The dummies guide to low carbing. A few questions if you don't mind?

(24 Posts)
Itstartshere Thu 18-Jul-13 18:10:40

Thank you! I'm SO excited to have discovered low carbing. Or rather, finally opened my mind to it. I was always so rude about it because I thought it was a fad. But then I read a few of the books on it, read a lot on here, saw the science was solid and I was so fed up with my low fat diet which I'd been on for years and lost weight so slowly on, I decided to go for it.

I can't imagine ever not eating like this now, seriously. My meals are so delicious and they look so healthy. I love fat, it makes everything taste great!

RawCoconutMacaroon Thu 18-Jul-13 16:51:52

You're doing great, that's a really positive start!smile

Itstartshere Thu 18-Jul-13 15:28:27

Sorry for the confusion - I meant I'll have lower carb veggies like cucumber, tomato, etc. for now and just have very small bits of the higher carb veg and fruit. I am actually doing a Whole 30 right now (paleo diet) and it does permit things like sweet potatoes and parnsips in small quantities. I've only had about 3 apples in 2 weeks, and maybe 3 whole sweet potatoes spread out over each day in that same time frame. I'm mostly having strawberries for my fruit and then only a small handful once a day. Just out of interest I weighed my sweet potato yesterday which was the only bit of it I had that day and I had 20g. That's the kind of portion size we're talking. Today I've had none, but had about 20g of butternut squash and the rest of my veggies have been salady things.

It seems to be ok, as in the last 2 weeks I've lost 4 pounds. But obviously if my weight doesn't keep coming off those are the things I'll cut out altogether. I just wanted to eat them initially as I previously had bad depression and I heard some people can struggle with relapses of that if they went too low carb. But no problems so far, thankfully.

RawCoconutMacaroon Wed 17-Jul-13 15:44:50

Itallstartshere, lower carb fruits- apples are not! Berries fruits are better but in moderation, a handful not a punnet, apple, if you have it at all, a couple of wedges not a whole one (ie a couple of wedges fried with a pork chop in butter and herbs, yum!).

Lower carb veg - mushrooms,cauliflower and courgette , lots salad leaves. Some onion, carrot and sweet potato are fine but portion sizes need to be very modest especially early on in the process and you won't be able to keep your carbs very low if you are eating much of these. One sweet potato could easily have 50g carb or more!

BIWI Wed 17-Jul-13 11:33:15

Itstartshere - don't understand your last sentence - please tell me you're not going to keep eating sweet potatoes, parsnips and apples?!

Itstartshere Wed 17-Jul-13 11:27:24

Thanks everyone, that's good to know. I really like the Whole 30 mentality and I don't want to count carbs having counted calories and fat grams in my meals for years, but it is good to educate myself and so I have been looking at the carb values for all my different foods. I think for now I'm just going to stick with the lower carb veggies - so sweet potatoes, parsnips, and nuts and fruit like apples too I'll not turn so much as other veg. If I'm not losing weight then I'll try and calculate it all a bit more.

OhCobblers Wed 17-Jul-13 08:33:49

Hello could I jump in as I started this week after trying lots of other diets? On Friday I was down 4lbs - good start I thought! Had a bit of wine over weekend but not more than 3/4 bottle! Am not othered by sweet things so that bit is easy and im managing to drink close to 2 litres a day.

I went down to 10.13 on Mon but today am 11.2!!!!! Disaster! I had a beef Thai curry without rice obviously last night but am certainly feeling very clogged up in the gut area. Where did I go wrong? Are there certain meals I should stick to in the next 3 weeks to guarantee dropping more lbs as I'm on holiday and need to look halfway decent n the beach!!

Thanks for any help. I'm off to scan the rest of the low carb threads!

RawCoconutMacaroon Wed 17-Jul-13 07:19:51

YY to the headaches - a couple of day worth. You are withdrawing from something you react to, that could be, food additives, wheat proteins, caffeine... Pretty much anything you normally eat frequently!

Scarletlips Tue 16-Jul-13 22:51:56

Did anyone else get a really bad headaches the first day they began the low-carb diet? I was up half the night with a headache! I must be a complete sugar addict!

BIWI Tue 16-Jul-13 08:18:01

Itstartshere - I only ever weigh/count if I'm working out a recipe.

For the rest of the time, as long as I know I'm sticking to lower carb veg, and don't get my carbs from other sources (i.e. processed foods), then it's fine.

Secondsop Mon 15-Jul-13 22:56:45

itstartshere I use the "carbs and cals" app rather than weighing my food. The app has photos of different portion sizes and the number of grammes of carbs in each.

BIWI Mon 15-Jul-13 22:42:30

Breakfast - I don't have time for eggs, bacon etc or anything cooked. I'm used to cereal, what can I have instead?

Full fat yoghurt is good. I have mine with vanilla extract in it. Otherwise, have a continental breakfast - cooked meats and cheese. Hard boiled eggs are also good because you can make these in advance. Mix them up with mayo or with butter

Lunch - Salad and protein, is there anything I can't have in a salad? Nuts, seeds, avocado? Or any sale veg I need to steer clear of?

Well, no high carb veg! So avoid potatoes especially, but also carrot and beetroot. Nuts and seeds are good, but be careful as they can get quite carby quite quickly

What's the deal with mayo,yoghurt and milk/ cheese. Can I have these? Is there restrictions?

You can have these, as long as it's always full fat. Along with butter. Just beware, though, that some people find that dairy impedes weight loss, so keep an eye out for that

Diet fizzy? I know it's crap and full of nasties but can I have diet coke or Pepsi max?

There is some evidence that the artificial sweeteners can impede weight loss. That said, the occasional one or two should be OK - just keep an eye on it

I know sugar is a no no but what about sweetener? Can I have one in my coffee? And alcohol, can I drink that?

Again, you should be avoiding the artificial sweeteners as much as you can. Alcohol - probably best to avoid in the first couple of weeks. After that, best drinks are vodka and soda, with a slice of lime, or golden rum with sparkling water and lime. Dry white wine, Champagne and red are OK but do have carbs in them, so be moderate. Alcohol is the easiest source of fuel for the body, so if you are drinking then your body may not be burning fat, just burning the alcohol - so again, it can impede weight loss

Also it is low carbing rather than no carbing right? How many carbs can I have a day and what sort of thing should I be getting them from? Will I still lose weight if I stick to very low carb for breakfast and lunch then have carbs at dinner?

^Definitely low rather than no! You should get the bulk of your carbs from veg/salad. In the first couple of weeks I'd suggest around 20-40g carbs per day. In general, up to 60g carbs per day should be OK. BUT everyone is different, and some people find that they have to be very vigilant about keeping their carbs pretty lot. The only way to find out is to experiment and see!

Good luck. And if you need more help/support, do come and join us on the Bootcamp chat thread. We're not running Bootcamp at the moment, but still lots of there who are still low carbing and chatting about how it's going/what we're eating, etc.

titsalina I think everyone else has answered your questions, but come a join the boot camp threads if you want ongoing low carb chat and support - the more the merrier over there!

Jins Mon 15-Jul-13 22:08:10

Hey titsalina I started low carbing just over 10 years now and have maintained pretty much the same weight all the way through.

I drank diet coke, coffee, alcohol, had sweeteners etc.

Whilst I fully agree that we should use the opportunity to eat pure foods and retrain our taste buds I don't think there's much harm living in the real world too. If the odd diet coke makes it easier to stick to then have the odd diet coke

And good luck!

RawCoconutMacaroon Mon 15-Jul-13 22:02:58

Itsstartshere- as a general principal with ancestral woe (call it paleo, primal, lchf, whatever), no calorie counting, weighing but realistically you do need to learn the basics of what foods are low carb and what a typical portion would be. A good rule of thumb is "eat stuff with less than 5g carbs per 100g" and be careful with things that have more than 5g per 100g.

For faster weight loss, a lot of people do weigh out every g of carb, at least in the initial stages, but you soon get the sense of what your typical meals contain.

ihatethecold Mon 15-Jul-13 20:19:33

I've just started yesterday

For breakfast I have 2 cold boiled eggs made the night before

Lunch cold meat and salad

Dinner same again as lunch

Snacks are nuts, a yoghurt and some berries

I really need to kick the chocolate habit plus I love toast.

So far so good.

Itstartshere Mon 15-Jul-13 20:06:46

How do you know how many carbs you're eating? Do people weigh all their food?

I'm doing the Whole 30 and it tries to encourage you not to weigh things, but to go with your appetite. But I'm fascinated to know are people looking up carbs per their weight of apple/salad leaves/root veg and totting it all up? That seems like quite hard work!

RawCoconutMacaroon Mon 15-Jul-13 16:54:13

Carbs per day - well that depends on you, but I suggest you start low at least for the first month (20g day), and you could increase a little (50g day) and see what happens. It is likely you will get the best results at lower levels but if you are very active, 80g -100g may be ok for weight loss.

Compare that with a "normal" carb heavy diet - which might have 300-400g carb or even more!

RawCoconutMacaroon Mon 15-Jul-13 16:48:15

Titsallinabumsquash, because of the way wheat/wheat derivatives and sugar cause appetite increase, it's a good idea to cut these out all together, at least for a while, you will be amazed at how fast your body adjusts to not having them.

Even if you have no particular intolerance to gluten/wheat, ditching it from your diet puts an awful lot of crap food on the "don't eat list", which is useful! You may find minor health issues clearing up which is a bonus.

The sugar/carb cravings shouldn't last more than a few days though you may feel quite unwell initially "carb flu" as it is called.

Eat more fat, protein and leafy veg, limited fruit, or none to start with, some nuts and seeds (small handful is a portion), coconut oil, butter and cream if you can tolerate dairy ( many people cut it out for a month or two and then add it back into the diet to see if its ok for them). 80% chocolate and clear spirits (potato vodka, tequila, for example) are ok in moderation, as is coffee and tea (again, many people cut them out initially then add them back after a while).

Interesting free blogs about low carbing include Marks Daily Apple, Robb wolf.com, wheatbelly blog... There are plenty more! Lots of info and success stories.

Breakfast - everyone always asks that! If you want "instant', Parma ham and a handful of nuts is as instant as pouring cereal (we often have exactly that, aldi does an excellent and not too expensive Parma ham.
The other thing we typically have for breakfast is leftovers- cold cuts of chicken or whatever, with berries or nuts or salad leaves, breakfast doesn't need to be ""breakfast food"!!!

Good luck with your new way of eating (see what I did there? Woe, not diet wink)!

Secondsop Mon 15-Jul-13 13:23:48

For breakfast, scrambled eggs cooked in a microwave take literally 2 minutes so you could try those, and it also takes no time to put some smoked salmon on a plate. Also deli meats an cheese like they do on the continent can make a nice quick breakfast.

Re amount of carbs, everyone has their own tolerance level - some need to go down to fewer than 20g a day to lose weight, some find their weight loss sweet spot is more like 40-50-60. So you can't really tell till you try. I think there can be a big difference between amount for maintenance and for weight loss.

Re carbs at dinner: I wouldn't recommend it, for a couple of reasons: (1) some say that carbs in the evening are worse than in the day although i don't know the science behind this, and (2) the point of low carbing is not just to reduce carbs / insulin production / fat deposits but to get your body to "ketoadapt" to burning fat for fuel, and eating a carby meal a day especially at the start of low carbing will derail this.

I know it seems scary if your meals have been carb based but so were mine. YOU CAN DO IT. There are loads of lovely lovely things that you can eat on this way of eating.

HeySoulSister Mon 15-Jul-13 12:40:16

yeah water!! lots

your tastebuds do change quickly....but this is what low carbing is,breaks this 'sugar addiction'. believe me,you are not 'addicted' at all. your body doesn't need sugar,you'll be surprised its hidden in everything. ditch processed foods and you wont look back!

Urgh, this will be harder than first thought! I'm a sweet addict!

What does everyone drink then, water?

HeySoulSister Mon 15-Jul-13 12:29:05

no alcohol!! sweeteners are just replacing the sweet taste....you need to wean yourself off that....food will start to taste very different then. no fizzy drinks either!! its all sugar under another name

be careful with dairy,but good fats are fine and unlimited. avocados are fine!

I'm thinking of starting a low (or low-er) carb diet.

My 3 meals are currently very carb heavy, pasta, bread, rice and sugar.

I'm a complete novice though so would someone mind answering a few questions for me please? I'd be very grateful. smile

Breakfast - I don't have time for eggs, bacon etc or anything cooked. I'm used to cereal, what can I have instead?

Lunch - Salad and protein, is there anything I can't have in a salad? Nuts, seeds, avocado? Or any sale veg I need to steer clear of?

What's the deal with mayo,yoghurt and milk/ cheese. Can I have these? Is there restrictions?

Diet fizzy? I know it's crap and full of nasties but can I have diet coke or Pepsi max?

I know sugar is a no no but what about sweetener? Can I have one in my coffee? And alcohol, can I drink that?

Also it is low carbing rather than no carbing right? How many carbs can I have a day and what sort of thing should I be getting them from? Will I still lose weight if I stick to very low carb for breakfast and lunch then have carbs at dinner?

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