Calorie Counting

Still counting calories? You may be making it harder on yourself to lose weight…

The energy balance equation of Body fat gained = Calories In – Calories Out is correct, however our body’s response to calories depends not just on the food we are eating.

The flaw in the energy balance equation is that it assumes that by reducing calories, you can reduce body fat, yet this is not true. When the calories we consume are reduced (a drop in Calories In), our basal metabolic rate is reduced (a drop in Calories Out). Therefore, the body uses less calories when less calories are eaten. This is due to our body’s being incredibly smart and not wanting us to starve and die. They have processes in place to prevent this (they also have processes to prevent us from gaining too much weight, but more on that another time!).

Counting calories differs from other strategies, such as Intermittent Fasting or Fasting Mimicking diets; because there is no food being eaten, the body switches to burning calories from body fat, instead of food. Instead of restricting energy (calories), our body is switching fuel sources, from food to stored food (body fat).

Multiple trials have shown the Calories In/Calories Out model to fail, and do you really want to be estimating (after all yes, the nutritional information panel on the back of food packaging is an estimate!) every single food you eat? Personally, that takes the enjoyment out of eating for me!

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Bradford Clinic