If you are sick of counting calories and of keeping track how much energy you are taking in versus how much you are putting out in order to lose or maintain your weight, I have got great news for you. Counting calories is outdated!!!
One reason why I believe this concept is flawed is that not all calories are equal…in a vacuum maybe yes but not when put into the context of our so beautiful human bodies. 600 calories of packaged processed food does not have the same impact on our body than a 600 calorie meal that is composed of beautiful wholefoods such as whole-grains, vegetables, fruits, lean protein and healthy fats. The former 600 calories will more than likely end up on our waist line because all those highly processed simple sugars and unhealthy transfats that live in packaged foods spike your blood sugar…as a consequence the body has to work hard to raise its insulin levels to get rid of all of this sugar and we get quickly hungry again. In addition our metabolism which determines how many calories we burn at rest is slowed down. With the latter 600 calories however, our clever body knows exactly what to do…it will use all those beautiful nutrients, antioxidants and other phyto-nutrients to fight off free radicals, re-build our bodies, heal and nurture it. With all that work going on of breaking down and using important nutrients our metabolism has to stay highly active. The best way to for your blood sugar levels to stay stable is on a balanced diet made up of delicious whole-foods, you will remain satisfied and happily full for longer :-).
Another flaw in the calories in vs calories out equation is that if we restrict calories in order to lose weight our body will adapt to this perceived famine that is going on with slowing down its metabolism. Which means you are now burning fewer calories at rest and you will probably have to restrict your calories even further to be able to lose more weight. With the result of course that the body will react again and decrease the speed with which it performs all its bodily functions even further…To make things even worse, when you restrict your calories your body is under enormous stress and consequently secretes higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. However, cortisol will only rev up your appetite, spike even more cravings for fatty and sugary foods and lead to an increase in belly fat…which makes all sense if you are actually fighting for survival…but maybe not so much when you are simply trying to lose weight.
Food is so much more than just calories…Some foods like ginger, cinnamon, green tea or hot chillies can boost your metabolic rate as well as certain diets such as the raw or vegan diet can. Other foods like almonds for example even though they are high in vegetable fats are known to help with weight loss. This is due to the fact that they slow down the return of hunger but also because they go straight through your digestive tract instead of being stored in your body and in doing so supply much fewer calories than expected. And since the body is such an intrinsic and absolutely wonderful apparatus the concept of reductionism and simply counting calories in versus calories out does simply not work because the whole is so much greater than the sum of its parts as far as food is concerned.
So instead of counting calories which is no fun anyway go back to eating real food that taste delicious and will result in weight loss such as vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, lean protein and healthy fats.
This means instead of slowing down the body’s metabolic rate when eating junk foods, the opposite is happening when consuming wholefoods this helps the body’s metabolic rate increaseand over-simplifying the concept of calories in versus calories is outdated.