Don't Count Calories


The Key to Weight Loss Is Diet Quality, Not Quantity, a New Study Finds

This article is bound to be influential.


“people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods — without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes — lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year.”

I suppose Soylent falls in the highly processed food category? Counting calories via Soylent bottle is a great way to maintain a particular weight, in my experience.


The “processed foods” line is a shortcut to help you decide what foods to avoid. I think Soylent would not be an enlightened choice of a food to avoid.


i agree that one should not avoid eating Soylent, but I’m struggling to see how Soylent fits in with this suggested diet. Even if Soylent is considered a healthy food in the study, it still involves counting calories and portion size, in my opinion. I suppose one could argue that a Soylent consumer’s hunger is as satisfied as the low carb group in the study since most of Soylent’s calories come from healthy fat.

“The low-carb group was trained to choose nutritious foods like olive oil, salmon, avocados, hard cheeses, vegetables, nut butters, nuts and seeds, and grass-fed and pasture-raised animal foods.”


I’m just willing to treat Soylent as something that doesn’t need to be counted and add the stuff they mention as other stuff that doesn’t need to be counted.


This is scientific vindication for Michael Pollan’s golden rule, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” But read the article: the key point that stands out to me is that the participants were told,

that we wanted them to minimize added sugar and refined grains and eat more vegetables and whole foods.


the people who lost the most weight reported that the study had “changed their relationship with food.” They no longer ate in their cars or in front of their television screens, and they were cooking more at home and sitting down to eat dinner with their families, for example.

This lines up well with the Soylent retail marketing strategy of targeting “food voids”, which Bryan Crowley defines as the times people

make an unsustainable or an unhealthy choice that they wouldn’t have otherwise made if they had access to something better.

In other words, if people are eating convenient junk because they are too busy, or too rushed, or don’t know how to cook, or suddenly get hungry and the vending machine is close by, well, this diet plan would maybe train them to be more mindful, to plan better, to value better quality foods. OR you could offer them Soylent as a reasonably healthy alternative fuel.

Basically, when compared to a diet of Ramen, pizza, and Dr. Pepper, anything is a major improvement, and Soylent is just as good an alternative to that as a bowl of kale and quinoa.


That’s why I drink DIET Dr. Pepper and eat Whole Wheat Pizza… The calories don’t count that way! :wink:

No substitute for Ramen, though… :smiley:


Before this article I lost 40+ pounds in 7 months just by counting calories (and making the number lower and lower while increasing nutrition, this was way before Soylent) and keeping logs of what I ate. Hope I wasn’t doing something wrong :wink: Blood work improved so much my Dr asked what I was doing so he could do it.

I still log everything I eat to this day 6 years later. It’s a MASSIVE database but I’m probably OCD or something.


Those foods have less calories, mostly. Counting calories is still a good thing. I could still get fat if I ate enough of any food.


generally i do that while i eat fruits. Is it good or bad?


The Headline of the article is false. My opinion:

Quantity is all that matters (for weightloss, not for things like sugar digestion etc.)
Burn more than you eat, and you are bound to lose weight.

What I think has happened, is that just because of the lesser density of calories and the (generally speaking) worse taste (they release fewer “happyness neurotransmitters”) of the green food people may feel they’ve eaten far more calories than they actually had.