It's something you've heard of before. If you burn more calories than you eat, you will loose weight. Melvin Williams, PhD, professor emeritus of exercise science at Old Dominion University agrees, "Human energy systems are governed by the same laws of physics that rule all energy transformations. No substantial evidence is available to disprove the caloric theory. It is still the physical basis for body weight control." There are many diet programs and weight loss gurus who claim that calories don't count. They insist that if you eat certain foods or avoid certain foods, that's all you have to do to lose weight. Dozens, maybe hundreds of such diets exist, with certain magic foods put up on a pedestal or certain evil fat storing foods banished into the forbidden zone. Self anointed weight loss experts invoke the insulin/carbohydrate hypothesis which claims that carbs drive insulin which drives body fat. That's akin to saying carbs are the reason for the obesity crisis today, not trans-fat and empty excess sugar, and HFC calories.
Common sense tells us that, there is more to nutrition than calories. Quality and nutrition content, matter for good health. In addition, your food choices can affect the amount and durability of the energy you have available. However, that brings us back to excess calories as the pivotal point. A caloric deficit is a required condition for weight loss. Now, here's that important critical distinction. You've heard it said, "exercise more and eat less" a million times. However, saying focus on the deficit is NOT the same thing. If you don't understand the difference, you could end up spinning your wheels for years. You could exercise more, but if you compensate by eating more, you cancel your deficit. You could eat less, but if you compensate by moving less, again you cancel your deficit. This type of compensation can happen unconsciously, which leads to confusion about why you're not losing weight or why you're gaining. That often leads you to make excuses or blame the wrong thing, anything but the calories. Therefore, focus on the deficit more accurately states, the most important key to weight loss is more activity or exercise and eat a little less. Make sure you understand this distinction and then follow this advice. Keep in mind that there are a lot of ways to establish a deficit and many of those ways are really dumb. Eating nothing but grapefruits, cabbage, Twinkies but in a deficit, will work but nutritionally is Dumb! A calorie deficit is required for fat loss, but once your deficit is established, the composition of your hypocaloric diet DOES matter. That's why any good weight loss program starts with calorie deficit but doesn't stop there. You also need to look at food quality and how the diet you choose will fit into your lifestyle. Don't let the simplicity of this idea fool you. This is the number one key to your successful weight loss this year, and every year. Focus on the deficit! Burn more calories than you eat, and remember what you eat needs to be well balanced foods of high nutritional value.
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