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Energy Balance

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

When I first started this journey more than a year ago, I took the concept of energy balance for granted -- calories in should equal calories out for weight maintenance. When I started to change my diet and eat better, higher quality foods and much less junk, I began to question that assumption: Is a calorie just a calorie?

Then I watched the Weight of the Nation documentary series. It said that someone who was previously overweight but not anymore, and who weighed the same as her never-overweight friend, needs fewer calories than her friend to maintain that same weight.

An article in the Scientific American issue that I posted about yesterday mentioned that our bodies process foods differently based on a variety of factors, including our gut microbes. (Another topic I blogged about!) So a calorie of a single carrot isn't the same in my gut as it is yours?

And then today I came across an article on Greatist that mentions studies in which the energy balance hypothesis is not supported. It's a good guideline, the author says, but we need to figure out what works for us. He advocates food tracking.

So much still left to learn in the realm of nutrition. Fascinating! emoticon
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