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Thread: Is A Calorie A Calorie? page 3

  1. #21
    Roach's Avatar
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    In a laboratory, yes, a calorie is a calorie.

    When introduced into a human body, no, a calorie is not *just* a calorie.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dosenberry View Post

    Hurley consumes exactly 1800 calories every single day and burns exactly 2000 calories every single day. Hurley is losing weight every single day. The type of food does not at all matter.

    .
    That approach follows CW and the advice given to me by my doctor and the practice nurse. I really do wish it were that simple but I know from bitter experience that it isn't. If you are are a youngster it will probably work for a short while and you will lose a few pounds, but your body doesn't like and will force you either to eat more or burn less. If you can stand the hunger it will just slow down the rate at which you burn, so it will drop down to 1800 even if the machine at the gym tells you otherwise. You will then need to drop your calories to 1600, 1400 and so on. So I guess you could claim the theory works in that if you continue to drop your calories you WILL lose weight. Of course, you can never increase them because then you WILL put on weight. Just because some people lose some weight on calorie restriction doesn't mean the theory is sound. What I find irritating is that the experts will use the few who have short term success as proof it works and completely ignore the vast majority who don't and blame them for not doing it properly. It decends into CW advice that to maintain weight loss you need to do 90 minutes of cardio exercise EVERY DAY. If you want to live your life like that you are welcome to it. I prefer to lower my carbs and do 60 minutes a week and a few weights. Works for me.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dosenberry View Post
    Simple statement... You say either True or False. Feel free to elaborate if you want.

    Hurley consumes exactly 1800 calories every single day and burns exactly 2000 calories every single day. Hurley is losing weight every single day. The type of food does not at all matter.

    So, true or false? Elaborate if you wish.
    So I'm supposed to say only true or false, but I can elaborate? ;-)

    True. *But* the difficult part is calculating your true caloric consumption. If you lower your caloric intake over an extended period of time, the body will adjust and lower its metabolic rate. So if you have been eating 2000 calories and your weight was stable, you can assume that your caloric expenditure might have been around 2000 calories. If you now start eating only 1800 calories and you don't experience weight loss, it's not like the second law of thermodynamics does no longer apply - it's because your body has lowered its caloric expenditure to 1800 calories.

    Also, like others have mentioned, your example is much too academic to be of practical use. Some calories are better, some are worse, meaning that depending on what you eat you might find it less or more difficult to not overeat, and even if you manage to keep your weight on a high-carb diet, your body composition will be affected. A calorie (protein/fat) is not a calorie (carbs), and a pound of your body (muscle/lean tissue) is not a pound of your body (adipose tissue).

  4. #24
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    All I know is I used to put 1400-1600 calories in a day and was slowly gaining (even with working out 5x a week)..now I eat about 2000-2200 calories, MUCH less exercise and the weight is just melting. So no, "a calorie is a calorie" is just flat out FALSE for my body.
    The pain of discipline or the pain of regret? You choose.

    Oh look - I made a Journal.

  5. #25
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    False - The second law of thermodynamics is totally inapplicable to the human body. The human body is not a closed system and has many more forces acting upon and within it than mere calories. Hormones regulate what the body does with the energy it gets - it can store excess energy as fat, it can use the excess to build muscle & tissue, it can upregulate its own temperature ("overclocking") in order to NOT store excess energy as fat. Faced with a caloric deficit, the body can do the opposite of those things. Depends on what kind of calories and what else is going on hormonally - is the body getting exercised heavily, producing testosterone and signaling some energy to be diverted to muscle building? Do the calories come in the form of insulin spiking sugars & under caloric deficit, prompting the storage of fat, downregulation of metabolism (lethargy, cold feeling) and wasting of muscle?
    I am not one to say that calories don't matter, it seems clear that the amount of food you take in has some effect on what happens, but the type of food is equally important, and how your various hormones handle all of this is the piece that the CW completely ignores.

  6. #26
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    Love the answers - keep them coming!

    I will have to e-mail Mark on this and hopefully he can do a post on it soon.
    Find me at aToadontheRoad.com. Cheers!

  7. #27
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    Have you seen this post by Mark on The Context of Calories?

  8. #28
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    By the way, I also believe that a calorie is not a calorie when introduced into the human body. And every human body is different and will react in different ways to the same amount of food. A person with a high metabolism will be able to consume more "calories" without gaining weight, than a person with a low metabolism.

    Obviously.

  9. #29
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    Looks like somebody needs to brush up on their Taubes!
    (Good Calories, Bad Calories)

  10. #30
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    hormones and leptin included, a calorie is not a calorie....everything you eat enters your body but it isnt processed the same way...everything has its breakdown, pathway, macro/micro....everything will ellicite an insulin response, the 'extra' determined by YOUR body whcih will take in to acct exercise, cortisol, leptin, hormones, adrenals....what they say is extra is stored... unless you know all the current attitudes(dunno another word to put here) of every function in your body you can never say X amt of calories makes me gain and X makes me lose..... i ate like 4500 calories last night and dropped a lb this morning... and i NEED to gain weight

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