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Is it true that less calories won't necessarily help you loose weight?

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Showing 1-13 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 17, 2013 6:00:37 AM PST
I just read this book, which I have to say I really enjoyed. I also write the girl a good review because I was impressed and because it was only my second health/fitness purchase (seems like there's a lot of nonsense written these days).

My question for all of you is: Is it true that less calories won't necessarily help you loose weight?

Jessica stated this in her book and she supports it with some great information but I was surprised because so many people say "just eat less". I'm interested to here what everyone's thoughts/ideas/take on the subject are/is.

I included the link below for reference.

Thanks for your feedback in advance.

FIERCE ABS: Your Jump Start Guide To Sculpt, Tighten & Tone Your Abs

Posted on Feb 17, 2013 10:59:06 AM PST
M. Sims says:
It sure helped me lose weight. It may depend on the individual.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2013 1:24:12 PM PST
Swedey says:
Americans tend to over-complicate weight loss because by doing so we can support an entire weight loss industry. And because some people are looking for an answer to their weight gain, instead of simply adjusting the number of calories and nutrition to what their bodies actually need.

Saying 'Just eat less' doesn't help an over-weight person eat less. Reducing calories though will help most people lose at least a little weight.

Posted on Feb 17, 2013 2:38:59 PM PST
ajs says:
I lost a lot of weight and have kept it off for seven years. My doctor said that it is simply a matter of consuming fewer calories than you burn. Which means it is not just eating less, but consuming fewer calories, which is not the same thing. You can eat a lot of low cal stuff such as fruit and veg but other things, such as fried foods, are very calorie dense. You also must expend more calories which means some kind of exercise. Me, I park further out and walk. I walk the stairs when possible and I try to be as active as possible. The doc said do not lay down when you can sit, do not sit when you can stand, do not stand when you can walk and do not walk when you can run. In other words, get as much movement into your life as possible. I now work standing up instead of sitting. It all adds up. Mostly I think it is about eating as little processed food as possible and adding as little fat and salt to the food you do eat. I also gave up snacking because I found that it made me hungry all the time. Good luck.

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 3:22:09 AM PST
"just eat less" is a massive insult for the masses of people eating less than their friend, colleagues, and neighbours yet still gain (or fail to lose) weight. It's especially insulting when coming from doctors and dieticians who don't even bother to inquire into one's eating habits (yes, this happens a lot).
Same with "just exercise more", which is shouted at people without knowing if and how much they exercise, or even if they're physically capable of exercising (I've seen people told they should take up running distances who're stuck in wheelchairs for example).
Another example, I've a seriously bad back and worn out knee joints, any physical exercise lasting more than a very short period as a results not only hurts like hell but is likely to do permanent injury, yet I've been told time and again I'm "just lazy" for taking the elevator to the 5th floor (I take the stairs down, up hurts too much) or taking the car to the supermarket instead of walking the 5 miles and walking back again with heavy grocery bags.

Also, the "ideal weight" for a person isn't, it's just another overgeneralisation, a fundamentally and known flawed attempt to push yet another infinitely variable thing into nice distinct numbers that can be put into some chart or computer program in order to classify people as "good" or "bad".
And so it is with diet. How much of which food groups is your "ideal diet" is a highly personal thing, and can't be determined by some dietician who only ever sees you once or twice and just looks at your height and weight and the government issued "food pyramid" or whatever it is called, then tells you to eat 50 grams of oats in the morning, 100 grams of rye bread without butter and 1 slice of low fat cheese for lunch, and 200 grams of boiled lentils with a small bowl of salad in the evening for the rest of your life.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 4:21:17 AM PST
There are subtlties to the less calories message.

For example, if a person is consuming 6000 calories per day and cuts down to 5000, they will probably not lose weight.

There are a number of factors which can influence calories in/calories out = weight loss/gain. Things like BMR, level of activity, amount of muscle....that sort of thing.

But, this is the important message, if you consume less calories than you expend and are otherwise will lose weight. Because no human being in the history of our species has EVER created a fat molecule out of nothing.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 6:34:51 AM PST
not quite true, at least not in the way usually implied (i.e. "you fatso eat 6000 calories a day and only burn 3000 because you don't exercise enough").
Part of your caloric intake is never taken into your system, instead leaving your body directly as feces because of incomplete digestion.
Different people have different digestive systems, affecting that ratio.
Also, the efficiency at which food is turned into useful energy in your body is highly variable, depending both on the person and the food matter. Sugar and other carbohydrates are extremely efficient at this, fat and protein far less so. So for every calorie taken in in sugar you could eat several calories worth of fat or protein for the body to gain the same amount of usable energy reserves.
That's why a low carbohydrate diet is so much more efficient in losing weight and keeping it off long term than a high carbohydrate low fat diet. You're not just reducing caloric intake but reducing the efficiency of the digestive system in using the calories you are taking in.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 9:12:13 AM PST
Did you not read "Things like BMR, level of activity, amount of muscle....that sort of thing" in my post?

Like I said, there are a number of factors that influence the in/out formula...(and I never said or implied that digestion was 100% efficient)

But the original point stands...if you take in LESS than you EXPEND you will lose weight.

Or do you simply want to get into a urinating contest?

Posted on Feb 21, 2013 11:03:45 PM PST
you're repeating the same flawed idea that "just eat less and you lose weight". Which is just not the case.
I can eat less and not lose an ounce, unless I eat enough less to starve my system of needed trace elements and thus starve myself to death.
I can eat more but different things and possibly lose weight, depending on my before and after diet.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2013 4:05:16 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 22, 2013 4:12:54 AM PST
"you're repeating the same flawed idea that "just eat less and you lose weight". Which is just not the case."

No, I am not. Please point out where I said that?

What I did say is that if you consume less calories that you expend, you will lose weight. This is a fact, unless you think it is possible to create matter.

Posted on Feb 22, 2013 10:01:25 AM PST
The "less calories" really is a misunderstanding. It comes from the fact that over eating causes one to be overweight. While this is true, when one is overweight it is not just a matter of cutting calories because this can cause your body to slow the metabolism to compensate for the calorie loss (meaning no or very little weight loss). A better method is to pay attention to what kind of calories you are eating. For example, calories from a jelly doughnut add to fat cells because there is too much processed flour and sugar, which causes sluggish digestion and storage of indigestible compounds. On the other hand, calories from even a huge green salad will contribute to higher metabolism because your body actually uses energy to digest veggies and pull nutrients from them. Fresh vegetables have no excess of indigestible compounds, such as unnatural oils, fats, sugars, which are more difficult for your body to digest. These foods are opposites, but I hope you get the point. ;)

Posted on Feb 22, 2013 12:16:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 22, 2013 12:17:46 PM PST
Mitch S. says:
I recently read the book Lose It For The Last Time. It is a great book because it is really not a diet book but a lifestyle book. The writer is a registered dietician. Basically weight loss is all about calories consumed and calories burned off. Though, often by not eating you prevent your body from losing weight because it enters a starvation mode and the body hang onto all the calories it can. Eating throughout the day prevents this. But this doesn't mean consuming excess calories.
This book helps readers get to a healthy lifestyle by making small changes in diet and activity level. This will result in long term weight loss. Diets don't work because you go on them and off them and ultimately put back the weight lost and then some. For any sustainable weight loss old habits need to be replaced with healthier habits. It is the diet industries dirty little secret that people will lose the weight on the diet but soon be back after regaining the weight. Yes people lose weight but it is only short term.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2013 9:51:06 AM PST
Swedey says:
'just eat less is a massive insult for the masses of people eating less than their friend, colleagues and neighbors yet still gain (or fail to lose) weight.

It is detrimental for a person intent on losing weight to compare what he is eating to that of other people. What the neighbors are or aren't eating doesn't have ANYTHING to do with the dieter's own body. Nor it it a fair measurement of what you should or shouldn't eat.
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Discussion in:  Health forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  13
Initial post:  Feb 17, 2013
Latest post:  Feb 23, 2013

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