All of us have heard the term ‘calories’ and the jargon ‘count your calories’. I wish weight loss and fitness was as simple as ‘calories in less calories out’. Counting calories is more likely to improve your math skill than your fitness level. Most of us, don’t even know that there is difference between ‘Calorie’ and ‘calorie.’. Not only is counting calories boring and confusing, but it is also inaccurate.
Just like all humans are not born with the same IQ and genetic traits, not all carrots, potatoes, papayas and bananas have the same calories. The soil it was grown in, the manure used, the season, ripeness at the time of harvest, time spent in transit before it reaches your plate and other factors play a significant role in determining the exact quantum of calories. The calories and nutrients from the milk of a cow that was fed grass and grazed freely is different from that of a cow that spent its life in a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation), fed corn and other antibiotics.
The calories marked in any food/snack is a mere approximation. The exact calories in a given food can only be determined by burning that food in a bomb calorimeter. If we think practically, anyone will realize that the food industry does not burn an equal quantum of food that makes it to the aisles of the supermarkets just to ensure the calories mentioned on the packets are highly accurate.
Like each of us are unique; our metabolism, energy, calorie and nutrient needs are unique too. On some days we are stuck inside a meeting room or in front of the computer while on other days we are running around shopping, exercising in the gym, playing in the park with kids or some other sport. A ‘2000 calorie diet’ or ‘1200 calorie diet’ or any diet with such numbers does not suit such days.
Let’s not lose focus on the main and most important thing, ‘Nutrients’ and ‘Nutrient Density’. When you are eating the right amount of fresh home food, cooked carefully with good ingredients and served with love, calories will not matter. It is just the creation of the multibillion dollar industry that survives on the ‘low-cal/zero-cal’ food/drinks.
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