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The Calorie Myth: How to Eat More, Exercise Less, Lose Weight, and Live Better Hardcover – December 31, 2013
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
“Jonathan Bailor has written a smart, useful guide that is easy to follow and a pleasure to read. The Calorie Myth shows you how to eliminate toxic foods that zap your energy and add inches to your waistline. It will change the way you look at dieting!” (JJ Virgin, CNS, CHFS, bestselling author of The Virgin Diet)
“The Calorie Myth does an excellent job of exposing the fundamental myths about obesity and weight loss that are keeping Americans sick. By explaining the link between our hormones and our metabolism, Jonathan Bailor offers readers a powerful set of tools for creating lifelong health.” (Mark Hyman, MD, bestselling author of The Blood Sugar Solution)
“Jonathan Bailor cuts through the noise and tells it to us straight: the food we eat impacts our biology in the most fundamental yet fixable ways. Our hormones regulate weight loss, and what we eat impacts how they function. Calories? Not the issue.” (Sara Gottfried, MD, bestselling author of The Hormone Cure)
“The Calorie Myth will do more to assist people with their health than all the popular diet books currently out there put together. I want to shout, ‘Bravo! Finally someone gets it!’” (Christiane Northrup, MD, OB/GYN, physician and author of the bestsellers Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause)
“The Calorie Myth provides a clear plan for readers to reset their metabolism and shed excess weight-not through excessive exercise and restrictive calorie counts, but with delicious and nourishing foods and moderate exercise. A valuable and transformative book.” (Mike Moreno, MD, bestselling author of The 17 Day Diet)
From the Back Cover
What if everything you thought you knew about weight loss was wrong?
When it comes to most things in life, we welcome research and progress. From the convenience of our smartphones to the technology in our hospitals, scientific advancement allows us to live better.
So why are we still following weight-loss advice from the 1950s? Why haven't we ever questioned the "calories in/calories out" model at the foundation of every diet and fitness plan—a formula that, not coincidentally, has accompanied record-breaking levels of obesity?
In The Calorie Myth, Jonathan Bailor exposes the fundamental flaw upon which the diet industry is built and offers a new equation:
eat More + exercise Less = weight loss
If calorie math added up, 100 calories of vegetables = 100 calories of candy. That doesn't seem right—because it's not. While some calories fuel weight loss, others work against us. In The Calorie Myth, Bailor shows us how eating more of the right kinds of foods and exercising less, but at a higher intensity, is the true formula for burning fat and boosting metabolism.
Why? Because eating high-quality foods, like whole-food plants, proteins, and fats, balances the hormones that regulate your metabolism. Eating poor-quality foods, like refined starches, sweets, and processed foods, causes a hormonal imbalance, throwing your metabolism off kilter and causing you to store food as fat—regardless of how many calories you consume.
In this revolutionary weight-loss program informed by more than 1,200 scientific studies, Bailor offers clear, comprehensive guidance on what to eat and why, providing an eating plan, recipes, and a simple yet effective exercise regimen.
Losing weight doesn't have to mean going hungry or spending hours at the gym. Don't let outdated calorie math stand between you and the life you want: discover the new science of weight loss with The Calorie Myth.
Top customer reviews
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I began the Calorie Myth/Smarter Science of Slim way of eating 6 months ago.My reason for starting was just to help control my blood sugar, sure I hoped to lose weight but I didn't think it would actually happen. I have lost an even 40 pounds without being hungry at all. I have not counted 1 calorie or macro nutrient. I have only exercised 4 times in those 6 months, which is not recommended, but I was focusing on nutrition first. As I lose more weight, I hope to exercise more, but the fact that I can loose 40 lbs without starving or doing aerobics for hours has been life changing for me.
Even if I had not lost 1 lb. I would continue to eat this way for the following reasons...
#1. EXTREME FATIGUE - Getting out of bed was a chore every morning. I was ready to go back to sleep by noon and was almost in tears many days because fighting through it to stay at work was so difficult. I had to sleep 'til noon on weekends to make up for "only" sleeping 8-9 hours on weekdays. I have been called lazy my whole life. I thought it was sleep apnea. I couldn't imagine how people had a job and kids and hobbies and friends. I wasn't able to function like that at all. Within 2 days of eating this way, that feeling evaporated. I'm still not the most energetic person I know, but I can make it through an entire day without wishing I could just go to sleep. I can think about doing things with my life that I never thought I would be able to do. I now know it was blood sugar issues and I had several other signs of hypoglycemia (extreme thirst, mood swings) which have gotten progressively better over the months. I used to wake up 9-10 times a night to drink water. Now I am down to 0-1 per night.
#2. SKIN - This may be TMI for some, so if you are squeamish, please skip. I have had an autoimmune skin condition for about 17 years. I tried taking Prednisone, I tried band aids with antibiotic ointment all over my back, I tried a "skin diet". It itched, bled, and never healed. Nothing made any difference. I gave up. I have worn dark, long sleeved shirts for 10 years. Then about 2 months into eating this way I noticed that my back, scalp, and arms were 80% healed. I didn't expect this and still can hardly believe it. I never thought I would be rid of this condition. There was 1 month during the 6 that I went back to eating things like cheesecake and lots of fruit and some pizza, after 2 weeks of this I had a major flare up, new bumps formed and itched like crazy. I went right back to eating correctly and the itching stopped and the bumps are healing.
#3. FOOD ANGST - Once I got through the first 2 weeks or so of irritability, strong cravings, etc. it was like a whole new world. I no longer start thinking about lunch right after finishing breakfast, I no longer have to "will" myself to not eat the donuts at work or the pizza that always seems to be around. (This never worked anyway, I always gave in. I thought I was just weak.) These foods honestly do not appeal to me very much now that the addiction/dependence is broken. I thought I could not live without cheese, but I can. I love the food I eat and have found a deep new appreciation for simpler foods.
I highly recommend this book AND the Smarter Science of Slim podcast to anyone who wants better health and/or weight loss. This information has helped me change my life and my outlook on life.
As someone who pretty much follows the Mediterranean Diet, this doesn't appeal to me. But, having said that, I found the book a goldmine of valuable information, most of which I know for a fact is based on science and does indeed work. That is why five stars.
This book is actually the second edition of the popular Smarter Science of Slim.
According to a statement in the front of the book, The Calorie Myth was "Previously published in a different form as The Smarter Science of Slim by Aavia Publishing in 2012."
A reprinted or republished book is one which has been previously published in a different form (e.g. a paperback which was previously published in hardcover) and sometimes by a different publisher.
THE CALORIE MYTH is the simplification and application of more than 1,300 academic studies. The supporting scientific literature and scientific documentation is included to back up what Bailor writes.
While the book has some typos and a few editing errors, the writing is excellent and the ideas and information well presented.
I have a copy of the the first book and some of the content is identical. Having said that, the new book is more professional and the material better laid out than in the 2012 version and if you did not read SSoS, you will benefit from reading the new edition. In addition, if you did read the previous book, you'll benefit from the new edition.
In this book, Bailor provides a five-week plan to burn fat and shed pounds "quickly" and a lifestyle program to improve your health.
One of the fascinating things you'll learn in The Calorie Myth is how to reset your set point. Of course, that was covered in the previous book too.
"Our set-point determines our long-term weight. If our weight is elevated, it's because our set-point is elevated thanks to what I call a hormonal clog," writes the author.
He continues by giving an example of an elevated set-point being like a "clogged sink." "When our hormones change, our set-point changes. This is why we gain weight as we age."
Bailor is against counting calories as are a good many experts in the health and fitness industry. It has proven to be a failure. I personally quit counting calories years ago and it's paid off.
He writes, "Basing your diet on calorie count is like taking a medication that treats the symptoms of an illness, but doesn't cure the underlying cause.We can monitor our bodies all we want by tracking calories in versus calories out, but if we're not eating foods that fuel our biological processes and help to regulate our hormones, we're not curing our bodies."
He adds, "You can count calories all day and will not set yourself up for long-term fat loss if you are eating low-quality calories that trigger excess body-fat storing hormones such as insulin."
Numerous experts and health and fitness authors express their opinions in an effort to reinforce the studies quoted in the book. For example,
"For the vast majority of people, being overweight is not caused by how much they eat but what they eat. The idea that people get heavy because they consume a high volume of food is a myth. Eating large amounts of the right food is your key to success." -- Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD
Bailor suggests folks discard their scales. "As long as we focus on short-term weight loss, our efforts will not work out long term. We need to keep this critical perspective in mind because common things that do help us lose weight short term do not help us stay healthy and slim long term.The single most important step you can take to enable this mental shift is to get rid of tools that encourage starvation -- e.g., your scale -- and to set goals that will focus you on the long term. I know walking away from the scale is incredibly difficult. But until we free ourselves from worrying about our weight, we will risk relapsing back into our old approaches that we know do not work for the long term. Focus on getting healthier, not lighter. Your body will take care of the rest."
I know for a fact this is true. I also know most people will have trouble with it because we're taught totally differently all our lives. Of course, even the tape measure doesn't always tell the truth because many people get a bit bloated from time to time and their waist may show a number that is not fat at all. I personally prefer to go by the calipers.
The exercise section is excellent. I have done the short, intense and sometimes eccentric exercises for several years and the benefits are awesome. More and more professional athletes and just everyday people are discovering that long workouts are pretty useless and very boring. And, often, the rest of the day is spent being sedentary unless you spend very little time in your chair.
"While lifting weights helps boys feel like men, safely and slowly lowering weights enables us to use up to 40 percent more resistance. That enables more muscle fibers to be worked and more clog-clearing hormones to be triggered. That means more results in less time," he writes.
There is a recipe section in the update. However, one of their sweeteners of choice is xylitol. I avoid this sweetener myself. To quote an article on The Mayo Clinic website, " . . . be cautious with sugar alcohols -- including mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. Sugar alcohols can increase your blood sugar level. And for some people, sugar alcohols may cause diarrhea."
If these are concerns you have, you might want to consider coconut palm sugar or some other sweetener. Stevia, although a processed food, is good as and also used in some of the recipes.
I personally think we have to take the good out of what we read and discard the rest. There are those who will love this lifestyle in total and want to adopt it. Others may opt for a different eating style and perhaps exercise style.
But everyone will find tremendous value in this book. It should be read carefully and fully absorbed. There's a lot of material here and, just as studies must be read carefully, so must this book. Skimming it is not the way to read it.
- Susanna K. Hutcheson
Health & Fitness Researcher/Reviewer