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Old 12-26-2013, 12:47 PM   #1
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New to LC - calorie confusion

Hello everyone

I'm new to low carb, just starting on low carb-high fat and I'm a little confused. I hope someone may be able to help!

I've read Gary Taubes' "Why we get fat and what to do about it" (think that's what it's called). In it, Gary says we only need to keep carbs low to lose weight, we don't need to count calories and that if we stop eating when we're full, we'll still lose weight. Yet many posts here indicate that contributors are indeed counting calories and protein too in order to lose weight. Is that related to the individuality of dietary needs/reactions or have I missed something?

I'm 5'8", 44yo, female and 188lbs. Weight loss goal c.40lbs. And very grateful for any help from members!

Thanks
Bryony
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:02 PM   #2
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I think a lot of it is down to individuality. It seems though from posts that I read around this forum, that for many people who are close to goal or perhaps older (maybe women in particular) might need to focus more on the total package and not just reducing carbs. The NK approach stresses low carb, moderate protein, and fat to make up the difference. There is usually an caloric limit lurking around. You are now on the NK subforum so you are undoubtedly getting a load of that particular WOE.

That said, many people lose on Atkins sorts of approaches just by keeping carbs low.

Last edited by Patience; 12-26-2013 at 02:03 PM..
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:56 PM   #3
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I am new to this, just over a month in and while I do know my calorie intake in a rough way because I use an online tracker I use it the tracker to track carb, protein, and fat ratio's.

My calorie level right now is pretty low because I assume I'm burning a lot of body fat and am just not hungry that often. I'm not trying to keep it low, or bring it up (I made that mistake at first and realized how nuts it was to force myself to eat when not hungry). I watch my ratio's of protein to fat because I don't want to have so much protein in my diet that I'm converting it to glucose.

In just over a month I've had to make adjustments to get optimal loss without giving up health and I imagine that will continue on past maintenance. All you can do is try it and if it's not working adjust it.
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:59 PM   #4
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Welcome Rivergirl! Have you picked any plan in particular? It might be more useful to post in the main lobby unless you have decided to follow the nutritional ketosis guidelines for your own reasons.

It seems to me that most people following an Atkins type way of eating (woe) do not count calories and are advised to keep carbs low (20 g or less) and eat as much protein and fat as required to feel satisfied. That plan works for lots of people.

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Nutritional ketosis is very similar with the difference being in moderating protein. Neither plans involve calorie counting. Not to say that they don't count at all but they are far less important then the actual foods.
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"The energy content of food (calories) matters, but it is less important than the metabolic effect of food on our body." Dr. P. Attia

"dumping carbohydrates on your broken metabolism is tantamount to doing jumping jacks on two broken legs" -The Spark of Reason

“Eat animals. Mostly fat. Enjoy!

Last edited by clackley; 12-26-2013 at 03:02 PM..
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:15 AM   #5
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Dear Patience, Curious Cat and Cathy

Your replies are all helpful, thank you.

Cathy, I'm still trying to work out the WOE that suits me best but what I mean by that is I'm reading up about it all and trying to understand the science so that I make the right choice from the start (that said, I realise there is a certain amount of "suck it and see" to be done!). Atkins doesn't feel right for me but I can't put my finger on why. NK I'm really interested in but couldn't work out why counting calories was necessary.

Each of your replies (along with some re-reading) have helped to explain that it's moderating protein, not necessarily counting calories, that is one of the keys to NK. Subtle difference!

I'll stay here and continue to benefit from all your experience, if that's ok. Off to read "the art of low carb living"...

Bryony
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:21 AM   #6
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Bryony, I would like to congratulate you on being so pro active and doing the research! It is a key component to have a good understanding of the science and then to apply it to your own self! That is the best way to go at it in my opinion.

Looking forward to hearing from you!
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:33 AM   #7
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I don't know if it is necessary to "calorie count" for everyone.

I think Taubes would be correct in saying that one only needs to count carbs if we lived in an environment where we had enough food, but not too much. However, since in the western world there is food absolutely everywhere, we do need to use common sense and exercise some sort of restraint.

In my personal experience, if I am in ketosis, I can eat a lot MORE calories (ca. 2500-3000) and maintain my weight, which I think is good for thyroid health. If I want to lose weight in ketosis, I just eliminate the super-caloric foods like heavy whipping cream and nut butters.

I think it is also important to be realistic about your goal weight. I am also tall like you, am 31, and am in good shape. I don't have extra abdominal fat. Anything below 150 is simply too thin and cannot be maintained. I actually think you would be really happy with your figure at about 165.

I'm just guessing, though. Perhaps your bone structure is much much smaller than mine. But, if I am correct in saying that you will like the way you look at 165 (given height and age), then you only have about 20lbs to lose.

Anyway, I don't mean to offend or say you don't know how to set a goal - it is just the opinion from one tall girl to another. If you google Andrea Ager, she is 5'9" and 145. She is absolutely tiny. She has muscle, but no fat and is a prof. athlete.

I think the BMI chart is really incorrect when it comes to taller people.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:58 PM   #8
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Unna, thanks for taking the time to read and reply. It's great advice and the info on calories is really helpful.

When I was on weightwatchers, I went from 195lb to 150lb but I was too thin - my hip bones poking through my skin kept me awake at night if I lay on my tummy!

5 years later, I was a much more healthy looking 156 lbs. it's amazing what a difference that 6lb made but at the same time, I was much more physically active than my 150lb self, rock climbing once a week and going for one 2-hour walk and one 6-hour walk, both up our small Welsh mountains, each week. I was pretty toned and very happy with my shape. I'd be comfortable at 165, but not entirely happy if you see what I mean.

I'll work out how to post a pic or two.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:59 AM   #9
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Rivergirl, I'm glad you didn't take offense at my suggestion to raise your goal weight. I was just trying to say, "Hey, you might not have so much weight to lose".

But if you have been at that weight once and liked it, then that is a good sign!

Regardless, if you have been a yoyo dieter in the past (I was), the "last ten pounds" are definitely the hardest to lose.

And then, I've found that when I do lose them, I gain them back easily.

But, to be honest, it doesn't matter because no one notices, but me!!

Anyway, welcome!
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:54 PM   #10
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Absolutely no offence taken, Unna. Thoughts and guidance from those with experience is always helpful! Thank you for the welcome.

Quote:
the "last ten pounds" are definitely the hardest to lose
I agree. I lost my last ten with WW much more slowly than the rest of it. Early weeks, I lost 5lb a week on a few occasions but later it came off in half-pounds.

Still, right now, battling for those last ten would be a lovely problem to have. I hope you'll have the opportunity to remind me of that!
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