Did you know that each time we eat we start a process of hormonal responses which affect our whole body and mind? These hormones affect our energy level, fat burning, mental state, and appetite. If you think that a meal is just a meal, you are wrong. As meal is the catalyst for a whole series of chemical events happening in our bodies. If you want to eat smart, you have to be aware of these processes.
Quality of Calories
Some people waste time counting calories when they should really be thinking about the quality of the calories. Did you know that not all calories are the same? Different calorie sources will result in a different bodily response. Whether we are ingesting fats, carbohydrates, or proteins, our body treats these energy sources a little differently.
You also have to consider metabolic distinctions. Saturated and unsaturated fats, and complex carbs are metabolized in a different way than simple carbs. When you are thinking about your nutritional plan, it is important to consider the differences in hormonal responses.
Thermal Effect of Protein
When you ingest protein, for example, this causes a great thermic effect than when you ingest carbs or fats. Thermic energy is just a fancy way of referring to the amount of energy your body uses when it processes food. When there is a lower thermic effect this means your body can easily turn the food into body fat. Proteins have the highest thermic effect while saturated fats and simple carbs have the lowest thermic effect.
This is why a calorie-filled donut causes a different hormonal response than an organic chicken breast with grilled vegetables. Even though the calorie count may be the same, the calories are completely different.
It may interest you to know that as far back as 1956 researchers were studying this phenomenon. The researchers (Kekwick and Pawan) compared the diets of people who ate the same number of calories but different types of calories. Here are the results for the study participants:
- 1000 calories at 90% fat = weight loss of.9 lbs per day
- 1000 calories at 90% protein = weight loss of.6 lbs per day
- 1000 calories at 90% carbs =.24lbs of weight gain
You can see that ingesting different types of calories results in a different bodily response. Now you understand that thinking about the type of calories you eat is just as important as counting calories. You need to think about your hormonal response ad also consider how this will affect your metabolism.
Creating a Meal Plan
When you start working on a meal plan, take your hormonal responses into account. Think about what foods you are going to be eating, when you are going to be eating them, and also consider your training plan. You will need a solid weight training plan and conditioning plan in order to get the body you want.
It is certainly easy to get into a rut with your diet. It is convenient to let someone else tell you what to eat. Whether this is the latest fad diet, the new weight loss cookbook, or just a friend at the gym. This is convenient, but it isn’t the ideal situation. Ideally, you are in charge of your own dietary plan. You have the knowledge to make the best decision. Unfortunately this can’t happen if you don’t even know what’s happening in your body. Hormonal responses are just one example.
The best thing you can do for your body is to take charge and gain more knowledge. This way you won’t have to depend on cookbooks or “experts”. You will be the expert. Does that sound good to you? The next time you are wondering if you are making the right choice for your body take the time to educate yourself.