16 Sep No. 1 Misconception About Calories
A close colleague proudly announced her current diet plan and decided that –
“I can eat whatever I want as long as I exercise everyday”
I raised my eyebrow, REALLY?
That begs the question –
When trying to lose weight, which is more important- DIET or EXERCISE?
Even before undergrad school, I used to think that weight loss is all about CALORIES IN and CALORIES OUT.
Eat less, Exercise more = Weight loss
Recommendations like this are sweeping statements that annoys me till today.
And I can’t believe I used to dish out this advice to my orthopaedic patients.
The truth is, the human body is a highly complex system, which goes through different metabolic pathways and elaborate processes that regulate energy balance.
On top of that we’ve got hormones such as leptin and ghrelin that regulates when and how much we eat.
Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat book will change your perspective on conventional dieting and I bet you’ll walk away feeling angry for not knowing.
Simple analogy that he has used here :
Imagine that we’re walking along the hallway and we look to see that this room is packed with energy. You ask – Why is this room so crowded? I answer – Because more people are entering than leaving.
It is simply stating the obvious but doesn’t tell you the cause of the room being full.
Could there be an ongoing flee market, or free drinks or Taylor Swift in the room. These are all meaningful explanations to why this room is full of people.
Hence, merely stating that weight gain is caused by excess calories is equivalent to saying that the room is crowded because more people are entering than leaving.
If you’re explaining this to your patients/customers/friends, you’re telling them nothing.
Human physiology is deeper than calories in and out myth.
You don’t eat a slice of pizza and poop out pizza, do you?
Going back to the question, DIET or EXERCISE – which is more important?
Studies have consistently showed that diet plays a much bigger role than exercise.
It makes sense (if you still buy the calorie myth), after all it’s easier to cut out M&Ms then to walk for 80 minutes for the equivalent 500 calories every day.
Helen West puts it best-
You can’t out run a bad diet.
But I don’t want you to get the impression that you can ditch the exercise.
In fact, I love exercise, but for a different reason.
Exercise is great in providing us that burst of energy, feel-good endorphins and reduces stress hormone.
And when you feel good, you naturally want to eat clean food to fuel your engine.
And when you’ve energy, everything in your life becomes alive – your mood is elevated, heightened motivation to work out, going through life filled with passion and vitality.
So, if you’re ready to jump on and get started with something ‘healthy’, I recommend this week’s recipe, inspired by Project Acai!
:: ANTI-OXIDANT ACAI CUP ::
- 1 pack of frozen acai, unsweetened ( I got mine from Sambazon)
- 1-2 bananas, frozen (sweetness to taste)
- 1 plum
- 1 tsp hemp seeds
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- Goji berry
- Almonds, chopped
- Place all the ingredients (except toppings) into a high speed blender and blend till smooth. Add a splash of water if smoothie becomes too thick. Set aside acai mixture.
- Layering style - Place chopped almonds on the base, followed by Acai mix and decorate with toppings.
- That’s it!
Acai is something new in my pantry, so I’ve been experimenting quite a lot.
They are low in sugar and super high in anti-oxidants to fight off free radical!
Lots of love and good health,