Why calories don’t matter, and fat doesn’t make you fat


What is a calorie? And why calories don’t matter, and fat doesn’t make you fat?


Eskimos traditionally only eat fat and protein and are still lean and healthy.


Why is that? Isn’t too much fat and protein dangerous?


This is a nutritional error that persists.


Unusual Study: Are All Calories Equal?

“All calories are the same whether they come from beef or red wine, sugar or starch, cheese or crackers. Too many calories are too many calories.”

 – Fred Stare (1910-2002), founder and former chairman of the Harvard University Nutritional Department.


That was a long time ago.


The Harvard School of Public Health examined the effects of protein and fat in a study – with astonishing results.


Overweight subjects went on a four-month diet.


  •       Group A received a reduced-calorie, low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet (65% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 5% fat).
  •       Group B ate narrow diets high in fat and low in carbohydrates (5% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 65% fat).
  •       Group C received the same high-fat diet as Group B but was allowed to add 300 calories per day. In purely mathematical terms, this group would have to gain 3 kilos in 4 months.


The result?

  • Group A will lose 6.8 kg.
  • Group B loses 9.2 kilos.
  • Group C loses 8 kilograms.


Conclusion: Apparently, the quality of the food significantly impacts what happens to the calories in our bodies.


calories don't matter - balanced diet

What is a calorie #1 – Definition

The “calorie”, more precisely kilocalorie (kcal), as defined in the 19th century by the chemist Wilbur Olin Atwater. Of course, the technologies that are available to us today did not exist then.


So he just burned the food. The combustion process – fire is involved here, so “don’t try this at home” – has nothing in common with human digestion. 


If you serve yourself a log of firewood for lunch, your body won’t store the amount of calories that come from burning the wood in the fireplace. 


Enjoy your meal!


Conclusion: It doesn’t matter what you put in your mouth. It is much more important what happens with it in your bloodstream.


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What is a calorie #2 – Food as a source of information

In the Eskimo study cited above, it was already clear: if the calories come from different sources, the results will also differ.


Calorie intake results, such as fat loss and muscle building, depend mainly on your digestion – and the ratio of proteins to carbohydrates to fat.


Protein also plays a crucial role in strength and endurance sports. It is an essential element for your training success. You can find out more about it here.


Conclusion: The hormonal response to carbohydrates, proteins, and fat is different.