Originally posted on http://blog.amplemeal.com/2017/11/calories-matter-also-dont-guide-sustainable-weight-loss/.
You probably grew up hearing about the “calories in, calories out” model of nutrition. It’s been prevalent for the last hundred years or so, and it’s stuck around in part because it’s so enticingly simple: eat less than your body burns and you’ll lose weight. Eat excess food and you’ll gain weight.
Ultimately, this model is true. It’s basic physics, and it’s inescapable.
But calories are only a part of nutrition. There’s far more to eating well than the number of calories you consume – and furthermore, not all calories are created equal. So if you’re frustrated trying to lose weight (or you just dig nutrition), read on. We’re going to unpack why fueling your body and getting lean doesn’t just come down to calories. Let’s start by talking about how much calories really do matter, and why.
Calories DO matter…to a point
A calorie is a simple way to measure the amount of energy your body will produce from food. You figure out calories with a calorimeter, a machine that tracks how much heat (energy) food generates when you burn it inside the contraption. Throw a Twinkie in a calorimeter, burn it, and you’ll produce 135 units of heat. Thus, a…