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First time of cutting more calories along with carbs

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Since I have started a low-carb diet about two years ago I never limited calories at all. This means I would often eat upwards of 2000 calories/day and sometimes upwards of 2500 calories with the occasional high-workout day with over 3000 calories.

Why am I changing this now?
Several reasons: I found that if my carbs slip up even a little, like they did when I used less expensive but higher carb cashew nuts instead of my usual assortment of hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts I gain body fat and my A1c level does not go down as intended.
I also realized that if I eat a lot less, even of low-carb foods I will consume fewer carbs.
Let's say that about 8% of my calories on a low-carb diet of 2500 calories come from carbs (which is about where I was). That is about 50 grams of carbs/day.
If I only eat 1600 calories daily that drops my carb level to about 32 grams of carbs/day at 8% carbs and to 20 grams of carbs/day at 5% carbs.

Having done this for only about 5 days my weight has dropped by almost 4 lbs (of which some is likely water weight).
But the weight loss is not the important part. I am hoping to speed up the process of lowering my blood sugar levels from an A1c level of 5.8 down to around 5.0

I thought it would be hard for me to limit my calories to 1600 or even 1800 calories/day (assuming little exercise) or 2200 calories/day (assuming lots of exercise) but found that after just a few days my stomach seems to have shrunk to where I feel full much earlier.
This will obviously not always be easy when there are temptations for emotional eating, but even those are very rare now.
I'm hoping to report back in a month or so to see if moving to around 20 grams of carbs/day will make a difference (combined lowering percentage of carbs and lowering number of calories eaten)
I would love to hear from others how much difference about 30 grams of carbs/day make for them.

P.S. If anyone wants to check my math for me, please do, it's not my strength. emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for another interesting blog Birgit....you always seem to have a different thought provoking subject.
    1567 days ago
    I am so glad to hear your story.
    I could .cut some calories myself!
    1567 days ago
    I would say to look at this: http://keto-calculator.ankerl.com/ And tweak your numbers there cause I can't do math so well either in my head! But lowering carbs HAS to help your a1C unless its too much protein. Calories, I am trying to lower myself as I have not lost at ALL in a while. Also trying to up the exercise, as I have been very inactive.
    1567 days ago
    I stick to under 40 carbs and find it suits me, I have increased fat to over the 'prescribed limit' up to 40 but I only use 'good' fats. It works for me.
    It wil be interesting to see how you get on.
    1568 days ago
    How do you test your A1c levels? And what exactly do these represent? Inquiring minds want to know emoticon

    Ah, I see it measure blood sugar levels. Do you use a glucometer?
    1568 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/8/2014 9:42:45 PM
    As long as you eat healthfully, and get enough to meet your metabolic needs.
    1568 days ago
    Wow! Nice results!

    I've been working on skipping breakfast and keeping my fat % higher, but have really paid no attention to calories. I'm ready to drop some weight, though, as I've decided to try a 5K run, and it will be easier the lighter I am. I think I'll do some portion-measuring for my lunches this week and see what I can come up with!
    1568 days ago
    I am going back to the calorie range I used when I lost weight. I think my metabolism has dropped and I've gained some weight. I've been eating in the range recommended by Spark, but I think it's too high. So I'll be back to 1200-1550 range and then gradually up it to see what range I can maintain in.

    Hang in there, but make sure you are eating enough. Carbs are necessary for energy so don't go too low. emoticon
    1568 days ago
    I am counting calories and carbs and it's working for me. emoticon
    1568 days ago
    thanks for your concern. I definitely agree that eating too few calories is dangerous and that eating disorders need to be avoided at all cost. I doubt that 1600 - 2200 calories/day, depending on exercise, is too low, but I know I can trust my body. If I get hungry I always eat more. This is the wonderful thing about low-carbing, that you can re-learn to eat by how hungry you are. These levels are just the ones that my body seems to be happy with after only a few days. The purpose is not to save calories but to save carbs which will benefit my blood glucose levels.
    1568 days ago
    There are some diets that recommend 1600 calories a day but does not break it down to low carb/high protein, etc. Its just 1600 calories a day eating 400 calories 4 x a day. That has worked very well for me.

    My only concern with people who reduce their calories to such a degree is that they forget why they eat in the first place which is to fuel the body and give the body what it needs to maintain. so while you are reducing calories just why is this so important? Remember that thin people are just as prone to heart issues as heavy people and maybe more.

    Just dont' go too far, anorexia is not a healthy state of being .... IMHO... emoticon
    1568 days ago
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