Why Calorie Is A Poor Guide When It Comes To Weight Loss?
The Calorie isn’t just a poor guide for weight loss – it is in fact no guide at all.
Our adherence to the Calorie is probably the biggest contributing factor to our ever increasing obesity problem and certainly no help at all in diminishing those waistlines.
This might seem like an audacious statement to come out with, so please let me explain.
The Calorie is essentially a unit of HEAT energy founded in physics and applied to our food (and therefore also our relationship with our food) by Max Rubner and Carl Van Voit some time ago.
One Calorie is in fact said to be the increase of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius.
The food we consume is digested to utilise the chemicals of that food, which is the basis of all chemical reactions that maintain the body. An obvious side effect of all those chemical reactions is the heat they produce. However, we do not consume food for its heat value,do we? Instead, we consume it for energy.
So in reality there is no relationship between the heat measured from a food in an experiment and the way in which our body uses that food.
A question I constantly ask when giving this talk is:
When Is The Last Time You Swallowed Any Food And Then Set Fire To It In Your Stomach?
Through no fault of our own we have been press ganged into this Calorie system adopted by physicists of the 19th century. Food conglomerates (for whom it works) and negligent food, health and Government agencies have essentially forced it upon us.
In no way does the calorie account for our nutritional needs. It does not discriminate between good and bad foods. In no way does it help to highlight any benefits or negatives of any food.
So to claim that an individual requires a given number of calories a day is a complete farce when those calories could be made up by anything from fruit and vegetables through to alcohol and chocolate cakes!
So it is not without foundation that I claim the calorie is more closely linked with leading us into obesity than leading us out of it.
But How Do We Replace This Antiquated Methodology?
For 20 years now I have worked very successfully with clients all over the world with a completely different approach which views foods in two distinct ways.
- A food’s ability to potentially harm our health
- That food’s ability to add to our body fat levels.
These two are not necessarily linked. There are many foods that might harm our health, but add nothing to our body fat levels. Similarly there are those that are beneficial to us, which can add to our body fat levels.
Learn to view your food in a different way in order to avoid an increase in body fat levels.
There is a second point to make here in relation to the title of this piece – that of the use of the term ‘weight loss’.
As with the calorie, this is also an outdated term that needs to be thrown out. It is unhealthy to lose weight. We all know this and all of those crash weight loss stories and consequent crushing weight gains prove this. The recent reported death of a young woman in the Manchester Evening News UK actually suggested a direct link between her death and her crash diet. Tragic.
Instead We Should Talk About Losing Body Fat:
The only part of your body that will ever help you reduce body fat are your muscles. If you do not work these to make them more efficient by lifting heavy weights you will never lose that body fat in the long term. Obviously muscle is 3 times denser than body fat, so you might not lose as much weight on the scales but you will be so much smaller and leaner.
So dump the calorie for the lie that it is and stop trying to lose weight. Focus instead on losing body fat, which will in turn trim your waistline!
What Do You Feel?
What are your views about calorie after reading the article? Do you feel it is a parameter to judge weight? Have you ever realized that calorie can not be considered as a real factor when we talk about weight loss? Do put up your views what you feel about this!
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