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GIPPER1961 Posts: 747
1/10/14 12:44 P

That is a great point Russell. Even though I do low carb, to try to break a plateau I reduced my calories too much and found myself binging again for about six weeks. Your statement that rules don't mean anything if you just break them is so true.

Eating the appropriate balance of food is something we need to figure out and it can vary from person to person. Eating enough to stay satisfied but not so much as to stop losing weight is crucial and unfortunately there is no owners manual to give you all the answers.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
1/10/14 11:34 A

Interesting Sunshine. I am diabetic, and getting my blood sugars helped me also. Low carb helped achieve control over what I ate, as well as getting off diabetes meds.

However, that control gained by eating low carb has allowed me to eat less.. 2,000 - 2,500 calories a day. I planned less before, but binged a lot, and never really tracked it. When I sat down and actually tracked a binge, it was over 8,000 calories, and that's an extra 1,150 calories a day. I might do this 2-3 times a week, so after my 1,800 I planned daily, I would consume over 24,000 with 3 days of " 4th meals ". This added 3,400 calories a day on average, so 5,200 a day, which is why I weighed 361 lbs.

In my mind i was on an 1,800 calorie diet, but now I can see that I cut 50 % of my calories out, and that is why I started losing weight. The cause was low carb, and control of blood sugars, but I take less calories in, and now that I exercise, have more calories out.

I think there are other factors that can burn more calories, or cause us not to digest ( take in ) certain calories, but in general it is calories in, versus calories out. I think some foods take more energy to digest, like protein, so maybe you burn more, but if you sat down with a scientist, and actually studied it, you would realize that calories are either not taken in, or burned in ways we don't count. Your diet may be one which does this, which is why you lose weight.

All we count as calories out is an estimate of BMR, and exercise, which we also estimate. There are many factors, but our inaccuracy of counting calories in, and calories out, doesn't mean that calories in, and calories out isn't true. It just means we suck at calculating these numbers.

In general, if you can maintain a stable weight, on a stable diet however, then cutting 500 calories, or burning 500 calories, or a combo that eliminates 500 calories, will result in around a lb of weight loss in a week. First one needs to find a stable diet though, and get a baseline.

Yes, I do believe that different diets allow us to eat different calories to maintain weight though, so in that sense, it would mean that 2,200 calories of higher carb, low fat food would not necessarily result in the same weight loss, even if I could avoid the binges. Maybe I would have to eat 2,000 calories, instead of the 2,200 I eat on low carb.

So calories in versus calories out matters, but the type of food you eat does too. Interesting point, and one worth noting. It is easy to say eat X amount of food, and burn X - 500, and quite another to identify X, and stick to it, both diet, and exercise. I think you need control of eating, and to stop cravings/overeating before you can apply the calories in/out rule.

Rules don't mean a thing if you have no control. You just break the rules.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,194
1/10/14 7:24 A

In my case, calories in.... versus calories out.... was not successful for me. So I don't think that is the case for every one. Not matter how much I exercised I could not lose weight and after struggling for years, I was diagnosed as insulin resistant. I found that once I balanced my blood glucose I lost weight easily.

I have to limit carbs, sodium, and sugar and red meat because the red meat causes inflammation for me. I found that even mild dehydration can halt weight loss, so I drink plenty of water. .

A diet high in salt content can not only affect my blood pressure, but is typically associated with weight gain for me. Sticking to a low salt daily regime helps me stay with foods that are lower calorie..... healthier foods that are associated with weight loss.

ANARIE Posts: 13,175
1/10/14 2:58 A


It's as simple as that IF YOU'RE OVERWEIGHT. According to your ticker, unless you're under 5 feet tall, you're in or very close to the healthy weight range. If you're not actually, medically overweight, then it's not as simple. It doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't lose weight, but it's not going to be predictable the way it is for someone with 100 pounds to lose.

When you're trying to change your weight within the healthy range, it's often best to put away the scale and focus on your health rather than a number. Work on getting all the nutrients you need with NO empty calories, and look at fitness. For overweight people, losing weight is mostly about diet and exercise just helps. For shaping up when you're not overweight, exercise is just as important as diet. That includes resistance training, not just cardio. A good resistance training program will make you look thinner at the same weight.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
1/9/14 8:03 P

Very helpful EELPIE. Too many people think 1200 calories is what they should be eating, and only after bumping that up to 1600-1800 do they realize that they cheat less, and actually eat less total calories, because they are not starving. I need 2,583 calories according to your link, and 500 less daily to lose a lb a week, and SP has my range at around 2050-2,300, right where it is supposed to be. I would have never thought I could lose at 2,000 calories.

We tend to think less is better, but less usually tends to be more, and at one setting, when you lose control. A balanced higher calorie level not only makes us feel better, but does the job as well, and doesn't feel like punishment.

1/9/14 6:48 P that you can notice a change on the scale in weekly increments.
250 calorie daily deficit = 1/2 pound lost weekly
500 calorie daily deficit = 1 pound lost weekly
1000 calorie daily deficit = 2 pound lost weekly

But remember too that cutting calories too low can make you feel tired, lack of energy. So many go with a 1/2 to 1 pound weekly weight loss. It is also why the lowest calorie amount allowed at SP for females is 1200.
Your SP Registered Dietitian

Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 1/10/2014 (07:29)
1/9/14 4:10 P

Check out the podcast in this thread for a more scientific explanation of how it works.

1/9/14 4:03 P

Excellent, thanks for the tip

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
1/9/14 3:42 P

Yes. It's calories in versus calories out. Remember, you burn calories just being alive, breathing, your heart beating, walking to the bathroom, lifting the remote (for the true couch potatoes out there!!)

You can check your Bmr and Daily Caloric Needs here:

A rough guide (not everyone's body runs the exact same way) is that 3,500 calories equals a pound, so a 500 per day calorie reduction should give you about 1 pound loss per week (500x7=3500).

Edited by: EELPIE at: 1/9/2014 (16:12)
1/9/14 2:58 P

Have I got this right. As long as I burn more calories than I eat each day I will lose weight, is it as simple as that?

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