If a calorie is a calorie...

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Why pay attention to the macros? I ask because I currently have about 500 calories left to eat tonight, but am over in fat and sodium, under on everything else. So, basically, I'm left with the option of drinking a bunch of fat free chocolate milk to make my macros work (that is clearly my only choice at this point. Heh).. Frankly, I'd prefer some popcorn with a bit of butter and salt (do you see a theme here? Fat and sodium...). If a calorie is a calorie, can't I just go for the popcorn?
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  • fruttibiscotti
    fruttibiscotti Posts: 986 Member
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    What is your grams of fat, or % fat, target for one day?
  • hkristine1
    hkristine1 Posts: 950 Member
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    40 is my base, but with my exercise, it bumped up to 61 today. I just go with whatever MFP tells me I should be doing.
  • rmscjmr
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    Well, I think it depends on your goals. If you're just looking to lose weight, a calorie is a calorie. I eat foods right now that are not at all balanced, but my calories are such that I've lost twenty pounds so far and am still losing. If you're looking to be healthier overall and have good body composition, it probably pays off big time to pay attention to macros. That's what I intend to do once I get down to a certain weight. Sure, it's probably great to pay attention to all of it at once, but I know myself well enough to know that I'll get overwhelmed and give up that way.
  • monty619
    monty619 Posts: 1,308 Member
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    why not popcorn without butter???

    calories are calories but carbohydrates are the bodys prime source for energy so if you hit protein and fat goals for the day all the cals should be ideally from carbohydrates (also best for metabolism and performance) but eat whatever you want for caloric goals but the body is better off eating carbs
  • acogg
    acogg Posts: 1,870 Member
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    If you want popcorn eat it. You have thousands of days to make it up. Don't dwell on popcorn.
  • fruttibiscotti
    fruttibiscotti Posts: 986 Member
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    For me, the original MFP setting for fat is too low, and the carb setting is too high. Protein is ok. So, I went in and adjusted the fat and carb setting. I stayed within same calorie target. This had also helped me reduce my hunger, as fat satiates me, while carbs makes me more hungry. This is what worked for me. I hope you find what works for you.
  • fruttibiscotti
    fruttibiscotti Posts: 986 Member
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    why not popcorn without butter???

    calories are calories but carbohydrates are the bodys prime source for energy so if you hit protein and fat goals for the day all the cals should be ideally from carbohydrates (also best for metabolism and performance) but eat whatever you want for caloric goals but the body is better off eating carbs

    Not for me, I use the fat in my diet as primary fuel too. It doesn't have to only come from carbs.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,753 Member
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    Why pay attention to the macros? I ask because I currently have about 500 calories left to eat tonight, but am over in fat and sodium, under on everything else. So, basically, I'm left with the option of drinking a bunch of fat free chocolate milk to make my macros work (that is clearly my only choice at this point. Heh).. Frankly, I'd prefer some popcorn with a bit of butter and salt (do you see a theme here? Fat and sodium...). If a calorie is a calorie, can't I just go for the popcorn?
    A calorie is a calorie, but the body still needs essential macros for proper function and efficiency. Muscle only is rebuilt with protein, so eating only carbs and fat wouldn't supply it.
    Sodium doesn't really matter unless one has high BP issues (or family history of it) and you can have fat even if you're over. Fat isn't "bad", it's just that too many people over consume it.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  • colortheworld
    colortheworld Posts: 374 Member
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    I've heard that the protein setting on here is too low for most people, and the sugar one is ridiculously low (one piece of fruit and you are over, pretty much). I've changed my settings, and still rarely meet my protein and carb macros, I'm always over on fat, but hey, I'm still losing!
  • bj_carter
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    it costs your body different amounts of energy to digest different foods. So fats need only two or three per cent of their inherent energy to digest them; while carbohydrates need five to 10 per cent; and proteins need a massive 25 per cent to unravel the tightly wound amino acids that make them up.

    So if you eat 100 calories of fat or 100 calories of protein, your body will have access to 98 calories for the fat, but only 75 calories for the proteins.

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2013/11/12/3889049.htm
  • hkristine1
    hkristine1 Posts: 950 Member
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    Popcorn it is then! Woot! Maybe a smaller portion and a bit of protein on the side...
  • SMarie10
    SMarie10 Posts: 956 Member
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    I like Joe's advice, and he's given me something to think about with my own macros
  • monty619
    monty619 Posts: 1,308 Member
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    why not popcorn without butter???

    calories are calories but carbohydrates are the bodys prime source for energy so if you hit protein and fat goals for the day all the cals should be ideally from carbohydrates (also best for metabolism and performance) but eat whatever you want for caloric goals but the body is better off eating carbs

    Not for me, I use the fat in my diet as primary fuel too. It doesn't have to only come from carbs.

    DUHHHHH im talking about performance in the gym and metabolic effects
  • EricMurano
    EricMurano Posts: 825 Member
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    Macros are Macros
  • LokiOfAsgard
    LokiOfAsgard Posts: 378 Member
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    Calories = Gain or lose weight
    Macros = Help you body do what it needs to do to use those calories effectively and help keep you healthy.

    You CAN lose weight on nothing but chocolate, as long as you eat a deficit or calories.
    But you're going to be tired and hungry and sick and probably have trouble going to the bathroom, because you're losing out on SO many nutrients.

    ETA: It's okay to go over anything once in a blue moon, macros or calories. One day of too much isn't going to make you any less healthy, just like one day of just enough isn't going to make you healthy

    ETA part 2: Unless there's a medical reason that too much would make you sick
  • hkristine1
    hkristine1 Posts: 950 Member
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    why not popcorn without butter???


    Because without butter.... What's the point? Ha!

    I'm not super overweight and eat pretty balanced (I'm really only over infant and sodium today because I made a once in a while dinner of bangers and mash tonight)... But every night, I crave either something super sweet or something buttery and salty, and have a difficult time going to bed if I don't satisfy the craving.... Tonight it was a butter and salt night. I try to save up my calories so that I have sufficient to cover the craving. Why I have these cravings is another story all together, and probably beyond my capacity for change at this particular moment in time. Maybe down the road I will try to kick that habit out of my life, but right now, I think it would be enough to push me over the edge into the land of failure.
  • sashatait
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    Calories are really just calories

    A study published a few years back (Sacks et al, 2009, NEJM v360) showed that the macro amounts did not really affect weight loss but the reduction in calories did. They compared the following ratios and all groups (>100 people per group) successfully lost weight over a 2 year period. The amount of calories varied based on height / weight / BMI etc.

    ratios -
    a) 20% fat / 15% protein / 65% carb
    b) 20% fat / 25% protein / 55% carb
    c) 40% fat / 15% protein / 45% carb
    d) 40% fat / 25% protein / 35% carb

    The other good thing to note was all groups reported they felt sated (well fed) regardless of the amount of carb vs protein.

    As a biochemist, I believe each individual needs to find the ratio of macronutrients that work for them (i.e. what allows you to lose or maintain weight) and if you plateau, drop the calories or increase your activity.

    Eat the popcorn ... as another person said, you can make up for it later by doing a little more exercise :-)
  • My_Own_Worst_Enemy
    My_Own_Worst_Enemy Posts: 218 Member
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    Calories are really just calories

    A study published a few years back (Sacks et al, 2009, NEJM v360) showed that the macro amounts did not really affect weight loss but the reduction in calories did. They compared the following ratios and all groups (>100 people per group) successfully lost weight over a 2 year period. The amount of calories varied based on height / weight / BMI etc.

    ratios -
    a) 20% fat / 15% protein / 65% carb
    b) 20% fat / 25% protein / 55% carb
    c) 40% fat / 15% protein / 45% carb
    d) 40% fat / 25% protein / 35% carb

    The other good thing to note was all groups reported they felt sated (well fed) regardless of the amount of carb vs protein.

    As a biochemist, I believe each individual needs to find the ratio of macronutrients that work for them (i.e. what allows you to lose or maintain weight) and if you plateau, drop the calories or increase your activity.

    Eat the popcorn ... as another person said, you can make up for it later by doing a little more exercise :-)

    She has 500 call left. If she ate the popcorn and a calorie is a calorie why would she need to "make up for it" exercise more later?

    This is why people in here get confused!!
  • QuietBloom
    QuietBloom Posts: 5,413 Member
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    She has nothing to make up for.

    Protein is the macro I try my hardest to hit. I'd go for some scrambled eggs or a protein shake.
  • sashatait
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    ok yes, I should not have used the phrase "make up for it" ... the popcorn is not going to put her over her total calorie intake but she was hesitant to eat the popcorn because of the higher intake of daily fat. Psychologically, hkristine was feeling guilty for wanting the popcorn ... exercise would counter that feeling of guilt, while having other benefits.

    Basic rule - if calories used is greater then calories eaten = you'll lose fat and become more healthy