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Old 04-09-2014, 05:30 AM   #1
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Focus on Keeping my carbs under 20 grams per day or...

Keeping my carbs under 20 g AND counting calories? Which is best to do? I think just watching my carbs would be the easiest less stressful route to take but of course I want to do what's gonna work!!
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:39 AM   #2
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What have you been doing? If you have been keeping carbs low (enough) and have been doing this as long as you avi seems to indicate, you may need to moderate your protein.

Counting calories is far less useful than counting your macro nutrients in my opinion. It also poses the problem that fat is more than double the calories than carbs or protein and the temptation is to cut the fat when it should be the other 2.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:43 AM   #3
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I have started & stopped more times than I can remember since I joined here! I am FINALLY ready to do this & get my weight off!! Just wondering & hoping keeping my carbs at 20 per day will do it! I really don't want to count calories...honestly that's never worked for me...I know some do & some don't
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:44 AM   #4
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I need something that doesn't require too much thought or I won't stick with it
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:59 AM   #5
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I think the biggest problem with people who start and stop and have done so for a long period of time is that they forget some of the basic tenants of low carbing. I was definitely in this position when I came back after a long absence.

I kept trying to get back on the wagon and with worse and worse strategies. I don't know how I finally succeeded because I was still doing it wrong.

I think the best advice is to go back to the Atkins basic program and follow it religiously for at least 2 weeks. This means keeping to the food restrictions, carb restrictions and not trying to 'do it better'. Eat when hungry and don't avoid higher calorie foods such as fat. But keep it to the book (or on line info).

After the 2 wk. induction, you can decide if you would like to add a new low carb veg or whatever, but you should be in ketosis and in control of your appetite and then it becomes much easier.

One other thing that is critical to lots of folks is support. I have found this site to be a huge part of that support and continues to be to this day. We are all on the same path - and there is always someone who can directly relate to your situation. We can all help.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:01 AM   #6
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Instead of 'wondering,' I'd suggest that you just 'do it.' That is, you've indicated that you want it to be as simple as possible, and nothing is simpler than limiting carbs. If you eat 20g of carbs for a month and haven't lost weight, then you might consider other issues.

But the key is consistency--which seems to have been your problem in the past--so my suggestion is to focus on a plan that's workable for you and just follow it.

For example, when I started, I already knew the principles of Atkins. but my temperament doesn't do well with specific rules. So I just cut my carbs to 20g and didn't worry about how much salad I was having, etc. That was something I knew I could live with--and it not only worked, I continue to live with it almost 4 years into maintenance.

If you want to lose the weight and keep it off, do what works best for you--and only you know that.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:19 AM   #7
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Keep it simple. Just count carbs but be careful on how you count. Some people deduct fiber and, from what I'm reading, not all fiber is created equal. Some is insoluble (which is not absorbed) like flax and others are soluble (which are absorbed) such as nuts and psyllium. Some things contain both soluble or insoluble but few labels every tell you how much of each. You may not have this problem, but if you go on Atkins induction (and I'd recommend the '72 version) for 2 weeks and find you have difficulty losing, you may have to count total carbs and not deduct. Also, remember that some foods have carbs (e.g. eggs, cheese) and these can add up very quickly.

I count carbs and calories because I have to. I wish I could only count carbs.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:17 AM   #8
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Yep I think just focusing on keeping my carbs below 20 is the way for me to go....the easier and less thought I have to put into it the better for me personally! To be completely honest I have attempted and stopped so many times...The longest I have gone is 1 week..but really thats the longest I have gone on any diet! I let my mind and cravings overrule me! However if I did notice restricting carbs is what kept me in check on the weekend...counting calories I go nutso on the weekends and gain anything back i may have lost during the week!
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:28 AM   #9
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Be sure to to be conscious of how you feel. Drink chicken broth and eat when hungry. Once you have gotten over the initial stages of becoming keto, you should notice an improvement in a # of areas. These things alone, keep me on track.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:31 PM   #10
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Mom.. there are two posts regarding starting over.. they helped me get back on track so much!!

Starting over?? Read this...

Starting over?? Read this part 2...

Hope they help you like they did me!
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:52 PM   #11
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I just count carbs, and that seems to work for me. I've lost nearly 30 pounds since starting == not bad for an over 63 year old woman, eh? I do not overeat protein (I eyeball and sometimes measure serving size) and pay attention to fat intake, such as measuring the fat I add to my coffee, for example, rather than just pouring some in.
If I hit a really big stall, I would consider precise tracking, but I am happy for now with my losses in inches and pounds, and other health benefits.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:42 PM   #12
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Read the book. Count your carbs and don't worry about the calories, they will take care of themselves if you watch the carbs.

This isn't a quick weight loss approach, it is a lifestyle. Join in and it will work for you.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:07 AM   #13
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How is it going mom2jjl????
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:58 PM   #14
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Not good AT ALL!!!! I keep giving into the carb monster over and over again...its really my mind that keeps talking to me and I cave!!! SOOO FRUSTRATING!!! However...I WILL not give up!!! How did any of y'all stick with this for so long to get your weight off?? Nothing else is going to work for me...I am the type of person who can't just in moderation have the bad carbs...if I give myself an inch I will take 3 miles!! Any pointers y'all??
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
How did any of y'all stick with this for so long to get your weight off??
Because I finally understood and accepted that looking for something easy wasn't the answer. Believe me, I was absolutely dead-set against counting calories, planning or writing down my food, weighing and measuring portions, and "being on a diet" when I was fat. I guess the blunt truth is, I vaguely wanted to lose weight and wasn't happy about what I'd gained, but I didn't want to do any kind of diet that felt uncomfortable or difficult or inconvenient. Once I realized I was already doing things that were uncomfortable and difficult and inconvenient every single day of my overweight life, I got over it.

I think the vast majority of people are going to find any type of significant weight loss to be tough, to varying degrees. If it were easy, everybody would succeed. It's just a matter of what suits you best and what you think you can commit to, and which type of plan is healthiest for you.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:59 PM   #16
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Make sure you allow yourself enough fatty food to be totally satisfied. Pick things like bacon, cheese, fatty steak, butter and all the other luxurious low carb choices.
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:01 AM   #17
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Don't have the bad carbs, cheating just doesn't work well with low carb, not only that once someone gets the sugar back in their body everything just goes haywire, you might benefit from atkins 72 induction, count total carbs-not net, there is no low carb "product" allowed you probably just need to detox from sugar and grains, good luck to you
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:14 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2jjl View Post
Not good AT ALL!!!! I keep giving into the carb monster over and over again...its really my mind that keeps talking to me and I cave!!! SOOO FRUSTRATING!!! However...I WILL not give up!!! How did any of y'all stick with this for so long to get your weight off?? Nothing else is going to work for me...I am the type of person who can't just in moderation have the bad carbs...if I give myself an inch I will take 3 miles!! Any pointers y'all??
Its not always easy (we have kitkats in the fridge and bread lying around everywhere) but I just do it. The more time you spend thinking about it the harder it is. I limited myself to a few foods for a few weeks to get me back into it after falling off the wagon. That really helped, take choice out of the equation completely, i literally only ate steak and butter for 2-3 weeks, worked a charm, put veg back in now but I don't fall off so easily now.

The longer you do it the better, even if you do eat something you are craving, after 4 weeks on the plan you will most likely wonder what all the fuss was about, nothing tastes quite like you remember it. Just get through 4 weeks and it will become so much easier, good luck x
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:45 AM   #19
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I really agree with Peanutte! Anything worthwhile isn't always easy. You might want to go back and stick with Induction if you're doing Atkins. The good reason for that is the food list takes out a lot of junk and leaves you with the basics. Keeping it simple that way might help as well.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:11 AM   #20
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It's definitely not easy- I've just restarted ( on Day 4) of induction-after many many attempts- this time it seems to be sticking- Keep it simple- Best advice ever. That and eat if you are hungry- but be careful- actual hunger is different from "I'm so used to eating my body wants me to continue this habit- hunger" Personally- I drink LOTS of hot tea- I buy my favourite flavours and drink away. In the early days- if I'm SERIOUSLY craving- I'll drink a Coke Zero ( don't ask- it just seems to get rid of the craving for some reason for me) If you are finding Atkins that hard to try- have you looked at other lower carb diets? ie South Beach? This might suit you and be easier for you to stick to- after all each of us is an individual and will succeed in different ways....
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:51 AM   #21
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Just focus on having the carbs low enough.

If after some weeks or months you feel it's not working, you can try adding something to it like limiting the calories. For most people though it should be enough just to have the carbs low enough and not even think about calories or portion sizes (you won't overeat if your appetite goes down to normal level, this happens for most people).
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:20 AM   #22
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For most people though it should be enough just to have the carbs low enough and not even think about calories or portion sizes (you won't overeat if your appetite goes down to normal level, this happens for most people).

If that were the case, why wouldn't everybody who sticks to low enough carbs get to goal, easy-peasy with no problems, no adjustments along the way as they are losing more weight, and no limits on portions or awareness of calories?

I don't believe our appetite automatically adjusts to desire less food as we lose weight. I agree more with jenn--how much we eat and how much we want to eat is what we're used to and what feels normal, but normal can change. Eating is a social thing, it's a family thing, it's all kinds of things beyond our physical hunger and physical needs.

If it does work that easily and simply for someone--just counting carbs, never minding anything else, and they get to their goal weight and keep it off that way--hey that's great. But I don't agree with giving people the impression that this is some kind of automatic-pilot, you-don't-really-have-to-do-anything, the-physiology-will-work-itself-out diet.

I say, start with counting carbs. Get the hang of that. Be open-minded to other things you might want or need to do a little later. I say "want" to do, not just "need", because if we want something we will be more willing than if we view it an an unfair punishment.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:25 AM   #23
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You don't know the difference between everybody and most?

Plus I didn't say she shouldn't be open to other methods. I just don't think a person should start with too many restrictions if less would have worked for them. You can always adjust it later if it's not working for you.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:05 PM   #24
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I think the vast majority of people can just count carbs and get the appetite suppression that ketosis brings, and eat really nutrient dense foods and lose their weight all the way to goal. The books and literature written on the subject appear to indicate this. They should know. They also know that there is a sub set of people who encounter difficulties of varying degrees for a thousand different reasons. The OP has only identified her preference to just count carbs and there is no reason to think she cannot do this successfully all the way to goal.

Those that have difficulties may seem more prevalent then they actually are because the inclination is to hang around the boards seeking information. In all the years I have been on this forum, I have seen countless people, come and go and I would assume that they made goal and had no further need of the support here.

This was the situation for myself. I reached goal only counting carbs and moved on. I came back because I jumped off the 'wagon' and learned a very hard lesson. Maybe that has been my undoing but it was not always the case.

Last edited by clackley; 04-16-2014 at 12:06 PM..
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:22 PM   #25
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It's OK. You may just not be ready. Keep trying. One thing I have learned about myself is that I still crave carbs --sometimes intensely. I almost always want pasta. It's not the end of the world and I just deal with it. I'm not miserable because I eat nutritious, delicious and filling foods. I would also like to enjoy a plate of spaghetti though. However, I don't because I don't want my weight creeping back up. If I do cheat, I do it occassionaly and with my eyes fully open as to the effects. That keeps me from slipping into the "oh I can eat some regularly if I limit portions," attitude. Cravings are cravings. You can get into the habit of not indulging them. Good luck!
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:32 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by clackley View Post
I think the vast majority of people can just count carbs and get the appetite suppression that ketosis brings, and eat really nutrient dense foods and lose their weight all the way to goal. The books and literature written on the subject appear to indicate this. They should know. They also know that there is a sub set of people who encounter difficulties of varying degrees for a thousand different reasons. The OP has only identified her preference to just count carbs and there is no reason to think she cannot do this successfully all the way to goal.

Those that have difficulties may seem more prevalent then they actually are because the inclination is to hang around the boards seeking information. In all the years I have been on this forum, I have seen countless people, come and go and I would assume that they made goal and had no further need of the support here.

This was the situation for myself. I reached goal only counting carbs and moved on. I came back because I jumped off the 'wagon' and learned a very hard lesson. Maybe that has been my undoing but it was not always the case.
I don't agree that just counting carbs is enough for most people to get to goal. Just by looking at the people here it's clear that getting to a slim goal requires more than that and usually requires calorie counting.

And, judging by the number of people that disappear and then the high number of them that then come back to confess that they have regained it all or more, I don't think most people that leave the board are successful.

Weight loss is hard. If it it was easy then everyone would quickly get to a slim goal weight and maintain that loss. We expect to work hard to do well in school and at work and to become good at sports, so I don't get why we shouldn't expect weight loss to include that same level of work. Diet books are trying to sell a diet so of course the authors will try to make the diet seem as effortless as possible, the usual "the pounds will just melt" off platitudes. If low carbing was truly as easy and effective as the diet books make it out to be then everyone who starts the diet should get to goal and stay there, and we know that's not true.
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