Are all calories equal?
When most of us look at food and natural body sculpting nutrition we associate it with feeling and emotions. While that Classic Magnum ice cream tastes amazing! The 2-3 minutes of pleasure (or less) you get from eating it is often outweighed by the hours of guilt after. That drive through Maccas in the taxi on the way home from a big night will make have you salivating at the time but the next morning you are running to the toilet.. Am I right? While when you get up early have some eggs with veggies you feel unstoppable and ready to attack the day!! Different food affect us differently.
We have been through the basics of nutrition with our macro nutrients now do we know how these play in our body?
Thermic Effect of Food
Splitting up our macros into what effect they have on our bodies. How many of the calories we burn without really doing much apart from functioning. Your body is a machine and it NEEDS the right fuel but how does each source work in our body?
Studies say that around 10-15% of the calories consumed by carbs are used under the Thermic effect rule. You eat 100g of carbs 10-15g of that is used without you having to run/walk/lift weights. It’s the source that counts though. Without going to scientific and confusing everyone of glycemic index and load and whether or not you are dehydrated etc let’s just keep it to Low GI carbs throughout the day and the higher GI carbs in and around our workout.
Protein is amazing with it’s Thermic effect some studies say as high as 25-35% this can be even more depending on your lean body mass and resistance training regime… Now do you want to eat it? Protein is broken down into amino acids.. Some essential and some conditionally or non- essential. These then go to build our muscle size dependent on how hard we trained to facilitate growth. More muscle you need more protein..more calories consumed leaner body and happier you! Eat lots of lean meats, eggs, seafood and nuts get a WPI shake into you post workout for a quick fix.
Now fats are essential and great for you they are however the least contributing factor on Thermic effect with around 5-10%. Fats are so good for us in maintaining a healthy endocrine system for our steroid hormones (testosterone) which increases our protein synthesis in turn developing bigger muscles and enhancing recovery rates. Obtaining fats from natural sources is essential if you want to live a long happy and healthy life. I get mine from eggs, salmon/tuna, avocado and raw nuts.
When you break it down into calorie values where carbohydrate is 4 calories per gram, protein is 4 calories per gram and fats are 9 calories per gram you get a more concise idea where your calories are coming from. Everyone is different with their calories and breakdowns. Some foods effect hormones differently in some people but I’ll discuss hormones next time.
I know myself that if I stick to a moderate to high carb/ moderate protein and fats diet where most of my carbs come from veggies and fruit and some come from bread and rice (around workouts) I will become stronger leaner and I feel a lot happier. It may be a process of elimination with you figuring out for yourself.
When you take away the emotional association for food and start to view it for what it does and how it effects your body you can start to appreciate it more. You want to live a long life right? Then eat for it. An ice cream here and there isn’t going to kill you but be smart with your choices and learn to love your food and yourself.