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If Sakaralites Don't Count Calories, Then What DO We Count?!

Food is not solely made up of calories.

One of our most commonly asked questions is how many calories are in your meals? At Sakara Life, we don’t count calories. Ever. We believe that focusing on calories is totally misleading. Not all calories are equal! And here's why...

The human body is a highly complex system with detailed processes that regulate energy balance. One hundred calories of fat, protein and carbohydrates are the same in a thermodynamic sense, and according to Newton’s first law of thermodynamics, these kind of calories release the same amount of energy even when they're in a controlled state - in a lab, on a burner, in a test tube. Sounds like a good thing right? Well, not so much, because in a human - a delicate, multifaceted human being - this is not the case. Different foods pass through different biochemical pathways, which can cause calories to be lost. The food that you eat interacts with your biology, transforming every bite that you take as you take it.

You still with me? 

Various foods influence satiety, metabolic rate, brain activity, blood sugar and the hormones that store fat in very different ways. Fruits, vegetables and whole foods cause different effects than cake and cookies. Why? Because they're ALIVE, ripe off the vine, straight out the ground... while your processed piece of cake is certainly not.

Additionally, calories from various foods are not absorbed in the same way. With high-fiber foods - such as vegetables - the body absorbs about three-quarters of the calories they contain. The remaining calories are excreted from the body with the help of fiber.

So now do you understand why we've always been told to eat more fiber? Makes complete sense. According to Dr. David S. Ludwig, "The quality of the calories going in is going to affect the number of calories going out."

Calories from one food can be totally addictive, while calories from other foods can heal your body’s impurities. This stays true for weight as well. Some calories will rev up your metabolism, while others will wreck your flat tummy goals. This is because food is not solely made up of calories. Food contains other macronutrients, vitamins and minerals in different combinations, which provide your body with information that either fights or fuels disease. The nutrients of various foods are information and nourishment, not numbers and weight.

Sakara says: go for that entire avocado! Enjoy every decadent, digestion soothing, head + heart + skin nourishing, potassium-filled, cholesterol-lowering bite. Ditch the fake fiber and processed cereals.

When Sakaralites eat, we like to think, how is this food bettering me? With fiber cereals, although they may momentarily feel like they're doing more good than not so good, they aren't truly fueling + healing you with anything the delicate body can use for that aforementioned essential energy balance.

Pass the guacamole, please... and thanks!

    1 Discussions on
    “If Sakaralites Don't Count Calories, Then What DO We Count?!”
  • Mackenzie LaSure says:


    When our focus is shifted away from calorie counting and turned to grabbing the truest foods straight from the garden (or even pasture, gasp), our intake is not needed to be as heavily “monitored.”

    I think that for some people, “calories” are an easy out—they leave us with some sort of baseline for our dietary intake in the simplest of forms (or so we think). When there is a specific number we can track and monitor daily, we can maintain (or lose or gain) our weights.

    But, as you say here, this isn’t the truest of forms we should be seeing. We should be realizing that our foods truly do contain more body-loving components than just that stupid little (or big) calorie. We should be listening to our bodies—no I’m not justifying having the slice of store-bought refined sugar cake—but rather if we’re hungry, grab a WHOLE FRUIT OR VEGGIE fibrous snack. Eat that WHOLE DAMN AVOCADO if you’re feelin’ it. Do it, and do it guiltlessly.

    There’s too many “guiltless” products based on calorie. “Low-calorie” this and that, telling you how you can feel about your decision based on calories.

    Instead, look for whole ingredients (and fewest ingredient if packaged products!) Know what’s in your food, but don’t label it “good” or “bad” based on its caloric density.

    FUEL and HEAL your body through macro and micronutrients that do so, don’t deplete it of energy with low-calorie foods full of fake fiber and lacking in dense ingredients. Give it the information it needs to sustain and maintain and perform at its fullest.

    Listen to your body, provide your body, LOVE your body.

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