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Fed Up

6 years ago by

Fed Up

I’m not a rom-com girl, I’m a documentary girl.
Yeah, for me, when all else fails, I skim through the documentary options on Netflix.

And the other day I watched a really great one: Fed Up.

We’ve been talking a bit more about the way we eat on the blog, and this documentary kind of fell into my lap late on Sunday night. It talks about obesity and the growing number of kids facing this serious issue. But, within that discussion, it talks about how there’s this big misconception when it comes to calories.

The film underlines that we’ve been conditioned to think of calories in such a specific way: the more calories, the more fat, right? Well, no… According to the documentary. There are good fats (like avocado, so I’m going to go eat about four right now) and then bad fats (junk food, candy, etc). So, you can eat less calories but gain more fat if you’re eating the wrong kind of food.

I know it sounds pretty logical, but I think maybe it is a crutch we fall on; to just think about dieting in terms of calories. And, if you’ve watched the movie, it’s clear that more education on food is nothing but a good thing (for everyone)…

How do you think about food? And, if you ever diet, is it calories that you’re counting or other things you’re considering?

20 comments

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  • From health.gov:

    “We’ve been talking a lot about calories. Why? Because the number of calories you eat and drink, and use up through daily activities, is closely associated with your weight. Does it matter what types of foods the calories come from? Yes and no.”

    “When it comes to calories and managing your weight, the answer is no. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie.”

    http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/healthieryou/html/chapter5.html

  • I saw Fed Up when it was released last year. It’s very well done and informative. I’ve added more avocados, coconut oil, and coconut milk to my diet. You might also be interested in Deliciously Ella (food blogger) who has a very balanced approached to eating.

  • Colette June, 1 2015, 4:22 / Reply

    Is this documentary the equivalent of the book you need to read to quit smocking but here to stop eating sugar?

  • i am also so sick of people talk “calories”… and when they do i also always bring up the avocado-argument.
    new york is crazy when it comes with food. something i definitely struggled with while i was living there…..
    i like to stick to the french-way-eating, which is so easy since i am in paris, at the moment :-)
    much love,
    madelaine

  • Ah this sounds so interesting, I’m going to have to watch this. I’m really interested in the psychology of eating and diet choices, particularly impulsive ones, and am going to be studying it in my research project for my masters next year with a specific focus on child obesity. Weight is such a complicated issue that’s way more than just calories in, calories out xxx

  • It’s interesting. The rise of obesity in developed countries roughly parallels the awareness of, and focus, on calories. What’s really important are the hormones; hormones don’t respond to calories, they respond to the nutrients in food and when they are satisfied you’ve gotten your nutrients, they send signals to the brain to tell you that you’ve had enough and there’s no hunger.

    I believe calories are essentially irrelevant if you’re eating a diet made up of high quality and nourishing food. Lots of vegetables, protein, some fruit and good fats. I’ve been losing weight slowly but steadily doing this and without having paid any attention to calories. Basically, it’s doing things the “old-fashioned” way.

    For anyone interested, Jon Gabriel does a fantastic job of clarifying how to implement this approach. His is an inspiring story as he has lost about 240 lbs and kept it off for 10 years following this approach.

  • Lacee Lazoff June, 1 2015, 8:54 / Reply
  • Diagnosed a little under a year ago with celiac disease, I’m never not thinking about food. The trouble is, even after cutting gluten out of my diet entirely, I still felt some of the side effects (bloating, irritability, trouble focusing), so I decided to make a more drastic change: I cut out sugar, grains, and processed foods. I can’t tell you what a difference it made in the way I felt. A few months in, whenever I have a corn tortilla or too much sugary fruit, my body feels like it takes days to recover. I hate the word ‘diet’ since it connotes calorie-counting and trying to lose weight, but eating this way has made me feel better than I have in years. I have always loved food and eating, but now I try to focus my enjoyment on what not only tastes good, but what is good for my body as well.

    I think in America there’s too much focus on food and not on lifestyle as well. When I lived in California, I drove everywhere, I sat at a desk all day, I didn’t actively go out and exercise. Now in Berlin, I don’t even have a driver’s license. I make daily rounds to several grocery stores on foot. I walk to the park or to meet my friends. What we eat is important, but so is what we do with that food energy.

    I hope this documentary is available over here, as I would love to see it. Sounds a lot like the revelations I’ve had about food this year.

  • isabel June, 7 2015, 4:38

    Kate, you are very right! We saw the doc with our 9 years old son, he was very shocked. It’s so difficult to convince children to give up with soda or chips…I mean, it’s not an issue in our family but try to go for any class mates birthday party, kids are getting tones of such a poor quality sweets, salty snacks and all this flushed by liters of colorful drinks…Such a shame!

  • MissPimpin June, 2 2015, 4:52 / Reply

    Aline is right, hormones are really important. But for a few years, there are studies about the impact of endocrine disruptors on obesity. For some people, their body lies to them about being fed, and they keep eating until they’re obese.
    a major health issue that can’t be ignored !!

  • C.S.Rose June, 2 2015, 5:32 / Reply

    I was raised around a lot of organic/artisanal farms and was taught that good quality food was more important than what kind of food or what amount from a young age. I now eat hugely (more than my boyfriend who is bigger than me and athletic!) and I eat butter and the works copiously but always as fresh and organic as possible. I literally eat 5 meals a day, I am 5ft 9in and weigh 135lb, people who don’t know my are always making snide remarks about how I must not eat, then they watch me demolish giant organic burgers…
    I would add that I also think it is important to eat as unprocessed ingredients as possible. For example wheat naturally has lots of great vitamins and minerals like zinc, calcium, iron, b vitamins, magnesium, and vitamin e, but white flour (which is brown flour with the bran removed) has a rough average of about 60% less of all these things (I got this from the excellent book ‘Bread Matters’) so what you are left with basically isn’t nourishing you in comparison, its just filling you up. Which is why I buy stoneground brown flour, cook with it guilt free and eat it like a pig.
    I live in France sometimes and everyone eats things that would make you fat in America, buttered croissant for breakfast anyone? I think one of the keys is ingredients, using the wheat example, someone told me French wheat is a still heritage strain, whereas American’s are eating wheat that has been bred to last longer in storage, look better etc at the cost of it’s nutrient value. Don’t know it that’s true but I would’t be surprised!
    And then there are hormones, pesticides, and etc… best to stick organic/unprocessed I say!

  • Natalia June, 2 2015, 5:52 / Reply

    Anyone fed up about restrictions and counting calories, check out the High Carb Low Fat Vegan community on YouTube or Internet. They just saved my life, food isn’t the enemy anymore. I am just a regular french girl who struggled too long with food and I wishif I someone told me about this way of living/eating before!

  • Well, calories do count because putting on weight is the simplest equation of all time: if you gain more calories (+) than you consume (-), you’re also gaining weight.
    BUT I do think that we should focus on NUTRIENTS more, because let’s be honest, there’s so many different vitamins, nutrients, different types of proteins, carbs, and fats, that the human body needs in order to function A++. Vitamin, magnesium etc. deficiencies are SO common and count for so many people feeling tired, famished, under the weather !!

    All in all, the most nutritious food (the one filled with the bests sorts of stuffs, and this never includes a bunch of sugar and bad fats) is the best for you, never mind the calories. Ergo, avocados should be better for you than a bowl of (wheat) pasta, even though the pasta doesn’t contain nearly as much calories. voilá!

  • I would totally watch this but am stuck in the whole “ignorance is bliss!” thing :)

    Warm Regards,
    Alexandra
    http://www.littlewildheart.com

  • I have been wanting to watch this

    http://hashtagliz.com

  • Theresa June, 23 2015, 9:33 / Reply

    Thanks for the rec! Regarding dieting, that’s never been an issue for me as I’ve always been a low-dairy vegetarian that avoids processed food and too much bread. I don’t claim that this would work for everyone, but I personally swear by it!

  • Claire July, 13 2015, 8:41 / Reply

    A great doco called “This sugar film ” was released last month in Australia . (Spoiler alert?) At the end of it the nutritionist admitted that during the experiment Gameau had consumed less calories than on his no-sugar diet and yet gained I can’t remember how many kilos. The interesting thing with This Sugar film is that he did not eat what everyone knows is bad ( lollies, sodas, etc…) but so-called “health food” ( fruit juices, low fat dairy etc..) :
    http://thatsugarfilm.com/

  • The thing with refined/processed sugar (the kind you find in junk food, or even added in bread, pasta sauce, canned beans, etc) is that it turns into fat in your body. Refined fructose is a toxin, I highly recommend “Sugar: The bitter truth” – you can find it on youtube.
    I am on a whole foods plant based diet, it’s more of a lifestyle – some say it’s the true paleo diet.

  • Calories matter, sure. For example as a 144 pound woman who lifts but is otherwise pretty sedentary, I can eat 2000 kcal a day and maintain my weight. More than that on a regular basis and I will put on weight. That bit is simple. The thing people forget is that MACROS matter too – if I had 2000 calories of nothing but fat every day I would get pretty ill. To remain healthy, feel good and stay active I need a good balance of carbs, fats and most importantly protein – fibre, vitamins, etc also important. A calorie is just a calorie – but what is it a calorie OF?

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