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Alright so I think I'm going to try and tackle this constructively. Let's first start by asking why it's true that:
>measuring the quantity of energy you consume and expend is a dumb useless methodThe problem with breaking down all foods into a single category (such as 'energy') and then focusing on intake/output measurements is that it disregards variation in nutritive quality and nutrient diversity (this should be obvious, no?). The human body has fairly effective checks in place that regulate food intake (and food variety too), via hunger and taste (admittedly taste checks have been partially circumvented by the culinary arts, and by dramatic changes during the 20th Century in food availability, but anyway-), however such checks don't exist when it comes to determining the nutritive value of food. Or rather, the checks that do exist are no longer effective.
Given that evolutionary processes naturally lag millennia behind reality (that is to say that we're all adapted to survive in the Stone Age, not the present), it should be no surprise that our palates are also ill-equipped for the modern world. While our preferences towards fatty, salty, and high-carbohydrate foods may have been vital for surviving the food-scarcity of antiquity, in our food-saturated 21st Century, they mostly serve to propagate obesity, heart disease, and cancer. So here's the problem with blindly counting calories simply put: a slender 1000-calorie diet of cereal, milk, and coffee cakes is far more harmful than a large 3000-calorie plant-based diet.
>then what do you recommend?
I follow the recommendations of my close friend, drinking pal, and health scientist, who's currently at the tail-end of his third degree, a Master's in health science. We've been studying nutrition together for the last decade (just short of a decade really), but he went much further with it, so I tend to defer to his expertise. He rarely bothers with sharing this sort of information with people because, frankly, people often feel threatened when they're told that something they enjoy consuming (and believe is healthy) is unhealthy, and the result is usually defensive behavior and aggression. I'll be truncating the information for the sake of brevity, leaving out things that I assume most people know. Also, it's worth pointing out that he would tell you to cut out these items, while I'm using the word "reduce."
>Reduce consumption of meat and dairyThe consumption of meat and dairy causes widespread chronic inflammation (which leads to chronic disease), and an increased risk of developing multiple forms of cancer, and an exponentially increased bioaccumulation of thousands of toxins.
>Reduce consumption of processed foods, especially processed sugarsI assume you all know this one.
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