> > Counting Carbs

When I realized that I had no choice but to lose weight and exercise, I knew that I did not want to go back to eating Low Fat.  I had done it before and I knew that I could not maintain that lifestyle.  I had been very successful on Weight Watchers and was a life time member.  But I hated eating that way.

I had been reading about the ABS Diet in Men’s Health and bluntly it was just another version of Weight Watchers.  The difference – it did not rely on Weight Watchers prepackaged foods.  The Low Fat concept was the same with the addition of “clean eating” – or doing away with as much processed food as you can.

I stood in the Diet Book aisle in Barnes and Noble, flipping through the titles and flipping through the pages.  I was being drawn to the Low Carb concept.  Not that I really knew much at that time.  I did not want to buy a $30.00 book – I wanted to test the water.  I picked up Dana Carpender’s “Carb Gram Counter.”

This was Low Carb dieting in a Nut Shell – peanut shell sized. The Classic Comic version would have been longer. We are talking maybe 15 pages of hard information in almost outline format. The basic rule – most people lose weight eating between 15-60 grams of Carbs per day.  With that in mind we set our Carb goal for under 25 or so grams a day.  That is really low but it worked.

Since this was a booklet that listed Carb Grams – we were Carb Counting.  That booklet went with us everywhere.  We learned the Carb content of all of the foods we were eating – not unlike learning the caloric content of these foods.  We also learned about net Carbs and the interplay of fiber and sugar alcohols.  But – we were still not a 100% convinced that we should walk away from the “low fat” world completely – just felt guilty eating all that fat.  This was a tough transition period.

The information did not stress the concept of “clean eating” – that is – not eating processed foods and eating things as close to their natural state as possible.  However, if you are limiting Carbs, then you automatically eliminate highly processed foods which, more often than not, are packed with Carbs.

I ended up buying a similar Carb Counter published by Atkins. Here we got the Atkins eating program in a Nut Shell.  The Induction Phase was similar to Plan A of TNT but is more restrictive. The Ongoing Weight Loss Phase where you need to determine your Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing is just too much bother. As always, exercise is an after thought.

As we got started down this road, I was first happy with the availability of the Atkins Bars.  They really made a plane trip easier – especially – when you were held up for hours at a time.  But – as we got into Low Carb eating, I came to understand that the Atkins world was going down the same road that Weight Watchers went – Highly Processed Low Carb products.  Just because they were Low Carb did not make them healthy.  A candy bar by any other name is still a candy bar.

When we switched to TNT, it became apparent that I needed to do another mind switch away from Carb Counting.  That took awhile and bluntly, I am still not completely away from Counting.  Old habits – which arose from Calorie counting – are hard to break. 

Where is my biggest weakness.  Knowing that certain berries are very high fiber and that by netting out the fiber, the Carb count is low – means that I could have a couple sliced up with a splash of cream.  If I were doing Atkins this would not be a problem.  But TNT takes the Low Carb concept one step further and integrates it with exercise nutrition.  So the timing of eating Carbs now becomes critical.  So – I save this treat for special Carb re-load meals.

Am I against Carb Counting – not really – but – it is just not a natural way to live.  And – that is where my head is at today.  I am trying to get away from the concept of constantly counting Carbs or Calories.  I want to live in a manner that I don’t consciously think about it.  TNT comes about as close as any eating program can come to doing this for me.  So TNT is where I will stay – until something better comes along.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Leo
    Apr 04, 2012 @ 11:56:08

    Hey TNT Man, I just discovered your very interesting site. Nice recipes too which I plan to try soon.
    Your journey sounds similar to mine. I started 2 years ago with Dr Richard Bernstein, did some Atkins and now very recently TNT Diet.
    Recently, I began gaining weight but my body fat remains steady. I think this is a good sign but I would like to reduce my weight and gain more muscle.
    Any thoughts? Should I try getting a food scale and be more aware of counting calories?



  2. TNT Man
    Apr 04, 2012 @ 13:04:13

    Leo: Thanks for stopping bye.

    I am not a big fan of counting calories. The food scale is not a bad idea if it helps you understand what a normal portion size is. You should be eating approximately one gram of protein per pound of Lean Body Mass. Plan A Veggies – 4-5 servings – all the rest of your needs from dietary fat.

    What exercising are you doing?

    I suggest that you check out the Men’s Health TNT Forum. The Link is on the bottom of the right column on this Blog. It is a great place to pick up information and to ask questions of others following this program.

    Best of Luck
    TNT Man


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