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Myth or Not? Eat Fewer Calories If You Want to Lose Weight

the eat fewer calories to lose weight - myth or not?

This study shows that conventional wisdom — to eat everything in moderation, eat fewer calories and avoid fatty foods — isn’t the best approach,” Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health and lead author of the study, said in an interview. “What you eat makes quite a difference. Just counting calories won’t matter much unless you look at the kinds of calories you’re eating.”

Dr. Mozaffarian, Harvard Cardiologist

Just Keeping Eating Fewer Calories to Lose Weight – Myth or Not?

I still remember for years and years telling my dad that weight loss was simply a mathematical equation. Burn more than you eat, just eat much less food, and you’ll lose weight for good.

My dad was getting frustrated with me — I mean, for the past few weeks he’d eaten nothing but a bagel around noon, and then a couple handfuls of cashews, some fruits and a light dinner.  How in the hell was it possible that a 220 lb man was still over eating?

Many of you probably have gone through a similarly frustrating process. You’re told to eat less, so you eat less.  You start feeling hungry all day. You get irritable and grouchy. Your sleep is crappy. You have low energy the entire day. Forget trying to exercise on a calorie-restricted diet when you’re hungry — it’s just not happening.

Free bonus download: I included a bonus case study home food experiment I did where I prove that it’s more about what you eat, not just how much. This is the basis of 100’s of pounds lost in my students. Click here to download it.

Sound about right?

And all this time I was wondering why, if humans biologically are similar to animals, we are having such a hard time keeping our weight stable.

A lion just eats as much as it wants, when it wants right? So why wasn’t it obese? If humans “eating naturally” until we were full was causing us to gain weight and increasing our risk of virtually every disease and every cancer, obviously something was wrong.

The Very Low Calorie Myth – It’s Just 500 Calories Less Per Day, Right?

This whole “eat less to weigh less”  and “fat is bad” thing came into fashion with a seemingly logical, mathematical fact: that 1 gram of protein and 1 gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories, while 1 gram of fat has 9 calories.  So eating 1 gram of fat would yield 9 calories and 1 gram of any other food would yield 4 calories. In a world where more calories = more weight, fat = scary!


So the natural next step becomes, “let’s just eat 500 or 1,000 less calories a day!”

Here’s the thing: what you eat is incredibly important in addition to how much you eat.

Here’s a simple example: have any of you eaten oatmeal for breakfast? No matter how stuffed you are, you’re starving an hour later and you need to eat, right?

Back in college I ate oatmeal every day for 4 years.  I always hated getting hungry an hour after being stuffed, so before my exam days (to make sure I could focus better) I would eat 2 or 3 eggs on a piece of toast. That would hold me through all the way to noon or later when I could make lunch.

The truth is that both of these things are calorie-wise just about the same, close to 200 calories.  One left me hungry after an hour. One kept me full till lunch. Protein baby. Science is awesome.

How can you eat a huge piece of chicken and get stuffed, only to find out it was 3-400 calories, and on another day eat a box of Milanos while you’re crying about your ex-boyfriend, but still have room? That box of Milanos was 1200 calories. And you were ready to go to town on the next one! 

Dramatically Reducing the Calories You Eat (& Starving Yourself) Does Not Work Long-Term

does she really eat fewer calories to lose weight?

Would somebody give this girl a freakin’ cheeseburger?

Okay, we’ve all done it. Anyone trying to do weight has done it I’m sure. Are you guilty of starving yourself?

In part, I think starving yourself is so common because A) it’s a very very pervasive myth in society that in order to lose weight you need to eat less. It sounds logical, so people don’t verify it before passing it on. So we just stop eating.

B) We see these little anorexic victoria’s secret models and hear the rumors about them starving themselves — and seeing how the vast majority of us are slaves to the media– we go ahead and do the same.

But aside from the fact that starving yourself is not healthy, there’s one major reason why dramatically cutting calories is bad: it doesn’t work!

Aside from the obvious — when you’re hungry as hell you want to quit the diet and eat food — research has also supported this extremely obvious fact about calorie-restricted diets:  there is a direct, positive correlation between how much you restrict your diet and how poorly it works. 

The more you reduce your calories the lower the chance you’ll stick to it.

No kidding. When you’re on a diet that leaves you hungry you want to eat. Thank you science.

Now how about for those extremely rare individuals who manage to suck it up, be miserable, snap at their spouses, and make it through an 8 or 12 week calorie-restricted program?

The vast majority of these people end up triggering something known as the “rebound effect” where the body has adapted to a lower baseline caloric load and has been altered sufficiently that when you throw the “normal” level of calories at it, it often goes back to the pre-diet levels plus some.

Rebounding = you gain back the weight + even more.

What you need to know:

    • A) Dramatically calorie-restricted diets suck big time and are no fun — which means you probably won’t adhere to them (All diets suck without adherence, remember?), and;
    • B) If you actually do adhere to one, you’re likely to trigger a rebound effect where you’ll gain all of the weight back, plus some.

They don’t work.

So what does? How in the hell can I lose some weight if I’m not supposed to starve myself like an emaciated Victoria’s Secret model?

The Many Problems Associated With Losing Weight By Progressively Eating Less Calories

There are several problems associated with dramatically reducing how much you eat:

  • Loss of muscle mass – When your body isn’t given enough energy to survive, it will start drawing energy from your muscles because they are calorically expensive to maintain.  In the reverse, the high caloric demands of muscle make them very important in weight loss. One of the main reasons we get fatter as we age is due to the decrease in muscle mass and associated hormones.
  • Loss of testosterone – Muscle mass is important for keeping fat mass levels lower. Testerone levels decrease with caloric restriction, making it much harder to maintain muscle mass
  • Decreased leptin levels, and low energy – Leptin is one of those hormones that helps signal to your brain that you’re full/hungry. Low leptin levels register as “I’m hungry!” .. which isn’t surprising if you’re starving. Also, low energy sets in with low calorie intake, because the body is trying to limit exertion.  Good luck trying not to binge eat!

When You Eat the Right Kinds of Food, It Will (Often) Take Care of Eating the Right Amount

the low calorie "myth" and eating 500 calories less per day

Yummy, real food…

You get hungry (And feel full) because of hormones in your body, most notably 4:

  • Leptin – regulates appetite and metabolism, tells us when we’re “full”
  • Ghrelin – tells us we’re hungry (stress and lack of sleep can alter ghrelin and increase hunger, FYI)
  • Adiponectin – Another “I’m full” hormone
  • Peptide YY — Another “i’m full” hormone

Of the 4, in regard to peptide YY, protein and fat release a lot of Peptide YY and thus make you feel full much more than carbohydrates.

Not rocket science I know, since just about everyone can “feel” the difference after eating eggs versus eating oatmeal for breakfast. But it’s nice knowing the science confirms this 😉

In fact, I did a little experiment on the site called “Why We’re Fat”where I compared eating a “real food” meal, to other junk foods.

the low calorie "myth" and eating 500 calories less per day

Both of these “meals” are the same calorie-wise. But the real meal on the left will leave you full for several hours, while the junk food on the right barely lets your stomach register that it has eaten.

My premise? Rather than dramatically reducing your calories (skipping breakfast, lunch, etc), when you eat the right food, you’ll also be eating the proper amount of calories.  It won’t reduce them severely enough to cause adverse effects, but it will set your body in the right range for weight loss.

In fact, if you cook the food yourself and eat “real food” it’s very hard to actually overeat.

The Ultra Low Calorie Myth – What This Means For You

Do you ever think to yourself: 

There’s gotta be a better way. I don’t get it, am I really supposed to starve myself, be grouchy as hell, and force myself to go to the gym 5 days a week? If that’s what dieting takes, maybe I don’t want it. 

I’m a huge advocate of the 80/20 rule especially when it comes to your health.

What are the chances you’ll actually stick to a perfect diet 7 days a week? For most of us? Zero. No chance.

What about 4 or 5 days a week?  Pretty good.

What about a 80% clean diet, 7 days a week? Also pretty good. There’s room for error.

What we’re looking for is the minimum effective dose — the things you can do that will give you the largest returns, with the least stress, headache, and time lost.

So here’s what I give you for today, the new 5 commandments of your health.  Say goodbye to starving yourself.

The New 5 Commandments of Calories and Health:

The new 5 commandments:

  1. Focus more on what you eat, rather than how much you eat. Stop counting calories unless you’ve absolutely tried everything. Stop splitting hairs. When you eat more of the right foods, you’ll end up losing weight. (Side note: It will also reduce calories in a healthy way, and not dramatically to very low levels.)
  2. Fat is good. Do not avoid it.
  3. Protein and fat stimulate hormones that keep you full, so you naturally eat less and are more satisfied. Win/win. Eat them.
  4. What took years to do cannot be undone over night. If you gained 50 pounds over 20 years, don’t expect to lose it in 2 weeks. If you were skinny your entire life, don’t think you can become Thor in a year. You can’t!

 Have you experience the inevitable agony of trying a low-calorie diet?

Leave a comment in the section below.

— Alex

Images: Heart cookies, Doug88888, Luxorium, Milanos, Cubagallery, Bensinchai, Hasselhoff, Fit Muslimah2010,

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  1. Great article Alex.

    Since I’ve been sick all the time recently, I started really changing my diet. I think it worked for me initially because I had such a strong emotional response. I was sick of being…well.. sick, so I had change my diet. I think that’s what initially motivated me, but now that I’ve formed the habit of eating well, I feel really good after eating veggies or a green smoothie. For years prior to this, I never stayed on a diet longer than 2 weeks. But the saying really is true: “you are what you eat.” And I think most people don’t even notice that they lack energy in the afternoon and have to drink coffee to pick them up, because they’ve been eating shit for most of their lives. If you focus on what you eat, you;ll get more energy.

    I like your 5 commandments, especially number 1. Don’t count calories or split hairs. And why does everyone still think fat is bad?

    1. Hey Man —

      Yeah I agree 100%. Most people don’t even realize how terrible their health is, or how low their energy is, until they actually experience optimal health. Energy all the time. Great sleep. Uninterrupted happiness throughout the day, without moodiness.

      It’s crazy. It’s like when you date a girl you don’t really care about and then you fall in love and realized “Damn, this is what I’ve been missing?”

      How is the food lifestyle in Korea? In China it was pretty tough to eat healthy.. white rice with every meal, lots of massively greasy meals that were so heavy. And lots of heavy drinking for business. You can always cook the food yourself, but the options for “fast, healthy food” were limited.

      I’ve heard that the koreans have lots of acid reflux because they eat spicy food and drink beer simultaneously, any idea if that’s fact or fiction?

      Re: why people still think fat is bad — People are resistant to change, the vast majority of people just like repeating information that sounds plausible (without verifying it), and there’s toooooons of misinformation on the internet still telling dated (or wrong) info. Sucks for uneducated consumers haha, they are pupppets.

      1. Like the dating anology! Food here is generally good. lots of kimchi and rice, but tons of fresh veggies and no processed food. seems like everything is organic. they do drink a lot and yes the spicy food is one reason a lot of ppl get stomach cancer. but they also smoke.

        i eat rice sometimes but not every day and it doesnt seem to affect me that much which is good.

        for fat, SO much misinformation… just type in “fat is good” and “fat is bad” on google and see how many results/articles there are…

        1. Yeah exactly, people seem to think that figuring out your health gets easier if you do more research into it. But in reality, it doesn’t. It gets more complicated. That’s why one of the major themes I’m going to have going here is “go for big wins.” 80/20 the hell out of that shit. I’m not going to break down or analyze diets. That’s just going to get me into intellectual discussions with people who probably have PhD’s haha. Let’s face it though, the vast majority of people will see great health improvements from an 80% fix in their diet and making some good fitness habits.

          1. Its all so very complicated, im not over weight.. however I am trying a “run every night or morning for 20 minutes” routigne being that I had a son exactly 12 months ago and I had major post partem for a good nine months of that, andbid just really like to tone up a bit.. but so many people tell me “eat more carbs while running.” Or ” “burn more calories than your daily intak e” not gonna lie, I love food… I love healthy food… I am learning to cook super clean and super filling/yummy dinners and I’m so thankful for pinterest and all the advice that comes with it… I’d rather listen to someone’s experience then look up how to look like an anorexic movie star or famous person… once I get to behind the scenes of “writing music” and singing,I still prefer to weight no less than 130 and have muscle tone along with an ass… and boobs and definately curves.. so safe to say that models now adays are DISGUSTING and they haven’t shiiiiiii on me 🙂

          2. Hi Hollidae,

            Haha I agree, the anorexic look is not a very attractive one 😉

            Think of it like this: calories do matter, but what I’ve found working with people is that when you focusing on eating real foods – e.g. a protein source with each meal, lots of veggies, and a small serving of carbs – we tend to eat the right amounts to normalize our weight. Now this depends a lot on where you’re starting and how far you need to go to get back to “normal” but it’s a much easier “rule” to remember than forcing yourself to count calories.

            In general, it is a good idea to eat carbs especially when you’re exercising since your body needs the energy – but experiment and see what’s best for yourself.

            – Alex

  2. You need a mix of protein, fat and carbohydrates. None of them are bad or good intrinsically, you need to eat them in roughly the right proportions over time. If your diet is full of simple sugars and fats, as many processed foods are, you’d need an iron will to be able to keep the weight off over the long term using carlorie control. You shouldn’t just avoid carbs though; instead learn how to eat the right amount safely.

    I’m all for eggs for breakfast, by the way. Awesome start to the day.

    The section on insulin is a little misleading. When we eat carbohydrates, the body breaks them down into sugars, which are absorbed into the bloodstream. Cells that need energy take the sugar and convert it for immediate use. Too much or too little sugar in the blood is dangerous, so the body has mechanisms to regulate the levels.

    Insulin is a response to the high blood sugar (glucose) levels after eating. It’s a hormone, a long distance messenger made in the pancreas and carried by the blood to all parts of the body signalling there’s too much blood sugar available. It tells muscles and the liver to store the glucose as glycogen, the body’s medium term energy reservoir. But the body can only store so much as glycogen, and when that reservoir is full (and even before) insulin tells the fat cells to convert the sugar to fat. As a final kicker for dieters, high insulin levels supress the ability to convert fat back to glucose.

    Constant high levels of insulin in the blood leads to the cells becoming less sensitive to the signal when it comes to regulation and increasingly high levels of insulin need to be produced to lower the blood sugar: this is insulin resistance. These ultra high levels of insulin make getting rid of the fat stores next to impossible.

    So we want to avoid constantly spiking blood sugar and insulin levels so as we can minimise resistance. Generally simple sugars break down faster than complex carbohydrates and get into the blood in a rush, and normally we want the carbohydrates to be processed over a period of time. This is where glycemic index comes in as an indicator of how fast carbohydrates are processed, the bigger the number, the faster. Dietry fibre buffers the digestion and slows down the rate its simple sugars are absorbed, which is why fruits are okay despite all the simple sugars. Exercise helps lower insulin resistance if you already have it.

    1. Hey Jon —

      Thanks for the recap on Carbohydrates and insulin. I wanted to try and spare the audience a couple paragraphs (which you wrote much better than I probably ever could).

      But would you honestly say we “NEED a mix of protein, fats, and carbohydates eaten in roughly the same proportions?” This kinda seems like the age old (dated) USDA Pyramid “eat a balanced diet” which is apparently 6-11 servings of bread, cereal and rice as our “staple” diet. You honestly believe anyone eating that way would NOT end up overweight?

      And hasn’t it been well-established that “fat” is not bad?(Taubes: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/opinion/sunday/what-really-makes-us-fat.html?_r=0 )
      And a Harvard source: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fats-and-cholesterol/

      But I agree with you that total carb elimination is not the answer, (I don’t think I ever said that), but tapering them down to a more sustainable level would probably be beneficial for a lot of people.

      Just about everyone, though, would benefit from the complete elimination of fake stuff (non-foods), as well as refined carbs. I’m with you there.

      1. But would you honestly say we “NEED” a mix of protein, fats, and carbohydates eaten in roughly the same proportions?

        No, defnitely not. I said in roughly the right proportion, which will vary depending on the individual and is fairly flexible. If you work out at the gym, for example, you’ll need more protein to help build the muscles. If you eat mostly the right sort of carbs with plenty of fibre, getting half your calories that way isn’t a problem. I have seen recommendations for an even three-way split, but it isn’t right for me. Wouldn’t leave me room for the odd glass of wine, for a start. I’m happy only losing 1 or 2 pounds a week, so I need something I can live with for the longer term.

        The other thing is you don’t have to do the same thing ever day. I have more carb calories than fats, and I vary it on a daily basis – way too complicated for a lot of people. But, I’ve still hugely reduced lots of stuff I like. I love pasta, but it doesn’t love me, and I even go easy on wholemeal bread. One slice of processed bread is around 100 calories, eat 10 slices of that every day and you’d better be a lumberjack to burn it off.

        One of the things I’ve found is that if you reduce the carbs too much, you have to introduce “cheat” meals to stock back up again or you don’t have enough glycogen. When I started my diet there were times I thought I was being good by not having the extra-large pizza for my cheat meal, and I actually lost less weight than in the weeks I had the cheat because I was so glycogen depleted. People have to find their own equilibrium. There are no quick fixes that suit everyone unfortunately. Just some general guidelines.

        If you want to give people a simple message, your one on satiety is a good choice. Most people definitely feel fuller and end up eating less if they have meals higher in proteins and fats than the current Western average.

        1. Thanks for stopping by again Jon, some people forget they leave a comment and the conversation ends :/

          Haha I’m with you on the glass of wine, in fact, without a nice Cab I kinda refuse to eat dinner – guess I’m a prissy one.

          Interesting re: the observation on stocking up again on chat meals when passing on the carb meals. It probably depends on the person and what their diet formerly was. I was never a guy that ate a lot of carbohydrates (I can’t eat pasta or bread), so I wonder if my body has become adapted to a lower level of carb intake. I also don’t crave sweets – wonder if those two are linked.

          I was also still lifting weights 3-5x a week when I experimented with being a vegetarian (pretty much just salads and veggies), and I don’t remember ever feeling low on energy. Could be just me.

          You could say I’m of the “eat real food” persuasion. My diet naturally comes out something along the lines of Paleo (since I can’t eat any pasta or bread, and I’m lactose), but I’m wary of suggesting that to anyone else. The vast majority of people I’ve spoken with in person seem to drop weight (and keep it off) when eating food that you can recognize was grown on this planet (in addition to some working out).

  3. “so you naturally eat less and are more satisfied” Sigh…. . You totally contradicted your main argument. While I agree fats to be more satiating, in the end its always going to be a simple equation of calories in vs calories out. To say otherwise you are either misguided, or you are scamming people.

    1. Hi Sam,

      You’re right that weight is about calories. But a simple equation, no. It’s not simply a mathematical equation. In fact, in all the intervention studies I’ve seen, where they predict a weight loss of XYZ pounds by reducing calories by 500 per day, never once resulted in the calculated weight loss. It was often a fraction of the predicted weight loss. Weight is a little bit more complex than that.

      In regard to this article, it was mostly in reference to people that dramatically reduce their calories. People that go on fad diets, starvation diets, etc. who are reducing their calories enough to experience constant hunger throughout the day. They believe that they are losing weight that will stay off, but in reality, not only are they going to fail, but they’re making it harder for their body to lose weight. Dramatic calorie reduction often results in decreased testosterone and thyroid levels, libido, low energy, and potential muscle mass loss.

      Also, obviously the majority of people who are constantly hungry end up relapsing and failing.

      Hope that answers your questions/concerns.


  4. I lost about 35 kg (about 77 lbs) in six months last year and have more or less kept my “new” normal weight for the past year. I did it by keeping a food diary and basically reduced my intake by 1000 kcal a day. It may sound drastic but it worked fine for me, most days I “earned” back calories to eat by taking long walks, doing a little running or other excercise. I used various activity calculators on the internet as a guide. For me this simple calorie in – calorie out calculation has certainly not been any myth! And – I didn’t avoid any types of food, either. If I felt for a Coke or cookies or candy – then I simply had it. Quite naturally, one wouldn’t waste all that precious calorie allowance on some brief indulgence anyway, at least not too often! Or at least for me this insight came quite naturally. I still indulge almost daily, but it’s all about moderation. A can of Coke a day may not seem the healthiest choice, but calorie-wise it’s about 140 kcal – I can “afford” it. And why would I desperately try to avoid something that gives me pleasure..? 🙂

    1. Hey Eric,

      Congratulations on your weight loss, and keeping it off!

      Calories in/out definitely is NOT a myth – what I was merely suggesting here is that many people try to massively reduce calories (as you did) and then fail, OR people try to cut each day by 2-300 calories and they aren’t losing a predictable exact amount each week (and they’re wondering why).

      If you’re under eating 1000 calories a day it doesn’t matter what you eat, you’ll still lose weight 😉 In fact, a researcher did a study on himself where he ate junk food for three months – but reduced his caloric intake – and he lost weight, his blood profiles improved, etc. despite the fact that he ate junk.

      How are you doing these days? What do you eat for most of your meals?

      Also I absolutely agree that you need to what makes you happy! There’s no sense in making yourself miserable every day if it means avoiding everything you like.


      1. Not true. If you’ve been dieting a while already and go to 1000 calories a day, there’s every chance you’ll simply experience a lowered metabolism and all the nasty side effects of decreased thyroid output, etc.. to compensate.

        The researcher you spoke of went from 2500 cals a day to doing this, so that’s fine… but most people struggle for a while and can’t lose because leptin and metabolism is already too low.. and often will got to 1000 and fail hard. Most people think you can lower to 1000 and lose but more often not true than true, because of the way people ease into this deficit. It won’t work. Slight caloric deficits work better everytime.. with slight marginal refeeds.

        1. Hi Stan,

          Yeah, you just re-iterated the entire point of my article. Avoid severe deficits and ultra low calorie diets.



        2. Educate yourself, Stan.

          The body has many, many, many aggressive INVOLUNTARY defensive compensatory mechanisms and biological safeguards to defend body fat and thwart you. If you lose even 10 % of your body weight, the body responds by lowering total energy expenditure by 25%. ADD to this that the body induces a super chemo-mechanic efficiency in the muscles. The body NEVER adjusts to a chronically weight reduced state. These effects PERSIST the rest of your life.

          Dr. Leibel has clearly demonstrated that with regard to body weight, the body has a mind completely of its own. Dr. Leibel specifically said this.

          The human body is an OPEN, NON- equilibrium DISSIPATIVE thermodynamic system. Thin people often produce substantial amount of lost energy in the form of HEAT DISSIPATION. They also produce a lot of heat to warm their cores. Thin people also have radically different gut microflora strains than many obese people- who often have unfortunate gut microbiota.

          Gut flora is CRUCIAL in the regualtion of body weight and health in general.

          NONE of this contradicts the first law whatsoever.Down this road you do not want to go with me as I have contacted 30 different scientists over the last 4 years from Oxford, MIT, Caltech – even Lawrence Krauss and Stephen Hawking. They ALL unanimously agree that the first law SAYS NOTHING WHATSOEVER about the causes of obesity or WHY somebody is obese. Those are BIOCHEMICAL ISSUES.

          Better get your information from REAL experts rather than slesmen like Lyle McDonald.

  5. Nobody with any sense still thinks fat is bad, but that doesn’t mean that Taubes makes any sense. Much sillier to declare that calories are irrelevant, which you have backed off from in the comments, but is still all over your post. I lost and kept off 60 pounds, and still eat plenty of carbs. Beans, grains, fruit, yummy. I avoid deep fried, and highly processed, which is almost all bread, sweets, juice, soda. I’m glad my high-carb low-junk, moderate-fat way of eating woks so well, as I dislike meat and feel like crap without grains.

    1. Hi Julie,

      Actually I hear this “fat is bad” rap every single day still.

      Also, I agree that Taubes doesn’t have it all figured out.

      Calories clearly are not irrelevant – if calories were irrelevant then people sitting in the Nazi concentration camps would still be living today. If you don’t eat, you starve to death.

      If you are dramatically eating less, you will lose weight. I’m suggesting that people not DRAMATICALLY lower calories. If you dramatically eat less, It doesn’t matter what you eat. You can eat snickers bars 5 meals a day (see the previous comment I responded to) if you’re eating 500 or 1000 calories a day. You’ll lose weight. You’ll lose weight drinking soda all day. That’s the entire premise of nutri-system, they provide all the food, which is not a lot, including the junk and desserts, and you lose weight! Fantastic! Cookie diets do the same thing – you’re starving yourself but still get to have all the sinful stuff. Yay!

      One of the problems with carbs (as I see it) is that they’re easier to overeat on than any other macronutrient. It’s impossible to overeat protein, it just fills you up so much. But it’s very easy to shove down 500 or 1000 calories of bread with butter or a sugary bun.

      Also: the article has been since updated to reflect this, as I clearly did a poor job explaining it.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      — Alex

  6. I really enjoyed this article. I was looking for something to help with the “burn more calories than you take in” method and viola, you lose. I don’t take in many calories in the first place. I just can’t eat that much. I do, 80 – 90% of the time, eat healthy and I work out 4-5 days a week. But my weight doesn’t budge. I want to drop around 20 lbs. My new plan as of this week is: three boiled eggs, handful of almonds, pineapple juice and green tea spread out during the day; protein bar or protein smoothie for lunch, and a sensible dinner chicken, beef or fish and one veggie. Routine was: egg in the morning, subway, salad or protein shake for lunch and sensible dinner. I will actually be eating more on my new plan which will go completely against “more calories burned, less calories in”.

    1. Hi Belinda,

      It’s very hard for me to make an assessment without me knowing on paper what you eat, and how much, but there are several other things coming to mind:

      – How is your sleep/stress? Have you had your thyroid checked?
      – What are you doing for your workouts?
      – How close is current weight to that of your “normal” weight, e.g. when you were 25?

      Regarding calories, I’ve often found that when people eat the right foods, the calories part takes care of itself. But obviously if a person is already eating healthy, we need to take things to the next level.

      – Alex

      1. Thank you Alex for responding.
        – Sleep is not good and neither is stress but I handle stress pretty good. I am low key about it not excitable about it. Which can hurt or help.
        – All levels have been checked because I recently went thru a health issue of low blood pressure. Aldosterone level low but they can’t connect it to anything. Been around the world (south) on that one. On Vit. D & Multi-VIt, with iron.
        -Workouts: 45 minutes of tabata style burns for legs and arms mixed with cardio.4 – 5 days a week.
        – it is right on target for normal weight.

        I REALLY want to see the scale move but I do care more about size than the scale so I am watching them both.

        My new plan involves eating more often. Not necessarily more. I am just spreading out typical meals throughout the day.

  7. i’m on a 1200 cal diet but i usually end up below it. i’ve noticed i’ve gained weight but i have no idea why…i’m eating clean 75% of the time, i’m never hungry, it’s been 2 weeks and i’m bigger than when i started 🙁

    1. Hi Brit,

      Can you give me a few more details? You’re measuring every calorie, so you know you’re eating 1200 a day and still gaining weight? What specifically are you eating?

      Also how’s your sleep/stress ?


      1. Alex

        You’re not understanding that dieting is the single biggest predictorof weight regain over the long term. At least SEVEN research studies show that those who diet wind up significantly fatter later in life than those who never tried it. Dieting PHYSIOLOGICALLY DOOMS US to failure and weight regain over the long term. Dr. Rudolph Leibel and Dr. Michael Rosenbaum conclusively showed this. They ran it back and forth 6 different times.

        Weight regain is BIOLOGY, NOT willpower. Brit’s body is inducing a super chemo- mechanic efficiency in the muscles and reducing total energy expenditure by at least 25 %.

        Dr. Leibel has showen that a natural 200 pounder can eat 30 % more than a formerly obese weight reduced 200 pound person. This is unfair but true.

        Medications, GUT FLORA disease states and GENES are other powerful factors.
        In fact, GENES play the biggest role in how we look and how fat we are. The heritability of obesity is equal to that of height. 80 to 90 of the variance in obesity can be ASCRIBED TO GENETIC factors. Look up Dr. Jeffrey Friedman’s lectures.

        My info might not be popular on the Blogosphere, but it is from the best sources. The first law does NOT address ANY of these things. MOst of the BLogosphere has a PHONY understaning of the first law and abuse it for profit. It says NOTHING about obesity.

        This is one of my pet peeves because I have looked into this for 4 years and talked with Dr. Susskind, Dr. Tyson, Dr. Krauss, numerous TOP MIT guys etc. Even Dr. Gavin Crooks the non- equilibirum thermodynamics pioneer.

        I want EVERYBODY to know that Gary Taubes’ position about the first law saying NOTHING about obesity is supoprted UNANIMOUSLY by ALL the physicsts I spoke to – INCLUDING Dr. Hawking who gave me a brief reply after emailing him 3 times.

        yes the first law is valid for life, HOWVER invokling it is POINTLESS and meaningless. It says NOTHING about WHY somebody is obese.

        If a person gained mass they had to have a consistent energy balance over a certain period of time * S-O-M-E-H-O-W*. That is the extent of its scope and reach. DONE.

        That “somehow” has ENORMOUS amounts of reasons and factors behind it that could lead to a positive energy balance.

  8. Hi Alex,
    I am the same as Brit, I am on 1200 calorie a day diet, I count everything I eat with an app on my phone which is very accurate. I’m never hungry because I’m eating good things. I gave up smoking and put on two stone in weight so wanted to lose this, its been like 3 weeks and I’ve lost 1 pound 🙁 I am also taking Fat Binders which seem like a waste of money. My sleep is fine, I get the odd restless one and stress wise things are good, where am I going wrong?


    1. Hi Vic,

      Can you tell me where you currently are with your weight? Any idea how many calories you were eating before? Are you also exercising or doing weight training?

      – Alex

  9. I realize that different people can have different experiences. I’ve had very different experiences. Oatmeal is very satisfying to me, for me than just an hour. It’s far more satisfying than two or three scrambled eggs and toast. THAT breakfast leaves me hungry an hour later. I’ve also found I’ve lost weight very easily simply by reducing calories, regardless of what I’m eating. Lately I’ve been eating very healthfully, but before I used to eat more junk and just keep it within my allotted calories for the day, and I lost the weight I wanted to.

    Also, I think most experts recommend you don’t eat below 1200 calories because THEN you start to lose lean muscle and get hungry. You can eat a low calorie diet and still feel satisfied. I do it. I eat lots of fiber-rich foods, healthy fats, etc., and only take in between 1200 and 1400 calories on average per day. I am only 5’1 and 105 pounds, but I was eating 1700-2000 calories a day before and now I feel fine – even great – eating far fewer calories, but more nutrient-dense foods.

    I just think these articles about calories in/out being a “myth” are so wrong. Yes, the foods you eat influence your hormones, but that doesn’t negate the calories in = calories out. Maybe it doesn’t work for everyone as well as it worked for me, though.

    1. Hey Hals,

      There’s no way around calories – my point here though was to discourage people from going on these very low calorie diets. A whole host of negative side effects start creeping up when you reduce intake too much.

      Here’s the thing: You personally feel great on a 1200-1400 calorie a day diet because you’re 5’1 and 105 pounds and thus 1400 calories a day is probably already maintenance level for you. But a 200 pound person couldn’t just go on a 1400 calorie diet and feel satisfied. That’s where the experimentation comes in. For example, I’m 6’2″ and 170 pounds, maintenance for me is probably DOUBLE what it is for you – maybe 2200 calories.

      The other problem that I frequently see is when people have been reducing their calories for a while – and then their weight loss stalls. Then they reduce some more to no effect, just low energy, bad sleep, mood problems, etc.


      1. Hi Alex,
        Im currently about 12st 2 Pounds and im about 5ft 8, I was eating about 2000 calories a day before i started my diet, ive stopped the fat binders i mentioned earlier because they are just a complete waste of time. excersise wise…I was going to the gym but found I was putting on even more weight as my muscles were building up, so im just walking for exercise, i take the stairs instead of lifts and walk at least a couple of miles a day. This is now my 4th week of my diet and still have only lost 2 pound! Its just madness, I have even been to my dr for a blood test, he just told me eat more often and small amounts. :/

        1. Hi Vic,

          Can you tell me specifically more about what you’re eating? Also, don’t be afraid of gaining muscular weight! Generally speaking, the more muscle you have, the easier it is to keep your body fat levels lower. So the scale doesn’t tell the entire story. You might have lost plenty of fat but the scale said you gained weight because of the muscle.

          – Alex

  10. Hi Alex,
    My Typical diet is something like this

    Breakfast: 1 Bowl of special K with skimmed Milk
    Morning snack: cucumber & carrot sticks
    Lunch: Ham or chicken salad (rocket, tomatoes, cucumber and ham or chicken)
    Afternoon Snack: Chopped apple
    Dinner: Fish or chicken with new pots, brocolli, carrots

    I vary every few days when it gets boring but I monitor everything for fat and calorie content but that is a rough idea.

    1. Hi Vic,

      And you aren’t losing weight eating like that?


  11. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes Feb 10 2013 . I have lost 39 lbs and it is August 25. I weighed 224 and now weigh 185. I exercise 3 times a day about 20-30 min at a time. I eat REAL food – nothing processed. I have fruit and whole grains for breakfast such as oats with blue berries. I drink around 4-5 bottles water a day. I have decaf coffee with coffeemate/splenda. I eat about 7 times a day but small quantities and all the food groups. I have vegetables, turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, whole grains, low fat dairy, (skim milk, low fat cottage cheese), low sugar peanut butter with apples, etc. I eat 1 small bag popcorn about twice a month. I eat every 2 hours and after 7:00pm do not eat. If my sugar is low at night- I have a small snack such as a no sugar all fruit popcycle for snack. I am not on ANY MEDICINE! and I take a multivitamin with 26 fruits and veggies every day. I don’t take any medicine at all and am 61 years old. I feel better and healthy and the weight has dropped off. I do Walk Away the Pounds and eat proper. I have snacks twice a day such as a honey/oat bar; or 1/2 banana with 1 tbls low sugar peanut butter. The diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise and losing weight. I am at a plateau and have been at 185 for 4 weeks now. I will keep eating this way the rest of my life. It was VERY VERY difficult to change my eating habits but I had to in order to have a life that will be healthy and to hopefully ward off any diabetes complications. My cholesterol, A1C all the readings are normal. My A1C went from being 10.5 to a 5.8 in 3 months! The doctor was so happy – he told me if I continue what I am doing, he only has to see me once a year. I check my blood counts of the morning and before I go to bed. I am so THANKFUL he sent me to a “nutrition class” 5 modules of training – and this taught me HOW to eat.

    1. Mandi,

      That’s fantastic! Thank you for sharing your story.

      What has been the hardest part for you? And what advice would you give to others trying to do the same as you?

      – Alex

  12. Hi Alexander,
    I am 31 years old and have battled with anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating/restriction for over 10 years. I am so grateful because God has brought me to a much better place, but I still have a long way to go. I was looking for a caloric guideline because, unfortunately, I fell into the starvation lie of the culture. I have found it hard to find a happy medium and am constantly questioning myself. I am quite sure that I lean towards the restriction side, and often even feel like I’m eating large quantities when maybe I’m actually not feeding my body sufficiently leading to future binges…do you have any sort of wisdom you can give? And maybe even a guideline to fallow for a season? I really appreciate the info you shared and look forward hearing from you. Thank you!

    1. Hey Stephanie,

      If you want to really get scientific and calculate your calories, I would highly suggest using this calculator: http://scoobysworkshop.com/calorie-calculator/

      Scooby is a very smart, genuine guy and his info is all accurate.

      And then download this free app ( if you have a smart phone): http://www.myfitnesspal.com/mobile/iphone

      Let me know how it goes, okay?

      – Alex

  13. Hi Alex,
    Thats what im saying, its nuts, any ideas??


  14. I’ve tried losing weight eating “moderately” with adequate calories, and it never worked for me. Sorry, but the only thing that works (at least for me) is reducing caloric intake. I have a slower than normal metabolism. I don’t lose weight on 2200 calories a day- even when I exercise a lot. You keep your calories below 1700 if you’re a man, and below 1500 if you’re a woman. You will lose weight, and you don’t feel hunrgy if you eat enough protein on every meal. I have even gotten 130 grams of protein on just 900 calories a day before. I’ve tried eating more and I end up gaining weight. Unless you’re a bodybuilder lifting weights 4 hours a day, you really don’t need that many calories. I have discovered that calorie restriction is the only thing that works for weight loss. You have to drink a lot of water and it will keep you full in between meals.

    1. Meade,

      There’s no doubt that eating less will making you lose weight. The problem is that most people go about it all wrong, or they dramatically cut their calories.

      You took the smarter approach that I recommend: increase protein intake a lot (to stay full) and just gradually eat less. Sometimes you won’t even notice hunger if the protein intake is high enough.

      People run into problems when they continue to eat a bad diet, or a high carbohydrate diet, and they eat less. Because then they constantly find themselves hungry, and that ruins any attempt at dieting.


  15. I am currently trying to lose weight, after being diagnosed with PCOS. I have joined myfitnesspal and I track what I eat on there. I am concerned that my calories are too low for the day, although I don’t feel hungry very often. I now always have breakfast, lunch and dinner. Before, I was sometimes (more often that not) skipping both breakfast and lunch and eating a large dinner. I now also have a snack at some point during the day. I’ve lost 4 kilograms in three weeks. I’m concerned now that I’m doing this wrong. I was 112kg and I am now 108kg.

    I’ve cut out all high simple carb foods. I stick to lots of veges (I tend to have a ham or chicken salad with lots of raw vegetables for lunch) and meat. I don’t eat any bread, pasta or rice. I was a milk drinker….it was like my comfort drink. I have maybe one glass a week now. I’ve upped my water intake a lot (I didn’t use to drink water at all really, now I aim to drink at least 1 litre a day and this is hard for me. I’m slowly drinking more than that now.). I don’t have alcohol (never really have).

    I eat low fat cheese on celery sticks as a snack, or I have a handful of almonds. Dinner is meat and veges again, but I have cut out sweet potatoes and potatoes. I’m trying not to eat too much fruit as it affects my sugar levels.

    I am not hitting my calorie goal on myfitnesspal at all. It allows me 1390 per day, and I often only hit 1000 or slightly over. I don’t know what to eat to bump up my calories without going over in sugar/fat etc. Or should I not worry about the fat as it is things like a little olive oil for cooking, avocados or nuts? I do still have a little cheese, which adds to the fat too.

    I always seem to go over my protein allowance as well, although I’m not sure if this is a bad thing?

    I feel better, my skin is better and I’m not getting uncomfortable stomach cramps anymore. I am sleeping better too.

    Should I be worried about my calorie intake being too low?

    1. Jenny,

      1000 calories a day is pretty low, but it depends on your height/weight and activity levels. Can you tell me more about those?

      PCOS also does make it harder to lose weight.

      Fat is not bad, and does NOT make you fat. Keep that in mind. Eating olive oil or avocados is totally fine. Use those to hit your recommended intake. Cheese is usually fine for people too, but it can be calorie dense so watch how much you’re eating.

      Great move on cutting out the simple carbs – get rid of all the white stuff, white bread, white rice, pasta, etc.

      Forget the ratios that myfitnesspal sets for you. Of all the macronutrients – you’re much better over going over in your protein or fat, rather than your carbs.

      Emphasize protein at each meal too!

      So, the short answer, yes your caloric intake sounds too low. Much too low. It likely will affect your longterm results. Just start adding some healthy fats back into your diet (don’t worry it won’t cause you to gain weight).

      Hope that helps!


  16. I was skinny my entire life. I’m 5’8 and in HS I was 140. After sports as i got older I got as big as 240.

    When it was time to get in shape I hit the gym 6 days a week, counted every calories and it worked utnil I got to about 195-200 pounds. I hit a platueu for like 6 months.

    not only that i was misisng days of work and i had no energy. I even had to go on anti depressants my mood had got so bad.

    One day i decided screw it, I’m going to just eat like I want to kill it in the gym the next day. Lo and behold 3 months later I was 175.

    OP is spot on. Cook your own foods, eat like you want to have energy, hit the gym, don’t worry about the calories. that was my problem i would eat 2000 cals then try to go to the gym and work out for 1 hour and then at night craved carbs beucase i was starving myself

    just eat healthy, cut the fast food out, exercise. drink water.

  17. I was 240 pounds at one point and when it was time to hit the gym and lost weight i had my fitness pal app and my diet mapped out and it worked fine until i got to about 190.. my target / goal weight is about 165 i’m 5’8

    i hit a brick wall for 6 months. i wanted to lose weight i was going to the gym, but i was always tired, i was miserable and i was suffering in every aspect of my life. i was starving myself basically.

    then i would give myself one cheat day and i would eat like 7k cals on that day that’s very unhealthy mentally you should never have the urge to binge eat.

    one day i said screw it i’m just going to cook my meals at home, and use some common sense. Lo and behold within 2 months I was about 175 pounds. weight flew off.

    NOw my goal is ti simply eat like i want to have a killer day in the gym the next day. I don’t worry about calories. I eat out every once in a while but I don’t binge eat like I used to.

    1. Brandon,

      This is AWESOME to hear. LOVE hearing stories like this. This is very similar to a success story on this site here, Lauryn, who lost 100+ pounds just eating healthy and not reducing calories. Just by eating healthy she naturally reduced calories enough (and felt full), and lost 100 pounds. Amazing.

      Thank you for sharing your story!

      – ALex

  18. U r awesome. Thanks a lot for this great advice. I just ate a bag of chips. Its been making me guilty. After I read ur article , I realised u cant totally avoid fatty food. Thanks a lot .

    1. No problem Vyjayanthi 🙂


  20. Interesting article. I am currently about 20lbs over weight but I run about 34km per week or more I do lots of core exercises twice a week I swim once a week hike steep hikes once or twice a week I road bike once a week. My point is I train and work out a ton and I can’t get the extra fat weight off! My blood pressure is way high and I eat fairly well most of the time. So I tried “eating clean” no processed foods etc and for ten days now I have not “cheated” and I have lost about 10lbs. But now when I run or hike or bike hard I am weak and I am struggling to keep up with my workout buddies where I wasn’t before. I’ve just added some quinoa and wild brown rice to my diet hoping to get back some energy to work out more intensely. My caloric intake was not more than 900 per day and I went to bed hungry a few nights. I’m still losing weight but I hate the weakness I feel! Reading this has also confirmed that I’m eating too few calories to perform physically and that eating more healthy foods is ok. I’m just worried about eating proteins that are harmful to my blood pressure. I do eat eggs almost every day! I also do one or two triathlons per year Olympic distances so I need to have my energy levels up. Any recommendations?

    1. Hi Bonnie,

      Especially with exercise you need to have an adequate calorie and carb intake. Going too low will only harm you. Don’t forget your caloric and protein needs will be higher if you are exercising – and if you aren’t eating enough, you are actually impeding your body’s ability to lose weight.

      – Alex

  21. Good article but it only covers 50% of obesity. Our bodies were made to be physical. I think the biggest problem is people are not willing to exercise. The other major issue is most people don’t understand how to exercise. Most think that walking is enough. Sorry it is not. The body acclimates very quickly to exercise, minimizing, and I am not saying eliminating its positive effects. Exercise is a very complex subject and I am shocked to see that anyone can become a Fitness trainer when you have to have a licensed to cut hair. A simple plan fact, “You don’t use it, You lose it” Eating right and exercise go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other….

    1. You’re right nova. But the science (and my experience) clearly shows that it is food that prevents people from achieving whatever health or body they want, not exercise.

      Exercise is great, but yes you can have one without the other. If people are given a choice between diet and exercise – choose diet. It will help you lose weight and improve your health much better than exercise alone. Again this is well supported by science.

  22. Lowering your calories to lose weight does to work! How else do anorexics get thin? It’s not a good long term strategy, but it works. In fact, I was struggling to lose weight until I had abdominal surgery, and afterwards I could only eat a fraction of what I could before and my appetite was practically non-existent. Guess what? I lost 20 lbs and I’m still 20 lbs lighter today and losing. Not because I’m still eating so very little, but because I took the opportunity as I healed to eat better and become more active. So please, don’t tell people reducing calories doesn’t work. It does. Just not long term and just not alone.

    1. Skinnymini,

      Yes it absolutely works… in the short run. But then people find themselves constantly trying to lower their calories but there is a lower limit at which point they get stuck and begin having adverse health effects.

      “just not long term” is exactly the point I made. What’s the point if it doesn’t work long term?

      I try to encourage people to shift to focusing on the right foods first.

  23. Hey there! Interesting article! But now it got me wondering…… Does it matter when you eat your calories? I am used to eating my healthy dessert of greek yoghurt, oats, fruits, 2serves of nuts and ryvitas, it add up to quite a lot of calories, but does it matter if it’s still within my calories intake throughout the day? (I just eat veggies for lunch and oatmeal for brekky) Would it affect mineral and nutrient absorption or does it still boil down to calories in and out? Doesnt really affect my sleep too…

    1. Hi Mel,

      Overall – no, it really doesn’t matter what time you eat foods (the one exception would be post-workout – that’s the best time to eat carbs/sugars etc. as your body will handle them better). The science goes back and forth about this “no carbs after 6 rule.” There’s not much science to support that.

      All that matters is that you’re eating the right types of foods, within the intake range throughout the day.

      It’s not quite as simple as calories in calories out, because there are hormonal or metabolic effects that food also has on your body, but overall yes that’s the deal.

      1. Thanks for your reply! Makes me feel better because apparently I’m underweight at 39kg and 151cm… So I’m not sure if its true that eating that much after dinner is good for metabolism, does the body even end up absorbing all the calories consumed and is it true that it will be stored as fat since I’m sleeping and not being active?

  24. Brilliant article, I can’t thank you enough for this! It’s really changed how I will approach my diet from herein.
    I’m 20, within a ‘healthy’ weight range, ‘average’ body fat percentage, a ‘normal’ BMI and I exercise so bloody much; however, I look physically fat or ‘overweight’, despite eating (what I thought was) healthily, by eating less than 1000 calories a day; it worked when I was 16, but I think I should probably accept I’m experiencing your aforementioned ‘rebound effect’… and also that I’m not 16 anymore! Thank you for swaying me over to eating more, rather than less.

    1. No problem Claire! Email me if you ever have any other questions.


  25. I lost 3 stone a year ago and ever since have not been able to lose anymore. I need to lose 3 more stone to be a healthy weight. I have literally tried everything and nothing chang’re. It’s so depressing because I work so hard at being good for no results.

    1. Hi Sheryl,

      What have you tried that hasn’t worked?

      – Alex

  26. Umm I eat oatmeal everyday and it makes me full for hours about 4 or 5 usually. This article is bull shit in regards to myself. I eat a junk food combo meal from wherever and it holds me over for almost half a day. I’ve cut back calories for months and never ” rebounded” back into my old weight. But I also have a high protein diet I take 1 lb of protein for lean body mass.

    1. Hi Bsh,

      If it’s working for you, and you’re staying healthy and keeping your weight down, then good !

  27. I am 75 years old. My entire life I have not ate enough by trying to stay thin.Little did I know it worked opposite. A month ago at the doctors I mentioned my deal.I have known him and he knows my story.He gave me the best advice ever.He said I needed to eat more.So I did that.After being at a stand stilll for years I lost weight the ffirst day and so far I am 9 pounds down.Every day I weigh I have lost at least a pound. It is amazing.I know I will continue .I even eat sweets . When I go to him I will thank him for believing me when I say I do not eat a lot.Most doctors do not.

  28. “Back in college I ate oatmeal every day for 4 years. I always hated getting hungry an hour after being stuffed, so before my exam days (to make sure I could focus better) I would eat 2 or 3 eggs on a piece of toast. That would hold me through all the way to noon or later when I could make lunch.

    The truth is that both of these things are calorie-wise just about the same, close to 200 calories. One left me hungry after an hour. One kept me full till lunch. Protein baby. Science is awesome.”

    3 eggs ~= 3*155 calories, one slice of toast = ~100 calories, total ~450 calories

    The later snack was 450 or so calories (must have been a very large slice of toast to fit three eggs though…), and yes, that should keep you filled up for longer (protein is not as efficient to convert into fat though, so you can eat more calories of it than carbs or fat and effectively not put on as much fat).

    1. HI ArchStanton,

      Calories in one egg: 50-80

      Source: http://calorielab.com/foods/eggs/39

      My egg carton this morning said 70 cals too.

      – Alex

  29. I got to 18 stone with my son and after I had him I lost 9 stone within 10 months all through eating about 1200 calories a day! No exercise apart from walking alot… I have since had another baby and I’m currently pregnant! Heavy pregnant… And I have put on 5 stone with both pregnancys… Coz I had one baby after the other! I’m on a diet which I started about 9 days ago and I lost 6 pounds so far. I only currently eat 1200 calories a day, again only walking as exercise….

  30. Ok, so here goes.
    I believe that if you don’t eat you’ll lose weight and it depends on your metabolism.
    I used to weigh 63 kg last year and during a bout of breakup and depression during Ramadan (Muslim fasting season) I lost massive amounts of weight. I was hardly eating and became a figlet. How much did I lose? 13 kg in lesser than 1.5 months. Have I gained it? No. Do I feel horrible and weak? No. Do I have no energy? No. I still jog to keep my legs tones and feel good. I am conscious if I see a bit of belly but all in all I feel great that I did lose weight, which wasn’t hard. When I was 9 my quack doctor told me that I had a high BMR and although I have no evidence to prove it, I still believe it makes sense; I lose weight fast. I can gain it too but I control it. I eat small portions of everything, which means that I get full easily. Once in a blue moon I’ll go crazy and binge and feel glorious and then go back to eating less.
    Whether it works for anyone or not is a different issue.
    Also, I work and run a business and usually work till 2am everyday 24/7. People keep telling me I’m going to burn out but they’ve been telling me that for the past 10 years. At 28 I’m still working and have all the energy in the world. When I do feel extremely tired, I take a day off and sleep the whole day to recharge my batteries and I’m good to go for another month or so.
    The only thing that suffers: social and love life.

  31. “When You Eat the Right Kinds of Food, It Will Take Care of Eating the Right Amount”

    I disagree.

    You’re saying that just eating the right foods will take of my calories, so in essence are you saying it’s impossible for me to over-eat if I just focus more on eating healthy foods?

    If it’s not impossible, then counting calories is of equal importance.

    How do you know for sure you’ve eaten the right amount if you don’t count? Focusing more on ‘eating healthy foods’ is not enough for consistent weight loss. What if you ate too much? Or too little?

    Focusing equally on calories allows for proximity. Accuracy. You know for sure you’re hitting the appropriate calorie amount every day so you know you’re going to lose weight.

    (Although there are some that still somehow manage to eat the right amount of food consistently enough to lose weight without ever counting calories)

    1. Hi Arvin,

      “You’re saying that just eating the right foods will take of my calories, so in essence are you saying it’s impossible for me to over-eat if I just focus more on eating healthy foods?”

      Not impossible, but unlikely, and much more unlikely than if you ate refined foods or junk.

      “If it’s not impossible, then counting calories is of equal importance.”

      Does calorie counting work? Absolutely! But few people like to do it, few will do it, and few can sustain it. This is a more integrative approach that works well. Is it foolproof? Of course not.

      “How do you know for sure you’ve eaten the right amount if you don’t count? Focusing more on ‘eating healthy foods’ is not enough for consistent weight loss. What if you ate too much? Or too little?”

      #1 By focusing on a high protein intake, and at least a fist or two of veggies with each meal, and the rest is up for grabs essentially.

      You’re right that calorie counting works, of course being precise is better. But what I’m more concerned about is whether or not this is realistic for the 99% of people that need it. Will they do it?

      That’s the million dollar question .