbed (pig to twig) diet 2 yrs ago and lost a lot of weight nice and quickly (nearly 70 lbs!).

Then I got pregnant again and put a lot of it back on. Breastfeeding helps lots of women but it just makes me so hungry and at 3 am in the morning, I’m not reaching for steamed broccoli florets, I’m sticking my hand in the biscuit jar...
...Which is a longwinded way of saying that I’ve put on another stone on top of my pregnancy weight shock

Anyway DS is now 11 months old and it’s time to tackle this. I’m fat and uncomfortable and still in my maternity clothes. I’m also still breastfeeding but obviously he’s on solids as well.

I don’t think it’s advisable to go full-on low carb because it might affect my milk supply and I don’t want to do that, but it won’t hurt to cut out the biscuits and the chocolate and the sweets and the white rice/pasta/potatoes and concentrate on fruit and veg and meat and pulses.

So, … time to get back on the wagon and dust off the Davina/Jillian Michael DVDs and see where I end up. I’d like to feel 'normal' again by Christmas smile.

pumkintits Tue 17-Jul-12 14:03:58

I am on board!! Have stradily gone up in weight since my boyfriend moved in, plus I think low carb is good for PCOS.
Think I need to gradually, so no more sugar, bread or white rice pasta.

quirkychick Tue 17-Jul-12 15:13:53

Well, I have been no grains (except a small amount of oats at breakfast) since the end of last month. I have been snacking on nuts etc. to stop me feeling hungry but today I have really not been very hungry.

Protein porridge (tiny bit porridge with protein shake, flaxseed & berries) for breakfast.
Omelette with cream cheese and spinach for lunch.

Maybe I have started fat burning?

I think I am ready to try swapping my protein porridge for no oats.

Low carb is supposed to be good for pcos, pumpkintits.

I started trying to eat more healthily after loads of recurrent tonsilitis/chest infections. Starting with low gi/wholegrains and slowly reducing. Feeling and looking better already smile.

QueenStromba Tue 17-Jul-12 19:35:12

Welcome to the thread pumkintits. Eating as few carbs as possible will definitely help with PCOS since PCOS is part of syndrome X which is a whole host of diseases which occur together and are linked to carbohydrates in the diet. The message that the medical establishment gives out is that diabetes and PCOS are caused by obesity but actually if you look at the evidence properly then it's obvious that PCOS, diabetes and obesity are all caused by eating more carbohydrates than your particular metabolism can handle.

QueenStromba Tue 17-Jul-12 19:37:29

Welcome theQuibbler, you don't necessarily have to make an effort to stay out of ketosis while you are breast feeding - this is a nice blog post on the matter. Do what you're happiest with though - the only rule of this thread is that you should eat a diet that you are comfortable with.

QueenStromba Tue 17-Jul-12 19:40:52

Sounds like you've gotten into ketosis quirkychick. If you want to stay there then getting rid of the oats is probably a good plan. I've not tried it myself but I've heard of people making a porridge with just flax meal.

LeB0F Tue 17-Jul-12 20:06:46

I'm reading this and the Bootcamp thread for some ideas- I have decided to drastically cut down on carbs because I need to lose weight, especially round my middle, and hopefully avoid the diabetes that my mum now has.

I haven't read much yet, but can you give me some feedback on whether I'm on the right track, please?

For breakfast/brunch, I had a two-egg omelette with a bit of ham (I'd already had a few swigs of strawberry&banana smoothie before my brain kicked in blush). Mid-afternoon, I scoffed a few salt and pepper cashews (a good handful), and for my dinner, I've just had roasted Mediterranean vegetables with some feta crumbled over. Then a few spoonfuls of natural yoghurt (but it was low fat, so maybe I need to change that?), and a few more nuts. I've stayed off the coffee and had herbal tea all day, and water.

How does that sound?

quirkychick Tue 17-Jul-12 21:12:08

Sounds yummy, LeB0F are you getting enough protein? <waits for someone with more expertise to come along...>

QueenStromba have already made fridge "porridge" with greek yoghurt, protein shake (plain) and flaxseed with frozen berries grin for tomorrow. Had eggy breakfasts over weekend, so I know I can manage without oats.

LeB0F Tue 17-Jul-12 21:55:20

I've downloaded John Briffa's book an hour ago and I'm rollicking through it. He has just said that nuts are fab and completely harmless when eaten in vast quantities (I may be exaggerating), so I'm going to polish off the packet grin.

I went to Aldi and stocked up on chicken, ham, salmon, cottage cheese, halloumi (yum) etc, so I should get a bit more protein tomorrow.

quirkychick Tue 17-Jul-12 23:01:22

I have just finished John Briffa's book yesterday. Really easy to read. I love nuts! Yy to Aldi salmon, greek yoghurt- will try the halloumi. Love their deli stuff.

hillyhilly Wed 18-Jul-12 08:36:25

Another lb off for me this week! That's 6lb in 4 weeks, they're the last 6 or so I needed to lose which usually makes them all the harder to get rid off.
Scrambled eggs for breakfast everyday, meat & salad at lunch, today we have ham & eggs salad, then tonight we have good food magazine's nutty chicken curry, last night it was Sirloin steak with Aubergine and ricotta rolls and griddled asparagus. This does not feel like a diet, I think I may be converted!

cuggles Wed 18-Jul-12 10:01:26

Thanks for the info Queenstromba - was planning on starting yesterday but had a nightmare day with the little ones and a packet of MandS cookies to finish off - all gone now though so I am good to go! Am going to go as low carb as possible and will get going on the egg breakfast! I have fat mostly round middle and a diabetic mother so better get cracking...also 37 and want to get it off before it all gets harder! ..will read in more detail and report back tonight!

Lorelilee Wed 18-Jul-12 11:52:14

LeBof, I'm relatively new to this, but can tell you that cashews are a paticularly carb-heavy member of the nut family. You're better off with Macademias or Brazils. Sorry!

Tunnocksteacakesrock Wed 18-Jul-12 12:14:26

This all sounds really interesting and I was thinking about trying. Are any of you veggie? Also is it safe for kids to low carb do you think?

quirkychick Wed 18-Jul-12 14:13:37

tunnockteacakesrock there were lots of veggie recipes on the link to the bootcamp recipe thread.

I think cashews are quite carby (for nuts). Delicious, though.

QueenStromba Wed 18-Jul-12 15:31:09

John Briffa's opinion on kids low carbing is that there's no reason not to feed them low carb food but that carbs are normally better tolerated in children than adults so they can have some carbs with their dinner and it won't do them a lot of damage. So you'll be setting them up with healthy eating patterns if most of their food is low carb but the odd desert or carb based dinner at a friend's house won't be the end of the world.

LeB0F Wed 18-Jul-12 15:35:33

Ah, thanks for the heads up on the nuts, I will avoid the delights of cashews for a while then!

QueenStromba Wed 18-Jul-12 16:25:08

Pistachios are another one to look out for - carb counts on the label vary from 8g per hundred which isn't too bad to 27g per hundred which is insanely carby depending which brand you buy. Babycorn is another one like that - some places have it listed as 2.7g and other have it as over 20g. If you're eating one of those you have to bear in mind that the carb count on the label could be really inaccurate so only eat them if you're happy with the possibility that you could be eating 27g per hundred in the case of pistachios and 20g per hundred in the case of babycorn. It's a shame because I bloody love pistachios and babycorn. I'm rather tempted to buy a blood glucose monitor to see what they do to my blood sugar - see if there is a difference between the ones labelled as really carby and the ones labelled as low carb.

LeB0F Wed 18-Jul-12 16:41:37

I do try to make sure that I only buy fags which slow foetal growth or cause impotence, as being neither pregnant nor male makes those ones ok for me. Same principle? grin

Gah to the pistachios- I bought a packet of those too angry

There's a health food shop round the corner; I will check in there for macadamias, and maybe some seedy snacks. Seedy in a good way.

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