Counting calories has long been the gold standard for weight loss programs, but the process fails to recognize that all calories aren’t necessarily created equal.
There are few industries more controversial that those regarding weight loss, in part because the market for products and programs is so huge.
Obesity is one of the scourges of the modern medical world, and millions of frustrated people in the developed world with their modern diet and exercise habits are looking to find a way to get back into shape.
The simple, traditional answer is that weight loss is strictly a function of a reduction in caloric intake. If someone eats fewer calories than they burn each day, weight loss will follow.
That’s not exactly a wrong answer. But for many, it’s not quite that simple either. For example, not every calorie may be alike. One main illustration of that is the glycemic index.
Many argue that food with a lower glycemic index is better for those looking to lose weight because it helps keep blood sugar balanced.
By contrast, foods with a higher glycemic index allegedly disrupt the body’s natural balance by creating spikes in blood sugar levels that eventually leads to insulin resistance.
Since insulin resistance leads to such things as obesity, type two diabetes and heart disease, it’s something most folks are looking to avoid.
A high glycemic diet results in food digesting more quickly, leading to the spike in blood sugar levels. It also leads to frequent hunger pangs, which leads to snacking, which in turn leads to more calories.
That’s certainly not a great cycle to be in. On the other hand, lower glycemic foods are processed more slowly, leading to a more stable blood sugar level.
This is one of those topics where it’s possible to find studies saying that the above theory is absolutely correct, and other studies saying it’s hogwash. However, many research efforts do indicate that a glycemic index diet can help lose weight and reduce body mass index, in part because it’s relatively easy to follow.
Such diets require the practitioner to watch carefully the foods being eaten, rather than measuring portion sizes or counting calories.
Practically speaking, the caveman diet falls into this category. The foods consumed by ancient man were those that predated modern agriculture, which avoids most of the high-glycemic foods that plague modern diets.
It seems natural that the human body is still conditioned to eat what our ancestors did, reflecting the era in which humanity evolved.
Survival of the fittest meant being able to make maximum use of available food sources, which did not include milkshakes or large pizzas with sausage and pepperoni.
So while a lower caloric intake can certainly be beneficial to health, losing weight isn’t just a matter of doing some simple math. Dietary and lifestyle changes will help, too, and a quick look back at cavemen times provides a way forward as well.
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