Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m not particularly one for endorsement, though I do sometimes recommend specific products that I believe have particular merit, including books. Recently, I became aware of a book which I think is a valuable contribution to the area of nutrition and weight control. Entitled The Calorie Myth, the book takes a science- and evidence-based approach to exploring the optimal type of diet for body weight and health.
The book is written by Jonathan Bailor, a former personal trainer who knows only too well how conventional approaches to weight control and optimising health can be hopelessly ineffective. I’ve known about Jonathan for some time, but recently got to ‘meet’ him over the internet during a couple of interviews we did for a podcast he hosts (the interviews will air some time early in 2014).
In addition to his previous experience as a trainer, Jonathan also happens to be a senior programmer for Microsoft. I think Jonathan has applied his analytical mind to the published research in the area. He’s distilled the insights gained here as well as his previous experience as a trainer into The Calorie Myth.
The book explores several fundamentals regarding the appropriateness of foods in the diet, specifically the ability of foods to satisfy our appetites properly, the propensity of foods to provoke fat storage and the nutritional value of foodstuffs, as well as a food’s efficiency (essentially, the energy in the food available for storage as fat).
I like the concepts in this book at least in part because they shift the focus away from just getting into caloric deficit (‘eat less, exercise more’), and onto what I believe to be key areas such as the impact food has on hormones (including insulin), and how to develop an eating regime that is sustainable because it does not leave us perpetually hungry and wanting for more.
You can read the Introduction to the book here.
Some of you may be looking for some New Year inspiration regarding your understanding of healthy eating and activity, as well as some solid practical guidance. I’m sure The Calorie Myth will provide valuable impetus for many.
Here’s a 13-minute video of Jonathan in which he introduces the main concepts covered in his book.