People like to argue about “is a calorie a calorie.” One of the rare things that we actually know in nutrition due to physics and stuff.

Yes, calories matter. They matter a lot.

Are calories EVERYTHING then? Nope. Far from it.

Most of this resulted from the “3,500 calorie rule”

Burn more than 3,500 calories and you will lose 1 lb of weight.

This is ok for rough estimates, but the equation breaks down over many months.

What you actually learn…gasp….is that it is really nonlinear, just like almost every freaking thing in physiology.

The error goes all the way back to the 1950s from” Wishnofsky M. Caloric equivalents of gained or lost weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 1958;6:542–546.”

The Calculus of Calories: Quantitative Obesity Research

A great talk on this by Dr Hall

Which is why I always laugh at the simple linear thinking.

Plus if it was that simple, I would be out of a job and I would not see obese people everywhere.

The amount of people who argue over the physics of this who have never taken a math class beyond HS geometry. Which is totally fine but don’t argue about math then.

Take Away

Calories are important but they are not everything.

3,500 calories to lose one pound is at best, a rough estimate.

Obesity is not a simple linear problem, If it was, we would have it all figured out by now.

Ranting off
Dr Mike T Nelson