Recently my son looked at a humongous breakfast omelette of mine, filled with one whole pound of onions & peppers, and asked me “So, you’ll gain one pound just from eating those onions & peppers?”
“Well – no, because my body is going to use most of it,” I said.
You don’t gain weight from every ounce of food that you eat.
You gain fat from everything that you eat and that your body cannot use for fuel or repairs, which mostly comes from excess sugar, in one form or another.
Or is it?
Of course there’s a bit more to discuss than that.
- What is a calorie?
- Is the ‘Energy Balance Equation’ true? Should “calories in = calories out’?
- Doesn’t eating fat make you fat?
A calorie is “the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water through 1 °C”;
… the Energy Balance Equation is true in theory;
… and no, not when the fats are healthy fats and your metabolism is in balance.
Those are the short ‘answers’. You may feel compelled to dig even deeper. If you do, that’s good.
Memorizing the definition of a calorie does not make you lose weight.
Understanding the theory behind the EBE does not make you lose weight.
Awareness that fats are not the enemy .. that’s getting closer, but, still, that will not make you lose weight.
(By the way, gluten, dairy, sugar, and anything else that causes spikes in your blood sugar and/or inflammation are the real enemies!)
Knowledge is great, but it is only one piece of the puzzle.
What you need is wisdom, and wisdom only comes from practice, experience, feeling, and seeing what works for you.
For example: it’s easy to eat 2,000 calories in one day, and to estimate your energy expenditure at about 2,000 calories, and stay in balance. In theory, on a day like that, your weight would stay constant, all other things (water, sleep, hormones, etc.) being equal.
Except if Bob eats 2,000 calories of Oreos, and Frank eats 2,000 calories as follows: 50% organic vegetables, 30% grass-fed lean protein, 10% healthy fats, & 10% wild berries, will both of their weights stay the same?
What if Bob & Frank follow those patterns every day for a week? A month? A few years?
What else will change inside their bodies, on a cellular level, in addition to their weight?
Their body fat percentage? Their visceral fat percentage?
It’s quite obvious that Bob will be on this path:
Overweight > Obese > Sick > Ill > Disease > Chronic Disease > Death
While Frank will be on this path:
Health, Wellness, and increasing Vitality over time.
Therefore the quantity and quality of your calories matter.
So, what should YOU eat?
This question deserves another post (or book). For today I will present a few brief thoughts and options.
If you want to learn more by reading some great stuff online, this article on Macros vs. Calories by Precision Nutrition is a great place to start. (Free.)
If you want to learn & practice independently through a book, “How To Eat, Move, & Be Healthy” by Paul Chek is my favorite place to start. (Less than $20.)
If you want to invest in yourself and enroll in a 1 on 1 program with me as your Coach, read more about Helix & Gene Wellness programs, where I work. You will change your life. (Expensive.)
If you want to stay connected with me, and read more articles like this, written for Remarkable Fathers like you, then please add your email to the form below. I’ll keep publishing helpful information each month. (Free.)