The Calorie Myth

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I am super excited about writing this post today, but I have to admit, I've been putting it off for over 2 weeks now. Anytime I read a book I really love, I always want to share it with you guys, but then it's a little overwhelming trying to pick out the high points without writing a novel. I'll do my best to keep is short and sweet and let the book do the rest if you decide to read it. Which I would highly suggest.


The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor is not your average "Fad Diet" book by any means. I actually came across it when I was reading an article titled "6 New Healthy Food Books That Don't Promote Fad Diets," on Living Today Online. The title kind of says it all.


Jonathan Bailor is a former personal trainer and Microsoft program manager who made it his personal mission to find out why all of the "healthy eating" and "diet" information being fed to the masses are simply not working. Jonathan's writing style is laid back and easy to understand; however he backs everything up with NUMEROUS scientific studies.

Jonathan begins the book by walking you through a multitude of studies that show all calories are not created equal and that everyone has a "set point weight" that their body will try to hover around naturally. One point he made early on that really struck me was that 95.4 percent of the time counting calories does not keep off body fat over the long term. So we've all heard our entire lives that if we want to loose weight we have to cut calories, but 95.4 percent of the time that doesn't work? Something has got to be wrong here! He thoroughly describes how calorie quality not quantity is the key to health and fat loss.

After explaining the science behind his theory on nutrition, he's lays out his plan in an extremely easy to follow and simple way. Essentially, eat so many high quality healthy foods (non-starchy vegetables, protein, and some fruits), that you are too full to eat low quality starches and sweets. He obviously goes into much more detail and is much more eloquent then I am about it. However, I love his no frills plan! He also does a wonderful job explaining how low quality food adversely effect your hormones and cause you to settle at a higher "set point weight" making it harder and harder to loose body fat. Who wants that?

He also breaks down what makes a "high quality" food with the helpful acronym SANE. You will hear him refer to SANE goods all throughout the book. He is the expert, so in his exact words, SANE stands for:

Satiety is how quickly calories fill us up.
Aggression is how likely calories are to be stored as body fat.
Nutrition is how many vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, etc., calories provice.
Efficiency is how easily calories are converted into body fat.

He goes into wonderful detail about what makes each one of these things so important when it comes to balancing your hormones and lowering your set point weight. It seems so easy and SANE, anyone could do it.

Delicious SANE Fodds! (source)

Jonathan lays out his theory on exercise and the importance of eccentric training for promoting proper hormone regulation in the body. As a fitness instructor and personal trainer, I thought this part was extremely interesting as well.

Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone. Rather you are trying to loose weight, or are just a nutrition information junkie like me, it is a great read!

I have also started listening to Jonathan's podcasts "The Calorie Myth" while I work out and really enjoy them as well. They go into greater details on some topics covered in the books, share tips on eccentric training and SANE eating, and answer readers questions. His website has lots of great information, recipes, and resources as well. If you are looking for the mother load of SANE recipes, you have to go visit This is the hilarious lady he does the podcasts with and she is a wizard in the kitchen!

Has anyone read this book? Thoughts?

Any suggestions on the next book I should tackle?

In health,

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