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  1. #1
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    Do calories matter on low carb?

    I read this somewhere else...


    "What about calories?

    Generally, low carb diets don’t require you to keep track of caloric intake. A calorie is the energy needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water one degree Celsius. Your body does not literally burn foods like a calorimeter. Different macronutrients (i.e., carbohydrate, fat, and protein) have different effects on hormones, which have different effects on fat storage, and provide different amounts of energy to the body in different ways.

    You’ve probably been told weight loss is a simple matter of calories in minus calories out. This was “proven” by citing the First Law of Thermodynamics. You were told wrong. The First Law of Thermodynamics has to do with energy balance in a CLOSED system. Your body is not a closed system, unless you figured out a way to not poop, breathe, sweat, etc. In fact, calories from macronutrients CAN’T be equal since a deficiency of carbs requires your body to convert protein into glucose. That process has a “cost.” To say calories are all equal violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    In short, using the word “calorie” to connote the amount food consumed or amount of energy ingested is clumsy and inaccurate. However, it’s a term used throughout nutritional literature, so we’re stuck with it. Calorie counts can be useful “rules of thumb,” but always keep in mind their limitations.

    Experiments have been conducted prove people respond differently to the food they consume. Either the scientists found a way to violate the laws of thermodynamics, or most people’s understanding of how the body uses food is wrong. Guess which one it is? One famous study was conducted in the Vermont state prison where every inmate was forced to eat the same amount without exercising. The amount of weight gained varied greatly.

    Fredrik Nyström conducted a controlled experiment at Linköping University to determine the effects of an extreme high calorie diet on people who are naturally thin. He force fed the participants 6,000 calories a day, roughly double what most of the volunteers ingested normally. He discovered that their weight gains were neither predictable nor consistent within the group. After the experiment concluded, the test subjects quickly returned to their pre-test weights and eating habits.

    The *** documentary Horizon aired a documentary called “Why Are Thin People Not Fat” that featured a repeated experiment in England conducted by Nyström with the same results. I found a copy of it on YouTube:

    Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7

    Claiming obesity is a product of a positive energy balance is as enlightening as saying global warming is a product of the Earth getting hotter. No sh*t, Sherlock. It’s not very helpful to state the effect while ignoring the cause. We must determine how the body is processing the energy we ingest, and how it can be prevented from turning into fat. That’s where hormones come in since hormones regulate fat storage. If we can manipulate our hormones, we can change how our bodies use the calories we eat. An overweight person is not necessarily someone who overeats; their body simply may be storing an undesirable amount of fuel as fat instead of using it for energy. Likewise, a naturally skinny person may be converting their surplus fuel into energy, lean tissue growth, or heat instead of fat.

    What if we restrict calories a whole lot? Won’t that cause weight loss? Yes! If someone is starved of fuel, the body is forced to use those restricted calories to preserve survival. That may mean using fat stores, breaking down lean muscle tissue, lowering body temperature, lethargy, etc. Of course, this is not a desirable long term condition. The beauty of low carb diets is that they do not attempt to starve the body of energy. They attack the root of the problem: fat metabolism.

    Some studies attempt to show that all diets have the same effective weight loss when strictly controlling calories. Participants are separated into different groups, each with a different predefined ratio of fat, protein, and carbs. The kinds of foods eaten by each group can differ greatly. However, the total number of calories ingested each day for each group is must be the same. The term for this kind of comparison is “isocaloric.” The “cheat” they use in these studies is that they do not allow the participants to ingest their typical amount of calories, or even the normal basal calories for their height, age, weight, and activity level. Instead, they cut their calories significantly, which puts their bodies into semi-starvation. Their bodies are now fighting to use whatever calories are available for survival. These kinds of studies don’t provide a meaningful comparison of diets under normal metabolic conditions. Studies that do not force calories to be restricted usually show a significant advantage of very low carb diets over their converse.

    Another problem with diet comparison studies has to do with controlling variables that may affect the outcome. If a low fat diet demands that food intake be cut significantly, that also implies carbohydrates will be cut, too. From the article “Calories, fat or carbohydrates? Why diets work (when they do)”:

    Gary Taubes posted:

    Virtually any diet that significantly restricts the number of calories consumed, even a diet that is described as low-fat (because the subjects are instructed to reduce the proportion of fat calories they consume), will cut the total amount of carbohydrate calories consumed as well. This is just simple arithmetic. If we cut all the calories we consume by half, for instance, then we’re cutting the carbohydrates by half, too. And because these typically constitute the largest proportion of calories in our diet to begin with, these will see the greatest absolute reduction. If we preferentially try to cut fat calories, we’ll find it exceedingly difficult to cut more than 400 or 500 calories a day by reducing fat — depending on how much fat we were eating to begin with — and so we’ll have to eat fewer carbohydrates as well.

    Put simply, low-fat diets that also cut significant calories will cut carbohydrates significantly as well, and often by more than they cut fat.


    And what about the quality of carbohydrates on a so called low fat diet? Sugar, white flour, and other refined carbohydrates are typically replaced with whole grains and fiber. The fact that these kinds of diets, when adhered to strictly, can often produce results shouldn’t be surprising. However, it also shouldn’t be surprising when diets that cut carbohydrates even more result in a larger weight loss."



    is there any validity to it?
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  2. #2
    Registered User rusrious's Avatar
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    ummmmm, I still think its alllllll about insulin control.. Sugar drives you to continue stuffing yourself with sugar.. Its actually causes binge eating, because the brain wants more and more and more, which ultimatly, increases the calories your consuming..

    I see carbs as sugar.. in an ubuandance, they go hand in hand and start to store as unused calories as fat storage.. With Keto, the fat is the fuel, not sugar, or "carbs".

    Personally, Im more interested in the "real" amount of fat that the body needs to keep running on keto..

    I have a crap load of it, but is it really nessasary to keep it flowing? Its like a primer pump on a lawnmower?

    Im currently running an bro-science experiment on myself right now, and only consuming fats when im low on energy, and not trying to drown in it,lol, if you know what i mean..

    There is alot to it, and i think it goes way beyond the whole calorie expenditure process.

    The reasons for food, is mainly for certain vitamines and minerals the body needs to operate, and of course, energy exertion expenditures.. Meaning, heavy lifting..

    The main focus, is fat loss on Keto, and maintance of muscle preservation..

    Does your car run any differant if the tank is full or half empty?

    If you have an excess amount of calories, you have stuff to burn off. If you have a great abundance of fat, which is the fuel on keto, is it really nessasary to keep consuming the fat?

    Like i said, i personally feel the fat priming in the morning, and another 12 hours later. If your not consuming carbs or sugar, then the body should continue to be keto till you do consume the EXCESS carbs. Enough for muscle replenishment, and thats it..

    How many FAT calories are burned per hour? if your not using the fuel, ( fat) but keep downing the stuff, wouldnt that keep the tank (fat cell count ) full? Do we really want that to happen? Arnt we trying to reduce the tank size ( fat %)..

    OK, unleash on me, just talking out loud, cause this stuff can be complicated sometimes..
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    Originally Posted by rusrious View Post
    ummmmm, I still think its alllllll about insulin control.. Sugar drives you to continue stuffing yourself with sugar.. Its actually causes binge eating, because the brain wants more and more and more, which ultimatly, increases the calories your consuming..

    I see carbs as sugar.. in an ubuandance, they go hand in hand and start to store as unused calories as fat storage.. With Keto, the fat is the fuel, not sugar, or "carbs".

    Personally, Im more interested in the "real" amount of fat that the body needs to keep running on keto..

    I have a crap load of it, but is it really nessasary to keep it flowing? Its like a primer pump on a lawnmower?

    Im currently running an bro-science experiment on myself right now, and only consuming fats when im low on energy, and not trying to drown in it,lol, if you know what i mean..

    There is alot to it, and i think it goes way beyond the whole calorie expenditure process.

    The reasons for food, is mainly for certain vitamines and minerals the body needs to operate, and of course, energy exertion expenditures.. Meaning, heavy lifting..

    The main focus, is fat loss on Keto, and maintance of muscle preservation..

    Does your car run any differant if the tank is full or half empty?

    If you have an excess amount of calories, you have stuff to burn off. If you have a great abundance of fat, which is the fuel on keto, is it really nessasary to keep consuming the fat?

    Like i said, i personally feel the fat priming in the morning, and another 12 hours later. If your not consuming carbs or sugar, then the body should continue to be keto till you do consume the EXCESS carbs. Enough for muscle replenishment, and thats it..

    How many FAT calories are burned per hour? if your not using the fuel, ( fat) but keep downing the stuff, wouldnt that keep the tank (fat cell count ) full? Do we really want that to happen? Arnt we trying to reduce the tank size ( fat %)..

    OK, unleash on me, just talking out loud, cause this stuff can be complicated sometimes..
    You have a lot of good thoughts here, and i get what you are saying. But its important to be eating enough fat while on Keto to make sure your body keeps fat (dietary and stored) as its main fuel source.

    If i understand what you were trying to say, is that since you feel you have lots of stored fat, there is no reason to eat too much dietary fat since your body can use stored fat. While this is logical, as i stated above, if your dietary fat is too low, its possible that your body may also use stored protein (muscle) as energy instead of stored fat. Which this is obviously bad.

    With that being said, i think it would be interesting for someone who was plenty overweight, 20% BF or higher, to maybe zig zag there fat intake while on keto. Maybe one day get your fat in at 65% then maybe the next day closer to 50% instead. Thus tricking the body into continuing to use fat as its main fuel source, both stored and dietary.

    @OP, i didnt bother reading your entire post. But calories matter no matter what diet you are on. If you are putting too many calories into your body, your body will store whatever calories it does not use. Period.
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  4. #4
    Registered User rusrious's Avatar
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    Right on..

    I guess you can say thats what im trying to do right now.. Like a experiment on myself.. Im Pro bro-science,lol,,

    Now, look at this one,

    If it takes 3300 calories to make a pound of fat, that means i have a surplus of 132,000 fat calories that i can spend.. so again, it all comes around to the whole, "what is really burned, and at what moment is protein broken down" or muscles.? Its a balance of body calories used and muscle function excerted..

    If your consuming your protein, and replenishing your muscles with fuel, (is it sugar, or is it protein, or is it calories) then your fat tank should be good for 132,000 worth?

    Crazy, crazy, crazy..
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by buckiaj View Post
    @OP, i didnt bother reading your entire post. But calories matter no matter what diet you are on. If you are putting too many calories into your body, your body will store whatever calories it does not use. Period.

    again, without reading what i posted, it's kind of senseless to say such a thing.
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    Originally Posted by rusrious View Post
    Right on..

    I guess you can say thats what im trying to do right now.. Like a experiment on myself.. Im Pro bro-science,lol,,

    Now, look at this one,

    If it takes 3300 calories to make a pound of fat, that means i have a surplus of 132,000 fat calories that i can spend.. so again, it all comes around to the whole, "what is really burned, and at what moment is protein broken down" or muscles.? Its a balance of body calories used and muscle function excerted..

    If your consuming your protein, and replenishing your muscles with fuel, (is it sugar, or is it protein, or is it calories) then your fat tank should be good for 132,000 worth?

    Crazy, crazy, crazy..
    ^You need to re-do that math..

    3500 cals= 1lb of Fat

    ...other than that im interested in what your questioning, just wanted to give an fyi about the number.
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    Originally Posted by buckiaj View Post
    @OP, i didnt bother reading your entire post. But calories matter no matter what diet you are on. If you are putting too many calories into your body, your body will store whatever calories it does not use. Period.
    how would you explain dudes on paleo forums who eat 4000 calories a day but still lose? this notion is false, and you need to stop repeating it.
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    Registered User buckiaj's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by onabulletride View Post
    how would you explain dudes on paleo forums who eat 4000 calories a day but still lose? this notion is false, and you need to stop repeating it.
    Its actually simple, basic physics.

    Calories are units of energy, if you are giving your body more than it expends, it will need to store it.

    Now, how it is stored depends on the person, type of calorie, exercise and other factors. So, those calories could be converted to fat or muscle.

    But fact of the matter is, more calories ingested than is expended means they will be stored.

    Those people on 4000 calorie diets may have the perfect macronutrient balance meaning they are slightly losing body fat while gaining muscle, or they are are simply eating less than they are expending.
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    You cannot avoid the simple fact, as stated above, that calories are a unit of energy. Use more than needed, and it will stay with you, as muscle or fat, depending on a variety of factors.

    The question that arises is how can someone eat more on one diet than another and still lose. Simple, when you optimize your hormones (lowering insulin, increasing thyroid output and testosterone, also glucagon and gh) you increase metabolic rate. Then there's the issue of fats converting to ketones and leaving the body. That's a certain amount of "free" calories also.

    At the end of the day, the major benefit of a ketogenic diet is decreased hunger (and better health). But I also think there is a certain "metabolic advantage" that Dr Atkins spoke of. And it's not enormous, but I think it's there.
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    of course cals matter but for most people on keto they do not necessarily have to count because its easy to stay full eating high fat foods and you'll be at a deficit anyway.

    On the question generally, cals matter but its more correct to say they matter differently for each individual. In some really crazy situations cals in/cals out is wont exactly matter because of a genetic disorder (which, even though genetic, can be influenced by environment.)
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    wall of text, did not read

    but i can tell you, that low carb diets are basically switching energy sources from carbs to fat, so yes you would have to watch you calorie intake, and replace all carbs with fats
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    I know I didnt count calories when I lost the majority of my fat, but that will only get you so far. I think it was said best in "Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle" when he says that nothing over rides calorie balance. Calories in vs Calories out. But there are different ways those cals can be stored, as others have previously stated. Eating too much on a low carb plan is still over eating. Dont get the Atkins frame of mind and think you can eat everything in your path as long as it's low carb, I know I did at one point, and it wasnt a good idea. I think the big thing here is that keto is so appetite suppressing that you will be able to get by just eating when youre hungry, however, if low body fat is your goal, then why leave it to chance? Count your calories and make sure youre getting your macros on the dot and eating at a 15-20% deficit. Not counting is like trying to hit a target with a dessert eagle with a blindfold on, unless youre Cris Angel, this isnt a good idea and can really only end in disaster.
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    ^ I think your post is real good and I agree with the sentiment. I've seen that book your referenced cited numerous times by professionals who I respect. And I'd have to say my own experience generally mirrors yours. Its possible to achieve significant results without counting calories, but eventually, if you continue to set more rigorous goals, its something that will have to be taken into consideration.

    Conversely, I think that counting cals might actually be a good place to start, and then once you've gained a feel for how much your eating and energy expenditure, it would be more accurate to say that you're calorie conscious and not counting calories.
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?p=608052853&posted=1#post608052853

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    Everyday I'm Muscling eternalprimate's Avatar
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    One famous study was conducted in the Vermont state prison where every inmate was forced to eat the same amount without exercising. The amount of weight gained varied greatly.
    Well no ****. Everybody's metabolism burns calories at a different rate so of course the weight gain would be different. Feed a 150lb man and a 250lb man the same in a day and you'll never get the same results. Now if you picked 10 people with the exact same metabolism and then did that experiment then maybe new info would come to light.
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    Originally Posted by eternalprimate View Post
    Well no ****. Everybody's metabolism burns calories at a different rate so of course the weight gain would be different. Feed a 150lb man and a 250lb man the same in a day and you'll never get the same results. Now if you picked 10 people with the exact same metabolism and then did that experiment then maybe new info would come to light.
    The study referred to points to the conclusion that its not as simple as "everyone's metabolism burns calories at a different rate." Some doctors and scientists have conducted experiments and analyzed different genetic disorders that shows that not everyone genes, although they're the same gene in the same place in the genetic sequence, do not behave the same way and this can have a significant impact on how the body uses, stores, and burns, different food sources.
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?p=608052853&posted=1#post608052853

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