Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Low Carb Diet

I think we have all heard about low carb diets like the Atkins diet. They have become recently more popular with the restructuring of the food pyramid.

My dad started on a low carb diet back in January. He has had type 1 diabetes since he was very young and a few years ago was diagnosed with celiacs disease which means he can't eat gluten (wheat products). Since January he has been eating less carbs (with the help of a dietitian that he has been seeing since before I was born) and it really has helped him a lot. He has more energy now and has lost the extra weight he had.

With the help of my dad, I decided to start counting the carbs that I was in taking per day. I have been using the daily plate site to help me keep track over the past two weeks. This is a decent site but sometimes it doesn't have exactly the right foods and nutrition values so its good for a rough estimate of daily eats. Before starting this I kept track of my carb intake to use as a comparison and I was eating at the very least 400 grams per day.

I set a goal of about 100 carbs per day. This was just a test mark value and it would be varied as I went along. At first it was hard because I was very hungry between meals but as the days went on it got easier. On average now I am eating between 120-150 grams of carbohydrates per day. I did find that after my long runs I eat more carbs (close to 200 grams).

For breakfast I have been eating 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon, coffee and a fruit (usually a banana). Lunch and dinner can vary but I have stayed away from pasta and other carbo-loading foods. Snacks include cheese or anything with low carbs and protein.

Eating fewer carbohydrates has helped me to feel less "full" or "stuffed" after a meal. I still have the same energy level as before and my morning runs have been great. I am not sure if I have really lost any weight from this, but that is not the reason I am doing this. By following this diet, it will help you slim down by helping you lose the fat and not the muscle.

Now I am not suggesting that anyone should go on this diet, this is just my own experience. I don't know all the information about this diet so if you are interested in this I would suggest doing some research yourself. Eating lower carbohydrates is really an interesting concept for me and it seems to be working. You don't need to give up bread or anything like that, its just all about moderation and not eating three meals that are packed with carbs.

If anyone has any questions feel free to comment and I will try my best to answer them.

Onto today's running - Tempo Tuesday!! Currently I am staying with B-Rabbit and his family and so I have new places to run. B went to the gym so I ran there and got in 5.2 miles for the run with 3.7 at tempo pace. Thanks for all the encouraging comments about running the 5k this weekend. I think I have my running schedule all figured out, now just to get my social calender arranged and I will be good to go for the race! Hope everyone has a great Tuesday!

18 comments:

Amy said...

I think you're right. I think in general, most people eat more carbs than they need. And cutting back on some of the unhealthy carbs can really make a difference.

But damn. It's so hard for me to cut back on sugar. :)

I'm glad it's working well for you!

Natalie D said...

wow! I feel like 100 carbs would be impossible for me. I am always over 200.

MizFit said...

and your energy is ok?
I think Im comparatively low carb (compared to average american) but I think a 100 I might be lethargic?

D10 said...

I am such a carb eater! I really just love them, but I don't think I go that overboard. Glad it is working out for you. You'll have to keep us updated on your progress.

tfh said...

If it works for you, cool! I have a hard time counting anything-- too little patience-- but I definitely feel better having eliminated refined carbs, most of the time. I used to be a total carb monster. I could eat a loaf of bread in one sitting. :)

Lacey Nicole said...

thanks for your thoughts on this!!! if i got started on this and really grocery shopped with a point to get foods that work here i bet i could do this. string cheese is a great idea, i should get some of that and eat it instead of crackers or bars. have you found it hard to count carbs?? do you have a handy way of doing this and what are the carb counts for some common foods you eat? thanks!!! :) 3.7 tempo run that is GREAT! nice work!!!! remember when you thought 3 miles sounded long back in the middle of track :)

carpeviam said...

I think this is a good idea. I've experimented with some other "diets" to see how it effects my running, and I'm willing to have a go at this one with you. The carb load prior to a long run or race is still crucial for me, though. I'm slightly superstitious and I have to stick with what works. However, the other 5-6 days of the week, this is completely feasible.

Girl on Top said...

Going to check out the daily plate right now.

Jamie said...

Glad it is working for you. I really need to get my carb intake under control but I don't think I could get it that low!

X-Country2 said...

I wouldn't last 5 minutes on a low carb diet. :o)

Interesting info though. Thanks for typing it all out.

Jeri said...

Good job on the tempo run and being able to control your carb intake. :)

I Run for Fun said...

Counting carbs is a great way to get conscious about controlling weight gain. Once you get used to it, it becomes simple to stick to the theme.

HEATHER said...

ooh I would fall over without my carbs!! Although, I do need to start watching what KIND of carbs I eat...more than I would like to admit are white sugar, white bread, etc :(

Heather C said...

Glad you bumped it up to ~150, and 200g after a long run is much closer to what you need :) as long as this is working for you, then that's all that matters! Atkins is an EXTREME low-carb philosophy, this is much more reasonable and seems like you've really tailored it to your own needs.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I LOVE carbs. But I really do need to eat less. I have been kind of trying to only have carbs at 1 or 2meals a day, but I often end up feeling kind of crappy and get carb-brain if I don't eat enough. But, maybe it just takes a few days of cutting back and my body will get used to it! I'll have to give it a try!

Nicole said...

I wish i knew how many carbs i ate a day. actually i'm glad i dont... its probably a sick amount. FAIL

so glad your running the 5k this weekend! your probably gonna blow your PR out of the water! i've been staying at brian's some nights and its nice looking at different trees & houses, plus i get chased by different dogs. HAHA

:) happy tempo tuesday! i think i might copy you and have tempo tuesday too lol

Marlene said...

I've experimented with low-carb in the past. It just doesn't seem to wkr for me, although I do try to avoid having three carb-dense meals every day. Glad to hear it's working for you!

Kristin said...

It's good to watch your carb intake and not go overboard, but as endurance athletes we need carbs (a lot more than average people) to maintain our energy. (As I'm sure you know!)

Atkins advocates a high fat diet (lots of cheese and cholesterol loaded meats) so be careful about that (although you said you're not doing that extreme).

I tried that back when it was new and it just didn't make sense to me that I had to limit my fruit and whole grain intake, but I could eat all the fatty cheeses and meats I wanted!

But I definitely agree that limiting carbs can help with shedding pounds, but just be careful that you're getting as much as you need to keep up with your training :)