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Are calories or macros more important

shawnamomma74shawnamomma74 Posts: 152Member Member Posts: 152Member Member
Which is more important for weight loss? And what percent of macros are the best for weight loss.

Replies

  • feisty_bucketfeisty_bucket Posts: 1,024Member Member Posts: 1,024Member Member
  • neugebauer52neugebauer52 Posts: 1,096Member Member Posts: 1,096Member Member
    Tricky one - I need the right macros combination so I enjoy my food during my very long - term weight loss journey and I have a balanced diet. And than there are those calories: which means portion control, portion control and some more portion control. Looks like I can't do one without the other.
  • SylphadoraSylphadora Posts: 72Member Member Posts: 72Member Member
    I guess it depends on your approach. For me it's macros since I follow a LCHF diet and with this diet it's all about the effect of macros on your hormones, especially on insulin which is the hormone that stores fat in the body. Carbs affect insulin the most and fat affects insulin the least. That being said, if you eat an excessive amount of calories of course you are going to gain weight.
    A guy called Sam Feltham actually did an overeating experiment. For 21 days he ate 5,000 cals a day on a LCHF diet. This is an excerpt from the article by Dr Jason Fung I linked:
    "According to standard calorie calculations [3,500 calorie-surplus = gain 1lb of body fat], he figures that he should have gained 7.3kg of fat. Actual weight gain, however, was 1.3kg. What is even more interesting is his waist measurements. From a baseline of 79.5cm he dropped 3 cm from his waist which means that even as he gained some weight, much of that is lean mass."
    Then he repeated the experiment but on a high-carb diet instead. He gained 7.1kg (15.6 lb) and his waist increased 9.25cm.
    I do pay attention to my calories because it's easy to overeat for me. I have actually gained weight on a ketogenic diet because I got way to excited with foods like full-fat dairy, nuts and charcuterie. However, given the amount of calories I was consuming daily at that time (4,000ish) I didn't gain as much body fat as I should have and the weight gain stalled at a certain point. I got chubbier but I was still in the "normal" weight range for my body composition. I was maintaining my weight while getting to gorge on all this delicious food. I prefer a leaner body though so I started cutting back on the foods I overate and to watch my calories. I went carnivore and started eating 2,000 a day with a weekly 47-hr fast and now I'm at my goal size.
    I have sugar & carb addiction and back on the SAD diet, I had periods of time when I binged on them daily for months on end (4,000ish cals again) and my weight would BALLOON up! It was noticeable in a couple of days. I could go up a size in a little over a week. So I'm convinced not all calories are the same. At least for my body it works this way
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 4,501Member Member Posts: 4,501Member Member
    Sylphadora wrote: »
    I guess it depends on your approach. For me it's macros since I follow a LCHF diet and with this diet it's all about the effect of macros on your hormones, especially on insulin which is the hormone that stores fat in the body. Carbs affect insulin the most and fat affects insulin the least. That being said, if you eat an excessive amount of calories of course you are going to gain weight.
    A guy called Sam Feltham actually did an overeating experiment. For 21 days he ate 5,000 cals a day on a LCHF diet. This is an excerpt from the article by Dr Jason Fung I linked:
    "According to standard calorie calculations [3,500 calorie-surplus = gain 1lb of body fat], he figures that he should have gained 7.3kg of fat. Actual weight gain, however, was 1.3kg. What is even more interesting is his waist measurements. From a baseline of 79.5cm he dropped 3 cm from his waist which means that even as he gained some weight, much of that is lean mass."
    Then he repeated the experiment but on a high-carb diet instead. He gained 7.1kg (15.6 lb) and his waist increased 9.25cm.

    These people want to sell books and get views. Take it from someone who eats higher than average carbs and has lost 140+ lbs: the only two important things for weight management are calories and sustainability. If eating LCHF is more sustainable for you than eating any other macro combination then you're doing the right thing. It has little to do with whatever snake oil they're trying to sell you. As for your own experience, you can't really know unless you were logging every single binge both ways and accounted for water weight balance which is a big factor with LCHF. All this tells you is that you tend to eat less on a high fat diet and that's it.

    Exactly this. And it's worth noting that unlike the Feltham thing (which if Fung is using as evidence shows that Fung has abandoned any pretense at being anything other than a promoter for his own marketed program), there actually have been carefully controlled and monitored comparisons of weight changes in higher and lower carb (and insulin) diets, with protein controlled, and in those there were no meaningful differences (with the slight but insignificant advantage actually going to the lower fat diet).

    So with respect to macros vs. cals, Lynn and others put it perfectly. Calories are what determine weight gain, loss, or maintenance. Macros may (or may not) make a difference for how sustainable a diet is. For me, focusing mostly on whole foods and having a nutrient-dense diet makes sticking to cals easier, and it seems not to really matter if my carbs are higher than normal or if my fat is, so for me macros don't matter much (except I look at protein for health and muscle maintenance).
    edited January 16
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 37,594Member Member Posts: 37,594Member Member
    Which is more important for weight loss? And what percent of macros are the best for weight loss.

    Calories are a unit of energy. Energy balance or lack there of causes weight loss, weight maintenance, or weight gain. Macros are individual depending on dietary needs, nutrition, physical performance, satiety, etc. They don't have anything to do with weight management directly.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,279Member Member Posts: 6,279Member Member
    In terms of hierarchy of needs calories are priority. Macros are a distant secondary issue and largely dependent upon your goals - strength, endurance, etc. For weight loss macros are pretty much irrelevant. All that matters is establishing a caloric deficit.

    Think in terms of automobile selection the first point is to just get one to get from point A to B. The make/model is secondary depending on what you intend to do with this. Are you hauling lumber? Commuting for work? Hauling multiple people.
  • J72FITJ72FIT Posts: 5,402Member Member Posts: 5,402Member Member
    Fat loss = CI<CO, that's it. That said, for health and body composition it is important to get your macros in order.
  • liftingbroliftingbro Posts: 2,035Member Member Posts: 2,035Member Member
    Both are important for different reasons.

    First you have to have fewer calories in vs calories out. Macros don't matter if you don't do that first.

    Second, macros will help you maintain muscle/strength and the right mix can help increase the Thermic Effect of Food. Eating more protein, for instance, requires more energy to process thus increasing TDEE.

  • dybbukgirldybbukgirl Posts: 16Member Member Posts: 16Member Member
    I find them to be equally important for me. They go hand in hand, imo, for massive weight loss. I didn't start seeing success until I started eating more protein and curbing my carb / fat intake to prioritize protein in order to keep my muscle mass as I lose weight.

    I have a LOT of weight to lose, like I've lost a little under 30lbs and still have 50 to go. And with only calorie restriction I had a lot of issues with satiety and I ended up feeling weak. The protein increase has also GREATLY increased the results I have in the gym. I have only recently gotten access to a DEXA scale at my gym so I haven't got any actual data to show, but balancing out my macros instead of eating majority carb and fat has been monumental for me.
  • maureenkhildemaureenkhilde Posts: 823Member Member Posts: 823Member Member
    To lose weight, there must be a reduction in calories. Meaning overall we burn more calories than we are taking in. So calories are always the leader. But for some and I fall in that category as I follow low carb for a medical reason. I have a split of macros that equal out to amount of calories I am allowed per day.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 7,551Member Member Posts: 7,551Member Member
    Sylphadora wrote: »
    I guess it depends on your approach. For me it's macros since I follow a LCHF diet and with this diet it's all about the effect of macros on your hormones, especially on insulin which is the hormone that stores fat in the body. Carbs affect insulin the most and fat affects insulin the least. That being said, if you eat an excessive amount of calories of course you are going to gain weight.
    A guy called Sam Feltham actually did an overeating experiment. For 21 days he ate 5,000 cals a day on a LCHF diet. This is an excerpt from the article by Dr Jason Fung I linked:
    "According to standard calorie calculations [3,500 calorie-surplus = gain 1lb of body fat], he figures that he should have gained 7.3kg of fat. Actual weight gain, however, was 1.3kg. What is even more interesting is his waist measurements. From a baseline of 79.5cm he dropped 3 cm from his waist which means that even as he gained some weight, much of that is lean mass."
    Then he repeated the experiment but on a high-carb diet instead. He gained 7.1kg (15.6 lb) and his waist increased 9.25cm.
    I do pay attention to my calories because it's easy to overeat for me. I have actually gained weight on a ketogenic diet because I got way to excited with foods like full-fat dairy, nuts and charcuterie. However, given the amount of calories I was consuming daily at that time (4,000ish) I didn't gain as much body fat as I should have and the weight gain stalled at a certain point. I got chubbier but I was still in the "normal" weight range for my body composition. I was maintaining my weight while getting to gorge on all this delicious food. I prefer a leaner body though so I started cutting back on the foods I overate and to watch my calories. I went carnivore and started eating 2,000 a day with a weekly 47-hr fast and now I'm at my goal size.
    I have sugar & carb addiction and back on the SAD diet, I had periods of time when I binged on them daily for months on end (4,000ish cals again) and my weight would BALLOON up! It was noticeable in a couple of days. I could go up a size in a little over a week. So I'm convinced not all calories are the same. At least for my body it works this way

    Did the study include best-possible body composition measurements before and after to determine how much water weight loss was masking fat gain?
  • GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Posts: 7,650Member Member Posts: 7,650Member Member
    Sylphadora wrote: »
    I guess it depends on your approach. For me it's macros since I follow a LCHF diet and with this diet it's all about the effect of macros on your hormones, especially on insulin which is the hormone that stores fat in the body. Carbs affect insulin the most and fat affects insulin the least. That being said, if you eat an excessive amount of calories of course you are going to gain weight.
    A guy called Sam Feltham actually did an overeating experiment. For 21 days he ate 5,000 cals a day on a LCHF diet. This is an excerpt from the article by Dr Jason Fung I linked:
    "According to standard calorie calculations [3,500 calorie-surplus = gain 1lb of body fat], he figures that he should have gained 7.3kg of fat. Actual weight gain, however, was 1.3kg. What is even more interesting is his waist measurements. From a baseline of 79.5cm he dropped 3 cm from his waist which means that even as he gained some weight, much of that is lean mass."
    Then he repeated the experiment but on a high-carb diet instead. He gained 7.1kg (15.6 lb) and his waist increased 9.25cm.
    I do pay attention to my calories because it's easy to overeat for me. I have actually gained weight on a ketogenic diet because I got way to excited with foods like full-fat dairy, nuts and charcuterie. However, given the amount of calories I was consuming daily at that time (4,000ish) I didn't gain as much body fat as I should have and the weight gain stalled at a certain point. I got chubbier but I was still in the "normal" weight range for my body composition. I was maintaining my weight while getting to gorge on all this delicious food. I prefer a leaner body though so I started cutting back on the foods I overate and to watch my calories. I went carnivore and started eating 2,000 a day with a weekly 47-hr fast and now I'm at my goal size.
    I have sugar & carb addiction and back on the SAD diet, I had periods of time when I binged on them daily for months on end (4,000ish cals again) and my weight would BALLOON up! It was noticeable in a couple of days. I could go up a size in a little over a week. So I'm convinced not all calories are the same. At least for my body it works this way

    While everyone knows not all calories are the same however results do vary from person to person because we do not all have the same gut microbiome make up. LCHF helped get my microbiome better in balance I expect since my 40 years of extreme IBS resolved on its own after 6 months when I cut out all drinks and food that contained added sugars/sweeteners and or any form of any grain. After over 5 years of eating the same way my IBS has not come back for even one day. In my case source of my calories made all of the difference in solving my years of obesity. Best of continued success.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 1,107Member Member Posts: 1,107Member Member
    Sylphadora wrote: »
    I guess it depends on your approach. For me it's macros since I follow a LCHF diet and with this diet it's all about the effect of macros on your hormones, especially on insulin which is the hormone that stores fat in the body. Carbs affect insulin the most and fat affects insulin the least. That being said, if you eat an excessive amount of calories of course you are going to gain weight.
    A guy called Sam Feltham actually did an overeating experiment. For 21 days he ate 5,000 cals a day on a LCHF diet. This is an excerpt from the article by Dr Jason Fung I linked:
    "According to standard calorie calculations [3,500 calorie-surplus = gain 1lb of body fat], he figures that he should have gained 7.3kg of fat. Actual weight gain, however, was 1.3kg. What is even more interesting is his waist measurements. From a baseline of 79.5cm he dropped 3 cm from his waist which means that even as he gained some weight, much of that is lean mass."
    Then he repeated the experiment but on a high-carb diet instead. He gained 7.1kg (15.6 lb) and his waist increased 9.25cm.
    I do pay attention to my calories because it's easy to overeat for me. I have actually gained weight on a ketogenic diet because I got way to excited with foods like full-fat dairy, nuts and charcuterie. However, given the amount of calories I was consuming daily at that time (4,000ish) I didn't gain as much body fat as I should have and the weight gain stalled at a certain point. I got chubbier but I was still in the "normal" weight range for my body composition. I was maintaining my weight while getting to gorge on all this delicious food. I prefer a leaner body though so I started cutting back on the foods I overate and to watch my calories. I went carnivore and started eating 2,000 a day with a weekly 47-hr fast and now I'm at my goal size.
    I have sugar & carb addiction and back on the SAD diet, I had periods of time when I binged on them daily for months on end (4,000ish cals again) and my weight would BALLOON up! It was noticeable in a couple of days. I could go up a size in a little over a week. So I'm convinced not all calories are the same. At least for my body it works this way

    Did the study include best-possible body composition measurements before and after to determine how much water weight loss was masking fat gain?

    The experiment didn't even have verification of the calorie intake or level of activity is my understanding. I'm sure though, that they followed it up with MRI composition testing....
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