It’s a crap calculator

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We had a reply to a blog the other day.

Where we’d talked about calories in vs. calories out (CICO).

“The body isn’t like a calculator” the respondent began.

Before continuing to explain the the inaccuracies of the CICO model.

And they had a point.

But, ultimately there opening sentence was the incorrect one.

The body is like a calculator in that respect.

I was (as the blog title suggests) going to say it’s “like a crap calculator”.

But that’s not fair either.

Under test conditions the human body has actually shown to be very accurate in this respect.

It’s our the numbers we work with when doing our calculations that are “a bit crap”.

They’re rarely massively out.

But they all add up.

Our BMR (energy requirement at rest) may easily be 10% different to the number we get from an online calculator (due to the our physiological make up – two 15 stone people don’t necessarily have the same amount of organs, bone, muscle, fat, etc as each other).

Our estimate of our average activity levels for the BMR multiplier are often optimistic.

From these two alone, we’ve already got a daily energy requirement for maintenance which could be a good few hundred calories higher than it actually is.

The numbers and portion sizes on the labels of our food can easily be 10% out.

Our own estimate of portion sizes even more so.

A few things that “find there way into our mouths” (little nibbles here and there, actual snacks and liquid calories) can easily be forgotten about.

What, on the face of it could appear to be a 500 calories a day deficit could very well be 500 calorie surplus.

A pound a week loss on paper could be a pound a week gain in reality.

In test conditions, where the numbers are very accurate………….

The body has been shown to be a pretty accurate ‘calculator’.

If we’re not getting the ‘answer’ we’d like, our numbers probably aren’t accurate enough.

We can either try and make them more accurate where possible.

Or just knocking off 10 or 20%, seeing what happens and, maybe, repeating could well be enough 🙂

Much love,

Jon ‘Casio’ Hall and Matt ‘Sinclair’ Nicholson

P.S. You may, or may not know, that we have the only InBody 720 machine in the region down here at The Academy which gives our member waaayyyyy more information about their body composition and requirements than anywhere else can. Check out if you’d like to find out more about that, and all the other systems we have in place to help people get results when they’ve previously not got on with the ‘standard menu of options’.

About The Author

Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at The Academy then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.