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

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
    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.
    thank you.
    the number one thing i want to tell people who post the "i'm not losing" threads is to look at things other than weight. if you're anywhere in view of normal weight range, time to stop chasing a number on a scale and look at some of the important stuff.
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
      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."
      You don't have to "count calories" to lose weight. You do, however, have to store less energy than you expend. There's no way around the fact. You can do it based on hunger, but you have to find foods that allow you to eat a suitable volume that you can sustain indefinitely that allow weight loss/maintenance or whatever level you're looking for. For many of us, that is NOT coffee swimming in butter, ribeye and avocado. They're too calorically dense. Chances are, a 12oz flank steak will leave you just as full as a 12oz ribeye, and you'll do it for 30% less calories. Does that mean you can't eat ribeye? Hell no! But you can't eat that stuff every damn day. Eggs, bacon and rib meat is not a realistic, sustainable diet. You need to break up all those fat calories with something. Vegetables and fruits are great ways to add bulk to your plate without adding a lot of calories, meaning you can eat a large pile of food without eating a large amount of calories. It's shocking how many calories are in a pile of 80% ground beef, or eggs, bacon and cheese. They're great, healthy foods but they're not the best foods to break through a setpoint plateau.

      I don't count calories. I get stressed, depressed and obsessed. All the bad "-essed's". And eventually I'll break down and eat a bigass bowl of ice cream and give it all back. I can't live that way. I'm much more successful being mindful and eating more reasonable foods. This means eating lean meat more often than fatty meat. I don't care, I like lean meat, too. It's not a dirty word. But it's what works, and I can maintain my body composition effortlessly. Sure, I don't have chiseled 6 pack abs, but I'm pretty lean and can benchpress 260 lbs despite only weighing 145 lbs. I'm comfortable with that.
      Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 07-25-2012, 12:45 PM.
      Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
        Simply put, you were probably doing it wrong.

        1.) Do you own a food scale and measure in grams? You can't use "cups" or measurements like "1 medium apple." They vary wildly. You have to be precise to the gram.

        2.) Were you using a tracking program like Fitday?

        3.) Were you truly tracking everything you eat? Or did you leave out that heavy cream you put in your coffee or that square of dark chocolate you took subconsciously?

        4.) And the #1 reason people fail with tracking calories: did you severely overestimate your TDEE? People typically seriously overestimate their food requirement. This is a solid TDEE calculator:

        IF Calculator

        Chances are, your activity level is much less than you think it is. These TDEE calculators typically assume exercise is heavy lifting. If you go for a 2 mile walk 3 times a week and choose the "3 days of exercise" option, you're wrong. That assumes you're going to the gym and doing 3 45-60 minute sessions of deadlifts, squats, benchpresses, chin-ups, overhead presses and cleans every week.

        I do heavy deadlifts on Monday. I do heavy benchpresses on Thursday. I do heavy squats on Saturday. Each day takes about 1 hour.

        Then I do cardio 3 days a week. 2 days is usually low intensity - a 10-15 mile bike ride over 45 minute - and 1 day of HIIT (sprinting). I choose the "moderately active/3 days a week exercise" option. My HIIT and 10-15 mile bike rides do not count. They just make me break even because I sit at a desk all day. My only "real" exercise is the complex, intense, heavy stuff.

        Low intensity cardio is not considered a workout and is considered vital movement and assumed to be done.

        5.) My final question: have you ever been "good" for a whole week, weighed yourself, saw no weight loss and said "Fuck it, I'll eat whatever I want then" and go to town?

        There is a chance you have severe metabolic distress, hormonal issues, potential thyroid issues, food sensitivities, etc. But the 5 points above are far, far more likely. Also, scales are highly unreliable. If you're the impatient type that wants rapid weight loss and goes on a severe caloric deficit, you'll probably retain a shit ton of water and show no "weight loss." Heavy caloric restriction needs to be paired with regular refeeds. Some people often call this the "woosh" effect.
        Believe me, I was OVER estimating if anything. I used a food scale, and was accurate as possible. I used a food tracking app (MyNetDiary iphone app). I would both measure AND weigh my food - for example if 1 TBSP of butter and weigh it. Whichever value had the higher calorie amount I went with the higher amount. I was aware of the "underreporting" and wanted to eliminate that as a possiblility. Every bite that went in my mouth was tracked. The longer I went without losing weight, the more religious I got.

        To get my "maintenance caloric requirement" I input myself as 1 inch less than I am, and the lowest activity level, sedentary, even though I am not quite sedentary. I exercised and did body weight exercises, but didn't minus these calories or include them in my calculations.

        I did get frustrated and ate a little more some days, but I always measured and input all calories. Even on a day that I ate a little more I was still coming up under my maintenance calories. I tried to keep calories above starvation 1200 but under 1800. Maintenance was supposed to be 2050.

        I'm not impatient... It took several years to lose the first 40 pounds. I'm 10 pounds away from being out of the "overweight" category according to BMI charts. I'm nowhere near "lean" I've got lots of fat still to lose. I can't seem to budge them.

        I've used the TDEE calculator you posted, and it comes up with about the same amounts of cals I was going by.

        So much FOCUS and so much WORK, and no progress... makes a person question everything !
        (EG: maybe I should eat more/less carbs/fat/protein you name it! At this point I'll try anything!)

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
          You don't have to "count calories" to lose weight. You do, however, have to store less energy than you expend. There's no way around the fact. You can do it based on hunger, but you have to find foods that allow you to eat a suitable volume that you can sustain indefinitely that allow weight loss/maintenance or whatever level you're looking for. For many of us, that is NOT coffee swimming in butter, ribeye and avocado. They're too calorically dense. Chances are, a 12oz flank steak will leave you just as full as a 12oz ribeye, and you'll do it for 30% less calories. Does that mean you can't eat ribeye? Hell no! But you can't eat that stuff every damn day. Eggs, bacon and rib meat is not a realistic, sustainable diet. You need to break up all those fat calories with something. Vegetables and fruits are great ways to add bulk to your plate without adding a lot of calories, meaning you can eat a large pile of food without eating a large amount of calories. It's shocking how many calories are in a pile of 80% ground beef, or eggs, bacon and cheese. They're great, healthy foods but they're not the best foods to break through a setpoint plateau.

          I don't count calories. I get stressed, depressed and obsessed. All the bad "-essed's". And eventually I'll break down and eat a bigass bowl of ice cream and give it all back. I can't live that way. I'm much more successful being mindful and eating more reasonable foods. This means eating lean meat more often than fatty meat. I don't care, I like lean meat, too. It's not a dirty word. But it's what works, and I can maintain my body composition effortlessly. Sure, I don't have chiseled 6 pack abs, but I'm pretty lean and can benchpress 260 lbs despite only weighing 145 lbs. I'm comfortable with that.
          Nobody disagrees that the laws of thermodynamics apply to human metabolism dude. That's what my article said. Did you read it? I read yours.

          Stop starting threads accusing people of/arguing against something no logical person denies. Straw. F***ing. Man. And of all people, you know better, that's why your posts sometimes seem to frustrate people.

          Now, if you want to start a thread to debate or inform us about the comparative satiety of various macronutrient ratios, go ahead and do so. That's a valid topic, and might even be open to some debate, and would probably make for an interesting thread. But bringing that up now is nothing more than an attempt to change the subject.
          The Champagne of Beards

          Comment


          • #35
            You know what the problem is with fat/carbs/CICO... what it all comes down to?

            VEGETABLES ARE BORING AS FUCK.

            I'd rather eat fatty meat/eggs/etc all the time.

            I know, take some time to take in this truth.
            I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

            Comment


            • #36
              camel-
              A possible flaw in your entire system is adopting your caloric number from the 'charts.' I know that I have metabolic dysfunctions, but I also know that if I used the charts, I would never have lost any weight. I could never lose on 1200 cal, and the idea that it's some 'minimum' to be avoided is just nonsense.

              The only way to know what your caloric needs are is by trial and error. If I eat 1200 cal and don't lose or gain--then that's my 'maintenance' level. I need to create a deficit below that in order to lose.

              Some people 'fit' the charts and can use them, but most of us don't.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                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."
                Other factors might lead someone to overeat but they still MAKE the decision to eat. Maybe they are hungry, maybe they are bored, maybe they just walked by a cinnabun and couldn't resist...all of these things can lead someone to eating, but in the end they are making the decision to eat. Some low calorie diets will certainly lead you to be hungrier than others (200 calories of broccoli is going to fill you up a whole lot more than 200 calories of olive oil for instance) but it really depends on the person as well.

                And the conclusion seems like BS to me "The energy content of food (calories) matters, but it is less important than the metabolic effect of food on our body."

                What does that even mean? That you can eat 2,000 calories and gain weight and eat 4,000 calories and lose weight?

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                  Nobody disagrees that the laws of thermodynamics apply to human metabolism dude. That's what my article said. Did you read it? I read yours.

                  Stop starting threads accusing people of/arguing against something no logical person denies. Straw. F***ing. Man. And of all people, you know better, that's why your posts sometimes seem to frustrate people.

                  Now, if you want to start a thread to debate or inform us about the comparative satiety of various macronutrient ratios, go ahead and do so. That's a valid topic, and might even be open to some debate, and would probably make for an interesting thread. But bringing that up now is nothing more than an attempt to change the subject.
                  You can't compare satiety by macronutrient alone. You can make generalizations like "fat is more filling than carbs" but a HUGE plate of vegetables is a lot more filling than a couple spoonfuls of oil. Some foods are more filling than others. The ratio of macronutrients have a lot to do with it, but you can't make generalizations about the satiety of macronutrients.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    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.
                    Griff left because he felt unwelcome and harassed for not being overly concerned about getting skinny--he'd already achieved his goal of beating type 2 diabetes and being able to walk again, and he felt like he was being attacked for not wanting to force himself to get a lot thinner and asking people to accept that he was pretty happy with where he was.

                    He also hated exercise (as others have said here) for specific reasons, although people accused him of doing nothing, which was untrue because I know he walks regularly around campus. He's still doing well and has lost more weight, and I am still in touch with him elsewhere and enjoy seeing his ongoing successes both healthwise and in his academic career.

                    I'm sad he's gone. He was really encouraging to other people who were struggling with major health conditions and large amounts of weight to lose, and I thought it was cool to have someone who was really entirely in this to beat a health condition and not get a six pack.

                    Oh, and he eats vegetables from what I know of his meals. But I understand why he continues to stay very low carb considering that he is one of those who experienced significant metabolic issues and thus has to deal with things a little differently from those of us who have mainly healthy metabolisms.
                    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                    Owly's Journal

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by jimhensen View Post
                      Other factors might lead someone to overeat but they still MAKE the decision to eat. Maybe they are hungry, maybe they are bored, maybe they just walked by a cinnabun and couldn't resist...all of these things can lead someone to eating, but in the end they are making the decision to eat. Some low calorie diets will certainly lead you to be hungrier than others (200 calories of broccoli is going to fill you up a whole lot more than 200 calories of olive oil for instance) but it really depends on the person as well.

                      And the conclusion seems like BS to me "The energy content of food (calories) matters, but it is less important than the metabolic effect of food on our body."

                      What does that even mean? That you can eat 2,000 calories and gain weight and eat 4,000 calories and lose weight?
                      You can eat 2000 calories and gain weight if you burn 1000 calories in the same time period, and you can eat 4000 calories and lose weight if you burn 5000 calories in the same time period. Nobody's disputing the basic laws of physics. That's precisely my point. What's being disputed is whether you can change one side of the equation without affecting the other. And you can't.
                      The Champagne of Beards

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by jimhensen View Post
                        You can't compare satiety by macronutrient alone. You can make generalizations like "fat is more filling than carbs" but a HUGE plate of vegetables is a lot more filling than a couple spoonfuls of oil. Some foods are more filling than others. The ratio of macronutrients have a lot to do with it, but you can't make generalizations about the satiety of macronutrients.
                        I wasn't making an argument one way or the other about the matter, but rather proposing that it was a potentially interesting topic that didn't belong in this thread.
                        The Champagne of Beards

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                          You can eat 2000 calories and gain weight if you burn 1000 calories in the same time period, and you can eat 4000 calories and lose weight if you burn 5000 calories in the same time period. Nobody's disputing the basic laws of physics. That's precisely my point. What's being disputed is whether you can change one side of the equation without affecting the other. And you can't.
                          What exactly are you arguing about here then? That's exactly what the point of the OP is - that for one reason or another, stalled weight loss is ultimately a result of no calorie deficit. Yes, it is entirely possible that someone might have a legitimate hormonal issue that causes their energy levels to be terrible, hence they don't burn a lot of calories on a daily basis. However, for 99% of people that is NOT THE CASE. That's what the point of the thread is - that for most of us who want to make a change and lose the weight, it's just a simple matter of diligence, will power, and perhaps dealing with the slight discomfort of a calorie deficit.

                          Yes, eating primal will make it much easier to be more satisfied with eating less

                          Yes, eating primal will help normalize your biochemistry and give you more energy to burn more calories

                          No one here is denying those truths

                          And yes, you probably don't have some obscure medical condition if you recklessly eat primal food until you're stuffed, then don't lose weight, you just need to eat less and exercise some self control. TRY THAT FIRST, before you self diagnose yourself with a thyroid disorder or something like that, because the former is all that needs a change. Good old fashioned will power and work ethic are underrated here.

                          And it's true, even in the alternative diet market, people will try and convince you that your weight loss is a result of some hormone or food, explaining why it's not your fault, and you can't do anything about it until you read their book for $39.95 on amazon. The paleo market isn't immune from sheisters.
                          Last edited by primal pete; 07-25-2012, 02:34 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            The problem isn't calories in the sense that this is shorthand for the Law of Conservation of Energy. The problem is with the bomb calorimeter model of human metabolism. Not every metabolic process is oxidative and no oxidative process burns molecules down to ash. But this is what happens in a bomb calorimeter.

                            Consider that the heat output of incinerating protein is 7 Cals / gram. But humans do not burn protein directly. We first convert it to amino acids which are then converted to glucose which then is used to produce ATP which is used as energy in mitochondria.

                            Also consider that although the ratio of heat output of glucose to fat is 9:4 Cals/gram, fat produces many times more ATP than glucose (see Wikipedia entry on ATP). Many times. The ratio of 9:4 is a little more than 2. Is this "many times" more? I dunno for sure but I highly doubt it.

                            Fat is used for far more processes than energy, but heat output/ oxidation is all that is assessed. Why? I think this is a very bad proxy.

                            These are the most obviously glaring problems with the bomb calorimeter model, aka "calories count."

                            As far as I can tell there is not a 1:1 relationship between the heat output of a bomb calorimeter and human metabolic rate.

                            Until this is resolved, approximating your "Calorie needs" and then counting them in your food is useless as anything other than a (kinda bad) proxy for quantifying and understanding how much one eats.

                            I think mindfulness from simply logging your food, and some careful, systematic restriction, is far more useful.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                              You can eat 2000 calories and gain weight if you burn 1000 calories in the same time period, and you can eat 4000 calories and lose weight if you burn 5000 calories in the same time period. Nobody's disputing the basic laws of physics. That's precisely my point. What's being disputed is whether you can change one side of the equation without affecting the other. And you can't.
                              But who is actually only burning 1000 cals a day? An small elderly woman maybe.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                A small elderly woman here, would just like to say that between this and Choco's cooking, he can marry me. Hehe.

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