Thursday, June 26, 2014

Out With The Old: Calories-in Versus Calories-Out

Calories-in, calories-out.  Lose weight.  Gain weight.  You eat.  You exercise.  It's all connected.  Then they say it isn't.  But it has to be a little bit, right???  Otherwise gastric bypass surgery wouldn't work at all. 

I have been doing ALL the stuff.  (You can read that blog HERE.)  I'm eating so much better than I used to.  Almost no fast food (maybe twice in the last few months and those were salads from Wendy's -- my favorite!).  I have cut my sugar intake drastically.  Jellybeans?  Gone!  Vitamin Waters?  Gone!  Donut day?!  Gone (well I have taken a couple of bites here and there but I am not eating them every Friday)!  I'm making the majority of my food at home.  I'm reading labels.  I'M PUTTING SHIT BACK ON THE SHELF WHEN IT DOESN'T HAVE WHAT I NEED!  Who am I?! 

But where's all my weight loss?  I know.  I know.  I didn't do this to lose weight!  I am doing it to get healthy after years of having a horrible relationship with food and my body.  And, sure, there are a lot of good things going on -- I feel great, and am actually requiring less food.  After two weeks of returning home each evening with the afternoon snack I would pack for work, today I finally decided to stop bringing an afternoon snack.  Ellen says this means I'm making better food choices that are sustaining me longer.  YAY! 

I read a couple of articles about calories and why eating real food doesn't equate to weight loss, so I wanted to talk about them. 

For years I made the argument that a calorie was a calorie.  And why did anyone care if I chose my calories to be ice cream and cake instead of fruits and vegetables?  But now I know that is not the truth.  Besides the fact that ice cream and cake take up less room, so they are less filling with more calories, there are VITAL vitamins you get from eating fresh fruits and veggies.  Here are some great tidbits from THIS article:

"Thinking that all calories are the same is an antiquated notion. Granted, by definition calories represent units of energy provided by a particular food, but thinking they’re all alike is like saying a diamond and a rhinestone are the same because they both glitter. With calories, as with diamonds, it’s the quality that matters most and enhances their value."

"So what’s the work-around? Trade hunger, calorie-counting and denial, for filling, nutrient-dense, organic or local produce, poultry, pasture-raised meats and wild fish. Eat them until you are full, not until you’ve hit some abstract, virtually meaningless magic number. By eating these kinds of foods, your body will tell you when you’ve had enough. Eating refined carbs like wheat, grains and sugar—the crystal meth of the supermarket aisle—never will."

I personally still choose to track my food.  Mostly because I'm trying to make that stupid pie chart hit the 40-30-30 mark (40% carbs, 30% fat, 30% protein).  But I am hitting my calorie goal each day without trying.  I don't feel like I'm dieting.  In fact, I feel like I'm eating better than ever!  I am also eating close to a 50% fat diet since starting with Ellen's nutritional program in early May (good fats like coconut oil, nuts and olive oil) and have lost almost four pounds in the last two months.  I know.  That doesn't sound like a lot, but I don't lose weight quickly.  Ever.  My body has always done this bounce around thing.  Up 4 pounds.  Down 5.  Up 3.  Down 2.  Up 4.  Down 6.  It's crazy.  I am no longer bouncing around and am now consistently losing small amounts of weight each week.  And I am at my lowest weight in almost two years (my highest weight last year after foot surgery was 263 pounds.  I am now down to 252 pounds). 

I was also reading THIS article about why eating real food might not equate to weight loss.  I do take issue with her blaming obesity on certain diseases.  I like something Ellen posted in our Balanced Table group.  It is poor diet choices (processed food, sugar, etc.) causing Type 2 Diabetes, heart attacks, cancer, etc.  Not obesity.  What do they say?  Correlation not causation?  Anyway, I think the article still contains some good information.  Reasons you might not be losing weight?

Digestion: "Weight loss will not happen if the body is malnourished and unhealthy. That’s the least concern of the body, therefore it will focus on repairing and bringing down the inflammation before it even thinks of shrinking fat cells, especially if it doesn’t have the proper energy to do so."

Food sensitivities: "The good news is sensitivities are not allergies and can be reversed, but this requires eliminating certain foods that an individual may be reacting to for a period of time while their body heals."

Yeast overgrowth: "Correcting imbalances can diminish cravings for sugar and sweets, improves digestion and absorption of nutrients, and reduces the amount of toxins the body is exposed to."

Stress: "This is directly linked to maintaining healthy adrenal function which regulates cortisol levels, sex hormones (which is another underlying cause of weight gain), and of course adrenaline and epinephrine- which put you in a state of fight or flight. Stress eats up B vitamins, Magnesium, hinders digestion, and causes imbalances in blood sugar that cause the adrenals to work overtime."

Toxin overload: "Bottom line, we must limit our exposure as much as possible, and more importantly, take a pro active approach to support our body’s ability to decongest and rid these toxins properly to get the stress off our detoxification organs (i.e. LIVER!). The body can then focus on ridding toxins from fat cells which is where they accumulate!"

Dysfunction of the master glands: "Making sure adequate amounts of amino acids are being utilized and getting enough essential fatty acids, along with a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is crucial for support. Possible cause of the weakening of these master glands can include a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, digestive problems, stress, and even heavy metal toxicity."

So the adventure continues to regain my health through better food choices.  I am also working hard on being strong.  Lots of yoga, pole and cycle.  Next year, my test scores better be perfect!!!

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