I've said it before, and I'll say it again - we have been dreadfully lied to about calories.
We've been trained to view calories as the enemy, aiming to keep them as low as possible, for fear of gaining weight.
Our store shelves are lined with low-calorie, processed, packaged products that help us keep our calorie intake low.
But when you take a step back and think about it, is this approach working?
Nope. Not at all.
Ever since we started watching what we eat and monitoring our caloric intake closely, society has become more and more overweight each passing year.
So, obviously, what we are doing, preaching, and believing isn't correct - otherwise we wouldn't be in this predicament.
Well, if that is the case, and we've been spoon fed calorie lies for years now, what is the truth? What can we believe?
What we can believe starts with the facts: calories are energy and fuel for our body that comes in three forms, proteins, fats, and carbs. When we eat the correct combination of these three macronutrients for our body (everyone has a different ratio that works best!), we reach our ideal weight and health.
When it comes to calories, we also need to remember that quality is so much more important than quantity.
You can't tell me that 100 calories of Oreos are equal to 100 calories of an avocado. It's just not true! And I will argue to my death with anyone that tries to debate this point with me.
The body recognizes calories from the different macronutrients differently, and it processes them differently as well. In addition, the micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc) that accompany food affect the breakdown and usage of calories as well.
Therefore, it makes sense that our body would prefer calories that come from real,whole foods because they come neatly packaged with a ton of micronutrients that our body craves!
Plus, most of the processed low-calorie products are made from foreign chemicals that our body doesn't recognize. These chemicals may not even be broken down by our body, like artificial sweeteners. Our body sees them as foreign and simply lets them pass through without digesting them - but not before they wreck havoc on our taste buds, digestive system, and brain chemicals.
Basically, my message is the same as always: eat real, whole food. Choose unprocessed foods that are in their natural form. Avoid packaged, refined, or unnatural foods.
Can you go out into nature and find margarine? Nope. So why are we continuing to put it in our bodies!
Can you go out into nature and find an avocado? Yep, you sure can! Let's eat more of those!
Set a goal for yourself - clear out that pantry of processed, packaged foods and don't replace them. Instead, fill your fridge and pantry with real, whole foods filled with calories that will nourish your body and allow your body to perform at its optimal function.
Need some examples or don't know where to get started? Don't worry - stay tuned for my upcoming post on what to keep in your fridge and pantry that are Nourish & Thrive approved!
Remember - don't believe those calorie lies. Not all calories are equal, and definitely don't believe that less is necessarily better. Check your labels and fuel your body with real, whole foods! :)