I just discovered these podcasts on the site Balanced Bites by Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe a few weeks ago and I love them. I recommend that everyone I know listen to this episode," Calories, Do They Matter?" , episode 128. It has convinced me to buy her book, Eat the Yolks. So, I'm excited for that. But with this episode, I really enjoyed the entire calorie conversation. It is something I realized about 15 years ago, when I learned this whole calories in = calories out nonsense was maybe not true. I couldn't get away from it though, because everyone said it was true. I think that this is an idea pushed by people who do not need to count calories.... She makes a real nice point of how come we accept this theory to be fact when it works, but we ignore the implication when it doesn't work. This makes me wonder, do we think all overweight people are a bunch of liars when a patient tells the doctor or the dietitian, " I don't really eat that much" or "I counted my calories for 2 weeks at 1200 calories a day and I didn't lose anything"? I think at some point the medical community needs to take into account what people are saying. And maybe then, they will be able to realize that it is not the law of thermodynamics, of calories in equals calories out. The body is a more complex system and we have hormones that are determining how those calories are used.
I liked that they talked about the set point theory in the podcast. I had read about this theory about 8 years ago, before I ever heard about paleo. Basically, your body wants to stay at a set point weight. There are different things that determine what that weight is and hence a lot of research is being done trying to identify these factors. However, the body wants to keep a stable weight, and does a pretty good job doing so. Things can happen that change the set point to a higher or lower weight and then people can feel pretty stuck in that weight. And I don't remember the author's name or even the name of the book, but his solution to overcoming your body's" set point" was to eat a highly micro nutrient (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients) dense diet based on whole foods and to get rid of all the processed foods, especially the foods that hide in the health food isle (all those low-fat, fat-free, 100 calorie packs kinda stuff). He also said to take out grains, with the exception of oatmeal, where he sited research talking about the insulin response to oatmeal vs other grains. I don't remember him talking about inflammation, which I've learned a lot about in recent years.
For me this book was really eye opening, because it was the first time I thought that there is a difference between the lean cuisine dinners I ate frequently and the dinners I cooked up from scratch. It made me see food differently and I went to school to study nutrition not too long after.
In the podcast for Balanced Bites, in relation to the set point theory, they are talking about how calories don't really matter. Thank you! I am glad other people are saying it. Counting calories never did a darn thing for me. I have been trying to get away from calorie counting in my own life and I'm not sure if I still held that calorie dogma in posts on this blog. But it is a dogma that we have been fed and people cannot get away from it Anyway, I digress, in the podcast, they talk about how we need to pay attention to the micornutrients and the quality of our food. When people are eating nothing but low quality food that has very little vitamins and minerals and a ton of calories from sugar, than #1 a person will eat more because their body is not satisfied from this food, and #2 this food will affect their hormone balance and cause excess weight gain. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with how many calories a label says is in that food. If a person just cuts down and that food but does not get the right amount of micronutrients that their body needs to function, they won't necessarily lose any weight. And that's when you go to the doctor and say," What's wrong? I am eating 1200 calories a day and I am recording every bite I take and I am eating low fat food and I don't eat candy, but I am losing nothing". And because the doctor has no answer to this, he or she will say that you are not really eating as much as you say. You are overestimating your portions or you are not exercising enough. Honestly, I think this calorie nonsense breeds eating disorders. People get obsessed with counting calories in and calories out and the point of food, which is to nourish the body, is completely lost. I'm sure there are other factors for eating disorders, but this doesn't help.
I really liked this podcast. They have a lot of interesting topics that they speak about. It seems like more and more people are getting on board with eating real foods and forgetting this low-fat, prepackaged nonsense we are told to eat by commercials. Maybe there will be an upswing when in comes to health in this country.