Your body does not react to calories

We are 1 month into our nutrition challenge and most of our members are doing well. I normally write them a little post on a bi-weekly basis but I like to share this post with everyone.

So often people try to lose weight and are getting focused on calories. I personally believe that any diet you do will work as it will give you a focus and will make you think more about what you eat. But I like all members of our food challenge to create a lifestyle they can stick to for the rest of their lives so that the weight they lose will stay off.

I am not an expert of calories and how all is taken by the body but I am obsessed by understanding the human body, how it moves, how it burns and how we can look after it to live as long as possible. I am a big believer that by eating healthy and exercising you can avoid a lot of diseases that are out there.

The body has thousands of simultaneous metabolic pathways running every moment of every day in every one of the 100 billion cells that make up the human body. Energy is not only used to synthesise required molecules, repair, digest and absorb but is also lost as heat. Furthermore some reactions are more ‘exothermic’ – or heat releasing – than others. The ingestion of protein, for example, is associated with a more heat-releasing reaction than fat or carbohydrates as the body requires more energy to digest it. The measurement of energy contained in food is an inexact science and to pretend otherwise is foolish.

The body does not react to calories; it reacts to macronutrients present in food.  A low-calorie diet works in the short term, but as research has shown, most people will regain weight. Why is this? Simple physiology. Evolutionary development has predisposed our metabolisms to decrease whenever food is scarce as a method of preservation. Resume ‘normal’ eating patterns and you gain weight, even if this gain is initially kept off by high-activity levels.

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I have being doing a test on myself and have been eating healthy real food for a month with 1560 calorie a day. I felt well, energised, got stronger in the gym and I lost body fat. I didn't eat any sugar at all and no alcohol. If the food didn't grow on a farm or was living on a farm or in the sea I wouldn't eat it.

The next month I used same calories (1560) but did not pay attention to what I eat.  Sometimes I had some chocolates, some soda, chips... But I made sure I eat the same amount of calories as according to a lot of diets if you have a calorie deficit you will lose weight...

I felt tired, felt bloated and I gained weight...  So for me it was very clear it is not just about how many calories you eat, its also about what you eat. 

Proper nutrition is about manipulating hormones via careful selection of healthy food, resulting in the body utilising its own fat stores as well as ingested carbohydrates, protein and fat without resulting systemic inflammation or deposition of excess fat. What constitutes ‘proper’ nutrition varies from person to person and differs based on insulin resistance, level of activity, response to certain foods and a myriad of other factors. Some individuals lose a tremendous amount of weight on a high-fat diet, others require higher levels of carbohydrates to see any effects. This is widely acknowledged by personal trainers, bodybuilders and athletes. The body is too complex for the simplistic calorie hypothesis to be definitive.

So to all the people who are doing our challenge, but also everyone who likes to live a healthier life; don't just focus on calories.

Before you put it in your mouth think of how it will effect you!

Healthy eating does not just help you to lose weight, it fights a lot of killer diseases as well!