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Do Calories Matter on a High Protein/Low Carb Plan?


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Before you all have a go at me, I'm not doing Atkins...

I am having an Activia friendly bacteria thing plus bacon/eggs for breakfast

I don't tend to have lunch but if I do, I will have thinly sliced salmon with salad.

Some sort of grilled fish (mostly smoked haddock or salmon or sea bass) plus salad or cooked fresh spinach.

And I drink lots of 1% milk.  I'm just not having carbs in the traditional sense. 

I'm averaging about 1600 cals a day and I walk about oh, maybe 3 miles 3 or 4 times a week. 

I want to lose 58 pounds ... what do you think?

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How is this different from atkins?

Yes, calories still matter.

Well for one thing, I'm having milk and milk products which is a no no on Atkins. Also, I'm not binging on meat like it promotes... I'm having reasonable servings and making sure I connect my head hunger with my actual stomach.

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Calories are pretty much the ONLY thing that counts. Ever.

Calories still matter. There is nothing magical about high protein/low carb - it's simply another way to decrease total calorie intake without you having to count calories.

The reason the Atkins diet promotes a high protein, high fat diet with very few carbs and tells you that you don't have to watch calories is because in that case, when you're not taking in an adequate amount of glucose to be used by the nervous system and the red blood cells, first the body breaks down protein to make glucose, but then it adjusts and starts breaking down fat into ketones and using ketones instead of glucose.  Breaking the fat down into ketones essentially doesn't get as much energy out of the fat than the way in which we normally break down fat.  So you can eat more calories and still lose weight.

But, if you're eating even a modest amount of carbohydrates, ketosis doesn't happen, and fat is broken down by the regular pathway.  So quite simply, in your case, calories certainly matter.

To lose in the long run the following are a must to manage, in order of importance:

1. Calories intake.

2. Calories breakdown (Carbs, Proteins, and Fats% + Fiber and other vitamins and minerals--in other words, not empty calories).

3. Water intake.

4. Daily multivitamin (just in case).

 

I personally have been following a low carb diet for a VERY long time and love it... I hardly count calories and feel wonderful (because counting calories makes some people including myself NUTS!).... but as I have said in other posts, each to their own so you can take or leave what I say.

If you want to lose weight though... you need to also up your exercise, at least 60 minutes of heart pumping exercise 6 days a week and on the 7th say, leisurely walking is alright.

What sort of bacon are you eating in the morning by the way? If it's turkey bacon, that's alright but pork is a no-no, that type to bacon is full of saturated fat and added ingredients like nitrates & sometimes even some sugar.

Original Post by dolphinclick:

The reason the Atkins diet promotes a high protein, high fat diet with very few carbs and tells you that you don't have to watch calories is because in that case, when you're not taking in an adequate amount of glucose to be used by the nervous system and the red blood cells, first the body breaks down protein to make glucose, but then it adjusts and starts breaking down fat into ketones and using ketones instead of glucose.  Breaking the fat down into ketones essentially doesn't get as much energy out of the fat than the way in which we normally break down fat.  So you can eat more calories and still lose weight.

But, if you're eating even a modest amount of carbohydrates, ketosis doesn't happen, and fat is broken down by the regular pathway.  So quite simply, in your case, calories certainly matter.

I agree with this.

 

Though I'm also laughing at the fact that you kind of asked people not to jump on you for doing low-carb, yet there is so much violence in the replies.

tealparadise: what kind of "violence" are you reading?  hyperbole much?  people are just telling her that there's no magic to losing weight. 

giabash: why does she NEED to up her exercise to 60 minutes 6 times a week?  she's only eating 1600 calories.  exercising a few days a week is great, especially for someone who is just starting out.  for someone who is compulsive about her exercise, however, i can definitely see why it wouldn't be enough.  thanks again for another "healthy" contribution. 

Original Post by giasbash6260:

If you want to lose weight though... you need to also up your exercise, at least 60 minutes of heart pumping exercise 6 days a week and on the 7th say, leisurely walking is alright.

What sort of bacon are you eating in the morning by the way? If it's turkey bacon, that's alright but pork is a no-no, that type to bacon is full of saturated fat and added ingredients like nitrates & sometimes even some sugar.

Both of these paragraphs are highly incorrect.

Original Post by giasbash6260:

What sort of bacon are you eating in the morning by the way? If it's turkey bacon, that's alright but pork is a no-no, that type to bacon is full of saturated fat and added ingredients like nitrates & sometimes even some sugar.

Saturated fat is both delicious and nutritious. 

Some turkey bacon has nitrates and/or sugar. Some doesn't have nitrates; most doesn't sugar.

Some pork bacon has nitrates and/or sugar. Some doesn't have nitrates; most doesn't have sugar.

Original Post by laura916:

tealparadise: what kind of "violence" are you reading?  hyperbole much?  people are just telling her that there's no magic to losing weight. 

giabash: why does she NEED to up her exercise to 60 minutes 6 times a week?  she's only eating 1600 calories.  exercising a few days a week is great, especially for someone who is just starting out.  for someone who is compulsive about her exercise, however, i can definitely see why it wouldn't be enough.  thanks again for another "healthy" contribution. 

It's hard to see the violence when it's something you agree with.  You may be surprised to hear that your own post is pretty mean.

My official stance on calorie counting vs. atkins is that both are just belief systems like any religion.  People lose weight on Atkins and say that it's the only thing that has worked for them, people lose weight on CC and say that it is the only thing that has worked for them, both are probably right and there's no reason to get up in arms about it.  The explanation behind Atkins sounds just as legit as the one behind counting calories, and so even though  I've never  tried it, I'm not going to bash on people for doing  it.  In fact, I never bash on ANYONE for following a diet that I don't agree with.  (Okay, once I kind of snapped at some girl who was going to the gym 8hrs per day 7days per week, but I tried to do it kindly)

I especially never use my assumptions about someone's lifestyle, based only on what I've read on an internet forum, to discount their opinions.

Original Post by tealparadise:

Original Post by laura916:

tealparadise: what kind of "violence" are you reading?  hyperbole much?  people are just telling her that there's no magic to losing weight. 

giabash: why does she NEED to up her exercise to 60 minutes 6 times a week?  she's only eating 1600 calories.  exercising a few days a week is great, especially for someone who is just starting out.  for someone who is compulsive about her exercise, however, i can definitely see why it wouldn't be enough.  thanks again for another "healthy" contribution. 

It's hard to see the violence when it's something you agree with.  You may be surprised to hear that your own post is pretty mean.

My official stance on calorie counting vs. atkins is that both are just belief systems like any religion.  People lose weight on Atkins and say that it's the only thing that has worked for them, people lose weight on CC and say that it is the only thing that has worked for them, both are probably right and there's no reason to get up in arms about it.  The explanation behind Atkins sounds just as legit as the one behind counting calories, and so even though  I've never  tried it, I'm not going to bash on people for doing  it.  In fact, I never bash on ANYONE for following a diet that I don't agree with.  (Okay, once I kind of snapped at some girl who was going to the gym 8hrs per day 7days per week, but I tried to do it kindly)

I especially never use my assumptions about someone's lifestyle, based only on what I've read on an internet forum, to discount their opinions.

That was really sweet, thanks tealparadise... laura's always been out to get me, but eh, what can you do?!

Here are a few articles about exercising for 60 minutes (most all days of the week):

http://www.healthcentral.com/diet-exercise/fi tness-tips-6664-146.html


http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder /exandwtloss.html


http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/10/29/e xercise.keeps.dangerous.visceral.fat.away.a.y ear.after.weight.loss.finds.uab.study

Original Post by tealparadise:

Original Post by laura916:

tealparadise: what kind of "violence" are you reading?  hyperbole much?  people are just telling her that there's no magic to losing weight. 

giabash: why does she NEED to up her exercise to 60 minutes 6 times a week?  she's only eating 1600 calories.  exercising a few days a week is great, especially for someone who is just starting out.  for someone who is compulsive about her exercise, however, i can definitely see why it wouldn't be enough.  thanks again for another "healthy" contribution. 

It's hard to see the violence when it's something you agree with.  You may be surprised to hear that your own post is pretty mean.

My official stance on calorie counting vs. atkins is that both are just belief systems like any religion.  People lose weight on Atkins and say that it's the only thing that has worked for them, people lose weight on CC and say that it is the only thing that has worked for them, both are probably right and there's no reason to get up in arms about it.  The explanation behind Atkins sounds just as legit as the one behind counting calories, and so even though  I've never  tried it, I'm not going to bash on people for doing  it.  In fact, I never bash on ANYONE for following a diet that I don't agree with.  (Okay, once I kind of snapped at some girl who was going to the gym 8hrs per day 7days per week, but I tried to do it kindly)

I especially never use my assumptions about someone's lifestyle, based only on what I've read on an internet forum, to discount their opinions.

maybe we just have different definitions of violence?  when i think of violence, i think of threat of physical--and sometimes emotional--harm.  telling someone that cutting carbs won't help her lose weight if she's not eating less than she's burning doesn't appear to be a threat in my mind.

what does seem threatening, however, is when people advise other people to engage in behaviors that could be unhealthy.  i make no assumptions about gia's exercise habits.  if you read her posts, she says openly that she engages in 90-120 minutes of cardio every single day, no matter what.  this included immediately following SURGERY to repair her colon, which was likely damaged as result of her eating habits.  the definition of compulsive exercise is exercising even when there are physical and emotional costs.  i'm not sure of a better example than this.  this is sad.  but what is disgusting, in my mind, is the way gia suggests that other people should engage in similar levels of compulsion as if her way of living is healthy.  is this a judgment?  absolutely.  but i'm willing to stand by it because i think this website should engage in the promotion of healthy behaviors.  gia's relationship with food--characterized by HER report (read her profile) by extreme restriction of entire food groups and excessive consumption of very low calorie foods despite the fact that she is visibly UNDER weight--is not healthy and nothing to be promoted on this website. 

Ladies, ladies - why so cranky?  I thought it was a good question and something I've wondered about too.   I do much better with weight loss if I have more protein in my diet .... even if my calorie count is the same.   At first I was loving having the 100-calorie snack packs of cookies, etc., but I loose much quicker by cutting those kinds of carbs out.   

I am on SB and I hate the word Low Carb  because I actually eat a lot of carbs.. just not every carb..

I eat the veggie carb.. the fruit card.. the whole grain goodness carb... the brown rice carb..

On SB you don't need to count cals .. I did for the first 6 months.. so that I had a good understanding of portions and calorie content.. then I had to .. gulp ... listen to my body.. scary  but was necessary for me.. now.. I don't count cals per se... but I know I stay within a loose range. 

I am not promoting SB but it is a Low carb (that darn word again) lifestyle.. I don't say diet.. cause I could never diet forever.. but SB eating?  that I can do forever.   and I have lost 88 pounds since April :) 

Exercise is a good thing but slow and steady until you get to a place where you can "crank it up".  When I started I had trouble walking to the corner.. now I walk all over.   When you raise your level of exercise.. re enter your stats.. you may need to adjust your calories to  reflect your new pace..

What works for one will not work for all.. if it did there would be no fat people.. find what works for you and do it :)

Original Post by trikki:

Calories are pretty much the ONLY thing that counts. Ever.

 what is this nonsense you people keep preaching?

not all calories are created equal, you want to choose quality WHOLE foods over processed crap.

sure you could lose weight eating 1600 calories worth of Cheetos but you would only turn into something I like to call "Skinny Fat"

Some of the leanest cultures in the world eat a diet of about 2000calories a day, and are very healthy and LEAN. Americans eat a diet of about 2000calories a day, but as for healthy and lean? Um not so much.

the differense is QUALITY.. if you're gonna eat 1600calories of processed food and sugar, you may lose weight, but you're not gonna look very good.

Now if you eat 1600cal of high quality whole foods like fiberous vegetalbes, lean protein, low sugar fruit, healthy fats, and some whole grains, you are guarenteed to build a better, healthier and leaner body

you could be 58lbs lighter but with a high body fat  and "squishy" appearance, or you could be 58lbs lighter with a low body fat and lean toned muscle

it's your choice

Totally random, and not on the topic of this post, but Carmenxox, if that is your stomach in that profile pic, please inform me on how to get them, cause I am so jealous of them I might die.

also... not eating lunch is a horrible thing to do for you body. Having salmon and salad for lunch is perfect, but not having any is damaging to your metabolism, it's like skipping breakfast. Why do it?
Eating nuts instead of carbs, or low fat cheese, or drinking low fat-fat free milk is great to replace carbs too, but you need a bit of oatmeal or granola here and there, won't hurt. I don't really eat bread anymore because I found that it was making me put on weight, I was eating too much of it, so I stick to Kashi granola bars and oatmeal for my carbs and some fruit like bananas and apples.
I would also start including 1/2 hr of weight training with your walking, it'll help knock off extra pounds by raising your burn since you are ripping muscle and building it to create that extra bit of push. Walking is great, but it shouldn't be the only exercise you do.

It is very interesting to read all of these posts.  All have their merits and I will not criticize anyone for their personal choices.  While Atkins and South Beach are the "no/low carb" eating lifestyles we are familiar with, there are just as many good "average carb" eating lifestyles (i.e. Weight Watchers, etc.).  I have come from both schools. 

Prior to my 2nd pregnancy, I was a lifetime member of WW.  After being diagnosed with hypothyroidism and gaining 40 lbs. almost overnight, I returned to WW, only to find that in 10 weeks of solid plan-following and exercising (no cheating), I gained 2 lbs.  My doctor and I discussed this.  She advised me to use a modified Atkins/SB diet but include a few more "good carbs".  Basically, this is a diabetic diet and my doctor felt that a lower glycemic index-type of plan would help...and it has.  I now realize that I do not process high glycemic load carbs well.  I find it important to eat frequent, small meals (breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, evening snack).  The frequent meals allow my blood sugar levels to stay stable during the day.  I don't have those sudden "crashes" where I head off to the cafeteria and buy a bag of chips.  Skipping meals forces the body into 'starvation' mode and the body will reserve its fat stores.  By not eating, you will burn protein first. 

I am now on my way to a healthier me.  I circuit train 4 to 5 days a week.

I think the key here is following a plan that:
a) is a "lifestyle" and not just a quick diet
b) offers healthy food choices (protein/carb/fibre/fat/calories) 
c)  offers variety - nothing kills a weight loss plan like food boredom.
d)  works with your body and your daily routines

There are so many physical activities to get involved with now...from yoga to pilates and boot camps, aquasize to aerobics.  There is bound to be an activity that you can find an hour to do...that will refresh you mentally and physically, while helping you drop that weight.

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