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Thread: The True Definition of Calories i.e. "Why what you believe is extremist BS" page 13

  1. #121
    ELizabeth826's Avatar
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    OK, so I was reading this thread at random free moments at work and every time I looked back to it, there were more and more posts, so please be warned and bear with me, I’m commenting on some older stuff here.

    Firstly, I need to say that I agree with these two statements wholeheartedly:
    Quote Originally Posted by jammies View Post
    Watching Griff get fat-bashed and bullied off this forum was definitely a low point for me here. He was an adamant low carb proponent and it helped save his life. He was extreme in his opinion, but if he had been thin no one would have bothered him about it at all.

    It was a shame.
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    It's good to know that he is doing well. The next time you contact him, Owly, please tell him that there are a lot of people here who valued his insights greatly. The way he was treated was shameful and this board is a lesser place without him.
    Secondly, these two posts are SO interesting to me, and I am about to diving into some reading on the matter when I get home. But at the offset I’ll say, it seems like the answer to this CICO debate lies somewhere in the middle. Calories matter, but are much more complex than most people (myself included) understand. We know they matter, but not why or how much. I think that the line of thinking should be less of a dogmatic “Good calories vs bad calories” and more “Different calories affect you differently.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Marnee View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by yodiewan View Post
    The food is placed in a bomb calorimeter and basically burned until only ash remains. The body does not work this way. Different foods will be broken down to various degrees.
    ....
    A cup of gasoline has about 2000 calories:



    Quote Originally Posted by BestBetter View Post
    Women and men lose/gain/store fat very differently. Women are genetically programmed to gain and store fat, men are designed to put on muscle.

    If CICO was as neat and easy as some people claim, why would this be? And why would women be ROUTINELY excluded from fat loss scientific research experiments, with the explanation being that the researchers don't want female hormonal issues bogging down the studies and preventing them from getting some clear-cut results?
    In particular, women of childbearing age are excluded from nearly ALL medical studies. Our medical research is at times missing half the equation.

    BestBetter, I think you are also the poster who guessed that most of the strongest adherents to a pure CICO model were under 40yr old males. I agree, but I find it amusing that that demographic also seems to be the strongest supporters of the “calories don’t matter at all, I eat 5k a day!” stance.

    This has been a very interesting discussion and I look forward to it continuing. Personally, I am at a fairly low weight and fairly low body fat. In fact I’d say I’m probably at and ideal weight and body fat from a health stand point. I’d prefer to be somewhat lighter and leaner from and aesthetic perspective, but I certainly do not “need” to lose weight/fat. At this point, I find in my n-1 that I DO need to track and reduce calories in order to lose weight/fat. But I also find that when I keep the calorie level stable and change up the amounts of carbs I eat from higher to lower I am more likely to lose weight/fat.

    Hooboy, this is a zillion quotes long. :/
    No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.
    -Maimonodies

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Will View Post
    DING DING DING DING!!!

    So if you put a man and woman side by side who eat the same about of calories, have the same activity levels, are the same height and have the same muscle mass the woman will have more fat tissue than the man.

    Call it estrogen dominance or testosterone dominance how ever you prefer but wait... Aren't those hormones? Could hormones have significant control over the levels of body fat? NAW!!!! That's just plain old witch craft!
    Wrong.

    You're confusing "weight" with "fat."

    Women put on fat faster because of estrogen dominance. Regarding weight, it's easier for women to put on weight solely because of maintenance calories. 2 extra tablespoons of oil translates into 50% faster weight gain than 2 extra tablespoons for men (assuming the average maintenance for a woman is 1800 kcal vs 2700 kcal for men, probably not too far off). We live in a world of predetermined portion sizes, and a woman can overeat much more easily than a man.

    Quote Originally Posted by Comma View Post
    So then does progesterone help in getting more calories to not stick? I just bought some progesterone cream to counteract estrogen dominance. *Sigh*
    Join me in smacking our heads against the keyboard. Hormones don't "negate" calories. They do, however, influence how they're stored and how quickly they're burnt. More testosterone = more weight to muscle, more thyroid = higher maintenance calories.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

  3. #123
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    In particular, women of childbearing age are excluded from nearly ALL medical studies. Our medical research is at times missing half the equation.
    That's interesting. I never knew that, but it is funny that most weight loss "industry" and "info" is targeted to.... women of childbearing age. The drugs, the books, the fake foods. Like do you see ads for Lean Cuisines and lowfat fro yo in Sports Illustrated? Most women depicted in articles are slim 30 somethings in Yoga pants. They should put a disclaimer that it worked for "35 year old men only".

    I don't know... I have PMS or am cranky from my awesome chicken and lettuce lunch but the message that grates on my nerves is that "It's simple, just do X and if it doesn't work it's because you are weak minded or didn't try hard enough or did it wrong". Really, I don't have enough time to figure out that a fucking sweet potato is worse for me then bittermelon. Do I really need a PhD in nutrition and exercise to drop the rest of this weight? Is swinging a kettlebell better than push ups and pull ups?

    I want CICO to work. It would make life a zillion times easier. I want to go home and eat 300 calories of tomato and fresh mozzarella salad and not 300 calories of beef and spinach.

    LOL, I will say all this BS to get weight rolling off really takes the joy and pleasure out of eating.

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
    I'm speaking in a different context than you are. Hypothyroidism likely isn't all that uncommon, but the cases are mild. Think of it like allergies - lots of people are allergic to dust, dogs and mold. They're annoyances. However, every now and again you'll see someone born that is allergic to water, or to a brother or sister. It's happened. Severe cases of hypothyroidism that are going to make a woman who's maintenance calories should be 1800 plummet to the 900-1000 level is very rare. That's what I'm speaking to. If you should at 1800 kcal maintenance and hypothyroidism has you sitting at 1600 - a much more likely number - that's still doable. You'll probably be taking in a 20% caloric deficit as recommended by most, so that person would still lose weight, just more slowly.
    Honestly... I really don't think that you are well versed enough in medical issues to state that only "severe cases of hypothyroidism" can be the cause of a significantly reduced maintenance caloric need.
    I'm 5'9" tall, and heavy, so not some small or "average" woman, with 20lbs to lose...
    I eat about 1000-1200 cal a day and lose weight SLOWly. Epically slowly.
    I have some real issues with food volume because of nausea, so I have to keep track of things a bit to ensure I'm eating enough rather than to prevent over eating.
    My doctors do not want me under-eating too much because they have told me themselves that it will only further slow my metabolism, which is already pretty messed up.

    I have certainly have medical issues...
    But diagnosed hypothyroidism is not one of them even though the tests have been done and I'm in the low end of 'normal'.
    Obviously there are other factors at play affecting metabolism that you are unaware of.
    Last edited by cori93437; 07-26-2012 at 11:57 AM.
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
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  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
    Join me in smacking our heads against the keyboard.
    Already did that with your opening post.

  6. #126
    Iron Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
    Wrong.

    You're confusing "weight" with "fat."

    Women put on fat faster because of estrogen dominance.
    So let me get this straight. You tell me I'm wrong then you agree with me??? Okay then!

    Dance puppet dance!
    Last edited by Iron Will; 07-26-2012 at 12:03 PM.

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    That's interesting. I never knew that, but it is funny that most weight loss "industry" and "info" is targeted to.... women of childbearing age. The drugs, the books, the fake foods. Like do you see ads for Lean Cuisines and lowfat fro yo in Sports Illustrated? Most women depicted in articles are slim 30 somethings in Yoga pants. They should put a disclaimer that it worked for "35 year old men only".
    Basically, men are studied more often because it's just TOO COMPLICATED to study ladies because of menstrual cycles and too dangerous to trust these silly women not to get knocked up even when they know they are taking drugs that could cause serious issues during a pregnancy.
    Women aren't properly represented in scientific studies - Slate Magazine
    No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.
    -Maimonodies

  8. #128
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    I have been flipflopping on this subject for quite awhile, then I find this day old thread that is over 13 pages long. Choco I love the riots that you insight. I am still trying to figure all this out and have to believe that there is a lot of evil things going on with processed oils, sugar, grains, and man made additives. This is where I find it hard to believe that a calorie is a calorie. If the food promotes inflammation and oxidation isn't that bad and cause issues in the whole system.

    Changing the types of foods I eat has eliminated my allergies and I haven't gotten sick in 3 years. Adding FCLO and HVBO has kept me from getting a sunburn in 2 years and has improved my tooth health more so then brushing and flossing every day. I eat a consistant diet of whole minimally processed foods and have yet to see any weight gain even though I do not closely monitor my intake. I can binge for a couple weeks and walk away a few pounds heavier.

    I haven't drank soda in 3 years nor have I eaten fast food in the last 2 years. It gets easier and easier every year to live healthy as I see the positive results. Why indulge in the engineered processed garbage when I can be in better shape then I was when I was half my age?? My wife is finally coming around after she thought I was a complete nutcase a few years ago. She wonders why sickly fat people continue to eat garbage and then bitch about their conditions.

    I think that CICO has its place in a healthy organism but most of the people counting calories are far from healthy. This is where I believe you fall into the trap and end up on the rollercoaster.
    Check out my primal blog: http://primalroar.posterous.com/

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by YogaBare View Post
    PaeloBird (in her success story) talked at length about how she realised calories count. There was a post a couple of weeks ago where another poster talked about how she realised the same thing. This isn't exactly a new premise on this forum.
    And, ironically on my calorie counting thread, http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29501.html, it was Choco who was adamantly arguing that calorie counting was bogus and that all I needed to do was to eat copious amounts of sweet potatoes on alternate Tuesdays and Thursdays or some such schedule and the extra weight would melt off.

    It's interesting to watch how his thinking changes.

    The point of what I said in my MDA Friday success story post was that it is not a question of CICO or GCBC. You don't have to pick one or the other. It's both. The quality of the calories you eat make it easier to restrict the quantity without white knuckled hunger.

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post

    I want CICO to work. It would make life a zillion times easier.

    I agree. The thing is Magnolia is not unique in her frustration; this is the plight of many people (most of them women) who are accurately reporting their calories. Even though I don't have much fat to lose, and I'm in a 'normal' range, I still have flab where it doesn't belong, and no matter what I do with the calorie games and heavy lifting, it will not budge. Like Magnolia, I track meticulously - I mentioned not even tasting food while cooking, but I have also weighed EVERYTHING to the gram on my scale - even sprigs of rosemary, which is really ridiculous. I cooked all my food without oil in the Forman grill, I went to lengths to accurately measure that probably bordered on OCD. Even if Fitday is off a bit, it wouldn't account for the lack of results I saw.

    Sure, I'd bet a million dollars I have some devious hormonal highjacking behind the scenes type nonsense going on, but every blood test I've taken to figure out what comes back normal. You can write me off and say that I and Magnolia are some kind of outliers, but then there's another woman and another with the same story, who aren't underreporting, and after a while it's obvious that we're not outliers. We're probably the norm.

    According to the OP article linked, "Overweight people are prone to underreporting food intake – to the tune of up to 47% in some studies!"

    1) What about the OTHER 53% who WEREN'T underreporting?
    2) Some studies show it's as high as 47%, which indicates there are studies that fewer than 47% are underreporting.
    3) While it's credible that people tend to underreport calories, where are these studies the author referenced? How valid are they? There's no way to know, I tried to click the link for that comment but it appears to be broken or missing.

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