Message Boards » General Diet and Weight Loss Help

TOPIC: For weight loss, should I focus on carbs or calories?

« Prev 1 3
« Prev 1 3
 
Ic_disabled_photos
Topic has been inactive for 30 days or more and images have been disabled.
Display All Images
August 8, 2012 3:19 PM
I keep hearing different opinions on this and am really confused. Some people focus on low calories when other people focus on low carbs to lose weight. Which one works?
  27255475
August 8, 2012 3:20 PM
A good mix of both I'd say. But there is such thing as good carbs as in complex carbs from whole grains which are essential to good health. But I am also interested to see what else people have to say...
August 8, 2012 3:21 PM
it really depends on the person. *I* tried low calorie for 3 months and only lost 7 pounds :( I reduced my workout, and my carbs ( from ~250g per day to ~100g per day) and lost almost 18lbs in the next 3 months.
  9724253
August 8, 2012 3:27 PM
I've been doing low carb... first started atkins induction and lost nothing ... zero... that landed me here where I've been doing 1200 cals a day at low carb....and I am losing...slow and steady.but I don't think any faster than if I were eating complex carbs. I am thinking about just eating overall healthy and sticking to my calories. I don't think for me low carb mattered.
  12731956
August 8, 2012 3:30 PM
Well, there's a number of things you should do but bear the following in mind- carbs and protein are 4cal/gram while fat is 9cal/gram. Avoid calorie dense foods like chocolate, butter, bread etc (you want to focus on macronutrients carbohydrate fat and protein when dieting and in general, really). Myfitnesspal seems to minimise the importance of protein while you're on a diet which is what you need a lot of (around 0.7 grams per pound of body weight). This is because a diet is not about losing weight: it's about losing fat.

So if you're losing weight I would suggest (and I am no expert but have read a lot of secondary information sourced from many different studies) 0.7 grams per pound of body weight protein- and then get the rest of your fat and protein from whole foods. Avoid bread. Avoid chocolate. Foods like non-starchy vegetables such as onions, broccoli, beets, cabbage, well- most vegetables really, eat as many as you like. Try to get 50 grams + of carbohydrate a day to keep your brain ticking over with glucose (and keeping away from ketosis, which can be a little unfun to go into and out of for some people), then get your fat from your protein sources, omega-3 supplements (either sesame or fish oil essentially, or portions of fish like salmon) and minimise the rest. If you want a sweet, make your own from low fat milk or have a no added sugar ice cream (ice cream can be quite easily made with cottage cheese and egg whites and it's high in protein).

If you follow those rules - high protein and fairly low carb and fat - you'll minimise muscle loss while maximising fat loss.

-oh and note, sugar is fine (carbohydrates essentially) but more than 50 grams in the liver at a time and anything over that tends to be partitioned straight to fat.

If anyone says 'don't eat carbs' or 'don't worry about carbs' or 'eat low fat' then they're missing the point of a diet. Different things work for different people. The only thing you should be careful of is crash dieting (if you do, you need to take breaks every few weeks in order to stop your metabolism from crashing too much) and basically jumping on any sort of bandwagon for losing.

It's horrible to say, but the only way you can lose weight is by burning more calories than you eat. Oh- and if you do go low carb, you'll drop between 5 and 15 pounds of water in a week for various reasons which *will* mostly go back on when you go back to regular carb.
Edited by conradhughes On August 8, 2012 3:35 PM
August 8, 2012 3:34 PM
I think the main focus should be on healthy eating and portion sizes.
  3595208
August 8, 2012 3:34 PM
Calories are always important; low carb is one way of reducing your caloric intake. In order to lose weight, you must have a calorie deficit, meaning that you take in less than you burn off (through exercise, daily activity, and your body keeping itself alive). So in order to lose weight, caloric intake must be sufficiently low that you will take some of that needed energy from excess fat.

Think of low carb as a method of creating the deficit. Some people find that low carb diets make it easier for them to stick to this calorie reduction; other people don't do well with it. In the end, the "how" is not so important; find what will work for you, whether it's low carb or something else.
  16412779
August 8, 2012 3:34 PM
You want to do a combination of both. You dont have to low carb it, like 20 or so but drop it to less than a 100 and get that mainly from fruit and veggies. Up your protein and your set.
  13320318
August 8, 2012 3:34 PM
If you are under carbs and over calories it makes no difference what method you use, you'll gain weight.
  11390926
August 8, 2012 3:36 PM
Calories is much more important to weight loss. Eating the right amount, not just a low amount, is the key.

Obviously eating healthier is better for you in the long run, but you can still have carbs and lose weight as long as you are eating the right amount of calories.
Edited by GreenEyedLady1 On August 8, 2012 3:41 PM
  6578859
August 8, 2012 3:40 PM
I need balance my calories are important and I try to stay under goal I eat about 2050 cals a day 1610 MFP goal and 500 or 600 exercise calories that I eat back most of I exercise most every day and to maintain fuel for workouts I consume 150 carbs almost all from fruit vegs clean carbs almonds yogurts and lean chicken and fish pork makes up protein to help muscle repair and growth.
So I guess my answer is balance your intake and eat reasonably healthy foods
  4580335
August 8, 2012 3:41 PM
I've done the no carb thing in many forms (Adkins, HCG, counting carbs) all because I told myself that eating carbs made me hungrier in the end. What actually works is to know in order to lose you need to hear and feel your stomach start to growl about an hour before you're due for a meal. You need to feel hungry some of the time, whether or not you eat carbs. I am now a vegetarian strictly for health and palate reasons, and I eat whole grains, whole wheat and am no hungrier or have increased cravings than when I ate no carbs.
  24007358
August 8, 2012 3:41 PM
Calories and a good balance of mostly healthy foods. If you have a medical issue that makes you sensitive to carbs, then you should limit them.
August 8, 2012 3:43 PM
I have been reading on this a lot but am not an expert.

For me, low calories and keep my carbs under 50% - and all complex, unprocessed carbs like whole grains/fruit/veggies/beans.

The low carb for me is to keep low steady levels of insulin. It also keeps me from getting hungry.

And since I found that processed carbs like bread and rice were the biggest source of calories in my diet, if I dropped carbs a little, my calories dropped too.
Edited by nxd10 On August 8, 2012 3:44 PM
  22310201
August 8, 2012 3:44 PM
QUOTE:


If you follow those rules - high protein and fairly low carb and fat - you'll minimise muscle loss while maximising fat loss.

-oh and note, sugar is fine (carbohydrates essentially) but more than 50 grams in the liver at a time and anything over that tends to be partitioned straight to fat.

If anyone says 'don't eat carbs' or 'don't worry about carbs' or 'eat low fat' then they're missing the point of a diet. Different things work for different people. The only thing you should be careful of is crash dieting (if you do, you need to take breaks every few weeks in order to stop your metabolism from crashing too much) and basically jumping on any sort of bandwagon for losing.

It's horrible to say, but the only way you can lose weight is by burning more calories than you eat. Oh- and if you do go low carb, you'll drop between 5 and 15 pounds of water in a week for various reasons which *will* mostly go back on when you go back to regular carb.


Good advice..
August 8, 2012 3:48 PM
QUOTE:

I've done the no carb thing in many forms (Adkins, HCG, counting carbs) all because I told myself that eating carbs made me hungrier in the end. What actually works is to know in order to lose you need to hear and feel your stomach start to growl about an hour before you're due for a meal. You need to feel hungry some of the time, whether or not you eat carbs. I am now a vegetarian strictly for health and palate reasons, and I eat whole grains, whole wheat and am no hungrier or have increased cravings than when I ate no carbs.


There is no reason you should feel hungry before every meal. There's no reason you should feel hungry at all. Keep your stomach full and happy, and keep a moderate calorie deficit. Choose foods that make you feel full longer(protein and whole grains) and bulk up your plate with lower calorie things such as vegetables. You want bread? Have at it. Just make it fit in your calories and you'll be fine.
  14417958
August 8, 2012 3:49 PM
There are 3 simple guides to loose weight and build muscle:

1. Consume one gram of protein per pound of desired weight (u wanna be 120# eat 120 gm protein daily. Every thing else you eat is up to you as long as you follow #2.
2. Consume about 500 calories less than your maintenance (Calories needed = 2200, eat 1700) daily.
3. Work out 3 times a week (prefer with weights) do all cardio you want.


Less important guides:
1. Many meals a day
2. Meal timing
Edited by melendfi On August 8, 2012 3:50 PM
  25806845
August 8, 2012 3:50 PM
I cut out almost all carbs about a year ago. Lost all my babyweight. SO IT WORKS!

Went more than 10 lbs below my prepregger weight....and then binged hard. ON carbs.

Gained 30 lbs back.

Decided to add them back in but eat them in controlled amounts.

Once I was able to control my carbs, I then was able to get my calorie count under control.

Anyways that is what worked for me.

I think cutting carbs(especially the wrong kind) is a VERY good idea. I just took it too far. I even cut out the good carbs like fruit.(I ended up binging on bananas.)

I no longer cut out fruit. I eat plenty of veggies and eat things like breads and pastas and oatmeal in very controlled amounts. Not as much as in the past, but not taking them out of my diet either.
August 8, 2012 3:51 PM
QUOTE:

I have been reading on this a lot but am not an expert.

For me, low calories and keep my carbs under 50% - and all complex, unprocessed carbs like whole grains/fruit/veggies/beans.

The low carb for me is to keep low steady levels of insulin. It also keeps me from getting hungry.

And since I found that processed carbs like bread and rice were the biggest source of calories in my diet, if I dropped carbs a little, my calories dropped too.
I call this slow carb. :-)
August 8, 2012 3:53 PM
QUOTE:

I cut out almost all carbs about a year ago. Lost all my babyweight. SO IT WORKS!

Went more than 10 lbs below my prepregger weight....and then binged hard. ON carbs.

Gained 30 lbs back.

Decided to add them back in but eat them in controlled amounts.

Once I was able to control my carbs, I then was able to get my calorie count under control.

Anyways that is what worked for me.

I think cutting carbs(especially the wrong kind) is a VERY good idea. I just took it too far. I even cut out the good carbs like fruit.(I ended up binging on bananas.)

I no longer cut out fruit. I eat plenty of veggies and eat things like breads and pastas and oatmeal in very controlled amounts. Not as much as in the past, but not taking them out of my diet either.


No carbs, no energy. Dizzinesss.. ..
  25806845
August 8, 2012 3:54 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:


If you follow those rules - high protein and fairly low carb and fat - you'll minimise muscle loss while maximising fat loss.

-oh and note, sugar is fine (carbohydrates essentially) but more than 50 grams in the liver at a time and anything over that tends to be partitioned straight to fat.

If anyone says 'don't eat carbs' or 'don't worry about carbs' or 'eat low fat' then they're missing the point of a diet. Different things work for different people. The only thing you should be careful of is crash dieting (if you do, you need to take breaks every few weeks in order to stop your metabolism from crashing too much) and basically jumping on any sort of bandwagon for losing.

It's horrible to say, but the only way you can lose weight is by burning more calories than you eat. Oh- and if you do go low carb, you'll drop between 5 and 15 pounds of water in a week for various reasons which *will* mostly go back on when you go back to regular carb.


Good advice..


I agree with this.
  16651404
August 8, 2012 3:57 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I have been reading on this a lot but am not an expert.

For me, low calories and keep my carbs under 50% - and all complex, unprocessed carbs like whole grains/fruit/veggies/beans.

The low carb for me is to keep low steady levels of insulin. It also keeps me from getting hungry.

And since I found that processed carbs like bread and rice were the biggest source of calories in my diet, if I dropped carbs a little, my calories dropped too.
I call this slow carb. :-)


pretty much what I'm doing now after loosing a lot of weight on Adkins / south beach mix.
  16651404
August 8, 2012 3:57 PM
Bump, to read later!
  11144348
August 8, 2012 3:57 PM
People on low carb diets tend to eat less due to the fat and protein keeping them fuller longer compared to satiety of carbohydrates.

I go low carb (keto) from time to time or carb cycling to shock the body. No real reason other than to experiment on different approaches to fat loss and muscle gain for my own self study. Whatever I am doing though, I track my calories.

The one thing I have always hated about doing a keto diet though is that if I want to have a cheat day and eat pizza and french fries for one meal, mentally I feel like I blew it totally and it is hard for me to get back on track. Also, it is hard to sustain a lifestyle without carbohydrates from time to time, in my opinion.

In the end though, take in less calories than you take out and you will lose weight.
August 8, 2012 3:59 PM
I think it's whatever will work best for you. It can take some time to figure that out.
I've done both ways. I spent 6 months following the high-carb ("healthy whole grains!"), restricted-calorie "diet" that the USDA guidelines recommend. I did quite a bit of exercise. (also a lot of reading and research). And I dropped 10lbs - my weight goal of 120lbs since this was my lowest as an adult (main goal was to eat better and get healthy). But I was eating 5-6 times a day. I was constantly hungry. I was weighing and logging foods and counting calories. My entire day seemed to revolve around food. And while I lost weight my body didn't look all that different. I had some really solid muscle but I was all puffed up, had no energy, my IBS was still a mess.
May of last year I decided to experiment with Primal Blueprint. I cut grains, beans, sugars (already had done this), flours (stopped bread 3 weeks before) and most fruit and dairy. I seriously increased my fat intake. I started eating real, whole foods only.
I had an immediate positive response. I lost 5" off my natural waistline in 4 weeks. I dropped 7lbs the first six weeks. This was at a healthy weight - supposed to be impossible. This was water and fat (I no longer retain water unless my carbs go up). I have seen 108lbs and prefer to stay between 110lb and 113lbs. I feel amazing and I have a flat belly and nice muscle mass without a ton of exercise. I sleep better. I don't get sleepy during the day. All my digestive problems, sinus problems, anxiety problems, weight problems went away. And it turned out that the RAVENOUS feeling I was getting from oatmeal and fruit was REACTIVE HYPOGLYCEMIA aka prediabetes. I can't fix it but focusing on carbs keeps my blood sugar normal and my weight normal. I maintain (and even fight to keep from losing too much) by getting plenty of fat and protein and keeping a close eye on carbs. (All carbs - if I need glucose I will eat a starchy root or tuber)
All of this was pure experiment. Think about it. The body uses protein (amino acids) and fat (fatty acids) for growth and repair - not for energy and a calorie is a unit of energy ONLY. Can we count that protein and fat toward energy intake? It's not being stored or used as energy. And I'm sorry but my body doesn't incinerate food (they figure calories by burning food - lighting it on fire and see how much energy it puts off as it burns). The body processes what we eat and applies it to what we need at that time. Okay, now I'm rambling.

This is my N=1. Maybe start with calories at first but keep an eye on the carbs you eat. At least the quality of carbs. But eat real, whole foods first and foremost (low-carb and sugar-free processed pseudofood is still processed pseudofood). Overweight or obesity means your metabolism is screwed up (our weight should be maintained by hormones. But you screw with one - say insulin or leptin or cortisol - you affect them all). Check out Mark's Daily Apple or gnolls.org. What I do is follow a Primal/Paleo template also known as Functional paleo. I think this is the best way to learn your N=1.

Good luck.

What's really interesting is when my weight drops below 110lb my appetite kicks in and start vaccuuming up food until it hits around 112-113 then it tapers off. And exercise only makes me want to eat.
Edited by hpsnickers1 On August 8, 2012 4:01 PM

Reply

Message Boards » General Diet and Weight Loss Help

Posts by members, moderators and admins should not be considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy.