Why Not All Calories Are Equal

There are calories… and then there are calories. The truth is that you don’t actually NEED to count calories if you are following one of the Lady Shake plans and eating portion-controlled meals – but not all calories are equal, so if you are going to count them, best to know what you are putting into your body.

What Are “Empty Calories” ?

We’ve all heard the term “empty calories” before.  This means the type of calories that don’t actually contain nutritional value.  They contain no protein, which our body needs, no fibre and no healthy fats — nothing that’s going to keep you satisfied.

Example:  A skinless chicken breast and a can of coke contain roughly the same number of calories, but one is full of nutritional protein while the other is…  sugar.

Invest your calories wisely avoid sugars and starchy carbs.


Know the Thermic Effect of Food

The thermic effect of food…. You may not remember this term from high school science class but in essence – some foods simply take more energy to metabolise than others. The body can process fats and carbohydrates efficiently, but doesn’t burn many of the calories while doing so.  Protein, on the other hand, takes longer because it has to be converted to carbohydrates before it can become fat (which is a good thing), burning more calories in the process.

Example: A cheese roll vs a steak? The cheese roll will be processed faster than and steak but the roll will turn to fat quicker, while the steak will take more calories to metabolise and longer to turn to fat.

On the positive side – some foods burn more calories processing through the body than they actually contain – strawberries, apples, celery, and watermelon are a good example of these foods.


Calories Come in Different Forms

Sadly there are calories in just abut everything.  The milk in your drinks, the sauces we put on our food, even in the vitamins and medicines we take. If you are going to count calories, best to keep in mind that everything we eat AND drink all adds up.

Keeping a food journal is a good way to learn about where your calories are coming from.  We don’t put much emphasis on this, but if you are still not loosing the last few kilos and you are following the Lady Shake plan, it may be worth keeping a record of your day to see where the extra calories are coming from. 


The Labels Aren’t Always True

Unfortunately government regulation only goes so far in checking and controlling brand labeling. The bigger brands are likely to be more accurate. Stay away from outlandish calories claims on labels as this could generally be marketing-spin. At the Lady Shake, we take this responsibility VERY seriously and know that we can truly stand by our brand claims.  Unfortunately, not all businesses operate this way.

If something seems too good to be true, trust your instincts, it possibly is!


Fructose vs Glucose

This is a tricky one that many people get caught up on.  The two main simple sugars in your diet are glucose and fructose.  Essentially the two provide the same number of calories, but are processed in the body completely differently. Glucose can be metabolised by all of your body, but fructose can only be metabolised, in any significant amount, the liver.

Note that fructose only has negative effects when eaten in excessive amounts (think lollies, etc). Don’t be discouraged to eat fruit, while it contains fructose, it is also rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, water and it provides significant chewing resistance, which mitigates the negative effects of the fructose.


Ultimately, Calories Are Not The Enemy