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January 23, 2024 13 mins

Each day this week, we’re examining one of the world’s most popular diets. Putting the latest scientific evidence under the microscope, we’ll find out these diets' true impact on your health.

Today, we’re talking about the century-old paradigm of weight management — calorie counting. Rooted in the law of thermodynamics, the notion is simple: Consuming fewer calories than expended results in weight loss.

While seemingly straightforward, the practical application of calorie counting can prove challenging, with many of us underestimating our calorie intake or finding it difficult to maintain this diet long-term.

In this special episode of ZOE Science & Nutrition, Jonathan is joined by Christopher Gardner, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University and the Director of Nutrition Studies at Stanford Prevention Research Center. Together, they explore this diet's complexities, addressing its potential and pitfalls. 

If you want to uncover the right foods for your body, head to and get 10% off your personalised nutrition program.

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00:00 Introduction

00:42 Pre warning

00:52 Topic Intro

01:20 Why is calorie counting so popular?

02:40 Does it matter what you eat or only about total calorie intake?

04:14 What happens in your body when you eat fewer calories?

07:08 What does the science say now?

08:35 How does your metabolism change when you cut calories?

10:29 Why is the diet still so officially accredited?

11:23 What's the verdict?

12:30 Outro

Mentioned in today’s episode: 

Have feedback or a topic you'd like us to cover? Let us know here

Episode transcripts are available here.

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