I thought I’d write a post so that I’m not hijacking other people’s threads.
A number of people have commented what a chore counting calories is, and I have highlighted the solution of portion sizes, with the BHF having a workable system.
However, there my support deviates. Most people seem to think it is a logical extension to concentrate on low calorie foods to reduce calorie intake; I beg to differ.
There’s little doubt that vegetables are good for us. Vegetation provides most of the diet of the chimpanzee/benobo, our nearest living evolutionary relatives with whom we shared a common ancestor between six and seven million years ago. Nonetheless, our large intestines are smaller than theirs denoting that we have less capacity for obtaining the goodness from such foods; our diet has changed significantly over those millions of years.
What is being confused is the quantity of food with the quality. Let’s say it takes half a kilogramme of vegetables to fill an average stomach. Those vegetables provide 500 Kcal (must include some starchy ones). It takes about two hours for the body to digest the energy from them.
Now instead, imagine eating 500 kcal of double cream; a little over 100 ml. Predominantly fat, it will take about four hours for the body to digest most of the usable energy. Though these figures aren’t necessarily accurate, they serve to demonstrate a principle, that filling the stomach says little about how long the energy will last for. To stretch the point, you could add water to the cream to lower its calorie density and fill the stomach.
Add to this that the body’s needs are not just for energy, needing amino acids, vitamins and minerals for example.
So whilst counting calories serves a purpose, don’t fall into the trap of low calorie eating. The vast majority of people regain the weight and more by following a semi-starvation diet; the subconscious will rebel to safeguard the body, unless you develop an eating disorder to override it. Ancel Keys’ Minnesota study established this in the 1940s.
Balance is the key; the body actually uses twice as much energy in the form of fat compared to carbohydrate according to the Perfect Health Diet, and the closer we eat to that ratio, using real foods that are abundant in micro-nutrients too, the less stressed our bodies will be.