Yes, calories are a factor in weight loss. However they are only one piece of the puzzle. To make it easier for yourself, and keep your health in good stead while losing weight; certain hormones need to be taken into account too.
Science is way ahead of the game and we need to catch up.
When we get to finding classic weight loss regimes, programs, or guides; they will normally come down to one simple line…
“calories in, calories out”
We can’t argue against the laws of thermodynamics, and calories do have their part to play. However this is only one piece of the puzzle that we need to address when it comes to losing weight.
Here’s a timeless classic story:
“Anna and Pete decide to take control of their health and lose weight they’ve gained over the last few years. They follow the recommended food pyramid nutritional guidelines precisely, exercising often, and are sure they are playing by the rules. Weeks go by and the scales barely even budge. Disheartened and let down, they give up and this embeds the belief that they just can’t lose weight.”
Calories are only one pice of the puzzle.
It’s a pretty common occurrence in our society, and guess what? It’s not Anna and Pete’s fault.
What we have been told to eat to lose weight, is fundamentally wrong. Why? Because it only addresses the calories and not whole our bodies work as a whole. So what is a calorie?
Technically it is…
“The kcal (Calorie) is the amount of heat needed to cause the same increase on one kilogram of water.”
This is for heating water, your body is not a fire. It is a complex organic vehicle and thus has no idea what a calorie actually is. What this means is, that for us – not all calories are created equal. 100 calories of protein will not provide the same net conversion to usable energy as say a chocolate bar, and furthermore, will definitely not be processed the same way in regards to body fat (energy storage)!
What are we missing?
So then what other piece of valuable information are we missing here? Let’s try the signalling and messaging workers of our body, hormones. We have too many to count and more being discovered each year, but there is one in particular we should be concerned with in relation to weight loss… Insulin.
Insulin is the main hormone responsible for telling your body “let’s store energy in our cells”. In other words, let’s get fat. Its roles are more complex than just this, but that’s beyond the scope of this article. For now, let’s just take note that insulin is the signal we get to tell our cells to put our eaten food into fat cells for a later date, say, when winter famine comes and there’s no food.
We live in a society of abundance and that winter famine never comes. TWhat was feast or famine before, is now only feast. Which means we need to be more mindful of how certain foods affect our body’s signals to stock up during feasting. It’s quite simple, if insulin goes up, you are more prone to gaining weight and it’s much harder to lose it, and vice versa.
So how then do we control our insulin?
It just so happens that there are several ways you can bring your insulin down to levels that allow weight loss to occur quite easily. Through particular foods, sleeping strategies, and simple lifestyle changes – it is actually relatively straightforward to send your body the message to lose weight through your hormones.
When finding that losing weight is a real struggle or any losses come back on fast, then it’s likely your resting insulin levels are sitting high. Once you dial down those levels, the weight loss happens naturally as a result because your body is not receiving the message to store fat.
This is why the four wheels of health we use in our group programs yield such fast and predictable results in losing weight, because the framework of the program addresses the missing piece of the puzzle – hormones.
If you have ever tried to lose weight following what you were told to be “correct” and met real struggle, then this idea should resonate well with you.
Taking control of the variety of complex factors around your health to achieve long term and sustainable weight loss is a matter of applying simple and practical steps in different areas of your lifestyle.
It’s time we used the new discoveries in health to our advantage and let go of the rigid methods of the past.