This is an excellent talk by Dr. Stephen Guyenet at this year’s Ancestral Health Symposium held recently in Boulder, CO.
It’s all about how caloric intake trumps all other things we believe are important factors for health.
Even in the first five minutes of the talk, he shows how calorie intake even trumps junk food as a negative determinant of health, by highlighting a self-experiement I covered briefly way back here.
~ Well I suppose I ought to say something about The Twinkie Diet before I get yet another email about it, a tweet, or a comment on one of the other posts. I guess I missed the ball on this one; because I thought it so obviously dumb that no one would take much interest in it, I didn’t bother to say anything, ridicule it, break out the BULLSHIT! horn or anything. Guess I was wrong. There’s a number of good blog posts about it. Stephan Guyenet at Whole Health Sourcet. RG at Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger. Don Matesz at Primal Wisdom. The bottom line is that in relatively healthy people without broken metabolisms, calories do count a great deal. If you increase or restrict so much that you override your body’s natural energy homeostasis, you’ll gain or lose weight.
So, I guess even as far back as 2010 I was already beginning to dispense with the nonsense that calories don’t count.
Pretty amazing results for a low-calorie junk food diet.
So, to really summarize what Stephan is getting at in that presentation, there is a sort-of mismatch, illustrated well by this slide.
Stephan’s core argument is that of all these factors or determinants, caloric intake is so profound is that it tends to make all the others somewhat irrelevant—and not only for weight loss, for health factors themselves.
Of course, you can still eat well and you should, but if you focus on nutrient dense foods, turns out you can eat less of them, be leaner, and be healthier.