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Is A Calorie Just A Calorie ?

Posted on May 30, 2013 at 6:04 PM
Is a calorie just a calorie? Well, yes and no. It’s true (in order to lose weight) that you have to eat less calories than you need to maintain your current weight, and--it’s also true--that if you consume more calories than you require to maintain your current bodyweight, you will gain weight; however, it’s not entirely that simple. The types of foods you eat can also effect how much weight you lose, or how much weight you gain.  The ratio of macronutrients in your diet, meaning the amount of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, can also have an affect on your weight loss goals.
 
First, the amount of carbs that are consumed can effect satiety levels. Satiety levels  will effect how much we eat, so a high amount of carbs in our diet can prevent or hinder weight loss. The amount of protein in our diet also plays a part. Protein is needed to build and maintain muscle. Muscle—being the most metabolically expensive tissue in the body—is a big factor is the speed of one’s metabolism. The more muscle one has, the more calories they burn throughout the day, even at rest. Fats are calorically dense. Fats have 9 calories per gram where carbs and fats have 4. Now the obvious way that fats can derail your weight loss is that too much fat consumption will often mean too many calories, but fats can thwart your weight loss goals in other ways.
 
One interesting thing about fat is that the body is more efficient at storing it. That makes sense because that’s is the main purpose of fat: it’s stored energy.  When storing 100 calories of fat, your body will burn 2.5 calories. When converting carbohydrates to fat, and then storing it, your body burns 23 calories, so limiting you fat intake, in a sense, gives you a bigger margin of error, or at the very least decreases fat storage.
 

Categories: Diet

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