How much carbs does everyone have? - Weight Loss NHS

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How much carbs does everyone have?

Hidden
Hidden1 stone

Do you have carbs with every meal or limit it to one meal?

Should I be eating bread, white pasta, white potatoes and white rice at all? If not, why not?

For me I find carbs more filling than protein yet everyone on here tells me its the other way round. How come?

I struggle so much with this.

Lizzy

27 Replies
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Aqua_marine
Aqua_marineRestart Nov 2019

I eat white rice, brown bread, pasta and porrige. I just keep within the calorie limit I have been set.

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Hi Lizzy - I prefer the wholegrain carb versions but my pet Neanderthals here do not!! Sometimes I win, sometimes I do not, so there is always plenty of "white" carb in this house.

For a dieter, I think what you like and the calorie limit thing is the most important consideration - it's important you eat food which you enjoy so you don't get all deprived and depraved!

Of course, carb heavy is the "Slimming World" green version which lots of people would swear by.

I would add that historically I've dieted using carb heavy meals - and have been anxious to hang on to a sandwich lunch and pasta suppers etc - and it can work. However, this time round, I've been doing a lot more protein - I have become very keen on the roast in the bag chickens from Aldi / co-op and quite often pick at the leftovers if I'm hungry between meals. I've noticed that the calories are negligible and to be honest it doesn't "set me off" as a carb snack would - ie toast usually has something on it... and then you might as well have.... (you get the idea)! And protein really does seem to fill me up for longer without distracting me into actively thinking about food (when I'm supposed to be getting on with something else anyway). A more protein based diet is sort of the Slimming World red version - which of course a lot of people swear by.

Overall, I think it's up to you - find out what works and do that. If you get bored - then perhaps try switching it round to keep you focused?

Good luck!

Hidden
Hidden1 stone
in reply to Hidden

Thanks Runningsoon - great ideas. And you're right about enjoying it otherwise I know I'll fail 😃

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Hi Lizzy :-) I find the carbs issue a real tough one !

I 'think' that for me personally it seems to make a difference to my weight loss if I reduce my starchy carb intake. So I always eat porridge for breakfast, sometimes have a whole/half bagel for lunch, and try not to have too much (if any) rice/pasta/potato in the evening. I try not to eat 'white carbs' (eat wholemeal if possible) - just basically because everything you read suggests brown is better. I try to eat more protein (snack on cooked chicken quite often).

I am trying some alternatives though - for lunch today I substituted the half bagel I normally have with a poached egg for a grilled portobello mushroom and a quorn sausage. I won't have rice with anything now - I make cauliflower rice instead - which makes me feel a bit better when for ease of cooking we get a curry ready meal from Sainsburys.

Hidden
Hidden1 stone
in reply to Hidden

Haven't as yet made cauliflower rice. Any tips on how to make it?

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in reply to Hidden

I just take the raw cauliflower florets, blitz it in a food processor 'til it kind of rice size. I then just fry it quickly (a few minutes) in a wok with a bit of olive oil spray. I sometimes add a bit of salt and pepper, depending on what its being served with. Lovely :-)

I struggle too.

How many carbs you eat can depend on how active you are, and whether or not you are at risk of developing diabetes.

The type of carbs you eat seems to be important. The more processed they are, the quicker they raise your insulin levels. You could eat the 'brown', higher fibre versions of the food you mentioned, or you could try swapping rice for quinoa, white potatoes for sweet potatoes, in some of your meals. Something like porridge for breakfast is a good way to start the day for a lot of people.

I don't eat carbs with every meal, but it took some time to get used to doing that. I had to make sure to eat a lot of other veg instead.

This is a list of of some healthy carbs that might be useful.

authoritynutrition.com/12-h...

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Hidden1 stone
in reply to Penel

Great link 😃

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I have a sandwich for lunch every day (wholemeal bread). I do have a small amount on most evenings, ie 50g pasta, but pad it out with lots of veggies. I split a baked potato with my OH, to reduce the calories and try to swap pasta for cous cous where I can.

Two separate gym instructors have told me to cut the carbs after 5pm and fill up on protein. It is hard, and I might have to resort to this to shift the last couple of pounds.

Good luck with finding out what works best for you, it might be a process of elimination, but will stand you in good stead for the weeks ahead.

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to Hidden

Same here jane-ski about the message from the gym - I've always been told at the gym that no (starchy) carbs in the evening helps with the weight loss, and I have to say in my case that either reducing them or sometimes cutting them out completely in the evening seems to make a difference.

Hidden
Hidden1 stone
in reply to Hidden

Great advice - thank you. Past gym instructors have said the same to me and I have tried to do that or at least moderate the amount.

Zest
ZestHealthy BMI

Hi Lizzy,

Apologies in advance that I seem to have written 'an essay' (almost) as my answer, but talking about carbs is a subject that I feel passionate about, so I felt the need to write a long reply!

Personally, I eat carbs (mainly complex ones like brown rice, wholemeal pasta, wholegrain breads, lots of vegetables and leafy greens, porridge for breakfast) at nearly every meal, and also in most snacks there will be a carbohydrate element (again opting for complex carbs whenever I can).

Carbohydrates are essential macronutrients, and I think the recommended amount of carbs in a healthy balanced diet is 30%. Our brain requires carbs to function properly, therefore I regard them as essential, unless someone was advised to reduce them as part of a medical intervention.

I tend to avoid refined carbohydrates such as sugar, and also restrict my intake of white rice, white bread etc because those are what are all called 'simple' carbs, i.e. those foods containing just one or two units of molecules (monosaccharides or disaccharides) and they therefore cause steeper blood sugar spikes (and result in greater insulin release) as they are broken down quickly and enter the blood stream quickly - especially if eaten in isolation from other foods.

Complex carbs (porridge, wholegrain breads and brown rice, wholemeal pasta, starchy vegetables etc) are polysaccharides, which means that they are composed of longer chains of saccharide units and therefore take more time and energy for the body to break down, meaning they don't cause the same sugar spike as simple carbs. Fibrous carbs like porridge and fibrous vegetables are particularly good, as they help our gut health and cannot be fully broken down by the digestive system, and they help other waste pass through our system more readily. I eat these readily and I thoroughly enjoy them daily and as a component of most meals and snacks.

If there aren't any complex carbs available (e.g. in a restaurant) then I do choose items such as some white rice, but I would eat the rice or potatoes or white pasta alongside other foods to bring the glycaemic 'load' of the meal down - for example. a jacket potato is better eaten alongside some fat and some protein, than it is by itself. Hope that makes sense. Patrick Holford has written quite a lot about this way of eating, and he recommends eating a combination of foods within each meal and snack (i.e. some protein, some fat, and some carbohydrate), and I have followed this advice generally, and found it really helpful. Vegetables are complex carbs too - sometimes people forget that and don't realise - they are so healthy and having a rainbow of colours on the plate enables a range of nutrients. Lovely!

On occasions where I've deviated from that, and eaten a food in isolation, then I've found that my energy levels are compromised.

I know there are many views on carbs and it is an interesting subject. I'm glad you asked the question, as it's good to see the range of responses.

Hope you have a great week.

Lowcal :-)

Hidden
Hidden1 stone
in reply to Zest

Thanks Lowcal - good to hear from you how you deal with carbs. Great advice and tips 😃😃

It's only been this year that I have eaten a high number of carbohydrates whilst losing weight. I lost the bulk of my weight eating very low carb and yes, it certainly worked, but sustaining the loss/maintaining the loss wasn't easy. I kept a large proportion of the weight off (and still have) but I can't really say I was that much healthier. I now enjoy eating healthy and I experiment with cooking. I focus on satisfaction and nutrients, besides just carbs and calories. Overall, I much prefer how I eat now. I have cut out all white carbs though and don't eat bread. (mainly because bread causes cravings in me) White carbs are just unnecessary in my opinion. Calories wise there is generally no difference, but nutrition wise there almost certainly is.

My carb staples are:

Quinoa

Brown rice

Rice noodles

Oats

Wholewheat tortillas

I also eat fruit, soya yoghurt, veg, and seeds and nuts. And then non carbs I have meat and/or eggs every day. I have fish instead of meat on occasion. I don't consume any dairy.

I love eating this way, and even though my weight loss would definitely be quicker if I restricted the carbs, my health would be worse. If I don't feel like my meal needs additional carbs, I leave them out, but I add them where necessary. I just try and listen to my body.

Hi Lizzy, I think as well as a wide range in opinion, there is also a wide range in what suits us as individuals. I haven't eaten meat for over 30 years, and like many vegetarians ate a high carb diet, but earlier this year I cut out refined sugars to try to help a couple of health issues and that led to me looking at the starchy carbs I was eating too. I think most people would agree the refined or white versions of bread, rice etc aren't so good for you as they have less micronutrients, less fibre and spike blood sugar and therefore insulin quicker than the wholemeal versions, or lower GI carbs such as quinoa and bulgar wheat. For the last 7 or so months I've reduced my carb intake, not drastically low but down from probably 50% of my food to 25- 30%. As far as feeling full goes, carbs really fill me up at the time, but then I'm hungry again quicker than if I'd had less carbs and more fat/protein. In contrast to advice people have been given at the gym, I find I need carbs more in the evening, otherwise I'll have a headache and not sleep so well. In the day I do better with lower carb breakfast and lunch, but it also depends what I'm doing! If it's a physically active day I get better sustained energy if I go low carb, but if I need to do a lot of mental concentration then I need some carbs. I would say try the " brown" versions of your starchy carbs as they are better nutritionally, and with amounts/ timing experiment to see what works for you, a diary helps ☀️

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in reply to Fran182716

I think it's really tricky when you have cut meat out of your diet to balance up the carbs/protein etc. We stopped eating meat & fish a few years ago - but I found that we were struggling not to eat too much 'bad stuff' - especially when you just wanted something quick to eat. I did put on weight and that's part of the reason why we went back to eating meat after a year or so. My daughter now only eats fish, and we don't have much meat in general - but I do find it useful to be able to 'snack' on some cooked chicken. I'm not sure what high protein snack I could replace this with, without it also being high calorie (eg nuts, cheese etc)

Fran182716
Fran182716
in reply to Hidden

Hi Lucca, I think back in the 1980s when I stopped eating meat everyone was convinced vegetarians would lack protein and we went to great lengths to combine different foods to get complete protien (i.e. Containing all the amino acids that animal protein has) but I've since learned that too much protien puts quite a strain on your liver and kidneys. It's a much bigger headache for vegans but if like me you eat eggs, dairy and some fish you're getting plenty. I've also learned not to fear fat (unprocessed fat) which seemed alien at first with all the years we've been told it's bad for us, but in reality it's very satiating and I find I just don't want to eat loads of it so nuts and cheese I'm fine with as a small portion is plenty ☀️

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in reply to Fran182716

Yes, I remember that whole issue about the 'complete protein' confused me when we were looking into it. I would like to go back to not eating meat - perhaps once I've reached target weight and am just trying to maintain, I might feel a bit more confident about eating the right things.

I try to stay on low carbs. 100gm to 120 gm daily in 03 portions.

I find that eating carbs has a soporific effect on me so I tend to limit them during my working week to evenings.

Also I notice the more carbs I eat the more my body retains water giving the impression of weight gain when it's only water.

I also make a lot of carb substitutions i.e courgette spaghetti, cauliflower rice, sweet potato, slim pasta, quinoa etc... (carbs that have a lower GI).

I'm eating rice, pasta, whole meal bread or wraps but make sure I'm having good with it and sticking to my daily calories. tonights dinner will be a fat free curry with rice and I will have something green on my plate with it. Lunch was a whole meal wrap with salad n chicken. it's working for me n keeping me full.

I eat what I like, exercise and happy to say I've reached my goal weight") For me, when I stopped playing all the "food games" or following "rules" out of desperation to lose weight is when I finally lost the weight. Honestly, I didn't understand half the rules in the first place and I surely didn't enjoy following them, just didn't feel natural to me. I like bread and sugar, there...I said it, lol! To say I'm NEVER going to eat them again sounded ridiculous and was! Probably the sole reason I was fat for so long, not to mention I started asking people who advised (although well intentioned I'm sure) me to stop eating them if they were at goal? The overall answer was no? So why was I taking this advice???? You tell me? Finally, I started eating what I felt like eating, logging my food, exercising and the weight came off! I eat sugar and bread daily, mixed with veggies meat and whatever else. What I don't do anymore is consume my days with rules and anxiety of what I'm going to eat, which for me was all consuming! I also don't jump from diet to diet like I did in the past and I feel great because my body just feels balanced. Never felt that way when I was in the chaos of crazy rules and restrictions!

I hope this helps and wish you all the best!

Concerned
ConcernedAmbassador

Fructose is the worst offender; it thickens blood seven times as much as glucose. Excess is turned to the dangerous central fat that emanates from the liver. That then leaves us susceptible to insulin resistance. Too much insulin/IGF-1 results in abnormal growth of the lining of arteries; the narrowing that leads to atherosclerosis that we've been told for decades was due to saturated fat.

The sad thing is that we are aware that high-glycaemic foods are 'not ideal' in that they spike blood glucose (and consequently insulin), but this has been claimed to be 'preferable' to consuming fat.

Fat actually slows digestion (as do acids such as lemon juice), so adding fat to carbs actually lowers the Gi.

We also shouldn't eat lean protein, since that is the fastest way to deplete our liver of vitamin A. Hunters used to suffer the extreme of this, known as rabbit starvation, resulting in sickness, diarrhoea, and potentially even death.

The Perfect Health Diet claims that about 15% of the calories we eat needs to come from protein (though we use this for growth, maintenance and repair, not fuel). The remainder of our energy comes from carbohydrate and fat in a ratio of about 1:2, so Lowcals assertion of 30% of energy is about right. However, most mainstream healthy eating currently recommends an intake of 50-60% of energy from carbs. Of course we should recognise that when we are losing weight, ideally the weight loss is coming from 'burned' fat, which is making up that portion of fat 'intake'.

Hi Lizzy,

I am personally experimenting with a low carb, high protein and fat diet. It's making the world of difference to how I feel, not sure how much it's impacting weightloss, although with protein packed meals I do eat smaller portions.

It took a few weeks to get over that satisfying, filled up feeling that pasta or potatoes gave me. But now (2-3 weeks later) I hardly miss it! In fact, a plate of cheesy pasta doesn't even appeal anymore, even though it used to be my go-to meal!

I would say that although pasta and potatoes and rice fill you up quickly, bloating the tummy and making you feel more "stuffed", protein fills you up for longer.

Also try eating more slowly, if you haven't already, to really learn your body's signs for telling you you're full. I used to eat until I was stuffed, but now I'm learning to stop when my body has had enough, rather than when it simply can't take any more.

Try replace simple carb foods with harder-working carbs e.g sweet potato has as many calories + a great deal more nutrients and minerals than potatoes.

Sorry for the long reply, hope it's helpful!

Hidden
Hidden1 stone
in reply to Jellymummy

It's really helpful - thank you 😃😃

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