Calorie Counting is Something, Not Everything, for Weight Loss

Calorie Counting Research

Calorie counting is a technique I firmly believe in to help effectively achieve weight loss.  There is a great deal to say in its favor.  Moreover, any of us who have strictly followed a diet that tracked every single food in this way knows that yes, weight is lost when using it.  However, that one measure is not the only factor worth considering when it comes to effective weight management, particularly over the long term.  We’ve all known this for a while, but now science is catching up to our instincts.

Calorie Counting Research to Open Our Eyes

Most people think of calorie counting in terms of the “energy balance model”. You need to make sure that you’re burning more energy than you’re taking in through food, so that your body will be forced to use up its reserves – body fat. When it all boils down to it, yes, this concept is true.  It just doesn’t happen to be as straightforward as we’d like it to be.  The fact is that not all calories are the same.  The reason for that makes a lot of sense to me.

Think about it.  There are tons of different types of food. Our calorie counting shows that there are more calories in some than in others.  This means that some contain more energy than others.  However, they’re not all the same energy. Yes, they’ll all burn, but not in the same way.  After all, wood and plastic will both burn, too, but not for the same result. Even car fuel and jet fuel aren’t the same.

Our carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and other food factors play an important role in how our bodies use the energy we provide them. As a result, it’s not just a matter of how much energy they have the potential to provide, but also how we get that energy out of them by eating them.

Interesting New Research

A paper published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is providing an entirely new perspective on calorie counting.  It doesn’t discount calories as a tool but adds the importance of what a person is eating and how the body reacts to it.

It compared, for instance, the way the body responds to highly processed, easily digestible carbohydrates high on the glycemic scale with a lean protein or a bit healthy fat. Eating a large amount of high glycemic food launches a carbohydrate-insulin reaction in the body that alters your metabolism in a way that promotes stored fat and weight gain as a whole.

As a result, the body doesn’t do the same thing when you’re eating highly processed junk foods that it does if you’ve eaten vegetables, a chicken breast or a touch of olive oil, for example.

Calorie Counting Continues

This most recent study was the work of 17 scientists.  That said, as novel as their perspective seems because it now has clinical evidence, it’s not actually entirely original. The new model they have proposed isn’t new at all but has been around since the early 1900s. It’s only that they now have the science and research to back it up. As a result, they can clearly show the way that their new model explains both weight loss and weight gain more effectively than “calories in, calories out” all on its own.

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