Calories In, Calories Out? Rethinking Our Definition of Health

“Calories in, calories out” is a mantra you’ve probably heard before. Many millions of well-intentioned people base their idea of health on this concept.

Unfortunately, it’s a myth.

It’s time to give up the idea that exercise alone will make you healthy. Exercise is important for overall health, but 80% of your body composition is determined by how you eat.

Studies have shown that people who consume a low-glycemic diet had 4.4% less total fat mass than those who consumed a high-glycemic diet.
standing man on seashore taking selfie

Eating the right foods creates the epigenetic factors that will produce a healthy body composition (for men- between 11% and 14% body fat); consuming a number of calories and then burning them off is a gross oversimplification of what it means to be healthy.

Our modern society has become increasingly sedentary. Studies show that the average American office worker spends 10 hours each day sitting down! For this reason, more and more attention has been paid in recent years in using exercise to combat obesity. Despite this, Americans are fatter and sicker than ever. 35% of people in the United States are now considered obese.

Experts predict that by the year 2030, 42% of the population of the United States will be obese.
mini donuts on black grille


Obviously, the problem will only get worse. This is not an epidemic we can exercise our way out of, or combat only by creating a caloric deficit. Obesity is not solely caused by a caloric surplus. It is caused by an abundance of the wrong calories (mainly processed grains and refined sugars) that create metabolic dysfunction within the body.

The way to individual and collective health is to rethink the conventional definition of health.

When choosing foods, instead of simply counting calories, choose foods that will have the most favorable effects on your body’s epigenetics and ability to burn fat. This includes, meat, fish, fowl, eggs, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, full-fat dairy, vegetables, and fruits. Avoid the processed carbs and sugars that drive wild insulin production and cause metabolic disease like Type 2 Diabetes.

“When you moderate insulin production and up-regulate your fat-burning genes, you will trend toward your ideal body composition over time. The details of your exercise program- what we believe to be the most common factor in weight-loss success or failure- are actually much less influential than you might think. Reducing excess body fat is predominantly about hormone optimization through a low-insulin-production diet.” – Mark Sisson, The Primal Blueprint

vegetable salad with grilled meat

Please share your thoughts on these ideas below.

And for more men’s health and fitness tips, news, t-boosting recipes and more be sure to follow me on Instagram @refuelvitality, Twitter @joeghealthcoach, and follow the Refuel Vitality blog by clicking on the toolbar to the right!

Be Vital!

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