Monday, September 19, 2011

Why Counting Calories is Useless

Why I don't count calories:

1) It is tedious as hell! It is like being a poor accountant.

2) Since I don't know exactly how many calories I am using up, why am I going to calculate exactly what I am taking in. This is the principle of "relative precision."

3) The food industry lies about everything else, so I don't believe the calorie information posted.

4) I don't know my basal metabolism, and even if I did it varies widely and as my body is changing.

5) If you look at any significant weight loss, there is no way that it is accounted for by "Calories Out - Calories In." Let's say someone lost 15 lbs in a month (very doable). That would mean they are creating a caloric deficity of about 1800 calories/day. I DON'T THINK SO, BROCHACHO.

6) The effect of food on hormones is the most important factor in diet, and you can't measure it in terms of calories.

7) Most methods of measuring calories or other ways to quantify food intake are inherently flawed. I won't go into it, except that it is not what you eat, it is what you absorb.

8) I don't want to carry a calculator with me.

9) There is not a way to accurately qualify the calorie burn (and afterburn) from exercise. Let's put it this way, I know someone who also does MaxVO2 snatches. We are about the same weight and age. He does 16kg for sets of 7. I do 20kg for sets of 8. Our heart rates are similar.

==> Based on heart rate, we are about the same.

==> Based on work, I should burn 43% more.

==> Where is the truth, as usual, somewhere in between.

10) I am not weighing everything I eat, sorry.

Scale 2

Doesn't fit in pocket

A better way would be to make relative changes in diet and exercise. Diet and exercise are all about staying ahead of change. Feel like you are putting on a couple pounds, take in a little less calories or burn a little more. Then see what happens. This way you are basing you plan on your body instead of inaccurate and arbitrary calculations.

1 comment:

Aleks's Courage Corner said...

A lot of good points here. Whenever clients or others ask me, I always tell people that I don't count calories because if you're eating right there's no need to. Animal protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds are not the things you have to watch your intake of, so as long as that's the base of your diet, why waste your time?