There is no need to count calories. The Atkins Nutritional Approach counts grams of carbohydrates instead of calories. At the beginning of Induction you are allowed 20 grams of carbohydrates, gradually adding them in 5-gram increments as you progress from Ongoing Weight Loss to PreMaintenance, and finally to the Lifetime Maintenance phase of Atkins.
Although there is no need to count calories, they do matter. Gaining weight results from taking in more calories than you expend through exercise, thermogenesis (the body's own heat production) and other metabolic functions. Research has shown that on a controlled carbohydrate program, more calories are burned than in a low-fat/high-carb diet, so there is a certain metabolic advantage to the controlled carb approach. But understand that this does not give you a license to gorge.
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