Lifestyle Change

Calories Versus Nutrition: What do you need to watch out for?

If you’ve ever struggled with the thought that “should I just count calories and burn out calories in the gym? Or thought that I need to only burn calories through exercise and EAT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING…”

Today, there isn’t a dearth of information out in the market today. You google some information and it begins to  overwhelm because there is so much that contradicts each other.

Watching calories is for everyone because it helps us regulate our portions. It helps regular nutrition profile as well.

Every individual has a unique way of metabolizing calories and digesting nutrients.

There are two concepts to be aware of: B.M.R. and N.E.A.T.

N.E.A.T. is Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. B.M.R. is the basal metabolic rate a a close relative to NEAT, which tells you the number of calories you can consume for your daily body activity. Different body types, depending upon their biochemistry, height, current weight, genetic make and activity levels would require varying amounts of calories for the body.

An average Indian’s calories would be different from that of an average American. An athelete or a sportsperson may need different calories than a person who has a desk job. So if you are new to this information, it is helpful to track your daily intake of calories and understand what you need and how much of it do you need.

If you are new to understanding your body’s daily caloric intake, there are different apps which help you stay on track, most widely used is myfitnesspal.

Calories matter to every individual. It is not just for an overweight or an obese person to be mindful about. Yes, for some people slight shift in excess calories can show up on the scale quickly for some it doesn’t. One could either victimized in this situation or turn this awareness into a an ally to lean on.

Excess caloric consumption can even put extra pressure on internal organs, specifically liver, pancreas, kidneys and intestines to metabolize and breakdown excess calories and eliminate excess heavy metals or excess nutrients that the body did not need.

Having established that calories matter, it is important to know that not all calories are made the same. No two portion sizes will have the same calories or even the nutrition profile. For example, 100 gms of French fries might have lower calories as compared to 100 gms of fried potato chips or wafers as some of us may call it.

Our body has complex biochemistry. You breakdown food into further chemical compounds which are needed for optimal daily performance.

So if you provide your body nourishment, which is thinking about nutrition composite. It has a higher chance of serving your body. It is important to realize that calories in and calories out, of the body, is complex, for every individual. Different foods go through different biochemical pathways, some of which are inefficient and cause energy (calories) to be lost as heat.

Different foods and macro-nutrients affect hormones and neurotransmitters to control, eating patterns and hunger stimulation. So, when I say nutrients matter, I mean that the source of calorie, the density of the nutrition profile in the calorie, matters. Going back to the example of French fries. A 100 gms of French fries has little or no amounts of vitamin A, it completely loses vitamin E and significantly loses vitamin B6, however, it double ups in vitamin C and still retains other nutrients. Nevertheless, it is a higher calorie food with higher fat content and higher glycemic index, which is the rate at which sugar from this carbohydrate is broken down into the system.

Calorie counting is not just for weight loss. It also helps lead a healthy lifestyle as it excess can have an impact on one’s internal organs. Nonetheless, some body types it is important to be at a caloric deficit from the basal metabolic rate and consume nutrient dense food to see the drop in weight and reach optimal performance.

For all of us, the serving size, cooking method, changes that the food brings to your hormones, such as insulin or glucagon, thyroid, leptin and ghrelin all matter.

High fibre foods are often low in calorie and provide higher satiety than fast absorbing carbohydrates. While some carbohydrates such as wholegrain wheat, millets, quinoa and oats are great, refined flours and refined grains can actually burden the internal organs.

The thermic effect of food (T.E.F.), which allows food to induce higher satiety in the body, feeling of fullness is also achieved from fibre and proteins, which boosts the metabolism and aids in better digestion.

Different foods can impact your hormones, hunger, feelings of fullness, and metabolism… very differently, regardless of the number of calories they contain. So, when it comes to your health, not all calories are created equal.

Bottom line: We all need to watch for consumption of empty calories, number of calories and nutrient density.

Hope this helps. Because good health comes from eating well. Simplify Your Food to Simplify Your Health.


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