Nutrition Expert Reveals Why Counting Calories Is A Waste Of Time
In order to maximise our fitness regimes, we’re often told we should keep a close on eye on the foods we eat and the calories we put into our bodies. The recommended daily calorie intake for men is 2,500. But if you want to bulk up and add muscle, you should put more into your body, and if you want to trim the fat, then you should cut down.
While these practices can provide results, Max Lugavere, nutrition expert and author of The New York Times bestseller Genius Foods, says you should be careful when it comes to processed foods. In a recent Instagram post, he says that the labels on the products we buy can be misleading.
This isn’t so that they can be more appealing to us as consumers, but legally, they can have a high margin of error. This means that if a product says it has 100 calories, for example, it could actually have up to 120, resulting in a higher calorie intake than the one you’re aiming for.
His solution? Eat real food instead. Not only can you still easily reach your desired calorie intake amount, but you also have a meal that is more satiating due to the levels of fibre, protein, and water. He references a 2019 study carried out by Hall et al. that wanted to observe the effects processed and non-processed foods can have on the participating group.
The group of 20 participants was randomly split into two groups. Half the group started on a processed food diet for two weeks, immediately followed by two weeks of unprocessed food. The other half did the opposite.
The results showed that while energy intake was greater from the processed foods, protein levels were low, compared to when natural, unprocessed foods were consumed. The researchers found that those who had a high energy intake (the processed foods) gained weight during the trial, whereas those who consumed unprocessed foods lost weight, over the same two week period.
So if you’re looking to lose your ever-expanding belly, throw out the junk foods and stick to a diet of healthy, unprocessed foods and you’ll soon find the pounds (and the mental burden of tracking your calories) start falling off. We understand if you want to wait until after Christmas, of course.