“You are not broken. The “eat less, then sleep less so you can exercise more” approach is broken. Go smarter, not harder, and you will transform your life more simply and affordably than you ever thought possible.”
– Jonathan Bailor, author of The Calorie Myth
I have spent a decent amount of time in this world of health and fitness. I began training and consciously thinking about my diet back when I was 21 years old. This was the moment I committed to creating the best possible physique and healthy lifestyle I could muster. Along with this commitment came a desire to learn as much as humanely possible about training and food. I have easily spent over 500 hours of my time reading and researching both. Not to mention the hands on practice of training in the gym (I am nearing an estimated 1,200 hours).
I say this purely to demonstrate my yearning for knowledge and commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and hope that my experience is enough for you to try out what I am going to explain here.
Calorie counting has become mainstream in the last decade or so, with the consensus being that eating less calories than the body burns per day = weight loss. The other side of the coin suggests that eating more calories than your body burns per day = weight gain. This is so commonly taught and preached that it’s inevitable that most people find complete truth in these equations. However, what I am suggesting, and what a lot of underground research factually demonstrates, is that the amount of calories you consume has nothing to do with your body weight, particularly body fat percentage. Sorry, but it’s the truth.
Although the math looks sound, there are some very major flaws with this way of thinking about weight control. Here are my simple and logical reasons.
1. Calorie math is wrong. If eating 500 calories less than your body burns per day = 1kg of weight loss each week, then in true mathematical fashion, you will eventually vanish into thin air. Or if an extra 500 to 1000 calories per day = 1kg of weight gain per week, then you will eventually get so big that you will explode. What about weekend benders when you consume 3 slabs of alcohol, eat 5 whole pizzas and 10 packs of doritos totaling 12,000 calories over 2-3 days? Shouldn’t you gain about 5 kg in that weekend alone? After some weekend bloating, haven’t you noticed how your body goes back to your normal weight after a few days back in your normal routine? Interesting.
2. Calories aren’t all created equal. Counting calories is simultaneously promoting that all calories are the same. Whether they come from pizza or fruit, the total number consumed will yield the same result. But it is pretty easy to figure out that 1,200 calories of vegetables is going to help weight management 10 times as much 1,200 calories of charcoal chicken chips. It’s simple logic.
3. Your body has a “set-point”. The human body is always a step ahead of your efforts to control it. Your body determines its own “set-point” weight depending on what quality of food you feed it, completely detached from an amount of calories you put in your mouth. This ties in with how healthy your functioning metabolism is. If you are constantly feeding your body poor quality packaged and processed foods, your set point will naturally be higher, and your metabolism will likely be very slow. Or as I like to call it, “damaged”. Your set point will change with what you consistently feed your body. Consistently eat high quality fruit and veg, and watch your set-point drop whilst enjoying more food with no consequence.
4. Your sink doesn’t gain weight with more water. If your sinks pipes are clean and free of clogging, you could poor 10,000 litres down it in a day and nothing would happen. Your sink would simply dispose of the water easily down the open and free flowing plumping. However if there is a blockage, whether you try to flush down 1 litre or 10,000, it will still build up in your sink and very slowly seep through the blockage. When you are consuming a lot of metabolism damaging foods, your digestive system becomes clogged. It doesn’t matter how many calories you reduce or take away, you are still clogged. Everything you eat will take ages to break down and be used effectively, promoting weight gain and chronic bloating. Putting massive strain on your bodies plumbing. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables (in combination with lots of water), is one of the best ways to unclog your system. For a more aggressive approach, you can fast. When your digestive system and metabolism are clear and healthy, it does not matter how much food you eat, your body will easily break it down and use it for energy.
5. Counting serves as an excuse to eat things we shouldn’t eat. Not only is counting your calories the wrong mindset, it also allows room for things we shouldn’t have in our diet. One can manipulate their daily intake to allow 500 calories each day for chocolate or desert or cappuccino’s etc, by reducing calories eaten in other areas. This may mean skipping meals or starving for big chunks of the day to allow for treats that should never be consumed in the first place.
So as you can see, your weight has nothing to do with calorie consumption, and everything to do with calorie quality. As the old adage goes, always go for quality over quantity. Include some exercise, eat when your hungry and you can’t go wrong.
If you would like to read some hard scientific fact surrounding this truth, I encourage you to pick up Jonathan Bailor’s book called “The Calorie Myth”. It is incredibly good.