Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Worth Reading...cause Calories Do Count!

In Defence of the Calories

He takes on several of the "arguments" against counting calories for weight loss.

Anti-Calorie argument #3: Fat people eat no more than skinny people
For years this was simply assumed based on observation, anecdote and poor science. We’ve all seen and heard the lamentations of those who “barely eat” and can’t lose an ounce while their skinny friend eats baconators for breakfast and never gains. Studies appeared to substantiate our observations when subjects were asked to record their food intake…that is until they actually decided to see for themselves and monitor them more closely. And guess what? Overweight people are prone to underreporting food intake – to the tune of up to 47% in some studies!
So for someone claiming to eat 2000 calories was actually consuming almost 3000 calories. At the risk of sounding obvious – that’s a pretty big difference.
Again this plays into the “it’s not your fault” warmth and fuzziness that Gary Taubes and others are so fond of. To quote my friend and colleague Leigh Peele – you WANT it to be your “fault”. It doesn’t mean dwell on it, beat yourself up over it… it means you are in control and can do something about it.


Suzan said...


I don't think Taubes writings are at all warm and fuzzy about calories. Some disagree with him, and they have the stats to prove it, while he has the stats to disprove them. On and on it goes.

I've been tracking my calories so I know how many I eat, and I usually overestimate, not underestimate how much I eat. I've been at this for a while and I know what I'm doing.

Calories definitely do count, but they are only a part of the equation. Calorie restriction definitely works on most people to lose weight. It's the after effect of being on a low-calorie diet that causes hormonal/metabolic trouble in many.

I'm on Whole30 and eating approximately 1700 calories a day - and losing weight for the first time in quite a while.

When I ate 1400 calories a day, I didn't lose weight. Why? (It was what I was eating, not how much.)

The thing is, we are all individuals and so many factors make up how/why we gained weight that there is no method that will work for every single person on the planet FOR WEIGHT LOSS. But there are methods of eating that WILL result in metabolic/hormonal repair, and long-term vibrant health. For me, that's more important.

Just sayin. :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow. Such a little post to strike such a big chord! :}

Calories do count, of course. And so does what kind of food you eat...and don't.

Cutting out gluten seems to help so many, one wonders why the medicos don't suggest it more often. Instead they keep pushing "healthy" whole grains.

At any rate, yes, calories do count.


Norma said...

Taubes et al do not say that calories don't matter; rather that the QUALITY of calories is what counts, and, by their very nature, a diet composed of whole clean unprocessed foods is likely to contain less calories and far more nutrients than the easily- and mindlessly consumed palatable processed food-like products we are used to. Think of how easily and mindlessly one can consume 2,500 calories in 30 minutes - you go out to dinner with a friend, splitting an order of nachos or barbeque wings with ranch dip and three slices of pizza that go down in five bites each, washed down with soda or beer...compared to how much lean beef, baked sweet potatoes and a salad of raw vegetables dressed in olive oil and vinegar you would have to eat to achieve the same amount of calories. All calories are not created equal and simply by choosing high quality, nutritive calories from whole foods we naturally eat less calories per day.