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All Hail King Calorie

Everyone seems to be obsessed with the all mighty CALORIE. This word seems to spark the need to DIET. When you hear the word diet, it elicits a response. For me it is either an eye roll or “what crazy thing do they want me to do now.” Many people instantly start eating all the junk they can. They have to get ready for their diet. Others look to that word like it is made of gold and on a pedestal.

According to my good friend Merriam-Webster the definition of calories is:

“1a : the amount of heat required at a pressure of one atmosphere to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius that is equal to about 4.19 joules —abbreviation cal —called also gram calorie, small calorie : the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water one degree Celsius : 1000 gram calories or 3.968 Btu —abbreviation Cal —called also large calorie

2a : a unit equivalent to the large calorie expressing heat-producing or energy-producing value in food when oxidized in the body : an amount of food having an energy-producing value of one large calorie”

So all this time when people talk calorie they are just talking energy. That seems a lot less scary. Now when we talk about calories, weight, and eventually…. always…. diets, we can understand that calorie does not actually mean weight it means amount of energy.

We need calories to keep our bodies and brains going, we need energy. The quality of the calorie is a different thing. An 8 oz. bag of chips is roughly 1,200 calories. 8 oz. of mixed vegetables are about 150 calories. With the chips, you are getting a lot more calories but much less quality. You eat more and more because your stomach doesn’t feel full even though your body has its recommended number of calories. It is lacking the quality your body needs to feel full. Your stomach does not calculate calories it calculates quality.

When you are looking at what to put in your body instead of a diet, think life style. I want my body and brain to have the best it can in terms of energy, I have a lot to do. I want to put in my body something that I can get more out of than pounds. If I am giving my body quality it will also give me quality. When we add more energy than needed the body keeps using it, it builds and builds and builds… on our physique.

If you hired me for a job for $100/day would you pay me $1,000 my first day? No! Of course not. That is over eating. If you worked for me for $100/day and on day three I paid you $50 what would you say? “Oh, it is ok. We are on a diet!” I don’t think so. Why is this concept different when we talk about calories, our bodies, weight, health, and diets? We don’t think the same skewed things we think about weight when we think about money, jobs, and relationships. The scales have to be balanced in a healthy relationship. You give and get about an equal amount. Why don’t you want to put the same quality in your body that you are expecting or wanting out of it? Would you keep paying someone for a job they are not doing? Would you be happy with an unnecessary pay cut, randomly?

Let’s put quality in and get quality out. Let’s worry about the WHAT instead of the how much. Let’s realize that calorie is a unit of measure for energy. We all need energy. Energy is good! Knowing how much you are consuming and needing is good but knowing the quality is there will help lead to the correct quantity.

Let’s live again, not DIEt. Let’s change our lives!