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The metabolic advantage hypothesis

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  • The metabolic advantage hypothesis

    You know what I find strange beyond belief is the "new" metabolic advantage hypothesis being played out on these boards.

    Go back a couple of years and we have posters that rail away about metabolic ward studies proving that its all about calories, regardless where those calories come from. This was in opposition to the "metabolic advantage" purported by low carb and ketogenic diet advocates. Some studies did seem to indicate an advantage to low carb dieting, but where not as tightly controlled.

    Fast forward a couple of years and look at this board to see people claiming a high carb provides some "metabolic advantage" for weight loss. Did those metabolic ward studies all the sudden disappear? Did some sort of new study I have yet to see prove that high carb reduces weight gain? Are we back to the magic macro hypothesis?

    Just wondering. I like to keep up with the pop culture on MDA and all

  • #2
    Isn't it actually a metabolic disadvantage, you know, from a survival standpoint?
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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    • #3
      I just see more people acknowledging the thermic effect of food, which is going to be higher on a higher carb, high protein, low fat diet than a high fat, higher protein, low carb diet. But if it makes you feel any better...

      If memory serves, the low carb metabolic advantage has more to do with beta oxidation being more efficient somehow, but it's been a while.

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      • #4
        The really metabolic "advantage" - or thermogenic effect of foods - comes from protein as a clear number one, then carbs second, and fat with the least advantage. Going into ketosis can give an advantage of less hunger, but that's hardly a metabolic advantage as such. Fatty foods can also slow down digestion a lot...
        "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

        - Schopenhauer

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        • #5
          Fast digestion frees up a lot of vital energy is my n=1

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          • #6
            I know this sort of data excites people but unfortunately even the best study is going to suffer from the same curse of brief timelines that can't account for homeostatic ripples over the subsequent days or weeks, a la virtually all nutrition research and advice. Does my body heat up after 1000 kcal of cinema snacks? Maybe. Is that a good thing? Who knows.
            37//6'3"/185

            My peculiar nutrition glossary and shopping list

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            • #7
              Originally posted by moluv View Post
              Fast digestion frees up a lot of vital energy is my n=1
              You are not alone about that, no much energy for physical activities for many hours after a large fatty meal here, so n=2...
              "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

              - Schopenhauer

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              • #8
                Actually the one metabolic advantage that I believe is proven over and over is that of resistance training with sufficient effort/intensity. It elicits both short term metabolic effect...increased insulin sensitivity and improved energy partitioning, and long term effect... it takes thousands of increased calories to remodel or build lean mass following the episode... more lean mass then has its own metabolic advantages.

                Ketosis could carry a small metabolic advantage associated with the creation of ketones. It takes extra energy to cleave and make the buggers after all. I mean if your stance is that beta-oxidation is more efficient, seems illogical to suppose that you can eat MORE calories with a mode of energy that is more efficient. See the problem there? Only thing that makes sense is the ketone angle.

                The carbs and thermogenic effect thing sounds plausable, but does it play out in those metabolic ward studies everyone is so fond of that way?

                As to "quick" energy.... well yeah there is that I suppose. I mean meat (protein and fat) is kinda quick considering it doesn't have to go all the way to the colon and be fermented for up to 24 hrs . I just eat a couple times a day rather than every few hours and that frees up plenty of time to access my stores of energy though. That would be my N = 1.
                Last edited by Neckhammer; 09-29-2013, 03:41 PM.

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                • #9
                  My n=1: eat like warrior; look like warrior. Eat like rabbit; look like rabbit. :::grunt::: I will now go discover fire.
                  "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                  B*tch-lite

                  Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                  • #10
                    Either way, the "metabolic advantage" is so small to be insignificant when all factors are controlled.

                    Carbs are still > fats tho
                    My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                      My n=1: eat like warrior; look like warrior. Eat like rabbit; look like rabbit. :::grunt::: I will now go discover fire.
                      Yes. My food eats plants so I don't have to.

                      Sent from my Nexus 4 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Markbt View Post
                        Yes. My food eats plants so I don't have to.
                        Ahaha! I like that one. I will use it, if you don't mind.
                        My chocolatey Primal journey

                        Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                        • #13
                          The biggest metabolic advantage I can think of is;
                          Carbs elicit an anabolic response from the body, Fats elicit a catabolic response. Proteins elicit a neutral response.

                          For a while after eating carbs it is difficult for the body to remove energy from storage cells. To liberate fat and glucose the body needs glucagon. Carbs turn off glucagon. Someone that predominately ate carbs all day, then switched to low carb, will probably see a large metabolic advantage effect.

                          It is not the calories, all calories are basically equal, it is the body's different response to different macros.


                          Sent from my iPhone
                          A little primal gem - My Success Story
                          Weight lost in 4 months - 29kg (64 lbs)

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                          • #14
                            Jeeze neck, you should know by now that low carb = hypo and high carb = rockin libido. I call that a metobolic advantage.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by aragundicm
                              See the problem there? Only thing that makes sense is the ketone angle.
                              Ketosis is a state the body has adapted to survive periods of extreme starvation. That is it. It is a method of supplementing glucose to the brain so the body doesn't consume lean mass (organs, muscles, connective tissue) as rapidly because gluconeogenesis is extremely catabolic and stressful. Since gluconeogenesis uses cortisol to break down the body into glucose, ketones help alleviate that severe stress.

                              That is it. If anything, ketosis slows the metabolism. Hunger suppression is a natural side effect because if you are starving, your body tries to conserve energy, and from a natural standpoint, the only time the body would be in ketosis is when the food supply was bordering on starvation-levels. Forced ketosis is some new, weird, modern thing, which flies in the face of "paleo." Isn't it ironic?

                              On the opposite end of the spectrum, diets high in protein and carbohydrate stimulate the metabolism. However, they also tend to stimulate hunger to go along with the rise in metabolism.

                              In short, diets high in carbohydrate and low in fat tend to promote a more rapid metabolic rate than diets high in fat and very low in carbohydrate, but you'll probably be hungrier on the former diet than the latter - it is a consequence of the faster metabolism.

                              But it isn't all that extreme of a difference. CICO is still gospel - you can't lose weight without an energy deficit, so you should be trying to eat the most nutritious diet possible that allows you to maintain the greatest deficit. Chasing after some "metabolic advantage" is fruitless because the thermic effect of food, while existing, is only in the 5-10% range and that really isn't going to make that big of a difference. The only time the story changes is if you're going to eat straight protein with no fat and carbs, but has anyone tried to do that for more than 2 or 3 days straight? It is almost impossible mentally. The reason why the "low carbohydrate metabolic advantage" nonsense was so incredibly stupid is it stated that calories don't count if insulin is low. Absolutely ridiculous since the body doesn't need insulin to store dietary fat as fat.
                              Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 09-30-2013, 07:08 AM.
                              Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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