Regulating Calories-In Is More Important Than Calories-Out

The idea of Calories-In versus Calories-Out involves the calories you consume through your mouth versus how much you consume through basic metabolism and physical exercise. Your basic metabolism is the energy (in calories) that your body needs to function, eg. keep your heart beating, your lungs breathing and your cells functioning. The amount of energy your body needs to stay alive will depend on your age, gender and weight. But overall, the amount and type of energy you feed your body is more important than how much energy your body is expending.

If you eat more than your body requires then you will put on weight in the form of fat, which is the way the body stores extra energy. If you overeat by 500 calories every day you will slowly notice your waistline increase over the space of only a few years and your clothes will no longer fit you the same way.

Portion sizes have been slowly getting larger and larger over the years. I find that I can only eat half a serving from a restaurant, then I take the leftovers home to enjoy later. Remember, your stomach is about the size of your closed fist. You don’t want to keep forcing more and more food in there even after it is full.

When we do get physically active, we often overestimate the amount of calories burned from exercise. A walk around the block won’t burn off that Mars Bar. Either eat the Mars Bar or don’t. But whatever your choice, do it mindfully.

We also forget how many calories are provided by the alcohol you drink and the empty calories in the store-bought snack foods that are designed to make us keep eating. These are called Ultra-processed foods and I have written about them previously in my post: Food For Life: The Best Way To Feed Your Body

However the type of calories you provide your body will also affect the function of your organs.

For example, when you overload your bloodstream with sugar your pancreas will work overtime to bring your blood sugar levels back to a stable concentration. If your pancreas has to work so hard that it becomes impaired and breaks down, then you get Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes is the inability to regulate your blood sugar levels from within your own body.

The brain requires sugar for it to function. When you’re hungry your brain is low on sugar and it’s screaming for a quick fix. But you must use your common sense. Feed your brain foods that will break down slowly into sugars. These are called Low GI foods. The GI stands for glycemic index, which is the relative amount of time it takes for the food to raise your blood sugar levels. Low GI foods are those made of complex carbohydrates because carbohydrate molecules are just long chains of sugars stuck together. The body uses energy to break the molecules down in to sugars. High GI foods are made of sugars that are easily broken down by the body and will quickly increase the level of sugar in your blood.

To avoid overloading your organs with high concentrations of sugar you have to be mindful of what you feed your body.

You know what they say, “You are what you eat”.

Your diet can be whatever you want it to be. But be aware that what you consume will be processed by your organs.

The diet that is most suited for humans is one made up of mostly plants, some meat, and very small amounts of everything else. You want to make sure you have a diet containing various sources of fibre. The body requires a range of vitamin and trace minerals which are present in different food types. So eating the exact same meals day in and day out is not a good idea, even if they are healthy meals.

A study of a remote South American tribe indicates that a diet low in salt and fat, but rich in multiple sources of fibre, protects the heart from increased blood pressure. The study compared the blood pressure of the members from a nearby tribe that has been influenced by western foods and found that blood pressure increased with age.

Calorie deficit diet for weight loss

There’s nothing wrong with a curvy figure, but you do want to reduce the toll on your bones and joints by reducing the load they have to carry. More strain on your bones and joints will lead to osteoarthritis which will cause pain for you when you walk and try to get about your day. A calorie deficit diet basically means you’re eating less than the amount your body needs to function. If you do this in a healthy way, as directed by your doctor, then it will lead to weight loss. You will stop losing weight when you stop restricting the number of calories that you consume.

Calorie restriction diet to extend lifespan

There is some contention in the scientific community as to whether this calorie restriction diet extends lifespan as the controls of the experiments are difficult to, well, control and a lot of the experiments were done on mice instead of humans. The basic idea is that overall you want to consume less than the amount your body usually needs to live but you don’t need to restrict your consumption every day in a row. Some people like to do short fasts for their health, other people fast for religion. Either way, it appears that short lengths of fasting have a beneficial effect on our health. Sometimes you might have a day where you treat yourself and consume all of the calories in sight. But these calorific days can be balanced out with a more modest intake on the other days of the week. If that suits your personality type of course!

Some people are unable to moderate their intake due to their personality and relationship with food.

Your own mental health can have a huge impact on how you interact with food. Be mindful of this so that you can have awareness and control over your health.

If you are unable to open a block of chocolate without finishing the entire packet then, for your health, it’s safer not to have that block of chocolate in the house unless you’re allowing yourself a rare treat.

If you are consuming a 6 pack of beer every night after work then you are basically eating an extra meal every day. But those calories aren’t keeping your body healthy.

Recognise your feelings towards food and why you are making the food choices that you are making. Think first before feeding yourself, your health is at stake…..mmmmmm steak.

Thank you so much for reading. I hope this post is helpful to you and your family.

Please visit my Youtube Channel for more health and science from me, Queeenvk.

Eat the Rainbow

The simplest way to ensure your meal seems adequately healthy is to note the colours on your plate (I’m looking at you beige and brown, bangers and mash). Or in your bowl (I’m not talking about a bowl of M&Ms!).

 

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Burrito Bowl recipe

 

The colour of your food (also, not Skittles) can give you useful insight into which vitamins and nutrients are present in your fruits and vegetables. This is because the pigments that give the food their colour happen to reflect different wavelengths of light back at your eyes, which is how our eyes detect colour!

Red

Red coloured foods contain lycopene (a carotenoid with a bright red pigment) and vitamin C which are both potent antioxidants that can provide protection against oxidants throughout our digestive system and in our lungs. Vitamin C and lycopene are able to enhance our immune system and protect us from cancer. Some lycopene-rich fruits to feast on are watermelon, tomato, dragonfruit (my favourite fruit!) and pomegranate.

Just a handful of strawberries per day could keep gut inflammation away

Yellow and orange

More carotenoids but this time they’re yellow and orange. The carotenoids in yellow and orange fruits (and green kiwi fruit) include beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A in our body. There is also lutein which is great for eye health, zeaxanthin (also for eyes) and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidants also work on boosting our immune system which is always a good thing. Especially since it’s our immune system which is our first line of defence against cellular mutations. Those mutations can end up as cancer if they aren’t caught in time! Orange foods to choose include fruits like oranges, mangoes, pawpaw, passionfruit and kiwi fruit.

Green

Some of the antioxidants present in green foods are glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which contain cancer–fighting compounds. Also present are lutein and zeaxanthin which are great for eye health. Green fruits and vegetables also contain plenty of other phytonutrients to help keep your brain healthy. Feast on asparagus, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, Chinese greens, rocket (AKA arugula which is just so fun to say) and watercress. I always try to make sure I have some green poking out on my plate. Throw some side salad on your plate of steak and mash!

Blue

Blue foods contain anthocyanins, along with the ever abundant lutein and zeaxanthin. Again, these antioxidants protect cells against cancer-forming compounds and prevent  brain disease through neuronal degeneration. Have a snack on blueberries and dark cherries — blueberries are more than just delicious! They contain more age-defying and disease-fighting antioxidants than any other vegetables or fruits.

Purple

Purple fruits are packed with flavonoids such as resveratrol. Flavonoids are the best for immune health, healthy blood vessels, stabilising blood pressure and can also have vision and cognitive benefits. Purple foods you ask? Try handfuls of red grapes, blackberries and mulberries. RED WINE is also full of resveratrol which is why a glass of red wine a day is so good for you! Just remember to limit it to just the one glass. Keep your liver happy.

Other than receiving nutrients from these foods there are other benefits to be had when enjoying fruit and vegetables.

Just a handful of strawberries per day could keep gut inflammation away.

Findings from a new study will be presented at the 256th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society through an article titled “Dietary intake of the whole strawberry inhibited colonic inflammation, restored immune homeostasis and alleviated gut microbiota dysbiosis in dextran sulfate sodium-treated mice.”

“The sedentary lifestyle and dietary habits of many people in [the USA]—high-sugar, high-animal-fat, but low-fiber diets—may promote colonic inflammation and increase the risk of IBD,” state the authors of the study.

Decreased inflammation of the digestive system through the use of fruits like strawberries would have a huge positive impact on patients suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). IBD is chronic inflammation of parts or all of the digestive tract.

Inflammation in the gut has huge impacts on us all, not just IBD patients, so look after your health because you’re worth it.

Discover some fresh seasonal fruits and veggies at your local greengrocer this week!