Calories are bullshit Broccoli vs Mars bars

Nearly half of all western societies obsess over counting calories – but don’t pay attention to what else they eat. Let’s imagine you ate 4.0kg of kale each day. That is 2200 kcal approx. Then imagine you ate 10 Mars Bars also 2200kcal approx.

Same calories right?

Wrong(ish) there is no way on earth that you would gain fat eating kale. It’s not just about calories, it’s about how your body is able to “harvest” those calories.

Firstly how calories are calculated in processed food……raw ingredients …since the 1940’s calories in food have been listed using the calorie content of the raw ingredients.

This tells you nothing about how your body will derive those calories once eaten. Pure sugar is very easy for your body to use, grains and seeds with the same calorie content are much harder to digest.

Your uses around 20%-30% of its energy just digesting food! So make it work for those calories. Here it’s worth noting that fat and weight ARE NOT the same thing. Weight is bone, organs, muscle, fat, etc.

Fat is fat! If you want to lose fat, losing weight isn’t necessary or ideal. FOUR in 10 Brits ‘obsess’ over calorie counting – but have no idea what else they might be consuming.

The study of 2,000 adults found more than a quarter are actively logging their intake on a phone app. And one in five also admitted they check every product they buy for the calorie information.

Nearly a third refuse to eat any high calorie foods – opting to prioritise low calorie foods, whether healthy or unhealthy, while 45 per cent will exercise if they think they’ve eaten too many.

But 52 per cent never look at labels for fats, and nearly six in 10 don’t consider whether the food they choose contains vitamins and minerals which might benefit them.

Nutritionist Amanda Williams and CEO of Cytoplan, which commissioned the research ahead of launching a new Nutrition Gap Guide for healthcare professionals, said:

“While the research has shown there is certainly an appetite for keeping an eye on calories, there’s so much more to maintaining a healthy diet.“

While people count calories in a bid to achieve a healthier lifestyle, it also shows little understanding of the importance of nutrients.

“Perhaps more focus here could make all the difference to us feeling and actually being healthier both in the short-term and long-term.“

Not all calories are created equal and it’s important to make sure that if striving to meet a calorie goal each day, we don’t sacrifice nutrient-dense foods.

“A diet full of nutritious foods is more beneficial than a diet rich in processed foods that might be low in calories but may not offer vital vitamins and minerals to support overall health.”


He study also found half of Brits have been more sedentary in the last year or so due to major lifestyle changes – and estimates they eat more than 2,000 calories a day. But they believe they only burn around 1,800, with the ‘Nutrition Gap’ research showing that a sedentary lifestyle is considered the top reason for the deficiency in our nutrition levels.

It also emerged adults count calories in their bid to lose weight, keep an eye on their intake or to play a part in their meal choices each day.

Half of respondents count their calories, with 31 per cent roughly logging them in their head rather than using an app – while 14 per cent write them down on paper.

Three quarters claim to check nutritional content of products, but it’s mainly sugars, fats and salt that capture the most attention, with vitamins and minerals at the bottom of the list.

Despite this, 26 per cent thought having your ‘five a day’ was just a saying to encourage you to eat healthily.

Nearly half aren’t sure – or don’t – eat their five a day, though 63 per cent believe their diet is well balanced according to the survey via OnePoll.

Delving into the minerals Brits see as essential to their diets; iron, calcium and potassium were seen as the most important.


But despite Selenium being known for its important role in the health of the immune system, only a third believed it was important to their health.

When shown 11 minerals needed for optimal health, almost one in 10 believed none were important, while more than a third didn’t know how to measure the amount of vitamins or minerals in their diet.

Without the optimal levels of vitamins and minerals, the UK population could be experiencing a shortfall in their nutrition, which is referred to as The Nutrition Gap.

Nutritionist and CEO of Cytoplan, Amanda Williams added: “Lots of people are regularly counting calories through various apps and programmers in the belief they are adopting a healthy approach to diet and nutrition.

“While it’s sometimes beneficial to understand your calorie intake, it is just, or maybe more, important to look at the levels of vitamins and minerals that our food may contain too.“

Sub-optimal intake of essential nutrients and poor digestive health is linked to many of the prevailing degenerative diseases of our generation.

“We’ve created the Nutrition Gap Guide to arm healthcare professionals with the knowledge to help focus clients and patients’ attention on their nutrient intake for long term preventative health care as well as short term in a bid to improve the nation’s health.”Dr David Ludwig, an endocrinologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and professor at Harvard Medical School, says that the energy balance model doesn’t explain the biological causes of weight gain.”

During a growth spurt, for instance, adolescents may increase food intake by 1,000 calories a day,” he says. “But does their overeating cause the growth spurt, or does the growth spurt cause the adolescent to get hungry and overeat?”

The new model placed the blame for the obesity epidemic on “modern dietary patterns characterized by excessive consumption of foods with a high glycaemic load: in particular, processed, rapidly digestible carbohydrates”.

“These foods cause hormonal responses that fundamentally change our metabolism, driving fat storage, weight gain, and obesity,” according to the model.”

When we eat highly processed carbohydrates, the body increases insulin secretion and suppresses glucagon secretion. This, in turn, signals fat cells to store more calories, leaving fewer calories available to fuel muscles and other metabolically active tissues.”

The brain perceives that the body isn’t getting enough energy, which, in turn, leads to feelings of hunger. In addition, metabolism may slow down in the body’s attempt to conserve fuel. Thus, we tend to remain hungry, even as we continue to gain excess fat.

“Rather than urge people to eat less, a strategy which the scientists say doesn’t work in the long run, the carbohydrate-insulin model suggests another path that focuses more on what we eat.

According to Dr Ludwig, “reducing consumption of the rapidly digestible carbohydrates that flooded the food supply during the low-fat diet era lessens the underlying drive to store body fat”, and “as a result, people may lose weight with less hunger and struggle.”

How to Train for Hypertrophy?

#1: visual progress and workout app is available. Providing you with all the tools to build long-lasting habits and results at

keep challenging your muscles with progressive overload. “Each session, increase the stimulus placed on the muscle the previous week or session,” according to research “For example, if last week you squatted 100kg for 10 reps, and this week 11, that is a greater stimulus. The ‘perfect rep range’ isn’t really a thing, nor is the perfect training programmer.

Consistently progressing week on week will damn sure lead to hypertrophy over time. “Structure your training by targeting each muscle group twice per week, says Wilson. “Hit each muscle group with two exercises each time you train it, so that it gets four good exercises every week,” he says. “Perform three or four sets of every exercise in the six to 12-rep range, but don’t be afraid to throw the occasional set of 20 to 30 reps in, as well as the occasional set of three to five reps, to ensure you’re getting stronger in multiple rep ranges.”

How to Eat for Hypertrophy?

#2: Your body needs fuel, and plenty of it. “Recent research paints the energy cost of building muscle at around 400 to 500 calories a day,” says Recent research. “So if you have an idea of your maintenance calories, add about 500 to support muscle growth. Make sure you’re eating about a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight (2.2g/kg) to support muscle repair.”

How to Recover for Hypertrophy?

#3: Ditch the ‘no days off’ mentality. Rest is crucial for hypertrophy. “If you’re not recovering, you’re not growing,” says research. After training, “protein synthesis seems to remain elevated for 48 to 72 hours,”. “This means that if we have strained a muscle group, providing it has recovered, we can train it again two to three days later.”

When it comes to muscle-building supps, protein powder has nothing on a decent night’s kip. “One massive component people often skimp out on when trying to maximize hypertrophy is sleep” says Wilson, who advocates for a minimum of seven hours per night “Remember, you’re only in the gym for one or two hours a day,” he says. “What you do the other 22 to 23 hours is what really makes the difference.

Multiple studies have shown that sleep can aid in muscle growth and recovery, improve athletic performance and enhance fat loss. Sleep is that secret supplement that people keep asking about.”

H. Partial Reps Known as “partial reps,” these abbreviated movements can help you bust through a lifting plateau by allowing you to use heavier loads and work around an exercise’s “sticking point” (i.e., the part of a lift where the weight typically feels the heaviest). And if you have poor mobility, doing partial reps (e.g., a quarter or half squat instead of a full squat) can help you build the ROM you need to perform the full exercise with proper form.

To be clear, moving a joint from full extension to full flexion—as you do with your knees when you go ass-to-grass during a squat—is the cornerstone of proper form. And generally speaking, that should be your default during most lifts, as some research shows that it can lead to greater strength gains. But there are certain instances in which limiting your range of motion—only performing the bottom half of a biceps curl or the top portion of the bench press or deadlift, for example—is the smarter move.

Adrianna Tori

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