Not all calories are the same. I try to instill an understanding of food to my clients. Many are great dieters and I have to push them to eat the nutritious food on their plan, never going over their planned calories they often still don’t lose fat. Why? Let’s call it: the Ugly Calorie.
Basically the ugly calorie is an empty calorie, and what is an empty calorie? Well, SUGAR is number one. Don’t get confused. The body needs carbs and carbs turn to sugar/ glucose in the body, but complex carbs like oats or sweetpotato have nutrients, fiber and digest slowly at a rate your body can use it. Sugars and refined flours are not utilized for energy as fast as they are digested.
The rate at which your body uses the food, carbs specifically, after digestion determines its utilization. Sugar spikes blood sugar levels quickly, and without intense exercise or high calorie need while that energy is in your bloodstream, the sugar turns to fat. Every. Time. For a small amount, maybe not a pound of fat, but fat nonetheless.
Therefore the ugly calorie is not just a simple sugar empty calorie, but a calorie that your body digests and absorbs, but cannot use.
Where carbs are energy, protein is the building blocks of cells. It does not spike blood sugar, uses energy to digest, and provides the raw material for skin, hair, nails, and of course, muscle. That doesn’t mean that all protein sources are healthy! Read the label. High animal fat, high salt, nitrates and preservatives and even sugar is present in some meat products and calories from those additive are also ugly calories that are stored as fat! Your body can use the lean meat. Additives in bacon, sausage, or bologna? Ugly.
You may have heard that dietary fat doesn’t cause fat. True. Eat the healthy fats. Avocado, nuts, coconut, and seeds are the best! Unfortunately not all fats are the same. Hydrogenated oils, lard, animal fats, and artificial fats are the worst ugly calorie offenders. Your body has no nutritional need for that! Dairy fats are in the middle somewhere. Not a necessity and not worthless. Unfortunately the healthy fats even are a food group you must control portions. A small 6 oz can of almonds is 960 calories. One half ounce is healthy and can help you lose weight. Not all six ounces. Consult a nutritionist, dietitian or nutrition coach if you want information specific to your goals.
In summary if you are tracking calories and still are stalled, make sure you are getting nutritional food your body needs, while eliminating the ugly calories your body does not need! Because even a low calorie food, without nutritional worth, may be an ugly calorie that is keeping you from reaching your goal!
Eat the beautiful nutrition. Skip the ugly junk food calories.