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A calorie is not an (available) calorie

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Old 05-01-2015, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default A calorie is not an (available) calorie

From this past week's New York Times, an interesting article on calorie availability and possible tweaks to food labels.

For years, people have anecdotally reported they can eat more calories of real, whole foods than of processed junk. For years, people have retorted, "A calorie is a calorie!"

It seems the pendulum is swinging the other way, and a developing understanding of caloric availability may finally provide some answers!
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:59 AM   #2
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Honestly, I don't see how it would make much difference. If they are saying nuts are the ones that are the most off, it may mean you may eat a bit more but nuts are still calorie dense.

Unless you are eating 1600 calories of nuts per day which really equals 1200 calories of nuts.

Overall, you may be able to eat a bit more of high fiber foods, but that difference isn't really the difference between being able to eat whatever you want and having to track. For weight loss though, you still need to reduce the amount of food you eat and increasing foods naturally high in fiber is a good thing.
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Old 05-02-2015, 08:59 AM   #3
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It's easier to miscalculate with nuts precisely because they are so calorie-dense, so a difference of 50 cal is only a few nuts. Especially if you're just vaguely snacking on them rather than counting them out individually.

I hear a lot of people don't realise they are measuring their food wrong (usually if they are doing it by volume rather than weight), especially with processed foods where the suggested serving size may be misleading. So perhaps that's why it's easier to slip up with processed food? I know that when I get take-out or eat out, I am only making the vaguest of guesses as to the calories I've eaten. I don't do that often, so it doesn't affect my weight loss, but I can see how it easily could.
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Old 05-02-2015, 02:13 PM   #4
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Reading the article and taking the accompanying quiz, my takeaway is that many foods (not just nuts) have lower available calories, including meats and high-protein dairy like Greek yogurt.

So many of us struggle with hunger when we are counting calories. I, for one, am interested in finding foods where I can eat more volume for fewer calories,

And doesn't this also means hat nuts are not as calorie-dense as we've thought?
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Old 05-02-2015, 02:45 PM   #5
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If nuts are less nutrient-dense, that would have been handy to know when I had gallstones and couldn't eat more than 10g of fat at a meal. Mind you, it would have been worse the other way around.

Am I the only person who is actually less hungry when dieting? Or rather, my hunger levels are sensible, I get hungry a bit before mealtimes, and I almost never get the type of hunger when I'm famished for a lot of the day. I don't know why I get this. I don't have a binge/restrict mentality, which may help with the dieting side of things. I'm guessing it may be because I fare much better with a well-structured eating plan, in particular limiting sugar, and that stabilises my hunger levels. But it could be something else entirely, for all I know.
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Old 05-02-2015, 03:20 PM   #6
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Yep, anyone that eats those foods knows it.

A calorie is not a calorie. At least when it comes to gaining fat.

My own hunch is that it's the insulin response that is responsible.
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:42 AM   #7
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:53 PM   #8
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A calorie, is a measurement, of energy. One in one out.

*deep sigh* As a lot of us have discovered, it is not that simple.
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:43 AM   #9
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Nuts are very healthy, but need to be eaten in small amounts due to the high calorie count and fat. But our bodies need that healthy fat. They can be sprinkled on a salad or mixed into yogurt, but aren't a good choice if you eat them by the handful, especially when salted. I don't think a small difference in calorie counts of nuts is going to make much of a difference in one's weight.

Esofia, I think the reason you don't get as hungry when dieting is because you are consciously eating healthier foods, containing the nutrients your body needs. You could eat the same number of calories in sweets/carbs but would feel more hunger because of the insulin response, as Ian mentioned. Insulin causes the body to store fat, especially around the middle and sweets and carbs cause an insulin response, as do large meals.
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Old 05-23-2015, 02:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wannabehealthy View Post
Nuts are very healthy, but need to be eaten in small amounts due to the high calorie count and fat. But our bodies need that healthy fat. They can be sprinkled on a salad or mixed into yogurt, but aren't a good choice if you eat them by the handful, especially when salted. I don't think a small difference in calorie counts of nuts is going to make much of a difference in one's weight.

Esofia, I think the reason you don't get as hungry when dieting is because you are consciously eating healthier foods, containing the nutrients your body needs. You could eat the same number of calories in sweets/carbs but would feel more hunger because of the insulin response, as Ian mentioned. Insulin causes the body to store fat, especially around the middle and sweets and carbs cause an insulin response, as do large meals.
No, I was already eating very healthily, I just reduced the amount I was eating. I've been a healthy eater all my life, and certainly have not been eating sugary foods.
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Old 05-23-2015, 03:09 PM   #11
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Thumbs up Interesting Article!

Wow, that explains some uneven weight loss progress I've had from time to time; it seems low carb is the way to go even if counting calories carefully every day- thanks for posting
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