We were wrong all along – All Calories ARE NOT Created Equal!
Sorry, But the Truth Is…
A Calorie is NOT a Calorie!
Losing weight is, by far, the number one reason people seek out a fitness program. I am not going to go into my thoughts on that here (you may want to read my article on the #1 Myth of Weight Loss: “You Don’t Want to Lose Weight!” here: https://mailchi.mp/f9d9858d6406/weight-loss-myth-1).
I do, however, want to share some of the most current research from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1) on the subject and bust some common myths.
You may have heard, and even still hold to the maxim:
“The secret to losing weight is a simple formula: Calories in/Calories out”
In other words, to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume. Scientists refer to this as the Energy Balance Model (EBM).
The Energy Balance Model It traces it’s origin to the 1850’s and the introduction of the First Law of Thermodynamics(2). It was the standard adopted for years as the bell weather for losing weight. The thinking is, if you burn off enough calories you can eat almost anything.
If you eat a Twinkie, the logic goes, jogging 20 minutes will burn it off. (3)
This myth is so ingrained, many of us still believe it.
But it just ain’t so.
That old model (EBM) is being replaced by much more significant and scientifically verifiable paradigms.
The most common model is one extensively studied by a local, renowned OSU researcher Dr. Jeff Volek.
The newest science: Carbohydrate-Insulin Model (CIM)
If the human body were just a simple machine, the “energy in/energy out” theory might apply. But we know that the human body is anything but a simple machine.
The Carbohydrate – Insulin Model (CIM) finds that the type of Calorie consumed matters more than the number of calories burned.
The research is really fascinating, but I don’t want to get too science-y here. You can read part of the abstract here if you like.(1)
But here is the gist of it:
Because we are amazing machines, our hormonal and endocrine systems work to burn, store and utilize energy in complex ways. The Carbohydrate-Insulin Model (CIM) demonstrates that the body is more likely to store fat from foods with high glycemic indexes (refined grains, potato products, concentrated sugars).
Whether we attempt to burn them off by adding more miles or reps to our workout or not, those high glycemic calories get translated into stored energy (read: “fat”) faster and more efficiently than low glycemic (fats and proteins).
According to the CIM, humans in the modern, industrial food environment may have greater long-term control over what than how much they eat. By reducing anabolic drive with a low-glycemic diet, people may experience less hunger and improved energy level, promoting spontaneous weight loss
So isn’t that KETO?
It is important to note that carbohydrates are NOT THE ENEMY.
The culprit in the CIM (model) is High Glycemic foods: foods that make your blood insulin levels spike.
- Processed foods: Corn chips, pretzels.
- Sugar-containing beverages: Soda, sweet tea, sports drinks.
- Fast food: Cheeseburgers, fried chicken, pizza.
- Bakery/grains: Doughnuts, white bread, cereals (unless whole grain).
- Potatoes: Mashed potatoes, French fries.
These foods convert easily and more readily into sugar that then gets stored in our body for later use (read FAT!)
The evidence is coming clearer and the diet advice more factual. To get the most energy and efficiency out of the food you eat, substitute high glycemic foods in your diet with food with low glycemic indexes. It is very likely you will build muscle, use your fuel efficiently and even lose inches on that waistline.
Want to know more?
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(1) The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: https://tinyurl.com/3pm6txck
(2) Wolfram Science.omm: https://tinyurl.com/yzp3pcc9
(3) Time Magazine:https://tinyurl.com/58a5hxpb
(4) Harvard Health: Glycemic Index: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/