Can someone tell me if my thoughts are correct on CICO

(Pier) #562

This is what I keep trying to point out. Except for the few outliers, who perhaps misunderstand the conservation of energy, it seems to me that the side seemingly objecting to your position intrinsically knows this to be true.

I would suggest that this is an outlier and should be treated as such. But important to keep emphasizing what I first quoted from you above. That understanding is what keeps getting lost through this lengthy thread. It’s the shorthand problem again.

A little bit, yes. And neurotic and obsessive, but that’s a story for another day. :slightly_smiling_face:

I think there is a lot of this on r/keto though. That’s where I started before I found this forum. The other thing I think should be adjusted for newbies is this idea of eating fat to satiety. Some people can interpret that as eating all the fat you want. Some people’s satiety signals are broken. Mine were/are in the undereating/binge way that is not helpful for weightloss. So some measure of calorie counting, or at least tracking is helpful for me.

I’m not sure why they don’t. I think this is why I want to know specifically where the hang up is.

Don’t forget the bit about the hormones impacting energy out. Imo, that’s a key omission. This is the piece that (I think) causes people to view keto as magic and defying the laws of physics. This may be the part that the people who stick with the laws of physics don’t apply idea don’t quite understand.

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #563

@kandescent, agree with everything you’ve said here. Clarification, though:

But that’s just it. We’ve said innumerable times that there’s a hormonal impact on calories out (and on calories in, via satiety signaling). That’s the essence of the carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis. But these effects precede the final energy in/energy out. So in the end of the day, if CI>CO, you’re going to put on weight.

Perhaps I should emphasize: If total, post-keto energy consumed is greater than total, post-keto energy burned, you’re going to put on weight. Bear in mind that theoretically some of that weight might be muscle if you’re working out hard, but for most of us, even pushing ourselves mightily in the weights room, weight gain is, heartbreakingly, usually body fat.

(Pier) #564

Thanks @gabe.

I do think that as the argument continues, it would be helpful and clarifying if you make it clear that it is “energy balance + hormones.” Because, from my masochist review of this thread, what stands out from your argument is just the energy balance bit. Though, as I’ve said previously, I knew from reading your various posts that CICO only was not really your position. It’s just that it looks like that because of your emphasis on it.

Perhaps you cannot achieve agreement with the defy physics lot (unless you come to understand exactly where they are missing the argument). But I do think a lot of others do agree with you more than they do not.

(Doug) #565

Gabe, I agree with much of what you say, and certainly no physical laws are being broken. I don’t think it’s always so simple as to why people on keto stall out with weight loss, however.

In many cases - yes, a relatively fast weight loss presents early on, less water retention and then the effects of lowered insulin levels make a big difference, and down goes the scale, even if the person is eating a lot. After a while, things are much more homeostatic, without further “big changes” to be made. It may very well then be that it’s the amount of eating that makes for the stall.

I think there are other cases where it’s not so simple as that. Other hormonal issues can be part of it, and sometimes it’s really hard to explain what is going on, i.e. the person really isn’t eating “a lot,” per se. I’d say that as far as weight loss, while CICO applies to different people on a widely-varying basis, depending on their metabolic backgrounds, it also applies inconsistently to people who have been eating ketogenically.

(Pier) #566

Fair enough @gabe. Good discussion. At a minimum, I have clarified what I needed to for myself. Thanks for being fair and kind in your responses to me. Cheers!

(Carbohydrate Denier ) #567

I agree with that 100%. What I take issue with, and what I originally thought everyone else was saying about CICO, was that CO were your expended calories. Expenditure you had control over. Such as exercise (walking, working, even just thinking) to burn calories.

Now, just because food goes in, doesn’t mean it’s going to be turned into energy. The body very well can just not utilize the energy and let it go to waste. Energy missed. Just because the food is inside the body, it doesn’t mean it’s a part of the systems energy as a whole. Like having a few thousand flashlight batteries in a closet in my house doesn’t help with the heating. It’s just potential energy, gone to waste. But that’s another can of worms.

(Scott) #568

Now that things have calmed down a bit it may be time for me to rephrase some things incorrectly to liven things up. Lets see, where did I leave my flat earth thesaurus?


And I’m not pushing for people to eat fat past satiety. I’ve acknowledged that some people are so metabolically deranged that their satiety signal won’t ever work, and I’ve acknowledged they might benefit from calorie counting. My point has been that calories are irrelevant to those with working satiety signals on Keto that eat nutrient-dense food, because you won’t overeat. Most people cannot eat 5000 calories of fat past a few days because their bodies won’t let them without getting them sick.

You mention above that you gained weight because you ate past satiety. Why did you eat past satiety?

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #570

It tasted good!



(John) #572

This is something you are most definitely not alone on

(Doug) #573

Paul, I watched it all the way through. Indeed a good video, and it reaffirms quite a few things that we get steeped in if we spend time on this forum, and some facts that many of us come to learn and even experience personally.

4 minutes - she talks about the misapplication of CICO and thermodynamic laws.

6 min. - high thermic effect of proteins - a substantial difference versus carbs, not just enough for the sake of argument.

25 min. - cholesterol in our food does not affect our blood levels of it. Goes on to talk about saturated fats, the consequences of some dietary alterations, micronutrients, etc.

40 min. - 1 teaspoon of sugar/5 grams = roughly what we have in our blood. Any more than that, and insulin gets secreted to bring it down.

55 min. - You need to get low glucose so the body has to break down fat to make some.

59 min. - there is no role for carbohydrates in the basal metabolic rate.

(John) #574

Not sure how to link podcast but dr Rhonda Patrick has a new q and a on fasting and time restricted eating. Some of it might be related to this thread.


Yes but did you notice the part about him having cancer? That kind of changes the story.

Here’s what our friends Phinney and Volek think will happen:

“But after many months and a major degree of weight loss, it is a normal response of the human body to try to limit its losses. This is typically achieved by eating more, but what? If dietary carbohydrate intolerance led to the choice of a low carbohydrate diet at the outset, why lift that restriction? In particular, why add back calories that promote fat storage but do not provide functional satiety? Accepting that protein is good for us only in moderation, the answer is fat (see Chapters 2 and 16). How much fat should you add as you approach weight maintenance? The simple answer: “let satiety rule”.”

Excerpt from “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living…” Phinney/Volek.

So we eat more and we stop losing weight.

And if we eat even more what do you think happens (edge cases excluded).

(Take time to stop and eat the bacon!) #576

Blame that on the chronically high insulin levels caused by the excessive availabilty of carbohydrate. If it were protein and fat that loaded the grocery shelves, it would be a whole different story, now wouldn’t it?


I’ll ask it: How do you keep your metabolism the same, while increasing caloric intake? In other words, how do you stop your body from adjusting output to match input?

In other words, why are you calling me a gluttonous sloth when my body can fix it?

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #577

I’m not calling anyone anything. I’m saying that the reason why I remain more overweight than I would like is partially due to hormones in all likelihood, and partially because my dietary fat intake is too high. My body doesn’t need to burn body fat if I’m eating enough of it to satisfy its energy requirements.

There are those who would say “too much fat? No such thing!” I’m here still debating this proposition because, in order to believe it, you have to deny basic physical laws. Not even biochemistry, mind you — physics.

(Take time to stop and eat the bacon!) #578

And I have repeatedly said that CI versus CO depends on insulin.

With too high an insulin level, you will be forced to eat more, because the insulin is forcing your fat cells to store the carbohydrate you are eating, and your other cells will be deprived of energy, and will signal for more. And that’s quite apart from the fact that your fat tissue’s frantic leptin signal “ENOUGH, FOR GOD’S SAKE!!!” never gets through to your brain, because the insulin blocks it.

Whereas, in the absence of insulin, you will eventually starve to death, no matter how much food you eat. This was the sad fate of Type I diabetics, until the discovery of insulin and its first use as a treatment in 1921.

When your insulin level is right, say when you eat fat and protein and very little carbohydrate, the system works as designed to keep intake regulated and energy stored and released efficiently to match output. In this happy situation, our adipose tissue stores energy as our food is digested, and then dispenses it between meals as needed, and our brain hears the hormones that signal an abundance of energy just as clearly as it hears those signaling that we need to take on more food.

In all these cases, any energy imbalance (CI vs. CO) that may occur is THE RESULT, not the cause.

(Take time to stop and eat the bacon!) #579

This kind of hypothetical is irrelevant. Could you eat 6000 calories? I’d like to see you try! At some point well below that level, you are likely to start gagging. Remember the guy in the overfeeding study who broke down and started sobbing, because he simply could not face another pork chop?


It’s a thought experiment for anyone who thinks you can eat virtually unlimited amounts of food and still not gain weight. Surely even such people would wonder what would happen? And hopefully realize the food will not magically disappear?

The “eat until satiated” concept does not work for everyone. Granted it often works but that is no consolation to the people who have a garbled signal.

Satiation is a red traffic signal not a physical barrier, not everyone cries at the sight of a pork chop. They will find a way to beat the system (and then pay for it later).

The question of “how much should we eat” is absolutely relevant to anyone not losing weight on keto, it won’t explain every stall but it cannot be so quickly dismissed. It is relevant for people who want to go into weight maintenance (neither lose nor gain).

As per Phinney/Volek/Westman - how much you eat matters after all. I am amazed (not saying you) but I am amazed people do not agree.

(Take time to stop and eat the bacon!) #581

So far, I am the only one mentioning the Second Law. And the article I linked to demonstrates its relevance to this discussion.

The First Law of Thermodynamics is the law of conservation of energy in a closed system (which, we have long since demonstrated, the body is not). The Second Law is the law of entropy, which applies in all situations.

As I believe you, Gabe, were the one to point out, the laws of physics apply as much to the human body as they apply to everything else. My point, however, is that if the laws of physics apply, then they all apply. In other words, entropy is just as inescapable as the conservation of energy.

Furthermore, open and closed systems are both subject to entropy, whereas only closed systems are affected by the conservation of energy. The means, in fact, that the Second Law is actually more relevant to the human body than the First Law is, when we get right down to it.