Dr. Atkins proposed that calories don’t count and he advised his clients to eat as much as they want while on his program. Atkins wrote, “The so called calorie theory has been a millstone around the necks of dieters and a miserable and malign influence on their efforts to lose.”
Here’s the truth about calories and low carb diets:
When you go on a very low carb (ketogenic) diet with more fat, your appetite is diminished and you feel fuller (because fat is more satiating than carbs). Appetite control may be a legitimate benefit of the Atkins diet, especially for individuals who struggle with hypoglycemia, hunger and cravings. As Dr. Atkins points out, “Our physical urges are hard to combat.”
However, this does not mean you can eat as much as you want. It means that your hunger may be blunted on Atkin’s plan, causing you to automatically eat less without counting calories or even thinking about calories.
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People on the Atkins diet who lose weight are not eating more than they burn and losing fat in spite of it. Whether you count calories and consciously eat fewer than you burn, or you don’t count them and unconsciously eat fewer than you burn, either way, the end result is the same.
While counting calories in the literal sense is clearly not always necessary, you always have to be aware of calories and portions. No diet or special combination of foods can override the law of calorie balance.
Anyone who believes that you can eat as much as you want and still lose weight is living in a dream world.