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Athlete Info :: THE CALORIE MYTH

When Jonathan Bailor was working as a personal trainer back in his college days, he was frequently confronted by clients who struggled to lose weight on conventional calorie-based programs — even when they ate very little and exercised for hours a day. A slim person himself, the Seattle-based Bailor was convinced his clients were simply not following his instructions assiduously enough. “When you’re naturally thin,” Bailor says, “it’s very easy to see a heavy person failing to drop weight and think, ‘Wow, what’s their problem? Maybe they should try harder.’” But as more distraught clients came forward, Bailor started to question the weight-loss advice he and other weight-loss practitioners had been peddling. “I’d have clients with tears in their eyes saying, ‘Jonathan, I swear to God I’m eating less than 1,200 calories a day. I don’t eat breakfast, and I barely ever eat lunch.’” Bailor himself had been consuming upward of 6,000 calories daily in an effort to bulk up — but it wasn’t happening. “I was faced with the cold, hard fact that I was not having any more success managing my body weight than these people were,” says Bailor. “I was eating way more than them and exercising way less. I wasn’t getting any bigger, and they weren’t getting any smaller.” Bailor realized he couldn’t keep disserving his clients with a failing formula. “I was like a physician who was consistently making his patients worse,” he says. So he quit personal training and started delving deep into the science of weight loss. What Bailor concluded is that the weight-loss model millions have been following since the 1950s — zealously counting calories in and calories out — is bunk. Depriving our bodies of calories, it turns out, only tends to slow down our metabolism. Over time, it causes us to gain more unwanted weight. In his New York Times bestseller, The Calorie Myth: How to Eat More, Exercise Less, Lose Weight, and Live Better, Bailor argues that we need to forget the tired maxim of eating less and exercising more. Instead, we need to eat more of the right kinds of foods and exercise less (but more intelligently and intensely) to balance our hormones, burn fat, and boost metabolism. An engineer by training, Bailor spent 10 years researching his book and analyzed more than 1,200 peer-reviewed scientific studies to come up with his weight-loss program.
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