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  1. #1
    Registered User irish0418's Avatar
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    eat clean or count calories??

    I keep hearing different views to how to drop body fat...so which is it?


    I hear you are to eat 100% clean in order to see the results. But I also hear that the only thing that matters is calories in vs. calories out....meaning you can eat whatever you want as long as you don't go over your recommended calories.

    I'm so confused....am I able to treat myself if my macros are in check or stay away from processed food and/or garbage?
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  2. #2
    MegaRoll ChplHillGymGirl's Avatar
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    i go crazy counting calories, it seems stressful. so instead i eat clean, but i do measure my portions (in ounces, cups, etc.). On days when i've not eaten a whole bunch of calories but have only taken in processed foods, i do notice a difference - i seem to retain more water and i feel sluggish. Clean eating, FTW.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Amanda76's Avatar
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    Eating fewer calories than what you need will guarantee you lose body tissue (either muscle or fat). What you eat will influence how much fat over muscle you lose.

    The more you need to restrict your calories to continue to progress with fat loss, the more strict you will have to become with eating whole foods to give your body the nutrition it needs to maintain muscle. I assume you would agree that your body needs a certain amount of protein, carbs and fats to perform as well as it can. It may take some experimentation to find what macro breakdown works best for you as an individual, but you'd probably agree that on a 1,500 calorie diet eating 700 calories worth of chocolate cake (low protein, high sugar and often high fat food) is not a good idea when it comes to meeting the nutritional requirements of your body. 100 calories of sugar certainly has less impact than 700, but it's still calories that could be put to better use on protein and quality carbs. If you do have treats, don't complain about it being difficult to eat your bodyweight in grams of protein...LOL

    Beyond "calories in vs. calories out" unprocessed, high quality food provides a steadier flow of energy and is more satiating, which will help with your fat loss goals. Providing your body with nutrient dense foods over empty calories will also keep you from having any nutrient difficiencies that will keep you from reaching your goals over time, as well.

    I personally don't schedule any cheat meals when my goal is to lean up. I might average a cheat meal a month when that is my main goal (although there are some months I don't have any cheats). After a month or so of not "cheating" I lose my urge to do so. Not WANTING to have treats on a regular basis is another useful tool when it comes to fat loss. So...it's always my advice to stay away from the treats while focusing on losing fat unless there's an actual special occassion involved.
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  4. #4
    Registered User irish0418's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips ladies

    It's always been a confusing issue for me.....I do feel gross if I eat more processed food...bloated and yucky!

    So if I eat good sources of carbs (swt pot, brown rice, oats) does it matter how much of it I eat since it's 'clean'?
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  5. #5
    Registered User TheRockShow182's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Amanda76 View Post
    Eating fewer calories than what you need will guarantee you lose body tissue (either muscle or fat). What you eat will influence how much fat over muscle you lose.

    The more you need to restrict your calories to continue to progress with fat loss, the more strict you will have to become with eating whole foods to give your body the nutrition it needs to maintain muscle. I assume you would agree that your body needs a certain amount of protein, carbs and fats to perform as well as it can. It may take some experimentation to find what macro breakdown works best for you as an individual, but you'd probably agree that on a 1,500 calorie diet eating 700 calories worth of chocolate cake (low protein, high sugar and often high fat food) is not a good idea when it comes to meeting the nutritional requirements of your body. 100 calories of sugar certainly has less impact than 700, but it's still calories that could be put to better use on protein and quality carbs. If you do have treats, don't complain about it being difficult to eat your bodyweight in grams of protein...LOL

    Beyond "calories in vs. calories out" unprocessed, high quality food provides a steadier flow of energy and is more satiating, which will help with your fat loss goals. Providing your body with nutrient dense foods over empty calories will also keep you from having any nutrient difficiencies that will keep you from reaching your goals over time, as well.

    I personally don't schedule any cheat meals when my goal is to lean up. I might average a cheat meal a month when that is my main goal (although there are some months I don't have any cheats). After a month or so of not "cheating" I lose my urge to do so. Not WANTING to have treats on a regular basis is another useful tool when it comes to fat loss. So...it's always my advice to stay away from the treats while focusing on losing fat unless there's an actual special occassion involved.
    Great advice as always.

    I second Amanda -- stay away from the treats and you will find you have a lower propensity to even crave them at all Maybe buy yourself some chocolate protein powder or something
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  6. #6
    Registered User irish0418's Avatar
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    yes, I need to focus on diet!! chocolate pro powder w/ some pb and a banana will do the trick lol


    any ideas for a 3x/week kick ass total body workout????
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  7. #7
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    Agreed with all the ladies here! I'd also like to add that although I find "portion size" and "eating clean" to be the 2 most important factors in fat loss (counting calories would drive me to stress which would make my body store more fat), I think making your "cheats" or "treats" something healthy would also be a great way to help you maintain your weight in the long run. I make wonderful tasting protein smoothies that taste like an icecream shake (cottage cheese, casein protein, strawberries, banana, water and tons of ice)...also for a chocolate treat (when that time of month comes around), I usually just have a 1-2 little pieces of Brach's sugar free peppermint patty or sf coconut bars....there delish.
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  8. #8
    Registered User 98shadow's Avatar
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    So if I eat good sources of carbs (swt pot, brown rice, oats) does it matter how much of it I eat since it's 'clean'?

    You still need to create a calorie defecit in order to lose fat.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Amanda76's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by irish0418 View Post
    Thanks for the tips ladies

    It's always been a confusing issue for me.....I do feel gross if I eat more processed food...bloated and yucky!

    So if I eat good sources of carbs (swt pot, brown rice, oats) does it matter how much of it I eat since it's 'clean'?
    Yes, it does matter. You can still overconsume calories through eating clean foods. You're less likely to go as overboard with clean foods, but it can still be done.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Amanda76's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by irish0418 View Post
    yes, I need to focus on diet!! chocolate pro powder w/ some pb and a banana will do the trick lol


    any ideas for a 3x/week kick ass total body workout????
    You could do a push/pull split with a leg day (what I'd be most likely to do) or an upper/lower body split that rotates so that upper gets hit twice one week and lower gets hit twice the next.
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  11. #11
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    On the notion of 'clean foods' - if you really want to know 'what is what' - read: HERE

    (yes it is long... but it is worth it. )
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  12. #12
    Registered User irish0418's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 98shadow View Post
    So if I eat good sources of carbs (swt pot, brown rice, oats) does it matter how much of it I eat since it's 'clean'?

    You still need to create a calorie defecit in order to lose fat.
    Originally Posted by Amanda76 View Post
    Yes, it does matter. You can still overconsume calories through eating clean foods. You're less likely to go as overboard with clean foods, but it can still be done.
    Thanks....diet is my problem and what I really need to focus on the most!

    Originally Posted by Amanda76 View Post
    You could do a push/pull split with a leg day (what I'd be most likely to do) or an upper/lower body split that rotates so that upper gets hit twice one week and lower gets hit twice the next.
    Thanks!! I think I got it....I'm going to do a 3 day total body w/ different rep ranges (day 1: 10-15 reps, day 2: 8-10 reps, day 3 6-8 reps heavy!)
    how does that look???

    Originally Posted by Emma-Leigh View Post
    On the notion of 'clean foods' - if you really want to know 'what is what' - read: HERE

    (yes it is long... but it is worth it. )
    Thanks, I'll check this out!
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  13. #13
    Plain Jane Who Lifts **** kimm4's Avatar
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    Eating clean foods is what it's all about...but if you're looking to reach certain goals you need to take it another step further and really count those calories and find a macro breakdown that works best for you.

    I see too many women on this board that complain about the scale not moving, bodyfat not dropping, feeling hungry all the time, feeling tired, cheating on their diets, etc...they eat clean, but have no idea how many calories they're taking in and this is why they run into problems.

    Yes it can be a pain in the ass counting calories...but it's the key to the whole process if you want to do it the right way.

    As for throwing in cheats, it really depends on the individual. Some people can throw them in 1x a week others more...it all depends on what kind of goals you're trying to achieve and how much time you want to take to get there.
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  14. #14
    Registered User irish0418's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    Eating clean foods is what it's all about...but if you're looking to reach certain goals you need to take it another step further and really count those calories and find a macro breakdown that works best for you.

    I see too many women on this board that complain about the scale not moving, bodyfat not dropping, feeling hungry all the time, feeling tired, cheating on their diets, etc...they eat clean, but have no idea how many calories they're taking in and this is why they run into problems.

    Yes it can be a pain in the ass counting calories...but it's the key to the whole process if you want to do it the right way.

    As for throwing in cheats, it really depends on the individual. Some people can throw them in 1x a week others more...it all depends on what kind of goals you're trying to achieve and how much time you want to take to get there.

    How do I know how many calories and which macro breakdown is right for me???
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  15. #15
    Registered User 98shadow's Avatar
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    There are alot of calculators. thedailyplate.com is the one I use.
    Terracotta has a web site that has a calculator. BUT you have to find
    out what works for you. Stay on a certain calorie range for enough time
    to let it work, be honest about what you are eating and the portions and
    if it is not working then change it. This is a lifetime process. Be patient
    and have fun along the way.
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  16. #16
    Registered User irish0418's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 98shadow View Post
    There are alot of calculators. thedailyplate.com is the one I use.
    Terracotta has a web site that has a calculator. BUT you have to find
    out what works for you. Stay on a certain calorie range for enough time
    to let it work, be honest about what you are eating and the portions and
    if it is not working then change it. This is a lifetime process. Be patient
    and have fun along the way.
    Thanks! It is hard to figure it all out!
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  17. #17
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    Why choose? I eat clean and count calories and watch my macros. For me, eating clean is a no-brainer just for life. You get one body, and it has to last you a long time (hopefully). Don't junk it up with substandard food!

    But I also count calories because for me, the accountabilty is key. I like seeing in black and white what I am putting in my body so if I don't see results, I have concrete evidence of why, not just a *feeling* like I have been eating right and working out.
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  18. #18
    on a 9-month bulk Tiffany_P's Avatar
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    Age: 35
    Stats: 5'8", 145 lbs
    Posts: 2,658
    BodyPoints: 6040
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    I personally can't lose weight without counting calories (or at least creating a meal plan so that I know approximately how many calories I'm eating). Once you start counting calories, you will soon see how much easier it is to restrict them when you're eating clean. You won't want to waste 500 calories on a high sugar, no fiber snack because then you'll feel hungry throughout the day.
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  19. #19
    Registered User irish0418's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: New Jersey
    Age: 33
    Stats: 5'4", 145 lbs
    Posts: 2,390
    BodyPoints: 14010
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    I have counted calories in the past and I'm currently doing so but not consistent. I need to be more strict w/ my food journal and even record the 'bad' stuff. i want to not eat badly though! I wish i had a personal chef to cook for me so when i get my meal...that's it! nothing more.
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