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Updated: Apr 9, 2022


Let me explain how calories from whole plant foods behave differently from the processed foods most people consume. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. “Calories in must equal calories out”, otherwise weight gain will follow. This is only partly true. The saying “a calorie is a calorie“ assumes that a calorie coming from any food source, whether it’s French fries or a garden salad, will behave the same way once in our bodies. Let me make it crystal clear, 700 calories coming from French fries WILL NOT affect your weight, metabolism and hormones the same way as 700 calories coming from an unprocessed whole food source. I wouldn’t want someone looking to lose weight to choose processed foods instead of eating the same amount of calories from whole foods, thinking that their impact on weight gain or loss will be the same. People love hearing good news about their bad habits, so I’m sure they would love to hear that they can have the French fries, thinking its calories will have the same impact on weight than any other food with the same calories. That simply isn’t true. It assumes that 300 calories of French fries from McDonald’s will have the same impact on weight gain as 300 calories of beans or nuts and we know that this is not the case.

I’m very passionate about having this myth debunked since I’ve had patients tell me they avoid super healthy foods, like nuts, seeds or legumes because they’re high, or dense, in calories. People assume that if they count calories, and are in a calorie deficit, they’ll automatically lose weight, which is only partially true. Although I do agree that if you eat a calorically deficient diet, you will lose weight, you have to remember that calories behave much differently in your body, depending on what food they come from. Let me explain…