1 + 1 = 2?

But is a calorie always a calorie?  Is weight loss all about what’s going in vs. what’s exerted out?
Anna asks us this burning question:
I have been told weight loss is almost purely mathematics. Why, if I am counting calories and burning them am I not losing the weight I “should” be? What gives?!
You know she aks us the toughies… 
To back up a bit I must disclaim, Megan and I aren’t lovers of weight loss as a focus.  I mean everyone loves to lose weight {if, of course, they really need to} but it’s FILLED with expectations, stress and many times the opportunity to really miss the boat.  We can have hyper focus on weight loss, actually lose “the” weight and still feel like shit {pardon me}.  That kind of path is usually followed by some sort of gimmicky weight loss plan, pill, creme, and so on…  And the cycle continues.
We posted this image last week and it was a hit. Why?  Because it’s true.
Diets? They’re for the birds.  When we say the word d.i.e.t. we are simply referring to the food that is put in your body.  Not the shrinking waistline kind…  Ok so there’s that.
So a calorie is not a calorie?
Nope.  I mean, yes… but really no.  Let’s take a really basic example.  A bag of a popular snack chips up next to a serving of almonds.

Snack chips       vs.          Almonds
150 calories in our snack chips and 170 in our almonds.  What’s the difference you ask me… everything. You have option 1 with over 40 ingredients {MSG being a big no in our world} most of which aren’t recognizable nor would you eat them if given to you alone.  Option 2 contains almonds, plain and simple.  There is no digging, wondering or worrying {unless of course you are allergic.}  Those two snacks are going to process in the body completely different because of their make up.  Option 1 has zero nutritional value {that label says it all} and option 2 is packed with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals and have huge health promoting properties.  So… a calorie. is. not. a. calorie.  
If a calorie is not a calorie, then basic math is tough when looking at weight loss.  We at Prescribe Nutrition believe weight loss to be a side affect of internal balance – harmony so to speak.  What the h*ll does that mean, Katie?  It means that in order for the body to lose the weight, the right factors must be in play.  A good dietary clean up is always in order.  Take the gunk out. Period.  Of course you can lose weight counting points and still have your cookies, diet coke and low fat yogurt but are those aren’t feeding your body what it needs AND will likely lead to yo-yo dieting.  Plus – doesn’t that numbers game get old anyway? HECK yes.

Where do I start?
Like I said above we start by encouraging our clients to take out as much processed, packaged and preserved foods as possible   Then, if we can get them excited, taking a break from gluten, dairy and sugar {our top allergens and inflammatory foods} as a great way to stage a new baseline.  Follow our favorite food guideline:

Good food goes bad

You need the active properties of real food in order to get the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in their most “whole” and accessible state.  If it’s real, it’s fair game.  You’ll certainly want to balance out your macro/micro nutrients.  Fill up on the good stuff and we promise you the body will support you.  
Alright, alright… so I’m doing all this and haven’t lost a pound?
First question I’m going to ask you – how do you feel?  You might want to punch me but that’s really what I care about: how you feel.  Do you have more energy, are you sleeping better, constipation relieved, how about your moods, concentration, and so on.  That’s #1.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to dismiss the weight loss question.  I just want you to step back and acknowledge how awesome you now feel.  Here comes the second part of the weight loss picture – YOUR BODY.  The internal workings, under the hood.  Take a peek at a recent blog I wrote for our great friend, Kayla, at Fit For Moms about the symphony that is your hormones.  Symphonies have to have all instruments working harmoniously in order to sound right, right?  Well that same principle applies to your body.  All the right things can be going in but a number of factors play a role in how your body responds to them – hormone balance, optimal gut function, food sensitivities, stress level {again stress level} and more.  I don’t tell you this to overwhelm you, I tell you this to give you hope.  If you’re doing all the “right” things and the weight doesn’t budge, don’t give up – keep digging.  You need help, Megan and I got ya.
Functional health empowers us to want to know more – want to ask what and why.  We know that takes time and energy but we think it’s way worth it in the long run.
Eat well + have fun, that’s what life’s about…. we’ll help with the rest.