counting cals

Counting calories – Is it all it’s weighed up to be?

Posted on December 10, 2014 · Posted in Clients, General

It seems to be everywhere – the need to count calories to achieve your goal of weight loss, from counting the calories you burn while you exercise, to counting the calories of your food choices.

Naturally if you consume too many calories you can end up looking like you do! What you eat in private you wear in public.

To be truly healthy lean and well, we need the body’s hormones to work efficiently and in harmony. The content of food has a direct impact on the body’s hormones. Remember the body treats calories differently depending on the type of calorie and what it contains. It is not as simple as a calorie is a calorie. The amount of calories required to break down different foods vary greatly e.g. A meal consisting of protein and fibrous green leafy veg puts a requirement on the body to burn more calories than the likes of a pizza. There are even fewer calories required to digest processed sugary foods.

Emphasis should be on educating people on the right food habits and portion control. Some of the calorie counting programmes allow highly processed carbs- bagels, chips and for crying out loud curly bloody wurlys! And all types of sugary ‘treats’ What is healthy about that?

Let me give you an example of a conversation I had with a client who was having a spoon of sugar in his tea daily. I was explaining this was 7 spoons a week 196 spoons a month, 2352 a year! He replied ‘But a spoon of sugar only has a few little calories and I exercise a lot!’ We need to be aware it’s not the calories in the sugar, bread or processed crap it is the impact this type of food has on or bodies hormones which spike our insulin levels. This constant elevation of insulin makes our body’s cells resistant to insulin which in turn increases our cortisol levels net result – fat gain, weight gain and diabetes. This type of eating has a direct impact on the way all other food is processed by the body that day!

Another problem with some calorie counting programmes is that you can eat low fat yogurts and products (often full of sugar) and you are advised to eat very little fat. So for example, it is within your allowance to eat a ‘curly wurly bar’- but not almonds because of the calorie/fat content! We need to focus on the quality of fat in our food and its function in the body. Fats come as good fats and bad fats; not eating good fats is bad.  Good fats are needed to metabolise vitamins A, D, E and K. Cell membranes are made from fats, and they play a role in inflammation in the body and also support the immune system.

Remember whatever your goal may be, weight loss, fat loss or getting stronger it should be done in the healthiest way possible. For something to work long term, be realistic, it’s not about counting calories and ensuring you eat low fat, highly processed no fat foods. We create higher energy expenditure through regular exercise which you fuel with clean foods; we create a positive balance, a faster metabolism – a healthier you. No quick unrealistic diets that will be chucked in the bin in a month, get empowered choose the right path. Look at the content of your calories and whether they nourish you or not. Next time you count your calories, ask yourself this- ‘will this food add or subtract from my health? Because it really does all add up to health or illness in the end. A calorie is not just a calorie