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Are All Calories Equal?


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Is a calorie a calorie?

We hear the word calorie all the time, but what is a calorie? A calorie is a finite amount of energy that was first measured in a lab in a controlled setting. The concept of energy cannot be refuted, but how does that translate to weight loss, weight management and weight gain? Real life application of scientific principles often does not reflect the research. In my book, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, I discuss eating plans that are proven to work in mid-life when followed. I recommend eating foods in their most natural forms be incorporated into the programs that I recommend.

To simplify a controversial and complicated concept consider the differences between processed foods and clean foods. I define clean foods as those their most natural state.

For example, let’s compare a Snickers candy bar and a large banana. A banana will have approximately 121 calories, mainly in the form of carbohydrate, fat and protein. It also has vitamins, and fiber. Half of a snickers bar will have about the same number of calories, again, mainly in the form of carbohydrate, sugar, fat and protein, but there will be a paucity of vitamins and fiber. So, although the energy calories available are similar when the body digests them, the supply of nutrients is very different. So equal calories of snickers and banana are not equal when our body utilizes the nutrients.

A Calorie is NOT a Calorie

A calorie is NOT a calorie when we are comparing foods because of the macro and micro nutrient differences.  Macro-nutrients, which are fat, carbohydrates and protein are all processed differently. That is they require different biochemical management by our bodies. Metabolism of protein uses the most energy, then carbohydrates and finally fat.  Most clean foods naturally have more fiber and other micro-nutrients such, that is vitamins and minerals, than processed foods.

This is why clean eating can be so satisfying. When we choose to eat a banana versus half of a snickers bar, it will leave you feeling full (has fiber that helps this), and energized. This is because the banana has vitamins and minerals available for the body’s functions. Micro-nutrients affect our bodies and hormones which in turn affects our appetites!

Eating a diet low in processed foods improves your overall digestion, nutrient availability, calorie count, energy, vitality and joy! Yes, eating well will make you joyful 😊!

Clean eating will lead to better health. In general, not over consuming food will enable one to maintain a healthy weight. One of my recommendations is to increase your lean protein intake to up to 1.5 grams per pound. This can improve your weight management.  Diets higher protein diets result in a boost to the metabolism. Higher protein is a safe way to manage your weight if you do not have a medical condition that prohibits higher consumption of protein.

How to Take Make the Change!

  1. Look in your pantry and discard or donate your processed food (pretty much anything in a box or bag).

2. Stock your fridge with REAL food (think things that grow, fly, swim, or walk).

3. Eat the real food and within 1-2 weeks you WILL notice a difference!

Learning how to enjoy clean eating can seem impossible, but I assure you it is a worthwhile goal! My ebook Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, has some excellent options for you to learn how to love clean eating and enjoy the benefits!

In my ebook, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, I can help guide you to the eating plans, and movement plans that will benefit you.

Order my book now by clicking on this link:  Buy Book Now

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