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Do Calories Count?

So right now all over social media its calorie deficit this and calorie deficit that

Sensationalised by so called "celebrity" trainers

and yes in a way it's true, but let's get back to talking about sustainability

Are you REALLY going to keep track of your calories all the bloody time?

Come on be honest????

I tried to do it and well that was a pants experience, so since 2002 I haven't counted calories, have remained a 32" waist and only weigh myself before and after I go on holiday just for sheer sh*ts and giggles.

But it's the kind of things you hear all the time from most dieters.

"Do I need to count calories"

As i've said my experience of counting calories is really NOT a good way to lose weight and usually makes the whole fat loss experience way more complex and stressful than it should be.

A Calorie is NOT a Calorie

First things first. All calories are NOT created equal.

Anyone telling you that ALL that matters for fat loss is the number of calories you eat is either oversimplifying science or simply ignorant.

Let’s look at the facts:

Calories from fat, protein and carb all affect your body in a different way

Certain foods are more fattening than others because they affect your fat burning hormones, digestive health, metabolism and every single process in your body differently.

If all calories were equal, you could live off 2,000 calories of pure sugar a day without any side effects.

Good luck with that shizzle

Bottom line: food quality matters as much as the number of calories you eat.

All those 100-calorie snack packs sold everywhere still pack 100 calories worth of crap and will slow you down in the long run.

That being said, the amount of food you eat still counts.

Even if you eat the healthiest foods on the planet, you can eventually gain fat if you eat too much. The human body stores extra energy as fat – no matter how organic or gluten-free it is.

Do Calories Matter?

Truth time

There’s no way to avoid it. If you want to lose weight, you have to eat less calories (energy intake) than the amount of calories you burn (energy expenditure).

You can achieve this energy deficit in two ways: Eating less or burning more through exercise.

Pros of eating less

  • None

Cons of eating less

  • You have to be very strict

  • Less nutrients from food

  • You end up lean but soft

Pros of exercising more

  • More energy

  • Building lean muscle mass

Cons of exercising more

  • You have to get off the couch

If you exercise to spend more energy, you’ll be able to eat normal portion sizes while losing weight.

That’s why you need to use both approaches: A way to control calories, AND intense exercise that makes you burn more.

Another argument in favour of exercise: The G flux principle.

You actually burn more fat and build more lean muscle when you eat more and exercise more than when you eat less and don’t exercise.

How Many Calories Should I Eat?

The killer question.

First, let me point out that ALL calorie formulas are as reliable as the weather forecast. They only serve up as a starting point from which you can make changes.

My simple formula to determine how many calories you should eat is:

Multiply your bodyweight (in pounds) by 12. That’s it.

Forget Calorie Counting, Enter Calorie “Awareness”

Even if calorie counting drives people crazy and isn’t even a reliable way to determine your caloric intake, it can make you aware of how much you’re eating.

If you can’t tell how many calories most foods contain and are still new to this, use the nutrition journal method:

  • Throughout the day, after each meal, log in what you just ate on an Excel spreadsheet or a piece of paper.

  • Add an entire week worth of calories, and divide by 7. You now have a better idea of how many calories you eat every day.

  • Use this method for at least 4 weeks and compare the numbers you get with my calorie formula (12 X your bodyweight in pounds). Are you overeating?

  • Once you learn how to control your portions properly, stop using the journal if you feel like it.


So you may have heard of a few of these and if you’ve ever tried any of it then you’ll know how confusing it is to get your head around.

Whilst these have their place for some people, in my opinion most people will get the best results just sourcing and cooking their own meals, ensuring each plate is packed with nutrients and educating themselves a little about the foods that support optimal gut and hormone health.

I’ll be honest, I don’t calorie count, spend hours logging details or weigh myself.

I’m busy and get easily overwhelmed or feel guilty if I think I’m doing something wrong so my nutrition needs to be simple, sustainable and fuel epic energy levels so I can take on the bigger adventures.

I follow the principles that I talk about with you, eating nutritious food 80% of the week, I put in the training, keep relatively active and enjoy the odd wine, chocolate, crisps every now and again.


Check this out.

Everything below contains 200 calories

588 grams broccoli

51 grams gummy bears

1425 grams celery

496ml of coca cola

385grams Apple (5 apples)

34 grams peanut butter

553 grams melon

33 grams mixed nuts

740 grams mixed peppers

75 grams cheeseburger

When you start comparing the amount you can eat from natural foods compared to processed foods (in this case for the same amount of calories – 200), you will notice that you can eat a lot more.

200 calories doesn’t get you very far when you’re eating crap highly processed junk food.

This is why people that are notorious for ‘picking’ throughout the day are really surprised when they see this comparison.

The odd bite from a cheeseburger or the occasional few sweets washed down with a nice fizzy cold drink really add up.

Bottom line: In order to lose fat off our bodies, we need to create a hormonal environment that encourages fat burning such as consuming the types of foods your body was designed to eat, the types of foods that balance hormones, the types of foods that promote optimal function of your body.

When you can do this, the body sheds weight because you’re naturally aligned with nature.

Stop doing it to yourself.

Let go of those ways of ‘dieting’ and start focusing on what really matters, clean, simple, yet delicious real food is a lifestyle that’s sustainable.

You don’t have to count calories. You can enjoy loads of delicious fresh real foods, and you can eat A LOT, lose weight and most importantly, keep it off.

You don't want to live your life by numbers, do you?

Make sure you stop eating when you feel about 80% full

That's a foolproof portion control technique right there mate.

If you found this post useful please share with friends, family, work colleagues and anyone you feel may benefit.

Chat soon


Coach @ The Perth Fitness Camp

PS. Are you ready to be in a much better place both physically and mentally, all you need is a willing body and the desire to change.

I'll supply the rest.

Since 2009 has helped to empower 100's of over 30's men and women from the Perth area to take back control of their diet and training routine... and it all starts with my UNSTOPPABLE 28 Day Coaching Programme

To find out if my UNSTOPPABLE Challenge is a good fit and to join go here for details >>

Not quite ready to commit to a programme? No problem, why not kickstart your health and fitness journey with my FREE book 'Fat Loss Simplified' and discover how to lose weight and keep it off for good without all the fads, gimmicks and diet nonsense.

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