Debunking the calorie myth

Wednesday, December 11 2019 4:11 PM
By Genesis Genesis

In the 1930’s a research study released findings that those who consume more calories weigh more than those who do not. Ever since diets that promote calorie counting have used this model to inspire weight loss through cutting calories.

What is a calorie?

Calories are not a measure of how much food you have consumed, they are a measure of energy. One calorie contains approximately enough heat/energy to raise the temperature of water by 1 degree or the average car traveling at 60 mph from Denver to Fort Collins burns 67,500 calories.

The human body burns calories to provide the energy all your everyday functions such as walking, talking, etc. Therefore, to lose weight, you must burn more energy then you consume each day.

Eating less calories = weight loss / NOT TRUE

The biggest issue with this idea is that not all bodies burn calories at the same rate. An exercise that may burn 1,000 calories for one individual may only burn 700 for another. The rate at which calories are burned is dependent on a person’s percentage of lean muscle verses their percentage of body fat.

The more muscle a person has – the more calories they will burn. Eating less calories when you have less muscle will force the body to burn fat cells for energy – but at a much slower rate than if you build up muscle mass first. Therefore, cutting your calorie intake may not affect your weight loss by much.

What to do now?

While calorie cutting in itself is not the solution, awareness of the amount of calories you intake can be helpful. If you know that the meal you consumed was over 1,200 calories (I’m looking at you - double quarter pounder with cheese, large fries and a large coke), you may want not to order it.

Consider your metabolism, workout schedule and overall body type when deciding what you plan on having for dinner. Eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains will go a lot further then making sure that you cut 500 calories a day from your meal.

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