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The Calorie Myth: How to Eat More and Exercise Less, Lose Weight, and Live Better
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The Calorie Myth: How to Eat More and Exercise Less, Lose Weight, and Live Better

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  1,060 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews
Jonathan Bailor's The Calorie Myth is a revolutionary diet book that explains how cutting-edge science supports a radically different approach to weight loss, offering evidence that calories do not matter.

Bailor shows that the key to long-term weight-loss is not the number of calories consumed but rather what kinds of calories. Some foods are used to repair tissue, boost b
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by Harper Wave
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Sarah Clement
Jan 31, 2014 Sarah Clement rated it it was ok
This book relies heavily on straw man fallacies. The basic premise, that human beings are not calculators and losing weight is more complicated than math, is fine. Obvious, even. Even more obvious are most of the recommendations, i.e. eat protein, healthy fats, and lots and lots of vegetables. He has a really strong aversion to starchy vegetables and also miscategorises some veggies, but that's nothing compared to what he did in his portrayal of arguments for "calories in, calories out" (CICO). ...more
Oct 01, 2014 Kevin rated it it was ok
Sarah Clement's review articulates everything there is to be said about this book, but I'll add twocents.

It's an interesting-enough read, espousing some basic tenets of any healthy lifestyle, but it's hardly groundbreaking. The nutritional information runs parallel to just about every current fad-diet out there, but for me it was the fitness routine being advocated that really brought the book's thrust into doubt.

With fitness, Bailor argues for better health by doing fewer/limited workouts, do
Charlotte Edwards
Jan 12, 2014 Charlotte Edwards rated it it was amazing
I love this message and it would be nice if this book, and a few others, were required reading for all Americans. But I know that won't happen, and until then, those of us who read this need to pass the message on to others. My family has several medical professionals in it and they've never heard even half of the research that I've read in the Calorie Myth.

Now I understand why I haven't been able to lose weight after having my second child, when with the first it was just a matter of cutting ba
Dec 31, 2013 Columbian rated it it was amazing
"The Calorie Myth" will help you understand the importance of focusing on food/exercise QUALITY rather that QUANTITY. It simplifies getting and staying fit. It will also give you the tools and knowledge to stop worrying about your weight, so you can focus on the important things in your life.

I got this book last night courtesy a download, and dove into it first thing. I have followed Jonathan Bailor's advice via his podcast for nearly a year, but having this book in my hands is a convenient way
May 30, 2016 Lea rated it really liked it
Incredible amount of research packed into this book. I found it thought provoking and informative. Highly recommend.
Jul 29, 2014 Karen rated it it was ok
Some notions are good. The science is interesting and often eye-opening. The interpretation of some of the data is sometimes irritating. For example: The author (intentionally?) misinterprets the statement that people are, on average, eating 500 excess calories per day and have been doing so for quite some time. He - almost mockingly - wonders why we're not all 1000 pounds overweight if we've been eating 500 excess calories for so long. Um... because there comes a point where those 500 excess ca ...more
Missy  Miller
Mar 28, 2014 Missy Miller rated it liked it
I really liked the premise and especially liked how FOR ONCE someone addressed the fact that exercise is not only NOT the answer for weight loss but also can HURT efforts to lose weight.

The only reason why I did not rate this book higher is that I felt there was not enough science to back it up to the point where a mass audience can easily receive it.

I also thought that - though it does address the mental aspects required to change your diet and offer advice - it glosses over the hard part. L
CP (Wayne)
Jun 27, 2016 CP (Wayne) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016
This is a solid book backed up by great scientific research.The writing style was surprisingly entertaining and easy to read as it didn’t bore me like other health books have the past.

It reminds me how much bad food (starch and sweets) I subconsciously put into my body. Just thinking about some of my food choices makes me cringe as I sometimes take up whatever the food court has to offer.

As a health noob, it was fascinating to learn about the concept of “Set-points” and how our bodies react to
Jan 12, 2014 Sw rated it it was amazing
I have fought the battle for many years and definitely feel like a yoyo when it comes to weight. I got to the point of being sick of the battle, but then would begin to suffer the effects of having too much fat. I did NOT follow the fad diets. I followed what I and many others thought were reasonable, tried-and-true plans. I was brought up with the understanding, like so many other fellow scale-watchers that it comes down to "calories in, calories out", "eat in moderation", "you can eat anything ...more
Mar 26, 2014 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
Bailor's book fits in with a number of authors who could be called amateur "experts". Bailor has clearly spent a lot of time looking at the literature related to weight lost and fitness and attempted to construct a general theory which integrated the research he has read. I agree with Bailor's assertion that calories in/calories out is an over simplification of how the body processes food. The metabolic system is very complicated with feedback, amplifiers, and cascade reactions with result in no ...more
Jan 18, 2014 Shelly rated it it was amazing
This book is easy to read, full of scientific proof in understandable terms, and hopefully on it's way to becoming the new standard in health and weight-loss. It is very well organized, includes interesting scientific studies, but doesn't get bogged down with details. The whole goal is to make getting to and maintaining our healthy weight simple. The Calorie Myth doesn't have all the usual hype of a diet book in the sense that you don't feel like someone is trying to force you to drink the Kool- ...more
Feb 07, 2014 Holly rated it really liked it
While Jonathan Bailor and I are not simpatico in some areas of our food philosophy--I don't think hyper processed whey and soy protein powders count as food--I benefitted tremendously from his both his distillation of health and fitness research AND his food recommendations. I had so many, "A-ha!" moments in every chapter that my poor family could hardly escape constant interruptions to their activities whenever I picked up the book. The title makes it appear to be yet another cheap and cheesy " ...more
Dec 31, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the first half of this book, but the second half was a bit repetitive and boring and got. A it preachy for my liking. However, I'm a science nerd, so most people probably would like the second half better. Why?

The first half was all the science. We're talking biology, physiology, biochemistry, endocrinology (hormone stuff), and exercise physiology. In short, everything I love. It was detailed, scientifically accurate, and not too biased. There were tons of examples of real studi
Barbara M
Feb 04, 2014 Barbara M rated it really liked it
Jonathan Bailor did an excellent job reviewing the latest weight loss & exercise literature and explaining it in layman's terms. The old way of thinking i.e. "the Calorie Myth" is that all calories are alike. The author seeks to prove that NOT all calories are alike. You need to take in high quality calories by eating healthy food & when you do so you can eat MORE and lose weight. He lists "sane" food which is healthy and helpful to the body. He also provides a list of "insane" foods whi ...more
Sharry Miller
Nov 13, 2014 Sharry Miller rated it liked it
I suppose The Calorie Myth is just another diet book, but at least it seems logical and not faddish. I appreciate that Jonathan Bailor gave a lot of space to the science behind his nutrition ideas. I think he fell far below that mark, however, in his recommendations for exercise. Regardless, by unknowingly following his model with regards to eating habits, I managed to lose 45 pounds this year. I have no intention of giving up the exercise I enjoy, however, no matter what he thinks. For me, ther ...more
Jan 10, 2014 Erik rated it it was amazing
This book sits right along with other excellent books like Eat To Live by Dr. Fuhrman and Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes.

All three books overlap on the science they use to come up with their recommendations to a high degree. Despite Fuhrman and Taubes' seemingly opposing stances on meat and fruit, Bailor has found a way to explain how both of them are right, and presents the current state-of-the-art findings on nutrition in a straightforward way. Easy to recommend.
Mar 11, 2015 Ling rated it really liked it
Wow, this book really changed how I look at calories and the whole industry behind it too. It was very well researched and had a ton of studies and research to back his points and his analogies are helpful in understanding the processes your body is going through. It sounds almost too good to believe that you don't need to count calories or any of that, but the first half of the book, the research, is very convincing.
Mar 26, 2014 Jen rated it really liked it
The advice about diet in this book made a lot of sense to me. While I'm not dropping everything to follow it to the letter, I took three things from it: eat more protein (30g per meal if possible); eat LOTS more vegetables; try to decrease starches/bread/sweets. The advice about exercise is a little harder to get my head around, but I'll definitely be building more intervals into my runs.
Jan 13, 2015 Joan rated it it was amazing
Wow! I learned we need to have at least 10 servings a day of non starchy the day I finished this book...we had an evening meal with about 7 servings of vegetables and it felt so good!
Jan 05, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Interesting look at what foods we should eat and how we should exercise -- including a look at how broken the food pyramid is. Now to see if following the ideas within actually work... the science suggests it should!
Lara Putnam
May 17, 2014 Lara Putnam rated it it was ok
Not much new here. Eat fish daily and high protein each meal, have 10 servings of veggies a day, make careful fruit choices, and limit carbs, starches and sweets. Shorter, intense exercise is most effective.
Nov 18, 2015 Meg added it
*cranky face* you wouldn't think a book that recommends resistance exercise, leafy greens, protien and heathy fats would make me so grouchy.
Jul 30, 2015 Rebekah rated it really liked it
Imperfect? Yes, but it helped me to feel confident enough to stop counting calories and stop being hungry all the time, and to spend less (but more effective) time in the gym.
So glad I read it!
Danielle (is feeling overwhelmed)
Interesting first half but the diet is pretty much paleo under another name.
Becky Smoot
Jan 30, 2015 Becky Smoot rated it it was amazing
I haven't made many changes but good to know if I'm ever ready to commit to a healthy life!
J.D. Knutson
Mar 11, 2017 J.D. Knutson rated it liked it
The best thing I can say for this book: vegetables for the win!

My general thoughts while reading:

Great use of citations, and I was eager to believe him. BUT his argument against a low-fat diet is lacking - he doesn't address the scientific evidence behind reversing heart disease with a diet with calories coming under 20% from fat. I highly recommend The End of Heart Disease by Dr. Fuhrman and Prevent And Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Esselstyn. (Jonathan Bailor actually quotes Dr. Fuhrman's Eat t
Jan 14, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, food
Anyone who read Bailor's "Smarter Science of Slim" doesn't really need to read this one. It is basically the same information repackaged. Despite the repeat material, I did enjoy this book and think it is well worth the read for anyone trying to cut through all the diet and nutrition garbage being slung around today and get to the heart of what is important.

Bailor has spent years slogging through thousands of studies on diet and exercise to discover what the research really tells us about what w
Eva Novotná
May 22, 2017 Eva Novotná rated it liked it
I think the basic premise is really interesting, but I found the book extremely hard to read. I would put it down and pick back up, but forgot the previous chapter. The recipes are interesting but it is not really convenient that although bought in Europe, the measurements for the recipes do not use metric system - which is very annoying considering that basically makes it hard for anyone outside US to use.
Jun 17, 2017 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots to think about- I love that this has changed my perspective completely on how many veggies we can eat- and how to shift focus on whole fats and protein...this has a lot of information and well worth the read. I haven't shifted to SANE eating entirely but I have increased veggies by quite a bit. :)
Jacob Seymour
Dec 19, 2014 Jacob Seymour rated it really liked it
The Calorie Myth by J. Bailor excellently made the basics of how to eat and exercise for health digestible to the lay public. Throughout the book he exercised impressive concision and illustrated concepts with effective analogies. He made his arguments and the principles one ought to walk away with clear to the point that he listed them at the beginning, expounded upon them in the middle, and restated them in the end. Also at the end, he made an obvious concerted effort to introduce how to actua ...more
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“To any woman out there who is fed up with trying the same thing over and over, I offer this suggestion. Instead of getting back on the treadmill “one more time,” try this. Alter your diet so that you eat no grain-based carbohydrate: no flour, no sugar, no bread, no pasta, and no high-fructose corn syrup. Then go to the gym and perform a workout of leg press, pull down, chest press, row and overhead press. Lift slowly and smoothly but with as much effort as possible. Go to complete fatigue, or as close to it as you can tolerate. Work out once, or at most, twice a week. Make sure your workouts last no longer than 20 minutes. Then sit back and watch what happens. —Doug McGuff, MD” 3 likes
“Dr. John Yudkin, of the University of London, puts it, “There is no point in worrying about imaginary dangers. If you do, you will be likely to go on overlooking the real dangers.”179” 1 likes
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