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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:35 pm 
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Elephant
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It appears to me that this article is largely a response to Atkins-style dieting. This guy is basically saying they are nonsense and that eating high fat/protein, low carb is not some magic way of eating that does something special to cause people to lose weight. I know there are loads of other things he's not addressing that are important for actually planning a diet. But they just aren't gone into here. That doesn't mean he never thinks about them.

I agree you can't ignore all the other stuff: if nothing else, what you actually eat will affect whether or not it's a way of eating you can stick to in the long term. And of course, the health implications of what you eat are very important. But again, those aren't topics of this particular article and we don't know what this guy thinks about them from reading it.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:06 pm 
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HorseSense wrote:
But where the article is wrong is implying that this "weight control" can be long-lived and successful, esp in the form of calorie restriction.


I didn't interpret it like that because in the article he answers a question about why it is so hard for people to lose weight and keep it off.

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Calorie restriction as a lifestyle is a form of anorexia,


No it is not. "Calorie restriction" means only calorie restriction. Deciding on the amount of calories you will consume. Deciding not to gorge yourself until you are sick is a form of calorie restriction.

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What I'm saying is you can't just separate the subject of calories from the subject of health when it comes to a living organism. It just doesn't work that way.


Yes, it does. Health and weight control are two separate issues as matters of fact. That isn't the same thing as what people might WANT to do or what might make them feel good.

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Biology isn't physics, as the article most certainly implied that it WAS.


Yes it is. Everything on alive on this planet has to obey the laws of physics. Not understanding exactly how that happens doesn't mean that biology isn't subject to it, just that we haven't figured out the whole picture yet.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:22 pm 
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I think everyone is right here.

1. Calorie restriction WILL cause weight loss IF it can be maintained by a dieter.
2. Calorie restriction may or may not be possible based on the mental state of the dieter.


Personally I suck at calorie restriction, but that is also basically the only option for bodybuilders and fitness models, so the math is solid, it's just the brain that takes motivating.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:35 pm 
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Elephant
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beforewisdom wrote:
"Since a given amount of calories is the same amount of energy, no matter the source, it makes no difference, in terms of weight control, where the same amount of calories comes from. In terms of health and nutrition it will, but not weight control."


I understand the point you are making. There's just one little problem: it does make a difference where the calories come from because of the way nutrition affects health and thus weight control. When things aren't balanced--and hear me now: balance means very different things in different bodies--then the system does not work efficiently and many more things than just body fat percentages are affected.

If you don't have the right balance of nutrition for your particular body, then your body does it's best to compensate but it can only go so far. And its first priority isn't weight loss, it's survival. Survival of the brain, then survival of the organs, then survival of everything else. That's why something called starvation mode exists. When you cut nutrition too much for your unique system, the body shifts gears, stops burning fuel efficiently, and starts storing it up instead. And listen closely--starvation mode happens a lot more often than you think, and not just in the starving. It's a handy tool that the brain whips out and uses for lots of situations you may not even be aware of like, say, toxin build up.

Toxicity: This is your brain, this is your brain on Bob.

Let's say Bob is a moderately overweight person who has eaten a lot of crap in his lifetime, some of it containing very harmful toxins like formaldehyde, dioxins, PCBs, even alcohol. Back when he was gobbling it up, unbeknownst to him, his smart body cleverly pulled the toxins out of his food and locked them up in his fat cells before they could enter his bloodstream and then his vital organs and brain. As long as they sit in those fat cells, insulated and isolated, Bob's golden. He may have a few unpleasant symptoms, but he ain't gonna die. Now, let's say he's decided to take the plunge and drop the excess weight. He's read an article in the New York Times and thought to himself, "Gee, the New York Times has never published anything that turned out to be wrong," and decides to cut his nutritional intake simply by eating less food. He doesn't really pay attention to what he's eating because, hey, a calorie is a calorie, right? He just eats less of it. His body notices the deficiency and begins to tap those fat cells for energy but wait, all of a sudden there's a serious problem.

As Bob's fat cells release their contents, they release the toxins, too. Now, Bob's blood is poisoned. His thyroid begins to falter and he feels like he's dragging all day long, yet he can't seem to get to sleep at night. His liver suffers and he becomes irritable. His prostate takes a major hit and his ability to give Mrs. Bob that little girl she's always been wanting hits the skids. The health of all his cells in general dips in such a way that they cannot metabolize the nutrients they are receiving or repair themselves from damage when they need to. In a word, Bob starts to really feel like shit. He blames himself ("I'm just out of shape, it'll pass. I don't want to fail at this and look like a weenie.") and just pushes on through. But his brain has a priority higher than a smaller jeans size: it wants its body to live. It shuts down his fat burning apparatus to prevent any more poisons from marching up his bloodstream into its front yard. It throws the switch and sends him right into starvation mode even when he isn't starving. He is now exercising like he's supposed to, eating the right portions according to all the experts, but feeling worse every day and not only is he not losing weight, he's gaining it. He even has bizarre, irrational cravings for high fat food, which he also blames on himself. Thank you, brain, you did good.

OK, calorie counting, you can go now. Nutrition, take the stage. If Bob had done a little research, he would have realized that including foods high in the nutrients necessary to help flush out toxins would have saved him a lot of grief. Calories weren't really important at all. All Bob had to do was stop eating the crap, start eating the good stuff (like vegan stuff, which automatically contains the goodies necessary for toxin flush), and incorporate a mild exercise program that builds gradually into a killer exercise program. He would have naturally balanced his system, his now-efficient body would have consequently upped his metabolism as a nice bonus, he would have lost weight gradually and fairly effortlessly, the toxins would have floated right out of his body incrementally without him noticing them at all, and his brain would have been happy, no cravings. He could have accomplished all this without thinking about a single calorie, in fact he could have gorged himself on awesome food at every meal and felt pleasantly full. Smarter vegans do it every day.

Ready for the clincher? You are ALL Bob. You don't have to be significantly overweight for your body to hit the panic button when toxins enter your bloodstream during weight loss. In fact, it's those last five to ten pounds that seem so hard to lose that often hold the toxins. They could be toxins you've had sitting in your left buttcheek since junior high when you ate that apple with the pesticides in it, the body doesn't care one way or the other. People vary, though. Some can drop obscene amounts of weight in short periods of time and only seem to shock their system a little. Ironically, that's often not a sign of strength on their part; it's usually an indication that their chemical signals aren't working very efficiently and/or they have numbed themselves to the signs. Time will tell; the body always wins in the end. Some of us just like to work too hard. Most of us, though, are pretty aware of how we feel and what our system is asking for. Surprisingly, it's the highly sensitive types who are equipped to handle everything with the greatest ease. They are acutely aware of the signs around them and within them and are the least able to just cast a blind eye upon the obvious. They don't tolerate suffering well. You shouldn't, either.

Instead of responding to a bodily condition (like excess weight) by cutting back, retracting, or going without something (like calories), think about adding good stuff, replacing things with better things, and supplementing your life with more of what you actually need. You'll never starve again.

Baby Herc

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Last edited by Baby Hercules on Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:07 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:44 pm 
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beforewisdom wrote:
Quote:
What I'm saying is you can't just separate the subject of calories from the subject of health when it comes to a living organism. It just doesn't work that way.


Yes, it does. Health and weight control are two separate issues as matters of fact.


Seriously? So, you're saying that a person's weight and a person's health are 100% mutually exclusive? Are you kidding me?

Baby Herc

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:22 pm 
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Baby Hercules wrote:
beforewisdom wrote:
Quote:
What I'm saying is you can't just separate the subject of calories from the subject of health when it comes to a living organism. It just doesn't work that way.


Yes, it does. Health and weight control are two separate issues as matters of fact.


Seriously? So, you're saying that a person's weight and a person's health are 100% mutually exclusive? Are you kidding me?

Baby Herc


You wrote it, I did not. At some point issues of weight control and health intersect, but they don't intersect in every situation.

A diet does not have to be healthy for a person to lose or maintain their weight on it.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:30 pm 
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It's like arguing with a brick wall. Something I stop doing once I realize it.

Have fun promoting diet "science" from chubby old doctors with obvious 40" waists.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:51 pm 
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HorseSense wrote:
It's like arguing with a brick wall. Something I stop doing once I realize it.


:banghead: ](*,) :banghead: ](*,) :banghead: ](*,)

But just think of all the calories we burned off doing it. :lachmal:

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:40 pm 
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HorseSense wrote:
It's like arguing with a brick wall. Something I stop doing once I realize it.


I might suggest you stop being rude first.

Quote:
Have fun promoting diet "science" from chubby old doctors with obvious 40" waists.


So if someone doesn't have a slim waist they can't have superior knowledge to you in regards to human physiology, despite having degrees you don't and research experience that you don't?

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:09 pm 
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beforewisdom wrote:
So if someone doesn't have a slim waist they can't have superior knowledge to you in regards to human physiology, despite having degrees you don't and research experience that you don't?

:roll: Everyone knows that knowledge is inversely proportional to waist measurement...

Welcome to the internet, where ad hominem reasoning trumps all arguments.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:16 pm 
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Well I would think someone who studied obesity for 60 years and knew anything about it, wouldn't want to be and know HOW not to be.

But what do I know?

I don't have on a white coat to hide my 6 pack ...

Enjoy following your chubby gurus.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:17 pm 
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Baby Hercules wrote:
But just think of all the calories we burned off doing it. :lachmal:

Baby Herc


LOL that is such a great point! :lachmal: :lachmal: :lachmal:

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:24 pm 
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HorseSense wrote:
Well I would think someone who studied obesity for 60 years and knew anything about it, wouldn't want to be and know HOW not to be


Can you think of any reasons why that would not be true?

Injuries? He doesn't like exercise? He really likes food? Compulsive habits? Lack of interest? He likes research so much he uses all of his time up with it? A long commute? Caring for an ill loved one?

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:27 pm 
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beforewisdom wrote:
Injuries? He doesn't like exercise?


He can't count calories?

beforewisdom wrote:
He really likes food? Compulsive habits?


My point exactly. Animals don't have this problem. But then they eat a natural diet and as much as they please ...

beforewisdom wrote:
Lack of interest?


:lachmal: :lachmal: :lachmal: :lachmal: :lachmal: :lachmal: :lachmal:

beforewisdom wrote:
He likes research so much he uses all of his time up with it?


:lachmal: :lachmal: :lachmal: :lachmal: :lachmal: :lachmal: :lachmal:

beforewisdom wrote:
A long commute?


WTF?

beforewisdom wrote:
Caring for an ill loved one?


:roll: :roll: :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:40 am 
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beforewisdom wrote:
"Since a given amount of calories is the same amount of energy, no matter the source, it makes no difference, in terms of weight control, where the same amount of calories comes from. In terms of health and nutrition it will, but not weight control."


But that's a drastic oversimplification. Yes, 1000 calories of oil and 1000 calories of tofu contain the same amount of energy, but the delivery methods for that energy are quite different. For example, our bodies differ in effectiveness at extracting calories from certain types of food based on stomach acidity, enzyme content, intestinal flora, etc. As an extreme example, take 1000 calories of cellulose. Exact same amount of energy, but our ability to extract that energy is minimal. Cows, on the other hand, will get almost all of it.

Also, the calories that we can use take different amounts of energy to extract and absorb based on their source. The more a food needs to be broken down before absorption, the fewer the net calories. Even the degree of catabolism differs based on nutrient type and the body's particular needs. Uptake and excretion are going to vary depending on serum levels, hormones, enzymes, etc.

That's not to say "a calorie is a calorie" isn't useful, because it is. It's a great place to start as a basis for weight control, and most people probably don't need to go beyond it, but it's still a blunt instrument. It's imprecise, and it might not be enough for everyone.

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