Yoni Freedhoff, MD, founder and medical director of Ottawa’s Bariatric Medical Institute has written an article entitled “Counting Calories Is Flawed but Here’s Why I Still Do It”. His article takes the complex math of unique burn rates of foods and people and assumes these differences are irrelevant to calorie counting validity. And hence why counting calories continues to be Yoni’s go-to obesity management tool. Yoni says because it’s simple, it’s scientific and there’s nothing better yet, even if it’s technically not correct that a calorie is a calorie or that the human system complicates the math. Yoni feels he can still keep it simple by counting calories, just whole foods are less, some people can eat all they want and some can’t.
Yoni describes the differences in people:
Some of us are walking around driving Humvees while others drive hybrids. The Humvee drivers are the folks who get virtually no fuel economy for their energy stores and consumption. Humvee drivers are like that study subject who barely gained weight despite eight weeks of over feeding, eating whatever they want without having to worry about their waists. The hybrid drivers are the folks who can look at an indulgence and gain weight.
I see a lot of scientists reducing these concept to linear assumptions: that you can count them more or less in straight lines. It certainly makes them easier to conceptualize and work with. Yoni reduces this down to burning rates with his car analogy; how many calories one burns. However this is a over-simplified version that leaves out the why. Continue reading