Is calories in vs calories burn't a myth?

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Replies

  • zyxst
    zyxst Posts: 9,134 Member
    In to find later, and because of this:
    You certainly don't know how many shots of whiskey she knocks back at 2am.
  • WalkingAlong
    WalkingAlong Posts: 4,926 Member
    I'm assuming grandma doesn't have a lot of body fat. That's the difference between her and people on here who claim to eat 1000 and not lose.

    I think people who do CRON don't die because of metabolic down-regulation. But there's a lot of research on CR and its benefits. It's pretty well proven that it lengthens life.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie_restriction

    My vet yesterday said, "You see a lot of really old people and a lot of really fat people, but hardly any really old, fat people. They die from obesity related illnesses or they're housebound is why."
  • _Terrapin_
    _Terrapin_ Posts: 4,302 Member
    I've always believe calorie in vs calorie out to be true. After working out my base metabolic rate and counting calorie deficits , my weight loss adds up and the sums work. However, my grand mother for example only eats around 1000 calories a day and has done for the last 20 years. How come she doesn't starve to death? She is more active than me throughout the day so it's unlikely that her base metabolic rate is much lower than mine.

    Also how do you explain people on a CRON diet? Surely they would lose weight until there was nothing left to lose if calorie in vs calorie out was a sound concept.

    Don't want to overcomplicate anything as it works for me ;) Am just naturally curious

    Personally OP I think it's great you hang with Granny 24/7 for 20 years. Knowing you're counting calories since you were an infant means you are well on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Seriously, metabolism, activity level, BMR, TDEE, review them in context of age and gender. May have something to do with Granny not starving to death.
  • WalkingAlong
    WalkingAlong Posts: 4,926 Member
    I'm reading the books on ADF (alternate day fasting). They recommend for maintenance you continue eating at 25-65% of your TDEE on alternate days, in order to keep the health benefits found from CR/fasting. So apparently people do maintain at a lower level if they keep their calories restricted. Varady's been researching it for 10 years.

    http://www.ahs.uic.edu/facultyresearch/profiles/name,2052,en.html
  • Summerfit321
    Summerfit321 Posts: 142 Member
    It's not a myth. The problem is that people really have a poor idea of how much they eat, even if they log. People also have a poor idea of what they burn. TDEE and BMR calculators are just estimations. Even a heart rate monitor is not 100% perfect. We also don't know what percentage of what we burn is glycogen, fat, muscle, etc. So if you have an imperfect calorie count + an imperfect TDEE combined with the fact that we don't know what our body is using for fuel and the fact that weight loss isn't linear due to water retention, glycogen saturation, etc it can seem like CICO doesn't add up. In reality it does, it ALWAYS does.

    In the long run, if you truly eat less then you burn in a day, weight will go down. It will, for the reasons above, RARELY correlate exactly with how much you THINK or have calculated that it should go down.

    I agree. Even slight misinterpretation can lead to difference, and before I counted calories, I often thought I was eating weigh less, same goes for before I started weighing food. But if you truly eat fewer calories than you burn, of course you will lose weight.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 8,967 Member
    However, my grand mother for example only eats around 1000 calories a day and has done for the last 20 years.

    So you've weighed and tracked your grandmother's intake every day over the last 20 years?

    You two must be very close.

    And defying more laws than just thermodynamics, given OP is only 19 years old :tongue:
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 8,967 Member
    I doubt the accuracy of your grandmother's estimating acumen.

    CI/CO is not negated by one old woman's inability to be accurate.

    It's not even one old woman's Inability to be accurate - from what OP says Granny is not trying to lose weight and is not counting calories at all.

    The 1000 simply comes from OP's estimate of what Granny consumes.
  • norcal_yogi
    norcal_yogi Posts: 675 Member
    no its not... and your great grandmother likely is consuming more than 1000 calories a day.
  • JackPudding
    JackPudding Posts: 37 Member
    I understand that burn't is a word. I suppose it's just force of habit that made me put the apostrophe between the N and the T.

    Also I understand that CI/CO is technically a law of physics, but it isn't as clear cut as everyone makes it out to be.

    With regards to people saying that my grandmother doesn't eat around 1000 calories a day, she actually does. Obviously not exactly 1000 calories a day and at times like Christmas she probably does eat more, however she has a ration like hang over from the war and eats broadly the same things everyday. The reason I used her for an example was because I didn't realise that their was such a big difference between peoples BMR's.

    It's interesting to know that older people are much more effective at processing calories, you'd think that in evolutionary terms it would be beneficial to be good at processing calories from the start.

    I also never said the CI/Co was a myth, I just wanted to be educated and I have been so you can all stop being sarcey now ;)
  • vismal
    vismal Posts: 2,463 Member
    To all the people saying CICO is much more complicated then it seems, I tend to disagree. While there are indeed a tremendous number of factors that play a role in the calories out side of the equation, It is my opinion that upwards of 90% of the people that struggle with CICO do so because they can't get the calories in side right. Your average Joe has no idea what they eat. None. Zilch. Nada. Your average MFP user has a better idea then than Joe but I still think most users here are poor calorie counters. What I see most often is people not using food scales, estimating portion sizes, having unaccounted for cheat meals/days, and eating out pretending that the nutritional information provided by companies is accurate. Chipotle isn't using a food scale, the chef at your favorite restaurant doesn't start the dish over if he/she accidentally adds in to much butter or oil. Then there is the biggest insult to the calories in side of the equation, the FDA. Even if your count is perfect (which it isn't), you never cheat or forget (which you know you do), and you weigh 100% of everything to the gram on a scale, the FDA lets companies legally do a F**kton of rounding. Kiss your sweet, perfect, calories in number goodbye.

    I personally have had tremendous success with calorie counting but even I make mistakes on a semi-regular basis. I forget to log things here and there, I also go out to eat or eat meals that friends/family have prepared. If at any point I am not losing weight over the long run, despite being confident that my calorie target should be well below my TDEE, I do not immediately jump to the conclusion that the calories out side of the equation is wrong. My metabolism isn't broken, my thyroid is fine. I know that the most likely problem is the calories in side of the equation. If I think I'm eating 2500 calories and I'm really eating 3000 then the best bet for me is to eat what I think is 2000 and hope what it actually is, is below my TDEE. This is why this website has 100's of people who can't lose weight on 1200 calories. There isn't a rash of people with under diagnosed metabolic conditions, there's a rash of over-eaters who don't realize they are over-eaters.

    While I of course concede that there are rare examples of people with true metabolic disease, and that certain factors can lower the calories out side of the equation, the equation is ALWAYS at play and losing weight is never more complicated then eating less and moving more. How much less and more varies greatly but it's still ALWAYS the answer.
  • _Zardoz_
    _Zardoz_ Posts: 3,987 Member
    To all the people saying CICO is much more complicated then it seems, I tend to disagree. While there are indeed a tremendous number of factors that play a role in the calories out side of the equation, It is my opinion that upwards of 90% of the people that struggle with CICO do so because they can't get the calories in side right. Your average Joe has no idea what they eat. None. Zilch. Nada. Your average MFP user has a better idea then than Joe but I still think most users here are poor calorie counters. What I see most often is people not using food scales, estimating portion sizes, having unaccounted for cheat meals/days, and eating out pretending that the nutritional information provided by companies is accurate. Chipotle isn't using a food scale, the chef at your favorite restaurant doesn't start the dish over if he/she accidentally adds in to much butter or oil. Then there is the biggest insult to the calories in side of the equation, the FDA. Even if your count is perfect (which it isn't), you never cheat or forget (which you know you do), and you weigh 100% of everything to the gram on a scale, the FDA lets companies legally do a F**kton of rounding. Kiss your sweet, perfect, calories in number goodbye.

    I personally have had tremendous success with calorie counting but even I make mistakes on a semi-regular basis. I forget to log things here and there, I also go out to eat or eat meals that friends/family have prepared. If at any point I am not losing weight over the long run, despite being confident that my calorie target should be well below my TDEE, I do not immediately jump to the conclusion that the calories out side of the equation is wrong. My metabolism isn't broken, my thyroid is fine. I know that the most likely problem is the calories in side of the equation. If I think I'm eating 2500 calories and I'm really eating 3000 then the best bet for me is to eat what I think is 2000 and hope what it actually is, is below my TDEE. This is why this website has 100's of people who can't lose weight on 1200 calories. There isn't a rash of people with under diagnosed metabolic conditions, there's a rash of over-eaters who don't realize they are over-eaters.

    While I of course concede that there are rare examples of people with true metabolic disease, and that certain factors can lower the calories out side of the equation, the equation is ALWAYS at play and losing weight is never more complicated then eating less and moving more. How much less and more varies greatly but it's still ALWAYS the answer.
    ^^^^^ As always Vismal has hit the nail on the head.
  • Emjaewhy
    Emjaewhy Posts: 4 Member
    I don't think it's a myth from my experience. I've been doing CICO for a month and a half, while using a food scale to measure all of my food. I think it definitely works because it's working for me.
  • Snip8241
    Snip8241 Posts: 767 Member
    @vismal This makes sense to me actually.

    Is it possible that a metabolism adjusts to a lower calorie intake? Or is that just complete BS.

    It is surprising that different people's BMR's or required calorie intake can be so far apart. Is this the reason it is possible for some people to be able to eat massive calorie surplus without putting on weight because really it technically isn't a surplus but a variety of different factors such as a fast metabolism/ high energy requirements. If this was true it would stand to reason that their is such a thing as a fat gene and skinny one...
    People's metabolisms are vastly different for many many reasons. Genetics play a huge role. Also people who are very active simply burn more calories a day via their activity. When you diet for long periods of time you can have some slowdown to your metabolism. It's never going to be enough to make weight loss stop or cause weight gain. Anytime you are not losing weight in the long run when you think you are in a deficit you need to examine a few things. More often then not you are simply eating more then you think. I would say 80% of the time this is the case. Other times people, sometimes unconsciously, become less active during prolonged deficits. Both these examples still fall within CICO. To sum it up, if you aren't losing weight (again in the long run), you're eating too much, you're burning too little, or both.

    This and this....if I am not losing...I am eating too much. It's that simple
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,072 Member
    No, but have lived with her for periods of time and know that she tends to eat pretty much the same things everyday. I don't see why her BMR would be any lower than mine considering I often barely do any form of activity, sitting must of the day, whereas she walks at least 3 miles a day and does the garden.

    Also how do you explain CRON dieters?

    Your grandmother is significantly older than you and is female - this changes the calories out due to a lower BMR. Is she heavier or lighter than you?
  • Kotuliak
    Kotuliak Posts: 259 Member
    Bump...
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 9,864 Member
    I've always believe calorie in vs calorie out to be true. After working out my base metabolic rate and counting calorie deficits , my weight loss adds up and the sums work. However, my grand mother for example only eats around 1000 calories a day and has done for the last 20 years. How come she doesn't starve to death? She is more active than me throughout the day so it's unlikely that her base metabolic rate is much lower than mine.

    Also how do you explain people on a CRON diet? Surely they would lose weight until there was nothing left to lose if calorie in vs calorie out was a sound concept.

    Don't want to overcomplicate anything as it works for me ;) Am just naturally curious
    The basic confusion with CICO is understaning the simple fact that the body has already compensated for any metabolic malfuction, malabosrbtion, dieabetes, IR or any deleterious health event that may effect how we burn calories. The problem arises when we assume a normal physiology sans the human error in calculating CI and assume we are different, which is just one of the cliff points regarding the misunderstanding of how our body actually functions. Basically taking into account that the CO is predetermined by our bodys current physiology we somehow assume a derived formulation that we generated from multiple sources because god knows there's many to choose from are gospel and this fact somehow discounts the CICO theory, is well, pretty funny I think.
  • stupidloser
    stupidloser Posts: 300 Member
    I heard as you get older, you do not need as much calories as you did if you were younger.