Not all calories are created equal
Have you tried to lose weight by eating healthy before only to find that you didn't really know what was good and what was bad? Were you confused by all of the marketing that hit you in the face every time you stepped foot in the grocery store?
I think it would be fair to say that most of know that to lose weight we need to burn more calories than we consume. This has lead to many people being purely calorie conscious and not thinking about anything else when it comes to nutrition. A Weight Watchers diet is a great example of this that many of us would be well aware of - each food has a number of points allocated to it depending on how many calories it contains.
What you need to be aware of is that while the number of calories you consume IS very important so too is the quality of your calories. To explain this a lot better then I possibly could, i've got my friend Stacey who is a studying naturopath to write today's post, she is incredibly good and seriously knows her stuff - hope you enjoy!
Hey guys, Stacey here, thanks for checking out my post, i hope you get a lot out of it and would love to hear your feedback :)
The theory that simply reducing your overall caloric intake to lose weight has been debunked by a recent study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (Jun 2011;364-25:2392-404). The study followed 120,877 men and women (over a four year period) between the ages of 12 – 20 to explore how multiple factors influenced weight loss or gain. Leading researcher Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian states that "Just counting calories won't matter much unless you look at the kinds of calories you're consuming”.
After lifestyle factors were adjusted, foods which were associated with weight gain included hot chips, processed meats, sugary drinks, and refined grains - no surprises there! And the foods which are supportive to achieving an ideal and healthy weight were fruits, vegetables and high-fibre grains! Yoghurt was also regarded as beneficial (I recommend natural yoghurt here…Be aware of the hidden sugars in many ‘low-fat’ yoghurts) as it raises metabolism and aids fat burning by maintaining healthy gut flora.
This study proves that even though both a Tim Tam and a medium sized banana have the same amount of calories (both around 100), one is clearly more conducive to weight loss than the other (Sorry to disappoint and state the obvious, but it’s not the Tim Tam!). Likewise, a meal rich in protein, fibre, micronutrients and essential fatty acids, such as Salmon and mixed vegetables, is going to do wonders for your metabolism when compared to a Meat pie with a cream bun! Although these have similar caloric values, your body will assimilate, recognise and utilise these meals in very different ways.
Take home message? Calories DO matter, and portion control along with being aware of your food composition is vitally important, but it is not the whole picture. The TYPE of calories you choose to consume will go a very long way to helping you achieve your weight loss goals!
Jake here again, I hope you got something out of that and big thanks to Stacey for sharing her knowledge :)
If you want to check out Stacey's blog you can here. If you have any questions or feedback just leave us a comment below.
Dedicated to your fitness success, Jake