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TOPIC: So calories are calories, no matter what the food...

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June 21, 2012 8:50 AM

wouldn't that be a great experiment though, really? Do do 1500 calories of crap for a month - then 1500 calories of good stuff. For me, the important thing is that I feel so much more energetic and better mood on healthier food so I'm not sure it would matter. I'm not just in it for weight loss - I'm in for fitness factor! I suspect one would lose better on healthier foods but that would shoot the calories in versus out theory. Who volunteers for the study? You'd have to make sure all other factors remained exactly the same (exercise level, amount of water, amount of sleep...etc). We could make money and write a book. tongue

Oh it's been done!

The logic is that as a short term diet - the most important thing is to lose the excess weight and all its bad health implications. So a professor went on a 'doughnut only diet' He still restricted his calories, but ate only doughnuts! Lost the unhealthy weight. Caories in = calories out.

Of course long term he was depriving himself of important nutrician; but he argues that by fat the most important thing is to lose the weight in the first place
June 21, 2012 8:50 AM
I think, if nothing else, it makes a difference in how full I feel. If I eat all junk (and I totally will), I'll get hungry quicker and be pissed later 'cause I can't eat.

I'm a pretty big believer in eat what you want, but I do find myself being slightly smarter some days and going for my veggies because I know I can eat a big plate for a lot less calories and be happily full.
June 21, 2012 8:50 AM

At the end of the day, it is about more than just calories. If all you want to do is lose weight, sure, eat whatever you want within your calorie allotment. If you want to get healthy, eat foods low in saturated/trans fats, sodium, cholesterol and sugar. Eat foods that are high in fibre, healthy fats, protein and complex carbs and hydrate your body appropriately. Stay away from chemically processed foods. Just my two cents.

June 21, 2012 8:51 AM
June 21, 2012 8:53 AM
I think it helped me. I eat 1800 calories a day, but I do not let my carbs go over 100 and my protein has to be at least 125. So, that means that I have cut out a lot of starchy sugary things.

When I was younger, I could eat 1200 calories of coke and three musketeers and lost weight. Now that I am older, that does not work.
June 21, 2012 8:55 AM

I think it helped me. I eat 1800 calories a day, but I do not let my carbs go over 100 and my protein has to be at least 125. So, that means that I have cut out a lot of starchy sugary things.

When I was younger, I could eat 1200 calories of coke and three musketeers and lost weight. Now that I am older, that does not work.

Your current plan is perfect for both weight loss and, most important, good body composition.
Edited by DBB07 On June 21, 2012 8:55 AM
June 21, 2012 9:03 AM


I think it makes a big difference in energy level, complexion, and even peace of mind

^^^This!!!!! I just overall feel so much better physically and mentally when I eat healthier!! Good food fuels my workouts and my brain!

I completely agree with these posters. Yeah, calories in v. calories out is really how the math works out, but I am SO hungry and tired and lethargic (read: lazy) when I eat poorly. I have some sort of sugary dessert (in a small portion) every day, but the bulk of my calories are whole, nutritious foods. I stick to 1200-1300 cal/day.

Here's a sample of my daily intake:

Breakfast -
1/2 Cup Voskos or Chobani Greek Yogurt
1 Cup sliced strawberries
1 small banana, sliced
1 packet of flavored instant oatmeal (I know old fashioned oats are better, but this is a compromise I make with myself...saves time, it's pre-portioned, and I enjoy the taste!)

Lunch -
A tuna wrap
1 can of solid white albacore tuna with a tablespoon of fat-free mayo
Celery, black pepper, and pickles to taste
1 La Tortilla Factory low carb wrap (12g Fiber and only 80!)
Green leaf lettuce
Sliced tomato
A huge plate of sliced veggies (whole cucumber, some raw broccoli, half of each: red pepper, yellow/orange pepper)
2-4 tablespoons of fat free ranch dip (a packet of ranch seasoning with 16 oz of fat free sour cream)

Dinner -

Grilled chicken breast with assorted seasonings
1 ear of grilled sweet corn (no butter or salt...they're delicious on their own!)
Large salad of mixed greens and Ken's light caesar dressing

Snacks -

1.5 servings of red seedless grapes (about 30) or 1.5 cups of cherries (with pits)
1 serving of Colby's Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn
Some sort of ice cream (either a SkinnyCow sandwich, Weight Watchers bar, DQ fudge bar or Vanilla Orange Creme, or a serving of fat free, no sugar added vanilla with a 60 calorie brownie bite)

I am ALWAYS full. I never feel hungry or deprived. I want to get the biggest bang for my buck (feel full/satisfied for the least amount of calories), so I'd rather eat this way than higher calorie foods that leave my tummy rumbling. Hope that helps!
June 21, 2012 9:05 AM


There is a metabolic advantage to eating protein. Up to 25% of protein calories are lost (entropy) during digestion. It's the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Calories In = Calories Out + Entropy.

What's more, body composition is greatly affected by macronutrient choices.

That's a bit of a skewed statement that could be misconstrued so let's elaborate on it so as not to confuse folks.

You have to take into account what source the protien is coming from as well as a bunch of other factors. Most people on normal western diets are going to get the majority of their protein from things like milk, cheese, eggs, meat and fish - all of which have high digestibility factors - practically the same as most fats and carbs. So in this scenario, believing that your body is digesting more calories from equal caloric amounts of fat and carbs is way off base. The difference would be so minimal as to be worthless. If you lived practically on a diet of soybeans, yeah, maybe you're getting less calories from that protein than from an equal caloric amount of fat but hey, I wouldn't want to share a bed with you.
June 21, 2012 9:12 AM

Yes, it helped me.

But mostly it helped me because I found proteins and complex carbohydrates to be more satisfying and I could get away with eating fewer calories in a day with less hunger and more energy. Balancing my intake of fats, proteins, and carbs (and in my case converting over to a "snacking habit" where I eat very small meals frequently) really helped me work with a deficit calorie budget.

But none of this has anything against the "a calorie is a calorie" crowd. If you ate calories to feed your body at a deficit, you will lose weight. It may not be terribly healthy for certain sources of calories if you're missing nutrients your body needs, etc, but a calorie is pretty much a calorie.

Health and weight loss are related, but separate, subjects. You eat at a specific deficit for weight loss. You exercise and eat healthful foods in proper proportion to increase health. An overweight person can be very healthy, and someone who is not overweight can be extremely unhealthy.

And this is it, in a nutshell. A calorie deficit is what causes you to lose weight, but eating proper nutrients tends to fill you up more and keep you from getting hungry, so it is beneficial (helps keep you on the lower calories diet. It's also healthier, of course. Which should be the ultimate goal.
June 21, 2012 9:35 AM
Thank you for all the feedback, you guys are awesome. flowerforyou Just needed a reminder that the healthy choices usually are low-calorie and nutrient-dense, thus filling me up more with the nutritional benefits.
June 21, 2012 9:48 AM
June 21, 2012 9:58 AM
yoyo- Have you ever actually said anything on the forum besides 'bump'? smile
June 21, 2012 10:00 AM
For weight loss I firmly believe a calorie is a calorie. However, you're going to be depriving yourself of vital nutrients if you prefer to just eat junk food.
June 21, 2012 10:20 AM
Even though I stayed in my calorie goals, I noticed that it took longer or even stopped if I ate a lot of bad foods during the day.
Also I felt it was harder to stay within my goals because I'd still be hungry after eating something that wasn't filling enough.

(Not sure if anyone else posted this) This was an interesting article about a man who only ate twinkies and other bad snacks, who lost weight:


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