Following on from my previous article “If you want to lose the belly stop simply restricting calories”
Let’s start by looking at the question that I asked in that feature -
“ If I need 3000 calories per day to maintain my bodyweight;
If I was to eat 2500 calories per day to lose fat by eating my normal food intake with my normal macro balance do you think that I would get the same results in my physical transformation if I was to consume the same 2500 calories but now consisting of Alcohol, Ice Cream, chips & chocolate ? “
I might be counting my calories and consuming the same amount of calories
I might be eating less calories than I am expending and therefore creating a negative calorie balance
The scales might even be telling me in the short term that I am ‘Losing Weight’ successfully
However as intelligent men, do you really believe that by relying on the two simple processes of
- Counting & cutting my calories and
- Watching the scales for Weight Loss alone
That I am necessarily achieving a positive result ?
NOT ALL CALORIES ARE EQUAL
The number of calories in any food can be measured with accuracy by a scientific instrument known as a bomb calorimeter.
These instruments however are not able to tell you how effectively your body breaks down, digests, uses or stores these calories.
This calorie measuring device is not able to calculate what effect this calorie has on your internal body and how much of its energy is stored or used.
In addition the Calorie labelling on Food products is allowed to be 20% out of range and even more alarming than this a recent study out of Stanford University that showed that some of the Top Fitness Tracking devices are 30%-90% inaccurate in providing your calorie expenditure.
These machines DO NOT measure and DO NOT KNOW the true metabolic happenings inside your own body and how effectively or ineffectively your body processes, stores or expends calories
Different calories from different food sources also have different metabolic effects in the body and elicit different hormonal responses – some good and beneficial and some bad and detrimental to our fat loss and our health
By simply paying attention to Calories and not the quality and balance of the foods that you are consuming you are dooming yourself to failure
Some calories such as “Sugar calories” and “Saturated Fat calories” will not have the same effect on your body as quality calories being consumed from lean Proteins and Omega 3 fats etc.
So let’s have a brief look and try and help you realise the effect of calories from
- FIBRE – If you eat 150 calories of almonds you will only absorb 120 of these calories due to the large amount of fibre in almonds delaying the absorption of calories into the bloodstream. This is also true of green vegetables which also provide an abundance of nutrients to fuel and repair your body
- PROTEIN – Lean, quality Protein foods have double the ‘Thermic Effect’ of Fats and Carbohydrates meaning that they require twice the energy to metabolise and process therefore elevating the metabolism and potentiating much less chance of storage for Fat from Protein Calories.
Protein calories also satiate more preventing you wanting to snack on excess calories
- FATS – All fats may well contain 9 calories per gram but Omega 3 Fats can cause the release of fats from your body as energy, they will assist and aid your hormonal system and they will ensure that you live longer.
Saturated and trans fats however will clog your arteries, be stored as fat tissue very easily and ultimately kill you
- CARBOHYDRATES – Now here lies a massive conversation requiring several articles all to itself! Carbohydrates have been demonised and cut excessively from many overly restrictive diets. Carbohydrate calories are however extremely beneficial for fat burning, energy, hormonal balance and life !
However just as the fact that ALL CALORIES ARE NOT EQUAL –
ALL CARBOHYDRATES ARE ALSO NOT EQUAL
Calories from a good complex, natural and high fibre source are ‘Good’ and beneficial.
Calories from processed, high sugar carbohydrates are ‘TOXIC’ – they are a stress and a poison to your body and will prevent fat loss, cause fat storage, increase your risks of diabetes and also ensure poor heart health.
Eating processed, sugary junk calories will elevate your Insulin & Cortisol levels driving your Fats to be stored.
Sugar calories are most definitely not equal in the effect that they will have on your physical appearance, your health or your hormones to the effect of Protein calories or Omega 3 Fat calories.
CALORIES ARE NOT EQUAL
- ALCOHOL calories are also not equal and definitely not beneficial to achieving your Fat Loss and Body Transformation Goals. The body is unable to store alcohol calories and potentially use it for later energy supply as it does with food calories.
Alcohol calories need to be processed and so when you consume alcohol your metabolic system must stop what it is doing such as the processing of calories from your last meal and instead turn its attention to manage the alcohol calories coming into the system.
The metabolization of alcohol calories is draining on the body and the additional food calories in your body that your metabolism now cannot process will very easily simply be stored as fat whilst your body uses its energy to focus on the alcohol demands.
Alcohol calories also provide ZERO nutrients to your body and place a large stress on your Liver.
If your Liver is not functioning well your metabolism isn’t functioning well and your ability to process foods is diminished. You become a more effective machine at storing Fats
Hopefully I’ve helped you understand in very quick brief terms how simply counting calories is a waste of time if you want to lose fat, look better and be healthier –
which is obviously what any ‘Weight Loss’ Goal should be about.
Reverting to my original question at the start of this article -
If your 2500 daily calories consist of a large percentage of Sugars, alcohol and trans fats then you will destroy your health, lose lean muscle, decline your metabolism and hormonal system and create a body that is prone to storing fat both in your arteries and around your abdomen.
If your 2500 daily calories consist of a large percentage of quality proteins, Omega 3 Fats, Fibrous green vegetables and high quality complex carbohydrates you will create a great looking body with energy and ensure that your body builds lean muscle tissue, burns fat and lives longer
I don’t care what your calorie count is for the day -
I don’t care how many calories your watch or App tells you that you have expended -
I don’t care if your scales tell you that you have lost weight -
What matters is the quality of what you are providing to your body and the metabolic and hormonal response that it is having within your body -
‘ Fat deposition and Fat loss is regulated by your hormones, not your estimated calorie intake and expenditure ‘
This is why I do not let my clients count, track or worry about calories until I have ensured that they understand the fundamentals of what foods to eat.
Eat high quality foods in the correct amounts at the correct times and perform key functional movements and watch your body’s hormones, metabolism and body composition change dramatically
I have had clients who were unable to lose weight before working with me then lose 44lbs in 12 Weeks without ever tracking calories and by simply eating the correct foods
This is also why I pay no attention to my clients messaging me with their excitement that they have just dropped 5lbs.
Until I have seen their Food Diary and ensured they have the correct balance of foods & I have also tracked their 7 Day average Body-Composition at the end of each week and ensured that they are losing Fat and not muscle, bone and water then these numbers are all meaningless to me
I progress my clients to calories and macros further down the road only if needed and only when the foundations of correct eating are in place
This is one of the simple and basic secrets & solutions to effective fat loss
Let’s delve into some real secrets to Fat Loss in the next article and let me help you understand exactly why you cannot shift that belly fat by eating less and exercising more
Alternatively you can also hire a Professional Coach to take care of all of these strategies so that you do not need to worry!