FOR years weight management has been about counting calories. But is taking a mathematical approach to weight loss the best answer?
With a plethora of calorie-tracking apps, nutritional information on food labels, and now menu boards and price tags with calorie counts, it’s hard not to be at least calorie-conscious.
Calories and kilojoules are common language*. With kilojoules (kJ) being the Australian preference, a kilojoule is a measure of how much energy people get from consuming a food or drink.
We get that in order to stay the same weight, we need to eat roughly the same amount of kilojoules as we burn. For the ‘average’ adult this is about 8700 kilojoules(roughly 2000 calories), if the surveys are correct. This magic number is widely used as an approximate figure for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and as the basis of food labels and fast food menu boards.
Obviously 8700 kilojoules a day is an average. The actual amount of energy you need will vary depending on your age, gender, height, weight, weight history and physical activity level. In other words, your individual circumstances will dictate whether you need either more or less than 8700.
NOT CREATED EQUAL
Whether it’s an apple, a chocolate bar or a bowl of soup — a kilojoule is still a kilojoule, right? At least, that’s what dieters have been told for the past half-century. The problem is, not all kilojoules are created equal.
If you compare a plain croissant with jam and large full-fat latte to a small bowl of untoasted oat-based muesli with low-fat milk, fresh berries, and a dollop of yoghurt, served with two slices of toast with peanut butter, finished off with a cup of tea, it’s hard to believe that they are equal in kilojoules — roughly 2500 kJ (600 cal) for both meals.
Clearly this doesn’t appear right, especially given that scoffing a croissant and coffee (most likely on the run) will not give you that same full feeling as sitting down to a bowl of breakfast cereal, toast and fruit.
Different foods have varying affects on satiety (how full you feel after eating). In other words, your body responds differently to calories from different sources.
QUALITY VS QUANTITY
Let’s take a closer look at why the quality of kilojoules determines the quantity your body burns or stores. You’ll get so much more fibre in muesli, toast and fruit than in a croissant (13 grams versus 2 grams) and very few of the kilojoules would actually get absorbed because somewhere along the line your gut bacteria have burned them for their own energy source. Those that did would get absorbed very slowly causing your stomach to distend, sending signals to your brain that you were full.
As for carbohydrates, you may think that a bowl of cereal with toast and fruit is ‘carb heavy’ but it’s the types of carbs that matter most. The type of carb found in croissant and jam tend to have a higher gylcemic index (GI) meaning there’d be a high sugar spike. This would start a domino effect of high insulin and a cascade of hormonal responses that wreaks havoc on metabolism.
By Kris Gunnars, BSc , Not all calories are created equal.
Different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body.
They can have vastly different effects on hunger, hormones and how many calories we burn.
Here are the 20 most weight loss friendly foods on earth, that are supported by science.
Once feared for being high in cholesterol, whole eggs have been making a comeback.
What’s more… they are among the best foods you can eat if you need to lose weight.
They’re high in protein, healthy fats, and can make you feel full with a very low amount of calories.
One study of 30 overweight women showed that eating eggs for breakfast, instead of bagels, increased satiety and made them eat less for the next 36 hours (3).
Another 8 week study found that eggs for breakfast increased weight loss on a calorie restricted diet compared to bagels (4).
Eggs are also incredibly nutrient dense and can help you get all the nutrients you need on a calorie restricted diet. Almost all the nutrients are found in the yolks.
2. Leafy Greens
According to a new study, individuals who suffer from diabetes and successfully lose weight through a very low calorie diet, can reverse their condition and remain free of diabetes for the long term.
In addition, even patients who had type 2 diabetes for up to 10 years can also reverse their condition.
The findings showed that the fat, which accumulated in their pancreas, gets removed as a result of a low calorie diet and thus leads to the normal production of insulin.
“What we have shown is that it is possible to reverse your diabetes, even if you have had the condition for a long time, up to around 10 years,” said lead researcher Roy Taylor, professor at Newcastle University in Britain.
Individuals vary in how much weight they can carry without it seeming to affect their metabolism.
If a person gains more weight than what he or she personally can tolerate, then diabetes is triggered, but if they then lose that amount of weight then they go back to normal.
“The bottom line is that if a person really wants to get rid of their type 2 diabetes, they can lose weight, keep it off and return to normal,” Taylor maintained.
By Kristin Quinn, Losing weight or becoming healthier seem to be two of the most common resolutions people make each January. The problem is that most individuals do not have the proper knowledge to be successful and lose hope a few months into their journey.
To help people achieve their health-related goals, I am going to address the benefits of strength training and the types of exercise people need to incorporate to become fit. read more…
By Tasija Karosas, There are many conflicting views about protein needs for athletes. Bodybuilders believe they should be eating only protein for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Endurance athletes think they have a very small protein requirement because they are not trying to build muscle. The truth is, neither one is correct. Protein is crucial for our body to survive, but there is a limit on how much protein you should consume. That goes for everyone – even if you are trying to build muscle. read more…
Q: Which matters more when it comes to weight loss: food and calorie intake or exercise?
A: Oh, yes, it’s that time of year again: time to kick those New Year’s resolutions into high gear, dust off the weight and food scales, hit the gym, and ask critical questions about losing weight. (However, I wish more people asked, “What does it take to keep lost pounds off?” Just sayin’!)
For starters, let’s define what is meant by exercise. read more…
By David Schardt,“It is well-established” that getting too little sleep night after night can lead to weight gain and eventually obesity, says Marie-Pierre St-Onge. That’s been demonstrated in adults and children. People who sleep too little consume more calories, especially from snacks, she says.
But what about the converse? Does what we eat affect the quality of our sleep even when we get enough shut-eye? “Interestingly,” St-Onge notes, this has received much less attention from researchers.
So she and her colleagues at the New York Obesity Research Center at Columbia University set out to provide some answers.
volunteering to sleep in a lab
They recruited 26 healthy, normal-weight men and women, average age of 35, to spend 5 days and nights in a research facility where their sleep was closely monitored. For the first four days, the researchers fed the participants a healthy diet that contained just enough food to match their calorie needs. On the fifth day, the men and women were given $25 each to go out and buy whatever food they wanted and bring it back to the lab where it was measured and recorded.
On the fifth day when they could eat what they wanted, the participants consumed more calories than they needed and that night they slept just as long as they had on the earlier nights. However, it took them 12 more minutes to fall asleep that fifth night. In fact, a third of them who didn’t have a problem falling asleep during the first four nights didn’t fall asleep for at least 30 minutes on the fifth night, which would be a sign of insomnia if this persisted over time.
And what about fiber, protein, sugar, or saturated fat?
The more fiber in the food they ate, the deeper and more restorative their sleep. The more saturated fat they ate, on the other hand, the lighter and less restorative their sleep. And the more sugar and other carbohydrates they consumed, the more likely they were to awaken in the middle of the night.
How much protein they consumed didn’t matter to the quality of their sleep.
This isn’t the final word and more research is needed, of course. But it does suggest, Marie-Pierre St-Onge points out, that “diet-based recommendations may be warranted for those who suffer from sleep disorders.”
Source: St-Onge MP, Roberts A, Shechter A, Choudhury AR. Fiber and saturated fat are associated with sleep arousals and slow wave sleep. J. Clin. Sleep Med 2016;12(1):19–24.
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The post Which may affect your sleep: fiber, protein, sugar, or saturated fat? appeared first on Nutrition Action .
We tapped 12 nutritionists for the answer—you might be surprised by what they said.
Be Nice to Yourself
“Talk to yourself as if you were talking to a friend. All too often we revert to negative self-talk, especially when it comes to our bodies. ‘You look so fat in that’ might pop into your head when you talk to yourself, but you would never use such harsh words to someone dear to you. Try to be your biggest fan instead of your worst enemy. That negative talk could lead to apathy, overeating, and dietary sabotage.” —Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., author of Read It Before You Eat It read more…
In order to lose fat versus just weight you must do aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes continually at you aerobic zone. Your zone is calculated by subtracting your age from 220 BPM and muliplying by 75%. read more…
By David Schardt, “Want to lose weight? Then run, don’t walk,” is advice you often hear.
But is that good advice?
People who choose to run may be different—they may be more physically fit, for example—than people who choose to walk. read more…