Help me understand, please


(Swift Machine) #1

I am new to Keto. I read so much about this subject and learn so much, but there so many conflicting views. I get it, no single diet is for everyone, and every diet has a “how it worked for me!” Success story.

But, why do so many people tell us not to count calories, or you don’t have to count calories?

This is how I view things:
Calories = energy
Body fat = stored energy
If you are eating to many calories, then you are storing it as body fat. No matter how you ingest them…

So the idea to me behind counting calories, is to make sure you are able to tap into your bodies stored energy and burn that…

What do you guys think?


There are a lot of people on here who count calories. If it works for you, go for it.

Personally I find counting calories tedious and unnecessary, and tracking them distracts me from my hunger and satiety signals. Keto generally works beautifully to re-align your hunger with your nourishment needs so tracking calories is often unnecessary, and in any case it’s a fairly crude tool that oversimplifies a very complex system.

But, again, many folks love that tool! Use it if you want to.

(Danielle) #3

My own understanding: Calories are different for everything you eat (100 calories of cookie has different nutritional value than 100 calories of broccoli). SOO counting calories doesn’t really “count”. If you really want to count something - count carbs. Some people count net carbs (carbs minus fiber); and some people count total carbs.

The end all - be all - do what works for you. If you are just getting started, count calories & net carbs. Then when you get used to that, switch to total carbs. Then when you get used to that, just total carbs. If at any point you find yourself not meeting your goals - re-evaluate your counting strategy.

This is really a “do what works best for you” situation.

(Swift Machine) #4

I look into the science of the macros. Nutritional values would be different between cookies and broccoli, as the ingredients are different.

I am not talking vitamins and other nutrients. Just plain calories.
1g carb = 4 calories
1g protien = 4 claories
1g fat = 9 calories

Now since you brought up cookies we would be talking mostly carbs and fat.

Now broccoli is moslty carbs and some protien.

We would be eating less calories by, eating broccoli and filling our stomach up fast as fibers and protien are more filling than carbs. Which in turn you would be taking in less calories. Than if you was filling you belly up with high caloric cookies.

Volume takes a bit of a play he as well. You have more water in broccoli than in cookies which in turn fills you up faster.

Hmmm. Okay I will stop here for now. You got my mind thinking a bit… thank you.

(Running from stupidity) #5

Maybe read this before you stop :slight_smile:

(Bob M) #6

That’s a loaded statement. Compare 1,000 calories of pure sugar (or pasta, as I used to eat) with 1,000 calories of steak. How long will it take you to be hungry after each of these?

Consider overeating studies, where they forced people (typically, young men) to overeat. Yet many of them gained little weight. Why?

Or the many studies where people go on low calorie diets, which work for a short while… until they no longer work. Why?

(Swift Machine) #7

This was my point with the broccoli, the [bold]volume[/bold] of food changes drastically.

That gets into our metabolism. The body using energy to digest the food and convert it to energy.

I can see how calories are decieving…

Just thinking here, forgive me. “Purely hypothetical”

Think of foods having a rating of how much energy our body spends to convert it to energy our body uses.

Using sugar and steak as an example: If our body used up 1 calorie to break down 1000 calories of energy from sugar, but used 100 calories to break down 1000 calories of energy.

You would be spending more energy eating the steak than sugar.

(Swift Machine) #8

Good read. Ty. Juice

(Bunny) #9

Simply counting units of energy (calories) is not going to tell you what it’s going to do? For example: the body IS NOT going to process inorganic substances the same way it processes organic substances, the more inorganic you go the harder it is for the biological processes that are involved to disassemble and reassemble it (to mimick the organic properties) and that is not going to be for the better! Quality of the food (sustenance) you put into it (your body), is what decides the end result?

Read this equation reflecting how we lose weight:

Fat Gained/Lost = Calories In – Calories Out

This formula is the gospel according to Metabolism Math. According to this equation, to calculate the fat you want to lose, you must know how many calories you put into your body and subtract the calories used by your body. That is all you need to know.

That’s it. If you eat 1000 calories in a day and you want to lose weight, you must use more than the 1000 calories you consumed.

Clear enough, right? Unfortunately, it’s wrong.


Absolutely. In the end, it’s still CICO.

However, for me, the dynamic of “calories in” is completely different:

  • Pre-Keto, I could eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream (1120 calories), or a bag of Double-Stuf Oreos (2100 calories), or an 8-ounce Hershey Almond bar (1260 calories), or a large pizza (2560 calories), and still feel hungry. I wanted and needed more.

  • On Keto, my goal is 1200 calories per day. I often go over, but I’m almost never hungry the way I used to be. My biggest issue today is trying to break old eating habits – I eat out of habit or boredom and my portion sizes are still larger than I need.

On an average day, I’m eating a quarter or less of the calories I used to consume before keto, without feeling deprived. Feeling deprived and wanting more is why I’ve failed on diets before. In five decades of trying to lose weight, I’ve never lasted longer than six months on any given diet, and only lasted that long because I was taking appetite suppressants (ones that are now banned by the FDA).

On top of that, I’m a type 2 diabetic. Before keto, my A1c was 7.3 (while using insulin and metformin) and now it’s 5.4 (without any medications).