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Not All Calories Are The Same! Consider This The Next Time You’re Eating Out

“It is all about calories in vs. calories out”! I’m sure you must have read this statement in plenty of health articles. Though it is true for the most part and it is the reason why any diet will and can help you. It isn’t as simple as that, or else health professionals like me wouldn’t have any work to do.  In this article, you will learn that not all calories are created the same.

How To Count Calories When Eating Out© Thinkstock

Let’s get started with the basics first: A calorie is a unit of energy.

In nutrition, calories refer to energy consumption through eating and drinking, and energy usage through physical activity. The three macronutrients i.e. protein, fats and carbohydrates present in our food provide our body with the necessary calories.

How To Count Calories When Eating Out

How To Count Calories When Eating Out© Thinkstock

These energy values were experimentally determined by Wilbur Olin Atwater 120-years-ago, and we still use them today. Quality work, isn’t it? In an ideal world, a meal containing 20g fats (180 Cals), 20g protein (80 Cals) and 60g Carbs (240 Cals) should be the same as a meal containing 5g fat (40 Cals), 85g Protein (340 Cals) and 30g carbs (120 Cals) as both meals contain 500 calories. But the human body is a more complex and handles and processes different foods differently. There are a lot of factors – internal and external – that explain why calories in doesn’t equal calories out as efficiently in the human body as some people believe. One of them is the Thermic Effect Of Foods- the amount of calories burnt to digest different types of foods. Each macronutrient has a different thermic effect.

How To Count Calories When Eating Out

Protein has the highest thermic effect of all the macronutrients. If you consume 200 calories from protein, only 140 calories are available for your body to process. That’s because a lot of calories are lost in heat during the digestive process. On the other hand, consuming 200 calories from fats and carbohydrates provides your body with 194 and 180 calories, respectively.  

Here’s How To Eat When Dining Out

How To Count Calories When Eating Out© Thinkstock

So, the next time you’re dining out and you know you have to stuff your face with food or you’ll never heard the end of it from your buddies, the best thing to order would be a lot of lean meats or lean soya items, if you’re a vegetarian. My personal favorites are tandoori chicken cooked with minimal oil or grilled fish. Also, for people who tend to gain a lot of fat, even on a slight caloric surplus, consider increasing the caloric intake from protein rather than carbs and fats during your bulking phase.

Yash Sharma is a former national level Football player, now a Strength Coach, Nutritionist and Natural Bodybuilder.  He also runs a YouTube Channel Yash Sharma Fitness via which he aims to educate all the fitness enthusiasts to maximize their gains by methods that are backed by science and applicable easily.  Connect with him on YouTubeYashSharmaFitness@gmail.comFacebook and Instagram.

Photo: © YouTube (Main Image)

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