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  • carbs vs calories

    Hi guys,

    alright I know this topic must be quite popular around here and probably has been discussed already. But after doing some research myself, I didn't come to a logical in-depth answer.

    The low-carb diets are becoming more and more popular and the logic behind them (on the hormonal level) is pretty obvious.
    This video explains fat storing pretty good

    My question is.. how is it possible, that calories in vs calories out are still the main and fundamental keystone when losing weight? (not necessarily fat)
    I mean if I'll be in a good caloric deficit, eating 80% carbs and sh*t, with insulin elevated all the time, I'll still loose weight. Why is that?
    Most of the 'normal' people, not interested in dieting, nutrition, exercise etc. are eating relatively high-carb diets and they don't get fat. I am not saying they are lean, but they keep 'idling' at about 20% bodyfat.

    I hope we can have some informative discussion on this topic and I can learn something new

  • #2
    Calories are not the fundamental keystone when losing weight; they're the fundamental keystone when losing energy. Weight and energy are separate quantities.

    That being said, whether you lose energy is dependent on your intake and your expenditure. Eating affects both. Often, when people eat ad libitum low-carb diets, their intake and expenditure change such that expenditure exceeds intake and they lose energy, which often translates into weight loss.

    I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is assuming their expenditure is constant. You can find people who say "I'm only eating X calories and I'm at a deficit of Y calories, but I'm not losing weight! What's happening?" Clearly, they're not at a deficit. Now that they're eating less, their expenditure probably dropped to compensate.

    I mean if I'll be in a good caloric deficit, eating 80% carbs and sh*t, with insulin elevated all the time, I'll still loose weight. Why is that?
    Your insulin levels drop when you sleep and you lose fat then.
    My opinions and some justification

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    • #3
      Calories ALWAYS count. But they aren't the only things that count.

      Carbs, well, I think the carbophobia that polluted paleo eating has largely dissolved over the past few years

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      • #4
        Originally posted by not on the rug View Post
        Carbs, well, I think the carbophobia that polluted paleo eating has largely dissolved over the past few years
        Yes, the hypothesis that "carbs --> insulin --> bodyfat" has been pretty well refuted, IMO.

        Whole Health Source: The Carbohydrate Hypothesis of Obesity: a Critical Examination

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        • #5
          Carbs are only an issue for people like me who tend to produce too much insulin in response to eating carbs. It's not that the insulin 'stores fat,' but it drives blood sugar very low resulting in constant hunger. I was morbidly obese from early childhood, never understanding how I could be 'starving' after a big meal. I was always hungry. Dr. Atkins saved my sanity when he published in 1972.

          In his work, he advised people to 'test' to find their 'critical carb level,' the amount of carbs at which appetite comes roaring back and weight gain is a danger. For me, it's been about 20g every time I've tested, but most people can eat far more than that.

          HOWEVER, to lose weight (and to maintain my loss), I've had to be mindful of calories. There's no weight loss without a caloric deficit--and there's no 'exact science' to tell a person how many calories they should be eating. It's all a matter of trial and error--and understanding your own body.

          What's interesting to me is that since I have this 'problem' with carbs, I have never experienced any negative effects from low-carb eating. My body thrives, and my labs are superb (I get regular blood tests because I'm hypothyroid).

          I basically eat low carb primal, as I've eliminated all grains and dairy and eat mainly whole foods. I'm currently doing an 'elimination diet' this month for eggs, as I think I've been experiencing some issues (I used elimination diets long ago to test my reaction to grains and dairy).

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          • #6
            Energy balance is probably our deepest instinct so it's unlikely anyone will unconsciously eat "a good caloric deficit" for long periods (a day sure, a week no). The adipose layer doesn't passively accept increments & decrements, it's a dynamic organ always seeking equilibrium with its environment.

            Destroying fat molecules couldn't be simpler--just stop eating and wait. What folks are really asking is "how do I make my brain tolerate a smaller adipose layer indefinitely?" It doesn't matter how brilliantly CICO works over a day or week if it fails over a year.

            The appetite malfunction in modern folks could have several factors--maybe a shortfall in a nutrient we have yet to identify. In the meantime it's probably a safe rule of thumb that purified liquids & powders are a poor substitute for intact plant & animal cells.
            37//6'3"/185

            My peculiar nutrition glossary and shopping list

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            • #7
              Here, here, PicklePeat!

              Intact plant and animal cells indeed!
              What have you done today to make you feel Proud?

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm with you, Emmie - if I eat a carb-rich meal, I'm hungry again right away. That's the main reason I limit my carb intake. I got tired of being hungry all the time.

                Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app

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                • #9
                  @OP
                  Because the hormonal side of things is far from being the be all-end all aspect of this question.
                  There definitely is a gut bacteria related aspect to obesity. Someone with a fucked gut flora will probably be more susceptible than another person with a flora promoting fat burning. These critters can influence gene expression you know. When I was myself on a high grain (especially wheat) diet, with refined sugar, I tended to be fat, on the skinny side but fat nonetheless. All I did was to ditch the refined sugar, crap oils, and grains. I am still roughly at 33/33/33 when it comes to macros (calorie wise). All I have to do to maintain weight (now that I lost most of the bad fat and gained muscle mass) is to eat well at the proper time. So I just don't snack and I have one or two meals / day on average, each meal containing a large portion of potatoes / rice / beans / quinoa / buckwheat or whatever starchy stuff of the moment. Fat is from meat / eggs / fish / avocados / a little butter or olive oil (rarely nuts, I am no fan of them).
                  Eating this way nourishes me and my gut flora, I have not been sick for ages and my energy is quite high most of the time (depends on sleep but I tend to sleep very good, except when my kids wake me up in the middle of the night).

                  In all this, what I am saying is that restricting any macro-nutrient will promote weight loss because you throw your metabolism off balance and decrease your energy intake without really being aware of it. It will work for a while, but to continue restricting one macro is not a long term solution. You need all 3 macros for long term health, just have them from good sources and don't snack all the time. Moving your butt also helps in more ways than just "burning calories".

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                  • #10
                    It's easy, for every change you can make to the "calories in" side of the equation. Your body can make an equal change to the "calories out". That's why we have thyroid's and pituitary's.

                    In the height of my fat loss I was losing 2kg's of fat a week, what would happen if I kept the same energy intake and I only had 4kgs of fat left on my body. Would it still burn through those 2kgs so that I would be dead in 3 weeks or would my body progressively dial back my BMR and force lethargy upon me. So as to prolong survival.



                    Sent from my iPad using Marks Daily Apple Forum
                    A little primal gem - My Success Story
                    Weight lost in 4 months - 29kg (64 lbs)

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                    • #11
                      The other thing to bear in mind is pure satiety signals. Your body tends to natually find its ideal "set point" when you're eating good whole foods that simply doesn't occur when you're eating a ton of processed crap, particularly when you're getting adequate mixes of protein and fat. If you're eating a source of carbs and fat in combination as your primary macro source (prime examples: fries, chips, ice cream, cake) you can engulf a freaking fuckton of calories before your body's satiation signals kick into effect. This is before you look at the effects of being insulin resistant and what that might do to your further hunger signalling.

                      Alternatively, having a plate with a grass fed roast, a baked potato and greens and a drizzle of olive oil or a knob of butter on top, you'll probably be full before doing any major calorie binging. But like Dilberry and Pete have said, it really comes down to your own overall hormonal context - your entire body is in a state of dynamic equilibrium focused on biasing the best survival outcome.

                      Food sources provide such a complex and varied biochemical input that you really can't just view them in terms of macros. Yes, that aspect absolutely matters, but it's not the be all and end all.

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                      • #12
                        I'd imagine that in any diet in a caloric deficit insulin production would be lower than eating at maintenance as there is simply less glucose circulating that needs to be regulated. I'd make an un-educated guess to say that weight gain/loss is determined by insulin over the course of the whole day, which means a total number of calories, and not by a meal by meal basis. Not factoring in activities, which if i remember blunt the insulin response, you could easily handle plenty of carbs and their subsequent insulin spikes without fear of weight gain.
                        I hope this was vaguely relevant (and right) since I've forgotten the question.

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                        • #13
                          Aalright, thanks a lot guys for all the response. That clears things quite a bit

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jenry Hennings View Post
                            I'd imagine that in any diet in a caloric deficit insulin production would be lower than eating at maintenance as there is simply less glucose circulating that needs to be regulated. I'd make an un-educated guess to say that weight gain/loss is determined by insulin over the course of the whole day, which means a total number of calories, and not by a meal by meal basis. Not factoring in activities, which if i remember blunt the insulin response, you could easily handle plenty of carbs and their subsequent insulin spikes without fear of weight gain.
                            I hope this was vaguely relevant (and right) since I've forgotten the question.
                            I don't believe this is scientifically supported. In that the type of nutrients themselves have a profound effect on total insulin production.

                            Fat intake raises blood glucose very little and triggers a very low insulin response.

                            This is not to say that you can't loose weight on a high carb diet - of course you can.
                            What have you done today to make you feel Proud?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gdot View Post
                              I don't believe this is scientifically supported. In that the type of nutrients themselves have a profound effect on total insulin production.

                              Fat intake raises blood glucose very little and triggers a very low insulin response.

                              This is not to say that you can't loose weight on a high carb diet - of course you can.
                              I'm aware different nutrients effect insulin differently, and that fat doesn't need insulin to store, but the post was specifying carbs, so that was the basis of my point.
                              As I said, it was more an (un)-educated guess than any scientifically based response.


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