Slowly I realized, both by experimentation and by really looking at the literature: CALORIES MATTERED MORE THAN CARBS FOR BODY-COMP.
I have to say this was a pretty big shake-up for me. I’d assumed one could eat as much fat as one desired and STILL get leaner. As I mentioned above, when I first started eating LC, or more specifically, cyclic low carb (CLC) I was leaner than ever in my life. I know based on blood work and fat deposition that I had insulin resistance while vegan, and CLC helped with this immensely, but it was my new-found energy and activity level that drove my leanness, not an inability to store fat in the absence of significant insulin. I think this is one of the most damaging messages that comes out of the LC camp to this day, I was duped by this, so I’m not going to do what a lot of other recovered LC writers do and make folks out to be idiots for still believing this…but, it is time to face facts. In every damn study it is clear that for fat loss we’d like adequate protein, and a calorie restriction scenario. LC is fantastic for this in that one typically feels satisfied on high protein, moderate fat, loads of veggies. If one is insulin resistant, this approach can be nothing short of miraculous. HOWEVER! If one manages to cram enough cheese, olive oil and grass-fed butter down the pie-hole, this is in fact, a “mass gain” diet.
I think there were a few of us that thought this was true, but we all learn - low carb is like magic for rapid weight loss when one is fat, insulin resistant and sick. Low carb done with good precision can make it easy to be healthy - 10-15% body fat and insulin sensitive - but that won't get you to epic leanness and magazine cover ready. And that's just fine, we should probably have known better anyway.
Strangely, body builders use low carb to get that epic low fat at the end of their cycle because they are not low carb otherwise - so there seems to be an efficiency factor - those who do low carb all the time get better at using fewer calories than those who are new to low carb. If you are trying to lose fat and regain lost health while attack correlates of poor health like gout, hypertension and reactive hypoglycemia, low carb is of course the heavy weaponry at your disposal.
All that being said, it is still easier to eat less on a carb restriction plan than on any other approach I have tried because of the excellent appetite control.