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The truth about counting calories and how to really lose weight

Written by: Nick Jack
Category: 2014
on 08 September 2014
Hits: 5876

The long held belief for many, and what we have been told to believe is true for weight loss, is that to lose weight it is all about energy in versus energy out. I remember being taught this in my Personal Training course and even being shown how to get my clients to use software like Calorie King to help people track how many calories they have eaten. It is one of the biggest weight loss myths ever created and the source of frustration for so many people trying to lose weight, and unfortunately many so called weight loss experts, personal trainers and health practitioners still teach this ridiculous method. Which only adds to the confusion. A lot of the information in this article I sourced from Dr Mercola's website as he explains this in a lot more detail than I do and with great research and proof, that counting calories does not work! I would highly recommend subscribing to his website as it has a lot of information that will explain why so many people do not get good results with a health and fitness training program.

What people must be educated to understand is that Calories are not created equal, the source of the calories is what is important. Calories from fructose are of particular concern.
Identical calorie counts from fructose or glucose, fructose and protein, or fructose and fat, will cause entirely different metabolic effects on a person's body.
The reason for the difference in metabolic effects is largely because different nutrients provoke different hormonal responses, and those hormonal responses determine how much fat your body will accumulate and hold on to. This is why the idea that you can lose weight by counting calories simply doesn't work. After fructose, refined sugars and grains are among the most excessively consumed foods that also promote weight gain and chronic disease. And just to smash another long held belief on the head that simply isn't true, is the idea that obesity is the end result of eating too much and exercising too little; i.e. consuming more calories than you're expending. In our Metabolic Typing program the very first thing we get you to do is begin eliminating sugars and cutting back on grains.
Here, research by the likes of Dr. Richard Johnson clearly demonstrates that this too is a complete lie. Dr. Johnson places most of the blame on excessive fructose consumption, and his book The Fat Switch shatters the myth that obesity is the result of eating too many calories and not exercising enough. Many things influence how much energy is coming in vs going out, for example what type of food you eat. What is frequently overlooked is your body’s ability to burn fat as its primary fuel. Due to insulin and leptin resistance, most people have impaired enzymes to burn fat!

In order to actually gain a significant amount of weight, Dr. Johnson’s research shows that you have to do two things:

  1. Block your sensation of fullness, and
  2. Impair your body's ability to burn fat by down regulating the enzymes responsible for metabolizing fat.

What this means is that in order for you to become severely overweight you must first become leptin resistant. Leptin is a hormone that helps you regulate your appetite. When your leptin levels rise, it signals your body that you’re full, so you’ll stop eating. Refined sugar (in particular fructose) is exceptionally effective at causing leptin resistance in animals, and it’s also very effective at blocking the burning of fat...

Another important fact is if you’re insulin resistant and obese, it doesn’t take much fructose to activate the processes that will keep you fat. Some of Dr. Johnson’s most recent research shows that the more high-fructose corn syrup you eat, ( found in soft drinks and most processed foods ) the more you absorb and the more you metabolize it. Meaning, eating fruits may be more of an issue if you are insulin resistant, whereas fruit intake is likely safer or even beneficial if you are lean and healthy. This helps explain the paradox of how some very fit people can eat a lot of fruit—which is rich in natural fructose—without gaining any weight. I used to eat at least 5-6 pieces of fruit a day and never gained a kilo in weight. Yet when I started as a personal trainer I started to get everyone to do this and many clients put on significant amount of weight even though they were exercising more. This is exactly what Metabolic Typing is and why we use the basic or advanced test to find out what your body's natural chemistry is like. Some people can do very well eating carbohydrates and fruits, lose a fair bit of weight and feel great, whereas others this same diet will have a disastrous effect on their health and their waistline.

Over the past 60 years or so, a confluence of dramatically altered foods combined with reduced physical exertion and increased exposure to toxic chemicals have created what amounts to a perfect storm. The extensive use of sugar—primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which is added to virtually all processed foods—is at the heart of it all. But one also cannot underestimate the impact of chemistry, and the creation of truly addictive foods.

How To Get Your Body Back

So if you are carrying more body fat than your ideal, what's the answer? I believe there are two basic changes to implement right now. And if you do it right and stick to it for a period of time you will slowly begin to regain your lean body and achieve great health. This kind of diet will naturally shift your body from burning sugar to burning fat as its primary fuel, which will automatically help you shed excess weight, and counteract disease processes associated with a processed, high-sugar diet:

1. Avoid, sugar, refined fructose, grains, and processed foods
2. Eat large amounts of vegetables and include low-to-moderate amount of high-quality protein (organic meat is best) with every meal.

3. Eat as much high-quality healthful fat as you want (saturated and monounsaturated). For optimal health, most people need upwards of 50-85% of their daily calories in the form of fat.

Now if you still don't believe that calorie counting is not the way to go then maybe you will believe Weight Watchers!

David Kirchoff, president of Weight Watchers, the world's largest diet company, recently said on their website: "Calorie counting has become unhelpful. When we have a 100-calorie apple in one hand and a 100-calorie pack of cookies in the other, and we view them as being 'the same' because the calories are the same, it says everything that needs to be said about the limitations of just using calories in guiding food choices."

Kirchoff and Weight Watchers have eliminated the company's popular "Points" system, which encouraged dieters to lose weight by eating any foods as long as they kept the portions small. The new system tries to encourage dieters to consume more natural, less processed food.

According to Time Magazine:"The radical overhaul, which is the first major alteration to the Points program, comes at a time when Weight Watchers is trying to revive its recession-battered business."

We could keep going and going with this information but I think you get the point. The best thing you can do is to avoid processed foods as much as you can and eat according to your Metabolic Type. If you would like a consultation with Melissa to find out what your type is click the image below.