What TRULY is a Calorie? Stick with us here…this educational piece will CHANGE the way you look at a calorie, and free you of calorie counting ever again!
A measure of energy.
“1 calorie is the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius.”
This is such a broad statement when it comes to the human body. A calorie is considered energy that begins at the digestion phase. It takes way more energy to digest good fat, protein and foods high in fiber than it does to digest foods high in table sugar and simple carbohydrate foods.
A pound of fat is 3500 calories. If you eat 500 calories less than you burn every day, then after a week (7 * 500 = 3500) you will lose a pound of fat, right? This way of thinking is so oversimplified. Weight loss depends on so many factors, like gut health, hormone balance, enzymes, nutrients and combination of foods, to name a few.
If you just think about a calorie as a calorie than you are missing the entire idea about energy in, energy out.
Here are the facts:
Different foods have a variety of different effects on our bodies. All food goes through a metabolic process before it is turned into energy. It’s not just an excess or deficit in calories that cause weight loss or gain. At first a deficit will cause weight loss for sure, but it will not continue on that path unless you are consuming the right types of foods with the correct nutrients. The type of calories really does count. Clean foods improve your hormone balance, give your body the correct nutrients (which is what our bodies run on). Good fats and protein help increase your metabolic rate (metabolism). Processed foods, table sugar, additives (chemicals) all send the wrong message to your brain causing cravings and making you eat more of the wrong thing. It then dumps insulin into your bloodstream which can not be used and is stored as fat.
100 calories of sugar is easy to digest and spikes your insulin, 100 calories from beans releases less insulin, has more fiber and nutrients and needs way more energy to digest, hence using some of its own calories to digest.
At Clean Cut, we teach you what to eat and the why behind it, but did ever ask yourself WHY we never focused on the calories?
Let’s take a look at this a little deeper through the different metabolic pathways food travels before it’s actually energy.
Fructose: A simple sugar that can be found in fruits and vegetables along with processed foods. Glucose can be found in all carbohydrates like starch and sugar. While both can be a good source of quick energy, if eaten in excess, glucose can cause health issues like insulin resistance and liver disease (because glycogen is stored in the liver)
After fructose is digested, it goes into the liver, from there it can be turned into glucose (blood sugar) and stored as glycogen. We need glucose to help break down foods, but we don’t need an excess of it.
If the liver is already full of glycogen because of a poor diet, it will be turned into fat… which is then sent out into the bloodstream and stored in your body. THUMBS DOWN!
100 calories of fructose will increase your insulin and leave you hungry. Think about how you feel after eating a cookie, a little sugar rush then the drop. This is the insulin spike, we try to avoid.
Protein: Now let’s look at 100 calories from protein.
Protein is harder to digest unlike the quick flint of sugar. It takes about 30% of the calories from the protein just to digest, because the metabolic pathway requires energy. Protein creates fullness and boost the metabolic rate just by working to digest it. Plus protein helps build muscle and more muscle means a higher metabolic rate = burns more calories at rest.
It’s clear that 100 calories of fructose will have completely different effects on the body than 100 calories of quality protein. Proof that a calorie is NOT a calorie.
Fats: Not all fats are the same. We know this. Healthy fats VS those “not so healthy” fats.
The avocado has 227 calories and it comes with vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids support heart health, helps your skin and reduces the amount of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), in your bloodstream. They also keep you full. Most of 227 calories in an avocado will be burned as your body works to extract the nutrients. Are you with us so far?
227 calories from cookies or cake are more likely to be stored as fat because there is no work to digest them, spiking your insulting and again leaving you hungry.
Counting calories is definitely a tool that has been used and proven to work in the short term. We want long term effects and real change. Follow the Clean Cut way and you won’t need to overthink your calories or your cheats.
We set you up for success with your food choices and combinations. Keep the focus and trust the food!
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