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Will I lose weight if I UP my carbs?

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  • Will I lose weight if I UP my carbs?

    Hi there!

    I know that paleo/primal is not a low carb diet... But I was SUCH a high carb eater, that just cutting out grains alone plummeted me into a low carb state. (not much of a fruit eater). I've been tracking my food and I've been eating between 50-100 carbs daily and my ratio's have been about 55% fat, 20% carbs, 25% protein - give or take.

    It's been a few weeks and I am just outright EXHAUSTED! I can't even explain how tired I feel. And I thought I'd "push through" thinking my body was undergoing a shock of switching from burning sugar to burning fat. But after a few weeks, I have only lost 1 pound and my hair is now starting to fall out in clumps!

    Upon researching, it appears that dropping my carbs that low, that fast will hinder my T3 levels and make my metabolism plummet -- and think that's what happened with me.

    But then other things I read, say if I raise my carbs over 100, I will hinder my weight loss. (Which I think is already hindered by my thyroid/metabolism).

    I know that raising my carbs (maybe adding an apple or two?) will probably help my fatigue. But will I still lose weight? Or will I just maintain.

    I think I've cut my calories a little too much too - but not purposefully... I came from a high carb, low protein, low fat diet and so eating all that fat is very very filling... so the hunger just hasn't been there. And my calories have been ranging from 1000-1300. (I'm 5'2" female). (My original plan was to eat between 1300-1600).

    Anyway, sorry this turned into a book. Any insight would be wonderful! Thanks so much!

    Sparkly

  • #2
    If your hair is falling out so quickly from changing your diet, it was either too drastic a change or you have something else going on (such as thyroid issues). Do you have any known medical issues?

    You never know if you don't try. I would say absolutely eat more and eat more carbs.
    Depression Lies

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    • #3
      I don't see how 30g of carbs and 140 calories a day (approx 2 apples) is going to damage your weight loss. I also do not think you magically lose weight at 99g of carbs and gain weight at 101g. Eat an apple or two. Eat a sweet potato. See how you feel doing so for a week or two.

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      • #4
        namelesswonder - yes, I have an autoimmune disease (which is why I started paleo) - (ankylosing spondylitis). I know it's only been a few weeks, but dropping from a severely high carb diet to a relatively low carb diet has been the only major change I have made and I wasn't this exhausted (nor was my hair falling out) before.

        canio - LOL - well, yes... you are right, I do know that at 99 grams = weight loss while 101 grams = gain is silly... But there's so much conflicting information out there and I'm totally new to this (former vegan). When you read posts about people who complain they aren't losing weight, the response is almost always "How many carbs are you eating?"

        I did bring an extra apple with me to snack on later. I don't like sweet potatoes, but I can definitely add more fruit to my diet and see how I feel.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sparklylikeaholiday View Post
          canio - LOL - well, yes... you are right, I do know that at 99 grams = weight loss while 101 grams = gain is silly... But there's so much conflicting information out there and I'm totally new to this (former vegan). When you read posts about people who complain they aren't losing weight, the response is almost always "How many carbs are you eating?"

          I did bring an extra apple with me to snack on later. I don't like sweet potatoes, but I can definitely add more fruit to my diet and see how I feel.
          Sorry, I did not mean to imply that you were being silly, but some do get caught up in the numbers. They do act as if they eat one more bite of apple they hit a tragic carb number and gain 10 pounds as if by the magic of the macro-fairy.

          For me it seems to be more about balance. Some people (see the local peat folks) do much better on high carbs. Others (knifegill and paleobird) do much better on close to no carbs. I do better on an amount between those two groups. If I eat too much fruit or too much sugar I want to eat everything that isn't nailed down. If I cut carbs I get dizzy, light headed, and very irritable.


          It is about finding the balance that works for you. If you are feeling like crap try increasing your carbs a little at a time and see how you feel. If you feel better (without making your autoimmune issues worse) keep doing it. You can be low carb compared to most of America while still eating more carbs than the average primal carnavore

          Edit: I think many people who are not losing weight get asked about their carbs because for many extra carbs are a trigger to over eat. Also, some people say things like "I had a few nuts" when they mean "I ate 500 calories of nuts as a snack three times a day" Asking for more concrete amounts makes it easier to give suggestions.
          Last edited by canio6; 10-02-2013, 09:36 AM.

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          • #6
            You have already gotten some great advice. Try adding 25 g of carb (1 apple) to your daily intake. If you feel better, then stay at that level. If not, add another 25 grams from another source (sweet potato). Just experiment until you find your best macro levels. This way of eating has to be livable for you.
            Primal since 9/24/2010
            "Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." Miguel de Cervantes

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools
            MFP username: MDAPebbles67

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            • #7
              Canio,

              No worries, I wasn't offended at all... :-)

              I don't want to be wrapped up in the numbers! I've never tracked my food before, so I think that I am trying to fine tune what works for me -- like you said, the balance. I want to feel good, but still lose weight.

              In the end, my health will be all the better off - weight lost or not. Afterall, a couple pieces of fruit per day certainly beats the half loaf of bread I'd eat in the past!

              I chuckled at the "few nuts" = 500 calories of nuts. LOL

              Ultimately, my goal is to feel good, lose a few pounds and minimize the effects of my disease without having to take more medication. If the former and the latter happen without the middle - that's STILL better than what I was before! :-) But I do find the middle to be motivating! :-)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Pebbles67 View Post
                You have already gotten some great advice. Try adding 25 g of carb (1 apple) to your daily intake. If you feel better, then stay at that level. If not, add another 25 grams from another source (sweet potato). Just experiment until you find your best macro levels. This way of eating has to be livable for you.
                Thanks Pebbles! I agree... anyone's way of eating has to be livable... otherwise, they won't stick with it! (Well, I know I wouldn't, anyway!) :-)

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                • #9
                  You are simply suffering low carb flu. Some people do lose their hair with a sudden change to a carb restricted diet. It does not mean that your metabolism has plummeted or anything like that. Other sudden changes can also make you lose hair temporarily. 50-100g of carbs isn't so low that you will cause damage to yourself. Give yourself a little time to adjust. Things you can do:

                  - get more sodium, potassium and magnesium in your diet.
                  - eat an orange section or a sliver of apple if you are feeling weak or dizzy. Carry around a bag of slices so you can have one now and then.
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                  • #10
                    I'm one of the ones that does better on higher carb -- and that means breaking the holy 100g carb limit. For me, it also means sliding towards the Peat side, as starchy carbs give me less results than fruity or sugary carbs. Aka, a bit like how I used to eat... I'm finally, finally losing the weight that I've gained back over the last year.

                    Some do well on low carb, some don't. You have to find what works for you, trial and error one thing for a few weeks. No one thing works perfectly for everyone.

                    I lost a lot of hair on low carb as well, just another n=1. I do have a (slow!) thyroid issue, fwiw.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sparklylikeaholiday View Post
                      've been tracking my food and I've been eating between 50-100 carbs daily and my ratio's have been about 55% fat, 20% carbs, 25% protein - give or take.

                      It's been a few weeks and I am just outright EXHAUSTED!
                      That happens to a lot of people, don't sweat it. I was on the "50g/day" plan for about a year. Eventually I was too fit and active for that, and this past summer I completely restructured my macros. Now my base targets are ~275g carbs, 175g protein, 60g fat.

                      Three months later, I'm 20 pounds lighter, body fat is melting, running 10k, cycling 45k, swimming a mile at a time, and my lifts are heavier than ever.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks guys! I am so tired I am in a daze most of the time... And the hair thing freaks me out! I think I will up my carbs slowly until I hit the threshold of where I feel better and then go from there! :-)

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                        • #13
                          Carb consumption does not affect weight loss at all. You are losing your hair, and you feel horrible, but nutters here will tell you to keep on going low carb! You may feel better in a week or two, but unless you think you function better on low carb/ketosis, restricting this macro nutrient group is stupid.
                          Last edited by AMonkey; 10-02-2013, 08:01 PM.
                          http://lifemutt.blogspot.sg/ - Gaming, Food Reviews and Life in Singapore

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                          • #14
                            Perhaps you need more calories overall? 1000-1300 isn't a whole lot really, even for a woman. I don't calorie count, but I tracked my intake over a week and it's more like 1800-2000 most days, which is spookily close to what "they" recommend. I'm 5'4 and female, without autoimmune disease but with a damaged gut . If you eat a very low calorie diet - and 1000 calories or less is usually considered very low calorie - then your metabolism can quite literally go to sleep.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks guys! I did up my calories a little - I had about 1700 yesterday and am shaping up to have around the same today. I also upped my carbs a little by adding some more fruit.

                              Another thing I am going to try is supplementing magnesium. I have a magnesium oil spray that I ordered at the same time I ordered my Vitamin D about 5 months ago (my dr. told me to start taking D because mine was low).

                              I read that vitamin D uses up your magnesium when being absorbed (or converted, or whatever it uses magnesium for) and so I got the two together. I used the magnesium once or twice, but then forgot about it. I've been taking 6k IU of vitamin D all this time (5k in the Vitamin D pill and 1k is in my fish oil supplement) - and no magnesium.

                              So between upping my calories, upping my carbs and re-starting the magnesium, I am hoping my case of the exhaustion blues will cease! *fingers crossed*

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