Have you tried to lose weight and counting calories? Did it work?
Probably not. And it might have hurt your self-esteem and confidence that it didn't. But, it probably wasn't your fault. The theory of calories tried to explain a very complex topic simply – and utterly failed.
Let's take a look at what's going on, and at the end of the article, we will share a couple of things that really do work.
The Myth Of The Calorie
A calorie is a unit of heat. It's the measurement of how much energy it takes to raise one cubic centimeter of water 1 degree Celsius.
So, you might think: what does that have to do with food?
Well, because digestion creates heat, some thought that the food you eat gets burned to create energy. So, they applied the calorie to that measurement of heat. Dietitians burned food in a machine called a calorimeter to discover how many calories it had.
A great idea, many flaws.
It turns out that mother nature doesn't like things to be consistent. The same apple of the same size grown on the west and east coast can vary by 200 calories. A pepper from the same plant could very 25 to 50 calories depending on if it grew in the sun or the shade. Wheat, a product common in most processed food, has a variability of over 300 calories depending on if it's early spring wheat or late summer wheat.
So, you could have used the best calculations and measure things exactly and still be wildly off.
And that doesn't even take into account what food does in your body and why burning calories never works.
Calories Don't Matter – Here's What Really Does
What's a you eat a piece of chocolate. And that chocolate is 100 calories. Does that translate to a hundred calories going directly to fat storage? Is that how many calories you have to work off?
No. And here's why.
Fats, proteins, and carbohydrates each have a standard amount of calories assigned to it. But just because you eat something with fat, protein, or carbs doesn't mean it goes to storage.
Most fat and protein we eat goes for building healthy tissues, not energy production or fat storage. That means most of those calories don't actually count. Carbs, on the other hand, often do.
So, of that piece of chocolate, maybe only 25 calories count for what you need to exercise off.
And that changes by the different foods. Nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables might provide a negative calorie balance. Yet, most processed foods are 100% going to fat storage.
Counting calories is very complex, very imprecise, and probably one of the worst ways to try and lose weight.
Want to know what really works?
Toss Out Counting And Start Living – 7 Tips To Really Lose Weight
You should do a little counting, but you don't need to do very much. Keeping track of how much water you drink during the day, how many fruits and vegetables you eat, and how well you enjoy your life is much more critical.
Drink More Water
You need lots of water for your metabolism to run well. If you are dehydrated, your metabolism slows down and you end up storing everything you eat. Simply getting in about 1 gallon of water per day can help increase your metabolism and flush out a lot of waste and toxins causing weight gain.
Eat Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are the basis of all healthy diets. They provide a lot of nutrition without a lot of extra to go into storage. As a result, you can eat a lot of food without gaining weight.
Try getting in at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day to get proper nutrition and help your body lose weight.
Just Exercise – Do Something/Anything
Don't wait for the perfect exercise routine to roll along. Anything you find fun and raises your heart rate counts as exercise. Do it often, have fun, and make it a habit. Once you have a habit, you can start exploring the different aspects of strength training and aerobic exercise to really fine-tune your weight loss.
Stop Eating After Dinner
Once your body begins slowing down for the night, so does your digestion and metabolism. That means anything you eat late at night is going straight towards that storage. You can also disrupt your sleep.
Get Sleep – More Sleep
Not getting enough sleep raises cortisol level and cortisol encourages you to gain weight. It also makes you tired, so you don't want to exercise. Simply getting another 30 minutes to an hour's worth of sleep a night can make you feel better, improve your mental outlook, and help your body be ready to lose weight.
Meditate and Pray
It seems counterintuitive that sitting still helps you lose weight. But, helping to calm your mind and focus reduces stress and cortisol levels. Progressing through the day with a better mental headspace helps you focus on the skills that really matter, namely getting exercise and eating healthy fruits and vegetables.
Get More Vitamins with Good Supplements
For some people, a multivitamin or specific targeted individual supplements can help you lose weight. We're not talking about fancy nootropics. They promise weight loss, but don't really deliver anything. We're talking about the basic vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and zinc. We recommend you talk to your doctor and test your vitamin levels before randomly taking any supplements.
Losing weight does not have to be complex. Getting in good exercise, eating healthy, and following some of the steps above can really help give you a boost and reduce your stress over this process.