So how do these low carb diets work?

  • sfboy987

    Posts: 209

    Apr 26, 2010 5:07 AM GMT
    I tried a low carb diet a while back, but I was not very strict about it. Anyway, I decided to just try it out for the next couple of weeks to see what happens. Today was my first day where I ate very little carbs, and I do not really feel any side effects except I'm still hungry! I woke up late today, so I have only ate 3 meals: an omelete of 3 eggs and chopped ham, a small fruit bowl, half a pound of ground beef with brocolli, and a salad with chicken. I'm tryining to maintain a 2000 caloric diet, and I thought eating all these meats would add up to that because of their fat content. I estimated that I have only eaten about 1300 calories so far, and I've kinda run outta of ideas of low-carb foods to eat. Also, I feel like eating anymore meat would mean an overload in protein. What do you guys suggest?
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    Apr 26, 2010 12:55 PM GMT
    In my experience, low carb diets work because protein and fat sate the appetite, resulting in less hunger and therefore lower food consumption. Everyone is different, and with me, carbs (especially starches) make me ravenously hungry a few hours after I eat them. I'm leaning out right now, and I simply can not maintain a caloric deficit if I eat lots of carbs. I had a sweet potato last week, which I seldom do, and I ended up pigging out all afternoon, with a final calorie count for the day of 2730. With less carbohydrate in the diet, I can easily tolerate the much more mild hunger impulses.

    Keep in mind, though, that low-carb does not mean high-protein. Protein should make up around 25-30% of your caloric intake. Low-carb diets are high-fat diets, so instead of eating excessive quantities of meat, have some added fat with more moderate quantities of meat. So, have that nice fatty ribeye. Put a pat of butter on your sirloin. Simmer some chicken in coconut milk.

    Just remember that you still need to maintain a caloric deficit. Some people are under the impression that low-carb diets let you magically eat huge numbers of calories and still lose weight. If there really is a so-called "metabolic advantage" to low-carb diets (a topic for which there is much debate), it only amounts to 200-300 calories a day, at best.
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    Apr 26, 2010 1:43 PM GMT
    paradox said

    Just remember that you still need to maintain a caloric deficit.


    Probably one of the most important key points that people who attempt a weekend low carb diet seem to miss. In my experience it's a lot easier to maintain that deficit while I'm off carbs, and the hunger cravings are much much lower.

    As far as making a carb-restricted diet work, it's pretty simple: don't cheat icon_razz.gif You can't sneak in a slice of bread here or a glass of milk there and expect to gain anything from it (except additional weight). Also an unsuccessful carb-restricted diet can careen you into some severe rebound binges. Properly harnessing one can dramatically speed up your fat loss if you know how to manipulate it properly.
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    Apr 26, 2010 2:45 PM GMT
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  • sfboy987

    Posts: 209

    Apr 26, 2010 4:36 PM GMT
    I alright I know the whole thing about calories in = calories out, and to lose weight one should follow a calorie deficit. However, I'm lifting weights 3 times a week, and doing cardio the other 3 days. So I've heard from many people that I should eat more to fuel my body. So shouldn't I be eating at least 2000 calories a day?
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    Apr 26, 2010 5:06 PM GMT
    paradox saidIn my experience, low carb diets work because protein and fat sate the appetite, resulting in less hunger and therefore lower food consumption. Everyone is different, and with me, carbs (especially starches) make me ravenously hungry a few hours after I eat them. I'm leaning out right now, and I simply can not maintain a caloric deficit if I eat lots of carbs. I had a sweet potato last week, which I seldom do, and I ended up pigging out all afternoon, with a final calorie count for the day of 2730. With less carbohydrate in the diet, I can easily tolerate the much more mild hunger impulses.

    Keep in mind, though, that low-carb does not mean high-protein. Protein should make up around 25-30% of your caloric intake. Low-carb diets are high-fat diets, so instead of eating excessive quantities of meat, have some added fat with more moderate quantities of meat. So, have that nice fatty ribeye. Put a pat of butter on your sirloin. Simmer some chicken in coconut milk.

    Just remember that you still need to maintain a caloric deficit. Some people are under the impression that low-carb diets let you magically eat huge numbers of calories and still lose weight. If there really is a so-called "metabolic advantage" to low-carb diets (a topic for which there is much debate), it only amounts to 200-300 calories a day, at best.


    Anything that drives insulin will drive blood sugar which will drive appetite. That's just the nature of glucose (your body's preferred source of energy). For high performance, and to utilize insulin in the best way possible, it's small meals often, so that your blood sugar deviation is moderate.

    Insulin is the most anabolic hormone of all (being the shuttle hormone that drives nutrition into the cell), and its proper management makes all difference in the world when it comes to sports performance and bodybuilding gains. Exogenous insulin is a favorite of both bodybuilders who do ("juiced") and don't ("natural") do exogenous testosterone. Carbs drive the insulin response in everyone.

    Carbs bind with water in your muscles and liver to form glycogen, which fuels anaerobic activity. You absolutely have to have carbs to make decent gains, preserve your metabolic rate, and to sustain high level of athletic performance. Carbs aren't bad, per se, it's the mismanagement of the insulin response that is.

    Post workout, SUGAR and water, along with protein (which goes along for the ride as insulin shuttles nutrition into the cell) is just what you need to refuel your muscles with glycogen in the golden hour, for maximal gains.

    Type 2 diabetes is caused by too much sugar, too often, and a lack of physical activity, and obesity. The insulin receptor becomes non-receptive and insulin insensitivity develops. Type 2 diabetes is 100% preventable with as little as two intense exercise sessions weekly (weights are particularly useful in increasing insulin sensitivity / glucose tolerance as they require so much glucose to do and are extremely intense activity). Sadly, the USDA feels that fully 1/3 of Americans will be Type diabetic by 2020. Again, type 2 diabetes is 100% preventable.

    You need about 75 grams of carbs, no matter what to really have good brain function. Low carb diets are ill advised in that they induce significant metabolic lag, low blood sugar, and the famine response (fat storage), and, are counter-productive for most.

    With inadequate calories, your body will preserve fat and catabolize lean mass (lower base metabolic rate), and slow your metabolism because of the famine (the famine response). To get lean, and muscular, you HAVE TO EAT. If you are engaging in strenuous activity to lower your fat levels, YOU'LL NEED TO EAT MORE TO SUPPORT THAT INTENSE EXERCISE - not less.

    Low carb diets burn fat as the last alternative, but, heavily compromise lean mass. A better alternative is more carbs, and higher intensity exercise, which is up to 9 times more effective in fat reduction.

    When I do a show, I bring my calories UP, to support three-a-day workouts, and to get very lean.
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    Apr 26, 2010 5:11 PM GMT
    the first law of thermodynamics calories in = calories out isn't as simple as it seems.

    low carb is intended to limit fructose consumption.... THAT'S IT


    so yeah thats why low carb diets work


    and if you don't know what fructose it, well its the devil, and you heard it from me first icon_razz.gif

    and if i were you id learn about why eating fiber fat and protein before bed is best and why eating carbs in the morning and post workout is a good thing

    carbs are not an enemy, they are a useful tool.... controlling the release of insulin and leptin might just be things to also read about

    as hard as it is to believe, it's possible to loose fat with a 7000cal diet if your able to increase ur metabolic rate so i wouldnt be too stuck on calorie consumption

    just know that if you starve your body it will react to that and go into starvation mode and store everything you put in it and in turn reduce ur metabolic rate and ull feel like shit

    thats all i got, but u need to read more and not go hungry if u ask me

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    Apr 26, 2010 5:13 PM GMT
    and if you want a more educated opinion read what chucky posted and not what i said
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    Apr 26, 2010 5:13 PM GMT
    My contest diet is 3800 to 4800 calories, EVERY DAY, with as many as 10 meals a day.

    food_20070729.jpg

    18 weeks of that....makes this

    9730_152279.jpg
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    Apr 26, 2010 5:16 PM GMT
    There's an old-school bodybuilding saying "You have to fuel the furnace!" and, it's true.

    The trick is in keeping the insulin response moderated. You want your blood sugar optimal all the time, with as flat a line as you can get.

    Most fat asses fail at diet because they fast, and their blood sugar drops, and then they binge.

    It's called the feast / famine syndrome and ...it trains your body how to be a fat storing machine. Small meals, often, every day, are how you have energy, and GET LEAN, and have PERFORMANCE.

    Post workout, you want to get the stores refueled, so you get some fast SUGAR in right after working out. I said SUGAR. You shuttle some protein in with it in the "golden hour" right after training. Ever see how "full" some guys are are? That's called being "carbed up".


    Years ago, I worked with the National Strength and Conditioning Association in Lincoln on some of this, and also with John Parillo of Parillo performance, and later with Sagi Kalev. Eating is EVERYTHING.
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    Apr 26, 2010 7:59 PM GMT
    I don't disagree with what you've written, Chucky, but I will point out that you write from the perspective of a hardcore elite athlete, and not every dieter needs to eat in that fashion. I'm an average middle-aged joe who likes to eat three meals per day, and in that context, I find it easier to regulate insulin by eating no starch and fewer carbs. On days I don't go to the gym, I eat fewer calories and often consume fewer than 75 grams of carbs on those days. But, on workout days I eat more calories and bump up carb intake to a bit over 100 grams.

    This morning, I spoke to my trainer about my reaction to that sweet potato, and he said that people often fail to distinguish between hunger and thirst. He thinks that my body may have been telling me to drink water in order to metabolize the carbs, and instead, I ate more food. So, the next time I eat something starchy, I'll be sure to reach for water and see if that's the case.
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    Apr 26, 2010 8:08 PM GMT
    I hate low-carb diets. I eat moderate carbs a day, but low carb diets are just not my thing.
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    Apr 26, 2010 11:13 PM GMT
    paradox saidI don't disagree with what you've written, Chucky, but I will point out that you write from the perspective of a hardcore elite athlete, and not every dieter needs to eat in that fashion. I'm an average middle-aged joe who likes to eat three meals per day, and in that context, I find it easier to regulate insulin by eating no starch and fewer carbs. On days I don't go to the gym, I eat fewer calories and often consume fewer than 75 grams of carbs on those days. But, on workout days I eat more calories and bump up carb intake to a bit over 100 grams.

    This morning, I spoke to my trainer about my reaction to that sweet potato, and he said that people often fail to distinguish between hunger and thirst. He thinks that my body may have been telling me to drink water in order to metabolize the carbs, and instead, I ate more food. So, the next time I eat something starchy, I'll be sure to reach for water and see if that's the case.


    Your points are valid, but, you won't be optimal for training. Water makes a world of difference, especially with lower blood sugar levels.

    I've had women complain that they get afternoon headaches. I then find out they have low blood sugar from not eating all the morning and early afternoon.

    My friend was at my house recently, and he was just acting "off." I got Logan to take his blood sugar, and he was at a 46 (way too low). We gave him some sugar.
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    Apr 27, 2010 12:35 AM GMT
    chuckystud saidMy contest diet is 3800 to 4800 calories, EVERY DAY, with as many as 10 meals a day.

    food_20070729.jpg

    18 weeks of that....makes this

    9730_152279.jpg


    I suppose there is something admirable about having enough discipline to eat like this every day....and clearly it shows how much value you place on working out and your physique...

    ...but dont you ever just want to eat normal food.... lol, i mean a burger? a sandwich? Pasta with just tomato sauce? Seeing your diet makes me sad for you! I mean... when was the last time you enjoyed thai, indian, chinese, italian? .... but to each his own. lol.
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    Apr 28, 2010 3:41 AM GMT
    Oh, yeah, man, I chow hard....Buffet Palace, all you can eat sushi, stir fry and Chinese buffet for only 6.49.