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A calorie is a calorie

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Old 01-30-2012, 05:13 PM   #1
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Default A calorie is a calorie

There is an article in the health section of msnbc.com today. It says the latest research suggests that high carb/lowfat, high protein/low carb, whatever combination you use - as far as weight loss - in the end they are all the same. What do you think?
Having been an experienced low-carber who is now just eating normally but counting calories, I must say I agree with the article. Low carb diets like Atkins are notorious for their "stalls" or plateaus. I am convinced this is caused by the dieter simply taking in too many calories. Some people swear about the appetite-suppressing effect of a low carb diet, but that was never my experience, even after months on the diet. I think what happens here is that some people experience "false anorexia". They simply have less desire for food because of the limited choices on these type of diets. One can only eat so many bunless hamburgers and meat, meat, meat, without getting tired of it.
I have come to believe it IS all about calories.
I am eating from all the food groups and just counting everything that goes into my mouth. To each his own though. Whatever works for you.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:20 PM   #2
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I think it is all about calories too, that they are all the same. Of course, eating 200 calories of veggies will do different things for your body than 200 calories of cake will. Right now I eat 1200 a day....For example yesterday I was only at 600 by dinner and had a mini breakdown and had a peice of white cake. I said to myself ¨hey there big girl, that was your choice, now you get no real dinner¨and I didnt have anything else the entire night cause I reached my calories.

The whole WW system when I did it years ago was set up like that too....like eat less if its not so good and more if it is.

A calorie is a calorie in my book
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:26 PM   #3
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I agree.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:35 PM   #4
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Agree totally.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:36 PM   #5
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In my experience, this statement is true in the amount of weight I lose, however, the types of food I eat effect how I lose weight. When I ate very clean and focused more on proteins and vegetables, my body fat % and clothing size both dropped faster that when I just reduced calories.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:47 PM   #6
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Essentially, that's true. Fewer calories of whatever kind will lead to weight loss.

However, eating more of your calories from fat may lead to a higher fat percentage even if you aren't a higher weight.

A study in rats showed that two groups of rats both fed a restricted amount of calories did not gain weight. One groups of rats ate a higher fat diet and the other a lower fat diet. The group that ate more fat had a significantly higher fat percentage than the low fat rats.

So, the high fat rats gained fat, but didn't get significantly heavier.

Food for thought.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:49 PM   #7
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I agree. I didn't pay attention to my nutrients until I got closer to my goal weight. I still lost weight.

Now how those food make you feel is a completely different story. I gravitate toward certain foods because I feel better when I eat them.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonC View Post
ABSOLUTELY! That's why "experts" who say "fill up on raw veggies" just don't get it. We all crave feeling good. Certain foods have a "comfort factor" and the cruel part is that those foods are all high calorie. I have never known ANYONE to have had a stressful day, then go home and binge on steamed broccoli.
Well when I talk about how foods make me feel, I don't necessarily mean emotions. I'm talking about my energy level

If I have a breakfast like I used to—two bowls of cheerios—I'm left feeling hungrier and tired. If I eat a higher-protein breakfast—say an egg and cheese omelet—I have more energy and I am full for much longer. The plus side is that this is also lower calorie!

I fill up on veggies and proteins because they make me feel energetic and I think at my best. I find that after months of eating this way that I don't even want higher-calorie foods. I still have a box of Godiva chocolates sitting in my room from Christmas. I've had 4 pieces of it, out of 24(?). I sometimes even forget it's there.

Do I just want those chocolates sometimes? Sure! So I work them into my calorie count and I eat them. I don't want them all that often though, which is why it will probably take me months to get through this box!

There's no good or bad food for me—just food that will get me closer or further away from my goals. If I want something, I'll find a way to work it into my calorie plan. If I'm "done" for the day then I tell myself I can have it tomorrow, but I usually just forget about it the next day and never wind up having it
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:05 PM   #9
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Yeah, the laws of thermodynamics are indisputable. But as others have said the composition of the body is highly dependent on where those calories come from. My goal is 2000 calories per day. I try to eat as clean as possible. Most days I'm successful. I try to eat good fats, but limit the amount of them. A gram of fat is 9 calories. A gram of protein is 4 and a gram of carbs is 4 as well, IIRC. Takes a lot less grams of fat to reach your calorie limit than it does of proteins and carbs. So while the "calorie is a calorie" statement holds true, all calories are not created equal.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew80k View Post
Yeah, the laws of thermodynamics are indisputable. But as others have said the composition of the body is highly dependent on where those calories come from. My goal is 2000 calories per day. I try to eat as clean as possible. Most days I'm successful. I try to eat good fats, but limit the amount of them. A gram of fat is 9 calories. A gram of protein is 4 and a gram of carbs is 4 as well, IIRC. Takes a lot less grams of fat to reach your calorie limit than it does of proteins and carbs. So while the "calorie is a calorie" statement holds true, all calories are not created equal.
Thanks for posting. I have done tons of research, and I have found no evidence that a higher fat diet correlates with a higher fat BMI - assuming you are taking in the calories needed to maintain a normal weight. Would love to read some article if I am wrong about this. Other than the fact that dietary fat DOES contain more calories, there doesn't seem to make a difference, as far as the body is concerned. However, as far as health is concerned, 25-30% of dietary calories coming from fat is probably good, so the nutritionists tell us. I am glad to see people here use common sense guidelines as far as their caloric levels. After trying and failing for years to lose weight at 1000 cal. or less - I am happy stay at a higher 1500-1800 level. Regardless of how slow I'm losing. It's just easier to do.

Last edited by LeonC : 02-01-2012 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:38 PM   #11
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Thanks for posting. I have done tons of research, and I have found no evidence that a higher fat diet correlates with a higher fat BMI - assuming you are taking in the calories needed to maintain a normal weight. Would love to read some article if I am wrong about this. Other than the fact that dietary fat DOES contain more calories, there doesn't seem to make a difference, as far as the body is concerned. However, as far as health is concerned, 25-30% of dietary calories coming from fat is probably good, so the nutritionists tell us. I am glad to see people here use common sense guidelines as far as their caloric levels. After trying and failing for years to lose weight at 1000 cal. or less - I am happy stay at a higher 1500-1800 level. Regardless of how slow I'm losing. It's just easier to do.
The research that I've done, and I'm certainly not an expert, indicates that higher fat diets lead to lower lean body mass, less calories burned per pound of body weight. Seems mostly anecdotal, but most of what I've read seems sound. 25-30% of healthy fats is the same that I've read elsewhere as well. I think the biggest trouble with most of this research is the fact that for the most part everyone is different and there are always exceptions to the "experiments".

I don't think anyone could fail to lose weight counting calories though. It's finding the proper balance of calories vs. nutrition to fight the cravings and give your body the things that it needs to succeed that seems to be the challenge for most folks. There are always extenuating circumstances and challenges that people have, such as thyroid issues, diabetes, insulin resistance, etc that wreak havoc on their success, and the research. Finding what works for a person, in general, is the difficult part and takes time and experimentation. People tend to give up before they find the "magic" that works for them, unfortunately, or they give up because they get worn out with "dieting". This has always been my issue.

The one thing I've learned recently, that a lot of folks on here have known forever, is that diets don't work. When you "go on a diet" it implies that at some point you "go off the diet". This inevitably leads back to gaining the weight you lost. It's finding something that both works and is sustainable for the long term that leads to lifelong weight loss. This is the hard part. I love sweet tea and peanut M&M's. I can have them, but I can't have them all the time. Again, that balance has to be maintained. I'll leave you with this:

Quote:
Participants in the low-protein, high-fat group stored more than 90% of their extra calories as fat, and the lack of dietary protein caused their loss of lean body mass. “They were actually mobilizing some of their body’s proteins” — that is, using up the body’s existing lean mass — Bray notes. Those who ate normal- or high-protein diets, by contrast, stored only 50% of their extra calories as fat.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/0...-dont-cut-fat/
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:04 PM   #12
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Thanks for the article. I think if I ever had my BMI tested, my body fat percentage would be huge. Because I'm not a big meat eater. I tend to overeat on starchy carbs and that's where my excess calories have always come from.
I agree with the "diet" mentality. Any time I have every read a story about people who have lost huge amounts of weight - and more importantly, kept it off - it's always been by eating "clean", not going on a "diet". And not making any food illegal.
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