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By Shane Ellison M. Sc.
The People's Chemist
October 12, 2010

Most diets fail because they revolve solely around caloric reduction. Any diet using this antiquated method is doomed. Users are sure to be left disappointed at best, lethargic and heavy at worst. Learning how to harness the power of a “calorie,” rather than avoid it, can lead to fat loss as well as increased energy and the growth of lean sexy muscle, at any age.

If you can light a stove to boil water, you can understand what a calorie is and how it’s measured. You can also understand why not all calories are equal in the human body. (And this is why I get so frustrated when I hear physicians and health guru’s insist that fat loss is simply a matter of calories in, calories out.) Give me eight minutes to explain – you may be skinnier just for reading this…

A calorie is a unit of measure that defines how much energy is generated from a given food when burned. Nutritionally speaking, the heat generated from food is quantified by its ability to heat one gram of water. In other words, does the “match of food” boil the gram of water or does it just cause it to get Luke warm?

If boiling ensues, the food is said to be high in calories (energy) and vice-versa. To measure this energy, a device known as a calorimeter is used.

So technically, a calorie is just an arbitrary number that describes how food burns in a calorimeter. That’s the most important thing to understand. A food gets hot and releases varying amounts of heat.

The human body however, is not a calorimeter. It’s a natural wonder of science, with trillions of cells, all working in unison to harness the energy required to beat up a psychiatrist…I mean working in unison to harness the energy required for perfect health, fitness, and physique. And, unlike a calorimeter, the body doesn’t treat calories equally. Therefore, you can’t measure weather a food is good or bad, based simply on “how many calories it has.”

When stuffed into our pie-hole, a calorie has inescapable effects on our hormones – the instruments that guide it toward its own unique perfection. See, that’s the difference. Calorimeters don’t have hormones (over stressed, in case drug reps are reading). When you consume a calorie, the body utilizes it for hormone production to activate basic functions like DNA replication, heartbeat, muscle growth, fat metabolism and detoxification just to name a few. The wrong calorie will actually stifle this process.

If excess caloric energy is left over, one of two things can happen. It can get stored as fat, which you don’t want unless you’re a Kardashian and can pay tens of thousands of dollars in make-up and wardrobe to hide it. Or it can get released through metabolic process’ known as lypolysis and thermogenesis. It’s either burn, or store.

Your goal as a “fat man turned sexy” or “fat mom turned phenon mom” is to avoid counting the wrong calorie, and count the right one: the one that doesn’t get stored as fat. Or said another way, the one that works with your hormones not against them, and surprisingly enough, this is usually high calorie foods, not “low-cal!”


I’ll admit, you can count the wrong calorie or choose low-cal foods, while at the same time minimize intake to lose weight. Heck, one low-cal yogurt, Vitamin Water or a single Snickers bar per day would cause my body weight to plummet. But that’s stupid. No, matter how good those damn things taste; I wouldn’t be able to sport the athletic physique that makes my wife look twice at me after 11 years of marriage (I know it’s superficial, and I wish she would just love me for me, but I tried that and it didn’t work.). And all diets basically revolve around this lame brain attempt to lose weight.

Over time, reducing the wrong calories – or eating low-cal foods – will cause muscles to deteriorate and skin cells to become dry and brittle, allowing for increased wrinkles and sag. Libido and focus will also take a dive and aging will accelerate. Plus, you’ll eventually get hungry and over consume the wrong calorie, and now you’re in for a fat storing whirlwind because hormones get out of whack. And speaking from experience (I was once 40lbs over weight), it’s not pretty…

The sources of these unsightly calories are those that come from soy, fruit juice, yogurt, chips, diet soda or otherwise, crackers, sports bars, energy drinks, sugary protein powders, milk, cereals, and processed grains.

If any of these calories are in your “diet,” beware, even if you are “losing weight.” Hopefully by now, you know that weight loss isn’t a measure of health and fitness or even “hotness.”

Sure, you want the pounds to drop, but you want that in addition to lean, sexy muscle growth, glowing skin and kick ass energy all day. To get this, you need the calories that get you into the “Hotty Hall of Fame.”

Calories that get you looking good, come from real foods like organic, grass fed meat, seeds, nuts, avocados, eggs, butter as well as coconut and olive oil. Even a moderate amount of dry wine can be readily processed as the right calorie, which is why nobody ever sported a “wine belly” at the beach.

Despite being higher in healthy fat and calories, the above foods make us feel fuller faster and longer, preventing us from eating ourselves to death via overeating and snacking. Even better, they raise fat burning and anti-aging hormones in the body, allowing excess calories to be released as energy rather than stored as the “hey, is my face looking fatter” calorie.

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There’s one caveat missed by purveyors of the “right” calorie. You have to prep your body to take part in the hormonal process of dealing with the right calorie. As shown in my book, Over-The-Counter Natural Cures, you must harness “hormonal intelligence,” which comes from sticking to key, lifestyle habits. Blindly shoving your face full of the right calories – while discounting lifestyle – isn’t going to allow you to “eat yourself thin” courtesy of some magical metabolic process in the body.

In summary, counting calories is important. But, most diets fail because they don’t teach you how to count the right one. Incorporate the right calorie into your everyday life and you’ll achieve that perfect physique you were born to have. And people will start looking at your twice.

� 2010 Shane Ellison - All Rights Reserve

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Ellison’s entire career has been dedicated to the study of molecules; how they give life and how they take from it. He was a two-time recipient of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Grant for his research in biochemistry and physiology. He is a bestselling author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures, which helps you live healthier and pay less with $10 lifesaving supplements for under $10! Learn more here.











A calorie is a unit of measure that defines how much energy is generated from a given food when burned.