Blog & Updates
Calorie Counting, How Important is it?
Thursday 19th April 2018
The first thing I would say is yes calorie counting it is important, if you want to lose body fat, you need to have a calorie deficit.
HOWEVER.......what you eat is even more important! I saw a rediculous video a few months a go,basically saying that food choice isn't as important as calorie counting for fat loss. In the short term calorie deficit will make you lose weight even if the calories come from poor food choices. Longer term poor food choices can cause hormonal imbalances leading to an increase in body fat. Many poor Personal Trainer's with limited nutrition knowledge go 'calorie counting mad' to try and get quick results, however this isn't giving the client any nutrition knowledge and like all the crash diets long term this just doesn't work!
The most important part of fat loss is balancing insulin levels in the body. Insulin is released when you have a high carbohydrate meal, especially when the meal contains quick release sugars as these will cause the blood sugar to rise rapidly meaning more insulin is released so the cells of the body can take up this excess sugar from the blood. Over time the more often blood sugar is spiked the cells of the body can eventually become insulin resistant meaning the sugar can no longer be taken up by these cells, therefore causing the sugar to be dumped around the stomach in the adipose tissue were it will be stored as fat.
Therefore for body fat reduction, balancing insulin levels is more important than calorie counting..... WHY.....The other knock-on effect of this is that balancing insulin levels means that you will have less blood sugar highs and lows therefore you will feel fuller for longer, meaning you are likely to eat less calories anyway! Win win! Not to mention better food choices will mean you have more energy to train harder, therfore getting more out of your workouts.
The take home message is that for fat loss calories are important, if you eat too many you WILL put weight on, however food choice is more important as this will balance your insulin levels, leading you to wanting to snack less and therfore likely leading to less calorie intake anyway and not to mention better food chocies will lead to a more nutrient rich diet therfore again leading to more energy meaning less snacking and better training!
In my personal experience I find educating the individual on food choice in the long term means that the calories then tend to take care of themselves