When it comes to losing weight, everyone seems to have the secret or new technique but somehow, it always seems to come down to counting calories. It is exhausting, not to mention restrictive to have to count the calories of everything you eat, and did I mention confusing?
When it comes to how fattening food is, calories is only one of the many factors that matter. What else matters? Saturated fats, fiber content, added sugars, additives, how refined the food is, among other things but I do want to focus on calories just in a whole different way.
There are two types of calories within food, intracellular calories and extracellular calories. Intracellular calories are those that are trapped withing cells and cell walls. Extracellular calories are those that are free to be absorbed directly with little to no effort for out gut enzymes. So what does this have to do with weight gain?
Our bodies have to grind through food to access all the good stuff that actually gets absorbed, by making these calories hard to access, our bodies use up more energy trying to get to the it. These calories are so hard to access that most of them end up being flushed way. So, if we eat, for example, 100 calories worth of steak and 100 calories with of broccoli, most of the calories in the broccoli will not actually be absorbed but instead discarded, on the other hand, the calories on the steak, are so easily accessible that our gut enzymes will actually absorb them effortlessly.
So now we know it's not about the calories we consume, it's about the calories we absorb. Now, where are these intracellular calories found? Whole plant foods. The plant cells are made of indigestible fiber while animal cells are trapped inside easily digestible membranes.
Plant based diets have many incredible benefits and when it comes to losing weight, they win the race. Limit your intake of animal derived and highly processed foods. and increase your intake of whole plant foods and fiber and watch the needle on your scale go down.