So today I’m talking about another so called “healthy eating mistake” you could be making without realising its jeopardising your success.
Today I talk about the great calorie debate. So what is right and what is wrong?
Well lets simply start with this, in my own personal and professional opinion I DONT believe this one specific area to be the true difference between your ultimate success and your ultimate failure.
Its simply an area that is so multifaceted that one simple equation in regards to all calories being created equal just doesn’t fit nor sit with me happily.
I personally think that its a solid idea to have an awareness of how much your eating, thats a given, but getting caught up in the number crunching to the finite calorie for most people simply is over kill in my professional belief, and I am about to explain why!
So lets delve a little deeper!
Its a simple scientific fact that not all foods are metabolised the same with in your body, hell if you gave 100 people the exact same meal, each and everyone of those individuals would metabolise those meals completely differently, use them differently and store them differently. You see we are not incinerators that simply ingest something through the food tube and then “bunsen burner” them into energy. No we metabolise them, we ingest, digest, absorb and then either use them to burn as energy, or store them away. Not all calories end up stuck away in the “Kennards” self storage units as body fat, but then again, not all calories you consume end up being turned into energy you spend either.
So how does it all work?
Well lets keep it simple! Not all foods you eat deliver what they say they do in regards to total energy (calories) per unit eaten.
There is something called thermic effect of food (TEF), quite simply this is what it costs your body to get to the individual building blocks of those foods. Its the heat produced in getting to the unique building blocks tied within the food itself!
Examples of this are:
Fats and oils: are made up of chains of individual fatty acids. Each of these unique fatty- acids is where the energy is held. To get to this energy special bonds have to be broken to get this energy. Its cost your body almost NOTHING to get to this energy in fats. So if you drank 100 calories of flaxseed oil almost all of that energy in its entirety would be supplied to you body (on average).
Carbohydrates: are made from individual blocks of glucose, yes the simple sugar “glucose”. So if you eat bread, pasta, cereals, grains, quinoa, tea, legumes, fairy floss, jam, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber and so on the ultimate end result is glucose. So for the work your body needs to get that lettuce leaf, spinach leaf, kale leaf, beetroot wedge, or basmati rice spoonful to glucose its cost your body about 3% to turn it into glucose, so therefore about 97% of the food energy is yours. This is a complex area as its a little more complex than this as certain foods (namely the Mother Natures Pharmacy foods the plant kingdom) has a certain dietary fibre know as “insoluble dietary fibre” that is basically the “plants skeleton” and in most cases we as humans DO NOT have the enzymes (chemicals that speed up reactions) to break them down so we don’t get most if any of the calories or energy in those foods. that is why these types of foods the plant based kingdom is so import ant to weight management and fat loss, and health and wellbeing.
If you choose to ingest daily spoonfuls of sugar whether it be from table sugar, agave syrup, rice malt sugar, raw sugar, low go sugar, dextrose, glucose powder and alike the cost of this naivety is this: elevated blood glucose levels, the pancreas fighting hard to control these dangerous levels by pumping out “insulin” to transport this blood glucose to working muscles, liver cells or fat tissue. In the long run this “cut and paste” lifestyle choice simply invites disease. Disease such as diabetes, kidney failure, metabolic syndrome (abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other cardio vascular issues). Unrefined, colourful plant based superstars work completely different in your body. But as with all good things, the “choice is yours”!
Proteins: are built from individual units called “amino acids”, and the little superstars are imperative to our survival. Now with most proteins the cost to have your body convert the food into these little building blocks for life is somewhere between 20-30% depending on the text book you read. So yes that correct, if you consumed 100 calories of energy from protein (I.E: sardines, mackerel, herring, salmon, eggs, beef, chicken, lamb, veal, kangaroo etc, only about 70-80% of this energy would be your to use, the rest is lost as heat.
So as you can see from this example alone, not all foods are created equal, nor used by your body like its used by the 100’s of people in your life.
So the take home message is this guys: Being calorie aware and choosing nutrient rich (full of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, fibre, antioxidants, polyphenols and so forth) is truly the best way to focus on eating for health and wellness, not to mention weight loss and building your very best body!
Just understanding that all foods supply different energy levels, supply different nutrient levels, supply different health benefits and that each and everyone of you will use those foods differently is imperative to your long term goals, not only physically but also mentally and emotionally.
Im never going to be able to sit here and be told by anyone that consuming 2000 calories a day from refined, human interfered with carbohydrates and “laboratory constructed foods”, will have the same effect on your body as consuming 2000 calories of foods from the dynamic plant kingdom and foods that walked the land, or swam the ocean.
Did you know there is even a diet called “IIFYM” (If it fits your macros)? This simply means eat what ever you like as long as it meets your calorie requirements and your protein, carbohydrates and fats requirements for the day!
Im not saying for one minute that you shouldn’t choose to use methods like the one mentioned above, as thats not my decision to make, its yours.
Im just trying to point out to you all that “NOT ALL CALORIES ARE CREATED EQUAL” and the choices you make can have dire consequences on your health and wellbeing. It may not always effect you today, or tomorrow, but in 5-10 years time, the story will be very different.
I do hope this article gives you something to ponder.