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TOPIC: Success on a Low Carb Diet?

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May 1, 2013 12:46 PM
I'm curious to know if anyone following a low-carb diet (Keto/Paleo/Atkins/South Beach) has had any success with keeping weight off long-term, and if anyone has been able to maintain eating low-carb for longer than 1 year?

It seems that from everything I've read here that it is not sustainable long-term. However, I've been able to lose AND maintain, so either I'm an enigma, or there is something to it.

Before/after pics if you got 'em!
May 1, 2013 12:49 PM
The best way to lose weight is to stay away from diets. Everytime I do I end up falling off the band wagon or gaining it all back instantly! Your body NEEDS carbs for energy. The best way is to exercise and eat clean, small portions. Don't put it in your body if it isn't good for you. When you do eat carbs make sure they're good carbs! And always read the packaging, just because it says 'diet' or 'low fat' doesn't mean it is! Hope this helps :)
May 1, 2013 1:07 PM
I lost about 25lbs by cutting carbs and I've kept it off for about a year now. I do have times when i fall off the wagon and I do allow myself to indulge on the weekends but during the week I'm quite strict about it. I just stay away from pasta and bread and sugary stuff. It's worked for me and I never have that icky stuffed "full" feeling that I used to when I ate ALL the carbs. :)
May 1, 2013 1:23 PM
It depends on your body and the needs of your body. Personally, I have sugar and glucose problems, so it best for my to do a low-carb and low-sugar lifestyle. I have had great success with not eating foods high in carbs/sugar. I understand that in order for me to maintain a healthy lifestyle, that may mean to cut the processed breads, pasta, etc and limit any foods with high amounts of sugar - soda, candy, breads, etc. I get the necessary carbs that my body needs from other foods such as fruits and veggies. I am on a "Paleo/Lacto-Paleo" lifestyle, but I do incorporate other foods into it. I don't eat 100% organic because I cannot afford it. I do what I can within reason for myself. I have confirmed this with my doctor and he agreed that this is the best way for my to lose weight and to keep it off.

Edit: Also, I tend to keep off the weight longer than any other fad diet that I've tried. When I fell off (because let's face it, life happens), the weight came back but over much much longer period of time. I didn't pack the weight on overnight and I tend to lose the weight faster going down this road.

If you are unsure, consult with your physician. They would be better at directing you on a path that would lead you to success.
Edited by maryv83 On May 1, 2013 1:24 PM
  16956074
May 1, 2013 1:45 PM
I've been eating this way (low carb for me = about 20 net carbs a day) for about 3 years and feel great. But, according to a lot of people on this site, I shouldn't feel great, I should be having a hard time maintaining, and I should have put all of the weight back on and then some. I should feel sluggish and lethargic.
The truth is that I have more energy than I've ever had. I don't feel the need to take an afternoon nap every day. I am never hungry, I don't have cravings....on and on!
I just wanted to know if anyone else is having these same results.
May 1, 2013 1:49 PM
I lost 75lbs and have maintained it for more than a year. I did a "program" as opposed to a "diet. I think that is where the difference is. While I was losing weight I was learning. I was learning about my behaviors, triggers, emotions. I was learning what part I played in becoming overweight. I also was given the tools to stay healthy for life. The support I was given was actually stepped up when I hit my goal because studies show that is when people really need it the most. It's all about whether your doing somehthing temporary or making lifelong choices
Hope this helps
May 1, 2013 1:55 PM
DH has kept off 50 pounds for over a year, and he started on Atkins. The thing people tend to do with low-carb diets is that when they reach goal weight they just go back to eating whatever, and unsurprisingly, end up back at the weight they started at (or higher). The thing people do with Atkins in particular is try to stay on the super low carb part for too long, when in reality, there is a whole process for introducing foods back and increasing carb levels, and another phase for maintenance. The thing is, DH *likes* meat, salads, nuts, and low-carb veggies, and carbs do not agree with him at all, so when he cheats he feels it the next day. I am not sure what carb level he is at now because tracking is not his thing, but he is still off bread, potatoes, and most processed foods and as far as I can tell that is permanent. He is OK with meals that have 30g of carbs, so I suspect he is under 100g per day. If he has a bad week and eats too much crappy carby food at work, it definitely shows up quickly because of the glycogen/water.

Before he started, I showed him what maintenance looked like and made sure he was OK with it. Not saying that he couldn't have gone on another type of maintenance plan, but maintenance is the key here. Too many people view losing weight as a goal-oriented lose X proposition when really that is a tiny part of the rest of your life at maintenance.

Me, I started Atkins with him and did 99% of the legwork on reading and meal prep, but for me it was not sustainable. I see the value in lowering carbs and I eat a lot of the same meals as he does, but 150g seems to be OK for me and gives me more flexibility in the types of food I choose to eat.
May 1, 2013 2:02 PM
QUOTE:

I've been eating this way (low carb for me = about 20 net carbs a day) for about 3 years and feel great. But, according to a lot of people on this site, I shouldn't feel great, I should be having a hard time maintaining, and I should have put all of the weight back on and then some. I should feel sluggish and lethargic.
The truth is that I have more energy than I've ever had. I don't feel the need to take an afternoon nap every day. I am never hungry, I don't have cravings....on and on!
I just wanted to know if anyone else is having these same results.


When I look at your ticker it doesn't seem to jibe with this glowing success story:

Image not displayed
  39311944
May 1, 2013 2:05 PM
I've been on and off a ketogenic diet since October. I've lost 15 lb that way. The Ketogenic diet is strict (3 cups of vegetables a day, no more/no less; 20g carbs a day). I fall off about once a month (and it was hopeless during the holidays), but it's easy to get back on (not true with any other diet I've tried). And even when I "fall off" I still have less than 100 g carbs a day.

When I'm not following the ketogenic diet, I follow Primal Blueprint. That's easy to follow. Eat organic; No grains or sugar, less than 100g carb per day. Easy. I still have trouble saying no to the cookies and stuff people bring in to work, but even then I can still follow Primal at least 80% of the time and keep my total carbs under 100. My weight goes up and down (gain 1, drop 1, gain 2, drop 1.5, gain 1, drop 5 - that sort of pattern), but it's steadily trending downwards at an average rate of 1 lb/week.

I don't miss grains at all (just can't say no when they're right in front of me). I find I'm not nearly as lethargic as I used to be. I have much better focus (although that wasn't the case when I first got started). I can go longer periods without getting hungry. Hunger doesn't make me stupid and dizzy anymore. The biggest way it's helped is that I'm free to exercise spontaneously. I used to go for a walk and afterwards I was so hungry nothing would satisfy. So I had to carefully plan my meals before exercise to make sure I had enough fuel. If I didn't eat properly in the hours before, then exercise made me over eat, big time. Now I can eat naturally all the time and if I go walking for a couple hours, without planning it, I still feel fine afterwards.

I think a lot of people either find it didn't work FOR THEM, or they don't like the theory so they don't bother learning anything more.
Low-carb (the Primal method, not ketogenic) is something I can stick to for life. I'll keep going on and off the keto diet until I reach my goal weight, then go Primal permanently.
  9642165
May 1, 2013 2:07 PM
QUOTE:

I'm curious to know if anyone following a low-carb diet (Keto/Paleo/Atkins/South Beach) has had any success with keeping weight off long-term, and if anyone has been able to maintain eating low-carb for longer than 1 year?

It seems that from everything I've read here that it is not sustainable long-term. However, I've been able to lose AND maintain, so either I'm an enigma, or there is something to it.

Before/after pics if you got 'em!
If you have PCOS like I do you have to eat low carb to lose, or maintain weight loss. I haven't been doing low carb for a year but the fact is that when I reach my goal, if I want to stay there I will have to continue eating low carb. btw I'm doing the Low GI diet, I've read it is similar to keto.
Edited by SarahDavs On May 1, 2013 2:09 PM
  12220316
May 1, 2013 2:09 PM
i've just started the atkins diets too!

long story short -
it's great short-term if you can keep yourself in check.
it's great long-term if you can keep yourself in check.

sense the pattern here?

it's really individualized and each person's response to the carbohydrates is unique to themselves.
find out if this diet works for you - change it if you have to.
modify if you need it.

i've been trying to stay under 50g of carbs per day, but today i completely cheated.
it's usually easier for me to avoid carbohydrates, though. i normally do not eat bread and pastas anymore, i stick with my fish and eggs. :)

it is true that the more you refrain from eating the carbs, the less you crave them.
May 1, 2013 2:11 PM
QUOTE:

Your body NEEDS carbs for energy.


No it doesn't. :)
May 1, 2013 2:11 PM
If it works for you, do it. You do not need carbs for anything unless you have a medical condition. The same applies to avoiding carbs, you do not need to unless you have a medical condition. But if this way of eating is effective for you and not dangerous, by all means stick to it.
  3026669
May 1, 2013 2:11 PM
http://www.myfitnesspal.com/forums/show/1511-reddit-keto
http://www.myfitnesspal.com/forums/show/1160-keto
http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf
http://www.vivalowcarb.com/
http://nuclearfuzzgrunge.com/tlcm/
http://www.gnolls.org/1141/eat-like-a-predator-not-like-prey-paleo-in-six-easy-steps-a-motivational-guide/
http://www.contraros.com/nutritional-ketosis/ketogenic-food-list/
http://cavemanketo.com/
http://reddit.com/r/theketodiet

Yes, I've had success keeping 40lbs off long term, and i'm healthier than ever. Eating ketogenically has improved my cholesterol and blood pressure, and allowed me to sustain longer running distance than I ever was able to while on a standard american diet.
  21117336
May 1, 2013 2:11 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I've been eating this way (low carb for me = about 20 net carbs a day) for about 3 years and feel great. But, according to a lot of people on this site, I shouldn't feel great, I should be having a hard time maintaining, and I should have put all of the weight back on and then some. I should feel sluggish and lethargic.
The truth is that I have more energy than I've ever had. I don't feel the need to take an afternoon nap every day. I am never hungry, I don't have cravings....on and on!
I just wanted to know if anyone else is having these same results.


When I look at your ticker it doesn't seem to jibe with this glowing success story:

Image not displayed


You can't judge anyone on here by their ticker without knowing what they want to accomplish

Mine doesn't show a huge weight loss but yet my Body Fat % has gone down significantly and I have more energy as well within my works and other aspects such as sports
May 1, 2013 2:12 PM
Lost my weight eating low carb and exercising for 18 months, maintained for 6 months doing the same, now eating carbs again to fuel my busy workout schedule and still maintaining.

Low carb isn't for everyone, but it sure worked for me!
  9107625
May 1, 2013 2:14 PM
QUOTE:

I've been on and off a ketogenic diet since October. I've lost 15 lb that way. The Ketogenic diet is strict (3 cups of vegetables a day, no more/no less; 20g carbs a day).



<record scratch sound>

Uhh, you can eat as many darned vegetables as you want on a ketogenic diet as long as you keep net carbs to 5-10% of your macros. Hell, as long as you stay in ketosis, even a higher percentage than that. Not sure where you came up with that. 0_o

I went 7 months with no vegetables at ALL and that was my most successful time but I also had the most to lose during that period. I eat plenty of vegetables now... like once a week, hahahaha. :D
  21117336
May 1, 2013 2:15 PM
I've been doing low carb for several months. I haven't paid much attention to how much I've lost since, but it's working for me. I still enjoy certain carb foods (like potatoes, bread) as long as it's w/in my limit. I'm experimenting w/ Keto, but it's a bit restrictive. I do notice though if I eat too much carbs, I feel blah. Once I went low carb, I felt better, especially w/ my allergies.
  24507980
May 1, 2013 2:33 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I've been eating this way (low carb for me = about 20 net carbs a day) for about 3 years and feel great. But, according to a lot of people on this site, I shouldn't feel great, I should be having a hard time maintaining, and I should have put all of the weight back on and then some. I should feel sluggish and lethargic.
The truth is that I have more energy than I've ever had. I don't feel the need to take an afternoon nap every day. I am never hungry, I don't have cravings....on and on!
I just wanted to know if anyone else is having these same results.


When I look at your ticker it doesn't seem to jibe with this glowing success story:

Image not displayed


Nope, it doesn't. I lost 67 pounds, got preggers, hormones went crazy, I ate every bad thing I could get my hands on, miscarried a few months later, went into a depression, didn't give a crap about my body for a year, gained some weight back, and half-assed maintained for over a year. Now I'm getting serious about weight loss again. Since I got serious about weight loss again in March I've lost 10 pounds. Thanks for bringing up a painful subject.

I had lost weight before I even joined MFP, so the ticker isn't all that accurate.
Edited by martinah4 On May 1, 2013 3:01 PM
May 1, 2013 2:47 PM
After reading all these posts, and the ones in nearly every conversation on this forum, the key seems to be whatever works for you. I have friends that swear by Weight Watchers or Atkins or this diet or that and I have tried lots of different diets over the years, mostly some version of low carb (low fat didn't work at all for me) and we can argue and discuss all day and never agree because everyone is different. I lost about 37 pounds in the 1990s and have kept it off. My diet consists of meats (very little beef-- just don't care for it), vegetables (mostly green), eggs, cheeses (full fat), berries, apples (Granny Smith), all kinds of nuts, a few beans, and various seeds (sunflower mostly). You'll notice there are no grains or potatoes; the only processed sugar I eat is in the 1 oz. of dark chocolate I indulge myself with once or twice a week. I do use stevia as a sweetener and consume other artificial sweeteners but I don't feel terribly comfortable about them.

This is essentially a low carb, low gluten diet, or at least that' s how it shakes out. After 17 years of maintaining this lifestyle, when I try to eat a "real" dessert, it just tastes bad! Really bad. No cravings for sugar. When I need to drop a few pounds, I just cut down on calories and fat for awhile, because no matter what folks say, calories count and so does exercise. No one thing is a magic bullet. As others have said up thread, losing weight is not a destination, it's a journey.

I'm just sayin' the way you eat, your "diet" per se should be between you, your doctor, and your body--emphasis on your body. If it's working for you then you don't need to care what anyone else tries to lay on you. Low carb works for me and has for a VERY long time. Sounds like it works for you too. Good luck!
  20350204
May 1, 2013 2:50 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:


If you have PCOS like I do you have to eat low carb to lose, or maintain weight loss. I haven't been doing low carb for a year but the fact is that when I reach my goal, if I want to stay there I will have to continue eating low carb. btw I'm doing the Low GI diet, I've read it is similar to keto.


This is also not true. Women and girls with PCOS aren't all the same, and we don't all need to restrict carbs to lose weight. I've got a handful of great ladies with PCOS on my friends list here who have not restricted carbs and are doing great with their weight loss, and know others outside of MFP as well.

I'm one of those who does have to watch carbs/sugar, as I have insulin resistance...but we're all different.

OP, I have been eating low carb paleo since last July. I don't have trouble sticking with it, but I also can't really go too crazy with the carbs for the reasons I mentioned above.
  28550113
May 1, 2013 3:02 PM
Been following a Paleo lifestyle since Jan 2012, and loving it .... Still tracking downward slowly.....
Keeping net carbs between 70 and a 100 most days...

I have friends that has been Paleo for over 3 years - it is truly a lifestyle for us, and none of us view it as "non-sustainable"

Every time I go non- Paleo ( when I visit friends and family that is non-Paleo) I can not wait to get back to eating food cooked from scratch (very little coming out of packaged containers) - more vegetables ......it seems my daily vegetable consumption is what "normal" people cook for a family of 5...

I just laugh when the non-informed make comments about Paleo being non-sustainable .

In the end every person needs to research what works best for them - that is the secret to success
Edited by Elleinnz On May 1, 2013 3:06 PM
  6365234
May 1, 2013 3:13 PM
just make sure you drink "tons" of water if you plan to lower your carbs and raise ur protein so your kidneys stay healthy. im trying it for about 2 weeks . ill let you know how it goes
May 1, 2013 3:37 PM
I've been following a low-carb diet for 15 months. Since I'm diabetic, I'll be following it for the rest of my life
  12083221
May 1, 2013 4:12 PM
"Uhh, you can eat as many darned vegetables as you want on a ketogenic diet"

That's probably true. But I reset myself by going back to the original recommendation - 2 cups of greens, 1 cup of other vegetables, every day. Since I used to hate vegetables, this is a significant change.
Edited by jrose1982 On May 1, 2013 4:14 PM
  9642165

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