Nothing annoys me more than when I hear self-assuming “health experts” (who are out of shape) tell people that “to lose weight they have to have reduce their calories”
I’ve have trained a heck lot of people lose fat. Most of which had to eat more food and more calories to achieve fat loss.
And guess what?
None of them ever counted or worried about calories and they successfully lost weight.
If I’m helping someone with a contest diet, it’s almost always a case of getting them to eat more (especially females).
Whilst calories “count” to a certain degree, what counts more is where are those calories come from…
A calorie is not a calorie…
I see the human body as a chemistry set. When we put certain foods in our body there are different hormonal reactions. This is why someone can eat 3000 calories and lose weight whilst others can have 1500 calories and get fatter.
The best book I’ve ever read on the topic is Gary Taubes’ masterpiece Good Calories Bad Calories. I’ll be the first to admit that this book is a very difficult read; it documents all the science and research (and politics) that are behind the scenes of “calories in versus calories out” theory.
I would strongly suggest you take an hour out of your week to watch this amazing presentation by Gary Taubes:
Gary raises so many good points and backs everything up with a mountain of research.
One of my favourite quotes about calories comes straight out of The Handbook of Obesity, 1998:
Obesity is caused by overeating and or sedentary behaviour – i.e. positive calorie balance – but a negative caloric balance rarely seems to work. Dietary therapy remains the cornerstone of treatment and the reduction of energy intake continues to be the basis of successful weight reduction programs. The results of dietary therapy are known to be poor and not long lasting.
My question is, why even bother with it? Counting calories promotes an incorrect mindset towards “weight loss” and health. The mindset is “I can eat a little bit each day”. In fact, programs by Jenny Craig give you points for “being good”. “Being Good” implies you are only eating healthy so you can allow your self to eat poorly later. There is no such thing as being “good” – it’s called health!
The mindset I teach can be summarised as:
“I only eat foods that give my body real nourishment.”
“Food is never a reward or a punishment”
“I CHOOSE the foods I eat – and decide what not to eat – there is never any guilt as I am in control of the decisions I make”
So what do you think? Do you still believe a calorie is a calorie in the conventional way?