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Measuring carbs

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by Viv19, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. Viv19

    Viv19 · Well-Known Member

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    I’m ploughing my way the the huge amount of info here. It’s very helpful (and confusing) and I’ve e mailed myself some links to look at later.
    I’ve been (trying to) eating low carb for about 7 weeks, have lost 6 kgs up to last week, this week it isn’t moving. I stopped Metformin a couple of weeks ago, so I seriously have to make this work for me and lose at least another 9-10 kgs.
    My main question is this - does everyone contributing on this forum weigh their food to work out the carbs? Up to now I’ve sort of decided on a meal with no obvious carbs and prepared it. Should I keep a diary of what I’m eating and weigh it? I must say that in the past I’ve avoided doing this when trying to diet because the more I think about food, the hungrier I am. I have a horrible feeling that I’m going to have to be more controlled about my meals.
    I’m cooking everything from scratch, no low carb bread here that I can find, or special low carb ‘pastry’ etc. I just ordered some psyllium flour and xanthum for future meals.
     
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  2. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I used to weigh my food. I now refer to these times as those in which I was “negotiating with carbohydrate”. Since I essentially quit eating them (besides veg and dairy) I no longer need to do so, and it’s been liberating. Personally I also never attempt to make recipes that emulate carbohydrate-containing foods, so no fancy flours or the like. I just made a clean break. Obviously that’s not for everyone but it continues to work for me.

    And well done on your positive steps and getting off your meds. PS. Don’t focus on losing weight. That will come as a consequence of better glycemic control, not the other way around.
     
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  3. Viv19

    Viv19 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jim. So do you not eat fruit, or is it not necessary to know how much cheese (I’m a cheesaholic since childhood), or have you just learnt the amounts that work for you? Those are the things that I think I’m falling down on. If I do a stir fry, I usually chop veg that I have, throw in some chicken or not, perhaps almonds or cashews, etc.
    it’s those in between foods like nuts, cheese, that I think I’m stumbling on.
     
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  4. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Negative. No fruit for me. I operate a zero fructose policy.

    I think I now just instinctively know what works for me. No weighing or counting calories. Everyone must find their path though of course. We all have different goals and expectations.
     
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  5. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    Hi Viv, I’ve lost a shed load of weight on Metformin and low carb eating. I weighed everything to begin with, but now go by eye as I learned what my portion sizes should look like. I keep spread sheets with my meals and blood sugar readings on so I can see what effect different meals have.
    Incidently Metformin helps with weight loss by reducing the absorption of carbohydrates in the gut. Last year as I had achieved consistently non diabetic HbA1cs, in consultation with my GP, I reduced my Metformin dose by one tablet. I tried it for three months and whilst my HbA1c only went up from 34 to 35, my weight loss stalled, so, again in consultation with my GP I increased the dose again and bingo my weight started to go down slowly again.
    Your weight loss stall seems to coincide with a couple of weeks after your stopping Metformin, maybe around the time it’s effect had totally worn off.
    Unlike Jim, I do eat low carb fruit, just berries in very small quantities and I do occasionally make low carb cakes and bread (I have a cupboard full of weird and wonderful ingredients!) I’ve never counted calories but am aware that these low carb baked goods can be very calorific so they are occasional treats only.
     
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  6. xfieldok

    xfieldok Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I didn't weigh when I first started. Then I discovered I was wildly underestimating. I still weigh stuff like nuts.
     
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  7. zauberflote

    zauberflote Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Viv19 ! I did count carbs for a very short period- started this WOE while on vacation, so had the time. My previous diet had been very Mediterranean style - whole grains, beans, a million veg and fruit per day, avoiding dairy mostly, oatmeal with an egg every morning, and stress eating of either spelt honey toast or anything with chocolate in it. Or both! And a daily Starbux bottled frappuchino, maybe 27g sugar/bottle. No time to count any more, and I never had a scale so I was relying on US carb/portion size labeling and various nutrition data charts
    I had lost about 10 lb from Jan 2018- July by mostly stopping the chocolate ice cream, candy, etc. Lost a further 20 that Oct/Sept, maybe from lower carbs (but was still in high range of lower carb) and definitely from calorie restriction, which stopped as soon as I got to the stressful place right after vacation. Then I found here!
    I have very very sadly given up every single fruit I used to eat. Seasonal fruits only, berries only very rarely bc of cost. So my opinion of frozen berries as actual food is very low; what’s available to me are the tasteless ones. Had to give up most of my seasonal veg too.
    My BG’s did come slowly down some, but dr followup HbA1c did not reflect that, so all three of my meters are wrong all the time, or I am having huge spikes at night and other times I’m not peeking. Or, his test was wrong... my home HbA1c kit also more nearly supported my meters, being in the upper 15% error range of my highest reading meter, (which is my daily driver), than it supported his test.
    I do use the LC flours. I’m not using any sweetener, as that way lies madness. I make bready things that are their own food. They aren’t fake or imitation anything. They’re mostly to take the place of quinoa in a meal where I want a grain, or that fiber quality. I find my concoctions delicious!
     
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  8. Mbaker

    Mbaker Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Viv19 I have only measured a few meals, as questioned have asked; I do however think it could be useful as an optimisation tool. I would replace the cashews with pecans as cashews are 25% carb, and perhaps cheese the size of a marshmallow every 2 or 3 days (unless you are exercising frequently). Basically cheese and nuts are highly caloric; so although low carb does not ultimately count calories, these cannot be totally ignored (you can look up TEF, NEAT as other parts of the equation). I have biased towards protein, as I am doing alot of power lifting, as I like testing. I workout hard to ensure any gluconeogenisis, mtor is negated.

    I eat berries, but now minimal blueberries.
     
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  9. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    Hi @Viv19

    When I started low carb 5 years ago I religiously weighed or measured everything and calculated the carbs, fats, protein, calories and fibre. I kept records on a spread sheet. I was even known to weigh cheese and end up cutting a slither off, and weighing peas and removing 2 or 3 of them. I was that obsessive with it. But it worked for me. I lost a shed load of weight in 9 or 10 months and gained control of my blood sugars. Since that time I have maintained my ideal weight and got even better control of my BS. I stopped counting a long time ago because I had learned what my ideal portion sizes were and what they look like on my plate.

    In addition to all the measuring and weighing I used my meter and my bathroom scales religiously, plus my own record keeping which kept me motivated and on track.

    Like @Jim Lahey I have never substituted foods with look a likes or bought fancy flours. I just didn't eat them. It was easy for me because I don't do any baking and don't have a particularly sweet tooth. I do eat some bread - but it is Burgen and no more than one slice a day, often only half a slice. I do eat potatoes, but only 2 small ones new boiled, roasted in animal fat, or up to 6 chips fried in animal fats. Bread and spuds were my downfall before diagnosis and since then have been non-negotiable. I just use portion size and it has worked for me. I only eat raspberries and strawberries in very small portions and I don't eat rice, pasta, cereals, pastries etc.
     
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  10. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
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    Hi @Viv19 - I rarely measured anything, except when I was trying to stop weight loss, funnily enough! I didn't have lots of weight to lose, so got very trim very quickly, then got trimmer still, so I had to set about stalling my weight loss.

    Yes, I am officially a bit odd.

    When I was tying to stop losing, I was very measured in terms of what I was doing, and what I was adding. For example, things like nuts are very easy to eat lots of, but I have the added slight complication that if I eat too many nuts, my tummy gets rather upset, so I have to avoid that.

    What I tended to do initially was buy small packs of nuts, but that's great for being out and about, but it is an expensive way to buys something being eaten very regularly. My solution was to use a decent sized egg cup, and filling that was a portion. It almost didn't matter to me what the weight of nuts was, but it was something I could rreplicate time and again, from a big a bag of nuts as I could want to buy.

    Finally, I don't know where you are located, but if you are in Ireland or orher parts of Europe, I beliwve Lidl may still be doing their low carb bread rolls. They were extremely popular when they did them in UK.
     
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  11. TriciaWs

    TriciaWs Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    I weighed everything for weeks, now I know roughly how much chicken/fish/cheese to eat but I still weigh berries (the only fruit I eat) and some salad ingredients and most veg, and as I still have some milk I measure that out too as it is too easy to let the quantity creep up.
    I do bake sometimes, with ground almonds or coconut flour and I always carefully calculate the carbs for those.
     
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  12. zed375

    zed375 · Newbie

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    Hi, i’ve been type 2 on insulin since 2008, it came with gestational diabetes. Tried to control it with insulin but approx mid March decided to take control myself after long suffering with needles and thought i’d Try low carb. Best thing I did, not that I would recommend, but stopped taking the insulin mid-March. Lost 1/2 stone and well within healthy weight range. Do not miss sweet or stodgy stuff. Baked some lemon mandelaines yesterday with almond flour which tasted like fairy cakes and haven’t looked back. Don’t weigh food just focused on eating the right thing. Diabetic nurse amazed as sugars have been consistently level with no spikes. Best of luck.
     
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  13. Viv19

    Viv19 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all very much for the helpful ideas and info. I think I’ve also been underestimating the amounts I’ve been eating so I’ll follow your examples and measure until I have the experience to judge portions and carbs.
    I know that Metformin does take the sugar out of the blood into the gut, but this unfortunately has a really bad effect on me, and I could often not even leave the house. That’s why I’m trying to control my bs without it. I checked with the oracle (brother) who told me that Metformin is pretty much cleared from the body between 24-48 hrs. I will just have to be tougher.
    I had been experimenting with bread making, and enjoying it, making sourdough bread, focaccia, etc with my own starter, so this is a bit of a tangent that I’m on now. I sat down this afternoon to a long and complicated mathematical investigation of how many carbs in a (very thin) slice of my favourite seed bread. The answer is too many. I need to do the same with the lactose free yoghurt that I make - that will be complicated too as I strain it to make it thicker. I hope the answer will be a better one because that’s a treat that I do enjoy.
    @DCUK Mod. Thanks for the tip. I’ll have a look at Lidl here (Germany) - perhaps they have the low carb bread rolls too.
    I suppose I’m trying to get this sorted as of ‘yesterday’ because from beginning of June we have quite a lot of celebrations, visits, travel etc through the summer that I was hoping to be able to manage without too much fuss of being different. I’ll get there. :-/
     
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  14. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to look for the Lidl rolls: In the UK they were called High Protein rather than low carb and they were dark brown and triangular. Well worth searching for.
     
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  15. malcs90

    malcs90 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Samsung health app allows you to keep a record of meals. With veg the measurements are usually cups. Some things are measured in grams but an easy app to use.
     
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  16. Mongolia

    Mongolia Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Apparently Lidl have now discontinued their protein rolls in the UK.
     
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  17. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    Yes, last year sometime. Sadly.
     
  18. Viv19

    Viv19 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!
     
  19. Viv19

    Viv19 · Well-Known Member

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    Oh that’s a b
     
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  20. Adm_Mad

    Adm_Mad Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yep I’m weighing food, even bought a new kitchen scale. :)

    Near the end of my first week since diagnosis. My GP said until our full appointment after Easter to cut sugar totally and lower carbs as much as I can (which seems to make her an exception!). I’ve also decided to greatly lower calories, just to see if I can lose weight before then. Weighing myself every day is tough as I used to have an eating disorder and I’m fretting if I go up a few grams or don’t lose enough.

    I’m logging food on the MyFitnessPal app and may suck it up and pay for the premium version after my free trial expires.

    I weigh food, then look it up on CalorieKing.com.au which seems to be a fairly reliable nutrition database for Australian products, and has the benefit you can actually calculate by grams. I then compare that to what MyFitnessPal says to check the MFP entry is reasonably accurate, as I’ve heard they can be pretty off as all the data is community submitted.

    I learned yesterday that there’s something called “net carbs” which is what I should be measuring, and MyFitnessPal doesn’t calculate those, you have to do it in your head. So I MIGHT have been eating slightly fewer carbs than my good diary says.
     
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