From time to time, I come across a notion that calorie balance is not the root cause of weight loss.
Most of the time, these folks make claims about how what we eat is more important.
They make references to hormones, inflammation, various studies and usually wrap it all in an idea like ” certain foods are poison and others are medicine.”
I laugh at these sorts of things because the author is attempting to disprove calorie balance, but in my eyes they have actually proven it even further!
The reason is because both calorie balance and food quality matter when it comes to weight maintenance.
The calorie balance matters because it is the base root cause for the amount of energy consumed, used and stored within the body.
But the quality of the food matters because it’s a major influence on that calorie balance.
I find the argument that ” calorie balance isn’t the most important thing ” funny because the argument then goes right into how Their “eat right” method is best for either eating less, or burning more calories.
They make the argument that their special way of eating includes foods with fewer calories per nutritinet, or that the higher nutrient density tells the body its full sooner. They might also say the foods cause the body to not get as hungry.
No matter how they say it, the bottom line is that the person eats fewer calories.
Or they might say that certain foods cause the metabolism to spike or the energy level to rise. They might say that certain foods cause more energy to be spent in digestion or used more efficiently.
Again, the bottom line is that the body burns more calories.
So yes, what we eat is incredibly important, in the battle of the bulge, but only because what we eat greatly influences that all important calorie balance.
Some folks might also reference a study where two groups both ate the same number of calories but one group lost more weight.
They then go into why one group lost more because of how their diet was structured with the nutrient, supplement or strategy that they endorse.
But ask them why their strategy worked and they mostly go into a story about how their strategy boosted metabolism or preserved muscle or some other magic reason. But in the end, both groups ate the same amount, but the group that lost the most, burned the most.
This is why I believe in calorie balance being the root cause for fat level fluctuations. It’s not because of the science, the “conventional wisdom” or anything like that.
It’s for the simple fact that even the people who say its not about calories in vs calories out, eventually say that in it in fact is. They just have a round about way of getting at it.