Author Topic: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?  (Read 8534 times)

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Offline believeitornot

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2012, 05:51:13 AM »
Fructose can stimulate lipogenesis all it wants.  If the person consuming the fructose is in energy balance, then he'll burn an amount of body fat equal to the amount of body fat he made; that is, lipolysis will equal lipogenesis.  It's still just a matter of calories in vs. calories out.  Nothing is immune from the first law of thermodynamics.

Jay


What if the body accelerates muscle tissue catabolism to make up for the energy loss?



From my personal experience I can stay at 10-12 % body fat continuously by counting calories, keeping protein supply sufficiently high, avoiding big amounts of bad food like fructose or certain fatty acids, regular weight lifting as well as intervall training, making use of caffeein and creatine and keeping the intake of most sugar (1/2 of which is fructose BTW) to the time immediately after exercise. Some of this is just healthy lifestyle, all of it is based on science.  :dance:

Offline Zytheran

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2012, 06:03:29 AM »
The trivial part is that the body will burn whatever macronutrients you feed it, in the proportions you feed it.  If your diet is 20% protein, 20% carbohydrate, and 60% fat, you'll burn 20% protein, 20% carbohydrate, and 60% fat.  If your diet is 20% protein, 60% carbohydrate, and 20% fat, you'll burn 20% protein, 60% carbohydrate, and 20% fat.  This follows from the first law of thermodynamics and the fact that your body has only one long-term reservoir of energy storage: adipose tissue.

The false part is that a high-fat diet is good for endurance athletes.  It isn't.  Jogging isn't an endurance sport.  I'm not an expert in exercise physiology, but, as I understand it, endurance sports rely highly on anaerobic metabolism, and hence need glycogen.  And a high-carbohydrate diet maximizes glycogen storage.

Jay

You should have stuck with " I'm not an expert in exercise physiology" and not posted.. :-*

I'm not sure what you mean by burn but I assume you mean contribute to the energy requirements of exercise?
And here's the first mistake. Protein is only used under extreme circumstances as part of the aerobic cycle. Protein is used as a source of amino acids for rebuilding and creating new body tissue plus a pile of other things. It's too valuable and too difficult to use as part of the aerobic system for anything apart from desperate measures.

Furthermore just because your diet contains 20% fat and 60% carbs does not mean you burn/consume them. Any not required will be stored for later use. (Or non-use in the case of most Australians and Americans.)

Glycogen also counts as a long term energy storage method, not just adipose tissue.

Jogging is an endurance sport if you do it for long enough. It is low intensity  and uses the aerobic cycle. As such it is primarily using glycogens from carbohydrates and triglycerides from fats to replenish the ATP system. It would only use protein if glycogen and fats reserves have depleted. I happen to do Rogaines which involve a 24 hour fast walk / jog and can cover well over 100km cross country up and down mountains in those fit enough. They are extreme endurance events and are more difficult than marathons and I've done both.

You are back-to-front about endurance sports, they rely on aerobic metabolism. It is only at sub-maximal intensity (less than 85% maximum heart rate) that a human body can supply enough oxygen to allow for aerobic metabolism. If you go harder than this you move into the anaerobic region and the ATP resynthesis will come from the ATP-CP system and the anaerobic glycolysis system. These two systems can only supply new ATP for about 10 seconds a a few minutes respectively. Hence are not suitable for endurance.

You are correct about glycogen as it comes from glucose and hence carbohydrates. Glycogen storage can be maxed out with carbo loading in the 24 hours before an endurance event (it's not pleasant) however those triglycerides are going to useful as well.

References for all this can be found in high school textbooks used in physical education.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 06:18:43 AM by Zytheran »

Offline Zytheran

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2012, 06:16:48 AM »
double post
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 06:20:45 AM by Zytheran »

Offline believeitornot

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2012, 06:45:01 AM »
High-intensity training of short duration, namely interval training (jogging alternating with sprints at max capacity) for 20-25 minutes has proven far more effective than long endurance training at both leveling up performance and burning fat. The vast majority of the latter gets burned in the hours after the actual exercise via the up-regulated metabolism.

Another important factor is getting sufficient sleep. Not enough of it results in low glucose-tolerance and stimulates hunger. It also results in elevated cortisol levels which in turn stimulate muscle tissue degradation and lipogenesis.

Offline pchemist

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2012, 10:58:55 AM »
Here's the thing that naturally thin people don't get:  weight loss is not a thermodynamic issue, it's a sociological/psychological issue.

If it was a thermodynamic issue, everyone would have the exact weight they wanted.

What does that mean? If we're talking about counting calories, then it is very much a thermodynamic issue. Calorie is a unit of measurement made in thermodynamic calculations. How would it being a thermodynamic issue give everyone the exact weight they wanted?

Fewer calories in than out would guarantee weight loss. It's required by thermodynamics. Of course, this doesn't mean you would like the result. For example, you could eat only one or two double cheeseburgers a day and sit on the couch. You would lose weight, but probably due to muscle atrophy. Physiologically you would not be healthier.  Or, you could eat healthy, exercise, and lose weight the way you want to. My point is, it is a thermodynamic issue. Your body isn't some magical sphere where physics stops being real.

edit: "Your body isn't some magical sphere where physics stops being real because you're not at the exact weight you want." is what I wanted to say.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 11:08:07 AM by pchemist »

Offline mindme

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2012, 12:10:37 PM »
Right.  Many people have made the general point (including the original article, and those in the Fark discussion thread) that "foods are different" and so are digested differently.  That's obviously true, but how large of an effect does that have?  Links please!  I don't accept "studies show" with no link.    :)

I'd really like to get to the bottom of this, especially as someone who has recently begun counting calories.


Yes. Exactly. If I eat 3000 calories of carrots or 3000 calories of chocolate, as listed on the package, and assuming I have a metabolic need for 2000 calories, will I gain weight at the exactly same rate? Roughly the same weight? Or at a significantly different rate. I assumed from many of the studies Dr. N had posted that people will gain roughly the same weight (eg the twinkie diet).

You really need to design a strict study. Different foods may have different psychological factors in terms of satiety. As a friend noted, his Korean wife can eat a whole pizza but won't feel full until she has a bowl of rice.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 12:14:22 PM by mindme »
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2012, 12:25:45 PM »
Right.  Many people have made the general point (including the original article, and those in the Fark discussion thread) that "foods are different" and so are digested differently.  That's obviously true, but how large of an effect does that have?  Links please!  I don't accept "studies show" with no link.    :)

I'd really like to get to the bottom of this, especially as someone who has recently begun counting calories.


Yes. Exactly. If I eat 3000 calories of carrots or 3000 calories of chocolate, as listed on the package, and assuming I have a metabolic need for 2000 calories, will I gain weight at the exactly same rate? Roughly the same weight? Or at a significantly different rate. I assumed from many of the studies Dr. N had posted that people will gain roughly the same weight (eg the twinkie diet).

You really need to design a strict study. Different foods may have different psychological factors in terms of satiety. As a friend noted, his Korean wife can eat a whole pizza but won't feel full until she has a bowl of rice.


You might have chosen a better fod comparison. The energy in carrots is carbohydrate, the energy in some chocolate confection might be as well... how about carrots and bacon? 
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2012, 12:32:33 PM »
Here's the thing that naturally thin people don't get:  weight loss is not a thermodynamic issue, it's a sociological/psychological issue.

If it was a thermodynamic issue, everyone would have the exact weight they wanted.

What does that mean?

It means that saying "calories in = calories out" and "eat less/move more" is a strictly mechanical formula.  If we were bio-mechanical robots, then it would be exactly that simple.

We are not robots.
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Offline jt512

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2012, 12:43:54 PM »
Fructose can stimulate lipogenesis all it wants.  If the person consuming the fructose is in energy balance, then he'll burn an amount of body fat equal to the amount of body fat he made; that is, lipolysis will equal lipogenesis.  It's still just a matter of calories in vs. calories out.  Nothing is immune from the first law of thermodynamics.

Jay

What if the body accelerates muscle tissue catabolism to make up for the energy loss?

What energy loss?  I don't see anything about energy loss in what you quoted.

Jay

Offline lonely moa

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2012, 12:54:04 PM »
The consumption of fructose (say in fizzy drinks or juice) is often stored directly to fat (especially with insulin resistant people), hence the energy is lost to the adipose tissues and the body gets the energy from existing tissues rather than stored fat. 
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Offline MikeHz

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2012, 12:59:40 PM »
Right.  Many people have made the general point (including the original article, and those in the Fark discussion thread) that "foods are different" and so are digested differently.  That's obviously true, but how large of an effect does that have?  Links please!  I don't accept "studies show" with no link.    :)

I'd really like to get to the bottom of this, especially as someone who has recently begun counting calories.


Yes. Exactly. If I eat 3000 calories of carrots or 3000 calories of chocolate, as listed on the package, and assuming I have a metabolic need for 2000 calories, will I gain weight at the exactly same rate? Roughly the same weight? Or at a significantly different rate. I assumed from many of the studies Dr. N had posted that people will gain roughly the same weight (eg the twinkie diet).

You really need to design a strict study. Different foods may have different psychological factors in terms of satiety. As a friend noted, his Korean wife can eat a whole pizza but won't feel full until she has a bowl of rice.


If you take in 3,000 calories of carrots, you will certainly not absorb all of those calories. And, your body is going to use a lot more energy extracting calories from carrots than it will from chocolate.
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Offline jt512

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2012, 01:14:00 PM »
The trivial part is that the body will burn whatever macronutrients you feed it, in the proportions you feed it.  If your diet is 20% protein, 20% carbohydrate, and 60% fat, you'll burn 20% protein, 20% carbohydrate, and 60% fat.  If your diet is 20% protein, 60% carbohydrate, and 20% fat, you'll burn 20% protein, 60% carbohydrate, and 20% fat.  This follows from the first law of thermodynamics and the fact that your body has only one long-term reservoir of energy storage: adipose tissue.

The false part is that a high-fat diet is good for endurance athletes.  It isn't.  Jogging isn't an endurance sport.  I'm not an expert in exercise physiology, but, as I understand it, endurance sports rely highly on anaerobic metabolism, and hence need glycogen.  And a high-carbohydrate diet maximizes glycogen storage.

Jay


You should have stuck with " I'm not an expert in exercise physiology" and not posted..


Yeah, right.

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I'm not sure what you mean by burn . . .


Then you are completely ignorant of physiology in general.  At least I am aware of what I don't know.  Read Kruger–Dunning.

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. . . but I assume you mean contribute to the energy requirements of exercise?


Nope.  Exercise is one way we burn calories.  There's also resting metabolic rate and thermogenesis.  Like I said, you are completely clueless about physiology.  Completely.

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And here's the first mistake.


Yes.  Yours.

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Protein is only used under extreme circumstances as part of the aerobic cycle. Protein is used as a source of amino acids for rebuilding and creating new body tissue plus a pile of other things. It's too valuable and too difficult to use as part of the aerobic system for anything apart from desperate measures.


Yes, we use protein to rebuild tissues; that is, tissues we have broken down.  What do you think happens to the amino acids in the tissues we break down?  Do you think they just disappear by magic?  No, we burn them for energy.

Quote
Furthermore just because your diet contains 20% fat and 60% carbs does not mean you burn/consume them. Any not required will be stored for later use. (Or non-use in the case of most Australians and Americans.)
Quote

What I said is that the macronutrient mix that your body burns is equivalent to the macronutrient mix of your diet if you are in energy balance (and to be strictly true we have to add not pregnant, lactating, growing, body building, or recovering from injury or disease).  This must be true.  It is implied by energy balance.

Glycogen also counts as a long term energy storage method, not just adipose tissue.


Glycogen stores are limited and short-term.  Most of your glycogen stores are depleted between dinnertime and breakfast the next morning.

Quote
You are back-to-front about endurance sports, they rely on aerobic metabolism. It is only at sub-maximal intensity (less than 85% maximum heart rate) that a human body can supply enough oxygen to allow for aerobic metabolism. If you go harder than this you move into the anaerobic region and the ATP resynthesis will come from the ATP-CP system and the anaerobic glycolysis system. These two systems can only supply new ATP for about 10 seconds a a few minutes respectively. Hence are not suitable for endurance.


That has nothing to do with anything I wrote.

Quote
References for all this can be found in high school textbooks used in physical education.


As opposed to what I wrote, which is generally taught at the senior year of undergraduate after the student has had at least one semester of biochemistry, or the first year of graduate school.

Nice post.

Jay
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 06:41:59 PM by jt512 »

Offline DG

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2012, 01:16:22 PM »
As someone who has lost a bit over 20kgs based almost exclusively on a change of diet. I am going with the whole "counting calories is a good idea".

Although, as a general rule I ignore calories in vegetables, and in the first 2 servings of fruit a day.


is it 'counting calories' so much as just 'common sense', though?

I can assure you it seems that way now, but it didn't when I was heavier.

It is all about eating sensibly. If you are giving your body more fuel than it is using - you will not lose weight. The thing is 'trial and error' to find out how much energy you are using and then adjusting food intake to match that. Of course, that takes time and most people (including myself for many years) couldn't be bothered spending the time required to determine how much they need to eat.

Each person has to work it out for themselves, there are some good guide out there, but that's all they are. Interestingly, I have found that if I eat less calories (same types of food, but not filling my daily quota) my weight loss slows significantly. In fact, I got stuck at the 100kg boundary for quite some time, each week I was eating less and less. After about 9 weeks I gave up, and ate like a pig for 2 weeks and lost 2 kgs. No idea how that works - I wondered if it were something to do with a reaction to the decrease in calories available and some sort of 'famine' response. Now I am back to paying attention to what I eat, and I have slowed down on the weight loss again - but I feel far more energetic than I did at that 100kg issue. (I'm just under the 100kgs after having gained a bit of weight over the festive season)
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Offline Xptical

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2012, 01:18:26 PM »
Right.  Many people have made the general point (including the original article, and those in the Fark discussion thread) that "foods are different" and so are digested differently.  That's obviously true, but how large of an effect does that have?  Links please!  I don't accept "studies show" with no link.    :)

I'd really like to get to the bottom of this, especially as someone who has recently begun counting calories.


Yes. Exactly. If I eat 3000 calories of carrots or 3000 calories of chocolate, as listed on the package, and assuming I have a metabolic need for 2000 calories, will I gain weight at the exactly same rate? Roughly the same weight? Or at a significantly different rate. I assumed from many of the studies Dr. N had posted that people will gain roughly the same weight (eg the twinkie diet).

You really need to design a strict study. Different foods may have different psychological factors in terms of satiety. As a friend noted, his Korean wife can eat a whole pizza but won't feel full until she has a bowl of rice.


We get a lot of nutritional advice in the Military.  Also, advice on exercise and general wellness.

I have been told that some calories are harder to process than others.  A steak and a candy bar might have the same calories (just for the sake of argument), but your body would use more calories trying to process protein vice carbohydrates.

Also, a steak would keep you full longer.

And while carrots and candy bars might both be carbs, one is a simple sugar and the other is complex.  Carrots also have a lot of fiber which is technically counted as a carb, but (from what I have heard) isn't easily usable by the body.


As for calories in/out, I don't think it's just that simple.  Lowering your intake will have long-lasting effects on your body.  Your metabolism will plummet and you'll start burning your own muscle and fat to make up the balance.  The best bet is to eat more and exercise like crazy.  A 20~30-minute session in the AM and another in the PM will do more for you than a single 40~60 minute session.

I have also heard that once your body hits "fat" mode (slowed metabolism), it's virtually impossible to get it back into "skinny" mode (fast metabolism).  Once the body begins the process of converting intake to fat for storage, it's pretty much over with...

Offline pchemist

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Re: "10 Body Myths Debunked" - counting calories?
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2012, 02:08:13 PM »
Here's the thing that naturally thin people don't get:  weight loss is not a thermodynamic issue, it's a sociological/psychological issue.

If it was a thermodynamic issue, everyone would have the exact weight they wanted.

What does that mean?

It means that saying "calories in = calories out" and "eat less/move more" is a strictly mechanical formula.  If we were bio-mechanical robots, then it would be exactly that simple.

We are not robots.

I would argue that biomechanics are very much like a machine or robot, and it is exactly that simple:

calories in < calories out = weight loss
calories in > calories out = weight gain
calories in = calories out -> no net change

Now, perhaps I'm being pedantic. If you want to get more specific as to where the weight is lost, where the energy is stored, or how food is metabolized differently from individual to individual it's a whole different story. BUT, if you knew your exact net caloric change it would be that simple.

I'm sure I'm misunderstanding you , but it seems that you are arguing for a psychological/social aspect of weight loss. Are you saying that two individuals with identical metabolism, exercise, and diet could have different results based off what they think or how they are perceived socially? I can't buy into weight loss as a psychological issue in those regards.

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If it was a thermodynamic issue, everyone would have the exact weight they wanted

What exactly do you mean here? I know plenty of people who want to be thinner but still have a horrible diet.

 

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