Thursday, November 11, 2010

How To Weigh Calories

There is a lot more to weight loss than just counting calories. The standard concept of maintaining a daily deficit of calories ingested vs calories expended is currently being challenged. An article from the BBC ( focuses on other factors to keep in mind while trying to lose weight.

Certain components of food such as fiber and protein require the body to expend more energy during digestion. This process results in a higher net calorie expenditure (when compared to food of equal calories with less protein and fiber). A higher net calorie expenditure, in this case, means that your body burns more calories digesting food with protein and fiber when compared to food of equal calories that lack both protein and fiber. If you burn more calories digesting certain foods, you may end up with a larger calorie deficit. The greater the calorie deficit, the more weight you lose. If you eat at a daily caloric deficit of 500 calories for a week, the total loss will be 3500 calories, which is worth 1 pound of fat. Is it now possible to choose your food based on how many calories of energy it takes to digest?

Besides picking certain foods, another factor is chewing! The more you chew, the more energy you expend. Give your body a workout to digest food! Even though the calories required to chew are minimal, it still is a factor.

So, the debate of traditional calorie counting vs choosing high quality foods ends like this- “You can gain weight over eating healthy food. You can also hinder your metabolism and really hurt yourself if you only chose to eat foods based on the amount of calories they contain”. I just quoted myself....

If you eat with a “calorie conscious” attitude and pay attention to sensible portion sizes, you’re going to be A-OK.

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