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Old 11-08-2010, 07:01 PM   #31  
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This doesn't really prove much of anything. It was too short of a "study" and doesn't have enough participants or enough controls to determine much of anything, except that if a person reduces their calorie intake, they may lose weight. I'd even venture to say "probably," but I also know "not necessarily) is also true for many people.

I can lose more weight on low-carb than on the same calories of high-carb. So I can lose more weight and feel fuller on low-carb than high-carb diets of the same calorie level. That doesn't mean I can't lose on a high-carb diet, but why would I want to (especially when I also know that the high-carb diet triggers or worsens some health issues and symptoms).

I only know this because I played lab rat and scientist with my own food journals. I would never lose weight on 1800 calories of junk food, for a variety of reasons, but mostly because when I eat junk food I can't stick to 1800 calories. I end up feeling starving and eat much more.

Some people do seem to be able to eat a whole lot of crap with no apparent ill effects (although apparent may be the key. Just because they look ok, doesn't mean they are).

Anyone can use a food journal though to experiment with different diets and see which they like best, and which they are able to stick to best, on which they feel the best...

But this one guys experiement raises more questions than it answers. Would he have lost more weight if he had followed a different diet of the same calories? How hungry was he on this diet? Would he have been less hungry on another diet? Did he experience any problems on this diet not related to weight such as headaches, concentration levels, sleep quality, emotional stability - was he crankier? Did he enjoy the diet or was it a torture. How long could he have kept it up without going bonkers?
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:08 PM   #32  
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Funny! I posted this in the General Chatter forum (oops!).

It is kind of an eye-opener. I know these aren't the results anyone was looking for but... I think it speaks to how resilient the human body is. Like the article said - there aren't any long-term results (ie cancer increase, insulin resistance changes, etc.) but bodies at a healthier weight function better.

But, he was also getting in a multivitamin, protein shakes and a healthy dinner. So... a reduced calorie diet, regardless of how he got there, obviously worked.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:26 AM   #33  
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I would agree that a calorie is just a calorie to a certain degree. For example, when I was struggling with ED, I ate nothing but apples and Oreos for about 3 months or so. I maintained a very thin weight, never gaining any. Was I healthy? Uh, probably not. Was I skinny? Yup. And yes, I actually did lose weight too.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:18 PM   #34  
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I think many people are not actually *reading* the article. There's a LOT more info in the entire article than just "I ate Twinkies & lost 27 lbs!" -

for instance

On August 25, Haub, 41, started his cake diet focusing on portion control.

"I'm eating to the point of need and pushing the plate or wrapper away," he said.

He intended the trial to last a month as a teaching tool for his class. As he lost weight, Haub continued the diet until he reached a normal body mass index.

Before his Twinkie diet, he tried to eat a healthy diet that included whole grains, dietary fiber, berries and bananas, vegetables and occasional treats like pizza.

"There seems to be a disconnect between eating healthy and being healthy," Haub said. "It may not be the same. I was eating healthier, but I wasn't healthy. I was eating too much."
That last part, about "eating healthier but eating too much" - isn't that a huge red flag to some of us? I've heard that "you can eat all the veggies you want & not gain weight!" - uh, NO you cannot. A person cannot eat "all they want" of any food & not gain weight.

To curb calories, he avoided meat, whole grains and fruits. Once he started adding meat into the diet four weeks ago, his cholesterol level increased.
MEAT! - eating meat made his chol. level INCREASE. I think that's a huge indicator of good/bad health. I know that *I* personally decreased my bad chol. level & increased my good chol. level by adding more whole grain to my diet (brown rice, whole wheat pasta & bread).

Eating! It's a way of life.

Last edited by Beach Patrol; 11-09-2010 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:10 PM   #35  
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Of course a calorie is just a calorie! All a calorie is is a unit of measurement for energy - same concept as a Joule.

As long as people don't conflate weight loss with health (because they are two entirely different things), the results of the experiment are not at all surprising.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:27 PM   #36  
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I was saddened because of all the nutritional points to make, this is what he chose. If I had the self discipline to limit myself to 1800 calories of junk, I wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

Sheesh. I don't think anyone wanted to make this point in the article, but I'll bet the lack of meat and cheese in his diet did wonders for his cholesterol.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:35 PM   #37  
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Originally Posted by Aunty Jam View Post
Wow he must have been starving all the time!
Yeah, that's what I thought, too. I can get a lot more food for the same amount of calories by not eating the junk. Still, it is interesting.
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:40 PM   #38  
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Because I could lose weight on any diet if I cut calories enough, I didn't realize that it does matter what I eat, not just for health, but for weight loss too. I can lose at least as much weight on 2000 calories of low-carb eating, than I can on 1500 calories of high-carb. Also, I'm hungrier on 4000 calories of high-carb than on 1000 calories of low-carb. So eating low-carb makes a whole lot more sense.

I think "working" as in "resulting in weight loss" is only one very small part of the picture. Finding what you can stick to (or learn to stick to), what you enjoy (or can learn to enjoy), what you feel best and least hungry on.....

that's the real "secret." But it's not how we're taught to lose weight. The general practice is to randomly try diet plans, or to choose a plan philosophy and stick with it. "Trying out" different plans or constant experimentation is often seen as flaky at best.

I think the single best tool of weight loss is a daily journal - and not just of food and calories, but also of emotions, hunger, health symptoms... Over time patterns will emerge (though you have to look at big picture, what you did yesterday doesn't always show up on the scale today or even next week).
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:55 PM   #39  
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Originally Posted by RunnerChemist View Post
I was saddened because of all the nutritional points to make, this is what he chose. If I had the self discipline to limit myself to 1800 calories of junk, I wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.
I don't know the man but I am guessing he was as surprised as anyone by the study. I think his intention may have been the opposite of his result....

Granted there is no real proof in a study with one person, but I think it is interesting that his cholesterol went down (and we see similar results with Atkins followers who are eating pounds of bacon a day) - indicating that weight loss itself is important to improving health. But there are plenty of studies out there that show what you eat is important too so if he had done the same diet but ate only broccoli, how much more would his numbers have improved?
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:12 AM   #40  
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From personal experience I know that if we have an office birthday party in the morning and I have cake, I don't want my salad or other healthy meal at lunch. The sweet snacks destroy my appetite for more wholesome food.

I'm thinking about the chemicals and other junk in Twinkies and similar snacks...and I think I'd rather be slightly overweight than subsist on that stuff. Cancer, for one thing, may be caused by the Frankenfoods that we eat on the SAD. I hope that no one out there takes this study as proof that they can lose weight by eating a lot of snack cakes and chips etc.
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:55 PM   #41  
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This was on our local news here. His point is to prove that it is all about calories in and calories out. He also says that there may also be other health problems that would come from a diet like this. But he is only talking about weight loss. There are really many people who dont really get what you need to do to lose weight. I know I didnt, and this forum has been one of the best tools I could have ever asked for.
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:51 PM   #42  
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I don't really think it proves anything about "calories in calories out" the way most people mean it.

For most of my life, I thought all calories were equal when it came to weight loss. I assumed I would lose just as much on 1500 calories of junk as 1500 calories of whole foods. I never tested the theory, so it took me nearly 40 years to understand just how much it mattered where the calories came from.

If I drastically cut calories (regardless of where the calories come from) I do lose weight - but I don't have to cut calories nearly as drastically if I choose carefully where the foods come from.

I can eat more and feel better when I keep carb-levels fairly low. No doubt part of the equation is having more energy to burn more calories without even realizing it.

Another huge factor is hunger. On 4000 calories of high-carb foods, I am far hungrier than I am on 1000 or low-carb calories. Appetite and hunger control can be powerful tools for weight loss.

It all does boil down to calories in/calories out, but it's more difficult to determine the calories out than the calories in. It's also difficult to determine how the calories in affect the calories out. Metabolism is a bit like a fire - the fuel you use not only affects how long the fire burns, but how hot the fire gets.

I can see that literally in my body temperature. It's not unusual for my body temperature to be in the low 96's. I used to think I just had a naturally low body temperature. Then I discovered that when I'm eating a relatively high-carb diet, my body temperature is at least a full degree lower than when I'm eating low-carb. The fewer carbs I eat, the closer my body temperature is to "normal." It's also just a study of one, so I can't conclude anything for anyone but myself, but to me it proves that "a calorie is a calorie" is an oversimplification. What you eat can affect what you burn.
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