A Calorie is Not A Calorie - A Discussion of Thermodynamics

(Ideom) #42

Not sure about you but my steel content is actually quite low. :wink: We do “blow stuff up,” however - that we make heat, alone, is proof.

Surely there is some inseparability at work here, no? For example, if we want to lose fat - if we want to lose some weight, there - then we need our body to need energy. It’s not going to take energy/mass from fat stores unless there is an inducement to do so.

(Bunny) #43

Not according to the math and physics “the proof” says totally the opposite if you understand the math?

The human body is not a thermodynamic system in the way average person tries to oxidize body fat?

Counting units of energy you would need to work off a thermal paradigm not just simply counting numbers which is non-existent? Temperature matters not just what you put into your mouth and your counting the numbers because your incineration rate will be so variable that you would get lost in the confusion to get any meaningful estimate?

You may be still burning what you ate three or five days ago? But my macro app says I already burned it? And then your going to take more food and throw it on top of that, confusing you even more?

(Bob M) #44

I stopped here: " C57BL/6 female mice were fed HFD with and without bitter melon (BM) for 16 weeks."


That part is irrelevant because they most likely fed mice seed oils. The point is that bitter melon increases expression of Sirt3.

(Bob M) #46

Protein makes one…tall?

Meat is good, regardless of its calories. (And, yes, this is correlation, not causation.)

(Bob M) #47

Call me when there’s an RCT in humans.

(bulkbiker) #48

What like staying alive for example?

(Bunny) #49

Being you have enough stomach acid, digestive enzymes and gut microbes to break it down and it not being fully digested by the time it reaches the other end, of course massive amounts of meat won’t raise your blood sugars.

I could eat massive amounts of undigestible fiber and have low blood sugars if that’s all I ate?

Hopefully your getting lots of Vitamin C (not enough C scurvy/shortness of breath?) with that and other Vitamins and Minerals?

(Elmo) #50

Good, it’s nice to see physical reality trumping ideology. I think ‘keto magic’ - the understandable relief and joy many of us feel when the weight loss or metabolic healing take place - becomes supernatural for some people, and the next thing you know they’re assuming they’re escaping the physical laws of the universe.

In the almost 4 year history of this forum, has anybody on it ever actually said that the meat/vegetables were the same as the Cupcakes/Twinkies? Or that “a calorie is a calorie” (meaning “nothing further to see, here, folks”)? Most anti-CICO arguments are as easy to defeat as shooting fish in a barrel. If you see somebody making the first two claims in this paragraph, let’s all get after them - then we can all shoot.

(Bunny) #51

Let’s say you eat 5, 10 or 20 grams of sugar?

You just ate too much?

Mass according to its highly concentrated density?

How long would it take to burn all that sugar?

You would probably have to walk at a normal pace for an X amount of hours?

Running will make the X amount of hours shorter?

But it’s not over yet, after you burn through that wall of sugar then you start burning body fat especially in the recovery period of deep delta REM sleep?

Same-thing with fat?

Same-thing with protein?

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #52

Then the most weight you have gained is 20 grams.

(Elmo) #53

You’re not responding to anything I said, but onward… :slightly_smiling_face:

Vast amounts of evidence have been provided - yet we’re continually dealing with the pretense that CICO means “a calorie is a calorie,” with nothing more to be considered. How, logically, do you get there from “calories in, calories out,” stated just like that? You cannot do it. We’re counting things. We’re keeping track of things. We’re not saying there is nothing beyond the count that may affect other stuff. Change “calories” to another noun, and it’s going to be the same. The evidence is logic itself.

At first glance, one can tell it’s not “about CICO” or “refuting CICO.” It’s talking about multiple states of CICO, as these 3:

A review of simple thermodynamic principles shows that weight change on isocaloric diets is not expected to be independent of path (metabolism of macronutrients) and indeed such a general principle would be a violation of the second law.

Well… :smile: that’s a hell of a sentence… But yeah - proteins and the thermic effect of food, for example, i.e. CO is going to be different because the energy cost of digesting the food is different. Could make the overall energy balance negative, i.e. weight loss, versus a different diet.

Homeostatic mechanisms are able to insure that, a good deal of the time, weight does not fluctuate much with changes in diet – this might be said to be the true “miraculous metabolic effect” – but it is subject to many exceptions.

That’s pretty nebulous - what is “a good deal of the time”? Maybe I need to read the whole thing. Same for “changes in diet;” well, how much change was there? Sheesh… And they make it virtually meaningless by giving themselves the out of “many exceptions.” However, if they are saying that changes in energy expenditure could negate weight change, then that’s obvious. ‘Homeostatic mechanisms’ - this would be CICO changing.

The idea that this is theoretically required in all cases is mistakenly based on equilibrium, reversible conditions that do not hold for living organisms and an insufficient appreciation of the second law. The second law of thermodynamics says that variation of efficiency for different metabolic pathways is to be expected. Thus, ironically the dictum that a “calorie is a calorie” violates the second law of thermodynamics , as a matter of principle.*

I don’t know why they would be saying there would be the idea that it’s theoretically required in all cases. Nobody’s saying that the macronutrients don’t have some differing effects, and nobody’s saying that the human body is a perpetual motion machine or anything like that. There’s always less than 100% efficiency, there’s always going to be some loss, even if very small.

The last sentence there, though - it’s saying that as a matter of principle the various macronutrients must have different losses. I think this is an incorrect assumption. In practice, they do have different losses, but this does not come from any necessary principle, this comes from the physiochemical properties themselves. There’s nothing that says they would have to be different.

Metabolic advantage with low carbohydrate diets is well established in the literature. It does not always occur but the important point is that it can occur. To ignore its possibilities and to not investigate the precise conditions under which it appears would be cutting ourselves off from potential benefit.

Agreed - a more prominent shifting of the energy balance as they mean here, i.e. beneficially and in the case of eating low-carb, is more likely to occur when insulin resistance is a factor. That’s when the “can occur” part has a higher chance of being true.

The extent to which metabolic advantage will have significant impact in treating obesity is unknown and it is widely said in studies of low carbohydrate diets that “more work needs to be done.”

One enormous problem is that studies involving “low-carb” diets often still are much higher in them than a ketogenic diet would be. Geez, cut the carbs down to 40% or 25% or 15% and tell yourself you’re examing the effects of a low-carb diet, huh? :rage:

However, if the misconception is perpetuated that there is a violation of physical laws, that work will not be done, and if done, will go unpublished due to editorial resistance. Attacking the obesity epidemic will involve giving up many old ideas that have not been productive. “A calorie is a calorie” might be a good place to start.

Definitely, nobody should be assuming that the physical laws don’t apply. Matter that we take in and energy that we take in are subject to the physical laws, and they all go somewhere, entropy and all.

(Bunny) #54

But 20 grams of what? Water? Muscle? Adipose Tissue? Bone Density? What is Generating the Most Heat? What Weighs more?

The mass morphs (transfers energy around within itself) rather than loses mass irregardless of how much it weighs?


[1] “…The law of conservation of mass or principle of mass conservation states that for any system closed to all transfers of matter and energy, the mass of the system must remain constant over time, as the system’s mass cannot change, so quantity can neither be added nor be removed. …” …More

[2] “…There is a scientific law called the Law of Conservation of Mass, discovered by Antoine Lavoisier in 1785. In its most compact form, it states: matter is neither created nor destroyed. …the total amount of mass and energy in the universe is constant. …” …More

[3] “…Thermoregulation: Most body heat is generated in the deep organs, especially the liver, brain, and heart, and in contraction of skeletal muscles. …” …More

(Ideom) #55

Absolutely not. Human metabolism is exothermic, on balance. There is no way around this fact.

If it’s living it’s always a thermodynamic system, no matter what.

Certainly - that’s one right there. :+1:

(Ideom) #56

I’ve noticed this too, and… :smile: There’s definitely a conspiracy at work! :smile:

“Isn’t a closed system” makes no difference. Of course physics applies. Come on, man… :crazy_face:

But what hit me was that we’ve got @ctviggen and @amwassil, both allegedly ‘against’ CICO. Then in post #23 amwassil presents an article where the conclusions warn against:

So, Bob’s argument involves saying that physical laws don’t apply, and Michael’s involves warning against thinking that. :smile: There just ain’t no pleasin’ some people… :smile::smile:

(Leroy) #57

:rofl: Have to laugh - sometimes it goes that way. Perhaps we should focus more on the real, ‘hard’ science of it?

(Bunny) #58

Hmmm? So what your saying is you are a heating element and you can change your body heat at will?

Maybe that’s why people don’t lose body fat is because as their core body temperature drops from burning body fat they can no longer oxidize body fat and why their metabolism slows down because of all that fat and protein they are eating?

So what good would counting calories do?

Really? Only if your paying attention to thermo-dynamic activity and not playing with numerology?

That’s what counting macros and calories are, they are glorified slot machines and some people are paying money for them with some apps? :slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face::joy::rofl::joy:

(Doug) #59

Bunny, this is indeed a “far-ranging” discussion, isn’t it. :wink:

I thought this was good, from another thread ~~>


Right there’s a sweet concept, and one that took humanity a long time to get to, even as remarkably simple and elegant as it is. And very few people indeed go through their day thinking about that kind of stuff. Not many of us measuring the speed of light, eh? Doesn’t detract from Einstein’s conception.

(Bunny) #60

Interesting thing about counting calories is if you do a lot of subtraction on the amount (mass) of fat in calories…lol

The folks over at Virta Health do their calculations in Australian kJ (kilojoules) or kilocals?

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(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #61