I’m looking to get healthier this year, and for me that means losing weight. I’ve done a little bit of research into how to best do that, but I’ve been kind of confused by something: is calories in, calories out the basic formula for weight loss, or no? It seems like it is, but some sources say it’s not--though they never really say how to actually calculate weight loss plans. Is it really that important that I track anything other that calories? What should I do when I’m crafting my diet and exercise plan?
There is much more to diet and nutrition than just calories, and much more to weight loss than the old “calories in, calories out” plan.
Now, that doesn’t meant that counting calories is useless. The widespread belief in the power of “calories in, calories out” is rooted in the fact that this formula does work reasonably well as an approximation of how we gain and lose weight. Not all calories are created equal, and there are things you can do to get different results from the same caloric balances, but it is undeniably true that, generally speaking, taking in fewer calories than you burn will result in you losing weight.
But there are a lot of reasons not to leave things at that. For one, studies show that diets based only on calorie deprivation are unhealthy and ineffective. The vast majority of dieters gain back the weight that they lose.
What you want is a real lifestyle change--a sustainable diet that you can turn into a long-term habit. That means paying attention to basic nutritional facts like your macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats).
Your health--not just your weight--relies on your nutrition. Experts have found that great nutrition can do incredible things. In fact, some experts are using nutritional ketosis to actually reverse the effects of type two diabetes. That’s an incredible accomplishment, and it helps illustrate the surprising power of good nutrition. This isn’t just about staying healthy--it’s about getting healthy and improving ourselves. With nutritional ketosis, experts are able to get safe and sustainable results with an individualized and research-based plan.
That’s not all that nutrition can do. Good nutrition can make us more energetic, healthier, and even happier. It is incredibly important what we fuel our bodies with.
So when it comes time to craft your diet, take calories into account--but take the many other important parts of nutrition into account, too. Balance your macronutrients, fuel your body with whole foods and plenty of vegetables, and use that fuel to exercise at least 30 minutes a day--another key to sustainable, long-term weight loss.
“Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings.” -- Publilius Syrus