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One could make a strong argument that the mainstream idea about energy partitioning, especially in regards to weight gain or loss, is focused almost exclusively on one thing: calories. Further, one could argue that it is focused on one question in regards to calories: "How much?". It's "calories in vs. calories out", and it's been the presumed paradigm for a long time now. The theory goes something like this: if the amount of calories you consume is greater than the amount of calories you expend, you will store the excess and gain weight; if the amount you consume is less than the amount you expend, then the extra consumed will come from your stored energy and you will lose weight. "It's just the 1st law of thermodynamics at work!" (conservation of energy, for those playing at home). But is our body's use or storage of energy really that simple? The short answer: not at all! So if "calories in / calories out" doesn't work, do calories really matter? Absolutely!