What an extra 20 calories a day will do…

I’m listening to an audiobook just now that my Dad recommended me: Why we get fat and what to do about it by Gary Taubes.

Here’s an interesting bit from it.

20 calories. Just an extra 20 calories, a bite of a burger or sandwich, just an extra 20 calories a day could make you obese (in the long term).

Here’s the maths: An extra 20 calories a day for a year is 7,300 calories, or 2.1 lbs a year.

If I started at my ideal weight (135lbs) when I was 18, and ate on average an extra 20 calories a day… I would put on 2.1 lbs per year.

If I continued to do this (discounting any extra calorie burn or other factors) I would be overweight after 7 years (BMI 25), and by the time I was 40 (after 21 years) – I would be obese, weighing in at 181lbs! (30.2 BMI).

I’ll maybe reference the book a little more on my blog later – he goes into some interesting theories, some of which are quite controversial and goes against what we have been led to believe! 🙂

The above is just simple maths… and of course weight loss and weight increase is more complicated than that… but it might make you rethink stuffing yourself full and finishing the plate when you don’t need to, or eating that extra chocolate bar you don’t need.  😉  (or not!)

Here’s a table to show what would happen to my weight if I started at an ideal weight at age 18, then consumed and extra 20 calories a day on average:

By the time I’m 65, if I eat on average an extra 20 calories a day I’ll be almost 100lb (7 stone) heavier! 😉

30 calories = 3lbs a year, 40 calories = 4lbs a year, 100 calories = 10lbs a year!

This video might help explain this theory too… (not that I’d want a body like his!)

In the meantime, here’s a synopsis of the book:

An eye-opening, myth-shattering examination of what makes us fat, from acclaimed science writer Gary Taubes.In his New York Times best seller, Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes argued that our diet’s overemphasis on certain kinds of carbohydrates—not fats and not simply excess calories—has led directly to the obesity epidemic we face today. The result of thorough research, keen insight, and unassailable common sense, Good Calories, Bad Caloriesimmediately stirred controversy and acclaim among academics, journalists, and writers alike. Michael Pollan heralded it as “a vitally important book, destined to change the way we think about food.”Building upon this critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Taubes now revisits the urgent question of what’s making us fat—and how we can change—in this exciting new book. Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat makes Taubes’s crucial argument newly accessible to a wider audience.Taubes reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century, none more damaging or misguided than the “calories-in, calories-out” model of why we get fat, and the good science that has been ignored, especially regarding insulin’s regulation of our fat tissue. He also answers the most persistent questions: Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat, and what foods should we avoid?

Packed with essential information and concluding with an easy-to-follow diet, Why We Get Fat is an invaluable key in our understanding of an international epidemic and a guide to what each of us can do about it.

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