It is often said the only thing that matters for weight loss is “calories in and calories out.” Exercise harder and eat less. Unfortunately, this strategy only works for a short period of time.
The truth is calories do matter. However, the types of foods we eat is equally as important. This is because different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body.
Additionally, the foods we eat directly impact our hormones that regulate when and how much we eat, as well as the number of calories we burn.
Here are two examples of why a calorie is NOT just a calorie:
Eating protein can boost the metabolic rate and reduce appetite compared to the same number of calories from fats and carbs. It can also increase your muscle mass, which helps you burn more calories around the clock. Not to mention 30% of the energy of protein is used up in the digestion process verse 8% for carbohydrates which contain the same calories per gram.
Fructose vs Glucose
Studies show fructose can stimulate the appetite more compared to the same number of calories from glucose. Therefore, high fructose corn syrup may encourage overeating.
All calories are not created equal. Different foods go through different metabolic pathways and have varying effects on hunger, hormones, health and your waistline. Try to focus on a healthy balanced whole food approach that reduces packaged and processed foods.