I used up my inspiration and energy in writing this long e-mail answer, so I'm sharing it here in this article.
Someone asked me the following question:
"Can you tell me how many carbs you limited yourself to
when you were on low carb?
Did it work well for you?
I seem to have more luck counting carbs."
Here's my answer.
I think that low-carb is an excellent diet plan, and if it is a workable plan for you, go for it. Personally, whether I'm doing low-carb or not, I've found that it is necessary for me to track my food, and count calories.
All of my own research and experimentation and observation leads me to believe that Calories Count, even when doing low-carb, and IF there is a "calorie edge" to eating low carb, it is a very small one, probably not more than 100 calories a day.
I've seen that people who choose to eat more calories than they burn ...over time... while doing low-carb will still gain weight. Low-carb -- when it's VERY low carb -- tends to be more satiating, and more and more I suspect that --- over time --- it works primarily because people ingest less food.
My experiments with low-carb have been during maintenance at normal weight, so it can't be fairly compared with someone in the weight-loss phase.
I am intrigued by Gary Taubes' position about carbs, (see the BOOK TALK Section at DietHobby.com) and did a lot of experimenting with it in 2011.
I have experimented with what is known as ZERO carb -- which actually turned out to be around 5-10 carbs a day, because I choose not to give up my very small amount of plain, Greek yogurt.
However, during most of my low-carb experimentation, I worked to keep my carbs around 20 or less.
When I'm doing my "normal" - "balanced" food plan, my carbs are usually around 50-80 or less. For me, a normal, really high-carb day would only be about 100 carbs. It just turns out that way, because I don't have a large enough calorie allowance for more.
My own experience .. so far .. because I expect to be doing further future experimentation with low-carb
is that ... either because of the lack of variety in the food, or because carbs cause more cravings (& at this point for me I can't honestly say which)
My appetite tends to be satisfied at around 1100-1200 calories a day, which is just a tiny bit ABOVE my calorie allowance to maintain my current weight, and over a long period of time, would still involve a weight-gain, but I didn't lose any actual fat weight at that calorie level on 20 carbs or on zero carbs.
What happened for my body, was that my weight dropped between 3 to 5 lbs DURING THE TIME I was low-carb, but I feel very certain that this drop was only due to water-weight, because within a week or two of returning to a very-low-calorie, "balanced" diet of around averaging only 800 calories, and my weight quickly adjusted to the previous number.
This happened to me 4 different times, each time after more than a month of successful low-carb eating so I never experienced even a real fat loss of even 1 or 2 lbs,after weeks and weeks of low-carb eating.
That's the personal data I have so far, but it isn't conclusive, and I will be doing more experimentation.
My preference is to receive diet questions in the comment section of DietHobby.com rather than in e-mails, so that the comment and my answer will benefit all of the readers there.
Due to my time limitations, When I spend time writing a long e-mail answer, there's a good chance it will wind up as a future article, anyway.
Like it just did.
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