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Old 08-19-2012, 05:44 PM   #13
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kaplods's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,383

S/C/G: SW:394/310/180

Height: 5'6"


It's amazing to me how much my metabolism has changed over the years. The calorie level it now takes to maintain my weight is a calorie level I would consistently lose 5 to 8 lbs a week on in my 20's (at the same weight). I am currently less active, but I also have health issues that are known to be causes or effects of slow metabolism.

It's sometimed difficult to wrap my head around the difference between my old metabolism and my current metabolism. It's almost like they belong to two different people (and sometimes I think of it that way.... not only can I not compare my metabolism to that of other people, I also can't compare it to my old metabolsim. The old me doesn't exist anymore, and probably never will).

I have found that I can lose a bit more consistently (while getting to eat a few more calories) on low-carb.

For me the difference is about 300 calories (I lose about the same amount of weight on an 1800 calorie low-carb exchange plan as I do on a 1500 calorie standard exchange plan (and I'm far less hungry, and not only because of the 300 extra calories. I'm hungrier on 1500 calories of high-carb than I am on 1000 calories of low-carb, because the fewer starchy/sugary carbs I eat the less hunger I experience, and the more starchy/sugary carbs I eat, the hungrier I get).

I used to think that this was an unusual discrepancy (at least many people told me that they believed it to be, as well), but a recent study comparing diets of three different carb-level found this same discrepancy. The lowest-carb diet studied was found to have a 300 calorie advantage over the highest carb plan (that is the advantage averaged 300 calories). That is subjects were able to eat an average of 300 more calories on low-carb to acheive comparable results of subjects eating a high-carb diet.

Looks like I'm more typical/average than I thought (well, in one way at least).

Now that doesn't mean that even if you do experience this calorie advantage that the lowest-carb diet possible is the best diet. It just means that a calorie is a calorie, isn't all that accurate when it comes to metabolism. If you restrict carbs, there's a good chance that you can eat a slightly higher calorie diet than if you don't.

I only read the abstract of this study, so I do not know what the range of calorie differences was. I would be very interested to know more about it. Did some people experience no advantage whatsover, and others experience a 600 calorie advantage? Were there any participants who experienced a calorie advantage to the high-carb plan (group statistics wouldn't necessarily capture this. The average advantage was 300 calories, but that doesn't really tell us whether the effect was universal to all participans or whether it was proportional to all participants. Some people may have experienced smaller differences, larger differences, no differences, or even the opposite effect).
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Last edited by kaplods; 08-19-2012 at 09:57 PM.
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