My Calorie Results
So if you have scrolled through all 60 days of my experiment blog, you will see that I listed every food item that I ate. I thought it would a) be a great account to have for myself to one day look back on (that day wont be for a long time though) and b) it would provide complete transparency for those interested in what I was eating.
When trying to determine the total calorie intake of all those foods, it is obviously difficult to be 100% accurate. The tricky part was around the serving sizes of some of my unpackaged foods like meat dishes with sauces when I was out.
As a result, apart from my own records that I kept, I also asked two other people to go through and calculate the calories based on what I had listed in the blog. The nutritionist helping me also kept an eye on the count.
In the end the total number of calories consumed came to:
131,806 calories with
18% from protein,
22% from fats and
60% from carbohydrate
This means that around 2,196.77 calories per day were consumed during the experiment.
I then took into account some inaccuracies that may have occurred on my part (I allowed for 100 calories a day) and so bumped that number up to:
This accounted for potential under reporting.
What is remarkable and is probably the thing that surprised everyone working on this project the most was that my calorie intake during the experiment MATCHED the calorie intake of my previous diet. We know this because for 3 weeks before the experiment, I also kept a food diary and my average calorie intake came out at:
2,300 calories a day with
50% from fat and
24% from carbohydrate
(more details of what I actually ate can be found in a terrifically presented food wheel in ‘That Sugar Book‘)
This really baffled me but as I explain in the film, calories in fat are 9 calories per gram whereas sugar is only 4 calories per gram. I was eating more healthy fats (avocado, nuts, eggs etc) than sugar before the experiment so my calorie count was quite high and this is why it matched even though I was eating more during the experiment. Meaning, the healthy fats filled me up so I ate less, but with the sugar diet I was snacking more because I had removed the healthy fat and rarely felt full.
As I have since learnt however, the calories from sugar behave differently to other calories (especially the fructose part).
It’s interesting to note that while in the USA my calorie intake went up a little as more calories were coming from fat in the foods.
For more reading on this and to learn about how many scientists are now starting to accept that not all calories are equal, check out the links and studies below. Its fascinating stuff and may explain why some diets don’t work and why some people bust their guts at the gym but still eat sugary foods or drink sugary drinks and don’t seem to get healthier or lose weight.
The sugar (fructose) I was eating was turning to fat in my liver (I developed fatty liver disease in just 18 days) and then sending that fat out into my blood stream. You don’t find the calories from broccoli behaving like that.
As Dr Debbie says in the film “Its not the calories that matter, it’s the source of the calories.”
Here’s more info (just click on the links):
Authority Nutrition’s simple guide to calories not being equal
‘Counting calories virtually meaningless‘
Another scientist says ‘stop counting calories’
Calories from fructose behave differently article
Actual study done by Dr Stanhope from the film showing differing calories
Why a calorie isn’t a calorie – Dr Robert Lustig