Does It Really Matter... Calorie Intake

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Joined: Aug 11
Posts: 4

Posted: 20 Aug 2011, 17:27
Hi all,

I'm a newbie. Here are my stats:

Age: 38
Height: 5'11
Weight: 228
Sex: Male
RDI: 2,800 - 3,000
Current Avg Calorie Intake: 1,927
Target Weight: 195
Interests: Lifestyle change More so than dieting

My Questions: Does it really matter what I eat as long as my calorie intake remains in the 2,000 Calorie range and I continue to walk and work out (resistance training) 3 to 5 times a week?

Can I eat foods that would ordinarily be considered unhealthy (e.g. - Fast Foods, Fried Foods, etc) and still drop 2 to 3 pounds a week continuining on the path I'm currently on?

Any recommendations, suggestions or comments concerning my current activity (Please see profile)?

Thanks in advance. I'm looking forward to dropping this weight for good. I plan to add 20 years to my life by starting right now!



Joined: Sep 09
Posts: 1,995

Posted: 21 Aug 2011, 04:08
Stephen, I am sure most people here WILL say that it matters what you eat. We need a reasonably healthy diet, we need vitamins and proteins etc. I am in no way an expert on nutrition, and I don't look at it too much. I eat what I feel like, I have "normal people food" all the way. However, I DO try to eat varied, I do try to eat some reasonable stuff, and I do consider what I put in my mouth.
That being said, all I count is my calories. Nothing else. Take a look at my progress, and tell me how I'm doing! Smile
I think it may work different from person to person, and I started off at a HIGH starting point, but I do think that we can maintain a perfectly normal lifestyle as long as we consider what we eat (before we eat it) and enjoy our life along the way.
I had to change a few things (surprisingly few) to get started doing this, and now it's all normal, everyday eating for me.

I hope this (somewhat) answers your question. I'm sure others have other opinions on this. Smile
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"Losing weight is never about eating as little as possible"
- Kingkeld.
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I went from morbidly obese to being the owner of TABDIG - a weight loss coaching service that helps people worldwide losing weight. It's been an amazing journey. From October 4th 2010 to April 3rd 2012 I lost half my body weight - 80 kilos/170 lbs. Since then, I have had two cosmetic surgeries to remove excess skin. I have now quadrupled my strength, gained several kilos in muscle mass, and today I focus on building muscle, optimizing my diet, living healthy and helping people to reach the very same goals. I am stronger, healthier, thinner, happier! If you feel that you need help losing weight, don't hesitate to send me an inbox message.

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 530

Posted: 21 Aug 2011, 04:44
Hi Stephen, I "enjoy" what it deemed to be, pretty healthy food, ie home cooked and haven't had a pre-packaged or take-away for a couple of years, so I am a bit biased. All I know is, if I eat too many carbs like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta I begin to feel bloated, uncomfortable and sluggish. I didn't notice it, until I cut down on those types of carbs when I started to calorie count and monitor the "breakdown" of my food. I then cut bread out (always ate wholemeal) as I thought my hubbie had an allergy to wheat. Last week, I was trying to increase my calories so I had toast for breakfast and then a jacket potato for lunch, I felt sick and really uncomfortable. I do have bread and potatoes - just not loads or in close proximity. I would always advise, if you are going to eat lots of carbs - have wholemeal bread, brown rice, wholewheat pasta if you can. There is evidence to say this is better for your body. Also re take aways - moderation is key, because of the salt and "bad" fat usually in these meals. Convenience foods - most supermarkets have "healthy" ranges or low salt / low fat ranges. As Kingkeld says variety is key. As you get more into the site you will find you will become more interested in the nutritional side of your food - small steps, you cannot change everything at once or it will become unsustainable. Good luck.
" Success is what you make it, there's no better time to make a change than the present."

"Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. "

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 1,223

Posted: 21 Aug 2011, 07:35
If you want to add 20 years to your life, then you should probably avoid the fast food. Aside from being high in calories - which will likely make it difficult to stay under 2000 calories, it is loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol - clogs your arteries. Not to mention the sodium, which will make you retain fluid. If you eat fresher, less processed foods - you will probably feel better - just try it and see!!

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 1,223

Posted: 21 Aug 2011, 07:37
That being said - you have to do what works for you. Maybe you need to learn how to choose healthy fast food options. Look up the nutritional info for your favorite foods and see how they compare to healthier options. How about subway or a healthier option at the grocery store. Ok, I'm done w/ the lecture Smile

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

Posted: 21 Aug 2011, 07:48

In a nutshell - if you're running a calorie deficit (and assuming normal metabolic conditions) you can eat "junk" food and still lose weight. Nonetheless, you may not want to anyway, because there will be myriad benefits to eating more nutritious foods. The most important thing, however, is to make sure you're getting enough protein and essential fats.

This link should give you a primer on the info you need (in particular, scroll down to the "Macronutrient Needs" section of the post):
Marlboro Man

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 418

Posted: 21 Aug 2011, 10:34
checkout the Eat This, Not That diet at they call it the no-diet weight loss solution. you might find it useful
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”
"It's not a diet, it's not exercise, it's a lifestyle."

Joined: Aug 11
Posts: 4

Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 10:32
Wow!!!! You guys are great! Thanks for the tips. I feel like I'm in the right path. I Gary eat fast foods but love to snack on sweets and drink juices. I'm really trying to drink more water. I have been able to consistently stay under 2000 calories. I will keep you guys posted. Thanks again.

Joined: Aug 11
Posts: 4

Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 11:25
What do you guys think of Subway? Do you place them in the fast food category? Do you guys work out regular?

Joined: Nov 09
Posts: 41

Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 11:29
Calorie-wise I think of Subway as disastrous! Carb wise, too. Not really suitable for any weight loss programme.

Joined: Aug 11
Posts: 1

Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 11:33
Its how it is. I worked at subway for 6 months. No you cant get a foot long and yes wholeweat is best. But getting fatty things like soaking your sub in ranch. Not ok. You need intake. Its not all what you eat you have to do something. You have to work out. Break a sweat. Push yourself. Dont blame the food. Get active.

Joined: Jun 11
Posts: 7

Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 11:39
There is a pretty interesting movie about this subject called "Fat Head". It's on Netflix. In it the guy only eats fast food for one month and does lose weight.

Joined: May 11
Posts: 11

Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 11:48
A calorie is a calorie, however...healthy choices...vegetables, lean proteins, fruits ...are more filling and do not trigger cravings as do the higher fat, less fiber foods. If you make better choices you soon find your appetite desiring the better, healthier choices with the added advantage of a better complexion, less stomach problems, etc. Having said that we all do need some fat so choose olive oil or something similar. The fat helps in the absorption of some vitamins, helps you feel satisfied, etc. You can find lots of healthy advice for eating online or in your library.( I am no expert, just thought I would add my humble opinion)

Joined: Jun 11
Posts: 443

Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 11:56
I've done the "eat less, exercise more" diet and did lose weight. But I was always hungry and never had any energy.

After educating myself I have to say unequivocally that what you put in your mouth has more an impact than how much you put in your mouth. Quality is much more important than quantity.

I second the recomendation to check out the movie "Fat Head". I'd also recomend to check out the blog for that movie.
"Eat as if your life depends on it!"

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 660

Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 12:00
from experience....I say if you are a "fast food addict" then occasionally have fast food, as long as you don't go over your calories for the day. I myself could NOT have lost the weight I have by not splurging from time to time on things on the love. Its got to be for LIFE and if you cut out too much too soon, you won't stay on it!! the goal is moderation, but try to eat healthy most of the time....worked for me Wink

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 1,223

Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 13:10
I'm a fan of subway. You have to know what to pick. They have nutritional info available online. If you stick to a 6 inch sub without cheese, minus the oil, minus the mayo - you can keep the calories down. You can do the mayo, if you want to spend those calories and they offer light mayo too. In the past, I have been able to lose weight eating subway 3-4 days/week (I was more active and worked 2 jobs, so eating in was not an option). Now I only eat there occasionally. I either choose the turkey sub, veggie sub, or chicken salad. The only problem is that you have limited choices for side items. If I get a sub for lunch, I usually bring something like fruit, yogurt, or side salad to pair with the sandwich. That keeps the meal under 500 calories. On the other hand, if I am busy and catching subway on the fly, then chances are I will be too busy to realize I'm not 100% full.

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 14:13
Welcome Stephen, lots of good pointers here. Basically yeah, you can lose on a calorie deficit eating crap, but why would you want to?

Think of calories as money. We've all been walking around spending frivolously for countless years & ended up in debt to varying degrees, & were eventually motivated to use this site to help us get our finances back in order.

I used the food diary to start tracking my spending every day, & before long it because obvious there were plenty of opportunities for me to save money. I had already made the decision to put myself on a what to do with the money? 360 calories will get me a medium fries at McDonald's. Sounds good, right? I mean, I got the money, so why not? Well, 390 calories will get me an entire Asiago Peppercorn Steak meal at Applebee's, including potatoes & vegetables. Not only that, it will keep me from having to spend any more money for a longer period of time.

Bottom line is you can absolutely lose weight by creating a calorie deficit eating crap. But if you make wiser choices, you'll be able to eat a greater quantity of better quality foods.

How do we get more "money" to increase that calorie deficit? We go to work, i.e. exercise. You can stick with a boring, entry-level minimum wage job (basically the least amount of physical activity necessary to carry out your day-to-day routine) & still make it. You can save money that way, it's just hard & it takes a long time. But it can be done.

Or...if you want the fast cars & fancy houses, you can work your arse off at a regular exercise program to reshape your body into something you can be proud of, not to mention the cardiovascular & other health benefits of regular exercise. I've managed to completely cure myself of high blood pressure & borderline high cholesterol in the past year.

You have choices...go for the gold Stephen! Wink
Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
How I did it:

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,052

Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 15:16
Does it matter if you eat a little bit of junk food? No. Does it matter if you eat mostly junk food? Yes. You should shift the focus of your diet to healthy foods, but that doesn't mean you can never have a burger and fries. Really, moderation is the key.

As for Subway, it depends. Think about it in terms of its components, and you'll start to see what's good and bad. Pay attention to sodium content. It goes without saying that you want a 6" rather than a foot-long.

Bread? Meh. It is what it is.

Meats? It's not the best quality meat in the world, but you can get chicken or turkey and it's OK.

Cheese? Skip it. It's crappy processed cheese that has almost no flavor. Don't waste calories on it.

Veggies? Yes. You can have a field day with vegetables.

Sauces? DANGER WILL ROBINSON! Some are bad, some are OK. When I have to eat Subway, I'm a big fan of the sweet onion sauce-- it's flavorful, not too high in sodium, and only has 40 calories.

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 283

Posted: 29 Aug 2011, 00:22
Whenever I think I understand weight loss, I remember this article, about a nutrition professor who lost 27 pounds in 2 months eating primarily snack cakes and other vending machine foods. Not only did he lose weight, his cholesterol improved, too!

Mind you, this is opposed to everything I learned about weight loss in my own journey, which supports most of what has been said here. It just helps me remember that there are no easy answers.

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