It’s All About Calories

Excerpt from

The New 700 Calorie Meals

Calorie-In vs. Calories-Out

It’s all about calories! Or is it?

You’ve heard people talk about calories-in versus calories-out. Your weight is based on the number of calories you eat versus the number of calories your body burns. Eat more calories than your body needs and the excess calories are stored as glycogen, a carbohydrate, or as body fat. While the human body can only store about 400 calories of glycogen, it has an unlimited capacity for storing fat.

For decades, so-called diet experts blamed America’s increasing waistline on everything except the simple fact Americans eat more calories than they burn for their height and activity level— to maintain a healthy weight, calories-in must equal calories-out. Eat more calories than your body needs on a regular basis and you will have a body weight that requires that number of calories. Excess calories—fat, protein, carbohydrates, and alcohol can be stored as body fat.

“But”, the experts say, “it isn’t that simple!”

When you compare the number of calories American’s eat today versus 50 or more years ago, and the simultaneous decline in physical activity—it is that simple! Compare reunion photos of men who fought in the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Most Civil War veterans can still wear their old uniform whereas veterans of more recent wars cannot.

Today, health experts say most Americans are expected to gain one pound per year after age 30. That is 40 to 50 extra pounds by age 80. Those extra pounds are not muscle pounds they are fat pounds that increase the risk for a variety of diet related diseases including cancer. Something has changed.

Fad diet experts like telling people calories-in vs. calories-out is all rubbish. That weight gain is much more complex than that. You must account for a slow metabolism, prescription drugs, genetics, nutrient absorption, etc. I do not disagree with those points. But when you include all the variables, it still comes down to calories-in vs. calories-out.

If you have a slow metabolism you must account for it in your diet. If your body loves to store calories as fat, you must account for it in your diet. If you are taking prescription drugs that can increase body fat, you must account for it. Your weight ultimately comes down to how many calories your body needs versus how many calories your body burns. Active people burn more calories because they have more lean muscle mass and a higher metabolism. So, active people can eat more calories than sedentary people of the same weight.

You literally are what you eat.

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