How many Calories Can You Absorb in 1 Single Meal?
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how many calories you absorb in a meal is a really difficult thing to measure a lot of people will think oh I can consume this much calories my body will utilize it the rest will go to storage well everything is different but in order to start this video off I can show you with a really simple analogy in kind of a visual here so I want you to imagine that this water jug the water in here is calories food calories energy whatever this funnel is my digestive system okay this is how quickly things can get absorbed essentially and this pot here is like my metabolism and it’s just how quickly things get into my body in are utilized so if I’m consuming food at just a normal rate it goes to the funnel and everything just gets absorbed the digestive system gets into the stomach but once I start to actually go too fast you can see then I’m backed up and things aren’t working and you can imagine if I were to have continued to pour food in there eventually it would have overflowed and it would have caused an issue okay it would have made it so that I had inflammation and triggered all kinds of things I wish it was that easy in the human body it’s kind of that easy in a lab but anyhow hey before we dive into this fully make sure you hit that red subscribe button hit that little Bell icon and then after you watch this video do check out thrive market the membership-based online grocery store you don’t want to miss the kind of stuff they’ve got I use them all the time for my groceries for my keto options for my fasting options and I have some really cool ideas for you in terms of unique foods so check them out after you watch this video now let’s get into the science when we’re in a lab or when we’re measuring the amount of calories in food it’s actually pretty simple too because we use something known as a bomb calorimeter now that’s a really simple thing what that is is a little machine that you put food into and you explode the food and when you explode the food then it creates an increase in temperature that elevates water a certain degree that’s how they measure so when you take a look at a label and you see how many calories are gonna give in food that’s how it’s measured they say okay macadamia nuts we put the macadamia nuts in a bomb calorimeter we explode them and how much does it raise the temperature of the water that’s exactly how they figured out I wish it was that simple in the body see in the body we have other variables we have to look at for example our microbiome okay there is an example that is really really wild and its really extreme but it gives you a matter of perspective there is a syndrome known as auto-brewery syndrome okay it’s where people have their gut bacteria so out of whack and for whatever mutation or reason when they consume starches their body converts those starches into alcohol and it can get them drunk so they eat bread and they can get drunk my point in saying that is things are very different from person to person see over 99% of our DNA from person to person is the same to be completely honest but only 15% or so of our microbiome is the same from person to person so it’s a wide variance in terms of how our body can utilize carbohydrates fats protein things like that another example is going to be cows right how on earth can a cow grow to be 2,000 plus pounds off of eating grass which is predominantly something called cellulose that a human body can’t even metabolize if we were to eat grass and just cellulose we would starve so the argument of saying like oh well they’re herbivores and you know the biggest animals on earth eat grass so you need to go vegetarian you need to go pee that’s although I’m not anti plant-based that’s just not a fair argument because the gut is completely different in a cow they have bugs that actually break down the cellulose and make it usable as energy my whole point here is that what one person consumes in one meal and what another person consumes in a meal are completely different when it comes down to what they’re actually going to utilize another factor that we have to look at is going to be insulin resistance right if someone is diabetic or insulin resistant their body isn’t going to absorb the sugar as much so their blood sugar is going to stay high and they’re going to excrete sugar out of their urine so they’re not extracting the same macronutrients that someone else is my point in saying this is the whole calories in calories out thing is completely debunked because it’s not comparing apples to apples when you look at individuals the bio individuality and our gut biome is so wildly different now the other thing that’s a look at is fat’s right if someone has poor gallbladder function or they don’t have a gallbladder they’re not going to break down fats if you go poop in the toilet and it floats you’re not breaking down fats and that means that you’re not getting those fats and you system which means you’re not technically absorbing those calories so if Bob eats 20 calories from fat and you eat 20 calories from fat and your poop floats well Bob is using those calories and probably gaining some fat you’re pooping them out I know it’s crass and I know it’s interesting but the fact is that’s a very cold hard example right so we have to pay attention to those kind of things now the other thing we have to look at is timing everybody has a different circadian rhythm everybody has a different just diurnal rhythm with how foods are going to be absorbed and things like and there’s stuff called proto biology people actually look at the timing of our biology the timing of eating a perfect example would be if you were to eat carbs just mid-afternoon randomly no workout anything like that well those carbohydrates are probably going to get absorbed they’re probably going to get some utilized by the cells and then some is going to go through de novo lipid Genesis and get stored as fat but if you were to work out and then consume carbs those carbs are going to go to a different place right those carbs are going to restore muscle glycogen whereas normally they’re gonna go to the liver if they go to the liver then they can do a whole bunch of other things and trigger your blood sugar to spike later on but if they go to the muscle and they just stay in the muscle fun fact if your carbohydrates are stored in the muscle they cannot leave the muscle to elevate your blood glucose that’s not the purpose of muscle glycogen only liver glycogen can do that my point in saying that is again timing when you eat something based on activity based on circadian rhythm based on stress is going to largely determine what kind of calories you absorb or how many calories you absorb so I hate to say this to you but there is no real answer it’s going to vary widely I would say on average most people tend to absorb between 700 to 800 calories in one sitting before things start to change but that’s a really wide sort of ambiguous number but it gives you at least somewhat of a starting point so the important thing is to remember your funnel ok your metabolism is here your digestion is here if you want the trickle you don’t want the overflow you don’t want your poop to flow so as always keep it locked in here on my channel and I’ll see you in the next video
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Special Thanks to my team and Nicholas Norwitz – Oxford PhD Researcher and Harvard Med Student – for working diligently on research as well!
How many Calories Can You Absorb in 1 Single Meal? – Thomas DeLauer
Calories are the energy we derive from food. You may think they are an objective and easily measurable quality of the food, but you’d be wrong. But I have this simple at-home science experiment to help explain this in an analogical way that’s easily understood. Hopefully this quick video will help you get a better grasp on calories and how you absorb them in a meal. Enjoy the video and I’ll see you in the comments!!
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