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Let's talk about calories.


Most people losing weight today carefully calculate the caloric content of the food eaten, but they do it completely in vain, because the caloric content of food eaten by and large does not affect anything. Surprised?
The point is not in the amount of the food itself, but in its qualitative composition, in the proportions of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Mostly carbohydrates. It is they who, when they enter the body, are converted into glucose, which, on the one hand, gives us energy, and on the other, it raises the level of sugar in the blood and encourages the formation of fat.
I believe that the theory of weight loss, based on a low-calorie diet, is undoubtedly the biggest scientific error in the field of dietology. This simplified hypothesis has no real scientific basis. Recall the story.
In 1930, two American doctors from the University of Michigan, Newborg and Johnston, put forward the idea in one of their publications that “obesity is most likely the result of eating calorie-rich foods”. Since, at that time, there was not a single theory that scientifically explains the causes of excess weight, as soon as their work was published, it was immediately accepted as an undeniable scientific dogma. And even despite the many contradictions and discoveries of recent years, their theory has been included in the curriculum of medical institutions in many Western countries and continues to occupy a leading place there.
What are the calories that everyone talks about so much?
The amount of calories of a product is determined very simply: it is burned in the so-called “caloric bomb” and measured in calories the amount of heat released. The most interesting thing is that in the caloric bomb you can even lay a stool, and it will equally give you the required number of calories. From this, however, it does not follow that the stool is a valuable food product, and the human body does not look like a similar bomb. It does not burn everything there nor throw. Some products are partially digested, and some are not digested at all.
Several decades ago, Academician A.M. Ugolev published his famous theory of nutrition. The main point of this theory was as follows: the caloric content of the diet should correspond to the energy consumption of the body.
But time passed, and made some amendments to this provision. It turned out that the body of each person can assimilate calories received with food in different ways, for example:
• A significant content of fiber (including soluble), can significantly reduce the absorption, and hence the intake of excess calories.
• Some trace elements contained in food affect the absorption of substances in the small intestine. For example, the scientific works of L. Fakambi showed that mature cheeses, characterized by a high content of calcium, retain some of the fats and prevent their absorption by the intestines. Accordingly, this part of the fat, and hence the calories, is not ingested, but goes along with the feces.
• Fats of different nature are sucked in different ways. For example, saturated animal fats are absorbed and converted into human fat much more easily than polyunsaturated vegetable fats, which practically do not participate in the formation of human fat.
• The intestinal absorption of carbohydrates, fats and proteins varies somewhat depending on the time of day, time of year, as well as the chemical composition of other products that they meet when they enter the intestine.
Thus, the basic position of the caloric theory of nutrition now looks like this: “The calorie content of each organism is assimilated by a different basic part of the diet should correspond to the energy consumption of the organism.”
Unfortunately, the caloric theory completely mastered the minds of modern nutritionists, because it allowed in a convenient numerical form to assess the energy intensity of food. The fact that these figures can vary greatly among different people at the moment is of little interest to anyone.
So here. According to this theory, if the energy needs of a person are 2500 calories per day, and he consumes only 2,000 with food, then to cover a deficit of 500 calories, the human body will borrow this amount from the stored fat. This will result in weight loss. And another situation. If a person consumes 3500 calories every day, instead of the 2500 he needs, then in this case, a surplus of 1000 calories will automatically be deposited in the form of fat reserve. As you can see, the arithmetic here is simple. It is because of the simplicity and availability of any calculation of the diet that the theory of calories is still used in its practice by many nutritionists.
But in this case, I would like to ask a question, how did the prisoners survive in concentration camps, who received from 200 to 400 calories per day with daily exhausting work? If this theory is correct, then, according to her, they would have to die within a few days, having spent all their reserves of stored fat. Yes, they are very thin, but continued to live. And the inhabitants of besieged Leningrad? How many days they kept on a meager ration?
In the same way, you can ask yourself why some food lovers, who consume between 4,000 and 5,000 calories daily, do not suffer from obesity. Moreover, among them are many lean people. People even say about them: “Not in a horse feed.” According to this theory, these "gluttons" in a few years would have to gain weight in four hundred - five hundred kilograms. And how to explain that some people, reducing the amount of food consumed, and with it the calories, continue to gain weight?
Suppose that with an everyday rate of 2500 calories, a person consumes just such an amount of food. But if suddenly this number of calories is reduced to 2000, then the body begins to compensate for the missing amount due to reserve fat. Weight loss occurs. This is logical.
But after that, the body under the action of the survival instinct quickly, within a few days, adapts itself to this level of incoming calories. Included are not visible at first glance, the protective functions and reserves of the body. The temperature of the body may slightly decrease, the heart will beat a little less, movements will become a little slower and more economical. And the person will live in peace farther by only 2000 calories. At the same time, weight loss naturally stops. But that is not all.
The fact is that our body, as a result of evolution, has gained experience of survival, which is aimed at creating reserves. If he continues to be given only 2,000 calories, he will simply lower his energy needs to, say, up to 1,700 calories, and the difference of 300 calories will still be put in reserve. And here is a paradoxical thing, although a person eats less (and his body, respectively, gets less calories), he begins to slowly recover. Some decrease is followed by restoration, and even excess of initial weight. Moreover, for all this process will occur in different ways. That is why it is impossible to offer a low-calorie diet, not interested in its composition and not knowing the characteristics of the reactions to it of the body of a particular person.
To begin with, the process of consuming any food can be divided into three components:
1. Mechanical processing (grinding).
2. Digestion.
3. Suction.
And there is not a single person who has all these stages going through the same way.
It depends on many factors, but the point is that one person will ultimately absorb 99% of the nutrients, while the other will have no more than 30%. In one person, these substances will go to replenish energy needs, while the other will be deposited in the form of fat. No wonder today, many progressive nutritionists say: "to lose weight, you need not only to reduce the calorie intake, but also in a special way to change its composition." This is the basis of the modern approach to the treatment of obesity.
If excessive calorie intake would indeed be a universal cause of overweight, then the simplest and most natural way to cure this disease would be to simply reduce the amount of food consumed. It would be enough to count the number of calories that this person usually eats, and offer him a diet in which these calories contain ten percent less. And he should lose weight !?
But not everything is so simple. A simple decrease in calories can not beat obesity. This fails even when the calorie deficit is very significant. Although many of my colleagues still try to count calories, despite the fact that it is rather tiring even for a nutritionist, and the results of such calculations are very approximate. After all, even foods with the same name can have different calories.
Weight loss with a simple low-calorie diet is observed only at the very beginning of its use. After some time, long before reaching the desired weight, the process stops, despite the further, very strict, adherence to the diet. This situation is familiar to many of those who have ever tried to lose weight.
But if it's still easier for you to count calories for you, then I want to warn you against one mistake.
Some Russian and foreign nutritionists advise to switch to meals in 2000 kcal. I do not advise doing this in any way.
First, losing weight, even if it is, it is incredibly long - stretched for many years.
Secondly, in the case of low metabolism, these 2000 kcal may well not lead to weight loss at all. Recommendations restricting the diet to just 2000 kcal should be considered an unnecessary reinsurance, only detrimental to the process of losing weight.
And, thirdly, the most important thing - according to American researchers, with a caloric intake of 2000 kcal, weight loss occurs not due to fat, but due to loss of tissue without fat (that is, due to muscles). It causes fatigue, hair loss, skin changes, and depression.
In other words, a small decrease in caloric content is much more painful than a decrease in caloric content up to 1000 kcal, and, moreover, all the body weight lost at the same time is quickly restored when switching to a normal diet.
People who monitor the physical form, usually calculate the calories in their diet. From the point of view of modern nutrition, and medical science in general, this is a fundamentally wrong approach - any diet should be based on a balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Fat intake should be minimized, but otherwise, for each individual person the emphasis in the diet should be different.
That is, a modern approach to the problem of rational nutrition is not counting calories, but calculating an individual balanced diet for micro and macronutrients and at the same time creating optimal conditions for their digestibility! Their deficiency provokes overeating, as the body tries to compensate for the lack of certain substances. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a systematic intake of all necessary food components in sufficient quantities. The secret of weight return in compliance with any “book diets” is that, excluding certain foods from the diet, you don’t get the substances your body needs with them, and it compensates for their lack by spending its own reserves. But when you return to your former way of life, the organism that has survived the stress due to the diet begins to restore the consumed substances with double the power. And this is always the return of even more weight than you have lost. With him comes despair.
How to organize your food according to this new concept?
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