A Calorie Is Not a Calorie: The Shocking Truth
A Calorie Is Not a Calorie:
- The word calorie may have originated from the Greek word calor, which means heat, but consuming more calories isn’t necessarily the answer to achieving weight loss.
- In fact, it’s often not that simple. Several factors play into how many calories you actually burn, depending on your age, gender, health status and even more variables!
- If you want to truly understand how much of an impact a calorie can have on your body, then keep reading to learn more about why a calorie isn’t just a calorie…and what you can do about it!
A calorie is a unit of energy. The amount of energy in a food is measured in calories. A calorie is not a nutrient. A calorie is not the same as a kilocalorie.
A calorie is not a fat gram. A calorie is not a protein gram. A calorie is not an carbohydrate gram. A calorie is not a vitamin or mineral. A calorie is not cholesterol.
It’s time to stop thinking about foods in terms of good and bad based on their calories alone, since the quality and quantity of macronutrients make more difference than does the number of calories.
Stop being misled by labels that say low-cal or low-fat, because they’re not low enough to be healthy.
Don’t fall for the latest diet fad—stop focusing on what you can’t eat instead of what you can! Just remember that when it comes to your health, calories are just one piece of the puzzle.
Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats are Different
Different types of calories are metabolized differently in the body. For example, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is then used for energy.
Fats are broken down into fatty acids, which can be used for energy or stored in the body. Protein is broken down into amino acids, which are used to build and repair tissues.
What this means is that if you’re eating a lot of protein your metabolism will work at higher rates, as well as your cardiovascular system.
Fiber slows digestion and causes blood sugar levels to rise more slowly over time.
Fiber-rich foods can help you feel full longer than foods with less fiber content; thus aiding in weight management by helping you avoid overeating or consuming too many calories.
When someone consumes an excessive amount of sugar they release insulin; insulin helps cells absorb sugar so it’s not left sitting around in the bloodstream (which could cause other problems).
But when someone eats refined sugars instead of natural sugars they experience high levels of blood sugar quickly followed by low levels after just a few hours.
Which Foods Are Low in Calories?
- Foods that are low in calories are typically high in water content.
- This means that they take up more space in your stomach, making you feel fuller faster and helping to avoid overeating.
- Low-calorie foods are also generally lower in fat and sugar, which can help keep your weight down.
- Some of the best low-calorie foods include fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and beans.
- These foods are not only low in calories, but they’re also packed with nutrients that your body needs to function properly.
- So, if you’re looking to lose weight or just eat healthier, be sure to fill up on these low-calorie foods!
How Much Exercise is Enough?
It is a common misconception that all calories are created equal. A new study is showing that this simply isn’t true. In fact, calories from different sources have different effects on the body.
For example, calories from processed foods are more likely to be stored as fat, while calories from healthy foods are more likely to be used for energy.
This means that even if you’re eating the same number of calories, you could still end up gaining weight if you’re not careful about what you’re eating.
But it’s not just food choices that can make or break your weight loss – it’s also how much exercise you do. You see, after exercising your muscles will use more glucose (sugar) for fuel than they would when at rest. That sounds like good news, right?
Well, it is until you consider that the more time you spend doing high-intensity workouts like lifting weights or sprinting (i.e., anything but walking), the less glucose your muscles will need and thus use – which translates into burning fewer calories during exercise and storing them afterwards as fat.
Exercise Less, Eat Less
We’ve all been there. You’re trying to lose weight, so you cut back on calories and start exercising more. But the scale doesn’t budge.
What gives? It turns out that a calorie is not a calorie. That’s because it’s not just about how many calories we consume or burn-it’s also about what those calories are made of.
For example, studies show that eating 100% fat will cause an increase in body fat whereas eating 100% carbs will not.
It also depends on your metabolism and genetics-and if your goal is weight loss or maintenance, muscle mass plays an important role as well.
All these factors mean that we need personalized plans based on individual needs rather than generic plans like eat less/exercise more.
Starve Yourself, Binge Later
A new study suggests that when you cut calories, your body responds by slowing your metabolism and making you more likely to binge later
. This is because your body goes into starvation mode when it doesn’t get enough food. When you do finally eat, your body tries to make up for the lost calories by storing them as fat.
So, if you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to rethink your strategy. Cutting back on calories actually slows down your metabolism and makes you crave high-calorie foods.
In other words, the old adage a calorie is not a calorie might be true after all. Instead of starving yourself and then binging later, try eating well-balanced meals throughout the day.
Eating a little less will help you keep your metabolism healthy so that it burns off calories more efficiently.
Stress Makes You Eat
We all know that stress can lead to bad habits, like smoking or biting our nails. But did you know that it can also cause us to overeat?
When we’re stressed, our bodies release the hormone cortisol, which can increase our appetite. And not only do we crave comfort foods when we’re stressed, but we also tend to eat more of them.
So if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to find ways to manage your stress.
Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness exercises are great for reducing stress and may even help you eat less.
Disordered Eating Habits Can Lead to Health Problems
Disordered eating habits, such as skipping meals, bingeing, or overeating, can lead to health problems.
Skipping meals can cause your blood sugar to drop, which can lead to fatigue and dizziness. Bingeing can cause stomach pain and bloating.
Overeating can cause weight gain. These disordered eating habits may contribute to anxiety, depression, obesity, and other chronic health conditions.
Mealtime Habits Can Affect Your Diet Quality: If you are constantly grazing throughout the day on foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients, then you may be consuming more calories than you realize.
Eating the same number of total calories from nutrient-dense foods is much better for your diet quality because it gives you more nutrition for fewer calories.
Don’t Forget About Fiber!
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly. All three of these nutrients provide the body with energy, but they do so in different ways.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy and are found in foods like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes.
Proteins are needed for the growth and repair of tissues and can be found in meat, poultry, fish, beans, and nuts.
Fats are essential for insulation and can be found in oils, butter, and fatty fish. When you consume carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose (sugar) to release the energy stored within them.
Proteins and fats break down into amino acids and lipids respectively when eaten. Amino acids help build muscle mass and repair tissue while lipids serve as an important part of cell membranes.
Water is essential for our bodies to function properly. It helps us regulate our body temperature, gets rid of waste, and even lubricates our joints. But did you know that water can also help you lose weight?
That’s right, by filling up on water instead of junk food or alcohol, you can help your body slim down. Here’s how it works.
When we drink water, it fills us up, so we’re less likely to overindulge in other things like empty calories from sugar-filled drinks or greasy fast food meals.
What’s more, research has shown that being hydrated helps control the appetite by lowering levels of ghrelin – the hormone responsible for hunger – and increasing levels of leptin – the hormone responsible for satiety (or fullness).
Drinking more water also reduces bloating, which in turn makes it easier to go about your day without feeling self-conscious about carrying extra weight around.
Fill Up on Water Instead of Junk Food or Alcohol
Water is essential for the proper functioning of every system in your body. When you’re dehydrated, your body can’t function at its best.
You may feel tired, have trouble concentrating, and even gain weight. That’s because when you’re dehydrated, your body holds on to water to make up for the lack of fluids.
So instead of filling up on junk food or alcohol, reach for a glass of water. Your body will thank you! Fill Up on Veggies Instead of Red Meat:
Meat has been proven to be one of the most fattening foods. It’s high in saturated fat and cholesterol, both of which lead to health problems like obesity and heart disease.
Plus, animal proteins contain a lot more calories than vegetables do.
But it doesn’t need to be that way! Swap red meat for veggies by adding spinach salad or steamed broccoli with rice dishes, sandwich wraps, tacos or chili recipes—you won’t even notice the difference (unless someone tells you)!
Fill Up on Whole Grains Instead of Refined Grains: Refined grains are often higher in calories than whole grains are due to their added sugar content.