Calories in vs Calories Out and other lies.

by Kristy on May 11, 2012 · 2 comments

I tend to read a lot of weight loss articles in the popular media, mostly on online sources such as and These articles seem to draw the most amount of comments from readers as it seems that everyone has an opinion on weight loss. What works, what doesn’t and generally people are pretty quick to point out how stupid others are and appear to know exactly why so many others fail time and time again.

The comment that bothers me most of all is when one bright spark inevitably pipes up with,”It’s simple. Calories in need to be less than calories out.”

Well firstly I would say “der!” Why be so patronising? As if an overweight person doesn’t know if they consume less kilojules than they expend they will lose weight. If it was really all there was to it then nobody would have a weight problem.

There is something about my relationship with food that is very different to a naturally thin person’s. I don’t feel that I have the innate ability to regulate my appetite. I’ve watched thin people eat at dinner parties. They enjoy everything on offer, including rich sauces and desserts. Except unlike me, they’ll often leave a bit on their plate. They’ll eat and they’ll savour, yet they won’t over do it. My problem is though my brain knows that I’ll gain weight by eating too much, I just don’t know when to stop. I end up feeling stuffed.

I’ve always done this even as a child. I vividly recall being 8 or 9 and eating a whole 12 pack chicken flavored chips. That’s 12 portions in one sitting. I had to eat them until they were all gone.

The other comment that bothers me a lot is the assumption that all us overweight people are emotional eaters. I can tell you with great confidence that this is not me.

When I used to attend weight watchers they were always wanting to get to the core of what was emotionally causing me to eat. Quite honestly I’m a happy and satisfied person in so many ways. I had a wonderful childhood, great parents, a great education, a wonderful husband and kids. I don’t have any physical or mental illness. I’m a balanced person with no deep and dark secrets. I just eat because I love the taste of good food and I can’t get enough. Why isn’t that a valid enough reason to be overweight?

You would have noticed the lack of recipes lately and it’s a direct reflection of what is happening in my life right now. I’m completely focused on losing weight, cooking simply and a little monotonously at the moment because it’s what I have to do – for me. And let me tell you it’s great! I weigh in every morning and that number is a little less every time.

For me it’s not about calories in vs calories out. It’s about focus, about consciously restricting my portions, it’s about teaching myself to eat and think like a naturally slim person. It’s about believing that I can actually be one of them!


So that I can finally have my cake – and eat it too!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Hubby thinks the same thing and it exasperates me. He is naturally very skinny and has skinny habits like forgetting to eat so he doesn’t realise that it is a very complex issue for many.

  • Kath Rytenskild

    When losing weight the thing i found most useful was every few months, doing a 3 day juice fast. It doesnt sound very appealing i know but at the end of the 3 days, my ‘fullness’ indicator was primed & i found i just couldnt eat that much. Was so worth the relative monotony & also resulted in a kick start to my weight loss as well

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