Calories – The Ugly Truth By Coach Piotr
Calories (noun) – Tiny creatures that live in your closet and sew your clothes a little bit tighter every night.
Statistics show that over 90% of people who decide to start new diet based on counting calories as the indicator for fat loss fail to achieve their desired goal? Ever wondered why? Here are some facts about calories and how useful they are:
Whole & Processed calories are not equal.
The differences in hormonal and metabolic responses after consumption of meal consisting of whole as oppose to processed foods are much different. Studies have shown that even when both meals consist of the same amount of calories, participants burnt up to 50% more energy after consuming whole foods meal compared to processed ingredients, Therefore next time you see “reduced calories”, “No Added Sugar” or “no preservatives” written at the top of your favourite healthy snack, think again.
Macronutrients influence on hormonal response post digestion:
Following the general rule of thumb when it comes to dieting, the majority of people who count calories will tend to lean towards a high protein, high carb and low fats diet. It is a well known fact that different foods initiate different hormonal responses in your body. The famous GI index shows a measure how quickly the insulin levels rise after intake of certain foods. High carbohydrate consumption drives up insulin levels, creating cells that are much more resistant to the hormone. This causes our body to produce higher levels of the stress hormone (“Cortisol”) as a result. This combination is linked to fat gain, and even the development of diabetes.
Calorie restriction also influences hormonal response.
The simple truth is: Prolonged calorie restriction has a significant impact on your active & resting metabolism. By restricting calories over long period of time, you simply teach your body to operate, and cope, with the lower energy intake. It no longer looks to stored fat for energy. This leads to poor physical performance, trouble focusing, sleep problems, it lengthens recovery times, and it damages the cognitive functions of our brain. A study included in New England Journal of Medicine found that by putting overweight individuals on very restricted diet consisting of 550 Kcal/Day, it resulted directly in negative hormonal response leading to increased fat storage directly post food consumption (Famine food storage principle).
Thermal Effect of food:
Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between fat loss and the macronutrient intake ratio. Hundreds of academic journals have shown that protein has the highest thermal response of the macronutrients. What this means is that our bodies use the most energy to break the protein down and absorb it. This increases our metabolic rate. Increased metabolism = higher fat loss!
So whether your goal is to perform better, recover quicker, or just to lose that stubborn fat – aim for a high protein diet.
For optimal results and the beach body you always wanted, you have to remember the following:
– Calories are stupid.
– Calories are not equal.
– Macronutrients, not calories will determine the results.
– Low calories does not mean healthy.
– Sustainable high protein diet will result in much better body composition than high carbohydrate diet even when equal in calories.
– It’s about what you eat, not how much you eat!