Exercising without addressing your diet is the first major mistake that people will make when trying to lose some body fat. Getting your diet right will always take precedent over exercising when it comes to burning fat. Coupled with manipulating your hormones in your favour.
So firstly, we need to look to reduce the foods which increase insulin levels such as, breads, cereals, flour and sugars. Then look to reduce inflammatory foods, which in many instances are the same foods as above and will have a negative effect on many extremely important metabolic reactions.
Putting diet to one side for a second, we also need to look at reducing and stabilising cortisol/stress levels and improving your sleep (easier said than done). For instance, sleep deprivation has an immediate effect with an increase in cortisol levels and a decrease in HGH (Human Growth Hormone) production. So, if you’re staying up late your cortisol levels will likely be through the roof, and you will literally be breaking down your muscle tissue for energy at an increased rate.
Let’s say we take 2 people following exactly the same 1500 calorie diet with a completely different hormonal response. What do you think will happen? Yes, you guessed it, they will have a completely different reaction to those same food groups and calories. And if either of them has higher stress levels, what do you think will happen? Their cortisol will be constantly elevated, thus breaking down beneficial muscle, whilst increasing fat storage. As soon as we’ve eaten a particular food our hormones are in complete control of where those foods are actually going.
We also need to remember a calorie needs to be judged upon the context that it comes from. Let’s take a quick look at protein for a second. The basic structural unit of protein includes amino acids, with digestion of protein resulting in its breakdown and release of individual amino acids. Classically there are nine essential amino acids that are required in the daily diet, as the body cannot make them.
Amino acids are required for the synthesis of tissue protein and other metabolic functions:
- Proteins Function
- Proteins are used to repair worn out tissue.
- Proteins are used to build new tissue.
- Protein can be used as an energy source.
- Proteins make up a large percentage of essential body fluids.
- Proteins aid in the blood transport of key nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fats etc.
So, in that brief explanation you can quickly see how important protein is, and the vast array of roles that it is utilised for. Simply put, a calorie of protein is far superior in term of “specific physiological requirements” compared to a carbohydrate.
So, a “Calorie” is not just a “Calorie”.