Some people cut carbs to lose weight because they don’t like counting calories. Others count calories because they don’t like cutting carbs. 

Both are workable means to the same end. Do whatever you like most.

A caveat if you prefer carb cutting, however: 

Relatively unprocessed and carbohydrate-rich foods are filled with nutrients that support overall health and function like vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, copper, antioxidants, and others, and if you restrict your intake of such foods, you can develop nutritional insufficiencies that will negatively impact your wellbeing.

This is exactly what scientists at the Department of Nutritional Research and Education found when they analyzed the nutrient density of two popular low-carb weight loss diets: the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet.

The researchers analyzed suggested daily menus for each diet and found the Atkins Diet delivered 100% daily sufficiency for just 12 out of 27 essential micronutrients and the South Beat Diet reached 100% daily sufficiency in a mere 6 of 27. 

Furthermore, to reach 100% daily sufficiency of all 27 essential vitamins and minerals on the Atkins Diet, you’d have to eat 37,500 calories (yes, per day!), and on the South Beach Diet, at least 18,800 calories per day.

That isn’t to say it’s impossible to adequately nourish your body on a low-carb diet, of course, but it does require more deliberation and discipline in your meal planning. In essence, the only way to do it correctly is to get most or even all of your carbs primarily from a variety of vegetables that should include at least one-to-two servings of leafy greens.

(And if you’d like more specific advice about which foods, how many calories, and how much of each macronutrient you should eat to reach your health and fitness goals, take the Legion Diet Quiz, and in less than a minute, you’ll know exactly what diet is right for you. Click here to check it out.)