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TOPIC: Low Calories, or Low Carbs? What is better.....

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December 21, 2011 10:02 AM
I am curious. I have searched the web countless hours and asked many people.... Some tell me very different things and over all I know it all depends on what works for me. :) But in your opinion (people working out and eating right) is it more important to watch calorie intake or carb intake... what has more of an effect on your weight. Because I have heard carbs do more then calories because most peoples BMR's are over 1300
December 21, 2011 10:06 AM
People who eat low carb may have a 'side effect' of eating fewer calories simply b/c they are eating more of other food groups since they're not eating as many carbs. As far as weightloss is concerned, the main thing to worry about is calories. If you want to eat low-carb on top of that, that's fine, it might help you feel like you can eat more food b/c you'd likely be substituting in more veggies and lean proteins. But if you eat low-carb and do not manage your calories, you could still end up over-eating on other food groups and gain weight.
  10992749
December 21, 2011 10:12 AM
Counting calories reigns over counting carbs...as the previous responder stated...low carb =/= weight loss if you are still over your calories.

Also, if you don't have any metabolic issues (diabetes, PCOS) there really no need to cut carbs. Just make sure you get a good amount of healthy fats and proteins.flowerforyou
December 21, 2011 10:13 AM
I'm really averse to low carb diets for several reasons. First and foremost is your body's need for energy. Without going into a huge bio lesson on ATP in your cells, I'm just going to point out that simple sugars, like carbs, are easy for your body to break down into their chemical components and can be quickly converted into energy for the functions of your body. Other nutrients can be broken down for this, too, but the process takes much longer, and wouldn't you rather have the protein you consume go toward building healthy muscle instead of being used as fuel? My second problem with low-carb dieting, is that it is impossible to maintain long term, and many people who participate in low-carb eating habits gain a lot of weight back once they add carbohydrates back into their diets.

source: my soon-to-be bio degree.
  12045982
December 21, 2011 10:14 AM
NEITHER.

ETA: my body needs fuel and bread is delicious fuel
Edited by MrsCon40 On December 21, 2011 10:15 AM
December 21, 2011 10:17 AM
Thank you guys so much! ;] Already helpful, I try to watch my calories more then my carbs... and exercise even if it is just walking briskly for 30 minutes a day. I will keep this in mind!
December 21, 2011 10:19 AM
I calorie counted from June but struggled to really lose anything until went low carb then dropped nearly as much in one week as I had the previous 3 months, For me going low carb helped alot.. my weight loss is slowing down now I'm nearer my goal and been dieting for about 6 months so I'm doing high cal one day, low cal the next with more carbs on the high cal day.. having a rest from exercise after an intense week and hoping to have new exercise routine after xmas.

I will eventually after more carbs reguarly once I get to goal weight, though I think I will stay wheat free.
  10577386
December 21, 2011 10:20 AM
for me its about carbs. I gain weight the minute i touch them.

Id rather eat high calorific foods such as avacado, nuts, salmon oils than any type of starchy carb.

Having said that, i do allow myself rice noodles.
December 21, 2011 10:20 AM
I disagree with the above posts saying watching calories is better for a multitude of reasons. I suggest reading the book "Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It" by science journalist Gary Taubes to understand why. Amazing book that really opened my eyes and has helped me to lose 47 pounds in 6 months so far.
Edited by mrscarrey On December 21, 2011 10:23 AM
  6236944
December 21, 2011 10:22 AM
I avoid sugars and refined grains, as those are empty carbs and calories, and actually, they increase my appetite. I eat fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.

I keep my calories under control as well. So you have to watch both, but make sure you eat enough complex carbs to sustain yourself.
December 21, 2011 10:28 AM
QUOTE:

I'm really averse to low carb diets for several reasons. First and foremost is your body's need for energy. Without going into a huge bio lesson on ATP in your cells, I'm just going to point out that simple sugars, like carbs, are easy for your body to break down into their chemical components and can be quickly converted into energy for the functions of your body. Other nutrients can be broken down for this, too, but the process takes much longer, and wouldn't you rather have the protein you consume go toward building healthy muscle instead of being used as fuel? My second problem with low-carb dieting, is that it is impossible to maintain long term, and many people who participate in low-carb eating habits gain a lot of weight back once they add carbohydrates back into their diets.

source: my soon-to-be bio degree.


Agree with prior replies, with take home points to be reiterated:

1. Low-carb diets force folks to eat more veggies and lean protein which probably end up being lower total calories. In adhering to my calorie target, I found that my satiety is more tied to volume (my stomach's stretch receptors) than chemical balance (protein:carb:fat ratios). As it turns out, it is easier to stick to my calorie targets with low calorie density/high volume foods which is typically plants of some persuasion. Plants are carbs, but very low calorie ones.

2. Food as fuel: Carbs rule for this. Just choosing plants first, complex starchy carbs next (whole grains, starchy beans), and if any calories are left then you could consider a treat that doesn't meet those criteria.
December 21, 2011 10:28 AM
QUOTE:

I disagree with the above posts saying watching calories is better for a multitude of reasons. I suggest reading the book "Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It" by science journalist Gary Taubes to understand why. Amazing book that really opened my eyes and has helped me to lose 47 pounds in 6 months so far.


Plenty of people lose weight w/o going low carb. I don't watch my carbs much at all and I've lost 30 lbs and am comfortably back in my healthy weight range. Low carb is not the only way to lose weight, it is just one way that some people may choose. It may be easier for some people to lose weight on that type of diet, but it is not necessary for all people.
  10992749
December 21, 2011 10:42 AM
The best one is the one YOU can stick with. Seriously, that's all that matters.

They both work the same way... they control calorie intake. People naturally eat fewer calories on the low-carb diets, so they lower their calorie intake without actually having to count calories.
December 21, 2011 10:46 AM
QUOTE:

I disagree with the above posts saying watching calories is better for a multitude of reasons. I suggest reading the book "Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It" by science journalist Gary Taubes to understand why. Amazing book that really opened my eyes and has helped me to lose 47 pounds in 6 months so far.


^ only read the above book if you want your head to be filled with nonsense (other then the section on the lipid hypothesis)
December 21, 2011 10:48 AM
I'm actually gluten free/low carb and its working for me.. I do have treat meals where I may have chips, potatoes OR rice once a week, and I haven't regained the weight but I am exercising or constantly moving doing other stuff even if not doing wii fit (housework etc).

I experimented with and without wheat in diet and weighed regularly to check water weight results and for me my water weight goes up significantly daily by much bigger amounts when I have eaten wheat... I have replaced bread with gluten free bread which is higher cal but I limit it to 1-2 a week and have rule that I only have one carb item in the day if I'm going to have a treat,, so if having bread I don't have oats for breakfast or potatoes with dinner (just be fish and low carb vegetables).

It can work for some people but usually the person may find they have a wheat intolerance or IBS and stay on that 'diet' anyway. If its a lifestyle change it's more likely to be successful than people just cutting carbs to drop weight quick then going back to normal diet when they have reached their goal weight... which is why people think it doesn't work long term unless you have to stay on it for medical reasons.
  10577386
December 21, 2011 10:49 AM
QUOTE:

for me its about carbs. I gain weight the minute i touch them.

Id rather eat high calorific foods such as avacado, nuts, salmon oils than any type of starchy carb.

Having said that, i do allow myself rice noodles.


might you be confusing water retention with fat gain?
December 21, 2011 10:53 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I disagree with the above posts saying watching calories is better for a multitude of reasons. I suggest reading the book "Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It" by science journalist Gary Taubes to understand why. Amazing book that really opened my eyes and has helped me to lose 47 pounds in 6 months so far.


^ only read the above book if you want your head to be filled with nonsense (other then the section on the lipid hypothesis)


whats your advice....? curious!
December 21, 2011 10:56 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I disagree with the above posts saying watching calories is better for a multitude of reasons. I suggest reading the book "Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It" by science journalist Gary Taubes to understand why. Amazing book that really opened my eyes and has helped me to lose 47 pounds in 6 months so far.


^ only read the above book if you want your head to be filled with nonsense (other then the section on the lipid hypothesis)

Gary Taubes, that's that guy with no education in nutrition whatsoever, that claims to know all the secrets to losing fat and losing weight, yet he's overweight himself, right? Remember "science writer" is not the same as scientist. He studied physics, but his degree is in journalism. I don't know why people seem to think he is some kind of nutritional expert, other than he says he is.

Anyway, the answer is lower calories over lower carbs. Lowering your carbs will cause you to shed some water weight, because carbs are stored in your body as glycogen, and glycogen requires a lot of water for storage. That's why drastically lowering carb causes you to lose weight quickly, and then adding them back causes you to gain it back quickly, it's just water. Comparative studies show no benefit to low carb diets for overall weight loss, compared to a traditional lower calorie diet. Losing weight is all about the total calorie deficit.

OF course, if you have a specific metabolic issue, that can change the answer, but that's the exception, not the norm.
Edited by tigersword On December 21, 2011 11:07 AM
December 21, 2011 11:00 AM
QUOTE:

I'm really averse to low carb diets for several reasons. First and foremost is your body's need for energy. Without going into a huge bio lesson on ATP in your cells, I'm just going to point out that simple sugars, like carbs, are easy for your body to break down into their chemical components and can be quickly converted into energy for the functions of your body. Other nutrients can be broken down for this, too, but the process takes much longer, and wouldn't you rather have the protein you consume go toward building healthy muscle instead of being used as fuel? My second problem with low-carb dieting, is that it is impossible to maintain long term, and many people who participate in low-carb eating habits gain a lot of weight back once they add carbohydrates back into their diets.

source: my soon-to-be bio degree.



absolutely agree!! 100%!!
December 21, 2011 11:07 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I disagree with the above posts saying watching calories is better for a multitude of reasons. I suggest reading the book "Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It" by science journalist Gary Taubes to understand why. Amazing book that really opened my eyes and has helped me to lose 47 pounds in 6 months so far.


^ only read the above book if you want your head to be filled with nonsense (other then the section on the lipid hypothesis)


whats your advice....? curious!


make sure you are getting adequate protein and fat each day (a minimum of approx 1g of protein per lb of lbm and .35-.45g of fat per lb of bodyweight) then fill in the rest of your remaining cals how you please. focus should be on nutrient dense whole foods, but no reason you can't fit treats into your everyday diet
December 21, 2011 11:09 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I disagree with the above posts saying watching calories is better for a multitude of reasons. I suggest reading the book "Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It" by science journalist Gary Taubes to understand why. Amazing book that really opened my eyes and has helped me to lose 47 pounds in 6 months so far.


^ only read the above book if you want your head to be filled with nonsense (other then the section on the lipid hypothesis)

Gary Taubes, that's that guy with no education in nutrition whatsoever, that claims to know all the secrets to losing fat and losing weight, yet he's overweight himself, right? Remember "science writer" is not the same as scientist. He studied physics, but his degree is in journalism. I don't know why people seem to think he is some kind of nutritional expert, other than he says he is.

Anyway, the answer is lower calories over lower carbs. Lowering your carbs will cause you to shed some water weight, because carbs are stored in your body as glycogen, and glycogen requires a lot of water for storage. That's why drastically lowering carb causes you to lose weight quickly, and then adding them back causes you to gain it back quickly, it's just water. Comparative studies show no benefit to low carb diets for overall weight loss, compared to a traditional lower calorie diet. Losing weight is all about the total calorie deficit.

OF course, if you have a specific metabolic issue, that can change the answer, but that's the exception, not the norm.


This.
  6857672
December 21, 2011 11:13 AM
It still seems that the best advice I have heard (and which I can still recall...which is another problem) is Michael Pollan's guidance on modern nutrition theory which he says (perhaps a little tongue in cheek) is:
Eat Food
Not too much
Mostly Plants

His review article from 2007 New York Times Magazine (http://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/unhappy-meals/ ) is a pretty good place to get an idea of his thinking and what those terms mean. As is usual with these posts, everyone is enough different that "your mileage may vary", ergo caveat emptor.
  13027292
December 21, 2011 11:16 AM
If by better, you mean which will help more with weight loss, then it would be calories if you have no disorders or diseases causing problems with grains. If you have any type of disease the rules may be different for you.
December 21, 2011 11:21 AM
http://garytaubes.com/lectures-2/

If you wanted to get a preview of his message, I suggest going to his website and watching his lectures for free via the above link. Also, a more in-depth, highly scientific book with tons of references is his first book "Good Calories, Bad Calories" which was his original work on this topic. Basically he went through all the science that was already there and did the research for himself vs just listening to the conventional wisdom (that continues to make us all sick) and explains why WHAT we eat is so much more important than the concept of calories in, calories out (does your body react the same to 200 calories of bread vs 200 cal of fat? Nope, and this book breaks down why and how one may be helping to make you healthy vs why one may be helping to make you sick, diabetic and overweight).

Even if you watch or read and don't agree with it, at least you will have taken the time to judge for yourself vs assuming anyone else is right or wrong.
  6236944
December 21, 2011 11:30 AM
QUOTE:

http://garytaubes.com/lectures-2/

If you wanted to get a preview of his message, I suggest going to his website and watching his lectures for free via the above link. Also, a more in-depth, highly scientific book with tons of references is his first book "Good Calories, Bad Calories" which was his original work on this topic. Basically he went through all the science that was already there and did the research for himself vs just listening to the conventional wisdom (that continues to make us all sick) and explains why WHAT we eat is so much more important than the concept of calories in, calories out (does your body react the same to 200 calories of bread vs 200 cal of fat? Nope, and this book breaks down why and how one may be helping to make you healthy vs why one may be helping to make you sick, diabetic and overweight).

Even if you watch or read and don't agree with it, at least you will have taken the time to judge for yourself vs assuming anyone else is right or wrong.


and when he went through all the science he managed to disregard almost all the studies that went against his insulin hypothesis of obesity.

for instance did you know your body can store fat without the presence of insulin
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