I’m listening to Dom D’Agostino right now answering email questions on Tim Ferris’ podcast (#172) (52:02):
Q. “Should I count my calories…[on a ketogenic diet]? If I don’t worry about calories, will I gain weight on a ketogenic diet?”
A. "[Laughter] So, yes, of course she will. It’s simple thermodynamics. If you’re putting in more calories into your body than you’re burning off, those surplus calories are going to end up as stored body fat or manifest itself in metabolic derangement over time…Sometimes people will go crazy with some of the ketogenic diet foods that are sort of indulgent like butter or sour cream or a bag of macadamia nuts or cashews…And this is really important to understand. The energy density of the ketogenic diet is about 2x that of a normal diet. So the volume of food that you’re eating is smaller, and it may seem like you’re restricting yourself…But chances are over time, you’ll inadvertently self-restrict on the ketogenic diet…"
He then describes that the ketogenic control of hunger - and this self-occurring natural decrease in calorie consumption, is what makes the ketogenic diet so effective.
My takeaway? You don’t have to necessarily count calories, but they still count.