Eating More Does Not Cause Long-Term Fat Gain


“[We found] highly significant inverse correlations between food energy intake and adiposity [body fat].” – H. Keen, King’s College London

Eating more low-quality food causes us to gain body fat. But that does not mean eating more food produces the same result. Interestingly enough, eating more high-quality food has been clinically proven to cause body fat to be burned. The research on this topic comes from all over:

  • J. Volek’s Study at the University of Connecticut: People in the eat-more-high-quality-food group ate 300 more calories per day and burned more body fat.
  • F.F. Samaha’s Study at the University of Pennsylvania: People in the eat-more-high-quality-food group ate a total of 9,500 more calories and lost 200% more weight.
  • P. Green’s Study from Obesity Research: People in the eat-more-high-quality-food group ate a total of 25,000 more calories without gaining any additional weight.
  • S. Sondike’s Study from the Journal of Adolescent Health: People in the eat-more-high-quality-food group ate a total of 65,000 more calories and lost 141% more weight.

How are these results possible? Research reveals two main reasons: First, a calorie isnot a calorie. Second, an unclogged fat metabolism system burns excess calories instead of storing them. The next section will cover why a calorie isnot a calorie, so let’s turn first to how unclogging enables our body to burn—instead of store—excess calories.

In a Mayo Clinic study, researchers fed people 1,000 extra calories per day for eight weeks. A thousand extra calories per day for eight weeks totals 56,000 extra calories. Everyone gained sixteen pounds—56,000 calories worth—of body fat, right?


Nobody gained sixteen pounds. The most anyone gained was a little over half that. The least anyone gained was basically nothing—less than a pound. How could that be true? People are eating 56,000 extra calories and gaining basically no body fat? How can 56,000 extra calories add up to nothing?

That’s because extra calories don’t have to turn into body fat. They could turn into heat. They could be burned off automatically. Researcher D.M. Lyon in the medical journal QJM reported: “Food in excess of immediate requirements…can easily be disposed of, being burnt up and dissipated as heat. Did this capacity not exist, obesity would be almost universal.”

Eating more and gaining less is possible because an unclogged metabolism has all sorts of underappreciated ways to process excess calories other than storing them as body fat. In the Mayo Clinic study, researchers measured three of them:

  1. Increase the amount of calories burned daily.
  2. Increase the amount of calories burned digesting food.
  3. Increase the amount calories burned via unconscious activity.

So how did some people ate 56,000 extra calories and gain essentially nothing? Instead of storing the excess calories as body fat, their unclogged metabolisms automatically increased the base amount of calories they burned.

On the surface this study seems shocking, but we have all seen examples of “eat more, burn more” in our day-to-day lives. Think about naturally thin people you know who eat a lot, exercise a little, and stay slim. They eat more and burn more. Just as eating less causes the fat metabolism system to slow down, eating more causes an unclogged metabolism to speed up.

The key to long-term fat loss isn’t eating less or exercising more. It’s getting our metabolism to burn rather than to store excess calories.

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