A stupid article about calories

There’s an awful article about calories and weightloss that keeps getting pinned to Pinterest under “fitness.” In case you’re not familiar with Pinterest, it’s where the fitness cognoscenti go to compare notes. You can read the article here:

Calorie Definition and Weight Loss

It makes me angry for the following reasons:

  1. It shows this picture of delicious cookies but doesn’t actually talk about the cookies. I was hoping there’d be a recipe or something. LIES ALL LIES.cookie
  2. Its long detailed explanation of what calories really are is completely irrelevant to weight loss.

Yeah, sure, often we say “calories” when we mean “kilocalories,” and sure, in doing so, we lose sight of how it represents energy and how the energy is actually calculated, but unless you’re analyzing the energy content of your own food using your own home-made bomb calorimeter, none of this actually matters in terms of fitness. The calories listed on the “Nutrition Facts” on the back of food is the same unit of measure of the number on the display of your treadmill. If your treadmill is being sneaky and giving you “calories” and not “kilocalories” to make you feel better about your workout and you don’t notice it, it’s really your fault because you’re off by a factor of a thousand.

In case you don’t realize how ridiculous it is to be off by a factor of a thousand, here are some statements that are off by a factor of a thousand:

  • The United States consists of 50,000 states.
  • My commute to work in Seattle took me about 10,000 minutes, door-to-door.
  • There are 6.02 x 1026 molecules in a mole.

See? Ridiculous! Now can somebody tell me how to make those cookies????

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