Calories are not all created equal

For a long time it has been understood that calories are all created equal and calories in must equal calories out or you will gain weight.

It’s true that all calories have the same amount of energy, 4,184 joules per calorie to be precise. However, 100 calories from blueberries or chocolate is not going to have an equal effect on your weight. This is because foods go down different biological pathways within the body, causing varying amounts of energy to be lost as heat along the way.

The energy burned from digesting and metabolising a protein meal releases 25-30% of the calories. For carbohydrates, you are looking at 6-8% and for fats, only 2-3%. Put simply, protein calories are ‘less fattening’ than those from carbs and fats.

It’s also important to understand that foods we eat play a huge role on our hormones which control our hunger and eating patterns. Sugary carbohydrates cause our blood sugar to spike, leading to cravings and binge eating. Half a glass of apple juice and a whole apple may have the same number of calories. The crucial difference is the fibre in the whole apple slows down the release of sugar into the bloodstream, leaving you with more stable appetite hormones.

Making the right food choices can have a more profound effect on weight management than simply counting calories. Tweaking your diet can mean goodbye to those hunger-binge cycles with lasting results on your weight.

If you are struggling with your weight and want some support, get in touch and see how nutritional therapy can help get you achieve your goal.