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There's No Such Thing as "Good/Bad" Food (Introduction w/ Bill Maher)

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

If Bill Maher were a Health and Fitness Influencer, he'd be going to war with Lizzo and Nico Avocado in Youtube and Twitter comments sections.

Recently, Maher made this statement to his audience:

Sorry, Maher, but you're wrong. At least, about the "Good or Bad Foods" part. The thing is -

Bill: "How is that not true? Americans are on a 'See Food' diet, and what they see in America, is the Dunkin Donuts or the McDonalds they drive past every day, to and from their way to work at Walmart or the manufacturing plant."

Me: "Right, but that's an oversimplification of the collective psychologies associated wi - "

Bill: "See, this is the problem with you White Collar Liberals. You want to shirk all personal accountability and blame these "quote unquote" environments/systems"

Me: "You brought up the environment..."

*audience laughs*

Bill: "Okay, smartass, my point is: this is why the other side has such appealing messages about -"

Me: "I'm a Personal Trainer, more of a "Pink" Collar worker, actually."

Bill: "Pink Collar worker? What are you Richard Simmons??"

*audience laughs*

Me: "Why does that feel at least mildly inappropriate?"

Bill: "No, what's inappropriate is this mind virus that has infected the left that personal responsibility is somehow a bad thing. That being 500lbs and obese can be healthy."

Me: "You seem to be putting words in my mouth, Bill. Starting to feel like my current environment isn't conducive to a healthy, sustainable weight."

*audience laughs*

Bill: "Okay, you."

Bill: " All right everyone, time for New Rules!"


While I wasn't able to get through to Bill, there, maybe I can get through to you.

Nutrition is a very complex subject. It is highly variable, highly subjective, and the science is constantly updating itself.

With low scientific literacy, you will find nutritional science data suggesting that broccoli will either give you cancer or give you superpowers. Probably, both, at the same time.

As human beings, we have very complex relationships with food. While it's primarily a source of energy for our daily, hopefully, very active lives; it also serves multifunctional purposes - social, psychological, economic and many others.

Food gives us gas to run and jump, makes us comfortable when watching Netflix, and feeds the family dog when grandma wants to bring her homemade fruit cake during Christmas dinner.

But while it's a multivariate purpose for our minds; to our bodies, it's all fundamentally energy.

Too much unused energy can make us fat and unhealthy.

This is a dilemma when the tastiest foods generally have the most amount of energy in terms of carbohydrates and fats, are easily available in our living environment, and changing contexts in said environments - and mood - can have our minds telling us we should consume more calories than we actually need (and in some cases, less).

But completely denying ourselves of food and environmental combinations we know and love is definitely not the answer, as anyone that has failed a crash diet can tell you (just about everyone that has tried one).

How do we address this? How can we make weight loss/maintenance not irritable? How can we make it sustainable? How can we make our relationship with food not suck?

"I used to be a food person, until food ruined it for me."


Everything you put into your mouth and swallow are composed of energy units, no matter the context. The sooner you accept this, the faster you will be on your way to living a happier and healthier life.

No matter the context; whether you enjoy the food/meal or not, whether you just worked out or not, whether you're at a party or at home - food is composed of these discreet gasoline equivalents known as "calories".

As previously mentioned: too much of them, no matter the form, will contribute to your body's physical composition.

Too many stored energy units will cause weight gain in the form of body fat. Too little can cause one to lose weight/starve.

Being in that "Goldilocks Zone" will keep you the same.

"Look at that **** eating those crackers in MY bed! Wait, is that Lavash?"

Different forms of calories, called "Macronutrients", hold a discreet amount of calories:

Fat: 9 calories

Carbohydrates: 4 Calories

Protein: 4 Calories

A standard serving of Vanilla Ice Cream (a cup) has about 15 grams of Fat, 31 grams of Carbs, and about 5 grams of Protein and a total of 273 total calories (The difference in the Macronutrients and the total number of calories aren't that important and too complex to go into here. For our purposes, we can pay closest attention to the total amount of calories).

Now, what do we do with this information?


TDEE stands for "Total Daily Energy Expenditure". This is a rough estimation of how many calories you burn in a subjective day, just living your life.

Never calculated this before? No worries - you can find a calculator to help you out, here.

What this does, is allow you to construct a "caloric budget".

With exercise in a day - your budget goes up.

No exercise in day? Your budget goes down.


Other subjective factors, such as muscle mass, body fat percentage, genetics, etc. will all play play some role, here.

But, no worries!

We're not looking to this calculator for hard, quantifiable biometric data regarding our body's complex thermodynamic regulations. We're just looking for some basic barometer we can use on a day-to-day basis to guide our daily activity levels and energy consumption habits (food intake).

Having a Fitness Tracker really helps here. Read more about using that responsibly here.


For a lot of people, Accountability in any and all forms is an anathema. It's like a parachute that some are reluctant to open until just before hitting the ground, because the journey of leaping from 10,000 feet is somehow just more motivating that way.

This is what EXTREME DIETING AKA Dieting Without a Plan actually looks like

A lot of people avoid trying to calculate their TDEE for similar reasons they avoid their General Practitioner - they don't like the responsibility of knowing. They don't want that accountability of knowing how bad their current diet/lifestyle combination is, because they don't want to have to do something about it.

They find the idea of tracking and weighing foods laborious (it's not, and you don't do it forever) and they might have certain stereotypes that they are looking to avoid associating with.

People tend to treat this accountability as some form of cage, when in reality, it can be seen as a great freedom.


Do you like Pizza, but have been told that it's impossible to get into shape eating it?

A Truism, at best.

If you're willing to actually track your energetic intake/outtake - anything is possible!

Manage your budget so you can eat it regularly, if it's something you feel you just can't live without; whether that's once a month, once a week, or everyday.

Whether that means you eat less of something else more calorically dense (and more of something else less calorically dense), you start moving more, so that it doesn't become damaging to your health and fitness goals, or you simply manage the amount, so you never have to crave it and relapse on your goals by binge eating it - find a way to make it fit.

"Moderation is key" is a well-worn phrase in this space, and for good reason. People want to treat health and fitness in terms of these extremes that are not sustainable, which is why they fail to reach their goals.

Same goes for all the other typical "Bad" foods that we associate with the Standard American Diet (SAD).

Chips, Cookies, Ice Cream, McDonald's etc.

Pictured: Diet that would make most of us happy (for a time) but is actually quite SAD, supposedly.

Balance What You Eat With What You Do

Believe it or not, there are significant numbers of people out there that subsist, almost primarily, on foods most people would consider "Junk", but my most standards, are not only in amazing physical shape, but are healthy.

This isn't magic or wizardry. These people, and many more, understand that there are no good or bad foods.

There's only Good/Bad Nutrition.

They just need to balance what they eat with what they do.

That's good nutrition in a nutshell.

Not Keto. Not detox. Not low carb. Not carnivore, Intermittent Fasting, or any other silly fad diet people are latching onto these days.

At the end of the day: it's calories in, vs. calories out (what many refer to as "CICO").

Does that mean that you, fearless dieter, will be able to get a six pack eating nothing but Domino's, Reeses, and McDonald's?

Probably not.

But if that sounds like a sustainable diet for your current goals - it doesn't hurt to give it a try with these basic nutritional principles in mind, and then make the proper adjustments from there, if it doesn't work out, initially.

Getting into better health and better shape is a process. An iterative one. Like modern AI, you're just running simulations until you find the answer that works just right for you.

Though, if you start making "Macaroni Milanese" and "Eintopf" a thing... you might need a someone to pull the plug.

Hannibal and Musumeci represent an extreme, but most people that are in great health and great shape fall somewhere in a moderate space, where they balance these "Bad" food options with "Good" food options.


In most cases, satisfying a craving and not having to go to extremes is a simple matter of making your own foods/making substitutions when you're eating out to save yourself significant calories in your budget.

The number one rule in health and fitness dieting is to never drink your calories.

If water isn't good enough and you need something sweet - don't be afraid of diet sodas. If you can get over the false narrative of them being correlated with cancer and get acclimated to the taste of sugar substitutes - that can be a significant source of weight loss for the average person alone.

Obviously, alcohol needs to be moderated not just for caloric budget purposes - but there's nothing wrong with moderation there, assuming you have a healthy psychological relationship with the substance.

When it comes to your favorite foods - there's always lower calorie variations if you're willing to do some google/GPT sleuthing.

Low calorie pizzas, burgers, fries, donuts - whatever your typical craving tends to be that keeps sabotaging your lifestyle change - there's likely a lower calorie variation that will satisfy you.

Here's a few Youtube channels that I follow to help get you started:

Also, condiments add up quickly in terms of total calories, but often go unconsidered and sabotage weight loss goals very often.

A lot of times - we don't need "the real thing" when it comes to what we crave most.

Cauliflower Pizza might not taste as good as your local favorite, but for many, most of the time, it will be "good enough" to allow them to satisfy the craving of wanting a pizza on a regular basis.

And guess what?

Sometimes, they just go to their favorite local spot and just get the real damn thing.

Doesn't that sound better than starving yourself (and failing)?


- Kye

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Kimosabae Grant is a World Fitness Association Certified Personal Trainer, with almost 10 years in the industry.

Also really loves fighting games. Need personalized program or coaching? Email or DM on Socials! Please follow me on social media! Instagram: @theoriginalkye Youtube: Kimosabae Grant Twitter: Kimosabae Please follow me on Substack on

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