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All calories are NOT equal?

All calories are not equal, right?

Wrong.

A calorie is a calorie, no matter what. It’s a unit for measuring heat.

…But the underlying idea behind it is true.

The best part is that it can give you a clear idea on why focusing on this can help you lose fat and gain muscle in a simpler (and less painful) way.

So all calories are equal, but…

All sources of calories are not equal.

Here’s what this means.

This means that while eating 200kcal from meat and 200kcal of potatoes are the same, the effect they are going to have in the body will be different.

Why? 

Because there are 2 sources of calories that your body needs more energy (calories) to digest.

These sources are fiber and protein.

This is known as the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), which is part of the equation when calculating how much you need to eat per day – yet you shouldn’t pay much attention to it.

So even when eating 200kcal from meat or potatoes are the same, your body will need greater energy to digest the protein than the carbs.

Protein and fiber have about 30% TEF, while carbs and fats have 2 and 5% TEF, respectively.

So from 200kcal of meat, your body will use about 60kcal from it to process that meat. 

On the other hand, your body only will need 10kcal to digest the potatoes.

That’s why your body will feel more satiated after eating a steak or a salad vs eating a sneaker (although that’s for another topic, it’s kinda relevant).

But don’t think that you should be eating all fiber and protein in your diet.

TEF has little effect when compared to other variables like BMR or Exercise Activity.

So what this means is simple.

Whenever you can choose food like protein and fiber instead of something less satiating, don’t think twice. 

You’ll feel less hunger and your diet will feel way easier to manage.

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Ivan