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Old 10-06-2013, 11:25 AM   #1
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Carbs vs Calories

I was doing so-so while on low carb. I came here to ask questions and share my angst and was informed (in numerous ways) that calories mattered too. This came as a surprise to me because my friend who got me into low carb told me all you have to do is cut out the carbs, get yourself into ketosis and your body would do the rest. He, too, has seen so-so results.

So calories matter too. It's simple math. I learned that for my age, height, weight and activity level I need about 2400 calories to maintain, 1900 for loss and 1700 for rapid loss. When I first started counting my calories I was still in heavy ketosis (dark, dark, dark on the strip) and I was actually counting to make sure I was getting enough for the day because I had no appetite and was under-eating. I slowly reintroduced carbs into my diet but I haven't fallen into the trap of wanting to overeat (most days), because the induction phase had previously worked so well---too well---and I feel that most of the time I'm now eating to live, not living to eat.

So all is well. When I find myself craving too much or if I ate too much the previous day I simply cut out the carbs for a little while and it seems to put me back into a good balance. My point is this: doing low carb, I lost a little bit of weight, but doing normal carbs and counting calories, I'm losing more.

Which brings me back to my friend. We were out the other day talking about all this and he said he just didn't understand how calories factor into this. He said when you're in ketosis your body is burning fat, so what do calories have to do with it? He always believed he could eat a million calories a day and as long as he was cutting out the carbs he'd be fine. I tried to quote him bits and pieces of things I've learned on this forum (such as "well too much protein at once can act as carbs in the body," etc.) but without a good background knowledge into the complexities of the human body, I was really just talking in circles. I don't know the answers either. I'm as confused as he is.

So, knowing my specific questions, could someone explain in the most idiot-proof way possible? Truthfully I'd like to get back into low carb and stick with it because I like the idea of low carb as a way of life, not as a diet. But I have this thing stuck in my mind too that as long as I'm staying between 1700 and 1900 calories per day (which goes down as my weight drops too, of course) I'll be fine---plus this has been proven to me on the scale and with the tape measure.

Someone here once wrote something that stuck with me: by maintaining ketosis, you're giving yourself a metabolic advantage. Your body functions according to a fat burning metabolism, not a carb burning one. This makes sense to me. But what also makes sense to me is that if my body needs 2400 calories per day to maintain, eating more than that will be stored as fat and eating less will cause my body to consume it's own fat. So that, too, makes sense.

And here's my question, really: if I do both, counting calories and maintaining low carbs, will I double the "good effects"? And if so, how and why? Can someone reconcile this question for me and my friend? What difference does it make if I ate a steady diet of rice, potatoes and bread (nutritional concerns notwithstanding) as long as I'm keeping my calories below that maintenance level?
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:44 AM   #2
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I don't know where he got the idea that calories don't matter at all. Ask him if he believes that's someone could eat 5000 calories a day and still lose, as long as they were in ketosis? It simply doesn't make sense. Because it's not true. Dr. Atkins, Drs. Phinney and Volek, and others, all talk about how most don't have to count calories, but calories do count!

For example, if following Nutritional Ketosis, the way you go into maintenance is to keep your carbs and protein the same, but increase your fat intake until your calories reach high enough for your body to stop losing.

For some people, a simple calories in/calories out model will work. For others, it's not only how much, but what they eat that makes the difference. Because the pancreas and other body systems react to the form of calories, in particular carbohydrates, either encouraging or discouraging fat storage, eating a low calorie diet that is high in carbs can mean that they need to restrict calories far beyond what is sustainable or healthy to lose weight.

Many people eating a ketogenic diet don't have to count or consciously limit calories for a few reasons: 1) because ketosis gives a caloric benefit, meaning that the act of burning fat rather than carbs takes more energy, so one can theoretically eat more (not unlimited, but somewhere in the 300 calorie range) and still lose, 2) because ketosis is an appetite suppressant for many of us; if you eat to your hunger, that often means you'll naturally eat less, and 3) because fat is satiating, and eating high fat helps you be satisfied sooner and for longer.

I would encourage your friend to read a few science-based LC books to help him understand why what he's eating is making a difference. And so he can stop talking nonsense. The Art & Science of Low Carbohydrate Living is a good start.
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:09 PM   #3
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Oh believe me, I know it's nonsense. He came to his conclusions for two reasons:

1) His son lost a ton of weight doing low carb but also eating a lot. But his son also exercises habitually. Naturally, my friend thought it was the low carb alone that helped his son and discounted the exercise.

2) He read a pamphlet about low carbing. Just a pamphlet he came across that listed all the delicious things you can still eat while on a low carb diet. Because the pamphlet said "eat until you're full", and because he's a very big guy (tall and big-boned), his being full is still quite a bit.

My friend is brash and headstrong. He loves making money and trying to come up with ways to get rich. Though he has a successful company, he still wants more and what he has is never enough. He once told me he thought he'd get into the weight loss "circuit" and write a book or do speaking engagements for big bucks. "How complicated can it be?" he said to me. He felt he was an expert because he read a pamphlet and that qualified him to make millions telling people how to lose weight. It was really pretty disgusting. He should come to this forum and learn a little humility. Even the least knowledgeable people on this forum (that would be me) know five times more than him.

I suffer from the problem of thinking everything in the world is too complicated and out of my reach. He suffers from the opposite problem: everything is easy, everything is simple, everything can lead him to success. My problem comes from thinking I'm more stupid than I am. His problem comes from thinking he's smarter than he is.

Anyway, back to the discussion.

Ntombi, thank you for your answer but I'd still like to understand one thing. I get the idea that ketosis suppresses our appetite, which is why I want to get back into low-carbing, even though I've been doing sort of okay counting calories. I want to do better than sort of okay.

But what about the whole fat burning thing? Isn't ketosis an indication that our bodies are burning, or sustaining, through our own fat stores? I guess where I'm confused is why does it take an absence of carbs to initiate that? If I ate a regular diet which included carbs, but only ate half the calories needed to sustain my weight, wouldn't the body still need to burn fat, thus putting me into ketosis even though I was still eating carbs? I think that's the main point of confusion for me.
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:29 PM   #4
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Hi Joe, and

Well it is more complicated than that.. Excess protein turns to sugar too. Your body, actually prefers a ketogenic diet. Eating any carbs and low calories, makes your body think you are starving it. Thus the rebound weight gains. When you eat 'regular' carbs, i.e., white bread, rice, potatoes etc. they act just like sugar in your body. That's what low carb is trying to stop. The insulin spikes that a standard American diet causes.

Not all carbs are created equal. Dr. Atkins did say, that he didn't say calories don't matter. They do, over eating is still over eating. A high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet is what works for our bodies best. An absence of carbs is needed to be in ketosis because it forces your body to turn to fat for fuel --> ketosis. It normal, it's what our bodies do when we are starving.

I would suggest you keep reading, here and Maria Emmerich has a good site where she explains a lot of this a lot better too. Dr. Atkin's book would be good too. There is a whole science behind this.. I hope you keep it up, it really is a healthier way to eat.
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:38 PM   #5
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also remember this, whenever someone is telling you something that doesn't agree with reality--OUR BODIES ARE ALL DIFFERENT. and your body is different than it was 5 years ago and surely different than it will be in 5 years.

it's very complicated, many factors weigh in, etc.

one good point for low carbing is that it's easier to stick to your plan. when you are eating limited quantities of "whatever you want" you frequently trigger cravings you can't control and suddenly it's NOT a limited quantity.

but young men with robust metabolisms are NOT the gold standard for what works for obese people to lose weight. it's like two different animals.

good luck
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:09 PM   #6
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Calories do matter. You have to count calories because you can easily overeat, regardless of what type of diet your are on. It doesn't have anything to do with ketosis. Some people live almost entirely on carbs and their body stores the excess as fat, then when they need the extra calories the fat gets burned. This is also true of people on a high fat diet, you can eat more calories that you need and if those calories are extra fat, they will be stored as fat, until you need the extra calories. The key is to not overeat. At least, most of the time. The diet that gets you to that place is the one that is going to be successful. Some people need a low carb to get to that place.
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ravenrose View Post
also remember this, whenever someone is telling you something that doesn't agree with reality--OUR BODIES ARE ALL DIFFERENT. and your body is different than it was 5 years ago and surely different than it will be in 5 years.

it's very complicated, many factors weigh in, etc.

one good point for low carbing is that it's easier to stick to your plan. when you are eating limited quantities of "whatever you want" you frequently trigger cravings you can't control and suddenly it's NOT a limited quantity.

but young men with robust metabolisms are NOT the gold standard orwhat works for obese people to lose weight. it's like two different animals.

good luck
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:37 PM   #8
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CICO? Not so much. This brave soul has illustrated how calories really work:
Day 21 Of The 21 Day 5,000 Calorie CARB Challenge | Smash The Fat LIVE

In 21 days of 5000 low-carb calories, he gained about 2 pounds and lost about an inch from his waist. In 21 days of 5000 high-carb food he gained about 15 pounds and four inches in the waist. All the information is shown on the website. Amazing.

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Old 10-07-2013, 02:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JoeJett View Post
Oh believe me, I know it's nonsense. He came to his conclusions for two reasons:

1) His son lost a ton of weight doing low carb but also eating a lot. But his son also exercises habitually. Naturally, my friend thought it was the low carb alone that helped his son and discounted the exercise.

2) He read a pamphlet about low carbing. Just a pamphlet he came across that listed all the delicious things you can still eat while on a low carb diet. Because the pamphlet said "eat until you're full", and because he's a very big guy (tall and big-boned), his being full is still quite a bit.

My friend is brash and headstrong. He loves making money and trying to come up with ways to get rich. Though he has a successful company, he still wants more and what he has is never enough. He once told me he thought he'd get into the weight loss "circuit" and write a book or do speaking engagements for big bucks. "How complicated can it be?" he said to me. He felt he was an expert because he read a pamphlet and that qualified him to make millions telling people how to lose weight. It was really pretty disgusting. He should come to this forum and learn a little humility. Even the least knowledgeable people on this forum (that would be me) know five times more than him.

I suffer from the problem of thinking everything in the world is too complicated and out of my reach. He suffers from the opposite problem: everything is easy, everything is simple, everything can lead him to success. My problem comes from thinking I'm more stupid than I am. His problem comes from thinking he's smarter than he is.

Anyway, back to the discussion.

Ntombi, thank you for your answer but I'd still like to understand one thing. I get the idea that ketosis suppresses our appetite, which is why I want to get back into low-carbing, even though I've been doing sort of okay counting calories. I want to do better than sort of okay.

But what about the whole fat burning thing? Isn't ketosis an indication that our bodies are burning, or sustaining, through our own fat stores? I guess where I'm confused is why does it take an absence of carbs to initiate that? If I ate a regular diet which included carbs, but only ate half the calories needed to sustain my weight, wouldn't the body still need to burn fat, thus putting me into ketosis even though I was still eating carbs? I think that's the main point of confusion for me.
Oh no!!!! Now you've opened up a completely DIFFERENT can of worms and probably don't even realize it. Get this: most say exercise doesn't mean SQUAT when it comes to weight loss. I don't know if it does or not, but I know I'd be a flabby, weak mess without weight training, so I choose to bypass that whole argument. But there are those on here who will argue that point to the death.

As for your original point, I'd say it depends on age, gender, and how much weight you have to lose just how much calories do matter. "Why we get fat" by Taubes has an interesting chapter on why calories in/calories out doesn't make sense. The first law of thermodynamics doesn't apply to humans, we're more complex than that, etc. He says if a person ate just 20 calories extra per day, over 40 years that would be a 40 pound weight gain. So how do we explain people whose weight remains stable yet they never counted a calorie one day of their life? It's an interesting read.
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:36 PM   #10
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Studies are pretty clear that exercise doesn't add much, if any, benefit when you're talking purely about speeding up weight loss. That doesn't mean that it's not a healthy thing to do for many other reasons.

When you see people here saying that exercise won't help, we're almost always talking to someone who has posted a question about why they're not losing, should they increase exercise, and so on. It's not just a general "should I exercise" question.

I will argue that strength training is very important for overall health and fitness, for building and maintaining LBM, and even looking smaller at the same weight. But you will never hear me say that it's good for weight loss.

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Old 10-08-2013, 08:38 PM   #11
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So how do we explain people whose weight remains stable yet they never counted a calorie one day of their life? It's an interesting read.
I would explain it quite simply: Not counting =/= overeating.

Now, if the question was how do we explain people whose weight remains stable yet THEY CONSISTENTLY OVEREAT? Then I'd ask to see some proof.

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Old 10-08-2013, 09:40 PM   #12
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I don't count calories, and I am losing. BUT...I don't go overboard either. I have no idea what my protein to fat to carbs ratio is. I just eat how I think I am supposed to. Protein with a little healthy fat and as little carbs as possible. My carbs mostly come from a slice of cheese or veggies.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:58 PM   #13
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I don't count calories, and I am losing. BUT...I don't go overboard either. I have no idea what my protein to fat to carbs ratio is. I just eat how I think I am supposed to. Protein with a little healthy fat and as little carbs as possible. My carbs mostly come from a slice of cheese or veggies.
This is me, also. I've a hard enough time counting carbs. I haven't yet gotten to the point where I want or need to start on macros or %s. I dread the time will come soon. I really just think of this woe as a MUCH better alternative to a 44oz dr pepper 2x a day, a fast food burger and fries with ketkup, 3-4 slices of pizza, a can of Pringles with ranch dip... Then a chicken fried steak with gravy and loaded baked potato as dinner, oh with 2-3 glasses of sweet tea.

Keeping my portions vlc and small and 0 sugar or processed food has been my answer so far for health benefits, the weightloss is just a bonus.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:58 PM   #14
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I will say though, by cutting out all of the sugar, and grains, that is mostly high caloric stuff. I don't know how you COULD eat higher calories on this plan. Personally, I mix up my meats. I will eat lean chicken breast, but sometimes throw in some dark meat. I will eat turkey burgers, but throw in ground meat too. Sometimes fattier meats, mostly lean meats.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:41 PM   #15
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JoeJett - Someone here once wrote something that stuck with me: by maintaining ketosis, you're giving yourself a metabolic advantage. Your body functions according to a fat burning metabolism, not a carb burning one. This makes sense to me. But what also makes sense to me is that if my body needs 2400 calories per day to maintain, eating more than that will be stored as fat and eating less will cause my body to consume it's own fat. So that, too, makes sense.

And here's my question, really: if I do both, counting calories and maintaining low carbs, will I double the "good effects"? And if so, how and why? Can someone reconcile this question for me and my friend? What difference does it make if I ate a steady diet of rice, potatoes and bread (nutritional concerns notwithstanding) as long as I'm keeping my calories below that maintenance level?
I am fairly new to this but have done a lot of research and here is how I see it - Yes ketosis is burning fat or a fat burning metabolism. Partially right on eating more calories will gain, eating less will lose. That would depend on what you eating and what the values of F/P/C are. For proper NK you need to eat 50g or less carbs(maybe less for some in K), enough protein for LBM, and then the rest of your calories from fat.

Let's use me as an example I am 5'7 at 192lbs with a 45% body fat ratio. Because I am in Induction, I only want 15g carbs per day. So to figure out my protein, we look at my body fat and LBM. Body fat is 45% which is 85lbs of my weight, leaving 107 as my lean body mass. With me so far?
LBM of 107 * .66 is what I need of protein = 70g protein day (this .66 is to lose weight not maintain based on my activity level of 0 exercise). Google Keto Calculator
So now we have my carb at 15g and protein at 70g. We still need to know the fat. carbs and protein compute into calories by multiple of 4 - so 15*4 = 60calories, 70*4 = 280 calories which = 340 calories. For me to lose weight in Induction, I want my calories to be around 1000 even though I can go up to 1680 day. So that leaves me 660 calories for fat.

Now for carb versus fat discussion - Carbs convert to glucose and then to energy faster than fats, but fats provide more energy. Both carbs and fat can be used as fuel for the body. But carbs(glucose) can not be readily stored in the body and continually need more carbs to refuel for the body to survive or the body starts feeding upon itself. Then if you intake to much you have to worry about insulin spikes and fat storage from the excess. It is this distinction and our human history that allows us to determine that fat is the preferred fuel of the body. What about the need for glucose you ask? Gluconeogenesis. Too much to go into here but you can Google "Why fat, Not Carbs" and you will find a lot of information. Also read through the NK forums here.

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Old 10-08-2013, 10:51 PM   #16
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Oh, it's very easy to eat high calorie while eating LC. Sometimes people can go overboard and eat too many calories without realizing it, or because their hunger switch is broken.

I eat mostly fatty meats, I eat cheese and other dairy, and I eat high fat in general. If I ate past satisfaction into full or stuffed, I could eat way too many calories for my body, even if I were keeping my carbs under 20g and my proteins at a reasonable level during the weight loss phase. That would make me either maintain or gain weight. Just eating LC and being in ketosis doesn't automatically mean weight loss. In fact, I'll still be in ketosis and eating very low carb while in maintenance. Once I get to goal, I plan to increase my fats (keeping carbs and protein the same) to get to a maintenance level of calories. That's what Dr. Phinney and Volek recommend.

I don't currently count calories, and I don't really track anything daily, or even weekly. I know what I need to eat to stay below 20g of carbs and around 120g of protein, so I very rarely I input or count my foods. This works for me. It may or may not work for you.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:08 PM   #17
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I forgot to address your question - What difference does it make if I ate a steady diet of rice, potatoes and bread (nutritional concerns notwithstanding) as long as I'm keeping my calories below that maintenance level?

The body only needs roughly 5g glucose an hour and the brain in a healthy low carb, high fat diet 30g a day or in a non-lc fat diet approx. 120g a day. In gluconeogenesis, the liver can produce 150g a day. So in most people, if you are eating any carbs (those potatoes, rice and bread) with fat regardless of being within the caloric limits, your body will store fat. That is why a LC diet works so well with the body. Fat becomes the primary fuel, gluconeogenesis comes into play, and very little carbs are needed to maintain a healthy body.

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Old 10-09-2013, 02:57 AM   #18
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I forgot to address your question - What difference does it make if I ate a steady diet of rice, potatoes and bread (nutritional concerns notwithstanding) as long as I'm keeping my calories below that maintenance level?

The body only needs roughly 5g glucose an hour and the brain in a healthy low carb, high fat diet 30g a day or in a non-lc fat diet approx. 120g a day. In gluconeogenesis, the liver can produce 150g a day. So in most people, if you are eating any carbs (those potatoes, rice and bread) with fat regardless of being within the caloric limits, your body will store fat. That is why a LC diet works so well with the body. Fat becomes the primary fuel, gluconeogenesis comes into play, and very little carbs are needed to maintain a healthy body.


Thanks, I tried finding out how much glucose we actually need but I couldn't find it anywhere. This helps a lot. So basically we don't really need to eat carbs because our body can produce what it needs to survive. The exception might be if you are participating in heavy athletic activity where you might need the quicker turn around time for the muscles to recoup. For athletes for example, the fuel of choice is often carbs because it is so effective in transferring the energy.
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:11 AM   #19
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Gary Taubes does a fantastic job of explaining this very issue in his book Why We Get Fat. It is very useful to get a grasp on the effect of the foods on a body as opposed to the # of calories and how it makes little sense to calorie count as a method of weight loss.
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:14 AM   #20
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I would explain it quite simply: Not counting =/= overeating.

Now, if the question was how do we explain people whose weight remains stable yet THEY CONSISTENTLY OVEREAT? Then I'd ask to see some proof.
You might be interested to read some of the low carb experts blogs. One in particular is Dr. Peter Attia's weight loss story. His blog is called the Eating Academy. His experiences are not an isolated case but more common than not.
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:59 AM   #21
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also remember this, whenever someone is telling you something that doesn't agree with reality--OUR BODIES ARE ALL DIFFERENT. and your body is different than it was 5 years ago and surely different than it will be in 5 years.

it's very complicated, many factors weigh in, etc.



Before I was diabetic and post menopause, I lost 70 pounds in 3 months, easily eating 2500-3000 calories per day (or more) and absolutely no exercise.

Now, if I eat more than 1500 calories per day *on low carb*, I will gain weight. Even eating 900-1200 on low carb and it takes weeks to lose even 1 lb...and that is with a much higher activity level.

Calories do count for some people. They don't for others. People can spout all the 'science' they want, but as Rose said above...we are all unique and our individual requirements...and the way our bodies deal with what we eat...will vary. The most we can do is find what works for us and then do it.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:00 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Ntombi View Post
Studies are pretty clear that exercise doesn't add much, if any, benefit when you're talking purely about speeding up weight loss. That doesn't mean that it's not a healthy thing to do for many other reasons.

When you see people here saying that exercise won't help, we're almost always talking to someone who has posted a question about why they're not losing, should they increase exercise, and so on. It's not just a general "should I exercise" question.

I will argue that strength training is very important for overall health and fitness, for building and maintaining LBM, and even looking smaller at the same weight. But you will never hear me say that it's good for weight loss.

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Old 10-09-2013, 06:04 AM   #23
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I would explain it quite simply: Not counting =/= overeating.

Now, if the question was how do we explain people whose weight remains stable yet THEY CONSISTENTLY OVEREAT? Then I'd ask to see some proof.
People who maintain their weight, don't overeat AS MUCH, people who gain weight. It took me years to get this. I just thought I had a poor metabolism. I can still overeat on a high fat, low carb diet. It is quite easy to do, especially when your brain is in lag time. When it finally catches up, for me that takes a day or two, that is when you start reducing your calorie intake naturally. On high carb, I never did that. I just never compensated for the overeating because my body was storing the extra carbs as fat, and then just asking for more food. On the low carb diet something different occurs. 2 days later, I am a lot less hungry and actually undereat. I have caught myself eating as low as 800cal some days. I don't think I ever had a day under 1000cal when I was on a high carb diet. How do I know this? Because I count calories everyday and have been doing it consistently for almost 4 years. I can easily eat 3000 calories without feeling full and I can easily eat 800cal and not feel hungry. I have had some days where a 3000 cal binge has provided me with enough energy to exercise 5 hours straight two days later. Weight maintenance is about effective balance. The key to weight maintenance is effective energy balance. The reason why low carb works for me is that this energy balance happens naturally. As long as the extra calories aren't coming from carbs, my body regulates this balance without me having to restrict food or exercise it off. Low carb is great for me for these reasons.

Last edited by Punkin; 10-09-2013 at 06:05 AM..
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:14 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aomiel View Post



Before I was diabetic and post menopause, I lost 70 pounds in 3 months, easily eating 2500-3000 calories per day (or more) and absolutely no exercise.

Now, if I eat more than 1500 calories per day *on low carb*, I will gain weight. Even eating 900-1200 on low carb and it takes weeks to lose even 1 lb...and that is with a much higher activity level.

Calories do count for some people. They don't for others. People can spout all the 'science' they want, but as Rose said above...we are all unique and our individual requirements...and the way our bodies deal with what we eat...will vary. The most we can do is find what works for us and then do it.
I couldn't agree more with your initial statement. I too lost and remained at goal when I was 10 yrs. younger.

I sure hope I don't come across as 'spouting'. That is certainly not my intention and I do think calories do count but not as much as the absolute macro nutrient amounts, which of course can be translated into 'calories'.

Hormones and other changes in the body over time also have a big play in weight loss but we seem to only be able to control them with diet and therefore the type of food is important.
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:48 AM   #25
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Yes Punkin, a person who is athletic would need more carbs because of the need for quick energy turnaround. The faster you expend energy, the faster you need it. Because protein offers more energy but at a slower pace, the lc diet is not always best or beneficial for people who exercise regular or high intensity.

But even though we have all this science to back the LC diet, I totally believe what ravenrose posted about our bodies are all different. Science aside, we have got to learn how our individual body reacts to our diet and what its need are. That goes for the exercise issue as well. Some bodies are better equipped to handle exercise and do well on exercise program. Others do not, or do not show a need for it. I for one both medically and physically can not exercise regularly. The most I can do is occasional walking, yet I still lose weight.

The key is to know the background (the Science), start the program (lc diet), and then modify it for what works for you. This could be as simple as adjusting your caloric intake by upping or decreasing your fat or protein. Or you may do great and then your body just stalls out, so you need to jumpstart it again. No one diet is perfect for everyone, and no one diet is perfect. That's why weightloss is such a big marketing industry.

The one area that no one, including science, can calculate is our emotional wellbeing. And that most definitely can effect our weight gain or loss. We are all uniquely human in that our individual stresses and triggers are different than others. You may gain additional weight by being in constant worry even though you are in a low stress environment. I may gain when I am under high stress. So end of rant, you are the only person that will ever be able to know what truly works for you, and even then there may come a time when that would change due to changes in your life.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:57 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by mjgh06 View Post
Yes Punkin, a person who is athletic would need more carbs because of the need for quick energy turnaround. The faster you expend energy, the faster you need it. Because protein offers more energy but at a slower pace, the lc diet is not always best or beneficial for people who exercise regular or high intensity.

But even though we have all this science to back the LC diet, I totally believe what ravenrose posted about our bodies are all different. Science aside, we have got to learn how our individual body reacts to our diet and what its need are. That goes for the exercise issue as well. Some bodies are better equipped to handle exercise and do well on exercise program. Others do not, or do not show a need for it. I for one both medically and physically can not exercise regularly. The most I can do is occasional walking, yet I still lose weight.

The key is to know the background (the Science), start the program (lc diet), and then modify it for what works for you. This could be as simple as adjusting your caloric intake by upping or decreasing your fat or protein. Or you may do great and then your body just stalls out, so you need to jumpstart it again. No one diet is perfect for everyone, and no one diet is perfect. That's why weightloss is such a big marketing industry.

The one area that no one, including science, can calculate is our emotional wellbeing. And that most definitely can effect our weight gain or loss. We are all uniquely human in that our individual stresses and triggers are different than others. You may gain additional weight by being in constant worry even though you are in a low stress environment. I may gain when I am under high stress. So end of rant, you are the only person that will ever be able to know what truly works for you, and even then there may come a time when that would change due to changes in your life.
That is not true once a person is keto adapted. If someone keeps going in and out of ketosis, then yes, they'll need more carbs to get through intense exercise.

But if they stay in ketosis long enough to become keto-adapted (which can take up to six weeks of constant ketosis), they will find that they no longer hit "the wall" when doing intense exercise for longer and longer periods, because their body will be directly burning their fat stores for energy, instead of relying on carbs they eat. The science of is explained in many books, most notably in The Art & Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. There are a bunch of world-class competitive athletes who successfully compete and have found better performance because they are keto-adapted.

Sometimes people get frustrated with their workout fatigue early on, and will increase ther carbs too soon, so they never get to the keto-adapted stage. But if you push through, you'll feel a big difference.

Last edited by Ntombi; 10-09-2013 at 10:59 AM..
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:42 AM   #27
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ntombi - While I agree with most of what you said, I think you are misunderstanding my point. Even when a person is keto-adapted, if they are a high-intensity exerciser such as endurance training or marathons, the body is going to need a higher intake of carbs than the normal non-active individual. I am not saying the carbs have to come from bad areas. Many athletes add in fruits and tubers as the healthier than grains carb source. But there is no way getting around the fact that an athlete especially one is doing high intensity training needs more carbs than a non athletic, healthy person. Most high endurance trainers need at least 60-100g extra carb intake beyond the low carb plan each day during training. A good read for this is Primal Compromise for Athletes.

Otherwise, I say we just have to disagree.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:45 AM   #28
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Yeah, we'll have to disagree.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:51 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by mjgh06 View Post
ntombi - While I agree with most of what you said, I think you are misunderstanding my point. Even when a person is keto-adapted, if they are a high-intensity exerciser such as endurance training or marathons, the body is going to need a higher intake of carbs than the normal non-active individual. I am not saying the carbs have to come from bad areas. Many athletes add in fruits and tubers as the healthier than grains carb source. But there is no way getting around the fact that an athlete especially one is doing high intensity training needs more carbs than a non athletic, healthy person. Most high endurance trainers need at least 60-100g extra carb intake beyond the low carb plan each day during training. A good read for this is Primal Compromise for Athletes.

Otherwise, I say we just have to disagree.
The suggested reading of The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance says otherwise. There are many other sources that say the same. Interesting stuff.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:51 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by mjgh06 View Post
ntombi - While I agree with most of what you said, I think you are misunderstanding my point. Even when a person is keto-adapted, if they are a high-intensity exerciser such as endurance training or marathons, the body is going to need a higher intake of carbs than the normal non-active individual. I am not saying the carbs have to come from bad areas. Many athletes add in fruits and tubers as the healthier than grains carb source. But there is no way getting around the fact that an athlete especially one is doing high intensity training needs more carbs than a non athletic, healthy person. Most high endurance trainers need at least 60-100g extra carb intake beyond the low carb plan each day during training. A good read for this is Primal Compromise for Athletes.

Otherwise, I say we just have to disagree.
Another good read is Vinnie Tortorich, America's Angriest Trainer. His book "Fitness Confidential" is great. Plus it's got a lot of info on training in a ketoadapted state. His website and podcasts are full of ultra long distance athletes who eat the VLC diet. He just calls it no sugar, no grains.

It's all about becoming keto-adapted and it doesn't happen overnight.
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