A calorie is a calorie.
But in reality, is it?
The ‘evidence based’ community champion that your only concern for weight loss is a calorie deficit. The opposing camp promotes good nutrition and eating proper food and the rest will take care of itself.
It’s a hotly contested debate on the internet.
And with any debate, we have extremes. The If It Fits Your Macros (or IIFYM) extremists believe that concerning yourself with the quality or health of a food is redundant. As long as your food intake fits into your daily protein, carb, fat and ultimate calorie goals, you’re all set!
The IIFYMers have proven that this can be an effective weight loss strategy for some people. Although it does come with the sacrifice of weighing everything you consume; leading to potential obsessive behaviours. Not only that, if you are in no way inclined with a food’s health status, what value does one really place on health? Someone searching for optimal would place more regard towards ensuring the foods they eat also pack micro nutrients, not just macro.
The opposing camp, ‘clean eaters’ are overly concerned with the nutritional status of their foods, to the extent that macronutrient numbers don’t matter. As long as you eat nutritious foods, you’ll stay in shape. But therein lies the trap, too often this camp ascribes to extremes als. Be it the bacon-Keto diet or only eating clean foods with no consideration for calories, this group foregoes much of the enjoyment the food brings… Mum’s homemade lemon slice any one?
But are either of these camps truly promoting health?
A message of macro counting to the general public is somewhat irresponsible; are we expecting everyone to whip out their scales at a restaurant to weigh their meal?
On the other hand, do we expect everyone to stick to rice, broccoli and chicken for every meal of the day, because those foods are classed as ‘clean’?
Common sense tells us that a calorie is not just a calorie, because some foods hold more nutritional value than others. On the flip side, sticking to a small pocket of ‘clean’ foods could lead to a whole world of intolerances and gut issues, not to mention boredom.
So, what’s the answer?
Let’s focus less on cultism and proving who is right. Rather, focus on helping each other live a healthy and fit lifestyle.
If you have a specific goal in mind, macro counting or a meal plan with quality food will yield better results. For the general population, a great rule of thumb is to eat in moderation, and stick to foods that have been hunted, fished, gathered and plucked.
Would you like to find out more about training and nutrition to reach your optimal? Contact us here [LINK].