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The Carb Debate

#1
Now I love sw and think its a great healthy eating plan for life. As we all incorporate our own principles whilst on the plan, I just wondered about the carb intake.

The unlimited carbs on sw, I know is more a psychological element, but do have concerns myself about the amount of carbs we eat as a nation and it's contributing factor to obesity.

I always choose complex carbs that stabilise blood sugar levels like brown rice, wholewheat pasta etc, but I personally feel more people should be aware of the amount of carbs they are consuming on a daily basis that come from carbs like white bread and white pasta.

I'm sure the best level of carbs is between 50-200g per day, but if you actually look at your carb intake closely, this can easily push 800g+.

I suppose after doing sw for just over a year, I am more conscious of watching my carb intake as I am fats, sugars etc.
 
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#2
since starting (past couple of weeks) - i've noticed a drastic change in the amount of carbs i eat.... before i could literally live on white bread,pizza,etc and whilst i still love them, i just don't have them. i think i definately do feel better for it though as well. i noticed that even if i just had a sandwich (2pieces of white bread+filler) at lunch, afterwards i'd feel so drowsy so it's good not having that feeling :)
 
#3
Although I do EE I still try to watch how much carbs I eat, always feel sluggish, although I love SW rice pudding!
 
#5
Yeah exactly PatchWorkPuss, if you stick to complex it's much better for your overall health - I think it's just wise to be mindful of exactly how much carbs you eat in general. Only refined carbs have a bad name and I believe they have led to a huge obesity epidemic (more so than fat intake).

I know that I feel much better health wise with sticking to around 50g per day and also trying to get a lot from as much veg as you can. That's why I love the superfree rule lol xx
 
#6
Yeah exactly PatchWorkPuss, if you stick to complex it's much better for your overall health - I think it's just wise to be mindful of exactly how much carbs you eat in general. Only refined carbs have a bad name and I believe they have led to a huge obesity epidemic (more so than fat intake).

I know that I feel much better health wise with sticking to around 50g per day and also trying to get a lot from as much veg as you can. That's why I love the superfree rule lol xx
The thing is, depending on what you read or listen to, you should be mindful of everything.

Meat
Dairy
Carbohydrates (complex or otherwise)
Fruit (because of the sugar)
Processed foods
Artificial sweeteners

And the list goes on I'm sure.

I caught something on Alan Titchmarsh yesterday, they said a portion of Innocent Smoothie had something like the equivalent of 20 spoons of sugar and was "bad". It made me quite cross - my daughter has this and it's fruit, only fruit, and nothing else. So, according to this fella, you should watch your fruit intake.

On SW we don't have to watch the carbohydrates - if we start to keep an eye on grammes of carbohydrate eaten per day it makes the diet plan more difficult.

Everything in moderation. We all know that brown things are better than white when it comes to rice, pasta and bread but I certainly don't watch it.
 
#7
Carbs are just not the reason we are obese as a nation. Fat, and too much processed junk food, combined with a distinct lack of exercise is the reason!! When i was at Uni I lived on carbs as they were cheap & I walked everywhere. I was a size 16. It was when I got a job, and money, and crucially a car, that I got obese.
 
#8
Yeah Jaylou, I'm certainly a lot more mindful of every aspect. Only eat 2 pieces of fruit per day and try to stick to ones that don't have a lot more sugar, same goes for fats etc.

Obviously anyone new to the sw plan or who hasn't been on it long shouldn't really make too much of it, but I definitely feel that refined carbs, which lets face it, make up the majority of all fast/ processed food, really should be eaten much less in general.

What refined carbs do to insulin is quite alarming and after researching this a lot, really makes me watch my levels. I believe refined carb intake is a massive part of obesity today, along with other factors of course xx
 
#9
Yeah Jaylou, I'm certainly a lot more mindful of every aspect. Only eat 2 pieces of fruit per day and try to stick to ones that don't have a lot more sugar, same goes for fats etc.
That really must make the SW plan so much harder.
I don't think that would work for me, it's enough to have to watch how much cheese or milk or bread I have per day, as well as keeping an eye on syns.
If I had to think about which fruit I ate it would make it a nightmare! Yesterday I had grapes, grapefruit, a banana, 2 satsumas and a pomegranate :p

Each to their own but is it SW you are following, or your own version of a healthy eating plan?

Not criticising, just all part of the debate......
 
#10
I also wouldn't be able just to eat 2 pieces of fruit a day. TBH - i'm not huge into veg, as much as i am fruit so i try to get most of my superfree from fruit either before/after/combined in my meals. i do obviously eat some veg but salads etc - never go near them

I'd say the whole carb debate goes hand in hand with the whole junk food explosion...when you look at most fastfood places, it's fat+carb overload.
 
#11
I also wouldn't be able just to eat 2 pieces of fruit a day. TBH - i'm not huge into veg, as much as i am fruit so i try to get most of my superfree from fruit either before/after/combined in my meals. i do obviously eat some veg but salads etc - never go near them

I'd say the whole carb debate goes hand in hand with the whole junk food explosion...when you look at most fastfood places, it's fat+carb overload.

I'd recommend you stick to what you're doing until it stops working - and when it stops working, there will be plenty of things you can change before you have to start eating stuff you don't like. Don't stress about how much fruit you eat - it will be better for you than 99% of the food you could eat to keep you full.
 
#12
Yeah most definitely eat as much fruit and veg as possible, if that is what works for you then by all means. I follow sw, have done for over a year (with break due to moving) and I find it the easiest plan to follow ever. I wouldn't go back to anything else now.

Sw says eat unlimited free and superfree food and that is what I do, I just think the more time has went on, I have naturally progressed to completely restricting refined carbs, I still eat complex, but I only eat what I need - again think its just been a natural progression. I love fruit too and yeah on my higher syn days, I do eat lots more fruit. I hate milk so thankfully I just have my cheese to worry about and I generally have one slice of wholemeal per day, so the rest is easy. Really when I look back to what I used to do on sw, only the change in how I eat my healthy extras has changed (used to have alpen lights a lot) xx
 

sweet pink

is losing for shoes
#13
I have to 100% honest I have tortured myself with the whole carb thing over the past few months & got it into my head that if I had too many that I wouldnt lose or the weight would go back on etc. I done red days for a while which worked well but for me loving rice they did feel a bit like torture & there was no way that I could ever do them long term.

Lately I have relaxed, pushed the carb thing to the back of my mind & got back on the SW that I enjoyed at the start. I have everything in moderation & I actually enjoy a mix of EE, red & green days now without feeling any restrictions. Admittedly I do still worry if I have maybe had a lot of pasta or rice in a week when weigh in comes around but I can honestly say that now I am enjoying the variety of the plan again & better still the weight seems to be coming off steadily. Mind you with just over a stone until target I am aware that it might slow down but even if it does I want to enjoy the journey rather than feel too restricted :)
 
#14
That's the beauty of sw, you can eat until comfortable and still lose weight, be it carbs, fruit and veg. I still see the same losses from restricting my carbs as I did when I didn't, so the plan does work regardless.

Thats why this healthy eating plan is way more effective than any others I have tried - some plans may make you lose quicker, but it does even itself out over the course of the year xx
 
#15
I love white rice and white pasta - if I restricted them I'd feel deprived, so I don't :) If they were bad for you, or harmed people's losses, then they would not be classed as 'free' foods on the plan. Ditto fruit!

I don't think it was the quantity of pasta I ate before SW that made me gain weight... I eat pretty much the same quantity of it now. It was the fact I accompanied it with a high-fat sauce from a jar, grated half a block of cheddar on it, had half a baguette of garlic bread on the side, and followed it up with a box of Danish pastries! :D
 
#16
i'm on week 3 but i do feel as though i'm restricting my carb intake...but i don't mind because i know the way i used to eat before just wasn't healthy so it's just something i've to get used to
 
#17
i'm on week 3 but i do feel as though i'm restricting my carb intake...but i don't mind because i know the way i used to eat before just wasn't healthy so it's just something i've to get used to
Only restrict them if you feel you want to. Or replace them with complex carbs instead.

You really don't notice the difference between wholewheat pasta and white, same with rice - brown basmati is lovely xx
 
#18
I really like brown rice, I just have to remember to put it on earlier than I used to.
Wholewheat pasta... hmm, that's an acquired taste. I can have it in a pasta salad or with bolognaise but if I'm having a no sauce pasta then it has to be white. Crab and chilli spaghetti is just not the same with wholewheat.
I have a mix of both but don't really think about it too much.

It's down to cost as well - I bought a 3kg bag of penne in Tesco, on offer at £2.50. That's a no brainer when it comes to the price of wholewheat - I couldn't leave it on the shelf at that price!
 
#20
for the last three weeks i have resricted my intake of some carbs ie rice and pasta and to a lesser extent potato, the effect on my weight loss has been immense so for me lower carbs obviously works.
I have replaced them with couscous, pulses and grains so haven't missed them yet
Unfortunatly healther = more expensive and in the current climate could become a problem and definatly for anybody trying to feed a family.
Instead of considering a fat tax the government should be looking at making things like wholewheat pasta cheaper.
 


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