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calories in vs calories out



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JADOMB
SparkPoints: (93,516)
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5/8/12 7:29 P

I was thinking I figured out my BMR and put it in one of the beginning blocks. But I think I am probably just confused with all the calculations I've made from other articles and such. I think when you put in your height and weight, along with your goal and goal end date, it uses that info to give you the range of calories you can take in. You will then see these numbers change as you put in your planned Cardio and ST.(not so sure on the ST since it doesn't really have a calorie counter).

When I adjusted my days and miles and such as I found what worked best for me, I saw my calorie range move up and down some. The biggest change was when I messed up and had my goal for Dec 2013 instead of Dec 2012. That's when it changed from around 2000-2300 to 1650-2000. Since I have always stuck close to the 2000 point anyway, it didn't make much of a difference. Now I try to keep it around 1800. I should show some even stronger losses over the next few months if I keep up my exercise burn counts. OR since I am getting closer and closer to my goal weight, it might just help me continue at the same pace but without any plateauing.

You'll get the hang of it as you go along. Just be honest and accurate, it makes making these small adjustments much easier. Keep the faith.



CROWLEY123
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5/8/12 6:06 P

No, you are going to burn those calories anyway - the number you add to your tracker is what you would like to burn through activity, exercise.



AJF630
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5/8/12 6:04 P

Should I add my BMR to the weely number of exercise calories I plan to burn? I have not done that.



JADOMB
SparkPoints: (93,516)
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5/8/12 2:05 P

LOL, isn't confusion great. LOL There are so many things I can say to all this. First though, is they are all pretty much right. But most important is, don't get too spun up in all the techie stuff, follow the KISS principle(Keep It Simple Student). Probably the most and only scientifically accurate number here is that 3500 cal equals a lb. And I'll bet one can find some variables to that too. But don't fret, just work toward a 3500 cal deficit per week and you should lose around 1 lb per week.

The complex part is what it takes to truly burn or intake calories. There are many variables that come into play, thank God that our bodies are smarter than us and can sort through the mess. If we follow the simple guide lines and calculations we will come close to what is required. But even if one was to totally and accurately intake exactly the right proportions and balance of nutrition and also be able to totally and accurately figure out what one burns, then there are genetics, body compositions, medical issues, meds, etc. that mess it up.

So to KISS it, just find your BMR using the calculators on this site, add the exercises you plan to do, input your data into their program and it should give you a basic range of caloric intake you can take in to lose your weight. Follow this plan accurately for awhile and you should see fairly soon if it is giving you that 1-2 lbs weekly loss. If not, then first look at what you are doing that may be off.

One simple thing to start with though is to under estimate your workout and over estimate you food intake, and also stick to the lower end of your calorie range. This worked for me quite well and I have lost a constant 1-2 lbs per week since I started in January. Even though I had messed up and input an incorrect year for my goal end date. Had I ate at the high end of my intake range I would not have lost as much weight since when I finally figured it out and changed it, my old low range mark is now my high end mark.

Hope this didn't confuse you even more. Keep the faith



AJF630
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5/8/12 1:30 P

Yep your right this is totally confusing LOL I officially have no idea what needs to be done in order to lose weight. The more I read the more confused I get. I'll just stick with my current diet and exercise plan and see what happens. At the very least exercise is good for me and I'm eating healthy foods



BEARCLAW6
SparkPoints: (27,813)
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5/8/12 1:02 P

I don't think there is as much disagreement here as it seems. We are all saying that a calorie deficit is required for weight loss. We are mostly all also saying that each of us must find our own way. But it really is a very complex question to ask! The issue is with getting that calorie deficit and how effective that calorie deficit is at weight loss. Your body is a complex mix of physics, chemistry AND biology. Throw psychology in there, too, and you get close to how complex this question actually is. To say 'eat a calorie deficit and you will lose weight' is just too much oversimplifying. It implies that people who eat too much are somehow inferior or lazy or have no willpower. That would be like saying that driving a car is just turning the wheel and pushing the pedals and that people who have to work at learning to drive are just lazy.

Personal story.....when I was 40, I tried to clean up my eating habits a little by cutting out much of the junk but continuing to eat large amounts of meat, veggies, starches and dairy. I weighed around 340 lbs by eating garbage and I weighed 340 lbs by eating somewhat better. My physician at the time told me that I ate ok, but I just needed to eat less. "Eat half or three-quarters as much" he said. That worked for about one week until I was so vastly, soul-suckingly, painfully, agonizingly hungry that it was clear that it wasn't the way to go. I found that I could eat garbage and weigh 340 lbs. I could eat my fill of ok foods and weight 340 lbs. Eat less and I was starving. Starving on 3500 calories a day! There I was. Then about a year and a half ago I did a silly little experiment where I kept eating the meat and the veggies that I had always eaten, but entirely cut out the starches and sugars. Suddenly I was eating 1500 calories per day AND NOT HUNGRY! No soul sucking. No pain. Two weeks later I'm sitting next to a bowl of Halloween candy and not even tempted! My massive weight loss after that was shockingly easy. It is almost not fair how easy it was for me! A simple trick of biochemistry was doing what moderation could not and what physics does not describe. It was 'calories in calories out' but only in the most simplistic sense. So, there are ways to do it that work and there are ways to do it that don't work. Unless you are going to put us in a prison cell and feed us exact calories through a little door, the 'calories in and calories out' idea isn't going to work for most people without a method that satisfies us. Each of us must find our own way.

It is possible to lose weight by living off of just about any garbage (or healthy food) as long as you eat at a calorie deficit. They key is to do it in a way that is healthy AND satisfying. I firmly believe that if you are losing weight but hungry all the time then it won't last.

And, since this is the Fitness forum, I will add that exercise needs to be healthy AND satisfying, too, or you will probaby stop doing it.



CROWLEY123
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5/8/12 11:06 A

Ain't that the truth? emoticon

Sorry PAPAMIKIE - I was not saying that you were confused, but rather that the person who posed the original question would be confused by all these opinions and complex answers.

You are right in that everyone is an individual in how they consume, process and burn calories - and all of that impacts weight loss.

It is unfortunate that you feel you have to leave the discussion, because my opinion differs from yours. It is through this exchange of ideas that we can support each other and the ultimate goal of living a healthy lifestyle.

AJF360 - I sure hope you find the answer you are looking for here and at SparkPeople in general! Very best of luck.

Edited by: CROWLEY123 at: 5/8/2012 (11:07)


MSDEE7679
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5/8/12 10:20 A

Wow..all this can give you a headache.



PAPAMIKIE
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5/8/12 9:38 A

It means that I do not believe the biological processes are as simple or as straight forward as we often try to make them. The body does not simply take in calories and process them all exactly the same like a factory recieving widgits.

I agree that if you eat fewer calories than you use, you will losse weight, however, there is some research that suggests that the body may process different types of calories in different ways, and that different people may process different types of foods in different ways.

I suspect, from the fact you have opened your comment on my comment, but suggesting I am completely confused and that you are an expert with a Master's Degree in Human Nutrition, that we will have little common ground for sharing ideas. I will therefore simplely restate that I think there is eveidence that some people have lost weight on higher calorie diets than they did on lower calorie diets based on different types of calories. What is the cause and effect of this situation may be open to question. Different poeople process different foods in different ways, and the idea that the body may process calories form different sources is not a big stretch.

Have said that, I will withdraw from further discussion, and leave the topic to the "Experts"







SMERRIMAN7
Posts: 296
5/8/12 9:32 A

BMR calculators are an estimate - based on how the typical body works.

I aim to eat in a range of about 1300-1600. Which based on BMR & what I know of how my body works (from using a Bodybugg) gives me a slight deficit per day even if there is no intentional exercise. 30-45 minutes of cardio increases that deficit. For me its more about developing sustainable habits & doing what I know I need to do to be healthy.



CROWLEY123
SparkPoints: (34,393)
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5/8/12 8:52 A

Now I suspect you are completely confused.
I have a Master's Degree in Human Nutrition... and I am at a total loss as to what any of that last response means in terms of actual weight loss.

If you eat fewer calories than you use (either for your biological processes, or activity) you will lose weight. It will not always be at a steady pace, but overall that will be the outcome.

Yes, if you have a BMR of 2000 - that is the number of calories you will burn to stay alive...even if you lie in bed all day. So any activity you undertake will increase your calorie burn for that day.

The bottom line: eat healthy foods, in reasonable portions, and get plenty of exercise and activity if you want to reduce your percentage of body fat.



PAPAMIKIE
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5/7/12 10:15 P

A tipical BMR Calculator will calculate to the decimal there for you can get numbers like 1538.8 What does .8 mean? Well nothing it is just an result of the math, but the accuracy is going to be in the 10 or 100 so you can safely say 1500 or 1600 or 1500 to 1600.

We work on a simple model of Calories in Calories out, however, research show this is not really very well support, that is on the same diet (composition of foods, fat, protien, and carbs different poeple can do significantly different on the same number of calories. on different compositions of foods the same people can do different on the same number of calories.

The are complex biological systems at work and when the are working correctly they tend to push the body to a steady state.

I do not think it is as simple as we make it even though I talk about calories in and calories out and a simple deficiet I am not really very sure it works that way.

There is much evidence that this is not the case, and many of the studies that suggest otherwise deliberagely seem to choose to ingnor eveidence that suggests things other than their findings and it is surprising how often the finding match the presuppostions of the researchers.

There is enough evidence that the suggests the composition of our diet, number of calories from fat, protien, and carb can have as large an effect as the simple number of calories consumed.

The system is very complex and what happens to the food when it is process can determine if it is store, utilized, or eliminated.

I was reading some research that notes Vitamin C is chemcially very close to Glucose, however, Glucose and Vitamin C compete for the same uptake processes, but Glucose has a chemical advantage, and will processed into the system in preferenct to Vitamin C. If there is too much glucose free in the system, then Vitamin C will not be process and therefore, even with a suficient input of Vitamin C the body may suffer a deficiet as Vitamin C is eliminated and passes through the system without being used.

Other substances can do the same things, and so simple calories in / calories out; may not be quite all we want to suggest it is.





AJF630
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5/7/12 5:40 P

I googled BMR and used the first site that came up. How did you come up with a BMR of 2000?! BMR is supposed to be the number of calories you burn to stay alive. It doesn't include any activity at all and it goes down the less you weigh.



CROWLEY123
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5/7/12 3:08 P

I would love to know how you got the number of BMR 1493. That is a very specific number, and unless you have been inside a basal calorimeter, you can't possibly get that specific.

I'd have to disagree with BERCLAW, on the formula though. The bottom line is the same for everyone - calories in must be less than calories out to achieve weight loss. It is just exactly that simple.

And while some foods may make you feel more full, or less satisfied - your body does not distinguish between those calories and others. A calorie is a measure of growth and energy which your body derives from food. Period. You must eat enough to maintain healthy cells, and adequate energy to sustain yourself, but not so much as to create a surplus which will be stored as fat.

My BMR is about 2000/day, so I need to eat between 1300 and 1500 kcals/day and exercise off about 500 to lose weight at a healthy, sustainable rate of 1.5-2 lbs per week. This will give me a total calorie deficit of about 1100 each day.
A pound of fat contains 3500 calories, therefore it takes me 3+ days to burn off one extra pound each week...if I get everything right and all other things are equal.
If you are following the guidelines of SP, and using the tools to help you keep track, you will lose weight...it may not always be as fast you you'd like, but it will be healthy, manageable and sustainable. Good luck.




MPLANE37
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5/7/12 2:57 P

Take a look at how SP calculates the daily caloric allowances:
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/calorie_calcu
lation101.asp?




BEARCLAW6
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5/7/12 2:44 P

It isn't really that simple. The 'calorie deficit' thing works in theory, but in practice there are other things to consider. First, there is hunger. For many people there are certain foods that make them very hungry and miserable when in deficit (starches and sugars for me). Others also experience massive hunger and binging if they exercise to deficit (eat 600 calorie snack to recover from a 300 calorie workout). So the key is to eat foods that leave you satisfied and do exercise that doesn't make you starving while also having a calorie deficit. Second, there are foods that get digested and converted to stored fat faster than you can ideally burn them. For me this is simple carbs. Thus, my body is constantly fighting with itself over the food it ate two hours ago that is already nicely stored away vs. the need for fuel now....resulting in more of that hunger I mentioned above.

Everyone is different. Some can exercise and not be hungry afterwards. Some can probably live off of Ding Dongs in moderation and lose weight, but that isn't me. I need to eat foods that keep me satisfied (fat and protein) and keep the exercise mild enough to not trigger hunger (bicycling and walking). I am currently trying to start running, and while it is cool that I can now run for almost half an hour without stopping, I have no expectation that I will be losing any weight right now. If anything, I may even gain some weight.



AJF630
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5/7/12 2:30 P

So we all know this is the trick to lose weight. What's your daily deficit? My BMR is 1493 and I burn 360. I eat 1350. My deficit is 503. Just wondering what everyone else is doing. And what's your success been?! I'm only down 5 so far.



 
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