Is It Possible to Eat Too Many Calories on LCHF?

askdrandreaseenfeld

Is it possible to eat too many calories on LCHF?

The answer to this and other questions – for example, what type of exercise is best on LCHF? And what should you do if you sleep really poorly? – in this week’s Q&A with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt:

Exercising on LCHF – cardio or weights?

I have just recently started this way of eating and am going to the gym five days a week. I am morbidly obese. I am enjoying the exercise, I will do a mix of boxing, HIIT circuit, PT session and cardio and weights.

I have been told that cardio any more than once a week is no good and has adverse effects. Could you elaborate further on this for me if it is indeed true or is it up to the individual?

For me personally, I feel that the exercise can only benefit me. On a side note, my PT actually supports this way of eating too!

Christine

 
Hi Christine!

I think the exercise and the cardio is likely to benefit you. Just remember that if you’re morbidly obese then diet quality (few carbs) and only eating when hungry are the most important things, at least when it comes to weight loss.

So focus on getting those right first and consider postponing exercise until those earlier habits are simple to maintain. However, if you’re confident you can do everything at once, good for you!

Best,
Andreas Eenfeldt

Can I eat too many calories?

Can I eat too many calories? My carbs are under 18 grams per day, my fat is quite high 130g – 250 grams and my protein around 80 grams. My calories are around 2,500… sometimes up to 2,800.

I have 48 kg (105 lbs) to lose. My blood ketones read 0.3 – 0.4 mmol/L in the mornings and in the evening 0.6 – 1.6mmol/L.

I eat no junk or processed foods or sweeteners or sugars. I am aged 59, partially disabled with fibromyalgia, CFS and arthritis. My weight loss is very slow – non-existant.

So looking at the figures – if I’m eating so many calories will I gain weight? I.e. if my body does not require this quantity of calories, what happens to them? Are they turned into body fat or does the body excrete them?

Some low-carb experts say calories do not matter, others experts say they do, Dr. Jason Fung says reduced calories causes the bodies metabolism to reduce hence no gain in reducing calories… However Dr. Eric Westman says calories do matter. I’m very confused – please can you clarify this for me?

Many thanks,
Joules

 
Hi Joules!

If you eat more than you need, then it will slow down or stop weight loss, even on a low-carb diet. The magic trick for effective weight loss on low carb is to eat ONLY when hungry, try not to eat unless you’re hungry, as that will slow weight loss.

Personally, I think counting calories is not very useful, as it’s often misleading and as you can get at least as good results with less effort by eating only when hungry and if necessary add intermittent fasting.

Here are our top videos on the calorie topic, with insights from experts:

  1. Isn't weight loss all about counting calories?
  2. What To Do Instead of Counting Calories
  3. Do You Have to Count Calories to Lose Weight?
Best,
Andreas Eenfeldt

Sleeping very badly

Hi,

I am really excited, I have lost 8 kg (18 lbs) since September and have ways to go but I feel good! So LCHF is working well for me.

However, I have recently had a lot of trouble sleeping. I wake up a lot and get up way too early. I do exercise during the morning hours, I stop drinking coffee around midday and try to get to bed at regular hours. I am getting to the point where my cravings for starch and sugar is coming back and so far I have resisted… Any suggestions? I would appreciate it!

Claire

 
If you’re in deep ketosis and get so energetic that you have trouble sleeping it could be good to reduce the ketosis a bit. You could eat more protein, and possibly add just a little bit of unrefined carbs like more veggies, nuts, and perhaps some root vegetables.

Otherwise, just regular advice for sleeping problems, easy to find online via Google.

Best,
Andreas Eenfeldt

More

Low Carb for Beginners

More Questions and Answers

Many more questions and answers:

Low-Carb Q&A

Read all earlier questions and answers – and ask your own! – here:

Ask Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt about LCHF, Diabetes and Weight Loss – for members (free trial available).

More About LCHF and weight loss

  • Keto for beginners: weight loss
  • How to Maximize Fat Burning
  • Too much protein is better than too little
  • Isn't weight loss all about counting calories?

3 Comments

  1. Apicius
    THIS IS A CALL FOR ALL CANADIANS TO UNITE!!!!

    A letter from 200 Canadian doctors has just been sent to Health Canada - Office for food policy and promotion. Our beloved Dr Jason Fung and Dr Jay Wortman are on the list of doctors.

    You can do your part and email your support at the following email addresses: Nutrition@hc-sc.gc.ca; Info@hc-sc.gc.ca; Consultations@ipsos.com. If LCHF worked for you or a loved one, TELL THEM YOUR STORY!!

    Read their letter here: http://www.foodmed.net/2016/canada.pdf

    These are the changes to the Canadian Dietary Guidelines that the 200 Canadian doctors propose:

    1. Clearly communicate to the public and health-care professionals that the low-fat diet is no longer supported, and can worsen heart-disease risk factors (5,6,7,8, 25).
    2. Be created without influence from the food industry (4).
    3. Eliminate caps on saturated fats (22,23).
    4. Be nutritionally sufficient, and those nutrients should come from real foods, not from artificially fortified refined grains (9).
    5. Promote low-carb diets as at least one safe and effective intervention for people struggling with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease (10,11,13).
    6. Offer a true range of diets that respond to the diverse nutritional needs of our population (12).
    7. De-emphasize the role of aerobic exercise in controlling weight (14).
    8. Recognize the controversy on salt and cease the blanket "lower is better” recommendation (15,16).
    9. Stop using any language suggesting that sustainable weight control can simply be managed by creating a caloric deficit (21).
    10. Cease its advice to replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oils to prevent cardiovascular disease (17,18,19,20).
    11. Stop steering people away from nutritious whole foods, such as whole-fat dairy and regular red meat (18).
    12. Include a cap on added sugar, in accordance with the updated WHO guidelines, ideally no greater than 5% of total calories (26).
    13. Be based on a complete, comprehensive review of the most rigorous (randomized, controlled clinical trial) data available; on subjects for which this more rigorous data is not available, the Guidelines should remain silent.

    Don't just sit there my dear Canadian comrade...read the entire letter...and if you agree...send the emails. Tell Health Canada "your" story about obesity or diabetes or whatever ailment was overcome with LCHF. The more they hear from us, the more informed they become. Sweden was able to move the needle and show the world a better way...how about if Canadians become the next wave of trailblazers?

    Reply: #2
  2. bill
    The letter is well done. Thanks for the link to it.
  3. Jen
    I think the sleep issues is not being addressed well. I'm not the only one who can't sleep on this plan. The hunger and inability to sleep is a recipe for failure and saying "Google it" is an insult. Lack of sleep also seems to cause the body to hold onto the excess fat. So. Why can't I sleep on low carb IF? That needs to be addressed or studied.

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