My message about calorie counting being unnecessary didn’t get as much hype as I expected and why? Because I’m not sure people are ready to hear the truth: that all those years of counting calories was a waste of time and stress, and that if we eat real food we don’t have to count!
You might be able to tell that I keep up with the latest in Paleo social media. I recently found Sam Feltham and his blog, Smash the Fat. To prove his strong opinion about calories and real food, he did a 21-day experiment where he performed a 5,000 calories a day experiment of a high fat, low carb diet. So what happened to him?
The diet mantra is “calories in, calories out”, but Sam proved this wrong. Although he should have gained 16.5 lbs. (because of the surplus of calories he ate), he only gained 3.5 lbs. And here’s the best part, his waist shrunk! Yes you heard me, eating 5000 calories a day for 3 weeks Sam’s waist shrunk.
What we can learn from this is that our bodies are much more complicated than a simple formula. We cannot possibly say that calories from real food are equal to calories of processed food. Am I telling you to eat 5000 calories a day? No of course not. I’m telling you that eating real food and eating animal fat is not going to make you fat, it will do the opposite. This should be a wake-up call to all you “calorie counters” that in order to understand how our body processes food we must understand biochemistry. It is all about hormones and not much about a calculation of numbers. You may have been told in order to lose weight you must eat less, workout more, but I believe you must eat right, workout wisely. Kevin Pedeaux wrote one of our testimonials where he proclaimed how he lost 65 lbs. eating Paleo with no exercise. I think that says something about the “calories in, calories out” mantra. Guys, we need a paradigm shift. What you should learn from this is to be skeptical about notions we accept as a society. Although many promote that the mantra is correct, we are learning more and more about the way our body actually handles food and how that relates to our weight and health.
It just makes sense. In ancient cultures where populations flourished and health was no problem, there was no such thing as calories. We ate til we were full, and we ate to live. When calories came into the picture, things got messy. When we evolved, we evolved off of real food. Historically, we ate what was available, and that food was seasonal, fresh, and nutritious. We should emulate our evolutionary lifestyle for optimal health.
Michael Jewett says
I am applauding your article Monica, because I have been learning more and more about health and fitness. I have found there is a shell covering the truly worth while and helpful information on diet, health, and this is provided by our media. Fortunately, for us you have this available info. Thank you. I am a very new vegetarian looking to build mass, but I have come across a lot of dead ends on the internet to a building program for a vegetarian without using protein powders or, of course, meat. Do you know of any place for me to find help?
Monica Bravo says
I am glad you find this information helpful! I agree there is definitely a shell covering the good info. I wish I did know about that kind of protein. Unfortunately I believe it is hard to build muscle and be healthy without consuming animal protein. Looking at our ancestors during evolution, there were virtually no vegetarians. I understand many do it for ethical reasons, but if I were you I’d look into more research on the health benefits of eating animal proteins and the risks of not eating it