Fact or Fiction - You have to burn more calories than you eat to lose weight?
Fact but your body burns about 2,000 calories a day through its natural processes. If you eat about 2,000 calories, you'll maintain your current weight. Any exercise you do on top of that will increase the weight loss. I've been using the Daily Burn app for about a year now being pretty faithful with entering my food into it and I've been able to easily stay below 2k calories a day, work out 3 days a week and have lost about 20 lbs since June after adding the workouts to my schedule.
I'd say it's a half-truth.
Losing weight is much more complex than calories in, calories out. For example:100 calories of veggies does-not-equal 100 calories of bagel or ice cream.
From what I've learned, the more important thing to control is insulin. Insulin is the fat storage hormone, so avoid foods that cause insulin spikes and watch the weight fall off.
It worked for me!
hmm..half and half. I try to have a small deficit daily BUT all those workouts, the lifting and all, speeds up my metabolism...so even if I use my body bugg I am sure I burn tons more. Plus many people just burn their calories different.
It may be more complicated than this but because I'm easily overwhelmed, I just try to create a calorie deficit every day and eat quality foods that either grew from the ground or had a mother. This has helped me keep off 20 lbs. My exact numbers may be wrong but if I track my food religiously I can usually figure out how many calories and what kind of calories are working for me from week to week.
There was an interesting, recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), that got some press recently (see http://jama.jamanetwork.com/a...). It looked at short term differences in total energy expenditure between low fat, low glycemic index, and low carb diets. As it turns out, the total energy expenditure was greatest in the low carb diet and least in the low fat diet. The low glycemic index diet came in between. This was achieved without any differences in measured physical activity between the groups (so the differences energy expenditure was attributed to metabolic/hormonal differences).
The difference was about 300 kCal per day--not insignificant. But all participants experienced a decrease in total energy expenditure from baseline.
The study shows that what you eat actually may affect the way your body burns calories on a daily basis. Even so, I wouldn't hang my hat on any one study and the jury is still out as to which approach to diet is best for weight loss.
A major limitation of the study is that it was only done for a short period of time. It could well be that the differences between the groups might even out after the body acclimates to any given diet and that after four weeks the results are different. It also was a study of obese patients who generally did not exercise, so it may not apply to people who exercise on a regular basis. Finally, such a short term study doesn't account for the ability of a person to adhere to a diet for long periods of time. (Interestingly, the cortisol levels in the low carb diet were the highest. Cortisol has been thought to be a hormone that promotes weight gain and affects insulin levels, which might counteract the good effects of the low fat diet in the long term.)
The diet also doesn't address difficulties with maintaining a diet over time. A big problem with majorly low carb diets is that they are often hard for people to maintain. You get a big initial weight loss and then people fall off the wagon and yo-yo back.
So it may not exactly be 'calorie in/calorie out.' Eating a bag of sugar may slow down your metabolism more than a handful of almonds, even if they have the same amount of calories. But any way you slice it, weight loss still results from burning more calories than you take in. Manipulating your diet may allow for more total calorie loss by affecting your basal metabolic rate, so there may be some advantage to some kinds of diets over others.
My guess is that we probably put too much emphasis on the exact type of a diet that we eat. You need to do something that will work for you in the long term. Remember, all participants in the study were better off than when they started out. So if you stick to your diet--whatever it is--you should lose weight. Even better, by adding exercise you can continue to lose weight at a faster pace.
As with almost everything in life, there are no simple answers: it is all about balance.
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