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Jonesin on low carb

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  • Jonesin on low carb

    I really enjoyed the article "17 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight" but I would have named it something different: "1 + 16 Reasons You're Not . . . . "

    The #1 reason people don't lose weight and fat is that they eat too many calories. Period. The other 16 reasons are important but not as.

    As our host says in item #8 in his article: "You’re eating too much. Low-carb isn’t magic. It reins in wild hunger and tames insulin, but calories do still matter."

    Awesome. Well said. It can't be said often or loudly enough!

    My wife and I went out to eat tonight with another couple at Golden Corral. I had fish, a little lettuce with oil and fresh broccoli. That was my low carb meal.

    My buddy Paul had: (1) steak . . . (3) palm-sized hunks of bacon-wrapped pork . . . (several) crab stuffed sole servings . . . broccoli, salad, tomato . . . (several) big globs of sour cream . . . cheese . . . etc.

    That was HIS low carb meal.

    Now Paul is a big guy . . . but so am I. We weigh about the same, exercise about the same and are the same age. The difference is that I've been low carbing a long time and he's in his second week after his usual On Again/Off Again approach.

    Low carb eating has become a license for GLUTTONY in America just like low fat eating did a few years ago. People who use food for other reasons besides nourishment once regularly stuffed themselves with carbs to avoid fat. Now they stuff themselves with fat in the mistaken belief that since it's "low carb" they'll still lose weight.

    Different drug but still jonesin . . .

    As I told my good friend and will reinforce tomorrow at the gym . . . "look dumb ass, if you think low carb = ALL YOU CAN EAT . . . try this simple experiment."

    (Any of you readers who don't believe calories matter can try it too.)

    Figure out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). You can pay money and get tested or just apply the Harris Benedict Equation which has stood the test of time since 1919. Alternatively, if you know your Lean Body Mass, just multiply that by 16 and that will be your daily caloric requirement.

    Now, once you figure out your BMR and add an "activity factor" please consume 3-4 times that number of calories per day using strictly low carb/no carb foods.

    So if BMR + activity says you need 2500 cal/day . . . eat 10,000 cal of low/no carb . . . steak, fish, chicken, butter, sour cream, etc. Just that good low carb stuff.

    Weigh yourself after one month and see what happens.

    I've written about this before here and on other forums and will continue banging the drum as loudly as I can . . . YOU MUST CONTROL CALORIES! Low Carb doesn't mean ALL YOU CAN EAT.

    Having said that . . . like most low carbers, I don't count calories. I don't because eating low carb AUTOMATICALLY regulates my appetite and I can simply look at what I consume and tell that I'm far below my daily caloric requirement.

    But not needing to doesn't mean "don't have to." I counted calories while learning to eat this way and as low carb worked its magic, my insulin regulated, my appetite disappeared and today I literally have to remind myself to eat.

    Unfortunately, not everyone sticks to low carb eating as a LIFESTYLE. They go on and off about as regularly as they get their hair cut. Their body never switches to fat burning mode and so they're stuck in perpetual insulin chaos.

    As most of us know, when you come off low carb, the weight will come back unless you control your gluttony. And the only way to do that is to go low carb again. Only, now, you're a hungry low carber so you pig out on low carb foods. And so it goes.

    There's only one way to kick a drug habit (that I know of) and that is to NEVER TOUCH IT AGAIN.

    If carbs are your drug of choice (as they are for me) one potato chip or one slice of toast can derail you as quickly as one drink does an alcoholic or one toke the druggie.

    Primal, low carb, whatever you want to call it, is a LIFESTYLE choice that we junkies cling to for our health and 99% of us love how we feel on it.

    But if you're considering it . . . don't mistake it as a license to feed your Jones.

  • #2

    I thrive in Primal gluttony

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull


    • #3

      I'll co-sign on this. I've had numerous clients that used to believe low carb means everything is a go as long as you stay away from carbs.


      • #4

        I so heartily agree! I've eaten low carb for years, but controlling calories is how I lose weight. I get so annoyed when people post on a low carb board that they're "stalled" and not losing, and the response usually is, "You're not eating enough"--and I see a menu that's about 2000 calories for a small woman!

        It wasn't this way when Atkins first published, but somehow the idea that low carb means tons of cream cheese, cream, butter, etc., etc. has infiltrated the low carb world, and it's sad.


        • #5

          I'm not one to dispute what you're saying here-I've only been primal since December-but I just wanted to clear one thing up.

          Gluttony, over-eating due to an eating disorder, and sugar/carb addictions are three different things. For a lot of people eating fewer calories is MUCH easier said than done, especially when first starting out with this lifestyle.

          As you mentioned, addictions that people have to sugar/carbs are like drug addictions. Many people would benefit from talking to a therapist and/or finding another complementary therapy.

          But others just need to be gentle with themselves and have patience. This lifestyle requires a MAJOR transformation. For many it takes a whole lot of will-power to avoid those carbs in the beginning. And we have to use that will power to ignore all that we've been taught about nutrition in the past as well as all the media depicting things like crispy on the outside and soft on the inside sugar-coated, chocolate-dipped cookies. So when they/we find something that is primal and tastes amazing, there is little will left to hold back on calories.

          I think Mark mentioned somewhere that over time he realized he didn't need as many calories as he once thought he did. I think the key is to know that eventually one wants to decrease calorie intake but the learning process on how to do so takes time.

          For me personally I've benefited almost immediately using FitDay to keep me on track. I had no idea how calorie-dense almond butter was, for example.

          And I also wanted to mention what Mark did about calorie intake requirements being complex. Our bodies are dynamic and some days we need more than others.

          Anyway, I think it's a good point you make about calories needing to be watched. But I'd say that success for many of us requires a gentle approach rather than more guilt.


          • #6

            By and large, I concur.

            I think confusion often arises from the old calories-in, calories-out equation. Newbies hear low-carbers say, "It isn't as simple as CICO" and interpret it to mean "Calories don't matter!"

            Well. It ISN'T as simple as taking X calories worth of food and subtracting Y calories from the treadmill read-out to get calorie deficit Z. Different foods and different forms of exercise cause hormonal events that dramatically impact the CICO equation.

            Because of the hormonal impact of PB, some people may indeed be able to consume more calories than they did on CW, and still lose bodyfat...but that does NOT equate to a free license to stuff down as much low-carb food as possible. There is still a limit, even if that limit is different than it was on CW.

            For some people, the limit will be lower than it is for others. Personally, I find that I can eat the same number of calories, or slightly more, on PB while getting leaner than I have ever been.

            I'm a small woman with a six-pack and about 18% BF -- and I eat about 2,200 calories most days. If I bumped that up to 2,600 low-carb calories, would I gain fat? Sure! Because CICO matters, but it's not the simple equation CW would like us to belive.

            Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm!

            Latest post: Stop Being Stupid


            • #7

              blah blah .. it's all about calories .. broken record ...

              It's almost physically impossible to eat 10,000 calories of fatty meat, so your 'experiment' is a load of BS.

              However if you can manage half of that if is still possible to lose body fat.


              So basically you are wrong. Calculated BMR is rubbish and there are a lot more factors to fat loss than calories.

              Even Mark won't say it's all about calories.

              We've been over this ad-nauseum, so learn to use the search function and go read some studies. There are plenty of people here who have lost more fat by increasing calories and lowering carbs.

              If you want to starve yourself to lose fat then go ahead, but it's not the only way.

              The "Seven Deadly Sins"

              • Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . • Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . .• Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
              • Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . • Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . • Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
              • Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)


              • #8

                jwint, the problem with what your buddy eats and what you recommend for your experiment is that dairy is included. You don't take into account the problems many people have with lactose and casein that can cause weight loss stalls or even weight gain.

                Like BarbeyGirl said, hormonal responses are just as important. And I agree with Tarlach. It's impossible to eat 10,000 Primal/Paleo calories in a day, especially if you eliminate dairy.

                You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!


                • #9

                  "Now Paul is a big guy . . . but so am I. We weigh about the same, exercise about the same and are the same age. The difference is that I've been low carbing a long time and he's in his second week after his usual On Again/Off Again approach"

                  Hmm, you have been LC for a long time, and Paul has been LC 2 weeks, BUT you are the same weight, same age and same exercises -

                  Seems to me Like Paul will probably be more successful. It doesn't seem like he is stressing over what he is eating and is enjoying himself. As time goes on he will probably eat less and achieve greater success.

                  Relax my friend, enjoy life and take it one day at a time.


                  • #10

                    TARLACH . . . OK wise guy . . . I read your "experiment" . . . not exactly Middle School laboratory conditions and controls was it?

                    Your own conclusions: "Calories (or amounts of dietary fat, if one does not like that evil word Roll Eyes ) do count on ZC. However, they only count in the sense of how quickly one would like to lose weight. Of course, if one has a lot to lose, their calorie requirements are already so high, they will have no problem losing quickly anyway. It's the last bits of body fat that one has to be diligent about in order to lose quickly.

                    BTW, I'm down another 0.1 kg body fat. That makes 1.6 kg body fat loss so far this week (since Wednesday). I'm really looking forward to dropping these cals down to 3000 on Wednesday. I'm certain I will lose even faster. The reason Kimkins works so well, is for the same reason. The more calories one drops, the quicker they lose. Of course, I would never want to drop my fat ratio down as low as they do. That is so bad on the body. When it comes to good health, animal fat is where it's at."

                    Yes TARLACH . . . "calories do count on ZC" and "the more calories one drops the more they will lose."

                    Calculated BMR is NOT "rubbish" it's actually very accurate assuming that you know your true weight and not over/under estimate. So for example, ladies best use weight before their period and not during it if they're prone to huge water bloating. The problem with BMR formula comes in when people add the "ACTIVITY FACTOR."

                    I can SEARCH and READ quite well. I don't know any competent low carb guru who doesn't believe calorie control is important . . . Eades, Atkins . . . no one.

                    Yes, 10,000 is a lot and was meant as an exaggeration to illustrate ABSURDITY . . . I will type slower next time.


                    • #11

                      ROBMEDINA . . . thanks for your post. Paul and I didn't start out at the same "point."

                      Most of the guys I hang out with are still active duty Army and while almost all are chubby, they're well within standards. I, on the other hand, retired to become a commodities trader (12-15 hours on the computer per day) and promptly gained over 100 lbs.

                      I've taken most of it off and am now aiming for "college weight."

                      I believe that low carb + heavy weight training saved my life.


                      • #12

                        BEAUTY . . . thank you for a great response. Yes, I agree "Gluttony, over-eating due to an eating disorder, and sugar/carb addictions are three different things."

                        I look at it this way: There are four groups of people when it comes to low carbing.

                        Group 1 has no interest in it. They eat whatever they want . . . carbs, fat, protein, etc. Includes most Americans.

                        Group 4 are the committed low carbers who have reached a desired weight or have curbed their appetite sufficiently to be making easy progress towards weight loss. These folks can take short vacations from low carb (like holidays and cruises) and then go right back to low carbing because they are mentally COMMITTED.

                        Group 2 and 3 are the On Again/Off Again low carbers . . . a.k.a. OA2s or Intermittent Carbers (ICs).

                        Group 2 people use low carb short-term to achieve some goal then go back to their old ways. This includes figure athletes, people getting ready for a wedding or to go on a trip. A lot of military people use low carb intermittently. For example, PT test coming up, promotion board or time to submit a new photo. They shrink and get lean then go back to doing what they were doing.

                        Group 3 is the crowd of people who are wanting to adopt low carb as a lifestyle and are in that first one or two months . . . and/or maybe their fourth or fifth attempt to adopt the lifestyle.

                        Group 1, 2 and 3 is where I see the problem of over-eating for some other reason besides nutrition.

                        I've read theories about FOOD WEIGHT being important . . . i.e., people must consume a certain weight of food to be satiated. Others talk about volume or the "warmth factor."

                        The gentleman I described in my post (I believe) still eats large quantities of low carb because he needs to feel full. If he stays on a low carb diet and joins Group 4 that fullness should come faster. (That's how it worked for me.)

                        The problem is that many Group 2 & 3 folks believe low carb is a panacea that allows free-range overfeeding, grazing . . . whatever you want to call it.

                        The point I would like to emphasize is that Group 2 & 3 folks need to be VERY calorie conscious.


                        • #13

                          I keep a decent BF (not a six-pack but not bad at all) while binging on Paleo foods on a regular basis. I am active-ish but don't work out or go to they gym.

                          Since I am not interested in "a beach body" and I can keep my wight completely effortlessly while gorging on fatty meat, counting calories seems silly to me.

                          It's quality, people, not quantity. QUALITY. Improve quality and the body will take care of the quantity.

                          “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                          "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                          "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull


                          • #14

                            I believe if someone is in the middle of a difficult transition, as jwint describes, and is binging on low carb foods, that is not something to worry about. If you simply add in further restrictions, that person will just get more discouraged and be more likely to go back to eating whatever.

                            The key point is that eventually this person lowers their total intake. The important takeaway point is eventually. So long as they avoid high carb foods, I would encourage them to continue, knowing that most likely they will find an equilibrium where their appetite limits total intake to appropriate levels.

                            It's important to keep in mind that people at different points in their life need different goals. An appropriate goal for someone a few years into low carb eating is optimization of some aspect.

                            An appropriate goal for someone just starting is avoid high carb foods. This may not be ideal, but it is already an improvement. It is merely the first step of many.