Message Boards » Food and Nutrition

TOPIC: Calories vs. Carbs

« Prev 1 3 4 5 6
« Prev 1 3 4 5 6
 
Ic_disabled_photos
Topic has been inactive for 30 days or more and images have been disabled.
Display All Images
October 26, 2012 6:46 PM
So I've heard a lot about calories (virtually everyone goes by calories) and a lot about carbs (some have lost more weight counting carbs), so let me hear your thoughts. When it comes to successful weight loss and weight maintenance, which is scientifically the correct way to go?

(And what really is, molecularly, a calorie anyway?)
October 26, 2012 6:57 PM
A calorie is a unit of energy. Burn more energy than you consume, and you lose weight.

I think the reason so many people are into low-carb diets and lose a lot of weight on them is because carbs do tend to be more calorie-dense than other foods. So when you lower your intake of them, generally your overall calorie intake lowers with it, which results in weight loss. In other words, it's not the lack of carbs that's causing the weight loss, it's the lower calorie intake overall that lowering carbs has helped to facilitate. So between the two, keeping your calories in check is far more important than reducing your carbs, unless of course you have a medical condition that means you have to stay on top of them.
October 26, 2012 8:10 PM
Well what about sugar? I mean what's the difference between eating 100 calories worth of spinach and 100 calories worth of chocolate? The type of food must matter, so it can't be strictly the calories that control your weight right?
October 26, 2012 8:17 PM
QUOTE:

Well what about sugar? I mean what's the difference between eating 100 calories worth of spinach and 100 calories worth of chocolate? The type of food must matter, so it can't be strictly the calories that control your weight right?


In terms of your overall health and fitness, the spinach would be better for you than the chocolate. But strictly in terms of weight loss, you could eat either one and it wouldn't make a difference. Weight loss is calories in, calories out. Doesn't matter where those calories come from as long as it's the right amount. But like I said, if you want your body composition to be awesome when you lose, and if you want to be healthy, you would have to work in some healthier food.
October 26, 2012 8:20 PM
Interesting... thank you for the comments! :)
October 26, 2012 8:21 PM
Additionally, protein and fat are of much greater physiological importance than carbohydrates. Typically when calories need to be reduced, it usually makes sense to reduce carbs in order to create the necessary energy deficit -- but obviously this is still dependent on context.
October 26, 2012 8:24 PM
QUOTE:

Additionally, protein and fat are of much greater physiological importance than carbohydrates. Typically when calories need to be reduced, it usually makes sense to reduce carbs in order to create the necessary energy deficit -- but obviously this is still dependent on context.


That's true, but only to an extent. After all, vegetables have great nutritional value and are also carbs. So it's not entirely accurate to say your body needs carbs less than protein or fat. If that were true, why would eating vegetables to achieve optimal health and fitness be pushed on dieters so much?
October 26, 2012 8:28 PM
Carbs are calories; lowering them also lowers your total caloric intake... unless you do what a lot of low-carbers do and smear fat on everything thinking you can consume limitless calories.
October 26, 2012 8:28 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Additionally, protein and fat are of much greater physiological importance than carbohydrates. Typically when calories need to be reduced, it usually makes sense to reduce carbs in order to create the necessary energy deficit -- but obviously this is still dependent on context.


That's true, but only to an extent. After all, vegetables have great nutritional value and are also carbs. So it's not entirely accurate to say your body needs carbs less than protein or fat. If that were true, why would eating vegetables to achieve optimal health and fitness be pushed on dieters so much?


I said that protein and fat are of greater physiological importance. There exist essential fatty acids and essential amino acids that your body cannot supply on it's own. Your body can produce glucose through gluconeogenesis which makes carbs a non-essential nutrient.

EDIT: But obviously I would never suggest that anyone stop eating vegetables or eliminate carbs.
Edited by SideSteel On October 26, 2012 8:29 PM
October 26, 2012 8:32 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Additionally, protein and fat are of much greater physiological importance than carbohydrates. Typically when calories need to be reduced, it usually makes sense to reduce carbs in order to create the necessary energy deficit -- but obviously this is still dependent on context.


That's true, but only to an extent. After all, vegetables have great nutritional value and are also carbs. So it's not entirely accurate to say your body needs carbs less than protein or fat. If that were true, why would eating vegetables to achieve optimal health and fitness be pushed on dieters so much?


I said that protein and fat are of greater physiological importance. There exist essential fatty acids and essential amino acids that your body cannot supply on it's own. Your body can produce glucose through gluconeogenesis which makes carbs a non-essential nutrient.

EDIT: But obviously I would never suggest that anyone stop eating vegetables or eliminate carbs.


That still doesn't explain why most doctors you speak to and many studies you read will say you need the nutrition that vegetables, a carbohydrate, provide. I'm not saying fats and proteins aren't important, because they are -- I'm saying all three matter and we need to stop making one out of the three this enemy food that needs to be avoided. If what you were saying made sense, there would be no point in eating healthy carbs, and medical evidence points to the fact that eating those things does improve your health.

Edit: Read your edit just now after posting my response. :) Ignore the above, lol.
Edited by FitFabFlirty92 On October 26, 2012 8:32 PM
October 26, 2012 8:37 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Additionally, protein and fat are of much greater physiological importance than carbohydrates. Typically when calories need to be reduced, it usually makes sense to reduce carbs in order to create the necessary energy deficit -- but obviously this is still dependent on context.


That's true, but only to an extent. After all, vegetables have great nutritional value and are also carbs. So it's not entirely accurate to say your body needs carbs less than protein or fat. If that were true, why would eating vegetables to achieve optimal health and fitness be pushed on dieters so much?


I said that protein and fat are of greater physiological importance. There exist essential fatty acids and essential amino acids that your body cannot supply on it's own. Your body can produce glucose through gluconeogenesis which makes carbs a non-essential nutrient.

EDIT: But obviously I would never suggest that anyone stop eating vegetables or eliminate carbs.


That still doesn't explain why most doctors you speak to and many studies you read will say you need the nutrition that vegetables, a carbohydrate, provide. I'm not saying fats and proteins aren't important, because they are -- I'm saying all three matter and we need to stop making one out of the three this enemy food that needs to be avoided.


Here is where you are confusing my statement with typical ignorant low-carb dogma (read: I agree with your bold part above, but you are assuming that I'm saying things that I am not saying):

I am not advocating low carb diets (although, there ARE some people that would benefit from them and it is not a dangerous approach when done intelligently). I am not suggesting that carbs are evil. Obesity is caused by overconsumption of energy over time. Carbs are your friend and because of the micronutrients they provide, you should probably eat them. I eat 250-300g/day in carbs.



QUOTE:

If what you were saying made sense, there would be no point in eating healthy carbs, and medical evidence points to the fact that eating those things does improve your health.


I don't see where you are drawing this conclusion. My original statement was that usually when someone decides to restrict calorie intake (they are overweight, they are learning about nutrition, and they need to create an energy deficit), it makes sense to draw most of the deficit from carbohydrate. I would further conclude that most people, when they start to learn about proper nutrition, learn that they also should increase protein intake due to LBM retention. This further drives CHO intake downwards because you have to make up for that caloric increase in protein.

This is a risk I take for saying "usually" because we're arguing without context. I'm going to make the assumption, that I believe is fair, that the majority of obese people are consuming a diet that is hypercaloric (this is an obvious one) and they are also consuming plenty of carbs, and I'd further speculate they are not consuming enough protein. I'm not going to make the statement that this is the case with all obese people. I think this is the case with "most" obese people.

This does not make carbs the enemy. Carbs are not causing people to be fat. Hypercaloric intake is causing people to be fat. It just so happens that, the math works out such that if you tell Bob to reduce his caloric intake by 1200 to get him to a reasonable deficit, and you tell him that he should also bump his protein up to 150g, he's going to need to put down the donuts (reduce CHO).
Edited by SideSteel On October 26, 2012 8:45 PM
October 26, 2012 8:47 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Additionally, protein and fat are of much greater physiological importance than carbohydrates. Typically when calories need to be reduced, it usually makes sense to reduce carbs in order to create the necessary energy deficit -- but obviously this is still dependent on context.


That's true, but only to an extent. After all, vegetables have great nutritional value and are also carbs. So it's not entirely accurate to say your body needs carbs less than protein or fat. If that were true, why would eating vegetables to achieve optimal health and fitness be pushed on dieters so much?


I said that protein and fat are of greater physiological importance. There exist essential fatty acids and essential amino acids that your body cannot supply on it's own. Your body can produce glucose through gluconeogenesis which makes carbs a non-essential nutrient.

EDIT: But obviously I would never suggest that anyone stop eating vegetables or eliminate carbs.


That still doesn't explain why most doctors you speak to and many studies you read will say you need the nutrition that vegetables, a carbohydrate, provide. I'm not saying fats and proteins aren't important, because they are -- I'm saying all three matter and we need to stop making one out of the three this enemy food that needs to be avoided.


Here is where you are confusing my statement with typical ignorant low-carb dogma (read: I agree with your bold part above, but you are assuming that I'm saying things that I am not saying):

I am not advocating low carb diets (although, there ARE some people that would benefit from them and it is not a dangerous approach when done intelligently). I am not suggesting that carbs are evil. Obesity is caused by overconsumption of energy over time. Carbs are your friend and because of the micronutrients they provide, you should probably eat them. I eat 250-300g/day in carbs.



QUOTE:

If what you were saying made sense, there would be no point in eating healthy carbs, and medical evidence points to the fact that eating those things does improve your health.


I don't see where you are drawing this conclusion. My original statement was that usually when someone decides to restrict calorie intake (they are overweight, they are learning about nutrition, and they need to create an energy deficit), it makes sense to draw most of the deficit from carbohydrate. I would further conclude that most people, when they start to learn about proper nutrition, learn that they also should increase protein intake due to LBM retention. This further drives CHO intake downwards because you have to make up for that caloric increase in protein.

This is a risk I take for saying "usually" because we're arguing without context. I'm going to make the assumption, that I believe is fair, that the majority of obese people are consuming a diet that is hypercaloric (this is an obvious one) and they are also consuming plenty of carbs, and I'd further speculate they are not consuming enough protein. I'm not going to make the statement that this is the case with all obese people. I think this is the case with "most" obese people.

This does not make carbs the enemy. Carbs are not causing people to be fat. Hypercaloric intake is causing people to be fat. It just so happens that, the math works out such that if you tell Bob to reduce his caloric intake by 1200 to get him to a reasonable deficit, and you tell him that he should also bump his protein up to 150g, he's going to need to put down the donuts (reduce CHO).

yeah this. he knows his stuff
October 26, 2012 11:17 PM
I still have the same question about sugar though... I just can't believe that 100 calories worth of chocolate or something is equal to 100 calories of something like spinach in terms of weight loss. I just don't see how this is possible; the ingredients must pose a different affect on the body and cause the sugary one to lead to greater fat stores despite the amounts being equal in calories. Am I right?
October 26, 2012 11:27 PM
QUOTE:

I still have the same question about sugar though... I just can't believe that 100 calories worth of chocolate or something is equal to 100 calories of something like spinach in terms of weight loss. I just don't see how this is possible; the ingredients must pose a different affect on the body and cause the sugary one to lead to greater fat stores despite the amounts being equal in calories. Am I right?


What you're talking about here is a common diet myth that sugar turns into fat in the body. 10 years ago, people said the same thing about carbs (all of them), and before that it was "fat makes you fat" etc. It's been proven to be false unless you are eating at a caloric surplus (more than what you burn) or have a metabolic disorder or a medical issue like diabetes or insulin resistance.

Some good resources to read:

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/category/nutrition/nutrition-fundamentals
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss

It's a LOT of info to take in, but it's worth educating yourself about the real science behind nutrition and fitness if you're going to make long-term changes.

Also, SideSteel's post is excellent above.

To directly answer your question, no. 100 calories of spinach has the same caloric-value as 100 calories of chocolate. What's different is the micronutrient profile (vitamins, minerals, etc.) and macronutrient profile (carbs, fats, protein). Total calories are what matter for weight loss. For health, fitness, and wellness, micro- and macro- nutrients matter. Ideally for long-term health, wellness, and success, you'll want to eat home-cooked meals from whole food items balanced with lots of fruit, vegetables, and lean proteins as often as possible within your calorie goals, but it is very possible to drop weight eating nothing but junk food.

Particularly, this article explains a lot of what SideSteel and other posters have been talking about: http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/the-energy-balance-equation.html
Edited by VelociMama On October 26, 2012 11:39 PM
October 26, 2012 11:46 PM
This has been the most intelligent thread I've ever read on MFP. I appreciate the back and forth.................I am beyond what you'd call a beginner................in the diet knowledgeable world, but I did read all the postings, and I feel I'm "clicking" away a tad bit more informed man, so that possibly makes me a tad bit smarter..............which means, I think I learned a little something here. Thanks guy's, I'd love to hear a little more about this interesting topic.
  30472920
October 26, 2012 11:52 PM
What can I say? i've made the most in-depth post on here! :)
October 26, 2012 11:54 PM
lol.......................well....................that was my opinion...................doesn't make me right.............persay..............but good job..........I doubt you even expected the responses you got, lol!
  30472920
October 26, 2012 11:57 PM
QUOTE:

What can I say? i've made the most in-depth post on here! :)


It's a really good question! smile
October 27, 2012 12:04 AM
QUOTE:

100 calories of spinach has the same caloric-value as 100 calories of chocolate.


But 100 calories of meat doesn't provide the same caloric value as 100 calories of bread.
October 27, 2012 12:05 AM
I didn't! I'm totally relearning everything I knew. I thought I had it all down, but now I'm adjusting to some new nutrition-nerd glasses! Keep telling me more guys, this is so interesting :)

Btw, over time, eating junk (even in the right amount of calories) would eventually lead to health problems that impact your immune system and metabolism though, wouldn't it? You can't say sugar has no impact on metabolism... and then there's all that insulin resistant starch stuff I'm still figuring out.
October 27, 2012 12:07 AM
See wellbert, that's the part I'm figuring out. The differences in foods... and how some foods are equally caloric while others seem to be off balance even in the same amount of calories.
October 27, 2012 12:10 AM
Geez............I might actually start learning some things on MFP.............besides the girls are only interested in your personal life rather than your healthier life............lol
  30472920
October 27, 2012 12:11 AM
QUOTE:

I didn't! I'm totally relearning everything I knew. I thought I had it all down, but now I'm adjusting to some new nutrition-nerd glasses! Keep telling me more guys, this is so interesting :)

Btw, over time, eating junk (even in the right amount of calories) would eventually lead to health problems that impact your immune system and metabolism though, wouldn't it? You can't say sugar has no impact on metabolism... and then there's all that insulin resistant starch stuff I'm still figuring out.


I think the real issue you'd have is malnutrition and nutrient deficiency from lack of proper intake of necessary micronutrients than anything. Of course, excess adipose/fat tissue also causes a host of hormonal problems and dramatically increases risks for a lot of cancers, cardiovascular disease, and other major health problems alone.

Unfortunately, a lot of the studies done to-date showing intake of *insert bad food item here* did *insert bad result here* don't really control for total calorie intake, exercise habits, etc., so it's very hard to tell if it's the intake of that "bad" item that causes the negative effect or if it's total intake or a combination thereof. Exceptions are some recent work on trans fats and such that show a direct medical link between ingestion of trans fats and increased risk for various severe health complications.
October 27, 2012 12:12 AM
QUOTE:

See wellbert, that's the part I'm figuring out. The differences in foods... and how some foods are equally caloric while others seem to be off balance even in the same amount of calories.


Thermic effect is the energy required to turn food into useful energy.
October 27, 2012 12:13 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

100 calories of spinach has the same caloric-value as 100 calories of chocolate.


But 100 calories of meat doesn't provide the same caloric value as 100 calories of bread.
Yes It Does A Calorie Is A Calorie Is A Calorie. The Nutrition that calorie provides is different.
The caloric value is a non word. It's nutrient value, We're talking about.
  26444224

Reply

Message Boards » Food and Nutrition

Posts by members, moderators and admins should not be considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy.