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Hormones and calories

Welcome to another exciting episode of The Enterprise Fitness podcast, where we dive deep into the most pressing questions in the world of nutrition and fitness. In this week’s episode, we tackle the age-old debate: Why do we get fat? Is it all about calories, or do hormones play a more significant role?

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The Clash of Two Perspectives

In the realm of diet and nutrition, two prominent schools of thought have emerged to explain the mechanisms of weight management: the calorie perspective and the hormone perspective. The calorie perspective asserts that weight loss or gain is a simple mathematical equation of calories in versus calories out. On the other hand, the hormone perspective argues that our body’s biochemistry and hormonal signaling play a vital role in storing calories as fat and regulating our appetite.

Both perspectives have garnered their share of experts, gurus, and followers, leading to a somewhat polarized landscape in the nutrition world. To the average person, it can be quite confusing, as both perspectives seem to have valid points. You may find yourself pressured to pick a side, as not doing so can lead to social media exile in today’s nutrition culture. In this era, nutrition is less about the science and more about selecting ‘the science’ that aligns with your personal identity.

Results Over Rhetoric

As a fitness coach with a wealth of experience, my primary concern isn’t about why something works, but rather what works. My clients pay me for results, not for promoting a particular ideology. I’ve had the privilege of coaching numerous champions and working with thousands of clients in my studio. What truly matters to me are the results my clients achieve and their long-term success. Therefore, I’ve adapted to the viewpoints of both calories and hormones, practically applying both theories in the real world to help my clients reach their goals.

The Misconception of Calories

For a significant portion of my career, I believed that you could gain or lose weight independently of calorie intake. This perspective was heavily influenced by the work of Gary Taubes, the author of “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” who championed the idea that it’s insulin, not calories, that causes weight gain and loss. Taubes’ argument was indeed convincing, and I even developed my analogy to support the hormone-based theory. I would often say that if we had two groups, both consuming 2200 maintenance calories a day, with one group taking anabolic steroids and the other not, the group on steroids would burn fat and build muscle without being in a caloric deficit.

Hormones and Exogenous Substances

This analogy was designed to illustrate the impact of hormones on building muscle and burning fat. However, it had a crucial flaw. It still adhered to the calories in versus calories out principle. When individuals take anabolic steroids, their caloric baseline increases due to an uptick in non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), effectively increasing their energy expenditure. So, the premise of the analogy is no longer accurate. People don’t gain or lose weight solely because of hormones; they do so because hormones influence their energy balance.

Calories in the Spotlight

To strengthen the case for calories, we need to consider the 2016 metabolic ward study conducted by Kevin Hall. This study provided compelling evidence that, when calorie and protein intake are equal, eating a high-carb or low-carb diet does not lead to significant differences in weight loss or gain. In other words, when calories are controlled, carbohydrates (or fat) don’t inherently make you gain weight. The significance of this study lies in its meticulous control of all factors, making it a robust piece of evidence.

Calories and Insulin: Partners in Crime

While some may shy away from accepting the simple truth, I won’t. Calories count, and the insulin-only theory of obesity, as far as I can tell, has been debunked. Instead, it’s more practical to acknowledge that calories and insulin play a simultaneous role in weight management. Both factors intertwine to create a comprehensive understanding of how our bodies manage weight.

In-Depth Exploration

If you’re eager to dive deeper into this fascinating topic, I encourage you to tune in to this week’s episode of The Enterprise Fitness Podcast, where I explore these concepts in greater detail. You can find us on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

A Deeper Dive

For those hungry for even more knowledge, this discussion is based on Chapter 3 of my book, “The Enterprise Diet,” which delves into these ideas and much more. You can grab a copy of the book to explore this topic further and gain valuable insights into optimizing your nutrition and fitness journey.

Sharing the Wealth

You might be wondering why I’m sharing so much valuable content for free. The answer is simple: I believe that providing valuable information is the best way to earn your trust and help you achieve the results you desire. If you’re enjoying our content, please consider forwarding this email to a friend and remember to subscribe, like, and follow us on your preferred podcast platform.

Exciting Opportunity

Lastly, if you’re looking for a fun, educational, and engaging fitness experience, I’m thrilled to announce a 3-day Bootcamp where you can join us for a unique blend of training and learning. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enhance your fitness journey – learn more here.


In the ongoing debate of calories versus hormones in weight management, it’s essential to recognize that both factors play crucial roles in the complex equation of weight gain and loss. The oversimplified notion that it’s one or the other fails to capture the intricacies of our body’s metabolic processes. As we continue to explore this multifaceted topic, remember that the key to success lies in understanding and harnessing the interplay of calories and hormones to achieve your fitness goals. Thanks for tuning in to The Enterprise Fitness podcast, and stay tuned for more exciting discussions on nutrition, fitness, and overall well-being.

Want more of our philosophies and systems? Grab a copy of our book, The Enterprise Diet:

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ABout the author

My name is Mark Ottobre and I’ve been a personal trainer for almost 20 years.

Over that time, I’ve built my own PT studio, Enterprise Fitness using my in-the-trenches knowledge and experience. I’ve authored a book on training and nutrition. I’ve competed in Strongman and bodybuilding and helped 10,000 clients transform their bodies. When I’m not congratulating my team on transforming another client’s life, I’m teaching our methods to trainers and clients alike on my YouTube channel and podcast.

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Privacy Policy

Enterprise Fitness – Data collection and privacy policy
Thank you for visiting Enterprise Fitness, located in Richmond, Victoria.
We respect and protect the privacy of our website users and clients.
We act in accordance the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
This policy tells you how we collect and use information.

Data Collection

We only collect the Personal Information or additional information necessary to provide the service or goods you require. “Personal Information” means any information from which your identity is known or can be reasonably ascertained.


We do not collect Personal Information about you when you visit our website.
You can use the website without telling us who you are or revealing other Personal Information.

If you send us a contact or feedback form we will collect Personal Information. If you contact us we will collect the email address you nominate and any other identifying information you provide, such as a name or phone number. You consent to us contacting you by providing that Personal Information.


We also collect Personal Information about you when you commence training with us as a client or when you make a purchase through our website. This may include additional information about you, such as your training history, health etc.

When we collect Personal Information or additional information we will treat it in accordance with our privacy policy.

Privacy policy

Access to your Personal Information or additional information is restricted to staff who need it to provide benefits or services to you.

We train our staff about the importance of confidentiality and maintaining the privacy and security of your information.

We do not share Personal Information with other entities unless you request us to, we ask you first or required by law to share.

We may share anonymised data, such as your server location, with other entities.

We collect this data by using Cookies (which are small files that are stored on your computer or mobile device). We use Cookies to record how many times you have visited our website and which parts of our website you have visited. Cookies can be used to provide you with information that you are interested in. By using our website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the the way described in Google’s Privacy Policy.

If you ask us about an issue that needs to be dealt with by another entity, we will treat your Personal Information confidentially and request any other entity to do the same. We are not responsible for what other entities do however.

How we deal with complaints and requests

You may request access to Personal Information about you that we hold. You may ask us to correct your Personal Information if it is not accurate, up-to-date or incomplete.

You may make a complaint about our handling of your Personal Information.

To protect your privacy, we will require evidence of your identity before we can give you access to information about you or change it.

You can contact us by email, or send your request or complaint to the postal address below. We undertake to respond within 30 days.

If the request or complaint will take longer to resolve, we will provide you with a date by which we expect to respond.

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Privacy Manager
Enterprise Fitness
381 Swan Street
Richmond Victoria 3121

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