I have been doing moderate to heavy cardio with low calories (1300 - 1500 - seriously!) for a year and my weight has not budged at all.
It's a little early to tell, but since Monday I've cut back on cardio significantly, been lifting weights while still walking and moving around a lot and eating a little more. What do you know, my jeans that were pretty tight on me only a week ago are getting loose on me.
I agree with you that calories matter but a substantial calorie deficit could be just as counter-productive as a big surplus.
And basically, it's not the same for everyone as you seem to insist in almost every post you write.
People that claim that they cannot lose weight in a calorie deficit and have enough body fat to spare, could try a 100 % calorie deficit (=fasting!) for a month or so, and I can guarantee that they will lose plenty of weight! Scientific studies have shown that most people are messing up their measuring by underestimating their calorie intake, on an average of 35 %, and overestimating their activities by around the same…
There have been so many other threads with this same argument over my three years in the forums. There's no point to it, because it can't be "proven". Confirmation bias at it's best. I can tell you all day long that you are eating too much, and that's why you haven't lost fat, but you won't believe me because you want to hear that you can eat unlimited amounts of food as long as it's "healthy".
Find out what works for yourself. Some of us restrict calories and have great success. I have also seen a lot of success stories on those that are eating 4-5k calories, but keep it low carb and extreme high fat. It didn't work for me, so I tried something else.
I will say however, that many people that say they are only eating 1500 calories a day are greatly underestimating based on my experience. When I really sit down with someone and add up what they eat, it's most often 500-800 calories over what they think they are eating. Sometimes it's double the calories when you factor in all the snacks, sauces, dressings, oils, etc.
The main mistake is to keep doing the same thing over the longterm and expecting a different result. Graycat is a good example of that. Kept doing cardio like crazy over an entire year? If it didn't work after 6-8 weeks at most, then re-evaluate. Sticking to a failed plan makes no sense. Graycat is now finding that out. Live and learn.
As far as cardio goes, I didn't continue doing it for weight loss benefits. Yeah, I know the definition of insanity, lol. It was simply (and still is) a fun activity.
So many discussions and arguments about calories and carbs, and not just here over something that could be summed up in one sentence. Do what works for you.
Has anyone here read the "Women who eat a tonne without gaining" thread? Could be interesting for you.
"I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.
In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."
- Ray Peat
Sure, you're doing cardio, but if you are eating at a deficit chronically, your body will decrease its metabolism. At first, in ways that you likely won't even be able to detect...hair and nails may not grow as fast or strong, body temperature may reduce by tenths of a degree, heart rate might slow down a little, autophagy might be reduced, etc...the longer you restrict, the more processes get downregulated until you end up like I did, with a body temp in the 96s, low BP and heart rate, hair falling out by the handful.
Calories out is not a static thing. It is constantly changing depending on input, a big piece of which is how many calories you consume. That's why a popular method of dieting calls for eating at a defecit for a few days, then at a slight surplus; to keep the body from registering the deficit and downregulating metabolism in reaction.
I think the whole confusion about whether CICO is real has to do with people cutting calories and not seeing results...without realizing that they've controled CI but they can't really control CO.