The old dogma of calories in and calories out is a way to effectively lose weight is out the window.
Recent studies have debunked the long-standing theory that weight loss is simply a matter of calories in versus calories out. While it is true that calories play a role in weight management, the focus on quantity alone overlooks the importance of the quality of those calories. In an article published by Harvard Medical School, experts emphasize the need to shift the paradigm and consider what is inside the calorie.
Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity specialist and assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, emphasizes that the notion of “a calorie in and a calorie out” is not only outdated but also incorrect. The human body is a complex system, and weight loss involves various factors beyond simple mathematics.
One crucial factor is the type of food we consume. Not all calories are created equal. Different foods have different effects on our bodies, metabolism, and overall health. For instance, consuming 100 calories of sugary soda will affect the body differently than consuming 100 calories of fruits and vegetables. The body’s metabolic response to different foods can vary, influencing how efficiently calories are burned or stored as fat.
Another essential consideration is an individual’s metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which the body converts food into energy. Each person’s metabolism functions differently due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some individuals naturally have a faster metabolism, while others have a slower one. This means that two people consuming the same number of calories may experience different outcomes in terms of weight loss or gain.
Moreover, emerging research has highlighted the role of the gut microbiome in weight management. The gut is home to trillions of microorganisms that play a vital role in digestion and overall health. Recent studies have shown that the composition of the gut microbiome can impact weight regulation. Certain types of bacteria may be more efficient at extracting calories from food, leading to weight gain, while others may support a healthier weight profile. Thus, the diversity and balance of gut bacteria may influence how calories are processed and stored in the body.
Given these complexities, experts suggest shifting the focus away from strict calorie counting and instead to make every calorie count. The human body cannot count calories it only reacts to nutritional density. Therefore, calorie counting with no regard for nutritional density your body given a lack of nutrition will find the nutrition in the body. The richest source of nutrition is contained in the lean muscle. This using the nutrient in the muscles for nutrition results in reduced lean muscle. Reduced lean muscle results in slowing down your metabolism. The fact you have a slower metabolism means as you come off a calorie restricted diet you cannot burn as many calories and they you gain all the weight back. The yoyo effect.