Calories In Versus Calories Out – The Epic Battle
Today we have a great contributor post by Mario.
Calories In Versus Calories Out: This is a pretty simple concept that seems to become complicated to people. Why? Well my first guess is because nobody really understands the concept of “burning calories” until they actually start killing themselves in the gym and seeing just how hard it is to burn off 100 calories, let alone 1000.
Calories in vs. calories out might be the single most important part of weight loss there is. You’ve probably heard that phrase a lot, but have you ever actually tried to live that kind of lifestyle? If you have, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, get ready for a rude awakening.
Ok, so almost everything we eat and drink has calories. Before you start beating me up, note how I said ALMOST everything. I’m not gonna list the stuff that doesn’t have calories, because it isn’t necessary. You want some specifics? Go ask Google. They get paid for that after all.
You probably don’t spend too much time thinking about how much work your stomach is doing to digest stuff, but from this point on, you should. The harder you make your stomach work, the harder it is to lose weight. Makes sense, right?
Unfortunately most people don’t understand this simplistic and kind of obvious concept. Man, even I didn’t understand it a long time ago. I really didn’t GET IT until I started hitting the treadmill on a daily basis. That’s when it really started to sink in.
My thought process went kinda like this…
“What?!?! I just killed myself and I only burned off 500 calories!!!!!! UGH!”
Yeah, that’s right, I had to learn the hard way that I couldn’t just use exercise as an excuse to still keep eating unhealthy foods. What I mean by that is, people will say things like “I worked out today, I can have some pizza,” or “As long as I hit the gym tonite, I can have a Big Mac and fries.”
Remember: DON’T LIE TO YOURSELF.
You say these things when you’re not calculating your calories in vs. your calories out. I know that, because I wasn’t doing that either.
Before I finally got it right with the whole fitness deal, I used to say those things too. I also never checked calorie counts, and I FOR SURE didn’t do any real research about how bad the things I was eating were. I figured working out was enough to counter anything I ate during the day.
Boy, was I flat-out WRONG.
It’s not enough to just workout. Matter of fact, if you keep eating a steady diet of garbage and you hit the gym to try to fix it, well guess what? You’ll be working out for absolutely NOTHING. Your body is like a car kids. If you fill up the gas tank with gas, it’ll run. If you fill it up with Pepsi, well…
I really don’t know what will happen if you fill up your gas tank with Pepsi, but I’m assuming it would be pretty bad. Either way, I think you get my point.
You’ve probably also heard that weight loss is 75% your diet, and 25% your exercise. I’m not sure if this math is scientifically accurate, but it does seem to hold weight in the truth department. When I was at 460 and I started eating a super strict diet, I dropped weight instantly just from that, so there definitely is some validity to it.
Holding weight, weight loss, was that an accidental pun?
The reason it makes so much sense though, is everything I’ve been saying. It’s almost impossible on a daily basis to burn off EVERY calorie we ingest, so that’s not a realistic goal to set. What you CAN do, is eat foods that are low in calories (and ones that are actually GOOD for you) and this will help your weight loss goals, because when you hit the gym, your workout will be significant.
To put it simply, if you eat a meal that’s loaded with calories, say 1000-2000, and then you eat again later, and then you hit the gym, and you burn off 500-700 calories, well I’m sorry to tell you, you won’t see that great of a result if you’re trying to shed pounds.
Which brings me back to the earlier point about understanding what your poor unfortunate stomach is going through.
The easier you make digestion on your stomach, the easier your life will be. No giant poops, no sluggish feelings, no heavy load. You eat light meals, spread out throughout the day, and keep your calorie count to a MANAGEABLE amount, your stomach will have an easier digestion workload, and you’ll see much better results after busting your butt on the treadmill.
Another important point about this concept is the idea of spreading out meals throughout the day vs. eating big meals. You’ve probably heard this before, but it does bare repeating, because it’s VERY true. Metabolism spikes when new food is introduced into your stomach to digest, but once your body has taken the nutrients and used them, that same metabolism drops. Your metabolism is what helps you burn calories throughout the day. So, when people say you don’t need to eat so much when you’re trying to lose weight, they’re WRONG.
The truth is, you do. It just depends WHAT you’re eating, and WHEN you’re eating it.
Let me put that thought in a more interesting way so you’ll remember it…
What you eat, is just as important, as when you eat it.
If you eat little stuff all day, to satiate your appetite, but to not be overstuffed, your body will have a spiked metabolism the whole day, rather than at certain points. This will make you more energetic, more alert, and it will also have you burning calories constantly rather than periodically.
That will have you shedding weight all on its own. Couple this concept with some exercise, and BAM, you’ve got yourself lbs running away from your body like Godzilla’s coming.
Foods that are good for you, light, and low in calories will help you to keep a steady energy going and will also help you lose weight when teamed up with exercise, but here’s the last and MOST IMPORTANT point of this entire post…
IF YOU MUST EAT LATE, YOU MUST EAT LIGHT.
LATE = The most important WHEN of the entire day. Even if you do ALL these things I’m saying, a heavy meal a half hour before bed can de-rail all of it. Your stomach does not have a hard time processing small things before bed, i.e, an apple, a banana, a granola bar, or even a protein shake. In some instances, those things can be great for you because they help to burn fat while you sleep.
If you eat an actual MEAL before bed, your stomach is going to repay you by gaining weight instead of losing it. It will have a hard time digesting because you’re asleep and in a totally relaxed state, and it will store the extra fat instead of burning it.
Yes I’m aware that all this seems very complicated, but nobody said fitness was easy. What fitness is though, is worth it. And hey, trust a guy who’s done it all and said it all (shameless plug) when he says that it does become second nature to think this way. It gets easier. It just takes time and some willpower.
If you had the time to gain the weight, then you have the time to lose it. If you really wanna get serious about weight loss and your overall fitness, then researching the amount of calories you’re ingesting isn’t an option. It’s absolutely necessary. Is it fun? Heck no. But neither is feeling weak, exhausted, and bad about yourself either. And let’s face it, if we have to choose between the monotony of counting calories or all the negative mental and physical feelings that come with not caring, I’ll take the monotony any day of the week.
If you want to read more from Mario’s weight loss journey and tips you should definitely check out his site.
Mario is a contributor to this website. He posts at his site (I've Said It All Before) which is "all about healthy living, motivation, and positive all around attitude! We're building each other up, and having fun while we do it!"