What The View Doesn’t Know About Calories

Over the New Year holiday I was forced by my wife to sit through The View.  Not exactly must see tv for a guy.  I lasted about one segment.  But the topic of that segment intrigued me.

The guest was a Jim Karas whose written a book titled The Petite Diet Advantage.  The book discusses why a petite woman has trouble losing weight and, naturally, his revolutionary diet to fix it.  Pretty typical diet hype.

What got my attention on the segment was his discussion of calories in, calories out.  He described how to lose weight a woman must burn more calories than they take in.  Simple math he says.  Except for petite women he claims it’s harder.

He showed a graphic that illustrated if you eat only 40 calories more than you burn a day, in 30 years you’ll gain 130 pounds.

That seems a little over the top.  If that kind of simple math was the sole reason for weight gain nearly all of us would be obese.  (Right now the number stands at about 30% of the population)

So, you’d gain 130 pounds over 30 years if you ate 3 baby carrots (40 calories) more than you burned every day.    As an aside, a morning Starbucks cappucino (120 calories) would have you to the added 130 pounds in only 10 years time.

My point is simple, while being aware of calories is a sound weight management strategy, the simple math of burning more than you take in is not that simple.  As I’ve said before 500 calories of French fries are not equal to 500 calories of steamed broccoli.

So please, eat the 3 baby carrots.


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