Let’s dispel the dietary myth: What about those calories?


“There was a time in my adult life when I couldn’t balance my checkbook, but could easily calculate the number of calories I had taken in during any point in my day… I had reduced my self to not much more than a math experiment, thinking my weight management was strictly about calories in/calories out.”

By Mindy Gorman-Plutzer

Do you believe that a calorie is a calorie? The truth is that this myth is one of several important reasons people have trouble losing weight and keeping it off.

The multi-billion dollar weight-loss industry wants you to believe that all calories are the same. The food industry and government agencies love this myth because it keeps you buying more products, which they suggest you eat in moderation. How is that working for you?

While you know I don’t like categorizing food as “good” or “bad,” the truth is that there are better choices for our bodies, which are more complex than a simple math problem like thinking weight management is all about calories in/calories out. Food is more than just calories and flavors. It’s information that signals our cells what to do. Every bite you eat affects your hormones, brain chemistry and metabolism. Sugar calories cause fat storage and cravings. Calories from protein and healthy fats promote fat burning. What counts is the quality, not quantity of the calories.

Limited Weight Loss

In his groundbreaking books, The Calorie Myth and Eat More, Lose More, Jonathan Bailor explains there’s very little science to support the dangerous myth that you must “eat less to lose weight.” Here’s a summary of what he shares today.

A famous study conducted by the National Institutes of Health followed nearly 49,000 women for eight years. One group of women ate an average of 120 fewer calories every day. That’s a total of 350,400 fewer calories eaten by each woman.

While you might think the lower-calorie women would have lost a considerable amount of weight, at the end of those eight years, they were less than a pound lighter. Oh, and by the way, since when is starving yourself a good idea for your health? Conventional diet thinking is based on the assumption that taking in fewer calories forces our bodies to burn fat. Scientists know this is false — so it’s time you knew the truth, too.

Keep reading and you’ll discover that restricting the number of calories you consume can lead to complete and utter weight-loss failure for at least 19 out of 20 people, specifically, a 95.4 percent failure rate.

That’s the documented failure rate of conventional dieting … 95.4 percent. And it has never been your fault — even though you might think it is.

Here is the scientific fact: When you eat less food, your body does not automatically burn more body fat. It burns fewer calories by slowing your metabolism. That’s why you always feel tired, cold and crabby when you’re dieting. Your whole body and brain have slowed down.

But wait, it gets worse.

Losing Fat or Muscle?

When your body needs calories and it can’t find any, it starts burning muscle — NOT fat.

Studies have shown that up to 70 percent of the non-water weight lost when eating less is taken directly from your muscles.

In a 1957 groundbreaking journal article, Treating Overweight Patients, Dr. George L. Thorpe wrote that eating less makes us lose weight, not ”by selective reduction of adipose deposits (body fat), but by wasting of all body tissues … therefore, any success obtained must be maintained by chronic undernourishment.” 

So if starving yourself is a bad idea for losing weight, then is eating more high quality food must be the answer to losing weight? Yes.

And it’s not a theory.

It’s a scientific fact supported by cutting-edge research from respected universities.

? A study at the University of Connecticut found that people in the eat-more-high-quality-food group ate 300 more calories per day and burned more body fat.

? Researchers at Cornell University split people into groups, each eating 1,800 calories a day. The group whose diet included higher quality calories lost 86.5 percent more body fat than the other group, even though they consumed the same number of calories.

? In a study conducted at Marshall University, the test subjects were divided into two groups. Group one went on a conventional low-calorie diet. Group two was told they could eat as much as they wanted, but should avoid refined sugars and excessive starch. The results? The limited calorie group gained five pounds each; the unlimited, smart calorie group members lost 11 pounds each.

The Right Food Plan for You

Confused? Ask for support in creating a food plan that allows for more food, better digestion and a more efficient metabolism.

Remember that the highest quality calories come from whole food. These foods are naturally lower in calories as compared with processed foods. Calorie counting isn’t necessary when you eat fresh, whole foods that send the proper signals to your body.

In addition to being a board-certified health coach and nutritional consultant, Mindy Gorman-Plutzer is a Certified Eating Psychology Coach in Manhattan. She is the author of The Freedom Promise: 7 Steps To Stop Fearing What Food Will Do TO You and Start Embracing What It Can Do FOR You (Balboa Press). For more information, go to www.thefreedompromise.com. Follow her on twitter at @FreedomPromise.




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