As shown by the fact that obesity is increasing while the overall intake of calories is generally reducing slightly, and the percentage from fat is decreasing. We are, however, eating proportionately more calories from sugar, consuming more stimulants such as coffee, experiencing more stress, both of which effects blood sugar control, and exercising less.
What is just as important as the quantity (calories) is the quality of the food (as even foods with the same calorific value have a completely different effect on weight. For example, essential fats (from fish or seeds), while having the same number of calories as saturated fats (from meat or dairy produce), can be put to good use in the brain, immune system, cardiovascular system and skin, leaving less to add to your unwanted fat stores. There is also some evidence that omega 3 fats help utilize body fat as fuel, hence helping to burn fat. Saturated fats, on the other hand, can only be used to make energy, so an excess will affect weight.
Then there’s the blood sugar phenomenon, which I think is the crux to most people’s weight problems. Many overweight people have wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels due to excess sugar, stimulants, and stress. When their blood sugar levels are too high and there’s more and there’s more than the body can use for energy, the excess is turned to fat. So weight loss involves far more than just calorie counting.
Article taken from 500 Health & Nutrition Questions Answered – by Patrick Holford.