I remember hearing this question whilst I was at lower site of secondary school (calling it Seniors is a more recent change).

I remember asking the dinner lady who replied with “coal”.

The answer, of course, is that they are the same.

For all their differences, they are being compared in an identical measure there.

If the question was “which is heavier, a cubic meter of feathers or a cubic metre of coal” it would be a different answer.

Or if they compared their aerodynamicness, colour, texture or any other variable.

But the same weight of any things are as heavy as each other.

Like calories.

I know people switch off to calorie deficits sometimes.

I know I did for a while.

Saying things like “100 calories of chocolate affects the body very differently to 100 calories of broccoli”.

And it might do.

But not in the way that we’re comparing.

They might make us feel different.

They might affect our appetite differently (happy as I am to eat broccoli, I’ve never had some then gone to the fridge to see if there’s any more).

But, in the relevant comparison (how much energy they have in them that will be released into the body), they are the same.

100g of broccoli (35 calories) would be very different to 100g of chocolate (500+ calories).

But that’s not the comparison that we’re making.

Studies show time and time again that, when in a controlled environment (where energy in versus energy out is controlled to +/- 20 calories per day) everyone loses weight when in a confirmed, sustained calorie deficit.

At approximately the same rate (marginal differences).

And with marginal differences with different food choices.

If someone feels that they don’t lose weight when in a calorie deficit, then one of two things can be happening:

1. They would be the first person in human history for that to happen in a controlled environment or

2. They weren’t in a calorie deficit.

Would eating a calorie deficit of cake, biscuits, chocolate, wine and McDonald’s be as “healthy” as a calorie deficit of lean meats and green veg?

Probably not.

Would eating a calorie deficit of cake, biscuits, chocolate, wine and McDonald’s be healthier than eating a calorie surplus of cake, biscuits, chocolate, wine and McDonald’s?


In the variable that we’re concerned with here, the comparison is fair.

None of this means we need to obsess over our calorie intake.

But, if we’re looking to lose weight, then whatever we do has to be creating a deficit.

And forgetting (or denying) that amongst all the other variables and considerations………

Can lead to that not happening………

And, therefore, a lack of the exact result we desire.

———- Apply for more info at www.myrise.co.uk/apply or just get started at www.myrise.co.uk/join if you like the idea of an approach that gives you flexibility and actual progress rather than ‘all or nothing’ (which usually means nothing) on ‘perfect eating’ ———-

Much love,

Jon ‘Why’s it not spelt “tun”?’ Hall


RISE in Macclesfield was established in 2012 and specialise in Group Personal Training weight loss programmes for those that don’t like the gym and find diets boring and restrictive!

Jon Hall
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 RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at myrise.co.uk - 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.