Here are two remarkably great videos that describe the fundamental weight control argument that rages through the country/world, and more important to me, my household. Lisa and I can talk about, understand each other and agree on almost everything except this. We get into these discussions and next thing I know we’re actually kinda arguing. This always surprises me, because I always think I agree with Lisa, and she … uh … doesn’t. The topic is weight loss, and the issue is that I always use the base concept that it all boils down to calories in vs. calories out. Yes, I know there are complexities. I know some foods get stored differently than other foods.
Here is why calories in vs. calories out (move more, eat less) completely and totally and “always” works. It is a fantastic video that describes the entire chemistry of the process and explains how fat loss works. 15 minutes or so, and a little science-laden, but 100% worth it.
Here is why it does not work. It is a fantastic video in that it describes the emotional elements that go into being a human, the expectations, the dealing with set-backs, and the fundamental aspects of resiliency that is required to succeed at any long-term project.
Both of these videos are right, which, if you’re not thinking about it too far, seems impossible.
Almost 100% of the problem are semantics, though.
Note how the woman says “calories in vs. calories out” (move more, eat less) “does not work.” Then she goes on to describe the actual situation that she’s talking about and we find that what she actually means is “most people cannot manage to stick to the program forever.” This is different from “does not work.” In fact, she goes on to describe lots of ways to help people deal with the hunger pangs and emotional issues associated with failing, specifically to help them eventually be able to manage their progress along that path of calories in vs. calories out. But the fact of the matter is that weight loss is always, always, always, about expending more calories than you take in. Other than liposuction (or maybe amputation), it is the only thing that will work, that does work…and it does work because (as long as a human can keep doing it), it will work because the energy equation and the laws of physics require it to work. There is no other choice, but for it to work.
That said, the woman’s video is also right. Most people fail because they cannot manage to stick to whatever approach they’ve decided to take to even the equation, meaning they can’t stick with an exercise program or a diet forever. They cannot emotionally adjust their life style to make things stick. Hunger is very, very hard to deal with, especially in today’s world where literally everything is enriched with processed sugar and sodium.
So, calories in vs. calories out always works, but the real problem is figuring out what psychology and diet will allow a specific individual to properly eat such that the energy equation and laws of physics will be on their side … which is exactly where “eating well (good portions of the right foods),” Lisa’s preferred part of the conversation, comes in. Assuming they can make this life style change, eating well allows people to be successful in their weight loss approach because it allows them to avoid being hungry. Of course, if they can’t make the lifestyle change, they probably can’t maintain their approach for a long time…and will fail.
Example (all done here assuming I do no exercise): I have a budget of some 1900 calories a day. If I eat poorly all the time (say I eat a 1,000 calorie ice cream each day) I am literally unable to play inside the right calorie envelop because that gives me only 900 more calories to ingest all day, which is very little food, and I’ll be hungry, hungry, hungry every day. (I’ll also eventually become unhealthy if I limit myself to those 900 calories because I’ll not get the right nutrition, but that’s a different issue. I’m talking purely weight here, not health—though the two are obviously connected).
If I eat well all the time, though–if I eat good/real food–then I can stay inside my calorie envelop almost all the time without any real hunger issues.
So, yes, eat good food. I completely agree with that. It’s the best way to be healthy, and it’s the best way to avoid hunger pangs while you’re losing weight (and beyond). But also pay heed to calories in and calories out, because when you know where you’re at on the scale, you know exactly when that ice cream can be worth the calories.