Calories in and calories out. That’s the age old advice of nutritionists. It’s still the advice we’re given in the UK. It seems sensible that since a calorie is a measure of energy that goes into the body, it needs to be equal or less than energy used. But are all calories the same? This is something I’ve started to explore as part of my own weight loss journey.
We’re told to measure calories, keep fat intake low, eat five fruit and vegetable portions a day and eat a reasonable amount of protein. Preferably not hight in fat and not red meat. Carbohydrates – bread, cereal, potatoes, rice and pasta give many calories within our western diet. But these carbohydrates are often processed. Much of my recent reading points to the concept that eating too many of our daily calories through this kind of carbohydrate intake is damaging.
Eating processed food causes an insulin response in the body, and stores any excess as fat. Straight after you feel hungry again, craving more of the same. Next you try to lose weight and restrict calories, making the body think it is being put into a state of starvation. Finally the metabolism slows down to keep those calories around for longer.
This article tells us that fat is not the enemy, processed carbohydrates are. While recent (pandemic related) events have blown me a little of course, I am seeing results. I’m worrying less about fat content and more about the quality of my meat and vegetables. I’ve found that the fewer starchy carbohydrates you eat, the fewer you actually need. The cravings for sugar go away too, once you don’t eat it.
I just need to start to follow my own advice again.