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You Asked: Should I Ditch Carbs to Lose Weight Before My Vacation?

Dear Fit,
I'm going to the Bahamas in April and I'm trying to lose some weight so I look good in my bathing suit. Is ditching carbs the best way to go?
—Beach-Bound Brooke

It's that time of year when we really start to think about toning up and losing weight since tank top, shorts, and bathing suit season is coming soon. To find out if ditching carbs will help you get there,


I'm so glad you asked me about this because the answer is a huge no. Do not stop eating carbs altogether, because your body needs them for fuel. Refined carbs like cookies, pasta, white bread, pretzels, and anything made with white flour or sugar can and should be avoided, but do not get rid of the good carbs like fruit, whole grain breads, and whole wheat pasta. Those are full of fiber and nutrients that your body needs for energy and for promoting regularity. They'll also help you lose weight because their high fiber content will keep you feeling full longer, so you won't find yourself needing to eat as much.

Also keep in mind that it's not so much the type of food you're eating that matters, but how much. Calories are the thing to watch here, so keep track of your portion sizes, and don't dip below 1,200 calories a day. In order to lose a pound a week, you'll need to omit 3,500 calories a week. So if you cut 250 calories from your diet a day and burn 250 calories a day through exercise, you'll be well on your way to losing a few pounds before your big trip. It'll take hard work and dedication, but you'll lose the weight and keep it off. If you just ditch all carbs to slim down quickly, you may drop pounds, but it's not a healthy way to go about it. As soon as you start introducing carbs back into your diet, you'll probably end up gaining the weight back. So remember that when it comes to weight loss, slow and steady wins the race.


Join The Conversation
jessik75 jessik75 8 years
I'm doing a no carbs/no sugar at the moment and it's working obviously, but i'm doing it cause even when i eat sensibly and do exercise, i don't loose any; i don't know why but my metabolism is so slow, only to take off the carbs and sugar works ... I've been at the "splurge after diet" before and i know how hard it is but this time i intend to eat "small, regular, low caloris" meals and allow myself one cheat day a week after i reach my goal !!
eroca87 eroca87 8 years
The body definitely needs carbs! They give us energy and are brain food. I think the key to carbs is knowing when to eat them. Morning to early afternoon is the best time to consume them, after that you should focus on focus on protein. Carbs=Energy; Protein=Repair. Also, it's best to avoid eating too much carb/protein combos, as your body has a really hard time digesting both at the same time.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 8 years
Even if you lose weight from a diet like this, that wouldn't make it healthy.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I've never been a big fan of very low carb diets, especially if you're active. Cut out the very refined carbs...white sugar, white rice, white bread, candy, etc. but keep the fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc. Incidentally, if you cut all carbs out for a few days, you'll probably lose quite a few pounds and you'll see a lot more muscle definition. That's because you're depleting your glycogen stores and glycogen holds a lot of water. Since a lot of your body's glycogen is stored in the muscles, you'll probably see a difference fairly quickly. But as soon as you eat carbs again, you'll gain the water weight back. When I sold fitness equipment, one of my managers did competitive bodybuilding and a few days before his competitions, he'd cut all carbs to get "cut". I suppose it worked, but it made him cranky as all getout and he always went on a huge carbfest right after the competitions.
1cigarrette 1cigarrette 8 years
Well, I'd just like to say, I started a very-low-carb diet plan a few months ago that only allows for certain veggies and certain fruits and lots of protein and I can honestly say I have NEVER seen such a change in my body... the first few weeks were torture, but afterwards I didn't even miss them, I do ocassionally "break the diet" during one meal a week or so during the weekends and I can honestly say that this works wonders. Just my experience.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Portion control, good food and exercise-it's not quick but it works.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I know a guy who swore by ditching carbs all together for a year, eating only meat and veggies...and he ended up in the hospital with a busted gallbladder because of all the fats from the meat. The veggies were helping, but not nearly enough. You need carbs to line your stomach for all that. Don't be like him!
TammyO TammyO 8 years
The body needs carbs. I don't know why they get such a bad rap.
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
Ditch the refined carbs- all that white bread junk and eat whole grains instead. And as others said, a healthy balanced diet and exercise is your best bet to lose the weight and keep it off. And you'll feel wonderful too :) I know I do!
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
Not exactly ditching carbs, but doing South BEach always helps me drop a few pounds. I know if you're losing more than a pound or so a week it's just water weight, but water weight still shows up when you're in a bikini!
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 8 years
*losing weight, not using weight :-)
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 8 years
a well-balanced (low-calorie if you're using weight) diet and exercise is key...and well-balanced includes carbs...just try and make them whole grains!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Sorry, I think that's a bad idea. You will end deprived and splurging later. You won't feel well, and you may end up gaining the weight again (or not lose any weight). I had a friend that did this, and that's exactly what happened. Incidentally, there was little difference between her before and after cutting carbs. Also, she felt so unwell. The plan was ineffective, in my opinion. Diet and exercise sensibly. There are no shortcuts for effective (and lasting) weight loss and fitness. JMHO.
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