If CICO doesn‘t work (as per Fung) why does IF work?

('Jackie P') #28

Actually CICO does work. I have done it - again and again and again and again and again…
I have proved it dozens of times.
I just know that this is the last ‘diet’ I will ever do.

(Thomas) #29

Juice = sugar. The difference between fruit and juice is just the lack of fiber, which fasttracks the sugar absorption in the gut.

We ate bread even 100 years ago, and that’s the reason why there was a spike in artherosclerosis and diabetes. Processed food and vegetable oils just accelerated the process, we used to stand the carb beating for a few decades, nowadays even children are sick. Years of hunger during the war however did a lot to offset that damage.

But we didn’t eat bread when we were hunter and gatherers, and we didn’t have t2d, artherosclerosis and other crap back then. Watch Mike Eades talk, it’s great. Bread is enough to cause severe damage, even in the absence of sugar.

Well, 25g of carbs a day for most of us. Fasting will help. If I eat a plate of pasta I’m out of ketosis for 24-48 hours.

There is a big difference between willpower and willpower. Hardly anyone is able to stick to a diet where hunger is a constant compagnion, while most people are able to walk past a shop without shoplifting. I’m sure we agree that these are two very different things. But so are sticking to a diet where you have restricted food choices but can eat as much as you like vs. a diet where you have restricted food choices and not only have to stay hungry, but the reward systems of your brain are activated just as they are from heavy drugs, and you aren’t allowed to satisfy them.

In Keys starvation experiments, those healthy young men, selected for willpower because the scientists expected trouble, literally broke down after a couple of months of a diet that had 1600 calories, more than we recommend today for losing weight. They got serious psychiatric issues, a lot of them dropped out, the rest fantasized over food and recipes for most of the time.

Evolution just didn’t equip us for a situation where our hormones say “plenty of food, now fatten up” (high insulin) but we eat a starvation diet. You can put diesel in a gasoline car, you might be able to drive it for a while, but you should expect problems fairly soon. Exactly the same happens if there is a mismatch between our hormones and the food we get. It may not be noticable right away, but problems will creep up with time.

(Jack Bennett) #30

You’re right insofar as in keto you can’t literally eat anything according to whim. Some foods are severely constrained or off limits. It’s important to be honest about that, with ourselves and with potential future keto-ers.

On the other hand, when I was a vegan, I was constantly hungry and would often google search “vegan motivation” so I could stick to my vegan diet and maintain my ~20% body weight loss. That called for a lot of willpower, eating all the time, and eventually fell apart.

On keto I find I am eating enough protein, staying full for a long time, and not really interested in eating things that are off the plan. Compared to my vegan experience, it’s like night and day.

(Thomas) #31

Sure, it works. For 33% of the population. You may be one of them, but this doesn’t mean that your experience has any relevance for me.

Mind you, 20% of obese people are metabolically healthy too, while 40% of thin people are metabolically ill. Context is everything.

(bulkbiker) #32

I think you are missing @CrackerJax point.
Almost everyone can lose weight short term by restricting what they eat. It’s maintaining that loss that is key.
I had lost and gained the same pounds in weight many times. Not until IF and keto did I manage to lose a far greater amount but also 4 years down the line maintain the loss. CICO is fatally flawed IF helps but eating the food that provides satiety and utilises hormonal responses is key to loss and maintaining that loss

(It's all about the bacon, baby!) #33

Dr. Fung is actually not wrong. The resolution to the difficulty lies in taking into account the hormonal response of our bodies to the foods we eat, and the other piece of the puzzle is to revise our preconception about the direction of causality when we take the laws of thermodynamics into account.

A well-formulated ketogenic diet is a low-insulin diet, for the most part. Whether we fast or not is not always to the point; the key to a ketogenic diet is getting our carbohydrate intake low enough to avoid stimulating excessive insulin secretion. Adjusting the frequency of eating can also help, by increasing the number of hours a day in which insulin secretion is not being stimulated, insulin being the primary hormone that traps excess fat in our adipose tissue. But low carbohydrate intake is key, because it is the glucose of which every carbohydrate is composed that stimulates insulin secretion the most.

Protein also has an effect on insulin secretion, that is true. In a high-carbohydrate diet, that effect is about half the effect of carbohydrate, but in a low-carbohydrate, the rise in insulin is compensated for by a rise in glucagon secretion as well, with the net effect that the insulin/glucagon ratio (which is the real key) remains at the same low value. So protein consumption becomes much less of a concern, when we are on a well-formulated ketogenic diet.

That leaves fat, the third macronutrient, and whether our carbohydrate intake is high or low, its effect on insulin and glucagon is so minimal as to be completely negligible. This is why a moderate-protein, high-fat, and low-carbohydrate way of eating has all its beneficial effects; we can safely replace the calories we are no longer getting from carbohydrate with calories from fat. Once we are fat-adapted again (we are born in ketosis, as you may know), our bodies can metabolise glucose and fatty acids with equal facility. Amino acids (protein) are not so easily metabolised, which is why the body prefers to safe them for building muscle, bone, and other tissues, and why it only metabolises amino acids in situations of dire need.

Since we evolved primarily as meat-eaters, and since there were no refrigerators available on the veldt for most of the past 2,000,000 years, we evolved to function best on a pattern of feasting and fasting, gorging after a kill and then not eating until after the next kill. It makes sense, then, that most of our hunting would have been done while fasting, so it stands to reason that we would not have evolved to let our metabolisms drop just at the point where we would need to be functioning at full capacity. Restricted food intake, on the other hand, would signal famine conditions, and our bodies therefore developed mechanisms for hanging on to our reserves for as long as possible, to tide us over during the famine.

The upshot is that all of this does not negate the First Law of Thermodynamics—it cannot—but it rather tells us that our energy intake and our energy expenditure get out of balance because of our hormonal situation. In other words, we eat more food than we metabolise under conditions when we are growing (whether vertically or horizontally), and we eat less food than we metabolise under conditions where the body can draw on its reserves to make up the difference. As Dr. Fung likes to point out, gaining or losing excess stored fat is not a one-compartment problem, but rather a two-compartment problem.

P.S.–A high level of serum insulin not only requires the adipose tissue to store fatty acids to the extent possible (and prevents the fat from leaving the adipose once stored), it also interferes with the brain’s reception of satiety hormones. Once chronic insulin levels drop low enough, the hormones that regulate appetite begin to function properly again, making eating to hunger a reliable guide for proper food intake.

(The crazy German guy) #34

People need to stop pretending that KETO is the only answer to everything diet.
And most of all, stop pretending that people can stuff their faces with oils and fats and nuts and beef and still lose weight. In fact is literally supposed to fly off of them.
Didn‘t los any weight other than water drop in your first month of keto? Don‘t worry. Your body is adjusting to fats. In 2 weeks it will all fly off of you.

The fact of the matter is that Keto, as much as any other diet only works in an environment where more energy is spent than consumed.

Constant hunger? I damn well remember my first weeks on Keto and IF.
But of course we can compare willpower on a diet with the „willpower“ to not commit crimes.

My body adjusted in a way that my brain adjusted. I got used to IF by my body not expecting to get food anymore at dinner time. When i changed the pattern, my body needed adjustment to not expect food anymore at breakfast time.
After a week or so the hunger feelings, or even growling stomach, went away completely. With and without carbs, it completely doesn‘t matter.

Don’t get me wrong, i love keto and i think it’s a great way for a lot of people to stop eating crap. Probably works best for Americans.

This „keto is the only answer, nothing else works“ makes me want to run away as fast as i can from this board.

The answer to me, in order to lose 100 lbs to this day, was „Eat less, move more“. Crazy, right?

(bulkbiker) #35

Yep because I didn’t do either and have so far lost 120 pounds…?

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #36

Not the only answer, but for most people probably the best answer. Depends on the question. A lot of us are here for the health benefits of ketosis, not because of weight. There are multiple health benefits gained from being in ketosis consistently that otherwise are not.

PS: Thermodynamics applies strictly only to a closed system. We are not closed systems. CICO theory ignores inputs/outputs that are messy and don’t equal a zero sum.

(It's all about the bacon, baby!) #37

This is true, but not in the way you probably mean it. When insulin is low, fatty acids are free to leave the adipose tissue, and the body is free to meet its energy demands from its reserves as well as from food intake. Studies using radio-labeled food intake show that dietary fat gets metabolised for energy, whereas excessive carbohydrate intake gets converted into fatty acids by the liver and these fatty acids are then stored in adipose tissue under the influence of insulin. When carbohydrate is not excessive, there is no such conversion, insulin remains low, and fatty acids are free to leave the adipose. The result is that the energy imbalance that obtains (whether an excess or a shortfall) is controlled by the hormonal response to the food intake. The quantity of food eaten is, to a surprising extent, irrelevant. The reason is, of course, that (within certain very broad limits) our metabolic rate can rise or fall to compensate for the amount of food ingested.

Various published studies have demonstrated that a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet can involve quite a high level of food intake and still permit the loss of excess stored fat. Interestingly, the same is true of a diet very high in carbohydrate and extremely low in fat—I am thinking of the Kempner rice diet, here—but the key is that the fat consumption must be restricted to an almost negligible amount. (Most people find such a diet very difficult to adhere to, but it does work.) Overfeeding people works almost to the same extent as underfeeding does, as far as the metabolic response is concerned, but at some point the body resists further manipulation and the subject becomes either irresistibly hungry or disgusted at the thought of further eating, depending on circumstances. (One participant in a famous overfeeding study reportedly broke down in tears at the thought of having to eat another pork chop.)

(bulkbiker) #38

Nicely explained by Amber @amber

('Jackie P') #39

@PaulL, thank you. That was a beautifully written post, detailing all the things I have learnt in a concise and coherent manner :hugs::hugs:


I don’t choose to deny it, I wasn’t sure I understand it correctly so I asked. I was uncertain because it makes no sense to me and it surely doesn’t happen for many people including me. Why would a body restrict its energy need without any reason for it? Maybe I still don’t understand if it’s really your statement… But nevermind, I was just curious.

I only know fat-loss not on keto and keeping it but it’s even a smaller N than in the studies… But I really pity humans if it’s a common thing to mess up metabolism with some calorie restriction. Even starvation doesn’t do that long term for a healthy person as far as I know. In my family, metabolism is better than that. But I believe there are very unlucky ones, of course, I’ve heard about such cases too.

I just like to focus on the wonderful variety among humans. And argue with generalization as it’s almost always wrong. Statistics and common things are different. We are individiuals so we just can talk about probabilities but our own experiences are better if we have them. I don’t like to follow statistics and guesstimations in my decisions but as I am far from the average (and a hedonist), it’s a very good idea.
I undetrstand statistics and studies may be useful for others.

(Jane) #41

Then go. You are taking people’s love of the keto way of eating and exagerating their responses. I am a long-term yo-yo dieter, CICO, low fat, hours at the gym, etc. Always worked in the short term - never the long term. Unlike keto that takes minimal willpower and I’ve kept off the 40-lb loss for over a year effortlessly. While eating lots of fat and dairy. I am a 61-yo woman whose only exercise is walking.

And you are only focusing on weight loss. I will never go back to a SAD diet and my knees and skin thank me.


I agree that keto isn’t the only potential answer and it’s even bad or impossible for many people. We are different.
It doesn’t mean carbs doesn’t matter. It might matter nothing for your fat-loss, I easily believe that. You can lose fat just as easily on a carby diet. You aren’t hungrier on a carby diet. It’s perfectly true for my SO as well. And absolutely not for me.

You and my SO use willpower and accept hunger (you for a while, my SO every day when losing and sometimes when maintains). I refuse to do that but I can’t, really, I tried once, never again.

For many, it’s probably “just” way easier and more pleasant if they restrict carbs. That would be enough reason for me as I am a hedonist. I listen to my body too, I mean I don’t even do thing it dislikes, not even for a week or if it’s a strong dislike, not even for a day or an hour. It works for me well enough but I can’t do much about these things anyway.

I do IF because I can’t do non-IF (I have such days but they usually feel wrong or a result of some mistake). I don’t eat much carbs because I can’t eat much carbs, I get unwell and I am a hedonist and can’t do that. Just like some people can’t do IF. And most people can but it’s not so great in the beginning.
I don’t do hunger because I can’t (hedonism, again, my body has its temper tantrums anyway, nope, it’s a serious sign to eat. my mind agrees, actually). If I am hungry, I eat. It doesn’t mean I didn’t try OMAD, I did it for a short while, I obviously wasn’t hungry when I fasted. It was almost perfect for me but not quite so I quit when I got hungry at the “wrong” time but it was fun while it lasted, I love experiments.

It probably is for some especially when it’s the most horrible advice for them… I don’t like as a general advice either.
It’s the answer for me as well but only the surface, it’s no real answer as it doesn’t say how on earth could I do that. Both works for me if I can do them to the right extent and it’s hopeless without either but I think I have little chance with only one and not both.
It’s the answer for my SO as well, even for maintenance as he had problems with that before. He just do it without the long journey I needed to go on.
But NOT everyone is like this. Exercise might hinder fat-loss. Less food could do the same but I think we all know very little food harms metabolism and even if one loses fat quickly when starving, it’s a bad thing.
And there are those interesting hormonal and other things in the body that makes everything even more weird and sometimes seemingly illogical.

So. I need probably both, I try to do exercise but HOW could I eat even less? The real answer is probably extremely low-carb for me, keto with plants wasn’t enough. Maybe it would have been if I could focus like crazy that I eat as little as possible…? But it would be stressful and maybe wouldn’t even work. Carbs mess with me, I finally realized at the point when I could give them up (a few years after I went keto for the first time).

I am “super sensitive” if it’s about carbs and my fat-loss, hunger, satiation, this bunch. You aren’t at all. Some people need their carbs. Each to their own.

(Justin Jordan) #43

DOES it work?

So, what Dr. Fung means is that long term, CICO doesn’t work. And what he means is that restricting calories consciously doesn’t work in the long term. I make that distinction because people use CICO as short hand when they mean something different. If you are losing fat you are absorbing less calories than you expend. Fung doesn’t deny that.

But he is right, statistically, about calorie counting. Most people that lose weight regain it. His theory is that this is because of metabolic adaptation. And his other theory is that by fasting, you don’t have metabolic adaptation.

Still, we don’t have any real evidence whether fasting actually IS better. Or keto. You could say but but this forum, etc. But you get survivorship bias - people who succeed long term are the ones who keep posting. So who knows?

(And I say that as someone who uses fasting, intermittent fasting, and a near zero carb diet)

(James Clary) #44

Yea man. I’m new here and already guilty. I’ll definitely do a search before posting in the future. Thx for the nudge!

(Jack Bennett) #45

That’s a real factor. I see one vegan activist online who claims (personal) failure of Atkins over many years and success on very-low-fat, whole-foods, plant based (WFPB). It seems strange to me. Having tried both diets / WoE, I find keto very satisfying, while WFPB made it hard to stay full and led to loss of muscle mass.

I can imagine that if a person didn’t really like meat or animal foods, they might have a bad time with Atkins or keto.

(Justin Jordan) #46

I mean, as a personal example - I just did six weeks of alternate daily fasting, and it’s NOT a sustainable method for me. The for me there being key. And it’s purely down to the fact that I like eating. It’s not a hunger issue, that’s fine, but even after six weeks it required me expending willpower to do it.

That doesn’t make it not a useful tool, but it does mean it’s not a long term thing for me.

(Kristen Ann) #47

Curious if you gained weight after you stopped doing ADF?