BUSTED! “It doesn’t matter when you eat, just that it’s under x number of calories per day.”
If that worked, then eating 12 packets of 100-calorie junk food would be a stellar way to lose weight. Oh lordy, can you even imagine? You’d be starved. Ravenous. Plus your sugar cravings would be out of control and you’d blaze through those 12 packets pretty quickly.
How ’bout, not…
It’s not as simple as “a calorie is a calorie.” It’s just not. Drinking 200 calories of soda has a vastly different metabolic effect than eating 200 calories of almonds.
60 million+ overweight Americans are proof that there’s more to the solution than “eat less, move more.”
Yes, by definition a calorie is a unit of energy and gives off the same amount of energy when burned , but – and this is a big ol’ but – our bodies treat calories from sugar differently. For most people who struggle with weight, the problem isn’t simply too many calories, but the wrong calories. For example, there is mounting evidence that calories from sugar are potentially more harmful than others.
What can influence the way our bodies respond to what we eat?
Fiber, for example, regulate the body’s response to sugar. It helps balance blood sugar and keeps hunger in check. Fiber keeps us full and delays stomach emptying time.
Protein content also matters. Protein takes more energy to metabolize than carbs – our bodies have to expend more energy to process protein. This is the “thermic effect” of food.
Fat is another factor. Trans fats clog our arteries while omega-3s keep our hearts, skin and brains healthy. All fat is not the same. All calories are not the same.
And the biggest factor that can affect a calorie’s impact on our bodies? (Cue villainous music – dun dun dunnnnn) SUGAR!
Not to sound too much like someone wearing a tinfoil helmet, but it really is the most dangerous nemesis! Do not make eye contact. Cross to the other side of the street. Fear, avoid, eliminate, scorn (at least if you love yourself and want to live a healthy, happy life and hang around living that life as long as possible).
Recently some pretty groundbreaking information came out – it’s been called the “closest thing to causation and a smoking gun” between sugar and Diabetes that we’re likely to get. The study (done by Dr. Robert Lustig and other badasses) basically looked at sugar consumption and diabetes rates in 175 countries over the past decade.
What they found was that higher sugar consumption/availability led to higher rates of Diabetes. And it was independent of obesity, previously thought to be more tightly related to developing Diabetes.
Skeptical? The study carries the same level of confidence that linked cigarettes and lung cancer in the 1960s.
In addition to the nutrient content of the calories we eat, there are a few other factors that can influence our bodies responses to that food.
Beyond that – and we can’t tell you how many people have been utterly shocked to realize this -it’s totally possible to eat just a small amount of something (say, a cupcake or a few pieces of bread) and gain several pounds. If a calorie is a calorie is a calorie – how would that be possible?! It wouldn’t be.
When it comes to hidden food sensitivities, eating even a small amount of something you’re highly sensitive to can make you gain pounds. Literally, pounds.
But it’s not fat – it’s inflammation! Water our bodies hold onto to “dilute” what it’s considering toxic to our individual systems.
Here’s Cambiati Instructor Julia’s story:
“The first time I went through the cleanse, I felt awesome! Right after it ended, I went to the movies with my trusty PaleoGreens to drink, but decided to Blueprint my favorite candy. I ate them, then called it a day and went back to my clean eating. That was the only “new” food I had introduced to my clean diet that I had been eating for the past 28+ days. Two days later – I weighed myself (as we recommend during Blueprinting!) and was shocked to see I had gained 3 lbs of water!”
We hear versions of this story involving various inflammatory foods every day. Literally every day. A calorie is not JUST a calorie! They can have different effects on our bodies, depending on where they come from. Some can turn on disease-fighting genes, while others do the opposite and further degenerative disease.
Every meal is an opportunity to honor your health & wellbeing – to say “I’m worth it” or “my family is worth it.” This doesn’t mean every meal has to be perfect, but it does mean making choices the majority of the time that honor your intentions, hopes and desires for yourself. Feeling, looking and being your best is possible. And if you’ve done the cleanse, you know it’s actually pretty easy!