Everyone who’s struggled with their weight has crossed paths with the calories in, calories out belief.
Sometimes it’s a harmless comment like, “you eat too much”, or “just eat less”. And sometimes it’s not as nice.
What you’re being told is you’re eating too many calories and if you just put down the pizza you wouldn’t be overweight.
Is it true, though? Is weight loss as simple as eating fewer total calories everyday?
All Calories Are Not Created Equal
There is a definite correlation between the number of calories you eat everyday, and your current body weight. Your body needs a certain amount of calories just to maintain an equilibrium. So in this sense calories matter.
But when you’re trying to lose weight, things get a little more complicated. This is because certain calories are digested and utilized differently. Some food sources interact and trigger different hormones that can directly or indirectly influence hunger and body weight.
Eating 1,000 calories of protein, will have a much different effect on your body and hormones compared to eating 1,000 calories of pure sugar. They’re both 1,000 calories but one has a much stronger influence on weight gain.
The protein will digest slower, and give a feeling of fullness much longer. It will also have very little effect on blood sugar, insulin and other weight management hormones.
The sugar is at the opposite end of the spectrum.
It will digest very quickly resulting in subsequent hunger cravings. It also directly influences your blood sugar, insulin, and other hormones linked to metabolism, hunger, and satiety.
Content Matters As Much As Total Calories
The type of food you eat everyday is just as important as the total amount of calories you eat each day. If you decide to reduce your total daily calories , without making meaningful changes to your diet content you will likely be disappointed with the long term results.
You may lose a few pounds in the early stages of your reduced calorie diet, but as your body and hormones adapt the weight loss will become frustratingly slow.
Calories Sources You Should Reduce
Related: How the Eat Stop Eat diet works
Calorie Sources You Should Keep
Fresh Fruit (not canned)
Whole Grain Foods