There’s a widespread misconception about calories and weight loss. People get so wrapped around the idea of count calories, calories are everything, how many calories a day are you eating, 100 calorie snack packs, etc, etc.
I’m here to tell you there is more to YOUR weight loss story!!
Let’s take a look at 2 different foods: a donut and a chicken breast. BOTH are 250 calories. But the donut has 18g of carbohydrate, 2g protein, and 20g fat. Whereas the chicken has 2g of carbohydrate, 37g of protein, and 10.8g of fat.
Which is healthier? Which is going to make you feel fuller longer? Which is the best choice? and most importantly WHY???
You know that chicken is healthier than a donut, everyone knows that. But let’s look at why: it’s the hormones!
When you eat the doughnut it will increase the levels of the hormone insulin while the chicken breast will cause a greater hormonal response in glucagon. Insulin in this case will cause fat storage while glucagon will cause fat usage.
Aside from the aforementioned, the amount of insulin in relation to glucagon will determine your blood sugar levels and regulation. Foods that are high in carbohydrates or sugars (High glycemic) like the doughnut will cause a major spike in your blood sugar and then cause you to crash later.
Then what happens typically? You grab another high glycemic food like ANOTHER donut, a coke, sweet tea, sweetened coffee, etc. This creates a toxic cycle! A toxic cycle of crashing and spiking and fat storage. NO THANK YOU!!
How can we prevent this AND achieve fat loss?
By balancing your hormones through proper food macronutrient rations, AKA the right number of proteins, carbs and fats.
When I make a customized meal plan for a client. I do not pay attention to calories when making the plan. Yep, you heard me. I was taught during my certification classes that the #1 thing to do is balance the hormones and then take calories into consideration.
I have many clients that say, “Katie, are you sure? I’m only eating like 1100 calories a day? Is that enough?”
Now, that being said. You do need a caloric deficit to lose fat, BUT the proper ratios of macronutrients trumps any calorie counting strategy.
This is why when you ‘eat healthier’ you have some unintentional caloric reduction and fat loss. This is why it is common sense to eat a chicken salad instead of a donut for a meal. And why you will get results from eating a more balanced meal.
When you have balanced hormones, you will not get the afternoon slump. I NEVER get that slump because I like to eat meals full of protein and low in carbohydrates. This prevents fat storage and promotes fat loss! And it makes me feel good too.
Another thing that meals full of protein will do is keep your blood sugar steady and keep you from feeling hungry. This will help you indirectly eat less, have less cravings, and make you feel full which will keep you from eating more later. This is why eating what I call “deceivingly unhealthy” foods like whole grain crackers, bread, etc aren’t necessarily conducive to fat loss.
As you can see the donut and chicken may have the same calories, but the outcome of eating each is totally different.
Therefore, when you eat the right foods more consistently, you will have an indirect and automatic reduction in calories. This also will help balance your metabolic hormones and result in fat loss.
How do we balance our metabolic hormones?
A few different ways to do this: protein, fiber and timing.
Protein and fiber will keep you feeling fuller longer and provide you with sustained energy and result in fat loss.
Timing of your meals is important too. I try to eat every 3-4 hours in order to keep myself from getting too hungry. My meals and snacks are composed of proteins, healthy fats and low carbs. From these choices my hormones are balanced.
How can you tell if your hormones are balanced? Your HEC is in check: Hunger, Energy and Cravings. When you aren’t hungry, you have sustained energy and no cravings, your hormones are in check and you are all set for fat loss!!