There is a common question that I hear and that is, “is there such a thing as good calories and bad calories? Well the answer would be yes and no.
You see, a calorie is defined as the approximate energy needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. Oh geez, that doesn’t make it any clearer either, does it?
Now that you are totally confused, let’s cut to the chase and let me try to make it clear.
A calorie is a calorie, as long as you ignore the overall benefits or ill-effects the calorie has on health and metabolism. Said differently, and this was tested quite recently by a man who lost approximately 25 lbs eating nothing but Twinkies, that a calorie equals a calorie regardless of what the calorie is made of. This is why, simply from a calorie breakdown perspective the answer is that there are no good calories and bad calories.
Many people preach that weight loss is simply nothing more than a calorie deficit, energy in has to be less than energy out or expended. In essence, as long as you eat less than your body needs – it will burn calories stored as fat, the type or quality of the calories being irrelevant. And this is true if you don’t care about; health, energy, body composition, and stagnant weight loss! That is why that man could lose weight on a Twinkie diet, and the same can happen eating nothing but cookies, cabbage soup, subway sandwiches, cardboard, etc. As long as you eat less than your body needs, you will lose some weight.
The problem lies in that the type and quality of the calories have an effect upon the body; those effects lead to increases or decreases in energy and health as well as facilitate weight loss or inhibit weight loss. That is why I said that indeed there is such a thing as good calories and bad calories!
So, we could say that Good Calories are nutrient dense calories that promote a health and weight loss advantage, whereas bad calories are nutrient poor calories that diminish health and create a weight loss disadvantage.
Good Calories accomplish the following that Bad Calories do not…
Increases the health and function of the liver – the liver is the major organ for burning fat in the body, when it works better you accelerate fat burning and weight loss! Bad Calories decrease the function of the liver.
Decreases inflammation in the body – the number one problem of fat in the body is the production of inflammatory chemicals that lead to heart disease, thickening of the arteries, chronic pain and a whole slew of other stuff you do not want. You can lose weight eating crap but your body will continue to suffer with ill-health and disease due to inflammation.
Burns mostly fat – Good calories burn the largest percentage of fat compared to muscle, bad calories do the opposite!
Maintains and Increases the formation of new lean muscle – lean muscle burns more fat, so that your new muscle very quickly starts to accelerate fat loss. Dieting while eating only Bad Calories will have you losing as much muscle as you do fat, the scale might say that you lost weight but your body will be weaker than ever!
Increases your energy and the health of your entire body – By increasing the health of your body by giving it the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs to function better, it will affect all aspects of your body! Dieting while eating only Bad Calories will have you feeling terrible regardless of any weight change!
You don’t have to be obsessed with counting calories when you eat good calories – They all increase health and increased health accelerates fat loss. Dieting while eating bad calories means you have to be obsessed with every bite. One too many French fries can tip the balance and screw up a day’s dieting efforts! Do you really want to bring a calculator to every meal?