A Calorie is a Calorie
It is often said that the only thing that matters for weight loss is “calories in, calories out.”
The truth is that calories matter… but the types of foods we eat are just as important.
That is because different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body (14).
Additionally, the foods we eat can directly impact the hormones that regulate when and how much we eat, as well as the amount of calories we burn.
Here are two examples of why a calorie is NOT a calorie:
- Protein: Eating protein can boost the metabolic rate and reduce appetite compared to the same amount of calories from fat and carbs. It can also increase your muscle mass, which burns calories around the clock (15, 16).
- Fructose vs glucose: Fructose can stimulate the appetite compared to the same number of calories from glucose (17, 18).
Even though calories are important, saying that they are all that matters when it comes to weight (or health for that matter) is completely wrong.
Bottom Line: All calories are not created equal. Different foods go through different metabolic pathways and have varying effects on hunger, hormones and health.