You’ve heard this one before: some people eat less, however, they get fat. Or, people are overweight because they overeat. It means they eat too much, so they get fat, right?
Many people mistakenly equate getting fat with feeling full or having a stomach-ache after eating too much. But it’s not that simple at all! Though most people believe that overeating makes them gain weight, the fact is that not all calories are created equal. So, How Fattening Is A Calorie?
It turns out that the actual effect of what you eat on how you look differs greatly from the effect that most people expect. Eating too many calories is often blamed for weight gain, however, it’s not always as simple as just eating too much.
Firstly, why do some calories make us fat and others don’t?
There are different types of foods and each one has a unique effect in our body after digestion. Don’t worry about the science behind this; we will examine the details a little bit later. For now, what matters most is knowing that not all calories are the same.
There are three main categories of calories:
- This is a great example for this topic. Sugar, found in candy and other sweet foods, is made up of the simple carbohydrate known as glucose. Glucose is absorbed by the liver and stored as glycogen, a form of sugar that we burn as energy. When we eat foods containing sugar, our body responds by releasing excess glucose into our blood stream where it enters cells to be used as fuel. The extra glucose in our blood causes the production of insulin from the pancreas. More blood sugar means more insulin and an increased likelihood of fat storage and weight gain.
- Fat is a much more complicated issue. As we know, fat is made up of a large number of different substances called fatty acids, however, there is no particular molecule that constitutes fat. Instead, there are many different varieties. Some fats are used to build cells and other systems that help you stay alive and healthy; others are just waste that your body can’t use (such as metabolized food or hormones). The point is that there is no single kind of fat that makes you gain weight.
When you eat food containing fat, it is broken down into its component fatty acids and they are then absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. Fatty acids are transported to the liver and put together in chains called triglycerides which can be stored in fat cells or used as fuel. In any case, when you eat foods containing fat, your body responds to get rid of excess fatty acids by activating hormones such as cortisol and insulin so that they can be stored as energy. The extra fat we consume just gets used for fuel and doesn’t add to our weight.
- This is a further complicated topic, since different kinds of protein have different effects on our body. It also depends on how much protein you consume and your current weight, as well as a number of other factors. In general, it is believed that the kind of protein you eat has little to do with weight loss or gain. A high-protein diet will not make you gain weight automatically and eating less meat won’t necessarily help you lose more fat. However, if your diet contains excess calories (from fat or sugar), then consuming more protein can help treat some specific conditions like muscle wasting and osteoporosis.
Why some people eat less but get fat?
Well, you may be wondering now, if fat isn’t fattening, then why do some people gain weight even when they eat less? The main reason is the combination of certain foods eaten at once.
Many people believe that by avoiding carbs and eating more fat and protein, they can lose weight. Most of them stick to a high-fat/high-protein diet because they have heard somewhere that this is the best way to lose weight while eating food they like. That’s right, a high-fat/high-protein diet can be good for you. Eat more protein, fewer carbohydrates: that’s all good advice. But not all of it!
Let me tell you a little secret — eating less carbs and using fats to make up for the calories is only part of the story. Unless you also avoid some foods altogether and learn which combinations are best for your body, you are surely doomed to fail!
According to Harvard Medical School, limiting fat intake will not help with weight loss, nor will it help lower cholesterol levels or reduce heart disease risks. And neither will cutting out carbohydrates from your diet make significant changes to your waistline or your overall health.
I know, I know. It doesn’t seem fair. We all really want to lose weight and get healthier, but promises of weight loss miracles and miracle diets are just not facts. Many people wish they could lose weight without cutting out junk or eating less, but that is, unfortunately, not so. In the end there will always be losers — which means you might as well learn how to use that time to your advantage by learning how to eat more healthily!
Unfortunately for those who believe that cutting carbs out of their diet will make them slim down, this is just not true. As I mentioned before, there are many people who go on low-carb diets and gain a hell of a lot of weight!
Answer to the question
So you may ask ‘what’s the secret to losing weight and staying healthy? ‘The answer is simple: burn more calories by exercising. The best way to achieve this is not by severely restricting your diet but by finding ways for your body to naturally crave healthy food (this is where intermittent fasting comes in). You see, if you restrict your calories all the time you will miss out on important nutrients which can make you feel weak, tired, depressed and sick. In addition to that, restricting calories too much can slow down your metabolism.
As you can see, it is not fat that makes us fat. By eating a high-fat/high-protein diet, you will help your body to get rid of toxins and unhealthy fats, allowing it to run more efficiently. Fat also increases your fullness signals. Therefore, in this sense, you won’t over eat as much as on a high carbohydrate diet.
Additionally, when you eat foods containing fat, your body responds by getting rid of excess fatty acids by activating hormones like cortisol and insulin so that they can be stored as energy.
I hope now that you have a better understanding for why some diets work for some people but not for others.