Calories Are So Last Year

They're not meaningless, but they're not what we make them to be, either

Calories merely measure energy, but they've evolved to become one's worst nightmare, the barometer of the healthiness of a meal and a cultural obsession. The Economist reports that we've been counting on calories to tell us what makes us fat but it's a misleading way to go about it, and we already know that "calories in, calories out" doesn't work for the long haul; just look at Biggest Losers who maintain their new habits yet still gain weight back. As you age, your metabolism changes and depending on our environments, genetics, work, health habits and so many other factors, what's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander.

So what is good for us? Intuitive eating, for starters, which can be done once you overcome all of your previous conditioning about what's right and wrong when it comes to eating. Replacing emotional eating with other feel-good habits to self-soothe, which works much better in countries where you don't have to worry about getting a root canal versus buying groceries and keeping the electricity on and maintain healthy boundaries like six weeks of paid vacation a year and family leave. Nixing the sugar, which is as addictive as cocaine and added to just about everything. Finding which foods make your body thrive and working with a nutritionist to meet your goals.

It's easy to blame fat people and act harsh in a nation when we should instead be demanding a better lifestyle from our culture itself, starting with the way our government runs things. What do you think about the "death of the calorie" in terms of managing our health?

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