The more I am learning, the more I am questioning the place of calories in the way our metabolisms work. It is less about calories and more about the way that the food we eat impacts our insulin production.
As Elena pointed out in another thread, it may be possible that calories only "matter" in that we need to be sure to eat enough, so that our bodies do not conserve our fat stores.
Since starting Atkins, I have lost weight 2 ways:
1) lowering calories a lot AND lowering net carbs a lot
2) raising calories a lot AND raising net carb a little
In retrospect, I think it had more to do with keeping net carbs low than it did with keeping calories low. Not only that, but lowering my calories did not help me lose weight long term. I lost a few pounds and then hit a plateau that lasted for 8 months. The way I broke the plateau was to eat more food (calories).
And here is another thought: Since I am eating right, according to the Atkins guidelines, it could be entirely plausible that what I am eating, how much, etc., has absolutely nothing to do with my recent weight gain.
It could be other factors in my life, such as lack of adequate sleep, hormonal imbalances, stress, etc., that are causing an over-release of insulin, which is, biologically speaking, the only way to store fat.
Trying to lose weight without addressing these issues may just be an exercise in futility.