General Diet Plans and Questions - Which is more important: Amount of calories or type of food?




Victoriann
02-20-2014, 11:47 PM
Is either one more important? I feel like its the calories that make the real difference. Like today on my myfitnesspal app i put in all my food and exercise. I felt like a bit of a failure as I was doing well all day then for dinner i muffed up and had two taquitos (soooooooo delicious :^: ). However my app counted my calories and I was still under my calorie limit. My nutrition content was good and my calorie break down was 55% carbs 17% protein and 27% fats (the goal it tells me to aim for is 55%/15%/30%).

So basically my stats are awesome for today even though I ate something definitely not diet-friendly. Is that a bad thing? :( :?:


kaplods
02-21-2014, 02:31 AM
Both are important, unless you only care about weight loss and don't care about how you look, feel, or function.

It's like asking what's more important to survival, having air to breathe or liquids to drink. You'll die faster without air than without water, but NEITHER are optional if your goal is to live more than a few minutes.

Calorie intake matters, but eating healthfully matters too. You can make less-than-perfect choices with calories and with food choices, but you still need to make the best choices overall.

I think the best plan takes into account calories AND nutrition ( and exercise/fitness too).

You won't be able to be perfect in all or any health/fitness areas (calories, nutrition, exercise...) but you can do better.

I think focusing on only one aspect is counterpoductive in the long run.

carter
02-21-2014, 07:42 AM
Keep in mind that one day's worth of eating will not make or break your plan. You ate something yesterday that you are concerned is not diet-friendly - so what? It's just one day. You can do that once in a while and not sink yourself. Consistency over the long term matters much more than hitting the perfect stats every single day. As kaplods says, make the best choices most of the time - but don't fret over the occasional choice to eat 600 calories worth of junk food instead of 600 healthful calories.

For most people, calorie intake matters most for weight loss. But most people find that the type of food they eat affects how comfortable and easy it is too keep their calories restricted enough over a long enough time to achieve weight loss.

In general it's good to get a mix of nutrients. And many people find that restricting carbs (especially refined carbs) helps control hunger or cravings. Some people even find that restricting carbs lets them lose more weight the same number of calories. Other people find that they feel sluggish if they don't eat a certain amount of carbs, or just don't want to impose restrictions like that upon themselves and so find it more sustainable in the long term not to. Some people would be concerned about the sodium in what you ate yesterday. Others wouldn't be bothered about it at all, especially if it's not something you eat all the time.

The only way to know what will work for you is to do the science experiment on your own body. Pick a way of eating and follow it for a month or so, and see how you feel, how much energy you have, how your cravings are, how your weight loss is. If you don't like it, try something else.

Good luck!


Victoriann
02-21-2014, 08:14 AM
Thanks for the feedback, guys!