Tag Archives: calories

We count Carbs, not Calories

On any good low-carb/keto eating plan, this is the rule: we restrict carbohydrate grams, not calories! If you have a choice between eating a hundred -calorie pack of a high carb food and 400 calories of zero-carb steak, our eating plan says eat the steak.

Some detractors of our way-of-eating claim that Atkins, low-carb and keto only cause weight loss in people who also cut calories. From a scientific perspective, these people are wrong.

A scientific study by Kekwick and Pawan compared three 1000 calorie diets. One was mostly carbohydrates, one mostly protein and one mostly fat. If the common beliefs about calories were true, we would have expected all three groups to have the same outcomes.

But that is not what happened. The carbohydrate diet did not produce weight loss. The protein diet did, and the fat version had even better results.

This study shows that in the body, not all calories are treated in the same way. Which is a big ‘fail’ for the calorie theory.

But some people persist and try to mingle the two approaches. Which is likely to leave you hungry, malnourished and miserable.

Think about a typical ‘dieting’ day. You’re hungry, and you only have about 100 calories left. So you eat one of those 100 calorie packs of high-carb food, you get hungry again very shortly, and you have to hope a magic dose of willpower kicks in so you won’t eat again until morning.

The same situation on low-carb/keto: you are hungry, you’ve eaten all your carbs for the day— and so you have yourself a nice zero-carb steak. Maybe that’s 300 calories, maybe 400, but you don’t have to care about that. You don’t count calories, you count carbs. And the carbs are zero.

Many, many people have lost weight with low-carb eating more calories than one would dare to consume on a calorie-counting diet. Others do eat less on keto, but that’s because being in ketosis makes you unhungry.

So don’t believe it when they say low-carb only works when you are counting calories as well. The science backs up low-carb, and the idea that on low-carb you can actually eat food when you get hungry. It’s not a semi-starvation plan.

We count Carbs, not Calories.

There is a calorie tyranny afoot. Ever where you go, the talk is of calories, calories, calories. The only ‘common sense’ way to lose weight or get healthier is to cut down those darn calories and get used to being hungry.

But the science doesn’t line up with that. People have lost weight, have gotten into ketosis to improve health, all with counting carbs and eating more calories than ‘diets’ allow. But that’s OK because we aren’t on a ‘diet.’ This is our way-of-life now.

When we cut down on the number of meals we eat or even do OMAD or intermittent fasting, we don’t do it for calorie reduction. Mainly we do it because in ketosis we aren’t constantly hungry and wanting food. OMAD or fasting isn’t done to cut those calories. It’s to deal with problems of insulin resistance, or simply because one bigger meal generates less dirty dishes than three smaller meals.

Don’t ever be tempted to do white-knuckle fasting or OMAD with willpower alone. Your body doesn’t manage your eating life with willpower. Make sure you are getting enough food that your body doesn’t think you are in a famine. That’s how you get in a place where you are eating Big Macs with fries again, or coming home with a box of PopTarts.

Low-carb is not like calorie counting. In calorie counting, eating a one hundred calorie portion of candy bar is seen as a victory. On low-carb, we give up that 100 calories of candy for 300 calories of zero-carb beefsteak and feel fed, and lose weight and/or get healthier.

Adding calorie counting to our low-carb way-of-eating can just defeat you. You may be tempted to add more carbs than you should, and end up giving up low-carb for another failed diet.

Or you can just be miserable, unhappy, and undernourished to the point that your body’s signals for more/better food lead you back into carnivore land and from there back into weight gain or calorie counting.

This way-of-eating is science, not ‘common sense’ or internet rumor. You can do this. But you need to be firm that this is a different way-of-eating, not the same old calorie mentality at all.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Get in touch with Nissa Annakindt on MeWe.com.