Can I lose weight without going low carb?

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  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,076 Member
    There are tons of people who lose weight without low carbing...low carb diets are just the latest and greatest fad around...carbs are the latest and greatest dietary demon at the moment.

    I've lost 40 lbs easily and do not low carb. I did reduce my carb intake from what it was, but I still take in 215 grams or so of carbohydrates daily while cutting. When I'm maintaining I eat far more as I like to keep protein and fat pretty constant whether I'm losing or maintaining...so that pretty much leaves carbs as the flexor.
  • ahviendha
    ahviendha Posts: 1,294 Member
    I have found it much easier to lose weight while eating ~100 carbs a day, most days.

    I still eat whatever veggies I want, any fruits I want. But I try to limit bread to 1x a day. So I'll have a bagel with breakfast, or a roll for my steak sandwich, but not both. And some days I won't have any bread stuffs.

    I do have blood sugar issues, so bread carbs mess me up and make me hungrier which is why I think it worked for me.

    I think it's easier because eating protein, fats and veggies fill me up more quickly. I can easily crush a whole frozen pizza, but feel more hungry afterwards than if I ate some fish and broccoli. Basically it's easier to eat less food, and feel more full when you're not eating a lot of bread-y foods.

    good luck!
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,147 Member
    yes, you can lose weight and eat carbs, just make sure that you create a calorie deficit and maintain that calorie deficit.

    A 500 per day calorie deficit should result in one pound per week loss. Set your macro percentages at 40% protein, 30% fat, 30% carbs and you will lose about a pound per week. Keep in mind that this will not be linear and there will be weeks where you lose a little more, lose nothing at all, or maybe even gain a little, but the overall trend will be down…as long as you maintain your calorie deficit…
  • CipherZero
    CipherZero Posts: 1,418 Member
    Absolutely. In the end, it's about Calories(in) versus Calories(out).

    The reason why I recommend going low(er) carb is proteins and fat have greater satiation than simple sugars do.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,147 Member
    Yes, calorie deficit. You need to lose 2.5 lbs/week which means a daily calorie deficit of 1250/day. If you are obese this is reasonable - especially in the first month because you will lose a few lbs of water weight. Find out your TDEE (google calculators) - this is your bmr plus what you burn in exercise/lifestyle weekly. Subtract 20-25% if you want to be aggressive. See how big of a deficit that number is. If you are quite obese, you can eat like 1000 calories a day and your body will still burn mostly fat (but if you are quite obese, good chances are your TDEE will be like 2500+). If you are just overweight or even in the healthy weight range you will feel like crap on 1000 calories a day and you will burn fat and lean body mass so.. really not recommended. You don't have a lot of info on our page other than your 31 so this is as personalized as I can make it. Totally depends on height and starting weight too. But in some... dropping carbs creates a deficit, you can do the same thing counting what you're eating on here and just eating less calories overall. Can you eat a giant bowl of pasta? Sure... but if it's 1500 calories and that's a good chunk of your daily calorie budget you're not gonna be a happy camper later when you're hungry because it won't keep you full for that long. So you will probably end up gravitating towards higher protein, lower carb (not super low, i mean lower than you may have normally eaten to gain weight if you're a carbaholic like I was), and moderate fat because it will keep you full all day

    1000 calories a day…2.5 pounds per week loss? OP mentioned that she is working out, and she is going to have zero energy on this plan. Also, if she sets a modest weight loss goal of one pound per week it will still allow her to eat a reasonable amount of food, still have some foods she likes (ice cream, cookings, pizza, etc) which will prevent feelings of starvation and binging, and she will still see progress…

    OP - please do not do this…there are easier, and more reasonable ways, to lose weight and keep it off for the long term.
  • NuggetLovesEdie
    NuggetLovesEdie Posts: 481 Member
    Seconding the person who said "learn to eat for life, not for a diet."

    Improving the quality of food that I eat helps me eat less of it. Eating more whole grains, and whole fruits and vegetables increases the amount of fiber I eat and that helps me feel more full with fewer calories. Increasing the amount of beans and legumes has helped with that as well. When I combine carbs with a small amount of protein and fat at each meal, the food digests slower (learned this in the nutrition class I look last summer in college) and I feel more full for longer.

    I'm more than half way to my goal of losing 40 pounds, and I eat anything including ice cream, cookies, etc. I just budget for it (most of the time) in my daily or weekly calorie intake.

    The two coolest thing about changing how I eat is that I never feel like I'm "on a diet", and when I stopped logging my food for a few months due to increased job stress, I didn't gain weight back. That's a signal I'm on the right path. I think.
  • I'm not remotely low carb and I've lost 30lbs so far. I focus on maintaining an adequate deficit and having proper nutrients in my diet, but I've never put any food "off limits." I might limit the portions compared to how I used to eat (and I tend to crave less junk food now, which is a fun perk) but that's about it.
  • MelRC117
    MelRC117 Posts: 911 Member
    Re: I like them bad.

    As do I. Unfortunately they don't agree with the flat belly look I'm striving for at the moment...

    please explain?

    I eat any and everything I want and have from the beginning. No restrictions just calorie counting, haven't even watched macros & honestly haven't counted calories in sometime. I was too big, got pregnant and was huge. Now I have a somewhat misshapen stomach due to those things and a c-section. When I eat sugared up carbs it give me just enough belly bloat to appear pregnant again, which I've worked way to hard to look that way.
    Now in saying that I can and do still put away cake, cookies, ice cream, etc on occasion. My new rule: if its yummy enough to be worth it, eat it. If its just eh...choose a 'healthier' option.

    I eat low carb...but sugar = carbs so I'm not sure what "sugared up carbs" are.

    I listed a few in my post. As opposed to real oatmeal or whole grain or brown rice for example.
    My point is all carbs get turned into sugar by the body...no matter how complex. Some just take longer to do so.
  • This cannot be answered by a bunch of people spitting broscience on a message board. Most likely you can lose weight without going low carb... BUT we don't know your sugar levels, or your insulin levels. We don't really have a history of your diet or weight management. Here is a great article that will give you a foundation for how your body responds to food. http://www.gnolls.org/3637/what-is-metabolic-flexibility-and-why-is-it-important-j-stantons-ahs-2013-presentation-including-slides/
  • editorgrrl
    editorgrrl Posts: 7,063 Member
    I guess with my one pound weight loss I was wondering whether I was doing things wrong. When I tried the low carb diets, I would lose as much as 5 pounds the first 2-3 days. Crazy but true. I will be patient. I don't eat cake everyday but I would probab;y feel deprived if I couldn't enjoy a slice at a birthday party or out to dinner.
    But how do you log in those calories?
    I haven;t goine out to eat yet on MFP. Is there a way to log in restaurant food?
    A healthy weight loss is .5–2 lb. per week, so 1 lb. per week is great.

    There are tons of restaurants in the database, and many restaurants post their nutritional info online. Look it up before you order, not after you eat—you'll see lots of posts here from people who were gobsmacked after ordering something that sounded healthy but wasn't.
  • yes!! dont eliminate any food group! just eat balanced WHOLE foods.

    While there is nothing wrong with eating whole foods, and your diet should definitely consist of some, this is not needed either to lose weight or be healthy.

    Eat what you want, meet your macro/micro goals, stay under your calories...profit!

    This is true... but your macro goals change based on your personal body comp, goals and history. What should be the macro goal for insulin sensitivity? low fat oxidation?
  • Hornsby
    Hornsby Posts: 10,324 Member
    yes!! dont eliminate any food group! just eat balanced WHOLE foods.

    While there is nothing wrong with eating whole foods, and your diet should definitely consist of some, this is not needed either to lose weight or be healthy.

    Eat what you want, meet your macro/micro goals, stay under your calories...profit!

    This is true... but your macro goals change based on your personal body comp, goals and history. What should be the macro goal for insulin sensitivity? low fat oxidation?

    I didn't see the OP mention that she was suffering from either of these.
  • WeepingAngel81
    WeepingAngel81 Posts: 2,232 Member
    I too have done Low carb, VLCD, HCg diet and atkins in the past. All which were successful but never long term. I would always go back to binging and cravings those bad foods once off the diet. I have battled with the same 50 pounds on and off for years.

    This is the part of your OP that sticks out to me the most. I understand that it worked, but the problem is that fact that you acknowledge that it wasn't long term. If that is the case, then it didn't work out so well, so why would you want to go back? Yes, people have lost weight on a low carb diet, but if this wasn't a long term solution for you then I would suggest sticking to counting your calories. Don't make a lifestyle change that you can't stick to after you reach maintenance. It's ok to enjoy the "bad" carbs, just don't over do it.
  • SCV34
    SCV34 Posts: 2,048 Member
    After my husband was told by his doctor to get his carbs to 100grams a day, he lost weight. I believe it was 20 pounds over a six month period(give or take). He also exercised, so I am sure that helped.

    But, to answer your question, I think you can loose weight without going low carb.
    your husband lost weight because he was eating fewer calories. the carb restriction was a caloric restriction.

    Ummm, ok!
  • kl498
    kl498 Posts: 6
    Yeah you can lose weight going low carb. Calories in calories out but if you are looking to lose weight and look good then you are going to have to track your macros. Im 40% protein 40% carb and 20% fat. Carb for energy since I work out 5 days a week, protein to stay toned and preserve muscle, and healthy fats. So yes you can lose weight as long as you are on a calorie deficit but you won't get the body image you want without tracking macros.
  • ErinCE
    ErinCE Posts: 3 Member
    People die on low carb diets. Not the people who are actually on the diet, but the people AROUND them lol. I tried low carb for a split second before my boyfriend started complaining that I was not being very nice. My head was cloudy, couldn't think straight, I also wanted to eat everything in sight.

    Since Jan 1st I've tried something super new to me: raw vegan :P I eat massive amounts of fruit or veggies in one sitting. I never restrict on calories because most of the time I get too full before I reach a high amount. In a typical sedentary day of mine I will eat 1600-2000 calories. Yesterday was on the lower end of that, just weighed myself and I lost 2lbs...since yesterday. A lot of it is water, but I drink over 1 gallon each day plus there is water from fruits/veggies. Eating this way is super high carb! So you definitely don't need to go low carb to lose weight. I am super overweight (need to lose a little over 100lbs) so this is partially why my weight is coming off so quickly. If you're way small, it's going to take longer to lose weight. But you'll feel amaaaaaazing!

    If you do decide to do this, I would definitely recommend researching before you jump in :P Here's a few places to learn about your food, where it comes from, and the 80/10/10 lifestyle:
    Netflix: Farmageddon, Hungry For Change, Food Matters, Vegucated, Food Inc.

    YouTube: Fit On Raw, Rice and Raw, Happy Healthy Vegan, kat green, FullyRawKristina, Victoria D, The Vegan Zombie, Freelee the Banana Girl, 40BelowFruity, Rebekah Borucki, Megan Elizabeth, okraw

    Books: the 80/10/10 diet by Dr Douglas Graham. I haven't read any books yet, but that one is recommended a ton

    Note**: If you're female and you cut your carbs low for a longer period of time, you can do damage to your body! It will become extremely hard to lose weight next time and I've even heard of women not being able to get pregnant or having miscarriages. I'm no professional, so if that info seems wrong to you in any way, you should be researching it. Not just from doctors :P
  • becs3578
    becs3578 Posts: 836 Member
    Absolutely you can. I did however have success (and kept it off) with Paleo (low carb) eating. However I knew I didn't want to live the rest of my life like that. Currently I am using carb cyling eating philosophy to lose my last 10 lbs. I also think it is something I can continue with into my maintenance phase.

    If you want to check out CHRIS POWELL's Carb cycling online I think it is interesting. I am not doing exactly what he said but pretty close. Currently staying away from all the white stuff. So carbs are sweet potatoes, wheat bread and pastas. So far so good!
  • Elsie_Brownraisin
    Elsie_Brownraisin Posts: 786 Member
    I do love a good carbohydrate and I have lost almost a third of my body weight with no problems.
  • thesupremeforce
    thesupremeforce Posts: 1,208 Member
    As long as I get enough protein and fat, I eat all the carbs I want. It hasn't been an issue for me.
  • yes!! dont eliminate any food group! just eat balanced WHOLE foods. i eat 12-1500 calories/day and i lose every week 1-3 lbs.
    i eat 80% whole foods and 20% for small treats and occasional eating out.

    you need to eat for LIFE. not eat for a diet. LIFE is having occasional treats and eating out so learn how to incorporate those now. you are binging because your are depriving yourself. let yourself HAVE what it is you want and then you wont binge.

    Thank you for this! Thats what I need to focus on. Eating for LIFE. Low carb is hard for me not only because its not a "natural" way of eating for me, but I end up lightheaded, and feeling deprived. And NO...I do not just jump back into eating bad after the diet. I am usually working out, Its the frustration of the weight creeping back in and feelings of deprivation that caused me to give up and revert to bad ways. I can't imagine following atkins as a way of life, thats extreme. As a diet it worked but I would lose my mind if I had to eat like that forever.
    Thanks everyone. I like the idea of just eating whole foods and occiassional sweets. If I don't deprive myself, I won't binge.