some tasty concoctions and my thoughts on calories

i made some pretty delicious concoctions yesterday! it was a great day of food. 🙂

i started with a smoothie – i’m getting a little sick of the hot 10 grain cereal now….i think i’m going to have to start mixing smoothies into my breakfast rotation.

i’m out of frozen blueberries, so i froze some banana chunks to make the smoothie cold. it also had half an avocado, a bit of fresh spinach that was on its last day, vanilla protein powder, and vanilla hemp milk! i was afraid i wasn’t going to like this combo – i think because of the avocado. but this smoothie was delicious!

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lunch went unphotographed, but it was carrots and celery sticks with the last of my horseradish hummus. i also had some beer bread and a chobani. it was a random but tasty lunch!

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dinner was the last of my salmon salad from last night. this time i put it into two pita halves and stuffed a bit of cheese inside. i baked them for about 5 minutes at 350* to warm it all up and then i put a little extra cheese on top and broiled them for 1.5 minutes.

oh wow – this was so good! i know it doesn’t sound that special, but i was so proud of myself after this meal. i also enjoyed it with a side of pickled beets.

i got a bit of goat cheese at the supermarket today, so i crumbled a bit into my beets! it was great! too bad i used up my spinach earlier in the day. it would have made a perfect salad!

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a long while ago, i asked for reader requests and carrie suggested that i talk about my thoughts on calories, carbs, and fats. i’ve been meaning to talk about this for a while, but haven’t gotten to it!

so here we go. first, i want to say that i haven’t done extensive research on this topic. my thoughts on calories are just based on my classes and other related reading that i’ve done on my own.

in all classes i’ve taken, we’ve been taught that weight control is based on a simple calories in = calories out formula. each pound of body fat is equal to 3500 calories. if you take in more calories than you expend you will gain weight, but if you take in fewer calories than you expend you will lose weight. and it would make sense from this that the larger the calorie gap, the greater the weight loss.

this “knowledge” is based on closed system experiments such as combusting foods in bomb calorimeters and uses efficient machines. however, our bodies are not closed systems and we are not perfectly efficient machines. sorry.

first of all, the idea that the bigger the difference between your expenditure and your intake, the more weight you will lose is false. each body requires a certain amount of calories to function. i know it’s common knowledge that you can’t starve yourself or your body begins to adapt metabolically, and you burn fewer calories at rest because you’re trying to retain whatever calories you take in. but i question where to find that line between maximizing weight loss with a calorie deficit, and causing your body to become more efficient at storing calories. is a 300 calorie per day deficit good? 400? 700? i think it is different for every body and you need to figure out what works for you.

think about shows like the biggest loser. now, i don’t know exactly what their intakes and their “burns” are each day, but you know how some people have weeks where they “only” lose 2 or 3 pounds and they can’t believe it because mathematically, the calorie difference between their “burns” and their intakes should result in a much larger weight loss. so clearly, the simple calories in = calories out equation is not holding true in these situations.

on the other hand, there is some recent research that shows that a calorie is a calorie no matter if it’s from fruit or from chocolate. i’m sure many of you heard about the twinkie diet. a man ate a calorie-restricted diet of only convenience store snack foods (and a multi-vitamin) and he lost a significant amount of weight over several weeks. it showed that for weight loss, as long as you are taking in fewer calories than you are burning (without going below that special intake level that kicks you into a semi-starvation mode) you will lose weight.

now, although he lost weight, i do not think that this diet would help him maintain health over the longer term. i think that for overall health and longevity, the quality of your calories does count. eating the same amount of calories in real whole foods will result in better health than the same amount of calories of snack foods like chips and candy.

whew, i hope all of that made sense and wasn’t too long! i think i’ll hold off on talking about carbs and fats. don’t hold your breath for those posts, ok?

what are your thoughts on calories and calorie balance for weight loss?

any info to support or reject my thoughts?

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About sarah

hi, i'm sarah. i'm a graduate student, dog lover, newlywed, blogger, aspiring baker/cook, and a veggie lover. :)
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6 Responses to some tasty concoctions and my thoughts on calories

  1. I have similar views. I also think that we should eat the most nutrient dense calories in order to be not only satisfied but healthy and in proper working order. The guy on the twinkie diet prooooobably had trouble pooping. Just sayin’!

    =)

    • Sarah says:

      lol! so true! i was actually thinking about that while i was writing the post, but i didn’t want to get into the amazing-ness the is fiber. 🙂

  2. haha jenn, that made me laugh! also sarah, your salmon pita looks delicious!

  3. Hee hee – clicking ‘like’ on the first comment.

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