Why It's Not About Calories
You know when people say "a calorie is a calorie"? Don't listen to them! The concept that 2,000 calories per day is 2,000 calories per day and - it doesn't matter what type of food makes up those calories - it will all have the same affect on your weight, is completely misguided. Can you tell this topic gets me all fired up? I explain why it's not all about calories in today's video.
What is a calorie?
The "calorie" on a food label is really referring to kilocalories. A kilocalorie is the amount of energy needed to raise 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius. So that seems easily applicable to our bodies, right? Kidding...
The Atwater system is now used to calculate the calorie counts on food labels. That system breaks down the amount of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and alcohol in a food. The number of calories is then calculated using the calories per gram of each maco. If you're curious 1 gram of fat has 9 calories and there are 4 calories in 1 gram of protein and carbohydrates. Stay with me...this gets more interesting.
My main point: all of these calorie calculations are done in closed systems in a lab NOT in a human body. So if you're saying "a calorie is a calorie" in these laboratory scenarios, that's true since it's the only thing they're measuring. But when food enters the body it becomes a very different story.
As a little side note: I do think calories are helpful. It's important to have a general idea of whether you're consuming 1,000 calories or 5,000 calories per day. But that's not the main thing to focus on if you want to see sustainable results and feel great.
What don't calories and macros tell us?
When we're just focusing on calories and macronutrients, we're not focusing on the QUALITY. Is that a fat that's likely to contribute to inflammation in your body? Or is the fat heart-healthy, great for your metabolism, and anti-inflammatory? Same for carbs! There is a huge difference between simple, refined highly processed carbohydrates and really nourishing carbohydrates packed with micronutrients.
If you're consuming 2,000 calories worth of processed food, the effects those calories will have on your body are going to be SO different compared to 2,000 calories of real food. There will be an immense difference between your energy levels, inflammation, bloating, and metabolism between those two groups even when they are the exact same calorie count.
It's very challenging to know the actual number of calories you burn.
If you've ever compared the estimated calories burned on an elliptical machine versus your Apple watch or FitBit versus an online calculator you know there is a huge variation between those numbers. Not only do calories miss the mark on important aspects of maintaining a healthy weight, but it becomes a big guessing game when you don't even know how many calories you need in the first place.
If you are feeling drained and frustrated from meticulously tracking calories and not seeing results, I urge you to step back and refocus.
You can get sustainable results when you start seeing food in a nourishing way. Food is fuel. Focus on consuming food that is providing solid building blocks for your body and I guarantee your energy levels, confidence, and happiness will soar.
Calories are just one little piece of the puzzle. What those calories are doing once they enter your body and your mindset around them will ultimately determine your health and weight loss success. To see which of the 3 Life Boost B's are getting in your way, get your free copy of my "Life Boost Weight Buster Guide". In 7 days, you'll have complete clarity about what's been getting in your way to results you love for sustainable success.