Are All Calories Equal? Breaking Down the Myths.

Graph of Calories vs Nutrients

"Isn't a calorie a calorie regardless of the source?" This is a common question in the weight loss world. Flashy packages of 100 calorie snacks have flooded the market, often containing food which doesn't help with weight loss. Let's be honest with ourselves, 100 calories of white sugar will have a different effect on your body than 100 calories of grilled chicken breast. This alone is enough logic to answer the question "are all calories equal" but let's dive into the science a little to back up the answer.

A calorie is just the measurement of how much energy is released when a particular food is burned. On the science side it is defined as "the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by one degree Celcius" as defined by Webster. When it comes to food, we need to take into consideration what comes along with each calorie. At what proportions are the macronutrients in the food, such as fats, proteins, and carbohydrates? What about other essential vitamins and minerals? Part of the Metabolic Research Center's plan is to educate clients about the foods they eat. As we begin changing our calories from nutrient poor sources to nutrient rich ones, we will definitely notice a difference in weight and overall health.

The idea that "calories in vs. calories out" is the complete answer to weight gain and loss is absurd. This is only part of the picture. The foods we eat have huge impacts on all areas of our bodies. Hormones, fat burning vs. fat storing, sugar levels, and even brain function are all impacted. Making healthy eating choices is the key step in any weight management program. Even bodybuilding websites place nutrition ahead of training, clearly stating that all the exercise in the world won't matter if your diet is poor.




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