Some people like to claim it’s all about moderation, that a calorie in is a calorie out, so all they need to do is eat less calories and burn more so that they lose weight. Wrong, this is the biggest crock of s***! I like this quote “Don’t count calories, make your calories count by eating the right foods.” Humans have evolved over thousands of years due to a complex system of checks in balances. This has allowed us to survive during food shortages, extreme weather conditions, and other threats. One of these is the change in metabolic rate due to caloric intake. The body responds to caloric restriction by reducing metabolic rate (fewer calories and less fat burned). Lipoprotein lipase (fat-storing enzyme) increases when calories are restricted; while T3 (thyroid hormone) decreases. This slows metabolism, resulting in retention of muscle masse but also body fat (for survival slower metabolism allowed more mileage on stored energy (fat) and the longer you’d remain alive during famine). When a restrictive dieter resumes normal eating, lipoprotein lipase activity stays high and metabolic rate stays low, causing them to regain lost fat and maybe a little extra for the next ‘famine’. Also they lose vital muscle tissue; which further retards metabolism and adversely affects shape, tone, and functional ability of the body. Muscle loss resulting from restrictive dieting is 20-40% total weight loss! This means, that although they may weigh less, their body fat is the same (a pear shaped woman will be the same just a smaller pear shaped women). When they stop dieting and fat returns, but muscle does not, body composition worsens. In this scenario people go from being fat and flabby, to less fat but more flabby, to ultimately become fatter and flabbier than ever! So consuming excess is awful right? Consuming extra calories causes the body to increase metabolic rate. Thyroid activity, thermogenesis, and leptin levels increase during overfeeding. When weight is gained as a result of overfeeding, there is a strong tendency to gravitate back to the pre-over feeding weight following resumption of normal eating (I’ve found this to hold true for both myself and my fat-burner clients). Further more points against the calorie theory: calories counts on food labels were determined without reference to human biochemistry. What matters is not how many calories you consume, but how many you absorb. Fiber binds to fat and speeds the transit of the digested food through intestines and reduces the bioavailability of the ingested food (butter is less fattening when eaten with broccoli than with white bread, because less is aborbed). This final analysis, whether a gram of fat has 9 calories or 900 doesn’t matter if it is not absorbed. More? Fats and proteins used for building purposes are not available for use as energy or for energy storage in the form of bodyfat. The calorie theory does not take this into consideration and instead it incorrectly assumes all calories are equally available for use as energy. What’ve we’ve learned today: counting calories is a waist of time!