A calorie is (not) a calorie….
Mainstream diet advice for years has been based upon calorie counting. You can find it repeated a million times that a pound of your body fat contains 3500 calories, and if you burn 3500 more calories than you eat you will lose one pound of fat.
This sounds so logical, but it is also so wrong. I have posted before on issues surrounding calorie counting, for more on that see my posts on exercise to burn calories? and BMR – basal metabolic rate. Additionally, you could check out the lecture linked at the bottom of the page by Jonathon Bailor, author of The Calorie Myth and creator of sanesolution.com.
Authority Nutrition – 6 reasons a calorie is not a calorie
Kris Gunnars, nutrition researcher and creator of authoritynutrition.com, has posted an article (linked below) discussing some of the main reasons why treating all calories as equal leads to inconsistent results. It is a good synopsis of the main issues and a short read, I recommend it if you don’t have time to watch the lectures posted below.
The overarching reason why what you eat matters more than how much you eat is this: calories from different sources are metabolized in a different fashion, with different effects on the body. These effects can range from energy to metabolize the food to hormonal responses to individual macronutrients to metabolic pathways used in metabolism.
Fructose calories have almost no good effects and mostly negative ones – this is one of the reasons why it is so important to eliminate or severely reduce added sugars from your diet. I have discussed sugar in depth in my prior post on sugar = poison. I will also link below to a fascinating viral video on just how bad sugar is for you titled Sugar: the Bitter Truth by Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatrician at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. This lecture has had well over 6 million views on YouTube. It runs about an hour and a half, so it takes a bit of a commitment to watch it.
Also discussed in the article are the following differences in calorie metabolism:
- The Thermic Effect of Food
- Effect of Protein on Appetitie
- The Satiety Index
- Low Carb Diets and Calorie Reduction
- The Glycemic Index
Check out the article and also carve out a few hours to watch and learn from the videos linked below. It is information like this which finally opened my eyes and made me realize I had wasted literally decades trying to control my weight using conventional methods and nutritional advice.
Your body will work with you to achieve your goals if you are an “enabler” of your natural biological control mechanisms, I encourage you to leverage your own metabolism and biology through proper food choices.
Because a calorie is not a calorie!