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Calorie Myth?
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stevecollins33

Following an earlier posting entitled "David Hudlow's Diet" I've thought it may be better to open the debate wider by outlining the argument that it is a myth that eating fewer calories than your maintenance levels necessarily results in weight loss.

I came across this school of though after reading respected British nutritionist Patrick Holford, who's work on Glycemic Index (GI) diet is admirable.

Holford claims blood sugar levels are the primary reason for weight management. Calories still matter but to put it in perspective, dieters can lose weight without immediate reference to caloric intake.

It would take too long to outline GI diets but in essence the key is slow-burning complex carbs, essential fats, and low-to-moderate protein intake. Everything else, e.g. salt, sugars, unrefined food, alcohol, etc, is out. Darden appears to subscribe to this but doesn't take it as far.

Now Holford argues merely cutting calories alone CANNOT be primarily responsible for weight loss. He argues that if this were the case people on deprivation diets would eventually "disappear". For example, scientific studies from concentration camp survivors show that their body weight didn't diminish in relation to their negative calorie intake, while Olympic athletes can apparently burn more calories a day in training than they can consume - yet they don't lose mass.

I think most HIT devotees now adhere to the GI principles - but will determine matters of weight management soley in terms of calories rather than blood sugar levels. Yet Holford's argument is food for thought (forgive the shameless pun).




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Butters

stevecollins33 wrote:
Following an earlier posting entitled "David Hudlow's Diet" I've thought it may be better to open the debate wider by outlining the argument that it is a myth that eating fewer calories than your maintenance levels necessarily results in weight loss.


If anyone wants to feasibly argue that a calorie is not a calorie, then they need to first provide an alternative to the law of thermodymanics. Not to mention reocncile all the credible, published studies on the calorie topic, and the solid cricitism of the GI topic.
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STanner

Texas, USA

stevecollins33 wrote:
Following an earlier posting entitled "David Hudlow's Diet" I've thought it may be better to open the debate wider by outlining the argument that it is a myth that eating fewer calories than your maintenance levels necessarily results in weight loss.

I came across this school of though after reading respected British nutritionist Patrick Holford, who's work on Glycemic Index (GI) diet is admirable.

Holford claims blood sugar levels are the primary reason for weight management. Calories still matter but to put it in perspective, dieters can lose weight without immediate reference to caloric intake.

It would take too long to outline GI diets but in essence the key is slow-burning complex carbs, essential fats, and low-to-moderate protein intake. Everything else, e.g. salt, sugars, unrefined food, alcohol, etc, is out. Darden appears to subscribe to this but doesn't take it as far.

Now Holford argues merely cutting calories alone CANNOT be primarily responsible for weight loss. He argues that if this were the case people on deprivation diets would eventually "disappear". For example, scientific studies from concentration camp survivors show that their body weight didn't diminish in relation to their negative calorie intake, while Olympic athletes can apparently burn more calories a day in training than they can consume - yet they don't lose mass.

I think most HIT devotees now adhere to the GI principles - but will determine matters of weight management soley in terms of calories rather than blood sugar levels. Yet Holford's argument is food for thought (forgive the shameless pun).

Metabolism always, always, ALWAYS chases energy intake. There's a great article that I found in the New York Times regarding metabolism and testing. In said test, a prison population was fed up to 10,000(!) calories a day for 6 months. As expected, these individuals gained a large amount of weight (they were naturally thin). The doctors measured a huge increase in their metabolism; same doctors ran a similar experiment where super-fat individual's metabolisms dropped lower and lower as their body mass and fat levels dropped. This indicates what we now know exists: a personal setpoint for bodyfat.

That said, there are a lot of hormones at play: leptin, T3, T4, insulin...the trick is managing their levels. I've read studies that indicate that, while it takes a week of dieting to lower those good hormones due to dieting, it only takes one day of overfeeding (cheating, if you will) to spike those hormones back up.
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stevecollins33

Stanner wrote:
Metabolism always, always, ALWAYS chases energy intake. There's a great article that I found in the New York Times regarding metabolism and testing. In said test, a prison population was fed up to 10,000(!) calories a day for 6 months. As expected, these individuals gained a large amount of weight (they were naturally thin). The doctors measured a huge increase in their metabolism; same doctors ran a similar experiment where super-fat individual's metabolisms dropped lower and lower as their body mass and fat levels dropped. This indicates what we now know exists: a personal setpoint for bodyfat.

That said, there are a lot of hormones at play: leptin, T3, T4, insulin...the trick is managing their levels. I've read studies that indicate that, while it takes a week of dieting to lower those good hormones due to dieting, it only takes one day of overfeeding (cheating, if you will) to spike those hormones back up.

Hi
I would never attempt personally to understate the importance of caloric intake in relation to weight management - and in fact I pay particular attention to it.
However I think what you have pointed out lends more weight (another shameless pun) to the notion that hormones/blood sugar levels play a much more important part in weight management than may be credited for.

It follows, therefore, that 100 cals from sugar will have a different effect on those levels compared to 100 cals from complex carbs. So it may be true to state a calorie is a calorie but the effect that calorie has on weight management "may" differ due to the hormonal/blood sugar level response to each.
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marcrph

Portugal

stevecollins33 wrote:
Following an earlier posting entitled "David Hudlow's Diet" I've thought it may be better to open the debate wider by outlining the argument that it is a myth that eating fewer calories than your maintenance levels necessarily results in weight loss.

I came across this school of though after reading respected British nutritionist Patrick Holford, who's work on Glycemic Index (GI) diet is admirable.

Holford claims blood sugar levels are the primary reason for weight management. Calories still matter but to put it in perspective, dieters can lose weight without immediate reference to caloric intake.

It would take too long to outline GI diets but in essence the key is slow-burning complex carbs, essential fats, and low-to-moderate protein intake. Everything else, e.g. salt, sugars, unrefined food, alcohol, etc, is out. Darden appears to subscribe to this but doesn't take it as far.

Now Holford argues merely cutting calories alone CANNOT be primarily responsible for weight loss. He argues that if this were the case people on deprivation diets would eventually "disappear". For example, scientific studies from concentration camp survivors show that their body weight didn't diminish in relation to their negative calorie intake, while Olympic athletes can apparently burn more calories a day in training than they can consume - yet they don't lose mass.

I think most HIT devotees now adhere to the GI principles - but will determine matters of weight management soley in terms of calories rather than blood sugar levels. Yet Holford's argument is food for thought (forgive the shameless pun).






Here is what you can measure:

1) the amount of calories (indirect measure)

2) the weight of the food(direct measure)

3) Amount of fiber (indirect measure)

4) blood glucose levels (direct measure)

One cannot measure insulin in the bloodstream, as of the last time I was in the laboratory. You can measure the amount of insulin one injects, however this is an entirely irrelevant matter.

Can someone measure their glycemic index handily on a daily basis?
Is not it more feasible to count calories on a daily basis?
Can one not weight themselves daily?
Can one not look into the mirror daily?
Can one not reflect on how they feel during the day?
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stevecollins33

Adhering to the principles of the GI diet will benefit the majority of bodybuilders. Of course, it pays to attempt to control as many variables as possible in a bid to improve your physique and counting calories is one of them - and a very important one.

However if anyone still doubts the role of hormones and blood sugar levels in weight management perhaps then they can explain why people with thyroid disorders are fat? Such people can weigh +20st with +30% body fat despite consuming 1500 calories a day while taking moderate exercise. Clearly there must be more to it than simple calorie consumption?
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STanner

Texas, USA

stevecollins33 wrote:
Hi
I would never attempt personally to understate the importance of caloric intake in relation to weight management - and in fact I pay particular attention to it.
However I think what you have pointed out lends more weight (another shameless pun) to the notion that hormones/blood sugar levels play a much more important part in weight management than may be credited for.

It follows, therefore, that 100 cals from sugar will have a different effect on those levels compared to 100 cals from complex carbs. So it may be true to state a calorie is a calorie but the effect that calorie has on weight management "may" differ due to the hormonal/blood sugar level response to each.

Hello,

I think you might have me misunderstood: Hormones play an ENORMOUS role, though it's not just tied to blood sugar. There's a great T-Nation article about this that just came up today:
http://www.T-Nation.com/...e.do?id=1757741


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stevecollins33

STanner wrote:
stevecollins33 wrote:
Hi
I would never attempt personally to understate the importance of caloric intake in relation to weight management - and in fact I pay particular attention to it.
However I think what you have pointed out lends more weight (another shameless pun) to the notion that hormones/blood sugar levels play a much more important part in weight management than may be credited for.

It follows, therefore, that 100 cals from sugar will have a different effect on those levels compared to 100 cals from complex carbs. So it may be true to state a calorie is a calorie but the effect that calorie has on weight management "may" differ due to the hormonal/blood sugar level response to each.
Hello,

I think you might have me misunderstood: Hormones play an ENORMOUS role, though it's not just tied to blood sugar. There's a great T-Nation article about this that just came up today:
http://www.T-Nation.com/...e.do?id=1757741




Cheers that was a pretty interesting read. I've shed 4st to date and I believe I've always had a pigging out day at the weekend, sometimes two. This may explain my consistent surprise that I was getting away with it (or "cheating") when the weight still kept dropping.

It certainly begs the question: is a calorie really just a calorie? Or put another way: all calories are equal - just that some are more equal than others!
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STanner

Texas, USA

stevecollins33 wrote:
STanner wrote:
stevecollins33 wrote:
Hi
I would never attempt personally to understate the importance of caloric intake in relation to weight management - and in fact I pay particular attention to it.
However I think what you have pointed out lends more weight (another shameless pun) to the notion that hormones/blood sugar levels play a much more important part in weight management than may be credited for.

It follows, therefore, that 100 cals from sugar will have a different effect on those levels compared to 100 cals from complex carbs. So it may be true to state a calorie is a calorie but the effect that calorie has on weight management "may" differ due to the hormonal/blood sugar level response to each.
Hello,

I think you might have me misunderstood: Hormones play an ENORMOUS role, though it's not just tied to blood sugar. There's a great T-Nation article about this that just came up today:
http://www.T-Nation.com/...e.do?id=1757741




Cheers that was a pretty interesting read. I've shed 4st to date and I believe I've always had a pigging out day at the weekend, sometimes two. This may explain my consistent surprise that I was getting away with it (or "cheating") when the weight still kept dropping.

It certainly begs the question: is a calorie really just a calorie? Or put another way: all calories are equal - just that some are more equal than others!



I'll play a bit of "devil's advocate" here for the sake of doing so:

A calorie is a calorie, but the caveat goes like this: Carbs make you fat and the body doesn't need them. At all (There is no "essential carbohydrate" like there is "essential amino acids" and "essential fatty acids"). They're the only nutrient that significantly raises blood sugar and elicits a hormone response. A person can get away with more calories on a fat and protein-based diet than they can with carbs.

That said, as you read in the article, carbs are the macro that elicit the huge leptin response, which is responsible for keeping fat burning hormones high during a diet. This gives rise to the notion of cyclic dieting, which has brought myself and client great success in dropping fat and keeping sanity.
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stevecollins33

STanner wrote:
I'll play a bit of "devil's advocate" here for the sake of doing so:

A calorie is a calorie, but the caveat goes like this: Carbs make you fat and the body doesn't need them. At all (There is no "essential carbohydrate" like there is "essential amino acids" and "essential fatty acids"). They're the only nutrient that significantly raises blood sugar and elicits a hormone response. A person can get away with more calories on a fat and protein-based diet than they can with carbs.

That said, as you read in the article, carbs are the macro that elicit the huge leptin response, which is responsible for keeping fat burning hormones high during a diet. This gives rise to the notion of cyclic dieting, which has brought myself and client great success in dropping fat and keeping sanity.


I'm not enough of an expert to debate that point. However, there is something intuitively odd about the notion carbs are not needed by the body. I'm struggling to see how a balanced diet could be achieved without their inclusion, e.g. for vitamins and minerals.

For example, in bygone days British sailors apparently developed scurvy despite copious access to fish (high protein/essential fats) but nothing much else - hence the discovery of the vitamin C benefits in limes (and the legend of the Limeys!) I'm sure exponents of the Atkins diet would concur with you since that appears to be their eating philospohy. However, as stated, I'm no expert in this field.
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Butters

stevecollins33 wrote:
It follows, therefore, that 100 cals from sugar will have a different effect on those levels compared to 100 cals from complex carbs. So it may be true to state a calorie is a calorie but the effect that calorie has on weight management "may" differ due to the hormonal/blood sugar level response to each.


Sure it will in a fasted state, but the minute you start including other foods changes the impact of the sugar. Plus the contents of your stomach plays a role in the GI impact of the food you eat and your stomach is rarely completely empty.

Plus based on the theory of only eating "clean" foods because they are low GI, I hope you're avoiding white potatoes because they have as high of a GI as white sugar.
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sonny153

I follow a low glycemic diet, but sadly I still have to watch my calories...above a certain level I will add fat no matter what the glycemic level is.
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Swedish Viking

California, USA

I haven't posted here in a good long time, but I thought I'd chime in now. I often live off a primarily carb less diet. Very high fat, high protein, low carbs. In fact, the only carbs I get are from the banana or two that I eat daily in my smoothies and the tablespoon of honey I put in them. That's it. I don't go that low all the time, but it's not a problem once you get used to it. I should also mention that all the food that I eat is raw as well.
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karma50

Steve,
British sailors ate hardtack biscuits, white flour. Refined carbs compete with vit c for access to the cells. See Gary taubes's new book, "Good Calories, Bad Calories". I'm not advocating for any kind of diet, but carbs are not in fact esential nutrients. Just convenient.
Griff
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STanner

Texas, USA

Swedish Viking wrote:
I haven't posted here in a good long time, but I thought I'd chime in now. I often live off a primarily carb less diet. Very high fat, high protein, low carbs. In fact, the only carbs I get are from the banana or two that I eat daily in my smoothies and the tablespoon of honey I put in them. That's it. I don't go that low all the time, but it's not a problem once you get used to it. I should also mention that all the food that I eat is raw as well.

You're also a total weirdo. ;)

Someone who's ancestors were from a South Pacific Island (Fruitarian) or from nations that are totally grain adapted (Italy, Japan) would not do well on your diet. Inuits and tibetians would do fine, as they live on high levels of fat and very low carbs; grapes don't grow in the snow, simply.

The problem with this is that, with America being a melting pot, most people aren't quite sure of their genes wrt ancestors and what they can eat. I would be an freak of nature, consuming over a gallon of milk a day without any intolerance in a place like japan, for instance.

Of course, these complications are just that; I like the minutia, though I try not to get mired in it.
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stevecollins33

karma50 wrote:
Steve,
British sailors ate hardtack biscuits, white flour. Refined carbs compete with vit c for access to the cells. See Gary taubes's new book, "Good Calories, Bad Calories". I'm not advocating for any kind of diet, but carbs are not in fact esential nutrients. Just convenient.
Griff


Cheers Griff. You learn something everyday.
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