Successfully added to your cart!

Calorie Counting: Why It Works For Some And Not For Others

by Dr. David Minkoff June 23, 2021 5 min read 0 Comments

Calorie Counting: Why It Works For Some And Not For Others

From the upcoming Guide To Lean Bulking & Fat Loss

Calorie Counting & Macronutrients: Proteins, Fats and Carbs:

Ask anyone about bulking and cutting (adding muscle and losing fat) and they’ll bring up calories and macronutrients.

Calories are, very basically, a measurement of how much potential energy is in a food. Potential because some of it will be used as energy while some will not. This can be energy which is “burned” right now for physical activity (sugars or fats) or energy stored for later use (body fat and stored sugars).

Macronutrients are the foods needed in large amounts for your body to operate: Carbohydrates (sugars), Proteins and Fats. And each one has a different amount of calories per gram: a gram of fat gives 9 calories and a gram of carbs or protein give 4. So most people break these three things down and count how many calories each has and use that to determine what they’re going to eat.

Now, some people say calorie counting is the only thing that works to gain muscle and lose fat. Then different people say it’s not just the calorie amounts, but which ratio of the macronutrients that you consume: fats, carbs and protein. And then some just say calories have nothing to do with it at all.

But what is it? Does calorie counting work or not? And which ratio of protein, fat and carb is best?

The truth is, they’re all right, because there isn’t an absolute yes or no to the above questions, or even an exact optimum percentage of those three macronutrients — because we’re looking at the wrong thing.

Calorie counting is too general — we need to get specific

Just dividing calories between proteins, fats and carbs is too general. Way too general. It’s two dimensional. We need to enter the third dimension on this. Or fourth or fifth.

A calorie, by definition, is: “The energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water through 1 °C and is often used to measure the energy value of foods.”

The above is true… But how does this help us achieve what we want?

Let’s get practical here for a minute. If 1 gram of carbohydrates is 4 calories, then we now know we can raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 4 degrees celsius. Great! Because when I’m in the gym that’s exactly what I’m trying to do, get some water boiling!

Alright, so in the above, a gram of fat gives 9 calories and carbs and protein give 4. Good. All true and useful — if we’re trying to heat water.

But, if you’re like me, then you’re counting calories for a different reason. To build muscle or lose fat or both.

And when we approach it from that view we need to look at not just how many calories each food contains — but what their effect is on our hormones and body and how those calories will actually be used.

It’s not just calories from food, but the type of food that’s important

We can say that carbs raise insulin (a hormone) and too much carbs and insulin raises fat stores.

True. But which ones? Are we eating a couple of apples or drinking a Coke? Each have the same amounts of carbs and yet each will produce a very different reactions in the body, both hormonally and in how they’re used.

A Coke will spike insulin almost immediately and goes in too fast for most bodies to use it or even see it as energy (unless you have a super fast metabolism, in which case we don’t like you). This almost wholly triggers fat creation in most people. It will also raise cortisol levels, another hormone that both increases fat and breaks down muscle (not to mention spoiling your mood and ability to sleep well).

But a couple of apples will hit much more slowly, raising insulin levels slowly, but also producing less insulin overall. They’re also good for lowering cortisol levels. And the body will have enough time to see them as energy and use them for energy when you consume them, with a much lower likelihood of being converted to fat.

Same amount of carbs. Same amount of calories — very different effects.

See the difference? Being too general leads to differing results and, so, differing conclusions. We need to get more specific. Not in a way that’s utterly complex and no one could ever follow. But in a way that can be followed, and is effective.

It's the same with proteins. Whole eggs give three times the amount of usable protein as whey, gram for gram. The two are not equals. This is because each one has a different set of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Some of these your body can use to build new protein and some will be converted to sugar. But each protein source will give a different amount of calories used for energy or fat storage and a different amount used for actual muscle building.

Omega 6 vs Omega 3 — Fat Gain vs Fat Loss

And when we get into fats we’re in a whole new world, because some fats will almost certainly be stored as fat in the body and cause all sorts of trouble, while others can either be stored as body fat or used as energy, and still others cannot be stored at all and will only be used for energy.

Some of these fats even have significant effects on our hormones.

High Omega 6 fats will lead to high cortisol (stress hormone that stores fat and breaks down muscle), raised inflammation, low testosterone, low growth hormone, high estrogen in men and women and fat gain.

However, raising Omega 3 fats will result in lowering cortisol, increased testosterone and growth hormone, balanced estrogen and fat loss.

Same amount of fat, same amount of calories, but different types and different effects. Both are actually necessary, but they have to be in balance.

In fact, while opinions differ, they should be in a ratio of about 4:1 Omega 6 to 3, all the way to 1:1 Omega 6 to 3.

But do you know what most of us have if we live in America? Average ratios of about 20:1 and even as high as 40:1.

If all we did was replace out high Omega 6 sources (almost all packaged foods these days, even organic ones, and non-grass fed beef) with high Omega 3 sources, inflammation would come down, hormones would start to balance, fat would be much easier to lose, blood pressure would reduce, energy levels would rise and muscle building becomes easier.

So do you see why we can’t just divide it into carbs, fats and proteins and leave it at that? It’s not a just matter of how much of each macro we consume, but which type of each, and in what ratios.

Alright, let’s start breaking this all down. Not so much that you get completely lost, but enough so that you get a real understanding of how this works and can apply it to you.

And don’t worry, we’ll bring it back down to a usable simplification by the end. But we can only do that if you understand each part.

Here we go.

The Guide to Lean Bulking & Fat Loss — building muscle without the excess fat and losing fat while building muscle — is coming soon. And it’s not just a guide — it’s a whole program and group where we answer every question and help you along the way to ensure your get the best results.

Make sure you’re part of the group for when it releases!

*This website, including products, articles, and educational content are not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This website does not provide medical advice. The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only.

Dr. David Minkoff
Dr. David Minkoff

Dr. David Minkoff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity for very high academic achievement. He then completed both a Pediatric Residency and Fellowship in Infectious Disease at the University of California at San Diego.

He worked at the University of California and Children’s Hospitals in San Diego as an attending physician in infectious disease while conducting original research on Ribaviron, a broad spectrum anti-viral agent to fight disease. He also co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit and worked in emergency medicine.

In 1992, Dr Minkoff’s wife Sue, a Registered Nurse, became interested in nutrition and health and began to go to lectures from some of the experts in the field. At the time, Dr Minkoff was pretty fixed in his view of traditional medicine and it took a lot of convincing to get him to come to one of these lectures. After hearing Dr Jeffrey Bland speak, Dr Minkoff had a eureka moment and began pursuing the alternative field with a vengeance. Based on this new knowledge Dr Minkoff and his wife set up a small clinic in 1997 to help some friends with their medical problems. What began as an experiment blossomed into Lifeworks Wellness Center, one of the most successful clinics for complementary medicine in the United States. In the process, he gained expertise in Biological medicine, integrative oncology, heavy metal detoxification, anti-aging medicine, hormone replacement therapy, functional medicine, energy medicine, neural and prolotherapy, homeopathy and optimum nutrition. He studied under the masters in each of these disciplines until he became an expert in his own right. Dr Minkoff is one of the most in demand speakers in the field and wrote an Amazon best selling book called The Search For The Perfect Protein.

The demand for the products and protocols he discovered became a catalyst for founding BodyHealth.Com, a nutrition company that now manufactures and distributes cutting-edge nutritional solutions for the many health problems of today. Dr. Minkoff writes two free online newsletters, “The Optimum Health Report” and ”The BodyHealth Fitness Newsletter”, to help others learn about optimum health and fitness.

Dr. Minkoff is an avid athlete himself and has completed 44 Ironman Triathlons. To keep his fitness maximal, he lives the lifestyle he teachers to others and tries to set an example for others, so they can enjoy a life free of pain and full of energy.

Also in BodyHealth

Fast-Acting Sugars Vs Slow-Acting Sugars & The Ballooning Of A Nation
Fast-Acting Sugars Vs Slow-Acting Sugars & The Ballooning Of A Nation

by Dr. David Minkoff October 14, 2021 8 min read 0 Comments

Alright, so we know that when sugar comes into the body Insulin is released to shuttle that sugar into the cell. And if the cell is full, then it connects the sugars in chains and stores them as something called Glycogen in your muscle and liver cells for use later on. And if those are full then it connects the sugar to fatty acids and stores it as body fat. And, while Insulin is in the blood stream, fat burning is prevented.

We also know that, given too much sugar for too long, the cells start resisting it and refusing to let it in when Insulin tells them too, causing them to have less sugar to make energy with as well as causing more of it to be converted to body fat.
Read More
Insulin Resistance, Low Energy & The Losing Battle With Fat
Insulin Resistance, Low Energy & The Losing Battle With Fat

by Dr. David Minkoff October 14, 2021 5 min read 0 Comments

This is the second article in a series on Insulin, Insulin Resistance, Sugar and Body Fat, as a well as an overall series on hormones, so stay tuned!

Alright, if you read the first article in this series (Link this to first article) then you understand that when sugar is in the blood stream the hormone Insulin is released to send it into the cells for energy, or to store it as energy in the muscles as something called Glycogen, or to convert it into fats known as Triglycerides — body fat.

And that while insulin is in the bloodstream almost no fat burning can take plac
Read More
About 90% Of Your Body Fat Comes From… Sugar
About 90% Of Your Body Fat Comes From… Sugar

by Dr. David Minkoff October 14, 2021 6 min read 0 Comments

Yes, about 90% of what most of us consider as body fat is made by and from sugar. 

But probably not how you think. 

And it has a lot more to do with the type of sugar it is and, more specifically, how it affects your hormones (messenger chemicals that tell your body how to use the food you put into it)

Because it’s your hormones that will determine what will ultimately happen with this sugar and whether or not it will be used to make new body fat.

Let me assure you, this is not another low carb rant! 


Read More