What Is a Low-Calorie Low-Carb Diet?

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  • Written By: Kelly Ferguson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 21 January 2020
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A low-calorie low-carb diet is any diet that employs tactics from both traditional low-calorie diets and traditional low-carbohydrate diets. A person may follow a low-calorie low-carb diet to maximize weight loss potential. The simplest way to follow a low-calorie low-carb diet is to set a daily calorie limit and consume only low-carbohydrate foods to meet that cutoff point.

Low-calorie diets operate on the fairly simple principle that a person should, to lose weight, eat less energy in the form of calories than he or she uses per day on metabolic bodily processes and exercise. If too much energy is consumed, the extra energy will be stored on the body as fat, accessible for later use if needed. With basic low-calorie diets, it is generally not required that the calories come from a specific type of food or food group.


Low-carbohydrate diets are very popular, not only because they are said to provide large amounts of fat loss without sacrificing too much muscle mass, but also because the dieter is frequently allowed to eat foods, such as bacon and steak, that would normally be considered fattening. Low-carbohydrate diets are based on insulin and glucose regulation. By avoiding carbohydrate foods that greatly raise the blood sugar, dieters attempt to reduce or eliminate the amount of insulin released by the body to lower the blood sugar. This technique can help reduce the amount of fat the body will store, and it is also helpful for people with insulin resistance. Low-carbohydrate diets may also preserve a greater amount of muscle mass than other diets, because many low-carb dieters replace carbohydrates with higher levels of protein.

Fat, which contains a large amount of calories, may be freely eaten on several low-carb diets. One frequent complaint among low-carb dieters is that the calorie intake seems much too high. Commonly, the answer to this is to alter the diet so it is both a low-calorie and low-carb diet. To form a low-calorie low-carb diet, a dieter must first find the amount of calories he or she can consume per day and still lose weight, and then strictly follow the low-carb rules until he or she has reached the set number of calories. This ensures that the dieter still receives the glucose and insulin control that are benefits of a low-carb diet, but also maintains control over his or her total energy intake and storage.


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