06 November, 2013

Counting Calories Doesn't Help Weight Loss

It may sound strange to all who stick to their low-calories diets, but counting calories is actually a 19th century weight loss strategy. What’s more – it’s highly ineffective and tricks makes dieters stay hungry for no reason.

Weight-loss diets have always focused on the amount of calories we ingest. A very popular belief is that we lose weight only if we eat less calories and burn more. But scientists from the North Carolina University claim that the science of nutritional value of food is at least a century old and it doesn’t match modern theories about weight gain and loss. They explain that the amount of calories you need does not depend on simply your age, sex and height, but it varies individually. While some overweight people have no underlying or accompanying medical conditions, others may have imbalance in the bacteria living in the guts. This imbalance often leads to a different ability to absorb calories.

A study discovered that it’s actually ok to eat almonds. One ounce of raw almonds has around 170 calories, but 130 of them are burned during digestion. On the other hand, processed foods such as any fast food or packages food usually contains more calories than the label says. Another reason for counting calories to be absolutely subjective and ineffective is that the method of preparing the food is always essential to absorbing the calories. Raw foods, as well as some particular foods, always take energy, which is basically calories, to digest. A mice study proved that theory – the mice managed to lose weight when they ate raw sweet potatoes, but when their diet contained only cooked potatoes, they gained weight. And of course, the amount of food given to them was the same both times.

According to Sheba Roy, a doctor of natural medicine at Beaumont Hospital, losing weight can be easily achieved by eating natural whole foods, instead of processed foods stuffed with refined sugars and hydrogenated vegetable oils. She adds that processed ingredients in packaged food can disturb the balance of microbes living in the guts and as a result, our metabolism and ability to burn calories will change. The best foods for Roy are organic foods – fruits and vegetables with bright colours and distinctive smell. If the food we eat is natural, our body will be able to absorb it better. So, even non-diet foods can actually contribute to weight loss.

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