A low-carb diet for beginners

Vince

Moderator
Thread starter #1
A low-carb diet means that you eat fewer carbohydrates and a higher proportion of fat. This can also be called a low-carb, high-fat diet (LCHF) or a keto diet.For decades we’ve been told that fat is detrimental to our health. Meanwhile, low-fat “diet” products, often full of sugar, have flooded supermarket shelves. This has been a major mistake, that coincided with the start of the obesity epidemic.Studies now show that there’s no reason to fear natural fats. Fat is your friend (here’s why). On a low-carb diet, you instead minimize your intake of sugar and starches. You can eat other delicious foods until you are satisfied – and still lose weight.How does it work? When you avoid sugar and starches, your blood sugar stabilizes and the levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin drop. This increases fat burning and makes you feel more satiated, reducing food intake and causing weight loss.

Studies prove that a low-carb diet makes it easier both to lose weight and to control your blood sugar, among other benefits.

A Low-Carb Diet for Beginners – The Ultimate Guide – Diet Doctor
 
Last edited by a moderator:
#2
I lost 35lbs following a lowish carb diet. I wasn't strict. I didn't count macros or calories. I just completely eliminated sugar and was judicious eating carbs. I focused on breads, pastas and potatoes. Again, no counting just an awareness. I will say that if you try low carb diets, be sure to save your carbs for pre and post workouts. Low carb diets work, just remember that we need carbs so don't go crazy. I also agree that fats are vital to a healthy diet.
 
#3
Thanks for posting Vince.

Good point Nash and a bit of a peeve of mine with many of the low carb articles. IMO, there is a difference between carbs. Sugars, finally ground processed grains, high starch, alcohol carbs are not the same as oats and stone ground (non-fine) grains, sweet potatos, brown rice. If a person wants to avoid all carbs that is up to them (and may be right for them), but IMO, those two groups of food should not be all generally defined as the same.

I have cut back on carbs and increased proteins, but still have what I call good carbs because that is what works for me.
 
#5
Thanks for posting Vince.

Good point Nash and a bit of a peeve of mine with many of the low carb articles. IMO, there is a difference between carbs. Sugars, finally ground processed grains, high starch, alcohol carbs are not the same as oats and stone ground (non-fine) grains, sweet potatos, brown rice. If a person wants to avoid all carbs that is up to them (and may be right for them), but IMO, those two groups of food should not be all generally defined as the same.

I have cut back on carbs and increased proteins, but still have what I call good carbs because that is what works for me.
Yup. There are some terrible carbs like anything with refined sugar. There are also moderately bad carbs like white potatoes, white bread, pastas. Then there are good carbs like whole oats and most fruits. I realize fruits can be sugary, but they also have important phenols and fiber just to name a few. I simply dropped all terrible carbs and really watched the moderately bad carbs and the weight fell off.
 
#6
Thanks for posting Vince.

Good point Nash and a bit of a peeve of mine with many of the low carb articles. IMO, there is a difference between carbs. Sugars, finally ground processed grains, high starch, alcohol carbs are not the same as oats and stone ground (non-fine) grains, sweet potatos, brown rice. If a person wants to avoid all carbs that is up to them (and may be right for them), but IMO, those two groups of food should not be all generally defined as the same.

I have cut back on carbs and increased proteins, but still have what I call good carbs because that is what works for me.
Saul, you're exactly right.

It is very confusing at times because glycemic index and glycemic LOAD are two different things. Whole wheat bread sounds good, for example, but the fact that the wheat is pulverized into flour makes it both high glycemic and high-load, because flour is so easily broken down in the body. Basically every carb that is in flour form is awful. And the bad news is that wheat flour is in everything...

Carrots are high-glycemic, and are often mentioned as "high-sugar" food to avoid. But we eat so little in a serving that it will almost never carry a high glycemic load. You can actually cook whole wheat or bulgur pasta to an al-dente state and it will have both a lower glycemic index and a lower load, than whole wheat bread. This just one example of how preparation can play into it as well.

My go-to grain is oats. I can be in a ketogenic diet and still eat a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, or maybe have a sandwich that is made with oat bread, and still be in ketosis. I have also started experimenting with baking with almond flour, oats, and ground flax seeds as "flour".
 
#7
Aside from G.I. (glycemic index) and GL (glycemic load) starch is not just starch as there are 3 types of starch- amylose/amylopectin/resistant starch and they all behave differently in the body.

Amylose is broken down/absorbed more slowly and can also be converted into resistant starch when cooled.

Amylopectin is broken down/absorbed quickly.

Many carbs contain different ratios of amylose/amylopectin.

For example when talking about rice- long grain rices/basmati/parboiled-rice contain higher amounts of amylose and have a lower G.I. where as short grain rices/aborio/sticky/jasmine mainly contain amylopectin and have a higher G.I.

The love/hate potato which is full of nutrients gets so much hate when in reality there are potatoes such as- russet/idaho/yukon gold which have a higher G.I. as they mainly contain amylopectin starch and than there are new potatoes (red skinned)/red bliss and the newly developed carisma which have low-moderate G.I. as they contain more amylose.

Waxy potatoes tend to be low-medium G.I. and starchy potaoes tend to be higher G.I.

Than there is this thing called a meal where one usually adds a whole protein source with vegetables that contain soluble/insoluble fiber and than there are fats which all completely alter the G.I. and slow down ones digestion/absorption of the carb.

A carb is not simply a carb just as starch is not just simply starch. It is much more complex than that and if one states all carbs are evil and health deteriorating than they would be narrow minded!
 
#8
Thanks Dave and Madman. So much complex info. I am still learning about glycemic index. No idea potato types differ. In my post work out drink, in addition to protein, I add fruit for simple carbs and oats for complex carbs. The oats get blended down to the size of large sand grains size or fine gravel so it is not finely ground. Then a good breakfast. I try to keep it simple and mostly avoid finally ground flower, white rice, and have cut back on potatoes, but I still eat bread, trying to stay with stone ground with whole grains added, but I think stone ground is as much a marketing term as anything. I don't have any weight issues mostly trying to feel good, be healthy, and gain muscle. Everyone is different though so good to try different things.
 
#9
Thanks Dave and Madman. So much complex info. I am still learning about glycemic index. No idea potato types differ. In my post work out drink, in addition to protein, I add fruit for simple carbs and oats for complex carbs. The oats get blended down to the size of large sand grains size or fine gravel so it is not finely ground. Then a good breakfast. I try to keep it simple and mostly avoid finally ground flower, white rice, and have cut back on potatoes, but I still eat bread, trying to stay with stone ground with whole grains added, but I think stone ground is as much a marketing term as anything. I don't have any weight issues mostly trying to feel good, be healthy, and gain muscle. Everyone is different though so good to try different things.
I would avoid fruit post workout as it is mainly fructose which gets stored in the liver as oppose to the muscle which you want post workout.

Muscle stores carbs as glycogen from simple sugars such as dextrose or complex carbs such as starch.

Simple sugars such as dextrose/maltodextrin/HBCD (highly branched cyclic dextrin) are good post workout.

Spiking insulin levels post work out is what you want to drive proteins/nutrients/increase glycogen storage in the muscle to help aid in muscle/strength gains and most important of all recovery.
 
#10
Yup. There are some terrible carbs like anything with refined sugar. There are also moderately bad carbs like white potatoes, white bread, pastas. Then there are good carbs like whole oats and most fruits. I realize fruits can be sugary, but they also have important phenols and fiber just to name a few. I simply dropped all terrible carbs and really watched the moderately bad carbs and the weight fell off.
Well the weight has not fallen off of me. I cut out potatoes and all fruit at Xmas. I am about done with this thing, and every time I see something the likes of MadMan's post I realize just how ignorant I am about this stuff. I mean there are some smart people on here about nutrition, and health, I am just not one of them. I probably ate to much meat, but I cut out the carbs period. Well, I like a little bourbon every night, but they said that was okay.

I lost 20 pounds just trying to eat healty two years ago, I am just about done with this.
 
Thread starter #12
A much better gauge of progress than the scale is waist measurment at belly button. Increase in waist size means more overall bodyfat, and probably some visceral fat. Decrease means less fat....that is it. Lean body mass and waist to hip ratio are other reliable indicators of progress. When starting a workout program it is common to actually gain weight (muscle) at first with a loss of body fat. Don't overdo the cardio. Start very low impact short time and increase slowly. Most of all, begin to enjoy the newly emerging, smaller, you!! BTW, what is your age weight, etc?? Water would be based on LBW or overall weight.

  • Waist: Measure the circumference of your waist. Use the tape to circle your waist (sort of like a belt would) at your natural waistline, which is located above your belly button and below your rib cage. (If you bend to the side, the crease that forms is your natural waistline.) Don't suck in your stomach, or you'll get a false measurement. If you generally wear your clothes below your waist, take that measurement as well.

    [*]Hips: Measure the circumference of your hips. Start at one hip and wrap the tape measure around your rear, around the other hip, and back to where you started. Make sure the tape is over the largest part of your buttocks. Because making sure the tape is level back there can be hard, try to do it in front of a mirror.
http://www.dummies.com/health/how-to-get-your-body-measurements/
 
#14
It's funny I eat super low-carbs and have great workouts, so many things are changing in the last 10 years. Now that we know so much about the dangers of insulin resistance'

Low-Carb Workout

Don't let a low-carb diet kill your training. Here's how to get a great workout, with energy to spare.

https://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/workout-routines/low-carb-workout
I notice a huge difference in my energy level if I am eating super low carb. I don't feel as strong and can't workout as hard if I don't have some carbs on board.
 
Thread starter #15
I notice a huge difference in my energy level if I am eating super low carb. I don't feel as strong and can't workout as hard if I don't have some carbs on board.
I wonder if it's because I have a big believer in MCT oil? Something I don't talk about it. MCT oil 15 to 20 minutes before a workout.
 
#17
, but I still eat bread, trying to stay with stone ground with whole grains added, but I think stone ground is as much a marketing term as anything.

Danger Will Robinson, this is where almost everyone screws up. Bread is made from flour, often has added sugars, and yes, the "whole grain" stuff is just a marketing term. "Stone ground" means absolutely nothing! You cannot do low carb and eat bread. Oats, quinoa, maybe brown rice if you must. You need to watch your grains period, but bread is a no-no.
 
Thread starter #18
Danger Will Robinson, this is where almost everyone screws up. Bread is made from flour, often has added sugars, and yes, the "whole grain" stuff is just a marketing term. "Stone ground" means absolutely nothing! You cannot do low carb and eat bread. Oats, quinoa, maybe brown rice if you must. You need to watch your grains period, but bread is a no-no.
I agree, I've been grain-free since 2010. I believe that's what saves all my joints. Arthritis runs in my family, both of my parents have it and some of my siblings. I was starting to get sore knees, when I eliminated grains, they slowly healed. I don't know if it was caused by giving up grains but I believe it might have healed them.
 
#19
You can have my bread when you pry it from my cold dead hands . . . I grew up in the west. We had three things with every meal - bread, potatoes, and meat - in every combination.
 
Thread starter #20
You can have my bread when you pry it from my cold dead hands . . . I grew up in the west. We had three things with every meal - bread, potatoes, and meat - in every combination.
Yep there was a time I was just like you, after going grain-free. I don't even miss bread. Watched my girlfriend eat cheeseburger yesterday. Didn't even miss it. But I know for some, food is psychological, how many people eat certain foods to make them feel good. Them are the ones who definitely can't eat low carb, so I have to agree with you, low carbs aren't for everyone.
 
Top