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Getting Thick: Eat More, Weigh Less

Thick_ Eat More, Weigh Less

Last week on myfitnesspal.com (MFP), someone posted in the forums asking what the phrase “Eat More, Weigh Less” truly means. They were confused because of how people throw it around so loosely. Trust me, people throw that phrase around like it’s Christmas (they’re excessively in your face with it). Unfortunately, most don’t know what it means. They use it as an excuse to 1) condemn others’ calorie intake, 2) excuse their bad eating habits, or 3) explain why they can’t lose weight (see number 2). So what does it mean? According to the person who coined the phrase:

“You really can eat more and weigh less — if you know what to eat.” – Dr. Ornish’s Book Description for “Eat More, Weigh Less: Dr. Dean Ornish’s Life Choice Program for Losing Weight Safely While Eating Abundantly”

That is the first sentence of the entire description for the book. THE. FIRST. SENTENCE. Go to google.com and search “eat more weight less”. IT’S RIGHT THERE! Even if you don’t read anything else at that point, you have already been told that it depends on what you eat. If that’s not enough, here’s a quote from Tosca Reno (basically the Patron Saint of Clean Eating):

“It may sound counterintuitive, but eating clean allows you to eat more and weigh less because you are making smart food choices,”  – from this CNN.com article

Back to MFP. I commented on that forum post with a somewhat lengthy response. I didn’t say all I wanted to say because of the length. Here’s a screenshot with the original post included:

Screen shot 2013-02-27 at 5.08.39 PM

Later I went back to see how the discussion progressed only to find that people chose to misunderstand what I said (not verbatim):

  • A carb is a carb. My body doesn’t care if it’s potato chips or a sweet potato.
  • Water retention causes weight gain but it’s not fat!
  • Something else about sugar I can’t remember right now.
  • Something about height (my fault for not also mentioning body composition).

I responded but I kept it short because I was at the airport headed to Orlando on vacation!!! Although I haven’t read Dr. Ornish’s book, I can already see some reasons why it may not be the best plan to follow specifically because it is a “diet” (I don’t do “diets”). It appears to be low-protein and extremely limiting. Never a good sign. With that said, the sentiment is still there.

I just finished reading Jillian Michaels’ book “Master Your Metabolism”. I LOVE IT! Even though it’s described as a diet book, it’s only in the sense of you diet being what you eat (as opposed to restricting what you eat). In the book, she breaks down everything from what you shouldn’t eat, what you should eat, and how to eat it. I highly recommend it! But the book is information heavy, so be prepared for that.

In the book, Jillian talks about herself as well. She shares about being an overweight kid as well as the fact that she was an unhealthy fitness guru. Her diet was HORRIBLE! ALL BAD EVERYTHANG! She talks about going from eating 1200 calories of highly-processed diet foods that ruined her body (seriously) to eating1800 (up to 2000) calories of clean, whole foods that turned her health around.

When I responded to the comments made to my own comment, I tried to point out a few things. But again, airport+vacation=dueces to you mooses!!! Yes, I know the plural for moose is still moose. BUT IT RHYMES (reasons I’m not a rapper/poet/children’s book author).

Below I’ll explain a few things in reference to my comment and the replies to my comment. I’ve also added a few other important points:

  • A carb is a carb in the same way that a box and a house are both homes. Yes both are shelters but one is clearly better than the other. The same goes with carbs. Potato chips will satisfy you for a time but a sweet potato will satisfy you for much longer and it’s better for you. Why? Fiber, beta carotene, Vitamin A, C, B3, B5, B6, and potassium. And it’s only about 100 calories per cup. In short, you’re getting satiety, antioxidants, anti-inflammoatory nutrients, and blood sugar regulating goodness! What have chips done for you lately?
  • Water retention. Not a day goes by that I don’t see someone talk about gaining weight and someone else says they are just retaining water. For purposes of this post being about food, sodium intake and nutritional deficiencies have a lot to do with it (as do menstruation, weather, medications, medical conditions, and injuries*). Some sodium is good for you, A GANG OF SODIUM is like a gang. It’s not! If you can chose to eat something lower in sodium why not do it? Reduce the water retention, reduce the gain (and see a lose) because the scale doesn’t know which one it is. It just knows you weigh more!
  • I think the sugar comment was similar to the carb comment. Listen, I love cake…and cookies….and pie. But I also love fruit! Mmmmmmmmm, fruit! The difference between fruit and all those desserts is that fruit gives you much less sugar per serving AND a gang of nutrients. In this case a gang is good. It’s more like if you saw Beyonce and her dancers and her band coming towards you. You know 8000 kinds of amazing is about to happen and you don’t want to miss it! If fruit is Queen Bey, cake/cookies/pie would be like Waka Flocka Flame**. It’s great for the moment but after that your body is going to be like, “Sooooooooooo….what now?”
  • Height and body composition DOES matter. Think about it! A woman at 115 pounds and 5’1″ looks/is healthy. A woman at 115 pounds and 6’1″? How many people would call her anorexic? Again, say one woman is 125 pounds, 5’1″ and an hourglass. Another same weight and height is an apple. A third is a pear shape. They can all look extremely different. What if one of them is an athlete? It matters for determining a healthy goal weight. It also matters when determining how much your body needs to function properly. An “apple” might need to be smaller than an “hourglass” because she’s more likely to hold weight in her belly (one of the worst places to have it). And some of us just don’t need 2500 calories a day (with exercise), we just don’t.
  • A calorie is a calorie. 1500 calories of processed, high fat, sodium, refined carbs, etc food is going to be a lot less food than 1500 calories of low-fat, high fiber, protein, nutrient-rich food. It will also be less filling, less satisfying, less beneficial to the body and less likely to carry your weight loss (or maintenance) efforts in the long run. Think about how much food 1500 calories is at McDonald’s***. Depending on which meal you choose, THAT’S ONE MEAL! ONE! That might not even include a drink! *faints*

I think I touched on everything. I tried to place sources for more information. If you have a question about what a particular fruit/vegetable provides nutritionally, I suggest using WHFoods.com. In addition to detailed explanations of what the nutrients in each food provide, there also quick nutrition charts that you can refer back to whenever you need to. They even give recipes and best cooking methods! I also suggest reading up on clean eating. I haven’t read any Tosca Reno books yet but I plan to start (I’ve done the research on her :). I also recommend this Jillian Michaels book as well as “The Zone Diet” book (she recommends that one in her book, I’ll read it next).

I hope that cleared up the whole “Eat More, Weigh Less” thing!

*When I was looking for a source to include for water retention, I noticed something interesting. Exercise was never mentioned as a cause of water retention. I found that interesting because I always see people posting that all the working out they’ve done is what’s causing it. That their muscles are holding onto the water. I’m going to research that some more…..

**I love Waka! In fact, I affectionately refer to him as My Bestie in Ratchetry! Also, I may or may not refer to photos of he and Gucci Mane as Besties in Pregnancies……I may……..

***Click the link (http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/meal_builder.html) to build a meal and see how fast you get to 1500 calories. I love McDonald’s fries, so if I just have to have some I try to pair it with a parfait or salad. At least I’m not going hog wild 🙂

 

3 thoughts on “Getting Thick: Eat More, Weigh Less

  1. Erika

    Thanks for linking to my post here. I did have a couple of quick things I wanted to add:

    The whole “a carb is a carb” thing is the kissing cousin of “a calorie is a calorie,” and if more often than not used by people who want to defend their right to eat trash carbs with impunity instead of checking for not only quality but content and context. Your body DEFINITELY cares about whether your carb comes from potato chip or sweet potato because chances are perilously high that potato chip was also fried (or baked) in OIL, at a lovely 9 additional calories per gram. So, even if you’re making space in your daily caloric intake for those potato chips, you’re getting LESS carbs and MORE fat within that 300-calorie range you’re ingesting, as opposed to the sweet potato you’re getting. Content and context matter, and they’re incredibly important when it comes to the kind of body you’re trying to build.

    2) Fruit is important and generally forgiven for its sugar content because it is not only nutritious, but it is also naturally fibrous. That cannot be ignored or overlooked. That’s not only valuable for the health of your colon and generally your entire digestive tract, but it’s also vital for your blood sugar.

    3) A calorie is a calorie, except when it’s not – again, context matters. Each KIND of calorie contributes to a different process in the body, and the kinds of calories that contribute to MUSCLE – that which burns around 3x as many calories per hour than fat – build your body in a different way than those calories that do not. That’s not to say that a diet consisting of solely protein is the answer; it’s not. It simply means that calories consisting of different macronutrients in the body do different things once ingested, and that needs to be accounted for and respected when creating your weekly meal plans.

    Lastly, I’m coming to realize after taking clients and talking to people about their journeys, that people plateau often because they’ve dieted themselves down to the point where they’ve lost the muscle that once accounted for a significant portion of their ability to burn calories. If muscle burns 3x as many calories as fat, and your caloric deficit caused you to burn too much muscle while you’re losing, then you’re in a significant bind once you lose, say, 25-30lbs. 1200 calories very well might be too many calories.

    These are things I’d totally keep in mind when people try to tell you that you’re wrong. You’re definitely not.

    Thanks for linking, and I hope the conversation evolves into something a little more helpful. 🙂

  2. domgirl85 Post author

    Thank YOU! You’re always so informative, I love it! Also, I have thug tears from this part, “These are things I’d totally keep in mind when people try to tell you that you’re wrong. You’re definitely not.” 😀

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