Why do some people do a low carb diet?

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  • southernoregongrape
    southernoregongrape Posts: 117 Member
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    Some of the good carbs make me very hungry. If I eat protein for breakfast I am fine until lunch. If I eat oatmeal, I'm starving within an hour. So, I think it is important to remember that we are all different. What works for one does not work for all. I gained weight on Atkins induction when I first quit smoking. and my support group decided it was because I was chewing too much sugar free gum. Right now, I'm staying the same at 1600 cals and on low carb 3 years after I quit smoking, I lost at least a lb a week at the same calorie level. Who knows for sure?
    And some of my heroes in the low carb field are now putting weight back on. But we are all getting older too. I look at pictures of my grandparents and great grandparents at the age I am now, and the women were all what was called matronly back then. It had nothing to do with additives, or preservatives, or lack of activity. Try cooking 3 meals a day on a wood burning stove. Sometimes I wonder if we are programmed to gain weight as we age.
  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,013 Member
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    Funny, just the opposite here. When I eat a high carb-low protein meal, I am hungry again in less than 2 hours. Only high protein keeps me full a long time. Whatever works I guess!

    Yes, exactly my point :). Satiety is different for everyone. I always notice people saying how oatmeal doesn't fill them up, and I'm like damn I eat one serving of oatmeal for breakfast with a cup of coffee and I sometimes forget to eat lunch because I'm not hungry LOL. Weight loss is all about calories, but different people are going to need or prefer different ways of getting there. Keeps things interesting :drinker:
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,521 Member
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    AnvilHead wrote: »
    Certainly, you need to eat fairly low carb to lose weight...

    No, you most certainly do not. There are plenty of people who have successfully lost weight (and maintained the losses) without ever once having eaten low-carb.

    You are making an argument where there is none. My point is that you will not lose weight if you eat carbs above your plan. Thus you have to limit carbs at least somewhat to lose weight. Right?
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,521 Member
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    kimny72 wrote: »
    Certainly, you need to eat fairly low carb to lose weight. I mean, my plan is 1580kcals per day. If I ate half of that as carbs, it would be equal to 200g. I shoot for less than that.

    I would respectfully disagree, and I guess it also depends what you consider "low carb". I am trying to lose the last 5-10 lbs and my goal is 1500 cals. I regularly eat @ 200g carbs a day (what I would consider moderate carb) - fruits, veggies, grains, cheese doodles, oreos, bread, pasta. I rarely feel hungry - carbs agree with me. When I eat meals of mostly protein, fat, and low carb veggies I am starving an hour later. Sub rice or potatoes into that meal in place of some of the protein and fat, and I'm good for hours.


    I think we're in total agreement. 200g carbs is reasonable during weight loss for many people.
  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,013 Member
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    kimny72 wrote: »
    Certainly, you need to eat fairly low carb to lose weight. I mean, my plan is 1580kcals per day. If I ate half of that as carbs, it would be equal to 200g. I shoot for less than that.

    I would respectfully disagree, and I guess it also depends what you consider "low carb". I am trying to lose the last 5-10 lbs and my goal is 1500 cals. I regularly eat @ 200g carbs a day (what I would consider moderate carb) - fruits, veggies, grains, cheese doodles, oreos, bread, pasta. I rarely feel hungry - carbs agree with me. When I eat meals of mostly protein, fat, and low carb veggies I am starving an hour later. Sub rice or potatoes into that meal in place of some of the protein and fat, and I'm good for hours.


    I think we're in total agreement. 200g carbs is reasonable during weight loss for many people.

    But I don't think most people would consider that "fairly low carb". It's more than 50% of my calories. I pay literally zero attention to how many carbs I eat.
  • Lillymoo01
    Lillymoo01 Posts: 2,865 Member
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    AnvilHead wrote: »
    Certainly, you need to eat fairly low carb to lose weight...

    No, you most certainly do not. There are plenty of people who have successfully lost weight (and maintained the losses) without ever once having eaten low-carb.

    You are making an argument where there is none. My point is that you will not lose weight if you eat carbs above your plan. Thus you have to limit carbs at least somewhat to lose weight. Right?

    What exactly do you mean by carbs above your plan? If my plan is 40% carbs and I eat 50% instead at the expense of fat and protein I will still lose weight. If my plan is 40% and I eat 50% but that extra 10% takes me over my calories for the day then my weight loss will stall. You don't have to limit carbs, just calories.
  • 12th___Man
    12th___Man Posts: 2 Member
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    I have been thinking keto might be the way to go long term, but I have had such a high card addiction over the past 20 years that I don't have the confidence that I will ever be able to maintain that level of commitment. I have dropped down to about 60 to 90 carbs daily for the past two months. It has made a huge difference in my total well-being. Is keto something I might be able to build up to or should I be satisfied with my current results?
  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,049 Member
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    12th___Man wrote: »
    I have been thinking keto might be the way to go long term, but I have had such a high card addiction over the past 20 years that I don't have the confidence that I will ever be able to maintain that level of commitment. I have dropped down to about 60 to 90 carbs daily for the past two months. It has made a huge difference in my total well-being. Is keto something I might be able to build up to or should I be satisfied with my current results?

    I've done both keto and low carb, and i honestly didn't notice a difference going from 40-50g carbs up to a max of 100g. I still got the same benefits-appetite control/lack of cravings when i upped them.

    It's up to you though, the only way you'll know for sure is to give it a try.

  • ccsernica
    ccsernica Posts: 1,040 Member
    edited March 2017
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    AnvilHead wrote: »
    Certainly, you need to eat fairly low carb to lose weight...

    No, you most certainly do not. There are plenty of people who have successfully lost weight (and maintained the losses) without ever once having eaten low-carb.

    You are making an argument where there is none. My point is that you will not lose weight if you eat carbs above your plan. Thus you have to limit carbs at least somewhat to lose weight. Right?

    You have to limit carbs just like you have to limit every other food to lose weight. If you eat above your maintenance calories you'll gain weight regardless of what kind of food puts you over. If you eat below your maintenance calories you'll lose weight no matter where you get the calories from. If you'll lose weight on 1600 cal/day, and every one of those 1600 cal comes from carbs, you'll lose.

    Many people cut out an enormous amount of calories just by cutting out carbs, enough to put them into a caloric deficit all by itself. Suppose you'd been accustomed to eating a couple of pieces of toast with breakfast, and a sandwich for lunch. That's 4 slices of bread. Many brands of supermarket bread are 100-120 calories/slice, so without doing anything else cutting out bread gets you at least 400 calories. A bagel? 250-350 calories depending on whose you get. And let's not even get started on muffins and so on.
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
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    Lillymoo01 wrote: »
    AnvilHead wrote: »
    Certainly, you need to eat fairly low carb to lose weight...

    No, you most certainly do not. There are plenty of people who have successfully lost weight (and maintained the losses) without ever once having eaten low-carb.

    You are making an argument where there is none. My point is that you will not lose weight if you eat carbs above your plan. Thus you have to limit carbs at least somewhat to lose weight. Right?

    What exactly do you mean by carbs above your plan? If my plan is 40% carbs and I eat 50% instead at the expense of fat and protein I will still lose weight. If my plan is 40% and I eat 50% but that extra 10% takes me over my calories for the day then my weight loss will stall. You don't have to limit carbs, just calories.

    I think it means that tired argument some low carb quacks try to propagate and some people believe that any attempt to lower calories lowers carbs by default, so it's the lowering of carbs that causes weight loss, not the lowering of calories. That's a silly argument because it does not explain how some people, especially back in the low fat craze era, lowered calories by lowering fat and kept carbs roughly the same or increased them, and still lost weight. This doesn't explain how those who buy into things like "the starch solution" lose weight if they are in a calorie deficit. It doesn't explain fringe groups like fruitarians and the banana girl crowd losing weight if in a calorie deficit with most of their calories coming from sugar. It also doesn't explain my case above (the scale reads another half a kilo lower as of this morning).
  • MissHolidayGolightly
    MissHolidayGolightly Posts: 857 Member
    edited March 2017
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    Lowering carbs a bit (and saturated fat) to control cholesterol. Found that I don't miss them much and am more satiated. Helps to make sure you get enough fiber too.
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
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    I low carb for better health, reduced appetite, better health, clearer skin, better health, steadier energy, better health.... I lose weight easier on a very low carb diet too. Quite a bit faster than expected. If I switch to moderate to higher carb, I lose more slowly and then quit because I dislike being hungry most of the time.

    I have nothing against veggies and (lower GI) fruits, but grains and sugars have only hurt my health. They taste great, make me happy when I ate them, but over the long term they are not helping my health. In my situation, they are hurtig it. YMMV
    jospen83 wrote: »
    I always wonder how many carbs a day it takes to qualify as "low carb"? 25? 50? I mean, the standard American diet is well over 300g, so if that's the comparison, is anything under 150/day "low"?

    Personally, I think carbs really are the key to weight loss; however, I find it's more about finding your own sweet spot (pun intended). Some thrive on less than 25-30g a day. Others need more.

    For weight loss, the pounds seem to melt away around 50-100g per day for me. And I mean carbs from whole grains, dairy, fruits & veggies. I see stalls when I go too far above that or consume lots of refined carbs.

    Also, it's fascinating that caloric deficit is the overwhelming response here...I'm not challenging that, but it does make me wonder how many calories a day I was burning when I was losing an average of 2.5-3# a week eating around 1600-1800 calories a day, with very little deliberate exercise beyond an occasional 45 minute walk. Again that was with 50-75g of carbs per day...not sure if that falls into the "low" category.

    Low carb is generally thought to be under 100-150 g of carbs per day regardless of size and caloric intake. Some who are very active will go a bit higher if their carbs are tied to exercise. Most low carbers don't bother carb loading around exercise though.

    So that could be almost 0% up to around 40% of you daily caloric intake.

    Ketogenic diets are under 50g of carbs per day.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,604 Member
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    Some just believe it's the only way to weight loss for them. There are legit reasons for it, like diabetics or people who have insulin resistance.
    Personally, I've done it for contest preps and HATED it every time. I've stayed in shape for the majority of my life being able to eat whatever I want (just had a half a pint of Ben and Jerry's last night) as long as I account for my calories.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

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  • vingogly
    vingogly Posts: 1,785 Member
    edited March 2017
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    I've done low carb and I can't do it for an extended period of time. It's not the low carb that makes me less hungry on the diet, it's the extra protein and fat. The negatives are: it's a struggle to get enough fiber in, it's hard to sustain as a lifestyle, a lot of protein can trigger gout attacks (this happens to me).

    But I've found when I would start dieting doing low carb for a couple of weeks helped me change my eating habits -- mostly I think because it's a form of discipline or focus. My general practitioner is a bigger believer in low carb than I am -- and he's the one that first suggested it to me as a strategy (he works with a lot of cardio patients like me, and used to recommend low fat diets -- they weren't working, he did research, and started switching his patients to low carb; their stats all improved).

    What I do now in maintenance is: eat whole grains; reduce my meat intake, eat good fats; eat more vegetables and fruits; reduce the amount of added sugars in things. I still log what I eat because it keeps me accountable to myself. If I decide to lose the last 15-20 lbs, I might or might not do low carb for a while (I can't stand it for more than a couple of weeks). But there's nothing magic or special about it, and nothing wrong with other ways of disciplining yourself to lose weight.

    The important thing is, I believe: what can you sustain as a lifestyle forever? Because if you go back to your old ways, I guarantee it will all come back and you'll be in the same shape as before you started -- if not worse. Too many people here focus on the weight loss and don't seem to realize there's a reason why diets don't work: it's not a permanent lifestyle change. For me, low carb can't be anything more than a short term strategy to get me going.
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,521 Member
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    Lillymoo01 wrote: »
    AnvilHead wrote: »
    Certainly, you need to eat fairly low carb to lose weight...

    No, you most certainly do not. There are plenty of people who have successfully lost weight (and maintained the losses) without ever once having eaten low-carb.

    You are making an argument where there is none. My point is that you will not lose weight if you eat carbs above your plan. Thus you have to limit carbs at least somewhat to lose weight. Right?

    What exactly do you mean by carbs above your plan? If my plan is 40% carbs and I eat 50% instead at the expense of fat and protein I will still lose weight. If my plan is 40% and I eat 50% but that extra 10% takes me over my calories for the day then my weight loss will stall. You don't have to limit carbs, just calories.

    I simply mean you could eat up to 100% of your planned calories as carbs, if you like (as @WinoGelato points out). There's your ultimate carb limit, if you want to lose weight.

    For me it would mean eating 400g of pure carbohydrate without fiber in a day. I'm pretty sure I've never done that and I don't recommend it, but I assume one would still lose weight on a 100% carb diet, if one wanted to.

    This is all I meant by the statement that you must limit carbs at least somewhat to lose weight. I think a reasonable goal is below 50% carb calories on average. Many people (e.g., @nvmomketo) favor going even lower for a variety of reasons, but I'm living proof that you don't have to to lose weight.
  • amandamc119
    amandamc119 Posts: 11 Member
    edited March 2017
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    Carbs... our bodies crave these as they give the body fast energy, a bit like putting firelighters on a fire. I only eat starchy carbs on training days as my body doesn't really need this boost any other day. I get all my other carbs from veg. The veg is more like the logs on a fire they burn slower and longer. :-)
  • leanjogreen18
    leanjogreen18 Posts: 2,492 Member
    edited March 2017
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    Lillymoo01 wrote: »
    AnvilHead wrote: »
    Certainly, you need to eat fairly low carb to lose weight...

    No, you most certainly do not. There are plenty of people who have successfully lost weight (and maintained the losses) without ever once having eaten low-carb.

    You are making an argument where there is none. My point is that you will not lose weight if you eat carbs above your plan. Thus you have to limit carbs at least somewhat to lose weight. Right?

    What exactly do you mean by carbs above your plan? If my plan is 40% carbs and I eat 50% instead at the expense of fat and protein I will still lose weight. If my plan is 40% and I eat 50% but that extra 10% takes me over my calories for the day then my weight loss will stall. You don't have to limit carbs, just calories.

    I simply mean you could eat up to 100% of your planned calories as carbs, if you like (as @WinoGelato points out). There's your ultimate carb limit, if you want to lose weight.

    For me it would mean eating 400g of pure carbohydrate without fiber in a day. I'm pretty sure I've never done that and I don't recommend it, but I assume one would still lose weight on a 100% carb diet, if one wanted to.

    This is all I meant by the statement that you must limit carbs at least somewhat to lose weight. I think a reasonable goal is below 50% carb calories on average. Many people (e.g., @nvmomketo) favor going even lower for a variety of reasons, but I'm living proof that you don't have to to lose weight.

    Didn't a guy lose weight on potatos only? He didn't limit carbs in fact he increased carbs to 100%. Or the professor on the Twinkie diet?

    They did hower lower their calorie intake.
  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,013 Member
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    Lillymoo01 wrote: »
    AnvilHead wrote: »
    Certainly, you need to eat fairly low carb to lose weight...

    No, you most certainly do not. There are plenty of people who have successfully lost weight (and maintained the losses) without ever once having eaten low-carb.

    You are making an argument where there is none. My point is that you will not lose weight if you eat carbs above your plan. Thus you have to limit carbs at least somewhat to lose weight. Right?

    What exactly do you mean by carbs above your plan? If my plan is 40% carbs and I eat 50% instead at the expense of fat and protein I will still lose weight. If my plan is 40% and I eat 50% but that extra 10% takes me over my calories for the day then my weight loss will stall. You don't have to limit carbs, just calories.

    I simply mean you could eat up to 100% of your planned calories as carbs, if you like (as @WinoGelato points out). There's your ultimate carb limit, if you want to lose weight.

    For me it would mean eating 400g of pure carbohydrate without fiber in a day. I'm pretty sure I've never done that and I don't recommend it, but I assume one would still lose weight on a 100% carb diet, if one wanted to.

    This is all I meant by the statement that you must limit carbs at least somewhat to lose weight. I think a reasonable goal is below 50% carb calories on average. Many people (e.g., @nvmomketo) favor going even lower for a variety of reasons, but I'm living proof that you don't have to to lose weight.

    So you were trying to be funny?

    This discussion is about why some people choose to eat low carb while on a calorie controlled diet. Obviously if you are limiting calories, by definition you are limiting carbs. And fat. And protein. But it's not necessary to limit carbs to a specific % of your diet in order to lose weight.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    Lillymoo01 wrote: »
    AnvilHead wrote: »
    Certainly, you need to eat fairly low carb to lose weight...

    No, you most certainly do not. There are plenty of people who have successfully lost weight (and maintained the losses) without ever once having eaten low-carb.

    You are making an argument where there is none. My point is that you will not lose weight if you eat carbs above your plan. Thus you have to limit carbs at least somewhat to lose weight. Right?

    What exactly do you mean by carbs above your plan? If my plan is 40% carbs and I eat 50% instead at the expense of fat and protein I will still lose weight. If my plan is 40% and I eat 50% but that extra 10% takes me over my calories for the day then my weight loss will stall. You don't have to limit carbs, just calories.

    I simply mean you could eat up to 100% of your planned calories as carbs, if you like (as @WinoGelato points out). There's your ultimate carb limit, if you want to lose weight.

    For me it would mean eating 400g of pure carbohydrate without fiber in a day. I'm pretty sure I've never done that and I don't recommend it, but I assume one would still lose weight on a 100% carb diet, if one wanted to.

    This is all I meant by the statement that you must limit carbs at least somewhat to lose weight. I think a reasonable goal is below 50% carb calories on average. Many people (e.g., @nvmomketo) favor going even lower for a variety of reasons, but I'm living proof that you don't have to to lose weight.

    Didn't a guy lose weight on potatos only? He didn't limit carbs in fact he increased carbs to 100%. Or the professor on the Twinkie diet?

    They did hower lower their calorie intake.

    Even potatoes aren't 100% carbs (nor are Twinkies, although they have less fat than most sweets that get wrongly called "carbs," like donuts, which are about half fat). (On 100% carbs you'd basically die, eventually, because you need protein and essential fatty acids. However, I guess you can get them from your body to some extent as some have fasted for a long time when they had lots of weight to lose, but OBVIOUSLY not recommended, dangerous, any VLCD should be under a dr's supervision.)

    1540 calories of potatoes have 41 g of protein, 1.8 g of fat, and 350 g of carbs.

    Here's a discussion of that (goofy) diet: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-11864290 (Also, for fun, pre potato Irish diet: http://www.bonappetit.com/trends/article/what-the-irish-ate-before-potatoes.)

    Best way to have a basically all carb diet would be to be a fruitarian, I guess, although it still wouldn't be 100%.