The Low-Carb Craze

All things Keto, Paleo, Atkins, Carnivore, Vegan/Vegetarian Keto, or your own version of Low-Carb, whatever that looks like.
Let’s loosely define Low Carb as approx 25% of total calories or less.
Some persuasions, such as Keto & Carnivore, will naturally be significantly lower than this.

So…
Why did you choose low carb ?
Are you satisfied with the results in terms of weight loss & health markers ?

Use this thread to post recipes, daily macros, report personal progress (for accountability purposes), list any books/articles or studies/major influencers, favourite products etc…

Okay, so I’ll begin with my story…

I’m Italian, therefore have a deep affection for all those wonderful Carb heavy foods present in a Wog household growing up.
Pasta and bread…yes please, can’t get enough.
Potatoes and rice…yep
Cannoli, crostoli, tiramisu…heavenly !
Further to this, I was a Qualified Baker for 10 years.
I LOVE my bread.

I cannot consume these foods in moderation.
I probably possess the Ancestral adaptations to process these foods in sensible amounts from a blood sugar perspective, but I don’t have the discipline, and it causes me to eat more frequently and over eat at each sitting.

In 2009 I was in decent condition.
In my late 30’s, about 85kg with some modest muscle development.
I had just completed a Personal Trainers course, but elected not take it further in terms of career.
This will sound familiar to many.
85kg creeps up to 90kg, then that becomes the new normal, the new set point.
Another couple of years elapse, the scale begins to reveal 93,94,95.
Once again, that number becomes the new normal.
You purchase some new jeans, and carry on.
One day, you tick over the 100kg threshold and tell yourself “that’s it, it’s diet time”.
With my workplace shutting its doors for good, the distraction prevented me from starting a healthier lifestyle sooner, so 100kg turned into 105.5kg by 1/1/17.

For a good month before, I watched every YT clip I could find on the Ketogenic Diet, and read some material.
The testimonials were difficult to believe, but very convincing.
What did I have to lose ?
I was addicted to Carbs, so cold turkey made sense for my personality type.
I had to cut them out almost completely.
The so called Keto flu didn’t really affect me greatly.
Some mild headaches and lack of energy for a week or so…nothing major.

I began to shed the weight immediately.
Yes, a large portion of the first 4-5kg is water weight, but it just kept melting off.
I wasn’t starving either.
I tracked religiously for the first 6 weeks and my daily calories seldom fell below 2200.
For context, I wasn’t doing resistance training (more on that later), and very little cardio.

Long story short…in 5 months my weight dropped to 91-ish with a very minimal calorie deficit.
I started to relapse into eating some Carbs again, which then lead to more frequent consumption of processed foods and sometimes Fast Foods.
I drifted out to 96kg and told myself in no uncertain terms “DO YOU WANT TO BE 105+ KGs AGAIN ?”, because that’s where I was headed !

I got back on a nutrient rich, real whole foods plan.
I kept it low carb, but wasn’t as dogmatic about being in Ketosis at all times.
I want to be able to have some Manuka Honey, I want to be able to drink A2 Milk as it doesn’t seem to cause an inflammatory response to my system, I want to be able to eat a few more carrots or sweet potato, I want to have some extra fruit like frozen watermelon during hotter months, I want to be able to use a teaspoon of coconut sugar in my morning coffee from time to time.
These are some options that simply aren’t available if Ketosis is a goal.
My relaxed stance has been beneficial, but I was careful to add these strategically one at a time, and in careful quantities.

I have been able to maintain a weight of 82-83kgs for 12 months now with no cravings, satiation levels like nothing ever experienced, and the ability to Intermittent Fast with ease.
Whilst I have a semi physical job, I have done very little cardio in the previous 12 months, and zero weight training.
This is intentional.
I wanted to see if anything happened in my life (ie. injury, illness, family, work) that prevent me from exercising, could I maintain an optimal weight with no hunger or feelings of deprivation.
The answer is a resounding YES.
The weights in the garage await me, so I should see some body composition gains in 2020.

It’s amazing, once you start eating good food, your body craves good food.
Every meal, every mouthful of food becomes an experience.
You savour the flavours so much more.
It’s a far better relationship with food than what I had before.
Disclaimer…it’s not cheap :warning:

Anyhow, I’ve waffled on enough.
I have not tracked Macros for a while, but would estimate my daily Carb intake to be 130-150 grams (20-25%).

I will post my fave Chaffle recipe and some of my go-to products in the next few days…

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Well done!

I was strict paleo for over two years and it was the best I ever felt. I also lost twelve kilos in two months without lifting a finger. I’ve gone off track over the last few years as work has been hectic and I’ve put a few kilos on, but recently I’ve started exercising and eating a predominantly pescatarian diet.

Removing beef/chicken & pork meat has been another good step, I find I have so much more energy, and that’s with a five month old baby!!!

Eating healthy is never easy, but it’s about organisation.

And I definitely don’t go without. My wife is coeliac and dairy intolerant. But we made a blog a few years ago to track our journey and help inform others. We’ve made everything from the best brownie you’ll ever have, sticky date puddings, jelly slice, vegan parmigiana, etc.

I don’t think we will ever give up eggs, we still see plenty of benefits in them, but everything we cook is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. It’s a little bit high in carbs, but once we move to Melbourne and get settled I plan to lower the carb intake.

I’m always quite baffled by some of the misinformation I see circulating around, whether it be that ‘going gluten free is bad for your health’ or ‘you won’t get enough calcium if you don’t drink dairy.’ For me, I can read between the lines, but it’s difficult to inform those that can’t. My wife is a nutritionist and she is astounded by the lack of minimal understanding people have when it comes to food.

I love my food, and every chance I get I love helping people. I always get comments when I go through a checkout, the workers ask me whether I’m vegan, or what diet I’m on. My usual answer is, it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.

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I have recently realised I am terrible at moderation…I need to go to zero.

I had GERD (look it up) and other intestinal issues. Cousin who is coeliac said “go gluten free and see how you go”

After a week I felt great. Lost a kg a week for 16 weeks without even thinking about it.
Went to get tested…had to eat wheat given the type of test. Ate wheat for a month and put on 5kg straight away. Turns out I am “intolerant” not coeliac. I have FODMAPS (look it up). I would have been much better off coeliac…because I have tried moderation…put back on 10 kgs and feel noticably crap when I eat FODMAP food - which is a ■■■■■■■ because it includes so many good things.

Anyway…going to start KETO and have zero allocation for wheat…it just messes me up.

90kg on my way to 75kg target…will see how it goes

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Good luck, mate.

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Well done guys, great results there.

I’ve been on the low carb diet for a little over 13 months now, and have effortlessly dropped 10 kilos.
Like some / most / every low carb dieter, switching in and out of ketosis is a regular occurrence, as it doesnt take much to switch out of ketosis, and one needs to just adjust the carb amount to switchback in, if that is your goal.
As @bltn says above, being in ketosis isnt necessarily his or other’s objective, just limiting the carbs is, and the benefits of just that is enormous.

I know of someone who had a blood glucose reading of 7.9 (well and truly a diabetic) and all the doctors wanted to do was increase her daily dose of Metformin higher and higher.
She adopted the low carb diet and in months her readings began dropping, to the amazement of her doctor and her diabetic educator.
After about nine months her HBA1C reading is now…6.1…!! YES!!! She is now considered in the higher bracket of pre-diabetes with the daily BGL reading dropping and dropping…! It wont be long now before she’s lowered off her medication with the real possibility of being taken of them completely.
A super result.

I had better mention the above story is for a diabetic type 2 and there’s plenty of documentation that a low carb diet isnt suitable for a type 1 so please be VERY careful if you’re diabetic and PLEASE do this diet in conjunction with your medical professionals just to make sure it is suitable for you.

I could crap on all day about the benefits of a low carb diet, and I probably will later.

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Good points there R&B regarding the medical :heavy_check_mark: from your GP.

I would recommend obtaining a full blood panel with as much detail as possible before a drastic diet change {which going low carb is}.

You want to be able to follow up in 12 months and see how your Fasting Glucose, HDL, LDL and Triglycerides are travelling, as well as other important markers.
A break up of that LDL is useful also, but I don’t believe it’s free in OZ to get that level of detail.
Whether or not you believe that high LDL plays some sought of role in the progression of heart disease, it would be a concern if your LDL shot up 3 fold after commencing a high Fat diet which naturally tends to comprise high Saturated Fat.

The lipid system is wildly complicated and far out of my scope.
In Ben Greenfield’s new book, he outlines a portion of the population who have this reaction to high Saturated Fat in their diet…

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Low carbs makes me lose my appetite and think clearer. The hard bit is being organised to eat that way. Did keto for a while but not sustainable for me long term.

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I’m coming to the sad realisation that i have a gluten sensitivity. I’m hoping it’s just from over consumption. I eat pasta or bread 4 out of 7 days a week. Beer a couple of days a week. It’s at the stage where i wake up in a fair bit of pain. I’m only 5 days into cutting out gluten and waking up feeling better already. I’ve heard that if you have a non coeliac sensitivity then your body repairs itself very quickly and you can re-incorporate gluten into your diet with a bit of moderation and be fine. I’m hoping this works for me because this is my ■■■■■■■ nightmare.

Sorry i know it’s a little off topic. Would like to know if anybody else has had a similar experience though.

Finding out what is sustainable for you long term is an important key to weight loss and healthy eating. It can be easy to fall off the wagon if it gets too difficult.
Just cut down if you can, or you may be to find days when you can minimize carbs altogether.
Intermittent fasting is another option which may be possible for you from time to time, even on days when you’re not watching your diet.

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I assume because you love pasta and want to re-introduce it ?

Try zucchini noodles as an alternative.
Just use a vegetable peeler and make long strands that will resemble fettuccine (or spaghetti like strands if preferred).

In time, you will be pouring your sauce over all combinations of veggies.
Obviously, the veggies can be varied, so you get a slightly different flavour profile each time.
I doubt you’ll miss the pasta.

I used to bake my own Keto bread in the oven with any combo of Almond Flour, Hemp Flour, Flaxseed Meal, Coconut Flour etc…
Since purchasing a waffle maker, it’s just so easy to make a bread substitute in minutes.

Not airy like bread, but still pretty good.

There are alternatives if you are ultimately unable to consume gluten again.

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Yes. Virtually all of my favourite food has either bread or pasta. Thanks for the suggestions. Hopefully a month or 2 taking it easy will help.

If it all goes pear shaped, Gluten Free Pasta may be your only option.
Assuming you want the mouth feel of real pasta {kinda}.

As an Italian, I totally get it.

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I’ve found just eating less than my recommended daily intake and exercising every day is enough for me to lose weight, I still eat some bad food here and there but as long as I stick within the max intake I will loss weight. I was 103kg in early December and now sit at around 85kg, less weight makes exercising easier as well.

Have to go easy on rice and pasta obviously and need to pick my battles with takeaway, a little app called MyFitnessPal has been a great help in identifying what my intake should be and what every food and drink I have will effect it. Couldn’t recommend that app enough.

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@megz will be loving this one. “So much misinformation” hahaha

Pete Evans demands you all activate his almonds.

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go and get tested first. You might be FODMAPS (short chain carbos). See my post above. I did what you did…felt great, lost weight…but to do the test you need to be eating gluten whether it is FODMAPS or a gluten allergy

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That’s a bit errm rich

Not going to touch it, CBF arguing on the internet with zealots. If it works for people whatever. I hate the “health halo”. They literally stalk people on twitter to have a go at them and accuse them of making people fat. But eh, of people want to cut out whole food groups they can suffer the consequences.

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