Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Counting Calories Is Fundamental

For the last few decades, the most popular diets were complex formulas that promised abundant eating with just the right combinations of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Now those regimens are starting to look like exotic mortgages and other risky financing instruments. And just like a reliable savings account, good old calorie counting is coming back into fashion.
Yep, this seems pretty reasonable. There are some secondary considerations to what kind of calories you consume--more calories are used turning protein into stored fat than turning fat into stored fat--but the primary factor is just the number of calories.

I take the same view of calories in relation to exercise. I have always believed, for those interested in weight-control and general conditioning, that total number of calories was probably the most important factor. (Training for finely-tuned competitive althletes, seeking to maximize performance, may have more subtleties.) Likewise, in terms of fitness and especially weight-loss benefits, I think that total calories burned is more important than which zone you are in, or what your heart-rate is. (Although some of the literature on interval-training does make it sound "magical".)

No comments:

Post a Comment