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food and calories

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Do calories really count?

There is so much confusion about nutrition and if counting calories is the way to lose weight or if a more relaxed approach is needed when it comes to weight loss or muscle gain which makes it hard to know what’s best in the long run. What a hot box of a topic! So, do calories really count? Some say that it’s all about calories in vs calories out others say that the calories don’t count at all. There are widely held and extreme beliefs about this topic especially by those who subscribe to being Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Gluten-free and dairy free or any type of diet it seems. Why do people take here in America take such an extreme approach to nutrition? Why be extreme? What happened to balance and moderation? These are 1st world problems for sure. For some reason these same people who will proudly tell you that they are Vegan instead of their last name, after you shake hands during the first meeting hold fast onto their beliefs about how others should eat in that same way or they are ‘murders’ for eating meat. Does this not remind you at all of how extremely religious people hold onto their beliefs and judge others for not being the same saying those who are unbelievers are going to hell just because they aren’t of the same Faith? It is all ridiculous. Food is just food and it is not a religion nor should it give you nightmares about having a guilty association with eating a bit of dessert or, food shaming yourself because of it. The truth is that it’s all relative and dependent on the individual person, situation, illness, athleticism, age, activity levels, stress and so much more because not every BODY is the same. It’s like plants, some need more water than others and some need more sun.

In this day and age I’d say we are at the beginning stages of learning more about the science of nutrition and healing. With that said, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of money that goes into studying how nutrition can help the healing process of various ailments and diseases at this time because, that would take money away from the billion dollar pharmaceutical industry that funds a lot of studies published. The Pharmaceutical companies would lose money if people were able to cure themselves with nutrition. But, is that a viable solution anyway? I personally think there is a good possibility but we don’t know enough about it just yet. For not keep in mind that every ‘Body’ is different so there is no one size fits all. This is why there is so much confusion. People want a simple answer and solution to a complex issue. Not everyone is going to have the same caloric or micro-nutritional needs. Nutrition requirements can also change based on stress, age, exercise activity level, injury, ailments and or disease. Getting in tune with your body’s needs is crucial to understanding what works and what doesn’t. There is no way around it, you must instill certain healthy lifestyle habits and figure out what is best for your body through trial and error and, at times with the help of a professional.

Good vs bad calories

How to look youngerCalories do count though for a variety of reasons and it’s not all about weight loss or gain. Let’s look at it differently, think about food as energy and the foods you eat can either deplete your energy or give you energy. Similar to watering a plant, if you don’t water that plant it will die and, all plants require different degrees of water because they aren’t all the same.

So, if all you do is eat crappy protein bars and junky fast food you’ll most likely feel like poop even though you may have only eaten 1500 calories. Eventually you will end up with an energy deficiency and health problem because you aren’t getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs to sustain itself properly. This is why calories count and yes, there are good vs bad calories. However, how many calories you need per meal will greatly depend on your activity levels, sleep, repair, injury and a myriad of other variables. That is why it isn’t enough to simply say just eat ‘X’ amount of calories per day and you’ll lose weight.

How your metabolism is functioning is another indicator of how you’ll lose or gain weight. I think the most important thing is to first ‘heal’ your gut if you are having any intestinal issues because that’s how you know if you’re healthy.  Make sure it’s functioning efficiently with regular daily bowel movements, exercise moderately not extreme, get good quality sleep, de-stress with meditation or quiet time and you’ll see a noticeable positive change in your body’s composition. Calories do count just not exactly in the way most people think.



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