Low Carb vs Counting Calories

I have a trainer who has asked that I go low carb for 2 weeks. She says going low carb will give me a fast drop in weight. I input the low carb menu in to MFP today and it's the same number of calories I've been eating. I have been loosing weight at that number of calories at approx 2lbs a week. The low carb diet sounded ok until today. Now that I've started it seems like I'm spending the whole day thinking about all the food that I can't have. So....can anyone tell me if this low carb deal is even worth it?


  • tracygolden
    tracygolden Posts: 94 Member
    Yes in my opinion it is well worth it!
  • waldo56
    waldo56 Posts: 1,872 Member
    Are you trying to lose weight or trying to lose fat?

    Weight =/= fat

    The rapid initial weight loss associated with low carb diets is not fat. You still lose fat at the same rate any calorie deficit would cause.

    Low carb diets are good for some people, bad for others. Some can stick to it, others can't. In general the more sedentary you are, the more a low carb diet is right for you.

    If you like to exercise (or plan on getting fit along with losing fat), low carb dieting might not be the best option. Carbs are rocket fuel for the body, which is helpful if you do high intensity exercise.

    Due to the difficulty combining with high intensity exercise, long tem low carbing tends to lead to becoming skinny fat.
  • ChickieBoom22
    ChickieBoom22 Posts: 43 Member
    Low carb has been a godsend for me because it has helped eliminate my sugar cravings. I don't binge anymore. The first few weeks were tough though. I thought about all the foods I couldn't have all the time. Now I'm fine. I just recognize that there are certain foods that my body can't tolerate. It can't hurt to try low-carb for a couple of weeks...if you don't like it you can stop.
  • witchy_wife
    witchy_wife Posts: 792 Member
    You still need to count calories on a low carb diet. I am doing keto at the moment so feel free to add me to look at my diet.

    You lose a lot of water weight in the first week on low carb, you will then lose fat is you keep restricting calories while eating low carb. I like keto diet as I get to eat foods I like and the high fat content really fills me up and stops me craving foods. I find it very easy to stick to a set number of calories each day, once you are in ketosis usually your appetite drops significantly.
  • witchy_wife
    witchy_wife Posts: 792 Member
    With regards to exercise and low carb, I walk miles and miles every week (between 20-35) and lift heavy weights. It's never caused a problem for me. Once you are in to ketosis your energy levels pick up (can be low for the first 4-5 days). But admittedly I don't do any long distance running or endurance training so have no experience with that.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,330 Member
    You lose a lot of water weight initially doing low carb; carbs require a lot of water to metabolize. I would advise to count calories as well...low carb isn't a magic bullet. I did Akins years ago and gained weight because all of the calories that were supposed to get cut by cutting out carbs were just made up for in Rib-eye steaks. I put on about 10 Lbs during my Adkins diet.
  • olDave
    olDave Posts: 557 Member
    I'm of the old school. Slow and steady weight loss is better. I just count calories and eat whatever I feel like. I'm ecstatic with my 1 pound per week loss. The trap many dieters get caught in is trying to lose weight too fast and when it doesn't come off fast enough, they give up.

    Good luck.
  • Luvmyhubby222
    Luvmyhubby222 Posts: 190 Member
    I'm of the old school. Slow and steady weight loss is better. I just count calories and eat whatever I feel like. I'm ecstatic with my 1 pound per week loss. The trap many dieters get caught in is trying to lose weight too fast and when it doesn't come off fast enough, they give up.

    Good luck.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketogenic_diet

    Go on a Ketogenic diet.

    Bodybuilders use it to cut to get their shredded look - if you can control your carb intake and up your fat intake a lot of your weight will just melt away.
  • WannaDizzolve
    WannaDizzolve Posts: 270 Member
    i do low carb and count calories as well. i have obliterated processed foods and most sugar from my life. i've lost 16 lb and have never felt better.
  • jasonpclement
    jasonpclement Posts: 146 Member
    Honestly, i don't believe low carb makes you lose weight any faster. Most studies show that outside the initial water loss, in the end the low carb style diet is no more effective than a regular diet. Also, low carb brings all sorts of psychological mind trickery...like when you slip up for a meal or two, and you gain 3 pounds, and start looking puffy from the sudden water weight gain etc.. etc.. Its just not a good game to play.

    By focusing on keeping your protein high, you get the benefit of the larger thermic effect that goes into protein, plus its high satiety value. By eating healthy carbs you'll get plenty of fiber, which adds to satiety, and once again, gives you that end of the day payout, in that not all of the calories eaten, count against you. By keeping your fat at a moderate level, your hunger hormones should be appeased, and by keeping your carbs moderate, you'll keep your food volume higher (lower calories compared to fat).

    The fiber protein 1-2 punch I think is the best implementation anyone can make. One last note...eat potatoes...low carb folks will tell you they are the devil...but they are calorie for calorie, over 3 times more satiating than most breads, and fatty foods.
  • Spartan_Maker
    Spartan_Maker Posts: 683 Member
    It's great for appetite suppression and, therefore, regularly and effortlessly creating large calorie deficits and doing things like protein sparing modified fasts and intermittent fasting. Contrary to popular belief, if done properly, you can also exercise for long periods of time without ever once thinking of food. Many of the world's greatest endurance athletes in history, including the greatest triathletes, have been ketogenic dieters (< 50 grams of carbs per day). You may want to buy a blood ketone meter to test your blood for a month to make sure your body is producing the amount of the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate to reach this high level.

    To maximize its benefits, however, you're going to need to educate yourself on how to properly construct it. If you don't, you'll end up being one of the many cautionary tales who failed at it and are likely to give you all kinds of horrible advice on this thread.
  • kelantol
    kelantol Posts: 2
    I've been doing low carb and started counting calories recently. I have lost weight at a healthy pace, around 60 lbs since last June. I have also been very aware of adding both cardio and strength training. Here's my take - I went very low carb initially and then started adding in carbs in small increments in a healthy way. The first 2-3 days I was craving like an addict (!), but then the cravings subsided and my energy level increased even before significant weight loss. For me, benign dietary ketosis (burning fat for fuel) has been awesome. I eat a reasonable amount of protein and fats, and all of my carbs are high fiber so I don't feel hungry all the time either. When I reach my goal range, I will know the carbohydrate range I can eat and not gain weight in ketosis, but at the same time I will plan a careful reversal to a non-ketogenic (fat for fuel) state - for many reasons I think low carb long term won't be practical but it is my vehicle to get where I want to go. Again, for me the rapid weight loss initially was the emotional motivation I needed, but I chose this vehicle with both eyes wide open. In the long run, it is all about learning a healthy lifestyle and we may all have different paths to get there.
  • Phaedra2014
    Phaedra2014 Posts: 1,254 Member
    When you say "low carb" how low are you talking?
  • CoraGregoryCPA
    CoraGregoryCPA Posts: 1,097 Member
    When you are depriving yourself, turn it into a postive statement.

    Like I want to eat all protein. I want to eat steak and no potatoes. I want to eat string cheese only. I want to eat meat only. I want to eat 1500 calories, etc.

    Then you won't be so focused on the "can't have" statements.
  • If you think you're giving up too much, maybe you can compromise through some other way. But if you can't handle the diet, don't be ashamed because sometimes these diets aren't meant for you to begin with. Don't be afraid to try something else, because that something else might the perfect one for you.

    Try the paleolithic diet, I think it's going to help you out a lot.
  • Colorfan
    Colorfan Posts: 230 Member
    I did low carb for a bit. It depends on what kind of diet youre doing though.

    Keto for example, works pretty well.

    The reasoning is that by eating less than 100 grams of carbs, your body goes into ketosis, which promotes fat loss (and muscle loss) which is why they have you eat so much protein.

    But yeah, the bulk of the weight I lost was thanks to low carb and ketosis..