So here is a statement I hear a lot still and through my personal experience I know not to be all that true. The statement is “weight loss is about calories in vs. calories out” and unfortunately there’s more to it than that. We have three macros that are essential to us; protein, fat and carbohydrates. The thing is these have different branches of their own which affect our hormones and some of those branches do it negatively(big shocker). Another thing you need to take into consideration is that if you take the food you eat and convert it into ATP you have energy, that energy gets used differently based on intake and output. Let me run through just a couple of things here.

Hormones

One of the most common things that finds its way into our diets is sugar. All forms of it including fructose which comes from fruit. The thing is when this enters your body you release insulin to process it. Fructose is then processed in the liver where it will likely turn into fat as we can’t utilize all of the sugar at once. I think of insulin as an “insulator” it is important in building tissues in the body. When you release insulin, it goes about and collects the sugars then brings it to the liver and the liver says, “I don’t need all of this, just put the rest somewhere else” so it gets stored as fat. Insulin is also like alcohol, if too much of it gets into your system for long periods of time your body gets used to it and needs to produce more insulin to have the same effect, but the insulin still does its job of collecting sugars, so now imagine you had 1 employee going out at grabbing the sugar from around the body to bring to the liver, after a while you have 2 then 3 all doing less output but more input. That will lead to more storage.

The appetite hormone ghrelin will also be affected as you will find yourself needing to eat more often because your insulin buddies are running all over the place. you will find yourself more hungry because your body is less efficient at processing foods.

Cortisol is a big one as it is the body’s alarm system and goes out to combat inflammation. It’s also there to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure. Too much cortisol is very bad and can lead to weight gain and high blood pressure.  Cortisol creates sugars by tapping into the protein stores in your body to regulate stress. Insulin goes out to collect the excess cortisol sugars which leads to, you guessed it, more storage.

I will go into the cyclical effects more in detail on another post.

Homeostasis

Homeostasis in a nutshell is the body’s ability to regulate the amount of calories going out as are coming in. To put it more simply, if you start eating less calories than you normally do, then you will get tired faster. If storage of calories for fat matters then the kinds of calories you are eating matter just as much.

It’s important to note that if you just see a black and white photo for calories in vs calories out you aren’t getting the full picture.  There are cleaner versions of energy you can use that are more efficient for the body, and when you start running off of them you will feel a difference.

Thanks for playing

-KG(Schwartz)