Counting Calories

An age old debate in the nutrition world is calorie-in vs calorie-out when it comes to dieting and maintaining weight.  Many nutrition and health based practitioners have taught that the key to losing weight is to make sure that you burn more calories each day than you consume.  That in order to lose weight it is a simple equation.  What we have really learned is that there is more to the story and metabolism that energy expenditure and energy consumption.  Here is a link to a great article that looks at this topic in more depth.

Counting Calories

What I have learned working clinically with patients is that not all calories are created equal.  Everything that we eat has a chemical response on the body.  The way that a hamburger or fried chicken signals the body is different than how brussel sprouts or broccoli affects the body.  And it is not just the stored energy or calorie content that makes up how the body is affected by the food we eat.  Different foods have different metabolic effects on the body.  2000 calories of broccoli is definitely a different experience for the body than 2000 calories of a supersized hamburger meal from fast food.  

There are good calories and there are bad calories.  And some people's fuel is another person's poison.  Some people do just fine on dairy and gluten.  Some do not.  Some people do better as vegetarians and some need the protein found in meat sources for optimal performance.  Looking at nutrition with a broader view allows us to treat people both individually and comprehensively.  It is nice to see that we are starting to get away from the basic calorie- in vs calorie- out viewpoint.  Though calories will always play a role in weight management, there is more of the picture that needs to be explored and talked about.