Welcome to Debate Club! Please be aware that this is a space for respectful debate, and that your ideas will be challenged here. Please remember to critique the argument, not the author.

Right calories vs less calories

taylorjgarner
taylorjgarner Posts: 27 Member
edited January 18 in Debate Club
Is weight loss more about less calories or the right calories?
«13456

Replies

  • zcb94
    zcb94 Posts: 4,127 Member
    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.
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
    Losing weight is about eating fewer calories than your body uses each day.

    Good nutrition (health) and feeling satisfied on fewer calories is about the "right" calories.

    Find a balance. I won't eat perfectly when I'm at goal. But I do need to make permanent changes if I expect to stay there (this time).
  • juggernaut1974
    juggernaut1974 Posts: 6,212 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
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,148 Member
    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.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    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.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    It's easier and better for you to eat fewer calories if you are also eating a nutritious diet, but you will still lose weight if you are not. It might undercut efforts to retain lean mass if your diet is very poor or low in protein, however.

    On the other hand, you can eat all the "right" calories -- only foods that would be considered very nutritious and plenty of protein and all the micros you need -- and if you eat over maintenance calories you will gain weight.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    Is weight loss more about less calories or the right calories?

    Fewer calories
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,772 Member
    Weight loss and weight management in general is about energy balance...a calorie is the unit we use to measure the energy we consume. Your super awesome human machine requires XXXX amount of energy to maintain the status quot...when you consume more energy than your machine requires, that energy is stored in a back up generator for later use...that generator is your fat stores. When you consume less energy than your body requires, that backup generator kicks on and you burn fat to make up the difference.

    That's not to say that nutrition isn't important...and good nutrition can play a roll in weight loss in that eating more nutritiously is going to generally make it easier to keep calories down while also keeping you satiated...I could pretty easily eat 1,000 calories worth of potato chips in a sitting...I'd be hard pressed to actually eat 1,000 calories worth of baked potatoes in a sitting though.

    Nutrition is also going to be play a roll in your body composition...your health and how healthy or not you look, etc.

    When looking at your nutrition and the foods you are eating, it is also highly beneficial to keep things in context and look at your diet as a whole rather than picking apart this particular snack or meal or that particular food, etc...getting good nutrition and being healthy and fit is a matter of what you're doing most of the time...not that scoop of ice cream you had after dinner and in the context of an otherwise really nutritionally awesome day.
  • rhtexasgal
    rhtexasgal Posts: 569 Member
    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.

    Knowing what food triggers I have, sometimes, I will still choose to indulge in that bowl of ice cream or that tasty donut and still keep under calorie goal. However, I KNOW that my body will show those bad food choices in some form or fashion.
  • _John_
    _John_ Posts: 8,523 Member
    edited February 2016
    There is much evidence that the type of calories matter, and that "clean food" (and lean protein in particular) have an effect, though outside of an academic setting it's hard and pointless to replicate.

    CICO...
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    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).
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,148 Member
    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.

    no one is advocating a diet of a 1000 calories of twinkies because it would be impossible to hit your micros and macros, so that is a straw man argument; on the flip side a diet of 1000 calories of chicken and vegetables is also a straw man and you would not be able to meet micors doing that either….so lets just stop with the absurd comparison points.

    What we are saying is that dietary context is what matters, so if you hit your micros, macros, and calorie targets, AND eat some twinkies that is not bad or unhealthy.
  • debradugas9
    debradugas9 Posts: 162 Member
    Fewer calories to lose weight. But energy wise the fried foods just bring me down. Maybe it's a mind thing with me but I can tell the difference...
  • EvgeniZyntx
    EvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,210 Member
    Why not both?

    You have minimum and optimal nutritional requirements. Get your cut right while assuring protein and fats. Eat variety and fresh and make it fun.
  • Snow3y
    Snow3y Posts: 1,412 Member
    Less calories.. When it comes to strictly weight loss.

  • Ladylusiphur
    Ladylusiphur Posts: 13 Member
    Certainly scientifically fewer calories are needed to lose weight, as your body needs 'x' amount of energy to run and if it has less than that then it has to get the extra from your stored reserves (fat).

    However, I do think there is logic in the type of food too, as things like high fiber and calcium can make your body run more smoothly and you'll see better results overall. If you just ate 1200 cals of rubbish you'd lose weight, but if it's full of salt you might still retain more water etc, and have issues in other areas, hurting your general health.

    So yes, a bit from both, as most people have said.
  • stevencloser
    stevencloser Posts: 8,917 Member
    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.

    1 Twinkie has 4.5 grams of fat, 23 g carbs and 1 g protein. Your body will do with that the same things it will do with any other source of fat, carbs and protein. The carbs are used for energy and if not needed stored as glycogen or fat if glycogen is full, the protein and fat are used for the important things they're needed for and if the body already has enough of those used as energy and if that is not needed stored as fat. Of course it's not a one after the other scenario, but actually all of those things happening at the same time in different amounts.
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,577 Member
    Fat loss is about eating fewer calories and fat is usually the biggest factor in weight loss. But depending on how your body reacts to certain foods you may lose less actual weight with one diet than another.
  • feisty_bucket
    feisty_bucket Posts: 1,036 Member
    the right calories?

    That aspect is at the macronutrient tier.
  • Katie_Y89
    Katie_Y89 Posts: 330 Member
    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:
This discussion has been closed.