Saffire's Weekly Low-Carb Tips

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Saffire, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. Saffire

    Saffire Guest

    *** This post originated in alt.support.diet.low-carb -- its appearance
    in any other forum is deceptive and unauthorized. ***


    ATKINS & OTHER LOW-CARB TIPS

    - If possible, give or throw away any leftover high-carb foods you may
    have in the house. I gave most of mine to a local food bank and the
    rest (like opened boxes of crackers, flour, etc.) to friends and
    relatives or even the trash.

    - READ THE LABELS! Just because something SAYS it's low-carb, that
    doesn't mean it IS. I got a free sample of something that is sold as a
    low-carb item, but it had 17 carbs AFTER subtracting the fiber and even
    sugar alcohols! That's not low-carb in MY book. If I were on
    induction, it would have taken up almost ALL the carbs for the entire
    day! BTW, in the US, nutritional labels show the total carbohydrate
    count and then list the fiber as a sub-category -- it's up to YOU to
    subtract the fiber. In Europe and some other countries, the fiber is
    PRE-deducted, so it's up to YOU to make the distinction and count
    accordingly.

    - One thing I was told about (via the Atkins book) (but it didn't sink
    in for the first couple of weeks until I saw a post here) was that I
    could SUBTRACT the fiber count from the carb count of items, so if an
    item has, for instance, 5 carbs, but 2 of them are fiber, the NET or
    EFFECTIVE carbs are 3. That's important to know when you are limiting
    carbs to 20 for the first couple of weeks! (NOTE that in some
    countries, the fiber is PRE-subtracted on the label.)

    - Pay attention to the SERVING SIZE on the nutrition label. What might
    SEEM to be a good deal carb-wise (or calorie-wise, for that matter)
    might actually be a miniscule portion and is almost NEVER an entire
    container's worth. For instance, YOU might think an entire can of
    something is ONE serving when, in reality, it's 2.5 servings.

    - Pay attention when something SAYS it's zero carb per serving. US law
    allows anything between 0 and .5 carbs to be labeled as ZERO carb and
    anything between .6-.9 carbs to be <1 carb. It's safer to count 1 carb
    or at least 1/2 carb for these items. For instance, my heavy cream says
    it's zero carb per Tbl, but it actually has about .5 carb, so an entire
    cup actually has EIGHT carbs. That can make a big difference when your
    carb budget for the day is only TWENTY carbs!

    - Keep track of what you eat. Fitday.com is an EXCELLENT way of doing
    this. I use an Excel spreadsheet myself. You'd be AMAZED at how much
    it can help you plan your day (or just finish it based on what you've
    already had -- you may need more or less foods or types of foods).

    - Measure and weigh! It's the only way to truly know how much of
    anything you are getting and eyeballing it can be deceiving. You may be
    eating more (or less) of something than you thought. I bought a bunch
    of sets of measuring spoons at Big Lots (49 cents for a set) because I
    use so many of them.

    - Get in the habit of weighing and measuring things that you wouldn't
    normally think to weigh and measure. For instance, I like Foster Farms
    hot wings that I get in a big bag from Costco. They listed the
    nutritional information for a serving size of "4 parts". I was eating
    them for a year and a half before I thought to weigh them and realized
    that their definition of a "part" was smaller than what I considered to
    be a SMALL part. Consequently, I had been taking in about 150% of the
    amount of calories and carbs that I THOUGHT I was. Then I started to
    measure the bones AFTER I ate and subtracted that amount from the total
    to get a more accurate count for the part that I ATE. Since all
    nutrition labels in the US ALSO show the serving in grams (usually in
    parentheses), regardless of whether the amount is in cups or parts or
    cans, you can always figure it out based on the fact that there are 28
    grams in one ounce.

    - NEVER assume that the amount of servings in a container is what the
    manufacturer SAYS it is. For instance, I've seen a can of sandwich
    spread that said it had 2.5 servings in it. It said each serving was
    1/4 cup. The entire CAN was only about 1/3 cup, so how did they get 2.5
    servings out of it? I buy a single big bar of baking chocolate. The
    package says it has 7 servings -- however, once you open it up, you can
    see that it is scored for only FIVE bars, not SEVEN. I had to figure
    out for myself how much a scored segment weighed and put THAT in my
    database. It was either that or weigh it each time and try to match the
    serving size on the box.

    - If you have trouble with portion control, try using smaller plates or
    bowls so that the servings fill the plate. Also, 1/2-cup Pyrex bowls
    come in handy to hold reasonable size servings of Jello, olives, nuts,
    etc.

    - Trader Joe's is a great place to find all kinds of great low-carb
    stuff if you have one in your area. I particularly like their Punjab
    Spinach Sauce.

    - The general consensus of this newsgroup seems to be to STAY AWAY from
    the low-carb bars & shakes, at least during induction. It is felt by
    many that the sugar alcohols used to sweeten them can a) have a laxative
    and/or STRONG gassy effect (that means you aren't metabolizing them and
    absorbing many of the carbs), or b) some people DO metabolize the sugar
    alcohols, so they ARE eating the FULL carb amount, not just the net
    carbs (but hey, you're not crapping your pants). I view it as a damned
    if you do and damned if you don't proposition, so pick your poison.
    They may be convenient, but they aren't NECESSARY for low-carbing. They
    are also VERY expensive and often taste like dirt. As you experiment
    with cooking and eating different things, you'll find yourself gaining a
    whole new appreciation for truly GOOD foods and won't want to WASTE your
    precious carbs on something that isn't really WORTH it. Many of us find
    that we'll buy something, decide it's not that great and simply throw it
    out because we KNOW we can do better than THAT :)

    - Aspartame can trigger cravings in some people. Splenda usually goes
    over very well, although some people DO have problems tolerating it. I
    switched to using liquid Splenda in a syrup base, which truly has zero
    carbs, as opposed to packets, which have .5-.9 carbs each.
    Unfortunately, the manufacturers of Splenda have licensing issues with
    small companies creating liquid Splenda in syrup bases, so supplies have
    now dwindled down to a trickle.

    - Caffeine can trigger cravings, but if you are addicted to it via
    coffee, taper off slowly to avoid excruciating caffeine withdrawal
    headaches.

    - Make a big batch of hard boiled eggs to keep in the fridge. When you
    find yourself opening the fridge out of habit, you'll see them and
    hopefully make the right choice. They are great to stave off hunger,
    AND they're nutritious and versatile.

    - Be sure to get enough fat. You can add olive oil and/or butter to all
    kinds of things, have whipped cream or bacon (Trader Joe's carries a
    brand that does not use sugar to cure it).

    - Make your own Jello using unsweetened Kool-Aid, Splenda and gelatine.
    Use 2 cups of liquid per each packet of gelatine.

    - EXERCISE! If you can, do some kind of weight training. Muscles need
    extra calories just to maintain them, so the more muscle you have, the
    faster you'll burn calories even when you're just sitting around. My
    body DEFINITELY changed for the better via exercise even though I had
    not lost a significant amount of weight.

    - Take measurements at the beginning so you can keep track. Sometimes
    you won't see any change on the scale, but you will lose inches. In
    fact, I can usually tell I've lost weight that way and the scale doesn't
    reflect it for another few days or even a week. Besides, it's a great
    feeling to make comparisons when you DO lose the inches :)

    - Don't get discouraged when your weight loss slows down after about 3
    weeks. A good portion of weight lost during induction is water loss.
    That's because, without a large amount of carbs in your diet, your body
    will start to use up its emergency store of glycogen in the liver. Each
    molecule of glycogen has about 4 molecules of water bound to it, so when
    it's freed up to use as energy, the water is shed. After that, the body
    will turn to fat to burn for energy, and the loss will most likely slow
    to 1-2 lbs per week. Some people lose more, some less. I'm one of the
    "less" :-( I usually lose only 2-4 lbs per month, if that, but I'm also
    fairly sedentary when I'm not actively exercising. Also, the heavier
    you are to begin with, the faster you'll lose weight comparatively
    speaking, at least that seems to be the tendency. As you get closer to
    your goal weight, the weight will come off more slowly.

    - Check out the progress photos that people refer to. They can be VERY
    inspirational! In fact, if you don't have a digital camera, GET one!
    You can take photos in the privacy of your home by using the timer
    feature and keep taking them until you get one that you are satisfied
    with. It's a good way to gauge your progress. You don't have to share
    them with ANYONE if you don't want to -- you can just tuck them away in
    a folder on your PC. Like taking measurements, you'll be glad you did
    this at the beginning, even if you don't like what you see at the
    moment.

    - If you can, take your scale to your doctor's office and compare your
    weight on it vs. the balance beam. Trust me, you do NOT want to THINK
    you are a certain weight only to be crushed later to find out you
    actually weigh 10 lbs MORE than that the way a some of us have. It's
    better to be brutally honest with yourself at the beginning and just
    move on from that point.

    - If you're a woman, your weight may go up during PMS. You probably
    already know that, but keep it in mind. I chart my progress and can
    always tell when it's about to hit due to that (I'm in peri-menopause,
    so I NEVER know whether it's going to be 2 weeks or 2 months apart).
    Many women lose the extra weight within a couple of days of starting
    their period (usually referred to as TOM (time of month) here), but some
    of us don't lose it until AFTER our TOM. No amount of logic, however,
    can quite overcome the dismay this temporary gain causes, so try not to
    let it get to you too much. This, too, shall pass (literally). Just
    stay the course and wait it out! Actually, I found this to be very good
    training for me to keep doing what I was doing and to be patient.

    - Think outside the box. You don't HAVE to have eggs, sausages, bacon
    or cereal for breakfast -- you can eat ANY kind of food (on plan, of
    course) at ANY time of the day or night. Have leftover stew? It would
    make a LOVELY breakfast! How about some chicken (I sometimes have hot
    wings for breakfast)? A nice salad would work, too. Be creative!

    - Be sure to get lots of fiber in your diet. Eating more protein and
    fat than carbs can have a constipating effect. The combination of fiber
    and water will hopefully keep things moving. Don't be surprised if you
    aren't having bowel movements as often, though, since digestion takes a
    little longer and there isn't as much volume as before.

    - Read and post here often. Alt.support.diet.low-carb has been
    INVALUABLE in helping me stay on track. And people are here pretty much
    24 hours a day. By the time I get to bed, people in the UK are getting
    up :) I get SO many ideas here that never occurred to me before, and
    LOTS of recipes. If you have questions, just ask. If YOU thought about
    something, someone else probably did, too. Just having a place to brag
    about or bemoan certain changes is GREAT, because we GET it ;-)

    - The 3 numbers people tend to put in their sigs are starting
    weight/current weight/target weight.

    - Pertinent words and common misspellings: 1) Lose/Loose -- when you
    LOSE weight, your clothing becomes LOOSE. 2) Weigh/Weight -- you WEIGH
    yourself on a scale to determine your WEIGHT. 3) Atkins/Adkins -- there
    is an ATKINS diet; there is no such word as "ADKINS" pertaining to low
    carb.

    - Ignore the trolls. They're fairly easy to spot. Some people can be
    abrasive or abrupt, but they often mean well, so it's good to get to
    know their style before deciding to filter them out (of course, that
    pretty much applies to ALL newsgroups). Personally, I think life's too
    short to waste on perpetual assholes. JC Der Koenig is a resident troll
    -- he WILL insult you, ESPECIALLY if it's one of your first posts. If
    he doesn't, then he's having a VERY off-day or possibly has lost his
    internet access. I recommend IGNORING him; DO NOT consider him to be a
    representative of the newsgroup -- he apparently LOVES angry responses,
    so replying to his nasty digs will only make him feel SPECIAL, and you
    don't want THAT, do you?

    After over 2.5 years of doing Atkins, I've learned to just keep staying
    the course and it WILL pay off, even if it IS taking longer than I had
    hoped for. I look and, more importantly ***FEEL*** SOOOOO much better
    eating this way that I have no intention of ever going back to the way I
    was eating before. My joint pains have eased considerably, my IBS
    symptoms have COMPLETELY disappeared and I have WAY more energy. I look
    like ME again!

    This way of eating (WOE) is not a deprivation -- it's a GIFT! It has
    given me something I thought I had lost: HOPE, and HOPE is a POWERFUL
    thing to have!

    --
    Saffire
    205/136/125
    Atkins since 6/14/03
    Progress photo: http://photos.yahoo.com/saffire333

    *** This post originated in alt.support.diet.low-carb -- its appearance
    in any other forum is deceptive and unauthorized. ***
     
    Tags:


  2. On Mon, 27 Mar 2006 00:02:09 -0800, Saffire
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >- Pay attention to the SERVING SIZE on the nutrition label. What might
    >SEEM to be a good deal carb-wise (or calorie-wise, for that matter)
    >might actually be a miniscule portion and is almost NEVER an entire
    >container's worth. For instance, YOU might think an entire can of
    >something is ONE serving when, in reality, it's 2.5 servings.


    This really holds true for Dreamfields pasta. I haven't bought any
    for awhile, but man! The cooked serving is maybe 1/4 - 1/3 of a cup.
    To me, that's like a free sample at the grocery store. It'd be okay
    with a huge salad along with it, but really ... what's the point? I'd
    rather just skip it.

    >- Measure and weigh! It's the only way to truly know how much of
    >anything you are getting and eyeballing it can be deceiving. You may be
    >eating more (or less) of something than you thought. I bought a bunch
    >of sets of measuring spoons at Big Lots (49 cents for a set) because I
    >use so many of them.


    I got past the lettuce measuring issue by chopping each head into
    quarters and reporting it on FitDay as such.

    >- If you have trouble with portion control, try using smaller plates or
    >bowls so that the servings fill the plate. Also, 1/2-cup Pyrex bowls
    >come in handy to hold reasonable size servings of Jello, olives, nuts,
    >etc.


    Okay, gang, listen up. Pyrex is no longer manufacturing those perfect
    little 1/2 cup bowls. Get thee to eBay and stock up while you can, if
    this is something you might use. I have none for sale (they're mine,
    all MINE!), just wanted to share that info.

    >- Aspartame can trigger cravings in some people. Splenda usually goes
    >over very well, although some people DO have problems tolerating it. I
    >switched to using liquid Splenda in a syrup base, which truly has zero
    >carbs, as opposed to packets, which have .5-.9 carbs each.
    >Unfortunately, the manufacturers of Splenda have licensing issues with
    >small companies creating liquid Splenda in syrup bases, so supplies have
    >now dwindled down to a trickle.


    DaVinci produces a Simple Syrup made with Splenda. Pure sweetness
    without any flavoring added.

    >- Make a big batch of hard boiled eggs to keep in the fridge. When you
    >find yourself opening the fridge out of habit, you'll see them and
    >hopefully make the right choice. They are great to stave off hunger,
    >AND they're nutritious and versatile.


    Deviled eggs are even better! <G>

    >- Be sure to get enough fat. You can add olive oil and/or butter to all
    >kinds of things, have whipped cream or bacon (Trader Joe's carries a
    >brand that does not use sugar to cure it).


    Plumrose is now selling a sugar free, low sodium bacon. We grabbed a
    few packages when they were on sale for $2.50 per pound at WalMart. I
    imagine it's widely available. We don't have a TJ's anywhere near us,
    so this was a nice find.

    >After over 2.5 years of doing Atkins, I've learned to just keep staying
    >the course and it WILL pay off, even if it IS taking longer than I had
    >hoped for. I look and, more importantly ***FEEL*** SOOOOO much better
    >eating this way that I have no intention of ever going back to the way I
    >was eating before. My joint pains have eased considerably, my IBS
    >symptoms have COMPLETELY disappeared and I have WAY more energy. I look
    >like ME again!


    You're a knock-out, lady!

    Peace,
    Carol
     
  3. Damsel in dis Dress wrote:

    snip
    >
    >
    > Okay, gang, listen up. Pyrex is no longer manufacturing those perfect
    > little 1/2 cup bowls. Get thee to eBay and stock up while you can, if
    > this is something you might use. I have none for sale (they're mine,
    > all MINE!), just wanted to share that info.
    >


    >
    > Peace,
    > Carol


    The little Gladware snack bowls are 1/2 cup.

    Vicki
     
  4. On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 08:42:52 -0500, Vicki Beausoleil
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Damsel in dis Dress wrote:
    >
    >> Okay, gang, listen up. Pyrex is no longer manufacturing those perfect
    >> little 1/2 cup bowls. Get thee to eBay and stock up while you can, if
    >> this is something you might use. I have none for sale (they're mine,
    >> all MINE!), just wanted to share that info.

    >
    >The little Gladware snack bowls are 1/2 cup.


    Thank you, Vicki. I treat my Pyrex ones like they're made of solid
    gold. It's good to know that there's another option. And the
    Gladware ones have covers, so the gelatin can be transported.

    Thanks again,
    Carol
     
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