Jump to content

Low Carb Questions


dropSoul
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm pasting this here from VegFamily.com, not that I advocate it, it's just that I'm wondering whether or not on this low carb vegan diet a person loses muscle. I was an ovo/lacto vegetarian before I went vegan 4 years ago next month!!! and I went on a vegetarian low carb at that time and in 30 days - 27lb pounds, but those 27 lbs. looked like 15 where as the 35 lbs with weights (not man weights, I just started that) but 8 lbs. weights and pushups and other body weight resistance looks like a lot more (plus the super green food and eating small meals every few hours). My skin just hangs on my body better. But, I'm still working on the lower half and would like to see some more rapid progress with the fat loss, provided that it doesn't eat muscle.

 

Any feedback is really appreciated! You all are quite brilliant.

 

*********

Here's the excerpt:

http://www.vegfamily.com/health/vegan-weight-loss.htm

 

The Low-Carbohydrate Diet

There are those, including Atkins himself, who say a low-carb diet isn't compatible with a vegan diet. Those people are right, to a certain extent. It is not easy. That is not to say, however, that it can't be done.

 

The rule is to basically eat as few carbohydrates as possible. Dr. Atkins has said that during the "induction" phase of the diet, or the first two weeks, you should eat no more than 20 carbs a day. The problem with this for vegans is that there are no plant foods with zero carbs, so we tend to reach 20 way before our omnivorous counterparts. When I tried this diet for a trial 2-week period, I subsisted on things like tofu, Gardenburger sausage patties, low-carb bread, broccoli, and Spectrum spread. Let it be known that there were other things I could have eaten, but these things were convenient for me.

 

It was a miserable two weeks, in which I felt as though I had been drugged. I had no energy, and food ceased to be a pleasure. I felt like I was only eating enough to keep me alive. If I felt shaky, I would drag myself into the kitchen, get a spoonful of peanut butter or quarter-sized piece of fresh coconut, pop it in my mouth, and flop back onto the couch. Again, and I can't stress this enough, I could have eaten more, and perhaps handled it better, but I didn't. The ketosis induced by eating almost no carbs left a bad taste in my mouth, so that nothing tasted good, therefore it didn't matter to me what I ate.

 

That said, there was a huge plus to this plan, and that plus was the weight loss. Over a pound a day, 16 pounds total in 14 days. When the two weeks was up, I was feeling a little better, like I was becoming accustomed to the dietary changes. Plus, with the 16 pounds I lost, I was loath to discontinue the diet. Therefore, I stayed on it an additional week and a half, in which I lost zero pounds. That's right. Zero. Not losing weight at all was definitely not worth the hassle of feeling tired and sick, so I quit.

 

Would I recommend this diet to someone else? Maybe. It was tough, but it's 6 months later and I haven't gained back an ounce, no matter what I've eaten. It could be a good jump-start for weight loss, but I would never recommend it as a long-term program. It's not balanced, and would therefore put someone at risk for deficiencies. Also, I want to note that a low-carb diet in any form should not be used during pregnancy.

 

 

****** End Excerpt *****

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 2nd part of your explanation was just a little bit unclear and I didn't really understand it but I understood the first half of the paragraph.

 

Women are different. Many women cannot get away with as many carbs as men can. When I went vegan the very first book I bought was called "Low Carb Vegetarian Cooking".

 

Having said that, we need some carbs for energy to get through our workouts and overall health. There is no need to do something as extreme as Atkins to lose fat.

 

So to answer you're question... yep.. Atkins works (although it certainly isn't healthy and most people gain all of the weight back plus some once they resume their old eating habits). Yep, many women need to monitor their carbs and focus on what kind of carbs to lose weight.

 

And yes, the lower half is the toughest to lose. As far as not losing muscle, a BCAA recovery product such as Xtend aids to preserve lean muscle tissue when you do your cardio and training.

 

Eat every 3 hours, make your main meals a balanced ration of proteins, carbs and healthy fats. Watch your starches at nighttime. Cut out your flours, sugars and processed foods. Find a good strength routine and do cardio regularly. Drink lots of water.

Edited by veggieprincess
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I can add anything it is this: vary your caloric intake!!!! Your metabolism will adjust to a lower caloric intake by slowing down. Therefore, the way to lose weight consistently is by lowering your calories by 2-3 days max, going back to your maintenance level for a day (or two depending on how fast you want to lose) and then continuing with the same rhythm. Rapid loss, rapid calorie drop will negatively affect your metabolism. Slow weight loss of approximately 1% of your body weight per week has been suggested (by research) to result in more fat loss and less lean mass and water loss.

 

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I answered this thread very rushed so I went back and edited my original reply...

 

Although I think Atkins WORKS for weight loss, I certainly do not advocate it for many reasons, and I do not consider it a healthy diet.

 

I've done low-carb dieting a number of times. The first two times I tried, I felt like the original blogger. Now, though, I feel great when doing so, and I feel better on low carb than on high carb. Once your body has adapted, you're a lot more flexible, and your body is better at burning fat than before, which reduces catabolism while dieting and increases speed of weight loss. Low carbing is not necessarily Atkins. There are a lot of forms. I personally subscribe (now) to a more modest and less strict form, where I have PWO high GI carbs and ultra-low GI carbs at breakfast. That means oatmeal and wheatgerm.

 

If you're consuming your nutrients from non-starchy green vegetables, eating protein, and get healthful fats (IE, Olive, flax, hemp, peanuts, etc.) then you'll get the nutrients you need. Strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and other berries are often low-carb and extremely high in antioxidants and other chemicals. It seems to me that there's no vitamin/mineral deficiency from such an eating plan.

 

What are your reasons?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Atkins isn't sustainable from what I have heard from people who have actually done it. You have to stay on it for the rest of your life or accept gaining the weight back when you go back to eating healthily.

 

About two years ago I saw a write up of a study in the news. The upshot is that low carb diets give you more of a loss up front, but over time, about a year people on low fat, high fiber diets lose about the same and do better with keeping the fat off.

 

Aside from avoiding the disappointment of gaining the weight back, losing weight is supposed to take a health toil on a human body, enough so that experts are telling people not to try if they think they can't maintain the loss.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Atkins isn't sustainable from what I have heard from people who have actually done it. You have to stay on it for the rest of your life or accept gaining the weight back when you go back to eating healthily.

 

About two years ago I saw a write up of a study in the news. The upshot is that low carb diets give you more of a loss up front, but over time, about a year people on low fat, high fiber diets lose about the same and do better with keeping the fat off.

 

Aside from avoiding the disappointment of gaining the weight back, losing weight is supposed to take a health toil on a human body, enough so that experts are telling people not to try if they think they can't maintain the loss.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1035779/Atkins-diet-safe-far-effective-low-fat-says-study.html

 

Besides being better for your triglyceride, cholesterol, and hormone levels (see this, this, and this) than low-fat dieting, I can say that you don't have to stay on it to keep the weight off. Atkins says that you do, simply because he's selling the products. The weight lost in the first couple of days will be water weight because of the water retention that carbs cause. You will gain that weight back when you go back to eating more carbohydrates. BUT that is all. You won't gain all your fat back.

 

The first problem with these studies, however, is that most of them are done on sedentary, obese people, which, given that this is a bodybuilding forum, I assume we are not. The second problem is that these diets are done on a self-reported basis, which is notoriously inaccurate.

 

There are a couple more myths I want to clear up. Calories still count on any low carb diet. Calories in vs. calories out still determines how fast you lose weight, and you still need a deficit to shed that winter coat. The difference is how accessible your fat stores are, because if your deficit is higher than your ability to use your fat, then that energy comes from somewhere, namely your LBM.

 

There is no metabolic advantage to literally being in ketosis. You can be in fat-burning mode with up to 100 carbs a day after your body has adjusted. Lyle McDonald recommends at least 50g a day for their protein-sparing effect. Some of low carb's advantages are satiation, preferential burning of fat (See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17617997?ordinalpos=5&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum) "clinical studies clearly demonstrate that ad libitum low-carbohydrate diets elicit greater decreases in body weight and fat than energy-equivalent low-fat diets, especially over a short duration. Thus, although low-carbohydrate and high-fat diets appear detrimental or indifferent relative to performance, they may be a faster means to achieve a more competitive body composition."

 

In summary, a well-researched, planned, strict, calorically-reduced, low carbohydrate diet is more effective at body recomposition than low-fat, high-carb recommendations, the official government recommendation. It is also better for triglyceride, cholesterol, and hormone levels. The problem is that so few people do such a proper diet that what you are criticizing is its incorrect implementation, not the proper one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you! Trying out different things. I got some BCAA/protien green shake today. What I'm going to try for while is heavier weights and more cardio and just keep the carbs good and slow and in the early part of the day and the protein high. I am still steadily loosing 1 lb. a week at this point, perhaps a little less this month, so it's good, it's just frustrating because I sweat and my body aches and so I just think there should be more happening.

 

If you work out a certain section of your body more, do you loose more fat in that area? I started with focusing on the flabby underarms and they are pretty much gone from consistent 8lb. weights and push ups and push ups on a chair (no legs at all), really a good exercise. So now I'm going to just work my lower half as hard, just to see what happens.

 

In addition to weights, I found these vegan shoes: ShapeUpShoes.com -- they got a write up in vegetarian times and have some excellent testimonials.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've read alot about nutrition for the last 6-7 years and there seems to be a few things that sticks and seem to be accurate nomatter how much I read and would like it to be otherwise:

 

So far, science seems to consistently say that processed food is bad for you.

From some books I've read I've learned how it it works that we believe that protein powders/snake oil/statins help everyone get healthy. In The End of Food I learned how processed food/snake oil is always more profitable than whole foods. If there is a profit to be made someone will try to make it. That's just how our system works. I'm not complaining about the system, I'm just saying you have to be aware and most people seem not to be. In Overdo$ed America I learned of some of the methods that are used to make us buy more drugs. One other observation I've made, and I'm sure others can back me up on this too, is that the people that are the hardest to convince are people who believe that the reside in some form of bubble of clear objectivity. Hospitals, and people who work in them seems to believe that their workplace is such a bubble and I've observed similar thoughts and behaviors in the bodybuilding community. The information passed on to both of these communities are filled with bad science (some of which is peer-reviewed, double blinded and published), red herrings, logical fallacies and twisted deduction. It is of course very beneficial for people who make money out of the current belief that these objective bubbles persist and they make sure that everyone feels safe inside the bubble. I know it's a challenge to get anyone who is inside such a bubble (eg. some/most MD's) to read Overdo$ed America or The China Study since they comfortably believe that everything outside of the bubble is snake oil and everything inside is built from solid science. As I said, our system of economic growth has both advantages and disadvantages. When you stop questioning your information and/or doesn't understand the scientific method you will most likely be in trouble. If PhD's, MD's, Msc's are efficiently "duped" then to me there's no reason to believe that the methods used are extremely efficient, in fact, making things extremely efficient is probably the most advantageous characteristic of the current system. I also believe that what applies above to medicare applies even more to "health care" and bodybuilding since it's not as hardly regulated and you can thus claim mostly anything without much proof. When reading articles and websites on bodybuilding I get the feeling that the crust of the bubble is even harder among "experts" in the bodybuilding and fitness field than it is in medicare.

 

An example of logical fallacy is this statement (no offense):

In summary, a well-researched, planned, strict, calorically-reduced, low carbohydrate diet is more effective at body recomposition than low-fat, high-carb recommendations, the official government recommendation. It is also better for triglyceride, cholesterol, and hormone levels. The problem is that so few people do such a proper diet that what you are criticizing is its incorrect implementation, not the proper one.

There are billions of people from history and from the present day that are/were alive, kicking, thin, fit and are/were in great health with optimum values for triglycerides and cholesterol that contradicts this statement. To believe this you have to believe that weak science (say a study on a dozen rats for a lifetime) is stronger than the mountain of evidence from epidemiological studies of humans (and, not to forget, simple observation). It's a fallacy (again, no offense) but it's a fallacy that has to be made if you want to make people belief that a high-protein, low-carb diet filled with processed protein is healthy (and not just make you lose weight). I'm not saying that it doesn't work for the purpose that it set out to accomplish (you hear that veggieprincess? ), namely to lose weight while maintaining muscle, just that I find it unlikely to be healthy in the long run since it seems to me that man made food, so far, seems to be associated with bad health in the long run.

 

The nature of sustainable, healthy food is that it is produced in such a manner that it has no intention to grow into a large, dirty corporation and thus food produced in a sustainable fashion (which is, according to me and many others, the same thing as healthy food) doesn't need marketing, simply because it needn't grow (economically ) (that's one of the things that make it sustainable in the long run). It doesn't need to process the plants either and the ones who process it are therefore out of the picture.

There is no economic growth built in this paradigm and that is one of the key points. No one wants to trick you because there is no need to trick you. When you really look at it this model presents not only the most sustainable future but also the most healthy one when looking at it from a scientific point of view.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fabulous points by Offense.

 

When it comes to changing your body, consistency and patience are very important. If you are looking at general fitness then focusing on whole foods, consistent workouts that continue to challenge your body and varying caloric intake/cardio cycling is the way to go, IMO. Unfortunately, transforming your body to the higher muscle/lower fat ideal takes much, much longer than losing muscle and gaining fat. If there were a quick and easy way, everyone would be doing it.

 

If you plan to compete and are looking to unnaturally lower your body fat then you may want to look into manmade supplements and protein isolates. Low carb dieting is worth a try when you are trying to tweak your metabolism but I consider it a short-term method. Your metabolism will adjust to anything you give it on a consistent basis - it loves homeostasis. I personally believe that when you hit a plateau it's time to significantly change things.

 

If you are already doing a lot of cardio, lifting heavy and your caloric intake is fairly low then there is not much room for change and supplements, low carb, high carb, etc. won't do it. Sometimes you need to gain more weight (muscle) to reset your metabolism at a higher level with a higher caloric intake and less cardio - so that you can go back to losing fat by varying your calories and doing more cardio.

 

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I agree on that vary the calorie. I never count them but usually they're really low, so they hover around the same since I eat the same stuff day in and out -- just not hungry. But after reading here (another thread) that I should lift like a man, I ate a lot this week, I was starving, and I've lost two pounds this morning! After hovering at the same for 3-4 weeks. It's encouraging since I posted this thread during a very worried moment. Also, because I'm just too wasted with weights, my cardio has been really slow this week anyway.

 

The protein isolate powders are for lack of time. Home schooling mom and full time freelancer. I usually eat real food, but I figured if I'm going to gain muscle, I might as well increase the protein and I mix it with raw food super green food, also to save time. 14 real veggies is a pretty intense amount of work per day (plus the probiotics in the green food is great for my old skin) -- this stuff makes me feel excellent. Vitamineral Super Green Food is at rawguru.com

 

I read the China Study a couple years ago and I agree totally with it, but doing it and agreeing with it are two different things. I love faux meat. Turtle Island has a fine product. Processed it is, ah well... I also love TVP and making chillies and stews with it. That is also very processed.

 

Thank you all! You are VERY bright folks! But Vegans usually are! (My own bubble

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention, that I don't eat small meals intentionally, well not at first. I got sick when visiting India and since then (July) I really can eat only half a sandwich, so all meals get split into 2-3 sessions because it feels like I'm going to vomit if I eat more than a handful of this or that. So I figured that a protein shake will help me since I need to pack in as much as I can in small quantities. I just made hummus (zero oil) from the beans that I soaked and I could only eat, maybe 1/2 a cup before feeling very full.

 

I'll post the hummus recipe, it is so tasty. Use it for parties and it's wiped out!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...