I want to blog about a few misconceptions or questions concerning calories. Everyone knows you have to burn calories to loose weight, but how much exercise is required burn off last nights pizza? Are all calories equal? If I keep my calorie count down it doesn't matter if I eat mainly processed foods right? NO!
ALL CALORIES ARE NOT EQUAL!!
Your body processes foods differently therefore it REALLY DOES MATTER WHAT you eat, not just the calorie content. For instance a bag of a processed snack may have the same number of calories as a handful of nuts but there is a difference. The processed snack will most likely have additives not found in nature like high fructose corn syrup, or chemical sweeteners (see my take on that here) and partially hydrogenated oils as well as added flavor enhancers and food dyes. You may think that although they are not healthy they don't effect your weight, but that is WRONG. Chemicals and additives mess with your brain chemistry and saity levels. That means you will not feel full or satisfied and will continue to eat more waiting for the satisfaction to kick in,or you will eat something else because that snack did not satisfy you.
Unfortunately that is not the only problem with processed foods. Your body will not process them the same so it slows your metabolism down when there are ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils. Your body doesn't recognize these substances so it slows the system down and more of the food you just ate with these ingredients gets stored as fat! So to make your body more efficient at burnig fat you need to eat cleaner foods that your body and quickly recognize and process smoothly. The other reason whole foods are processed and burned easier is that whole foods that have not been processed overcooked or chemically altered are chock full of enzymes that help you digest them! This means you do not have to be so concerned with the number of fat calories as the source. A handful of almonds will feed your metabolism. Eat healthy fats! They keep you fuller longer and good fats can help keep your overall system working smoothly so that your metabolism has a greater chance of working at full speed.
Now that that has been addressed use this handy chart from www.weighttraining.com to help you asses the amount you are burning with your current exercise routine, and what you need to do to be more efficient.