Myth Busting about Calories: Quality over Quantity


Wellness Stock Photo by Sash Photography http://wellnessstockshop.comWhen it comes to nutrition and knowing what’s good to put in your body, it can be hard to parse through all of the information that we are fed about how we should eat, what we should eat, and how to manage our diets. I’ve parsed through some of the common misconceptions about calories, diets and nutrition that I come across in my practice as a Nutritional Therapist. Read below for some myth-busting facts about nutrition. Here’s a hint: it’s all about quality over quantity.

Myth: All calories are created equally.

Truth: Our bodies need nutrients to create energy, not just calories. A diet balanced with healthy fats, fiber from fresh vegetables and well sourced proteins give our bodies the energy and satiation. A similar calorie count could be reached with a diet high in sugars, fried foods and low fat but the nutrient intake would be much less, robbing our body of energy.

Myth: Restricting calories will lead to permanent weight loss.

Truth: Restricting calories is a short term fix that may shed pounds initially but the blood sugar dysregulation over time causes the body to hold on to fat for survival and disrupts the body’s metabolism. A well rounded diet translates into metabolic signals that control weight gain and weight loss.

Myth: Fiber is for constipation.

Truth: Fiber is important in all of our carbohydrate intake, keeping carbs from turning right into sugar. When you drink a soda or eat a doughnut, it is a fast track of sugar going to your bloodstream and the calories that cannot be used at that moment get stored as fat. When you eat a kidney bean or beet the sugar is absorbed slowly overtime and your body has more opportunity to use the caloric intake.

Myth: Reducing caloric intake is a healthy way to balance blood sugar.

Wellness Stock Photo by Sash Photography
Truth: Balancing blood sugar is possible when we eat within an hour of waking and then every 4 hours throughout the day. Think 3 meals and a snack. This rhythm gives the body time to fully digest each meal, keeps grazing at bay and keeps blood sugar balanced all day. Whereas, caloric restriction leads to fasting and feasting and binging due to that “I am starving” feeling!

Myth: Intermittent fasting will help me lose weight without having to change the way I eat.

Truth: There is no way around it – the quality, diversity and freshness of your food matters! Every meal should have fat, fiber or protein balancing your carbohydrate intake. Intermittent fasting does not let you get ahead of the hunger and decision making becomes more difficult the more “hangry” you are, making backslides and slip ups more likely.

Myth: Weight loss is about willpower.

Truth: When we tell ourselves it is all about willpower it is like setting ourselves up for failure and shame cycle. Informing yourself about the physiology of digestion and metabolism give you the full picture of how to manage your weight loss.

Myth: Full fat dairy should be avoided because it has more calories.

Truth: Eating fat does not equal gaining fat. Americans have been trying to lose weight for the past 40 years by reducing fat and it has not worked. As a country, we have drastically increased our levels of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. When producers remove fat from dairy all that remains is sugar. So no matter the calories, the end product spikes blood sugar and causes insulin instability.

Have any myths about nutrition that you’d like to share with us?

We’d love to hear what you have to say! Interested in learning more about my approach and how I can help? I offer free 15 minute phone consultations to see if we’re the right fit for each other. You can schedule your consult here.

Written by Watershed Team

We believe that healthy, thriving people are the foundation of a strong, just and joyful society.