One of the biggest myths in eating is the idea of “calories in, calories out.” That by simply “balancing” or manipulating the amount of calories we take in with the amount of calories we burn is a direct path to weight change, health, and happiness. My goal for this post is to highlight some of the (several) reasons that calorie counting is unnecessary and calories in, calories out is scientifically unsound (and likely damaging to our relationship with food).
I’ve been doing more Q&A’s on Instagram lately and got a great question the other day that felt right for a blog post: how do I care for my body with nutrition without dieting?
This can be a such a hard question to approach if you have a history of dieting or an eating disorder. Diet culture tends to reduce nutrition to restriction, whether it’s through villainizing certain foods, calorie counting, ignoring hunger cues, or other methods. It’s my goal for this post to share how to start reframing the diet mindset and be able to use nutrition knowledge to support your body instead of punishing it.
It’s been a wild few weeks around here, but I’m finally getting around to posting the recap of my sugar addiction webinar with Jessie Hoffman! You can catch the whole thing below (transcript coming soon!) - keep scrolling to find our references if you’d like to dig into those!
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Avena, N.M., Food and addiction: implications and relevance to eating disorders and obesity. Curr Drug Abuse Rev, 2011. 4(3): p. 131-2.Monsivais, P., M.M. Perrigue, and A. Drewnowski, Sugars and satiety: does the type of sweetener make a difference? Am J Clin Nutr, 2007. 86(1): p. 116-23.
Benton, D., The plausibility of sugar addiction and its role in obesity and eating disorders. Clin Nutr, 2010. 29(3): p. 288-303.
Burger, K., Stice, E. Relation of dietary restraint scores to activation of reward-related brain regions in response to food intake, anticipated intake, and food pictures. Neuroimage, 2012. 55(1): p.233-239
DiNicolantonio, J.J., J.H. O'Keefe, and W.L. Wilson, Sugar addiction: is it real? A narrative review. Br J Sports Med, 2017.
Epstein, L.H., et al., Long-term habituation to food in obese and nonobese women. Am J Clin Nutr, 2011. 94(2): p. 371-6.
Hoebel, B.G., et al., Natural addiction: a behavioral and circuit model based on sugar addiction in rats. J Addict Med, 2009. 3(1): p. 33-41.
Lennerz, B. and J.K. Lennerz, Food Addiction, High-Glycemic-Index Carbohydrates, and Obesity. Clin Chem, 2018. 64(1): p. 64-71.
Markus, C.R., et al., Eating dependence and weight gain; no human evidence for a 'sugar-addiction' model of overweight. Appetite, 2017. 114: p. 64-72.
Westwater, M.L., P.C. Fletcher, and H. Ziauddeen, Sugar addiction: the state of the science. Eur J Nutr, 2016. 55(Suppl 2): p. 55-69.