So a calorie is a calorie is phrase for people who want weight loss to be simple so that there’s no excuses. If you put in more calories than you put out, you’ll gain weight.

It’s the sort of platitude for people who like to think they’re thinking but it doesn’t give you any information. It’s for the sort of person who thinks not having a problem is the same as having solved a problem. Culture likes to treat every problem as a lack of will power because it makes people without problems feel good about themselves. I’m not fat, I must have strong will power, you are fat, you must not have strong will power. Hurray, you moved yourself up the social hierarchy in your mind without doing a goddamn thing except shitting on someone who already feels bad. Way to be a fucking champ.

It’s like dealing with alcoholism by saying stop drinking – you’re treating the result as the process and patting yourself the back for it. You fucking….

Deep breath… back on track….

Just to throw the idea out immediately imagine drinking 2000 calories of coke and only coke. Shouldn’t have any different impact than 2000 calories of broccoli if a calorie is just a calorie.

It ignores the intricacies of the bizarrely cobbled together human body. Something as simple as cinnamon can help you burn more fat. The body reacts in million little ways to the things we eat and the things we do. I know I’ve used bank account metaphors before but the body is really more like a whole stock market.

And it’s not what you eat it’s what you absorb that effects the body. If insulin resistance is blocking your body from absorbing nutrients your calories don’t matter, your body will end up cannibalizing your muscles as if you were starving.

And the idea of the 2000 daily calories being the average maintenance calories is idiotic. What decides a caloric surplus? If you’re over your maintenance. What decides your maintenance? Your weight. And what supposedly decides your weight? If you’re in a surplus or not.

On the topic of calories-out I think there’s a huge blind spot people run into; exercise isn’t about burning calories like firewood to lose weight, it’s about opening up the muscle and getting the nutrients in there to build and repair. That’s why body builders eat shit tons of food – more calories than they could ever burn off in a day – and their body fat percentage is still super low, the food is going to use rather than being stored as fat.

My thinking on the issue is; for one weight is meaningless. Someone’s weight tells you nothing. Jeff weighed 180 at his heaviest. See, you have no idea what to picture. Even height and weight isn’t that helpful, Jeff’s 5’5.

Are you picturing a pro body builder?

There’s a Michelle Khare video where she’s on a super restrictive diet and working out hard and at the first weigh-in she’s down from starting weight but at the second weigh-in she’s up and she cries. Sort of angry-cries, because she’s been working her ass off (no pun). But of course her body fat percentage is still going down and she’s still looking better, the extra weight came from putting on muscle. And the revelation on her face when she finds all this out is astounding. She cries. Happy-sad-amazed-cries.

Having re-watched the video for the link I guess she doesn’t cry, she just frequently seems like she’s on the verge of crying.


But most of all calorie is a calorie enforces the idea that food is the enemy, that you should feel bad about how much you eat. Want to know how so many people wind up with eating disorders? Treating all food as equally evil, out to make you fat and worthless.

The cure for that is knowing that Eating Is Training. You have to get your body what it needs when it needs it.

It’s how you feel, not what you weigh, that matters, and oddly people convince themselves they won’t feel good eating healthy. But let’s do another experiment: Eat three eggs for breakfast. Just that. And notice how you feel immediately and throughout the morning, notice how it effects what you want for lunch.

Now do it with 6 Oreos.

Same amount of calories, in fact slightly more so you should be even more satisfied. If you’re hungry again sooner, if you’re irritable, if you’re lethargic, that must just be your lack of will power, right…?

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