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Are all calories created equal?

(17 Posts)
clevername Sat 23-May-20 13:38:31

I've been musing on this for a while because I've been trying to lose a bit of weight...

Health factors aside (so ignoring completely the idea of a balanced diet and different kinds of foods we should be eating daily to get everything our body needs etc), in terms of weight loss and the simple idea that to lose weight, calories in must be less than calories out, does it actually matter where those calories come from?

If I was to spend, for arguments sake, my calorie allowance for one day on Easter eggs and wine, would that be any different, in weight loss terms, to eating soup and kale?

Basically, are the calories in easter eggs going to make me fatter than the ones in kale?!

dancemom Sat 23-May-20 13:40:33

No they aren't equal unfortunately and I never used to believe this but google insulin effect

NuffSaidSam Sat 23-May-20 13:42:39

I think in that purely weight loss sense, yes they are equal.

But obviously you can't, in practise, ignore all the other nutritional factors.

lazylinguist Sat 23-May-20 13:46:09

I'm guessing they are equal in scientific energy-in, energy-out terms and would therefore have the same effect on your weight on their own on an isolated occasion. But what that doesn't take into account is the different effect they'd have on your appetite and blood sugar, particularly if you continued eating that way. i.e. If you eat small amounts of high sugar items instead of larger amounts of more filling nutritious stuff, you will get hungrier and blood sugar crashes and eat more later.

daisydukes7576 Sat 23-May-20 13:53:58

The issue is where an estate egg might be 1000 calories, a boiled egg is only 70, you are going to feel just as full from both but you've taken in over ten times the calories so it's not most practical in terms of losing weight unless you're only eating an Easter egg all day and that's not advisable for a variety of reasons!

As someone pointed out too the chocolate etc doesn't have much nutritional value and is full of too many saturated fats - these are not good for your health in large doses.

clevername Sat 23-May-20 14:14:04

OK, thanks. This is what I thought.

I actually eat pretty healthily. And I've also got used to the calorie deficit I'm forcing on myself. It just helps with the 'food grief' I feel sometimes to know I can, in theory, eat whatever I like, really, as long as I stick to my allowance (and obviously take into account other nutritional factors. I wouldn't actually spend my daily allowance just on Easter eggs and wine. Promise) and it won't affect my weight loss.

BestestBrownies Sat 23-May-20 14:47:47

I have been restricting calories using MyFitnessPal and sticking to healthy low-carb, low-sugar meals for 3 months and lost 17lbs so far at a steady rate of just under 1.5lbs per week.

This last ten days or so I have been craving sugar, so decided to skip a few meals in favour of chocolate/biscuits etc. Despite staying within the same calorie allowance as before, my weight loss has stalled completely. I also feel like shit (headache, fatigue, less energy in general).

Having googled the insulin effect mentioned upthread by a pp, I’m convinced.

clevername Sat 23-May-20 16:51:36

Thanks @BestestBrownies and well done on your weight loss - that's amazing.

Have to say, the thought of eating low carb and low sugar all the time is really depressing for me. I mean, I am naturally restricting those things a bit anyway (for eg, I'm avoiding bread a lot of the time because it just seems like a waste of calories) so maybe I am eating low carb/sugar enough.

I will Google the insulin effect...

borntohula Sat 23-May-20 17:00:30

This is odd, I was having this exact conversation the other day. I think if you were on a low calorie diet, you could eat 800 calories worth of chocolate or 800 calories worth of green beans every day and lose weight either way. But you'd feel like shit.

daisydukes7576 Sat 23-May-20 17:03:09

Also calories are not equal - carbs and proteins have 4 calories per gram, fats have 9 calories per gram.

Fats are necessary for a healthy diet thought, but not saturated fats - healthy fats ie - olive oil, avacado, nuts, fish etc.

Depending on your body type, you should consume 20-30 percent (rough guide) of your diet from fats. The rest from carbs and proteins.

Do some research on macronutrients and that should also help

Good luck, PM me if you want any other advice (currently studying my PT exams lol so this info is quite fresh)


OhArsebags Sat 23-May-20 17:03:12

You’d have to eat a fuck ton of kale to equal the calories in an Easter egg.

Low carb is amazing by the way. I lost six stone last year and I’m still following the same principles in pregnancy with a few tweaks to keep me just out of ketosis and having my healthiest pregnancy and biggest baby yet (I’m still obese so consultant and midwife are over joyed that I intend to keep my weight down to my pre preg weight and not gain any).

After the first couple of weeks you never feel hungry and lose the cravings for anything crap.

daisydukes7576 Sat 23-May-20 17:04:39

A high protein, low carb diet is the best for losing weight generally. The high protein means you'll feel full longer (therefore not be as tempted to snack) and also the high protein means you will lose less muscle mass.

Muscle is important because it burns more calories when you are in a rest state.

HattieMid2 Sat 23-May-20 17:20:25

Can anyone share any articles on the insulin effect please? I have googled but can't see anything in regards to weight loss. Thanks!

clevername Sat 23-May-20 18:42:35

Same, @HattieMid2.

I'm doing a cobbled together mish-mash of 5:2 (the old style, with 500 calories on the fast days), calorie restriction (to 1200) on the non-fasting days and intermittent fasting (kind of 16:8, but basically skipping breakfast and only eating 2 meals a day every day).

I think it's working... I want to lose just over a stone and have lost about 5 lbs so far. I'm definitely much more in control of my eating (I was indulgently snacking on treats before doing this and the thought of not having those treats was really depressing for me!).

MarkRuffaloCrumble Sat 23-May-20 18:52:17

There’s a new low carb boot camp starting on Monday - if you fancy joining in you still have time to get a boat load of eggs in! I’m doing a ‘lite’ version in preparation for starting the proper one next week.

Today I have eaten:

two low carb crisp breads with cheese, butter, salad & mayo on; two warm boiled eggs with butter, salt and pepper; a creamy coconutty curry with broccoli ‘rice’ and roasted cauliflower.

I’ve also had coffee with cream, a mug of bovril, tea with lactose free milk and lots of water. I am really full and have resisted naan bread and cake that I would normally have scoffed without a second thought. If I want something sweet I may have a couple of strawberries with some double cream (flavoured with vanilla)

It really doesn’t feel like deprivation! I’m combining it with 16:8 so only eat between noon and 8pm, which is also easier than I thought it would be. Looking forward to the arrival of some lovely steaks next week, cooked with loads of butter and eaten with a big salad and some pretend-y potatoes made from roasted radishes!

If you want to join in, pop your name on the list over on the boot camp sign up thread.

BestestBrownies Sat 23-May-20 21:00:12

I found this one when I googled (for the pp who asked about insulin effect on weight loss)

clevername Sat 23-May-20 21:36:50

Thanks @MarkRuffaloCrumble. I'll prob stick with what I'm doing for now (I honestly can't quite deal with the idea of not having carbs!) but might reconsider if it feels like it's not doing what I want it to. I'm vegetarian, too. And I've got two kids and my partner is a vegan so the thought of me doing low carb and managing everyone else's food too fills me with dread.

Thanks though, I appreciate the invite.

Today, I've eaten - a quorn 'Mediterranean wonder grains' pot for lunch (just over 200 calories), an apple and then chip shop chips with a battered Veggie Sausage and some wine. Hmmmm... grin

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