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Counting Calories, a Recipe for Failure

Does counting calories consumed matter, or is it even necessary when trying to lose weight? NO. The calorie theory's formula, calories in minus calories out equals weight, relies on the assumption that a calorie is a calorie regardless of the food consumed. However, does a calorie of coconut oil yield the same metabolic response as a calorie of cane sugar? The answer is a definite no. The calorie theory also assumes that calories in and calories out are independent of one another, and that basil metabolic rate is constant despite many factors, including caloric consumption. These assumptions couldn't be a more simplistic, unscientific, and untenable view.

Calories in calories out is a lie

It's been known for over 100 years that caloric consumption and expenditure are intimately reliant on one another. A decrease in calories consumed produces an equal reduction in caloric expenditure. A study was performed in 1919 at the Carnegie Institute of Washington to determine if energy expenditure decreased in response to a caloric reduction. The subjects consumed a diet calculated to be 30 percent lower than their usual intake, and researchers found that the subjects experienced a 30 percent reduction in energy expenditure.

Other well-designed studies have been performed, concluding that reducing calories to lose weight leads to bitter disappointment. Research shows two significant adaptions made by the body when faced with a caloric deficit. First, a striking reduction in one's basal metabolic rate leads to a dramatic decrease in energy expenditure. Second, hormonal changes that profoundly stimulate hunger. Caloric restriction forces the body to beg to consume more food to replace the lost weight. The result, yo-yo dieting, and ultimately gaining more weight.

Cutting calories to lose weight leads to failure.
Cutting calories slows one's metabolism.

The vicious cycle of calorie restriction begins by eating less to lose weight. This inevitably results in a slower metabolism and increased hunger. Weight loss then plateaus with some experiencing weight gain. Frustrated, many increase their efforts by eating even less calories. A little more weight is lost, however, metabolism slows, and hunger increases to a greater degree. Again, weight loss plateaus with some experiencing weight gain. This cycle continues until it is no longer tolerable.

At some point dieters go back to their regular way of eating. Unfortunately, their metabolism has slowed to the point of causing rapid weight gain, usually past their original weight. Dieters are doing exactly what their bodies (hormones) are telling them to do. And with the prevailing belief that people who fail at calorie restriction lack will power, dieters are left with a sense of failure.

Every year millions of dieters feel the harsh reality of reducing calories to lose weight. Despite the failure of calorie restriction being scientifically established, and the truth being experienced by millions, medical and nutritional authorities still proselytize cutting calories to reduce weight permanently. What is never discussed, is the role insulin plays in gaining and losing body fat.

Principles to optimize one’s health and lose body fat:

  • Eliminate omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetables/seed oils, e.g., corn, soy, canola, sunflower, and safflower.

  • Eliminate sugar.

  • Reduce overall complex carbohydrate consumption.

  • Consume pastured, grass-fed animal products.

  • Use coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, palm oil, beef tallow (pastured), and lard (pastured) for cooking and salads.

  • Consume only organic, non-GMO vegetables and fruit. If they are not available, do not consume vegetables or fruit.

  • Eliminate processed foods.

  • Start a progressive resistance (weight training) program.

Tune in to future articles that discuss proper ways to optimize your health lose bodyfat.

Recommended Supplements to optimize blood glucose and control weight gain.


Benedict, F. G., Miles, W. R., Roth, P., & Smith, H. M. (1919). Human Vitality and Efficiency under Prolonged Restricted Diet. Carnegie Institute of Washington. Received from

Ancestry Weight Loss Registry [Internet]. Blog. (2012). They starved we forgot. Received from

Keys, A., Brozek, J., Henschel, A., & Mickelsen, O. Taylor, H. L. (1950). The Biology of Human Starvation (2 volumes). North Central Publishing Company.

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