The Myth of Calories In-Calories Out

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We have been conditioned to believe that weight loss is a matter of burning more calories than we take in for so long, many people don’t realize that the idea of “calories in-calories out” is overly simplistic, old, outdated science.

Very simply, there are so many components to the whole formula of digestion and metabolism. I’ve written about many of them in previous posts. They include pace and timing of meals, stress and relaxation, the effects of certain foods on the body, hormones and much more.

It’s simply not true that all calories are equal. Some foods, some eating circumstances, even some life circumstances, cause the body to pump out certain hormones, namely insulin and cortisol, that cause the body to store fat. Other foods, eating circumstances and life circumstance contribute to boosting metabolic rate, increasing the body’s ability to burn calories more efficiently.

One of the great ironies of dieting by calorie counting is that, if a person overly restricts calories, the body, fearing starvation, responds by increasing hunger and slowing down metabolism.

Bottom line: Trying to control your weight by strictly counting calories, by keeping your calorie intake hundreds of calories below what your body needs to sustain itself, will not work as a long-term weight loss strategy. You can’t fight your body’s chemistry. Exerting your willpower to eat less and punish yourself with exercise is like trying to use your willpower to breath less often. You might be able to do it for a very short period of time if you give it your total concentration, but you can’t sustain it. Your brain and your body will win, 100% of the time

The bottom line is that calories in, calories out is a drastic, and dangerous, oversimplification of the complex process of metabolism.

Author: Rebeca Espinoza

Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon.  You can find her at Like the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon page on Facebook or follow us on Pinterest for healthy eating tips, inspiring quotes, videos and photos and more.

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