Yesterday, I had dinner with Ben Greenfield. Ben has been an inspiration and an incredible source of learning for a very long time.
As I watched him eat, an interesting realisation dawned on me that helped explain perhaps one of the most enduring mysteries of health and wellness.
Why can some of us eat anything and never put on weight while others smell food and add pounds?
We both agreed that calories are king. Which means that if you eat more than you need, you will eventually gain weight, no matter who you are.
We have seen athletes and super stars do so, perhaps once their careers were over.
But within this macro concept, there are many nuances. One key nuance is how you actually burn energy. It is different for all of us. Allow me to explain.
Your body has three (actually four) sources of energy. Carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Ketones are the fourth, but you need to be in ketosis for that.
Each person has variations in how they consume these different sources of energy. Take a muscular, athletic person who started young and had great genetic inheritance with fit, athletic parents.
She walks, runs, and swims regularly, and she sleeps well. Such a person could be what we call fat-adapted.
She can quickly start to burn stored fat as energy because, over the years, she has built the capacity to do so. She can eat anything.
Take another example. She is not very athletic and does not really exercise. However, she appears to be able to eat anything for the most part.
Despite little movement, she does not put on weight.
Is she genetically gifted?
Even science would find it hard to tell what the dominant factor was—genes or lifestyle.
So what should you do?
Remember that the human body is incredibly complex. So the best option for you is to look at a broad concept and then rigorously apply it to yourself. Only if it works for you is it right.
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