• Will

Counting Calories?

A key to weight control and better health is calorie management. But it is not just a simple in/out equation, nutrition has nuance. First, a calorie is not something you can see. It is only a unit of measure for thermal energy. Second, the portion and type of food impact the amount of calories you are processing. Third, most people misunderstand the size of the stomach.

Your stomach is approximately the size of your closed fist. It can expand to hold approximately 1 quart. It has neurons connected to your brain to tell you when you are hungry or full. What does this have to do with my second point? Well let's compare apples to apples.

Take a bag of freeze dried fuji apple crisps. These are marketed as All Natural Non-GMO healthy snacks. The bag contains a single serving which is a 1/2 a cup or weighing in at 10 ounces of food. You can buy a twelve pack which averages out a single serving cost about $1.29(US). The package lists 40 calories for the serving.

Now we look at a single medium sized fuji apple which averages 192 ounces of food. A bag of fuji apples are only slightly more expensive than a single serving of the freeze dried snack. A single medium sized fuji apple is about 120 calories.

Your eye probably caught the 120 calories didn't it? No worries, I can show you the whole apple is actually the better choice. The whole fuji apple is less than 1 calorie per ounce of food. Yet the All Natural Non-GMO freeze dried fuji apple snack is 4 calories per ounce.

Remember when I spoke about the neurons in your stomach? They sense when the stomach is full or empty, not how many calories there are. If you are feeling hungry will 10 ounces of food fill you up? Maybe, but the actual apple is more likely to do so.