Calories & Fat Loss – Choosing Foods

In our choice-laden grocery stores, with hundreds of varieties of foods there seems to be a fairly clear awareness of what’s “good” food, and what’s “bad” or “junk” food.

For example, we don’t need a book to remind us that, all else being equal, an apple is a good food, whereas a tub of thick and creamy double-fudge ice cream is high likely a “bad” food.

Not bad tasting, of course; but, really, you won’t find many fit people eating a vat of ice cream a day, for obvious reasons. So what does this have to do with calories and energy?

The important point is this: You and I evaluate our food choices and say that something (like an apple) is a healthy source of energy, and something else (like a tub of ice cream) is an unhealthy source of energy.

Equally, your body also doesn’t just evaluate from a calorie point of view. Your body also evaluates from a nutritional quality and “food processability” point of view.

What this means is that as well as the calories that come with a tub of ice cream, there are usually a lot of other unwanted add ons e.g. chemical additives, preservatives, etc.

So although at one level energy is energy, some foods are healthier than others and are easier for your body to dispose of the assoiciated garbage from them.

If there is a lot of garbage your body cannot process it effectively, so it’s more likely to be stored – as fat.

In other words, if you can eat enough apples to get the same number of calories as a tunb of ice cream, your body will be better off with the apples.

So if we apply this to the body and to weight gain, when your body receives a calorie, it must do something with that energy.

It’s easier and more productive for your body to process the “good” food.

Nevertheless, putting nutrients and minerals aside, if an apple delivers 100 calories to your body, it has to accept those 100 calories, just the same as it has to process the 500 calories from a (small) tub of ice cream.

Now, the body does two things to that energy: it will either convert the energy (calories) into cells/tissue, or it will use that energy (calories) to break down cells.

So the link between calories/energy, metabolism, and weight loss is this:

When there is an excess of energy, and the body can’t use this energy to deal with any needs at the time, it will be forced to create cells with that extra energy. It has to.

It doesn’t necessarily want to, but after figuring out that the energy can’t be used to do anything (such as help you exercise or digest some food), it has to turn it into cells.

And those extra cells? Added weight!

In a nutshell the whole calorie/metabolism/weight gain thing is really just about excess energy.

When there are too many calories in the body – that is, when there’s too much energy from food – then the body transforms those calories into stuff, which most of the time, is fat.

Sometimes, if you are exercising, those extra calories get transformed into muscle. This is obviously a good thing if you are watching your weight, or trying to maintain an optimal body fat ratio.

The Good News With Muscles:
Because muscles require calories to maintain, people with strong muscle tone burn calories without actually doing anything; their metabolism burns it for them.

This is the primary reason why exercising and building lean muscle is part of an overall program to boost your metabolism; because the more lean muscle you have, the more places excess calories can go before they’re turned into fat.