This statement is correct: "1 calorie = 1 calorie"
The one is not correct: "1 calorie of egg = 1 calorie of Pepsi"
Saying calories-in-calories-out is like saying, "Winning the Super Bowl is as simple as creating a point deficit in your favor between you and the other team," but not offering any other details about the game of football.
Regarding the liquid diet study, he didn't mention if the subjects experience the same hunger level with the different shakes. Their food was fed to them, so they got the same amount regardless of hunger level. In the real world we have to deal with hunger levels. The article also didn't mention if the nutritional breakdown of the shakes were equal.
Anyone can do simple experiments on themselves involving different macro-ratios. Eat an egg (mostly fat and protein with nutrients) and see how long you can go before you're hungry again. Then drink the equivalent amount of calories of Pepsi as see how it goes.
To answer "is a calorie a calorie" you first have to look at what a calorie is(technically Kilocalorie). It is the amount of energy required to raise a kg of water by 1 deg C. Now with that, our bodies do not extract energy at the same rate from every kcal. for instance, protein will result in a loss of 20-30% waste in the conversion to a useable form of energy. Carbs generally waste about 10% and fat about 2-3%. Now there is still more to the story. A certain amount of fat and protein that you eat is not even used for energy at all, but instead is used for cellular repair, the manufacturing of enzymes, etc. So if you had an extremely heavy workout, those 25g of whey protein are not going to energy (minus the 23-30%) they are going for muscular repair. Where as carbs are just going to energy. So on a hypothetical 2000 kcal diet, if you restrict fat and protein enough, you lose that metabolic benefit. Now on to the issue of hormones. certain macronutrients do affect most, but not all, people differently, and many will find that reducing the production of insulin by reducing carbs will cause hunger to stabalize. Added to that the satiety caused by a greater increase in protein and it becomes even easier to feel full while reducing carbs. Now back to the real question, the answer is yes and no. To lose weight you must burn more calories than you take in, but the types of calories you eat can have a huge affect on how much you burn AND how much you take in. There is the rub.
Have you ever tried to carry a refrigerator?
Is it easier to do so by bear hugging it and lifting or by using a hand truck? In both cases you're lifting the same weight, but in one case its brute force and in another its force intelligently provided.
I'd argue the same is largely true for food. If you consume a caloric deficit, you're going to lose weight (hence the constant reference to thermodynamics). However, this ignores the impact upon your satiety, metabolism, hormones and apetite of a high carb diet. In contrast, if you eat a lower level of carbs, you reach greater satiety and are eating in a manner more consistent with how your body wants to be fed. I'm not a biochemist, but I can tell you its much easier to limit yourself when filling up on eggs than drinking empty calories on Pepsi. I also know that if I eat candy/sugar early in the day, I'm ravenous later on.
Personally, I lost weight via brute force on a "healthy SAD" diet. But, its a thousand times easier to maintain via eggs and meat than bagels and 100 calorie packs.
Hunger control, not calorie control, is the key to losing weight.
Hunger is a form of torture (it's actually used as a torture technique in the real world), that's why we say we're experiencing . When your body makes you hungry, what it's actually doing is torturing you so you'll eat (because).
1) Carbs create the sugar high/crash cycle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_crash).
One symptom of a sugar crash is hunger. That's why 3 hours after eating a big pasta meal you not only feel lethargic, you're hungry again.
2) Carbs block the fat/leptin/brain feedback loop.
The more fat you carry, the more leptin in your bloodstream. The less fat you carry, the less leptin in your bloodstream.
When there is a lot of leptin in your bloodstream, your brain (1) increases you metabolism, and (2) decreases your hunger. The result: you lose body fat.
When there is little leptin in your bloodstream, your brain (1) decreases you metabolism, and (2) increases your hunger. The result: you add body fat.
High levels of triglycerides in the blood prevent your brain from detecting leptin in the bloodstream (technically, it prevents leptin from crossing the blood/brain barrier). So, even if you are carrying 100 pounds of extra body fat (and your blood is full of leptin), your brain thinks there isn't any leptin in your blood (and that you aren't carrying enough body fat). So what does your brain do? Reduce your metabolism and increase your hunger, which results in you putting on even more body fat.
High carb diets result in high levels of triglycerides in your blood.
3) High carb diets produces the "insulin lag window."
Insulin in your bloodstream does the following:
By making fat unavailable to the cells as an energy source, it forces your body's cells to burn sugar which helps clear the bloodstream of excess sugar more quickly. At the end of this process there comes a window where your body has cleared all of the sugar and fat out of your bloodstream, but there is still insulin in your bloodstream preventing your fat cells from releasing fat to be burnt (this, fyi, is the what causes the sugar crash). Despite having eaten a 800 calorie meal just a few hours before, your body doesn't have access to anything it can burn for fuel. So what does your body do? It makes you hungry.
BTW, if you don't eat during this window, your body will start burning muscle cells for energy. This is why people that have lost a lot of weight using calorie restricted diets often end up looking "skinny fat." It's because they haven't just reduced their body fat, they've also lost muscle mass.
4) Calorie restricted diets cause you to go into starvation mode.
When you restrict calories to lose weight, your brain thinks you are starving because of a famine. The result: it lowers your metabolism and increases your hunger.
From a purely theoretical stand point, calories are all that matter. If you don't eat enough calories, you'll lose weight--simple math. But the math of walking from NY to SF also works--just be disciplined and keep walking and you'll get there. But, almost everyone trying this would give up long before they reach SF--it's just too much to ask of the typical human being.
Only focusing on calories requires humans to be "disciplined" and endure hunger pains (a form of torture). Consequently, almost everyone trying this gives up long before they reach their weight goal--it's just too much to ask of the typical human being.
Thinking only in terms of calories causes you to work against your body's natural system for regulating your body fat: the fat/leptin/brain feedback loop. If you take steps to ensure this process works, everything else falls into place and you'll lose body fat--without counting calories and without feeling tortured by hunger pains.
A calorie is a calorie...in a bomb calirometer.
I don't think a calorie is a calorie in a human being, however. We are hormonally complex creatures. Not black boxes run by simple arithmetic.
The nation will start becoming healthier when crappy scientists like Hirsch retire. It can't come soon enough.
There are problems with that study. Dr. Guyenet has some interesting analysis of it.
But Dr. Hirsch is just blathering on in terms of conventional wisdom with no regard for biochemistry. He invokes the first law of thermodynamics, which is what everyone does when they want to say a calorie is a calorie. The first law holds, of course, but there are a lot of subtleties. Such as the thermal effect of food or calories excreted that are not burned or uncoupling proteins that increase heat or people that become more active on a high fat diet.
For the most part, a calories is just a calorie and macronutrients don't matter (for weight loss), but... this guy's just wrong when it comes to there being no better diets than others. Of course there are better diets than others. Comparing isocaloric diets of crap versus highly nutrient dense food, of course there's an advantage for the nutrient dense diet.
It's a matter of semantics and it is a distraction. What we are all discussing here are how calories interact with a body. The answer to "whether he's right" is this:
How would your body function if you ate solely the following?
There's your answer. That useless phrase "A calorie is a calorie" is absolutely untrue, since the body replies to each macronutrient completely differently.
How to get more carbs 4 Answers
advice overload 4 Answers