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The True Definition of Calories i.e. "Why what you believe is extremist BS"

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  • #16
    I think the best takeaway from that post is "experiment and find the best approach for you." That should necessarily include a try at limiting calories.

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    • #17
      Good article: Thanks for posting.

      Couple thoughts:

      1. Agree with the summation of the article:

      Just relax! And while you’re relaxing, experiment and find the best approach for you. The best diet is the one that gets you into a caloric deficit and one you can sustain. For some, lower carb approaches do just that – for many others, more dietary variety and works best. Rest assured, however that you will need to be in a deficit to lose. So even if you don’t “count” calories per se, you need to be keenly aware of them. And even if you don’t use them as a front-line strategy, you should at the very least look at your total intake first should you stall in your fat loss efforts."

      I have never had a weight problem, thus it's hard for me to identify with the majority of the contributors in this forum. However, having added 10 lbs during my MBA, and in the process of losing those 10 lbs, I have appreciated the postings from some of the forum participants.

      It is my observation that the vast majority of people just do not have a basic, fundamental understanding of chemistry in the kitchen. I rarely use a recipe because I grew up with European parents who cooked wholesome food and I didn't know what store-bought cookies were until I grew up and moved out. I can open our refrigerator, at any time, on any day, grab a number of whole foods, and produce a very tasty, clean meal in 40 minutes -- and I can prepare this food for 1/2 the cost of 'fast food' or 'barcode food'.

      Individuals come from all walks of backgrounds and experiences and, as I see it, one of the fundamental problems is that prepared food is easy, fast and cheap and a bail out for those who don't understand chemistry of the kitchen.

      The next problem is emotional --- individuals are so unhappy with their lives, work, spouses, kids and it's easier to eat a cheap pizza than it is to take control of your life and be accountable for your choices. It's a self-perpetuating, self-defeating cycle of unhappiness, blame and short-term rewards (crap/fast food).... *repeat ad nauseum. It's easier to blame hormones, lot in life, misearable wife/husband, lost job, low income/no income versus looking yourself in the mirror, removing the filters and becoming accountable for the choices you make. It's a choice-cause effect.

      I appreciate this forum for some of the positives that are offered here: The basic framework; getting specific questions answered; how a girl can lift technical weights and build muscle while losing fat; how to drop those last 5 lbs and sculpt the desired body.

      The rest of the postings about 'cheating' --- feeling weak -- excuses -- I'll start next week --- I want my popcorn, is it primal? -- all these commentators have their place, and hopefully they feel supported --------- but that's not the crowd that I run with -- neither on this forum or off this forum.

      Thanks for the posting the article --- good discussions are never a waste of time.
      ----------------------------------------
      F, 48, 5'10"
      Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
      Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

      Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.

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      • #18
        great article. though, i do think that some people can get a little obsessive over counting. not that that leads to anything bad like orthorexia...i just think that gets in the way of enjoying food (maybe that's a good thing for fat loss if the food reward theories are correct).

        anti-calorie argument #3 is an important one, i think. it feels like there's a lot of estimation going on out there. i know a lot of people who claim they're eating much less in an attempt to lose weight, but a true measurement of calorie consumption would show them guessing way lower than they actually are. i'm thinking specifically of the people who eat 300 calories of salad with 1800 calories of dressing.

        i also liked this:
        Again it comes back to protein – the trump card in this equation. Eating adequate protein leads to… (wait for it)… EATING LESS. That’s right, you eat less food when you eat more protein. In this study by Weigle, subjects who ate double the recommended daily level of protein (30% vs 15%) reduced overall calories by 441 per day! This was WITHOUT CARBOHYDRATE REDUCTION.
        even though macronutrient content may not matter, this shows that it does a little bit. protein is a big part of decreasing hunger, so someone will ultimately eat fewer calories. i feel like people are afraid of protein though...maybe even more than fat, or because of fat...so they turn to things that make them want to keep eating more.
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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        • #19
          I have no doubt that losing weight / fat requires that you consume fewer calories than you burn. There are no "magic" calories that don't count, or count less. And on a day to day basis, it wouldn't matter what those calories consisted of. However, I would think that over time, what you eat could affect how well your body burns calories. Eat a bad enough diet over time (even without increasing calories) and your body will become malnourished (thyroid or liver problems, for example) and less efficient at burning calories. You'll then gain weight, and it's still because you're burning fewer calories than you're taking in, but the kinds of calories you ate had a lot to do with that by making you less able to burn calories effectively. So in that sense there really are "good calories and bad calories", but not based on whether they're carbs or fats, but rather based on whether in total, they give your body the nutrients it needs.
          Last edited by Hawkward; 07-25-2012, 12:08 PM.
          LastBottleWines

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          • #20
            Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
            Jesus. I am severely upset you don't post more often. This is fantastic, particularly the first paragraph.

            BUT - in defense of these forums, it is a much more sensible place than it was a year and a half ago when I joined. People are much more open to eating carbohydrate. When I joined, <50g/carbs a day were the norm. Now, we've moderated to around 100g it seems. 100-150g is probably most sensible for people with desk jobs since it allows a balanced diet without excessive blood glucose. Heavy lifters, please feel free to eat a lot more.
            Thanks man - I do really enjoy reading your posts in particular. In fact I'd go so far as to say you are a large part of the reason that people have opened up more to carbs on this forum, and are subsequently looking at the primal blue print more objectively, and not with religious like fanaticism. I think I first discovered lean gains and other places like that thanks to your carb refeed thread from way back when. I still think these forums are very valuable and that there are a lot of really knowledgeable people worth listening too.... but i get tired of writing thoughtful posts only to have them land on deaf ears.

            Hey, I was once a carbophobe too... there were some compelling (though ultimately not true) arguments in defense of that position, and I bought them, hook line and sinker. Ultimately it was these forums that helped me break out of that dogmatic mind set. And of course I do realize that there are still some legitimate arguments for people to eat low carb, high fat diets in certain cases - epilepsy being one that I can think of off the top of my head.

            Maybe I'll start coming around here more often again...
            Last edited by primal pete; 07-25-2012, 12:11 PM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by jimhensen View Post
              lol, a year and a half ago half of the people on this board wouldn't even eat vegetables, just meat and eggs. I think that line of thinking stopped when griff stopped posting to some extent.
              Oh man, he was a good guy, but he was so lost. I clearly remember one of my first memories being something about him saying he would eat ground beef and "drink the remaining fat" which I thought was just... wild. Especially because he was easily one of the bigger posters here and I thought he was just insane to eat that much fat no matter how supposedly good for you it was, especially at the expense of things like vegetables. However, things started to make more sense when he started stating how anti-exercise he was, like how miserable he felt doing it and how much he disliked sweat and I just knew that him and I were two COMPLETELY different people (he felt icky if he exercised, I feel DISGUSTING when I don't) and I could never try to eat like him and expect good things to happen. In his defense, I believe he had something similar or related to autism (aspergers?) so his revile for sweat wasn't just some "lazy fat guy" thing, but a true and honest response due to his condition. I would never want to paint him in the light of someone who was simply lazy.
              I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by jimhensen View Post
                lol, a year and a half ago half of the people on this board wouldn't even eat vegetables, just meat and eggs. I think that line of thinking stopped when griff stopped posting to some extent.
                Whatever did happen to him? I actually thought many of his posts were very good. His cholesterol primer is excellent. He also did talk about being autistic, and when I asked if primal helped with that he admitted that it made no difference. Makes sense given that (edit: condition) is entirely genetic, as far as I understand it. Still, that's a tough thing to deal with when coupled with the health problems he also had. Though I remember he made a huge turn around at least, and that was awesome to read about.
                Last edited by primal pete; 07-25-2012, 12:21 PM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                  Oh man, he was a good guy, but he was so lost. I clearly remember one of my first memories being something about him saying he would eat ground beef and "drink the remaining fat" which I thought was just... wild. Especially because he was easily one of the bigger posters here and I thought he was just insane to eat that much fat no matter how supposedly good for you it was, especially at the expense of things like vegetables. However, things started to make more sense when he started stating how anti-exercise he was, like how miserable he felt doing it and how much he disliked sweat and I just knew that him and I were two COMPLETELY different people (he felt icky if he exercised, I feel DISGUSTING when I don't) and I could never try to eat like him and expect good things to happen. In his defense, I believe he had something similar or related to autism (aspergers?) so his revile for sweat wasn't just some "lazy fat guy" thing, but a true and honest response due to his condition. I would never want to paint him in the light of someone who was simply lazy.
                  Was he an aspie? I never knew that. People on the autistic spectrum can certainly have sensory issues and although I have never heard of people on the spectrum thinking sweat is gross, it certainly wouldn't surprise me. I have actually been working with autistic children this week and none of them seem to have a problem with sweat, though everyone is different.

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                  • #24
                    I would also like to point out that even when there ARE medical issues involved, weight loss depends on caloric deficit.

                    I was morbidly obese my entire life (from early childhood), and after menopause, I seriously lost weight (almost 200 lbs) and am a 'normal' weight for the first time in my life at age 70.

                    I began eating low carb because I happen to be extremely sensitive to carbs, and I cut calories enough to lose slowly. I knew from experience that I had to watch both carbs and calories. I had already developed a goiter, but my primary physician kept assuring me that I had no thyroid problems.

                    I lost my first 80 lbs while hypothyroid and with escalating symptoms. It was only when I was too fatigued to complete a work day that I self-referred to an endo and was medicated appropriately. My slow thyroid simply meant that I ate fewer calories than someone else my size in order to lose. It did not prevent weight loss.

                    When I got down to 250 lbs, I plateaued, and I realized that I needed to cut calories further--to <1000 a day. I thought this might be 'too low' (scared by the Internet claim that no one should eat under 1200 cal), and I talked to my endo about it. He agreed that not only was I post-menopausal and hypothyroid, two things that tend to slow the metabolism, but he suspected that I have a 'genetically slow metabolism.' He not only told me that he thought about 900 cal would be 'right' for me, he has patients who can only lose on about 750 cal a day because of medical issues.

                    In any case, I lost the next 100 lbs eating about 900 cal a day. Since I lost steadily at only about one pound a week, clearly my deficit wasn't too large. Now I can maintain at about 1,100 cal daily. Interestingly, my 'head' would love more food, but my body is totally satisfied at this level.

                    I suspect that many overweight people imagine that they'll 'starve' if they eat less because they've learned to override their body's satiety signals. Mine were so repressed I didn't notice them at all.

                    Yes, I ate the 'right stuff'--focusing always on sufficient protein and whole foods--but I could not lose eating that way without a caloric deficit. And I couldn't use anyone else's 'number'--everyone has to find his or her own deficit level.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by primal pete View Post
                      Whatever did happen to him?
                      the last time i remember him posting he was right about at dissertation time in school, and at that point he had already backed off a bit. iniquity is right though...his earlier posts made me wonder how serious he was.
                      i agree about his cholesterol primer though; that thing is helpful.
                      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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                      • #26
                        This is that same damn issue where we keep getting caught up in disagreements over which side of the equation drives the other. The fact is, both sides of the equation have an effect on one another. That's why you CAN be a fat guy on a treadmill eating 1200 calories a day without losing weight. And you can be a lean guy eating 4,000 calories and never put on an ounce.

                        Choco - I DID read the article you linked to. And I respond by posting my own (to clear up the confusion about what is actually being argued rather than set forth an argument of my own) with my own pertinent quote:

                        From Do calories matter? - The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D.

                        "People like me (and others) get a bad rap from folks who lack the patience (or training, perhaps) to actually hear the entire argument through before throwing their hands in the air, waving them frantically, and screaming that we’re violating the First Law of Thermodynamics for asserting the Alternative Hypothesis (more on this below).

                        Let me be as crystal clear as possible, lest anyone feel the need to accuse me of suggesting the Earth is flat. The First Law of Thermodynamics is not being violated by anything I am about to explain, including the Alternative Hypothesis.



                        Key concept #3 – current dogma
                        Conventional wisdom, perhaps better referred to as Current Dogma, says that you gain weight because you eat more than you expend. This is almost true! To be 100% true, it would read: when you gain weight, it is the case that you have necessarily eaten more than you expended. Do you see the difference? It’s subtle but very important — arguably more important than any other sentence I will write. The first statement says over-eating caused you to get fat. The second one says if you got fat, you overate, but the possibility remains that another factor led to you to overeat.

                        If you believe Current Dogma, of course you’ll believe that “calories count” and that counting them (and minimizing them) is the only way to lose weight."
                        The Champagne of Beards

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                        • #27
                          I love these CICO debates. They are so enjoyable . Really nothing new here as far as his blog. However, I'm much more interested in the other physiological ramifications and body composition than JUST weight. The more you learn in that arena the more interesting things get, so keep looking.

                          Oh, and RichMahogany's link sums up much of where I think the problems are too.... http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/do-calories-matter
                          Last edited by Neckhammer; 07-25-2012, 12:39 PM.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by primal pete View Post
                            Whatever did happen to him? I actually thought many of his posts were very good. His cholesterol primer is excellent. He also did talk about being autistic, and when I asked if primal helped with that he admitted that it made no difference. Makes sense given that (edit: condition) is entirely genetic, as far as I understand it. Still, that's a tough thing to deal with when coupled with the health problems he also had. Though I remember he made a huge turn around at least, and that was awesome to read about.
                            It does help some people (especially eliminating gluten). I am working at a camp right now with 10 autistic kids and two of them are gluten free. I don't know how much it has helped their conditions being gluten free but they certainly aren't "cured" by any stretch of the imagination.

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                            • #29
                              Since I am newish, and I certainly don't know much of the chemistry & science, but for me anyways, finding what works and doing it is easier said than done. You read this, and it sounds good. You read that, and it sounds good. And then you start mixing protocols. Even the butter in your coffee, has it's own set of protocols. It is not put butter & co in your coffee to wash down your eggs & cheese & bacon & london broil & this & that & the other. It has a place & purpose if you are following those guidelines. Trouble is for some I think, myself included, is mixing plans. As mentioned, there are a number of different plans that work if you stick to it. Right now, there are about 4 different things I would like to try to do and I have trouble focusing on doing just one at a time and see how it goes. I just want the weight gone -like yesterday - and it is hard to invest a few weeks or months at a time to see how what works before trying to implement something else.

                              And I track religiously daily. And I try to research something daily and sometimes it is to my detriment. And you hear ppl say I eat dairy and I gain weight. I eat this or that and I gain weight. So then when the scale isn't co-operating even though you have been in a deficit, it makes you wonder, well I had a piece of cheese last week. Or I had some greek yogurt. So maybe it makes me stall/gain also.

                              I dont have a purpose to my post really. I usually feel inadequate when I post anyways, because I dont have the knowledge like you guys do, but I do have the desire to learn. There is just so much information that it is hard to know what/who to believe. I want to believe it all, I want to try it all. I think many people want to and the only way to learn is to read and to ask questions. I am sure it seems like beating a dead horse when you have to say it over and over but it is actually a different horse and sometimes it is hard to search through the forums to find answers, it is just easy to ask again. It feels more personalized maybe.

                              Anyways, I so appreciate the forums and all the knowledge represented & shared.
                              Last edited by gopintos; 07-25-2012, 12:48 PM.
                              65lbs gone and counting!!

                              Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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                              • #30
                                oops double post
                                Last edited by gopintos; 07-25-2012, 12:43 PM.
                                65lbs gone and counting!!

                                Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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