What do you think of low-carb diets?

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  1. chirls profile image71
    chirlsposted 13 years ago

    In the last few years, low carb diets seem to have become the "go-to" diet, especially for those looking to lose weight quickly. I'm thinking of reducing my carbs a little, but for me it's not a huge change - I simply want to try to eat more whole grains and pulses and introduce some more variety in my diet. However, this got me thinking about some of the crazy low-carb diets out there.

    Have you tried a low carb diet, and if so, what did it consist of and how did it go?

    1. Donna Janelle profile image67
      Donna Janelleposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I am actually trying a low carb diet right now. It consists of eating a ton of meat, salad, grapefruits, eggs, and some veggies. There is not much that you can eat and I am already getting sick of it, and I have only been one it for about a week and a half.   It is working and I have lost a little weight, but I don't think this would be a good diet long term. Other people have told me that when they go off of low carb diets they typically gain the weight back. I really want to be a healthier person, so after I have lost the weight I want to lose, I will start eating some carbs again in moderation, and keep sugar to a minium. I really want to keep the weight off after I lose it!

      1. chirls profile image71
        chirlsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Donna, that sounds like a really difficult diet to stick to! I tried the Atkins diet years ago when I needed to lose some weight to get into a bridesmaid's dress. Like you, I had some success, but the problem was that I felt terrible! I don't remember if the weight stayed off... but I'm guessing it didn't.

        I'm not convinced by these low-carb diets, but it sounds like you have a good exit strategy to shift over to a healthier way of eating. I figure you can't go wrong with a healthy diet (lean meat, veg and whole grains - in moderation, of course) and a bit of exercise. Good luck with it!

    2. profile image56
      rieomposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      This was one of the easiest diets I had ever been on.  Although I do love carbs, I did not feel deprived.  I did not get bored with this diet either.  My success was just over 40 pound weight loss.  However, I also ended up having to have my gallbladder out and my physician thought it was related to the diet I had been on.  I also ended up gaining back this weight that I had lost and more.

      1. IzzyM profile image87
        IzzyMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        You are putting a strong link between gallbladder disease (stones, I assume) and low-carb dieting. There has always been a medical link between a high-fat diet and gallbladder disease. That's why they used to say the 4 F's are more likely to suffer from gall bladder trouble - Fair, Fat, Forty and Female - though to be fair I have seen a huge increase in sufferers of all sexes and ages. And very few of them have tried a low carb diet, in fact much more have been on low fat diets.
        So you tell me...is it the dieting, or is it our general diets that are causing it?

    3. rcrm89 profile image65
      rcrm89posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I've experimented with very low carb intake (less than 50g of carbohydrates per day), they do help you lose weight, but as an athlete it was suboptimal for performance (low muscle glycogen).

      At the end of the day a low carb diet is just one of many ways to reduce total caloric consumption - you can do it with a more balanced intake of macronutrients and portion control/calorie counting which is my preference.

    4. tmbridgeland profile image81
      tmbridgelandposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Absolutely loved it. I still eat a pretty low carb diet, after more than ten years. At the extreme it was mainly meat, eggs, nuts and green veggies. High fat. I felt great, and was able to about double my running milage. Good for my digestion too. I will never go back to a high carb diet, and never eat wheat again.

    5. mungkhoa profile image60
      mungkhoaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I had an article about "Principle Low-Carb diet High Fat-High Protein". You can see more:

      http://hubpages.com/hub/Principle-diet- … gh-Protein

  2. Mighty Mom profile image79
    Mighty Momposted 13 years ago

    Cutting back on "white" foods -- rice, potatoes, bread, flour and sugar -- is healthy. Complex carbohydrates from veggies and grains (bulgar wheat, brown rice, etc.) are good.

    The problem with any "diet" is it is designed to be temporary. You go "on it" then you "go off it." The mentality of dieting does not work and yo-yoing weight can be dangerous.

    The Atkins Diet that was the big craze a few years ago disappeared as quickly as it came on the scene. Yes, people DID lose weight while eating bacon, cheese, hamburgers -- all meat and grease and no carbs. But... I know of at least two men who went on it and were irritable and aggressive while on it and -- surprise, surprise -- gained the weight back as soon as they stopped.

    Much better to go with portion control and increase your exercise. It works and you don't 'fall off' it!

    1. chirls profile image71
      chirlsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Cutting back on "white" foods is exactly what I'm trying to do. I've been eating a bit too much bread, potatoes, and carb-loaded snacks lately, and it's been wreaking havoc on my appetite! I'm hoping that eating a bit more protein, fiber and complex carbs will help get that under control.

      Mighty Mom, I completely agree with you about dieting. The idea of going on a temporary diet to lose some weight, and then going back to normal and putting it all back on again is just madness, if you ask me. I prefer to make simple lifestyle changes so that I eat healthily all of the time... or at least most of the time!

      Portion control and upping the exercise is what I'm all about. I wish more people would give up on fad diets and just follow this advice!

  3. profile image0
    Home Girlposted 13 years ago

    Any diet is nothing but a temporary solution, a patch on a pocket of your health. If you want to lose weight, be healthy and stay that way, you have to change your relationship with food, your behavior towards your food intake. You have to eliminate things you eat that are NOT healthy for you and stay away from them forever. ONLY in that case your weight will take care of itself without any effort from you. Your task is to recognise the culprit and kick it out. And never come back. Never-ever.

    1. chirls profile image71
      chirlsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed! I don't do 'diets'. I was just wondering what kind of low-carb diets were going around at the moment, and how people felt about them. smile

  4. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 13 years ago

    I did the Atkins diet 9 years ago for about 10 months and lost around 40lbs, and no I never regained the weight except maybe a bit recently as it is creeping back up while I sit here on my fat arse all day!
    I felt great on Atkins - all fresh hunter/gatherer food, no refined or processed foods which meant no added salts, sugars trans fats and chemicals. Refined white flour is positively dangerous for our health after they have stripped out all the natural goodness and added chemicals back in!
    People stopped doing the Atkins diet because pressure from the processed food industry had writers and media people up and down the country putting it down. I stopped doing it because I had reached my target weight.

    1. Aisla profile image76
      Aislaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Join me on my diet izzie, you follow the Atkins and write about it and i will slave away on the one i have chosen. It would be great to have someone else fighting at the same time.

      1. IzzyM profile image87
        IzzyMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I can't this time because I am simply not earning enough money at the moment to buy the meats. Even the cheap local minced beef in my local shops have added carbs in the form of maize or wheat or something (the labels are in Spanish) and the price of pure beef is outside my budget I'm afraid. Plus rice, pulses and pastas are cheap to buy here, while the veg is only cheap when seasonal as Spain doesn't seem to like importing goods - out of season veg are old and expensive.
        But I do need to lose some weight....

        1. profile image0
          Home Girlposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Cut on pastas Izzy, whatever you have in terms of vegetables just add this to your rice, that's it. No pasta and very little oil. Do you have beens there or any kind of fish that is affordable? I do not know what pulses means though...

          1. IzzyM profile image87
            IzzyMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            Yeah pulses are beans and stuff (complex carbohydrates), and yes there are plenty here, and freshly caught fish too, but I'm not a big fish lover.
            I just need to do as lrohner suggests and eat less of everything. If you're not doing a specific low carb diet, then taking in less calories than you use works every time smile

  5. Mighty Mom profile image79
    Mighty Momposted 13 years ago

    My husband did the original Atkins. Lost a bunch of weight then gained it back.
    He is now talking about going back on a "new" version of Atkins.
    I'm all for eating more fish and veggies.
    I'm even willing to cut back on my beloved pasta and spuds (gulp -- hard to think about that).
    But I refuse to say I am on any DIET.

  6. chirls profile image71
    chirlsposted 13 years ago

    I wonder about the long term effects of some diets - I've never heard about a relationship with gallbladder problems, but you never know.

    I think with lower carb diets, it all depends on what you eat and how low carb you go. My mother had great success with Atkins years ago, but she modified it so that she ate a lot more vegetables than was recommended at the time. The original Atkins got an especially bad rap because some people took it to the extreme and ate nothing but cheese and bacon.

    Even if it works for weight loss, I couldn't advocate cutting out carbs entirely. I think a balanced diet is definitely the way to go. Now if only I could kick my carb addiction just a little, that would be great!

  7. katiem2 profile image60
    katiem2posted 13 years ago

    I'm a vegetarian and so I eat a lot of carbs, mostly nothing but

    I have no problem with my weight.

    I do practice food combining though...

  8. dangT profile image54
    dangTposted 13 years ago

    Low carb diet is essential in losing weight but I advise that you practice proper diet. Add up with exercise and will help you lose weight in good health. It’s one of probably the most often-touted reasons to lose pounds - it reduces your chance of illness. Spending money on diet programs will supposedly reduce your chance of disease. New studies have found that losing weight doesn't always reduce your disease risk. Don't just take out a payday loan and buy into these programs, do a little research first.

  9. Aisla profile image76
    Aislaposted 13 years ago

    I don't think much of low carb diets as they are an essential part of your daily diet for healthy living.
    If you are on one to lose weight then sure you might go down in weight but you will also go down with the correct combination of fats, proteins and carbs.
    Personally i love food and fall prey to the big bum syndrome every now and then. Result being yet a new diet. I have tried everything out there and the only one that works is cutting total calories over time.
    I have just started a new diet and i am recording everything i eat and putting it out here so if anyone wants to follow to see results and encourage me i would be delighted. Unfortunately it sseems to be low everything!!
    I hate dieting it's just something i need to live with now and then.
    Just one last thing. I heard that low carb diets and high protein content over time can cause pretty nasty gall stones so be careful.

    1. IzzyM profile image87
      IzzyMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Its not the low carb/high protein combo, its the high fat. Then again it is the type of fat, and Atkins never advised taking in
      anything other than natural fats which have an (udeserved IMO) bad press.

      1. Aisla profile image76
        Aislaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I suppose i can go with that asd my diet doesn't have any pastas, etc only traces of bread now and then.
        Fats i have to have in form of olive oil otherwise i just don't feel good. This keeps both my nervous system and skin working as they should. ( Not forgetting lots of natural water )

        1. IzzyM profile image87
          IzzyMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Healthy fats are olive and fish oils - butter instead of margarine - can't remember what else exactly, but even the fats off meats are better than some of the fats out there.
          The very worst types of fats are those that are in fast foods and shop-bought cakes and biscuits, but on a low carb diet you wouldn't be eating them anyway.

  10. optimus grimlock profile image58
    optimus grimlockposted 13 years ago

    low carb diets are good depending on your goal. I try to follow them but twice a week i do higher carb days.

  11. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 13 years ago

    A few years ago, going right back to the 60s/70s, the recommended daily intake of carbs was set at a much lower rate than it is today - athletes excluded of course because they need much more.
    Now the level is much higher, but we all lead a more sedentary life - more people have cars etc - yet they expect us to use up those extra carbs we are positively encouraged to take?
    Carbs are for energy primarily - what is not used right away is stored by the body for future use in the form of FAT.
    Fats on the other hand, pass straight through the body and out again if not used.
    Some of them seem to clog up our arteries, but only certain types of fats do that, in combination with carbs. Perhaps that is related to a lack of essential elements in the body - it would take an expert to work it all out - things like magnesium, potassium etc play a part.

  12. lrohner profile image68
    lrohnerposted 13 years ago

    IMHO, Izzy, the answer is not to cut down on carbs -- it's to add more physical activity into your day.

    Just recently, the US government completed a multi-year study that investigated the efficacy of different "fad" diets. All participants were put on a low-calorie diet that focused on either low-carb, low-fat or high-protein.

    What the study discovered was that the amount of carbs, protein and fat that you eat may matter to you for health reasons, but not for weight loss. When it comes to losing weight, it's all about counting calories.

    One pound of fat = 3,500 calories. If you want to lose one pound of fat per week, you need to eat 3,500 calories less OR burn off that amount through exercise or a combination of both. Full stop. How you get there is totally irrelevant.

    The thing that scares me about low-carb diets is that it puts you into a state of ketosis. In a healthy person, that shouldn't be a problem. But there are close to 20 million people in the United States alone that suffer from pre-diabetes and another 7 million that are undiagnosed diabetics. For them, putting their body purposely into a state of ketosis could quickly lead to ketoacidosis that has a whole host of very serious medical problems.

    1. IzzyM profile image87
      IzzyMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I'm not sure how to split you post up to answer each point -  it must be remembered that many people cannot be physically active because of illness, disease or accident. Myself included I have a broken back and neck and find it painful to exercise, although I am fine walking or even brisk walking.

      A few years ago I would have agreed on the 'eat less calories than you use' theory, except that I am living proof that the types of food you eat are more important than the amount. On Atkins I must have taken in more calories than I sued, yet I still lost weight.

      The ketosis thing is dangerous for people who as you say are diabetic, though I doubt it will do harm to people with pre-diabetes. In fact it might even prevent diabetes from forming.

      In the 70s when I was nursing, diabetics were given very low levels of carbs to control their diabetes and that seemed to work - there were fewer insulin-dependent diabetics then than now.

      Ketosis itself is only a condition that shows the body is actively burning body fat. It is commonly seen in starving people too. Keto-acidosis is a different thing - both have the same symptoms of ketones bodies floating free in the body, but there the similarity ends.
      Keto-acidosis is dangerous and life-threatening. Ketosis isn't.

    2. habee profile image91
      habeeposted 13 years ago

      Low carbing is the only way I can lose weight. I eat meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, cheese, low carb chocolate milk, zucchini, yellow squash, cabbage, salads, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, nuts, and low carb bread. I came up with my own recipe for bread, made with flax seed meal. I eat a piece of fruit on most days, too.

      My docs have told me that no-carb diets can be tough on your liver and kidneys, so remember to do a LOW carb diet - not a NO carb diet.

      1. lrohner profile image68
        lrohnerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Sounds like you have a pretty healthy diet, Habee!

        Your docs are absolutely right. Low-carbing can not only stress your liver and kidneys, but it can also rob you of muscle and dehydrate you -- both of which can trick dieters into thinking they've lost weight through fat.

      2. IzzyM profile image87
        IzzyMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Absolutely Habee! Your diet sounds very healthy. The kidneys and to a lesser extent the liver can be protected by drinking large quantities of plain water to flush the system, but this is only of importance when your diet is high protein.
        I have found that once I have reached my target weight I can maintain it by eating around 80-100grams of carbohydrates per day, but for active weight loss I need less. Not none or anywhere near it.
        One potato is around 15gms if I remember right and it is one of the higher carb vegetables. Most are a lot less, especially the leafy green ones which are almost free foods they are so low. And qwe all know that leafy green veggies are very healthy, containing iron, anti-oxidants and other things (that I can't think off the top of my head!)

    3. kmackey32 profile image63
      kmackey32posted 13 years ago

      Im not a big fan of any diets....

    4. profile image0
      Home Girlposted 13 years ago

      Nowadays, well, I cannot say about all countries but in North America our smart producers put rafinated processed sugar into everything you can possibly imagine. And I am not talking about Tim Hortons' goodies (factory for diabetics) that are laced with sugar up to the rim in everything.I am talking about plain groceries we are buying every day. Bread,buns,hams,weeners,sausage,yogurts, even dry spices for meat,all kinds of sauces,ketchups,snacks,cheeses (I don't know about that last one but I would not be surprised). Sometimes it looks like a conspiracy, as if somebody deliberatly is trying to make us fat and sick. And it is not enough that they put sugar into everything, they just put tons of it, lots and lots. Are we bugs or people? No matter what product you decide not to eat - there are still lots of them in the store that are completely detrimental to your health! We have to eat something. Something without sugar, please. If I need one I can buy some grapes or strawberries, thank you.

    5. Disturbia profile image59
      Disturbiaposted 13 years ago

      I have not done a low-carb diet myself, but those that I know who have, have had great success while on the diet, but have all gained back more weight once going back to their normal eating pattern.  Low-carb like all "diets" don't work.  Sensible eating and exercise keeps you slim. I eat low fat and lots of raw foods and workout as often as I can.  I've been a size 5 for over 30 years, so it's something I believe in.  When friends ask me how I stay slim, I just tell them exactly, I don't eat a lot of junk and I exercise, and I think the exercise is more important than the food actually.  So forget the low-carbs.  Eat healthy foods, treat yourself once in a while to goodies, and get a good workout routine, one that will be easy and fun for you or else you won't stick with it.

    6. profile image0
      Home Girlposted 13 years ago

      Moderate exercise + healthy moderate food =healthy life.
      You start cheating on any part of that, you'll get 0 or minus result.
      Treat yourself with something better than food - a nice trip, a movie, an interesting book, meeting with a friend. We are not dogs or cats, or monkeys, why should we reward ourselves with food? Leave it to animals. I do not need a biscuit to feel happy.

      1. Disturbia profile image59
        Disturbiaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        That is an excellent point Home Girl.

    7. chirls profile image71
      chirlsposted 13 years ago

      It seems as though a lot of you have had experience of low carb dieting, either firsthand or from a friend or family member. I'm not surprised that many of you even feel that this is the only way for you to lose weight.

      As much as I disagree with the concept of dieting, it seems like the low carb diet seems to work for some because it's relatively simple to follow and more appealing to the palate than other diets. And it cuts out a lot of the refined sugars and starches that many of us can't resist!

      This type of diet has been around for years - my mother remember her mother and grandmother cutting out bread and potatoes to lose weight. Perhaps the reason for this is that it's a very simple way to cut back on the calories?

    8. profile image53
      newbie judyposted 12 years ago

      Is anyone on the Dukan Diet?  If so, is sugar free and fat free Jello pudding allowed if made with non fat milk?

    9. supplem for profile image60
      supplem forposted 12 years ago

      Well-carbohydrate diet might be somewhat effective. But do not mix good with bad carbohydrates. Good carbohydrates are a legume vegetables, grains, and more. and bad carbs is lemonade, chocolates, cakes and other products that promote fat accumulation. It should be remembered that the bad carbohydrates into fat, which accumulates in our body.

    10. profile image0
      fit2dayposted 12 years ago

      I think low-carb diets can be good depending on what they consist of. There are good carbs and bad ones. It's best to get carbs from whole foods and cut out or limit the refined sugar, white flour, and processed food in general.

      The bad side is when people want to eliminate good carbs like fruits and eliminate proper balance in their diet. I haven't ever been on a specific diet, but I have started to try and eat meat and vegetables most dinners and limit starchy foods to breakfast and lunch.

    11. profile image56
      EmmaSmith4posted 2 years ago

      Low-carb diets restrict carbohydrates, such as those found in sugars and fast foods, pasta and bread. They are high in protein, fat and healthy vegetables. Research shows that they can aid in weight loss and improve health. This meal plan gives you the basics of healthy, low-carb eating.


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