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Carbs, Calories and Cruise-Sized Meals | Fat Head

During a Q & A session on the low-carb cruise, someone asked Dr. Eric Westman if calories count.  Of course calories count, Dr. Westman replied – but that doesn’t mean you need to count calories.

Yes, I know that may sound strange, but my own experience on this year’s cruise is a perfect example of what he’s talking about:   I ate a lot, more than I eat at home, but didn’t gain an ounce.  (Last year I lost a pound, but I figured that could be water weight.)  Here’s what a typical day’s intake looked like for me during the seven-day cruise:...

Tom Naughton covers a common question with some real-life examples and answers from the experts:  can you really eat more with a low carb diet and still not gain weight, or even lose.  The answer is that, according to what we think is happening, you generally can lose or maintain your weight eating low carb once you’ve become ketogenic -meaning that your body has switched over to burning fat stores for fuel.  This amounts to what may be a metabolic advantage in that your body gets its energy from stored body fat so, when presented with too much of a caloric intake, it chooses to burn up (or in other ways) get rid of the excess calories.    If not in a ketogenic state, so goes the theory, excess calories are treated by the body as needed energy for the future, so the body slows metabolism (to use less calories per hour) and/or stores the excess calories as fat (and one generally gains weight).

My own thought on this, based on my personal experience, is that when I’m not ketogenic I’m relying on carbs for energy and that is a very up and down thing.  I become tired and hungry several times at day as I experience sugar lows.  So my brain must be thinking that I’m in a food crisis, because I’m really hungry or lacking energy (because of no blood sugar) several times a day.  So my brain may be thinking  that my access to energy from food is limited – so any excess food I eat is packed off as fat and my metabolism is also slowed down to use less energy – so I tend to gain weight.  When I’m ketogenic, on the other hand, my body gets energy whenever it needs it directly from fat – no sugar lows or droopy periods during the day.  My brain then must be thinking that food is readily available, since my blood sugar is pretty stable all day.  So any excess food then is treated as unwanted surplus and burned off in one way or another – my brain doesn’t see a need to store it away as fat.

At least that’s my opinion – and I’m sticking to it!

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