School’s out and we’re all ready for a nice long summer break. Before we recline the chairs, grab an Aperol spritz and celebrate the long warm days with easy, feel-good recipes from our summery adventures, we want to leave you with one thought about nutrition and weight loss. No, not the perfect bikini kind but, instead, the one about how not all calories are created equal and why this matters to us. Come and cook with us!
The age-old mantra has always been: eat less and exercise more. Increasingly, research has shown that this simply doesn’t work, at least not for the majority of us. It’s generally not sustainable to purely rely on will-power to lose weight. In the long run, it’s important to realize that our weight is part of our biological functions and like hormones, what we eat influences our bodies more than how much we eat.
Without writing a scientific paper, I leave that to Dr. David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention center at Boston Children’s Hospital, let’s just say that our digestion, brain and metabolism are all linked primarily by the hormone insulin. It spikes whenever we eat lots of refined carbohydrates like sugar and processed grains without the necessary fiber to slow down absorption. This triggers our fat cells to soak up and store calories – but there are not enough calories to provide the energy that our bodies need. The brain recognizes this through increased leptin levels and, in turn, triggers a hunger response that also slows our metabolism. That’s when we want more food.
“If you just try to eat less and exercise more, most people will lose that battle. Metabolism wins,” says Ludwig. “Simply looking at calories is misguided at best and potentially harmful because it disregards how those calories are affecting our hormones and metabolism—and ultimately our ability to stick to a diet.”
Honestly, your best bet is to use some of Dr. Oz’s magical weight-loss supplements. Oh wait, turns out they’re all a scam… Come and eat real food with us!