Calories in vs. calories out - does it really work?

Romania
June 1, 2009 11:42am CST
If I burn more calories than I take in daily, will I be able to lose weight? No matter what I eat, as long as I make sure to burn more calories? The calories in vs. calories out rule is the oldest one and recently I started thinking it's the most effective way to lose weight. Because it makes sense. If the rule is that simple, shouldn't applying it be as simple? I know that 3500 calories = 1 pound, and to lose 1 pound per week (in a healthy way) would mean to reduce your calorie intake by 500 each day. But there are several ways to do that, right? It doesn't necessarily mean cutting out from your food, I could as well exercise to burn 500 extra calories without changing anything in my diet. That's what I figure out while listening to all different nutritionists and other people. In the end, it's all about burning more calories than you take in. So does it really matter what I eat and when I eat, as long as I make sure to burn all the calories and even more?
4 responses
@Tiamjr (435)
1 Jun 09
Yes, as long as you burn more calories than you consume, you should lose weight. It does take quite a lot of exercise to burn a significant amount of calories though, so unless you wanted to exercise non-stop, the amount of calories you eat will still matter. There are many people who exercise an hour or two every day so that they can enjoy an indulgent meal or dessert. So if you wanted to compensate eating certain foods by exercising, it would be a good idea to work out exactly how many calories extra you wanted to eat and then to work out the amount of exercise you would need to do in order for you to burn these calories. Remember that not all foods have good nutritional values. This matters too, especially if you want to be healthy and live a long life.
• Romania
1 Jun 09
Yes, I want to be able to eat sweets since they're my weakness :D And I've calculated a few basic things to get an idea of how many calories I should burn by exercising, I hope they're all accurate but I'm not very sure. My BMR is 1300 and there was another site which calculated all the calories burnt by doing everyday activities like brushing teeth, taking a shower, folding clothes etc. And I added all of those things that I do everyday and the total amount was about 400 calories. That would mean that by doing my regular activities, without any exercises, I can burn ~ 1700 calories. I don't think I go over 1700-1800 calories daily even when I eat sweets and don't keep a certain diet, so I would need to burn 500 more to be able to lose 1 pound after a week. That doesn't sound like too much to burn on a day. Of course, that if my calculations are correct... I don't know if I really burn 400 calories by doing house chores and regular activities... Oh and thanks for replying! :) If you know any exercises/activities that can burn up to 500 calories or more it would help me a lot! I'm not sure what I should do to reach that 500 cal goal...
@Tiamjr (435)
2 Jun 09
There is an article on ten novel ways to burn 500 calories, http://www.dietpixie.com/tips/10-novel-ways-to-burn-500-calories/200723.html There is also lots more sites out there dedicated to showing you different ways to burn 500 calories. Just search 'quick ways to burn 500 calories'. Hope you find something useful.
• Romania
4 Jun 09
Thanks for the link! It gave me a few ideas, I hope they work!
@ElicBxn (60894)
• United States
1 Jun 09
that's the way it is supposed to work, but its hard to do it - the best way to lose weight is to do both, exercise and cut back on the calories - and cutting back can include drinkin skim milk rather than whole or eating a peice of fruit instead of a candy bar.
• Romania
4 Jun 09
I tried only to cut from my food without doing any exercises because it's harder for me to do any kind of sports. I don't have the possibility to do any exercises at home, I don't have any fitness machines, I can only go to the gym once a week. So I had to cut out 500 cal from my food. I know I won't be able to hold it for too long. I can't keep dieting all my life, but I want to lose weight and then maintain it. And the only way I could maintain it is by burning the same amount of cal as I take in. But I don't want to keep track of all the food I eat for the rest of my life... Exercising just sounds easier... it's not that stressful.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60894)
• United States
4 Jun 09
as someone who is on day 3 of the new diet, and just hit my first hungry wall, I can understand (it was like every where I went I saw food) We are going to start exercising too, I'm trying to get the roomie to understand that she can do it too, even if it means getting up early to go to the pool to swim laps.
@akifu622 (102)
• China
1 Jun 09
Yeah,you are right:p No matter what you eat,as long as it isn't way too much and the total calories are in control successdully,you will not gain weight.
• Romania
1 Jun 09
Thanks! :) I'm so glad to hear that! I was so hoping that this was true! I can loosen up my diet without feeling guilty or gaining weight now!
@Outcast (633)
• United States
1 Jun 09
I always found it easier to burn calories better if I count them. It is really good to keep note of everything you eat and drink for the calories to see exactlly how many calories you take in. Then it will make you think.
• Romania
1 Jun 09
Thanks! Yeah I do count all my calories, the ones I burn and the ones I get from food, I wouldn't know how much I should burn if I wouldn't count them.