The myth of calories in/calories out has been perhaps one of the biggest obstacles in successfully managing obesity and may in fact be one of the direct causes of the current obesity crisis. I am sure you have heard that to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you take in. The correlation can make sense to someone I’m sure, but it in reality it just doesn’t. Taking this theory your weight should fluctuate from day-to-day, week to week and month to month based on how much more activity you either put out or how much more food you consume.
The simple fact is that a calories is NOT a calorie. The human body will process different foods in different ways. The processing of different foods is heavily influenced by the release of the hormone insulin. This is the reason why low carbohydrate eating is such an effective means of not only losing weight, but keeping it off — permanently.
Those that espouse the calorie model of weight management will try to convince you that it doesn’t matter what you eat, just so long as you restrict the number of calories you consume. So you can eat, say 1,500 calories a day. To the advocates of caloric restriction it doesn’t matter if you eat 1,500 calories of ice cream, steak, bread, potatoes, chicken, fish, candy,… okay you get the idea. Just as long as you restrict the calories you will lose weight and you know something, this may work, to a point. However, it will not work in the long-term, and it will definitely not help improve your overall health. If you are consuming 1,500 calories of sugar every day, your body is secreting large amounts of insulin, eventually, possibly leading to insulin related issues including weight gain, obesity and potentially type II diabetes.
The body does not process carbohydrates, proteins and fats the same way. It is pretty obvious that simple carbohydrates and to a large extent, complex carbohydrates have a negative effect on the human body. All carbohydrate, with the exception of fiber is eventrually broken down into a simply sugar. They will all cause insulin to be released, and if not utilized almost immediately the excess energy will be stored as fat in the body.
It does matter where your calories come from, it does matter in which form you consume them and it does matter to your overall health what you eat.
I am an advocate of low carbohydrate eating. Not simply restricting carbohydrates, but eating foods that are not processed and do not contain large amounts of any type of non-fibrous carbohydrate. In my next posting I will discuss the difference between fat and carbohydrate as an energy source.
Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book; Fat Then Fit Now; A life beyond wight loss.
He is available to speak at no charge to any school or any youth group. He will make himself available to any talk radio, internet podcasting or television outlet. He has appeared on Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Lisa Davis’ Your health radio; Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast; Hank Garner’s Podcast.