When it comes to weight loss, the discussion of calories inevitably comes up.
Does paying attention to calories even matter? Yes and no.
As we all know, counting calories can be tricky and very time-consuming. It can often put one in a restrictive mindset. We start to plan our days around, “I have to have this vs. that,” when it comes to choosing what to eat, merely based on the number of calories a food has. This is why diet food companies put dessert-like snacks with very few calories in their prepped food options. If you’re counting calories, those would seem like a smart choice. Yet what is really important here, is the quality of the calories.
It is very important to be aware of the type of calories that are coming in. For example, are you getting enough protein, and from what source?
Protein, fat, and carbohydrates all have calories, but instead of counting them, we should really be conscious of what sources they are coming from. Getting our fats from avocados, walnuts, and fish versus ice cream makes a big difference to our health. They may have the same amount of calories, but their effect on our bodies is completely different.
But does this mean there is no room for ice cream? That depends.
When a majority of your food is coming from nutrient-dense foods (in other words supplying you with what your body needs), then yes, there is room for ice cream on an occasional basis. There is also room for the occasional sweet treat like ice cream, when one is exerting themselves in activities that burn calories, like yard work and other forms of fitness. (Calories in, calories out.)
Calories are not the whole picture when it comes to weight loss, but they are not something to be ignored either. The number of calories matters, yet so does the quality of calories.
Here’s were when just paying attention to the number of calories can back fire…
When someone consumes less calories than their resting metabolic rate (RMR), the body can go into “starvation mode,” and instead of burning calories (because it’s not getting enough) it will hold onto calories.
Also, if those calories are from poor-quality foods then the body will send signals that it has not received enough of the right nutrients, and hunger might pursue.
Go ahead and count calories if you’d like, but definitely pay attention to the quality of those calories you are consuming. Your best bet is to put your attention on whole foods from real sources and incorporate exercise that involves both cardio and strength training. (Calorie burn is complicated when it comes to exercise too- it may not matter as much as you think.)
Hopefully, for you, this evolves to become more of a natural way of eating.
#calories #qualitymatter #wholefoods
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I am a fanatic when it comes to uncovering the truths and the falsities to sound nutrition and good health. When we use a little common sense we can back up anything, yet there is always room for debate.