/ No carbs - advice and sympathy required

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What Goes Up - on 01 Jan 2013
Bloody New Year resolutions. Mrs WGU will be eschewing rather than chewing carbs for the forseeable future, and apparently I'm joining her in this for dinner by way of support. I do pretty much all the cooking, and frustratingly I love my carbs; doesn't matter which form they take - I can quite happily sit down to a dish of pasta tossed in a little olive oil and a few choice flavourings, anything rice based, spuds are as staple as staples come...

All (okay, most) of the dishes I love to cook now have a very big hole in them and I need some ideas which will simultaneously save me a half-hour argument every evening and still hit the spot. I enjoy cooking and usually put a fair bit of time into it each evening so no worries about extravagant / laborious recipes (in fact that would be preferable). Any thoughts? Just to rub further salt into the wound I can't just make it fun by replacing carbs with more fat (I will of course, but have to be subtle about it).

Protiens - no worries, so I'm thinking things like cassoulet, stuffed aubergines with lamb mince and spices and so on, and can fry / griddle / grill up all sorts of meat and fish . The problem is more what goes with it, because frankly the thought of a week of side salads leaves me shuddering. I mean, soup without bread to go with it? Everything I've come up with so far just seems like a light supper to me (so of course step one will be carbing it up at lunchtime instead, but I still want to feel reasonably satiated at the end of my evening meal). At a push some roasted butternut squash will do for one or two, but I need more than that.

And apparently a plate of cheese is not dinner. I beg to differ, but apparently I don't make the rules anymore.

Help me UKC, you're my only hope.
highclimber - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up: Tell her fad diets don't work - even the 'famous' people who push these hair-brain diets can't lose weight so resort to radical treatments like gastric band and liposuction!
What Goes Up - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to highclimber: Tried, failed. Really annoying as she's usually a very sensible person (and not prone to fad dieting) but it looks like the carb thing is here for a couple of weeks until she gets sick of lentils, so tbh I'm not asking for her, I'm asking very selfishly for me and how I can best ease my way through this and out the other side (much like lentils seem to do, in fact).
Daniel Heath - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up:

Low Carbs work IMO, if you can make it work. It's probably best to prepare yourself for what I think are the big challenges:

-Energy levels. I find it very hard to function/train, and this is worst in the first couple of weeks as your body gets used to it. (should be fine for you if it's just dinner your cutting)
-Grumpiness. Just from my experience and that of people around me, low carbs makes you grumpy. This might be something you have to brace yourself for if your OH is setting out on it!

As for meals, it's hard to know what hits the spot without carbs. But plenty of green veg such as cauliflour will at least fill you up. A big stir fry might fill you up well for the amount of carbs involved.
johncook - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up: Try thin slices of cougette, aubergine, fruit (pineapple, banana, apple, orange etc) mushrooms etc, all done on the griddle alongside the protein.
Don't worry, give it a four weeks and the carbs will start to creep back in! Never known a woman who has stayed on a fad diet for much longer! Once the initial weight loss (3 or 4kg in the first two weeks) has plateau'ed back to 1/2 kg per week that is usually the beginning of the end of that diet!
gd303uk - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up: Is the diet intended to induce ketosis ?
I tried a similar diet if you don't stick to it very strictly, you will gain weight fast.
Ben Sharp - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up: Some quite good examples so far of how misunderstood carbs are. Fruit, beans, lentils, cereals, starchy veg - all good sources of carbohydrate so if you're cutting out carbs you can't eat them.

Take healthy things like whole grain cereals, legumes/pulses, root veg and fruit and get them off you're menu - fat, protein and the odd green vegetable and you have your low carb, low health diet right there. I guess it's goodbye to your butternut squash and cassoulet. Might want to stock up on loo roll while you're at it because toilet trips are going to be unpleasant.

Why not just reduce the portion size of high carb food on your plate and be healthy? You're putting your body into a shock, gut wrenching diet which will probably be followed by weight gain as soon as you start to reintroduce carbs into your diet again.
Stone Idol - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up: If you are doing high energy stuff (climbing, thinking about climbing, drinking after climbing....) you need a few carbs. I used to find that a burger on the way home hit the spot a treat - washed down by a pint. Now the diet scheme is over (and the missus lost 10lbs) I have to remind her not to hit the icecream tub too hard (and best not to have one in the freezer - just in case we have visitors!!)
cat88 - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up: What is the aim of this? Will it be accompanied by exercise?
What Goes Up - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to cat88:
> (In reply to What Goes Up) What is the aim of this? Will it be accompanied by exercise?

Long story short, the aim as I can see it is twofold - one to make her feel like she's achieving something weight-wise through a short-term omission of something, and two to make me be a part of it. Basically before Christmas I talked her into the two of us modelling for some high-end photographers for a publicity spread they are doing for a new hotel wedding brochure (I'm a wedding photographer, so the exchange is that it's a really useful training opportunity for me to see how they work technically and from a business point of view, and as the wife also wants in on the business side of things it's equally a good training opportunity for her. A sort of money-can't-buy training day, as part of the deal is we get all the inside stuff so it's treated as much as a training session as a shoot).

It's not like she's at all overweight - which she knows and which I've reminded her often enough while we've discussed it. The no carbs thing won't be accompanied by any extra exercise, just doing what she usually does - mucking out the horse, walking the dogs etc. So I guess it's more about her feeling like she's made a best effort before she has to get into these designer dresses they've lined up for her, and from nowhere carbs seems to be the thing she's latched on to. The me joining in thing I guess is my penance for talking her into it in the first place. A fortnight from now it'll all be over and hopefully things'll be back to normal.

So she's not going to change her plan whatever reasoning is thrown at her, I'm complicit in it and one way or another it's a case of riding it out until we get to the other side.

What Goes Up - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:
> (In reply to What Goes Up) Some quite good examples so far of how misunderstood carbs are. Fruit, beans, lentils, cereals, starchy veg - all good sources of carbohydrate so if you're cutting out carbs you can't eat them.

Thanks Ben. Sounds like it's not so much carbs as her interpretation of them I have to cut out then. I'll point all of this out to her and see how it goes down (knew that climbing helmet would come in handy one day). Frustratingly though I think it'll just mean a fortnight of roast chicken without the skin and boiled peas (do they count - they must fall into the bean / pulse bracket?)

> Take healthy things like whole grain cereals, legumes/pulses, root veg and fruit and get them off you're menu - fat, protein and the odd green vegetable and you have your low carb, low health diet right there. I guess it's goodbye to your butternut squash and cassoulet. Might want to stock up on loo roll while you're at it because toilet trips are going to be unpleasant.
>
Bye-bye butternut squash I can live with. Shame about the cassoulet though - that was pretty much the only one I was excited about.

> Why not just reduce the portion size of high carb food on your plate and be healthy? You're putting your body into a shock, gut wrenching diet which will probably be followed by weight gain as soon as you start to reintroduce carbs into your diet again.

To paraphrase Captain Blackadder, we are not at home to Mr Logic here.

mikehike on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up:

Check out
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look beyond the adverts to the free recipe book.
Free Blog subscription allows you to download the recipe book.
No con, no hassle either.
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/subscribe-to-blog/#axzz2Gl1CtGuP

Ive been interested in this site for over a year picking recipes as and when I fancy a change.
What Goes Up - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to mikehike: Cheers Mike
mikehike on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up:
If you want the recipe book and have trouble getting it, get back in touch as ive a copy of it on Google Drive
mikehike on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up:

Cutting out the carbs and processed sugars, does more than reduce the waist line, at least it does for me.
It gives you more energy which encourages exercising
Exercising normalises your diet
and round you go, win win.

Western culture does its best to scupper this though.
highclimber - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up: Get her to watch Channel 5 now or if you miss this then you should be able to watch it on demand 5 - 50 shocking facts about diet and exercise
cat88 - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up: 50 shocking facts about diet and exercise on channel 5 now....
Ben Sharp - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to mikehike:
> (In reply to What Goes Up)
>
> Cutting out the carbs and processed sugars, does more than reduce the waist line, at least it does for me.
> It gives you more energy which encourages exercising
> Exercising normalises your diet
> and round you go, win win.

Seriously? Cutting out the food group which is most easily converted into energy gives you more energy? So eating only fat and protein gives you more energy?

I understand that cutting down on simple carbohydrates in favour of complex carbs helps to avoid energy dips and gives your body a more stable release of energy but cutting out all carbs means getting all your energy from fat and protein, which is harder for your body to convert into usable energy.

To the OP, yes peas contain carbs, they taste sweet! I'd be surprised if a hefty portion of peas contained less carbs than a slice of bread and yet bread is the bad guy in carb cutting land! But then, I'm wondering if your wife really does want to cut out ALL carbs, maybe she isn't quite that militant and just wanted to cut out the usual suspects (taters, bread, pasta and rice) rather than spend the next month eating bacon fat, chicken and rocket.
highclimber - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp: It makes you laugh, doesn't it - people don't actually know what carbohydrates are and label them as evil!

People of the world - Carbs are necessary for you to live!
mikehike on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:
No your right ive just re-read what ive put and its not correct.
Of coarse carbs are required for fuel.
Its a generalisation of folk stuffing bread and pasta down there throats, then sitting idle and piling on the weight.
Ben Sharp - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to mikehike: Yeah, carbs aren't bad, they're an excellent source of energy, hence if you eat too much of them you'll get lots of energy, if you don't use it you store it as fat. It's because they're good that they're good that they're "bad". It's like saying fire is a really bad way to heat yourself because if you jump in you'll get burned.
What Goes Up - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to mikehike: Yup, something like that I suspect. Spoke to her about it and she said something about processed and unprocessed carbs, but spuds are still out for now as after some sort of test she had her metabolism doesn't deal with them so well (to be fair she does know her body and understand the whole health thing much better than I do mine so it's tricky to argue on that front).

So we're getting somewhere on the 'what's in and what's out' front at least, although it doesn't help me particularly as all the things I like are still out. I still find it difficult to get excited about a bowl of peas even if I do now know they have carbs in them. Unless anyone has a good recipe for pea chips? (Fritters: batter = flour so I'm not even going to bother suggesting that).
nufkin - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up:
> Unless anyone has a good recipe for pea chips? (Fritters: batter = flour so I'm not even going to bother suggesting that).

Would some sort of sesame/poppy seed combo be worth a try, stuck to beaten egg? Not sure it would work for peas, but at least might be as close to a breadcrumb coating as you could get without some sort of carb agent.
What Goes Up - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to nufkin: Like your thinking. I'll give it a whirl. Cheers. You've also reminded me of a goats cheese in crushed walnuts thing I did a while back which was nice. Ta.
stroppygob - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up: Idiotic idea. it'll soon fail.
ice.solo - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up:

i find low carbs in the form of grains works well. i dont really do potatos either, but get what i find necessary from dense veges and a lot of salad. doesnt feel like magic or a fad to me, have done it for years, along with a minimum of about 14hrs of committed exercise a week, often double or triple that.
im about 9% BF.

i dont eat like that when climbing/working. much more straight carbs then, which my system responds very well to.

youll be fine. takes about a week to get used to it.
and its not the end of the world - if it f*cks you up, change back.
MonkeyPuzzle - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up:

Enjoying this thread whilst eating a chip butty. True story.
nufkin - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to What Goes Up)
>
> i find low carbs in the form of grains works well. i dont really do potatos either, but get what i find necessary from dense veges and a lot of salad. doesnt feel like magic or a fad to me, have done it for years, along with a minimum of about 14hrs of committed exercise a week, often double or triple that.
> im about 9% BF.


Good lord - doing that much excercise I'm surprised you're not eating anything but carbs, just for the sheer pleasure of it. I only really do excercise to make more room for cake.
ice.solo - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to nufkin:

im no fanatic - there is allowance for cake-like substances.

and really, it looks good on paper, but 14hrs a week is just a few 2hr sessions and a half day out. theres a few folk i fraternize with who would do 18hrs of training a week plus at least 1 full day (and of course national level and above sportspeople do much more) and they do the low carb thing.
depends what your sport is i suppose.

maybe there exists a sport:cake quotient that can be applied...?

also, its been said i dont have a diet, just a matrix of eating disorders that hold each other in place.
works so far tho.
sarahjk - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:

Enjoying this thread and the links. I switched from a good vegetarian/whole/organic diet at the end of the summer to a more raw based diet, dropped dairy [dark chocolate is ok !] and 'white' foods, not that we had much anyway. Loads of fruit, salads and cooked meal in the evening [I still have to feed the kids!]

Feel fab on it, loads of energy; running, climbing and teaching sp ed so very active most days. Oh and I dropped about 15lbs that I didnt think I had to loose. It is supposed to be much more healthy in terms of cancer fighting, heart health, diabetes and a ton of other stuff, not sure about that, but it is certainly closer to a more natural version of what we evolved to eat.

Maybe if you can 'shape' her desire toward what you are hearing and what she obviously already knows it will pay off.

Good luck
ads.ukclimbing.com
cat88 - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up: what about carb cycling then or intermittent fasting
Mutl3y - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up: my advice: carrots. I've been on a low carb diet for the last couple of months that basically goes like this:
Breakfast = porridge
Lunch = cottage cheese and ryvita
Dinner = chicken and carrots (and some sort of taste sauce on the chicken)
I lost about 10kgs since late October (without particularly doing any exercise apart from the occasional climb). And aim for comfortably losing another 10 by march.

Swap carrots for broccoli or cabbage or something if you get bored. I've easily been having 2-300g of carrots an evening and really haven't felt hungry after.

One question: do you have any weight loss goals yourself or are you just doing this for moral support or something? I ask because if your missus is on a diet i dont see why you need to bother....cook the carbs but don't put them on her plate....

Hope it goes well...
adstapleton - on 01 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up:

Screw no carbs, check out intermittent fasting as the solution to your wife's and everyone else's weight problems.
stroppygob - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up: Trade your missus in for a skinny bird, or two even.
lost1977 - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to adstapleton:

intermittent fasting worked well for me (didn't even feel like i was trying to lose bodyfat)
What Goes Up - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to Mutl3y:
> (In reply to What Goes Up) my advice: carrots.
>
> Swap carrots for broccoli or cabbage or something if you get bored...
Well that's the thing, it's precisely something like a plateful of carrots I'm trying to avoid. Chicken and carrots as you suggest seems to be her dream meal right now, but for me that's just got a huge hole where a jacket spud should be sat.
> One question: do you have any weight loss goals yourself or are you just doing this for moral support or something?
Moral support, apparently.

>I ask because if your missus is on a diet i dont see why you need to bother
You know how some husbands are good at accruing brownie points? This is her calling in all the brown sticky points I've accrued over the last year.
>....cook the carbs but don't put them on her plate....
Suggested that, might have well suggested that we could lose weight through the additional exercise of having regular threesomes with her sister.
>
> Hope it goes well...
Me too!

Ta

adstapleton - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to lost1977:

It was your previous thread which piqued my interest in IF. Attempting the 5:2 system at present, but I'm a bit worried it's not 'hard' enough so may consider switching to a 16 hour a day fast instead.... First fast day was a challenge though.
Mutl3y - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up: Fair enough dude. You have my sympathies - cant imagine being forced to go on someone else's diet. Doesn't sound like the other half will stick it out too long though...if she needs to make you do something you don't want in order that she can do it but who understands woman eh?

Daniel Heath - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to lost1977:

Why not post a little update thread? I know lots of us would be interested in hearing about the results of your IF after a few months.

Dan
JCurrie - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to ice.solo:

I think that eating lots of grains works because they are low fat not low carb?

http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t--1011/grain-nutritional-facts.asp

Jase

tlm - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up:

http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/lowcarbsidedishes/r/caulirice.htm

I've never tried it, but my sister keeps going on and on at me about how good it is.

All sorts of pulses... butter beans.

We quite often just have a stewy type thing with loads of assorted veg thrown in - just make your usual stuff but with way more veg to bulk it out.

Can't you just eat some carbs before dinner, out of her sight? Like a starter?

Also - most diets work by cutting out sugar (low carb = low sugar, low calorie= low sugar, etc). Maybe just cutting out sweet stuff would work for her in the long term? I tried that, and ate loads of other things, anything I wanted, and lost a stone in about 3 months with no effort at all.
Ben Sharp - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up:
> (In reply to Mutl3y)
> Well that's the thing, it's precisely something like a plateful of carrots I'm trying to avoid. Chicken and carrots as you suggest seems to be her dream meal right now, but for me that's just got a huge hole where a jacket spud should be sat.

If you're allowed root veg then just cook it up in a more interesting way. Par boiled carrots, roasted in the oven with cumin seeds. Mixed veg chips, again par boiled carrots/parsnips/squash/sweet taters etc. made into chip shapes and roasted. Obviously not particuarly low carbs but if you're eating them anyway, roasting them isn't going to add carbs.

The other thing to try is to cut veg into pasta shapes and pretend it's pasta, courgette cut into spaghetti shapes makes a nice carbonara. Or carrots (again!) chopped into cubes and used with your favourite pasta recipes. Lasagna is great with aubergine instead of pasta sheets as well.

Either that or you could go more Machiavellian and get into the spirit of things a bit, agree with her that you should eradicate carbs completely, no carrots, no peas. Go militantly, absolutely no carbs at all and just enjoy filling your plate with meat and cheese, i.e. Chicken, burgers, bacon, eggs and sausage gratin with grilled mozzarella over the top of it all. Who would break first?
GrahamD - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to What Goes Up:

Try introducing her to weight watchers. As far as I can see its a basic healthy balanced diet with an emphasis on reduced fat and it definately works (and its sustainable)
lost1977 - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to Daniel Heath:

i achieved the goals i had and got my BF down, no desire to get it any lower at the moment so have returned to an eat for performance type diet and weight hasnt gone back up even at xmas

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=532407&v=1#x7151600
freerangecat - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Mutl3y:

Be slightly careful with excessive carrot consumption, it can make you go orange in the end... (not a myth - I did!)

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