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Do I Need To Count Calories On Keto

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Some authorities talk about being in a calorie deficit like its the golden ticket to weight loss. Others claim long-term fat loss has more to do with a whole food diet plan and your activity level than calorie counting.

And what if youre following a low-carbohydrate diet? Does the type of food you eat affect whether or not you need to count calories?

There are a lot of opinions out there advising how to fight body fat. Lets take a look at what the science says.

Should You Count Calories On Keto

Here we are the moment youve been waiting for should you count calories on keto. If you want to count calories, we say go for it, if you dont – you dont have to.

This eating plan allows your body to fall into balance and regulate itself, making calorie counting redundant.

However, for this to be accurate, you have to generally eat a clean keto diet and be in tune with your body. Its hard to overeat broccoli and cabbage or gain weight, although it can happen!

If you have these symptoms you may have been kicked out of ketosis:

The Problem With Counting Calories

In the end, energy balance still matters. All calories count, but only if you can accurately count all the calories going in and coming out.

However, the reality is that energy is hard for us to balance simply by counting calories with a smartphone app paired with our fitness trackers. Our ability to track calories in and calories out accurately and reliably makes it extremely hard and frustrating for most people.

  • Counting calories may be fine if youre a single bodybuilder who can pre-prepare everything. But most of us live unpredictable lives with family dinners, work lunches and impromptu parties that make it impractical to weigh and measure everything we eat all of the time.
  • While we can be disciplined most of the time, its those occasional meals that undo all your hard work.
  • Even if you were able to weigh and measure EVERYTHING you ate, the data in your app rarely matches the foods you are eating.
  • Your body doesnt burn the food the same way that calories are measured in a bomb calorimeter .

Eating should be impulsive and instinctual. Your body drives your appetite to ensure you seek out the nutrients you need. However, it also means that, despite our best efforts to limit the amount we eat, our appetite usually wins out, especially if we continue to eat the same food that led us to be overfat in the first place.

Recommended Reading: How Many Calories Are In One Apple

Carbs Or Calories: What Should You Count For Losing Weight

Nutritionists like Rujuta Diwekar and Nmami Agarwal believe that neither count calories nor count carbs are an effective way to lose weight. According to them, you must focus on practicing portion control and eating in moderation at all times.

Also read: Keto Diet For Weight Loss: 5 Side Effects That Signal You Need To Quit This Diet Instantly

For weight loss, Diwekar advocates eating local, seasonal and cultural, in time-tested proportions. Your diet should include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season, pulses, lentils and legumes, nuts and seeds. Also what is important is to eat good fats like ghee, coconut oil, groundnut oil, mustard oil, etc, to provide your body with essential fatty acids. All of this, when combined with regular exercise can help you lose weight effectively and sustainably.

We speak to nutritionist Nmami Agarwal, about which of the two approaches are better for weight loss, calorie counting or carb counting. She says, “While counting calories does help in managing your weight because you take care of the whole algorithm of calories in versus calories out. But the shortcoming with only counting calories is that you are just focusing on the number of calories, and not on the nutrients.”

Also read: Weight Loss: Nutritionist Explains Why A Good Night’s Sleep Is Important For Shedding Calories

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Those For Counting Calories:

Pin on Ketogenic

While a ketogenic diet can help you decrease cravings and feel more satisfied with less food, at they believe that you still do need to be aware of the total calories you’re eating daily. If you end up eating more calories then your body needs, you will store it as fat, even if you are in ketosis. ,

“Despite what many people say, it is possible to overdo your protein and fat intake. If youve ever found it tempting to throw down an entire jar of peanut butter, you understand our sentiment. Overdoing it on oils, nuts, butter, even the healthy fat sources like olive oil and avocadothis could lead to an increased calorie consumption. “

According to, use calorie counting and tracking as a short-term tool for weight loss. It may not be needed for the rest of your life, but it can help with learning what macros work best for your body to lose weight.

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Do You Count Calories On Keto

Counting calories on keto is an interesting topic! Calories arent the whole story when it comes to your weight or making choices about what to eat, but in certain cases, calories are worth paying attention to in terms of keto.

Before I go on about counting calories, know that this isnt a practice meant for everyone. If you find tracking your diet and counting calories stressful, pay attention to that. If you find yourself making decisions about what to eat based on the calories instead of your hunger or fullness cues, pay attention to that. If you have a history of an eating disorder and tend to focus too much on the numbers that trigger unhealthy behaviors, pay attention. These are all important considerations when deciding whether or not a calorie counting exercise is right for you at this time.

If you are curious about the calorie component, I suggest tracking your food intake using an online app track for at least 3-5 days, averaging your daily calories. This will also allow you to see your macronutrient ratios, which is very helpful especially at the beginning of the High Fiber Keto journey.

Counting calories can help you answer these questions:

Do I Need To Calculate Calories On The Keto Diet

by Drew | Feb 23, 2022 | Keto

For anyone just starting the keto diet, you might be wondering if you need to count calories. There are multiple reasons I recommend you calculate calories on the keto diet, and today Im going to discover how you can go about doing this. Youll find that by counting calories each day, youll stay on track with the keto diet to get the results you desire this year.

Read Also: Do You Burn Calories Lifting Weights

Keto Calories: The Ketogenic Diet And How This Ties In

The thing about a ketogenic diet is if you tell people to eat as much as they want, they will tend to eat slightly less than other diets. Naturally, you will eat less if youre eating food that can satiate you easier.

You will have more fullness from vegetables, satiety from protein, feel fuller for longer from the fat, and endure higher levels of thermogenesis from unprocessed foods.

So what does that all mean? In a nutshell, it means that you will eat less food and therefore fewer calories. Your body can dig into your fat stores, since youre naturally restricting calories, and youll lose weight.

With high carb diets, usually with a good amount of processed foods, you will see swings in blood glucose.

This makes it easy for people to give in to cravings, and succumb to the carb addiction created from serotonin and dopamine. There are no magical metabolic advantages to a ketogenic diet. But, the small benefits that make it easier on us is also the reason that it works.

  • Weight loss on a high carb diet: calories determine the fat loss.
  • Weight loss on a normal carb diet: calories determine the fat loss.
  • Weight loss on a ketogenic diet: calories determine the fat loss.
  • Weight gain on a high carb diet: calories determine the fat gain.
  • Weight gain on a normal carb diet: calories determine the fat gain.
  • Weight gain on a ketogenic diet: theres no scientific data.

How Many Calories Should I Eat On Keto

Calories on Keto? (To count or not to count)

Now that you know that counting calories can sometimes be useful for making sure that you are eating enough High Fiber Keto foods, without overdoing it, Im sure you are wondering, But Naomi, how many calories should I eat on keto?

First, consider these various factors that influence the calories that your body needs:

  • Body composition goals
  • Hormonal status

In addition to these factors, you may need to account for the composition of the calories that you are eating, your history of dieting and hormone levels as all can play a role in metabolism.

When I asked my team of registered dietitians about their approach to calculating calories, they recommended using the Mifflin St. Jeor equation and entering the factors I listed above. A quick internet search will get you to these results. But remember, that this calorie amount is only a starting estimate, and you might need more or less depending on various factors in your life. Working with a registered dietitian to zero in on the precise calories and macro goals appropriate for your unique body is a terrific option for anyone looking to perfect this approach.

Now that weve covered a lot of the ins and outs of calorie counting, you may be ready to take a wider view of nutrition and consider all of the benefits of High Fiber Keto, regardless of calories. I invite you to take my quiz, Is Keto Right For Me?, to answer that question for yourself and provide you some guidance and tools for personalizing your plan.

Recommended Reading: Calories In Fish Sandwich At Mcdonald’s

Isn’t Weight Loss Just Calories In And Calories Out

If you’re ever been on a diet to lose weight, you’ve most often been told or heard that it’s just about the calories you’re consuming and the calories you are expending that matters for weight loss. But if you’ve been on a ketogenic diet, you most likely have heard that counting calories isn’t needed at all on a keto diet and just keeping your daily carb intake to 20, with moderate protein and high fat will be enough to lose weight. This can be confusing and is often debatable among keto experts.

While there are many different approaches to following a keto diet, one thing is constant across the board for all the research I found and that is, that the most effective ketogenic diet is one that is a nutrient dense, whole food diet. Focusing on fresh, single ingredient low carbohydrate foods and eliminating packaged, refined, processed foods, even keto products, is the best for overall health and longevity.

Many factors besides just calories are involved in weight loss. Hormones like insulin, ghrelin and leptin play a critical role in fat loss, hunger and satiety levels. The nutrient density of your food, your genetics, your sensitivity to insulin, your ability to keep your blood sugar balanced when eating a ketogenic diet, your muscle mass, your exercise level, all effect your weight loss or lack there of.

The Role Calories Play In Weight

Creating a calorie deficit between your food/drink and your activity levels is entirely the point of any weight-loss diet.

While there are many differences between popular diets some more-effective and some less so the general idea is to create a sustainable deficit for long enough that you burn away excess body-fat as fuel.

This is also why diet is considered essential for weight-loss, while exercise is only considered beneficial. You can create a calorie deficit by simply eating less, while exercise and other forms of activity can increase this deficit by upping your overall calorie needs.

This balance between reducing food and increasing exercise is going to be a personal preference, but the way that your calorie balance is important. This is why we describe weight-loss diets in the calories-in, calories-out model:

Also Check: Calories Per Day To Gain Weight

Can Too Many Calories Kick You Out Of Ketosis

Yes, its highly probable to get knocked out of ketosis by consuming more calories than you need, especially if these calories come from carbs. And as you know, carbs break down into sugar, causing your blood sugar levels to rise.

As a general rule for someone following the keto diet, make sure to watch your carb intake so that you dont go over your daily limit. If it helps, you can also create a calorie deficit and maintain or enter ketosis by increasing your activity level, prioritizing whole foods, and avoiding sugar.

However, you should also keep in mind that eating too few calories on keto consistently can lead to nutrient deficiencies and various health issues. Your workouts and productivity may also suffer as a result of not having enough energy. Therefore, do proceed with caution to create a safe calorie deficit and work with a registered dietician or healthcare provider.

Calories In Vs Calories Out

How does speed keto work? How is it different than a regular keto diet ...

Its time to look at the old calories in calories out equation. As you may know, to lose weight, in ketosis or not, you have to eat fewer calories than you use for energy.

But how do you know how many calories you use each day and is it different for some people?

To answer your questions, you can use a calorie calculator, or a keto calculator, to determine your exact macros. These vary depending on your age, sex, height, weight, and activity level and differ from person to person.

Once you know how many calories your body needs to function every day, you can deduct 5-20% of your daily calories from this total to view your weight loss range.

5% will enable you to lose about a half pound a week, and 20% is the fastest weight loss of 2 pounds a week. It is not advisable to increase this percent for a few reasons.

First, losing weight too quickly can be a real problem on the keto diet and may leave you feeling and looking weak and gaunt.

Secondly, once you start to near your goal weight, you will have no calories to work with you can only reduce them so much before you run out.

What happens in 10, 30 or 50 pounds time when you still have weight to lose?

You will have a big problem on your hands. Instead, believe that people transform their lives with unbelievable results at 2 pounds a week – thats over 100 pounds a year!

And best of all, you can continue to eat the foods you love and have fun.

Here is a very simplified overview:

Recommended Reading: Are Vegetables High In Carbs

Some Foods Burn Extra Calories

The thermic effect of food is a concept that illustrates how much energy it takes for your body to break down certain foods.

For instance, your body has to work harder to break down protein than it does carbohydrates. It puts in more effort, which means more calories are burned, so the thermic effect of protein is higher than that of carbohydrates.

In fact, the TEF for protein is 25%, meaning 25% of the calories you eat from a protein source actually go into breaking down that food. For carbohydrates, that number is only 8%.

So if you eat 100 calories of protein, 75 calories are left after digestion. If you eat 100 calories of carbohydrates, 92 calories are left after digestion.

Bringing The Research To Life: What This Means For Your Weight Loss Goals

Overall, the current literature indicates that altering the carbohydrate-to-fat ratio of your diet wont work magic on your metabolic rate and fat loss. Instead, it is best to follow a diet that controls your calorie intake effectively and sustainably.

One of the best ways to do this is by eliminating all processed foods that are high in both carbs and fat from your diet . Replace those foods with protein-rich and fiber-rich whole foods, and your overall calorie intake will decrease substantially.

If you think about it, one of the diets that encourages this the most is the low-carb, ketogenic diet. It focuses on highly-satiating foods like meat and low-carb vegetables while cutting out all processed, carb-ridden, and binge-worthy foods.

By eating in this way, many people experience tremendous amounts of fat loss not because their insulin levels dropped, not because their bodies got a metabolic advantage from burning fat, but because keto dieters tend to eat significantly fewer calories than before without realizing it.

Though this is simple in principle, it may not be easy at first. This is why we often recommend using calorie counting to get you on the right track, not as something you must do indefinitely.

Also Check: Quick Dinner Ideas Low Carb

Sample Meal Plan For Counting Calories On The Keto Diet

If youre wondering whether or not you need to count calories on the keto diet, the answer is both yes and no. It depends on your goals.

If your goal is simply to lose weight, then you dont necessarily need to count calories. Cutting carbs and increasing fat will help you lose weight regardless of how many calories you consume.

However, if your goal is to lose weight and improve your health, then counting calories can be helpful. It can help you make sure youre getting enough nutrients and not overeating.

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