Weight Loss Kit for Dummies

The book is a good attempt to discuss nutrition and weight loss but over-simplifies the complexities of metabolism into a simple formula: Calories ingested – calories expended = net calories (used from fat if negative, gained as fat if positive), for every 3,500 calories lost that is one pound. Ah, if life was that simple!

First, not everyone uses calories the same way. If they did, you would not have people converting food into fat at different proportions relative to each other. Some people make and store fat easier than others. Some people have slower metabolisms, others faster. Individual differences are not considered in detail.

Second, excess intake is not considered when estimating the benefits of reducing calories. For example, if I eat 100 calories fewer per day, I am not going to necessarily going to loose a pound in 35 days. If I regularly eat an excess of 500 calories per day and eat 100 fewer calories then I simply gain weight at a slower rate, I do not loose any. Moreover, this math assumes intake and calories expended and metabolic rate are consistent over these 35 days. Not so in real life.

I hoped for more mechanistic theory about when and how various calorie sources are used. How does eating protein versus simple carbs versus complex carbs versus fats at night affect my metabolism when I am sleeping? Eating fruit before bed causes a lower waking blood sugar that not eating fruit before bed. Eating protein before bed influences the body to prioritize rebuilding muscle while I sleep, whereas fats and complex carbs influence energy storage as either fats or glycogen or both.

I got a little tired of the joking and sarcastic humor by the first half of the book and annoyed by it towards the end of the book.

All the good things state below are all still true! These are my only criticisms.

For a very good understanding of nutrition and metabolism, check out “understanding nutrition” Whitney and Rolfes

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