James Krieger

Nov 242014
 

There’s a UK Telegraph article published today entitled, “The big fat calorie countiing con.”  The article claims that calorie counting is “scientifically flawed”, and that “it could be doing more harm than good.”  The article then links to an OPINION paper and calls it “research.”  The paper, entitled “How calorie-focused thinking about obesity and related diseases may mislead and harm public health.  An alternative”, as well as the Telegraph article linking to it, create a giant strawman.

The strawman is that the concept of calorie counting is flawed because it ignores food quality and treats all food calories the same.  This is utter nonsense.  Calorie counting is simply an awareness tool, no different from regularly stepping on the scale to check your body weight.  Both are types of self-monitoring.  Now, just because the scale can’t tell you how much fat or muscle you’re losing doesn’t mean it’s not useful.  Likewise, just because calorie counting can’t tell you the quality of those calories doesn’t mean it’s not useful.  You can still overeat on “quality” calories and not reach your weight loss goals.  Ultimately, calories still matter whether you like to believe it or not.

The article brings up the usual “a calorie is a calorie” strawman as well.  Technically, yes, a calorie is a calorie in terms of energy.  This doesn’t mean they will have identical impacts on your body; no one that I know who considers calories important takes this position.  This is why it’s a strawman.  No one is saying that eating 1000 calories of jelly beans is the same as eating 1000 calories of steak.  Of utmost importance is satiety; for example, protein calories are more satiating than carbohydrate or fat calories in general, allowing you to eat less.  In this sense, the quality matters.  But if you’re trying lose weight and fat, ultimately you still need to eat less calories than you expend.  In this sense, calorie counting simply becomes an awareness tool to help you achieve that goal.

The research is very clear on calorie counting, and it demonstrates that calorie counting is beneficial.  In one study, people who frequently recorded their food intake lost over twice as much weight as people who infrequently recorded their food intake.  Another study showed that self monitoring of food intake was positively associated with weight loss success, and not monitoring at all was negatively associated with weight change.

This doesn’t mean you have to count calories to be successful.  But the research shows that you are more likely to be successful if you do.  Again, it’s just an awareness tool.  There is no credible scientific data that I am aware of to show that using this awareness tool is misleading or harmful.  What is misleading or harmful is when people create strawmen over what calorie counting actually means.

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Oct 212014
 

While I am no longer continuing with my Weightology Weekly research review, there are good research reviews by my friends that I highly recommend.  One is the monthly Strength and Conditioning Research Review put out by my friends Bret Contreras and Chris Beardsley.  This thing is jam-packed with reviews of all the latest research related to the strength and conditioning field, released on a monthly basis.  You can subscribe annually by clicking here, and if you subscribe through this link you get 3 bonuses:

  1. A recent back issue so you get 13 issues rather than 12
  2. A completely up-to-date, 40-page research review on the key factors for gaining muscular strength
  3. A previously unseen e-book on the effects of periodization on strength, hypertrophy, and power

While I am an affiliate and I get a commission if you subscribe through my site, you know that I rarely recommend anything on my site unless I feel that it has a solid basis in science and evidence.  Bret and Chris do an excellent job of reviewing a variety of studies that would be of interest to fitness professionals of all types.  There’s a reason why I consider these guys not only my colleagues, but my friends as well.

Click here to subscribe to Strength and Conditioning Research Review.

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Sep 032014
 

Normally I don’t endorse products, but Sol Orwell and my other evidence-based friends at Examine.com have put together “Supplement Stack Guides”.  If you are interested in dietary supplements that actually have science to support them, these guides are for you.  The guides are organized by goal.  For example, if your goal is muscle gain and exercise performance, there is a specific guide for which supplements work together to help you reach your goals.  Only supplements with solid scientific research behind them are supported  These guides are truly ACTIONABLE lists of supplements.

If you’re interested in checking out the stack guides, click here.  Note that I am an affiliate for Examine.com and receive a small commission for orders placed through my site.  However, anyone who knows my background or my past article/posting history knows I would never recommend anything unless the evidence behind it is rock solid.

Examine.com Supplement Stack Guides

 

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Jun 222014
 

Dear Weightology Weekly Subscriber,

In what has been a difficult decision, I have decided to not continue with Weightology Weekly.  With the recent major changes in my life, it has become too difficult to find the time to write articles on a weekly or even monthly basis.  When I started Weightology Weekly back in 2010, my goal was to deliver evidence-based, scientifically accurate information in the field of weight loss, nutrition, and fitness.  I feel that I have successfully achieved that goal.  However, as a paying subscriber, you deserve my full attention and ability to deliver articles on time, something which I feel that I can no longer do.  Therefore, there will be no more future issues of Weightology Weekly.  I have canceled all automatic Paypal payments, so there is nothing that you need to do on your end.

I appreciate everyone that has continued to be a subscriber of my service and who has found it of value.  Therefore, anyone who was a current paid subscriber as of June 22, 2014, will continue to have indefinite access to all past members-only content of Weightology Weekly.  For anyone who was an annual subscriber, I will refund you the remaining months that you had on your subscription on a pro-rated basis.  Please be patient with me on this as it will take me some time to go through each annual subscriber and determine how much needs to be refunded.

I want to thank all of you for being Weightology Weekly subscribers.  I hope you have found the information that I have provided extremely useful in your own endeavors or that of your clients.  I will continue to be available to all my subscribers via email or via the comment sections on the articles.

Sincerely,

James

P.S.  For anyone who is not a currently paid subscriber and is interested in access to the archives, I will be offering access to all past content for a one-time fee which is yet to be determined.  I will eventually update the subscription page when this option is ready.

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