Mike Kueber's Blog

March 22, 2012

For dieting, all all calories equal

Filed under: Fitness — Mike Kueber @ 3:56 am
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When I was a kid, most people dieted by counting their calories.  Since then, however, that strategy has been ridiculed as simplistic and old-fashioned.  In its place, new diets have focused on either (a) burning more calories through exercise, or (b) reducing the consumption of certain types of calories – fats, protein, carbohydrates, or alcohol. Now, according to an article in the NY Times today, we have come full circle to realize that “a calorie is a calorie” in whatever form it takes.    Yes, some calories may be better for your health, but to lose weight, the formula remains what it has always been – i.e., consume fewer calories than you burn off.

Incidentally, a gram of fat has 9 calories, a gram of protein has 4 calories, a gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories, and a gram of alcohol has 7 calories.  Thus, a gram of fat will provide your body with more than twice as much energy as a gram of protein or carbs, but that is not a good thing because your body will store as body fat any consumed calories that you don’t burn off.