Now I know after last week you may be thinking the whole weight loss equation boils down to calories in to calories out. Well technically it does.
But your success at maintaining this how you feel day to day, your energy levels, general health and the massive issue for dieting how hungry you feel can all be impacted by where your calories come from.
You see 200 calories of nuts are not used by your body the same way as 200 calories of chocolate.
When you eat food your body breaks it down in order to utilise it’s nutrients and create energy. This creates heat and is called the “thermic effect”. This breaking down process and turning into energy is essentially your metabolism. Overly processed foods require very little breaking down and also provide very little long term energy so your body does not need to work very hard to process it and also receives very little nutrition by return. Whole, unprocessed foods on the other hand require your body to work to break it down, therefore it raises your metabolism, then you gain tons of usable nutrients from this food that can be used for energy, to build muscles, new cells, regenerate your organs and generally help you feel bright eyed and bushy tailed.
So don’t get me wrong it is entirely possible to lose weight eating chocolate alone providing your total calorie intake is lower than your total expenditure, but I’m pretty sure you would be ravenous most of the time and on a massive insulin roller coaster and after a few days feel pretty rotten so you aren’t likely to stick with this long term.
Also, if you consumed most of your calories from sugar and carbohydrates you would spend a lot of time with a raised glycogen level to which you would need to produce extra insulin to balance it out. Over time this could cause your body to become resistant to insulin. Firstly this will encourage your body to store fat and more importantly can lead to Type 2 Diabates. So although the odd bit of sugar won’t kill you, consuming it as a large part of your diet is a bad idea.
There is also to be taken into account the satiety effect of certain foods. Protein and Fats have been shown to help you feel fuller long term therefore if you made up a large proportion of your diet on lean meats, poultry, eggs, nuts, nut butters, coconut oil and seeds you would feel much more satiated than on bread and pasta.
Although as I have mentioned before there is still room for individual preference on this and there are some people who feel totally full on a high carb diet and feel great, so have a play around with your diet and see what works for you. Just don’t try to see how many mars bars you can eat per day to sustain yourself I promise you are better off with steak (and still have some room for champagne…..)