Why a calorie isn’t always a calorie

June 19, 2011

I’m am advocate of high fat, high/moderate protein and a lower proportion of carbohydrate nutrition.  And other than the occasional ‘off-day’ where we indulge, I firmly believe that we should stick to food in their natural state.  And we should eat these foods to satiety rather than counting calories.

Most people who count calories are under fed/under nourished.  A small serving of pasta might have 300 calories for example, whereas a huge plate of vegetables might carry the some calorie load.  I think you’ll agree that we’d be better served eating the vegetables.  I’m not naive enough to think that calories don’t count, I just don’t think they should be the barometer for a sensible nutritional program.

Have a look at best selling author Tim Ferris’ blog post The science of fat loss: Why a calorie isn’t always a calorie.  I’m with Tim on this one.

(I’d also recommend Tim’s books The Four Hour Body and the Four Hour Work Week).


  1. Silvana - March 7, 2012 at 10:23 am -

    The formula is not ecrrcot and I think confusing some of the responders.What I think you meant to write was speed(mph) x weight x .75calories per pound. This would give you the units of calories per hour, and then the clydesdale wouldn’t think he is burning more than the world record holder!AMBY RESPONDS: I think we’re all starting to chase each other’s tails now or at least each other’s calculations. I could even be confusing myself. But I believe the formula I provided is ecrrcot for total calorie burn per mile, or 26 miles, or whatever distance you use. And a fast Clydesdale will beat a world record holder by this measurement. A fast Clydesdale let’s say 200 lbs and a 2:36 marathon; roughly 10mph would beat still beat Geb for calorie burn even if we introduced a speed factor. So it takes a per weight per time factor to put Geb on top, where he belongs. Per pound/kg is also how physiologists measure vo2 max, a key component of endurance performance.