A Calorie is Not A Calorie - A Discussion of Thermodynamics


(Bunny) #185

Whatever let’s get back to the science?

Let’s hear your expert opinion so we can proceed forward, I really need you to educate me?

“…I believe this or that because this person, study, research, book, academic training says this or that?..”

So much easier than the Sideshow Bob emotional rants?


(Elmo) #186

It’s hardly an “emotional rant” to mention the importance of logic and truth. Okay, if your question is a serious one, then what do you mean by “the most efficacy”? What are you really asking? The most efficacy for what?


(Bunny) #187

“Efficacy” meaning long-term sustainability? Or Generally Accepted Common Practice?


(Elmo) #188

No. :roll_eyes:

Final offer: the most efficacy for what?


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #189

@ElmosUzi Tell Jason Fung that in your opinion his 99% failure rate for CICO diets is wrong.


(Leroy) #190

It’s similar now. We’ve got this thread.
Also A Calorie Is Still A Calorie - Why Keto Does Not Work 😖
Stokies and CICO die/blow hards
Check out my comment I made at KetoCon2019
"Spoon-Fed" by Tim Spector


(Ideom) #191

I guess that remains to be seen, eh? :wink: Let’s see who can stick to logic and sense.

You show a big complicated chart of metabolic pathways. So what’s the thesis, there? That somehow the energy balance, CICO, etc., don’t matter? And the fact remains that nobody told you that ‘counting calories’ was “a match” for all of human metabolism. As with so much of this thread, we should make an effort to understand the larger picture, to explore deeper, keep the context in mind and respond to what people actually say, not what we pretend they say.

Here you seem to be saying the opposite. So which is it? (Speaking of “explore deeper” :grin:). I do tend to agree with your last statement there. (Or that they make incorrect assumptions about the quantitites.)

There’s no bullying. But there is logic and sticking to what people actually say (and it’s good to quote them), and it’s senseless to deny what we do say.

This goes to the question about your statement - the same question that more than one person has raised:

This is definitely disregarding science, i.e. we all know that’s not the way things really are, and you should too. This is something that you actually did say.

It’s a false statement.

I agree - at the very least let’s do that, before we go on to other things. Let’s not put words in other people’s mouths, and let’s not deny the ones that come from ours.


(Ideom) #192

Elmos didn’t say that, and you never asked about opinions on Jason Fung. This is you trying to move the goalposts. This is just floundering around and grasping at illogical straws. There’s also a serious confirmation bias at work that often prevents seeing the proper context.

Same as for ASB - at the very least let’s make sure that our statements are true, before we go on to other things. Let’s not put words in other people’s mouths, and let’s not deny the ones that come from ours.


(Janus) #193

‘Hard’ science (physical fact), logic, mathematics, physical laws… There’s not much else that’s “objectively true,” is there? Things beyond those quickly get more inconstant and alterable. I do agree that the least we can do is make our assertions true, and correctly address the assertions and questions of others.


(Art) #194

So much of all this revolves around the energy balance and what it affects and what affects it.

We begin with matter/energy. If the statement is that then there is metabolism, storage or excretion, is that true and is it true that there’s really nothing else that’s significant?

Are there any reputable studies that dispute this?


(Bunny) #195

As rule of thumb any study or research can refute another study or research.

Problem is, paradox and that mysterious placebo effect you get with variability.

That is why when looking at this from the Bariatric angle it gives me more of a solid foundation that looks at volume of food eaten and they eat more times a day (why they don’t hold onto body fat and go into starvation mode) rather than counting calories, so that tells me human beings are trained from birth to eat more than they need at one time especially with the accessibility to processed foods.

It is like an electrical current or water going through a hose, the longer the hose, the weaker the current will be because of the resistance and impedance of conductance through out its mass.

Take a gauge of wire for example, the bigger the wire, the more electrical current you can send through it, but it has limitations, if you send too many watts through it at once it will create an electrical balloon that envelopes the wire and burns it up as it travels breaking it in half.

That’s what we do with food, the system gets hit with all this food at once and starts tripping the circuit breakers.

But when you look at dietary fat, It has very little mass to it and it just takes a little tiny bit to power the system.

You do not go into ketosis because of the type of calories eaten, you go into ketosis because of the amount of food eaten.

If insulin can clear both ketones and glucose from the blood stream, a little bit of food is not going to do no harm even if you ate six meals a day you are still going to burn body fat because the amount coming in at a certain volume, if you break the volume, you break the chain reaction and the excessive amount going into it will make insulin stay high.


(Ideom) #196

Okay, so we have to be able to weigh them. They’re not all created equal. A good RCT versus Ernie’s Big Real Good Study About Some Damn Thing Or Another (as seen on YouTube) might make one question Ernie a bit.

I do think it’s a good question about the energy balance. Do we see all that’s there or are we somehow missing decent-sized chunks?

The sheer volume reduction of food that bariatric patients eat certainly makes a big difference, if that’s what you mean. I don’t think most of us are trained to eat more than we need, however - if anything I’d say we’re trained not to “take more than our share.” Dogs are like wolves - they gulp away pretty much as fast as they can go, like other competing species might be coming to take the food, or other pack members won’t leave any for the individual. Are humans like that? (Not that some of us don’t act like it…) :smile:

This is one of those things that isn’t reflective of the bigger picture. While it can be true, it’s not always or necessarily true. Yeah, we can eat little enough to go into ketosis. But we can also eat no carbs, and eat a LOT, and go into ketosis.

Looks like in general you’re saying that the body can adapt and maintain homeostasis (as with weight) pretty well as long as we don’t push things too much, and I agree. Not everybody will have the same “tipping point” with insulin resistance, the effect of constantly having full glycogen, similar things with the liver outside of glycogen… I forget what all can happen, but there is a sequence of different things over time in an “out of balance” state.

Lots of ‘old’ pictures from the 1960s and 1970s show crowds of pretty ‘thin’ people in various parts of the world, even the most developed world. Way different from now.


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #197

In case anyone missed this, and I’m sure a select few of you did:

Jason Fung:

Said another way — reducing Calories In reduces Calories Out. Reducing caloric intake inevitably leads to reduced caloric expenditure. That is why conventional dieting as we know it does not work. I know it. You know it.


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #198

The calorie theory of obesity has been perhaps one of the greatest failures in the history of medicine. Given the number of excess deaths caused by metabolic syndrome, you could argue that it is a bigger disaster than World War II. It is based on a complete misinterpretation of the energy balance equation.

Body fat gained = Calories In – Calories Out

This equation, known as the energy balance equation is always true. So, looking at this equation, people then say something like ‘It’s all about restricting the calories you eat’, or ‘All diets work by restricting calories’. On the Calories Out side, you hear things like ‘You should exercise more’. This is the standard Eat Less, Move More approach. Doctors, even so-called ‘obesity experts’ and various health professionals say stuff like this all the time, but they’re completely wrong. The problem is that they don’t even know why they’re so wrong.

The energy balance equation (which, yes, is always true) does NOT support the Eat Less, Move More approach.

The Calories In/ Calories Out (CICO) model has been tested over and over again. Multiple trials have shown it to be a complete failure. If somebody vociferously defends the CICO paradigm, I can immediately and efficiently identify them as people who have not really understood what causes obesity, and have no serious grasp of the physiology behind weight gain. These are the people who keep parroting ‘A calorie is a calorie’, as if I had asked them ‘Is a calorie a calorie’? The question I ask is ‘Are all calories equally fattening’, to which they usually stare blankly at me, before replying ‘It’s all about calories’, as if the body had any actual method of measuring calories.

The CICO model is very useful because it efficiently flags idiots people who are not all that knowledgable about obesity, and I can safely ignore them. There are many of these people out there, and not everybody is worth listening to.

Jason Fung.


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #199

The first law of Thermodynamics is always true, but completely irrelevant to human health. Yes, if Calories In is more than Calories Out then you will gain fat. But if you eat more Calories, you will burn more calories. If you eat less calories, you will burn less. So there is no overall change in body fatness. Just like the bar – if more people come in, but more people leave, then there is no change.

The problem is that people now make the entirely unwarranted assumption that Calorie Output remains stable so that reducing calories intake (food) automatically results in loss of body fat. This is why I see tables like this, that are liked by so many. As I’ve written about many times, this is utterly false. Basal metabolism may increase or decrease up to 40%.
CRaP3-600x500
But this false belief results in the strategy that I call Caloric Reduction as Primary (CRaP). So many people believe that simply reducing calorie intake is a reasonable strategy of weight loss. They think that hormonal changes (mostly insulin and insulin resistance) created by intermittent fasting or paleo or ketogenic diets are irrelevant. For them, it’s all about calorie intake.

People assume that it is a scientifically proven fact that reducing ‘Calories In’ will cause long term body fat loss. Experimentally, this is simple. Take some people. Randomize them. Give some of them calorie restriction. Watch them lose weight and live happily ever after. The others who continue with their usual diet don’t lose weight. Simple.

Can somebody please point out those studies to me? We’ve recommended the ‘Eat Less, Move More’ strategy for almost half a century. Where are all these studies? Oh, right. They all conclusively show that CRaP does NOT produce long term weight loss.

Now, I realize that my most vociferous critics on this forum are not keen on reading, only keen on bloviating their unsupported opinions. But I thought there are likely others reading this topic who would be interesting in seeing the specifics of why CICO diets fail, fail big time, fail universally. Many of you have been there done that and know just how true.


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #200

This is interesting and thank you @Consistency for originally posting the link elsewhere:


(Bunny) #201

I think “weight watchers” is the best one on the chart which may surprise some people but when you surgically extract and doggedly pursue the data and science for many years ”weight watchers“ wins and WINS in my opinion.

If you believe-in the Theory of The Electric Universe and that I use to model beauty products on Venus here is the alternative electrical analogy for metabolic dysregulation or whatever you want to call it:


Click in corner to expand===>

I know there will be people complaining ”…I was on weight watchers and didn’t work…” …lol Fortunately I gasp the concept and frame-work, and it does in-fact work…


(Kevin) #202

That’s silly. I don’t think you can present one instance where your “critics” state their opinions as if they are independent fact. So right away we’re back to “at the very least let’s make sure that our statements are true.” It’s not “bloviating” to focus on telling the truth.

You’re having emotional reactions to logic. Here’s an example:

Good grief, get over yourself. “Oh, the DRAMA…” :smile:

It really is like you see yourself on some ‘mythic quest’ to slay an evil dragon whose nefarious forces are arrayed against you. “Tilting at windmills” as somebody said. Hat tip @ElmosUzi

In reality, you’re just confused, and pretending that different groups of people are the same.

Somehow, you are blind to the fact that nobody in this thread is a proponent of CICO as you conceive of it. Good points have been made about physics and the laws of thermodynamics. But nobody is disagreeing with Jason Fung, for example. You really are just pretending about people.

If you think anybody is a proponent of CICO as you conceive of it, then quote them. Let’s see if you have any basis for what you’re talking about. In the absence of your ability to quote anyone like that - which I’m pretty sure is absolute - then all that is present is your confusion. So how about just stopping such pretending?

@amwassil You seem to be all upset over this sentiment, but it’s nothing beyond basic reasonableness. We should all perhaps just slow down a bit, consider our words, and not state falsehoods.

I don’t see you quoting anybody to support your contentions about the people on this forum. Meanwhile, you are the one making false statements, and in your ‘mythic quest’ you’re the one willing to mischaracterize CICO, i.e.

That’s not true. True is better than not true.

Copying and pasting a bunch of links isn’t what makes one credible.


(Ideom) #203

For some people. The question is for what percentage. Somewhere (I just searched for it and can’t find it) Dr. Fung talks about the long term success rate of Jenny Craig, I believe. Using Craig’s own figures, it was only 0.5% of people who had lost weight and kept it off for two years.

WW may be different, but surely there is some similarity. They claim good results after 6 months, and they claim it’s been studied. But I’m guessing there is a lot of ‘repeat business’ and people for whom it really doesn’t work out.


(Bunny) #204

I know some people have health issues, alleles or meds that may prevent weight loss but weight watchers nor Jenny C have timing restriction (not forced) eating windows or restricting elements of the diet but I think they definitely have the right idea, it just needs some tweaking.

That’s why I like these cartoons, just imagine if this was food being digested and processed by the body instead of electrical current:

image image image image image

Amperage is my favorite!