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A calorie is not a calorie

So a calorie is not a calorie? I’ve stolen the title from the Dr Greger from Nutrition Facts, it’s not something I would previously subscribed to.

My understanding of calorie control has always been a simple in/out equation. If you burn more than you consume then all good, you can eat what you want when you want.

Apparently and unfortunately (especially as we get older) this is too simple a view of things.

It’s hard to get facts even on the internet but the large body of evidence points at epic fail.

I’m not a physiologist so this is my understanding of how it all works and why most diets ultimately fail.

“A calorie is not a calorie” kind of makes sense when you think about it. To fulfill my count I need roughly 2000 calories a day, that allows me to lose weight. If I’m active or maintain if I’m sitting on my ass working from home all day.

I can get calories from poor food that won’t give me fibre, protein, fat (very important) and carbs. Or I can fill my body full of sugars!

If I opt for the latter I will not feel full, get a sugar high and feel hungry again. This I believe leads to over eating for many (including me, I’ve done it plenty of times).

I’m not suggesting we all eat 2000 calories of carrot, spinach and tomatoes. Apart from anything else our stomachs couldn’t hold that much volume to fulfill the calorie count.

But if you are watching calorie consumption surely you give yourself the best chance of success by maintaining balance?

I think this is why those eat what you want/reward diets fail. Ultimately you end up feeling hungry because you are not getting the right type of food. As oppossed to enough food to satisfy what you need.

An app helps initially to understand more about what is in our food. I used myfitnesspal initially to educate myself, took a couple of months now I don’t need to. Other apps are available!

Rant over…back in my bubble of one, covid makes this more difficult so look after yourself.