Still think a calorie is just a calorie? Think again!
Not ALL calories are created equal, and while it’s an easy way for people to track their weight loss, the QUALITY of your calories has much more to do with success than how many you’re eating.
1200 calories of pizza, beer and candy? Not the same as 1200 calories of hummus, spinach and lean chicken. Nutritionally, the latter is better for you: more vitamins, minerals and good stuff for your body to use. But it’s also processed more efficiently by the body: more of the calories get used, burned and can fuel your metabolism giving you an edge all day. Plus, the more fiber, veggies and lean protein you have in your diet, the less chemicals your body needs to dispense to break it down: less hormones released, fewer sugar crashes, and less fat storage.
A new study has given more insight into which ‘diets’ may be best for weight loss (and by diet, I don’t mean restriction, but rather overall diet).They compared a low fat diet, a low carb diet and a low glycemic index diet. All participants followed their eating plans over a period of time, and then were measured for caloric output and weight loss.
Those on a low FAT diet burned the least.
Those on a low CARB diet had the fastest initial effect… but had the lowest retention rate. It also raised the risk of heart problems in participants.
Those on a low glycemic index diet burned steady amounts with almost no adverse effects. It was also easier for participants to maintain over time. While the ultra low carb, Atkins-like diet had the greatest initial effect, it also had the lowest, long-term retention rate. On top of that, it increased the risk of heart problems.
Very interesting stuff!
The takeaways: those of you focused on low fat options may do well to add more fat into your diet: you need fat to burn fat (avocados, olive oil, nuts). While low carb diets are FAST, they tend to do poorly overtime: consider going halfsies and exploring complex carbohydrates to add into your diet (grains, beans, legumes). And EVERYONE would do better by eliminating processed, sugary and chemical foods.
“Don’t blame anyone or anything for your situation or problems. When you do that, you are saying that you are powerless over your own life – which is utter crap. An empowering step to reclaiming your life is taking responsibility”—Jillian Michaels (via 123flc)
“Diet tip: You guys are always asking me about sugar substitutes so here’s the deal - Most sugar substitutes are far more sinister than sugar itself. Your body doesn’t know how to handle something that’s man-made. These chemically-adjusted products do not occur in the wild; there are no sucralose trees in warmer climates, nor are there saccharin plants on the plains of the Serengeti. In some instances, taking in sugar substitutes may actually increase your levels of hunger! Avoid anything in a blue, yellow, or pink packet. Try xylitol or a stevia product like Truvia for a low calorie sugar substitutes that’s safe. And at the end of the day if you use a packet of sugar it’s only 14 calories. With sugar, moderation is key.”—Jillian Michaels (facebook)
So this is what I’m going to be doing for the next 12 weeks.
Why am I doing this? Well, there’s a half marathon in October that I may or may not sign up for. I’m not really into races; I just like that thought of getting into better shape. I love the idea of challenging myself. Depending on my commitment to this training plan, I might sign up for a race, if not for the half-marathon then at least a 5K or 10K. Anyway, I suppose I’m just in the mood to try something new.
Self Magazine has some interesting training plans races, half marathons, and triathlons if anyone else is into that kind of thing.