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TOPIC: Switching from a low carb diet to a low fat diet?

 
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November 1, 2012 4:44 AM
I have been low-carbing for about 2/3rds of the last year, and I have had great success in being able to lose weight. What freaks me out though, is that I read a lot about how much weight people gain after they start eating carbs again. I do eventually want to integrate them back into my diet, and I know sustaining the high levels of fat on my low carb diet isn't healthy for the long term.

I was just wondering if anyone has ever switched from a low carb diet to a low fat diet with success? Or if anyone has started integrating (good) carbs, with low GI, back into their diets with success?

Compared to what I've read so far, it seems that the best way to go about it is to slowly integrate good carbs back into your diet until you reach a point where your body doesn't gain weight from it anymore. I wanted to know real experiences from real people, which is why I want to hear your experieinces!
  10993017
November 1, 2012 5:07 AM
QUOTE:

I have been low-carbing for about 2/3rds of the last year, and I have had great success in being able to lose weight. What freaks me out though, is that I read a lot about how much weight people gain after they start eating carbs again. I do eventually want to integrate them back into my diet, and I know sustaining the high levels of fat on my low carb diet isn't healthy for the long term.


You won't start gaining fat unless you start eating in a surplus. You may get some bloating/fluid gain when you add in carbs. The idea that you "gain it all back" when you start eating carbs is silly unless you just start eating too many calories.

QUOTE:

I was just wondering if anyone has ever switched from a low carb diet to a low fat diet with success? Or if anyone has started integrating (good) carbs, with low GI, back into their diets with success?


Chances are good that you don't really need to concen yourself with glyemc index since the glycemic response changes when you mix foods, among other reasons. But that part aside, we should probably add context to this discussion because the word "low" is very subjective. Generaly speaking I wouldn't go too low on fats.
November 1, 2012 5:23 AM
YES, I gained a few pounds when I switched diets a few weeks ago, and have not yet been able to get them off. My carbs are now mostly from whole grains, fruits and veges. I'll probably never go back to starchy food, if for no other reason than that I no longer crave them. Still, it's not pleasant and I'm having trouble staying patient. ohwell

Good luck!
November 1, 2012 5:54 AM
I have gone from approx. 50 carbs a day to 100+ without a problem.
  938111
November 1, 2012 6:33 AM
Sorry, I don't really count carbs so my carb count varies pretty wildly from day to day. I think you are correct to add high fiber carbs back in slowly, though. Any drastic change in diet is going to require your diegestive system to adjust so best to make those changes slowly.

I would recommend going moderate fat, rather than low fat, though. Unless you have a medical need to eat low fat, it's generally not recommended. Our bodies need a certain amount of fat.
November 1, 2012 6:34 AM
Why are you going on a low fat diet? Wouldn't it be better to integrate a moderate macros diet with a decent distribution of carbs/fats/and proteins? You're treating these as fad diets and not lifestyles, it's better to set a healthy, balanced, moderate, sustainable lifestyle rather than approach what you're doing as a temporary decision. If you are quite high fat now, bring it down and make sure that it's good decisions (lean meats, foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, etc) bring your carbs up with whole grains, fruits, veggies, and legumes (if you start feeling bloated experiment with the different ways various grains make you feel), and stick to your protein. Don't walk into this next phase thinking "well, that worked for 8 months, let's see what temporary solution I can come up with next."

Also, it's important to note, that most low fat processed foods are packed with sugar. If you're giving up the taste that the fat brings you're going to have to replace it with something else to make it palatable.
November 1, 2012 7:52 AM
I switched to low fat (low calorie, honestly) after low carbing for a year and gained back 50 pounds. Here's why it didn't work (I mean it does, if you have crazy self-will):

You. Will. Crave. Beating the cravings that return after going back to "reasonable" eating is hard. It's like an addiction (for me, anyway). The blood sugar highs and lows lead me to feeling starving ALL the time. It's not that it's not possible to lose weight on a low calorie/low fat diet, but it's definitely harder once your blood sugar levels have been stable for all that time. This is what happened to me. It didn't happen overnight, of course-- it's this weird balance between learning when an indulgence is appropriate, what a real "indulgence" is, etc.

One of the best parts of eating a low carb diet is the fact that you rarely crave food. Not never, of course-- but you feel satiated and thus eating less is easier (at least for me it is). When your blood sugar is going up and down-- even if it's from "healthy" carbs (did you know that a big slice of whole wheat bread will raise your blood sugar higher than a Snickers bar (because it has a higher glycemic index? You can alleviate that by adding fat and protein to the meal, but that's another topic)-- you feel hungry more often. Some people will argue this, but for me anyway, it is 100% absolutely and completely true, and many others think so as well.

That said, making the "right" carb choices could help. Keeping most grains at bay while eating the ancients like quinoa and buckwheat might be OK because they don't induce such a drastic glycemic response. The only way you'll know is if you actually log it, log your feelings after eating it, make notes as to when you feel hungriest, what you ate that day, etc. Every person is different, so each person is affected differently.

I think people gain weight after low carb (myself included) because we forget what "normal" is. We forget what true healthy carbs are and we, starting slowly, eat something we shouldn't-- even if it's disguised as something low fat praisers deem as healthy (like whole wheat bread)-- and then we crave more. Over a period of months, you're eating more and gaining, whilst still feeling like you're eating healthy. It's a rebound effect.

IMHO, if your body thrives on low carb, you should stick with it. If you're not doing well, though, switch-- but do it with serious diligence. Do not let your guard down for even a moment. Can it work? Yes, for some-- if you're able to keep track of your cravings, what foods induce them, and what to avoid. I would never recommend a high carb diet, but if you choose your carbs carefully and pair them with healthy fats and proteins so as to keep blood glucose response as minimal as possible, you could be successful. I hope this helps!
Edited by LATeagno On November 1, 2012 7:54 AM
November 1, 2012 8:15 AM
Your body naturally will hold more water when upping carbs - especially from certain grains and fruits. As long as you aren't creating a surplus of energy you will not gain back fat mass. One possible case is when people do crash diets and lose too much too quickly. At that scenario the body will want to replace some of that fat lost when going to weight recovery (maintenance).
Edited by geekyjock76 On November 1, 2012 8:20 AM
  17993426
November 1, 2012 9:30 AM
QUOTE:

I switched to low fat (low calorie, honestly) after low carbing for a year and gained back 50 pounds. Here's why it didn't work (I mean it does, if you have crazy self-will):

You. Will. Crave. Beating the cravings that return after going back to "reasonable" eating is hard. It's like an addiction (for me, anyway). The blood sugar highs and lows lead me to feeling starving ALL the time. It's not that it's not possible to lose weight on a low calorie/low fat diet, but it's definitely harder once your blood sugar levels have been stable for all that time. This is what happened to me. It didn't happen overnight, of course-- it's this weird balance between learning when an indulgence is appropriate, what a real "indulgence" is, etc.

One of the best parts of eating a low carb diet is the fact that you rarely crave food. Not never, of course-- but you feel satiated and thus eating less is easier (at least for me it is). When your blood sugar is going up and down-- even if it's from "healthy" carbs (did you know that a big slice of whole wheat bread will raise your blood sugar higher than a Snickers bar (because it has a higher glycemic index? You can alleviate that by adding fat and protein to the meal, but that's another topic)-- you feel hungry more often. Some people will argue this, but for me anyway, it is 100% absolutely and completely true, and many others think so as well.

That said, making the "right" carb choices could help. Keeping most grains at bay while eating the ancients like quinoa and buckwheat might be OK because they don't induce such a drastic glycemic response. The only way you'll know is if you actually log it, log your feelings after eating it, make notes as to when you feel hungriest, what you ate that day, etc. Every person is different, so each person is affected differently.

I think people gain weight after low carb (myself included) because we forget what "normal" is. We forget what true healthy carbs are and we, starting slowly, eat something we shouldn't-- even if it's disguised as something low fat praisers deem as healthy (like whole wheat bread)-- and then we crave more. Over a period of months, you're eating more and gaining, whilst still feeling like you're eating healthy. It's a rebound effect.

IMHO, if your body thrives on low carb, you should stick with it. If you're not doing well, though, switch-- but do it with serious diligence. Do not let your guard down for even a moment. Can it work? Yes, for some-- if you're able to keep track of your cravings, what foods induce them, and what to avoid. I would never recommend a high carb diet, but if you choose your carbs carefully and pair them with healthy fats and proteins so as to keep blood glucose response as minimal as possible, you could be successful. I hope this helps!



Thank you so much for sharing!! This is exactly the kind of response I was looking for. I'm glad someone on my friends list has been through this :)!

Low-Carbing has worked for me, greatly, however the long term effects of it seem to be possibly detrimental, which is why I want to start integrating GOOD carbs back into my diet...slowly of course. I am definitely scared of the weight gain, which some people feel is just water weight whereas other sources say your body starts to crave more, and then you eat more, and then you gain more. During this transition phase I think i'm going to have to start logging very closely what I'm eating again just to make sure that I am on the right level of carbs that my body can handle. Also it will teach me my limits.

Thank you for sharing your story!!
  10993017
November 1, 2012 9:35 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I switched to low fat (low calorie, honestly) after low carbing for a year and gained back 50 pounds. Here's why it didn't work (I mean it does, if you have crazy self-will):

You. Will. Crave. Beating the cravings that return after going back to "reasonable" eating is hard. It's like an addiction (for me, anyway). The blood sugar highs and lows lead me to feeling starving ALL the time. It's not that it's not possible to lose weight on a low calorie/low fat diet, but it's definitely harder once your blood sugar levels have been stable for all that time. This is what happened to me. It didn't happen overnight, of course-- it's this weird balance between learning when an indulgence is appropriate, what a real "indulgence" is, etc.

One of the best parts of eating a low carb diet is the fact that you rarely crave food. Not never, of course-- but you feel satiated and thus eating less is easier (at least for me it is). When your blood sugar is going up and down-- even if it's from "healthy" carbs (did you know that a big slice of whole wheat bread will raise your blood sugar higher than a Snickers bar (because it has a higher glycemic index? You can alleviate that by adding fat and protein to the meal, but that's another topic)-- you feel hungry more often. Some people will argue this, but for me anyway, it is 100% absolutely and completely true, and many others think so as well.

That said, making the "right" carb choices could help. Keeping most grains at bay while eating the ancients like quinoa and buckwheat might be OK because they don't induce such a drastic glycemic response. The only way you'll know is if you actually log it, log your feelings after eating it, make notes as to when you feel hungriest, what you ate that day, etc. Every person is different, so each person is affected differently.

I think people gain weight after low carb (myself included) because we forget what "normal" is. We forget what true healthy carbs are and we, starting slowly, eat something we shouldn't-- even if it's disguised as something low fat praisers deem as healthy (like whole wheat bread)-- and then we crave more. Over a period of months, you're eating more and gaining, whilst still feeling like you're eating healthy. It's a rebound effect.

IMHO, if your body thrives on low carb, you should stick with it. If you're not doing well, though, switch-- but do it with serious diligence. Do not let your guard down for even a moment. Can it work? Yes, for some-- if you're able to keep track of your cravings, what foods induce them, and what to avoid. I would never recommend a high carb diet, but if you choose your carbs carefully and pair them with healthy fats and proteins so as to keep blood glucose response as minimal as possible, you could be successful. I hope this helps!



Thank you so much for sharing!! This is exactly the kind of response I was looking for. I'm glad someone on my friends list has been through this :)!

Low-Carbing has worked for me, greatly, however the long term effects of it seem to be possibly detrimental, which is why I want to start integrating GOOD carbs back into my diet...slowly of course. I am definitely scared of the weight gain, which some people feel is just water weight whereas other sources say your body starts to crave more, and then you eat more, and then you gain more. During this transition phase I think i'm going to have to start logging very closely what I'm eating again just to make sure that I am on the right level of carbs that my body can handle. Also it will teach me my limits.

Thank you for sharing your story!!


You're welcome. :)

Like someone said, though, low carb is totally subjective. Is 150g a day low? 100? It's more about what you can deal with versus what is considered low. If I were to give honest advice (my own opinions here, nothing more), I'd say sticking to 80-100 grams of healthy (fruit, veggie, ancient grains, legumes, etc.) carbs a day would probably be tolerated well. When you eat carbs, pair it with fat and protein to reduce glycemic response and cravings. Don't worry about eating low fat. People go crazy about low fat because fat is calorie dense, but fat is required and, like protein, it keeps you full. It can also be used for energy. It's not bad as long as it's natural, healthy fat (and not trans fat or super processed fat like vegetable/soy oil).

Good luck!
November 1, 2012 9:48 AM
Just a final word here.....

I think that empty carbs - processed, white, sugar added anything - are just a bad choice in any healthy diet.

I also think that many carbs are carriers for extra fat - tried to eat a plain boiled potato recenlty or pasta with no sauce or a cracker without cheese, or bread with out butter or oil....

This is what tends to pile the weight back on - you are tricked out of eating in calorie deficit
  20909613

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