food really unlimited??

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Postby TominTN » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:42 am

Hi, Debbie.

My experience has been that if I stick to foods that are 800 calories or less per pound, I can eat all I want and either maintain or lose weight slowly. I may eat a lot and maintain for a several days in a row, but eventually I feel less hungry, eat less, and some weight comes off.

If I have very much that's a higher caloric density (bread, pasta, etc.) I gain.

green/yellow vegetables: 100 cal/lb
fruits: 250 cal/lb
beans: 350 cal/lb
starchy vegs (potatos, corn, winter squash): 350 cal/lb
whole grains (cooked in water): 600 cal/lb
bread, pasta: 1500 cal/lb
Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're probably right.

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Every principle in a context

Postby Burgess » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:09 am

Every element of any program should be kept in context. In my understanding, these are the principles of the McDougall Program regular diet:

1. Whole foods.
2. Plant foods.
3. Starch centered.
4. A wide variety in each of three categories (fruit, vegs, starch).
5. Eat as much as you want until full.

The fourth element kills the idea of eating nothing but oranges or nothing but corn. The fifth element kills the idea of compulsive eating.

It is important to focus on all the fundamental principles not just one.
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Re: Every principle in a context

Postby JeffN » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:49 am

Hi Debbie,

I think Burgess gave you an excellent answer to your question,

Burgess wrote:Every element of any program should be kept in context. In my understanding, these are the principles of the McDougall Program regular diet:

1. Whole foods.
2. Plant foods.
3. Starch centered.
4. A wide variety in each of three cateogories (fruit, vegs, starch).
5. Eat as much as you want until full.

The fourth element kills the idea of eating nothing but oranges or nothing but corn. The fifth element kills the idea of compulsive eating.

It is important to focus on all the fundamental principles not just one.


Unlimited does not mean unlimited in the sense that you can eat all you want of anything.

What it means is that if you follow the principles of the program, especially of the Maximum Weight Loss program, you will be able to eat all you want of the recommended foods, until you are comfortably full, and still lose weight.

The reason, as TominTN pointed out is due to calorie density. Many many studies have been done in the last few decades confirming this. If you allow people to eat "ad libitum" or all they want till the are comfortably full, from low calorie dense foods, they will lose weight, not be hungry and do not have to count calories.

Of course, calories still count, but it becomes almost impossible to over consume calories from the foods you choose if you follow these recommendations.

The numbers Tom gave are very close, so let me adjust them slightly

These are averages that I use for each category that I think covers the range of the category fairly well and if anything, errs on the side of caution.

Fresh Veggies are around 100 cal/lb
Fresh Fruits around 250-300 cal/lb
Starchy Veggies/Intact Whole Grains around 450-500 cal/lb
Legumes around 550-600 cal/lb
Processed Grains (even if their Whole grain) around 1200-1500 cal/lb
Nuts/Seeds around 2800 cal/lb
Oils around 4000 cal/lb

What they have found is if people follow the guidelines and principles of calorie density and the calorie density of the food is below ~400 calories per pound, most people will lose weight.

Between ~400-~800 calories per pound, with some regular moderate exercise, most will lose weight.

Between ~800-~1200 calories per pound, most people gained weight, except for those with very high activity levels

Over ~1200 calories per pound, most everyone seemed to gain weight.

Remember, the physical sensation of "fullness" is influenced in a large part by the filling of the stomach and the triggering of the stretch receptors. This would happen regardless of the calorie density of the food, as long as enough food was consumed.

However, between 400-800 calories per pound is the range where people either maintained, gained or lost a little. It was the area that I call the "cut-off" zone and the results depending on the person and their activity level. The mid point of the range is around 600 cal/lb

I would not worry to much about the exact numbers when you are trying to apply this to yourself but would be more concerned about the principles as I would not want anyone to weigh and measure their food. The calorie density numbers I give for food groups are "averages" and dont apply exactly to each food in the group.

If you follow the MWL program, you will be applying the principles of calorie density. If it is not working as well as you would like then you can adjust the calorie density of your intake by making slight adjustments in your food choices depending on your individual activity level and metabolism.

These numbers are also inline with other recommendations.

The recent WCF/AICR report on cancer recommends that the average calorie density of our diets be around 567 calories per pound, to avoid obesity and weight problems which is 100% in line with my experience.

The Okinawan diet, before Western influence, was around 600-650 calories per pound

So, knowing all this, if you look at the numbers, it all makes sense.

A starch based diet, made up of starchy vegetables and intact whole grains along with some fruit and veggies, will have a calorie density under 500 calories per pound and maybe even 400 calorie per pound. It would be near impossible to overeat.

You can also see the problem with many of the "low fat" diets that focused on processed whole grains, like whole wheat bread, crackers, dry cereals. At 1200-1500 calories per pound, if they become a large part of the diet, they can raise the overall calorie density and make it much easier to overeat on calories and easy to gain weight and/or not lose weight, even with a higher activity level. Hence the principles of the MWL program is to avoid those foods, or really limit them.

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Pound of Food

Postby Losing Linda » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:02 am

How much is a pound of these foods? And the starch is cooked when measure I assume because example rice 1 cup uncooked is 3 cups cooked. Or is that considered processed starch? I like large bake potatoes and they are about a pound! I eat one for a meal. I have maintaine my weight so I want to figure this out to lose my last 30 lbs.
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Re: Pound of Food

Postby JeffN » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:08 am

Hi Linda

Losing Linda wrote:How much is a pound of these foods?


A pound. :)


j/k

For some foods it is a huge volume (lettuce, celery, etc) and for some foods it is a very small volume (nuts, seeds, oils).

Losing Linda wrote:How much is a pound of these foods? And the starch is cooked when measure I assume because example rice 1 cup uncooked is 3 cups cooked. Or is that considered processed starch? I like large bake potatoes and they are about a pound! I eat one for a meal. I have maintaine my weight so I want to figure this out to lose my last 30 lbs.


All numbers I gave are for the food in its edible form.

So, the number for rice (around 500 calories/lb) is for cooked rice.

PS, do not get to caught up in the numbers/amounts, as that defeats the whole purpose of this method. Knowing and understanding this method and the general numbers and foods, allows us to eat when we are hungry until we are comfortably full without counting and/or measuring weight and/or calories and still lose weight.

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Re

Postby JeffN » Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:11 am

Hi Debbie

debbie wrote:Okay I am not trying to make this more difficult however, I am not math wizard by any means but, If for instance You take carrots my bag says 35 calories for 1 medium carrot, so take three carrots and that is 105 calories but threee carrots dont wiegh 1lb right. I am sooooo confused :?
also how do I know how many calories I need to eat. I thought I had all this figured out. I have 5 lbs to go to get to my prepregnacy wieght with my second but 25lbs to go till I get to my preprego wieght with my first. Oh and I am still breastfeeding. I keep hearing I need like 2500 cal but I know on average I dont eat that many cals a day. Sometimes. Please help. :? :? :? :D :D
Debbie


Let me try and help

First, I do not think anyone needs to know any of these numbers in order to eat healthy and live a long and healthy life. I give them and use them only to help in understanding some points and some of the principles and guidelines, and answer some questions.

The numbers i gave for calorie density are "averages" for the food groups.

Vegetables "average" 100 calories a pound but some are more, and some are less. Celery, having a slightly higher water content) is 70 calories per pound and carrots, (having a slightly higher starch content) is 198 calories per pound. While neither one is exactly 100 calories per pound, the 100 calories per pound works and helps understand the over riding principle of calorie density when compared to other food groups.

Same with fruit. The average is really closer to 200-250 but to make the math easier, I say 300.

So, I do not know the size of the carrots you have or their weight. but if you have a pound of them, they will weigh right around 198 calories.

In regard to how many calories to eat, that is another number, that....

1) has no simple answer unless you plan to maintain the exact same physical activity, exercise, stress, temperature, etc etc every day. The concept that everyone needs a certain calorie level that can be determined is wrong.

2) i do not think people need to know this number nor do I think there are any great ways to calculate it. All the forumlas have great margins of error in them. So does all estimates of how many calories there are in food. Any calorie estimate you see on any food package can be up to 20% off. Formulas can be over 40% off. Professionals trying to track their calorie intake can be 30% off. Why attempt to measure something that we have such poor ways of measuring.

3) calorie density is a much better approach then counting calories as it uses general guidelines and principles to help make healthier choices.

We should focus our diets on a variety of healthy foods within the healthy food groups, get enough activity and physical exercise, and not worry about micromanaging our intake.

If we need to lose weight, then we can shift our overall calorie density down by focusing on and including more foods lower in calorie density and limiting the higher calorie dense foods. If we need to gain some weight, then we can do the opposite and include more higher calorie dense healthy foods. Of course, we can also adjust activity levels to coincide with our food intake and our goals.

Check your scale on a 1x weekly basis and see how you are doing. Adjust accordingly.

I think there is a real irony in the USA that we now know more about food and all its components (calories, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, etc) yet at the same time we have more obesity, diabetes then ever before.

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Food really unlimited?

Postby Nara » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:27 am

Hi Jeff, where do rice cakes fall in calorie density? Are they considered processed whole grains? I used to snack (too much!) on wholegrain bread and have replaced them with plain brown rice cakes and puffed kamut cakes, which are almost as satisfying. I eat brown rice and oats with plenty of veggies and fruits at regular meals, so the rice cakes are "treats." Thank you.
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Re: Food really unlimited?

Postby JeffN » Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:00 pm

Nara wrote:Hi Jeff, where do rice cakes fall in calorie density? Are they considered processed whole grains? I used to snack (too much!) on wholegrain bread and have replaced them with plain brown rice cakes and puffed kamut cakes, which are almost as satisfying. I eat brown rice and oats with plenty of veggies and fruits at regular meals, so the rice cakes are "treats." Thank you.


Hi Nara

Rice cakes come in at around 1750 calories per pound.

We tend to think of them as being lower in calorie density because of their "puffiness" from the air, which gives them lots of volume.

However, unlike a high water content in a food, which really helps in lowering calorie density,a high air content does not. One reason is because air does not have a lot of weight. The second is because unlike water, the air doesn't really make to your stomach, as most of it gets "chewed out" in our mouth.

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Light Bulb

Postby Losing Linda » Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:00 pm

:oops: I have just had one of those light bulb moments that where it all fits together. Like where was my head :D :D Thanks for making some real sense in eatting right.
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Postby Donna R » Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:43 am

Jeff and Tom, the numbers chart was very interesting and helpful. an eye-opener regarding nuts, which I love. I'm not eating any right now but when I do some day the chart shows why it's to be a small amount, like a few nuts on my salad. and not to sit down with nuts for a snack. too bad, but that's the way it is!
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Postby Nara » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:41 am

Thanks very much for the info, Jeff. I see clearly now that I'll have to be a lot less enthusiastic with the rice cakes. What an eye opener!
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Postby karin_kiwi » Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:35 pm

Yeah, thanks for this thread, it's been really helpful. Every time I think I know all the stuff, there's another way to look at it - and even though when talking to people I talk about lower calorie densities, I hadn't actually sat down and looked closely at those ballpark figures. Jeff, I'm so glad you're part of the McDougall board! :-)
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Postby TominTN » Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:08 pm

The numbers I posted came from a chart Karen created some time ago based on a book she was reading. We had it on the refrigerator. We have since printed a sheet with Jeff's numbers in a large font and posted it on the frig instead. Thanks for the adjustments, Jeff. :)
Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're probably right.

Weight Loss Through the Magic of Calorie Density: http://wp.me/p1utH8-v
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Re: Food really unlimited?

Postby JeffN » Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:21 am

debbie wrote:I am confused as to why rice cakes are considered calorie dense but puffed rice cereal is not.


They are both calorie dense.

debbie wrote:In another post that I wrote awhile back about cereal you told me that puffed rice was low in calorie density as compared to shredded wheat.


I actually said, puffed rice was as calorie dense as shredded wheat.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=15130

debbie wrote:But if you chew out the air in puffed rice like that of rice cakes, wouldnt that make the puffed rice cereal calorie dense as well?


Yes, the point I have always made.

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Re: food really unlimited??

Postby ncyg46 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:06 pm

the best thing to do is get Jeff's videos. The fast food video is wonderful and when I cook anything it lasts me for 5 days so I freeze some. I find that I don't add my starch to it so I can change the meal with whatever grain or starch I choose and it is always different. The calorie density one, the oils and nuts, the label reading are all important...Sorry Jeff if I forgot any but I find that I eat a certain amount eat day and I am now down to under 125 which is my high school weight! And it's easy.

Yes I like to experiment with other recipes but yours are my go to stuff when I am too tired to cook! Along with Robin Roberton's marinara sauce made with italian tomatoes!!! Make another dvd soon!!!! :D Now if I can get the ASW to work I will be happy!
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