Further to my post, yesterday, I thought I’d flag up this great video of Gary Taubes talking about the relationship between fat and calories in February this year, on the back of his new book ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories’. Gary is a respected American science journalist, here talking at the Stevens Institute of Technology, and he explains the necessary shift in thinking brilliantly.
I spotted the video on Regina Wilshire’s Weight of the Evidence blog, another very interesting resource that’s well worth a read.
Get into a conversation about weight loss, and it’s pretty inevitable that calories will make a starring appearance. Whether you’re counting, restricting or just generally obsessing over them, they’ve become the be-all and end-all of so many diet plans.
But many scientists remain unconvinced of their importance. Another piece of research has been published in a respectable journal showing that many of the current assumptions about how calories impact on our weight are simply not true.
In his research paper Dietary Glycemic Index and Obesity, DS Ludwig explains:
The concept that “a calorie is a calorie” underlies most conventional weight loss strategies. According to this principle, obesity results from an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. The proposed cure is to eat less and exercise more. However, calorie-restricted, low fat diets have poor long-term effectiveness in the outpatient setting. In a sense, these diets may constitute symptomatic treatment that does not address the physiologic drives to overeat. From a hormonal standpoint, all calories are not alike.
Check out the full article here. It makes interesting for anyone interested in health and nutrition; those of us following Go Lower will know that it’s borne out in practice, not just theory.
It’s one of the biggest dieting clichés there is: an anxious woman checking the labels of every packet and tin as she goes round the supermarket, determined to keep her calorie count below a certain magic number.
But life by numbers isn’t much fun.
Only today I had a phone call with a lovely lady who asked the simple question ‘How many calories will I consume a day on the Go Lower Diet?’ She was a little surprised when I asked her why this mattered. Because, obviously, she responded, she was on a low calorie diet. I gently pointed out that she wanted to try Go Lower because this wasn’t working. Why would I encourage her to keep doing the same thing?
Since the early 80s we have been told to count calories. But even though on average we eat less calories today and don’t do much less exercise, we are bigger than ever before.
Many scientific studies (you can see one example here) show that our weight is affected by the sort of calories we consume, not just the amount. To lose weight, we must look at the nature of the food we eat, not just the energy content. It’s one of the basic principles underpinning Go Lower.
It can be so difficult to overcome assumptions about diet that have been drilled into us for years. But admit it: don’t you sometimes long to see food as food again, not a guilt-inducing figure on the back of a jar?