‘Calories in, Calories out’ — Does It Really Matter? - Deepstash
‘Calories in, Calories out’ — Does It Really Matter?

‘Calories in, Calories out’ — Does It Really Matter?

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Calories in versus Calories out

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ve probably heard about the importance of “calories in versus calories out.”

This concept is based on the idea that as long as you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’re bound to lose weight.

However, some people insist that the type of food you eat matters much more than the number of calories it contains — both in terms of weight loss and long-term health.

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Model

The “calories in versus calories out” model is based on the idea that to maintain a stable weight, the number of calories you eat needs to match the number you expend.

“Calories in” refers to the calories you get from the foods you eat, while “calories out” is the number of calories you burn.

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The source of calories impacts your hormones and health differently

Different foods can affect your hormone levels in different ways.

The differing effects of glucose and fructose serve as a good example. These two simple sugars provide the same number of calories per gram, but your body metabolizes them in completely different ways.

A diet too rich in added fructose is linked to insulin resistance , increased blood sugar levels, and higher triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels than a diet providing the same number of calories from glucose.

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The types of food you eat affect how full you feel

Your nutrient intake impacts your hunger and feelings of fullness.

For instance, eating a 100-calorie serving of beans will reduce your hunger much more effectively than eating a 100-calorie serving of candy.

That’s because foods rich in protein or fiber are more filling than foods containing lower amounts of these nutrients.

This is why most processed foods that are rich in fructose but devoid of protein or fiber generally make it more difficult for you to maintain an energy balance.

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The source of calories has different effects on your metabolism

Foods affect your metabolism differently. For instance, some require more work to digest, absorb, or metabolize than others. The measure used to quantify this work is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).

The higher the TEF, the more energy a food requires to be metabolized. Protein has the highest TEF, while fat has the lowest. This means that a high-protein diet requires more calories to be metabolized than a lower-protein diet does.

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