T Nation

A Calorie is a Calorie

Some of my friends and I were talking about this the other day. Basically all my friends are convinced that the sources of the food don’t matter at all, it’s all about the overall macronutrient ratio, i.e. 700 cals of hamburger helper is the same as 700 cals of yams and chicken breast. I know this is bullshit, but I don’t really know how to show them that… help me out guys?

just put things in perspective for them. If a calorie is just a calorie, then America wouldn’t be so fat, cuz afterall, our food source doesn’t matter, just the macros.

Just tell one of them to change their macros to 40% protein and 40% fat, and the other change their diet to 80% carbohydrate. Keep them isocaloric and let them decide for themselves.

If they disregard what happens to them and what happens before their eyes, then they are stuck in dogma and there is nothing you can do to help them.

If you really need to simplified to it’s most basic premise…

It all comes down to hormones, and what the food you ingest does once it’s in your body.

(I’d elaborate a bit, but seriously, most people don’t want to know why they’re wrong,… that, and I’m on my way out -lol)

S

“Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes.

Its a huge read but it covers everything.

[quote]ADvanced TS wrote:
“Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes.

Its a huge read but it covers everything and gets it wrong.[/quote]

Fixed that for you.

[quote]forbes wrote:
just put things in perspective for them. If a calorie is just a calorie, then America wouldn’t be so fat, cuz afterall, our food source doesn’t matter, just the macros. [/quote]

So you’re saying Americans aren’t overeating and are eating properly balanced amounts of macronutrients?

News to me.

[quote]Stronghold wrote:

[quote]ADvanced TS wrote:
“Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes.

Its a huge read but it covers everything and gets it wrong.[/quote]

Fixed that for you.

[quote]forbes wrote:
just put things in perspective for them. If a calorie is just a calorie, then America wouldn’t be so fat, cuz afterall, our food source doesn’t matter, just the macros. [/quote]

So you’re saying Americans aren’t overeating and are eating properly balanced amounts of macronutrients?

News to me.[/quote]

No no, I just worded it wrong. All I’m saying is that where your calories come from do matter. Getting your protein, fat and carbs from pizza will have a much different effect than getting it from chicken, a baked potato and olive oil, even if overall calories and macro breakdown are the same.

Hormonal Responses to a Fast-Food Meal Compared with Nutritionally Comparable Meals of Different Composition a Research Review

Title and Abstract

Bray GA et. al. Hormonal Responses to a Fast-Food Meal Compared with Nutritionally Comparable Meals of Different Composition. Ann Nutr Metab. 2007 May 29;51(2):163-171 [Epub ahead of print]

Background: Fast food is consumed in large quantities each day. Whether there are differences in the acute metabolic response to these meals as compared to a “healthy” meals with similar composition is unknown. Design: Three-way crossover. Methods: Six overweight men were given a standard breakfast at 8:00 a.m. on each of 3 occasions, followed by 1 of 3 lunches at noon. The 3 lunches included: (1) a fast-food meal consisting of a burger, French fries and root beer sweetened with high fructose corn syrup; (2) an organic beef meal prepared with organic foods and a root beer containing sucrose, and (3) a turkey meal consisting of a turkey sandwich and granola made with organic foods and an organic orange juice. Glucose, insulin, free fatty acids, ghrelin, leptin, triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol were measured at 30-min intervals over 6 h. Salivary cortisol was measured after lunch. Results: Total fat, protein and energy content were similar in the 3 meals, but the fatty acid content differed. The fast-food meal had more myristic (C14:0), palmitic (C16:0), stearic (C18:0) and trans fatty acids (C18:1) than the other 2 meals. The pattern of nutrient and hormonal response was similar for a given subject to each of the 3 meals. The only statistically significant acute difference observed was a decrease in the AUC of LDL cholesterol after the organic beef meal relative to that for the other two meals. Other metabolic responses were not different. Conclusion: LDL-cholesterol decreased more with the organic beef meal which had lesser amounts of saturated and trans fatty acids than in the fast-food beef meal.

My Comments

For a couple of decades, there has been an ongoing argument regarding the issue of is a calorie a calorie? in terms of changes on body composition and other parameters. I discuss this topic in Is a Calorie a Calorie?

Fundamentally, my belief is that, given identical macro-nutrient intakes (in terms of protein, carbs, and fats) that there is going to be little difference in terms of bodily response to a given meal. There may be small differences mind you (and of course research supports that) but, overall, they are not large. And certainly not of the magnitude that many make it sound like.

It’s worth nothing that there are a couple of built-in assumptions to my argument, all of which are detailed in the article I linked to above but I want to briefly reiterate them here.

A tediously typical argument of the “a calorie isn’t a calorie” types is usually something along the lines of "Clearly eating 3000 calories of jelly beans isn’t the same as eating 3000 calories of chicken breast and vegetables. Well…no shit.

But at that point, the argument is about more than food quality, it’s also about the macro-nutrient content. And of course the diet containing zero protein will be bad. But, again that has zip to do with it being clean and everything to do with there being no protein.

My basic assumptions in this argument are that both protein and essential fatty acid requirements are being met. Beyond that, I find most of the obsession over food quality to be pretty pointless. Again, this is discussed in more detail in the article linked above so I won’t get into it here.

Now it’s worth noting that a great deal of the difference seen between “eating clean” and “eating unclean” has to do with caloric intakes. I’ve pointed out repeatedly that, and this is especially true when people are not counting their calories, certain eating patterns tend to make people eat more than others. It’s easier to overeat donuts than broccoli.

Clearly, someone eating a 2000 calorie fast food meal will obviously get a different response than someone eating a 500 or even 1000 calorie clean meal. But as with the argument above, at this point there is more than one variable changing; it’s not just about clean vs. unclean, you’re comparing meals of drastically different caloric value.

A far more logical comparison would be to look at “unclean” vs “clean” meals containing the same caloric value and the same macro-nutrient content; by controlling those two variables, the only thing being examined will be the quality of the food (rather than the total quantity or the macro-nutrient profile).

Especially when you’re talking about bodybuilders and athletes who are typically controlling their caloric content. Under those conditions, I argue that there will be no significant difference between the two; given identical macros and calories, there is simply no real-world difference in a clean vs. unclean meal in terms of its effects on body composition (health and other effects such as hunger control are separate, albeit important, issues).

However, even there the clean freaks will make the counter-argument: they contend that even if the macros and calories are identical, the unclean meal will still be worse. This is usually based on an assumed difference in hormonal response (usually insulin).

So who’s right?

Unfortunately, very little research has actually examined this topic in any sort of controlled way (there are at least two studies showing that high sucrose diets generate identical weight and fat losses as lower sucrose diets). At least until this paper came along

The stud’s explicit goal was to see if the metabolic response to a fast-food meal would differ to a “healthy” meal of similar macro-nutrient and caloric value.

Towards this end six overweight men and two women were recruited to take part in the study although the data in the women was excluded due to the low number and possible gender effects.

Each subject consumed each of the three test meals on different days with one week in between trials. A standard breakfast was provided at 8am and the test meal was given at exactly 12pm and blood samples were taken every 30 minutes for the first 4 hours and every 60 minutes for the next two hours. Blood glucose, blood lipids, insulin, leptin, ghrelin and free fatty acids were measured.

The test meals consisted of the following:.

* Fast food meal: A Big Mac, french fries and root beer sweetened with high fructose corn syrup purchased at the restaurant itself.

* Organic beef meal: this meal used certified organic rangefed ground beef; cheddar cheese; hamburger bun made with unbleached all purpose naturally white flour, non-iodized salt, non-fat powdered milk, natural yeast, canola oil, and granulated sugar; sauce made from canola mayonnaise and organic ketchup; organic lettuce, onion and dill pickles; French fries made from organic potatoes and fried in pure pressed canola oil; and root beer made with cane sugar.

* Organic turkey meal: this consisted of a turkey sandwich made from sliced, roasted free-range turkey breast with no antibiotics or artificial growth stimulants; cheddar cheese; 60% whole wheat bread made with whole wheat and unbleached all-purpose naturally white flours, non-iodized salt, non-fat powdered milk, yeast, vital wheat gluten, canola oil, and granulated sugar; pure pressed canola oil and canola mayonnaise, stone ground mustard; organic lettuce; accompanied by a granola made with Blue Diamond whole natural almonds, Natureâ??s path organic multigrain oatbrain flakes, wholesome sweeteners evaporated cane juice, Spectrum Naturals pure pressed canola oil, clover honey, Sonoma organically grown raisins and dried apples. The beverage was an organic orange juice.

So the study was comparing a commercial fast food meal to two carefully designed organic meals (one beef, one turkey) from the above list of ingredients.

The composition of each meal was as follows:

Meal Calories Protein Carbs Fat
Fast Food 1044 28.2 151 53
Organic Beef 1154 28 163 60.2
Organic Turkey 1260 34 170 49

It’s important to note that while the meals were similar, they were not identical in composition; it would have been better if the meals had been completely identical.

The biggest difference between meals had to do with the fatty acid composition: the fast food meal contained twice as much saturated and nearly 8 times as much trans-fatty acids with half of the oleic acid compared to the organic beef meal (which is no surprise). Interestingly, the fast food meal actually contained more linoleic acid than the organic beef meal. The turkey meal had less saturated fat but similar amounts of linoleic and linolenic acid to the fast food meal, with the lowest amount of trans fats.

So what happened?

In terms of the blood glucose and insulin response, no difference was seen between any of the meals and this is true whether the data was presented in terms of percentage or absolute change from baseline. The same held true for the ratio of insulin/glucose, no change was seen between any of the meals. Please read those sentences again: the blood glucose and insulin response were identical for all three meals despite one being a fast food “unclean” meal and the other two being organic “clean” meals.

Fatty acid levels showed slight differences, dropping rapidly and then returning to baseline by 5 hours in the beef meals but 6 hours in the turkey meal. Blood triglyceride levels reached a slightly higher peak in the organic beef and turkey meals compared to the fast food meal but this wasn’t significant.

Changes in leptin were not significant between groups; ghrelin was suppressed equally after all three meals but rose above baseline 5 hours after the fast-food lunch but returned only to baseline in the other two meals.

The only significant difference found in the study was that LDL cholesterol decreased more after both of the organic meals compared to the fast food meal, HDL and total cholesterol showed no change after any of the meals. This was thought to be due to differences in the fatty acid content of the meals (saturated fat typically having a greater negative impact on blood lipid levels than other types of fat).

However, beyond that, there were no differences seen in the response of blood glucose, insulin, blood fatty acids or anything else measured.

Now, the study does have a few limitations that I want to mention explicitly.

  1. The study only looked at a single meal. It’s entirely possible that a diet based completely around fast food would show different effects.

  2. The sample size was small: 6 overweight men and two women. It’s possible that differences would have shown up with more subjects. A related question is whether lean individuals would respond differently. Perhaps but I doubt it. As I discussed in The Influence of the Subjectsâ?? Training State on the Glycemic Index, GI and insulin response are even less relevant in trained individuals.

However, with that said (along with the fact that the meals weren’t exactly identical), the basic fact is this: the metabolic response between the three meals was essentially identical. There were no differences in either insulin or blood glucose, the fatty acid profile makes perfect sense given the composition of the meals and blood lipids showed basically no change.

Application

This study basically backs up what I’ve been saying for years: a single fast food meal, within the context of a calorie controlled diet, is not death on a plate. It won’t destroy your diet and it won’t make you immediately turn into a big fat pile of blubber. And, frankly, this can be predicted on basic physiology (in terms of nutrient digestion) alone. It’s just nice to see it verified in a controlled setting.

It’s not uncommon for the physique obsessed to literally become social pariahs, afraid to eat out because eating out is somehow defined as “unclean” (never mind that a grilled chicken breast eaten out is fundamentally no different than a grilled chicken breast cooked at home) and fast food is, of course, the death of any diet. This is in addition to the fact that apparently eating fast food makes you morally inferior as well. Well, that’s what bodybuilders and other orthorexics will tell you anyhow.

Except that it’s clearly not. Given caloric control, the body’s response to a given set of nutrients, with the exception of blood lipids would appear to be more determined by the total caloric and macro content of that meal more than the source of the food.

In terms of the hormonal response, clean vs. unclean just doesn’t matter, it’s all about calories and macros.

Which is what Iâ??ve been saying all along.

I didn’t read your whole post, but I will shortly. I just wanted to respond to your “Application” section. I have never said that a single fast food meal will make you fat, make you unhealthy or should be considered death on a plate. It is true that the people who are obsessed to the max never reach their goals and end up being miserable (which negatively affects your health). But many people use the “calorie is a calorie” to justify frequent junk food consumption. Yes, a chicken breast at home is no different from one in a restaurant. Thats why its possible to eat healthy even when going out. However most people who go out want junk food that they can’t really have at home. And thats all fine and well, but many of them end up eating out too often, which is a problem.

I never said the occasional McDonalds or Taco Bell is going to hurt you or stop you from achieving your results.

[quote]forbes wrote:
I didn’t read your whole post, but I will shortly. I just wanted to respond to your “Application” section. I have never said that a single fast food meal will make you fat, make you unhealthy or should be considered death on a plate. It is true that the people who are obsessed to the max never reach their goals and end up being miserable (which negatively affects your health). But many people use the “calorie is a calorie” to justify frequent junk food consumption. Yes, a chicken breast at home is no different from one in a restaurant. Thats why its possible to eat healthy even when going out. However most people who go out want junk food that they can’t really have at home. And thats all fine and well, but many of them end up eating out too often, which is a problem.

I never said the occasional McDonalds or Taco Bell is going to hurt you or stop you from achieving your results. [/quote]

But them eating out too often is a problem not because of the food itself, but rather the composition of the meals. If someone goes out to eat 10 times a week and gets the chicken salad 8 of those 10 times, and the other two times eats a 4,000 calorie sugar and fat binge, then that’s still 8,000 calories of sugar and fat that they likely would not have eaten had they cooked at home.

People using calorie balance to justify eating more doesn’t negate the validity of calorie balance, it just means that people are dumb and will find ways to justify doing whatever it is that they want to do.

[quote]Stronghold wrote:

[quote]ADvanced TS wrote:
“Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes.

Its a huge read but it covers everything and gets it wrong.[/quote]

Fixed that for you.

[quote]forbes wrote:
just put things in perspective for them. If a calorie is just a calorie, then America wouldn’t be so fat, cuz afterall, our food source doesn’t matter, just the macros. [/quote]

So you’re saying Americans aren’t overeating and are eating properly balanced amounts of macronutrients?

News to me.[/quote]

Tell me what point your are trying to make about Taubes and I’ll tell you if I agree. Please no abstracts to prove your point, I just want your words.

I’ll bite on the fact that the whole philosophy of “all carbs are evil, you can eat all the cals of fat and protein you want and not get fat” is bullshit. At the end of the day you need to be in a deficit to lose weight.

[quote]ADvanced TS wrote:

[quote]Stronghold wrote:

[quote]ADvanced TS wrote:
“Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes.

Its a huge read but it covers everything and gets it wrong.[/quote]

Fixed that for you.

[quote]forbes wrote:
just put things in perspective for them. If a calorie is just a calorie, then America wouldn’t be so fat, cuz afterall, our food source doesn’t matter, just the macros. [/quote]

So you’re saying Americans aren’t overeating and are eating properly balanced amounts of macronutrients?

News to me.[/quote]

Tell me what point your are trying to make about Taubes and I’ll tell you if I agree. Please no abstracts to prove your point, I just want your words.

I’ll bite on the fact that the whole philosophy of “all carbs are evil, you can eat all the cals of fat and protein you want and not get fat” is bullshit. At the end of the day you need to be in a deficit to lose weight.
[/quote]

Problems with Taubes:

  1. metabolic advantage of low carb diets- totally false, protein is the key factor in total TEF of a specific diet
  2. exercise useless for weight control- seriously?
  3. fat cannot be stored while on a low carb diet- once again, seriously?
  4. calorie balance is incorrect- yet again, really?
  5. alarmist nature of his writings
  6. his anti scientific method of formulating a conclusion and deciding only to present the data that backs up his assertions.

Now, if this guy were some obscure nutrition writer, then I probably wouldn’t care, but he repeatedly comes up as the EXPERT on nutrition in discussions on this forum when he’s little more than a pseudoscience peddling sensationalist.

[quote]Stronghold wrote:

[quote]ADvanced TS wrote:

[quote]Stronghold wrote:

[quote]ADvanced TS wrote:
“Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes.

Its a huge read but it covers everything and gets it wrong.[/quote]

Fixed that for you.

[quote]forbes wrote:
just put things in perspective for them. If a calorie is just a calorie, then America wouldn’t be so fat, cuz afterall, our food source doesn’t matter, just the macros. [/quote]

So you’re saying Americans aren’t overeating and are eating properly balanced amounts of macronutrients?

News to me.[/quote]

Tell me what point your are trying to make about Taubes and I’ll tell you if I agree. Please no abstracts to prove your point, I just want your words.

I’ll bite on the fact that the whole philosophy of “all carbs are evil, you can eat all the cals of fat and protein you want and not get fat” is bullshit. At the end of the day you need to be in a deficit to lose weight.
[/quote]

Problems with Taubes:

  1. metabolic advantage of low carb diets- totally false, protein is the key factor in total TEF of a specific diet
  2. exercise useless for weight control- seriously?
  3. fat cannot be stored while on a low carb diet- once again, seriously?
  4. calorie balance is incorrect- yet again, really?
  5. alarmist nature of his writings
  6. his anti scientific method of formulating a conclusion and deciding only to present the data that backs up his assertions.

Now, if this guy were some obscure nutrition writer, then I probably wouldn’t care, but he repeatedly comes up as the EXPERT on nutrition in discussions on this forum when he’s little more than a pseudoscience peddling sensationalist.[/quote]

I agree with most if not all of your argument. The fact that the book ,in the hands of the average person, can be interpreted as “eat the the fat you want”, is dangerous.

However the hormonal effects of carbs on those with high insulin sensitivity, especially the obese, is well referenced and explained.

He is alarmist, I see that as his attempt to sell his book, which bothers me. However what bothers me more is how much dumbassery went into the US gov’t determining how to design the Food Pyramid and RDA guidelines.

No one eats calories; calories are just a measurement (as is an inch) and have no substance. A calorie is a unit of heat equal to the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree at one atmosphere pressure (does this sound like a human body?).

The calorie theory is based on the heat engine analogy also known as thermodynamics by engineers. The human body is not a heat engine, as they would like you to believe. The human body is more like a complex chemical factory than it is a heat engine.

Food is converted in to complex substances and structures and not as a machine designed for heat production, which the measurement of a calorie is.

A scientist named Adolph Fick proved in 1893 that living cells cannot be heat engines. Biological systems like humans are isothermal (equal temperature) systems. Cells cannot act as heat engines, for they have no means of permitting heat to flow from a warmer to a cooler body.

Nobel Prize-winner, Hans Krebs, mentioned in his book about another Nobel Prize-winner, Otto Warburg, M.D., Ph.D. â??Fick made it clear in 1893 that living cells cannot be heat enginesâ?¦â??

Herman Taller, M.D, author of Calories Donâ??t Count stated, â??One could assert with absolute certainty that the calorie theory has no scientific basis whatsoeverâ??

In 2003, Harvard University study found people on a low carbohydrate diet could eat 25,000 more calories than those on a high carbohydrate diet over a 12-week period and they gained no additional weight. If the calorie theory was correct then the low carbohydrate group should have gained a little over 7lbs of fat.

In another study conducted at Harvard University, some participants ate only carbohydrates, while other participants ate twice as many calories of only protein. Although the protein eaters ate twice as many calories as the carbohydrates eaters, they didn’t gain any weight, whereas the carbohydrates eaters gained weight despite eating fewer calories.

In yet another semi-related study shows that a low-carb diet is more successful than a low-fat diet. In the two-year study, 322 moderately obese people were given one of three diets: a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet; a Mediterranean calorie-restricted diet; or a low-carbohydrate diet with the fewest carbohydrates, highest fat, protein, and dietary cholesterol. The low-carb dieters had no caloric restrictions. At the end of the study the low-fat, calorie-restricted dieters lost 6.5 lbs, the Mediterranean dieters lost 10 lbs, and the low-carb dieters lost 10.3 lbs. Not only that, but dieters on the low-fat, calorie-restricted diet cholesterol levels dropped 12 percent. The low-carb dieters cholesterol dropped 20 percent.

Even though studies coupled with real life experience have repeatedly disproven the calorie theory, so-called â??expertsâ?? havenâ??t caught up.

â??It does not matter how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is â?? if it disagrees with real-life results, it is wrong. That is all there is to It.â?? â?? Richard Feynman, Nobel Prize-winning physicist.

[quote]honkie wrote:

In 2003, Harvard University study found people on a low carbohydrate diet could eat 25,000 more calories than those on a high carbohydrate diet over a 12-week period and they gained no additional weight. If the calorie theory was correct then the low carbohydrate group should have gained a little over 7lbs of fat.

In another study conducted at Harvard University, some participants ate only carbohydrates, while other participants ate twice as many calories of only protein. Although the protein eaters ate twice as many calories as the carbohydrates eaters, they didn’t gain any weight, whereas the carbohydrates eaters gained weight despite eating fewer calories.

[/quote]

Link at least abstracts to these two studies.

holy jebus. So much contradicting nutritional info in the fitness world lol. Strongholds post struck a cord with me though, mainly because it’s what i’ve been doing and im leaner than ever. As long as i don’t go bat shit crazy with the calorie intake on the weekends, the fast food works out fine.

If sources don’t matter than have someone eat a diet consisting only of: protein from collagen, carbs from high fructose corn syrup, and fat from partially hydrogonated oils - cuz you know it’s only about the macros right?

[quote]waldo21212 wrote:
If sources don’t matter than have someone eat a diet consisting only of: protein from collagen, carbs from high fructose corn syrup, and fat from partially hydrogonated oils - cuz you know it’s only about the macros right?[/quote]

Extreme examples being used to justify a position on the opposite extreme end of the spectrum. No one is debating that the body handles SUGARS differently than STARCHES and that various proteins have different levels of bioavailability.

[quote]ADvanced TS wrote:

However the hormonal effects of carbs on those with high insulin sensitivity, especially the obese, is well referenced and explained.
[/quote]

The obese are actually less insulin sensitive. Lean people are more likely to put on fat than fat people for this reason.

[quote]honkie wrote:
No one eats calories; calories are just a measurement (as is an inch) and have no substance. A calorie is a unit of heat equal to the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree at one atmosphere pressure (does this sound like a human body?).

The calorie theory is based on the heat engine analogy also known as thermodynamics by engineers. The human body is not a heat engine, as they would like you to believe. The human body is more like a complex chemical factory than it is a heat engine.

Food is converted in to complex substances and structures and not as a machine designed for heat production, which the measurement of a calorie is.

A scientist named Adolph Fick proved in 1893 that living cells cannot be heat engines. Biological systems like humans are isothermal (equal temperature) systems. Cells cannot act as heat engines, for they have no means of permitting heat to flow from a warmer to a cooler body.

Nobel Prize-winner, Hans Krebs, mentioned in his book about another Nobel Prize-winner, Otto Warburg, M.D., Ph.D. �??�??�?�¢??Fick made it clear in 1893 that living cells cannot be heat engines�??�??�?�¢?�??�??�?�¦�??�??�?�¢??

Herman Taller, M.D, author of Calories Don�??�??�?�¢??t Count stated, �??�??�?�¢??One could assert with absolute certainty that the calorie theory has no scientific basis whatsoever�??�??�?�¢??

In 2003, Harvard University study found people on a low carbohydrate diet could eat 25,000 more calories than those on a high carbohydrate diet over a 12-week period and they gained no additional weight. If the calorie theory was correct then the low carbohydrate group should have gained a little over 7lbs of fat.

In another study conducted at Harvard University, some participants ate only carbohydrates, while other participants ate twice as many calories of only protein. Although the protein eaters ate twice as many calories as the carbohydrates eaters, they didn’t gain any weight, whereas the carbohydrates eaters gained weight despite eating fewer calories.

In yet another semi-related study shows that a low-carb diet is more successful than a low-fat diet. In the two-year study, 322 moderately obese people were given one of three diets: a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet; a Mediterranean calorie-restricted diet; or a low-carbohydrate diet with the fewest carbohydrates, highest fat, protein, and dietary cholesterol. The low-carb dieters had no caloric restrictions. At the end of the study the low-fat, calorie-restricted dieters lost 6.5 lbs, the Mediterranean dieters lost 10 lbs, and the low-carb dieters lost 10.3 lbs. Not only that, but dieters on the low-fat, calorie-restricted diet cholesterol levels dropped 12 percent. The low-carb dieters cholesterol dropped 20 percent.

Even though studies coupled with real life experience have repeatedly disproven the calorie theory, so-called �??�??�?�¢??experts�??�??�?�¢?? haven�??�??�?�¢??t caught up.

�??�??�?�¢??It does not matter how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is �??�??�?�¢?? if it disagrees with real-life results, it is wrong. That is all there is to It.�??�??�?�¢?? �??�??�?�¢?? Richard Feynman, Nobel Prize-winning physicist.[/quote]

Oh god, you again? Still stumped by our discussion of GMO? I noticed you never got back to me on my previous questions.

So chemical factories don’t abide by the laws of thermodynamics? News to me.

HEAT is simply a form of ENERGY. A calorie is a measure of heat and therefore a measure of energy. Energy entering a system will be equal to the energy leaving a system. The OUTPUT need not be entirely in the form of energy used for activity, as no system is perfect efficient and all systems experience entropy to some degree. The human body is no different.

Your studies are highly suspect and I suggest you link them. I’m doubting you will though because you know there is something wrong with the information you are presenting.

I’ll go through them individually.

  1. Define “low carbohydrate”. Of course people eating a diet consisting predominantly of protein with minimal fat or carbohydrates could be considered “low carbohydrate”, and a diet of such sort plays some neat thermodynamic tricks that conspiracists like yourself are likely to think are magic.

Assuming an average intake of 2,000 kcal/day, 70% of which is protein, you come up with 1,400 calories per day from protein. Protein has a TEF of roughly 25%, meaning that each day you would burn 350 calories more simply from the higher protein intake. Spread over 12 weeks, this equates to just under 30,000 kcal. Nice try.

  1. The design is questionable. Post an abstract.

  2. Once again, design is questionable since the low carb dieters were allowed to eat ad libitum and low carb diets are easy to eat less on due to increased satiety. If you notice, the low carb diet also had the highest protein of the three. The low fat dieters still lost a comparatively significant amount of weight (6.5 lbs or 60%), and the remainder can be fairly explained through the TEF that occurs over the course of a TWO YEAR study and the inherent lack of control over test subjects during such a long-term study. Of course, this study does nothing to support any sort of superiority in regards to low carbohydrate diets since the test subjects lost an average of 10 lbs over the course of TWO YEARS, or a calorie restriction of about 50 calories per day. Nevermind the fact that if the researchers failed to adjust for loses in body water, the entire weight lost by the low-cho group could be explained simply by fluid and glycogen loss, a significant amount of weight especially in the moderately obese. If such is the case, then it is arguable that the low-cho group actually GAINED weight during this time period.

Go back to trying to figure out who killed JFK. Science isn’t your thing.

[quote]OT wrote:
holy jebus. So much contradicting nutritional info in the fitness world lol. Strongholds post struck a cord with me though, mainly because it’s what i’ve been doing and im leaner than ever. As long as i don’t go bat shit crazy with the calorie intake on the weekends, the fast food works out fine.[/quote]

Fast food?

Calorie control?

BLASPHEMY! Go to your nearest gas station and give me 100 pushups, IMMEDIATELY!

[quote]Stronghold wrote:

[quote]waldo21212 wrote:
If sources don’t matter than have someone eat a diet consisting only of: protein from collagen, carbs from high fructose corn syrup, and fat from partially hydrogonated oils - cuz you know it’s only about the macros right?[/quote]

Extreme examples being used to justify a position on the opposite end of the extreme. No one is debating that the body handles SUGARS differently than STARCHES and that various proteins have different levels of bioavailability.

[/quote]

Yes it was an extreme example - but I used it to make a point - the number on the package (or whatever source you get the nutrition information from) only tells part of the story.

I agree that saying calories don’t matter is incorrect but so it saying that only macros/total calories matter matter without considering the source of the cals/macros (sugar vs. starch vs. fiber, complete vs. incomplete protein, monounsaturated vs. polyunsaturated vs. saturated vs. trans fat).

I think that most people don’t need to worry about a lot of this shit but then again knowledge is power (yet for some people it seems to be more crippling then powerful).