This is from our good friend, John Mariotti, a martial artist, school owner and activist from Fernley, Nevada.
Are you ready? Here it is…A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. This is the biggest lie in the diet and nutrition industry today. And it is a lie that continues to perpetuate through ads, news and even dietary education.
For those of you who don’t know a calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of water by 1 degree Celsius. So when we say there are 4 calories in a gram of protein or 9 calories in a gram of fat that means there is enough energy in that gram of food to raise the temperature of water by 4 or 9 degrees, respectively. Pretty simple on the face of it, yes? So how is it that there is any difference between calories?
Guess what? Your body is not a pot of water, nor does your body treat all of those calories in the same way. Everything you eat or drink creates a number of metabolic and hormonal changes as those things get digested in your body. How many times have you said or heard someone say…’everything I eat goes right to my’ (pick one) hips, butt, legs, belly? The facts are simple different foods evoke different responses from your metabolic system. And sugar in all of its forms may be one of the worst caloric inputs you can have. Your body treats sugar the same way it treats other toxins like alcohol, to the point of doing serious damage to your liver and other organs.
Obesity isn’t just about how we look. Obesity is a marker, a sign of a greater disorder, Metabolic Dysfunction. Not only does this threaten the health and longevity of the people who experience it these diseases that are related to Metabolic Dysfunction account for an amazing 75% of the health care costs in the United States. We know most of the major diseases:
There are several others (heart disease) that obesity is blamed for as well, but the fact is simple: Obesity is not the cause of these diseases. Obesity is a symptom of metabolic dysfunction. These diseases all flow from that dysfunction.
You are not fat because you are lazy. We often hear this: just work out more and you will lose the weight. Sure, being sedentary is not helping you. You are obese because your metabolism is out of whack. It is not functioning properly. Believe it or not, there are also people with normal weight (about 40%) that have some sort of metabolic dysfunction. However 80% of obese people suffer from this dysfunction. This is a huge problem.
So how did we get here? How is it that we have obese infants? They aren’t lazy. If the problem with obesity is metabolic dysfunction how do you get it? Because it isn’t something that you just pick up, it isn’t something that just happens. It turns out that the major culprits may be societal influences and changes. We have covered many of these before:
When we add all of these things (and some others) up we have what may be considered a “perfect storm” to create an epidemic of epic proportions. This epidemic is affecting 60% of Americans health and 100% of Americans pocketbooks.
The primary villain in all of this is sugar. Sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup) is added to virtually all processed food. Even those things listed as healthy, natural or organic have added sugars in the form of brown rice syrup or cane syrup or any number of others. And herein lies the calorie is not a calorie rub…a calorie from fat does NOT impact your metabolism the same way a calorie from sugar (especially fructose) does. Different nutrients evoke different hormonal responses and these responses determine how much and where you accumulate fat.
This is why simply counting calories to lose weight doesn’t work. After fructose, other sugars and grains (another form of sugar) are the most heavily consumed food items that promote weight gain, chronic disease, and metabolic dysfunction. These food stuffs affect your insulin in very bad ways, and insulin is one of your primary fat regulators. These “bad” foods include high fructose fruits and fruit juices, both of which appear healthy but can easily throw your insulin “switch” into high gear. So it isn’t just that you are eating too many calories, you are eating the wrong kind of calories. As long you keep eating the wrong kind of calories (fructose and grains) you are telling your body to keep getting fatter and fatter.
So what is the answer? Simple…replace sugars (fructose and grains as well) with healthy fats. Restrict/limit/cut back on carbohydrates and increasing healthy fat intake will create a healthy metabolic response. This will help your regulatory hormones keep everything running smoothly. Remember a few weeks ago when we talked about how hard it can be? Well fructose is in everything including baby formula (which may be why we have obese infants) so how are we going to be moderate in taking that stuff in? Vigilance my friends and creating satiation with fats like:
Your body needs these fats for proper functioning. Just look around you and see what the low fat prescription has gotten us. Every year we consume more sugars and every year we are sicker, fatter and unhealthier. Change your life style around this. You will be glad you did!