Why calories matter, but they’re not all that matter.
If you’ve ever struggled to lose weight, you might have been making this one mistake:
Only focusing on calories.
It is true, calories are king when it comes to weight loss. However, they’re not all that matter.
So what matters more than calories?
What’s one aspect that could make a weight loss goal (or even a way of eating to prevent disease) more sustainable?
Understanding and tracking macronutrients.
What are macronutrients?
Macros are the 3 macronutrients that make up all food. All food, with the exception of alcohol, has either one or a combination of these macronutrients.
Here are the three macronutrients:
- Protein: 4 calories/gram
- Fat: 9 calories/gram
- Carbohydrates: 4 calories/gram
When it comes to entering a calorie deficit (the road to losing weight), balancing and understanding your macronutrient intake can really make or break your success.
Let’s look at 3 ways macronutrients can improve your path to weight loss:
1. Avoid excessive hunger:
A calorie deficit is in fact controlled starvation. When used properly, it is a short term path to weight loss. As should be expected with starvation, hunger will rise. What’s a great way to combat that hunger?
Build balanced macronutrient meals.
Eating sufficient protein is linked to more satiety with meals.
If you somehow create a low calorie snack that’s only 300 calories, but it is lacking protein, I guarantee you will be hungry sooner. Now, recreate that meal with some protein, and you will notice it fills you up longer.
The proper balance of these macronutrients can be a game changer in your hunger levels while in a calorie deficit.
2. Balance blood sugar levels (and prevent disease):
What’s the point in suffering through a calorie deficit if you are compromising your wellness?
No thank you.
Calorie deficits, when done right, can also be a way to prevent disease.
Meals balanced with adequate protein, fat, and carbohydrates have a way to prevent blood sugar spikes (which are followed by blood sugar crashes).
Blood sugar imbalance is linked to metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is 3 or more of the following traits:
- Waistline greater than 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men
- Fasting glucose above 100 mg/dl
- HDL cholesterol less than 40 mg/dl
- Triglycerides above 150 mg/dl cholesterol
- Blood Pressure of 130/85 or higher
Metabolic Syndrome is on the rise, and is linked to the influx of heart disease and diabetes we have seen.
Blood sugar imbalance is also linked to the rise in cases of insulin resistance (the precursor to diabetes).
Insulin resistance is a major problem these days. It is at the heart of many of the “medical issues” relatively healthy people are experiencing, such as:
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,
PCOS (the top cause of infertility among women today)
For this reason, all of Wellness in Bloom clients are given protocols to prevent and to heal insulin resistance through macronutrient guidance. A calorie goal alone will not do that for you.
3. Balance hormones
Insulin is in fact a hormone, so balancing insulin through macronutrient intake will have a grand effect on other hormones.
But what other value can macronutrients give you in regards to balancing hormones?
Your hormones require fat.
In an effort to lose weight, a low fat diet is sometimes recommended.
Everyone is different, and there can always be too much of a good thing, but very low fat diets are not great for your hormones (or your brain). Ever heard of essential fatty acids?
The term essential means that your body cannot produce those fatty acids on its own, we must consume them.
Limiting fat intake can not only impact your hormones, but also your overall well-being.
Also, “low fat” options are usually ultra-processed foods that are more inflammatory, rather than healing.
Ultra-processed foods aren’t our friends, by the way.
In the end if you want to lose weight, a low calorie diet will get you there.
But will it promote wellness? Will you be able to sustain it for a few weeks?
Choose balance. Choose healing. Choose wellness.
Need help creating a balanced approach to weight loss? Apply to work with me here.