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How does weight gain with sugar work?

by (48)
Updated June 06, 2014 at 3:14 AM
Created March 07, 2014 at 10:24 PM

I'm confused about weight gain. So, say someone has a super healthy diet, and they eat 1 brownie a day for a month will they gain weight? Say they don't work out...I know if they worked out this generally wouldn't be a problem. I just don't get how gaining weight works.

How does 1 brownie a week or month compare to one brownie a day? Like what if they are in their calorie range for the day? Cause I wanna know if having that grain free brownie once a week is really going to hurt me?

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0 · June 06, 2014 at 3:14 AM

...

My keywords for what explained in the video.

1:02:43 Start of biochemistry section. Topics of cellular metabolism: mitochondria, glucose, ATP, pyruvate, Krebs cycle, aerobic, anaerobic, lactate dehydrogenase, lactic acid, anabolic, catabolic, citrate, phosphofructokinase, glycogen synthase, glycogen, fat storage. 1:12:10 When stores of glycogen are full, fat storage is upregulated. 1:18:51 Fructose. When added to the condition where phosphofructokinase is blocking (too many carbs from SAD), fructose is easily shuttled into body fat.

Thus: Higher carb diets tend to promote fat storage.

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0 · June 06, 2014 at 3:12 AM

I did read most of those posted studies in full, but I'd have to review again before I can comment on them specifically. In any case, here is what I was originally referring to. When I said "higher carb diets", I mean about roughly 150 grams of carbs per day; that's tied in with Mark Sisson's The Primal Blueprint Carbohydrate Curve and typical conditions of a standard American diet (high SAD carbs).

With that context in mind, see Doug McGuff speaking. Skip to the third point in the next comment for a peak at the conclusion even though the rest is prerequisite for full understanding...

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0 · May 28, 2014 at 3:44 AM

It sounds like you may be keying on how what I posted can lead to talk on ketosis.

Firstly, the metabolic mechanisms indicated and corresponding solutions don't necessarily involve ketosis nor even vLCHF (wo full nutritional ketosis). Even though there are some valid examples/pointers to vLCHF paleo, it's agreed that the extreme end of vLCHF is not average.

Secondly, where sustained nutritional ketosis does come into play even if not paleolithic norm is to reverse metabolic syndrome after you are already damaged. In that case, it's not about doing it because we think it ever was the paleo norm.

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0 · May 28, 2014 at 3:32 AM

There's no problem with the numbers pulled from the "estimated" single example diet. There was/is a mix of macros, and that's one example that's just fine.

I like Cordain's methodology based on a reevaluation of the Ethnographic Atlas. When possible, 45-65% energy comes from animal food.

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/71/3/682.full

My answer is not contradictory. Rather it was to illustrated the problem for certain scenarios such as SAD with HC and especially liquids and HFCS. The mechanisms with sugar come into play big-time. With that typical diet, sugar is a huge part of the problem.

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4383 · March 27, 2014 at 9:13 AM

- sugar is sucrose. sucrose (sugar) is is a disaccharide composed of the monosaccharides glucose and fructose #1

- fructose does not stimulate/trigger insulin production/secretion #2 #3 #4

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15 · March 12, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Exactly. To say "a calorie is a calorie" is just a statement that has no meaning and explains nothing about fat metabolism.

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301 · March 12, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Glucose entering the cell is not where calories in ends. The fate of the glucose molecule is what determines what happens with those calories. Fatty acid synthesis (the accumulation of fat inside cells) is only possible during glycolysis (glucose burning), not during lipolysis (fat burning). So the glucose molecule will drive glycolysis which is necessary for fatty acid synthesis. Eating fat, in the absence of glucose, will not stimulate glycolysis, but rather will promote lipolysis instead, and thus there will be no fatty acid synthesis (fat creation) regardless of calories consumed.

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30 · March 12, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Sleep depravation often reduces energy expenditure and increases food intake, so how would this completely assumption based "proof" of yours actually discount CICO?

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10134 · March 12, 2014 at 4:38 PM

raydawg Matt's not lying, but he has made an assumption that we're only talking in terms of calories that humans can digest. When people count calories, they don't count paraffin, gasoline, hay and sawdust. I like gastronomer's formula though. Carbs and fats are both very efficiently utilized unless we eat them in excess of metabolic needs.

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301 · March 12, 2014 at 4:21 PM

A proper equation would likely look the following way:

----- Variables -------

PCC --> Physical Calories Consumed

DE --> Digestive Efficiency

ME --> Metabolic Efficiency

----- Equation -------

Calories In = PCC * DE * ME

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301 · March 12, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Correct. The source of the calories and the way in which the body assimilates and metabolizes those calories matters just as much as the amount of calories. I'd rather eat something that has 1000 calories of which my body can only use 75% than something with 800 calories of which my body can use 100% percent, just to give an example. The body doesn't treat all calories equally, so "calories in" can be used as a criteria only when a proper measure of a metabolic equivalency of energy can be achieved by applying an adequate energy conversion factor to "calories in".

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301 · March 12, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Before low-carbing, I too was counting calories and I weighed 30lbs more while eating 1000 calories less than what I eat now. I'm very skinny these days, even though all I do is sit by my desk at work all day long and eat 3000 calories from fat each day. If I went back to eating rice and beans, potatoes, and bread like I did before, I'd be a whale.

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17028 · March 12, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Try this experiment: since we burn more calories when we are active and awake, why don't you try to burn off fat by staying awake for two nights in a row every week and see what happens. Be sure to eat an isocaloric diet at the same macro ratios. You'll become fatter, not leaner. Why? Sleep loss causes insulin resistance. CICO is therefore broken, and always was.

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17028 · March 12, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Really, so if you eat 10,000 calories of undigestible cellulose, you'll "gain" as much fat as if you ate 10,000 calories of glucose? Somehow, I think you're lying good sir.

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10134 · March 12, 2014 at 3:05 PM

manley, my premise is true enough to maintain a 50 pound weight loss for 7 years eating 250 grams a day of carbs. My blood sugar and triglycerides are as low as a ketosis Paleo's. You're probably right about wonking the macros to tweak your body comp slightly, but I do well enough using exercise for healthy body comp. If I were a lifter or exercised aerobically I could do better. To do that, I'd have to eat more carbs (or fat, my choice) to raise my daily calories.

A calorie only counts if it burns. The carbs digest & burn easily. Excess fat doesn't.

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15 · March 12, 2014 at 2:52 PM

I've done the whole calorie counting thing too. I eat more calories on paleo and weigh less. Why? Because the quality of calories in determine how many calories you will burn. Even if your premise were true (which it's not), you at least have to admit that body composition would change dramatically.

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10134 · March 12, 2014 at 12:22 PM

No doubt the egg/steak/vegetable meal is more satiating. This is a prime calorie-sparing diet. But manley I've counted the calories and believe me it makes no difference where the 2000 comes from. If you're stuck at Steaknshake at 3AM and the only thing left is 5 way chili mac you eat that and deal with it. Same goes for Waffle House. Been there, done that, regained nothing.

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10134 · March 12, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Look at the before-and-after photo from the refugee diet. The guy goes from lean to gaunt in 5 months of an intentional starvation diet. Yudkin's high fat diet shows nothing similar - my guess is that his subjects were obese. When I was obese I could eat 1200 calories a day for weeks without being hungry. At normal weight I feel famished on 2000. The comparison Eades is making is ludicrous, like comparing matchsticks to elephants.

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41312 · March 12, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Sure, there may be a small difference in bioavailable calories between a junk food and whole food diet… but that's due to processing, not macronutrients.

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2944 · March 12, 2014 at 11:42 AM

To the extent that the body is always in a state of storing calroires and retrieving them, what he/she said isn't totally nonsensical... And he/she could be talking about ideas relating to setpoints - body resisting changing weight... First statement a bit dodgy, I agree, so too most of the last - catabolism isn't a necessary outcome of counting calories... Although a fall in metaboilsm will be once someone loses weight, although I don't think this is what they were getting at...

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41312 · March 11, 2014 at 8:46 PM

Yep, I'm a troll.

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15 · March 11, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Matt is completely wrong. He's spewing conventional wisdom that, much like the low fat diet, refuses to die. The truth is that the quality of the calories you put in determine both the quantity of calories you'll burn and also how those calories are stored (fat vs muscle). To say a calorie is a calorie is asinine because anyone knows that you'll be fatter on 2000 kcals of coke and cake than you will be on 2000 kcals of eggs, steak, and veggies.

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675 · March 11, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Hey... I might disagree with @Matt 11 on some of his posts and it may turn out he is wrong (or maybe I'll be wrong)

.... but shouting, name calling & insults add nothing useful to the discussion.

Please refrain from this sort of behavior.

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675 · March 11, 2014 at 8:36 PM

@thhq I would agree.... tropical / sub-tropical (temperature) zones are the relevant references for the vast majority of human evolution. Nordic would represent the extreme and as such not really very relevant....good point.

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675 · March 11, 2014 at 8:29 PM

To whom is your comment directed? Comments such as yours add nothing useful to the discussion.

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0 · March 11, 2014 at 8:28 PM

I'm a troll.

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675 · March 11, 2014 at 8:26 PM

I would....inuits are the extreme. Tropical / sub-tropical (temperature) is the appropriate reference for the vast percentage of evolutionary populations....good point.

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0 · March 11, 2014 at 8:26 PM

I'm a troll.

10f9905e971be68a15218a4076ca63c5
0 · March 11, 2014 at 8:24 PM

I'm a troll.

10f9905e971be68a15218a4076ca63c5
0 · March 11, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Hey, I'm a troll!

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675 · March 11, 2014 at 7:48 PM

I think there are substantial differences form person to person. When I first slid over to pale (from Blood Sugar Solution, 4HB, Primal) I poked my finger MANY times per day after meals to guage sugar levels. Once I developed a feel for "good meals" vs "bad meals" by using the meter (conventional wisdom was totally wrong) I stopped poking my finger. Later when I was fully paleo (~ 9 month / 1 year) I stopped needing / eating breakfast. I'm seldom lightheaded but before going w/o food was a problem.

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10134 · March 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM

http://m.wisegeek.org/what-is-starvation-ketosis.htm

If I undereat any diet, high or low carb, my blood sugar and trigs drop rapidly.

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10134 · March 11, 2014 at 11:59 AM

It just occurred to me that the high carb dieters were starving. They started out lean and were force fed 60% of their maintenance calories for five months. They lost lean body mass. They had no appreciable fat to lose.

They were in starvation-induced ketosis. It made them crazy.

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41312 · March 10, 2014 at 11:23 PM

Way to not tackle the science.

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10134 · March 10, 2014 at 10:45 PM

Grok didn't have Cheetos but he had this

http://rawfoodsos.com/2011/05/31/wild-and-ancient-fruit/

What would Gary say about all that evil fructose? And as far as the others, Grok would not be anywhere near ketosis for the period of months that this stuff was ripe. Do Attia and Sisson allow extended holidays from optimality?

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10134 · March 10, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Here's a good East African point of departure:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20860883

Dietary meat is in a range, but averages 50%. This makes for a high protein 25-30%, medium fat 30-40%, moderate carb 30-40% diet. It would only put you in ketosis if you were starving.

My interest in paleo concerns finding out what our ancestors ate and did, because it gets back to what is best for us to eat and do. Eating processed foods, regularly eating high levels of fat or carbs, and being sedentary clearly deviate from ancestral practices.

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0 · March 10, 2014 at 10:36 PM

"Actual evidence". I see the first study is funded by the NIH. Do you know what the typical requirement is for that? The results must support the existing position in order to get funded. I'll still read it in full to extract any actual scientific value.

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0 · March 10, 2014 at 10:23 PM

And yes, physical fitness is a huge part of the overall health equation. Mark's Daily Apple very much addresses that aspect of it in addition to the dietary aspect. As far as a health recommendation, what you eat and how you move are both important. Nevertheless, in understanding "How does weight gain with sugar work?", from a metabolic point of view, we can look into the mechanisms as they are for the human body in general and apply the core concepts while examining individuals over a range of activity levels. There's no mutual exclusion, so it just matters what we want to talk about.

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0 · March 10, 2014 at 10:11 PM

What you're saying about what Grok would do is part of the whole point about eating a proper paleo diet for optimal weight and health. It's the paleo principle and derived paleo template that is of value—you're not supposed to gorge on Cheetos. If you do, well have fun and maybe get fat. That's not contradictory to what Attia is saying at all. Attia is very much sports performance oriented, so you have to take a close look at what his objective is in any one article. Some are generally valuable, but others are very extreme and scientific and should not be viewed as a guide for all.

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0 · March 10, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Before I reply with more detail, what amount of meat do you think they ate? Surely it varied, but what do you think a reasonable range is?

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10134 · March 10, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Let me be very clear about this

Historical paleos did not eat high fat diets.

Don't quote Inuit back because Inuits are not paleo. The relevant reference is tropical. Nordic diets come later and even then are atypical of the general human population.

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10134 · March 10, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Attia's not lying. He's just dodgy with the truth, and hammers away on calories in as if it was the only truth. By being so intently focused on "the meal" he neglects sedentarism. If Grok was offered the Cheetos he'd gorge on them. He'd also gorge on tropical fruits and cassavas if he could get them. Attia/Taubes/Sisson sit in their Eames chairs, scratch their goatees and say "tut tut Grok. You're not Paleo". Cordain understands this, and people scream at him for not flogging fat.

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41312 · March 10, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Sea of saturated and MU fats too.

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41312 · March 10, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Where's the starvation? I don't see it.

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10134 · March 10, 2014 at 1:06 PM

I agree matt. What was easy at 215 was murder at 170. But I wanted to get it over with ASAP, and my subaerobic exercise was still peeling off fat at a good rate. I called it off at 165. Having done it I can explain clearly how cico works. And I know that I don't ever want to do it again. Atkins Paleo may give someone more satiation, but Hunt-and-Gather Paleo (cico) is what kept my weight off for 7 years.

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41312 · March 10, 2014 at 12:34 PM

And here's the beauty of paleo dieting telling people not to "count calories"… because had you counted calories, you'd have noted you were in a significant caloric deficit.

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41312 · March 10, 2014 at 12:33 PM

A 2 pounds per week rate is too aggressive for nearly all but the most obese folks.

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41312 · March 10, 2014 at 12:31 PM

CICO still applies to "broken metabolisms". Just because your CO is low, doesn't mean you can't undercut it with even lower CI.

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10134 · March 10, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Cont. Because I was hungrier I ate more, and to compensate I had to become more active to continue losing weight. I eventually reached a balance point where I was tired of long exercise and hunger, and started eating more. I exercised less but I didn't go back to being sedentary.

I'm pretty much macronutrient agnostic at this point. I was insulin resistant when I was obese but that went away with the weight loss. Calories still count to maintain my weight. Over 6 months I learned the importance of calories out, as well as the importance of portion size.

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10134 · March 10, 2014 at 10:39 AM

I'll vouch for calories in calories out because I lost 50 pounds doing it. Having done it successfully, Attia (as well as Taubes and Sisson) are focused too much on calories in. That part of the equation only worked for me when I was obese, and that's when carb restriction helped the most. To lose the last 25 pounds calories out had to increase to maintain my 2 lb/week rate of loss. During the entire period I looked for advantageous foods. Bacon and eggs and meat are good, because they satiate on relatively few calories. But as weight came off hunger overrode satiation.

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30 · March 10, 2014 at 3:02 AM

Only if eating more raised metabolic rate by a greater degree than the calories being added.

Its funny, I do agree with most of what Attia said in that link. I think some factors can promote fat gain. But I don't think carbs or fat differ in that respect when calories are equal, because that's what all the good evidence I've seen suggests.

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675 · March 10, 2014 at 2:28 AM

So by the calories in / calories out model...would eating more to lose weight make sense?

http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/do-calories-matter

but their effect matters too

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675 · March 10, 2014 at 2:25 AM

http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/do-calories-matter

but macros do too

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30 · March 10, 2014 at 12:02 AM

Dredge away. If someone doesn't lose weight on an extreme diet, it seems reasonable to suspect their metabolic rate may have declined, a common response to heavily kcal restricted diets. I wouldn't think that person was lying, simply in accordance with less energy in being roughly matched by a homeostatic reduction in energy out.

I personally think the valuable question should be how to support a higher energy expenditure in select cases like this.

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675 · March 09, 2014 at 11:50 PM

@thhq says "most Americans get fat overeating both fat and carbs". The neat thing about this statement close to impossible to be wrong! :) f you're fat by definition "You're overeating". imo Most Americans get fat eating SAD. Drop calories (fat input) & keep eating, have a hell of a time losing body fat. BTDT

My premise (n=1 data confirms for me)...clean up your diet w/o dropping caloric intake, lose bodyfat. but I guess I'm lying. I don't eat junk anymore & I've lost a lot of fat & inches off my waist. Attia's experience shows the same...but he must be lying too. :(

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675 · March 09, 2014 at 11:39 PM

@beth can supply an example BUT the "calories in / calories out only matter group" will insist that she's lying. If the data doesn't match their model, the person is lying....I've seen it over & over.

Patient doesn't lose weight being super adherent to a retrictive diet, MD or RD says "you're lying".... eat less, move more!

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333 · March 09, 2014 at 11:24 PM

I can vouch for that one personally

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675 · March 09, 2014 at 11:20 PM

I disagree.. I'll see if I can dredge up the reference about how people with amazingly broken metabolisim dont lose weight on super restrited diet

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10134 · March 09, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Ah the Inuit argument. There is an Amerind legend about porcupines getting quills when they were created because there were no more brains. In similar fashion, when Neolithic Asians crossed the Bering land bridge 10,000 years ago most went south to the best lands, those which could be farmed, and eventually became Aztecs, Incas, etc. The Inuits for whatever reason stayed up north on the ice floes and regressed into meat eating. They proved that dietary devolution was survivable but they never became a great civilization.

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30 · March 09, 2014 at 9:01 PM

"Higher carb diets tend to promote fat storage". Here's some actual evidence that this isn't the case when calories are controlled:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7598063 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11029975

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30 · March 09, 2014 at 8:46 PM

I don't agree that calories in, calories out should be the only thing that matters but nothing affecting weight loss or gain can be explained without accounting for it.

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41312 · March 09, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Ketosis is not the "default" metabolic state for humans - that means that carbohydrates necessary to keep one fed out of ketosis are essential. For most, that's around the 50 grams mark. We can operate under ketosis, but it's hardly ideal (it is a starvation adaptation after all).

Oh the Inuits… I swear it's like Godwin's Law for low carbers. Somebody evoking the Inuit in a low-carb discussion is a certainty! Should we though base nutrition science off of one fringe culture?

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41312 · March 09, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Utter nonsense.

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15 · March 09, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Despite popular opinion, counting calories doesn't work. Fat metabolism takes precedence so even if you're in a caloric deficit, you will store fat. In order for the calories to balance, your body will rob muscle or organ or just slow down to keep everything in balance.

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10134 · March 09, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Finally most Americans get fat overeating both fat and carbs. There's no need for de novo lipogenesis when one's arteries are a sea of O6 fatty acids.

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10134 · March 09, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Blood glucose enters the cells as fuel. This is where calories-in ends and calories-out begins. Saying this as if it's an evil thing - insulin "drives serum glucose" - is tantamount to saying that metabolism is bad. Taubes is on record saying that exercising is bad and will make you fat [this is classic Taubes, more on request http://nymag.com/news/sports/38001/ ] That's part of the strange bubble he lives in. [Maybe he lives on Sesame Street in a neighborhood of Brooklyn vegan hipsters?]

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10134 · March 09, 2014 at 11:21 AM

I object to most of this because it ignores metabolism. That's the reason we eat carbs, fats and protein. Sisson and Taubes presume that we live in a sedentary bubble, in which insulin is the only thing that matters, fat is the preferred nutrient and that our livers are busy 24/7 performing de novo lipogenesis. They ignore everything outside their bubble, like LIVING. Calories in calories out is not macronutrient manipulation. It's dietary input and metabolic response. If you're active carbs are especially useful. If you're a starving paleo there are no bad calories.

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675 · March 09, 2014 at 6:51 AM

I'm familiar with the sources you recommend and I'm a big believer in Attia's work / data. The question I have is.... is there any concise information that can be quoted from or linked to on Attia's site that might convince @Matt 11 that calories in / calories out is not the whole story.

.

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0 · March 09, 2014 at 5:13 AM

Well yes, calories are calories, but that doesn't address fat storage mechanisms. That simply states that a given unit of energy equals a given unit of energy in terms of energy potential as it applies here. The assumption from that point of view is that the body does the same thing with calories regardless of how they got there. That is an inaccurate assumption though.

Surely you can force fat out of the body with a caloric restriction, but that doesn't mean there are not other important factors. Other factors are in play in a very big way. I made a more detailed post as an answer.

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4383 · March 09, 2014 at 4:25 AM

& forgot to mention, mothers milk for the kiddies...

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4383 · March 09, 2014 at 4:05 AM

"How did the inuits live w/o carbs?"

Technically they would have got some carbs, even if they were on a 100% animal/seafood/crustacean/mollusk diet (eating nose to tail), just not a whole lot of them.

having said that, according to wiki? they also ate (& preserved) grasses, tubers, roots, stems, berries, fireweed and seaweed, when available (still not a lot of carbs, but some nevertheless).

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675 · March 09, 2014 at 3:33 AM

@Matt 11 you're obviously a very smart guy and I agree with nearly all your posts but your fixation on "calories in / calories out" being the end all & be all of weight & weight loss...is incorrect.

My theory...Different macro ratios "jump" us onto a different "operating curve".

I'm too tired & I've got WAY too much on my plate to elaborate perhaps someone else will jump in here.

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675 · March 09, 2014 at 3:27 AM

Dr Attia & Dr Edes both blog about ketogenic diets and how carbs are not essential. Greame Thomas blogs about how carbs are effectively non-essential. How did the inuits live w/o carbs?

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675 · March 09, 2014 at 3:15 AM

I didn't read all the stuff all that carefully.

The big take away for me was....

"similar caloric inputs, different macros, different results"

imo that kinda implies there are things that matter in ADDITION to calories.

This mirrors my experience.... I cleaned up my diet and lost weight (a lot) despite eating a LOT.

imo when you change macros, you change your hormonal environment and thus how you burn those calories. Once you achieve a new "homostasis", to lose weight of that point...you have to drop calories FROM YOUR NEW CALORIC LEVEL.

YMMV

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675 · March 09, 2014 at 3:07 AM

Am I missing something?

One group starved but the other didn't...on the same caloric input.

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675 · March 09, 2014 at 3:04 AM

Yes I agree with a lot of the comments BUT

what about those who bang the drum for "calories in / calories out" are the only thing that matter?

Now they're making excuses about why it doesn't apply.....

I'm just saying that, overall, the situation of macro ratios & human nurittion is more complex than merely calories.

I could get into the concept of how partial differentials in N-dimensional space or pump curves could be used to explain why calories (energy) mostly matter but so do other things.... but that's way more work than I'm willing to do.

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41312 · March 08, 2014 at 9:05 PM

What's to explain? Our bodies need energy, which is measured in units of calories. Aside from some essential fat, protein and carb… everything else is just energy. Few folks ever fail to meet essential amounts of macronutrients (ketogenic dieters being ones that fail to meet essential carbohydrate needs), it really does just come down to energy.

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41312 · March 08, 2014 at 9:03 PM

Timing and macros don't matter. Take two hypothetical, isocaloric meals eaten 3 times a day (at maintenance): 20% protein in each, one having 70% fat, 10% carbs, the other having 70% carbs, 10% fat. Both will "overflow" into adipose on the short time scale, but on the long time scale, at maintenance, what went into adipose will come out. One may have a greater insulin response, but that's a factor of the input, and doens't affect output.

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10134 · March 08, 2014 at 8:36 PM

I thought the examples were interesting because the diets are the same isocalorically, but the experiments were conducted in different contexts. In the high carb example, the "volunteers" were under duress in order to recreate refugee starvation, locked down for five months. In the high fat example, participants were in a weight loss program [The term of Yudkin's experiment isn't stated, but given the brief induction phase, was probably much shorter.] The first group didn't want or need to lose weight. Seeing them crack mentally was part of the plan.

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10134 · March 08, 2014 at 4:32 PM

What confused me was that Yudkin was running a weight loss clinic. I assumed the goal of his experiment included weight loss (also note Ferris' comments on high calorie weight loss - you would think a low calorie version would be effective too).

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10134 · March 08, 2014 at 4:24 PM

You're right bobk. I reread it. Only the refugee high carb starvation diet weight loss is noted. Judging from the photos a lot of weight was lost. I assumed there was weight loss in the other group too, but that isn't reported. The emphasis is on mental state not weight loss.

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675 · March 08, 2014 at 4:00 PM

I dont follow.....how does it matter that the experiment was done via "lock down" for strict compliance? Both groups ate very low calorie....one group lost a lot of weight, one group didn't. If only caloric intake matter, since both groups ate about the same....why did one wind up looking starved?

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10134 · March 08, 2014 at 2:14 PM

I don't think carb-eating needs to be carefully timed unless you're insulin resistant, ie diabetic or prediabetic. Healthy runners will carbo-load the night before a race to build up glycogen stores (blood sugar bound with water, stored in the muscles and liver). They do this for endurance, because the running jacks up metabolism 10x over resting. I've known cyclists who drank a quart of chocolate milk post-race to boost low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) back to normal. I like to eat carb calories pre and mid exercise.

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10134 · March 08, 2014 at 1:58 PM

I think in terms of blood glucose because I was diabetic and used to measure it all the time. A starchy or sugary meal spikes blood glucose high for an hour or so. If you're insulin-resistant you don't come off the spikes and your blood glucose stays high. The fats you eat become the fat you end up wearing, and a diabetic with high blood sugar is pretty much set up to store that fat at any time. If you're insulin sensitive the spike ends and blood sugar drops. You can force the spikes down by forcing your metabolic rate higher, which is what exercise does.

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48 · March 08, 2014 at 12:52 PM

So if I ate fiber with the brownie or worked out before the brownie it would prevent insulin over production production? I generally eat 1700 calories, and if this brownie is 18g of sugar with 1g of fiber and is 120 calories...I don't understand how one day will make me gain weight...unless it's the too much sugar at once mechanism. Also, if one eats more calories than they use a day...how are these turned to fat? It's not because of insulin...what if someone just eats over their calorie in take but in fat?

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10134 · March 08, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Interesting, but to Matt's point calories count in both diets, and the isocalorie starvation diets both caused rapid weight loss. Unfortunately they were both conducted on "prisoners". Starchy diets call for activity as the glucose quickly hits the bloodstream, fatty diets not so much. If you're going to sit bone idle in stir the fatty diet has an advantage over the starchy one.

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139 · March 08, 2014 at 3:32 AM

Care to explain it?

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41312 · March 08, 2014 at 2:40 AM

No, calories are calories, they all add up.

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48 · March 08, 2014 at 12:32 AM

But, someone who eats 1,500 calories of veggies is not going to gain as much weight as someone who eats 1,500 calories in cookies...the mechanisms are different and I don't understand it. Someone who eats a tub of ice-cream is probably going to be heavier the next day, no?

1 cupcake a day, even if 120 calories...probably is converted to fat storage...like what about those naked drinks that are 30g of sugar without fiber...couldn't those cause weight gain? I don't get it

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0 · March 27, 2014 at 6:12 PM

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0 · March 27, 2014 at 6:09 PM

7a777966a2b7f30251c358b6fe35936f
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0 · March 27, 2014 at 6:43 AM

Sugar consists of Sucrose and high fructose. Following are some ways in which sugar contributes to weight gain.

1) Eating lot of sugar fructose gets metabolized by liver, which gets converted into fats. One of the main reasons of weight gain is fructose.

2) Fructose causes Insulin which is secreted by Pancreas which travels to peripheral cells like muscle cells

3) Fructose also causes resistance to Hormone called Leptin. Leptin secreted by fat cells

Sugar is a leading cause of obesity by its powerful effects on hormones and the brain

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4383 · March 27, 2014 at 9:13 AM

- sugar is sucrose. sucrose (sugar) is is a disaccharide composed of the monosaccharides glucose and fructose #1

- fructose does not stimulate/trigger insulin production/secretion #2 #3 #4

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2944 · March 12, 2014 at 12:01 PM

From my perspective the CICO type model doesn't discount the influence hormones etc have... It is an umbrella term encompassing the changes that necessarily go on in many people when calories are reduced... That isn't to say cutting carbs can't have big effects, or that metabolism of different macros, having differnt macros together in certain ratios might predipose people to have more or less lean body mass, fat... The point in the CICO model is that fundamentally there has to be that for weight loss to occur. Changing macro ratios etc might make it easier to get to that stage, but this ultimately falls under CICO...

Like Matt said in a comment - if the people eating high fat who have spontaneous reduction in appetite count calories, there will be a calorie deficit seen to be in play... That is fundamental... Saying this isn't to comment on how hormones affect weight loss or that high fat/low carb diets can be effective in precipitaitng weight loss. To counterpose high fat, Taubes like 'sugar is evil because insulin prediposes people to store fat' type or argument (note: I don't think this isn't only part or all of the argument...) with CICO ideas imho is pointless - in my opinion they fall under teh umbrella of CICO...

Maybe for operational reasons maybe high fat is easier on people and more practical to think about - but the deficit that will be there is testament that calories probably matter to a large extent, in principle, with many other cascading effects being brought into play when that deficit is reached, however it might be reached... CICO is fundamental imho...

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301 · March 10, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Yes calories are all that matters, anything else is blasphemy. Surely hormones are irrelevant to the process of energy homeostasis and fat usage. Insulin, glucagon, hormone sensitive lipase, epinephrine, norepinephrine, triiodothyronine, thyroxine, growth factors, and all those other hormones in charge of maintaining energy homeostasis have nothing to do with weight gain or weight loss. Ignore the physiology, calories in/calories out is all that matters. And please do not do your own research, we don't want you finding out about how the body actually works. Sugar calories are great and don't make you any fatter than, say, calories from salad and olive oil. (Sarcasm)

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0 · March 09, 2014 at 5:00 AM

All carbs end up as sugar after digestion, and sugar promotes insulin secretion, which in turn drives serum glucose into your cells. Insulin also plays a role in facilitating fat storage especially as the glucose keeps coming in when the liver and muscles are topped off with glycogen because this excess glucose gets converted into fat at certain stages in the metabolic process. Higher carb diets tend to promote fat storage, and this is not totally dependent on there always being a caloric surplus. Yes it's true in a caloric restriction, energy must come from somewhere or there will be weight loss, but you really have to look at it from the right angle to fully grasp what is going on.

1. Here's the very best 3 minute overview on this. It's a clip from the Fat Head movie titled Why You Got Fat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNYlIcXynwE

2. Search "Taubes why we get fat" for multiple pieces of info on this same subject but much more in depth. There are some easy to watch videos of Taubes speaking.

3. If you want the megadose of technical info, read Peter Attia's: How to make a fat cell less not thin: the lessons of fat flux

http://eatingacademy.com/weight-loss/how-to-make-a-fat-cell-less-not-thin-the-lessons-of-fat-flux

In summary, eat less sugar/carbohydrate, and weight loss becomes much easier on the mind and body. The Primal Blueprint Carbohydrate Curve on Mark's Daily Apple really hits the mark.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/press/the-primal-blueprint-diagrams/#axzz2vO77xw5f

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10134 · March 10, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Let me be very clear about this

Historical paleos did not eat high fat diets.

Don't quote Inuit back because Inuits are not paleo. The relevant reference is tropical. Nordic diets come later and even then are atypical of the general human population.

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10134 · March 10, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Attia's not lying. He's just dodgy with the truth, and hammers away on calories in as if it was the only truth. By being so intently focused on "the meal" he neglects sedentarism. If Grok was offered the Cheetos he'd gorge on them. He'd also gorge on tropical fruits and cassavas if he could get them. Attia/Taubes/Sisson sit in their Eames chairs, scratch their goatees and say "tut tut Grok. You're not Paleo". Cordain understands this, and people scream at him for not flogging fat.

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30 · March 09, 2014 at 9:01 PM

"Higher carb diets tend to promote fat storage". Here's some actual evidence that this isn't the case when calories are controlled:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7598063 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11029975

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10134 · March 09, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Finally most Americans get fat overeating both fat and carbs. There's no need for de novo lipogenesis when one's arteries are a sea of O6 fatty acids.

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10134 · March 09, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Blood glucose enters the cells as fuel. This is where calories-in ends and calories-out begins. Saying this as if it's an evil thing - insulin "drives serum glucose" - is tantamount to saying that metabolism is bad. Taubes is on record saying that exercising is bad and will make you fat [this is classic Taubes, more on request http://nymag.com/news/sports/38001/ ] That's part of the strange bubble he lives in. [Maybe he lives on Sesame Street in a neighborhood of Brooklyn vegan hipsters?]

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10134 · March 09, 2014 at 11:21 AM

I object to most of this because it ignores metabolism. That's the reason we eat carbs, fats and protein. Sisson and Taubes presume that we live in a sedentary bubble, in which insulin is the only thing that matters, fat is the preferred nutrient and that our livers are busy 24/7 performing de novo lipogenesis. They ignore everything outside their bubble, like LIVING. Calories in calories out is not macronutrient manipulation. It's dietary input and metabolic response. If you're active carbs are especially useful. If you're a starving paleo there are no bad calories.

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675 · March 09, 2014 at 6:51 AM

I'm familiar with the sources you recommend and I'm a big believer in Attia's work / data. The question I have is.... is there any concise information that can be quoted from or linked to on Attia's site that might convince @Matt 11 that calories in / calories out is not the whole story.

.

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30 · March 08, 2014 at 6:06 PM

(This is in response to BobK, since I can't seem to leave a comment):

From your link it is two different diets, but also two very different reductions in calories. Both groups were eating similar amounts of calories, but the men in Keys' study had much higher metabolic rates to begin with, so they were eating almost 3 times less as a function of calories reduced. For some people 1700 calories everyday is maintenece calories, for an athlete that could be like starvation. You can't reasonable blame that on the quality of the calories.

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10134 · March 10, 2014 at 1:06 PM

I agree matt. What was easy at 215 was murder at 170. But I wanted to get it over with ASAP, and my subaerobic exercise was still peeling off fat at a good rate. I called it off at 165. Having done it I can explain clearly how cico works. And I know that I don't ever want to do it again. Atkins Paleo may give someone more satiation, but Hunt-and-Gather Paleo (cico) is what kept my weight off for 7 years.

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10134 · March 08, 2014 at 8:36 PM

I thought the examples were interesting because the diets are the same isocalorically, but the experiments were conducted in different contexts. In the high carb example, the "volunteers" were under duress in order to recreate refugee starvation, locked down for five months. In the high fat example, participants were in a weight loss program [The term of Yudkin's experiment isn't stated, but given the brief induction phase, was probably much shorter.] The first group didn't want or need to lose weight. Seeing them crack mentally was part of the plan.

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675 · March 08, 2014 at 6:14 AM

what's in the brownie? Grain free but loaded with sugar & fat? What's the caloric macro breakdown for the brownie? What's your physical activity like?

I'd be dissing the first law of thermodynamics if I said calories don't matter....of course they do!

BUT the macro makeup of ones diet and the state of ones metabolism matter too. The human body is complex system and seldom is only variable changed while keeping EVERYTHING ELSE the same.

Here's a link to an entry on Tim Ferriss' blog written by Dr. Eades recounting the effects of two very different diets but with closely matched total caloric content.

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2008/02/25/the-science-of-fat-loss-why-a-calorie-isnt-always-a-calorie/

Calories matter but so do macro ratios.... low fat high carb at low caloric levels maybe mimics "rabbit starvation"?

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10134 · March 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM

http://m.wisegeek.org/what-is-starvation-ketosis.htm

If I undereat any diet, high or low carb, my blood sugar and trigs drop rapidly.

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10134 · March 11, 2014 at 11:59 AM

It just occurred to me that the high carb dieters were starving. They started out lean and were force fed 60% of their maintenance calories for five months. They lost lean body mass. They had no appreciable fat to lose.

They were in starvation-induced ketosis. It made them crazy.

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10134 · March 08, 2014 at 4:32 PM

What confused me was that Yudkin was running a weight loss clinic. I assumed the goal of his experiment included weight loss (also note Ferris' comments on high calorie weight loss - you would think a low calorie version would be effective too).

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10134 · March 08, 2014 at 4:24 PM

You're right bobk. I reread it. Only the refugee high carb starvation diet weight loss is noted. Judging from the photos a lot of weight was lost. I assumed there was weight loss in the other group too, but that isn't reported. The emphasis is on mental state not weight loss.

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10134 · March 08, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Interesting, but to Matt's point calories count in both diets, and the isocalorie starvation diets both caused rapid weight loss. Unfortunately they were both conducted on "prisoners". Starchy diets call for activity as the glucose quickly hits the bloodstream, fatty diets not so much. If you're going to sit bone idle in stir the fatty diet has an advantage over the starchy one.

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10134 · March 08, 2014 at 4:42 AM

Carbs are enablers for fat storage. They're the source of blood glucose, which in excess forces dietary fats into storage. Brownies contain high amounts of fat and easy-to-digest carbs, and if you eat more than you can metabolize in a short period those carbs will force fatty acids in the bloodstream into storage.

A good way to deal with easily-digested carbs is to exercise, which will deplete blood glucose, reducing fat deposition. Whether you gain weight eating a brownie a day depends on what you do with it after you eat it. A balancing act.

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10134 · March 08, 2014 at 2:14 PM

I don't think carb-eating needs to be carefully timed unless you're insulin resistant, ie diabetic or prediabetic. Healthy runners will carbo-load the night before a race to build up glycogen stores (blood sugar bound with water, stored in the muscles and liver). They do this for endurance, because the running jacks up metabolism 10x over resting. I've known cyclists who drank a quart of chocolate milk post-race to boost low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) back to normal. I like to eat carb calories pre and mid exercise.

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10134 · March 08, 2014 at 1:58 PM

I think in terms of blood glucose because I was diabetic and used to measure it all the time. A starchy or sugary meal spikes blood glucose high for an hour or so. If you're insulin-resistant you don't come off the spikes and your blood glucose stays high. The fats you eat become the fat you end up wearing, and a diabetic with high blood sugar is pretty much set up to store that fat at any time. If you're insulin sensitive the spike ends and blood sugar drops. You can force the spikes down by forcing your metabolic rate higher, which is what exercise does.

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48 · March 08, 2014 at 12:52 PM

So if I ate fiber with the brownie or worked out before the brownie it would prevent insulin over production production? I generally eat 1700 calories, and if this brownie is 18g of sugar with 1g of fiber and is 120 calories...I don't understand how one day will make me gain weight...unless it's the too much sugar at once mechanism. Also, if one eats more calories than they use a day...how are these turned to fat? It's not because of insulin...what if someone just eats over their calorie in take but in fat?

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139 · March 08, 2014 at 12:38 AM

Calories may matter when it comes to weight loss/gain, but it's certainly not the whole thing. The short answer is that, if you really feel like having that brownie would make you happier and more relaxed, one brownie a week won't probably hurt your weight loss goals. I had a big plate of gluten-free brigadeiro (google it!) with almonds yesterday night and woke up today with less weight than yesterday.

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41312 · March 07, 2014 at 11:44 PM

Calories, calories calories. That's what matters when it comes to weight loss/gain.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84
17028 · March 12, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Really, so if you eat 10,000 calories of undigestible cellulose, you'll "gain" as much fat as if you ate 10,000 calories of glucose? Somehow, I think you're lying good sir.

10f9905e971be68a15218a4076ca63c5
0 · March 11, 2014 at 8:28 PM

I'm a troll.

10f9905e971be68a15218a4076ca63c5
0 · March 11, 2014 at 8:26 PM

I'm a troll.

10f9905e971be68a15218a4076ca63c5
0 · March 11, 2014 at 8:24 PM

I'm a troll.

10f9905e971be68a15218a4076ca63c5
0 · March 11, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Hey, I'm a troll!

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48 · March 08, 2014 at 12:32 AM

But, someone who eats 1,500 calories of veggies is not going to gain as much weight as someone who eats 1,500 calories in cookies...the mechanisms are different and I don't understand it. Someone who eats a tub of ice-cream is probably going to be heavier the next day, no?

1 cupcake a day, even if 120 calories...probably is converted to fat storage...like what about those naked drinks that are 30g of sugar without fiber...couldn't those cause weight gain? I don't get it

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