Friday, July 12, 2013

The Great Calorie Race, and why you shouldn't do it.

Most people are on a diet. Most people, when they exercise, are attempting to balance their calories burned with their calories expended. This is the eternal concern. But, really, isn't this a depressing way to live? Constantly watching what you eat and moderating portions to match the calorie expenditure of a sedentary person takes the joy out of life. It's like being a diet zombie.

May I suggest an alternative? Don't exercise, train! Lift weights and get stronger. Tell your body to get better at something, and then eat to support the gains. Eating with a performance goal is much better than eating simply to maintain one's size.

Conan's goal: to crush his enemies.


  1. Excellent advice! I'm 66 and getting stronger by the week, and I'm loving my protein.

  2. I'd find it helpful if you could elaborate on how training instead of exercise could help one maintain cardiovascular health? Would you recommend any sort of endurance/cardiovascular exercise to go along with the weightlifting? I was thinking that it is good to do some sort of mixed interval heart confusion stuff. Like where you go from sprinting for a little to jogging and walking and back and forth for a while. I haven't looked in to it, so are there cardio benefits I am not aware of to training w/ out exercise?

    1. You can't really confuse your heart. Strength training would provide you with all the cardiovascular training you need during the novice phase, but when you get more advanced, you may wish to add some form of high intensity interval training. For reference, see Matt Reynold and Stef Bradford's marvelous article "Death by Prowler":