For weight loss, some people find counting calories helps them track how much food they eat, but does it actually work? There’s a lot of debate surrounding the subject, and Dr. Megan Rossi exposed the truths behind the myths and demonstrated why comparing calories isn’t necessarily the best option for anyone looking to shed a few pounds.
It is a method of controlling people’s diets that has been around for over 100 years.
But during an appearance on This Morning on June 29, Dr Rossi explained that counting calories doesn’t “always lead to the results people deserve.”
“In many cases, this leads to weight gain,” she warned.
Following the government’s decision to include calorie information on restaurant menus across the country in a bid to combat obesity and encourage people to maintain a healthy lifestyle, she explained that “Science just doesn’t support calorie counting”.
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“Researchers calculated this by feeding them to healthy adults and measuring in their stool how many nuts (and, therefore, calories) they missed,” she said.
“That’s because, unlike lab studies, humans don’t extract every last calorie from whole plant-based foods like almonds.
“A lot of it is due to what we call the ‘food matrix’.”
She explained that the more manufacturers break down foods, often the more fiber they lose, as well as that all-important food matrix.
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Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts that need to be chewed, broken down, and digested more have a higher thermogenic effect than ultra-processed foods.
And calories from highly processed foods are much more readily available.
“For example, a KitKat and a banana may contain similar calories and your food tracking app won’t process them differently, but your body will,” Dr. Rossi said.
“If you want to feel full longer after a meal, opt for a piece of fruit instead of juice, or choose jumbo oats and not refined quick oats – consider whole plants that have been little” altered “.”
So if the calories on the labels are inaccurate, Dr. Rossi recommended eating more whole, plant-based foods that can help with weight management, without having to focus on portion restriction.
She also referred to a “secret weapon” that can “affect appetite”.
“Your gut microbes and the chemicals they make when they digest plant fiber can affect appetite,” she said.
“These chemicals, such as short-chain fatty acids, tell our bodies that we’ve had enough.
“It stops the production of hunger hormones like ghrelin and increases ‘I’m full’ hormones like leptin.”