Support CaB

Subscribers don't see this.

Recent

Welcome to Cook'd and Bomb'd. Please login or sign up.

August 10, 2022, 05:29:36 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Tip jar

If you like CaB and wish to support it, you can use PayPal or KoFi. Thank you, and I hope you continue to enjoy the site - Neil.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

General weight loss thread

Started by bgmnts, August 29, 2021, 01:08:06 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

touchingcloth

Quote from: popcorn on September 17, 2021, 11:53:51 PM
Again, I wasn't saying anyone should try the Mars Bar diet. That was a silly example I just made up to demonstrate an idea about calories.

People think "eat bad food = get fat". In fact it's "consume more calories than you burn = get fat". That's it.

I know you weren't seriously advocating the Mars Bar diet, but my point was more that isn't as simple as eating fewer calories than you burn, because in the real world it's extremely difficult to accurately control how many calories you eat - not mathematically difficult, just practically difficult - and I would say literally impossible to control how many you burn with any form of precision.

jamiefairlie

Quote from: popcorn on September 17, 2021, 11:53:51 PM
Again, I wasn't saying anyone should try the Mars Bar diet. That was a silly example I just made up to demonstrate an idea about calories.

People think "eat bad food = get fat". In fact it's "consume more calories than you burn = get fat". That's it.

A friend of mine was shocked that I was dieting but having a McDonald's for lunch. Well, it's because I can afford the calories today.

Perhaps that's true in terms of calories in/out but equal calories does not mean equal nutrition. Your MacD's was still far inferior to an equally calorific, higher nutrient meal. Not to mention the inflammatory/carcinogenic ingredients that Ronald provides so happily.

popcorn

Quote from: jamiefairlie on September 18, 2021, 12:12:43 AM
Perhaps that's true in terms of calories in/out but equal calories does not mean equal nutrition.

yes, but this is the weight loss thread. We're talking about what causes you to gain and lose weight. If this were a thread about gaining muscle then I'd be telling people to worry about protein.

I think I've created the wrong impression here. Obviously when dieting you need to pick meals that are going to keep you happy and full, sustain you, not cause you to die of malnutrition. What I was responding to was the creeping suggestion of "don't worry about calories - focus on XYZ nstead". No, you should worry about calories, that's your primary metric when dieting for weight loss.

touchingcloth

Quote from: popcorn on September 18, 2021, 12:19:44 AM
I think I've created the wrong impression here. Obviously when dieting you need to pick meals that are going to keep you happy and full, sustain you, not cause you to die of malnutrition. What I was responding to was the creeping suggestion of "don't worry about calories - focus on XYZ nstead". No, you should worry about calories, that's your primary metric when dieting for weight loss.

It's a metric, I wouldn't say the primary one.

You said in an earlier post that you think Atkins and keto work mainly as a proxies for reducing calories, but I think it's more specifically that they are a proxy for reducing carbs and sugars. Cutting out those things can help change the way your body sends and receives signals of hunger and satiety. The feedback mechanisms are all incredibly complex - your body isn't a system like a car where petrol in equals motion out, it's more like if changing to a different brand of petrol caused your car to run more or fewer miles to the gallon, or affected how accurate your petrol gauge was.

touchingcloth

As a case in point, the only diet I've ever tried where I've literally counted calories was the 5:2, and it was horrendous. On the "2" days I had massive mood swings and felt like shite, so I crashed out of the diet because it wasn't sustainable, but it had made me feel so terrible that the needle swung in the other direction and my appetite and cravings skyrocketed. A lot of calorie restriction diets aren't designed in a way that is sustainable for life, or that can smoothly transition from a weight loss to maintenance phase. In fact, they are popular precisely because of that - they're excellent as crash diets, but after the initial rapid loss of a few kilograms, weight loss will almost always stall and the diets aren't sustainable for a lot of people when they don't have the motivation of seeing the scales change every day any more.

popcorn

Quote from: touchingcloth on September 18, 2021, 12:28:24 AM
It's a metric, I wouldn't say the primary one.

I think it is.

Quote from: NHS
The amount of energy in an item of food or drink is measured in calories.

When we eat and drink more calories than we use up, our bodies store the excess as body fat. If this continues, over time we may put on weight.

To lose weight, the average person should reduce their daily calorie intake by 600kcal.

It's calories in, calories out. You just have to do whatever you need to do to cut that deal. If cutting carbs and sugars (or whatever other combo works for you) ends up sustaining that equation for you over the long term than great. But I'm skeptical of things that complicate rather than simplify the process, as I think they are likely to weaken people's chances by confusing the issue.

Quote from: touchingcloth on September 18, 2021, 12:38:23 AM
As a case in point, the only diet I've ever tried where I've literally counted calories was the 5:2, and it was horrendous.

Yeah I tried that too and it sucked. You have to find a way of moderating calories in a way that's sustainable for you. Mine was getting a calorie counting app.

edit edit edit typos typos typos

touchingcloth

I think there are ways to simplify that aren't as blunt as 5:2, or slightly less blunt as Atkins and keto.

I think I'm saying the same thing as you, anyway. Saying that you need to "find a way that's sustainable for you" is basically the same as saying "you could limit calories on Mars Bars, but that's crazy, obviously". A lot of diets aren't too dissimilar from the Mars Bar diet in terms of how unsustainable they are, but are wrapped in language which makes them sound less obviously crazy.

popcorn

Quote from: touchingcloth on September 18, 2021, 01:02:20 AM
I think there are ways to simplify that aren't as blunt as 5:2, or slightly less blunt as Atkins and keto.

Definitely. Like I say, I like calorie counting, and I like going for long walks. I like just eating what I always liked eating but in smaller portions. After all, it's what thin people do.

MikeP

Quote from: popcorn on September 17, 2021, 05:11:46 PM
it implies "some foods have high calories but they won't make you fat

Correct.

touchingcloth

Quote from: MikeP on September 18, 2021, 02:07:51 AM
Correct.

Cooked versus raw food is a good example of this. Since humans learnt how to control fire and routinely started to cook food, our intestines have got shorter than other apes' because cooking does some of the work of the digestive process to break down fibres and whatnot, meaning that more of the calories theoretically available in the raw food become easily absorbable by the gut.

Alcoholics are another example of how not every calorie printed on a nutrition label necessarily gets processed by your body and turned into fat. I've met people as thin as takes who should be the size of houses based on the amount of calories they pack in from booze.

popcorn

Quote from: MikeP on September 18, 2021, 02:07:51 AM
Correct.

I don't believe this.

What is actually being alleged here? That there are some foods whose calorific content is actually less than is written on the packaging? Or that there are different kinds of calories? Or something else?

touchingcloth

Quote from: popcorn on September 18, 2021, 09:43:55 AM
I don't believe this.

What is actually being alleged here? That there are some foods whose calorific content is actually less than is written on the packaging? Or that there are different kinds of calories? Or something else?

The hay bale is a decent example. Measuring its calories in a calorimeter is one thing, but a human would be able to extract fewer of those calories than a cow.

popcorn

Sure. But people don't have bales of hay for dinner. They go into the shop and look at the number of calories written on the packaging.

What is being claimed here about the number of calories written on the packaging of a Mars Bar, or a bag of carrots, or a box of cereal? What is the advice to people who want to lose weight? Are they supposed to interpret the numbers differently?

touchingcloth

Quote from: popcorn on September 18, 2021, 10:49:31 AM
Sure. But people don't have bales of hay for dinner. They go into the shop and look at the number of calories written on the packaging.

What is being claimed here about the number of calories written on the packaging of a Mars Bar, or a bag of carrots, or a box of cereal? What is the advice to people who want to lose weight? Are they supposed to interpret the numbers differently?

In a way, yes, or be mindful of numbers other than calories rather than focussing solely on that. Numbers like glycemic index try and gauge the effect given foodstuffs have in practice in the human body rather than in the lab, and in broad terms lower GI foods will end up with fewer of their calories digested. Things like nuts are a good example of a low GI food, and eating the same number of calories per the food label in nuts as in sugar would probably result in a notable difference in weight loss.

In practical terms as a consumer wanting to lose weight, one could - and this is something that actually do - choose a Snickers over a Mars Bar.

I've only skimmed it, but this article looks like it goes over quite a lot of the sorts of things I'm talking about - https://www.getthegloss.com/article/a-healthy-curiosity-calorie-counting-vs-g-i - and there are a lot of studies which show that when calories are kept the same, people eating different kinds of foods will experience different weight loss and other health outcomes.

MikeP

Quote from: popcorn on September 18, 2021, 10:49:31 AM
Sure. But people don't have bales of hay for dinner. They go into the shop and look at the number of calories written on the packaging.

What is being claimed here about the number of calories written on the packaging of a Mars Bar, or a bag of carrots, or a box of cereal? What is the advice to people who want to lose weight? Are they supposed to interpret the numbers differently?

The numbers on the packaging have little to do with the actual calorific values. Most food producers follow the Atwater system whereby average calorific values for each category of food are used.

These values are 4kcal/g for protein and carbohydrate, 9kcal/g for fat. Saves them the trrouble of working out the real values. As a result of this they are saying 1g of refined sugar has the same calorific value as 1g of meat. As followers of the Atkins diet can tell you, this is misleading in the extreme.

All alcoholic beverages are blessed with 7kcal/g.

Hands up everyone who believes slavishly in statistics...

MikeP

Forgot to mention that producers often deduct the weight of fibre when doing their calculations.

jamiefairlie

Also fibre has a huge impact on your ability to absorb calories in the same food eg in fruit the amount of sugar will raise your blood sugar less than the same amount of freely available processed sugar.

In short, the amount of calories contained in a food not does not equal the amount of calories absorbed by your system.

Pink Gregory

I've always been large, but bread has such a satisfying, soporific effect on me that I think I'm just fated to be wide.

thenoise

Quote from: bgmnts on September 17, 2021, 01:57:51 PM
To be fair i've been vegan for two years and i'm the fattest i've ever been.

I'd say vegetarian is the sweet spot for health.

My go-to student meal of a pasta, sauce from a jar and a mountain of cheddar cheese on top is a vegetarian meal, but by God I'd get fat if I ate it every night. And depressed (and fat).

Can't stand the idea of eating seafood, but a pescatarian diet is probably pretty healthy, esp for weight loss purpose. Get a lot of protein in you without a load of fat or carbs etc.

MrsWarboysLover

anyone here saying 'calories in calories out' needs to educate themselves

google 'adaptive thermogenesis'

every single study of calorie restriction where they test peoples metabolism before and after shows that CR weight loss leads to your metabolism slowing down significantly

if i was a big fat guy who ate 3 hamburgers a day, then i put myself on a diet of 2 hamburgers a day, i would lose weight. but my metabolism would slow down.
which would mean if i ate 3 hamburgers a day again, I would actually become fatter than I was before because now my metabolism's slower
So the idea that calories in calories out is a static measurement is demonstrably untrue.

touchingcloth

^ amen. I mean, it's true in a way, but people imagine "calories out" is mainly comprised by physical activities, when a lot of that side of the ledger is boring stuff like increasing your heart rate or raising your body temperature.

MrsWarboysLover

yeah, and the rate at which those boring things burn calories slows down significantly when you lose weight by restricting calories.
I understand why people are often so set on the calories in calories out idea though; the reality is counterintuitive but it's true.

There was even a recent study about increased exercise causing metabolic slowdown too, because your body tries to compensate:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982221011209


popcorn

I didn't say anything about people having different metabolisms, or metabolisms changing through weight loss etc - that has nothing to do with CICO as far as I know.

We're now having about 100 different debates so never mind. I'm down 18kg now.

touchingcloth

Yeah, I've read a lot about weight "set points" recently, where your body learns a particular weight and wants to stay there, so whether you eat less or move more your metabolism, your appetite and your feelings of being full will change all in order to keep your weight constant.

touchingcloth

Quote from: popcorn on September 18, 2021, 11:02:18 PM
I didn't say anything about people having different metabolisms, or metabolisms changing through weight loss etc - that has nothing to do with CICO as far as I know.

It has everything to do with CICO. Your metabolism is the major component of CO, even if you're a marathon runner.

JamesTC

Quote from: touchingcloth on September 18, 2021, 11:16:11 PM
Yeah, I've read a lot about weight "set points" recently, where your body learns a particular weight and wants to stay there, so whether you eat less or move more your metabolism, your appetite and your feelings of being full will change all in order to keep your weight constant.

Your body may retain more water by not excreting as much, but it can't retain extra fat or muscle if you are burning it through lack of calories or exercise.

When I started running, I remained at the same weight for two weeks despite working my arse off and being on an incredibly restrictive diet. Then my body kicked into gear and started losing as normal again. This is because my muscles needed to retain more water than normal in order to repair the damage from exercise.

popcorn

Quote from: touchingcloth on September 18, 2021, 11:17:57 PM
It has everything to do with CICO. Your metabolism is the major component of CO, even if you're a marathon runner.

The point of CICO is to create a calorie deficit.

People have different metabolisms, and people's metabolisms change in their life. Sure. One person may burn 100 calories faster than another person doing the same activity, for an abundance of reasons. Sure.

None of that contradicts the idea that (for example) if you burn 100 calories more than you consume then (eventually) you will lose weight. The amount of weight you lose, and the speed at which you lose it, will almost certainly differ from someone else doing the same thing, but you'll still lose weight.

touchingcloth

Quote from: popcorn on September 18, 2021, 11:26:38 PM
The point of CICO is to create a calorie deficit.

People have different metabolisms, and people's metabolisms change in their life. Sure. One person may burn 100 calories faster than another person doing the same activity, for an abundance of reasons. Sure.

None of that contradicts the idea that (for example) if you burn 100 calories more than you consume then (eventually) you will lose weight. The amount of weight you lose will almost certainly differ from someone else doing the same thing, but you'll still lose weight.

My point is that what you eat can change what your metabolism does.

As an analogy, it's like if putting a certain brand of petrol in your car made it burn fuel even when it was parked.

touchingcloth

But even if things were as simple as CICO, a calorie of energy is emphatically not the same thing as the energy that your body has the option of turning into either movement or weight.

popcorn

Realistically I know the human body is a really complicated machine, and I'm not going to pretend there isn't an increasingly vast body of extremely well verified research out there with increasingly depressing revelations about weight loss, exercise, calories, obesity, metabolism.

As someone who has been successful with weight loss and lifestyle changes, though, I've found it unhelpful to pay too much attention to it. Every single discussion online about weight loss turns into this kind of back-and-forth about what works and what doesn't, carbs, metabolism, fat cells, my aunt tried this and it worked, my mate's mate eats crisps all day so why isn't he fat, etc.

What Worked For Me was upping the amount of exercise I do and lowering the calories I consume, over the long term. That's it. I count the calories I take in by scanning barcodes and looking up estimates online - I know this is only a rough estimate but that's fine. I count the calories I burn with my fitness tracker - I know this is only a rough estimate but that's fine.

Personally, I can't imagine spending the energy to worry about anything else - like the effects of bread, or carbs, refined sugars, good calories/bad calories or such-and-such. I suppose if I did I might have been able to optimise things - lose weight faster, enjoy other upsides - but that to me is not worth the hassle when I just want a simple, sustainable, long-term approach to achieving a healthier weight.

I suppose this is a wilful choice to live in ignorance, but the fact that this is what basically every single country's health organisations tell you to do to lose weight is also reassuring.