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Old 09-13-2010, 05:20 PM   #1  
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Default Confused as always..

Can someone please explain the science behind this for me. It always confuses me.

Ok so calories are the bottom line for weight loss. Calories in vs calories out.

So does that mean I can lose weight eating 1200 calories but have 300g of carbs?!

Or can you eat 1200 calories and eat 100g of fat and still lose weight?!

My point is, if it really comes down to just calories in vs calories out, then we dont need to watch our fat and carb intake?!

The reason I ask this is because there are many times I go off plan. Its not so much my calories end up really bad (usually around 1800; still below what I burn) but when I go off plan, I usually shoot my carbs up to 250-300g and my fat to around 80g. Does that mean I can still lose weight on those days since my calories in are lower than my calories out?

PLEASE will someone clear this up for me
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:23 AM   #2  
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Good question and I have always wondered the same thing. Seeing people on say WW or CC and just count points/calories lose 100 lbs then on the flip side you have someone eating Low Carb and lose 100 lbs consuming maybe the same amount of calories but only 50g carbs.

I honestly don't have an answer but I remember posting a question about do you have to eat a protein/fat with fruit to slow down the sugar absorption and someone said it depends on how a person process sugar example: a diabetic. Soooo maybe that goes hand in hand with what you're asking , 2 people can eat the same amount of calories and process that number the same but they can't process the same number of carbs. I don't know but that's my take on it.
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:42 PM   #3  
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I find that, in terms of weight loss, it doesn't really matter what you eat. I have lost 80lbs since the end of May and still eat things like bacon, cookies, etc. I just stop when I hit 1600 calories. It only takes a couple of times of eating too many snacks early in the day and not being able to eat after 11am because you hit 1600 calories to learn that isn't the way to go.

For me, the only thing I really had to give up to make it easy to stay below 1600 calories was fried foods.
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:46 PM   #4  
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if the ONLY thing you were concerned about is losing weight, you could conceivably lose weight by just eating 4 candy bars a day. 4 x 300 = 1200. This would eventually lead to weight loss, just as total starvation will do so as well. It really is a simple matter of physics as far as simple weight loss is concerned. But its not just about how much you eat as far as being HEALTHY is concerned. Starvation will drop the weight..even once your body goes into starvation mode, you will still drop weight. The body fights it, but it can only go so far. Your metabolism can slow, but it can never stop completely. But anyone with any sense at all can see, that while you might lose weight, the damage you are doing to your body is extreme. Being thin is great, but having people say at your funeral "Damn, she is one thin corpse" hasnt really accomplished much.

I think the two best words anyone can use when discussing weight loss and healthy eating are "common sense". Sure those 4 candy bars only have 1200 calories, but odds are good that I'm not doing myself a whole lot of good eating them.
However, if one day you happen to go a bit high on your fat, or your carbs, or whatever the nutrient du'jour is, it's not going to jeopardize your health or your diet. Keep it sane, keep it reasonable, and it will all add up in the end.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:32 PM   #5  
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Yeah, just piggy-backing on TornadoSiren. A big part of the reason for dropping some foods--sugars and other "bad" carbs, like white flour--is that they're calories that give you energy but not nutrients. Hence, they're "empty" calories, empty of nutrition.

Then again, a lot of the same foods have a high glycemic index, which may spike your blood sugar and lead to more hunger/binging, or else lead to insulin resistance.

"Calories in, calories out" gestures at what weight loss consists of, but doesn't tell us what our bodies do with the particular kinds of foods it receives. There's some evidence that you can eat more of some types of foods and lose the same type of weight (and this one whole premise of anti-carb dieting, of which I'm a moderate proponent).

The real point is, it's actually easier to lose weight when you're eating good foods, instead of just eating whatever you want and stopping at 1800 calories. You're not as hungry when you eat balanced and clean foods, your body is nourished, you feel good about doing good things for yourself. So the diet's a lifestyle, not a war.

Calorie counting without paying attention to nutrients is the way I think a lot of people start, but it's way easier to control calories if you're simultaneously covering your bases with nutrients. Online counters like FitDay will tell you what vitamins and nutrients you need to get more of.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:06 PM   #6  
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Yes, you can. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. They don't all fill you up equally well though.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:45 PM   #7  
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After looking into this very issue, I decided to aim for 25-30% of my calories to come from fat. This is what is recommended for most people per day, according to what i read. So basically, multiply the fat grams you eat per day by 9 to get the calories from fat. Then figure out what percentage that number is of the total calories consumed for the day. Hope that makes sense or helps a little bit.
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:29 AM   #8  
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Calorie counting works for me regardless of how many carbs or how much fat I eat. That being said, I have found that keeping the calories at a "weight loss" level is much easier when my appetite is under control, & for me that means getting sufficient protein (around 20 gms each meal will generally do it). If I don't get enough protein, I start getting carb hungry & that usually leads to a place I don't want to go.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:41 AM   #9  
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This is the way I see it (and this is NOT a professional opinion, just my own theory based on what I've read/learned/experienced.)

I think the bottom line is calorie in/calorie out. But watching the types of calories you consume will help your body burn calories more efficiently. If you live on 4 candy bars a day, your blood sugar is spking and dipping all over the place, and your metabolism is all out of whack. Keeping a good balance of nutrients not only makes you FEEL better, it reduces cravings and keeps the old furnace burning nice and steady, getting rid of those calories at a nice, even pace.

I'm not a low carber by any means (tried south beach and it just didn't work for me), but I do incorporate some elements of that philosophy into my diet. I see whole grains, protiens and fats sort of like "time release capsules." Those calories go down and burn more steadily than a big shot of sugar or "white" carbs, which will cause a "spike" in my system. I do eat some "bad" carbs, but I try to make sure to pair them with a "time release" food to keep them in check. (i.e., having chicken or some other protien with my pasta.)

I also try to stick to "good" fats (i.e. olive oil) because they are just so much better for you. That's not to say I don't eat "bad" fats, but just try to keep them in moderation. Whether or not you lose weight faster or slower on good fats vs. bad fats isn't as much as a concern to me as is the unhealthy, artery clogging consequences of too much "bad" fat.

As far as a low carber losing more weight on the same calories as a straight calorie counter (and we'll assume these two people have the exact same body types, metabolisms, activity levels, etc.)...I don't know. Maybe the extreme low carbing does allow for a faster weight loss...but for me, it's just not realistic to stick to for any length of time. Once you start eating carbs again, the weight comes right back (at least in my experience.) I'd rather do what I'm doing and lose a little slower and KEEP it off, as opposed to the alternative.

Again, everyone is different and what works for me may not work for others, and vice versa. But that's just my .02, for what it's worth!

Last edited by NorthernExposure; 09-19-2010 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:52 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernExposure View Post
This is the way I see it (and this is NOT a professional opinion, just my own theory based on what I've read/learned/experienced.)

I think the bottom line is calorie in/calorie out. But watching the types of calories you consume will help your body burn calories more efficiently. If you live on 4 candy bars a day, your blood sugar is spking and dipping all over the place, and your metabolism is all out of whack. Keeping a good balance of nutrients not only makes you FEEL better, it reduces cravings and keeps the old furnace burning nice and steady, getting rid of those calories at a nice, even pace.

I'm not a low carber by any means (tried south beach and it just didn't work for me), but I do incorporate some elements of that philosophy into my diet. I see whole grains, protiens and fats sort of like "time release capsules." Those calories go down and burn more steadily than a big shot of sugar or "white" carbs, which will cause a "spike" in my system. I do eat some "bad" carbs, but I try to make sure to pair them with a "time release" food to keep them in check. (i.e., having chicken or some other protien with my pasta.)

I also try to stick to "good" fats (i.e. olive oil) because they are just so much better for you. That's not to say I don't eat "bad" fats, but just try to keep them in moderation. Whether or not you lose weight faster or slower on good fats vs. bad fats isn't as much as a concern to me as is the unhealthy, artery clogging consequences of too much "bad" fat.

As far as a low carber losing more weight on the same calories as a straight calorie counter (and we'll assume these two people have the exact same body types, metabolisms, activity levels, etc.)...I don't know. Maybe the extreme low carbing does allow for a faster weight loss...but for me, it's just not realistic to stick to for any length of time. Once you start eating carbs again, the weight comes right back (at least in my experience.) I'd rather do what I'm doing and lose a little slower and KEEP it off, as opposed to the alternative.

Again, everyone is different and what works for me may not work for others, and vice versa. But that's just my .02, for what it's worth!
Great post...ITA! I yo-yo'd between low carb and calorie counting for years and while with low carb yes it comes off faster in the beginning I found that when counting calories the difference between the 2 in the first week (water weight) was about 4-5 lbs depending on how strict I was on low carb.

Like you I incoporate some of the philosophy (low carb) into my plan and it's working.
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