Hormones and calories
Welcome to another exciting episode of The Enterprise Fitness podcast, where we dive deep into the most pressing questions in the world of nutrition and fitness. In this week’s episode, we tackle the age-old debate: Why do we get fat? Is it all about calories, or do hormones play a more significant role?
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The Clash of Two Perspectives
In the realm of diet and nutrition, two prominent schools of thought have emerged to explain the mechanisms of weight management: the calorie perspective and the hormone perspective. The calorie perspective asserts that weight loss or gain is a simple mathematical equation of calories in versus calories out. On the other hand, the hormone perspective argues that our body’s biochemistry and hormonal signaling play a vital role in storing calories as fat and regulating our appetite.
Both perspectives have garnered their share of experts, gurus, and followers, leading to a somewhat polarized landscape in the nutrition world. To the average person, it can be quite confusing, as both perspectives seem to have valid points. You may find yourself pressured to pick a side, as not doing so can lead to social media exile in today’s nutrition culture. In this era, nutrition is less about the science and more about selecting ‘the science’ that aligns with your personal identity.
Results Over Rhetoric
As a fitness coach with a wealth of experience, my primary concern isn’t about why something works, but rather what works. My clients pay me for results, not for promoting a particular ideology. I’ve had the privilege of coaching numerous champions and working with thousands of clients in my studio. What truly matters to me are the results my clients achieve and their long-term success. Therefore, I’ve adapted to the viewpoints of both calories and hormones, practically applying both theories in the real world to help my clients reach their goals.
The Misconception of Calories
For a significant portion of my career, I believed that you could gain or lose weight independently of calorie intake. This perspective was heavily influenced by the work of Gary Taubes, the author of “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” who championed the idea that it’s insulin, not calories, that causes weight gain and loss. Taubes’ argument was indeed convincing, and I even developed my analogy to support the hormone-based theory. I would often say that if we had two groups, both consuming 2200 maintenance calories a day, with one group taking anabolic steroids and the other not, the group on steroids would burn fat and build muscle without being in a caloric deficit.
Hormones and Exogenous Substances
This analogy was designed to illustrate the impact of hormones on building muscle and burning fat. However, it had a crucial flaw. It still adhered to the calories in versus calories out principle. When individuals take anabolic steroids, their caloric baseline increases due to an uptick in non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), effectively increasing their energy expenditure. So, the premise of the analogy is no longer accurate. People don’t gain or lose weight solely because of hormones; they do so because hormones influence their energy balance.
Calories in the Spotlight
To strengthen the case for calories, we need to consider the 2016 metabolic ward study conducted by Kevin Hall. This study provided compelling evidence that, when calorie and protein intake are equal, eating a high-carb or low-carb diet does not lead to significant differences in weight loss or gain. In other words, when calories are controlled, carbohydrates (or fat) don’t inherently make you gain weight. The significance of this study lies in its meticulous control of all factors, making it a robust piece of evidence.
Calories and Insulin: Partners in Crime
While some may shy away from accepting the simple truth, I won’t. Calories count, and the insulin-only theory of obesity, as far as I can tell, has been debunked. Instead, it’s more practical to acknowledge that calories and insulin play a simultaneous role in weight management. Both factors intertwine to create a comprehensive understanding of how our bodies manage weight.
If you’re eager to dive deeper into this fascinating topic, I encourage you to tune in to this week’s episode of The Enterprise Fitness Podcast, where I explore these concepts in greater detail. You can find us on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.
A Deeper Dive
For those hungry for even more knowledge, this discussion is based on Chapter 3 of my book, “The Enterprise Diet,” which delves into these ideas and much more. You can grab a copy of the book to explore this topic further and gain valuable insights into optimizing your nutrition and fitness journey.
Sharing the Wealth
You might be wondering why I’m sharing so much valuable content for free. The answer is simple: I believe that providing valuable information is the best way to earn your trust and help you achieve the results you desire. If you’re enjoying our content, please consider forwarding this email to a friend and remember to subscribe, like, and follow us on your preferred podcast platform.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a fun, educational, and engaging fitness experience, I’m thrilled to announce a 3-day Bootcamp where you can join us for a unique blend of training and learning. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enhance your fitness journey – learn more here.
In the ongoing debate of calories versus hormones in weight management, it’s essential to recognize that both factors play crucial roles in the complex equation of weight gain and loss. The oversimplified notion that it’s one or the other fails to capture the intricacies of our body’s metabolic processes. As we continue to explore this multifaceted topic, remember that the key to success lies in understanding and harnessing the interplay of calories and hormones to achieve your fitness goals. Thanks for tuning in to The Enterprise Fitness podcast, and stay tuned for more exciting discussions on nutrition, fitness, and overall well-being.
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