Is weight-control no longer based on “calories in–calories out”?

Posted in: behavior change, health, nutrition- Sep 16, 2011 2 Comments


For every pound you wish to lose, permanently cut 10 calories from your current intake per day. At that rate, it will take about a year to achieve half of the weight loss, with 95% of the total weight change within about 3 years.


I normally don’t read “new studies on weight loss” because findings change from one day to the next and what was right yesterday will be disproven tomorrow (or so it seems). For whatever reason, I decided to read this article and for once, it has some new and interesting findings. Read on! Predicting How Diet and Exercise Affect Weight – NIH Research Matters – National Institutes of Health NIH.

2 Responses to “Is weight-control no longer based on “calories in–calories out”?”

  1. Reply Jeff Carter says:

    I don’t “diet.” I don’t count calories. I don’t even exercise. As for what I eat, I eat just about everything, but with three goals in mind: 1) I limit my sugar intake (*ALL* sugar — natural and processed) to 12g/day. 2) I manage better portion control for my meals, particularly dinner (I don’t eat until my gut pushes me away from the table). 3) I try to eat 4-6 times a day (3 regular meals, 3 snacks in between), keeping in mind that first two goals. Doing this, I have been able to lose 1 pound per week consistently. I’m convinced I’d lose more if I’d manage my carb intake, too.

    I have not tried to understand why this is working for me, but my theory is that as long as my body was getting a sugar fix, it had no need to dip into and burn off the fat reserves. And when I wasn’t burning, I was also adding to, as well. Another part of my theory is that I don’t need to count calories because I’m already limiting my calorie intake my monitoring my sugar intake. I was duped by listening to “sugars are empty calories.” And so I ate tons of licorice. I drank stuff with so much sugar in it that I actually feel sick to my stomach nowadays simply reading the nutrition (or lack of) label. If I had a choice between two daily menus that provide 2000 calories, and menu was loaded with sugar in just about every food item, and the other had less than 15g of sugar total in the entire menu… guess what 2000 calories I’m gonna chow down on?

    And here’s another thing — when I monitor my sugar intake (and carbs when I am not so lazy) it not only has an automatic affect on calories going in, but also fat. I find it way easier to count up to 12-15 sugar grams a day than I do having to keep track of hundreds or thousands of calories and fat grams. No-brainer for me. It’s simple. When I eat something with sugar in it, I figure out how much I had based on the portion size (important!) and subtract that from my remaining sugar balance for the day. When I run out of sugars, I stop eating food with sugar in it and I find something else to snack on that doesn’t have sugar in it — of any kind… natural or processed!

    I’m no scientist or nutritionist or have any other credentials to back-up my theories and results, so do your own research — talk to pros and read authoritative articles. But I’m telling you, the way I’m treating myself now has worked better than any other kind of health regimen I’ve tried.

    • Reply Eliza says:

      Hi Jeff,
      It sounds like you’ve found what works for you — and THAT is the secret trick!
      Congratulations and best wishes for your continued health and wellness.
      Eliza

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