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Old 08-19-2013, 04:45 AM   #1
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newbie here-and please share your wisdom :)

Hi there! First of all, I have just been on a low carb diet and i have a pretty good number of questions, pardon me please.
I'm 18,female, 5'10 and around 152 now. I have been following balanced diet for more than a 2 months and back then I was as high as 177! People keep saying I look good now and tell me not to go further but I'm not still satisfied with my appearance. I still have quite lot of fat around my thighs and belly pooch. So i decided to give a try to low-carb. It is my 3rd day ( first one did not go so well :|) and scale said i lost around 2 pounds- i know it is only water weight and I'm not carried away My ultimate goal weight is around 133- 130, to be precise adding up to a few pounds i will gain immediately after giving up on diet. At 130 and with some toning up, hopefully i will look at my best! Finally, here comes my questions:

-Is it possible for me to achieve this till the end of September? ( This is when I go back to college, LOL )

- People also keep saying by following such diets, i'm at a high risk of losing muscle rather than fat. Is this somewhat true?

- To those that took tests before and after, what is the difference at your body fat percentage? Is the fat loss visible on you? I mean, from the outside?

-Losing my already rare muscle is the lastest thing I wil ever want in my life. Do you think moderate cardio that I have been doing for 1.5 months ( 1 hour on treadmill, 6.3 km, equal to -400 calories, 4 or 5 times a week) will do any good to me? Or should i just cut it off?

- My plan is, maximum 30 grams of carb, 85 grams of protein. I don't exactly count fats, i don't know how to I keep my carbs mostly from wheat bread and fruits. I hope i won't exceed 1100 cals per day. After 2 days this way, i give myself a high carb day where i eat around 90-100 grams carb,keep the protein moderate and fats as low as possible. After this "recovery day" I go back to 2-days-of-low-carb. I've read somewhere that by doing so, one can keep the risk of losing muscle at minumum level. Do you agree?

- Last, but not least, what are the foods only high in fat? I have no problem in the protein part since I'm a cheese and chicken freak! This diet is like a Disneyland for me! I can eat them both forever. But like i said i don't know how many grams of fat i take daily and I' m afraid that i will go into starvation mode and make my metabolism slower because of eating not enough fats. What are the foods that i can eat without adding more to my proteins and carbs?

I hope i don't bother you with all these questions. Thanks in advance!

Last edited by gizmik; 08-19-2013 at 04:48 AM..
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Old 08-19-2013, 06:06 AM   #2
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Wishing you good luck
Keep this in mind though, you say you know you will gain a few pounds back when you "give up the diet". Truth is you will probably gain it all back +some if you go back to eating a carby diet.
At least that's the truth for many people.
If you're not planning on staying low-carb, you might want to look into plans that have a more doable amount of carbs instead.
Southbeach, CAD and JUDDD come to mind (I'll post the links for you).
The more you can find a plan that you can make your lifetime eating plan, the better you'll do

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Old 08-19-2013, 06:51 AM   #3
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- People also keep saying by following such diets, i'm at a high risk of losing muscle rather than fat. Is this somewhat true?

Anti-low carb people say lots of things about the adverse effects of low carb: you'll lose muscle (more likely to occur on a calorie restricted high carb diet where protein is usually seriously limited); you'll damage your kidneys (studies show it's not true if the kidneys were healthy to start with); and my favorite "you'll gain weight when you go off it". Duh...go 'off' any diet and you're going to gain weight. So if you go off a low carb 'diet' and return to a high carb way of eating *but* watch your calories, you may gain a few pounds of water weight, but that's about it.

Low carb diets are generally higher in protein than high carb/calorie controlled diets. You're more likely to lose muscle on a more traditional diet than low carb. The number of grams of protein you're looking at are probably sufficient.

-Losing my already rare muscle is the lastest thing I wil ever want in my life. Do you think moderate cardio that I have been doing for 1.5 months ( 1 hour on treadmill, 6.3 km, equal to -400 calories, 4 or 5 times a week) will do any good to me? Or should i just cut it off?

My .02 on cardio...it has its place but I prefer resistance training that helps me build and tone muscle.


- My plan is, maximum 30 grams of carb, 85 grams of protein. I don't exactly count fats, i don't know how to I keep my carbs mostly from wheat bread and fruits. I hope i won't exceed 1100 cals per day.

Do I understand correctly that your 30gm of carbs per day are from wheat bread and fruit? If so, you're better off giving that up and eating your 30gm in non-starchy vegies. I found that the type of carbs were just as important as the number.


After 2 days this way, i give myself a high carb day where i eat around 90-100 grams carb,keep the protein moderate and fats as low as possible. After this "recovery day" I go back to 2-days-of-low-carb. I've read somewhere that by doing so, one can keep the risk of losing muscle at minumum level. Do you agree?

Going back and forth from low carb to high carb: My experience from listening to others is that it is rarely successful because they never reach the appetite suppression of true low carb and/or continue to deal with the carby cravings because they're still eating them. You're better off going to low carb and staying there.


- But like i said i don't know how many grams of fat i take daily and I' m afraid that i will go into starvation mode and make my metabolism slower because of eating not enough fats.

You aren't going to go into starvation mode from not eating fats. My .02 on starvation mode (and there is a lot of disagreement on this): After much reading, I don't buy the idea that if you eat too few calories, your body will go into starvation mode. Instead if you drop your calories too significantly/quickly (or do the same by increasing your caloric output through exercise too significantly/quickly), then your body immediately becomes more efficient to conserve calories. A couple years ago I gradually decreased my calories from close to 2500 to about 700 over the course of 6 weeks. I lost steadily and never hit a plateau. However, I didn't lost faster at 700 (and I stayed on that for over 2 months than I did at 1200 so didn't see a point in eating so few calories. Although I still do have a day here and there where my calories are under 1000 just because I don't feel like eating.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:47 AM   #4
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Gizmik you will find that most of us here consider this a new way of eating(woe) as opposed to a diet...I was your same height and weight at your age...I was never satisfied with my weight for my height and was always trying to lose...nothing worked and I usually gained a few more pounds. My body just seemed like it wanted to be that weight.

I know you want to shed a few pounds but the reality of it is ... if your body responds to a certani woe, that is probably how you should be eating for life. After finding what foods work well with your body you can then raise the amounts of the nutrients you need to maintain the weight you are satisfied with.

I hope you understand the part that is bolded as I and many others have thought we were in control and could go back to eating more of the stuff that got us here.

Diet is a dirty word to me because most people will diet then put the weight and more back on.

WOE should be your new go to phrase...if you eat a certain way and you lose and you can maintain...you will and should tell yourself "this is my new way of eating"

At your age you should be enjoying life and not worrying about a few pounds, but good for you for wanting to be healthy...always excerise as it is good for you, just balance the resistance execise and cardio. this balance along wit your new way of eating will keep you from losing muscle. It also keeps your main muscle(your heart ) healthy.

Best of luck to you, learn from what you read here and try not to diet...make healthy changes to your way of life and way of eating.
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Last edited by lterry913; 08-19-2013 at 08:49 AM..
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:50 AM   #5
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Everyone else did a great job of answering your questions. I'll add though that I get on the treadmill everyday, alternating between walking and running. I don't do resistance training. With that, I've been able to slim down and maintain my muscle mass. I also found that I really only need to do 30 minutes a day for good results unless you really enjoy working out and want to go longer.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
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About losing muscle- I don't believe it from personal experience. I lift weights and I was able to add strength while losing significant weight on a low carb diet. Maybe I was uncovering muscle that was already there, but I felt like I was putting on muscle due to my dramatic increase in performance. The best day I ever had and the best I ever felt physically was when I had been on strict low carb for about 4 months. The fitness mags want to act like if you don't eat oatmeal, quinoa, or whole wheat toast at least 3 times a day you will shrivel up and die. It's simply NOT TRUE!!!!!

Protein and fat works quite well as fuel for the majority of people on this forum. If I felt weak or sluggish, or like I was cannibalizing muscle tissue, I would ditch low carb immediately because muscle matters a lot to me. But I haven't found that to be true.

Your 2 day on, 1 day off carb schedule sounds a lot like carb cycling to me. If you can do it without bingeing on your off day, I say go for it. Many people like to commit to low carb whole heartedly because after a while you will be in ketosis and you will stop craving carbs and your appetite will go down. Going back and forth will always keep your cravings alive.

Lastly, I would encorage some strength training to go along with your cardio. That could make a HUGE difference in how you look, even if the scale never moves again. 150 on a 5'10 frame sounds about right to me. Build some muscle and tone up and you might not care about 130. Best of luck to you!!
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:15 PM   #7
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Lots of good advice here already.

Just want to send you a big welcome hug!
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:22 PM   #8
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I appreciate every letter you typed. Thanks everyone I'll definetely keep those in mind and maybe draw a new path. What do you recommend me as strength and core exercises? I love push ups, planks and squats. What else?
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:05 PM   #9
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Assuming you have no equipment, here is what I suggest.

Planks- you can do them to the side by propping up on an elbow and keeping your torso straight.

Triceps extensions- from a plank position, push yourself up onto your palms (into a pushup position) with your triceps.

Pullups- if you have a place to do them.

Uphill sprints or running stadium steps.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:54 PM   #10
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20 lbs in a month is a stretch, but even more so because you're already at a healthy weight. 130 lbs @ 5'10" puts you ever so slightly above an unhealthy BMI (too low), so if you're anything but a small framed person, this weight may be too low for you.

My advice is to just stick with a plan and adjust your goal as you go.
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:00 PM   #11
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Thank you alll i will adjust my goal weight!
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