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Counting Calories versus Counting Hormones

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

For more information about Dr. Berg's 3-day intensive program in Alexandria, Virginia, call 703-354-7336.

One of the biggest mistakes people can make when attempting to lose weight is to count calories without considering where those calories are coming from.

A “CALORIE” is a unit of energy in food. People have been putting a huge importance on counting calories, thinking that if they eat food which is lower in calories, then somehow, this will lower their weight because more calories would be turned into fat.

Let me explain something, though. Are you sitting down? This might surprise you!

There are 200 calories in each of the following foods:
1 oz of butter
1 bagel
3 oz of chicken

Each individual food is treated by, and influences, hormones in a completely different way. However, the bagel, for example, causes the fat-making hormone, Fat Storing Hormone, to spike. Whereas the chicken will trigger a fat-burning hormone called “glucagon”, but only if the quantity of chicken is under a certain amount. Excess protein will trigger Fat Storing Hormone. Fat, on the other hand, does not trigger either Fat Storing Hormone or glucagon.

As a side note, there are two types of dietary fat that will help you to burn fat because they turn into energy quickly AND do not stress the gallbladder like other fats do—coconut butter and flax oil. I cook with coconut butter and I consume flax oil daily (1 teaspoon).

But let's go back to the subject at hand! Let’s say you decided to exercise for one hour. If you were lucky, you would burn around 350 calories. That would be equivalent to several teaspoons of salad dressing—not a big deal. Lots of work for very few calories burned. However, what you might not know is that the real benefit of fat-burning hormones comes 24 to 48 hours later — it’s delayed. But this only occurs if the carbohydrates in your diet are extremely low. Three ounces of juice, for example, can nullify these delayed fat-burning effects for 24 hours.

If you haven’t read my book yet and would want to learn more, I go into a lot more detail in “The 7 Principles of Fat Burning”, available at Amazon.com.

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