Are Carbs Really That Bad

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SoInnocent77

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 6

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Posted: 28 Feb 2011, 20:00
I've been reading alot of posts and diets about how you should avoid carbs at all costs. But when I first got serious with my diet I never paid attention to the carbs. I mainly watched my calorie, fat, sugar, and protein intake and lost 20 pounds in one month. I became really sick with the flu and had to stop my diet, but I'm back on the same plan now.

I know I ate a good amount of bread and pasta but I never felt starved and I believe this helped me with my diet.

So are carbs really the devil??



kanan123

Joined: Dec 09
Posts: 324

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Posted: 28 Feb 2011, 20:07
Honestly...no carbs are not the devil...fruits are filled with carbs and they are vital to overall well being...the average break down should be about 40% carbs, 30% protein 30% fat...of course you can change those percentages to whatever works best for you, but carbs are not the devil and I don't think you should kick them out of your diet.




SoInnocent77

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 6

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Posted: 28 Feb 2011, 20:12
@kanan123 That's why I don't get people who try to remove them completely. You need carbs just like you need some fat in your diet.
kanan123

Joined: Dec 09
Posts: 324

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Posted: 28 Feb 2011, 20:19
exactly. I think people get so caught up in following a diet that they forget that your body needs certain elements. Whether you are following high protein, low fat diet, or no carbs...people are not grasping the entire idea...realistically people should be looking at how to make small changes to get to the end results by thinking about what they are putting in their bodies...Everything is a simple equation of calories in vs. calories out. However you can make smarter choices by making those calories ones that give your body nutrients. Whole wheat pasta has tons of carbs, but the fiber you get from it helps your body digest the food you eat, fruit has high sugar but the sugar is easily processed by the body and provides vital vitamins, and guacamole and almonds are high in fat but they contain a different type of fat. Mono or poly saturated fats are actually good for you and are easier to break down...Knowing what you are putting in your body and why is better then trying to just eliminate an entire category vital to function and building blocks of your cells.




kokusho

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 416

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Posted: 28 Feb 2011, 20:27
No, carbs aren't bad. Even though carbs are technically the only macro nutrient that your body doesn't 100% need to survive (you'll die without fat and protein but not without carbs), it has a lot of benefits to it. For one, eating a lot of carbs will easily replace the glycogen stores in your body allowing you to have better workouts (under 90min).

But, carbohydrate is such a general term. There is a big difference if somebody gets all their carbs from brown rice and peas or if they get it from soda and candy. So, while carbs aren't evil, stuffing your face full of laffy taffy isn't going to do you any good.

There are also benefits to restricting carbs in diets as well. When your body is low on carbohydrates, it will produce more ketones to break down fat, helping a lot of people lose weight in that regard (atkins). Also, a lot of people suffering from diabetes seem to like a low carb diet as it will help them regulate their insulin levels.

I guess "to each his own" really applies with carbs. I personally like eating low carb for 6 days a week and then spiking my carbs very high one day a week. The low carb eating makes me insulin sensitive and then when I load up on carbs, my insulin shoots up, and along with it testosterone and other muscle building hormones. This process is called carb cycling and it works really well for building muscle while on a calorie deficit.

So, there are a lot of different ways to utilize carbohydrates in our diets but limiting carbs isn't necessary for weight loss or a healthy way of eating.
"Going to war without France, is like going deer hunting without your accordion." -Norman Schwarzkopf
kanan123

Joined: Dec 09
Posts: 324

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Posted: 28 Feb 2011, 20:34
I definitely agree with Kokusho. I actually know someone that did atkins for many years and because they had cut out the carbs for so long..their digestive track suffered. He simply was not getting the proper amount of fiber that usually is high in whole wheat items. It caused him to have IBM and all sorts of other digestive problems. Obviously that isn't the case for everyone, but knowing that your body needs certain nutrients is vital...and even more so, making sure your body gets those nutrients is essential.




k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 28 Feb 2011, 20:47
I've never worried about them myself. I do avoid added sugar but I eat plenty of bread, pasta, grains, veggies, and fruits. Results are below Smile
My blog, This is not a Diet:
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kstubblefiel...

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

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Posted: 28 Feb 2011, 21:22
kokusho wrote:
This process is called carb cycling and it works really well for building muscle while on a calorie deficit.

I can confirm this...I've been doing the same thing for less than 3 months & there are noticeable changes in my body due to the strength training. I also continue to lose weight without being hungry or feeling deprived.

Carbs are most definitely not the devil...they are too delicious. And on most diet plans, common sense should tell you to stick with complex carbs vs. simple ones, though there's no harm in enjoying the latter in moderation.

If you're on a low-carb plan though, consequences are much different since insulin sensitivity is a factor. It can take a while to recover from a "slip" & get back to steady losses. Doesn't sound like this applies to you so you don't have to worry about it.

Also, anyone following their low-carb plan PROPERLY is not eliminating carbs completely. Even on Atkins you're supposed to get SOME carbs, with a certain amount of them from vegetables.

I'd say since you're not low-carb, ignore any carb-bashing posts you see float past in your news feed.

Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
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Hermiones...

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 387

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Posted: 28 Feb 2011, 21:51
How you work with carbs in your diet depends on your age, metabolism, weight, and exercise habits. I was diagnosed low thyroid about 2 years ago, and even after I was on levothyroxine, I still could not take off the weight I had put on before the diagnosis. At the same time, my fasting blood sugar was a bit higher than it should have been. I did some reading and found that there was a lot to suggest that a low glycemic diet was very effective for people who were hypothyroid -- so in July 2010, I switched from straight calorie counting to low glycemic. It's a real change for me because on low cal, it would be perfectly OK to eat a couple boiled potatoes, for example, because they are pretty low calorie -- but on low glycemic, you choose barley, beans, or lentils instead. On a calorie count, you can eat a whole mess of watermelon for dessert, but on low glycemic, you eat a bowl of strawberries or raspberries instead. So I've made quite a few changes in my diet that move away from simple starches and toward complex carbs. And almost as soon as I made these changes, I started losing weight. I still eat plenty of carbs, but far fewer net carbs, because the source of my carbs is different. I even eat pasta, although now it's usually a multigrain+flaxseed pasta. And I'm very careful about weighing and measuring my carb portions. This is not the right approach for everyone, but there's a lot to suggest that, especially for women, the older you are and the more sedentary your lifestyle, and particularly after menopause plays havoc with your metabolism and/or your thyroid slows down -- you need to cut down on carbs if you don't want to put on lots of unhealthy weight around your middle. Everyone has to figure all this out for themselves, and the only way to do that is to experiment until you find a formula that works.
fredmugs

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 381

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Posted: 01 Mar 2011, 08:03
I completely agree that you need to find what works for you but most people have no clue what that is. I tend to get in great shape in the spring because the type of hiking I do demands it. Once hiking season is over I tent to slack and gain 20 pounds over the winter. For years I would worry about the amount of fat that I consumed under the false assumption that I needed all those carbs for my workouts.

One year I got down to my "in shape" hiking weight of 195 pounds. While on a hiking trip I commented to the guy that I hike with that although I was "in shape" I still had a lot of noticeable belly fat. He told me to cut the carbs out of my diet (actually he had been saying this for 3 years but I never listened). After that trip I focused on the carbs and lost another 5 pounds of fat in about 2 weeks and the proverbial light bulb lit up.

This past year I again gained a bunch of weight and entered a Biggest Loser contest. Since I am very comptetive person I have been 100% focused on losing as much weight as possible. I also made a couple of side bets for extra motivation. My RDI on here started out at 2200 calories a day. If you look at a std nutrition label it shows a 2,000 calorie a day diet consisting of 65g of fat; 300g of carbs; and 60g of protein.

I have never bought into the Atkins philosophy of 20g net carbs for the first two weeks. So here's what I did.

First 4 weeks I tried to consume between 1500 - 2000 calories a day keeping the fat under 50g and the net carbs under 150g. I only subtract fiber for my net carbs because I also do not believe in removing the sugar alcohols either. For me it's all about shifting from eating whatever I want to getting into a better cycle and that seems to take 10 - 14 days for me - no way I could do Atkins induction.

Over weeks 5 - 8 I have scaled the calories back to around 1,500 a day with the fat around 35g and the net carbs under 100g.

My goal for the biggest loser contest was to go from 223 to under 190. Right before I went to a Super Bowl party I weighed 199.4. Right now I'm down close to 185 and with 8 more days to go I plan on weighing about the same as I did when I got out of the Marine Corps 26 years ago!

My point is you need to cut back on the carbs but not restrict them. Based on my personal experience I would say look at what the std diet says you should have and cut it at least in half.

Somebody sent this to me the other day and I had to laugh since it is pretty much what I was already doing:

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dial-in-your-carb-count/

Pain is a by-product of a good time.
brittsmom

Joined: Oct 10
Posts: 22

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Posted: 01 Mar 2011, 08:27
You guys are all right. I'm a long-time type 1 diabetic on an insulin pump, with low-thyroid which is controlled with synthroid. I find that sticking to complex carbs in moderation controls my diet and illnesses the best. I can set my insulin pump with a base level of insulin (just like your pancreas kicks out insulin constantly), and never have to take extra insulin for my food as long as I stay within 75-150 carbs per day. Eat carbs, but make sure they are good carbs. No white flour products, and no sugar other than natural fruit sugars.
sngglebnny

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 153

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Posted: 01 Mar 2011, 10:32
Carbs aren't the devil but they can be pesky little creatures. Each person needs different nutrients. To lose weight, some people need to cut out meat and meat fats. Others need only to cut out beer, wine, and soda. Other need only to control their portions. Yet others need to decrease their carb intake.

I stick to complex carbs and try to avoid simple carbs as best I can. While I'm on the weight loss portion of my new way of eating I aim to keep the carbs low. When I'm ready to maintain I will start adding items back in paying attention to how my body reacts.
Dieting is like religion. There are the basic rules that everyone should follow. The rest you personalize to a lifestyle for the best results.

Current Size: 14/16
Goal Size: 8/10
Goal Date: December 31, 2014
thqueenbe

Joined: Mar 09
Posts: 223

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Posted: 01 Mar 2011, 10:53
Carbs are great! Use whole grain breads/pastas to fuel your body. You will help your workouts, too. Try to stay away from the 'crappy carbs' as I like to call them. i.e. white bread...etc
Hermiones...

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 387

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Posted: 01 Mar 2011, 12:38
But just be careful about those whole grain breads. Read the ingredients and nutrition facts. Many whole grain breads have plenty of sugar... look for sprouted grain breads or whole grain products that leave out sugar, corn syrup, or any other sweetener. You don't need these carbs with your whole grain.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 01 Mar 2011, 12:53
Hermiones Mom wrote:
But just be careful about those whole grain breads. Read the ingredients and nutrition facts. Many whole grain breads have plenty of sugar... look for sprouted grain breads or whole grain products that leave out sugar, corn syrup, or any other sweetener. You don't need these carbs with your whole grain.


That's the truth. I discovered that there is not ONE brand of bread in the regular grocery store that doesn't contain either HFCS or another sweetener.

This is actually good advice for every type of food - read the actual ingredients. Don't look at the words on the front that say "organic" or "healthy" or "natural". Those words are completely unregulated and therefore completely meaningless.

I was pretty pissed when I finally read the ingredients in the Yoplait yogurt I'd been eating for breakfast every day for a year. High Fructose Corn Syrup- right near the top of the list. And I thought it was "healthy" because the commercials told me it was. Now I buy plain yogurt and add my own fruit and honey if I want sweetness. Always read the fine print.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
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dd_in_alaska

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 6

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Posted: 01 Mar 2011, 12:54
Your brain runs on carbohydrates, it was designed that way. Whole foods, processed as little as possible are always the best way to go. Food was made to be eaten in it's natural form. Whole grain bread doesn't mean whole wheat, so yes, I check labels.
nops

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 214

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Posted: 01 Mar 2011, 13:31
The term "organic" actually is regulated, but it doesn't mean "healthy." It just means no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics or unnatural additives were used. It can still be high calorie, fat, salt and have no nutritional value.

I am a little old-fashioned. I am a carb junkie. I know I eat more then I should, but I feel some carbs are needed. The only time I would monitor my carb intake would be if I had diabetes or another medical condition which made it neccesary. I believe balance is best. For example, the food pyramid, though not perfect, tells us we need carbs and a lot of them.

I do believe it's best to get your carbs from whole grains and fruit. Personally I've been making an effort in eating more whole grains, but still can't pass up pancakes, waffles, muffins, etc. So far I've been pretty successful with this weight loss thing. Of course, I have read that refined carbs such as sugar and white flour in place of whole grains cause excess belly fat- something I even had when I was skinny and just thought I was fat.
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mdep1229

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 387

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Posted: 01 Mar 2011, 13:46
The thing is small amounts of sugar and oil/fat increase shelf life. The sugar also helps the yeast to work better. The only kind of bread traditionally made without ANY sweetener is the French baguette and it has a shelf live of about half a day.

I bake my own bread and usually add a couple tablespoons of honey and/or organic molasses or sucanat to the dough. Two tablespoons of honey divided into twenty servings is not going to ruin my diet or cause a sugar spike. Smile
Cbreeze

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 71

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Posted: 01 Mar 2011, 13:57
One of the reasons some people go on a low carb way of eating is because of the way that the body "burns" macronutrients for fuel. Carbohydrates are the easiest for a person's body to use so the more carbs you feed your body the more it will store if it has an adequate amount. Now, the next easiest macronutrient to be used as fuel to keep you going is fat. So, if your body has depleted all of it's carb stores it's going to start burning fat for fuel and that's what we low carb people like. The 3rd and final macronutrient is protein and regardless of what type of way of eating anyone chooses, it's pretty universal we want to keep all of our protein because that's what our muscles are made of.
Some low carb people eat very few carbs and there are even some who do strive to be as low carb as possible, but then there are those who are able to lose or maintain on many more. It's completely YMMV thing.
Personally, I have found by way of low carbing, that I have a lot of sensitivity to wheat which I would have never suspected if I hadn't taken out of my diet.
gnat824

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 1,561

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Posted: 01 Mar 2011, 13:57
All in balance- everyone should be consuming some combination of fat, protein and carbs. Each plays a unique role in your body's complex system and each of them is essential (even carbs - I believe I've read that your heart DOES require carbs specifically). It becomes a problem when you're eating any of them out of balance or eating way to much of all of them. The simple reason why most people lose weight when they cut carbs (even if they AREN'T in ketosis) isn't that carbs are inherently evil or cause you to put on weight faster - it's because they're the cornerstone of our diets. When you eat less carbs, you tend to eat less in general- at the end of the day, we're right back to calories in vs. calories out.
- Natalie



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