Five hundred calories of cookies are not the same as 500 calories of broccoli. If you eat the same amount of calories from broccoli rather than cookies, you will lose weight. So what’s the point of counting calories then? The source of the calories makes a huge difference in how your hormones and metabolism respond. If you eat food that spikes your insulin level, you will gain weight. If you eat food that reduces your insulin level, you will lose weight.
There’s also the misconception that if you burn more energy than you eat, you will lose body fat. But the fastest way to suppress the output of the thyroid gland, and thereby slowing down our metabolism, is to simultaneously under-eat and over-exercise. Our thyroid gland and our metabolic systems are incredibly sensitive to stress – this includes all kinds of stress (even exercise induced stress). If you exhaust your body and you don’t eat enough be sure that you’ll be putting your body under a lot of stress.
For calorie measurements we tend to rely on outdated and oversimplified statements. We have been brainwashed to believe that counting calories will lead us to our weight-loss goals. Apps, sophisticated heart-rate monitors and watches can tell us how many calories we should burn with regards to what we have eaten. These apps don’t consider our lifestyle, unique genetics, metabolism, stress levels and many other important factors. Physiological factors also influence the way in which our bodies react to fat and weight gain.
Lastly, it’s not just the type of food you eat that influences your physiology, it’s also how you eat it. If you grab something on the way out of the door, or eat lunch at the computer, you’re in a stressed state while eating. This will activate your flight-or-fight nervous system, which means that you don’t digest your food properly compared to when you eat in a relaxed state.
Stop counting calories, over-exercising and under-eating and start focusing on a whole foods, delicious diet and make relaxation techniques and restorative activities part of your every-day routine!