Why do we count Calories? (Calories) Pt.1

Updated: Nov 16

Since 1975, worldwide obesity has tripled, and 40% of adults are now overweight. Counting Calories has been the primary weight-loss strategy for the last century, but it simply does not work.

Discover the real value of food, our secret source of energy, and successful strategies to naturally slim down.




French engineers and chemists coined the term ‘calorie’ over 200 years ago. One calorie is the amount of energy needed to heat one kilogram (2 pints) of water by one degree Celsius (2oF). Using calories to measure the energy from food became popular shortly after the First World War.


Post-war rationing, plus social pressure from the fashion industry, was co-opted into nutritional advice. Women were told ‘thin is in’ and their ‘pangs of hunger’ helped children survive post-war famine while some doctors promoted cigarettes to aid ‘healthy’ weight loss.

Quality & Calories

Using Calories to quantify food would make sense if the body was a ‘furnace’, but it’s not. Coal provides 7 Calories per gram and gasoline provides 13 Calories per gram, but they’re completely inedible. Meanwhile, coconut oil delivers 9 Calories per gram. So what’s the difference?

Your body creates energy by combining oxygen with nutrients from your food. This process of oxygenation to release energy is much more complex than simply ‘burning’ (oxidizing) foodwhich is how Calories are calculated in the laboratory for food labels. Your body does not ‘burn’ foodyou digest, dismantle, absorb, and assimilate food into your body.

Energy Efficiency

Your body can use a variety of energy sources, in several different ways. Typically, we breathe insufficient oxygen to make 38 units of bio-energy (called ATP) per gram of carbohydrate (e.g. 1g of dates).

When jogging, for example, we use up energy faster than we can get oxygen in. Fortunately, the body has a backup mechanism for making energy without oxygen (called anaerobic respiration). When oxygen levels are low, or when we’re out of breath, we can still make bio-energy (ATP), but much less efficiently. Only 2 units of ATP per gram of carbohydratethat’s 19 times less efficient!

Acid & Inflammation

Producing energy without enough oxygen creates lactic acid – this acidic overload can sometimes be felt like a ‘charley horse’ e.g. after sprinting. Making energy without oxygen is only meant to be temporary, while we run away from danger.

Stress, air pollution, inflammation, toxicity, and poor breathing habits are reducing our oxygen levels. This means instead of efficiently producing energy, we are wasting it and producing excess acid instead. This acid damages the cell's ability to produce energy (in the mitochondria), making the problem even worse.




Empty Calories

Nutritional science is finally moving away from the misnomer that all calories are ‘equal’ in their nutritional value. Weight for weight, avocado, and sugar-coated donuts have the same number of calories, but it should be obvious that their health effects are very different!

Calories are an outdated concept perpetuated by industries whose bottom lines benefit from their customer’s overindulgence. The true value of food comes from the quality and usefulness of the ingredients. Your body needs ‘energizing’ nutrients (e.g. carbohydrates, fats, and oxygen) and ‘optimizing’ nutrients (e.g. minerals, anti-oxidants, flavonoids) to drive biological processes.



“Learn the foods with high element properties in order to save your health and your body.” – Dr. Sebi


This post was written by: Barry Nembhard

"The M Series"Motivation..Mindset..Money



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