Originally Posted by teaser
Another way to look at it--at 3.5 mph, this person burns 56 more calories than at 2.5 mph. So for that extra mile, 56 calories are burned. At that rate, 62.5 miles, and you've burned that supposed 3500 calories for a pound of fat. Whoopee.
Metabolic compensation? To undo that extra mile--you'd only have to be 2.43 calories "lazier" or less twitchy, or less rolling around in your sleep or--per hour the other 23 hours in the day. I don't know if that's even measurable. And do you know if you ate an extra 56 calories on a given day? Even if you weigh everything you eat, that's little room for error. One reason very slow and steady in dieting just isn't practical, there's no way to tell you're even going anywhere. Maybe an ounce a week of fat loss would be ideal, but there's no feedback, so it's useless. Dr. Oz once asked Gary Taubes why people couldn't just eat 100 calories less a day and lose weight. Somehow he's a Doctor.
Assuming it even worked like that, good luck even figuring out exactly 100 calories less a day.
I once looked up calorie counts for a bunch of very common foods, primarily with the idea that tiny differences in the size of a serving could add up to big differences in the total number of calories you ate. I only chose 7 items, but most people are likely to eat a dozen or more items. Some of those items were weighed, some were measured by diameter, some where the measurement was only a vague description:
small (138g - 4.93 oz) 128 cals
NLEA serving (148g - 5.28 oz) 138 cals -
(10 g or approximately 1/3 oz difference in size) 10 cals diff
1 Tbsp (14g - 0.5 oz) 100 cals
3 pats (15g - 0.5357 oz) 108 cals
(1 g diff) 8 cals diff
1 oz (28g - 1 oz) 103 cals
NLEA serving (30 g - 1.0714 oz) 110 cals -
(2 g, or slightly more than 7/100 oz diff) 7 cals diff
chicken breast (meat only):
"standard" 100 g serving - 3.57 oz ) 100 cals
1/2 breast (118 g - 4.214 oz) 130 cals (This assumes that your 1/2 breast weighs exactly 4.214 oz - many weigh 8 oz, 12 oz, or more these days)
(slighly more than 1/2 oz diff) 30 cals diff (unless you have one of the 8 or 12 oz breasts, which could provide an extra 160-290 calories for this one item)
1/2 c (82g - 2.928oz ) 72 cals
100 g ( 3.57 oz), 88 cals
(less than 1/3 oz diff) 16 cals diff
1 NELA serving (154g - 5.3214 oz) 80 cals
1 medium (182g - 6.5 oz) 95 cals -
(less than 1-1/4 oz difference - less than 1/4" diameter difference in the two apples) 15 cals diff
Single serving box (42g - 1.48 oz) 207 cals
Single serving bag (48g - 1.69 oz) 236 cals
(6 g difference - less than 1/4 oz difference) 29 cals diff
Just with these 7 items, you could eat exactly what is described in your diet, and your calories could still be off by a minimum of 115 calories, even though the measurements of each item (such as small potato vs NELA serving of potato) differs by only a few grams.
Most of the time, diets specify a measurement that's not nearly as specific as the exact number of grams per serving - for instance 1/2 cup of corn - what if the kernels are smaller, and therefore naturally leave less air space in the measuring cup? That would weigh more, and therefore have more calories than 1/2 cup of larger kernels. Broken O's in your measuring cup of cheerios? You could end up with an extra few grams of cheerios, and therefore more calories than you realize. If your diet says you can have 1/2 chicken breast in this day and age where a 1/2 chicken breast is rarely anywhere near the 100 g serving size, and often well over 8 oz, you could be eating hundreds of calories more while still following the diet exactly. Do you take calipers with you to the store, so you can determine the exact diameter of an apple before purchasing it? Are you going to weigh the apple to the exact gram, and throw away any extra apple beyond the exact number of grams you're allowed for the exact number of calories of apple that fits into your diet?
The idea of controlling weight by eating 100 calories less a day - or even the idea that you can accurately measure every single morsel you put in your mouth so that you come up with exactly 100 calories less per day - it's absolutely ludicrous.