The Calorie Conundrum

The low-calorie aspect of eating to lower body fat levels is one I do not adhere to with my clients – but it sure is interesting debate! Below is an article highlighting aspects of the ‘Calorie balance’ and both the good and bad sides of each argument.

We re getting fatter!

Statistics (and photos!) show that we are all getting fatter. Be it heavier and by measuring Body Mass Index (BMI), or by measuring expanding waist sizes – we are definitely getting fatter. I have recently read the NHS 2010 study (Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity, and Diet in England 2010) and have noted a few of the statistics which will be revealed in this article.

If you want to read the full study, you can do by clicking here. (Beware – its about 112 pages long!)

From 1993 to 2006, the amount of men and women with a raised waist circumference (35inch for a woman; 40 inch for a man) increased from 23% to a massive 37%!! That means over a third of us have a raised waist circumference. Take a look at the graph below.

These Statistics show a lot of how much damage we are doing – and in such a short space of time.

“It’s because we don’t do enough exercise or….. We eat too much”

The 2 calorie-counting assumptions are from

1) Not enough exercise

2) Too many calories from food.

The ‘not enough exercise’ can hold true for many, but what the statistics show, is that many more people are exercising than before!

Take a look at the following graph:

Increasing Physical Activity Levels!

This is a graph counting the percentage of people achieving the Government’s recommended guidelines of 30 mins of moderate exercise – 5 times a week.

This statistic shows that people are exercising more!

To mix things up even more, it was found that people are eating less calories than before! The quote “Energy intake is on a downward trend; Total energy intake for 2008 was 2,276 kcal per person per day, a decrease of 1.9% from the previous year.”


So to sum up, People are getting fatter…….yet eating less and doing more! What gives?

The Calorie Perspective

The trusty “Calories in Vs. Calories” out theory goes something like this:

Various diets and lots of government professionals also work this way. So if you’re wanting to lose weight, and you aren’t – then you must simply do more exercise, or eat less food……………………right? (!)


The Problem


The problems arise – simply because it does not work in the long term. It is very likely you know someone, have met someone, or even heard of people who have either

a) Gained more than 2-3lbs in a week (7000-10,500kcals) and hardly changed their energy balance of diet and exercise.

b) Stayed the same weight, or even gained weight – and they have trained their a** off!

Whats the answer then, doc?

“You must be eating snacks – all these hidden calories do add up” or…….” Are you really exercising as much as you say you are?”

This said, by these people………….

Does anything seem strange to you about these health professionals?

Too Simplistic

If the Calorie-Counting method is the be-all and end-all then please answer the following question:

What is more likely to add fat to your body?

400 calories of Wild Salmon, Brocolli, mushrooms and bean sprouts, or 300 calories of cookies and ice cream?

John Cammish (B.S.C) is a local East Yorkshire Fitness Bootcamp Instructor and real-world fat loss expert. He has helped countless individuals change their lives through postive habits with a focus on tried and tested methods. For more details about Personal Training, Fitness Bootcamps, Free Articles and more – check his website ( and his Bootcamp Blog (






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