Stokies and CICO die/blow hards

(Doug) #61

I’m glad to see these comments. We’re not throwing physics and biochemistry out with the bathwater, so to speak. :+1: (You know, that bathwater that usually accompanies the baby.)

Yes. (I think “CICO” is such a buzzword, anymore, that it gets peoples hackles up, one way or another.) You’re right, Kirk - we need to identify the context and what we really mean. This subject sure does result in people talking past each other, etc.

It’s wrong to say, “calories are all that matter.” Also incorrect to claim that “a calorie is a calorie,” (as simple as that, with nothing else affecting things). Since it’s this forum, I think that everybody reading this thread is aware that those are wrong.

Then on the flipside I’ve seen people say that “calories don’t matter at all,” and practically in the same breath mention calorie restriction, insulin, and decreased metabolisms (which after all are measured in calories). If those same people want to lose fat, they’re mighty glad when the body starts taking calories from their fat stores.

Maybe the word “calories” itself incites people. One could as well use joules, watt-seconds, etc., or even just “energy.” Whaddayagunnado? :face_with_monocle:

(bulkbiker) #62

Possibly being too picky (who me… never) but a calorie is a calorie… it’s a measurement of the energy contained within things but we still don’t eat them we eat food. That’s where I see the problem laying mainly.

(Doug) #63

:heart: Mark, one of the most brutal examples of taking things out of context, ever. You couldn’t even make it to the end of the sentence. :smile: I hope things are going well for you in dear old Blighty. :slightly_smiling_face:


I’m confused. Did you loose weight by reducing calories (calorie restriction)?

(bulkbiker) #65

Yes all well here thanks., slowly finding shops that aren’t mask nazis and frequenting those.

Its not really out of context though because it is a true statement that “a calorie is a calorie” possibly the only true one in the whole CICO cannon. The bomb calorimeter can’t tell where the calories come from they just measure them.

(Kirk Wolak) #66

I don’t think they have to. The point is simply that it takes EXTRA energy. Laying down in room temp (76 degree bathtub) for 30 minutes will deplete my glycogen stores and lower my glucose. The point being that EVERYONE should know what tricks they can use. A walk is great. By my adopted mom is overweight with knee problems. She does Chair Yoga! Walking, and even standing too long is hard on her… A Cold Shower is much easier (less comfortable, but easier). A Cold soak is an option, but getting in and out is hard. WADING in a pool is easier on her knees, as it was mine!

And you have to warn people, doing these things can make them VERY HUNGRY for the obvious reason that it truly is “Workout Like”.

(Kirk Wolak) #67

The IMPLIED Meaning from “Coca-Cola” was that you can SIMPLY replace 150 Calories of PROTEIN with 150 Calories of Coke. And it’s the same thing. (no 2 calories, regardless of source matters).

I feel like asking is 1,000 calories of rat poison the same as 1,000 calories of meat?

We end up talking past each other because Coke concocted this phrase, which is true WITHOUT Context, but horribly false, especially when talking about eating a poison! There are MORE Effects than just the energy in what is consumed… Therefore, a calorie from one source is NOT equivalent to a calorie from another source!

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #68

So we can blame Coca Cola for ‘a calorie is a calorie’? Another CICO truism that doesn’t really matter in the real world where we don’t eat ‘calories’, like Mark said but food. The contained energy is extracted differently dependent on the specific packaging and exactly how our metabolisms unwrap it.

(bulkbiker) #69

Agree completely but then again as I have said many many times we don’t eat “calories” we eat food. Food types are so much more important than “calories” which is where CICO falls down completely but I would still maintain that “a calorie is a calorie” it’s just irrelevant when talking about food and ways of eating.

(bulkbiker) #70

Sorry Michael hadn’t read your response before replying…

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #71

@MarkGossage I could have '@'d you, but didn’t think of it. :roll_eyes:

(Ideom) #72

The only thing I would say here is that it really isn’t anything “against” CICO; it’s just the ‘calories out’ changing as you mentioned. To ignore that is a fundamental logical error on the part of people, that ‘not looking any deeper’ as you also mentioned, i.e. let’s not blame the data if we’re going to ignore part of it.

It really is amazing, though - who would have guessed that powderizing food made a difference, let alone the difference between overweight and not overweight? So now the mice children can take this study and refute their parents admonishments to Chew your food!”

Even more thread drift, but that ‘Area Under the Curve’ - I’m reminded of humans and that the time of day when food is consumed likewise makes a difference. For most of us, it’s really better to eat earlier in the day, versus later. Studies I’ve seen:

  • Eating in the evening versus morning brought a glucose response (area under the curve) twice as large.

  • Eating in the evening versus morning brought an insulin response (area under the curve) 25% to 50% larger.

  • Our hunger rhythms make the effects even worse - we have a peak in hunger around 8 pm and a trough in hunger around 8 am.

  • Eating the largest portion of calories later in the day (like having a “big dinner”) meant people - examined after a period of 6 years -
  • Were twice as likely to be obese.

  • Were twice as likely to be diabetic.

  • were 50% more likely to have metabolic syndrome.

Studies have their limitations, and people are not all the same, but it does seem like there’s a good bit of evidence which should be taken into account.

Higher glucose and insulin:
Higher hunger:
Higher obesity, diabetes, etc:

(bulkbiker) #73

I hadn’t seen this twitter thread from @amber before but found it enlightening (as is everything she writes…)

A timely appearance on my twitter feed

(Ideom) #74

Well Sir, that’s a somewhat complex question. I assume you know this, already, and indeed you mention one of the complications later, i.e. “ambient temp.” There are other factors that must be controlled for.

It appears that you are angling toward a conclusion that amounts to, “Since this stuff is complex, we should just ignore the science - it’s all a bunch of nonsense.” History is full of illuminating examples of why this thinking is wrong. In reality, it’s not necessarily “voodoo” even if we are not able to measure it, as historically with our technology not yet being apt. Humanity’s recent and ongoing work with the Higgs Boson is a good illustration of this.

To a very high degree of precision. In this case we are able to measure it. (Okay, so what does “high” mean, there? :wink:) As a practical matter for most of us, a small percentage of possible error will be okay, i.e. in our considerations of calories, if we are off by 2% or 3%, it’s not going to be a big deal. If total calories are 2500, then we’re talking about 50 - 75 calories, eh?

So, hook the person up to a good indirect calorimeter, and have at it. The best ones have less than 1% error, even as low as ~0.25%. Out of that 2500 calories, we are now down to 6 - 25 calories of error.

If that is not a satisfying amount of accuracy, then let’s go with direct calorimetry - put the person inside the calorimeter. When you ask, “How many calories…” you are talking about energy over time, as with how many calories per day, per hour, etc. So, do many trials, always controlling for other variables, and get an average in the end. Very likely, we will know the figure to a fraction of a calorie.

The question itself also matters - what concept are we addressing? Human metabolism is exothermic, overall - if the subject continues living, then he’s producing substantial heat, anyway, without regard to external temperature. So, if we want to control for all other factors, to “guard out” the metabolic goings-on that proceed regardless, then we need to do series of trials at different temperatures.

This would involve maintaining the same relative humidity, diet, activity level, etc. People do (naturally) use more energy when it’s colder than normal body temperature. (And interestingly - there is a point where when it’s hot they will be using the same increased energy, i.e. they are expending energy to keep cool.)

Some work has been done on this - there’s one study about variation in body temperature and energy expenditure in response to mild cold - 9 (Dutch, I believe) guys who averaged 76 kg or 168 lbs were studied at 16° and 22°C (61-72°F). At the colder temperature they used ~5% more energy. Note that they did not maintain the exact same body temperature - they were a little colder in the colder environment. To figure the exact caloric requirement to maintain the same body temperature, their activity would have had to have been raised slightly to achieve the same temperature as at 22°C.

As above, more trials are better than fewer. And on every day, the other possible confounding influences would have to be controlled for.

Also as above, it depends on exactly what you are asking for. If we want a straight up “response to temperature” caloric solution then temperature needs to be the only variable.

Not nearly enough information is given there. The answer may be yes or no. There is a point of thermoneutrality where we are not expending any energy at all to stay warm. The bigger we are, the lesser that temperature is. A mouse, for example, uses a lot of energy, more than 1/3 of total energy, to stay warm at 22°C. For a full-grown normal or obese person, it’s not much at all at that temperature, despite it being 15-16°C less than body temperature. Does the person know what their thermoneutrality temperature is? Your question does not give that information, for example.

:slightly_smiling_face: But of course in general the answer will essentially always be “no.”

And so what? What if I’d just said the answers to your questions are all “no”? That we are not naturally equipped to measure energy - directly, in that way - does not alter the physical and biochemical realities of life.

I’m not accusing you of being truly “anti-science.” Above, you say you don’t think the “energy balance is irrelevant.” That is a good beginning.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #75

@IdesOfMarch The point of the above example was simply to demonstrate the impossibility of determining energy inputs and outputs precisely in the illustrated example of maintaining body temp. Yes, of course, if you could determine all the inputs and all the outputs precisely, you could answer this exact number of calories are required under this set of circumstances. But we can’t do that, and you know it, because the number of known and possibly unknown variables are high.

As for general applicability of thermodynamics to metabolism, I said this a year ago:

So please stop implying that I am ‘anti-science’ or illiterate. It says a lot about you that you continually couch your arguments to imply those who disagree are less informed than you. What I have said about CICO is that it simplifies a very complex thermodynamic system to the point of absurdity by ignoring a large number of very important processes that affect the human system just as significantly and in many instances moreso than merely counting calories. Starting with the uncertainty of exactly how many calories you are actually ingesting and exactly how efficiently your metabolism extracts whatever energy is there. CICO is not just a statement about thermodynamics. It’s a system/theory of maintenance that brings with it a lot of baggage that has little or no thermodynamic/science to support it.

A Calorie is Not A Calorie - A Discussion of Thermodynamics

Aren’t calories recycled?

(Kevin) #77

@ctviggen posted a good study here: Check out my comment I made at KetoCon2019

Science isn’t always easy, nor will a proper interpretation often ‘fit on a bumper sticker.’ But that study shows that if you isolate what you want to find (you’re controlling for the other factors), then we really can know a lot.

In looking through this thread…

Well, ‘CICO’ is a snappy little phrase. If you want something more in-depth, more all-encompassing, then that approach will necessarily be more complex, as with all those questions you asked @IdesOfMarch 15 or 16 posts above this one. It’s irrational to then turn around and criticize CICO for its simplicity. The energy balance is indeed important - we know valuable things from that, alone (and it relates to one of the most major reasons if not the primary reason that we’re all on this forum). It’s not enumerating all the biochemical “whys,” however, nor does it claim to.

I think it’s like Dr. Fung’s “Two Compartment Model/Problem,” which is actually three things. Energy (the 1st thing) doesn’t just go to ‘calories out’ (the 2nd thing). It can also go to fat storage (the 3rd thing).

With CICO, there are the data-driven people who pay attention to the whole thing, realize its constraints and also its benefits - we need not limit ourselves to ‘in & out’ because we can derive movement into or from fat storage by “in minus out” or vice-versa. (1st group.)

Then there are people who don’t approach CICO the right way. They forget about the ‘out’ part, act like merely “counting calories” (the 'in) will make for long term weight-loss for people, nothing more required, etc. (2nd group.)

Then there are people (3rd group) who criticize the 2nd group (and they are right in doing so), yet also the 1st group. It’s as if they personalize CICO and assign the human errors from the 2nd group to it. This is just as incorrect as the errors the 2nd group are making.

An example:

This is true, as stated. Yet this has no bearing on the validity of CICO. ‘CICO’ doesn’t specify anything beyond “calories” and where they’re heading. If it was ‘CBMT…’ (‘calories by macronutrient type, etc…’) then it would be different.

I have heard of her and I think she’s really good on sticking to the science. (Although I think Twitter’s character limit, even improved as it is, is more for brief thoughts than ‘complete truth’ - and this effect is noticeable in some of her replies.) Some quotes from that Twitter thing:

When we say “use up calories” we mean actually metabolise some material for the energy. So, a caloric deficit just means that we used more energy than could be accounted for by the amount available from what we ate.

(Okay, but there’s more to it than that…) :neutral_face: (She needs to clarify that.)

Any time you have a caloric deficit you must have less material than what you started with, so you would weigh less.

(Stays true to the laws of conservation of matter and energy.) :+1:

Likewise, any time you have less material than you started with, as long as you didn’t remove it in some other way—amputation and urinating sugar don’t count!

(Okay, there’s some clarification - she touches on physical removal and waste. ‘Amputation’ and the like really don’t count. :smile: It’s understood that we’re not talking about that. I gotta disagree about urinating sugar, though - it’s not a healthy condition nor is it commonly found, but there a loss is a loss. Another person mentions this below, i.e. “waste is material.” I’ve got the luxury of being able to compose this prior to posting it - I’m aware that making sequential Twitter replies makes things harder in that respect. Since she’s talking about “less material” we know that fat stores are not increasing, thus we know that either material/calories etc. are being metabolized or going out as waste. Those are the only 2 avenues remaining.)

Aaaaaaand… I’ve got a long post. :astonished:

(Scott) #78

The body can be efficient utilizing calories and it can also be efficient in wasting them. Plug that into your closed system.

(bulkbiker) #79

Plus it can turn WAT into BAT to create heat (re Bikman)

(Doug) #80


But in the spirit of things, not like this:


Taking things out of context: