The Right Calories In: Why Cutting the Right Calories Out of Your Diet Makes a Big Difference

Some time ago I wrote a quick blog regarding the thought that to lose weight, calories in have to be less than calories out. Since we know that there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat, it’s easy to assume that if we cut 3500 calories out of out diet then we’ll lose a pound. I’ll admit that the truth goes deeper than that. As my good buddy, NYU Stern classmate and Crossfit junkie (don’t get me started on that one) Joe Rosen pointed out to me, the notion that “weight change = calories in-calories out“ discounts the effects of both hormonal causes of obesity and the effects of the types of calories that you take in.

Even before Joe brought him up, I had heard of the work of a scientist by the name of Gary Taubes. Taubes is the author of “Good Calories , Bad Calories” and numerous other books and articles. Taubes had a recent articles in the New York Times Magaizine: “Is Sugar Toxic” (April 17, 2011). I also recently took the time to go through Taubes’ latest book, “Why We Get Fat: And What We can Do About It”. While I disagree with some of the points he makes about exercise and with some of the points about eating not being psychologically driven, he lays out a solid argument that it’s not how much we eat that makes us fat. More so it’s what we eat that not only makes us eat more and but makes us store more of what we eat as fat. In particular, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sugar and refined starches. All of the mentioned have become staples in the typical American diet and have the effect of raising insulin levels, which is your body’s signal to store energy. The longer your insulin stays high, the longer your body stays in fat storage mode. With HFCS, the implications on fat storage are even greater.

I won’t get deep into the details in this post, as that’s already been done for me. I highly, highly recommend taking the time to watch the video below by Dr. Robert Lustig entitled, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.” It may seem long but it’s well worth it. Bookmark it and watch it in bits if you have to. While he uses the term “obese,” the point he makes also applies to that person who wants to shave of that extra 5, 10 or 15 pounds.

I also recommend checking out Gary Taubes’s work. The link for his New York Times Magaizine article is: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?_r=1. In “Why We Get Fat,” he spends the first 10 chapters laying out the facts and data to make his point and doesn’t get to the good stuff until around chapter 11 (Yes, I do skip through tivo’d shows to get to the good part faster as well). Good Luck!

About Kelvin Gary

Florida native and NYC based Personal Trainer Kelvin Gary looks to help motivate, inspire and inform those looking to better their lives through fitness and healthy living.

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