Is Calorie Counting the right way to diet?


I have been on several diets in my life time and I have gotten results with just about every diet.  The problem that occurs is when I stop following the diet.  I gain the weight back. The most common diet that happens in the world is the Calorie restriction diet. Most people who will tell you if you want to lose weight just cut back on your portions. Calories In has to less than Calories out.  Well is this the right way to diet? When you follow a diet like that you’re going to be hungry( I don’t mean hungry I mean hungry hungry).  There has to be a way in which you can diet without having to cut back on all your meals.  Maybe it’s the type of foods that we eat.  I did have a chance to read Gary Taubes book Why we get Fat and what to do about it. He says that when people go on caloric restricted diets people will lose some weight but eventually they will reach a plateau. The reason for that is the body will lower a person metabolism to accommodate the restricted food intake.  So what do you do now? Keep restricting food until the person is surviving on nothing more than a peanut a day? There is no way that will occur. A dieter will throw their diet in the trash and begin eating how they were before.  So why don’t we ask the dieter to exercise instead of eating less. That will create a negative caloric intake as well right?  Exercise will make you more hungry so what happens a person eats more to make up the calories that they burned off through physical activity.  Exercise will make you more hungry. So once again you are hungry will lose some weight maybe builds some muscle but eventually you will eat more again.
Now what if you decide to change what you eat instead of how much you ate? Can you lose weight that way?  A lot of caloric counting addicts will say that wont work and a Calorie is a Calorie. In my mind I will say that is illogical. Let’s think about that statement  “A Calorie is a Calorie.” So you’re telling me that a calorie from a piece of Steak is the same as a Calorie from a hot fudge brownie sundae?  If you say yes then you honestly don’t know how body interacts with the food you eat.  The Macro nutrients are Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins.  Each macronutrients are made of different chemical  combinations and each macronutrients interacts with your body in a different way.  A people who say a Calorie is a Calorie is an oversimplification.  In Gary Taubes book he states starchy foods are the reason why we get fat. His reasoning behind this is that starchy/flour based products causes your insulin levels to elevate. Insulin is know in the body as the Fat storage hormone. When your body is circulating high levels of insulin your fat cells are more adept to storing fat.  Insulin also causes mobilization of fat to stop. So eating starchy foods will cause you to store more fat and keep you from burning fat.  Essential that you keep starchy foods out of your diet and keep Insulin levels low. Protein does cause and insulin response but it is nowhere near as high as starchy Carbohydrates. Fats don’t even elicit an insulin response in the body. So as person diet would consist of fruits and Vegetables, Meats with potatoes and rice at a minimum. There is no restriction on how much you eat( as long as it is in reason).
This is just my thoughts on dieting I have been through a lot different of diets and I am tired of my weight going up and down. If you are tired of the same thing then I ask that you pick up one of Gary Taubes book or at least listen to his lectures on YouTube and make a decision from that.

Author: Smithfitness

A former basketball player now fitness professional. Alex holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Kinesiology and certified NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist(CSCS). Alex loves lifting heavy things repeatedly and going for long runs or rides and helping others achieve high levels of fitness and health. If you love fitness and health follow this blog and submerge yourself in all the fitness and health knowledge.

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