1) Thermogenic effect of food – How much energy the body expends to digest a certain food. The more fiber/roughage a certain food has, the more work the body has to perform to digest it. For instance, compare a 200-calorie serving of a baked potato (with skin) to 200 calories of potato chips. The digestive system would expend more energy in digesting the fiber and volume found in the baked potato than it would with the chips.
2) Resistant starch – A type of fiber that is digested in large intestine (unlike other food matter digested in small intestine), which means less energy is extracted from the food. Resistant starches also help beneficial probiotic bacteria to thrive. Sources of resistant starches include white beans, lentils, underripe bananas, chilled potatoes (pre-cooked), and uncooked whole grains such as raw oats.
A: Your question is valid and very commonly asked! So many different factors affect how each person metabolizes and converts calories from food into usable energy to carry out personal life demands. Examples include:
If you are using your body composition as feedback in determining that you tend to underestimate or overestimate your calorie intake, I would highly encourage you to stop counting calories. The problem with using calorie estimate equations, a specific diet or meal plan is that these approaches are external-based. Because energy needs fluctuate from day-to-day, maintaining your unique, biological healthy weight that promotes optimal performance will be difficult to achieve as long as the process is dependent upon outside, external sources. Rather, the positive outcomes you desire would be best achieved by becoming more in tune with your body’s internal cues that give you feedback in regard to how much and when to eat.
4) Food quality – Unprocessed foods are metabolized differently than processed, easy-to-digest foods.
5) Food preparation – Cooked food is easier to digest and absorb than raw food.
With all of these considerations, it is impossible to determine the exact number of calories your body needs each day because all of these factors influence the unique way your body extracts energy from food. Also, your energy demands vary each day (contrast a light recovery day to a 20-mile long run day).
- Have more trust in their body to guide them in determining when, how much and what to eat
- Eat more diverse types of foods
- Have a better sense well-being
- Are more connected with their bodies’ needs
- Have a lower BMI without food manipulation or restriction
If you have fallen into the trap of listening to someone else dictate what you should eat, please feel welcomed to contact me to help you with the process of becoming your own, inner nutritionist – an Intuitive Eater!