Tag Archives for " calories "

July 11, 2023

Everything you need to know about calories

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In the battle to lose weight, many people turn to calories in calories out (CICO) as a way of eating less and moving more. The math can get more complicated than that, but understanding calories can be a good first step in your weight loss journey. On episode 598 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss everything about calories.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:13.320] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras, how are you?

[00:02:15.120] – Coach Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:16.950] – Coach Allan

Good. It looks like you're somewhere fun. I am. Well, you're in a hotel room, which is not fun. Well, it can be fun. I guess it can be fun. I don't want to hear anymore.

[00:02:25.990] – Coach Rachel

Yeah. Mike had to make a trip up to the outskirts of Boston. Actually, we're in Westborough right now where he's got a couple of plants that he needs to take a look at. And so we made a vacation out of it. So we just spent the weekend in downtown Boston, walking all over the city and enjoying the sights of Boston. Now we're here in Westborough for a couple of days, and I'm just going to take it easy talking with you today. I've got books to read and places to go walk, so I'll be a happy camper while he's at work.

[00:02:58.420] – Coach Allan

I lived up that way nearly 20 years ago. You start looking back and say, Well, when was I there? Well, I was at that job for 10 years, at that job for two years. And I'm like, Oh, wow. That was a while ago because I've been here now for a while. So I was like, Okay, yeah. From age 39 to 41, I lived up in Groton, which is a small little village town just outside the loop. And so, yeah, occasionally I'd go into Boston and just have some fun. But yeah, Boston is a really fun town, but it was a really weird town back then. But then things were changing. There's progression as they will. I was like, so they had, I think one of the rules they had just started doing was they had started no smoking in bars and restaurants. And so all the bar owners in downtown area of Boston, that big area, they were really concerned that they would lose all their customers. And I was talking to the bartender. He's like, Yeah, we're thinking we're going to lose all our business. And I'm like, Well, where do you think they're going to go to eat?

[00:04:06.770] – Coach Allan

Where do you think they're going to go to drink? They're still going to come out. They're not going to just stay home because you say they can't smoke there. They'll go outside and smoke. They're resilient. They'll deal with the cold and do it. And some might quit. But it was just interesting that that was happening. And I was sitting in that bar because, again, we were taking a weekend there. And I was like, Okay, I'd like a can of beer. The guy's like, I can't serve you a beer right now. I'm like, What do you mean? He says, Well, it's 1155 and I can't serve you a beer until noon. I'm like, Where in the hell am I?

[00:04:41.730] – Coach Rachel

Oh, my goodness. That's funny.

[00:04:44.900] – Coach Allan

Well, you're as up there, I guess, as you were in Michigan. It's probably straight line across.

[00:04:49.980] – Coach Rachel

Pretty much, yeah. It's hot right now. Hot and humid, but I'll take it. I'll take it. It's just nice to be outside.

[00:04:59.460] – Coach Allan

Get you some chowder and plenty of lobster. You're going to make a drive out to the horn, the Cape?

[00:05:08.580] – Coach Rachel

I'm not sure how much time we'll have for that. Mike's got a couple of long days of work ahead of him, and then we'll just explore the areas close by. But yeah, we.

[00:05:17.570] – Coach Allan

Have no plans. It's like a four hour drive over, but it's beautiful over there. But if you had the time, it's worth the trip. But yeah, you got to spend some time if you're going to make it matter.

[00:05:29.240] – Coach Rachel

Right. Yeah, we'll just explore the areas around where we are.

[00:05:32.810] – Coach Allan

Well, cool. All right. You ready to talk about calories?

[00:05:36.300] – Coach Rachel



Today I want to talk about calories. If you've listened to me for any period of time, you know that I'm just not a huge fan of the calories in calories out model for a number of reasons we'll talk about today. But for a lot of people first starting out, counting calories can be a very beneficial activity because teaches you a little bit about how food works. And so today I want to give you the basics of how calories work in our body, how to do calories in, calories out, and then what to do when it stops working. Because for most people, it does stop working at some point, and that's because there are some limitations. But that said, it's a great way to jump start your journey to learn a lot about what you're eating and how much you're eating and what food is all about. So let's dive into it. Now, before we go too deep in this, calories in, calories out is a pretty simple basic thing. It's what I call just basically the pluses and minuses, the addition and subtract formulas for the way that you can lose weight and have enough energy.

That said, there are more complicated levels underneath this that, if they're not addressed, can cause you some problems. So the next level below that or above that, however you want to look at it, which is more complicated, you can think about the difference between addition and subtraction and when you started learning algebra is when we start talking about macronutrients and micronutrients. If we're not feeding our body what it needs, it's basically going to be a problem. So we can actually be overfed and undernourished. And so that happens a lot with the American diet, particularly with the processed foods and things that are going on today. But all that said, there is a more complex math underneath the calories in calories out model. But from a basic perspective, the calories in, calories out model is not wrong. They're both right. They just overlap. And then there's another level that's a little bit more deeper, a little bit more complicated. You can think of it as the calculus or differential equations. It's the complicated stuff that a lot of us won't be able to do a whole lot about, and that's hormones. Your hormones are going to affect how your body operates.

And so for certain individuals, no matter what they do, their hormones are going to be a progress slower, if you will. It's not going to stop you from necessarily losing weight. But you'll may notice that you don't lose weight as quickly as someone else does. So women have estrogen, men have testosterone. That additional testosterone makes it a little easier for men to lose weight. So if you notice that you and your significant other are basically eating the same foods, but they're losing weight and you're not, or you are losing weight and they're not, it's that hormones. It's not necessarily what you're eating or how much you're eating. It's just you're in a better balance from a hormone perspective to lose weight. So just realize that calories in, calories out is an easy to start model. Over time, it'll probably stop working for you. And that's when you want to start thinking about these other things and either set your expectations or make some adjustments to the quality of the food you're eating to make this continue to work for you. So let's get into the basics of calories in, calories out. A calorie is a measure of energy.

Now, when we use the term calorie, we're actually talking about kilo calories. But just to shorten it, we still call it a calorie. But a kilo calorie is basically the amount of energy necessary to warm one liter of water, one degree Celsius. And so we call it a calorie, but basically it is a measure of energy. And so the principles of what we're trying to do is we're trying to figure out exactly how many calories we're consuming and how many calories we are burning. And then the balance of those two or imbalance of those two is going to basically determine whether we're gaining weight or losing weight. So it's a thermodynamics of looking at energy into a system and energy out. Okay? So when we want to know what our energy burn is, most of the energy burn that we're doing when we're talking about it is a calculation. It's an estimate. So you get on one of those treadmills and it tells you for an hour's time running, you burn 400 calories. It's just an estimate. How they calculate that estimate inside that particular machine is particular to that machine. If you've ever gotten on one elliptical and then got on another elliptical and said, Well, I like the other elliptical more because within an hour I burn 700 calories, where this one says I'm burning 500, you're probably not burning 700 calories.

You may not be burning 500, but it's an estimate. And the only way you'd really know how much you were burning would be if you did some scientific tests where you were in a closed environment and they're measuring your carbon dioxide and they're measuring how much energy you're outputting. That's how they would know. But everything else is an estimate. Okay, now, when you start talking about the foods that we're consuming, for the most part, those are estimates too. What they've done for a lot of these different foods is they've burned them in a container and they've determined how much additional energy is put off when these things are set on fire. And that's assumed that our body would do the same thing, use the same amount of energy. So it's an estimate. And one of the other big issues is because these are both estimates, I prefer to look at these as guidelines and not absolute. But so many people get stuck in the math of, Oh, I'm eating 500 calorie deficit every day and I'm not losing weight. Or you go on to some of these applications and they tell you, You had a great day.

You're 1,000 calories under your requirement. If you eat like this for the next six weeks, you'll lose 30 pounds. And the reality is, one, you're not going to do that. Two, you may not have recorded your food right. And three, the estimates that are in there for your burn and for your consumption may be off. Okay, so what we want to try to do when we're looking at the food that we're eating and the energy that we're expending is just get an idea of balance. And so it gives us some basic information to make some decisions about how much we're eating and how much we're moving and what that means in relationship to each other. So let's dive a little bit deeper into each side of this calculation. So on the expenditure side, how many calories are you burning? Okay, one of the key terms that you'll hear is BMR. Okay, and BMR stands for basic metabolic rate. And what that means is how much do you need to just stay alive, meaning you're laying on your back in bed, completely at rest. How many calories do you need to stay alive? And that's keeping your brain alive, your organs alive, basic metabolic function.

And it's different based on age, gender, and your body composition. So you may have heard, if you have more muscle, burns more calories. And so that's where this all comes in. If you have more lean muscle mass, you're younger. And as I mentioned before, you're male, you're going to have a higher BMR than a woman. And it also has to do with your total size. So if you're 6 foot tall, you're going to burn more energy than someone who's 5 foot tall. So all of these things play into all of this burn. And so what you'll do with most of these things is you'll log in and they'll ask how tall you are, how much you weigh, and then they'll calculate a number. For most of us, the number is going to come somewhere between 1250 and 2,000. Again, that's a pretty wide range. But again, there's a wide range of people, so that range can be pretty wide. So if you're eating less than 1200 calories, it's very likely that you're under eating. You're not even giving your body enough to stay alive. And if you're out there doing exercise on top of that, that's even worse.

So that's where we come up with the term TD EE, or total daily energy expenditure. So if we're moving around, which most of us are, depending on our activity level, you add that to your BMR, and that will give you your total burn for the day. So I put into a calculator and I link to this as the Harris Benedict calculator, 40plusfitness. Com calorie will take you to that calculator. I didn't make that calculator. It's a website that just basically has that calculator, this link will just send you to that. But what it does, if you key in, okay, you're a 5 foot woman and you're basically sedentary, your basic metabolic rate is going to be just over 1200. If you're mildly active or you're sedentary, you're still going to burn more calories because you actually stand up every once in a while. You walk around, you got to go to the bathroom, you got to go to work. So you're moving around a little bit, just a little bit, and that's going to burn about 300 more calories. So for a basic woman to basically survive and deal with her daily expenditure, she's probably going to need, even a 5′ foot woman is going to probably need at least 1,500 calories just to stay in balance.

Now, if you're trying to lose a little bit of weight, you can go a little bit under that, but I would never go below your BMR. That's when you're starting to push yourself beyond. So what we want to do is basically say, okay, if I can up my activity, which we'll talk about and we can talk about, once you start actively increasing your activity, if you can just keep your food the same at roughly your TD EE, you're going to lose weight initially. So a good thing for this calculator is to say, what's the minimum amount I should eat? And that should at least be your BMR. I I would recommend you eat to your TD EE and then move more, just a little more. It doesn't have to be anything crazy, but if you can just add half an hour of activity each day, you're probably going to lose some weight there. Okay? So now let's talk about the consumption side. Okay? And again, this is just what we're trying to do is estimate how much energy is put off by the food that you're eating. And the only way you're really going to know that is to sit down and log it.

And the easiest thing I found to log it is an application called My Fitness Pal. They've got all these other foods out there so basically you can just plug this stuff in. There are other tools that other people have told me they like much more, but find your tool and this will help you in the initial. So what you want to do is you're going to look up what you're eating. So here I am eating a chicken breast and I'm going to have to look at how much that is. So what is that going to require? I need to weigh it. If I'm just estimating that this is a serving of chicken breast, it might be a larger breast or smaller breast. So I can't say both are the same number of calories. They're different. They're different sizes. So if you're going to do this and really get a good basis, you're probably going to need a food scale. You're probably going to need to go in and really pay attention to what goes into the foods that you're eating. Restaurants are notoriously off with their calorie counts. One study showed that they can be off by as much as 20 to 25 % understating your calories of a particular meal.

And so it's really easy to over consume and underestimate how much you've eaten. And so it's worth taking some time to sit down and log your food. But you've got to get the weight right. You've got to get how much you're getting, and you got to look at exactly what you're eating because just different additives, different things they put into it can really change the dynamics of how many calories are in a particular dish. It's a little easier, unfortunately, when you eat processed foods because they're putting it on the label. A serving of pasta has this many calories. A serving of hamburger helper mix has this many calories. So it's a little easier to look that stuff up. But that's not the nutrition your body needs. And so eventually, that's going to create a problem at those other math levels we talked about, the nutrition and the hormones. But that said, they make it a little bit easier for you to know. But if anytime you're eating something and you're not sure, like chicken breast, you can just Google, nutrition facts, chicken breast. If you're eating an apple, nutrition facts, and then the apple and the apple and just the size.

Is it small? Is it medium? Is it large? And that'll give you a basic idea. So now, as I mentioned, these are estimates. So your BMR and your TD EE are estimates of how much your body is burning. You're not actually ever going to really truly know that number, but you're getting an estimate. Unless you're going to take the time to weigh and measure all of your food, you're estimating how much of that you're eating. You're estimating serving sizes based on what's there. Even the numbers that are on the labels are estimates. So estimates of estimates, and you can see how this can run a little haphazard. Also, we sometimes miss things like grazing. So you didn't count on the fact that, or didn't think about, you're standing at your colleague's desk and they happen to have small chocolate there, and you popped two or three of those chocolate and you didn't log it. Well, that could have been 100 or more calories and you didn't log it. So you can see if you're not paying attention, it's easy to eat some things that you don't remember eating or you didn't get logged. So it looks on paper like you're at a deficit and maybe you aren't.

With labels, again, we're talking about processed foods here, and these things are engineered to make you want to eat more. So if you're sticking to processed foods as a way of doing this to make it a little easier, just realize they're engineering those foods to keep you hungry, to make you come back and eat more. They want you to eat more. That's how they make more money. So they're engineering their foods, and if they can fudge it on the label, they're going to fudge it on the label. So just be cognizant that processed foods are not really your friends, even if they make things a little easier and more convenient. The other thing that happens is in our bodies, as we exercise, as we do things physically, we become more efficient. I had Dr. Herman Pontzer on Episode 478. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/478. And he went out and studied the Hadza tribe, which is in Tansania. It's one of the only remaining hunter gatherer tribes out there. And they had a way of counting the total number of calories expended, utilizing carbon and a process with the urine and water.

And it's complex. But at the same time, they were looking at how many calories these had stuff who were at least nine miles a day traveling to get the foods that they needed. And so you would think, Okay, here's some really lean athletic guys that are moving around a lot. They're not sitting around much at all. And the ladies are digging for tubulars, and their men are climbing trees to get honey, and they're traveling around hunting and gathering. And what they found was that these individuals had gotten so efficient with movement and their bodies that they weren't really burning many more calories than a sedentary office worker sitting at their desk. So it was about 2,500 calories, which is the basic man of the same height and weight, same age, would basically be burning the same number of calories each day just sitting at their desk doing their job. So realize that over time, your body might get more efficient at using the calories as you get more fit. And that's just the way it works. And so as you're thinking about food, there's a whole lot that's not calculated into any of this. And it can just make it really hard that you feel hungry all the time because you're trying to hit a calorie number.

And sometimes the reason is that we're not counting the thermic effect of food. So protein, for example, requires a lot more processing in our body to process, to make it into something we can digest. That digestion is what we call the thermic effect of food. So if you ate 100 calories of chicken, you're not going to get 100 calories of energy out of that chicken. You're going to basically burn some of that to digest that. Whereas it f you had sugar water, it's going to go right into your system and there's not much processing of that at all. So if you're drinking a Coke or a pop, whatever you want to call it, if you're drinking that, that's going right on. There's no thermic effect. It's just calories straight in. Whereas, again, if you're eating something that takes a little bit longer to digest, there's a cost and that cost means you're getting fewer calories from that. So we may undercount calories for some things. The other thing is there are certain foods that are going to make you feel more satiated. They're going to keep you from being hungry or sooner. Fiber and protein are two examples of that where you're just going to feel fuller sooner and longer, and that's going to help you actually eat less.

And then, of course, with a lot of folks that are trying to do the calories in calories out model, they just start eating too little. And what this leads to later is binge eating or private eating and not logging. I don't know how many times I've been looking at a log for someone, and they've got 700 calories logged. And I'm like, You can't go day after day on 700 calories. They're complaining they're not losing weight, but they're obviously not logging everything, or they're eating too little for a few days, and everything's just shutting down. And while you can't really destroy your metabolism, it is what it is. Your body will start to shut down organs and things. It will start shutting things down if it feels like you're in a stressed, starving mode, and it will start shooting cortisol into your system to help hold on to fat while you're losing muscle. So realize you might see some weight loss at that level, but you may very well be losing the wrong weight. You might be losing muscle and not fat. So you're going to want to eat really close to that BMR number, if not to the TD EE, which is what I would personally recommend when you start.

But just make sure you're eating good quality food and that you're doing the right things for your body because this is not just about calories in, calories out. It can work and it does work. So basically just be careful that you don't get yourself into a mindset of that calories in, calories out is the answer because there's a little bit more to it. So I want to summarize a little bit here and just say, okay, as you go through this process, just start with the basics. Get to know what your numbers are as far as your BMR and your TD EE. Get those in your head. Start learning what the calories are in the various foods that you eat each day, making sure, again, you're getting adequate nutrition, log it for a while and log it correctly. Weigh the food, do the right things, get everything in there so that you have a really good idea of the volume of food that you're eating, the amount of energy you're putting in, and then be thinking honestly about how much energy you're putting out each day, and then watch for trends. If things are not moving the way that you want to, we can make some adjustments, but you just got to start with the trend.

I'm eating this way and I'm losing weight. I'm going to keep eating this way. The other thing is pay attention to your satiety levels and the kinds of foods that you're eating. You need nutrition. Food is not just calories, food is not just calories. Food is everything. Our body is made from food. So if we're not getting enough fat, if we're not getting enough minerals and vitamins, and we're getting the macros our body needs, the protein, if we're not getting those things, our body will not function well, and that can be a problem. So make sure, again, you're paying attention to the food you're eating and how you feel eating that food. And then you can just make adjustments. And I would say make micro adjustments, small adjustments. So never this drastic drop another 500 calories off of this thing. Because again, if I'm saying your TDE is 1,500, 500 calories a deficit means you're at one third of what your body needs to function the way it's functioning. So eventually you're going to find yourself fatigued. You're going to have some issues, and that's where that's coming from. You just went too drastic. But if you're eating to your TDEE and then you're moving on top of that, then that's when you're going to start to see the action.

That's when you're going to start to see things move the way you want to. So again, I'm not a huge fan of calories in, calories out as a model for weight loss. I think you just need to eat high quality whole food and your body is probably going to do what it's supposed to do. But if you're interested and you want to give it a go from the start, it's not a bad exercise for a period of time to at least understand what you're eating, how the food is affecting your body weight, and how you feel when you start eating the amount of food that your body really needs.

Post Show/Recap

[00:25:46.960] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:25:48.760] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Allan. I think it's really important to talk about the calories in calories out model on occasion. It's like the best reminder to pay close attention to what we're eating, especially when we have a weight loss goal in mind. There's just so many ways that we can do it wrong. So it's nice to have this refresher.

[00:26:07.360] – Coach Allan

Well, I don't think there's any ways to do it wrong. In fact, seriously, if we go off culture, it's because we're just not paying attention. 99 % of it you realize, okay, well, why am I not losing weight? And then you realize, well, damn it, Sally's got a chocolate on her desk and I'm eating five or six of those every day when I go by there and say good morning. And so you're like, okay, I got to stop doing that. But I don't. I keep doing it. So it's usually just when we stop paying attention. Now, a lot of people will get into Keto and then they're like, okay, well, I'm losing all this weight on Keto. And then they stop losing weight and they get to this point, they're like, I don't understand. I know all the foods that are Keto foods. I'm not eating any carbs, but I'm not losing any weight. Well, you're eating too many calories. I'm like, Well, no, calories don't matter if you're… Yes, they actually don't matter. Yeah, it all matters. And so it's not a bad idea to at least know. And then the other side of it is, I think the other concern I always have is people under eating, really under eating, and that causes other issues.

[00:27:14.530] – Coach Allan

So they'll sit there and say, well, okay, if I can be 500 calories down, I could lose a pound a week. If I can be 1,000 calories a day down, then I could lose two pounds a week. If I'm 1,500 calories down, then I could lose three pounds per week. And I've got 30 pounds to lose. I'd love to lose that in 10 weeks. So let's just do the math.

[00:27:34.960] – Coach Rachel

More is better, right?

[00:27:37.810] – Coach Allan

I got to get on that treadmill for an hour every day and only eat 800 calories. And they're starving all the time. And then they stop really counting all the calories because they're like, Well, I'm just going to have a bowl of cereal. And they eat three bowls of cereal or four. There have been times I probably ate a whole box of cereal in a sitting, just not not knowing and thinking about how many calories were in it. And it wasn't that the cereal was the problem. I just had too many servings of it, and I wasn't paying attention to how much it was. I wasn't paying attention to whether I was full or not. I just was really hungry. I poured a whole bowl of cereal in a big bowl, a whole bunch of milk, and just sat down with a spoon watching morning TV on a Sunday. And that's all the calories I probably should have had for the whole day.

[00:28:27.820] – Coach Rachel

Well, that's where I've gone wrong in the past. I have a cereal bowl at home that maybe it looks like I have a half a cup, the serving size of most cereals, but I know full well that I pour way more in my cereal bowl than half a cup. And I just, I eyeball it, but my eyeballs aren't super accurate. My measuring cups are probably a little bit.

[00:28:49.810] – Coach Allan

More accurate. They would be just a little more accurate. You got to pack it in there. I'm going to get the most out of that half cup.

[00:28:58.300] – Coach Rachel

But then, like you mentioned, too, cereals are usually super satisfying, barely great on the palate. And one bowl becomes two bowls, which becomes three bowls. And you're watching the morning news or something. And did I have one bowl of cereal or four bowls of cereal?

[00:29:15.040] – Coach Allan

You'll lose track pretty easily. I just jumped the chase and got a big bowl and just went at it.

[00:29:20.360] – Coach Rachel


[00:29:21.610] – Coach Allan

I was a growing boy and not growing the right way. But I think if you're struggling and you get to a point where you're stuck, this is a tool to just go back and assess, how much am I really eating? It's not that you have to log all the time and track and weigh everything forever, but it's just getting your head reset about what a portion size looks like and how many calories in it. And then making some basic decisions and realizing, oh, I could have that whole salad over there with chicken breast on it and the dressing that I like, and that's 500 calories, or I can have this little bag of chips.

[00:30:03.390] – Coach Rachel


[00:30:04.370] – Coach Allan

I have the bag of chips and I'm hungry again in 20 minutes. Well, that's important. That salad is going to take me 20 minutes to eat. And so it's just this thing of just saying, okay, food is a building block and it's to provide calories for energy. And if you start thinking of it, yes, you should enjoy your food, have food that you enjoy, but know what's in it, know how much it is and start getting your head around what portion sizes are. E at a little slower. That'll make it easier to eat fewer calories because it's easy to eat a lot of calories if you eat really fast. You'll notice the people that are doing the eating contests on TV, they're not going slow. They're eating faster than their body can even pay attention to just so they can get all that stuff down. And so if you slow down, you'll feel satiated sooner. You'll get an idea when you start looking at it's okay, what's a serving of chicken breast look like? What does a serving of bread? Serving of bread is one slice of bread. Most loaves I've looked at, a serving of bread, who's eating one slice of bread?

[00:31:07.270] – Coach Rachel


[00:31:07.710] – Coach Allan

Already having two servings instead of having a sandwich. And you had two sandwiches, so four servings of bread. You get the idea. It's like, I think I'm eating 100 calories of bread. No, you're eating 250 calories of bread. And does that 150 calories mean a whole lot? Well, if it's 150 more than you needed, yeah, over time, that's going to add up. And so that's going to be extra pounds that you're not losing or you're trying to work off doing these exercises. And it's pretty easy. If I set up a thing of M&Ms in the little cup holder of your treadmill and I said, Okay, here's what I want you to do. Look at how many M&Ms are serving and look at how many M&Ms are now in the pack to get an idea. And say, okay, so if every M&M was like two calories, so walk long enough to burn two calories and then eat an M&M.

[00:31:58.950] – Coach Rachel


[00:31:59.340] – Coach Allan

Think you'll see that bag of M&M is going to wear you out. You'll be on that treadmill for an hour to eat a little bag of it because there's so many calories you got to burn the 300 calories for that little bag of M&Ms. And people don't think that. They think they're burning a lot more calories. So it's a guideline. If you find yourself stuck, it's just an opportunity to sit back. But in addition to looking at the calories, think about the types of foods you've been choosing and which ones are really the better foods for you. I'm not going to say there's good foods and bad foods, but there are better choices.

[00:32:29.900] – Coach Rachel

Well, like you had mentioned, our bodies need nutrients, not food. That's an important thing to look at. Way back when I was using my fitness pal, I was actually pretty shocked to learn that my favorite McDonald's meal was about 1,200 calories in just that one sandwich, aburger and fries meal. And that was my whole day's worth of calories, according to my fitness pal. And there's no nutrients in that meal.

[00:32:58.440] – Coach Allan

But there is some protein. There is some protein, they do put some niacin in the bun to fortify it because they've stripped all the nutrition out of it. If you had pickle, if you had a little bit of ketchup, some lettuce, maybe tomato, there's a little bit. There's not what your body needs, but there's some nutrition there. And so it's just this concept of eat better quality food. It'll be more nutritionally dense than calorie dense. The calorie dense foods, occasionally as a treat, you can work those in. If it fits your load and you're okay with a detour, by all means, you don't have to deprive yourself of things, but you shouldn't think you can have cake every day. No. A cake should be something special. Donut should be something special. They should not be a staple. And unfortunately, too many people get wrapped up into the, every evening I'm going to have ice cream. And then they're having… And it's not a serving of ice cream. It's like, how many servings of ice cream did you put in the bowl? Be honest with yourself. Get a good scoop size. Look at it, understand it, and know how many calories are in that thing, and then make the decision.

[00:34:15.560] – Coach Allan

And if you want to have an extra couple of hundred calories of ice cream in the evening, by all means. But the whole court owns a lot of calories. So just realize that calories do count. You don't have to count them to lose weight, but it is a tool to find yourself stuck.

[00:34:31.860] – Coach Rachel

Yeah. And I think logging a meal periodically or your favorite snack or something, just paying attention to the size of the serving you're taking and what macros are in it as well as the calories. It's just an eye-opening exercise to do. So even if you just logged a dinner meal or your favorite after-work snack or something like that, it's just an eye-opening thing to do periodically.

[00:34:57.610] – Coach Allan

I agree. Yeah. All right. Well, Ras, I'll talk to you. Enjoy Boston and I will talk to you next week.

[00:35:04.190] – Coach Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[00:35:05.540] – Coach Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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