I try to keep my calories at 1500 and my carbs between 125-150? I eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish and cheese. Do you think low calories or low carbs is best? I lost quite a bit of weight on a low carb diet, but found it restricting. There are so many plans to try!
I don't think there is a best answer, only a best for you answer.
Most of my life, I believed the hype and thought that low-carb diets were unhealthy, so I never gave them a chance, tried a few, but the "induction flu" did NOT disappear after two or even three weeks, so I saw that as proof that the diets were unhealthy - now I recognize the symptoms as low blood sugar and would have found the diets successful if I'd raised my carb level just a little - Instead I switched from super low carb to high carb, rather than try moderately low carb.
It's taken me more than 30 years of dieting to realize that low carb diets work for me much better than low calorie. To lose the same amount of weight, I can eat at least 350 to 500 more calories per day on low-carb - and I'm a lot less hungry. No matter how many calories I eat, I feel as if I'm starving on high carb diets. I could eat 6000 calories (and have) and STILL feel half-starved.
From my experience you might think I would have answered your question with an emphatic "counting carbs," but I don't believe that my answer is a universal answer. I think different people find different plans more effective and/or more doable.
My Etsy shop (currently closed for the summer)
That all depends on your health status. It's really best to ask your own *trusted* doc. If you have high liver enzyme levels, high cholesterol, or other digestive issues like gallstones low carb might make those issues worse and a lower fat and calorie diet may be best.
When I was having gallbladder issues I was told to do low carb by one doc and got even worse off. We didn't know then that I was having gallbladder issues but I knew that diet wasn't an option for me. It wasn't until another doc gave me a calorie allotment recommendation and I was losing 15-20 pounds a month that I really saw a change and I didn't have to eliminate anything, only portion it. It was really the "secret" answer I needed. I had known about calories but didn't have any idea how much I was eating or even needed to eat until that point.
So there really is no good answer just a "well, that depends..."
Calorie counting gave me a method to fix the madness.
A high protein, moderate carb balance gives me control over cravings.
I think tracking everything using a nutritional software or any of the free online trackers is a very good way to see what works for you and your body. I tracked every bite for a solid year (takes only a few minutes a day) and tried to wean myself away from it in my second year of dieting, hoping to learn Intuitive Eating, but found I still need to know what is working best for me, which the reports help with.
The first year, my carb average was 80, my calories were averaged at 1300. I am prediabetic and now my low carbing has changed from being a weight loss diet to a blood sugar controller. I will continue to monitor my diet for the rest of my life. The numbers provide me with the information I need to make better choices. I now know what numbers I need to hit to lose weight, to maintain weight and control blood sugar. As much I would like to be able to be intuitive about it, I still battle eating and food issues.
Started on Sept 26, 2009 Low calorie, low carb, high fat.