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Old 03-15-2014, 06:16 AM   #1
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Atkins + Calorie Counting / SlimFast?

Hi!

I realized I get way too much calories by just adding fat.


Did someone try Atkins/LowCarb with a Calorie Counting approach?

How was it?

Did someone combine it with Shakes like SlimFast,OptiFast,the like?
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:06 AM   #2
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I've always (and still do) done low carb and count calories. There are many here who do. Not sure what you consider 'too much' fat, but my diet automatically comes in at around 73% fat since I keep my carbs at less than 25gm and my protein at around 60-63%.
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:24 AM   #3
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how many calories do you consume?

BMR/RMR or less?

Well... tried to reach NK but then I easily hit (ate corresponding to hunger cause protein is more saturating, so fat wasnt so much for me) 3000kcal where i stalled (but also didnt gain)

I lowered now to 2000kcl.. also tried 2500 but just stalled. and with 2000 its quite a fast weight loss.. dont know with muscle mass though..
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:30 AM   #4
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You seem to have been experimenting with calories--and that's the only way that anyone can judge how much to consume. What anyone else eats is irrelevant to you because it's all based on an individual's physiology.

You say that you 'stall' at 2500 cal but lose too fast at 2000? That seems odd, as the difference isn't major. How long do you give yourself to judge?

Unless you 'stall' at 2500 cal for more than a month, you can't really know because weight loss doesn't happen 'instantly.'

If you neither gain nor lost on 2500 cal (for a month), then cutting to 2000 cal should be about right for weight loss, and it certainly shouldn't be 'too fast.'

Again, were you judging on just a few days? We can often have a significant loss that is deceiving when the body dumps some water, and the loss slows when we are just losing fat.

Be sure to meet; your body's minimum requirements for protein to avoid excess muscle loss while losing weight.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:01 PM   #5
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You keep referring to calories - but they are almost irrelevant without context, specifically, protein, carbs and fat.

If you want to follow a reduced calorie way of eating, that is fine.

But, if you want to follow a reduced carb way of eating, pay attention to those components of your eating, most importantly, carbs first, not calories.

Which plans have you tried and how long have you tried them? You'd really need to try something for at least a month to see if it's successful (unless, it just doesn't fit your lifestyle)

I'm wondering why you mentioned slim fast. For context, say a slim-fast type of shake is approx. 25 carbs but 180 calories. From carb perspective, you might have hit your limit if you're trying to eat at induction levels or stay < 5% for carbs on NK. That said, from calorie perspective, it's less than a meal allotment.

With all due respect - I think trying to juggle reduced calorie (but high carb) and reduced carb while you're trying to find your "best fit" is a mistake.

I sincerely hope you pick something, follow through with it, see what fits and what doesn't fit. There are so many nuances that you need to find what is right for you, but please, pick a plan and follow it according to the book or guidelines. I don't think adding a slim fast shake will do you any good while trying to acclimate to low carb eating.
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:48 AM   #6
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sbarr-

The OP has been posting regularly here and was advised several times that he wasn't losing because his intake was too high. He was advised to consider calories, and that's the context for this current thread.

That's why the concern for calories. He's been addressing the issue of macros for some time.
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:36 AM   #7
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The last thing you wanna do is those diet products. When they work, it usually stabs you in the back once you stop using them. You should work on a lifestyle that can work long-term.

If you lose weight from undereating then the weight will come pack once you start eating more. It's very unlikely you will manage to do low-calorie as a long-term lifestyle.
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:43 AM   #8
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If you are lowering your carbs, slim fast will not be a good choice. It is not low carb. It is also a 'food' that is of inferior quality.

If you are attempting to count your calories, you will end up choosing foods that are less densely nutritious and probably become hungry a lot of the time. It may help you lose some weight. I think however, that it may be next to impossible to keep the weight off because you will have to continue to eat approx. the same for maintenance.

Is Slimfast going to be part of your way of eating indefinitely? Can you see yourself tolerating driving hunger indefinitely? Is it okay with you that you will be depriving your body of proper nutrition long term? If so then, you may be successful in losing scale weight.

The biggest benefit of low carb is ketosis. It can be a long term way of eating and it has a long list of other health benefits other than weight loss. I would suggest that you put your energies into learning how you as an individual can achieve this state and stay in ketosis long term. It would also be better to put your $ into truly healthful food rather than some factory produced food product.

I will quantify this as 'my opinion'. I know that many people have worked out a way of eating that has produced weight loss and better health that doesn't match up with what I have said here. It is their 'truth' and I respect that. I do however think calorie counting for many people is the virtual kiss of death. Maybe as a secondary 'tool', it can be somewhat useful but counting the actual grams of your micro nutrients (i.e. carbs, protein and fat) will be far more useful.
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Last edited by clackley; 03-16-2014 at 05:51 AM..
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:48 AM   #9
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If you want to watch calories and carbs in shakes, get a good, lower carb protein powder and mix them yourself so you have control over all of it.
For the 180 cals in a slimfast, you could use a good whey protein powder(100-120 cals), almond milk(35-45 cals)and whatever else you prefer (frozen strawberries at 25cals per 1/2 cup, for example; or add 1tsp flax oil or something for around 35 cals).
So you can have a more nutritionally sound "shake" option that can fit into either/both low-cal and low-carb
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:43 AM   #10
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eraser - my apologies for how my earlier post might have sounded. Leo - thanks for context.

Slimfast would be a poor choice because of the poor nutritional quality and high carb content. There are good shakes out there, my favorite is Jay Robb (vanilla is a good base for a plain shake and adding other things). It is only 110 calories and 1 carb.

Here's a long thread where people have posted their favorite recipes - this might give you some ideas.

The Great American Low Carb Protein Shake Taste Test Thread

One thing to be conscious, since you measure your blood ketones is that a good quality protein shake, like Jay Robb is high protein and you may need to adjust your other protein intake to offset this high protein low carb change to your plan. Point being, if you add in a good protein shake to your daily regimen, drop your calories, you might exceed your protein limit. That said, a very low carb protein shake might be useful as a point of reference while you gradually decrease your calories to a point that you lose at a desired rate, but everything else should remain pretty constant.

Best of luck - I know it's a difficult (and iterative) process.

Myself - I've been recently successful with NK (still waiting on my ketone meter in the mail) and now realize that second to carbs, my protein needs to be controlled far more than I realized. I'm using a popular tracker and had to swap out what I thought was a no-brainer (1 carb) snack because it was high protein and pushed my protein over my interim goal weight intake of 88 grams (based on 150# weight). I'm staying strictly with counting macro levels until I get my meter.

Last edited by sbarr; 03-16-2014 at 07:45 AM..
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Old 03-16-2014, 07:59 AM   #11
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I did not realize that Eraser51 is attempting n.k.. I read back a bit and remember that you were saying that it took 3000 calories to achieve ketosis. I am wondering what brought you to that conclusion?

It seems that confusion abounds around how to properly formulate an individual n.k. woe. I think the root of the problem is the idea of having particular ratios. This is actually backwards. The fundamental steps are to figure out carb level, then protein appropriate to the individual and then fat to fill in the rest and that nutrient is again, individual and variable.

N.K. is acheivable and sustainable on any # of 'calories'. Calories actually have very little to do with it. It is the nutrient grams of the food that a person consumes. It takes time and adherence.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:23 AM   #12
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What's N.K.?
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:50 AM   #13
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I always count calories and never get above 1500... most days its 1300 or below. I keep my carbs under 10 and work out an hour a day in the gym as well. The weight is just melting off me. The inches I have lost have been so exciting. I've done it both ways (not counting calories and having 20 carbs or less)... Results have been s-l-o-w for me that way.
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:40 AM   #14
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@aimee
so you count and keep carbs <20 and lose fast? right?
cool....


@sbarr
no offense taken.

the protein thing is quite odd. I am satiated with 90g but could also eat more.. do you lowered yours depending on LEAN body mass?
dont know how much.. guess that much cant be that bad.. cant it? the usual suggestions are 0.8/body weight or 1/lean body mass which is 95-120.. so it should work... also thats the "traditional" anabolic / ketogenic diet isnt it? like 20-30% protein on 2000kcal...


@clackley
Honestly I am just confused.. at best.. I tried 3000kcal and got ketosis but not always ... and not even nearly constant.... BUT I also dont GAIN on 3000kcal which is quite odd.. but comparing to my logs I tried 2000kcal and lost 500g daily for 3 days!

except when I hit 80g Carbs (milk and veggies!) where it stalls immediately!? WTH :/ so 40g seems to be my highest level I can go..

I know that SlimFast and the like is quite far from healthy.. but I am just so desperate.. I tried so much.. nothing seems to work.. I thought low carb would be my holy grail but:

without ketosis for the advantage
and
kcal also not working on moderate levels (2500; which should be my basic metabolic rate)

I feel like back on calorie counting again :/

And I also read multiple times to let calories count and dont go to heavy on fat and the like..

...sigh...


My logs:

Logs Photos by eraser51 | Photobucket
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:41 AM   #15
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Yup... but I keep my carbs below 10. 1972 Atkins technically but I count calories as well. It's really been working nice for me. Good luck!
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:21 PM   #16
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Instead of focusing on getting into ketosis (which is not necessary for weight loss), why not just focus on keeping your carbs at 40g or fewer?

My memory is that when you began posting and complained about not losing, you said that you were eating about 3,000 cal a day, and several posters suggested that was your problem.

There has to be a caloric deficit to lose. Don't worry about what your BMR is (or you're told it is). At 40g of carbs (or fewer), you should be able to manage to eat to satiety with less than those 3,000 cal and achieve weight loss--which is what I assume you goal is.

Most of us have found our caloric level through trial and error. If you're eating <50g carbs and not losing, it is likely your calories are too high. You don't need to 'count' necessarily--just eat a little less to see how that helps.
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:19 PM   #17
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In most instances, it is the whole point of a low carb woe and for good reason. Atkins is a good example. Induction is 20g or total carbs per day for at minimum, 2 wks. in order to achieve ketosis and those benefits.

Most people can do this without watching calories or anything other than total carbohydrate intake. That, as stated, needs to be 20g per day for 2 wks..
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:09 PM   #18
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well first of all: many thanks to all for the great advice

guess I just have to experiment a lot more than I thought

both of you are right...
calories count and ketosis isnt necessary for weight loss
but usefull for satiety/hunger control and health (heard that the excessive skin shall also shrink due to ketosis)

just have to look out for more fat and less protein or a different ratio

and yes, I at least, also need to restrict calories somewhat near 2000. maybe i can raise to 2200 but first I need to get the kcal+ratios right
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:23 PM   #19
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Please consider ignoring ratios and even protein amounts and eat according to Atkins induction. It really can be that simple. Ratios can be very misleading. It is tha absolute # of grams that are important.

Last edited by clackley; 03-17-2014 at 03:27 PM..
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:02 AM   #20
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Hey Eraser!

I count carbs as well as kcals (like Aimee). Never eat more than 1200 kcals and 6 grams of carbs daily (started at 600-700 and worked my way up to 1200). I lost 121 lbs in 36 weeks. It sounds incredible -- but doing the math, it's a loss of 3.3 lbs a week (about average what "diet" professionals recommend with their SWAGs -- Scientific Wild A$$ Guesses). That's what works for me & I haven't used a keto-stix since 1978.

As was mentioned earlier, we are individuals and this low carb WOE can be tailored to fit our needs and lifestyle. Whatever version of low carb WOE you have selected will get you results if you stick to the plan. Wishing you much success in your LC journey!

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Old 03-18-2014, 03:41 AM   #21
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I dont' know why everyone keeps downing on slimfast for being high in sugar ( which the powder and regular versions are) when for the past couple of years they've had an RTD shake specifically marketed to Low Carbers that has only 4 grams of carbohydrates, 2g of which is fiber.

It's a high protein shake with 20g of protein,9 g of fat, 2g net carbs and 180 Kcal total. While it's not the best option, it is a viable option for some low carbers. Too expensive by far and the taste is kinda blech, but still an option if someone found the need for it. Atkins' RTD shakes along with any other premade shake could be useful if a someone didn't have access to a kitchen and blender and ingredient, say a road trip or even and wanted something that was on plan. I use protein shake powders at home but use RTD shakes when I'm on the road or at work without a fridge.

There is nothing morally wrong in their use. They aren't evil, they just are another option.
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