Hey Guys! So yesterday’s post had a lot of crazy stuff going on in it, so I wanted to answer some important questions. (It might be helpful to read yesterday’s post before you read this one.)
Why don’t calories matter, and why are we only concerned about sugar?
The answer is, because you can’t treat all calories equally.
A calorie eaten isn’t really a calorie eaten.
Today’s exercise and weight loss industry constantly tells us that in order to lose weight, we have to burn more calories than we eat. Yeah, sorry, that’s not true. In order to burn off say just the one KIND bar our example woman ate yesterday, she would have to run on the treadmill for about 20 minutes. If she wanted to burn off even 1,200 of the 1,380 calories she ate yesterday, that would take about two hours. Most people don’t have that kind of time to devote in a busy day!
So, let’s look at the science behind why all calories aren’t the same. Let’s use the example of the large Sprite our teenage boy got with his McDonalds value meal. A large Sprite has about 280 calories. Let’s compare that to 280 calories of spinach, which I ate at lunch.
Spinach is very high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. When I eat spinach, it is not absorbed immediately by my body due to the high fiber content. My blood sugar will rise, but it’s going to be a low, gradual rise, and the spinach will be digested very slowly.
Now let’s look at how that 280 calories of Sprite is digested. Because Sprite has zero fiber, it’s going to be absorbed immediately by your liver, and your blood sugar is going to spike rapidly. When your liver experiences a sugar overload like that, it has no choice but to produce fat, as well as signal an onslaught of various hormonal responses such as increased inflammation and higher blood pressure to name a couple.
Also, when you get this high spike in blood sugar, you produce a lot of insulin. This high insulin blocks the hormone leptin, which is your body’s “I’m full” signal. If you aren’t recieving the signal that’s telling you that you’ve had enough, and the sugar is sending the pleasure sensors in your brain into over-drive, you’re going to want to keep drinking or eating more.
Now, 280 calories of spinach is about 40 cups of spinach. You would never be able to comfortably eat 40 cups of spinach, and if you could, you would receive so much fiber that very few of the 280 calories would get absorbed, and the ones that did would be absorbed very slowly. Your blood sugar wouldn’t spike, so you wouldn’t have that rush of hormones, and your body would recognize that it’s full.
This is why you don’t need to count calories when you eat good food – they don’t matter. What matters is what you’re eating!
Seriously, if you still haven’t watched Fed Up yet, I highly recommend it. It explains everything I’m saying in all of my posts.
Still want to do more reading on this calorie inequality? Check out Dr. Mark Hyman’s article:
Hope this clears things up from yesterday! Here’s Day 15, Cheers!
DRINK 8 oz. of water when you wake up.
Do pushups – 10, 20, on your knees, clapping, don’t care – get your blood flowing.
- 8 oz. water
- Veggie scramble (mine had spinach, mushroom, and onion)
DRINK 16 oz. water before lunch.
- I really need more broccoli in my life, and this broccoli apple salad sounds great. Check out the recipe from the Paleo Leap:
Drink 8 oz. of water after lunch.
- 8 oz. water
- I didn’t have a lot of time for dinner, so I picked up some cilantro-lime chicken patties. They were in the meat section, pre-packaged, all-natural, and didn’t have added sugars or anything.
- I served it over sautéed spinach and onions – would probably have added avocado too if I’d had any
- fresh strawberries!!
DRINK at least 8 oz. before bed!