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  1. #1
    Atl
    Atl is offline Senior Member
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    Default My Experience With Low Carb Diets

    I have a lot of experience with low carb diets...from ketogenic to mildly ketogenic low carb. I have also lost a lot of weight in the past and I understand the process fairly well. Here is what I learned about low carb:

    You appear to drop weight fast because your body loses it's glycogen which is stored in fluid, so when the glycogen goes so does the fluid that holds it. I have lost 15 pounds in 5 days on a 10 or 15g carb a day diet before. You will lose fat if you keep your calories low after this, but no faster than if you eat carbs. AND you can gain weight if you over eat the low carb stuff. However with the low carb diet that initial 10 to 15lbs happens all at once and makes you think that you hit the magic diet, BUT is doesn't happen again. And you keep trying to repeat it. Here is the catch, AS SOON as you eat carbs and the bodies glycogen refills you get a 10 to 15 pound weight gain all at once...maybe even in one or two days. It is also hard to stay ketogenic for very long. I have lost most of the weight I have lost with a traditional low calorie diet with fairly equal nutrient ratios. The weight loss is slower to get going, but it is just as rapid as low carb. You just don't get the 10 or 15 lb glycogen loss which is an illusion anyway. My experiences with low carb would always give me that initial weight loss and I would become a believer in that "religion", but it has consistently led to disappointment with the low carb lifestyle.

    Right now I am eating about a 33% 33% 33% average overall and my weight does not fluctuate up and down rapidly even though I went off my diet 2 or 3 times recently, and I am starting to drop weight. Low carb is not a magic bullet, but exercise IS.

    I know many will disagree, but this is my experience. I am trying to discard all diet "religioins" as I realize that there is NO magic ratio.
    "A warrior takes his lot, whatever it may be, and accepts it in ultimate humbleness. He accepts in humbleness what he is, not as grounds for regret but as a living challenge." - Carlos Castaneda

  2. #2
    dpluslane1 is offline Senior Member
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    Good post, Atl. What most people don't realize is the initial weight loss is water weight because carbs hold water in the muscle. Just like you, I have fluctuated greatly by cutting out carbs and then water depleting the week of a fitness show. The first time I competed I cut 8 pounds in the last week before the show and gained 10 pounds in ONE DAY the day of when I started eating carbs, salt, and water again. There isn't anything wrong with limiting carbs - I think our society as a whole consumes too many carbs and especially too much of the wrong kind of carbs, but the ketogenic inital weight loss is misleading and usually the super low carb diets end up being unhealthy on top of unsustainable.
    Delaine Ross, RKC Team Leader

    [url]www.gymcondition.com[/url]
    [url]www.allaboutkettlebells.com[/url]

    "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." -Vince Lombardi

  3. #3
    Hidden Dragon is offline Member
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    Yeah, low carb diets are dumb imo. Lets not use the healtiest, easiest, and fastest form of energy available to humans (sweet fruit). I eat around 60-70% of my calories from Carbs and most of that is fruit. It gives me great energy, and I really have no trouble recovering from workouts. I have even gone down very low on my protein intake and had no trouble, but I just like nuts, seeds, eggs, cheese and meat, lol.

    I might try to move to a 80/10/10 diet and one point, but for now Im doing well eating around 60% carbs.

  4. #4
    Semonides is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atl View Post

    Right now I am eating about a 33% 33% 33% average overall and my weight does not fluctuate up and down rapidly even though I went off my diet 2 or 3 times recently, and I am starting to drop weight. Low carb is not a magic bullet, but exercise IS.
    Could you expand on the exercise as magic bullet comment? I have been told that weight loss is almost totally about what you eat (i.e., calorie restriction) and that exercise is about muscle gain. Obviously exercise can help you spend more calories and boost your metabolism but that without eating correctly exercise will not have that great of a result. What is your opinion on the matter?

    BTW: I totally agree with the carbs-as-magicbullet sentiment. I have been eating a lot of legumes and as long as I remain abstemious in general, eating 50% of my kcals from carbs does not stop me from dropping weight.
    Last edited by Semonides; 07-29-2009 at 06:19 PM.

  5. #5
    rstehwien is offline Junior Member
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    I lost 80 lbs on a low carb diet (atkins) back in 2003 and kept it off for 2 years (after the diet was over maintenance was closer to the zone at 40/30/30). I never experienced a 10-15 lb jump all at once when I stopped being so strict on carbs. But I let my exercise slip and started eating more (especially more processed carbs) and my weight crept up 50 lbs over 3 years until the beginning of this year (it was all stress eating related to some family issues).

    Beginning of this year I got serious, started exercising, eating clean, then found kettlebells. Now I'm back down 50 lbs to 166 lbs. My ratios were at first low carb 50/20/25 (p/c/f) and now they are more zone like 40/30/30.

    I think that "ideal" ratios are a mix of personal preference and metabolism. I have found that if I go much higher in carbs (clean or not) I begin to feel "bad" and start having funky cravings... so I couldn't imagine going to the 80/10/10 split (and personally feel that wouldn't be nearly enough essential fats and maybe not enough protien). At the really low carb end I still feel pretty good but I also like fruit too much to give up completely. I can imagine moving to closer to a completely even 33/33/33 or even 30/30/40 split as I like my healthy fats nuts, avocados, hemp, etc. and feel good eating them.

    Over the years I've tried many different micro-nutrient ratios and had good success when I ate clean, the difference is how I feel (both energy and being full instead of starving).
    Last edited by rstehwien; 07-30-2009 at 06:04 AM.

  6. #6
    Atl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Semonides View Post
    Could you expand on the exercise as magic bullet comment? I have been told that weight loss is almost totally about what you eat (i.e., calorie restriction) and that exercise is about muscle gain. Obviously exercise can help you spend more calories and boost your metabolism but that without eating correctly exercise will not have that great of a result. What is your opinion on the matter?

    BTW: I totally agree with the carbs-as-magicbullet sentiment. I have been eating a lot of legumes and as long as I remain abstemious in general, eating 50% of my kcals from carbs does not stop me from dropping weight.

    Yes exercise is a magic bullet for maintaining a healthy weight. WIthout exercise wieght loss is much harder, but you probably know this so why expand?
    "A warrior takes his lot, whatever it may be, and accepts it in ultimate humbleness. He accepts in humbleness what he is, not as grounds for regret but as a living challenge." - Carlos Castaneda

  7. #7
    Atl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hidden Dragon View Post
    Yeah, low carb diets are dumb imo. Lets not use the healtiest, easiest, and fastest form of energy available to humans (sweet fruit). I eat around 60-70% of my calories from Carbs and most of that is fruit. It gives me great energy, and I really have no trouble recovering from workouts. I have even gone down very low on my protein intake and had no trouble, but I just like nuts, seeds, eggs, cheese and meat, lol.

    I might try to move to a 80/10/10 diet and one point, but for now Im doing well eating around 60% carbs.
    Keep in mind that someone whose focus is weight loss will want to build muscle to speed the metabolism. 10% might maintain. All of your bodies tissues are from protein. While carbs certainly aren't the enemy neither is protein.
    "A warrior takes his lot, whatever it may be, and accepts it in ultimate humbleness. He accepts in humbleness what he is, not as grounds for regret but as a living challenge." - Carlos Castaneda

  8. #8
    Hidden Dragon is offline Member
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    Yes all of your bodies tissues are protein, but your body doesn't loose much protein. You shed skin, and you loose cells from your digestive tract, that's about it. You can build muscle perfectly fine on a lower protein diet, you will just have to consume more overall calories, so your protein Is not used as energy.

    I can assure you though, if someone ate an 80/10/10 diet the way it is described, only eating fruits and veggies, there is no way you can stay fat. Eating only fruits and vegetables will change your metabolism to the point that it burns fat like mad. You can eat more calories, and still lose weight.

  9. #9
    Atl
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    there is no way you can stay fat
    Lol...hold on there. I am 19% body fat at 235 pounds as measured yesterday. This is already below the norm for an American by a bit. When I talk about losing fat I am talking about getting down to 10% body fat. I have met many vegans and fruitarians before, and they were low bodyfat, but they had zero real muscle. I do have one friend that is a vegan that is not this way. He eats a lot of protein in the form of sprouted beans as well as raw veggies and fruits. His muscle mass is normal, but in no way approaches mine. I have some pretty serious proportions to support as I am not interested in losing muscle. I have no desire to be skinny. I would like to end up about 210 pounds at about 10% body fat as a goal.
    "A warrior takes his lot, whatever it may be, and accepts it in ultimate humbleness. He accepts in humbleness what he is, not as grounds for regret but as a living challenge." - Carlos Castaneda

  10. #10
    sparkplug is offline Member
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    It sounds to me that we both have arrived at the same crossroad. You know now what your body needs and how different combos affect body comp and performance. The next step is Precision Nutrition. I have been using pn and have dropped about 3% bf in about 2 months without any body weight change and I haven't even been 90% compliant. It takes some time to dial it in but seems worth it.

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