Episode 97. Bad News for Fitbit and Other Calorie Trackers

Mar 12, 2018 | 0 comments

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Show Notes

The Coach shares a widely publicized recent study on weight gain, genotype patterns and insulin response that supports things he’s been preaching for years about calorie counting and nutrition. The research was published this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by nutritionist experts, including renowned specialist Christopher Gardner.


Stop counting calories. Stop the nonsense!”

  • In the study, people who ate lots of vegetables and whole foods, rather than processed ones, lost weight without worrying about calories or portion size.
  • People who cut back on processed foods but instead ate healthy whole foods and didn’t count calories, lost weight.
  • Weight loss success in the study wasn’t linked to people’s genetics or insulin response to carbs.
  • The study suggests that diet quality, not quantity, is what helps people lose weight.
  • Low-fat brownies and low-carb chips are still brownies and chips. Calling them low-fat and low-carb is just “gaming the system.”
  • Fitbit calorie tracking and “If It Fits Your Macros” calculators; genotype (DNA) patterns, blood type and hair analysis diets, are misleading consumers by subjecting them to obey numbers and non-relevant traits.
  • Health authorities should shift away from focus on calories and instead emphasize avoidance of processed foods.
  • “It’s time for US and other national policies to stop focusing on calories and calorie counting.” – Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, Dean of Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
  • The study didn’t set caloric limits. The subjects were encouraged to eat only as much as they needed to avoid feeling hungry; they consumed fewer calories without counting calories and were simply unaware they were eating less [due to eating whole instead of processed foods.]
  • “The unique thing is that we didn’t ever set a calories or macro unit number for them to follow.” – Christopher Gardner, PhD., Director of Nutrition Studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and a professor of medicine at Stanford University.
  • Gardner said that the people who lost the most weight reported that the study had “changed their relationship with food.”
  • Scott has long said, “[you] don’t have a problem with food and weight; you have a thinking and feeling problem about food and weight.”

Gardner, Christoper D., et al. “Effect of Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate Diet on 12-Month Weight Loss in Overweight Adults and the Association With Genotype Pattern or Insulin Secretion.” JAMA. 2018;319(7):667-679. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.0245

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