Do I need to count calories while on a low carb diet?

This is a great question.  And it’s actually a yes and no answer.

In the beginning, I don’t think you have to count calories.  I don’t even worry about counting calories for the first month or two of eating low carb.  My goal is to focus on getting into ketosis first and foremost.  This puts me into serious fat burning mode and eliminates cravings and stabilizes blood sugar levels.  That’s step one.

Now, if I’ve eaten a very low carb diet for a month (and in ketosis and exercising) and haven’t shed any weight (and don’t have hypothyroidism or extreme stress in my life), then I might want to start considering caloric intake.

You simply can’t eat 5,000 calories a day, not exercise at all and expect to lose weight.  However, it’d be very hard to eat that many calories on a low carb diet.  I’ve noticed that my body sends a “I’m full” signal much faster with smaller amounts when eating low carb.

Calories still matter.  But I wouldn’t start with them.  I had a lot of weight to lose and eating low carb turns out to be a natural reduction in calories anyway.  I haven’t counted calories at all since I started back in late August and I’ve lost 76 pounds. Just by keeping my carb count low, calories generally evened out all by themselves, especially when paying attention to hunger and full signals from your body.

It’s entirely possible that as i get closer to my goal (say 100 pounds), then calories may come into play to reach that final result.  I don’t know.  However, one of the advantages of losing weight has been my activity level has picked up a bit which helps to further offset caloric intake.

I personally feel like low carb is an ideal choice for getting weight levels down to a manageable level.  And I know a lot of people are worried about trying another diet and it not working for them.  That’s a distinct possibility. What I’ve noticed is that people fail on low carb because they don’t follow the diet closely enough for a long enough period of time.  Me, personally, I think you need a minimum of 6 weeks on a ketogenic diet before judging anything.

And the only words of wisdom I can offer is that you won’t know until you try.  Yes, low carb probably works better for some people than it does for others.  I think for carb junkies, sugar-holics, people who are seriously overweight and people with a preference to store fat in their abdomen, then it’s a no-brainer thing to try.

I would suggest talking with your doctor.  Have them check your fasting “insulin” levels.  If they are high, then that’s a clue.

I tried several other diet plans, and low carb was the one that worked the best for my body.  And I have historically high insulin levels and as a result, am prone to hypoglycemia.  Low carb fixed all that.

According to numerous studies, low carb been shown to be safe and effective over time.  So the worse case scenario is that it doesn’t work for you and you’ll know within the first month if it’s right for you.  But if you don’t try it, then you’ll also never know.

Finally, I firmly believe that there is a part of you that knows deep down what’s good for you.  You’ve probably eaten a lot of different foods over the years.  And your body/mind has been cataloging those foods and their effects (and possibly it’s already in the DNA anyway).  So your body already knows what’s good for you and what you should be eating.  Give it half a chance.

Here’s the motto I used to help me lose weight:

I hereby give myself permission to automatically make the best choices for my own health and well-being.

Party on!

One Response to “Do I need to count calories while on a low carb diet?”

  1. avatar Krely says:

    my firs day in low carbs i felt so cold is it normal? but guess what in one day i lost 4 pounds. Is it normal too? i feel better and full.

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