So you think calorie counting is bunk and has no place in any weight loss literature?

Well, I am about to enlighten you with how calorie counting and the fuel burn in aircraft are precisely related.

Subscribe if you like what I have to say.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review for me over at iTunes! It seriously motivates me to keep helping people (and I read all of my reviews!)


Brad Newton:

Hi, everybody and you’re listening to Contest Prep 9 of the Brad Newton Show on behalf of Welcome back everybody. In this episode I want to talk about something a little different, but it’s very relatable when it comes to weight loss. In this episode I want to use an analogy of how counting calories is very much related to fuel burn in an aircraft. I’ve tied these two together because not only am I passionate about fitness and getting ready for a fitness model competition as I record this five weeks from now stepping on the stage in my leanest possible condition, but I’m also passionate about flying as well. I have a pilots licence and I did all my flight training with the intention years ago of getting into the airlines.

I’ve decided to kind of make counting calories more of a real life reality, important reality, but tying it into how it relates to flying planes and monitoring the fuel burn in aircraft. If you’re a pilot listening to this, you’re really going to appreciate this analogy especially a pilot wanting to get fit because I realised a lot of pilots out there are not fit. I wasn’t when I was in the days of flying three or four times a week. I was skinny and I was skinny fat. I was on a bad diet, right? That’s a whole different story. First of all, let’s talk about counting calories and then we’ll talk about aircraft stuff and then we’ll tie it altogether.

Now I wanted to really do this audio recording in a different light because when everybody thinks about counting calories, it’s always cringe worthy. It’s almost like you mention the word taxes. People just automatically throw up walls and they don’t want to talk to you. I get it. There are just things in life that people just don’t want to hear about because we’ve heard about it so much throughout our lives that it’s almost like we just don’t care. We just don’t give a shit. We don’t care anymore. I don’t care about taxes. I just deal with it. I just deal with it. Then calories and counting calories, I mean we’ve heard it so many times that counting calories doesn’t work and it does work and it only works under these circumstances and yaddy yaddy yadda.

I want to kind of not explain the importance of counting calories or the lack of counting calories. I want to sort of bring to your attention how weight loss and weight gain occurs and then how it ties into counting calories and then why it’s important to track and monitor what you eat and how it’s relatable to aircraft and fuel burn. Because really what it comes down to is that if you want to lose weight, if you want to gain weight, if you want to gain muscle, you want to gain weight, depending on whatever your goal is, the laws by which that occurs have not changed since humans have been around. It doesn’t matter what new diet comes out tomorrow. We’re fairly well grounded in the science of what it takes to lose weight and gain weight.

The reason why we have struggled so much as a culture to lose weight is because people are confused. There are so many programmes out there that are conflicting. That one doctor says this, another doctor says that from the same university. The direct loggerheads with each other about what is the correct way of doing things. There is no dispute over the fundamentals of energy balance. Energy balance, if you would write this one down and do your research on it, is the predicating factor of weight loss and weight gain. Whenever you eat more calories than what your body needs or eat less calories than what your body needs everyday, then that energy exchange will cause you to either gain weight or lose weight.

If you’re in a calorie surplus, positive energy balance, you’re in a position to gain weight. If you’re at a negative energy balance, you’re at a deficit, you’re in a position to lose weight. That’s pretty much the crux of it. That’s pretty much the bottom line of it. Now that translates into either counting calories or counting points. Because when you’re counting points, it’s easier than tracking kilojoules and kilocalories and macronutrients and so forth. A point system makes it very handy and very much simplifies that process. Then again we go to the next level of simplification which is portion control.

There are programmes out there built around eating this and that and this food for breakfast and then another bunch of different types of food at lunch with a few snacks thrown in with dinner as this and that. By having that kind of portion control which companies have their business models built around, that will allow you to lose weight. It’s portion control which boils down to calories, which boils down to energy balance. Then we have points which boils down to calories, which boils down to energy balance. The foundation of everything relating to building muscle, putting on weight or losing weight is all predicated on energy balance.

No matter what you call it, no matter what you label the diet, whether you call it the juicing cleanse, because if you are only drinking juice, then you’re probably going to be eating or drinking less calories than what your body needs and ultimately lose weight because it ultimately follows the law of energy balance. If you only eat vegetables and no meat, then you’ll probably be so full and satiated that you’ll probably never be in a positive to be in a calorie surplus. Therefore by the law of energy balance, you’re automatically thrown into a negative energy balance, therefore you’ll automatically lose weight. Then really what this comes down to is that when it comes to weight loss and weight gain, most people pull the plug, fight the current.

They just go into a diet and I’ve done this before, I’ve made all these mistakes for years, and they just hope for the best. They just go on a diet and hope for the best without any consideration to tracking numbers, calories, points, portions, whatever. I always liken this to flying aeroplanes  because some people say, “Well, you don’t need to count calories to lose weight. I know a bunch of people that have lost weight without counting calories, counting points counting portions, tracking and monitoring, weighing and measuring.” Of course, I know a bunch of people too. I know a lot of people that have not done any of that and have achieved a great physique. Here’s the catch, there’s no guarantee when you don’t track and monitor that you’re going to get to a certain result.

Likewise, those people that struggle to gain muscle gain weight, all the guys out there that are skinny, I’ve been there too, and they want to gain muscle and they think they’re eating enough food and they’re not. They think because they’re feeling feelings of being full and it’s uncomfortable that they’re eating enough food and they’re training in the gym and they’re wondering why they’re not putting on any weight or muscle. Because they’re not consistently eating in a surplus. Because they’re not tracking and monitoring, weighing and measuring. There’s no guarantee that neither goal is going to be achieved if it’s not tracked or monitored. I always liken this to flying planes because it’s another passion of mine. It’s very much relatable to me.

If you were to come flying with me, right? Just hypothetically. I’m a pretty cool dude to fly with I reckon. If you ever come to Melbourne, Australia, we’ll go flying. We’ll go on a little trip around the city. Before you jump into my plane I want to say to you, “You know what? We’re going to fly from here to …” Where are we going to fly to? “We’re going to Sydney, right? We’re going to fly from Melbourne to Sydney.” You get all excited about it. Yes, I get to see Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, yaddy yadda. You get to see it from a small plane. It’s very different to a jet who’s cruising at over 30,000 feet. You don’t see much from that height.

When you’re cruising at 7, 8, 9,000 feet, you see a lot especially in the small plane. You feel everything. You get excited by that. I say to you, “I’m not going to track my fuel. I’m not going to monitor it. In fact, I’m just going to … You know what? I think there’s enough fuel in the fuel tank. We’re just going to go off that. We’re just going to go off the gut feeling that I have, that we have enough fuel to get to Sydney.” As a passenger you’d be fucking nervous. I mean I would be. You wouldn’t want to fly with me. You’d be like, “No. No way, Brad. There’s no way. I want you to check to make sure we have enough fuel. I want you to be certain that we’re going to get to our destination. That we’re going to land and be safe.”

I keep saying to you, “No. No. No. It’s not necessarily. I’ve done this before. I’ve done this trip many times. I know exactly what I’m doing. Do I need to track and monitor every single thing that I … No, I don’t need to.” That doesn’t make you feel easy. You don’t fly with me. It’s no different. As a pilot, you’re always checking your fuel. I mean before you even jump in the plane, you dip … They call it dip your tanks. You open up the fuel cap. You physically look inside the tanks. I know. This still happens. People, we still do this. We don’t even trust the fuel gauges. We look inside the fuel tank and we dip it with a stick and we see where the fuel falls on the stick. We use that and then we compare that against the fuel gauge.

If the fuel gauge is wrong, we know the fuel gauge is faulty. That’s what we do. Then from that we look at our flight plan and then we look at our wind. We look at the speed of the aircraft, a few other things. We calculate how long it will take to get to our destination. Then from there we calculate what our fuel burn will be. How much fuel will burn in that leg between Melbourne and Sydney for example? Then we look at how much fuel we have in the tanks and we minus off how much fuel it will cost us to taxi, climb, cruise, descend, circuit, come in, taxi on the other end and then park on the other end. With relatively high degrees of accuracy, I can tell you how much fuel we will have the moment we land on the other end without using computers, using old school pilot math.

The point is using tracking and measuring methods. That gives me the certainty to then give my passengers that we will definitely get to our destination. It’s the certainty. Yeah, sure, I could probably get to Sydney because I’ve done that trip many times. Like you driving your car to work. You don’t need to measure your fuel every single time because you know the needle position. You know I’ve got three more trips left or five more trips left, then I need to fill up. Pilots do fall onto the same habit as well. If it’s their own aircraft, they look at the fuel gauge, they get lazy and they do the same thing and they don’t crash. They get to their destination, but the point is there’s no guarantee they will. They’re just going with hope and prayer.

Most people treat their diet and weight loss the same way. They don’t track and monitor because it’s hard. It’s challenging. As a pilot, it does require energy to sit down and do all these calculations. If you want to survive, you do it. If you’re in a diet game, you want to lose weight or you want to put on some muscle which means usually gaining weight, then the same amount of energy is required. You got to sit down and track and monitor, weigh and measure. Most people don’t want to do that. They just want to guess. They just want to hope for the best. They want to hope that they can make it. Some people do without tracking and monitoring, but most people don’t. Those that are relatively new to this game, you need to sit down and track and monitor.

That’s the punch line here. We do it as pilots. If you want a guarantee getting to your “destination” of your ideal body weight, your ideal physique or whatever, then you got to do this. Yeah, there’s a little bit of work upfront, but it’s not work all the time. It’s like learning any other skill. It just takes an initial amount of your time to sit down, figure it out. It’s not that difficult when someone shows you how to do it. I’m not talking about sitting there and micromanaging every single calorie. I’m not talking about the 1980s style of doing it by going through textbooks the size of the Bible because we live in a different time now. In 2017, we have a smartphone now which has everything you can ever imagine.

Everything from dating to reviewing restaurants and ordering food from a supermarket where you can do everything literally from the epicentre of your smartphone including tracking and monitoring your calories. It couldn’t be easier now. It’s a matter of getting to the strategy aspect of this, downloading an application which allows you to do that such as MyNetDiary or MyFitnessPal are the two major players in this market. They’re the applications that I would usually recommend. You go into them. You play around with them. You get used to them and then eventually you then start adopting this strategy of tracking and monitoring. You do a few calculations like it’s not algebra. We’re talking adding and subtracting.

Then you punch all of that into the application and then you be patient. That is it. You will scan and put everything into that smartphone application. The application will give you incredible guidance about whether you’re on track and off track and this kind of stuff. Then you work in a few other strategies around how to deal with like the social life and going out and balancing that out with tracking and monitoring calories. There’s so much information that to be successful in doing this and applications allow you to be successful these days. It’s so challenging to not make this work for you. We have the technology. We have the infrastructure. You just got to use it. Look, it’s intimidating. It is hard. It is challenging.

I get it. At first it is just like anything else. You got to do it. Look, I actually wished I listened to my own advice eight years ago because when everybody was talking about counting calories, I was doing the middle finger saying, “Screw you. I’m not counting anything. I have a life. I’m going to enjoy the food that I eat. Thank you very much.” That attitude that I had caused me going in and out of hospital because I was so sick, because I was out of shape and I was miserable that I didn’t have the body that I wanted for years because I wasn’t open to it, because I didn’t think it’d applied to me. I was like rather going to seminars spending thousands of dollars wasting my freaking money on stupid shit that did nothing for me.

Juicing cleanses, fasting programmes, yaddy yaddy yadda, where I saw short-term results. Just doing stupid ridiculous stuff. Like ridiculous. Combining and separating foods. Reading stupid diet books. This is energy balance. It’s energy balance. Whether you call it the fruit diet, whether you be vegetarian or vegan or whatever, it’s all energy balance. You can eat 6,000 calories of raw vegan cheesecakes and you’ll still be freaking fat, not because they’re raw vegan cheesecakes. It’s so healthy for you that you shouldn’t be putting on that weight, you should be losing it, because it has nothing to do with food choices. It has everything to do with energy balance. You eat too many good calories. You’re going to get fat period.

If you don’t eat too many bad calories, then you’ll lose weight. Energy balance. I’ll talk more about the mechanics of energy balance later on, but the whole point of this discussion was to talk about counting and monitoring and tracking and weighing and getting your head around that. That is what I wanted to get off my chest. If you have any questions, please send me an email. Now I actually run complete courses. Most of them are free. If you go to my website,, I actually go through all of this stuff in great detail with all the science to back it up because I have a bachelor of science. I like everything to be backed in science.

If you’re going to checkout what I have on offer, video courses you can learn from the comfort of your lounge room, go and check them out on my website under courses. Heaps of them. Then I also make myself available to every single person on this planet that needs help because I’m passionate about giving back what’s taken me so many effing years to figure out myself. I finally got there and I’m not even perfect. I’m still learning. I’m still growing, but I want to help you. Why not? Take my hands. Again send me an email if you have any questions. Head to my website. If you have any questions about anything, then yeah, certainly hit me up. Also get onto MyNetDiary and MyFitnessPal. Start tracking and monitoring. If you can take nothing else away, do that.

My friends, thank you so much. I appreciate it. If you like what I have to say, please review this on iTunes. It does help me a lot. It does keep me going. It’s the best form of payment for me. Head over there. Leave a few comments over there. Send me an email direct. Share it with your friends if you think it’s going to be helpful. I look forward to hearing from you one day in the future. Thanks again for watching or listening rather. I’m used to doing YouTube videos. I’ll speak very soon.



100% Privacy. We don’t rent or share our email lists.