If you have ever been on a diet (like me) you are well aware of how much it SUCKS!
The old school way of losing weight, exercising more and eating less.
Overtime you slowly start to cut back on your calories, (especially fat) and throw in some extra workouts at the gym.
This methods seems to work at the beginning…
But overtime you start to feel exhausted and HANGRY all the time!
I know when I ate a low fat diet I would feel SO hungry that when I got into the kitchen, I would want to eat everything and anything, including the kitchen sink!
I often get asked the question when people go Ketogenic…
“DO CALORIES MATTER??????”
My Answer is: It depends on the calories
Finding your own individual “baseline” for calories is going to be VERY different for each person. This is not a constant number, it changes over time.
Activity level, age, gender, past “dieting habits,” all play a role in each persons metabolic adaptation. We are all SO different.
We can get SO caught up in the numbers game, calories in vs. calories out that we grab that processed protein bar because it is “low calorie,” or it fits my “macros,” for the day!
When we focus only on Calories, we don’t pay attention to…
N U T R I E N T S
& how this affects our
H O R M O N E S
Calories from a protein bar with artificial sweetness are going to be a lot different than calories from an avocado.
Although they may contain close to the same amount of calories your hormones, metabolism and hunger will be affected VERY differently.
Low caloric intake may work well for short term goals, but coupled with poor quality nutrition, without “reverse dieting slowly” can create the perfect storm for DISASTER (metabolic damage) and additional weight gain.
There tends to be 2 different camps when it comes to weight loss on a ketogenic diet.
Camp 1: Calories do matter. You must be in a deficit to lose weight and change body composition.
Camp 2: Weight loss is simply a hormonal response and calories do not really matter.
I am NOT 100% camp number 1 or camp number 2. I see importance in both.
I believe weight loss is largely based on a Hormonal Response opposed to strictly calories in and calories out.
But I don’t think when you go Keto you can just EAT ALL THE FOOD without thinking about it.
If your metabolism is “damaged” from yo-yo dieting or discorded eating and you start eating loads of fat without thinking about it, you most likely will put on weight. You still need to be mindful of what you are consuming.
But the beautiful thing about eating a high fat diet is, we start to balance out our hormones. Cholesterol (fat) is the precursor for all of our sex hormones, so more fat in the diet tends to mean better hormonal health.
We can regulated and improve our hormones by increasing fat in the diet, reducing the amount of carbs we ingest and improving our food quality (organic, grass-fed, gmo free).
Below are a few examples how just making a few modification in the diet can support our hormones
Regulating blood sugar (insulin)
Managing stress (Cortisol &Thyroid hormones)
*food quality, add herbal supplementation
Regulating sex hormones (Testosterone, Estrogen)
*Increase fats (remove soy) look at nutrient deficiencies
Regulating hunger Hormones (Leptin Ghrelin)
*Increase fats, reduce carbs, look at food quality
Even if someone is NOT adhering to a ketogenic diet, I STRONGLY believe reducing total carbohydrate & sugar will improve current health and promote longterm vitality.
Remember calories do matter to some degree…(we are all different).
While your friend Sally may be able to crush 3500 calories a day and remain lean, while your friend Bob is eating 1,500 a day an having a hard time losing weight. Again we need to look at where the calories are coming from.
Try not to get so caught up in the numbers game and look more at NUTRIENTS!