20-Somethings - What Does Calories in/Calories out Mean?

02-20-2014, 07:09 PM
Im not sure what Calories in/Calories out means? So I wanted to ask that question, Thanks for anyone who replies back.

02-20-2014, 07:16 PM
Calories in- whatever you eat and/or drink.

Calories out/burned- the calories you burn/use by being alive plus any acitivities/exercise you do.

Basically you want more calories burned than calories in since you're burning more than what you eat so you have a deficit. Hope that clears it up some for you! :)

02-20-2014, 10:30 PM
Thanks for answering my question, Yes you did clear it up for me.

02-20-2014, 11:07 PM
My personal view is that this is important for weight loss but not for weight gain.

Specifically, I have read (and believe) that the body is very, very inefficient at converting protein to fat.

So cut calories (from all sources) to lose, but you can eat a lot of calories from protein to maintain, for example much more than from fat.

I'm the experiment.

Put simply, a calorie is a calorie when you are trying to lose weight.

But where the calorie comes from (e.g. fat, carbs, protein) matters for gain.

There is your PhD JohnP.

02-21-2014, 11:22 AM
Thanks for replying back to my question

02-21-2014, 04:29 PM
Hi guys!!

I have a similar question on this topic (hope you don't mind me asking Terra), when you say you need burn more calories than you're taking in, are you guys exercising for hours in a day??

This calorie stuff is still something I haven't gotten down.

I eat 1200-1400 cals per day, and run/walk (my attempt at HIIT) on the treadmill for about an hour, everyday. To be honest at 1200 cals, if I'm eating clean, it's A LOT of food (veggies +protein) so I don't feel the need to eat more, but when I work out, let's say I burn 200 calories, my net is 1000, so is that actually hindering weight loss for me? I've stuck to this plan this week, and I've gone down 1 lb so far, not much but it feels very sustainable for me, what do you guys think?

02-21-2014, 05:45 PM
hhm6 - You burn a good number of calories just by being alive. This called your "base metabolic rate." It varies with age and weight and sex. You can google BMR calculators to get an approximation of what yours is, but it is probably somewhere in the 1500 calorie range.

Anything you do beyond simply existing - getting up, moving in any way, thinking, your normal activities, your exercise - burns additional calories in addition to your BMR. When people talk about "burning more calories than they consume" as in this thread, they don't mean burning off 1200 calories on the treadmill. They mean the total number of calories burned by being alive and doing things and exercise, if any.

This number is sometimes called Total Daily Energy Expenditure. You can google TDEE calculators to get a very rough idea of what this value might be for you also. Again it varies with age and activity level and so on but it's probably around 1800-2000 calories.

So you will most likely lose fat just fine if you eat an average of 1200 calories a day for a long enough time (though you may not see weight losses every day or every week like clockwork, due to fluid weight fluctuations and other factors). In fact you can probably lose weight even if you eat more calories than that, if you find 1200 isn't enough for you to be comfortable in the long term.

02-21-2014, 06:33 PM
Hi Carter!!!

I love getting your responses :)

I completely forgot about the TDEE number! I've heard that numerous times! So I checked and mine seems to be around 1576, so if I'm eating 1200, that's a 370cal loss plus the 200 I lose working out? That seems doable for me, for now at least?

I haven't felt the need to up my calories but I know I want to keep 1400 as the highest. It's really amazing how much more food I can get when I swap carbs for veggies. I'm taking full advantage of that right now :)

Hopefully it works, I know I've attempted this before and it hasn't gone as precisely as numbers have predicted. I hope i can stay of the eating clean streak for now. Oh and when you said " In fact you can probably lose weight even if you eat more calories than that, if you find 1200 isn't enough for you to be comfortable in the long term."...do you think eating more would help now? I don't know whether I should eat more, I'm fine for now (satiated/not cranky lol), but I don't want it to hinder weight loss either. I'm getting ready for a cousin's wedding in April, so the fastest (healthy way) to go about this is what I'm really striving for. Thanks for your response!

02-22-2014, 07:52 PM
I say you are doing great and just keep going hhm6. The thing to watch longer term that really caught me out is that you may have to eat more calories if your exercise regime gets more intense as it often does with practice.

I was eating the same calories, exercising much harder and all of a sudden my workouts were really tiring me and I was not performing at all well. From running 6 miles a day, I could only manage 3. I was also struggling with my weight training. So I have picked the calories up a little and things are getting better again. I feel energized like I used to. I also eat more carbs as part of this boost (oats).

So in six months when you are absolutely killing that HIIT every day for an hour and start waking up feeling less and less energized, you might need a little diet boost (or just a rest!)