Why All Calories Aren’t Equal

I’m just going to go ahead and say it: anyone who claims all calories are equal and advocates it being acceptable to eat whatever you want so long as you lose weight has no semblance of understanding as to the far-reaching impact nutrition has on whole body health and wellbeing.

It’s not about being restrictive. It’s about being SMART and MAKING THE MOST of your daily caloric intake.

It pisses me off when people with no formal training in nutrition try to convince the general public that it doesn’t matter what you eat so long as it “fits your macros”…. or that energy balance (calories in vs calories out) is the sole determinant of whether or not a person reaches their weight loss goals.

Sure, you might lose weight having a taco a day, or two donuts a day, versus oatmeal or sweet potato, but NOT ALL WEIGHT LOSS IS CREATED EQUAL and food does MORE than impact the number staring back up at you when you step on the scale.

Related: Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Women


Food choice impacts your hormones. Hormonal balance is essential to how you look, feel, perform and function in day to day life. Food has the power to either optimize your hormonal environment or completely throw it off center.

Food choice impacts your gut bacteria and digestive health. 70% of your body’s immune system is in your gut. Good luck hitting your fitness goals if it’s not optimized. Healthy foods feed good bacteria while sugar and processed foods allow bad bacteria to thrive.

Food choice impacts your mood. Simple sugars found in junk foods, have been directly linked to anxiety and depression- because insufficient nutrient intake resulting from a diet high in low-quality foods triggers chemical and physiological changes in the brain that alter mood and behavior.

Food choice impacts your energy. We eat “food” but the body is seeking NUTRIENTS. Nutrition means nourishment- the process by which the body obtains nutrients. A low nutrient dense diet contributes to exhaustion, lethargy, joint aches, an inability to focus and a lack of energy.

Why All Calories Aren't Equel

Food choice impacts your ratio of lean body mass vs fat mass. Not all weight loss is created equal!! This is not just me talking from personal experience as a coach an athlete- this is also science. The effects of diet macronutrient composition on body composition and fat distribution have been studied. Those eating a diet rich in nutrient-dense high-quality whole foods lost a greater percentage of fat and sustained more muscle. Diet quality has been proven to impact the amount of fat mass relative to fat-free mass that is deposited or lost.

And There’s More

Food choice impacts sleep quality. This relationship is cyclical. Alcohol, high fat, high sugar and highly processed foods have been correlated with low sleep quality. And in turn, studies now show that people who are sleep deprived eat more fatty foods, simple carbohydrates, and fewer vegetables. Sleep loss alters chemical signals connected to metabolism and hunger. Many researchers believe sleep deprivation plays a major role in obesity.

Food choice impacts satiety. What do you think will fill you up more and provide a greater dietary satisfaction- 100 calories from tortilla chips or 100 calories from a baked sweet potato? 100 calories from a hot dog or 100 calories from chicken breast? Highly processed foods that are low in nutrients have been linked to an increase in cravings and feels unsatisfied after eating.

Not to mention measures of dietary quality have been directly linked to obesity. In fact medical nutritional treatment for obesity advocates focusing on the quality of caloric intake FIRST versus caloric restriction for successful and sustainable weight loss.

Want to suffer less on your weight loss path? Select foods that balance rather than upset your hormones- that feed good gut bacteria versus bad- that shut down cravings versus stimulating them- that increase energy and focus, that improve your mood and that improve the quality of your sleep. THAT’S how you nail a fat loss diet. By optimizing your intake not just eating whatever fits your daily macros.

Am I saying eat nothing but chicken and broccoli or egg whites and oatmeal? NO.

Am I saying never enjoy yourself by flexing in some “less than optimal” foods? NO.

What I am saying is a nutrient dense diet incorporating a variety of whole, healthy food is best. Regardless of your goal.

Don’t believe the BS. People lose weight- but FAT, not muscle. As a result, they don’t just look better they feel better. They have healthier metabolisms. Fewer cravings. More energy. Better sleep. Better overall quality of life. We achieve this by emphasizing not just total calories consumed but the QUALITY of those calories.

I get it. It’s far more appealing to hear “come train with me because you can eat whatever you want as long as it fits your macros” than it might be to have a coach who is hammering home the importance of a healthy dietary intake. But I could care less about being IG trendy and popular if it means peddling nutritional falsities to an already confused public.

What you eat absolutely matters. And I will ALWAYS emphasize food quality.