We all know it: If you want to lose weight, eat less and exercise more (well actually, it’s way more complicated than that, but it is part of it). But why is it so hard then to lose the weight and keep it off if we all know this?
Turns out that not all calories are equal. Let’s look at the example of refined carbohydrates, like sugar and processed grains. We find these in white bread, sugary beverages, and most desserts. So let’s say you eat a 100-calorie snack pack of cookies. The refined carbohydrates in the cookies spike insulin levels. This hormone tells your fat cells in your body to take up all the calories it can get, but unfortunately, there aren’t enough calories or nutrients in those 100-calorie Oreos. The brain recognizes this and tells your body to eat more to get the calories it needs!
Now, if you eat 100 calories of high fat foods like avocado, nuts or olive oil, your body will not have the same response. And some of the higher fat foods are among the healthiest foods we can eat!
For example, 2 people can eat the same amount of calories, but one person will have 2000 calories of healthy and varied foods, while another can eat 2000 calories of chocolate bars. We can see here that the total number of calories is not the only important thing, quality is more effective in maintain a healthy weight and improving overall health.
This isn’t to say to cut out all refined carbohydrates and start eating high fat foods all the time. But we should remember that those low-calorie refined carbohydrates can actually make us eat more, which will result in a higher number of calories consumed, and this = no weight loss. So let’s not put all the blame on fats and try focusing on the quality of the food we eat rather than only the quantity!