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Can you eat whatever you want as long as you stay in your calorie range and still lose weight?


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I am all about eating healthy. I have lost over 100 pounds by doing so. I do however have days where I want to eat that hamburger or piece of pizza. If a person was to eat whatever they wanted and stay in their calorie range, could they still lose weight? I don't mean have a splurge day, I mean eat what they want(not so healthy foods)everyday. I am just curious. I've heard anything in moderation. Thanks

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A while back I asked something like this too.

I think I had used the example of someone eating 700 calories in healthy food and 500 calories in junk food/empty calories VS the same person eating 1200 calories in healthy food.

 

The answers I got were that yes, it is the same.
However, on the first meal plan, they may not feel that healthy. They may feel sluggish and tired, whereas on the second meal plan, they would have more energy and feel better overall. Also, you're more likely to keep the weight off if you eat meal plan two.

Nothing says that once in a while, if you can keep under your calorie limit, eating an unhealthy meal is bad. If anything, it will keep your cravings at bay and prevent binging or regretting/giving up your dieting!

I have my "cheat meal" once a week. It's not really that bad, but it's higher in calories than most of my typical meals and has much more sodium than I have throughout a whole day (though, I eat really really low sodium so it's not really THAT high) It's all steamed food, not deep fried or anything. But I still keep it limited at once a week.

IMO no, it matters what you eat. I believe that if a person ate 1500 calories of chocolate and cake a day, every day for a sustained period of time,  they would gain weight.  Sugar causes an insulin reaction. Insulin causes the body to store fat. So, where there is high insulin  ... there is gaining weight.

yes. you can have the pizza or the cheeseburger, or the fries, cake or whatever it is that you crave & still lose weight as long as you stay wiithin your calorie range. as a matter of fact i think you're more likely to lose weight if you eat  these things when you crave them. it's the only way most people can stick to it. if you eat only brocolli & carrots all the time you'll wanna kill yourself or give up before you can see any results. so the answer is yes yes yes. calories are what count.

I have done well on the 90% rule:  if 90% of my calories come from real food with lots of nutrition, then I can "have fun" with 10% of less nutritious choices like a glass of wine or a piece of dessert.  Since I target about 1800 calories a day, that gives me permission to have 180 calories of something I want.  I don't always opt for the treat, though, and of course some days (like yesterday) I went to a party and probably half my calories came from less nutritious choices.  I also went over my target, but one day won't kill me.  I find that giving myself a small treat most days keeps me from that deprived, "diet" mentality.

If your calorie target is on the low side (like 1200 calories a day), I would beware of including too many treats on a daily basis, though, because it is hard to get adequate nutrition on less than 1200 calories a day.  Just one of the many reasons I don't set such a low target for myself.

I personally do not believe eating ANYTHING within a calorie limit is healthy... and I have read numerous studies that back my thinking... Filling up on fiber rich vegetables, low sugar fruits, lean high quality proteins and healthy fats is the thing to do... there are foods within these categories that are delicious, you just have to experiment... For instance, I just roasted butternut squash with cinnamon on top and I swear it's the most delicious thing (sweet) plus it's extremely healthy and full of fiber to keep you satisfied.

But if you DO need to eat some "crap" every so often just so you don't feel like you're depriving yourself I guess I can agree with DKENWORTHY in that you could follow a healthy diet 90% of the time and 10% can be attributed to less healthy foods...

If you're curious about the studies that back my thinking that eating crap even if you're in your calorie limit isn't healthy, just let me know and I will send them to you!

Well I usually eat about 1000-1100 calories a day with one meal being unhealthy but I think I have a fast metabolism. Plus I plan around bad meals. Today for example (it is also my time of the month mind you) I ate breakfast at 10am where I made two pieces of whole grain french toast (with oroweat bread with fiber and protein) and an orange. Since that was a huge breakfast of 400 calories I skipped lunch and just had an apple, 1 cup of raw brocolli and 1 cup of raw mushrooms with lemon juice and pepper on top. Then for dinner I had two small pieces of pizza (from a very small pizza) and .25c of neapolitan ice cream and peppermint tea. So I had 1286 calories of pretty crappy food but I also threw in some health and I did not work out today (only took a small 30 minute hike) cause my cramps were terrible - I just layed on the couch watching HBO and I typed a lab report for organic chemistry. But anyway most days my diet is pretty healthy with more protein but sundays are usually as such.

I agree with dkenworthy.  A 'healthy diet' is a balance of foods with lots of great nutrition and also a few foods you eat purely for fun.  If 90% of what you eat are good things like vegetables, fruit, grains, lean meat etc.... then the occasional hamburger or piece of pizza can be a perfectly legitimate inclusion. (They are not 'crap'.... that's far to simplistic)  You wouldn't throw caution to the wind eat pizza and hamburgers all the time... that would be silly.  But, if you're sensible, you should be able to enjoy all foods.

Original Post by skinnylea:

Well I usually eat about 1000-1100 calories a day with one meal being unhealthy

 

Starvation diets are not recommended.  1200 minimum for a sedentary adult woman over 21.  1500 minimum for someone under 21. 

 

 

Posting Guidelines

Calorie Count's mission is to promote healthy and sustainable weight management. Please help our moderators follow this vision and respect the following guidelines.

  • Promotion of starvation diets or habits that exhibit signs of an eating disorder ("pro-ana", "pro-mia", etc.) is prohibited

the question was not whether it is healthy or not just if you will still lose weight if pizza, cheeseburger or whatever is one of the things that contribited to your daily caloric intake but your caloric intake is still within the desired range. the op already acknowledged right off the bat that it is not healthly. the answer is just yes.

Original Post by gi-jane:

Original Post by skinnylea:

Well I usually eat about 1000-1100 calories a day with one meal being unhealthy

 

Starvation diets are not recommended.  1200 minimum for a sedentary adult woman over 21.  1500 minimum for someone under 21. 

 

 

Posting Guidelines

Calorie Count's mission is to promote healthy and sustainable weight management. Please help our moderators follow this vision and respect the following guidelines.

  • Promotion of starvation diets or habits that exhibit signs of an eating disorder ("pro-ana", "pro-mia", etc.) is prohibited

i read this as-she had  ~1,000 cals in 1 meal that were unhealthy. read the rest of the post. jumpy?

So we've established an answer of yes (except for one poster).

One thing to note though is that if you eat foods high in sodium, even if they are within the calorie range, you are more likely to retain a lot of water. Also, some foods can constipate people, so they may leave you feeling bloated/stuffed. Unfortunately, most scales don't differentiate between water and fat, so people will gain pounds of water/food weight within days of eating high sodium/constipating foods.

Same on the other end when people eat these "detox" foods that mostly encourage water weight loss, which is reflected on the scale as a "loss" and people then say, "Well, uh, I lost like 10 pounds in one week so anyone can do it."

As for health...it's been touched on already.

I don't eat real healthy, I try to do the best I can but I'm a picky eater.  I've lost almost 13 pounds since November, it's been slow, but I usually go over my calories on the weekends, sometimes by quite a bit. 

I figure it's better to work something bad for me into my calorie range than to binge and go way over. 

I'm now 14 pounds from my goal weight.  I lost 20 pounds before that eating out all the time but I had a very physically active job.  I think if I did better I'd probably have lost a little quicker, but it's better than not losing anything at all. 

Original Post by bnjionrek:

Original Post by gi-jane:

Original Post by skinnylea:

Well I usually eat about 1000-1100 calories a day with one meal being unhealthy

 

Starvation diets are not recommended.  1200 minimum for a sedentary adult woman over 21.  1500 minimum for someone under 21. 

 

 

Posting Guidelines

Calorie Count's mission is to promote healthy and sustainable weight management. Please help our moderators follow this vision and respect the following guidelines.

  • Promotion of starvation diets or habits that exhibit signs of an eating disorder ("pro-ana", "pro-mia", etc.) is prohibited

i read this as-she had  ~1,000 cals in 1 meal that were unhealthy. read the rest of the post. jumpy?

 You misread it.  If you actually do read their whole post, you'll see that they eat try to 1000-1100 calories a day, and within that range, one of the meals will be "unhealthy"

In her specific example, she ate a 'huge' breakfast of 400 calories, skipped lunch, eating only a cup of broccoli, an apple, a cup of mushrooms.  For their "unhealthy" dinner, they had a binge-worthy 2 slices of a very small pizza and 1/4 cup of ice cream for a grand total of 1286 calories.

I decided to test out your question this week. I generally ate healthy but as the world cup has been on theres been a few celebrations. I included not healthy foods into eat day but stayed within my calorie limit and lost 3POUNDS!!!!!! I still keep in my range of fat too as this is important.

One day we hadn't had dinner and everyone was heading to mcdonalds so I picked up 8 chicken nuggets (340 calories) then i had a handful of my fiancees chips to bring it up to 500 in total.

Another night we were celebrating a birthday so I worked out my calories I had left and enjoyed 2 cocktails at 250calories each.

One night we were watching the game and I enjoyed a bag of crisps

And I enjoyed one scoop (not the tub like I used to) of icecream

AND I STILL LOST 3POUNDS!!!!

so the 90% rule def works

If the macro's make sense [not eating just carbs or protein or fat all day] then it really doesn't matter what you eat.......of course we're not talking about health here.....were talking calories in vs calories out to lose weight.

I think it depends on what you are eating that is unhealthy and how senitive you are to certain foods.  I am doing between 1200-1300 calories on days I do not work out.  Basically if I eat a lot of processed foods and sugar to make this up I lose very slowly less the a 1lb a week.  When I eat mostly healthy with a little junk I tend to lose closer to 2lbs a week.  I find this especially true with soda ( I used to plan on the calories from 12-16 oz a day) but weightloss was so slow, since giving it up I am doing much better even eating the calories in other foods.  Now I try to eat whole fruits if I want something sweet, unless it is a treat.

Original Post by skinnylea:

Since that was a huge breakfast of 400 calories I skipped lunch and just had an apple, 1 cup of raw brocolli and 1 cup of raw mushrooms with lemon juice and pepper on top.

 Yeah, 400 calories for breakfast is huge.  That's what I eat when I'm eating a light breakfast.  Yell

Original Post by sukibahsoun:

Original Post by skinnylea:

Since that was a huge breakfast of 400 calories I skipped lunch and just had an apple, 1 cup of raw brocolli and 1 cup of raw mushrooms with lemon juice and pepper on top.

 Yeah, 400 calories for breakfast is huge.  That's what I eat when I'm eating a light breakfast. 

You need to relax. Some people eat less at breakfast and gear up for dinner. You shouldn't be attacking someone for their food intake. Also, everyone has different calorie limits. They are coming to this site to be healthy, it's not your job to criticize.

I eat a tablespoon of peanut butter on a magic pop which is 15 calories and that's my breakfast. Or I eat a bowl of fruit. So I'm only eating about 100 calories for breakfast at any time. 

But I always eat a huge dinner. Dinner is always higher calorie for me so I make sure I can enjoy it. It's just a preference.

I find I lose more and eat healthier when I stick to lower calorie proteins for lunch and dinner. It's just more filling.

Original Post by alisayre:

Original Post by sukibahsoun:

 Yeah, 400 calories for breakfast is huge.  That's what I eat when I'm eating a light breakfast. 

You need to relax. Some people eat less at breakfast and gear up for dinner. You shouldn't be attacking someone for their food intake. Also, everyone has different calorie limits. They are coming to this site to be healthy, it's not your job to criticize.

I eat a tablespoon of peanut butter on a magic pop which is 15 calories and that's my breakfast. Or I eat a bowl of fruit. So I'm only eating about 100 calories for breakfast at any time. 

But I always eat a huge dinner. Dinner is always higher calorie for me so I make sure I can enjoy it. It's just a preference.

I find I lose more and eat healthier when I stick to lower calorie proteins for lunch and dinner. It's just more filling.

 Uh, it's appropriate to "criticize" when said person is eating below the recommended caloric intake minimum.  She is not on this site to be healthy if that's all she's eating.  Please read her post and don't jump to conclusions.

Please read her entire post before you comment on her calorie intake. Or at least read the whole thread. If she's consuming 1286 calories, she's following what the website says, even if it is considered the low end of the calorie intake amount.

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