No Calorie Count
Here are some of the many reasons why I do not ask my clients to check their calorie intake.
1. Calorie conscious people tend to choose packaged foods, which tend to have insulin-raising nutrients for lowering calories.
2. Protein needs more energy (20-35% of total calories in protein eaten is used to digest it) than carbohydrates (5-15%) and fats (5-15%) (1) (2). For example, when you eat 100 Calories of protein, the true calorie intake in your body is 65-80 Calories, while same calories of carbohydrate and fat provide 85-95 calories.
3. Dietary fiber reduces our calorie intake by slowing the transit time of food from the stomach to the intestine, reducing digestion/absorption efficiency and decreasing fat absorption by interacting with bile acids in the intestine. Thus, we harvest fewer calories from a calorie-matched dietary fiber rich diet than a low dietary fiber diet.
4. Each person has different digestive capabilities and gut microbiomes. Even the same person’s GI function changes by a circadian rhythm and physical activity (e.g. fight or flight).
5. Digestibility of starch changes by temperature. For example, we harvest significantly lower calories from a cold potato than same amount of a steamy hot potato (3).
1. Glickman N & Mitchell HH. The total specific dynamic action of high-protein and high-carbohydrate diets on human subjects. J Nutr. 1948 Jul 10;36(1):41-57.
2. Halton TL and Hu FB. The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Oct;23(5):373-85.
3. Fuentes-Zaragoza et al. Resistant starch as functional ingredient. Food Res. Inter. 2010; 43 (4): 931–942.