Helpful for those still struggling to lose weight, even when following UWL or MWLP.
Taken from this post from the Jeff Novick forum on the McDougall Message board:
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/lbFresh Fruits around 250-300 cal/lbStarchy Veggies/Intact Whole Grains around 450-500 cal/lbLegumes around 550-600 cal/lbProcessed Grains (even if their Whole grain) around 1200-1500 cal/lbNuts/Seeds around 2800 cal/lbOils around 4000 cal/lb
What I have found is if the calorie density of the food is below ~400 calories per pound, not matter how much they eat, they will lost weight.
Between ~400-~800 calories per pound, with some moderate exercise, they all lost weight.
Between ~800-~1200 calories per pound, people gained weight, except for those with very high activity levels
Over ~1200 calories per pound, everyone seems 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.
These numbers are also inline with other recommendations.