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My new weight loss strategy: I’m talking about carbs

[DietBet.com has given me the opportunity to participate in a blogger competition with the chance to win up to $5,000 for meeting a weight loss goal. The following post is part of my participation in the program. I am not a doctor, or a nutritionist, and following any advice I post is done at the reader's own risk.]

So a few weeks ago I mentioned in a post that I was trying something new to lose weight. But I didn’t want to say what it was right away – I wanted to see if it worked first. I’d already lost about 11 pounds with Slim-Fast, but was getting tired of it and needed a new plan. I’d been taking more days off from Slim-Fast than on for a few weeks and had gained a couple of pounds back. I was getting bored. I needed to shake things up.

That’s always my biggest problem with losing weight. It goes well for about a month – I can stick to anything for four weeks. But then I get restless. Day after day of the same thing gets old.

Coincidentally, right around the time I was looking for something new, I read about a study involving three groups of dieters. The first group followed a pretty standard 1,500 calorie a day diet. The second and third groups followed a plan where they ate sensibly five days a week, and then severely restricted carbs two days a week. Not only did the intermittent low carb dieters lose almost twice as much weight as the first group, they had less people drop out – it was easier for people to diet hard for two days than to diet less strictly every day.

This really spoke to me. Until that point I had ignored any kind of diet that involved restricting carbs. I love carbs. I’m able to lose weight eating carbs. Giving them up would be too hard.

But twice a week? I could do that! The problem, though, would be the five days of sensible eating part. If I could eat sensibly I wouldn’t have a weight problem. I don’t have a moderate setting. If I’m left to eat what I want, with no rules or restrictions, I eat everything in sight. I don’t stop when I’m full.

So, I thought, what would happen if I combined the two-day-a-week low-carb diet with calorie counting on the other days, to keep myself in control? I decided to do two days a week of 700 calories and 60 grams of carbohydrates, four days a week of 1,400 calories with no carb restriction, and one day a week of not counting calories. It all averages out to about 1,400 calories a day.

I did it for two weeks, and lost six pounds. I’d call that a success.

What’s more important is that I didn’t get sick of it after two weeks. I think the key for me is that the days are all so different, I don’t get bored. Yes, getting the calorie and carb combination to work out those two days was difficult at first – the things that I like to eat that are low calorie, like light breads and certain fruits and veggies, are all really high in carbs. But I found a combo of foods that I love that works. Since I don’t eat meat I rely on big salads, Morningstar products, eggs, cheese, and whatever vegetables I can fit in – all foods that I eat normally, just in different amounts and without the bread and pasta and other high carb foods I’m usually eating with them.

But the big bonus is that compared to the super low carb/low calorie days, the 1,400 calorie days are so easy by comparison! And the one day I don’t count calories? That’s like heaven. It’s so nice to take a break from weighing and measuring that I don’t even pig out.

Yesterday I weighed in for a one month weight loss contest with DietBet.com. I’m going to do my plan for four weeks and see how it works out. Since I’ve already lost fifteen pounds since October I feel like I’ve got some really great momentum going. I have to lose 7.7 pounds to meet the goal of the contest – if the first two weeks on my new diet are any indication, that shouldn’t be a problem!

Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 17. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.

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12 Responses to “My new weight loss strategy: I’m talking about carbs”

  1. jodifur on January 5th, 2012 12:47 pm
    1

    Interesting. I’m following a 1500 calorie a day diet, plus cut out sugar and alcohol (boo.) Maybe I’ll try this.

    Amy Reply:

    @jodifur: You should, even if just for a couple of weeks to shake things up. Of course, disclaimer, I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, yada yada yada.

  2. Debra on January 5th, 2012 12:52 pm
    2

    I lost 30 lbs last year on a 1200 a day diet with restricted carbs but lots of veggies. After six months I went on a carb overload and haven’t stopped since. Gained 20 lbs back. This looks interesting….I might try it.
    Debra recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – My Household Helper…Sort OfMy Profile

    Amy Reply:

    @Debra: That’s what I’ve heard about low carb diets – that once you start eating them again the weight comes back on! And, honestly, I couldn’t give them up more often than this. I love them too much.

  3. Cecilia on January 5th, 2012 12:58 pm
    3

    I like less complicated diets, so I decided to try something new. My brother lost about 100lbs in one year. He gave me the secret and I tried it for 1 month so far, I lost 12lbs. It consist of eating “Quaker Oatmeal” in the morning with a fruit. Not the packages oatmeal, the natural one. I add one splenda and cinnamon. My snack is a pomegranate. I eat a regular lunch. Then a regular dinner (in smaller amounts) if after dinner I’m still hungry I eat a bowl of oatmeal. Also, I changed caffeine for green tea. Of course I exercise. I walk for 30 minutes and dance in my room by myself until I sweat.

    Amy Reply:

    @Cecilia: Wow, that’s so awesome for your brother!

    I firmly believe that there’s no one right way to lose weight – that the best diet is the one you can live with. My husband recently lost weight in a way that I just wouldn’t be able to do, and he’d never ever put up with weighing and measuring food.

    I LOVE oatmeal – I make the slow-cooked stuff at least a couple times a week. One small bowl keeps me full for half of the day! It’s like a magic food.

  4. elissapr on January 5th, 2012 7:47 pm
    4

    Of all the diets you’ve written about – and tried – this is the one I like best. Depriving yourself of something only makes you want it more…and the results can be disastrous. Sensible eating and watching your carb in-take should give you the results youre looking for! I look foward to more instalments!!

    Amy Reply:

    @elissapr: Thanks! And totally true about depriving yourself. Luckily, five days out of the week I can work things out so that I have pretty much whatever I want (even if I can’t always eat as much as I want).

  5. Angie Vinez on January 6th, 2012 3:33 pm
    5

    Giving away your secrets, eh?! :) Just kidding! I’m hoping we all do well in the challenge. Sounds like you’re off to a great start, so keep it going!
    Angie Vinez recently posted..Come Cheer Me On! #DietBetMy Profile

    Amy Reply:

    @Angie Vinez: :-) If this were a “winner take all” kind of thing I wouldn’t be so generous.

  6. elizabeth traub on January 26th, 2012 1:14 pm
    6

    Okay, now I get what you are doing. I am writing a full month blog on my personal blog about FOOD SIN, haha. I am wring through this month, but not posting until next month. I do not want to share a program, or routine until, just like you I see the results for myself. Keep going, your doing great. My personal blog if you want to catch it in February http://www.elizabethonthego.blogspot.com. Love following you on twitter. You crack me up often, elizabeth
    elizabeth traub recently posted..Favorite Items of the DayMy Profile

  7. Jenny Fit on March 1st, 2012 8:06 pm
    7

    It is really hard to loss weight like you did (6 pounds for 2 weeks) need a big discipline for myself to achieve it. Thanks for your tips Miss Amy maybe I can start again and now with your site… (sorry for my bad english)
    Jenny Fit recently posted..Establish a New Weight Loss Plans with this GuidelinesMy Profile