How do low-carb diets work?

  • sfboy987

    Posts: 209

    Apr 26, 2009 9:35 PM GMT
    My main fitness goal at the moment is losing body fat, and I'm currently 152 , 5'8, and 20 years old. I know people will tell me why I want to lose weight, but as a young gay guy it's my own personal preference to weight less. Anyway, I'm thinking about cutting down carbs dramatically in my diet to experiment and see how much weight I will lose. On a 2000 calorie diet, I want to only consume between 50-75 grams of carbs. Is that too little? My main question is if I cut down carbs and lose weight, will I regain all the weight back when I up the carbs again? Is that considered the "yo-yo" diet? Or does that just apply to eating too few calories? Any advice will help thanks.
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    Apr 26, 2009 11:11 PM GMT
    If you want to learn more about how a low carb diet works, I suggest you read about the Atkins diet (high protein, high fat, low carb). There is a lot of information on the net about Atkins and this information will apply to low carb diets. A low calorie diet causes a state of ketosis.
    When people eat less carbohydrate, their bodies turns to fat for energy, so ketones are generated as fat is broken down. Some of those ketones (acetoacetate and ß-hydroxybutyrate) are used for energy; the heart muscle and kidneys, for example, prefer ketones to glucose. Most cells, including the brain cells, are able to use ketones for at least part of their energy. But there is one type of ketone molecule, called acetone, that cannot be used and is excreted as waste, mostly in the urine and breath (sometimes causing a distinct breath odor).
    People confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis occurs in insulin dependent diabetics and is fatal if not aggressively treated in a hospital setting.
    The Atkins diet recommends only 20 grams of carbs for the first two weeks to cause ketosis. After that, 40 grams of carbs are recommended.
    When someone is ketotic they may feel miserable. Some of the symptoms are as follows:
    Tiredness or fatigue
    Headache
    Feeling thirsty all the time
    Bad breath
    Metallic taste in the mouth
    Weakness
    Dizziness
    Nausea or stomach ache
    Sleep problems
    The Atkins diet has now fallen out of favor because of its extreme carbohydrate restriction and high fat content. There are some medical issues which may occur with Atkins and low carb diets
    Here is an article from WebMD about the Atkins diet and medical concerns which are applicable to low carb diets
    http://www.webmd.com/diet/atkins-diet-what-it-is
    If you restart carbs and the total calories you consume does not exceed the amount you burn up, you will not gain weight. It is impossible to gain weight unless you caloric intake exceeds your caloric needs.
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    Apr 27, 2009 1:03 AM GMT
    Low carb diets go beyond stupid for a long list of reasons.

    Starving yourself will only cause your body to become a fat-storing machine, lose any muscle you might have at an already low weight, and lead you down a path of life-long weight management problems.

    About the only thing ketosis is good for is smelling like almonds, messing up your brain and skeletal muscle function, and turning you into a walking zombie with the metabolism of a snail.

    Stupid, with a capital S.

    I never, ever, never, eat less than 100grams of carbs, and the general school of thought is that about 75 grams is the minimum amount of carbs you need daily.

    It's considered a STUPID, DUMB, SILLY diet, AT BEST.

    At 5'8", 152, if you have any fitness level at all you need to keep your weight on. You'll look and feel better as well as not sound like an idiot from low blood sugar.

    Go eat some ice cream, get your blood sugar up, and start thinking clearly.

    LOW CARB diets do not work RIGHT. It's starvation.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Apr 27, 2009 1:14 AM GMT
    They're right. Dieting doesn't work. Eating a consistent healthy diet does. You need a daily mix of carbs and protein, with a little fat thrown in, in order for your body to function properly. Do your research and find out which of your favorite foods you can still eat, and which ones to stop eating, and you'll soon be the lean hottie all the guys are chasing.
  • torontoguy222...

    Posts: 410

    Apr 27, 2009 2:01 AM GMT
    I was never a fan of the low-carb craze, for reasons the previous posters have outlined.

    Carbs are not evil; the processed shit that we find ourselves eating is. Think of white flour, which has been processed so much that it boasts the same nutrient value as cardboard. Flour is usually "enriched" to replace the nutrients that were removed from processing. It's pretty stupid.

    Simple carbs -- like sugars -- should also be consumed in moderation. The emphasis should be placed on complex carbs -- like potatoes and whole grain foods -- which likely have fiber, take longer to digest, offer more nutrients and probably less simple sugars.

    I'm by no means a doctor. This is sorta my carb philosophy which I try to live by.
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    Apr 27, 2009 2:10 AM GMT
    I'm on a modified carb diet as well as being a vegetarian. I was eating lots of refined carbs hoping to gain weight (breads, pasta, sugar, etc.) with a high caloric intake. I didn't gain and often blamed my insanely high metabolism. I switched to no refined carbs (much much more dark greens, beans, lentils, etc.) with a high caloric intake, and after a brief drop in weight have started to gain past where I was before. So yeah, I've actually found that by keeping my calorie count high to gain weight, but cutting out the refined carbs, I'm actually gaining weight. So for me, the kind of carbs I eat helps me gain weight.
  • sfboy987

    Posts: 209

    Apr 27, 2009 8:05 AM GMT
    chuckystud saidLow carb diets go beyond stupid for a long list of reasons.

    Starving yourself will only cause your body to become a fat-storing machine, lose any muscle you might have at an already low weight, and lead you down a path of life-long weight management problems.

    About the only thing ketosis is good for is smelling like almonds, messing up your brain and skeletal muscle function, and turning you into a walking zombie with the metabolism of a snail.

    Stupid, with a capital S.

    I never, ever, never, eat less than 100grams of carbs, and the general school of thought is that about 75 grams is the minimum amount of carbs you need daily.

    It's considered a STUPID, DUMB, SILLY diet, AT BEST.

    At 5'8", 152, if you have any fitness level at all you need to keep your weight on. You'll look and feel better as well as not sound like an idiot from low blood sugar.

    Go eat some ice cream, get your blood sugar up, and start thinking clearly.

    LOW CARB diets do not work RIGHT. It's starvation.


    how is is starving yourself? I said low carb, not low calories. Besides, like I said it's my personal preference to weigh less. I do NOT ever want to go over 160, so just leave it at that
  • sfboy987

    Posts: 209

    Apr 27, 2009 8:07 AM GMT
    I'm still confused. So if I want to lose weight, do I cut down carbs or not?
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    Apr 27, 2009 10:27 AM GMT
    sfboy987 saidI'm still confused. So if I want to lose weight, do I cut down carbs or not?


    A landmark study completed earlier this year and published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that all diets work as long as the calories are restricted. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090225/diets_favaro_090225?s_name=&no_ads=

    So all you need to do is cut calories. You don't want to go on the extreme carb restriction of the Atkins diet which is only 40 grams of carbs a day.
    The carbs you need to restrict are what are called dense carboyhdrates. Dense carbohydrates have many calories for very little food. Sugar is a dense carbs; so stop all the candy, soda cakes, pies and pastriesicon_cry.gif. White flour is a dense a carb so out goes the white bread and other products made of white flower. Instead of white flour based products use products from whole grains. A 7 oz bag of potato chips has 1000 calories!!. Remember dense carbohydrate products come in brightly colored bags in your local grocery store and unfortunately taste greaticon_lol.gif. Get the remainder of your carbs from vegetables, whole fruits (not high caloric fruit juices) and legumes. If you follow this advice, you are reducing the calories you get from carbs and will reduce your total caloric intake without being on a fad diet.
    Besides cutting calories from carbs you want to cut calories from fats.
    Stop using whole milk (lots of calories because of the high fat content) use skim or 2% milk. Cheese is another no no if you want to lose weight and that includes pizza and everything that tastes good made from cheese. There is a new diet book by a physician making the rounds on talk shows. He stresses the fact that Americans consume thousands of unnecessary calories from cheese each year. The author feels that this is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.
    Stop alcohol.. Alcohol has many calories and also changes the metabolism so fat is stored in the waist area rather than more peripherally. The notorious beer belly is the result.
    Increase your exercise to burn more calories and and follow the above advice. You will lose weight if the calories burned exceeds the calories consumed.
    You should not go on less than 1500 calories a day. If caloric intake is less than 1500 calories a day the body will switch to starvation mode. In starvation mode metabolism slows so there is little weight loss. 1500 calories is a ball park figure and the number varies depending on the individual. Starvation diets of less than a 1000 calories a day are dangerous and the individual needs monitored by a physician. These types of diets are the last resort for morbidly obese individuals. Sometimes they are tried before the individual has gastric bypass surgery



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2009 1:10 PM GMT
    The mass tonage of misconceptions on how to loose body fat just drive me nuts. Sorting through it really took me years. If I had known what I know now, my transformation would have been dramatically faster and much less painful.

    Chuckystud knows what he is talking about. Low carb is stupid. If you want to cut out carbs then cut out all white processed carbs and still with whole grain carbs instead.

    This means:

    Brown rice, 100 percent whole grain breads, pastas, black beans, sweet potatoes and quite a few others.

    I say this on this website over and over again. Get the book Eating for Life by Bill Phillips. Not only does it provide creative recipes and how you should eat but it can answer your questions like why low carb diets don't work.

    I get what you want. You want to look lean. Cutting your carbs are going to make you look skinny fat hard core. Trust me, those boys don't turn heads in the bars.
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    Apr 27, 2009 1:22 PM GMT
    Everyone here is right about the low carb thing. It is not good for you. Carbs are good for you not all carbs are created equal. Instead of thinking low carb, think what is a good carb and what is a bad carb. Carbs in veggie and fruits - good. Carbs in white bread-- not always the best choice. Carbs in oats, whole wheat bread - good. etc

    Carbs in processed stuff like crackers- not good,
    Anything on the snack aisle at a grocery store is a bad carb. ( I pretty much refer to anything that is in an aisle at the grocery store as processed but that is not an all out rule)

    I have actually increase my caloric intake - both carbs and proteins. and I am getting close to my goals -muscle increase, fat mass loss.

    Dont cut carbs whatever you do, Just chose the good healthy ones.

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    Apr 27, 2009 2:06 PM GMT
    Extremely low-carb diets are not ideal for athletes or highly active people, who need to keep their glycogen stores up. But, for overweight people who are sedentary, low-carb diets can be very effective. Protein and fat sate the appetite, while carbs override the body's satiety signals. Sure, you can lose weight on a diet with a high percentage of carbs if you have the discipline to restrict caloric intake and not give in to carb-driven hunger. But, it's a whole lot easier to simply reduce carb intake to a level where it doesn't create excess hunger and drive overeating. And, it doesn't require that carbs be restricted to the point of ketosis.

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    Apr 27, 2009 3:32 PM GMT
    Then paradox, what is your definition of low carb?

    I consume about 25-30 grams of complex carbs six times a day. Is that low carb? I know it is for me compared to what I eat on my free days.

    Reasonable portion size could be interpreted by some to be low carb.

    Striking all carbs from a meal is just insane and that includes your last meal of the day too.
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    Apr 27, 2009 5:35 PM GMT
    I don't define low-carb in any universal sense, and I don't follow strictly defined diets. I did, however, define for myself the amount of carb reduction I needed to make in order to lose weight, and I lost 30 pounds in 5 months. My diet had been largely whole grains, beans, and vegetables. I cut out potatoes and most of the grains and beans, and ate more veggies and meat. On my old diet, my starchy lunches would leave me hungry and snacking a couple hours later. After switching to mid-day meals of meat with veggies or salad, my appetite would be completely sated for 5-6 hours. The lowered caloric intake and weight loss was completely effortless because I was never hungry for more food than I needed.
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    Apr 27, 2009 8:35 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]Chuckystud knows what he is talking about. Low carb is stupid. If you want to cut out carbs then cut out all white processed carbs and still with whole grain carbs instead.[/quote]

    Thanks man.

    The saying goes, you fast to fuel the furnace; stoke the flame, if you want it to burn hot and brightly.

    The rude response of the poster, coupled with the laziness and low esteem indicates to me that there's probably more at work here that just the obvious question.

    To the poster: My suggestion is that you seek professional counsel to understand why you feel the way you do; why it makes you lash out when folks are honest with you; why you feel badly about yourself.

    With regard to low carb diets, they are bad because of all the reasons I've mentioned.

    Weight management is about calories in vs calories out. Body composition is managed by insulin manipulation, resistance and aerobic exercise, lifestyle and hormone levels.

    Starving does NOT mean you'll be leaner. Starving just means you'll be lighter.

    Generally speaking, low carb diets are ill advised because your body's preferred form of energy is glucose. Period. Training your body how to becoming a fat-storing machine is idiotic.

    All that being said, and seeing that the poster is so lazy / inept as to not have a picture and profile, my prediction is that the poster is not very coachable, if at all, but, rather seeks validation for a plan that the consensus would say it unwise.

    Bottom line is he's gonna' do whatever he wants.

    Now, if we calculate the base requirements for the poster, without knowing his body composition:

    150 * 15 = 2250, roughly (I know, I didn't pull his fat out here)

    Now, adding for a moderate level of activity and being under 25.
    600
    600

    2250 + 1200 = 3450 base caloric requirment if he's active, to 2850 if not so active, and on down to about 2300 if he's got some fat on him.

    Clearly, the poster did not research this at all. 2000 calories is woefully inadequate, but, you're not going to tell him that because he's insecure and headstrong that he wants to be tiny no matter.