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  1. #1
    Registered User Al.Capone's Avatar
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    What's the deal with low carb diets?

    First of all I just want to say that I understand that the fundamental principle of weight change is calories in vs. calories out. I don't fully agree with IIFYM, but I do agree in that statement.

    So, why do I see low carb diets being eaten and talked about in everyday general life as well as the gym?

    I have a work colleague who does a lot of cardio and a little lifting. He recently went on a no carb diet. When I asked him what his reasoning behind this was he told me that it'd help him get leaner. Now, I know that if he's in a calorific deficit he'll lean out and lose weight, but what's the point of cutting your carbs out? Does this help you get dryer? Why is lowering your carbs such a big deal?

    Can somebody enlighten me please? Are carbs more fattening and bloating than protein or fat? Why do these diets?
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  2. #2
    Slangin' Vitamins Jen0va's Avatar
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    you dont fully agree that a diet should be comprised of mostly minimally processed foods while meeting macronutrient and micronutrient sufficiency?


    good luck with your goals -.-
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  3. #3
    Registered User SwiftyX's Avatar
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    The general population has less of need for carbs in the first place. That's besides the point. For the average person....Elimination of carbs does 2 things, 1.)it limits food choices thus creating (for many) an easy way to be in a deficit without counting calories. 2.)Normally improves the feeling of fullness. On the whole Protein and fats are more satiating than carbs (for many people, this is somewhat individual though.)

    That is why it helps some people. Why people choose to do it is because it's been beaten into public knowledge, falsely, that carbs are bad. Couple that with the bull about the "metabolic advantage" and you have people using low carb as thier go to dieting strategy. When you move into a more knowledgeable group of people as a whole the reasons for doing it change and the % of people who use it diminishes.
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  4. #4
    Registered User MNTiburon's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Al.Capone View Post
    First of all I just want to say that I understand that the fundamental principle of weight change is calories in vs. calories out. I don't fully agree with IIFYM, but I do agree in that statement.

    So, why do I see low carb diets being eaten and talked about in everyday general life as well as the gym?

    I have a work colleague who does a lot of cardio and a little lifting. He recently went on a no carb diet. When I asked him what his reasoning behind this was he told me that it'd help him get leaner. Now, I know that if he's in a calorific deficit he'll lean out and lose weight, but what's the point of cutting your carbs out? Does this help you get dryer? Why is lowering your carbs such a big deal?

    Can somebody enlighten me please? Are carbs more fattening and bloating than protein or fat? Why do these diets?
    If you are not eating carbs your body gets energy by burning fat stores. Great for lowering body fat, not so great for your kidneys.

    thhttp://www.livestrong.com/article/410560-protein-ketones-and-kidney-stones/
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  5. #5
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    One of the reasons why I eat low carb is, not so much weight loss or muscle gain even though it seems to have helped me in this respect, it is that I've found low carb eating most helpful at manipulating cholesterol numbers.

    An example about that ~

    "Making sense out of lipid changes"

    http://blog.trackyourplaque.com/2009...d-changes.html
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    Originally Posted by SwiftyX View Post
    Elimination of carbs does 2 things, 1.)it limits food choices thus creating (for many) an easy way to be in a deficit without counting calories.
    This^^^ It's a lot easier(and tastier) to eat 1k calories of carbs than protein ^^
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  7. #7
    Registered User SwiftyX's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MNTiburon View Post
    If you are not eating carbs your body gets energy by burning fat stores. Great for lowering body fat, not so great for your kidneys.
    And the fats you eat, which have to go up. Any plan with sufficient protein and efas that leaves you in a deficit will be great for lowering BF. Low carb is no more effective than a isocaloric mixed diet.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Al.Capone's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jen0va View Post
    you dont fully agree that a diet should be comprised of mostly minimally processed foods while meeting macronutrient and micronutrient sufficiency?


    good luck with your goals -.-
    What you've just described, is in my mind, eating clean. IIFYM has no specific definition; the definition is the acronym. That means you can stuff your face with processed crap 'IIFYM'.

    Originally Posted by SwiftyX View Post
    The general population has less of need for carbs in the first place. That's besides the point. For the average person....Elimination of carbs does 2 things, 1.)it limits food choices thus creating (for many) an easy way to be in a deficit without counting calories. 2.)Normally improves the feeling of fullness. On the whole Protein and fats are more satiating than carbs (for many people, this is somewhat individual though.)
    This is pretty much what I thought. So I'm guessing there is no major benefit to dropping your carbs?

    Originally Posted by MNTiburon View Post
    If you are not eating carbs your body gets energy by burning fat stores. Great for lowering body fat, not so great for your kidneys.

    thhttp://www.livestrong.com/article/410560-protein-ketones-and-kidney-stones/
    So, it increases ketosis?

    Originally Posted by SwiftyX View Post
    And the fats you eat, which have to go up. Any plan with sufficient protein and efas that leaves you in a deficit will be great for lowering BF. Low carb is no more effective than a isocaloric mixed diet.
    Again, so the low carb diets are mostly BS?
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  9. #9
    Registered User MNTiburon's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SwiftyX View Post
    And the fats you eat, which have to go up. Any plan with sufficient protein and efas that leaves you in a deficit will be great for lowering BF. Low carb is no more effective than a isocaloric mixed diet.
    Right. I much prefer the isocaloric route. I tried a low-carb diet once as an experiment, and noticed mood change. As long as you make sure you're getting the right kind of carbs (complex and fruit) isocaloric is the way to go imho.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by Al.Capone View Post
    Again, so the low carb diets are mostly BS?
    Any diet someone enjoys and can stick to I won't call BS. There is just no advantage over an isocaloric normal mixed diet. The true benefits of any diet come from adherance.
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  11. #11
    Registered User SwiftyX's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MNTiburon View Post
    As long as you make sure you're getting the right kind of carbs (complex and fruit) isocaloric is the way to go imho.
    You sure are saying a lot of things right now.
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  12. #12
    Registered User graffiti36's Avatar
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    while its a fact that its calories in vs calories out for the most part, minimal factors can also contribute to better and faster results.

    This applies to caffeine, fat burners, etc.
    If you exclude the metabolic benefits that you could be taking advantage of you are limiting your potential
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  13. #13
    Registered User MNTiburon's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SwiftyX View Post
    You sure are saying a lot of things right now.

    There are pros and cons to every diet. For me personally I found the isocaloric diet much easier to adhere to, and it didn't affect my mood. And now that I know more about the effects on the kidneys I see no reason to be on a low carb diet. Sorry for the randomness.
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    Originally Posted by graffiti36 View Post
    while its a fact that its calories in vs calories out for the most part, minimal factors can also contribute to better and faster results.

    This applies to caffeine, fat burners, etc.
    If you exclude the metabolic benefits that you could be taking advantage of you are limiting your potential
    I interpret this as implying that there's a metabolic benefit to low carb. Could you elaborate?
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    Originally Posted by Al.Capone View Post
    What you've just described, is in my mind, eating clean. IIFYM has no specific definition; the definition is the acronym. That means you can stuff your face with processed crap 'IIFYM'.
    How can you say that? Sure, a lot, and I mean a lot, of people use IIFYM as an excuse to stuff their face with anything in sight, but you are missing the point. IIFYM means If It Fits Your Macros, you can eat whatever you want. How do you possibly say that has no meaning? I find it to be great because it helps with the mental aspect of dieting. The only reason I agree with it is simply because a ton of people flip out when they eat out. Something along the lines of, "I ate all dirty calories today. I'm going to get fat." No, dirty calories don't make you fat. Eating too many calories causes weight gain. I love it when somebody tells me that it's quality > quantity. If you eat less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Just because you eat clean calories, doesn't mean you aren't going to get fat. Also, when you eat clean calories, they can still be stored. There is no magic calorie that will automatically be used as energy.

    Sure, eating cleaner calories might have an effect on long term health, but I also believe that being fat is bad for you too. I try to eat clean calories, but when I eat "dirty", I continue to lose weight. I'm down 20lbs as of yesterday.
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    Originally Posted by RollTideNation View Post
    How can you say that? Sure, a lot, and I mean a lot, of people use IIFYM as an excuse to stuff their face with anything in sight, but you are missing the point. IIFYM means If It Fits Your Macros, you can eat whatever you want. How do you possibly say that has no meaning? I find it to be great because it helps with the mental aspect of dieting. The only reason I agree with it is simply because a ton of people flip out when they eat out. Something along the lines of, "I ate all dirty calories today. I'm going to get fat." No, dirty calories don't make you fat. Eating too many calories causes weight gain. I love it when somebody tells me that it's quality > quantity. If you eat less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Just because you eat clean calories, doesn't mean you aren't going to get fat. Also, when you eat clean calories, they can still be stored. There is no magic calorie that will automatically be used as energy.

    Sure, eating cleaner calories might have an effect on long term health, but I also believe that being fat is bad for you too. I try to eat clean calories, but when I eat "dirty", I continue to lose weight. I'm down 20lbs as of yesterday.

    It's just a hell of a lot easier to keep your macros in check if you're eating say, hummus with your carrots instead of ranch dressing.
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    Originally Posted by MNTiburon View Post
    There are pros and cons to every diet. For me personally I found the isocaloric diet much easier to adhere to, and it didn't affect my mood. And now that I know more about the effects on the kidneys I see no reason to be on a low carb diet. Sorry for the randomness.
    You do not know what isocaloric means apparently.
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    Originally Posted by MNTiburon View Post
    There are pros and cons to every diet. For me personally I found the isocaloric diet much easier to adhere to, and it didn't affect my mood.
    Please example.

    Originally Posted by MNTiburon View Post
    It's just a hell of a lot easier to keep your macros in check if you're eating say, hummus with your carrots instead of ranch dressing.
    Please explain.
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    Originally Posted by RollTideNation View Post
    How can you say that? Sure, a lot, and I mean a lot, of people use IIFYM as an excuse to stuff their face with anything in sight, but you are missing the point. IIFYM means If It Fits Your Macros, you can eat whatever you want. How do you possibly say that has no meaning? I find it to be great because it helps with the mental aspect of dieting. The only reason I agree with it is simply because a ton of people flip out when they eat out. Something along the lines of, "I ate all dirty calories today. I'm going to get fat." No, dirty calories don't make you fat. Eating too many calories causes weight gain. I love it when somebody tells me that it's quality > quantity. If you eat less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Just because you eat clean calories, doesn't mean you aren't going to get fat. Also, when you eat clean calories, they can still be stored. There is no magic calorie that will automatically be used as energy.

    Sure, eating cleaner calories might have an effect on long term health, but I also believe that being fat is bad for you too. I try to eat clean calories, but when I eat "dirty", I continue to lose weight. I'm down 20lbs as of yesterday.
    I don't really want to derail my own thread with this seperate argument.

    The problem I have with IIFYM is that it is ambiguous and questionable for health. A cheap microwave lasagne from Walmart or wherever, maybe the same as a venison steak with sweet potatoe in terms of calories and macronutrient ratio, but it's micronutrient profile is absolute garbage, and the artificial colours, flavourings, ammonia, and god knows what else is bad news for your health.

    In moderation, these foods are 'okay'. Lets say 90% of your diet is 'clean', and the remainder is 'dirty', I'd personally call that a relatively 'clean' diet. Here's my problem with IIFYM: Originally that school of thought was about eating whatever the phuck you like.... wait for it.... if it fits your macros. Since people have started to question this philosophy because it's really not particularly healthy, not in terms of macros, but in terms of poor micronutrient profiling and other nasties, the IIFYM camp have started to add two words to the end of their beloved acronym: IIFYM in moderation. I've noticed people like Ian McCarthy starting to use 'in moderation' as a suffix to that acronym now because it's a cop out from the original philosophy of eating whatever you like, whenever you want... IIFYM. In my opinion IIFYM is just another way of saying 'eating relatively clean'. It's now become a meaningless term.
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    IIFYM was always about moderation.


    Heck, use Discretionary Calorie Allowance if you ****ing want to.




    On another point, you can eat 'clean' for a whole day, chicken+rice+olive oil, and still meet your macros, but you'd be deficient in important micronutrients. Therefore eating 'clean' would **** you up in the long term.
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    The other problem with many in the IIFYM crowd is they refuse to admit that certain foods are better than others. No amount of spin doctoring is going to change the fact that, all things being equal, 300 calories of broccoli is more nutrient dense than 300 calories of potato chips. That kind of extremism is irritating, even though I mostly support the IIFYM style.
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    Originally Posted by Al.Capone View Post
    I don't really want to derail my own thread with this seperate argument.

    The problem I have with IIFYM is that it is ambiguous and questionable for health. A cheap microwave lasagne from Walmart or wherever, maybe the same as a venison steak with sweet potatoe in terms of calories and macronutrient ratio, but it's micronutrient profile is absolute garbage, and the artificial colours, flavourings, ammonia, and god knows what else is bad news for your health.

    In moderation, these foods are 'okay'. Lets say 90% of your diet is 'clean', and the remainder is 'dirty', I'd personally call that a relatively 'clean' diet. Here's my problem with IIFYM: Originally that school of thought was about eating whatever the phuck you like.... wait for it.... if it fits your macros. Since people have started to question this philosophy because it's really not particularly healthy, not in terms of macros, but in terms of poor micronutrient profiling and other nasties, the IIFYM camp have started to add two words to the end of their beloved acronym: IIFYM in moderation. I've noticed people like Ian McCarthy starting to use 'in moderation' as a suffix to that acronym now because it's a cop out from the original philosophy of eating whatever you like, whenever you want... IIFYM. In my opinion IIFYM is just another way of saying 'eating relatively clean'. It's now become a meaningless term.
    Actually, IIFYM's is just a renamed version of the long understood and accepted concept of DCA, which was intended to help people who ask very elementary questions about nutrition, such as the follow, understand the basics of nutrition:

    Originally Posted by Al.Capone View Post
    Can somebody enlighten me please? Are carbs more fattening and bloating than protein or fat? Why do these diets?
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    When I drop my carbs which is what I'm doing now it helps me reach a calorie deficit a little easier while keeping my protein intake the same or slightly higher and my fats around .5g * my body weight. I'll adjust carbs for days/workouts where I'll need that extra amount to get through my workout. By no means am I lowering carbs based on what the media states. It's more of what has worked for me through experimenting.
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    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    Actually, IIFYM's is just a renamed version of the long understood and accepted concept of DCA, which was intended to help people who ask very elementary questions about nutrition, such as the follow, understand the basics of nutrition:
    Okay, I can see that. The only reason why I mentioned IIFYM in my OP is because I wanted to seperate that out of my question and just focus on why people go on low carb diets.

    There seems to be an underlying assumption that lowering your carbs makes you more lean. I didn't get it.
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    Originally Posted by Anthony21 View Post
    When I drop my carbs which is what I'm doing now it helps me reach a calorie deficit a little easier while keeping my protein intake the same or slightly higher and my fats around .5g * my body weight. I'll adjust carbs for days/workouts where I'll need that extra amount to get through my workout. By no means am I lowering carbs based on what the media states. It's more of what has worked for me through experimenting.
    Yep. Totally understandable.

    So, as I understand so far IIT... having a low ratio of carbs has no massive benefit over an isocaloric ratio, apart from maybe triggering ketosis which aids fat loss? Have I got that right?
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    I didn't get it.
    You're not the only one. LC and VLC started out confusing and slowly mutated into a militant cult when their hypotheses kept failing the test of time. Low carb works, but mostly in that it also decreases calories.
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    Originally Posted by Al.Capone View Post
    So, as I understand so far IIT... having a low ratio of carbs has no massive benefit over an isocaloric ratio, apart from maybe triggering ketosis which aids fat loss? Have I got that right?
    Frankly, you're making no sense whatsoever. I suggest you read about IIFYM as that offers a simplified explanation of the basics of nutrition for people like you that are having a very hard time grasping the really basic stuff.

    Or just read: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0804748
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    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    Frankly, you're making no sense whatsoever. I suggest you read about IIFYM as that offers a simplified explanation of the basics of nutrition for people like you that are having a very hard time grasping the really basic stuff.

    Or just read: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0804748
    Huh? I'm not talking about IIFYM.

    How about you tell me if it's so easy...

    Does lowering carbs make you more lean/trigger fat loss or not?
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    Originally Posted by Al.Capone View Post
    Huh? I'm not talking about IIFYM.

    How about you tell me if it's so easy...

    Does lowering carbs make you more lean/trigger fat loss or not?
    It's like you didn't read the thread at all.
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    Originally Posted by Al.Capone View Post
    Huh? I'm not talking about IIFYM.
    I'm saying that you are having a very hard time grasping the most basic concepts of nutrition and you're stating things in an entirely illogical way.

    Thus, I suggest you read the stickies and, if that content is too complex for you, read about IIFYM's, as it might help you understand the basics.
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