Our Interview with Jonathan Bailor of The Calorie Myth: Part 1 – video & highlights

The Calorie Myth

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, Frederic Poirot

Jonathan Bailor dropped by via Google Hangout and shared his passion and knowledge garnered from research and studies, discussing the “Calories In, Calories Out” misconception a.k.a. The Calorie Myth, his NY Times Bestseller.

Updated 9/24/14: Thanks for watching!  You can view additional deep dives we held with nutrition and performance innovators like our webcast with Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple, and REFUEL’S Dr. John La Puma. 

Part 2 of the Jonathan Bailor interview can be found here. 

See below to watch part 1 of the Jonathan Bailor webcast or read the highlights:


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Q: What is The Calorie Myth?

The disproven theory that calories should be the focal point of eating and exercise. They absolutely shouldn’t. The mythology is the cause of the confusion and obesity epidemic. It’s not that calories don’t exist.

The challenge with calories is that if you look at the actual science of what we see in metabolic disorders, it’s not a willpower problem, it’s a biological dysfunction/disease that takes place in your brain, gut, and hormones. What causes that disease is not calories, it’s everything else in food. For example, Diet Coke. no calories, does that mean it’s good for you? An avocado has a lot of calories, does that mean it’s bad for you? Calories are just a measure of energy. What ACTUALLY changes your body, what transforms the system itself, what inflames your brain, de-regulates your hormones and destroys your gut – is more than calories.

Q: There’s a big focus on special diets and exercise fads to address weight gain…what are your thoughts on that trend? 

Telling someone just to eat less is like saying the way to stop lung cancer is to smoke shorter cigarettes. [Click to tweet!] It’s missing the point entirely. You don’t solve a problem by having less of the cause. The cause of obesity is processed, edible garbage. We need to focus on eating more of the right kinds of foods.

Q: How much do genetics play a role?

Another reason this Calorie Mythology is so heart breaking is that it paints our bodies as stupid – and they’re not. They’re brilliant.

The Calorie Mythology leaves us to believe that metabolisms work like math. That’s not how your body works. It doesn’t work like math, it works like biology. Think of the term Homeostasis. Biology teaches us that living creatures work to maintain a state of balance. There’s a range it strives to maintain. This happens automatically. This is why just cutting calories doesn’t work. The set point is an established concept for human biology. We’ve just lost sight of the fact that it applies to weight loss regulation.

You also have a set point body composition – the level of body fat that your body works to maintain automatically. Genetics play a role – genetics determine 40-70% of that. 3 basic body types. Endomorph, mesomorph, ectomorph. If you want to change the way your body looks and functions long term, you can’t fight that set point.  It’s about changing that set point – the way your hormones, brain and gut work. You do that through the quality of foods you eat, not the quantity of energy you take in (calories).

Q: How does the quality of the food you eat affect your metabolism?

Think of a sink. If you pour a lot of water in the sink, the level may rise temporarily, but there are mechanisms in place to let the water out eventually. It will never overflow because it’s designed to prevent against that.

What does cause it to overflow/clogs? Not water. We don’t throw hair or paper towels through it, because we know that will cause a clog. Our body is designed to not become obese. When you put the wrong quality of foods in your body, you can clog up your sink.

You can check out tweet snippets using #jbailorwfx.

Stay tuned for Part 2 this week, along with even more WellnessFX webcasts with passionate, insightful, and health-minded folks by subscribing to our blog or by following us at @WellnessFX.

About Jonathan Bailor
Jonathan Bailor is a preeminent nutrition & exercise expert &  former personal trainer who specializes who specializes in using high-quality food and exercise to simplify health and fitness. He has been collaborating with top scientists for over 10 years, analyzing over 1,300 studies, synthesizing over 10,000 pages of research, and garnered endorsements by top doctors from Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, Yale, and UCLA.

Bailor’s best selling book, The Calorie Myth, exposes the fundamental flaw upon which the diet industry has been built: the “eat less + exercise more = weight loss” equation simply doesn’t add up. After over 10 years of research and collaboration with some of the top academics, doctors, scientists, and thinkers in the field of health and wellness, Jonathan Bailor has developed this revolutionary new model for weight loss—and lifelong health. The Calorie Myth gives a clear comprehensive guidance on what to eat and why, while providing an eating plan, easy recipes, and a simple at-home exercise program.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.