I was once a proponent of the calories in vs. calories out myth. I repeated the mantra like every other personal trainer I know. The sad part is, this myth places the blame of being overweight directly on the person who is overweight.
The fact is, it's NOT YOUR FAULT!
If you have been beating yourself up over being overweight and eating too much, STOP! You have been lied too. You have been told to eat things that make you fatter!
Let me back up for a second and clarify my position. Of course we are all responsible for the food we put into our bodies, but what if our government, doctors, health professionals have all been telling us to eat foods that actually make us fat? Sounds crazy right? But what if it were true?
Before I continue on, let me briefly explain the calorie in vs calorie out concept. The myth goes like this. The more calories you eat, the more calories your body will store. The more you expend (through exercise or other means), the more weight you will lose. In other words, the more you eat, the fatter you get, and vice versa. In addition, the more you exercise, the thinner you will get, and vice versa. Sounds plausible, but what if it didn't work that way after all? I am going to show you why this is indeed a myth.
Fact, most doctors do not take a single course on nutrition! This is a known fact, and it's 100% true. So when a doctor tries to advise regarding nutrition, please remember this little fact. Perhaps you can ask if he or she has taken any nutrition courses in their training.
So we are told to eat foods that make us fat. We have all heard the so called professionals telling us to eat more carbohydrates and less fat. We have all heard it!
But there is one little fact you should be aware of ...
Eating Carbohydrates Causes Your Body To Store Fat
And Prevents Your Body From Releasing Fat For Fuel!
If you have never heard this, you may think this is a controversial statement, but in fact, it's well known.
When you eat carbohydrates, your body releases insulin. Insulin causes your body to store fat. If that weren't bad enough, it also prevents your body from releasing fat to be used as energy!
So when you consume the popular high carbohydrate, low fat diet, you are causing your body to store fat. It's making you fatter!
In addition, your body is not able to release fatty acids to be used as fuel.
So what about the calories in vs calories out myth?
Calories In != Calories Out
In order for the calories in vs. calories out theory to hold true, every calorie you eat would need to be stored when you eat it. But we know this is not always the case. Without the presence of carbohydrates, your body will not release a rush of insulin. This means your body will not start storing calories as energy. It will also not hold your current fat hostage.
On the other hand, when you do eat carbohydrates in large amounts, your body will release a rush of insulin and cause your body to store fat and hold your current fat stores hostage. This is a known fact, not controversial.
In a study in diet and macro-nutrient content, one of the study authors states "“What you eat makes quite a difference. Just counting calories won’t matter much unless you look at the kinds of calories you’re eating.” Source
Therefore, without the presence of insulin, your body is not storing the calories you consume.
An interesting fact you may not know is that your body can live without carbohydrates! You cannot survive without protein and fat!
So please stop beating yourself up if you are overweight. Learn how to eat properly, the foods that will not make you fat, and you will finally reach your weight loss goals.