If I eat unhealthy food but keep track of the calories, will I lose weight? No. It is true that whether you consume 2000 calories of junk food or 2000 calories of healthy food, you will be taking in the same amount of calories. But with junk food you will not lose weight. Every day our body burns calories simply by existing.
How many calories does your body burn each day? That largely depends on what foods you eat. Your body burns calories when processing the food you eat. If you eat whole foods, which depend on your body to process them, your body will burn calories while doing so. If you eat unhealthy food, which is processed already, your body will not have to process it and will hardly burn any calories. (The machine that processed it for you did the work already.)
So when nutritionists talk about consuming less than 2000 calories a day they refer to REGULAR CALORIES. If you are eating BAD CALORIES then the rules do not apply. If you eat cake, cookies, and candy, even if you keep track of the calories you will gain weight. There is another problem with processed food. You will not be able to consistently keep the calories down on a diet of processed foods. Like we mentioned, the body does not have to work when metabolizing processed foods. Because your body doesn't have to work to extract the sugar, starch, or fat from that food, your body craves those foods more and more because it loves not having to work. Sugar, starch, and fat are chemically addictive. To sum up, if you want to lose weight, be satisfied from the foods you eat, and overcome food addiction, eat whole foods.