So, No. A Calorie is NOT a Calorie.
Let’s draw another food analogy.
Say you are starving. You have two choices for dinner, you are trying to lose weight and here’s your menu:
Do you think you are gonna digest them all the same?
Here’s why not.
The calories you eat are absorbed at different rates and have different amounts of fiber, carbohydrates, protein, fat, and nutrients–all of which translate into different complex metabolic signals that control your weight.
– p21, Ultra-Metabolism
- Maybe onion rings might cut it but fries don’t have fiber and nutrients like quinoa which helps keep you healthier and full over a longer period of time
- Soda does not keep your brain satisfied and if fact makes you constantly hungry thanks to an indecent amount of toxic sugar, unlike avocado which contains GOOD monounsaturated fat that keeps your brain and you nourished and full.
So, are they the same calories to you now?
Okay, a further illustration of why a calorie is NOT a calorie just to drive the point home.
For example, the sugar from a soda enters your blood very rapidly, while the same amount of sugar from kidney beans enters your blood slowly. If you drink a soda and all the sugar in it goes into your bloodstream at once, the calories you aren’t using at that moment will be stored as fat. On the other hand, if you eat the kidney beans and the sugar in them is absorbed over time, your body had a greater chance to make use of those calories. That means more of them will be burned and less will be stored. Also, because of the high fiber content of the beans, not all the calories will be absorbed.
I think you’ve got the point.
Now, why do calories in, calories out not work?
If all calories aren’t the same, then calories in, calories out seem problematic, doesn’t it?
If we believe in calories-in/calories-out, and that in turn leads us to conclude that we have to run half-marathons five days a week (in our forties, and more in our fifties, and more in our sixties…) to maintain our weight, it may, once again, be time to question our underlying beliefs. Maybe it‘s something other than the calories we consume and expend that determines whether we get fat.
– p31, Why We Get Fat & What To Do About It
Good Calories, Bad Calories.
Now an explanation of why a calorie is not a calorie is simply because they are not all the same.
As mentioned just now, calories are made up of different stuff, not to mention different amounts as well, like fiber, carbohydrates, protein, fat, and nutrients etc.
And you know that there are good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates, there are good fats and bad fats, and hence there are good calories and bad calories.
AND there is another type of calorie. Sugar. It’s more than a calorie.
Sugar itself calls for a different post by itself altogether and you can find the link below.
Let’s not get distracted for now.
The focus here is calories.
YOU NEED CALORIES.
Stop cutting calories because your body needs energy.
If you lose weight eating only six hundred calories a day, or even twelve hundred, should it come as a surprise that you get fat again when you return to eating two thousand calories a day or more? This is why the experts say a diet has to be something we can follow for life—a lifestyle program.
– p27, Why We Get Fat & What to Do About It
Don’t you agree with what Gary Taubes said above?
According to Dr. Hyman in his extremely informative book, Ultra-Metabolism, we need to eat equal or more than our resting metabolic rate. You can find the formula in page 16 of the book.
In order for us to know how much to eat, we need to first find out what our resting metabolic rate is. Which, according to Dr. Hyman again, is:
Dear non-American friends like myself,
- 1 pound = 0.453592 kg
- 1 kg = 2.20462 pounds
So for example, let’s do some math… (Don’t worry, mine sucks. But if I can do this, you can too.) My resting metabolic rate would be,
- 56kg = 56 x 2.20462 = 123.46 (rounded off to the nearest 2 decimal places)
- 123.46 x 10 = 1234.6
I will need 1234.6 calories, basic energy, to run my metabolism for the day.
But why must I eat calories equal or more than my resting metabolic rate?
If you eat less than amount, your body will instantly perceive danger and turn on the alarm system that protects you from starvation and slows your metabolism. As a consequence, you go right into starvation mode and just start eating and eating once you inevitably stop the diet–the classic rebound weight gain.
You have to eat more than your resting metabolic rate, or your body will think you are starving. When you eat less than your RMR or resting metabolic rate, you tend to gain weight rather than lose it.
– p17, Ultra-Metabolism
(Sidenote: Guys, you should really check out Ultra-Metabolism for important professional advice on getting our metabolism to work for us to stay lean.)
YOU HAVE A SAY ON WHAT YOU EAT
Two more things I want to share before you say “I can’t” to eating REAL food; healthy, unprocessed, unadulterated food.
Quoted from the documentary, Fed Up (2014),
- “Junk is still junk, even if it’s less junky.”
- “Sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine.”
You can choose what type of energy to fuel your body with by choosing what you eat wisely.
Simply put, you can choose the “easy way” out by eating fast food packed with junk and heaps of sugar which keeps you hungry and highway to obesity.
Or make the conscious effort to choose what you eat.
The type of food you eat has a big impact on what your genes tell your metabolism to do. This means that the types of calories you consume have a dual impact on the way you metabolize food. They act as both a source of energy and a source of information or instructions to your genes that control metabolism.
– p23, Ultrametabolism
Trust me, it’s NOT difficult.
That’s what GreedyHealthJunkie is here to prove.
In fact, if you eat right, you wouldn’t be starving, you wouldn’t have to struggle with “going on a diet”.
Besides, the reason why most people “go on a diet” is because they struggle with being “fat”.
So by now I hope I have addressed all the points I said I would, all summarized in the checklist below.
Now, it’s time for us to rethink what going on a diet means. And more importantly, what really makes us fat? Read my post, Sweet Tooth or Addicted to Sugar? Sweetie, You’ll Be The Death of Me. (PART 1) and be in for a not so sweet treat.
Do share with me your thoughts and comments about what I’ve written.
I would love to hear from you.