The Low Calorie Low Carbohydrate Diet

Can I follow a low calorie low carbohydrate diet?  That’s a question I’ve heard many times. It’s easy to think that by mashing together these two kinds of diets you’d get better and faster results. And who doesn’t want to be slim right now?

I’ve battled my weight for a lifetime, so I know what it feels like to want to lose weight quickly. But is this the best and most reliable way to go about it?  Let’s have a look.

A Few Words of Caution

If you eat too few calories, trust me, your body will rebel. Rebel?  How will it do that? Your body will slow your metabolism down to a crawl because it is programmed to protect itself from starvation. If you don’t eat enough, you will not get all the nutrients you need. The lack of nutrients will send alarm bells off in your brain and that will cause you to be hungry… very hungry.  And miserable…  very miserable.

The Role Fat Plays

When you limit your caloric intake, one of the first things to get the axe is fat. Yes, you will reduce the amount of fat you eat.  That’s not good because fat not only provides a feeling of satiety, but it also carries fat soluble vitamins throughout your body. Not enough fat can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Fat also makes your skin look younger and helps it stay hydrated.

Without fat you will be hungry, and the tendency will be to replace those calories with something else and that’s usually carbs. Don’t forget, your brain is telling your body to find food quickly because it doesn’t want to starve. And one of the best ways to get energy for your brain quickly is with carbs.

So, you’ll be craving carbs while trying to reduce them from your diet. What an ordeal!

Short Term Success

Granted, when you cut your calories and your carbs at the same time you will definitely see a “whoosh”.  By that I mean you’ll lose weight quickly. And if all you need to do is lose a few pounds for a big event or a vacation, then that may be the way to go.

But if you're looking for more, here’s the rub. It is very difficult to maintain this way of eating. In fact, I would say that for most it is impossible.  You’ll always be hungry.  And you will be irritable as well.  That's no way to live.  So, you’ll eventually give up and cave in.  And for some individuals that could lead to binge eating episodes. No matter what, you’ll regain every ounce you lost and then some! That's hardly a recipe for success.

The Big “No No”

I am not a Doctor, but don’t even think of following a low calorie low carbohydrate diet if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Remember, you are eating for two and you both need nutrition.  So, focus on whole foods and eat to satiety instead. If you’re not sure how to eat a balanced low carb diet during this period in your life, talk to your healthcare professional.

The Bigger Perspective

When you’re aiming to lose weight, look at the big picture.  What do you want to achieve?  Are you looking for long term weight loss?  Are you looking for ways to feel better?  Are you looking for ways to preserve or improve your health? 

To succeed you have to strike a balance between losing weight and feeling great. The goal is to lose body fat and to maintain those positive results. No point losing and gaining over and over again. If you’ve ever experienced “yo-yo-dieting” you’ll know what I mean.  What a merry-go-round!

So you need a diet that you can maintain and actually enjoy… a diet that is easy to live with… a diet that will become a lifestyle.  Do you believe a low calorie low carbohydrate diet can do that?  Are you willing to live a life of hunger and craving for food?

My Conclusion on The Low Calorie Low Carbohydrate Diet

So, my take on this version of the low carb diet is to give it a hard pass unless you’re just looking for quick, temporary weight loss.

For a diet to be successful you do not need to starve.  There is no joy in hunger.  A low carb diet is balanced, healthy, nutritious, manageable, and relatively easy to maintain.

What would I do? I would avoid following a low calorie low carbohydrate diet.  Instead, find out what your carbohydrate threshold is for losing weight and manage your carbs, not your calories.

With this approach you will be able to get all the nutrients you need from every food group. And best of all you’ll lose weight and keep it off without suffering through hunger. That for me is a winning proposition.

If you would like to explore one-on-one help with this, I'm here to help! Here' where you can learn more about my services.

Return to the Low Carb Diet Page.

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