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Right calories vs less calories

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  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    Katie_Y89 wrote: »
    I'd say it's both fewer and the right calroies. If you eat 1200 calories in junk, it's not going to help you.

    It will help you lose weight. Whether that is "help" you want depends on you and your goals. I don't believe it would help me, currently. But for someone extremely overweight just getting some weight off, however seems feasible to them, can be the very best thing they do for themselves, and far outweigh the benefits of eating a better diet (but for calories) and remaining fat or starting strong with a really restrictive diet and then giving up and deciding dieting is horrible and not worth it. For health, I think the most important things for most are (a) not being obese and ideally not being overweight, and (b) being active. After that, yes, eating a good diet is better than not, although the specifics of what a good diet is that often get debated at MFP are part of the broad category "majoring in the minors."

    I used to be much more of the mind that of course a healthy diet was the most important thing, but a woman I know who ate fast food for most meals and was over 100 lbs overweight lost a bunch of weight by simply reducing the calories in her meals but continuing to eat at the same places (she was not motivated to change that) and then as she lost weight she did find that she was motivated to make other changes, gradually, especially as she had to reduce calories more and started feeling better. She may well be unusual,* but I think being open to the fact that it may be a more gradual process and you have to focus on what will work for you, rather than it being some kind of final decision to "eat healthy" or not. I suspect most people do end up including more vegetables and protein and the like in their diets as they cut calories, and fewer calorie bombs, since even if they don't decide to cut things out you can't so easily fit certain things in very often and lose weight.

    *Indeed, I think she is, and the hypothetical person who eats 100% fast food or 100% "junk" is usually a strawman.

    edited February 2016
  • AnvilHeadAnvilHead Posts: 18,543Member Member Posts: 18,543Member Member
    Weight loss is about 'how much' food (measured via # of calories)

    Other factors (body composition, physical performance, satiety, to name a few) are influenced by the 'what type' of food

    ^ This. Eating "clean" (by whatever one's definition may be of that term) will create zero weight loss if one is in a caloric surplus. Conversely, one can eat "dirty" at a caloric deficit and lose weight (google "Twinkie Diet"). Speaking purely in terms of weight loss, calories are king.

    I also agree that the "100% clean" and "100% junk" diet examples usually presented in such conversations are a useless strawman because most people's diets are somewhere between the two extremes. For purposes of body composition, physical performance, general health, etc., the overall diet must be considered rather than individual meals/foods. Context and dosage matter.
  • ndj1979ndj1979 Posts: 29,021Member Member Posts: 29,021Member Member
    Katie_Y89 wrote: »
    I'd say it's both fewer and the right calroies. If you eat 1200 calories in junk, it's not going to help you.
    It's a mix of a caloric deficit and eating the "right calories" as in healthy foods :)

    That's what I go by :smiley:

    please point out the thread on MFP, or the person in the fitness industry that is advocating a 1200 calorie of 100% "junk"foods?

    I don't understand where this constant straw man argument comes from.

    what people are saying is that you should hit your calorie, micro, and macro target, and if you have some calories left over then feel free to eat the foods that you enjoy....
  • bostonwolfbostonwolf Posts: 3,049Member Member Posts: 3,049Member Member
    zcb94 wrote: »
    Less. For example, although I wouldn't recommend eating 1200 calories worth of chocolate alone, you theoretically could, and still lose weight at the best rate for you.

    And a professor somewhere did this, in essence, by eating only Twinkies on a diet and losing weight doing it. It just takes an inhuman amount of self control. Granted, he was not trying to add mass or get more fit, just lose weight

    To me, volume is important. I can eat a metric ton of vegetables that will fill me up and still only amount to a few hundred calories. Fat is important as well (I focus on meat, nuts, avocado, etc) as it fills you up for a long time, but you just need to monitor the volume as the calories will sneak up on you if you don't.
  • ndj1979ndj1979 Posts: 29,021Member Member Posts: 29,021Member Member
    bostonwolf wrote: »
    zcb94 wrote: »
    Less. For example, although I wouldn't recommend eating 1200 calories worth of chocolate alone, you theoretically could, and still lose weight at the best rate for you.

    And a professor somewhere did this, in essence, by eating only Twinkies on a diet and losing weight doing it. It just takes an inhuman amount of self control. Granted, he was not trying to add mass or get more fit, just lose weight

    To me, volume is important. I can eat a metric ton of vegetables that will fill me up and still only amount to a few hundred calories. Fat is important as well (I focus on meat, nuts, avocado, etc) as it fills you up for a long time, but you just need to monitor the volume as the calories will sneak up on you if you don't.

    footnote - he also ate some vegetables and took a multivitamin so he tried to get in micros too ...

    but yes, he lost weight eating nothing but mainly twinkies and had improved health markers, because weight loss.
  • FussFreeFitnessFussFreeFitness Posts: 12Member Member Posts: 12Member Member
    ndj1979 wrote: »
    for straight weight loss all you need is a calorie deficit.

    however, as you lose weight and you wish to be more leaner or have different body composition goals, then strict logging, structured lifting/work out regimen, and micro/macro adherence become more important.

    If person A eats the 'right" calories and is in a 500 calorie deficit, and Person B just eats whatever and is in a 500 calorie deficit, then all other things being equal, they will both lose the same amount of weight.

    Couldn't have said this better myself!
  • punkrockgothpunkrockgoth Posts: 534Member, Premium Member Posts: 534Member, Premium Member
  • feisty_bucketfeisty_bucket Posts: 1,000Member Member Posts: 1,000Member Member

    There are only a half-dozen threads on MFP - they just get recycled. The mods change the wording of the titles and delete half the responses so nobody figures it out.
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,109Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,109Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator

    There are only a half-dozen threads on MFP - they just get recycled. The mods change the wording of the titles and delete half the responses so nobody figures it out.

    Pretty much, we have nothing else to do.
  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member

    There are only a half-dozen threads on MFP - they just get recycled. The mods change the wording of the titles and delete half the responses so nobody figures it out.

    There are exactly six original stories in human history. Everything else is a variation on them.
  • feisty_bucketfeisty_bucket Posts: 1,000Member Member Posts: 1,000Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »

    There are only a half-dozen threads on MFP - they just get recycled. The mods change the wording of the titles and delete half the responses so nobody figures it out.

    There are exactly six original stories in human history. Everything else is a variation on them.

    I like this line:
    "Arthur Quiller-Couch possibly originally formulated seven basic plots as a series of conflicts: Human vs. Human, Human vs. Nature, Human against God, Human vs. Society, Human in the Middle, Woman & Man, Human vs. Himself."

    I think I'd call this a "Human vs. Nature" conflict thread.

    Let's examine MFP posts through this lens. It'll be fun!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Basic_Plots
  • OishiiOishii Posts: 2,629Member Member Posts: 2,629Member Member
    While I 100% agree that it is lower calories rather than the right foods that makes you lose weight, there are areas of scientific research that do argue towards certain calories being better for losing weight than others.

    Firstly, satiety. Fat, protein and fibre increase satiety. The fuller you feel, the more likely you will maintain a deficit.

    Also, certain foods require more calories to burn them than others, so the choice of certain foods increases the calories out. I believe the effect to be minimal, but it's there.

    There are some foods that have specific ways in which they pass through the body. Apparently, when you eat low fat dairy you will expell more fat than you put in, thus that fat is not used by the body. And more recently, Sirtfoods seem an interesting idea (they may need their own thread).

    So, while I 100% agree with lower calories creating weight loss, I don't think we should completely ignore scientific research to the contrary.
  • stevencloserstevencloser Posts: 8,917Member Member Posts: 8,917Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »

    There are only a half-dozen threads on MFP - they just get recycled. The mods change the wording of the titles and delete half the responses so nobody figures it out.

    There are exactly six original stories in human history. Everything else is a variation on them.

    Every book ever written is just a remix of the dictionary. Think about it.
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »

    There are only a half-dozen threads on MFP - they just get recycled. The mods change the wording of the titles and delete half the responses so nobody figures it out.

    There are exactly six original stories in human history. Everything else is a variation on them.

    Every book ever written is just a remix of the dictionary. Think about it.

    Reductionism is a failure of causal imagination.
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,109Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,109Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    Oishii wrote: »
    While I 100% agree that it is lower calories rather than the right foods that makes you lose weight, there are areas of scientific research that do argue towards certain calories being better for losing weight than others.

    Firstly, satiety. Fat, protein and fibre increase satiety. The fuller you feel, the more likely you will maintain a deficit.

    Also, certain foods require more calories to burn them than others, so the choice of certain foods increases the calories out. I believe the effect to be minimal, but it's there.

    There are some foods that have specific ways in which they pass through the body. Apparently, when you eat low fat dairy you will expell more fat than you put in, thus that fat is not used by the body. And more recently, Sirtfoods seem an interesting idea (they may need their own thread).

    So, while I 100% agree with lower calories creating weight loss, I don't think we should completely ignore scientific research to the contrary.

    Personally, fat does not satiate me and I know it doesn't for a lot of others. Starches, especially potatoes have much greater satiety than most, if not all fats.


    Regarding the bold, that is thermal effect of food. Proteins are significantly higher at 20-25% energy required to digest, carbs are 5-6% and fats are 2-3%. So if you are typically very low on protein, increasing protein to a moderate level can have a pretty good impact. Not only with TEF, but also satiety.

  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,424Member Member Posts: 24,424Member Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    Oishii wrote: »
    While I 100% agree that it is lower calories rather than the right foods that makes you lose weight, there are areas of scientific research that do argue towards certain calories being better for losing weight than others.

    Firstly, satiety. Fat, protein and fibre increase satiety. The fuller you feel, the more likely you will maintain a deficit.

    Also, certain foods require more calories to burn them than others, so the choice of certain foods increases the calories out. I believe the effect to be minimal, but it's there.

    There are some foods that have specific ways in which they pass through the body. Apparently, when you eat low fat dairy you will expell more fat than you put in, thus that fat is not used by the body. And more recently, Sirtfoods seem an interesting idea (they may need their own thread).

    So, while I 100% agree with lower calories creating weight loss, I don't think we should completely ignore scientific research to the contrary.

    Personally, fat does not satiate me and I know it doesn't for a lot of others. Starches, especially potatoes have much greater satiety than most, if not all fats.


    Regarding the bold, that is thermal effect of food. Proteins are significantly higher at 20-25% energy required to digest, carbs are 5-6% and fats are 2-3%. So if you are typically very low on protein, increasing protein to a moderate level can have a pretty good impact. Not only with TEF, but also satiety.

    I suspect that protein TEF levels are highly linked to form - whey protein power is probably a lower TEF than say steak or casein. But I've seen no research to support my supposition.

    EDIT: Apparently I'm full of cow dung. Whey likely has a higher TEF:

    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/93/3/525

    Or possibly the TEF curve over time peaks more for whey and is overall higher for casein. Don't know.

    F2.large.jpg

    But, given that Casein takes longer to digest I've a few doubts on this graph.
    edited February 2016
  • MeanderingMammalMeanderingMammal Posts: 7,865Member Member Posts: 7,865Member Member

    Pretty much. I don't really uderstand why we've now got two different forums to discuss the same things in.
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,109Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,109Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator

    Pretty much. I don't really uderstand why we've now got two different forums to discuss the same things in.

    We set up this section for just debates. More often than not, threads where getting hijacked in other areas when the OP was asking a question (e.g. - how to beat sugar addiction). In most cases, in those threads, members were looking to find strategies to achieve their goals and didn't care about the semantics of sugar addiction.
  • makingmarkmakingmark Posts: 672Member Member Posts: 672Member Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    rhtexasgal wrote: »
    gia07 wrote: »
    You know it really is about fewer calories as this has been debated for years and years. Just do a search here on MFP you find loads of threads..

    And as I know it true, I do not believe that calories are just calories. I think I will store 1000 calories of twinkies differently than 1000 calories of chicken and veggies. It is sort of stupid for me to say this, because I really have been eating the chicken and veggies and laying off "twinkies" (not really twinkies but laying off calories that would come from something like this) and the calories are not the same, not on my body they aren't...

    So from sciences standpoint, 1000 calories of twinkies are the same 1000 calories of chicken and veggies, but I have not dontated my body to science to test this theory.

    This is kind of my mindset. I know overall that it is always CI/CO BUT the quality of those calories does matter, especially if you know your own body. For instance, I KNOW that my body bloats when I have too much dairy and/or grains. I can still be under my calorie goal but if I eat those things, I will feel worse overall and swell a bit. However, I can eat the same amount of calories from veggies, lean protein and healthy fat like coconut oil as that dairy and grain but I will feel great and not have the bloat.

    Absolutely, but that's not inconsistent with the claim that a calorie is a calorie, which is why I often think people are talking past each other.

    I don't seem to have many food sensitivities, so I tend to believe that if I were doing an experiment where I ate a terrible diet (but with adequate protein) for 1 month and then a great diet (same calories and protein) for the next month (assuming no difference in starting body composition and moderate exercise required for both) that I would be very close in my results. The problem is (1) I could not keep the same calories with the terrible diet, probably, absent an experiment, (2) without being required to do a certain amount of movement I'd likely choose to do less when eating the poor diet, and (3) it's often easy to overeat when eating a poor diet (because it's easy to underestimate and you tend to be able to use a higher percentage of the calories consumed) and likely easy to eat less than expected/intended when eating the good diet (hard to say what we absorb from certain foods, especially those with more fiber, and people seem to vary).

    So in the real world, it absolutely matters what I eat, for compliance and motivation and how I feel. But to me that's a different question and not contrary to a calorie is a calorie (although a food is not a food).

    Very well said. How your body performs can change based on the type of calorie you eat.
  • Annie_01Annie_01 Posts: 3,115Member Member Posts: 3,115Member Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    Oishii wrote: »
    While I 100% agree that it is lower calories rather than the right foods that makes you lose weight, there are areas of scientific research that do argue towards certain calories being better for losing weight than others.

    Firstly, satiety. Fat, protein and fibre increase satiety. The fuller you feel, the more likely you will maintain a deficit.

    Also, certain foods require more calories to burn them than others, so the choice of certain foods increases the calories out. I believe the effect to be minimal, but it's there.

    There are some foods that have specific ways in which they pass through the body. Apparently, when you eat low fat dairy you will expell more fat than you put in, thus that fat is not used by the body. And more recently, Sirtfoods seem an interesting idea (they may need their own thread).

    So, while I 100% agree with lower calories creating weight loss, I don't think we should completely ignore scientific research to the contrary.

    Personally, fat does not satiate me and I know it doesn't for a lot of others. Starches, especially potatoes have much greater satiety than most, if not all fats.


    Regarding the bold, that is thermal effect of food. Proteins are significantly higher at 20-25% energy required to digest, carbs are 5-6% and fats are 2-3%. So if you are typically very low on protein, increasing protein to a moderate level can have a pretty good impact. Not only with TEF, but also satiety.

    I too find this true for myself. I prefer a low fat diet. I simply do not care for the taste of full fat foods such as yogurt or milk. I also have found that I adhere to my calorie goals if my fat is lower and I increase both protein and carbs.

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