Low carbs

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  • posted by Birdy76
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    Morning guys day 3 for me and I am just wondering how you all keep your carbs 25 and below.

    Yesterday I are too many calories because I ate the wrong breakfast, so today I thought I would have porridge with apple and cinnamon but am already on 20 carbs! I know apples are high but I only had a half of a mini apple! Does anyone have any great breakfast ideas that keep both the calories and the carbs way down please.

  • posted by Skipping through the tulips
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    Morning Birdy,
    I m new here (week5) and the simple answer is I generally don’t. My understanding is that the extremely low carbs are only necessary if you have blood sugar issues or are insulin resistant.
    Since this is not the case for me I generally have between 30 and 50g and am managing a steady weight loss. This doesn’t mean you can traditional breakfast food which is generally carbs heavy. Things like toast, cereal ( porridge included) and most fruit would all have lots of carbs.
    I rarely eat breakfast since I prefer a larger lunch and dinner.
    I was starving this morning so I’ve had two eggs scrambled with1/2 slice lean smoked ham . I stirred a few leaves of baby spinach through and had a sprinkle of parmesan. Total carbs 2g but 180 cals which I may miss later. It was very satisfying and has stopped me raiding the bread bin.
    I know a lot of others have full fat Greek yoghurt with a few raspberries.
    A small omelette with lots of mushrooms / spinach. I’m sure someone with more knowledge with be along soon.
    My advice as another newbie is your going to make a few mistakes along the way with carbs and what’s good and bad but as long as your heading in the right direction and not eating bread potato pasta etc you’ve made a good start. You can fine tune things as you learn from others and more importantly what works for you. Have a great day

  • posted by SunnyB
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    Hi Birdy – welcome … you might have got away with half a mini apple, but your mistake is undoubtedly the porridge which is very carb heavy. If you had your half a mini apple with some full fat yogurt and even a sprinkle of seeds or chopped nuts, you’d have been fine. Generally, it is best to avoid all cereals if you are looking to keep you carb intake low.
    Skipping is right, not everyone needs to bring their carbs as far down as you are aiming. It’s really only those with T2 or insulin resistance or who find they don’t lose while eating higher carb levels, that need to pull their intake right down. A lot of people find they can happily discard the pounds/kg with a daily carb intake around the 50g mark.
    As Skipping points out, eggs make a good breakfast option and they can be used in a number of ways to ring the changes. You can even make egg muffins or patties in advance to keep in the fridge to eat cold or warmed through later – they’ll keep fine for a couple of days.

    Hope to see you out and about on other forum threads. It’s a friendly community and you’ll be welcomed wherever you dip in.

  • posted by Birdy76
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    Morning Skipping

    Thank you for the heads up! I only made the porridge because it was in the recipe book🤣. I was diabetic when I was pregnant with my son and we have diabetes in the family although a generation removed from me ie my Nan and my mums sister. Of course it went when my son was born but I was advised if I didn’t look after myself I would get it later in life. I obviously haven’t been looking after myself, hence this diet now. The other reason I chose this particular diet was because it is a lifestyle choice rather than a diet that would feel like a chore and I would give up it up! I am enjoying my new eating choice as I had been very lax in my diet! My partner eats no vegetables at all and it was easy to slip into eating what he ate for both me and my son. I also love larger and it has caused to put on two stone over the last year and a half. Things needed to change. My son was constantly hungry and I bought crisps, biscuits and other processed easy foods that he could just grab and eat which was doing him harm. Over the last three days he has had the same breakfasts as me instead shop bought cereals and he is trying new things. I am lucky my son eats nearly all vegetables and by the end of the eight weeks I am hoping he will eat a lot more. He has not been hungry as much and he has not been looking for crap to eat. I have dropped 7lbs too! I know this is the right choice for me and him and loving it. My partner will do what he does and I am ok with cooking him separate meals (mostly🤣). Good luck on your journey and i look forward to jumping in on different threads with you guys as you are all amazing. Birdy

  • posted by Birdy76
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    Morning SunnyB

    Thank you it really is and amazing forum. I will jump in and if can help anyone then great. I am enjoying my journey so far and I know I have done the right thing. Your suggestions are greatly received and noted down, awesomeness me thank you . So so good to be able to ask questions and to be part of a caring community of like minded people. As your namesuggests it is sunny today so enjoy and good luck with ongoing drop/maintain. Birdy

  • posted by JGwen
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    Hi Birdy, When I started out I used to have scrambled egg or an omelette for breakfast.
    After a short while of eating low carb you will find your hunger level/desire to eat will reduce. Then most people find they skip breakfast so they can save the calories for their lunch or evening meal.
    I agree with the others that you may not need to start out at 20g of carb and could ease in. But I have concerns about recommending that as a long term WoE. If your carbs are too high you will still loose weight if you count calories but in the long term your metabolism will slow down making it harder to maintain the weight loss. – If you decide to do multiple rounds of the BSD, then I would suggest you aim for 20g on subsequent rounds to play safe.

  • posted by Birdy76
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    Morning JGwen.
    Thank you I will aim for 20g but I go over by a little I will not worry. As you say I will get less hungry and use my carbs/calls else where like you say. Birdy x

  • posted by sixturkeys
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    I am being tediously persistent but just so I understand (because I am still not entirely clear!). Is it right that lowering cals can lead to weight loss, but the issue with carb levels (even if low by comparison to previous consumption) is that it still leaves the way the body deals with underlying insulin unaffected. So the metabolism just slows to match the calories, but the body is ready to respond v quickly (and in a bad way) when carbs are increased, even slightly And conversely, that going low-low carb for a period (or intermittent fasting) does have the advantage of affecting insulin production/how the body deals with it in a more long term way so that increasing calories (and, also within limits, carbs) does not trigger such inevitable gain/yoyo-ing? Sorry to be so painfully obtuse!

  • posted by GreenGal
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    Hey Birdy, I seem to have run out of cals early the last couple days so today had Greek yog, tsp each of toasted sesame and sunflower seeds this morning – kept me going until lunchtime today! Big lettuce, tuna, avo salad for lunch with a little carrot and cabbage shredded in and still have just under 400 for tonight so found it a bit easier today .. I did have 30g of grapes 🍇 with my yog but they were higher carb so am gonna get some berries in and put them in the freezer. So as recommended by others on the forum I think yog and berries will be my go to breakfast for weekdays.. but I like your fry up idea for weekends! Hope it’s going well, I also have lots of questions so am back and forth to the forum. I’m sure by next week we will have all this stuff a bit more ironed out! Keep on trucking! 💚

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    GreenGal, dont buy fresh berries and freeze, just buy frozen berries. It has been proved they are better for you than fresh as all the goodness is still in them whereas fresh could have been travelling or sitting on a shelf for days and lost most of the goodness. As a diabetic I know grapes are a no no.

  • posted by Skipping through the tulips
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    Hi SixT, you are reading my mind! What I’ve learnt from watching a couple of videos is what you’re saying. What I’m still unclear about the magic figures of 20g or 50g of carbs or how long one actually needs to fast to receive the protection. Following a 800 cal diet is obviously very low and i would hate to think that i was setting myself up for living on a low cal diet for the rest of my life because my body has permanently reduced its calorie consumption.

  • posted by sixturkeys
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    I am glad I am not alone Skipping. I would hate to think my continuing efforts to get to perfect Bellini could be easily reversed so I become a pint of stout (again…) – tho I am not missing at all, and can’t see myself going back to, the previous rice/bread/pasta with every meal combo. Spinach is all I need!

  • posted by alliecat
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    Skipping, what you are expressing is the universal concern of all BSDers when they are just starting out…metabolic
    changes! While any calorie restriction will yield short term results, they quickly are reversed without an understanding
    of the role carbs play, both short and long term. We’ve all grown accustomed to the outdated concept of calories
    in, calories out. We’ve listened to this mantra since the 80’s! The news is finally spreading, all too slowly, that
    it is the TYPE of calories that matter, not a prescribed number that is suppose to apply to all men and women.
    We all have varying sensitivities to carbs and when we learn how our own individual bodies react to them, the
    riddle is solved not only on weight loss, but the more important task of maintaining those losses without
    ever having to get back on a yo-yoing track ever again. In my judgement, the best insurance policy we can
    have is to become familiar with our individual TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). There are numerous
    sites on the internet to calculate this. Combine this knowledge with the “reverse diet”, which is nothing more
    than a tool going into maintenance, where in week 1 you consume 850 cal/day, week 2, 900cal., and so on,
    still keeping carbs low. During this period, most of us continue to lose weight, and ultimately that becomes
    our wiggle room. At this time, begin to add a few more carbs back in, not the bad “whites” or a lot of
    alcohol. When the scales begin to reflect an upward trend, you will have established the number of carbs
    you can allow yourself each day, your personal “trigger point”. That will be different for each one of us.
    Using myself as an example, throughout 10 months of strict Fast 800, I never went above 20g of carbs.
    Not everyone needs to go that low, but I’m highly insulin resistant, so it was necessary for me. My personal
    TDEE is @ 1500 cal. a day, and my tipping point is to not exceed 35g of carbs. There are others who can
    eat up to 2000 cal./day. It will be different for each one of us, because we all have different activity levels.
    After 2 years in maintenance, I’ve learned that I can “get away with” wine on the weekend, but if I become
    unfocused and allow it to creep in more often that, the scales do tell the tale! I thought I had permanently
    damaged my metabolism, but clearly not the case. I hope that I haven’t muddied the waters in an attempt
    to reassure you that it isn’t necessary to live in a permanent state of deprivation in order to protect your
    metabolic rate. After many months of 800 cals., 1500 a day is more than enough food for me! You will
    find differing opinions among other experienced members of the community on how many bad whites
    to eat sparingly on very special occasions. I don’t eat them at all, because over time my tastes have
    truly changed, and they don’t interest me. I certainly am not going to teach myself how to “like them”
    again! 🙂 As far as I’m concerned, sugar is poison, a highly addictive substance, and has absolutely no
    nutritional value at all.

    Good luck to you all! It’s very exciting to have so many newcomers this week 🙂

    Allie

  • posted by sixturkeys
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    Allie, that is really helpful and clear – thank you. So going low cal even for months is not the issue (as you’ve almost doubled daily intake in maintenance), but looking at getting carbs low enough to trigger the effect on insulin, and then that also can be increased (within the limits of personal tipping point). Put another way, if I ate my 800 cals in bread I might lose weight in the immediate but I would soon pile it back on again with increased cals. I know you don’t use keto sticks (and I don’t), so your adjustment to carb levels on the Fast 800 was dictated by weight discard stalls? ie you were eating the same number (800) of calories but it was the % of that as carbs which was key? And when you reached your target, it was a question of making adjustments upwards slowly and again looking at effect on gain. If that is right, I understand the formula much more clearly!

  • posted by Birdy76
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    Thank you GreenGal I have done better today and the hunger has been in check. I made the easy bolognaise today so I will have a 75g portion with courgetti tonight whilst at work. The reason I have put in 75grams of the meat is because it serves 6 so I dvided the number to get a single portion, I hope that was right? It looks an awfully small portion compared to what I have been allowed in other meals🤣.

    Yes I think by next week we will have it and will smash it💞

  • posted by Birdy76
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    Allie I love that I totally understand what you have just explained and it makes sense! Thank you 🙏

  • posted by alliecat
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    6T and Birdy, I’m so very pleased that I was able to help! I need to learn how to cut and paste this reply for
    future reference! I know how to do this WOE backwards and forwards, but I’m not always sure that I’m
    the most articulate at sharing my thoughts. We all have our strengths, and JGwen is THE master at
    explaining the science. I always leave this to her, which of course she already knows 🙂 6T, I totally
    agree with your conclusions! You’ve got this now!!!

  • posted by sixturkeys
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    Phew! It took me some time! And I know also that it is measurements that count not just scales! What had thrown me was the ref to 8 week rounds but get the whole picture now! Salmon and (carefully weighed) steamed (and might give a quick blast in oven to get crispy egdes) broccoli for supper. I have stalled in the last week or so (too much party-ing…) so will approach with renewed vigour. Thanks again!

  • posted by Skipping through the tulips
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    Allie that was a simply brilliant reply. you have definitely reassured me.I’ve copied it so i can refer to it when the time comes.
    Thank you

  • posted by alliecat
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    My pleasure, Skipping! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • posted by Scottishgal
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    I need to thank you too Allie for that explanation. I think I will have to review things again based on what you have said.
    I’ve not really been too sure of what I’ve been doing since I finished the 8 weeks. I’ve been concentrating on the carbs and keeping sugar levels down but keep gaining and then losing 2lbs. This morning I’m finally back (again!) at the same weight where I was when I completed the 8 weeks. Will need to think things through from another angle. I’ve stopped recording my food intake as I generally eat much the same most days. Although I have been allowing myself the odd treat……. and still struggling to limit the nuts lol. But still not had a proper bar of chocolate yet (by proper I mean a galaxy lol-having the odd piece of dark chocolate instead). Would like to lose another 6lbs but I know it will be harder to lose as I’m nearer target weight. I’ve bought the “why we get fat” book that everyone keeps recommending so hopefully reading that will help too 😁

  • posted by Patricia1066
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    Allie that is so succinct and clear. Thank you so much for the explanation.
    According to the online calculator, my TDEE is 2,300. 2,300-800 =1500
    Adjusting upwards slowly from 800 would take 1500/50 = 30 weeks. Right so far?

    Question for JGwen
    Is low low carb of 20g per day advisable during the adjustment period? Or is it necessary only if weight increases far below the TDEE?
    Eg if during the adjustment I am doing usual 50-60g carb but my weight increases at 1,800 calories per day.

  • posted by JGwen
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    Hi guys,
    One of the best ways I have heard the issue of carb / insulin control and impact on metabolic rate described was in terms of a coal fired power station. ————–
    When you eat a diet which generates an insulin response, your power station has access to the coal delivered every day and any backlog in the loading bay. If the power station does not receive the full delivery of coal then it can keep on running at full power for a while using the back log in the loading bay, and the management can decide to send the wooden benches and tables in the staff canteen into the furnace and send out teams to scout around the site for anything else which can be burnt but eventually, if the coal supply is not restored the only option is to modify the power station to generate the power needed from the new lower amount of coal available as normal.
    If however you eat a diet which does not trigger an insulin response, so your body can access your fat stores. – your power station now has access to a group of long term storage sheds. During the same period where the power station is not receiving the full delivery of coal, the short fall can be made up from the storage sheds. If the power station needs 10 railway cars of coal and only 8 is delivered then 2 railway car loads can be taken from the fuel store, or if 2 are delivered 8 can be taken from the fuel store. Your power station manager has all the long term storage to draw on so will not think about reducing the amount of coal burnt until the long term storage sheds are looking very empty.
    ———————————-
    So then to discuss the level of carbs which you have to be at so that your body can access your fat stores at will. – Research shows that if you are under 20g of carbs you can be certain that your body can access the fat stores. – Some people can at the level of between 30 to 50g, but not everybody. Which gives you three options, play safe and go under 20g, use some method of measuring if you are in fat burning mode (ketosis) or incorporate fasting periods of more than 36 hours so you are sure your insulin levels are low enough for a period of time to force your body to use your fat stores.

    ——————————

    Your body will need less calories for the daily activities at the end of your journey than it did at the start. For example for me, talking the dogs for a walk would have burnt more calories when I can carrying an additional 6.5 stone to what it takes today, but that drop in calories is not as large as if your body has adjusted to 800 calories a day.

    I am not at the point of entering maintenance yet. – I have been on the forum for 14 months, and I have achieved my initial target weight loss to return to the weight I was for most of my adult life. – But that weight/size was always heavier/bigger than I would have liked. This is the first time I have had the tools that work to get to a weight I would like to be so I am continuing on my journey to have a healthy body composition.

    However, when I do go to maintenance I plan to do it differently to the way Allie did. – I plan to stay in ketosis for most of the time. I like how it feels. But ketosis is just the term for being in fat burning mode, you can be in ketosis and eat all the calories your body uses each day. There is no reason to not simply increase the calories from healthy fats when in ketosis to reach the point where your weight stabilises . I will occasionally have something higher in carbs, when its a special event or festive season, but will balance that with fasting days.

    In reply to your question Patricia1066. I wouldn’t make the assumption that you could go up to 50 to 60g of carbs every day. – I understand that endurance athletes may be able to go as high as 100g, but those of us who are lesser mortals and may be struggling with Insulin Resistance may have to stay lower. – However, there are a huge range of variables involved, including what the mixture of gut bacteria is for each person, and if the carbs are complex, so how rapidly they are released during digestion. – So rather than make assumptions on carb levels I strongly believe its better to measure if you are in ketosis. How deep you are in ketosis is not that relevant, you can count it as a switch, either insulin levels are low enough that you are burning fat as a fuel source, or they are not. Then where your body gets the fuel from – your diet or your fat stores depends on how much you have eaten that day.

  • posted by alliecat
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    Brilliant as usual, JGwen,I like the furnace analogy very much. I try to keep it simple for our new friends. It’s
    a tangle of confusion for all of us when we start out. Science is my short suit, so we’re grateful to JGwen whose
    gifts lie in that sphere. I only know what has worked for me, purely anecdotal of course, we’re all different with
    respect to how we process those nasty carbs! It’s going to be very interesting reading when you get to maintenance,
    JGwen! 🙂

  • posted by Patricia1066
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    Thanks JGwen, that gives me a straightforward way of managing carbs.

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