If you strive for 1200 calories, have you any experience in different weight loss depending on what you eat. For example if you eat pizza, say ice cream and cookies in those 1200 calories or if you eat fruit, beans and rice.
Obviously for health the second is better, but what about weight loss?
Why 1200? That's awfully low....honestly, it's the number that matters but of course, you'll be better off with healthier, whole food choices.
There you go, for reference.
A calorie is a calorie, no matter from where it comes.
But I think your body does metabolize proteins vs. carbs and sugars at different rates, not that this will help you with overall weight loss in the long run.
And too much sodium can make you retain water (i.e. bloat), so you may have some extra "water weight" hanging around or coming off...
Calorie is the unit measure of the energy value of the food. You need energy to stay alive but if you take in potential energy that you are not using you will store the extra energy as fat. To burn off fat you need to create a dietary energy deficit by eating less energy than you are using so your body will use it's stored energy. So for weight loss it is all about energy units which are measured in calories.
Nutrition is an entirely different story. You don't just need energy, you also need specific nutrients. This is where your food choices come into play. If you are deficient in nutrients you will be hungry, even if you are consuming all the energy you need.
So ultimately both type of food and calorie content are important.
A calorie is not a calorie. And when it comes down to it, it is unfortunately the only unit of measure we have for foods, but it's not as good or well understood as everyone wishes it was. Calories were "discovered" by actual burn rates of food. Our bodies don't actually burn food, they utilize the nutrients. If a person at 2000 cals of ONLY chicken, or ONLY mayo, or ONLY vegtables, no matter what it would have a detrimental effect on their weight, health, metabolisem, etc.
The source matters for a plethora of reasons. Empty carbs that you described are more likely to be stored as fat then say fruit and veg. More nutrient dense foods actually get used by the body, where empty calories don't offer anything but a way to trigger storage. No nutrients means your body will feel it's in starvation mode and try to store every calorie it can, just as much as eating too little will trigger the same thing.
There's nothing to say, you can't indulge a LITTLE bit on those iteems, but they should not make up the majority of your daily caloric intake.
As you can see, you'll get varying responses to your question. I tend to lean towards the notion that a calorie is a calorie is calorie----in terms of weight loss, but I'm perfectly willing to admit that I could be wrong. Anecdotally, I notice that I tend to lose weight faster than others I know who are the same height, about the same age, etc., and the one difference I notice is that I eat whole foods, eat organic, etc. Does this make a difference or is my metabolism just a bit faster? Who knows?
Here's is an interesting article that seems to support the idea that it's the # of calories, not the content of those calories, that matters: