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TOPIC: Low Carb High Fat Diet

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October 26, 2013 6:40 AM
So, many advocate consuming low car high fat diet for which they offer a variety of reasons, some of which make sense others don't?

What is your rationale if you subscribe to this approach to have lower carbs and higher fats (presumably good fats) and how is it helping you?

Thanks
  32568483
October 26, 2013 6:48 AM
I tried it for a minute.. I didn't have much energy and felt super bloated.

I tend to do better with clean carbs, solid protein, and a lower fat.

I know people who do well high fat/protein tho. Most who do are heavy lifters, and already have a pretty low bf%.
  16845029
October 26, 2013 6:58 AM
I don't eat this way currently, but I did try it for a few months. I lost weight very easily and had a ton of energy, but I just couldn't stick with it. I don't prefer fatty foods, and I just got sick of it. I'd rather lose weight a little slower and sacrifice the energy for the sake of eating what I like.
  44185752
October 26, 2013 7:03 AM
Limiting my carbs to 150 grams per day, and eating more protein and fat lowered my blood sugar from the high normal range to the healthy normal range. My blood lipids are still outrageously healthy. Also, I'm less hungry, which isn't a big deal since I'm not trying to lose weight.

The only bad fats are trans fats, which I never ate anyway. I eat more saturated fat than I used to, by eating more meat, more eggs, and more full fat dairy.
Edited by lithezebra On October 26, 2013 7:06 AM
October 26, 2013 8:07 AM
QUOTE:

eating more protein and fat lowered my blood sugar

Works for me too. For those without a metabolic condition I wouldn't see the need to limit carbs.
October 26, 2013 8:35 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

eating more protein and fat lowered my blood sugar

Works for me too. For those without a metabolic condition I wouldn't see the need to limit carbs.


1) I do not have diabetes, or a metabolic condition. I wanted to lower my blood sugar well into the normal range, and keep it there, because high blood sugar damages blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and the brain. The more time you spend with elevated blood sugar, the more damage you're doing.

2) The best way to lower blood sugar with diet is not to eat more protein and fat. It's to eat less carbohydrate.

3) I was already exercising, so more exercise wasn't the best option.

So, anyone who has a fasting glucose reading in the high normal range, approximately 87 - 100, might consider eating a lower carb diet now. It won't necessarily prevent you from ever having diabetes, but it might, and if you do get diabetes, it will be later in life, with fewer years of damage to your body, and fewer years needing medication.
Edited by lithezebra On October 26, 2013 8:40 AM
October 26, 2013 8:38 AM
Personally I just think it makes sense - protein and fat are building blocks in the human body while carbs are just used for fuel; there's no actual need for dietary carbs at all (that said, a lot of people feel better consuming at least some carbs).

I don't subscribe to any particular number for my carbs so much as I just try to minimize them; it's not too hard to do when my main food related goals are about eating what I consider clean healthy foods - lots of veggies, meats, healthy fats, etc. Most of my carbs on that kind of eating plan come from fruits and veggies so I don't much care. I try to minimize how often I eat processed foods (mostly just if I'm out with friends/family, or am really wanting something specific), and I also try to eat few grains/legumes/etc. because I subscribe to a Primal lifestyle. Without those kinds of foods I don't ingest many carbs other than things like potatoes and rice which I still eat.

I haven't yet had any negative reactions to this kind of eating but obviously it might not be for everyone. I think there are probably tweaks most people could do to make it work but some people because of their lifestyles/body might just function better on more carbs -shrugs- Everyone's an individual so my general advice is to try things until you find something that helps make you healthy and happy.
October 26, 2013 9:20 AM
Worked for me in getting over 56 pounds off my body. I tend to eat a reasonably amount of protein, low carbohydrate and the rest is fats (60 to 70% of calories). My diary tends not to be complete of late. Total calorie intake is modest as I don't get hungry.

Rationale ? Well we need proteins and fats to give us stuff we don't need. Fats are high calorie to provide the energy that isn't taken from my fat stores, but obviously I want to use the latter as much as possible - so I'm looking for maximum lipolysis or release of fats from storage. Insulin impairs fat release from storage, insulin levels rise in response to carbohydrates, so I eat less carbohydrate. That's the "logic". I am probably insulin resistant with blood sugars that would be elevated if I weren't low carbing, and can be if I eat too much protein or maybe too much in total.

Why limit carbs ? they create the insulin response, there aren't any we have to eat to live, not eating them removes most of my blood sugar swings and hunger signals.

Usually I eat less than 20 grams of carbohydrate, in the UK we measure fibre separately and there's perhaps 12-15 grams of that too. At least 10 grams of carbs comes from low carb green vegetables.
  18022302
October 26, 2013 9:23 AM
QUOTE:

2) The best way to lower blood sugar with diet is not to eat more protein and fat. It's to eat less carbohydrate.

Huh? What do you think is left over when you increase protein and fats?

If my macros are 50% carbs 25% fats 25% protein

I could increase the fats by 10%, increase the protein by 10% and end up with 30% left over for carbs.
30%carbs 35% fats 35% protein

or

I could decrease carbs by 20% and have room to increase my proteins and fats by 10%.
30%carbs 35% fats 35% protein

In both instances the macros end up the same. What's the difference? Semantics. "Eating more protein and fat" doesn't mean adding calories. It means swapping one macro for another.
October 26, 2013 9:51 AM
Good discussion, although mostly focused on controlling blood sugar level, which makes sense. But, switching between carbs and fat may not be the only strategy to control blood sugar, if that is one's goal. A greater concentration if not all of the carbs in your daily meals are complex in nature, they will release energy slower and over time than simple carbs will avoiding sugar highs and crashes. Furthermore, with slow release carbs or complex carbs your hunger will also be better controlled. Hunger is further controlled if food is rich in fiber, but fiber component of carbs will not provide energy for exercise.

I am sure you are aware of the above already. On the protein and fat argument, protein is a muscle and tissue building/repairing element in your food. It is not stored for energy. But, fat is stored for energy. So, fat is the only other energy source for the body except for extreme cases where the body, if carbs and fats are exhausted may extract calories from muscle in your body, but that I understand is a rare and extreme case.

So, it leaves me to deduce that fats as a viable sustained energy source is somewhat interchangeable with complex carbs and the only reason to have high fat and low carbs is really to control blood sugar spike. But, it still appears as an equally good alternative to the complex carb strategy and not a superior alternative to it, that is if you do not have much fat to lose and are solely focused on building muscle.

Anything to add to that deduction or differing views?
  32568483
October 26, 2013 10:35 AM
QUOTE:

Good discussion, although mostly focused on controlling blood sugar level, which makes sense. But, switching between carbs and fat may not be the only strategy to control blood sugar, if that is one's goal. A greater concentration if not all of the carbs in your daily meals are complex in nature, they will release energy slower and over time than simple carbs will avoiding sugar highs and crashes. Furthermore, with slow release carbs or complex carbs your hunger will also be better controlled. Hunger is further controlled if food is rich in fiber, but fiber component of carbs will not provide energy for exercise. .....

Anything to add to that deduction or differing views?


Fiber does very little to slow the breakdown of starch, which is a complex carbohydrate, to sugars. That's why the glycemic index of whole wheat bread is about the same as the glycemic index of white bread, and why they're both high. If you like white bread, and you get enough fiber from other foods, you may as well eat what you like. Eating fat and protein with carbs will do a lot more to slow down the release of sugar, however, when it comes to controlling blood sugar, total carbs matter as much as glycemic index does.

Carbs provide cheap energy, and that isn't a bad thing. Protein and fat contribute energy and essential building blocks that your body needs in order to function.
Edited by lithezebra On October 26, 2013 10:39 AM
October 26, 2013 10:38 AM
I no longer have issues with bleeding gums, leg pains, incidents of hypoglycemia and my appetite is under control for the first time in almost ten years. It turns out that I'm not an "emotional eater" after all and I wasn't "sabotaging" my weight loss because of some unconscious fear -- that hunger and uncontrollable eating was was all carb/sugar induced.

I've maintained my 65 pound weight loss by logging my weight several times a week, marking a calendar with an X any time I indulge for a special occasions (or just because) and most importantly by eating a low carb, high fat real food based diet. I don't count carbs or calories and as long as I eat low carb, real food I can trust my hunger and simply eat as much as I want until I'm completely full and satisfied. I exercise for pleasure when I feel like it; there's no strict schedule I have to follow to maintain my weight loss.

I've been eating this way for over a year and a half now; I love it and will never go back to moderation or eat less, move more that was a struggle every single day for me to follow because I was always hungry. And even when I wasn't physically hungry I was obsessed with food, planning out snacks and eating every couple of hours. Looking back now it's absolutely absurd that I thought that was normal. I eat delicious full fat/flavorful food that's satisfying every single day -- you can keep your daily breads, pasta, and desserts along with the calorie counting and manic exercising that goes along with them. Even without the negative impacts they were having on my health they're still not worth the loss of control and impact they have on my appetite. I'm much happier following a extremely restricted diet (that doesn't feel restrictive at all) and saving the sugary/starchy foods for special occasions and celebrations.
October 26, 2013 10:44 AM
Well, once I started keto, the scale started moving again, and I managed to lose inches again. Also, I feel better overall because I'm limiting my carb intake to better foods and whatnot.
  30690295
October 26, 2013 10:46 AM
Currently eating this way for three main reason.

1. Ease of compliance. Carb calories, like bread and doughnuts, are just the easiest ones for me to drop without leaving myself hungry and maintaining my deficit.
2. Taste. This is a simple one, and ties with the first; a higher fat, lower carb diet just tastes better to me than a low-fat, high carb one. Now don't get me wrong, I like pasta dishes, I like bread, I like doughnuts, but I don't like them to the same degree I like bratwurst and beef burgers and peanuts and almonds and the like.
3. Protein needs; Chicken is good and forms a good chunk of my diet, but man cannot live on chicken alone; To hit my (slightly elevated for muscle sparing) protein goal need other heavy sources of protein. The higher fat Higher protein options (to tie with the second and first points) taste better and fill me longer than the lower fat options (excepting chicken and turkey).

Now, this low carb part, like the calorie restriction, is absolutely a diet, a temporary plan to reach a specific goal. I don't plan on eating at a deficit forever, and I won't need as high a relative protein level, since I won't need to worry about maintaining LBM in the face of that deficit. The calories freed up from these factors will put less pressure on me to maximize every single calorie, granting me leeway to add less filling (but perhaps better micro-profiled) carb heavy foods during maintenance. Aside from a MIn. 20% fats and 20% protein, I don't really care what the macro comp of my maintenance calories are, as long as I stay under my maintenance limit. Portion control and calorie counting would be permanent changes made post diet, rather than a specific food regime or macro emphasis.
  48026262
October 26, 2013 2:35 PM
.
  32568483
October 26, 2013 2:43 PM
Lowered my carbs to below 50 most days tried to keep it under 40. Lost 150 pounds doing it. Still doing it because I got used to it. After two years I am upping my carbs a little but trying to stay between 50 to 100. The only thing I miss are potato chips and Pizza and once in a while I will sneak those in. bigsmile
October 26, 2013 2:55 PM
Tried it for a good long time. Left me tired and slowed my metabolism. Much happier, and losing weight more consistently (not to mention getting much fitter) being more active with a normal intake of carbs.
Edited by Mr_Knight On October 26, 2013 2:56 PM
October 26, 2013 3:24 PM
I spent about a year on the Carb Addict's Diet and lost 60 pounds (with the help of running). However, I didn't find the diet to be sustainable and ended up gaining all of the weight back. These days, my main dietary change is a turn away from most processed foods and eating much more in the way of fresh produce.

CAD did a great job of decreasing my cravings. Cutting out processed foods has had the same effect.
  29407134
October 26, 2013 3:41 PM
I follow my own plan. As far as I know, the way I eat does not quite fit any marketed plan. I don't label it "LC" or "HF" or anything else. I simply eat the foods I know work best for me. It does end up being higher in fat than anything else. I also make sure I get plenty of protein to maintain my LBM as I lose.

It is what is left after I eliminate processed foods, GMOs, foods that I am sensitive to, etc. I feel better eating this way & have lost a ton (only a slight exaggeration, lol) of fat & inches. I have no cravings for unhealthy foods & that makes life & eating easy. There is no struggle with food. I would not trade this peace for anything.
Edited by willdob3 On October 26, 2013 3:42 PM
October 26, 2013 3:48 PM
I am pre-diabetic with severe PCOS. High fat and low carb has been the only approach that has actually moved the scale and kept my blood glucose under control. I no longer feel the compulsion to eat for the sake of eating. I keep my protein to adequate levels because I am not currently lifting and too much protein actually spikes my blood glucose.
  29487459
October 26, 2013 4:16 PM
QUOTE:

So, it leaves me to deduce that fats as a viable sustained energy source is somewhat interchangeable with complex carbs and the only reason to have high fat and low carbs is really to control blood sugar spike. But, it still appears as an equally good alternative to the complex carb strategy and not a superior alternative to it, that is if you do not have much fat to lose and are solely focused on building muscle.

Anything to add to that deduction or differing views?


Insulin resistant people have been demonstrated to lose weight better on low carb - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2005.79/full - and insulin sensitive better on higher carb / low fat, so I don't think it's right to say they are equally effective for one individual.

Blood sugar excursions occur with complex carbs toohttp://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/3/638.full :-

Image not displayed
Edited by yarwell On October 26, 2013 4:17 PM
  18022302
October 26, 2013 7:05 PM
Replying to a few assertions mentioned in a string of messages:

1) Fats and protein are essential building blocks of our body is NOT in dispute
2) The question has been around the extent to which carbs vs. fats be consumed in a diet and exactly for what benefit
3) It is also a known fact that carbs in general, in spite of being complex vs. simple, will have an impact on blood glucose levels, but the assertion being made is that the spike in glucose with complex carbs isn't as severe as it is with simple carbs.

The study shared with graphics is very interesting. Firstly, thanks for sharing. However, it represents observations in a controlled environment that represents conditions within that controlled environment that may not be a proxy of each of our daily routines. For example, the study seems to suggest that consuming carbs during lunch seems to have least amount of impact on blood glucose. However, consuming more of carbs during dinner or evenly through out the day may not be as effective in controlling BG.

If we apply this to my specific situation, the outcome may be the same. Specifically, I eat carbs evenly through out the day, but increase carb consumption before my late evening workout with dinner + pre-workout meal that I consume 2 hours after dinner. SO, whatever spike in BG levels a higher carb consumption at dinner occurs is burned off by my intense workout following dinner. So, not necessarily a negative situation. But, the study provides some interesting points to remember.

The debate or quest in understanding merits of consuming more fat than carbs and it seems that blood sugar control is the primary benefit of making such a choice.
  32568483
October 26, 2013 7:12 PM
You have it rightsmile
October 27, 2013 3:02 AM
QUOTE:

The debate or quest in understanding merits of consuming more fat than carbs and it seems that blood sugar control is the primary benefit of making such a choice.


It seems to me that you asked the question with the above already your chosen answer.

You appear blind to the influence of elevated blood sugar on insulin and hence on fat loss - many people restrict carbs in order to lose weight via this mechanism without being concerned about blood sugar levels which they are unaware of anyway. Let's call them Group A. Another set of people, Group B, are concerned about blood sugar per se because they have insulin resistance, diabetes, etc and wish to avoid or minimise the well known negative effects of prolonged high blood sugar.

Peter at http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.co.uk/ is probably in another Group C where he chooses to eat low carb and is not seeking to lose weight or control blood sugar. Tommy at http://www.eatlowcarbhighfat.com/ is another, though he was previously in Group A.

Perhaps dividing up the thinking into distinct groups will help.

The continuous glucose monitor data with controlled meals gives us solid data rather than apocryphal feelings. The excursions in blood sugar from "complex carbs" is clear. I'll look for a starch vs glucose curve.
  18022302
October 27, 2013 3:16 AM
I'm currently doing LC/HF and its working great but the initial 2 week sucked cause its really hard for me to not eat any rice or bread on a daily basis. However, now I'm pretty used to it and also increased my carb to 20% of my daily intake ( I still try to have 2-3 days a week where i consume little to no carb if possible). Gonna increase another 5 % every 2 week until I reach 30% which will be what I'm staying at. I think 30/30/40 is probably the most balance. It gives you room to eat everything you want in moderation and enough fat to help regulate your hormones.

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