Ranking the Worth of a Calorie

Caloric expenditure does not qualify the success of your workout

I said that on social media, and a lot of people thought I meant it in a motivational way - like, working out is more about the good habits of physical activity, even if you only burn a few Calories. And I do agree with that approach, that the habits are worth it no matter the intensity or volume of work you perform, but that's not exactly what I meant. I mean: What if you are aiming to lose weight? How do Calories rank, physiologically, in determining the success of your workout?

I think, generally, the consensus is that Calories are the primary, if not only metric worth tracking to predict and ensure weight loss.

I mean, what else would you monitor, if not Calories?

Let me tell you: There are many other factors in weight loss/fat loss other than energy expenditure!

Check out the video above and while you're at it, subscribe to fitnphys on YouTube! And here's the link to the Tremblay, Simoneau and Bouchard (1994) article I cite in the video:


This video is the first in a series about addressing some of the biggest fitness problems we're all familiar with. Losing weight can be a struggle and can be frustrating - way too often, people are cutting Calories and crunching the numbers, expecting the numbers on the scale to go down. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. But why is there variability at all? Why doesn't it always work? If I presented you with a math formula that sometimes worked and sometimes didn't work - you'd tell me to go back and figure it out some more! Why are we so attached to our current Caloric paradigm that Calories are king in predicting weight loss outcomes?

What have you been taught about Calories and how do you apply that knowledge in the kitchen and in the gym? In what ways has counting Calories been successful for you, and in what ways has it been frustrating?


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