Weight-loss expert and best-selling author Jonathan Bailor says you can eat more and exercise less and still lose weight if you let go of the longstanding calorie dogma responsible for the nationwide obesity epidemic.
In an exclusive interview, Bailor said our obsession with counting calories instead of focusing on food quality is what has contributed to the alarming epidemics of diabetes, heart disease and obesity in the United States.
"Stop thinking about calorie quantity and look at food quality if you're interested in weight loss and health," said Bailor, author of The Calorie Myth. "Using calories as a guide to what you should eat is like using height to measure intelligence."
Jonathan said eating whole, natural foods and exercising less but smarter is the key to burning fat, balancing hormones, boosting metabolism, and enjoying permanent weight loss.
Bailor underscored that diet accounts for 80 percent of how we look and feel, and said the simplest way to be healthy is to do the following:
1. Eat foods found in nature. "If it's not found in nature, it's not food," said Bailor. "It's an edible product." For example, broccoli is food, whereas a can of Coke is an edible product. You don't need to restrict calories, and no (real) foods are off limits. What's more, you're not restricted to any particular diet, so you can be a vegetarian, Paleo, vegan, or an omnivore.
Jonathan says a typical plate of food should consist of mostly non-starchy vegetables, a nice portion of nutrient-dense proteins such as wild fish, humanely raised beef or chicken, and some whole-food fats such as olives, coconuts, chia seeds or macadamia nuts. For dessert, you can enjoy low-fructose fruits such as blueberries, strawberries or oranges.
If you eat like this, you don't ever have to count calories and you'll never feel hungry because your body is getting what it needs to feel full and nourished.
2. Be active. Move around frequently at a slow pace such as walking. "We weren't designed to sit all day," said Jonathan.
3. Exercise smarter, not longer. Do 10 minutes of high-intensity, high-resistance exercise such as interval training on a stationary bike two or three times a week. "The goal of exercise isn't to burn calories," said Bailor. "Exercise is about promoting hormonal health."
Jonathan said exercising either in long intervals of low-intensity movement (such as walking) or in short, high-intensity bursts sets into motion critical hormonal changes that accelerate fat-burning and ensure optimal metabolic health.
"Biology isn't a matter of opinion," he said. "Not dying of disease is the simplest thing ever if we follow these easy fitness principles."
"The Calorie Myth" is available for purchase on Amazon.