I know what you’re thinking: “obviously, you eat more calories than you burn off”.
Oh really? Why is that obvious? If you ate 2000 kcal of Taco Bell and as a result sat on the toilet the whole day, did you really eat 2000 kcal? If there are three triplets and one of them had 2000 kcal of fat in the morning, one had 2000 kcal of carbs in the morning and one had 2000 kcal of protein in the morning , and the all went to the gym and burned 1000 kcal at the gym, do they all end up burning 1000 kcal of fat off their bodies? What if one slept all day and the others didn’t? Wouldn’t the person who slept have more net calories at the end of the day?
It’s not that LC (low carb) and CC (calorie counting) are two opposing theories, LC is just the well thought out version of CC, it’s advanced CC, it’s CC 2.0! The human body is incredibly complex and so most people want a general guideline to follow rather than learning biology. The problem with CC is that though it may work well for some people, others may randomly get cravings, get hungry, get tired and there’s no way for them to troubleshoot so they just give up. I’m no biologist (and i’ve never even taken a single biology course) but I at least know enough now to make assumptions and test hypotheses. If you’re willing to learn, here’s the general idea of how the whole thing works:
Fat exists in food as a molecule called a Triglyceride. A Triglyceride consists of 3 FFA’s (free fatty acids) and one glycerol molecule which holds the 3 FFA’s together like the letter “E”. During digestion, it get broken up into it’s 4 components and gets transported around in your blood. Now this is the important bit: if insulin is also in your blood, you will store the FFA’s in a fat cell. Insulin shuttles the FFA’s into the fat cell where it is converted back into a triglyceride where it is trapped. Think of the fat cell like a square having a slot where only thin objects can fit through (FFA) and not “E” like objects. As long as insulin is in the blood stream the triglycerides remain in the cell (you stay fat). Insulin is responsible for not converting the “E” into it’s parts and letting the FFA’s exit the cell. Think of the fat cell like a real jail cell, insulin as the cops and the FFA’s as the prisoners. More cops on the streets means more prisoners, means larger/more jail cells. How would you stop the inflow of prisoners? Why, limit the number of cops of course. This is the basis of all Low Carb dieting: limiting the amount of insulin in the blood stream.This is a good time to note that storing fat is just one minor duty of insulin. It’s main job is to keep your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels down by storing the glucose in your livers and muscles. So the logic follows, you wouldn’t really need so much insulin if you didn’t have a glucose problem in the first place. Where does glucose come from? Glucose is either made of sugar or carbohydrates. Now it’s important to note that not all carbs are the same. Some bring out more insulin than others and this info is available to you using the Glycemic Index. Note that white bread and whole wheat bread are ranked almost exactly the same. Further more, 2 whole wheat slices of bread has the same effect on your glucose levels as 36g of sugar. A Mars bar has 32g of sugar. How healthy are you really eating when you get whole wheat instead of white bread at Subway?
You can make the argument that if you just don’t eat any fat, then nothing will be stored. You can do that, but you certainly won’t be losing any fat through ketosis. Not to mention if you overdose on just fat, it just gets flushed out. If you overdose on glucose, your body will convert it into fat and store it.
I’ll stick to the fat… because it won’t stick to me.