What are everyone's thoughts on this whole question about calories in vs. calories out?
I know people who insist that the only way to lose weight is to burn off more calories than you consume and it's as simple as that. Yet then I see reports that things like stress, certain prescription drugs, lack of sleep etc. can cause people to *not* lose weight even if they're "doing everything else right".
Look, here's the truth about dieting - people are abysmally bad at it. Calories in vs calories out works. But it's not as simple. If you eat weeknothing but chocolate while staying in a deficit you will lose weight, but you will not look as if you did. Because most weight you'll lose will be muscle mass that cannot sustain itself due to lack of protein, which chocolate does not have a lot of.
Keep your macros in check if you want optimal results.
That said, people are almost never
doing everything else right. I had guys complain that they simply cannot lose weight even though they're eating in a deficit. Then I sit them down and tell them to write every single thing that goes into their mouths, every day, for two weeks.
While they respected the diet, you'd see things like 1 oreo biscuit, 1 small coke, 1 beer, 2 glasses of orange juice, 1 glass of wine, and so on, on a regular basis. Not to mention the 15 beers and drunken junkfood rampage over the weekend.
You may think one oreo isn't that much but when you add one of everything on top of that, shit adds up. Your deficit is suddenly not much of a deficit anymore, if not a surplus altogether.
Aside from that, one 500ml beer is about 250 calories. 10 beers are 2500 calories. Divide your weekend extravaganza by 7, and you've suddenly taken in 350 calories above your diet's treshhold every day this particular week from alcohol alone.
I've also seen debates on whether or not certain people have naturally higher metabolisms than others. For example it was rumored that the Tejana singer Selena could slurp cokes, scarf doritos and eat entire medium pizzas without ever exercising and without ever gaining an ounce. A similar story - in the early 2000s Colts WR Marvin Harrison was roommates with DT Tony McCoy,and Tony had to move out because Marvin could eat entire boxes of twinkies without losing his chilseled body but for Tony it was impossible for him to maintain his playing weight when subjected to the same tempatations.
Yes, metabolism plays a part. I have a friend that can down pizzas and burgers all day and won't gain a pound. In my opinion that's more of a curse than a blessing because he'd have to eat 4000 calories a day or more if he wanted to gain some muscle. He's very skinny. Abs on a flat chest.
Me on the other hand, I'm around 170 lbs - 5'11 and I can still gain weight on 1900 cals. Makes bulking easy considering I don't have to eat like a fucking animal to gain. Makes cutting a pain in my ass however since I need to go as low as 1200 calories - or even lower - to hit single digits of bodyfat.
Still, I prefer my condition over his. If nothing else it's easier on the budget.
Yet I've heard people say that everybody's metabolisms are inherently similar and Marvin just secretly exercised more than Tony did (during an NFL training camp - whatever).
Metabolisms may be inherently similar but I believe prolonged exposure to different habits affects it differently. I didn't each much food during college, mainly because I preferred spending my money on alcohol and partying. I think my average was around 1.5 meals / day for a good couple of years. I can only imagine ~1400 cals/day for that long will have some sort of impact.
EDIT: Also this whole eat a lot of small meals topic - that eating 6 400 calorie meals helps you lose weight better than eating 2 1200 calorie meals.
That's pseudo-sciency bullshit. Eating a lot of small meals has a single benefit, and that is controlling hunger. It's easier not to start pilling oreos when you're eating every 2-3 hours than it is when you're on a 20 hour fast.
That said, calories need to be the same. A surplus is still a surplus and I don't care in how many meals you divide it, you will not lose weight.
Plus I find it highly inconvenient. I prefer 1 or 2 big meals as opposed to 6 small ones for time, efficiency and comfort's sake.
EDIT 2: Also the whole time of day topic - that the earlier in the day you eat the less weight you gain.
Thoughts on these topics?
Again, pseudo-science. Time of day is highly irrelevant. In ancient times people used to have huge feasts at night, because they were busy surviving and/or procuring during the day, when they'd eat very little if anything at all. Also why you tend to get lethargic or sleepy after a big meal.