Dr Paul Mason

Why you should count carbs, NOT calories

2 mins read

Calorie counting has been the foundation of weight loss programs for decades, but the latest research tells us that HOW MUCH you eat has less effect on your health than WHAT you eat.

Our obsession with counting calories is making us sick. Sixty-seven per cent of Australians are overweight or obese, and 1.4 million Australians live with type 2 diabetes. With these alarming figures in mind, it’s small wonder many medical professional, including Defeat Diabetes, are calling for drastic change.


Not all calories are created equal

We’ve been led to believe that the only way to lose weight is to eat less or burn more energy, but if only it were that simple!

The nutrition and diet industry has been long obsessed with the energy balance equation: the theory that maintaining a healthy weight requires a balance between calories in and calories out, and losing weight requires calorie deficit.

The Energy Balance Equation

The problem with the calories in equals calories out theory is that it doesn’t work if the calories eaten are from the wrong foods.

Yes, calories do matter, but where they come from is just as important.

Without protein, fibre or fat, calories alone will not satisfy us or necessarily keep us in good health. Let’s take a look at an example below.

100 calories comparison of food

While both foods contain 100 calories, it’s clear that they are not nutritionally equal.

Try eating 100 calories of broccoli (300g) and see if you can fit another spoonful! Yeah, we thought not! And aside from the calories and the subsequent sugar hit, there’s not much ice cream will do for you nutritionally other than leave you craving more.

Ultra-processed high carb foods, like ice cream, are engineered to release dopamine and other feel-good chemicals in the brain to activate the pleasure centre. It’s known as “the bliss point”; it’s the food industry’s trick to keep you wanting (and buying) more.

So if you’re focused solely on calories and not eating whole foods, you could be missing many important nutrients essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Our obsession with calories can finally end

Relying solely on the calories in equals calories out method is dangerous. There’s far more at stake than being able to fit into your favourite pair of jeans (obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, to name a few).

With the latest research showing that people are more likely to achieve remission of type 2 diabetes if they lose around 10% – 15% of their body weight, weight loss (or maintaining a healthy weight) is still important. However, there’s a safer way.

Why you should count carbs, NOT calories

For weight loss to be sustainable and achievable (and to achieve type 2 remission), the quality of calories matters more than the quantity. By reducing carbs and eating plenty of satiating fats and proteins, you’ll reduce your hunger, stay fuller for longer, and you may even be able to send your type 2 diabetes into remission.

Our ability to lose and maintain weight is determined not just by the quantity of food we consume but also by the quality—protein, fat and fibre matter most.

A low carb program like Defeat Diabetes helps provide the tools you need to make eating good quality calories – those rich in protein, fat and fiber- a cinch. With 400+ recipes, weekly meal plans and lessons on everything from fats to carbohydrates, cholesterol and more, you’ll learn to independently manage your type 2 diabetes, reduce your medications and completely transform your health – all without counting a single calorie.

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