Calories vs calories

135

Replies

  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
    If you are eating for a specific health goal, a calorie is not just a calorie.

    I'm eating low carb to improve my health. Pizza would not be as good as a burger patty or the nuts - for me.

    Foods evoke different bodily responses. Yes, a kcal is a kcal in terms of energy, but the food source will make a big difference in what your body does with it, and what hormones increase or decrease in response to that food.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited August 2015
    nvmomketo wrote: »
    If you are eating for a specific health goal, a calorie is not just a calorie.

    A calorie=a calories DOES NOT mean foods are the same and it makes no difference what you eat. Why do people willfully misunderstand this?

    The OP asked if she would gain weight if she ate 1200 calories of junk food (which some on the thread have apparently decided means pizza, although pizza can actually meet a balanced set of macros and include lots of vegetables and some lean protein, depending on how you make it). The fact is that she would not.

    However, if she eats low nutrient items (or just an unbalanced diet) to make up those 1200 calories, of course that's not a healthy diet and it would be probably hard to sustain such low calories on a low volume of non nutritious food. I've never seen anyone at MFP disagreeing about that.

    But that doesn't change the answer to OP's question or mean that a calorie (a unit of measurement) is not a calorie.
    I'm eating low carb to improve my health. Pizza would not be as good as a burger patty or the nuts - for me.

    Sure. And saying "a calorie is a calorie" is not inconsistent with that.

    I think it's important to eat a variety of vegetables, other sources of fiber, fish, and non-saturated fats. Those are among my goals. So similarly I don't think what foods I choose are irrelevant. But I'd also say a calorie is a calorie, for weight loss. (Personally, though, if I ate only cake--or only meat, for that matter--I'd feel like crap and couldn't sustain it.)
  • Giolis
    Giolis Posts: 1,204 Member
    The biggest health issue most people have is excess body fat. If you're obese the best thing to do health wise is to reduce your body fat. Once that is under control you can split hairs about the difference in what your body does with food.

    Regardless of all the nutrition there's only two bottom line things that your body does with a calorie:
    1. burn it as fuel - if you're in a deficit,
    2. store it as fat - if you're over you're TDEE
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,257 Member
    A calorie is not a just a calorie, for all the people out there who preach " iifiym " name me one pro bodybuilder who uses this approach? Your body will utilize what your eating totally differently depending on when its eaten

    Jay Cutler...

    Lol.

    Do ballerinas count?
  • slaite1
    slaite1 Posts: 1,309 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    nvmomketo wrote: »
    If you are eating for a specific health goal, a calorie is not just a calorie.

    A calorie=a calories DOES NOT mean foods are the same and it makes no difference what you eat. Why do people willfully misunderstand this?

    The OP asked if she would gain weight if she ate 1200 calories of junk food (which some on the thread have apparently decided means pizza, although pizza can actually meet a balanced set of macros and include lots of vegetables and some lean protein, depending on how you make it). The fact is that she would not.

    However, if she eats low nutrient items (or just an unbalanced diet) to make up those 1200 calories, of course that's not a healthy diet and it would be probably hard to sustain such low calories on a low volume of non nutritious food. I've never seen anyone at MFP disagreeing about that.

    But that doesn't change the answer to OP's question or mean that a calorie (a unit of measurement) is not a calorie.
    I'm eating low carb to improve my health. Pizza would not be as good as a burger patty or the nuts - for me.

    Sure. And saying "a calorie is a calorie" is not inconsistent with that.

    I think it's important to eat a variety of vegetables, other sources of fiber, fish, and non-saturated fats. Those are among my goals. So similarly I don't think what foods I choose are irrelevant. But I'd also say a calorie is a calorie, for weight loss. (Personally, though, if I ate only cake--or only meat, for that matter--I'd feel like crap and couldn't sustain it.)

    Just wanted to add that the OP specified burgers and pizza. I would never call pizza junk food unprovoked :smile: 100% agree that pizza can be nutritious.
  • Kalikel
    Kalikel Posts: 9,626 Member
    edited August 2015
    If all you care about is weight loss, you can eat anything - including or even exclusively burgers and pizza - and still lose weight.

    If you care about your health, you will want to eat healthy, nutritious food.

    It's also a lot easier to diet when you eat healthier foods, because you generally eat so much more food. You stay much more full. :)
  • stevencloser
    stevencloser Posts: 8,911 Member
    A calorie is a calorie. But how much work ur body has to do to convert those calories to energy the body can use is the difference

    There's barely any difference in TEF between macros.
  • Giolis
    Giolis Posts: 1,204 Member
    A calorie is a calorie. But how much work ur body has to do to convert those calories to energy the body can use is the difference

    There's barely any difference in TEF between macros.

    Exactly!

    That's like people saying you need to drink ice cold water because of the extra calories burned to bring the water up to body temp...

    Drink a glass of ice water with every doughnut you eat - they cancel each other out, right?!
  • Timshel_
    Timshel_ Posts: 22,841 Member
    dakotababy wrote: »
    ...you will likely feel like *kitten* eating 1800 calories in donuts and mcd's ...

    Every so often, no worries. I binge like that without problems and love doing it. If you ate like that all the time or more often than not, you will feel like crap.

  • Original_Beauty
    Original_Beauty Posts: 180 Member
    malibu927 wrote: »
    When it comes to weight loss, 1200 calories of salad/grilled chicken/veggies/fruits is the same as 1200 calories of pizza/cookies/soda. Nutrtion-wise, they're completely different.

    Those of us who tout eating in moderation/not giving up the foods you like, we still focus primarily on getting those nutrients in first and foremost. Any room that's left afterwards will then go towards a treat.

    Completely agree...and how they react in the body is completely different too.
  • harryfrankham1
    harryfrankham1 Posts: 34 Member
    Cant get over this debate, how deluded and brainwashed people are. Its about the quality of the nutrition your eating and timing, if this made no sense, bodybuilders would eat 300 cals of white bread opposed to 300 cals of sweet potato, digestion, spiking of the blood sugar levels is completely different, say im on 3800 cals, to hit 4000 cals i can either have a 200 cal chocolate bar or a 200 cal chicken breast, your telling me it would make no blind of a difference to my body if i chose the chocolate bar to hit 4000 cals?! Nutrient quality changes everything
  • LivingtheLeanDream
    LivingtheLeanDream Posts: 13,345 Member
    A calorie is a calorie but some foods will leave you feeling full and satisfied for longer.
  • KittensMaster
    KittensMaster Posts: 748 Member
    Food substances have many properties.

    The calorie measurement is just one of them.

    There are the nutrients, fiber content to leave you filled feeling, water content, minerals and electrolytes, the anti inflammatory index, cholesterol content, sodium, simple or complex carbs, on and on.

    So this idea that for weight loss, only calories matter is still incomplete.

    It all matters. Nobody wants to lose weight to the detriment of their health. Of course not.

    A calorie is just one attribute of food. Learn more about food to better manage your own health. It is your life and the only body you are gonna get.

    Saying a calorie is the only important thing about food is like saying the color is the only important thing in selecting a new car.

    Learn about food and manage it as a tool to meet your personal goals.
    Who says that about food, though? Ever?

    I mean, sure, you pummeled that strawman into submission, but why?

    It happens all the time

    You do it constantly

    Arguing to not explain to new people how to view food makes no sense.

    Newbies have the ability to grasp the basics of food and nutrition. Especially when they ask that direct question


  • stevencloser
    stevencloser Posts: 8,911 Member
    Cant get over this debate, how deluded and brainwashed people are. Its about the quality of the nutrition your eating and timing, if this made no sense, bodybuilders would eat 300 cals of white bread opposed to 300 cals of sweet potato, digestion, spiking of the blood sugar levels is completely different, say im on 3800 cals, to hit 4000 cals i can either have a 200 cal chocolate bar or a 200 cal chicken breast, your telling me it would make no blind of a difference to my body if i chose the chocolate bar to hit 4000 cals?! Nutrient quality changes everything

    Kinda funny how the guy believing in the fitness industry's *kitten* about meal timing calls others deluded and brainwashed.
  • stevencloser
    stevencloser Posts: 8,911 Member
    Food substances have many properties.

    The calorie measurement is just one of them.

    There are the nutrients, fiber content to leave you filled feeling, water content, minerals and electrolytes, the anti inflammatory index, cholesterol content, sodium, simple or complex carbs, on and on.

    So this idea that for weight loss, only calories matter is still incomplete.

    It all matters. Nobody wants to lose weight to the detriment of their health. Of course not.

    A calorie is just one attribute of food. Learn more about food to better manage your own health. It is your life and the only body you are gonna get.

    Saying a calorie is the only important thing about food is like saying the color is the only important thing in selecting a new car.

    Learn about food and manage it as a tool to meet your personal goals.
    Who says that about food, though? Ever?

    I mean, sure, you pummeled that strawman into submission, but why?

    It happens all the time

    You do it constantly

    Arguing to not explain to new people how to view food makes no sense.

    Newbies have the ability to grasp the basics of food and nutrition. Especially when they ask that direct question


    No, no one argues that. Ever.
    They're saying the calories are all that matters for losing weight, as in, you could eat completely clean, vegan, nutritious, what have you and not lose a single pound, because the calories are the main factor in that endeavour, being healthy is a different can of worms and that gets mentioned.

    And I said this before but I find it disheartening that apparently people think there's a need to explicitly tell people to eat nutritious food or else they hear "eat less calories than you burn" and they conclude they should eat nothing but chips for their calories.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,814 Member
    Cant get over this debate, how deluded and brainwashed people are. Its about the quality of the nutrition your eating and timing, if this made no sense, bodybuilders would eat 300 cals of white bread opposed to 300 cals of sweet potato, digestion, spiking of the blood sugar levels is completely different, say im on 3800 cals, to hit 4000 cals i can either have a 200 cal chocolate bar or a 200 cal chicken breast, your telling me it would make no blind of a difference to my body if i chose the chocolate bar to hit 4000 cals?! Nutrient quality changes everything

    You don't seem to grasp that a calorie is a unit of energy.
    Nutrition and units of energy are completely different subjects.
  • beemerphile1
    beemerphile1 Posts: 1,710 Member
    I like it. It could be a best seller. The "Ice Cream and Cake Diet". You eat only ice cream and cake and you will lose weight. It really would work but lots of other health issues would crop up over time due to poor nutrition.

    So yes, 1,200 kcal of junk is equal to 1,200 kcal of healthy food if only weight loss is considered.
  • beemerphile1
    beemerphile1 Posts: 1,710 Member
    Cant get over this debate, how deluded and brainwashed people are. Its about the quality of the nutrition your eating and timing, if this made no sense, bodybuilders would eat 300 cals of white bread opposed to 300 cals of sweet potato, digestion, spiking of the blood sugar levels is completely different, say im on 3800 cals, to hit 4000 cals i can either have a 200 cal chocolate bar or a 200 cal chicken breast, your telling me it would make no blind of a difference to my body if i chose the chocolate bar to hit 4000 cals?! Nutrient quality changes everything

    Although there is a smidge of accuracy to what you are saying, it is totally irrelevant to the OP's question.
  • Hornsby
    Hornsby Posts: 10,324 Member
    Cant get over this debate, how deluded and brainwashed people are. Its about the quality of the nutrition your eating and timing, if this made no sense, bodybuilders would eat 300 cals of white bread opposed to 300 cals of sweet potato, digestion, spiking of the blood sugar levels is completely different, say im on 3800 cals, to hit 4000 cals i can either have a 200 cal chocolate bar or a 200 cal chicken breast, your telling me it would make no blind of a difference to my body if i chose the chocolate bar to hit 4000 cals?! Nutrient quality changes everything

    Well, first, you are talking about the elite of the elite when it comes to bodybuilders. These are people looking to cut down to as little of body fat as possible so for them, timing and what not will play a little role, but for the average person, that isn't really the case. It's majoring in the minors if you will.

    No one is saying that the quality of the calories won't impact the body. They are saying for WEIGHTloss, it doesn't matter. No one is disputing that different foods with different nutrition levels will impact body composition. You seem to be debating something that isn't being debated.
  • TR0berts
    TR0berts Posts: 7,739 Member
    A calorie is not a just a calorie, for all the people out there who preach " iifiym " name me one pro bodybuilder who uses this approach? Your body will utilize what your eating totally differently depending on when its eaten


    Layne Norton