View Full Version : Carb Craze and Dieting - a personal experience

January 25th, 2005, 01:13 AM
I started on a more strict diet, with reluctance, because of it's carb counting and my pet peeve with what I percieve as the latest fad, but decided to give it a benefit of the doubt.
I was pleasantly surprised with one of the first pamphlets they gave me.
Start of it goes like this:

Low Carb Confusion?
Be Cautious as you curb your carbs - Don;t get caught up in the Low Carb Craze and forget to COUNT THE CALORIES !!!!

"Consumers think that carb free means calorie free, which it is not. We are going to see people start to gain weight."

If you eat low carbs, and don't watch the fat intake, you can still be in ketosis, easily. BUT, you;re not burning your body's fat reserves, in the absence of carbs, you're simply burning the fat you just ingested. Any time you burn any fat (body or ingested) there will be ketons in your urine, and you will be considered in Ketosis. You could be gaining fat and still be in ketosis.

It;s if you ingest too many carbs, and too much fat, that your body will burn carbs first, and if you ate to many of those, them you're still gaining weight, but you're not in ketosis.

It's when you're eating low carbs, and very little fat (restricted calories) that you are burning your body's fat reserves, and that's when you lose weight.
Just being in ketosis alone doesn't mean you're losing weight.

Comparing this diet to nutri system where I lost a lot of weight by counting calories, keeping fat at 10-17%, keeping carbs at abut 25% and the rest being protein... This on is almost identical... but yet it's labeled as carb-counting. When I was on Nutri-System, we were in a low-fat craze, and almost identical diet was labeled "low fat"
Yeah, for the ease of it, they give you a list of what to eat, and how many carbs it contains, rather than counting all of the calories. There isn't a high fat ingredient anywhere on a list. And when they review your eating diary, they are looking out for how much fat this or that contains. Like the salad dressings. No oily high fat high calorie dressings allowed. Also, no low fat high sugar dressings allowed either.
Carbs that they do want you to have are complex carbs.

The infamous insulin resistance and balance... well, it somewhat improves the situation for those people who are normally predisposed to insulin resistance. If you don't have that genetic condition, it doesn't do a whole lot. For me, who after six months of eating whatever I want (lot of fatty and fast foods), and gaining about 30 lb, my cholesterol went from 130 to 160, and blood pressure is standard 105/60, reduced fat ingestion will drop my cholesterol back down to 130's, and reduce my blood pressure by 5-10.
Carb counting hasn't done much for my intermittent hypoglycemia. If I don't eat enough, or if I eat too much sugar, my body still overproduces insulin on occasion. I can be at 60 grams of carbs one day, and feel hypo the next morning, and 3 days later with the same carb count I can not feel it at all. Or I can have or not have the same at 100 carbs a day or 300 carbs a day. Almost as if it's dependent on a synapse misfire.

So, as I've always been harping... when you look at it closely, yet again, balance is the key!

Well, who wouldda thunk, another fad goes debunk ;) !

January 25th, 2005, 06:25 AM
There are some similar issues with "low fat". There are a lot of things that can be put into "low fat" food that has a boatload of calories - but no fat. If you focus only on the fat, you could be missing other issues.

You are sooooo right. Balance is the key.

January 25th, 2005, 11:15 AM
Hi Connie,
I followed the Atkins Diet strictly for about 6 months 4 years ago while continuing to train fairly hard. Some days I only consumed 20-30 grams of carbs! While I did lose around 25 lbs. in about 4 months, I also experienced major muscle fatique and was extremely light headed after workouts or sometimes just after bending over! One thing I found to immediately help the muscle fatique was to take a potassium supplement and drink plenty of water. The only cure for the dizziness, hgowever, was to eat more carbs especially before and directly after working out. The 20-30 gram induction diet is way too little carbs for a training master's swimmer! I now eat lots of carbs (and no longer count them) but try and concentrate them towards the morning before I swim and directly after. Dinner is mostly low carb . The best thing I learned from the Atkins diet is there is a way to control my weight if I want to take off a few pounds quickly. But I believe (like most experts) that even low carb diets are successful because there is a reduction in caloric intake. Take in less than you burn and you will lose weight. Excercise is a key to success!

January 27th, 2005, 01:02 PM
You need to put that 19 pound cat on the Atkins diet, or teach it to swim.:D

I have HYPOTHYROIDISM, so my metabolism is very, very, very slow. Did I say slow?

The good thing is I don't age as much.

The bad thing is if I even look at a carb, I gain weight. So unless I were to work out 2 hours per day, I cannot eat normally.

The Atkins, and the low fat followup to the Atkins is the only way I can stay less weight.