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Old 10-02-2012, 09:35 AM   #1
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Are you a Moderator or an Abstainer?

When we talk, as we do here, about cheats, planned or slipups, there is a lot of disagreement about them. Some people swear by going off plan sometimes, others like me find it's the kiss of death. We eat a few cookies, smile, and wake up 9 months later and 75 lb heavier thinking WHAT HAVE I DONE???

I read something on Gretchen Rubin's site (The Happiness Project) that gave me some insight. She divides people into Moderators and Abstainers, and says you need to know your type to avoid problems.

Moderators do better with the occasional "cheat." They go right back to their plan and they are better off, mentally, for it. I disagree wholeheartedly with people who say it actually helps them lose weight, I think they are just misinterpreting scale fluctuations to justify their cheating, but I won't convince them of that! LOL But still, it's good for their resolve long term to cheat sometimes.

Abstainers like me aren't like that. We are much better doing something 100% than trying to be moderate. It's just not that hard to do something ALL the time compared to doing it just sometimes. When we cheat, we are the ones who are more likely to keep eating wrong and undo all the progress we made.

So know thyself. If you are an abstainer, don't pay any attention to those moderators who say it's better not to deny yourself completely, and vice versa.

She has a nice column on this. Google the query [gretchen rubin abstainers] to find it.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:43 AM   #2
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I'm both. If there is something in the house "BAD" for me I'll eat it alllllll (sometimes)then go right back to plan. I'm better off without temptation present but can resist it almost all the time. My Wif-ee almost always has ICE CREAM in the freezer I might take a teaspoonful once in a blue moon. Yesterday there was 2 pints of white rice leftover from takeout (my Wif-ee HATES rice) I made Fried Lice and ate it all hating myself the whole time. I won't buy any myself though. (mostly)
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:47 AM   #3
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Oooh, really good thread. I have always considered myself an abstainer. But in the past few months I have had a couple treats (flan, glazed chocolate donut, blueberry trifle) and have been able to get right back on plan. But they have been rare treats. I think that if I had them more frequently, say a cheat week each month, then I would have a hard time getting back on plan.

I'm really interested to hear what you all think too.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:49 AM   #4
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I know it's there, plan for when I can eat it, and wait patiently. It's been easy for me.

Like French Fries. We have about 15 pounds of fries in the freezer. I allow myself to have some on Sunday nights, with my cheat meal, usually with a couple of burgers, which are fine. I find knowing that fries are coming keeps me motivated.

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Old 10-02-2012, 09:54 AM   #5
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I do better with moderation. If I can have a tiny portion of something once in a while, I’m fine with that. If I cut things out completely, I’ll do OK for so long, then start to feel deprived and end up by going completely overboard.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:56 AM   #6
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Hi, Ravenrose. When I "cheat", it mostly means eating more of something in my plan. My plan includes what to eat, what to avoid, how of much of what to eat, and a specific range of proportions of protein, fat, and carbs. On rare occasions, I will eat things not in my primary or secondary food groups. Those rare indulgences are things that are not too damaging, such as decaf coffee, some high fat cheese, or a bit of unsweetened baking chocolate, and in the very rare group: pork rinds, saccharin tablets.

In the eat-more-of-things-in-the-plan: perhaps a few more carbs, or much more generous portions of fat. I especially like hwc and yoghurt made from cream. Or I put extra butter in soups and broths. Those carbs are vegetables, or a teaspoon of brewer's yeast, or having hh rather than hwc.

I can eat a bite or two of potato or peas now and then, or a spoonful of apple butter in my yoghurt. I tested myself with some off-plan things the last few weeks, after just over two years of VLC. Almond butter was definitely an eat-more trigger. Three or four potato chips didn't trigger anything on those particular test days, but I could feel the unpleasant, fast-carb effects. Cheese triggered allergy reactions, which for me, can include wanting to eat or drink something to get rid of the symptoms--a kind of back-door, appetite trigger. I tried the tests a few times, and happily went back to my basic plan.

I know my food plan seems quite boring to many, but I enjoy it and the strengthening, calming effects it has.

----

As to cheating and maintaining, I haven't read very many posts in the Maintainers' sub-forum here at LCF, of folks who say they can be really indulgent and then go right back to a super clean plan, and stay easily in their maintenance weight range. As far as I can tell, most of us have small indulgences, very occasionally, and refrain from too much food, or things off plan, most of the time.

Getting rid of trigger foods, the obvious ones, and later, the back door triggers, made life much easier for me. I find life much nicer, just staying away from things that cause problems.

Thanks for the interesting thread topic.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:57 AM   #7
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:16 AM   #8
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Fascinating topic, ravenrose. I love it when the more psychological/critical thinking types of threads crop up, mainly because I get the chance to act out my frustrated desires of a once-student who sometimes sorely misses the world of academia.

I have experienced a shift from abstainer to moderator as I've gone through the weight loss transformation. While I was losing, I was an abstainer. Now that I've met my goals, I am a moderator.

I fully believe that my success in losing weight came from my status as an abstainer. A vast majority of the time, I strictly adhered to limits and rules, and saw great results. I didn't want to become a justifier, like you mentioned, where just because that one time you ate 12 French crullers and didn't gain an ounce means you get to wear a Dunkin' Donuts feedbag on your face as you watch Dr. Phil for 8 hours. Justifiers start out innocently enough; he or she is pleasantly surprised to learn their body can handle a cheat like that, but before you know it, you find yourself desperately searching out anything that could potentially pass as a loophole.

Being a moderator in maintenance makes perfect sense. I've done my hard work, and now I get to reap the rewards. I cheat, I have a hell of a time, and I hop back on the train. Yee-haw. I ain't one of those types that thinks, "Whew, now that weight loss crap is over. Time to go back to eating Cheetos and fluffer nutters--HEY WHY DID I GAIN ALL OF MY WEIGHT BACK, DR. ATKINS IS A SHAM!"
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:16 AM   #9
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OMG I thought this thread was going in a totally different direction when I read the title.

I am an abstainer, personally. I think that's why I rode out a 2+ year stall without gaining. I know when I "let go once", the tendency to do it again, and soon again, quickly catch up with me and I gain.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:18 AM   #10
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For me I think it would be what frame of mind i'm in. Years ago when I LC'd if I went off plan I Went off plan and didn't get back on for a Long time and then finally was off for Years! Gained up to 207 lbs! This time around something's differant for me and if I go off plan I get right back on. But big differance this time is I feel Incredibly guilty! Plus I literally get So sick off plan! Hours in the bathroom etc.. Sorry tmi! Lol. I'd much rather stay on plan. Not to say that i'll Never eat higher carb stuff but I don't think it'll be very often.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:43 AM   #11
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I'm a moderator. Of course this summer, I "moderated" myself into 2 1/2 months of maintaining. (The good news is it gave me an idea of what I should be able to do in maintenance, if I choose to go that route.)

Complete abstention is not an option for me. If I think I can never have nachos again, I will lose my mind and binge. So, instead, I have said "I can't have them again until X happens." And I will have them. And enjoy them. And go back OP the next meal.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by limetwist View Post

I fully believe that my success in losing weight came from my status as an abstainer. A vast majority of the time, I strictly adhered to limits and rules, and saw great results. I didn't want to become a justifier, like you mentioned, where just because that one time you ate 12 French crullers and didn't gain an ounce means you get to wear a Dunkin' Donuts feedbag on your face as you watch Dr. Phil for 8 hours. Justifiers start out innocently enough; he or she is pleasantly surprised to learn their body can handle a cheat like that, but before you know it, you find yourself desperately searching out anything that could potentially pass as a loophole.

-HEY WHY DID I GAIN ALL OF MY WEIGHT BACK, DR. ATKINS IS A SHAM!"

I am an abstainer. I know myself and could not have lost the weight trying to go off track now and then. I do have "treats" nearly every day, but they're legal.

My husband was trying to be a moderator. Like you said, Limetwist, he saw he could handle many more carbs than he thought, and eventually just let loose, lol. He's now gained back a few pounds and is trying to get back in ketosis starting today.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:04 AM   #13
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I don't know whether I fit either category. I eat low carb both for weight management and personal health, so I don't 'cheat' myself by seeking to eat off plan. However, I allow myself an occasional (very occasional) indulgence, and I'll usually decide that on a cost-benefit analysis at the time.

For example, on my last birthday, I had a piece of the most delicious carrot cake that's a speciality at my favorite local restaurant. I didn't plan it in advance, but we were out to dinner, and I found that I wanted dessert. I've found that although sugar is a trigger for me, and I normally abstain, in a controlled environment like a restaurant with only a single serving and after a meal, it isn't a problem for me. So I decided to have it.

There have been other similar situations when I decided that I didn't want the dessert or the bread or whatever. My philosophy is to never say 'never.'
So although I generally don't eat grains, dairy, or starches, I don't say that I'll never have a serving of some dish that contains these things. I just do it very rarely.

I think that if I eat according to my plan 99% of the time, that other 1% won't be harmful--and my lab reports tend to affirm this belief.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:10 AM   #14
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a controlled environment like a restaurant with only a single serving
That is key for me. I cannot buy multiples of anything or have it in the house. If it's accessible, it's gone.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:34 AM   #15
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I'm an abstainer if I can order my food in a restaurant with okay choices or shop or cook for myself. Very occasionally, I turn into a moderator in a social setting (invited out to dinner at someone's house, say), and just try to do the best I can with the choices on hand. Then, back at home, I turn into an abstainer again.

After 9 months of being an abstainer, if I walk into a convenience store or through the grocery store, I am oblivious to the stuff that I don't eat; it might as well be made out of plastic, since I don't even think about buying it or wanting it any more--except for some of the fresh fruit. Now I take care to not walk too close to the fruit, and it's the only thing I'm tempted to consume under the "moderator" approach.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:05 PM   #16
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It kind of depends on what the offplan thing I eat is. If it's a total no-no, like cake or ice cream, I can eat it once and get right back on plan. On the other hand if I eat something that's not as bad as that, say oatmeal, which, hey, is good for you, it's slow release carbs, it's not like eating chocolate, that becomes the thin end of the wedge and I work my way gradually to being entirely off plan.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenrose View Post
Moderators do better with the occasional "cheat." They go right back to their plan and they are better off, mentally, for it. I disagree wholeheartedly with people who say it actually helps them lose weight, I think they are just misinterpreting scale fluctuations to justify their cheating, but I won't convince them of that! LOL But still, it's good for their resolve long term to cheat sometimes.


That's me! I'm a moderator and do have the occasional cheat.

When I first started low carbing many years ago, I used to be an abstainer. I would lose some weight and then get totally miserable when hubby and I went on a date night and I had to watch him eat breaded calamari, my favorite She Crab soup, or carrot cake! I would hate being the one that everyone talked about at dinner parties 'cause they had to "accommodate" my diet, or just stop inviting us. That would cause me to say F-it, and quit the diet. Next thing I knew, I had gained back the weight, and sometimes more. And so I would start the circle again............ Most importantly, the idea that I would never be "allowed" to eat a piece of cake, or chocolate, or have a cocktail, was totally unacceptable to me, and definitely not sustainable for life. I needed a way of eating, NOT a diet.

One day I decided that the "all or nothing" philosophy didn't work in other areas of my life, so why would it work with eating?!?! I have since been a low carber, with intermittent fasting, and allow myself a cheat meal whenever hubby and I go out, or the occasion calls for it. I have managed to maintain this WOE for over 6 months, weigh less than I have since my 30's, and believe I have finally found what works for me. That is the key, you have to find what works for you. One size definitely does NOT fit all................
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:24 PM   #18
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Hey Everybody,

I am new here and looking forward to not only learning but contributing as well.

Since this will ALWAYS be my woe, I feel that abstaining during my weightloss and converting to moderator during maintenance is what will work for me. Time is important to me and right now I really cannot imagine consuming "cheat treats" outside of the plan that will cause me to have to go through losing the weight again I have already lost. Right now, I am not at a place where I am comfortable going off-plan even for one day. In addition, I have to maintain focus as to why I am eating low carb in the first place - to ward of potential illness from over consumption of sugar and carbs, not sleeping well, candida issues, and other problems caused as a direct result of a high-carb diet.

In essence, I guess it depends on where you are in your journey. Thanks for listening.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:34 PM   #19
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i doresee that I may not ever have to cheat....again.

I was always on Induction, and then i would fall off owing to temptation. By incorporating SMALL amounts of the things i miss, on a more or less regular basis, i will not fall repeatedly into the abyss. Love & Profits: FLATFERENGHI
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:58 PM   #20
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Well.....I just recently returned after a cheat that has kept me away for about 5 years...so I guess it's safe to say that right now I am an abstainer!

My solution right now, being an abstainer, is to create "cheats" within the confines of my program. I don't count carbs but do eat very low carb and from Sept. 1st through Sept. 30th I'm down 14 pounds. I don't feel deprived because if I need something sweet I have some chocolate coconut bark, something salty, some peanut butter etc.

I have quite a long way to go until maintenance and I might feel differently later, but as long as I can make a comparable low carb solution, I'm going to ride this wave!!

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Old 10-02-2012, 01:03 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by limetwist View Post
Fascinating topic, ravenrose. I love it when the more psychological/critical thinking types of threads crop up, mainly because I get the chance to act out my frustrated desires of a once-student who sometimes sorely misses the world of academia.

I have experienced a shift from abstainer to moderator as I've gone through the weight loss transformation. While I was losing, I was an abstainer. Now that I've met my goals, I am a moderator.

I fully believe that my success in losing weight came from my status as an abstainer. A vast majority of the time, I strictly adhered to limits and rules, and saw great results. I didn't want to become a justifier, like you mentioned, where just because that one time you ate 12 French crullers and didn't gain an ounce means you get to wear a Dunkin' Donuts feedbag on your face as you watch Dr. Phil for 8 hours. Justifiers start out innocently enough; he or she is pleasantly surprised to learn their body can handle a cheat like that, but before you know it, you find yourself desperately searching out anything that could potentially pass as a loophole.

Being a moderator in maintenance makes perfect sense. I've done my hard work, and now I get to reap the rewards. I cheat, I have a hell of a time, and I hop back on the train. Yee-haw. I ain't one of those types that thinks, "Whew, now that weight loss crap is over. Time to go back to eating Cheetos and fluffer nutters--HEY WHY DID I GAIN ALL OF MY WEIGHT BACK, DR. ATKINS IS A SHAM!"


Hello everyone
I do NOT eat off plan!
My plan is a all or nothing WOE!
Plus if I want to continue to live, I MUST eat to live, not live to eat.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Rosebud View Post
Hey Everybody,

I am new here and looking forward to not only learning but contributing as well.

Since this will ALWAYS be my woe, I feel that abstaining during my weight-loss and converting to moderator during maintenance is what will work for me. Time is important to me and right now I really cannot imagine consuming "cheat treats" outside of the plan that will cause me to have to go through losing the weight again I have already lost. Right now, I am not at a place where I am comfortable going off-plan even for one day. In addition, I have to maintain focus as to why I am eating low carb in the first place - to ward of potential illness from over consumption of sugar and carbs, not sleeping well, Candida issues, and other problems caused as a direct result of a high-carb diet.

In essence, I guess it depends on where you are in your journey. Thanks for listening.
Rosebud To LCF

I also had that problem, Candida.
Blood Glucose too high!
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:15 PM   #23
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Marieze - a dessert that I have "on plan" is the chocolate Reddi-Whip with a pecan on top After my dinner, I pop one in my mouth and it melts like ice cream and then the crunchy from the pecan is heaven! Try it!

Take a cookie sheet, dollop 2 squirts (2 tbsp) for each one and place a pecan on each and freeze them. It is 30 cals and 1g carb each if I remember correctly. I know there are 210 cals and 4g carbs for 1/4 cup of the Diamond pecan halves and 15 cals and less than 1g carb for the 2 tbsp of Reddi-Whip. I get about 14 choco-pecan treats.

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Old 10-02-2012, 01:22 PM   #24
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Thanks, Mary Louise!

I found out through researching on the web that Prevacid among other PPIs used for GERD/Heartburn actually feed candida which explains one of the reasons I gained weight in the past couple of years. I noticed the weight creep after I started the Prevacid (prescribed by dr) but attributed it to not experiencing heartburn so I felt better continuing eating the bad foods that was causing the symptoms in the first place. I can safely say that since starting the Prevacid, I gained 40-50 pounds. Granted, it was my eating but the Prevacid was helping. LOL
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:43 PM   #25
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Okay.....

And things that lower acid in the stomach will cause slower breakdown of food doing what it is suppose to do. The longer is is in the more we absorb. I want in and out.

I was on a proton inhibitor. I too had GURD. ACV......And weight-loss has changed my life! Well all of these wonderful people helped too! I could NOT have done what I have done without my LCFriends!

There are some really powerful poster's on this thread.

Rosebud you are surrounded by knowledge. Grab on and love the ride!!!!!

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Old 10-02-2012, 01:49 PM   #26
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Yes, LCFriends has been my go to along with a couple of others and I have learned so much about MYSELF with this WOE. The energy here is great and supportive. I felt it was time to stop being bashful and come out and join the party!!!!
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:06 PM   #27
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Abstainer here. Learned the hard way.

Rosebud - glad you decided to join the conversation!!
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:22 PM   #28
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WOE: LC/HF for T2 diabetes
Start Date: Sept. 2011
I'm an abstainer who (purposefully) lies to myself that I can be a moderator. Nothing is 100% "off limits," or I would end up obsessing and bingeing. So what I do is tell myself "you can have that tomorrow." Knowing that I CAN have it is good enough to kill the craving 99.5% of the time

The other .5% of the time, something I shouldn't have ends up in the house and disappears that same day. Since it's only .5% of the time, those slip ups don't do any lasting damage. Thank goodness!
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:51 PM   #29
Senior LCF Member
 
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: San Jose del Cabo, BCS, MX
Posts: 571
Gallery: DJFoodie
Stats: 352/215/185
WOE: Low in carbs, high in yumminess.
Start Date: March 13th, 2010
Am I a moderator or an abstainer?

The answer is: Yes. Most definitely!

I'm also a picker, I'm a grinner, I'm a lover and I'm a sinner.
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:53 PM   #30
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 1,118
Gallery: Spanilingo
Stats: 130 now 102 5 ft 1
WOE: Lost Atkins/mod carb. Maint-HFLC
Start Date: Feb-March 2011
Good question.

I am an abstainer who eats a moderately lc woe . I can both lose and maintain at a higher carb level. Essentially, I always abstain given my OWN carb levels. A single slice of bread, occasional cake and daily fruit are not cheats for me
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