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Quality of Calories and Weight Loss

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Old 09-02-2007, 03:25 PM   #1
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Default Quality of Calories and Weight Loss

While I understand the basic premise of calories in vs. calories out, I'm curious if people experience better weight loss depending on how they choose their calories, all things being equal. Since I log my calories on Fitday, I can see the breakdown of carbs, proteins and fats. I've also been weighing almost every day. So I've noticed that for me, that when my carbohydrate percentage is a lot higher than my protein percentage, even with a total calorie deficit, I don't lose or even in some cases gain. I know there are a lot of variable factors, but I really see a trend.

Has anyone else noticed that the quality of calories affects their weight loss?

t
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Old 09-02-2007, 03:39 PM   #2
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I'm just the opposite. I've watched this carefully for a long time, and noticed that when my carbs are low, that I don't lose weight. But sometimes I think I live in the Bizarro world of weight loss I can stall, then eat something like a bagel and wake up the next morning a pound lighter

I also notice that when I eat lots and lots of vegetables that I lose better than if I eat lots of protein.
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Old 09-02-2007, 04:44 PM   #3
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I lose best on about 33% from each carbs, protein, and fat. (Fats are mostly "good" fats, from avocados, nuts, salmon.) Too many carbs or not enough fat and I'm always hungry. Not enough protein and my progress in lifting stalls.

It's pretty to eat this way, and aside from refined carbs there's really nothing I avoid. Of course, "refined carbs" covers a lot of territory in the typical American diet...
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Old 09-02-2007, 04:48 PM   #4
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Ooops, just noticed the original post was to the 100lb club. Sorry, ladies & gents, for barging in!

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Old 09-02-2007, 04:49 PM   #5
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Nope, I haven't had that issue...but I have noticed that I lose MORE when I eat 1800 calories than when I have 1400-1500.
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Old 09-02-2007, 04:50 PM   #6
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Kaw, everyone's perspective is welcome here! Nothing to be sorry about...
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:47 PM   #7
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I don't track the ratio of carbs and fat and protein, but I may eventually. I know that I certainly feel better when my calories come from cleaner, whole foods, but I don't limit myself at all because if I feel restricted I'll go back to my old binging ways. I know this about myself. The good news is that so far it really is all about calories in vs. calories out for me, so I've consistently lost weight when my calorie number was right, regardless of what made up that number. I'm completely convinced that it's about the numbers.
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Old 09-02-2007, 09:20 PM   #8
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I am a firm believer in "quality" of calories for weight loss, but I don't look at it by carbs vs. protein, but whole, nutritionally powerful foods vs. processed, nutritionally vacant foods.

Choosing whole foods instead of my former "diet frankenfoods" (fat free yoplait, lean cuisines, fat free salad non organic salad dressing, lots of foods with HFCS and artificial sweeteners) made a HUGE difference. I felt amazing and I stopped feeling so restlessly bingy all the time.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheila53 View Post
Since I log my calories on Fitday, I can see the breakdown of carbs, proteins and fats. I've also been weighing almost every day. So I've noticed that for me, that when my carbohydrate percentage is a lot higher than my protein percentage, even with a total calorie deficit, I don't lose or even in some cases gain. I know there are a lot of variable factors, but I really see a trend.

t
Shelia, I've been logging with Fitday for about a year and a half, and there is definitely a correlation between my weight loss and the carb percentages. I lose more easily when my carbs are a lower percentage and my fats are higher. My proteins are slightly higher also, but the biggest difference seems to be from the fats and carbs. I know this, but I enjoy my carb-y breakfasts too much to change the percentages up right now.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:23 PM   #10
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I think the biggest difference I see is that if I eat crap that's high in salt and grease I retain fluid like crazy and that shows on the scale. I feel soooooooooooooo much better if I eat better.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:53 PM   #11
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I have been going over and over this very topic with my own calories and trying to figure out what is best. I haven't been losing at all like I thought I would, and I have been trying hard to figure it out.

I also use Fitday and over the last five weeks my averages look like this:
Calories: 1461
Fat: 32%
Saturated fat: 9.4%
Carbs: 34.6%
Protein: 24.4%
Fiber: 38 grams a day

I get in anywhere from 40 to 50 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.

I think this next week I will up my protein and see what happens. My boyfriend thinks I should up my calories to 1700 a day, but that scares me. How I wish I had the magic numbers that would make this all easy!!
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:01 PM   #12
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I don't use Fitday but I have noticed I lose more when I eat more vegetables.
Also when I *remember* to eat breakfast.
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Old 09-03-2007, 03:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Pita420 View Post
I think this next week I will up my protein and see what happens. My boyfriend thinks I should up my calories to 1700 a day, but that scares me. How I wish I had the magic numbers that would make this all easy!!
Pita, it may not be such a bad idea to up your calories a little. If you start lower than you must, you'll have no place to go downward if you plateau. And, if you're not getting enough calories, your body will systematically shut itself down to hang onto all it's getting.

I know it's not the same for everyone, but I've been losing 1.5-3 lbs per week eating 1600-1700 calories per day since I've started.


To answer the OP: I definitely see a difference in my WL when I'm eating better food, even if the calorie number is the same.

I can look back over my food journals and see distinct trends in my eating. I'll go for a couple days eating high-carb, low(er) protein and then cycle to low(er) carb, high protein. I don't do it on purpose, it just happens. Since most of my carbs are good carbs, I just let my body cycle as it wishes.

But, definitely when I'm eating more whole foods than not I notice a difference in my WL. I think it's mostly because when I'm eating whole foods that means veggies and fruit and lean protein, and those keep me filled up a lot longer than carbs do.
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Old 09-03-2007, 04:04 AM   #14
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I make myself crazy if I track carefully, so my input is based on my memory rather than accurate data - so take it for what it's worth. But, I have found that mixing it up is helpful for me in both food and exercise. For example, if I do the same exercise every day, it starts to lose its efficacy on the scale. Switching to a different form of exercise, even if it's slightly less intense, is helpful. Same for the foods. Much of my success has come from eating lots of carbs, but the whole food complex carbs rather than the "whites." Yet, when I switched it up and decreased my carb intake significantly and increased my proteins (and much of that being from highly processed protein bars that I refused to eat for a long time because they were so highly processed), my weight loss also increased significantly. So, I kept doing it, and found that the loss slowed back down. For me, though, mixing it up keeps me interested and inspired, and maybe that's part of the formula too. So interesting what I am learning about myself through this journey in addition to what I'm learning about nutrition and exercise.
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:53 AM   #15
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I track my calories, fat ect.. but no matter what i do, i always eat more carbs then protein. I do not eat poultry or red meats, and the days I don't eat fish, my protein is real low, I love fruits and veggies( right now I am in love with winter squashes), so I have no problem eating them. The only thing I notice when my calorie count is below 1400 I am hungry!! So I try and not go below 1400 if not I will end up snacking at night.
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