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Low carbers- what is your limit?

I just started a low(er) carb "diet". I have done South Beach before, but on South Beach they just encourage you to eat from the right categories and don't force you to count calories or carbs etc. I am still adhering to phase 1 South Beach foods, but I recently starting using an app that logs your daily food and tells you how many calories, carbs, fat, protein, sodium, and sugar you've had. It give me a goal of 1200 calories a day, 150 carbs, 50 grams of fat, and 65 for protein. I've been staying under the calorie count by 100 calories or so, and under the carb count (carbs have been under 65 each day). I have gone over the fat and protein count by about 10 points each day however. Can anyone with better information than me tell me if this is a whole lot? Is it bad, or is it within the boundaries of a lower carb/higher protein diet?

Also, what number do you keep your carb intake under? Most of my carbs come from beans, I think.

P.S. My goal is weight loss.

Edit: The downfall of this app is, it doesn't seem to account for fiber. So it only tells me total carb, not net carb.

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  1. I try to keep it at around 100 per day, 150 max. Net.
    I feel best at this level.
    I am not trying to lose weight though. Most of my carbs come from vegetable and low carb crackers. Little to none from sugar.
    When I go "off rail" on weekends, I do fasting for a day to clear out. Works for me to keep thin, have energy for fitness stuff and have good sustained daily energy.
    You have to let your body tell you what feels right. Labs from your doc will also let you know if your choices are good.

    18 Replies
    1. re: sedimental

      Thanks for the input! I'm also told that initial sluggishness will dissipate once the body becomes accustomed to the lower carb diet (in a week or two).

      Honestly, the hardest part is going to be giving up my wine. (I tend to go overboard). I'm sticking to gin and diet soda if I go out haha.

      1. re: Meowzerz

        Virtually no carbs in dry red or white wines. Like 2 per serving. FYI. :)

        1. re: Meowzerz

          It may also take some extra salt and potassium, flushed away with the initial water whoosh. Makes you feel heavy headed, fatigued, etc. Morton Blended Lite salt is a great remedy.

          1. re: Meowzerz

            Red wine is recommended on low carb, dry red wine. 4 grams of carbs in 4 oz, I believe. But those grams lower post meal glucose release.

            1. re: Meowzerz

              Keeping some electrolyte water on hand can really help you get adjusted and get over the hump while your body is changing fuel sources. As mcf mentioned, its the salt and potassium you need.

            2. re: sedimental

              sedimental...I'm diabetic and need to limit my carb intake. You mentioned low carb crackers. Can you tell me what brands you eat? I didn't have any luck @ Trader Joe's or Costco sourcing them. Thanks!

              1. re: zackly

                I don't know what your limit is, but my favorite cracker is Dr. kracker, pumpkin cheddar. The cracker is *big*the size of a piece of bread, 11g carb for the whole thing ( you don't have to eat the whole thing, like me;) 4 fiber, 0 sugar, 5g protein, 100 calories, very filling and crunchy!

                I also eat Benito's. They are chips made from beans. I count them out, so I don't go over my personal limit. They have good numbers for me. The blue colored sea salt black beans are my favorites.

                My shopping guide for crackers and chips is that the max is that they be in the teens for carbs, they must have fiber and for at least 12 pieces for the serving, pref no sugars. Typically, I eat 6 chips with a dip and feel satisfied is why I look for 12 per serving, then I just divide in half for easy math :)

                1. re: sedimental

                  I recently heard something interesting about crackers. When the serving size is unrealistically small, the producer might be trying to hide something, like trans fats.

                  From NPR:
                  "The Food and Drug Administration allows foods to contain up to 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving and still be labeled as having zero grams of trans fat."

                  I realize this is a little out of context, here, but, I just thought I'd throw it out there.

                  I suppose most people in this forum are used to looking carefully at nutritional information, but, this is going to get me looking more closely.

                  1. re: johnseberg

                    This is true for a lot of things because of the way the FDA regulates nutrition facts and not necessarily new news. You have to look at the actual ingredients.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      Yeah, the referenced NPR report is 5 years old. I've been listening to a lot of podcasts, recently - not sure where I heard it. News to me, though.

                      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

                      1. re: johnseberg

                        Of course, I didn't mean to sound dismissive which I realized it might have come off as. It's true, it's amazing how much we have to do to make sure we're putting in our bodies what we want and don't want. We can't even read the summary label anymore...have to get down to the nitty gritty details. I always feel silly flipping over packages in the store but I have 3 key areas I look at and within 5 seconds I can usually decide whether a product is even an option.

                  2. re: sedimental

                    Thanks, I ordered both the Dr. Kracker, Pumpkin Cheddar and the Ryvita Rye & Oat Bran from Amazon yesterday.

                  3. re: zackly

                    I love the new Ryvita Crisp rye cracker. Has some added salt and a very delicate crisp, good flavor.

                    1. re: mcf

                      Not a real low carber here - I just can't / won't give up eating fruit - but I wanted to chime in o/b/o the Ryvita crispbreads. I like all the varieties I've tried. They average 40 calories with 6g carb / 2g fiber per piece, and are excellent with cheese or nut butter or when you just have a hankering for something crunchy and hearty.

                      1. re: cookie monster

                        I like Ryvita more than Wasa and other brands but for me, the new Crunch variety rye is the top of the line for texture and flavor.

                        1. re: mcf

                          Agreed - Ryvita is much more like a cracker and less like cardboard than Wasa. I'll have to look for the Crunch rye.

                          1. re: mcf

                            Can you link to it, mcf? The new crunch variety? I don't see it. The only ones I have tried were like cardboard. I would like to try this new one.

                            Nevermind, I found it on amazon :)

                            1. re: sedimental

                              I think the salt and the more light/delicate crispness is what sets it apart from, say, their cardboardy light rye. I like some of the others that are a tad too carby for me, but this is my new fave.

                  4. Depending how how tall/heavy you are currently, 1200 calories sounds VERY low, especially on a low-carb plan. Also, 150g of carbs is not particularly low-carb, especially if you are only eating 1200 cals a day (that would mean that half of your calories are coming from carbs - not a low-carb approach by any stretch).

                    I would ignore the goals set for you by the app and set goals of your own, based on what works for your body. For instance, I have a hard time losing weight on anything more than 20g of carbs a day (Atkins induction level) if that's all I'm doing. If I exercise, I need a few more carbs or my body just won't lose (and I have limited energy for workouts), but I still try to keep it under 100g a day, often less. I don't really count calories but when I have tracked them, I find that I eat around 2000 a day on Atkins, closer to 1800 a day when I'm exercising and eating a few more carbs.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: biondanonima

                      Those are good points!
                      Also, when I am up at 150 carb count, I consider myself having a medium carb day. I think I've read that the standard American diet contains an average of over 300 carbs per day (high).

                      I alternate pretty wildly each day but seem to have a pattern related more to carbs than to calories. After I have a few moderate or high carb days in a row, I feel really crappy :(

                      1. re: sedimental

                        Yes, unless I'm working out like crazy, I get what I call a "carb hangover" from too many carby days in a row. 100g a day, or 400 cals worth of carbs, is less than 25% of my normal caloric intake for the day and feels right to me when I am trying to fuel workouts. 150g or 600 cals would be 33% of my food for the day - doable but I would probably feel it if I did it too many days in a row. I've been a low-carber for so long now that I can't even remember HOW to eat the SAD way!

                        1. re: biondanonima

                          I'm 5'3'', and 160 lbs, trying to get back down to 130ish. I have been under 65g of carbs per day. 150g is not "low carb" to me lol. They gave me that goal, but that's because the app doesn't know I'm trying a low carb approach. I really don't think I could ever do under 20g per day however. I don't eat meat other than fish occasionally so my protein is a bit more limited, and veggie/soy meats often contain some carbs.

                      2. re: biondanonima

                        I agree, 100-150 is no longer low carb, though it may be a big reduction from what the OP was eating before. 100 is the typical threshold for inducing fat burning for fuel.

                      3. 1200 cal a day is very very low- unless you are 4'8 and sedentary.
                        If you drop your calories too low your body will go into "starvation mode" and it will be very difficult to lose weight vs a slightly higher caloric intake where your body does not think its starving and therefore keeps burning energy (calories) effeciently.
                        Please do some research based on your height, weight, and activity level to determin a better calorie goal so you are successful and not miserable!

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                          Thanks for the info! Well, I'm 5'3'' and the app gave me a 1200 cal goal per day! It did seem low on paper, I've been okay so far, but I really don't want to kill my metabolism so I think I'll have to reevaluate. I selected the "light" activity level because at present I only work out once or twice a week, but do have a job where I am on my feet and walking around all day. The app is myfitnesspal.com . . . I'm starting to question it's reliability now.

                          1. re: Meowzerz

                            I think 1200 calories per day sound fine, That is a standard calorie restricted diet. It is just that you don't typically do *such* low carb and low cal at the same time. That is really narrowing down your food choices and you might get bored quickly with it.

                            Low carb usually means plenty of meat and fats, thus higher calorie. If you are almost vegetarian, you must be getting your calories mainly from fats?

                            Usually, on a strict low carb diet, you can eat more calories and still lose weight.
                            It's the only diet that encourages butter on your veggies ;)

                            1. re: sedimental

                              1200 cals a day sounds normal if you're trying to lose with calorie restriction, but LC and low-cal don't usually go together, as sedimental mentioned. You're not very tall/big (and I assume you're female), but I still think 1200 cals sounds very low on a LC approach.

                              A friend of mine recently showed me this cool web tool: http://www.freedieting.com/tools/nutr...
                              You might play around with entering different caloric goals and "diet ratios" and see what you come up with, then see what works best for your body.

                              1. re: biondanonima

                                Thank you so much! I really appreciate your and sedimental's help on this. I will try to adjust my approach and I'll update this post if I have any luck :-)

                            2. re: Meowzerz

                              It sounds like you understand what a few of us were saying about low carb vs low cal vs both at the same time...

                              Fyi seitan is actually very low in carbs with a ton of protein- there's a great vegan jerkey from Primal Strips that has 10g protein and 100cal, makes a great filling snack (amazon sells them by the box for a good price or whole foods has individually)

                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                Wow vegan jerky! I wonder if I'd like it. I've had seitan and enjoyed it. Thanks for the suggestion.

                                1. re: Meowzerz

                                  Yup!
                                  I have literally tried all their flavors- avoid the mesquite lime- the thai peanut and hickory are my favorites!
                                  http://www.primalspiritfoods.com/prod...

                              2. re: Meowzerz

                                I'm 5 feet tall and also aim for a 1200 calorie a day diet. However, I'm not also low carbing it. I don't count my carbs at all and only pay attention to calories, for the most part. I've tried low carb diets before and I don't do very well on them, so a low calorie diet I find works best for me. As others have stated, I definitely don't find 1200 calories a day to be too low, and I don't think I'd personally be able to consume much more than that and still lose weight. I also have sporadic cheat days, though where I don't count. If I'm going to a nice dinner with a friend or to a party, I eat what I want. I've managed to lose between 10-15 lbs doing this, but at the moment I'm mostly just maintaining. I haven't been able to lose anymore for awhile. I'm not over weight, not was I to begins with, but for my personal ideal body, I'd like to lose about 5 more. I think I'll get there once Spring and Summer hit and my activity level is increased more. It's during those months that I lost most of my weight last year.

                                1. re: SaraAshley

                                  Do you workout?

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    Twice a week I run a mile or 2 outside and 4 days a week I get on my elliptical after work for 10-15 minutes. I'll include some sit-ups and squats in there, but only occasionally.

                              3. re: Ttrockwood

                                1200 may be low for some, but different folks in different age groups find they gain on it.

                                When I ate vegetarian and low fat, I maintained my weight on 800 calories per day. Switching to low carb allowed me to increase that to 1200.

                                After years of low carbing a pig out day is 1600 or so.

                                Hormones, not height and weight, determine how many calories are low or starvation reflex inducing. But in general, 600-800 cals per day is what's discussed in the clnical literatue.

                                We're all very different, metabolically.

                              4. I keep my carbs under 80 g Monday-Friday usually around 60 g total with 40 g net carbs. Saturday I allow myself to have up to 100 g and every Sunday or every other Sunday I do a carb refeed depending on my workouts. I powerlift 4 times a week with cardio in between so I time refeeds depending on how I'm feeling in the gym.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  Thanks for sharing! It's interesting to me to see what everyone tries to aim for.

                                2. I ignore net carbs in favor of total. Close to half the fiber is metabolized after all, but slowly. Because I'm diabetic, I don't follow any diet plan, but I used a free online software to track everything I age for years and found for me, personally, staying in a non starchy 30- to a maximum 70 gms per day keeps my blood glucose in low normal non diabetic range, using no meds.

                                  For me, personally, the macronutrient breakdown that works best is 50-55% fat, 30-35% protein and the rest high fiber, non starchy carbs. But protein needs do not change with your caloric level, you need it to stay adequate for your lean body mass no matter what else you're eating. I get around 100 gms of protein daily.

                                  I highly recommend tracking your results and doing what your body, not a pop diet book, says is best. How much of what you're losing is fat, vs. muscle, how is your energy, mood, alertness, etc.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: mcf

                                    I agree, I also focus on total carbs but if I am approaching my daily carb upper limit but the a significant portion is fiber I do consider that. I usually don't increase my upper limit but many days I have nearly 50% of carbs from fiber.

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      Fiber advocates have been winning me over, lately. The idea is that fiber (and resistant starch) is metabolized to short chain fatty acids. This generally makes the colon happy, it likes SCFA. The process is driven by gut flora, and when they're happy, immune regulation is improved.

                                      If what I'm being told is correct, fiber metabolites include little or no glucose. I suppose it all depends on the makeup of one's gut flora, though.

                                      1. re: johnseberg

                                        I think mcf learned that it sort of counts by monitoring blood sugar but I'm mostly with ya.

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          Also by reading research that found (goodhealthgourmet knows the exact numbers) different calorie counts for soluble and insoluble fiber. Under 2 calories per gram for each, one a bit lower than the other.

                                          Yeah, I seem to digest both sugar alcohols and fiber very well.

                                  2. I stay in ketosis under 50g of total carbs a day but most days fall around 20-30g. I don't eat grains or beans so other than the small amount of heavy cream in my morning coffee my carbs generally come from non-starchy veggies. My calories naturally fall between 1500-1700 and I lose a couple of pounds every week consistently. If I were to just calorie count, the weight loss calculators would have me at 1200 calories a day. If I want to drop a few more pounds than that quickly I drop my carbs to around 20g a day for a week or two. (For the record, 5'6" tall and I'm not diabetic or insulin resistant so I don't have to severely restrict, I've just found that it really works for me and is where I feel my best. I do/ did have a hormone imbalance that is correcting itself by eating this way.)

                                    21 Replies
                                    1. re: weezieduzzit

                                      Interesting! Are you referring to total carbs or net carbs? 20g seems soo low, even for a day or two. But the idea is intriguing. And your weight loss rate is great. I keep mine under 70, usually around 50 (total). Maybe I could aim for a couple days a week around 30g or under.

                                      1. re: Meowzerz

                                        20g is pretty low but many people can't stay in ketosis with any more than that. When I was doing Atkins, I needed to stay in the 20-30g range to lose, and that was total, not net. Other people have more leeway. You'll have to experiment to see what works best for you!

                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                          Do the 20g days not include many vegetables?

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            Actually, the 20 gms per day induction calls for 2 cups of veggies per day. Not a ton, but more than most high carbers are eating.

                                            1. re: mcf

                                              True, but 2 cups of veggies that's like hardly any. Not making any judgement just pondering the thought of only 2 cups of veggies per day.

                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                It's hardly any to us, but that's the minimum on Atkins induction. Depending on which veggies you choose, you could be eating much more, as long as you stay withing 20 gms carbs per day during induction. So for me, that's a boatload of mixed baby greens, many cups. http://www.sparkpeople.com/calories-i...

                                                Or four cups of raw spinach (which I'd saute or make creamed

                                                )

                                                Or cabbage in slaw or sauteed.

                                              2. re: mcf

                                                Yes, there is no way I could stick with only 2 cups of vegetables per day. I also eat a really wide variety of vegetables and don't always pick the lower carb choices.

                                                I am always surprised at people that consider peas and corn in the same category as lettuce :)
                                                .... I think everyone should read Atkins once, just for an easy read to learn about about sugars in food.

                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                  I couldn't stand Atkins' book's tone as compared to the Eades in Protein Power. BTW, the proteinpower.com blog is superb and he reposted a guide to low carb success recently.

                                                  The Eades made no scientifically unsupported claims and they explained everything so well in lay language.

                                                  But a lot of folks got control of their lives and health by reading Atkins, too.

                                                2. re: mcf

                                                  Induction is 20 grams net carbs which is very different than 20 grams total carbs.

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    Actually, in the older Atkins books (like the 1992 version and earlier), he didn't make much distinction between total and net carbs. I think there's just one sentence in the 1992 book (which is what I used when I started low-carbing) that says something about fiber being a legitimate deduction from your daily totals. I always tried to count total, although if I ate something with a ton of fiber (like an avocado) I might subtract half of those carbs.

                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                      Initially, Atkins didn't allow fiber deduction, I believe, but he allowed it for all his frankenfood ingredients, not such a great idea, IMO.

                                                      But still, if you choose your veggies wisely, you can eat a lot of carbs by volume even on induction.

                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    20g actually allows for a fair amount of veg if you stick with VLC things like lettuce/greens. I would generally have a salad for lunch with 2-3 cups of romaine or mixed lettuces, and then another couple of cups of spinach at dinner. It's certainly less veg than I eat now, but I don't really find it that hard to stick to. I run into trouble during Brussels sprout season, though - they are a bit higher in carb and I find it VERY hard to limit myself to just a half cup or so! I can eat them by the pound!

                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                      I know my carb counts are higher often because I eat higher carb veg all the time, even on my "lower carb days". Tomato and onion are favorite daily vegetables.

                                                      Unless you are diabetic or always trying to lose weight, it seems like sticking with an Atkins approach would be very limiting, especially with condiments and dishes from other cuisines.

                                                      I think of it like this:
                                                      20 to 50 as very low carb
                                                      50 to 100. as low carb
                                                      100 to 150 as moderate carb
                                                      And over 150 as higher carb
                                                      That seems to be the way a lot of LC blogs and sites categorize it too.

                                                      Primal diets are more low to moderate carb and that is typically where I fall, and can I fall very low carb to high carb occasionally too on a particular day.

                                                      As I am not diabetic or losing weight, I look at carb intake by the total day or week, which is a different approach than what others might do for their own goals.

                                                      It is interesting to see what others do!

                                                      1. re: sedimental

                                                        Atkins approach is not limiting any more than any other; the 20 gram limit is for the first two weeks only. Except for those like biondanomina who doesn't lose on less.

                                                        Atkins calls for raising your carbs to your personal weight loss limit, then raising them to your maintenance limit once at goal.

                                                        My thinking is very close to yours about what's low -high. Though I'd put the very low probably down to 40 max, but that's personal.

                                                        I think the most important level is the one each individual finds most helpful, and it's so variable. I remember in Protein Power the Eades said they had maybe one or very rare patients who could go up as high as 150 on maintenance. Of course, folks who seek doctor's help for weight loss are likely those who most need the restriction due to insulin resistance or other metabolic/endocrine reason.

                                                        1. re: sedimental

                                                          Oh yes, staying with the induction phase of Atkins is very limiting - it gets frustrating, especially in the summer when so many beautiful things are in season. Unfortunately, I was never really able to lose on more than 30g a day max, but then again, it didn't really take THAT long to lose what I wanted to lose. For maintenance I don't really even count carbs - I just don't eat bread/pasta/grains/sweets except for the VERY occasional cheat (unless I'm working out, in which case I might add one small serving of these things daily). Unlimited vegetables and small quantities of LC fruits don't cause me to gain.

                                                        2. re: biondanonima

                                                          Me, too, and I snack on the leftovers cold. YUM.

                                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                                            I know, those darn sprouts. They sit in my fridge until I have a day that I've barely eaten other veggies so I can afford to eat them.

                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                            fldhky, every day includes a lot of vegetables! Most of them, these days, are right out of the garden. My ipod is charging so I don't have the amounts in my tracker but yesterday alone I had snow peas, mushrooms, cucumbers, avocado, carrots, and cauliflower. Its amazing how much you can fit in to 23-30g a day when your carbs aren't really coming from anywhere else. (I do have home made kefir every day and some heavy cream in my morning coffee but I'm working on using less and less- I have 1 oz. a day- 1 g carb. If I have cheese the count is closer to 30g for the day 'cause I lose some self control.... I love me some cheese......)

                                                            Asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, cabbage, squashes, mushrooms and of course, all kinds of leafy greens are easy to fit in, too. The higher carb ones, like carrot, are eaten in much smaller amounts (they were in sushi rolls with cauliflower rice, avocado, cuke, and smoked salmon last night- just a little sprinkling of them.) When the tomatoes are ripe my carb count will be higher, I would never eliminate them- too delicious and too good for me.

                                                            Meowzerz, you have to experiment until you find what works for you. I generally eat 1500-1700 calories a day naturally (I don't limit what I can have, I'm just mindful of it.) I am NEVER hungry. I never feel deprived or like I'm going without. I eat a lot of food- full sized dinner plates full of food! I don't think I could eat any more than I do without being uncomfortable. If I were to be hungry I would simply eat more- especially since I know I can stay keto under 50g. (I tested with ketosticks until I found my limit.) I also, interestingly enough, found that I lose best if I have no more than 9g of carbs at a time. I read on body building sites that it is an upper limit and sure enough- for me, it works!

                                                            I'm nearing the end of my weight loss journey and am super curious so see where I will fall with carbs when I add a few things back (sweet potatoes!) I'm done with wheat, though- its not coming back. I feel too good without it! I've also *hopefully* finally gotten my thyroid back on track (the cause of my 50 pound weight gain in 4 months time......stay away from Depo Provera is all I've got to say.... ) so my energy levels are getting higher again, too!!!

                                                            1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                              I think I just eat large quantities of vegetables, my usual meal definitely has more than 9 g total carbs, probably 9 g net carbs but just 2 servings of kale is already 18 g. However, I powerlift and do cardio nearly every morning and have the most carbs right after a workout. I don't find it hard to stay under 50 g with tons of vegetables at each meal. My usual vegetables are kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage which make an appearance at nearly every meal. What cheese are you eating that adds a significant amount of carbs? I also am rarely hungry and if I am, am quickly satisfied by eating and don't get hungry for a very long time. Wow, that's interesting. I've been on Depo for who knows how long and hover around too small up until recently when my body decided to revolt after my grandma died. So glad to hear you're feeling better though.

                                                              1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                Just out of curiosity because it's fun for me to see what others eat, can you give us a quick run down of a day's meals.

                                                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                  THanks for the info! Interesting you mention Depo as a contributor to weight gain. I'm switching to hormone free birth control in the near future (have been on the pill for like 10 years). I never really could blame the pill for my weight gain because I'd stayed thin for the first 7 or 8 years while taking it. I've heard that about the shot though. But I do wonder if it'll help or hinder my weight loss when I switch to a non-hormonal method.

                                                        3. I'm 81 days into a keto diet, 1500 cal a day goal with no more than 20 net carbs. I have gone over my carbs three times thus far, but I go over my calories pretty regularly (and under regularly as well, so it's a wash.)

                                                          It's actually surprisingly easy once you get started-I dont eat any grains or sweets or really anything processed, and I get all of my carbs from veggies and (let's be real) alcohol and cheese. I have not had a piece of fruit since december, and I've had probably one total piece of bread across the entire time. The absolute hardest part is that I LOVE baking and my husband is 6'3" and 165 lbs of muscle, and he's dying for me to start "cooking like I used to." I've been baking and cooking separate meals for him lately because I miss it, but its a pain in the neck to make linguine with a french baguette for him and then eggs on a salad for me. However, I'm down two pants sizes and feeling so much better, so it's worth it!

                                                          As a piece of unsolicited advice to anyone new to low-carb or keto diets, I would recommend NOT trying to replicate your favorite carby foods with low-carb versions. That cauliflower pizza crust is going to leave you feeling sad and lonely, and those shiritake noodles do NOT taste like home-made spaghetti... learn to love new foods instead of trying to remake the old!

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: CarmenR

                                                            Congrats on the weight loss, and "I would recommend NOT trying to replicate your favorite carby foods with low-carb versions" is so true. Eat the foods for what they are. I like shirataki noodles but I'm not going to tell myself it's spaghetti, neither are zucchini noodles but on most days I'd choose them over pasta. I just don't have a taste for high carb food really.

                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                              I like shirataki noodles too, actually! And I like mashed cauliflower better than mashed potatoes! But I think it's a disappointing game to try to make low carb "muffins" and the like, plus then you get into the frankenfood zone where youre using a TON of artificial sweeteners and weird thickeners and whatnot.

                                                              I will admit, however, to wanting to try a low carb icecream recipe that I saw which called for xantham gum (which I actually have, the husband is a physics and gastro nerd and we have lots of weird additives from his experiments.) If I have success, I'll report back!

                                                              1. re: CarmenR

                                                                I've made good low carb ice cream, salted pistachio was my fave. I've read that vodka added to the mix removes the need for gums to keep it creamy, prevents the formation of ice crystals. Xyliltol is a moisturizing sweetener, sucralose alone creates a hard, dryer one

                                                                Tell us how you do!

                                                            2. re: CarmenR

                                                              Eh, I like the cauliflower pizza crust, but it's more like a cheesy flatbread than pizza crust.

                                                              I would generally avoid subs, too, and I'd also recommend staying away from artificial sweeteners. I have occasional protein bars, but I've generally trained myself off the sweet stuff and I think it helps enormously.

                                                              1. re: Savour

                                                                So true, it's definitely like a flatbread. I like that description.

                                                            3. IME, if you are low carbing, those apps way underestimate your fat and protein. I aim for sub 50 g carbs, about 80 g protein, and the rest fat. They probably underestimate your calories too. Most of my carbs come from vegetables, nuts, occasional fruit, and dairy. I think it's useful to count carbs OR calories - however, it's fairly typical that when you boost the fat and protein in your diet, your appetite will drop as well. Without consciously restricting, I find myself eating around 1500-1700 calories a day. You can set individual goals on my fitness pal (and track fiber as well. I think it's in settings).

                                                              I drink occasional red wine. It's a health food.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: Savour

                                                                Many, if not all, of the apps can be customized. Fitday was very easy to set to custom keto macros.

                                                                1. re: Savour

                                                                  How are they underestimating? You can log individual foods.

                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                    They give you goals, and the default goals I think are 50% carbs, 25/25 protein and fat. Maybe 20/30 protein/fat. So if you're looking at the macros on your default goals (which it sounds like the OP was) and you're low carbing, but coming near your calorie goal (also problematic) you're going to be going over your fat and protein goals. They underestimate the amount of fat and protein you should be eating if you're low carbing, because the default is a high-carb diet.

                                                                    1. re: Savour

                                                                      Oh I see, sorry I misunderstood. I track but I don't pay one second of attention to the "goals." I just look at the actual numbers. Those goals are useless to me. Now that you mention it I should see the % for my usual intake I'm sure it's way off their charts.

                                                                      1. re: Savour

                                                                        I used fitday for about a decade to track my foods. I didn't ever use any of their nutrition goals, I customized and created a huge database of my own foods, too.