Calories in versus calories out!

Do you still count calories?

The calorie in versus calorie out debate (CICO) is a confusing subject for many people. Not only have calorie counts presented themselves on most food labels at supermarkets nowdays but they can also be found emblazoned on many restuarant menus. 

This topic is somewhat a double edged sword, because on the one hand, obviously if you’re taking in too many calories and not expending enough you’re going to gain weight! You don’t need to have an A in Maths to understand this basic formula.

However, this is such an oversimplification of the big picture and there are way too many influencing factors determining the end result that it would be niave not to pay attention to these.

For starters, we are all different in our genetic makeup and our DNA is unique. Just as our hair and skin colour are different, so are the way our bodies break down the food we eat, and the amount of calories required to break down and digest the food.  This is called the Thermal effect of feeding (TEF) and no two people on the planet are going to use the same amount of calories for the TEF. Their weight gain or loss will be entirely different due to their unique thumb print.

Hormones Are A Massive Piece Of The Puzzle.

The human body is not a mathematical genius because its functions are controled by hormones and hormones respond differently to different foods.

If the rule of calories in, calories out were true, then eating 1000 calories of sugar and 1000 calories of fat would produce the same results. But for any sugar addicts out there, this simply does not play out in real life.

Hormones are influenced in different ways from the macronutrients, fat, carbs, and protein. A fast releasing low fibre carbohydrate will certainly trigger the release of insulin whereas fat does not.

When hormones are out of balance it’s becomes a cry for help! The body holds onto excess fat, weight gain becomes easier, and stored nutrients can’t be utilized. The disruption has a knock on effect and causes other hormones to be out-of-whack, causing additional issues.

Your body is a holistic, biological system that responds to different foods with varying hormonal responses. This has a direct influence on your metaobism and it’s one of the main resons why a calories is not a calorie.

Next time you’re at the supermarket scanning calories, cast your eyes over the list of ingredients (additives) and sugar/carbohydrate content and pay attention to that instead.

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