Do calories not really matter?
In PB do calories not really matter? Is it just carbs/sugar intake that you need to watch?
I don't think they matter as much, but for me they matter. If I don't keep an eye on my caloric intake, I don't lose weight. It's a matter of keeping good ratios of fat/carbs/protein too.
It's not that they DON'T matter, just that they don't matter as much as most people think. If you average 7000 calories every day you're probably not going to loose any weight. On the other hand, if you average close to your caloric needs and your carbs/fat/protein ratios are all good you'll more then likely loose weight.
I am not trying to offend here - but let's think about this rationally.
Calories DO matter! If you take in more than you burn (eat more calories than you burn for a given period of time), you WILL gain weight. That said, one day or one week is more than likely not going to make the ultimate difference, but still, calories matter. Macro's are crucial as well, and what I have noticed is that the more healthy/primal foods you eat, the more you realize it is very difficult to "over-eat." Healthy fats and protein fill you up quickly, and if you use IF to control your hunger, you don't binge eat the way you would with a high-carb and/or high meal frequency diet. As such, the calories tend to take care of themselves (you maintain a calorie deficit without actually counting calories). Calories still absolutely matter though!
Very interesting, especially this bit:
'A review of simple thermodynamic principles shows that weight change on isocaloric diets is not expected to be independent of path (metabolism of macronutrients) and indeed such a general principle would be a violation of the second law. Homeostatic mechanisms are able to insure that, a good deal of the time, weight does not fluctuate much with changes in diet – this might be said to be the true "miraculous metabolic effect" – but it is subject to many exceptions. The idea that this is theoretically required in all cases is mistakenly based on equilibrium, reversible conditions that do not hold for living organisms and an insufficient appreciation of the second law. The second law of thermodynamics says that variation of efficiency for different metabolic pathways is to be expected. Thus, ironically the dictum that a "calorie is a calorie" violates the second law of thermodynamics, as a matter of principle.'
i really do not believe calories matter.. i think how your body handles what you give it, and what you do give your body are what matter. its all so innerconnected...if your gut flora sucks, youll gain weight eatnig damn near everything....if your stressed and worry about diet you gain or not lose, if you over workout...youll hold on to calories...it's all how your body handles what you give it not a number(calories) of what you give it...
I restrict calories in order to lose weight. I eat primal to be healthy. I can't lose without the former, and I don't choose to change the latter.
My take on this whole calorie thing is that yes, if you eat "too much" everyday for years you are likely to get chubby. Humans didn't evolve around the shear amounts of easily accessible food that we have available on a daily basis. I think eating a lot here and there isn't a problem rather the problem occurs when excessive amounts of calories are consumed day in and day out. I do think it is much less of an issue if you stick to primal/paleo foods though.
For example Last week I averaged 1,723 calories up until Thursday and my weight on Thursday was 187lbs. Friday I ate 3,160 calories and weighed 186 lbs. Saturday I ate 3,176 calories and weighed 188 lbs. Sunday I ate 3,258 calories and weighed 193 lbs. Yesterday I ate 1,845 calories and weighed 188 lbs and this morning I weigh 186 lbs. and will eat my usual 1700-1800 cal for the rest of the week. So the couple days over the weekend where I ate a lot more than I usually do didn't do anything to my weight over the long term in fact I ended up right where I was from before eating more. I know for sure if I kept eating 3000+ calories though I would have stayed in the 190's and probably gone higher.
I am 5ft 8" and was 120kg (264lbs) at 38% body fat 2 years ago. I ate very low fat and high carb and rode my bicycle for long distances (>70 miles each ride) regularly. Daily average caloric intake was 2500 cal.
Then I found out about paleo and cut out all sugar, carbs (except from veges and berries), dairy, and LOTS of fat from grassfed beef and coconut products and a moderate amount of macadamias. I also started doing HIIT in the form of bodyweight exercises 3 times a week and walked as much as I could, choosing to leave my car at home if the commute is less than 5 miles.
In 1.5 years, I lost 56kg (141lbs), which is almost half my starting weight and now have 12% body fat. I eat til I'm full and track my food very regularly with Fitday and it's consistently > 4000cal per day with 70-80% fat, 20% protein and the rest of the carbs from the handful of blueberries and whatever vege I happen to eat.
I don't think I burned more calories during my 1/2 hour HIITs compared with my 70 mile bike rides. I definitely eat much more now than when I was obese.
So my own personal experience has been this: calories don't really matter if you set up a hormonal stage for fat loss.
Last edited by chickenbackside; 05-18-2010 at 09:12 AM.