Well, I hate to get all scientific on you…no, I don’t. I love science! Especially the science of nutrition and physiology, which is why I got a Master’s degree in it.
Anyway, I’d like to examine a huge dietary myth. You’ve certainly heard “a calorie is just a calorie.” Meaning, if you stick to say, a 1500 calorie per day diet, it doesn’t matter if those calories come from potatoes, salad, or cheeseburgers. Wrong-o!
This is why a high-carb diet is the best for you, both in health and for weight loss. (And by high carb I mean ‘natural’ carbs, not the refined junk food crap.)
The body must convert calories into energy, so you can get energy from your food. Now, when you eat carbohydrates, (potatoes/vegetables/whole wheats/etc) your body must burn more than a quarter of those calories in order to convert them. So, if you ate 100 calories worth of vegetables, you’d automatically burn 25 calories just in the digestion/conversion process. Sweet, eh?
Now, when you eat fat, the body simply stores it; it does not use any calories (or hardly any) to convert it. So, if you ate 100 calories worth of butter, your body might use two of those calories.
So, in both cases you eat 100 calories. In the case of the vegetables (or potatoes/etc.) you end up ‘consuming’ only 75 calories. If you eat the fat, you consume—and store—at least 98 calories.
Make sense? Now, here’s one of my favorite, disgusting facts about fat: since the body converts fat so little before storage, you could cut open a body, take out some fat, and be able to identify where it came from! (Chicken fat, beef fat, dairy fat, etc.) Basically, you’re ripping the cheeseburger apart and poking it right into your body, or reaching in and smearing that butter all over your heart. Just so you have a visual.
So to wrap it up, studies have proven that even if vegetarians/vegans eat the SAME AMOUNT of calories as meat/excessive fat eaters, the vegetarians gain much less weight.
Whew. Until next time. Now go eat some carbs!