What’s the difference between eating 1000 calories a day, and eating 1500 calories then burning 500 during workout?


What’s the difference between eating 1000 calories a day, and eating 1500 calories then burning 500 during workout?

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Your body has a base line of energy consumption (Basel energy) and you have active energy spent when doing things.

However these interact, if you add 500 calories to your active energy expenditure you’d lower your Basel energy expenditure by around 150 calories so you’d gain a little weight.

You’d also gain some muscle and lose some fat and will probably feel a bit better mentally.

If you workout you will burn those 500 in the workout and then some extra over the rest of the day.

I’ll answer your question, but I need to set up a foundation of understanding first. Both “yes” and “no” answers to your question are wrong – not because semantics, but becaue you need to first see both calories and how some specific things that contain them affect our brain before the answer becomes clear. I’ll do my best to answer.

First, you can’t eat a calorie. A calorie is a measure of energy, not a substance. And energy is just a word that means “the ability to do work”.

You can eat food, which is a substance, that packs a certain amount of that ability, eg of energy.

In addition to packing energy, that food, depending on what it is, may also affect your brain. The software in it, if you will.

For example, if a calorie comes from something sweet called glucose, that sends energy to all the cells in your body.

But if you eat the same amount, containing one calorie of energy, of another sweet substance – fructose – most of your body cannot use it, and it all goes to your body’s rubbish bin, your liver, and too much can overwhelm the liver and make you sick. Same calorie. Except it it isn’t the same at all.

Not only does the fructose containing that one calorie make your liver sick, but that fructose example also messes with your brain software, three times no less – the software which controls when you get hungry (the ghrelin hormone), the software that controls when you feel you’ve had enough (the leptin hormone) and how good you feel as a result (the dopamine hormone), glitching all three in ways that make you want to eat more than your body needs, and not stop when its stop-eating mechanisms should kick in.

Table sugar, if you were wondering, is one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule connected together, and they get cut apart almost immediately after you eat it, leaving your body with some of each type above. Because it contains fructose and glitches your brain software, table sugar is bad for you.

Fruit, if you were wondering, contain fructose, but also contain the antidote – fiber – which prevents you from absorbing the fructose. Fruit is good for you. Fruit juice on the other hand had that antidote to the bad stuff taken out, and is bad for you.

So now we can answer your question. If, comparing to eating (food containing) 1000 calories, you eat food that contains 1500 calories and exercising to burn 500 calories, that extra substance you ate – depending on what it is you ate – may also affect your brain software. If there was fructose in it (outside fruit and without fiber), your body will want to eat even more, and “request” you eat food with even more calories, sliding you a step closer to a vicious cycle, an urge all of us fail at fighting off some percent of the time. If those 1500 come from a sugar-rich diet, chances are you’ll just feel hungrier, and eat not 1500, but, say, 2500.

If, on the other hand, those 1500 calories come from eating an apple or a slice of bread with no or minimal sugar, the answer to your question is “not that big”, e.g. You’ll plan for 1500 and actually eat 1500 most of the time.

So it’s great that you’re curious and the very first good nutritional advice you need to take on board is that a calorie is not a calorie, two options summing up to 1500 calories are not comparable because they have equal calorie content, and some affect your brain chemistry in ways that make you eat more.