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Can someone explain the importance of net calories to me? And their importance etc...

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    I am currently losing weight and was orginally on the Rosemary Conley diet programme which says that the first 2 weeks you should only eat 1200 calories as a kick start.

    I was on that about a year and a half ago but I got ill (hospital - not because of diet) and I am now back on it. I haven't rejoined the classes because I thought they were too expensive for a weigh in and a small excerise class a week.

    I use the 'My fitness pal' app on my phone which is GREAT. It has literally every brand and type of food on their with all its nutritional values. This also said for my weight I need to be eating 1200 calories. However, when I excerise it begins a 'net calories' bit too. It take away the amount of calories I have been eating. For instance if I did a run which burnt off 100 calories in the morning I would need to eat 1300 calories for that day. Doesn't this go against the whole concept of exercising and eating healthy? Its basically telling me to eat more when I have excerised. However, the Rosemary Conley class did not tell me to do this.

    How many net calories are reasonable? E.g. today if I eat 1200 calories my net calories would be 916.

    Sorry for babbling on I'm just confused - thanks!
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    Weight loss is determined largely by net calorie expenditure. If you eat fewer calories than you are burning you will lose weight by creating a 'calorie deficit'. Both diet (calories in) and exercise (calories out) can be manipulated to create a calorie deficit. All 'good' diets work by getting you to eat less.

    The problem is that 1200 calories a day is an extremely low amount, most people wouldn't recommend lower than 1500 calories even for someone trying to lose weight. If you create too large a calorie deficit it can cause problems like malnourishment, lethargy, headaches, etc. I suspect My Fitness Pal has an inbuilt 'safety option' to try to stop you from creating too large a calorie deficit by advising you to eat slightly more the more active you are.
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    So basically it's telling you to lose weight you need to be eating 1200 a day. If you exercise you will need to eat more so that the deficit each day is the same, and you won't be eating too little.
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    (Original post by scaredofexams)
    I am currently losing weight and was orginally on the Rosemary Conley diet programme which says that the first 2 weeks you should only eat 1200 calories as a kick start.

    I was on that about a year and a half ago but I got ill (hospital - not because of diet) and I am now back on it. I haven't rejoined the classes because I thought they were too expensive for a weigh in and a small excerise class a week.

    I use the 'My fitness pal' app on my phone which is GREAT. It has literally every brand and type of food on their with all its nutritional values. This also said for my weight I need to be eating 1200 calories. However, when I excerise it begins a 'net calories' bit too. It take away the amount of calories I have been eating. For instance if I did a run which burnt off 100 calories in the morning I would need to eat 1300 calories for that day. Doesn't this go against the whole concept of exercising and eating healthy? Its basically telling me to eat more when I have excerised. However, the Rosemary Conley class did not tell me to do this.

    How many net calories are reasonable? E.g. today if I eat 1200 calories my net calories would be 916.

    Sorry for babbling on I'm just confused - thanks!
    1200 sounds like net calories to me. The usual recommended intake of calories for an average woman is 2000 calories a day, factoring in exercise. To take on no more than 1200 calories a day as well as exercising sounds very low to me. As a policy, it is healthier and more sustainable to create a 100-calorie-a-day deficit over a longer period of time than try and lose it all in a month. You will just put the weight back on.

    Also, you shouldn't just think of exercise as a way of burning off 100 calories a pop. It is healthier to exercise regularly and replace the calories you burn whilst exercising than to eat little and do little. While the net amount of calories you take in will be no different than if you ate less and didn't exercise, there are many, many other health benefits to gain from regular exercise. It also means that your metabolism will work harder even when you're not exercising, so you will burn more calories outside your exercise time as well.
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    (Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
    Weight loss is determined largely by net calorie expenditure. If you eat fewer calories than you are burning you will lose weight by creating a 'calorie deficit'. Both diet (calories in) and exercise (calories out) can be manipulated to create a calorie deficit. All 'good' diets work by getting you to eat less.

    The problem is that 1200 calories a day is an extremely low amount, most people wouldn't recommend lower than 1500 calories even for someone trying to lose weight. If you create too large a calorie deficit it can cause problems like malnourishment, lethargy, headaches, etc. I suspect My Fitness Pal has an inbuilt 'safety option' to try to stop you from creating too large a calorie deficit by advising you to eat slightly more the more active you are.
    I am eating lots though and feel satisfied with my meals because they are big with loads of vegetables. I would feel as though I was eating too much if I had to eat more on top of that because of exercise?
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    i dont know too much, but from what i head, its a balancing game (which makes sense)
    calories in are the food and drinks you have, and the calories out are the exercises, work, being a live etc...

    if the number of calories in = number out, then youll stay the same
    to lose weight you need a deficit (or negative net calories) i.e. you lose more calories than you take on.

    losing ~7700 calories equates to losing ~1 kilo of fat
    so it you took off 550 cals from your food and your activity is the same, it should take around 2 weeks to lose a kilo


    though i wouldnt regard everything i said as fact, id need someone to confirm this
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    (Original post by scaredofexams)
    I am eating lots though and feel satisfied with my meals because they are big with loads of vegetables. I would feel as though I was eating too much if I had to eat more on top of that because of exercise?
    You really aren't and if you genuinely feel that way maybe you need some professional advice.
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    (Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
    Weight loss is determined largely by net calorie expenditure.
    The picture is a bit more complex than that. It is also linked to the type of food you eat.

    If you simply count calories and eat say 1500 calories instead of the 2000 calories that you normally eat then your body might think that you are starving it and it will (ii) slow down your metabolism to save energy and (ii) start storing fat at the first opportunity. Most of that fat will come from either fat you eat but also carbohydrates (pasta, bread, starchy foods). That is one of the reasons why most people who diet put the weight back on.

    The problem with exercise is that you don't lose many calories through it and if you do then you are more hungry and you eat back what you spent. Also, research has shown that people eat more after exercise because they know they have worked hard and so they can treat themselves.

    You might want to try another diet called the Dukan diet which is probably more scientifically justified and which is basically a protein based diet, but one which is less threatening to your body and does not fool it into thinking it is entering a state famine as you can essentially eat as much as you want.

    The diet works as follows:

    (i) you eat protein only for about 3 days. That includes any fish, meat, eggs as much as you want. Just no fat, and no carbohydrates.
    (ii) after 3 days, once your body has been kickstarted you alternate one day of protein with one day of vegetables until you lose the weight you need to lose. You will lose on average 150g per day.
    (iii) after that you can start eating starch and carbohydrates 3 times a week and you can also pig out twice a week.

    2 conditions:
    (i) you just eat 30g of oat bran every day. You can find that in any supermarket for cheap. Oat bran has the particularity of encapsulating fat and of swelling to 20 times its own volume.
    (ii) once you have finished the diet you must eat sensibly and do 1 day of pure protein every week.

    The diet is based on the fact that proteins are hard to digest, so given the choice your body will use up the fat reserves instead. That means you can eat as much protein as you want because they just get evacuated. You must never be hungry otherwise your body will start storing fat again.

    It is a natural diet because except for the first 3 days, your diet is fairly balanced and you don't need to attend expensive classes or buy expensive products.

    Try it. I lost 2 stones in 3 months and my aunt lost 5 stones in 6 months. ANd we are not putting it back on. It's less painful than exercise and we know we can go out becuase the 1 day of protein a week is good enough to compensate for it.
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    Exercise is important for more than just weight loss in itself, but if you do exercise in the process you will more than likely end up looking better than if you hadn't (you would retain more muscle mass than if you had just cut out calories to create a deficit).
    It's also true that you shouldn't have too large of a deficit, particularly as a girl because you can run into a bunch of issues, e.g. amenorrhea (losing your period, which is a big deal for your bones).
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    (Original post by rapidresponse)
    The picture is a bit more complex than that. It is also linked to the type of food you eat.
    To a degree but the benefits are vastly overstated.

    Some of the best evidence to date indicates that macronutrient profile (eg; high protein, low carb, moderate carb/protein/fat, low fat, etc) and food quality (eg; Organic, low GI, etc) has negligible effect on weight loss. In fact the more restrictive/extreme diets (eg; low carb, high carb, low fat, high protein, etc) have much poorer compliance and much poorer long term results.

    You might want to try another diet called the Dukan diet which is probably more scientifically justified and which is basically a protein based diet, but one which is less threatening to your body and does not fool it into thinking it is entering a state famine as you can essentially eat as much as you want.

    The diet works as follows:

    (i) you eat protein only for about 3 days. That includes any fish, meat, eggs as much as you want. Just no fat, and no carbohydrates.
    (ii) after 3 days, once your body has been kickstarted you alternate one day of protein with one day of vegetables until you lose the weight you need to lose. You will lose on average 150g per day.
    (iii) after that you can start eating starch and carbohydrates 3 times a week and you can also pig out twice a week.

    2 conditions:
    (i) you just eat 30g of oat bran every day. You can find that in any supermarket for cheap. Oat bran has the particularity of encapsulating fat and of swelling to 20 times its own volume.
    (ii) once you have finished the diet you must eat sensibly and do 1 day of pure protein every week.

    The diet is based on the fact that proteins are hard to digest, so given the choice your body will use up the fat reserves instead. That means you can eat as much protein as you want because they just get evacuated. You must never be hungry otherwise your body will start storing fat again.

    It is a natural diet because except for the first 3 days, your diet is fairly balanced and you don't need to attend expensive classes or buy expensive products.

    Try it. I lost 2 stones in 3 months and my aunt lost 5 stones in 6 months. ANd we are not putting it back on. It's less painful than exercise and we know we can go out becuase the 1 day of protein a week is good enough to compensate for it.
    Largely quack science.

    The driving factor behind weight loss is energy balance (ie; the concept of eating fewer calories than you are burning). All successful diets 'work' by getting you to reduce your calorific intake, whether that is something you are willing to accept or not. The Dukan diet works in the same way. Restricting carbs and fat cuts large amounts of calories from your diet, vegetables are not calorie dense, eating lean meats and fish further reduces your calorific intake...

    Be under no illusions, The Dukan Diet is not especially healthy and similar results could be achieved through a more sensible calorie controlled diet with or without exercise.
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    (Original post by rapidresponse)

    You might want to try another diet called the Dukan diet which is probably more scientifically justified and which is basically a protein based diet, but one which is less threatening to your body and does not fool it into thinking it is entering a state famine as you can essentially eat as much as you want.
    Stop giving stupid advice. The Dukan diet is a quick fix and not sustainable over time. The process of losing weight should be combined with the development of healthy eating habits. The idea of a 'diet' is silly - it should be a lifestyle change and the dukan diet doesn't take this into account. I'm not doubting that it works but why not lose weight slowly, sensibly and in a healthy way?
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    For instance yesterday my meals went like this:

    Breakfast: A big bowl of special K with semi-skimmed milk

    Lunch - Vegetable stir fry with one layer of noodles and soy sauce

    Dinner - Jacket Potato, aspargus, sliced green beans and a weight watcher petit pain

    Snacks: Small bag of M&S pretzels

    Drinks: Water, Orange squash and Fanta Zero.

    Excerise: 280 calories burned doing the HIIT on the threadmill

    What do you think?

    I've lost 3 pounds in my first week.
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    (Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
    You really aren't and if you genuinely feel that way maybe you need some professional advice.
    MFP also gave me a goal of 1200 calories :dontknow:

    I would feel if I was exercising a lot and sticking to 1200 yes, it would be too low, hence why it makes up for the calories you've lost by upping your goal. Otherwise, when I eat just 1200 and haven't exercised, personally it feels like plenty.

    Edit: OP, MFP will increase your calories after exercise as 1200 is already creating a large enough deficit for you to lose weight. If you still ate that little as well as burning off calories through exercise, your body will not have enough nourishment and go into starvation mode and you wouldn't lose anything. So as well as it just being unhealthy to not eat enough, it will be detrimental to your weight loss.
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    (Original post by *Rouge*)
    Stop giving stupid advice. The Dukan diet is a quick fix and not sustainable over time. The process of losing weight should be combined with the development of healthy eating habits. The idea of a 'diet' is silly - it should be a lifestyle change and the dukan diet doesn't take this into account. I'm not doubting that it works but why not lose weight slowly, sensibly and in a healthy way?
    Because most people can't, that's the point.
    Of course Dukan is also about calory counting since when you eat protein you are full more quickly but the main difference with others is that you don't actually starve yourself the way other diets do. If you starve yourself and then put your body in a famine state then all you do is reduce your metabolism and store again.

    Dukan is only temporary anyway; once you haev lost your weight then it goes to a sensible diet plan, better balanced and more sustainable.
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    (Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
    To a degree but the benefits are vastly overstated.

    Some of the best evidence to date indicates that macronutrient profile (eg; high protein, low carb, moderate carb/protein/fat, low fat, etc) and food quality (eg; Organic, low GI, etc) has negligible effect on weight loss. In fact the more restrictive/extreme diets (eg; low carb, high carb, low fat, high protein, etc) have much poorer compliance and much poorer long term results.



    Largely quack science.

    The driving factor behind weight loss is energy balance (ie; the concept of eating fewer calories than you are burning). All successful diets 'work' by getting you to reduce your calorific intake, whether that is something you are willing to accept or not. The Dukan diet works in the same way. Restricting carbs and fat cuts large amounts of calories from your diet, vegetables are not calorie dense, eating lean meats and fish further reduces your calorific intake...

    Be under no illusions, The Dukan Diet is not especially healthy and similar results could be achieved through a more sensible calorie controlled diet with or without exercise.
    It's easy to criticise though. As a medical student, I find that is probably the diet that makes the most scientific sense in terms of reconciling calory and body metabolism
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    (Original post by rapidresponse)
    It's easy to criticise though. As a medical student, I find that is probably the diet that makes the most scientific sense in terms of reconciling calory and body metabolism
    A medical student should know better.

    Do I really need to remind you that we are talking about a crash/fad diet that advocates significant long term calorie restriction and malnourishment (ie; ultra low fat, low carb, alternating days of vegetables & 'protein')?

    Either your metabolism, GI physiology, clinical nutrition and evidence based medicine was very poorly taught or you must have been asleep throughout those modules.
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    Basically to lose fat you need to lose weight (there are some exceptions) and to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. The amount of fat you lose will be determined by calories and the amount of muscle that you retain will be determined by macros and calories.
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    (Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
    A medical student should know better.

    Do I really need to remind you that we are talking about a crash/fad diet that advocates significant long term calorie restriction and malnourishment (ie; ultra low fat, low carb, alternating days of vegetables & 'protein')?

    Either your metabolism, GI physiology, clinical nutrition and evidence based medicine was very poorly taught or you must have been asleep throughout those modules.
    I don;t think my opinions justify the insults that you throw gratuitously.
    Plus your statements are incorrect.

    (i) there is lots of contradictory evidence. If there was any proper evidence then there would be one diet that works for most people, of which there isn't

    (ii) The Dukan diet is not actually deficient long term. Read about it and you will see that in phase 3 it is actually well balanced. The only long terms remnants are (1) - a protein day a week - hardly hard to do and (2) oat bran every day.

    The whole point of low carb low fat at the start is to kick start your body into using its reserves.
    If you carry on eating fats and cabs your body will use what you feed it and not your reserves. Plus it will lower your motabolism rate to adjust to the famine state.

    It seems to me you are basically anti-diet full stop and you will come up with any argument against them.
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    (Original post by *Rouge*)
    Stop giving stupid advice. The Dukan diet is a quick fix and not sustainable over time. The process of losing weight should be combined with the development of healthy eating habits. The idea of a 'diet' is silly - it should be a lifestyle change and the dukan diet doesn't take this into account. I'm not doubting that it works but why not lose weight slowly, sensibly and in a healthy way?
    have you tried losing 20 kg in a slow and sensible way? You won't do it without a good kick-start. It;s all very well to advocate the healthy way of losing weight but that is a very very slow process that doesn't suit most people who need to lose serious weight.
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    (Original post by rapidresponse)
    have you tried losing 20 kg in a slow and sensible way? You won't do it without a good kick-start. It;s all very well to advocate the healthy way of losing weight but that is a very very slow process that doesn't suit most people who need to lose serious weight.
    I've lost 28 pounds in the last year by making subtle changes and that was very difficult because I was never overweight to begin with so I realise that it's a slow process. I understand the idea of kick starting a weight loss but somebody who has managed to put on such a large amount of weight clearly does not have a healthy relationship with food. 'Diets' just deal with the weight and not the root of the problem, which is poor eating habits. When somebody comes off the diet, they will be then struggle to maintain their weight and some will gain it back and the cycle starts again.

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