Are all Calories Equal?
By now you all know about calories. We as coaches have talked about it and every time you look at the back of a food item you see the nutrition label. But what do those calories really represent? Are all calories equal? Hopefully by the end of this blog you will have a better understanding about nutrition and the importance of the calorie. In essence calories are your body's energy source to help keep it running at an efficient level. Which is why when you don’t eat for an extended period you feel tired, lethargic, and sometimes lightheaded. Eating is necessary for our survival, but it also affects our health.
Back to the original question, are all calories equal? Well yes and no. For example if you were trying to lose weight, you would need to be in a calorie deficit. If you had a fast food McDonald’s meal everyday for a month while adhering to a calorie deficit, you will still lose weight. Same thing if you replaced that McDonald’s meal with a healthier alternative like say a chicken salad or something. At the end of the day when you are counting calories they are just that, calories. As long as you are managing your calories to get your desired results you can lose or even gain weight regardless of where those calories are coming from.
Now before you get the wrong idea or get carried away, no, calories are not equal when it comes to health, body function, and performance. Your body is a very complex system and is constantly working to keep you functioning at a healthy level. So imagine your body as a well-oiled engine of an expensive sports car. You want to make sure you take care of it with the best oil as opposed to some cheap oil. In this instance your food is the oil. If you decide to eat more “junk” food and processed food than you will perform and feel just like that, junk. Your engine will not run at an efficient level and you won’t have the energy to perform. Now if you ate more organic whole foods, you would be fueling your engine with the best oil. Fueling you with energy and allowing you to perform at a high-level.
Yes calories are just that, calories when you are counting them in a calorie deficit or surplus. But it goes back to that old saying, you are what you eat. If you see someone who is full of energy and enjoying success, it is probably because they are eating the right foods in the right amounts. As opposed to someone who is eating junk and never has the energy to get going or motivated. Now I ask you this question, what fuel are you gonna put in your engine?