It’s hard to believe, but even in the modern world, we still meet various nutritional “gurus” on our way, who claim that a calorie deficit is nonsense.
And that the most important factors in losing weight are, for example, proteins, cbzh, nutrients, sometimes the quality of food.
Others argue that it makes no sense to count calories at all when losing weight, and that the main condition for successful weight loss is, for example, a complete rejection of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, such things are preached to the masses not only by fanatical supporters of some alternative directions of nutrition, but even by people who are considered serious experts, trainers and important sources of information.
If any luminary of pharmacology with tens of thousands of subscribers on social networks claims that weight loss is carried out only in a laboratory setting, then such nonsense will make a huge contribution to the information chaos about nutrition and weight loss among the general public.
So let’s get clear on what calorie counting really is, the role of macronutrients, and the fact that “healthy” foods don’t have to be low in calories, so eating something “healthy” doesn’t automatically mean that that you will lose weight.
Calories vs. calorie counting
Reducing your overall calorie intake (and subsequently reaching a calorie deficit) and counting calories are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. Nobody has to COUNT calories right away in order to lose weight. But also, no person can lose weight WITHOUT a calorie deficit (regardless of whether he achieves a calorie deficit by reducing carbohydrates or fat in the diet, by increasing physical activity, limiting time for eating, etc.)
- A person MUST achieve a calorie deficit in order to force their body to make up for this deficit at the expense of its energy (that is, mainly fat) reserves.
If a person lowers their intake in various ways and is in a calorie deficit (regardless of whether they are following a vegetarian diet or a low-carb diet), then they will lose weight, regardless of whether they are consciously counting calories or not. The problem is that most cannot achieve a calorie deficit without counting them, because if a person is new to this and just starting to adhere to a healthy lifestyle, he does not yet realize how much energy is contained in a certain product. Most of the public has no idea what protein or carbohydrates are and how many calories are in a particular food.
Therefore, it is very important for most people to count and record calories throughout the day, at least temporarily, so that it becomes a long-term habit, and everyone knows offhand how much energy they consume during the day or with an individual meal. The same works in the event that fat loss stops, it is necessary to recalculate the diet, because if a person is not in a calorie deficit, he will not lose weight, even if he only eats white rice and lettuce, but in an inappropriate amount.
CALORIES vs. MACROELEMENTS
Successful weight loss determines a calorie deficit, and weight gain determines an excess of calories (or positive energy balance). Of course, a triple macronutrient ratio and enough quality protein is also important because it determines WHAT we LOSE when we are in a calorie deficit (fat or muscle) or WHAT we GET when we are in excess of calories (fat or muscle). Likewise, exercise is very important, and especially strength training, which helps to burn fat and maintain muscle mass in a calorie deficit, or, conversely, gain muscle mass with a minimum of fat in an excess of calories.
At the same time, an adequate intake of protein is critical for the feeling of satiety in the diet and thus for the sustainability of the diet and the achievement of results. Thus, the ratio of the three macronutrients is undoubtedly also important. However, if someone claims that only macronutrients are important in a cutting diet, and calories do not play a role, this is a gross mistake.
If you are consuming enough protein of the highest quality, but you are not in a calorie deficit, you will NOT lose weight. If you decrease your carbohydrate intake (low carb, keto, paleo) but your total energy intake still exceeds your expenditure (for example, due to consumption of nuts, nut butters, fatty foods, etc.) and you are not deficient calories, YOU DO NOT LOSE. Likewise, if you eliminate virtually all of the fat during your carb surges and stick to a strict “clean eating”, but the total amount of energy gained from protein and carbohydrates is higher than your expenditure, you can try until you die, but never do not lose weight.
CALORIES vs. “HEALTHY FOOD
Losing weight can be viewed in terms of losing weight or achieving a healthy lifestyle. From a Losing weight point of view, it doesn’t matter what sources you get your calories from (it can be sugar or saturated fat). The body, in turn, uses the received calories based on the actual need for energy in the body or for metabolic processes, if this energy is in excess, then for reserves (in the form of glycogen and fat). In other words, if you are trying to lose weight, you MUST have a calorie (energy) deficit of about 15-25% (for example, 300-500 kcal per day depending on your weight, etc.).
The ideal weight loss diet is a HEALTHY diet that is effective for weight loss. This means that it contains the most healthy food, the least of those industrially processed foods, and at the same time the total number of calories in this reduced calorie diet is such that you are truly in a calorie deficit. And best of all, it is not a sudden and short-term solution, but with the right cut diet, you will also develop new and healthier eating (and exercise) habits.