Thursday, December 26, 2013

Free Yourself of The Calorie Myth {Book Review + GIVEAWAY}

Hope those of you that celebrate had a lovely joy-filled holiday!  Now, we're just six days away from the new year, and just FIVE days away from the release of a new book that can help you achieve your health goals for the new year.

I've said before that I'm a fan of the work of Jonathan Bailor and listen to his podcast frequently.  When I heard he was publishing a book that would contain all his well-phrased findings in one package, I was eager to learn more and share it with all of you.  I contacted Jonathan with an offer to review his new book, and was so excited when he agreed to send over an advance copy!  Now I can tell you all about it, just in time for you to pre-order before it is released on December 31.

His new book is a complete guide to all the science he has uncovered independently, seeking to find the most proven path to health and fitness.  Now, I dare you to free yourself of the calorie myths by reading Jonathan Bailor's new book:
 The Calorie Myth: How to Eat More,
Exercise Less, Lose Weight, and Live Better.

"About almost any subject, there are the facts 'everyone knows'
and then there are the real ones." 
- Ernest G. Ross, quoted by Bailor, Ch. 21


The Calorie Myth is the myth--or the set of myths--that have been propogated by popular media, medical professionals, and government recommendations, claiming that the most (or only) important factor in your health and weight management is counting calories.  The myth holds that if you eat the right amount of calories and burn the right amount of calories, you can achieve your dream body and attain health.  This has resulted in obsessive calorie-counting, severe food restriction, and even unhealthy starvation.

Jonathan Bailor is here to free us of this myth and give us our lives back.  If calorie-counting is the answer to achieving health, then why have we gotten fatter and sicker ever since the calorie has become so widely understood?  What has gotten us to this world in which children now have a lower life expectancy than their parents?  HOW can we reverse the trend and reclaim our health?


Who is this book for?  The main market for this book is probably those who have been yo-yo dieting for a long time, not seeing the results they want from calorie restriction, but a wider audience could certainly benefit.  What's important to note is that the focus should be on HEALTH, and weight loss will follow naturally.  I'd hold that even those who already eat a real-foods diet can benefit from reading this.  It is great to be reminded why you eat the way you do, and to collect knowledge that will help you explain your lifestyle to others (or to give as a gift).  It's also good for anyone who claims they know calories aren't all that matter, but hasn't fully, truly embraced the mentality.  He uses science to bust "The Calorie Myth" and provides a more efficient, more enjoyable route to health.

Read on to learn more about what's inside the book, and for a GIVEAWAY!



A quick author bio:
Collaborating with top scientists for over 10 years, analyzing over 1,300 studies, and garnering endorsements by top doctors from Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, Yale, and UCLA, Jonathan Bailor is a nutrition and exercise expert and former personal trainer who specializes in using high-quality food and exercise to simplify wellness. He has registered over 25 patents and authored the revolutionary upcoming The Calorie Myth (HarperCollins, 12.31.13) which is available at www.thecaloriemythbook.com. Bailor serves as a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, hosts a popular syndicated wellness radio show, blogs on The Huffington Post, and consults for organizations around the world. His free 28-day quick-start eating and exercise guide is available at Bailorgroup.com. A Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of DePauw University, Bailor lives outside of Seattle with his wife Angela and works to enable others to live better through simple, proven science.

Here's a sneak peak into what you'll find inside, in a video by the author, himself:



The Calorie Myth book begins with a foreword and a preface, each written by, respectively:
  • JoAnn E. Manson, MD, MPH, DrPH, Professor of Medicine and Women's Health at Harvard Medical School and Chief, Division of Preventative Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Theodoros Kelesidis, MD, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at Harvard Medical School, and also of the Department of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine
Dr. Manson concurs that the "pervasive and overpowering impact of mass marketing by the food industry" is a problem, and he credits Bailor for the "invaluable service" he provides the public with his new book, The Calorie Myth.  Dr. Kelesides praises Bailor's "easy-to-understand and engaging style"  that "disguises an astonishing amount of incredibly complex scientific information."


In Part I: The Calorie Myths, Bailor explains what the myths are, how our body actually works, and what different foods (or "edible products") do to our bodies.  The results show that eating less and exercising more do not cause long-term fat loss.  In fact, calorie restriction often makes it harder to achieve your goals!  The first half of the book debunks the myth that calories are all that count.

What makes these things myths?  The first several chapters cite study after study, drawing on scientific research about weight gain, loss, and set-points.  Bailor breaks the science down, using finely crafted metaphors to explain why eating less and exercising more do not lead to health.  Rather, he proves, starvation and hours of aerobic activity lead your body to story fat, instead of shed it.  Eating more and exercising less could actually be the answer many seek, as long as you eat and exercise "smarter". The science makes it clear, and Bailor's translation make it clearer.

He also busts myths surrounding the whole grain-free or gluten-free movement, specifically claims that wheat foods have nutrients that we'd otherwise be missing.  That doesn't appear to be the case when you compare foods on a nutrient-per-calorie basis, rather than by per-cup basis."


He addresses the myth that removing grains means we'd be lacking in fiber.  Who said "healthy whole grains" were the only place to get fiber?


The wrong food changes our hormones, and our hormones change our weight set-point.  Bailor likens hormonal disregulation to a clogged sink.  This was my favorite metaphor from his podcast, and I'll try to sum it up for you:

The Clogged Sink Metaphor: 
Pour any amount of water in, and a sink runs just fine on its own.  Pouring in buckets of water at once may cause the water level may temporarily rise, but it will go down on its own again.  This is because a sink is made to drain water.   
However, if you pour in thicker liquids, or bombard the drain with food, hair, or other items that don't belong, the sink will clog, the water level will rise, and the sink will overflow.  It's not the AMOUNT that matters (tons of water will drain just fine), but rather the QUALITY of the items put in (it must be water!).  Thus, it's not the amount of calories we consume or burn, but rather the quality of the food we eat.



The Calorie Myth cites study after study that show the causes and effects of these so-called "hormonal clogs," proving to readers that, given the right quality of input, our bodies can control our weight, or unclog our sink, on their own.

Which types of food cause weight gain or loss?  Chapters 7-10 on the Calorie-Quality Factors address each of four aspects of food quality, tracking how each either helps or hurts our health goals.  The four factors by which any food may be measured are: Satiety, Aggression, Nutrition, and Efficiency ("SANE").  Instead of counting calories in and out, simply consider which foods abide by these "Smarter" principles, and eat real food.  To learn more specifics, you'll have to read the book!

Why are we still blindly following advice that clearly is not working?  In any other scientific field, the original hypothesis (calorie-counting) would be re-evaluated and another hypothesis tested.  In fact, in scientific studies, the calorie myth has been disproven time and time again, yet it continues to gain such traction in popular media. Why?  You'll find the answer in the chapter titled, "Why Good Health Is Bad Business." You'd be surprised what Big Food, Agra, Pharma, etc. have at stake.




Once the myths are dispelled, Part II offers "The Solutions", using Bailor's acronym of "SANE" as a framework through which any diet--whether vegetarian, primal, kosher, etc.--can abide by certain principles to promote a healthy weight, naturally.  This includes information on how to select foods that won't clog your body's "sink", while maximizing the natural nutrients found in things like vegetables (Bailor recommends 10 servings daily!) and high-quality protein.  No macronutrient is excluded; Bailor identifies SANE proteins, carboyhydrates, fats, and even sweets.

He also advocates exercising more efficiently.  By giving up detrimental "traditional" exercise programs, you can take on "smarter exercise," which is "rooted in proven physiology."  It's so efficient, that you'll only be able to do it once per week.  The idea is to use a lot of resistance for a short period of time, less frequently, thus freeing yourself of your daily hour-long trip to the cardio machines.  Amen to that!  Bailor is a big fan of eccentric training, and explains how to strengthen your muscles and to clear your hormonal clog by doing "smarter" exercise, which has six principles outlined in the book, as well.

BONUS: Eccentric exercise can be done at home, and Jonathan Bailor tells you exactly how. No need for an expensive gym membership or equipment.  Not only does he explain why and how to exercise this way, but he also includes pictures demonstrating each of the moves.

Once you've got all the information, you can run with it on your own, OR try the "Sane and Smart Action Plan" provided by the final section of the book:

Part III helps those who need a more detailed action plan with "Five Weeks to Complete SANEity", as well as chapters with "Simple SANE Cooking" and a "Smarter Exercise Program".  These recipes and workouts will help you get started in your new "SANE" life.

Here are two examples:


Can't wait to make this Almond Parmesan Squash... WOW.

For me, Bailor's explanations make sense, and the science seems clear.  Some foods are detrimental to our bodies, and the myth of moderation is just not working.  Further, I've experienced firsthand how eating SANEly has improved my own health.  So-called SANEity is very similar to a paleo/primal approach to eating.  Although there are notable differences, both are focused on high-quality, real food, and this has worked very well for me.  I may next try out Bailor's "Smarter" exercise program, too, and see if that yields positive results, as well.  Doing a more efficient strength workout only once a week would fit in well with my 2014 goals (blog post to follow!).

To learn more, read the research, and test the SANE lifestyle for yourself, check out TheBailorGroup.com or Bailor's original premise of The Smarter Science of Slim.  OR, you can head on over to Amazon to order your copy today!  There is so much information contained in such a compact book, and the knowledge will surely free you of the calorie myth that has burdened too many of us for too long.

The Calorie Myth will be released on December 31 -- perfect timing to start your new year off right!




Bonus GiveawayOne lucky reader can WIN a copy of The Calorie Myth by entering the contest below!  Open to residents of US and Canada only.  Must be 18 or older to enter.  In the holiday spirit, the giveaway will be open for two full weeks, concluding at midnight on the night of Friday, Sunday, January 12, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check back to see if you've won, or go ahead and order your copy on Amazon today! 

17 comments:

  1. I do believe in the concept to a certain extent. I'd love to win the book to be able to get accurate insight on his perspective.

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  2. I am always looking to read books and find out about new thoughts. Your review makes the book sound very interesting!

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  3. I'm not sure if I buy into this concept completely, but I am really interested in reading and learning more about it!

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    1. That's fair! I very much respect when people who are skeptical or complete non-believers actually take the time to learn about the alternative views.

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  4. I do believe that calories are not equal. However, I've only had success losing weight when I count calories. I'm a big fan of burn the fat feed the muscle, but I'm really interested in reading this book to see if I could also have similar results without counting my calories so tediously. I'm currently pregnant with baby number two and would love to apply these concepts now and after the baby had arrived to get back to pre baby size.

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    1. It sounds like this book may be good for you, too. Bailor doesn't say that calories don't matter at all, but rather that we do not need to count them. If we eat the foods that our bodies want and need and that don't mess with our hormones, then our bodies will naturally regulate calories for us (either by making us feel satiated or by making us expend more energy). Hope that was a helpful explanation - let me know if you give it a read!

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  5. I'd like to enter, please!

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  6. I'm really wanting to read this. My hormones all are messed up and I would love to read what he says about hormones

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    1. There's definitely a lot of that in here!

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  7. I used to count calories like a crazy person - now I just live life, so much better this way!!!!! I enjoy my food THAT MUCH MORE :D

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    1. It's so true!!! Calories make food and eating such a negative thing. We should be glad for the energy and nutrients and enjoy it!

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  8. Thanks for this. I had heard about this book and was wondering about it. Curious to read it!

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  9. I am interested in reading this book, too. I have my own theories and would love to see how we match up!

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  10. I don't believe in wasting time counting calories, I think it is about the quality of your food and portion control.

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  11. Really intrigued by this book - thanks so much for such a detailed analysis!

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