Are you rushing for that summer body you can flaunt this vacation season? Well, it’s not exactly easy to go into it. Your thinking, I took the proper amount of calories per day, why am I not losing weight?
I hear you. But it’s not like you can rush fitness anyway. And calories don’t exactly work that way either.
As an oversimplification, calories are a rough unit of measurement as to how much energy a certain food can give. These calories are burned first to supply energy for our normal daily functions (basal metabolism). After this, further calories and nutrients are used to repair tissues, and the excess extra calories are stored as fat.
That’s just it. There are multiple half-truths that we all grown to believe. With that, you should leave behind everything you know about calories and consider this. Here are 5 myths about calories you should forget about.
Myth: Weight Loss is Simply Just Calories In, Calories Out
This is the most ingrained misconception that we all know. It’s a pretty simple concept. You should take out more calories than what you take in. Calories In, Calories Out.
But for those who tried it, how did you fair so far? For most, it has been so hard to even maintain that 1200 calories per day. And after maintaining, you still don’t get results. All the stress just for naught.
It’s all because of the quality of calories you are eating. The fewer calories wouldn’t matter if you’re eating unhealthy calories anyway. Which brings me to my next point.
Myth: All Calories are Equal
Calories can be acquired from carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Each calorie from these groups performs specific bodily functions when ingested.
For example, if you had too much calories from carbohydrates, the excess intake will not trickle down to the function of protein. It will just be stored as fat because calories are not equal to each other.
So check the quality of the food you’re eating. The quality of food is more important than the quantity you eat for weight loss.
Myth: Low Calorie is Healthy
Well, this may be common sense after knowing that quality of the calories is more important.
“You see those low calorie processed foods? And it even has zero sugar! Better buy those diet soda too. I mean, it’s diet, right?”
But you know better. Even if you eat those processed foods, the quality of the calories will hunt you back. The preservatives and artificial sweeteners and these foods will be detrimental to your health.
Not to mention, there have also been studies that people who eat this low calorie processed foods turn out to gain more weight. The “absence of calories” lead the person to compensate and eat more.
So much for dieting.
Myth: The Calorie Number is Precise.
Well, another misconception is the calorie number itself. When people look at the label, they compare the number as if it was an absolute amount.
“This has lesser calories. I should take this.”
But almost all calorie labels aren’t exact. Most properly labeled ones have close to 20% variance. So that 300-calorie package may actually be 360.
And we’re not even talking about absorption yet. Because it’s not necessarily that you benefit from all the calories listed. The body doesn’t absorb some of the calories fully.
Myth: Calorie Counting is The Way to Go
Some people succeed with calorie counting. But after the debunked myths above, why would you even bother listing every single number you eat?
Most likely, the quality of calories they intake heavily influenced their success. But if that’s how you keep yourself motivated, then continue. But if you want the practical route, forget about counting your calories. Instead, just focus on eating quality food.
After all, the key to weight loss is not diet quantity. It’s diet quality.