New Weight Los Math

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Simi_Papa Posted: Sat, Apr 3 2010 8:18 PM

It appears that the old 3500 cal.= 1 lb. of weight is no longer cast-in-stone.  new studies have shown that the relationship between calories weight loss is more complex than previously thought.  Not much information in this article, but I am sure we will be seeing more on this subject as time goes by.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052702303960604575157820324371484.html

Bill

"May the Force be with you!"

Diagnosed in 1997; Off all meds except Metformin!! Smile

www.nvhealthy.com

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jen1229 replied on Sat, Apr 3 2010 9:11 PM

I don't really care how they figure it as long as the scale goes down and not up.  82 Pound and counting.

Jen  - LevemirConfused and Novalog Wink A1c 5.8

 

 

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I'm currently reading Gary Taubes' 'Good Calories, Bad calories'.  A calorie is not a calorie.  The book is fascinating, as it details for just how long, scientists have known that weight gain comes from carbohydrates consumed, not from calories eaten. 

A calorie is a well defined measurement of the amount of energy given off by a food sample when burned in a calorimeter.  Our bodies are not calorimeters.  The process of digesting different foods entails energy expenditures, and the process of using digested food for energy or building tissue or building fat, is unlike anything observable in a calorimeter.

For those who wish, you can google this topic, you will see that a number of studies, have compared low carb diets with unlimited calories versus low fat, calorie restricted diets.  All of the studies I've seen, the low carb diets have resulted in better weight loss, and better CVD markers, that the low fat, calorie restricted diets.  This has been true for both adults and children.

 

 

 

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Ron AKA replied on Mon, Apr 5 2010 11:27 AM

nomorecarbs:
A calorie is a well defined measurement of the amount of energy given off by a food sample when burned in a calorimeter.  Our bodies are not calorimeters.  The process of digesting different foods entails energy expenditures, and the process of using digested food for energy or building tissue or building fat, is unlike anything observable in a calorimeter.

You may want to read a book on basic thermodynamics, so you are better able to distinguish fact from fiction. True that a calorimeter, does not totally accurately predict the amount of energy made available to do work or manufacture fat. In carbohydrates for example the fiber content is not digested by the body, but is consumed by the calorimeter. So something that has 10% fiber, will have 10% fewer digestible calories than what the label says. Not the same for fats, they are almost totally digestible, you you will get them all. It is the most concentrated form of calories there is, and that is why the body stores calories as fat (takes up less room and weight).

I'm sorry there is no magic in this. Our only source of energy is our food. The only exit routes are the solid and liquid waste streams. The rest has to be converted to energy to do work, or keep us warm, or converted to fat. There is no where else for it to go. But, there are many fad diet gurus that choose to ignore that basic truth of science -- for their own profit of course.

Ron

Not a med prof. Just diabetic type 2 on Prandin, Levemir, ramipril, bisoprolol, & Crestor. Diag. Feb/01.

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work." - Thomas Edison

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There have been at least 5 studies that compared low carb unrestricted calorie diets against low fat, restricted calorie diets.  There was greater weight loss on the low carb, unrestricted calorie diets.  That in itself, is suggestive that calories consumed is not the whole answer to weight loss.

As to your suggestion that somehow, this defies the laws of thermodynamics, here's a detailed explanation of why saying a calorie is not a calorie, does not violate the laws of thermodynamics.

http://www.nutritionj.com/content/3/1/9

 

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Ron AKA replied on Mon, Apr 5 2010 12:42 PM

The problem is that you cannot violate the first law of thermodynamics. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. Has nothing to do with the second law of thermodynamics. The authors of that article are off in the weeds going in circles discussing an irrelevant law.

Comparing weight loss on diets is a totally different matter. Certainly does not disprove the first law of thermodynamics.

Ron

Not a med prof. Just diabetic type 2 on Prandin, Levemir, ramipril, bisoprolol, & Crestor. Diag. Feb/01.

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work." - Thomas Edison

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The body doesn't just store energy in fat.  It stores it in muscle and other cells in the body as well. 

Bill

"May the Force be with you!"

Diagnosed in 1997; Off all meds except Metformin!! Smile

www.nvhealthy.com

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Ron AKA replied on Mon, Apr 5 2010 2:15 PM

Simi_Papa:
The body doesn't just store energy in fat.  It stores it in muscle and other cells in the body as well.

That is true, and the other significant store of energy is in the form of glycogen. Glycogen is found in the muscles, and provides the quick energy needed by the muscles. The preferred source of energy to make glycogen is carbohydrates. If carbohydrates are severely restricted, the glycogen in the muscles becomes depleted. And, while glycogen is a quick energy source, it is not as dense as fat. In fact a large amount is tied up with water. So one quick effect of a low carb diet is to deplete the glycogen storage. If all other things are kept equal (caloric intake, and exercise), then the energy which was stored in the glycogen is effectively converted to fat. Since fat is more dense, you will lose weight, and very quickly. It is not a true weight loss, and zero stored energy loss, just loss of water, and addition of fat.

If you restore the carbohydrate intake, then the water will come back just as fast as it left.

But yes, if you measure just weight loss, and count water loss as weight loss, then there is this effect of a low carb diet, as long as it is maintained. However, you are also going to have a significant loss of perceived energy, and your body fat goes up. Not sure that is a good thing.

Ron

Not a med prof. Just diabetic type 2 on Prandin, Levemir, ramipril, bisoprolol, & Crestor. Diag. Feb/01.

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work." - Thomas Edison

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Ron,

For a non-healthcare professional, you are quick to dismiss any healthcare professional that doesn't share your religious views with regards to diet.  Certainly there are a couple pounds of water loss in a very low carb diet, and adding carbs will result in water gain.  But most of the weight loss differences experienced between low carb and low fat diets, is fat loss, not water loss.

What you neglect in your calorie is a calorie, is that fat, protein, and carbohydrates are metabloized in different pathways.  It's as if they were being burned in different calorimeters, with differing net energy gains.  Even Harvard's Walter Willett has stated that fat intake is not a major determinant in obesity.  It's carbohydrates, because insulin is needed to add to fat stores, while it impairs the release of fatty acids to power the body.

Here's an interestng article about a study that showed that insured people are more likely to be obese than non-insured.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2009/07/27/does-health-insurance-make-you-fat/tab/article/

I think they are missing a point, insured people are being told to eat low fat, high carbs- as Willett has noted, this is a total disaster for many people.

For more on fat metabolism versus carbohydrates

http://www.diabeteshealth.com/read/2007/04/24/5143/why-eating-too-many-carbs-makes-you-fat/

 

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Ron AKA replied on Mon, Apr 5 2010 5:59 PM

NMC, you are making things far too complicated. Just consider a person as a black box. You really only have a few factors to consider:

Energy going in as food, Energy going in as heat, Energy going out in waste streams, Energy going out as heat, and Energy going out as physical effort.

The first law of thermodynamics does not care what is happening inside the box. Energy cannot be created or destroyed within the box. All you have to worry about is the input and output balance. If more goes in than comes out, the box gains weight. It is as simple as that.

As a simple example assume all factors crossing the black box interface stay the same (heat gained/lost, physical energy exerted, energy lost in the waste streams), except for the type of energy going in. If you compare someone eating pure digestible fat to someone eating pure digestible carbohydrates of say 2,000 calories per day, over the course of a year, you are trying to tell me that the person eating carbohydrates will gain more weight, or lose less? Right? Now explain to me where did those calories go that were in the fat, if they are still not in the box? I would suggest what you are trying to say is that energy is being destroyed inside the box, if the energy is eaten in the form of fat.

Can't happen. It violates the first law of thermodynamics. But many fad diet gurus say exactly that. It is a big fat lie.

Ron

Not a med prof. Just diabetic type 2 on Prandin, Levemir, ramipril, bisoprolol, & Crestor. Diag. Feb/01.

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work." - Thomas Edison

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Dear All Who Wrote,

From the research that has been done, generally low carbohydrate diets initially cause more weight loss than do diets with different nutrient compositions.  That being said over the long haul, weight among diets stabilizes.  You may want to take a look at the article by Dr. Frank Sach in the New England Journal of Medicine  Feb 26, 2009.  Tthe key problem being that most weight loss diets are not sustainable over the long term and people tend in revert to how they have eaten in the past.   That doesn't mean that weight loss is impossible just that it requires tending.

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Ron AKA replied on Fri, Apr 9 2010 6:05 PM

I would suggest three different issues were discussed in the thread:

1. The original article is suggesting that weight loss is not simple linear math. I would agree. As a simple example if one is overweight at say 240 lbs, and you cut calories back to 200 less than what is required to maintain that 240 lbs., you will lose weight, probably quite predictably. However, as you do lose weight, the energy required to maintain the lower weight reduces -- less work to walk, climb stairs, etc., due to the reduced weight. At some point You will not lose any more weight as your input equals your reduced output required. The only way further down is to eat 200 calories less than maintenance again.

2. The second suggestion made was that equal calorie equivalents of carbohydrates causes more fat gain than the same calorie equivalent of fat. I would have to disagree on that one, based on the first law of thermodynamics. In fact fat is more digestible than carbohydrates when you consider the fiber, so if anything carbohydrates will cause less weight gain.

3. Last as a support argument of item 2 it was suggested people on low carb diets lose more weight than those on high carb diets. Well that is nothing but a big can of worms, as there are so many uncontrolled factors. Yes there will be a rapid water loss due to glycogen loss, but it is on a step change, and after that it will be based on calories. On comparing diets, the big factor is really how many calories and how much exercise do the subjects get. One diet may get lots of sales pitch along with the diet, so the person sticks with it. In the long run as was last suggested it is the one you can stick with.

Ron

Not a med prof. Just diabetic type 2 on Prandin, Levemir, ramipril, bisoprolol, & Crestor. Diag. Feb/01.

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work." - Thomas Edison

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