This Myth about Calories Debunked

In last week’s post , we explained how eating too little can stall your weight loss efforts. This week, we’re continuing on with the “calorie” theme to dispel a weight loss myth. The myth about calories is that all calories are created equal and you just have to cut a bunch of them out to lose weight.

Well, we already established that cutting calories too low over a sustained period of time is problematic. But while managing your calories intake and outtake is important, keep in mind that a calorie is NOT just a calorie. 



Now let’s break this down. For about 170 calories, you could eat one Twinkie or 28 almonds.

Same number of calories.

But what did you provide for your body with the Twinkie? A boat load of sugar and preservatives. No protein. Absolutely no vitamins. Zero minerals. NO NUTRITION at all for that 170 calories.

AGAIN, no nutrition whatsoever…

But, with the nuts, you get some healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, a little bit of protein and minerals. You get some decent nutrition as well as a better blood sugar profile AND a better feeling of fullness than you got with the Twinkie.

The moral of today’s story: The quality of the calorie is just as important as how much you eat. The myth about calories = all calories are the same and you can lose weight by cutting calories.

⬆️⬆️⬆️ DON’T DO THIS ⬆️⬆️⬆️

⬆️⬆️⬆️ DO THIS ⬆️⬆️⬆️

The Science


Different foods act very differently once they are digested and absorbed by your body. 

Foods rich in fiber, healthy fats, and a vast array of vitamins and minerals take longer to digest. 

Because of this, they have a positive impact on your blood sugar (much slower increase) and your feelings of fullness. Plus, these same foods impact your body’s ability to release hormones that boost meal satisfaction, therefore preventing overeating at other meals.

Other certain foods, like protein, may positively impact your metabolism (by speeding it up), therefore boosting weight and body fat loss.

The Takeaway


To conclude, making better choices with your calories will lead to improvements in your level of body fat and the overall status of your health.


If you’re feeling stuck or frustrated and want help figuring out how to reach your health and fitness goals, the coaches at lifeSport Fitness are here to help!

We invite you to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation via phone, Zoom or in-person at our clean, bright personal training studio in San Jose. We’ll answer your questions and help you figure out a nutrition game plan so you can look and feel your best!

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stuck when trying to lose weight

Are You Eating Enough to Lose Weight?

When people are trying to lose excess weight, they usually put a few things into action to make it happen – like ramping up their exercise or changing what they eat. This is a good approach and it will work… but sometimes it backfires when done incorrectly. In this situation, many people think that to get the results they want they need to eat less than they usually do. BUT, are you really eating enough to lose any weight at all?


Here’s the main takeaway: Cutting too many calories may actually have the opposite effect you’re looking for when trying to lose weight!


A minion from the movie Despicable Me saying


You see, your body is very good at monitoring how many calories you’re eating and burning. Eat too many calories, and it stores the excess as fat. Eat too little over an extended period of time… and your body rebels. When this happens, your body may send signals to your brain to stimulate your appetite and can actually encourage you to eat. Or it may down-regulate your metabolism – making it harder to burn stubborn fat and lose weight. 

Why this happens

When your calorie intake is too low for an extended time, your body tends to conserve fat and burn muscle for energy – leading to a slower metabolism and higher body fat levels.


This is why it’s so important to maintain the right amount of calories (eating enough) to continue to fuel your weight loss.


Anything less than 1200-1500 calories for females or around 2000 calories for males may not be enough to fuel your activity and the different metabolic processes going on inside your body.


If you’re looking to lose weight and you think cutting your calories even lower than they already are will work, there’s a good chance you’re going to be frustrated with your results.

What to do

Instead of tracking the amount of calories you eat, always include a lean protein, an easily digestible carb and some healthy fats with each meal. Concentrate on eating good, whole, healthy foods at each meal. Watch your portions, but don’t starve yourself or skip meals. Doing so will help you maintain a healthy calorie level (therefore encouraging more fat loss) and will help keep cravings and hunger feelings away.


So, yes, it may seem counterintuitive, but you do need to EAT to lose weight. The trick is finding the right balance for you – eating enough to fuel your body, but not so much that your body stores excess calories.



Today we talked about how cutting too many calories can have the opposite effect you’re looking for when trying to lose weight. Yes! You do need to make sure you eat enough to fuel your body for the day. Next week, we’ll be sticking to this topic, debunking a common myth that many people have about calories.

Want to read more about how you can improve your nutrition?

Check out our other blog posts below –

How to Lose Weight with Seasonal Vegetables

Nutrition Habits – Dr. Mike’s 6 Pillars of Nutrition


Hidden Calories

The holidays are here and enjoying the season with friends and family usually includes having a nice beverage, alcoholic or not. A lot of the time, the drink we choose has a lot of hidden calories that do not help maintain your waistline and may negate all the hard work you’ve done at the gym.Holiday celebrations can translate into additional calories from drinks that you wouldn’t normally have. Before you reach for that glass of cheer, beware, many fancy holiday drinks are loaded with calories, fat and sugar. Eggnog, Hot Chocolates, Coffees, Cocktails are some of the well liked holiday drinks that will not help you when you go to step on that scale. There are ways to still enjoy a tasty beverage, while leaving some of those additional calories behind.

Here are some of the favorite high calorie holiday drinks and what it would take a 150lb woman to burn it off.

  1. Peppermint Mocha – a 16-ounce serving has 470 calories and equal to 1 hour of intense yoga.
  2. Pumpkin Spice Latte- a 16-ounce serving contains 410 calories and equal to 40 minutes of step aerobics.
  3. Hot Buttered Rum – 418 calories and equal to a 4-mile run.
  4. Margarita – approximately 9-ounces is 408 calories and equal to 60 minutes on the rowing machine.
  5. White Russian – 355 calories and equal to 30 minutes of jumping rope.
  6. Eggnog – 1-cup serving is approximately 350 calories and equal to 35 minutes of kick boxing.
  7. Hot Chocolate – 12-ounce serving is 320 calories and equal to 60 minutes of raking leaves.

To combat these extra calories, but still enjoy a nice beverage, you just have to make a healthier choice. Here are some suggestions to not let the holiday cheer get away from us:

  • Go for the lighter options such as, Light Eggnog, Lowfat Lattes, Sparkling Cider.
  • Substitute the milk in the drink to a low fat or skim milk instead of creams and high fat milk.
  • Drink lots of water before, after and during holiday beverages. You’ll find you won’t have as many if you are hydrated with water.
  • Plan ahead. Choose a holiday beverage instead of dessert. Or drink the beverage earlier in the day so you can work off the calories.
  • Avoid the alcohol. Order the drink as a virgin and save up to 100 calories per beverage. Plus, you’ll be a safe driver over the holiday season.
  • Skip the extras. Avoid the whipped topping, chocolate sauce, sprinkles or candy cane. Even go as far ahead and ask the barista to give fewer pumps of the flavored syrup.
  • Don’t deprive yourself of what you love. Enjoy your favorite, but limit the amounts you have over the season. One delicious drink here and there isn’t going to hurt too much.
  • Continue with your exercise routine over the holidays. You’ll find the little bit extra you consume over the season, won’t have too big of an effect on the scale.

If you’re sensible over the holidays you can enjoy the festivities without increasing you calorie intake too much. Happy Holidays and stay safe.

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Calorie Cutter

Cutting your calorie intake daily will help you lose the extra weight you may be carrying around. In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories in a day through your activities than you consumed that day. If you’ve tried to accomplish this, you know it can be difficult. Dramatic changes to your diet may seem unreasonable, undoable and unfathomable. Simple every day choices, that really don’t change the menu too much can seem almost effortless but can make a big enough difference. Cutting 50 calories a day can equal a ½ a pound a month. Or try 100 calories a day to lose a full pound each month. That may not seem like much, but when you add exercise to that, it can make a huge difference in weight loss.

Here are 10 simple ways to cut calories:

  1. Invest in some good quality cooking utensils to help reduce the amount of fat needed in cooking. Try heavy non-stick frying pans and heavy baking tray.
  2. Throw away any high fat items and replace them with healthier low calorie options.
  3. Use cooking oil spray instead of pouring oil in the pan when frying or browning foods.
  4. Skip the butter. Use low calorie peanut butter or jam on toast or a light mayonnaise on your sandwiches instead.
  5. Grill, steam, bake or poach. Eliminate the frying as much as possible.
  6. Add natural seasonings to your foods. Try herbs, spices, citrus juices, vinegar and low calories sauces like Worcester and Soy.
  7. Make sure you have plenty of variety in your diet so that you don’t become bored and give into unhealthy cravings.
  8. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. If you feel hungry when you shop, you are more likely to give into temptation and buy something that is high in fat and calories to satisfy your immediate cravings.
  9. Eat smaller portions of high-fat foods (meats, cheeses) and larger portions of vegetables, salad, fruit and very low-fat protein foods (yogurt, skim milk).
  10. Stop drinking soda and juice. Choose water instead. Water is a great to help you feel full longer and helps curb your cravings.

Remember that slow and steady is the way to lose weight and keep it off. Using these simple calorie cutting ideas does not require you to drastically change your lifestyle. With healthy substitutions and cutting out a few things from our diet, we can make some big changes on our waist line. Talk to your dietician or personal trainer, they can get you on the right track as well and offer some other helpful suggestions. Get cutting!

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