Why Calories Don’t Count (3 Concepts you Need)



Counting calories is busy-work that doesn’t work. The human body is exponentially more complicated than a little oven that simply burns up the food you eat with fire. You can spend a lot of mental energy and time counting calories only to find that you haven’t lost any fat, which was your goal.

The 1st Law of Thermodynamics is real and un-breakable. It, however, just doesn’t apply to the goal of human fat-loss. There are biochemical hormone-mediated pathways which control whether you burn fat or store it. Stop worrying about calories and focus on the things (hormones) which make the actual difference.

Citations:
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/the-hidden-truths-about-calories/
https://www.metabolismjournal.com/article/0026-0495(95)90277-5/pdf
Diff cal from diff fats: https://esha.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/203442937-Why-do-I-get-a-different-amount-of-Calories-when-I-use-the-4-4-9-calculation-?mobile_site=true
Impossible to count calories: https://www.1843magazine.com/features/death-of-the-calorie

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47 Comments

  1. I've been eating carnivore since the end of April and I still can't seem to lose the fat. Is it possible to not be eating enough? I typically eat between 120 – 150 grams of protein and as much or more grams of fat. I eat mostly 80/20 ground beef and a few eggs each day. I'm a 53 y.o. guy, 5'9", 185 lbs. I lift weights twice a week.

  2. Great information. I’ve also heard it simply said we are not steam engines. The laws of thermodynamics apply, but not in the simple way they do in non-living machines.

  3. I just now started inputting my cals in Myfitness pal after many years hiatus. Only because I had people accuse me of "starving" since starting keto and I wanted to show that I was ingesting quite a lot. Per your video, numbers probably are not very accurate as food varies with things like size, where it was grown, when picked ( or in my case of eating mostly carnivore- perhaps when slaughtered or if my meat was grass fed, etc ) but I have an approximation and at least can show, cals REALLY don't count when it comes to weight loss. Last time I did Myfitness pal was back in 2017 when I was calorie restricted and was 137lbs, and was shocked to see how much damn weight I had put on after being put on a med and how much I struggled to lose even though I was keeping cals and my fat low, lol! 137 lbs does not sound like alot. But a month prior I was 122lbs!!!! After being put on zyprexa my weight skyrocketed. On 5/21/17 I saw a snapshot of my typical food diary. Calories-1047,carbs 117, fat 44 and protein 52. And it went up to the 150's (although I stopped weighing myself and probably got to the 160's) A few days ago on keto- 8/7/19 – cals 2,034, Carbs 21, fat- 156, protein 132. Weight 111!!! Before anyone tells me I was starving on cal restriction in 2017 and that's why I was gaining weight, I found another entry way back in 2012 with my typical cals being closer to what I eat now except being carb heavy. In oct 2012 I ingested around 1,856/carbs 220/fats 63/protein 101. My weight was the high 120's. I thought this was excellent. But never knew I could eat more like I do now.. feel satiated and weigh EVEN LESS. Back in 2012 I was always hungry and interspersed amongst those "normal healthy days" were entries of my binging due to carb addiction. ANyways, sorry for the long response. but am a believer in the fact that calories JUST don't count. If that were the case, I'd have been superskinny with cals at 1047 in 2017 or as lean as I am now with cals being 1856 in 2012. I wasn't. Now I am lean and athletic in 2018 and 2019 while in my 40's. Maintaining. No binges. And only "count" once in a great while to prove to detractors that I love to eat my protein and fat!

  4. Me and mine have been KETO since December 1 2018.  Lazy, no calorie counting, no food tracking, eat only when hungry and ONLY eat carbs in our green leafy vegetables.  We have lost 100 Lb's between us.  We've never taken a cheat day, have not had a single bite or sip of sugar and not one processed carb. We don't IF, exercise or snack and we just keep losing.  We think it's magic…Dr Berry knows better!

  5. I have recently become interested in how being outside in nature has physiological benefits to humans. I think it's just one more thing to add to our health regimes. Most people now days have become completely separated from nature, and it can't be good for us. I'd love for you to do a video on the latest medical research on how nature affects our bodies physically (not the hippie feelings, "become one with the tree" kind of stuff). Real science. Just an idea….. I'd love to see what you can dig up in the research.

  6. I've been saying this for years and all my fat friends were scoffing at me and getting progressively fatter. I often hear things like "did you just made that up"…. In a mean time I look and feel at least 10 years younger than my calendar age. I am not on strict keto, but I never count calories for same very reasons outlined in this video and lift weights 3 times a week. I still have little belly fat and small tiny love handles. But I consider those "normal" since I am not competitive body builder and not a model. So going down to 5% body fat through a "calorie deficit" is just not worth it. I still look better than 99% of men my age.

  7. I leaned out significantly on high fat keto carnivore but had that underlying thought that we need veggies from hearing Mike Mutzel, Dr. Westman's page 4, etc. Gained exponentially adding plants back in. Guess my proper human diet is limited plants, which is weird considering I was more metabolically flexible pre-keto and more athletic.

  8. I have to count rounded up calories or I might go way above or below lol but I go by 50s, 2 eggs 150 cals, add coconut oil for frying and it's now 200. Yam with grated pasturized cheese 100. Calculating calories for a fat burning calendar calculator is dumb as I've found. Intermittent fasting is highly recommended for insulin resistance busting and fat burning

  9. Maybe you can’t count calories accurately, but it is for sure you can see it, and what I mean is I do workout lift weights I am lean about 8% to 10% body fat. If you eat more than you spend you just keep it. Look at yourself how much fat are you holding? And ask your self why? I have seen people at these carnivore conferences and are FAT… yes fat why? Mostly women and they have been on carnivore Keto for years…

  10. I always track my food because I help others do keto, I share my food, and macros every day, but I'm at the point in my keto, my calories can be listed as 3000 plus and I still lose weight, what seems to matter most is how many carbs and the ingredients. I'm only 5'1 and I am 40 yrs old, by standard calories in calories out, I should not be able to lose an ounce eating like that. In fact I should be gaining rapidly. (133 pounds lost!)

  11. In one of Dr Bergs videos, he sais you can't burn fat when there is insulin. But I have type 1 diabetes and I take a long term insulin that lasts 24 hours. Will I still be able to burn fat on a keto diet while taking this insulin?

  12. Just wandering…is Doc Berry is back to keto? Cause we all know that he opted for the carnivore way of eating not to long ago…hummmm? I hope you will answer this doc!! lol!

  13. I think the vast majority of us don't want to spend our life following Keto. Find the most enjoyable way of eating, adjust accordingly when needed. Learn through experience, experiment…listen what your body tells you when you eat something. Just don't go blindly follow a diet, find a sustainable plan FOR YOU. Keto is definitely not the only way to go about it

  14. Thank you for your videos, they helped me immensely. I was concerned about going keto with CKD III but because of your video I’ve given this a try. You inspired me about 12 weeks ago to go LCHF. I’ve since lost 20lbs and feel great! I’m not hungry very often and no issues with cravings. I’m turning into one of those annoying keto people but I love this way of life so much!

    Thank you!

  15. I watch a great deal of cuito people who constantly weigh and measure everything they put in their mouth! They count calories in a notebook and how many grams of everything they are eating. That doesn't seem like a fun way to lose weight to me. I mean come on they're weighing broccoli! You want to see a growth disorder in action? My insulin receptors they discovered almost 30 years ago do not function due to a genetic malfunction so I have extremely high levels of roaming insulin. Do you know what extremely high levels of insulin causes? A brand new illness which is known in the research lab as pseudoacromegaly. Insulin in high enough quantity causes growth just like growth hormones. Acromegaly as we know is caused by excess growth hormone pseudoacromegaly is caused by excess insulin and when your insulin receptors do not function there is nothing you can do to raise or lower your insulin other than what your body wants it to do. 20 years ago my insulin level dropped 15 points and I was losing 20 to 25 lbs per week until four years ago when I had skin removal surgery and a breast reduction. I was just at the doctor this week and lost 10 lb but it is not based on what I eat or what I do. This pseudoacromegaly has put me in a wheelchair with nerve damage all over my body which is permanent and degenerative I have no feeling from the hips down I have very little feeling in my hands and forearms other than pain in those areas excruciating chronic pain! It also took my appetite with it so I eat once a day if I'm lucky to remember and I eat what I want because I don't get enough calories in a week anyway or hit my macros and micros. They told me I would be dead by 34 years old and there is no one else to compare me to. I'm still here 20 years later albeit in a wheelchair my ass is still here on this planet talking this message because I can't type any longer I must voice type.

  16. I tried to use Ketogains macros which is calorie based toward recomposition. I thought I was going to F'ing starve to death. I am recomping really well doing IF 20+ hours and getting lots of protein and fat but keeping carbs under 30 total g a day.

  17. This video was so good and so true! Thank you Ken. Another aspect of estimating "caloric expenditure and utilization" is the inaccuracy of these "fitness watches". Mine can be off by as much as +/- 20% at any given time. It's impossible to accurately determine your daily caloric balance. At best, it's just a guess.

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