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 Post subject: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes From
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:31 am 
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Stegosaurus
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This article is short enough that I am quoting the whole thing.

Note.

A "calorie" (kilocalorie) is a measure of energy -- the amount of energy needed to increase temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.

Many people think they are eating "more" when they eat high bulk diets. Bulk being fiber and water combined. Such people are eating more bulk, but not more calories ( energy ). Some foods "wrap" the same amount of calories in "different sized boxes"( bulk). So people who are eating "more", bulk feel fuller but might actually be eating less calories ( energy ). Some good visual examples: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-200-c ... k-like.htm

The article: ( from http://mobile.nytimes.com/article?a=945833&f=26 )

Quote:
In Dieting, Magic Isn't a Substitute for Science
Image
NO TRICKS Dr. Jules Hirsch has been researching obesity for nearly 60 years.

By GINA KOLATA
Published: July 10, 2012

Is a calorie really just a calorie? Do calories from a soda have the same effect on your waistline as an equivalent number from an apple or a piece of chicken?

For decades the question has percolated among researchers - not to mention dieters. It gained new momentum with a study published last month in The Journal of the American Medical Association suggesting that after losing weight, people on a high-fat, high-protein diet burned more calories than those eating more carbohydrates.

We asked Dr. Jules Hirsch, emeritus professor and emeritus physician in chief at Rockefeller University, who has been researching obesity for nearly 60 years, about the state of the research. Dr. Hirsch, who receives no money from pharmaceutical companies or the diet industry, wrote some of the classic papers describing why it is so hard to lose weight and why it usually comes back.

The JAMA study has gotten a lot of attention. Should people stay on diets that are high in fat and protein if they want to keep the weight off?

What they did in that study is they took 21 people and fed them a diet that made them lose about 10 to 20 percent of their weight. Then, after their weight had leveled off, they put the subjects on one of three different maintenance diets. One is very, very low in carbohydrates and high in fat, essentially the Atkins diet. Another is the opposite - high in carbohydrates, low in fat. The third is in between. Then they measured total energy expenditure - in calories burned - and resting energy expenditure.

They report that people on the Atkins diet were burning off more calories. Ergo, the diet is a good thing. Such low-carbohydrate diets usually give a more rapid initial weight loss than diets with the same amount of calories but with more carbohydrates. But when carbohydrate levels are low in a diet and fat content is high, people lose water. That can confuse attempts to measure energy output. The usual measurement is calories per unit of lean body mass - the part of the body that is not made up of fat. When water is lost, lean body mass goes down, and so calories per unit of lean body mass go up. It's just arithmetic. There is no hocus-pocus, no advantage to the dieters. Only water, no fat, has been lost.

The paper did not provide information to know how the calculations were done, but this is a likely explanation for the result.

So the whole thing might have been an illusion? All that happened was the people temporarily lost water on the high-protein diets?

Perhaps the most important illusion is the belief that a calorie is not a calorie but depends on how much carbohydrates a person eats. There is an inflexible law of physics - energy taken in must exactly equal the number of calories leaving the system when fat storage is unchanged. Calories leave the system when food is used to fuel the body. To lower fat content - reduce obesity - one must reduce calories taken in, or increase the output by increasing activity, or both. This is true whether calories come from pumpkins or peanuts or pâté de foie gras.

To believe otherwise is to believe we can find a really good perpetual motion machine to solve our energy problems. It won't work, and neither will changing the source of calories permit us to disobey the laws of science.

Did you ever ask whether people respond differently to diets of different compositions?

Dr. Rudolph Leibel, now an obesity researcher at Columbia University, and I took people who were of normal weight and had them live in the hospital, where we diddled with the number of calories we fed them so we could keep their weights absolutely constant, which is no easy thing. This was done with liquid diets of exactly known calorie content.

We kept the number of calories constant, always giving them the amount that should keep them at precisely the same weight. But we wildly changed the proportions of fats and carbohydrates. Some had practically no carbohydrates, and some had practically no fat.

What happened? Did people unexpectedly gain or lose weight when they had the same amount of calories but in a diet of a different composition?

No. There was zero difference between high-fat and low-fat diets.

Why is it so hard for people to lose weight?

What your body does is to sense the amount of energy it has available for emergencies and for daily use. The stored energy is the total amount of adipose tissue in your body. We now know that there are jillions of hormones that are always measuring the amount of fat you have. Your body guides you to eat more or less because of this sensing mechanism.

But if we have such a sensing mechanism, why are people fatter now than they used to be?

This wonderful sensing mechanism involves genetics and environmental factors, and it gets set early in life. It is not clear how much of the setting is done before birth and how much is done by food or other influences early in life. There are many possibilities, but we just don't know.

So for many people, something happened early in life to set their sensing mechanism to demand more fat on their bodies?


Yes.

What would you tell someone who wanted to lose weight?

I would have them eat a lower-calorie diet. They should eat whatever they normally eat, but eat less. You must carefully measure this. Eat as little as you can get away with, and try to exercise more.

There is no magic diet, or even a moderately preferred diet?

No. Some diets are better or worse for medical reasons, but not for weight control. People come up with new diets all the time - like, why not eat pistachios at midnight when the moon is full? We have gone through so many of these diet possibilities. And yet people are always coming up to me with another one.


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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:04 pm 
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Why is the Atkins Diet still not so popular? Because it FAILED. Humans one the diet began craving carbs and would FAIL. They'd lose some water weight by depleting the glycogen in their body, taking it into starvation mode, and walking around in ketosis. They also skyrocketed their chances of a myriad of diseases not the least being colon cancer and what Mr Atkins himself died of, heart disease.

And if a calorie is a calorie, how come for YEARS I was getting fat on high fat animal based junk food and protein shakes during "bulks", only to have to deplete calories to loose the fat, starving for food, and just sending my metabolism into a stand still and ready to lop the fat back on again?

While NOW, after going on 80/10/10 I lost 40 lbs, kept it off on a low calorie diet for a while, have slowly raised the calories up to ABOVE 3,000 (around 3,500 now), and have not gained a POUND of fat but lean muscle gains and strength are better than ever?

My blood pressure is awesome (was on meds on the junk food).

My blood sugar stays fine (was borderline diabetic).

All calories are NOT equal!!

Carbs = glycogen = ENERGY

Fat = FAT (only energy if STARVING AND DESPERATE or doing cardio)

Protein = amino ACIDS (gets bonded with structures in body OR PEED OUT)

Physiology plays a HUGE role in what we put into our bodies. All calories are NOT the SAME.

Think about that next time you eat something.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:31 pm 
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What HorseSense said.

Honestly, when I read articles like the one posted, I just laugh out loud now. After everything I've learned over the years, all the injuries and illnesses and conditions I've been through, all the sports I've discovered, practiced, and mastered, and all the mind-body connections I've made about food, thoughts, chemical messages, and the power of the brain, it amuses me no end that people are still "counting calories." Of all the subtle inner symphonies the human body conducts on a daily basis, of all the whispers it sends to the brain asking for vitamins and minerals and vital supplies, it never once says, "And I want exactly 537 calories for lunch." Just another example of impatient people--especially allopathic doctors--wanting to stuff the entire body system into one tiny little box, slap a label and a price tag on it, and hope for their name in lights and textbooks. My god, I'm glad people like this guy don't have control of my freedom.

And weight "set points?" :lachmal: What a load, forgive the pun. There are a lot of success stories right here on VBB who would like to kick his ass, I'm sure. I'd pay to watch that.

Baby Herc

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Last edited by Baby Hercules on Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:39 pm 
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HorseSense wrote:
...


I think all of your questions answered and your points addressed in the original post.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:56 pm 
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A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes From..........as long as you account for the thermic effect of food.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:30 am 
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What you are saying is like saying a fossil fuel is a fossil fuel. So what?

All have energy and I'm sure you could measure out a piece of coal, some gasoline, and some oil which all can be converted to produce the same amount of energy.

Does that mean I should go put a piece of coal in my car and expect it to fire right up?

Please...

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:08 am 
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HorseSense wrote:
What you are saying is like saying a fossil fuel is a fossil fuel. So what?

All have energy and I'm sure you could measure out a piece of coal, some gasoline, and some oil which all can be converted to produce the same amount of energy.

Does that mean I should go put a piece of coal in my car and expect it to fire right up?

Please...


Nice. I was trying to come up with a halfway decent analogy like that but it's hard to brainstorm when you're laughing so hard. Since a calorie is just a calorie, why don't we all go on the Olive Oil Only Diet? It's calorie dense, so it would be inexpensive and simple to execute. We could shovel a couple spoonfuls of the stuff in at breakfast, lunch, and dinner and watch our bodies become healthy, balanced, and svelte overnight. We'd have to buy a LOT of toilet paper, though....

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 8:14 am 
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HorseSense wrote:
What you are saying is like saying a fossil fuel is a fossil fuel.


It is more like he is saying "What weighs more a pound of feathers or a pound of steel ?"

300 calories from oatmeal and 300 calories from roasted peanuts are the same amount of energy.

The only difference to someone trying to lose fat is that the amount of peanuts that has 300 calories is only a handful. Choosing that for lunch will make them want to eat more food and take in more 300 calories, which may hurt their goal of weight loss.

However, if they are happy with only eating the amount of peanuts that has 300 calories they will not do any better....or any worse than the person eating 300 calories of oatmeal.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:31 am 
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Baby Hercules wrote:
Since a calorie is just a calorie, why don't we all go on the Olive Oil Only Diet? It's calorie dense, so it would be inexpensive and simple to execute. We could shovel a couple spoonfuls of the stuff in at breakfast, lunch, and dinner and watch our bodies become healthy, balanced, and svelte overnight. We'd have to buy a LOT of toilet paper, though....

That would be a terrible diet, but for reasons completely unrelated to the number of calories it contains. It would be void of nutrients and therefore terribly unhealthy.

The original article is quite clear that he's discussing the calories in a diet and how that relates to weight gain or loss only, and that diets are not equivalent as far as health promotion ("[s]ome diets are better or worse for medical reasons"). I'm pretty sure he would not argue that all diets of equal calories would be equal as far as practicality, enjoyability, nutrition, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:29 am 
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FormicaLinoleum wrote:
That would be a terrible diet, but for reasons completely unrelated to the number of calories it contains. It would be void of nutrients and therefore terribly unhealthy.


Find the nearest dictionary. Look up "sarcasm."

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 10:44 am 
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Baby Hercules wrote:
FormicaLinoleum wrote:
That would be a terrible diet, but for reasons completely unrelated to the number of calories it contains. It would be void of nutrients and therefore terribly unhealthy.


Find the nearest dictionary. Look up "sarcasm."

Baby Herc

That's needlessly rude of you.

I understand that it was sarcasm and that you don't actually mean that the Olive Oil Only Diet would be a good idea. I'm not a complete idiot. But sarcasm is used to make a point and I was addressing the point that I understood your sarcastic post to be making.

You said that as a calorie is calorie, why don't we go on the Olive Oil Only Diet. Of course I did not take this as a literal recommendation to consume nothing but olive oil, but as an attempt to show how stupid the idea that a calorie is just a calorie is. You were implying that if we accept that a calorie is a calorie, we would then have to accept that consuming nothing but olive oil would be an acceptable diet. Any reasonable person would agree it would be crazy to try to live off of olive oil. So if we reject the idea that an olive oil only diet is reasonable, we must reject the idea that a calorie is a calorie. That's how interpreted your post.

My point was that nothing in the article or about the idea that a calorie is a calorie specifically with regard to weight loss/gain/maintenance would suggest that it would be OK to consume nothing but olive oil. So the idea that an olive oil diet is ridiculous doesn't mean that anything in the original article is ridiculous.

In other words, you were saying (through sarcasm), "if A, then B", where B is something clearly false. Readers would realise B is false, and if they accept that A must lead to B would then have to conclude that A is also false. I'm saying that A does not actually lead to (or imply) B, so the fact that B is false has no bearing on the validity of A. B is false, but the reasons it is have nothing to do with A. (That is, in this case, olive oil only diet is not viable because olive oil has no nutrients, surely no one could bring themselves to drink olive oil every day, etc.)

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:22 pm 
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The article implies that because all calories are created equal, you can eat whatever you want, just count calories. If you're eating fat, just eat less of it, etc, etc. This is FALSE. Refined fat isn't NATURAL FOR HUMANS TO EAT. Are diseased, obese animals everywhere stressing over calories and this and that to eat? NO. Why? Because they're eating what is NATURAL, and eating until they're satisfied. No guilt trips. Just living life naturally.

This guy and his wife have helped to change my life. Because I REALLY see the big picture now, and I am experiencing this first hand I can be a personal witness to it. I just wish that years, and years and years ago I had known what this guy here is saying. Not trying to start anything with him and others here, as he promotes this forum all the time. But he can speak much better than me about the subject.

http://youtu.be/TyoUweT1dZE

Again, why are we counting calories? Because of people who write articles like the one above.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:55 pm 
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HorseSense wrote:
The article implies that because all calories are created equal, you can eat whatever you want, just count calories.


I think you have most of the point right.

A completely correct interpretation might be

"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."

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:16 pm 
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I think the important thing is that the issue being discussed in the original article is incredibly narrow. All he's saying is that if you can eat exactly the same number of calories, it doesn't really matter what those calories are made of, as far as gaining/losing/maintaining weight goes.

There are loads and loads of aspects of diet and eating that he's saying nothing at all about. Those including the following:
- what's healthy
- what's practical
- what tastes good
- what is satisfying to eat
- how easy or hard it is to eat a lot of calories of a given food
- and so on

All those things will affect what actually makes sense to eat. In real terms, all the above things, which he's not addressing at all, make a difference. For example, I like the Eat to Live diet. You don't need to count calories on that. Why? Because the recommended foods are not calorie dense, so it's hard to get a lot of calories in eating that food. So things like that--like calorie density and food bulk--make a difference to how much food you can eat and how satisfied you'll feel after eating them. This guy doesn't say that calorie density doesn't make a difference to how much you can eat. He simply does not address that at all.

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 Post subject: Re: A Calorie Is Still A Calorie, No Matter Where It Comes F
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:17 pm 
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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.

Calorie restriction as a lifestyle is a form of anorexia, and it is taught by almost all the mainstream "experts" out there.

What is healthier, counting calories to make sure you don't get too much because you may eat too much of what your body shouldn't be processing to start with, in fear of gaining weight OR counting calories to make sure you are getting enough to do the things you want to do in life and at the same time not worrying about weight gain?

Do you see what I'm saying here? 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.

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

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