Calorie Science vs Calorie Math

Me: Let's talk about science and math as it applies to eating and moving.

Person i'm talking to: (sigh) Okay.

As humans we have been conditioned to see numbers and do math. Sometime it's good, like when you need to find out how many weasels are in your pants. In other instances it's the wrong approach.

You eat 2000 calories.
You move enough to burn 500 calories.

Oooh! I know this! 2000 - 500 = 1500! I lost 500 calories! It's simple, stupid.

It is simple. It's also wrong. The math isn't wrong, it's the decision to apply math that's wrong. We should not look at nutritional calories and do math, we should look at nutritional calories and do science. 
Calorie math is: 
Eat 2000 calories 
Burn 500 calories 
= 1500 calories are left. 

I did that! Sunshine, rainbows, and not at all complicated.

Right. But you should have done science.

Calorie science is: Eat 2000 calories. What did you eat? How did you cook it? What did you eat yesterday, the day before that, and the day before that? Are you on medications or supplements? Do you have medical conditions? What is your age, gender, ethnicity, job, and, by the way, list your hobbies. 

Burn 500 calories. How? With what exercise(s), movements, and with what intensity? What did you do for movement the rest of the day? Do you also have a daily movement plan? How did you measure calorie expenditure?

Am I really supposed to know all of this? Science is hard, I'll just do math.

Well, that's what this website is about. I take the science of eating and moving and present it in a way that is easy to understand and easy to apply.

And you swear.

Sure. There are so many massive errors because people are making shit up, or doing math instead of science that I occasionally use angry words. For example, trying to eat an exact number of calories is ridiculous and ineffective. 


Yes, bullshit. An extra 100 calories of cauliflower ain't gonna hurt no one. An extra 100 calories of cake will. Don't do math when you should do science.

And not just with eating. Also with moving. You wanna talk about lifting weights? 


Too bad!

Getting Started?
12-20 Reps, 1-3 Sets, 50-70% of max weight, 2-4 times a week for 4-6 weeks

Muscle Growth (hypertrophy)?
6-12 Reps, 3-5 Sets, 75-85% of max weight, 3-6 times a week for 4 weeks

Maximal Strength Gains?
1-5 Reps, 4-6 Sets, 85-100% of max weight, 2-4 times a week for 4 weeks

This is pretty sound exercise science. It's held up in the bodybuilding and fitness community for years. There are variations, but most folks will find that this pattern will work pretty well.

Those are numbers. Looks like math to me.

Think of this as the numerical application of science. Numbers that come from science.

And really, that's about it.