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Does it matter what the calories are?

(116 Posts)
PumpkinP Tue 03-Mar-20 18:27:27

I don't want to be lectured about healthy eating as I've got a huge amount of weigh t to lose and I'm just trying what I can go get it down. I have a set calories amount of 1500 (though I try to stay abi t under so 1300-1400) does it matter what the calories are? So for example I've had a whole pizza for dinner blush (just a supermarket cheese one) but it's 600 calories and fits within my allowance,so my question is does it matter what the calories are? As long as it's under your allowance will I still lose weight?

OP’s posts: |
EssentialHummus Tue 03-Mar-20 18:29:23

In theory. The issue ime comes in when some foods are more satiating than others (keep you fuller for longer) and are less calorie dense (so you can eat a larger volume). Pizza is not great on either front.

PumpkinP Tue 03-Mar-20 18:31:20

It does actually keep me full till tomorrow and I don't end up eating more after luckily . I love carbs so wouldn't b e able to give them up

OP’s posts: |
MrsSnitchnose Tue 03-Mar-20 18:33:01

You'll still lose weight, just not necessarily in a healthy way. When you restrict calories, you need to make sure you're economising on what you can eat. If you're not getting enough protein or lacking in certain vitamins, you may find in a few months that your hair will start coming out

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 03-Mar-20 18:33:25

If it fits within your allowance, and your allowance is correct then you will lose weight no matter what the calorie macros are.

However, obviously some things are better / worse for your health, more / less filling etc. You need to find what works for you.

PumpkinP Tue 03-Mar-20 19:11:12


OP’s posts: |
NiteFlights Tue 03-Mar-20 19:47:59

I think some research has shown that eating ultra-processed food affects how the body processes the food, so eating 1500 calories of ultra-processed food would not result in the same weight loss as eating 1500 calories of ‘real’ food, over time. I will try to find out what the research actually said. I imagine it’s to do with how the liver processes things. However, supermarket pizza wouldn’t come into that category. My advice would be at this stage to add something to the meal, either salad or just some veg, like onions, olives, tomatoes - something fresh/healthy - on the pizza, maybe cut one slice of pizza and throw it away even, if you don’t want to add any calories. That way you’re getting nutritious food but also the satisfaction of the pizza.

managedmis Tue 03-Mar-20 19:49:47

Whatever works best for you, op

You could lose on 1500 cals of mars bars

LemonScentedStickyBat Tue 03-Mar-20 19:55:17

My personal experience (lost and gained a lot a number of times) is that it doesn’t matter in the short term, I still lose. However as time goes on it becomes much harder if I don’t also make an effort to eat a balanced diet. Possibly because you need fewer calories as you get slimmer? But also I think you probably leave yourself at risk of having too little fibre/vitamins/ protein etc. I did lose a lot of hair the last time and my periods stopped even though I never got close to being underweight.

Double3xposure Tue 03-Mar-20 19:56:25

Eating nothing but pizza might be fine for a week, to lose a couple of pounds. But it’s not a sustainable way to eat for the months that you will need to get down to a healthy weight.

As you lose weight, you need to eat less as you burn up less. Also you will create other health problems eating nothing but pizza.

How overweight are you ? Do you have medical conditions like high blood pressure or metabolic syndrome and have you consulted your doctor ? You can be a normal weight and still get type 2 diabetes you know.

Once you lose the weight , do you plan to live on a pizza / similar junk food forever , to stop you regaining the weight? You may scoff all you like at healthy eating but it’s the only way to go for a healthy life.

PumpkinP Tue 03-Mar-20 20:12:38

I’m not eating only pizza, just for dinner. normally I eat breakfast bars in the morning and for lunch or yoghurts snacks mini bags of popcorn or fruit. I don’t want to say how Much I weigh as it’s embarrassing (I realise it’s anonymous but still!) I’m a size 20, no health problems. My thoughts are that are an not healthy at this weight so my main concern is to lose weight even if I am not 100% healthy eating it’s surely better than staying obese? I think I will be a lot more motivated once I am a normal weight so will work harder to maintain it then.

OP’s posts: |
EssentialHummus Tue 03-Mar-20 20:23:17

normally I eat breakfast bars in the morning and for lunch or yoghurts snacks mini bags of popcorn or fruit.

This isn’t great OP (sorry). How about porridge for breakfast, or yoghurt, or scrambled egg on toast? Lunch doesn’t sound substantial enough either. It isn’t just nitpicking - these are not sustainable healthy habits.

squaresandsquares Tue 03-Mar-20 20:26:02

600kcals is 600 kcals so you will lose weight.
However you might feel sluggish.
The simple science is more kcals used that you put in and you'll lose weight

squaresandsquares Tue 03-Mar-20 20:26:16

Oh and good luck 💪

StealthMama Tue 03-Mar-20 21:37:47

It does matter what they are in that yes it will make a difference to how quickly you loose weight and how healthy you feel during the process, and how sustainable the weight loss is.

Our body processes carbs effectively into sugars and stores it as fat if it's not burnt quickly through using energy. whilst your body is processing the carbs overnight, it isn't doing other things like processing your body fat (metabolising) so weight loss tends to be slow.

Ever heard the phrase 'eat like a king for breakfast, a queen for lunch and a pauper for dinner' - well that's what it means in terms of how your body processes foods and toxins. Big breakfast, medium lunch, and light dinner. You will burn the calories you eat during the day before sleep, and your body will restore, replenish and reduce overnight.

So without giving you the healthy food lecture, you can be a little more selective with when and how often you eat carbs to get great sustainable results.

A good day could be eggs on toast for breakfast, jacket potato with filling for lunch, lean meat and salad for dinner, fruit and yogurts in between. If you could get into a rhythm like that and vary your foods, focus on increasing proteins, it will drop off.

And water. Lots of water!

To loose 1 pound a week, you need to cut 3500 calories. Double if you want to loose 2 pounds a week which is really hard. A small amount of exercise can contribute quite a lot. There are loads of free apps available that help you track if you might find that useful too.

Good luck 👍

Double3xposure Tue 03-Mar-20 23:47:15

My thoughts are that are an not healthy at this weight so my main concern is to lose weight even if I am not 100% healthy eating it’s surely better than staying obese? I think I will be a lot more motivated once I am a normal weight so will work harder to maintain it then

That’s a lot of black and white thinking in one paragraph.

You don’t have to eat “ 100%” healthy. But the alternative isn’t eating 100% junk, which is pretty much what you are doing now.

You speak as if there are two options - eating as you do now or staying obese . That’s not true, there are many ways to lose weight in a healthy way that will give your body the nutrition it needs.

Motivation to eat healthy won’t magically appear one you are a “ normal weight “. Clearly you’ve had issues with your diet for a long time - you didn’t get to size 20 overnight. You won’t get to a healthy weight and then suddenly change your whole way of eating . I can guarantee that in the unlikely event of that happening , you will say “ well if I lost 8 stone eating pizza and chips then I can stay a size 12 on pizza and chips”.

I’m guessing you’ve been eating lots of junk for several years if not decades , hence your plan to lose weight by eating small amounts of junk. That’s not sustainable for the rest of your life.

You don’t need a diet, you need whole new way of eating. You are not going to change the habits of a lifetime without some effort.

As any long term dieter will tell you, the tough bit isn’t losing the weight, it’s keeping it off.

Can I ask how old you are OP ?

DropYourSword Tue 03-Mar-20 23:51:12

I think I will be a lot more motivated once I am a normal weight so will work harder to maintain it then.

Oh gosh. I just saw this. My experience isn’t this. I’ve just lost a load of weight. I was very motivated to lose it, and I am desperate to keep it off. But it’s much harder to maintain the discipline when you’ve reached your goal weight. It’s like running a marathon, crossing the finish line and then...keeping going. It’s HARD to find the balance between not losing any more and not gaining.

I’m really scared I’m going to put it all back on. I can’t get rid of my “fat” clothes because I don’t have faith in myself.

PumpkinP Wed 04-Mar-20 00:11:18

I'm 31, I've been this size since having my children nearly 9 years ago. I had the oldest and I just ballooned, I was a size 12 before that and never went above it. I think I over ate because of depression . I comfort eat alot. And have had 4 children in 9 years so the weight just kept piling on.

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Double3xposure Wed 04-Mar-20 00:23:34

That’s tough , all these pregnancies close together mess up your body. I know the kids are worth it but it’s still hard.

It’s good that you’ve worked out that you comfort eat. What’s your plan for dealing with that ?

Are you getting treatment for your depression?

PumpkinP Wed 04-Mar-20 00:24:50

It's actually been 4 children in 7 yrs as oldest is 9 this month and youngest 3 this year. I just kept in piling on the weight and making excuses for it. But a lot of it was comfort eating.

OP’s posts: |
hamstersarse Wed 04-Mar-20 07:07:57

A calorie is not a calorie

The biggest misconception for weight loss is that it is!
Our bodies are not straightforward combustion engines of calories in calories out. Instead we have hormones that regulate how we use our available energy.

This book explain this well

You won’t lose weight long term eating junky carbs whatever your calorie intake happens to (occasionally) be

kikisparks Wed 04-Mar-20 07:12:05

If you eat under your calorie maintenance you will lose weight.

You do need to think about being healthy though, are you getting your 5 a day? Most vegetables are pretty low in calories so should be easy to add 2 portions to lunch and 3 to dinner, or you could add fruit at breakfast.

FamilyOfAliens Wed 04-Mar-20 07:20:01

A calorie is not a calorie

A calorie is a unit of energy so of course every calorie is the same in terms of how much energy it provides.

Some food is more satisfying that other food. I’ve lost 3.5 stone in 18 months by counting calories with MFP. A gin and slimline tonic in the evening would probably count as “bad calories” by people spouting bad science, but I personally find it more satisfying than two biscuits.

FamilyOfAliens Wed 04-Mar-20 07:23:02

I meant to say I haven’t changed what food I eat, just how much I eat. I no longer eat lots of bread, but neither do I eat lots of cheese or butter, so it’s not just “junky carbs”, whatever that means, that I’ve cut down on.

And I’ve sustained the weight loss for a year now.

Pineappletree33 Wed 04-Mar-20 07:25:31

I’ve lost almost 4 stone by calorie counting. I use my calories on whatever I feel like. I do however try and ‘spend’ them wisely. If I’m hungry I and need a snack I will try and have say, a hard boiled egg at 70 odd calories than a bag of quavers, as I know the egg will fill me more than the crisps.

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