Monday, January 28, 2013

Is a calorie really just a calorie? (We need to talk about soda.)

Okay guys. We all know that in order to lose or maintain weight, its simple addition and subtraction:

calories eaten in food - calories burned through exercise = net calories for body function

If we burn more than we eat, our body begins to lose weight. If we eat more than we burn, our body begins to gain weight. Simple, right?

Except there are all sorts of ways to make it complicated. Some experts say that a calorie is a calorie, and a net deficit in calories leads to weight loss regardless of whether those calories are in apples and spinach or in candy bars and ice cream. Technically, that is true.

Then there are experts that tell us that all calories are not created equal, and that some foods are better for weight loss than others. This is also true.

And still more experts argue that on top of eating nutritionally superior calories, we need to pay attention to what foods we eat when, and with what other foods we eat them, and at what point in relation to exercise. And yes, this is true as well.

Before we know it, this very simple math problem turns into a Master's program in nutrition, becoming so confusing and frustrating that many of us don't even try to eat right because the sheer magnitude of figuring out what to eat is too overwhelming.

Well, I don't have a Master's degree in nutrition, but I know this much is true:
  • I've lost weight eating crap and gained it all back.
  • I've lost weight eating clean and maintained it easily for going on five years.
While all calories may be created equally for weight loss, all calories are not created equally when it comes to health. Yes, I'm talking about sugar. Advertising companies will tell us that we can have sugar as part of a healthy lifestyle, but leading research is showing just about every day that this is not true. Sugar calories are not only completely void of nutrients, but they are direct contributors to obesity and impaired brain function that leads to overeating.

Sugar hides in many of our foods, but one place where it is loud and proud is in soda. Just ditching your soda habit can help you lose weight, reduce your sweet tooth, and put a stop to a myriad of other health complications waiting in the wings. Like these:

Harmful Soda
Via: Term Life Insurance

Losing weight is just one part of the whole-health picture. Calories are precious and should be working for you, not against.

Get out there and get healthy, and make it as complicated or simple as you want it to be! You don't need an advanced degree to figure out the simple formula of good health: eat real food, get exercise every day, and your body will take care of the rest.

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