Consuming fewer calories than you burn, that is your ticket to fat loss, right?
Although it is true that any calorie from food supplies a set amount of energy, that doesn’t mean we should totally disregard the nutritional quality of the food we are eating and focus solely on calories in vs calories out.
Our body does not just simply keep track of how many calories we eat and burn in a day, it will respond to the quality and types of food we are eating too.
Here are four things to consider when it comes to looking beyond just the calorie content of your food:
Restricting calories without consuming an adequate amount of protein is a sure-fire route to muscle loss. Protein isn’t just important for building and maintaining muscle, it also has other roles, such as cell repair and the transportation of vital substances, and it is the most satiating macronutrient keeping you fuller for longer. Although amounts will vary from person to person, a rough guideline would be 1g per pound of lean body mass/2.2g per kg of lean body mass in total, spread out across the day.
Many people place so much focus on calories, that they forget to think about the nutrients they consume. Everything you eat affects your physical and mental health, from your sleep, stress levels, skin and digestion. If you only focus on calories, you could be missing out on many vital nutrients that will help your body function properly.
A Mars bar might be roughly the same calories as 200g of chicken – but which will keep you fuller for longer? And which has more nutritional value? Both these foods are absorbed at different rates, have different nutrients, all of which affect health, weight, hunger and metabolic rate. Highly processed foods are less satiating, more likely to spike blood sugar levels and easier to overeat.
4. You can overeat nutritious foods
It is certainly still possible to eat too much of any “healthy” food, especially things like calorie-dense nuts. So if you have a weight-loss goal but have a tendency to overeat, then a bit of portion control will never go amiss when it comes to these types of foods.