Weight Loss
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Calories is it?


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Judging by the tools made available on the site, calorie counting is the #1 tracked focus of the health plan laid out here, correct? 

 If I burned 3000 calories a day, and ate really bad food that amounted to 2000 calories, would that still suffice?  I'm not trying to split hairs, but there _must_ be other counters that you would track as well.  I could eat McDonalds every day and maintain a 1000 calorie deficit.  Granted, I'd incur an array of other problems related to the quality and type of food I was eating, but I should technically be losing weight, right?  I'm in no way trying to justify doing that, but I was curious if it was a possibility.

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Yes, you certainly could eat 2000 calories of donuts if you wanted to. Would that leave you satisfied for any amount of time or give your body the nutrients it needs? No, and I wouldn't suggest you eat that way. From my limited knowledge on the matter, a calorie is a calorie whether it's from junk food or healthy food. We promote healthy lifestyles which include eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise.

Well, there is the "nutrition analysis" tab which provides a general "grade" of the type of foods you are putting into your body (not the best, but it 'generally' works).

I'm sure that it would take a LOT of manpower/programmers, etc. to make the site all inclusive on all of the health concerns associated with eating.

Personally, I like that the site is free and allows me to log my food. It would be really neat to throw that extra stuff in that people really want (BMI analyzer, etc), but I personally can't afford to pay for all the rest of the fancy shmancies, so you gotta incorporate the common sense in order for it to work (I know, "common sense" is a relative term). 

BTW: I had a pretty bad nutritional grade when I first started, but was still losing weight. Then, when I saw my nutritional analysis, I was SHOCKED lots of fat, low fiber, high sodium, so I started eating healthier. My nutritional grade is much better

:D 

Yeah, I wasn't really expecting anything more than we already have.  I've been surprised by the amount of sodium I'm taking in.  All this pre processed stuff.. even the blue plate diners around dish it out. 

I did make an effort to eat healthy on Monday at a local diner.  Two small skinless chicken breast fillets, green beans and whole kernel corn.  $11!  gotta love small town eatin'!  I'd go broke eating healthy at restaurants around here.

Original Post by dark3d:

Judging by the tools made available on the site, calorie counting is the #1 tracked focus of the health plan laid out here, correct? 

 If I burned 3000 calories a day, and ate really bad food that amounted to 2000 calories, would that still suffice?  I'm not trying to split hairs, but there _must_ be other counters that you would track as well.  I could eat McDonalds every day and maintain a 1000 calorie deficit.  Granted, I'd incur an array of other problems related to the quality and type of food I was eating, but I should technically be losing weight, right?  I'm in no way trying to justify doing that, but I was curious if it was a possibility.

I track my calories, carbohydrates, protein, fats, fiber, calcium, iron, and sodium on this site ... along with (of course) my weight and my BMI.  I appreciate being able to see at the end of every meal/every day/every week/every month if I have met my goals in EACH of those areas.

I also appreciate being able to input recipes into the recipe analyzer?

Have you used the nutritional analysis tool? It's great.

And the library has some great articles on nutrition and weight loss and healthy eating (in addition to the forums, of course!)

=^..^= MOLLY

...to add to what momof2kt has to say; you also have to realize that if you eat high sugar/cholesterol and protein foods like McDonald's offers and never work out, you will never lose the weight and keep it off. The sodium retains water and therefore inhibits weight loss. If you eat too much protein and don't work out (ie; big Mac's), it'll just turn into FAT anyways....it would turn into MUSCLE and burn even MORE calories in a day if you did a regular workout (like weight lifting). And naturally cholesterol in large doses is never good for you.  You can try to justify it like you say, but it certainly won't keep you satisfied for very long, and as I can remember it, you could very easily have 2000 calories with 1 McDonald's meal....and then what would you do? You'd starve yourself for the rest of the day?? Definitely BAD for the metabolism (would slow it down to a snails pace!)

Double quarter pounder w/ cheese = 740 calories

Large fries = 570 calories

large coca cola classic = 310 calories 

(1620 calories) +

Hot fudge sundae w/ nuts = 375 calories 

Grand total 1995 calories!

Can you live on that for an entire day? never mind this is a dinner menu and not eating breakfast makes your metabolism start out even slower for the day! 

momof2 is right.  Basically a calorie is a calorie....anyone should be able to lose weight weather they eat it all in donuts and McDonalds or whether they eat it all in vegetables.

But the whole reason there are so many other tools and counters and pie charts is because most of us are not only trying to lose weight, but are also trying to generally improve our health as well....we try to see this as a long term change in our eating habits.  A new new way of life, as opposed to just a short term diet.

I think that I would find it difficult to feel full on 2000 calories of McDonalds a day, especially @ the level of exercise it would take to burn 3000 daily.  I mean, a Big Mac, Large Fries, Large Coke, a Sundae, and that's pretty much it for the day, right?  Plus, it would be difficult to eat food of such low nutritional value and avoid the urge to binge later, which I think is what most ppl have difficulty with when trying to lose weight on unhealthy food.  And finally, the high sodium content would probably cause some water retention & bloating, but only a few pounds worth.

'Course, I'm the queen of incorporating greasy / sugary foods into my diet, but try to keep it in moderation.

Just to be sure I wasn't misunderstood..  I think this site is wonderful, and has initiated a positive change in how I live my life.  I am in no way saying anything negative about any of the resources available here!  I am so grateful I stumbled across this site. 

 According to my personal burn meter, I'm running at 3340 per day, sedentary.  Does that seem in line with my stats?  It seems a little high to me.  On the days I exercise, it bumps it up even higher. 

Where are all the guys, anyway?  I guess we lurk more than we type, huh?

 

No, a calroie is not just a calorie.  The body will utilize broccoli differently then a snickers bar.  The number of calories a person eats is not the only thing that will have an effect on one's body composition.

 Thermic effect measures the amount of energy needed for digestion, absorbtion and assimilation of food.  Protein has the highest thermic effect.

High glycemic carbs will enter the blood stream very quickly which requires insulin to remove the sugar.  Fat burning is slowed during this process.

Time, Size and Frequency also play a role.  Eating smaller meals more frequently keeps the metabolism burning, where large infrequent meals would have the metabolism running less effeciently.  Eating a lot of carbs before bed will cause storage 1) because of the insulin spike 2) you will be resting for the next 8-10 hours so this food will not be needed for energy.

So if you choose to eat high processed foods that don't have a high thermic effect which means you don't require as much energy to digest the food, eat a lot of food that spikes insulin production which stores and slows fat burning, and are eating large quanities of the wrong type of food at the wrong time of day can have an effect on your weight loss even if you're eating below maintenance.

I think this is one of the reasons may posts here ask why their not losing weight even though there creating a calorie deficit. 

#10  
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Original Post by dark3d:

Where are all the guys, anyway? I guess we lurk more than we type, huh?

 

 Yup

 

AJ 

Hey dark3d,

There are a few of us guys around so keep checking.  And I have to lean on the side that a cal isn't just a cal.  I think eating right not only makes me feel better, but also helps in the weight loss department. 

If you are doing a high energy, high activity program like mine, just any cal isn't going to work.  And you can eat a whole lot cheaper, and better, if you learn to cook a little. 

 

I think some of these diet techniques aren't true for everyone though. For instance, the whole eat many small meals during the day to keep your metabolism up doesn't seem to hold true accross the spectrum. Same with the don't eat before bedtime. Also, while yes, eating an item high in simple carbs may cause a sugar spike and insulin action, eating that same high sugar item with a meal that has some fat, fiber and protein will slow the digestion so the insulin spike will not be as severe. 

Yes, if you want, you could eat an egg McMuffin for breakfast, a happy meal for lunch and another happy meal for dinner. That would give you around 1300-1400 calories so you could maybe throw a snack in there somewhere or sub one of the happy meals for a quarter pounder with cheese. You would lose weight on such a diet. You might have some water retention from all the sodium, but I really don't know why people get upset over that anyway given it's just water and there is an upper limit on how much water you will retain.

Obviously, that diet is far from  healthy as it's high in fat, but a bit low in fiber, some vitamins, and minerals. But weight loss is not synonymous with healthful eating.
I'm sorry, but a calorie is NOT a calorie! If one person ate 2000 calories of fat, vs 2000 calories of carbs, vs 2000 calories of protien, you would see over time 3 different body compositions. Each one has different effects on the body. Not even mentioning that that there a 3 different main body types, and they each react differently to foods. Some people are carb sensitive, and a crap load of carbs and fat would not allow them to lose weight even if they are working out moderately. ALSO we haven't even touch on keeping blood sugars stable which a key element in weight loss. You can't do that cause you body will release a lot of insulin and just store fat. You are better off with a good balanced diet. 40%protien, 40% carb, and 20% of your calories from good fats spread out over 5 small meals a day.
I was curious, so I did a mock up of a day consisting of McDonald's meals adding up to 2014 cals, the victim will be drinking water or diet soda or tea with artificial sweetener:

Breakfast:
Egg McMuffin

Lunch:
Quarter Pounder with cheese
small fries

Dinner:
Big Mac
Small fries

Nutritional breakdown for the day is:

2014 total calories

Carbs: 170 grams 33.9%
Protein: 88 grams 17.6%
Fat:      108 grams 48.4%

Fiber: 11 grams
Sodium: 3478

To be honest, it's not as dreadfully unbalanced as I originally thought it would be. It does have enough protein in it for survival. I was surprised by all the fat though! I would have thought the fries would add a lot more carbs to the days totals than that.
Unfortunately, not all calories are created equally. :( It's ok to indulge once in awhile though. I certainly do!

I agree that sometimes a calorie is not just a calorie.

But sometimes it is.

It all depends on your specific body, genetics, and background.

What to eat, when, how much, and in what carb-protein-fat ratio isn't a one-diet-fits-all proposition, IMO.

You have to figure out what will work best for your body.

'a calorie is not just a calorie'.

but then, my friend did it. I mean, eating (fairly) unhealthy food only once a day, never exercised, and she lost lots of weight already, and now manages to maintain it with normal meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks).

so does anyone have an explanation for that?

Original Post by krayzielaydee:

'a calorie is not just a calorie'.

but then, my friend did it. I mean, eating (fairly) unhealthy food only once a day, never exercised, and she lost lots of weight already, and now manages to maintain it with normal meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks).

so does anyone have an explanation for that?

Kind of makes my point in post # 16....

sometimes a calorie is just a calorie - it depends on your particular body, genetics, and personal history

:)

Wait, one meal a day?  Wow, very unlikely she got enough calories or nutrients during that time.  I hope it all works out for her.

:)

Your Burn meter will drop as you lose weight.  I was burning 3700 calories and have lost 18 lbs and now I'm burning 3600 calories.  This has been the best site that I stumbled on.  Seeing is believing and it all comes down to calories in calories out.  To see what your eating has helped me alot.  I may have been nibbling a 1000 extra calories a day.  I'm not depriving myself either.  I have went to Carabba's and had my share of pizza.  Just trying to eat more fuits and vegtables.
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