Monday, February 2, 2009

Low Carb Talibans

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I subscribe to the idea, that the best diet is the one you can maintain in the long run.

For me personally, this entails intermittent fasting and a cyclic approach of higher/lower carbs, plenty of protein and low/moderate fat. My main focus lies on high quality foods, with nutritious and satiating properties, and not discrimination towards a particular macronutrient.

I don't believe there is any magic to be had when one is excluding fat or carbs from their diet. Both have their place. However, there are people that subscribe to a completely different set of opinions.

After watching the documentary Religulous
(melding of "religion" and "ridiculous) yesterday, it dawned upon me how much some religious fundamentalists have in common with certain nutritional fundamentalists. In recent years, I have seen the rise of one group in particular. I prefer to call them the low carb talibans.

When I am using the term 'fundamentalist' here, I am using it to characterize religious advocates that cling to a stubborn, entrenched position that defies reasoned argument or contradictory evidence - I am not talking about religious people in general, and I don't have anything against them.

1. Religious fundamentalists believe in supernatural beings. Low carb talibans believe you can get fat without a positive energy balance, if you eat carbs.

Similar to the anti-fat proponents 15-20 years ago, we now have one group of people blaming one particular macronutrient as the sole reason for why people are getting fatter.

2. Religious fundamentalists base their beliefs on faith, not empirical evidence. Low carb talibans believe that dietary fat is unimportant for the development of obesity; the most jaded lot believe that you can eat an unlimited amount of fat, without weight gain, as long as carbs are excluded from the diet.

The 'rationale' behind this claim, is that the body can’t store fat without insulin (it can). Carbs equals insulin, and that means ditching carbs must mean no fat storage (wrong). They conveniently ignore that

a) eating protein produce insulin
b) fat stores itself with tremendous efficiency without insulin, due to a nifty little thing called acylation-stimulating protein (ASP).

3. Religious fundamentalists believe that forces of evil hide amongst us, trying to lead us into temptation and wrongdoing. Low carb talibans belive that carbs and insulin are to blame for obesity.

We live in an obesogenic environment; we lead sedentary lives and we are surrounded by easily obtainable foods with high energy density. High carb, high fat foods which taste great, and are extremely easy to overconsume. That people gain weight in such a setting is no great mystery, yet the low carbs talibans likes to make it out to be. It is the carbs specifically that made you fat, not that peanut butter jar you went through watching tv last night. Yes, that seems to make sense.

4. Religious fundamentalists believe there is only one way, and all other faiths are heretic. Low carb talibans tries to push their beliefs on others and will seldom accept alternative views.

More than one time, I have seen the talibans make the most ludicrous claims about their approach, often not accepting the fact that some people actually function better on a higher carb approach, and that people involved in anaerobic sports actually need them to perform better.

5. Religious fundamentalists do not accept current ideas of the creation of earth or human evolution, rather they make up their own stories of how we came to be here. Low carb talibans make up their theories regarding human metabolism.

Here's a quick primer on how it works.

Dietary fat is stored easily as body fat without the presence of carbs or insulin.

Fat metabolism increase when fat intake is increased, but it is primarly dietary fats that are burned off, not fat stored in adipose tissue. For the latter to occur, energy balance needs to be negative. Energy can't just disappear and an excess is stored*

When carbs are consumed, metabolism switches to glucose dependence; that is, while carbs do not get converted to fat**, they do inhibit fat metabolism to a point where dietary fats are more readily stored.

One can say that overconsuming dietary fat leads to fat storage through a direct mechanism, while overconsuming carbs leads to fat storage through an indirect mechanism, through blunting of fat metabolism/lipolysis. Either way you cut it, the key point is that energy balance is the main determinant for fat storage, or fat loss.

* carbs can only be converted to fat by a process called de novo lipogenesis (DNL). This metabolic pathway is very ineffective in humans and in studies it only comes into play during massive carbohydrate overfeeding. How come people still got fat from eating all those low fat foods back when low fat was the craze? Well, the body has the ability to upregulate key enzymes involved in the DNL pathway, making carb to fat conversion more efficient. And this occurs on high carb/low fat diets. So, there is no tricking the body from gaining weight during caloric excess by excluding fat or carbs from the diet.

** metabolism does increase a bit when energy consumption is increased; just a few percentages, nothing drastic (called 'luxusconsumption' or adaptve thermogenesis by some scientists). Ironically, this effect is greatest when the extra energy is provided from carbs, not fat.

Why low carb really works

I have extensive experience with all forms of low carb/ketogenic diets. I’ve done them all, the traditional standard ketogenic diet, the cyclical and the targeted ketogenic diet. I've come to the following conclusions:

1. There is a mild hunger blunting effect on ketogenic diets, which may help intially. This has to be weighed against the deprived feeling you get from not consuming carbs and the decrease in performance during weight training. This can be partially amended by doing a cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) or a targeted ketogenic diet (TKD), where you either carb load through the weekend or consume carbs in conjunction with workouts.

2. Making the diet highly restrictive, in terms of completely cutting out one macronutrient, may help with adherance. It certainly takes away the hedonic aspect of eating.

Studies actually show that diets which allow ad libitum intake of protein and fat, usually leads to a spontaenous reduction of calorie intake. Cutting out carbs from the equation may be a sound approach for the average joe, who's idea of carbs are in the form of cereal and white bread. IME, you're less likely to binge on egg omelettes and ham, as opposed to chicken and pasta.

3. When people start eating low carb and lose weight, it is partially because they start eating more protein than on their past (failed) diet approaches. Protein leads to better satiety than any other macronutrient. There's also the issue of being forced to make sound food choices overall, such as increasing veggie intake to make up most of your carb intake in order to stay below the threshold (max 50 g carbs/day usually).

4. And of course, there is also the insulin sensitivity/resistance factor to consider. Some people do in fact feel better on ketogenic/low carb diets, for physiological, not behavioral, reasons. No energy dips, hunger pangs and so forth. ***

*** However, as I see it, people have a tendency to draw the conclusion that they need to follow a low carb approach without having visited the middle road. I've had some clients that were convinced they could only do well on low carbs - and it turned out they did just as well, if not better, when I incorporated veggies, fruit and berries as their main carb source. The middle road, with a minimum of refined carbs, is very workable for most people that label themselves as 'insulin resistant'.

Anyway, rant over.

For an unbiased guide to ketogenic diets, free from voodoo science and 'make believe' physiology, I urge you to check out The Ketogenic Diet, by Lyle McDonald. My review is here.

256 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Great post, Martin!

- Angela

Anonymous said...

"The 'rationale' behind this claim, is that the body can’t store fat without insulin (it can)"

How does this explain type 1 diabetes? They can eat thousands of calories a day and eventually die of starvation. Then they can get fat (obese even) if we give them insulin.

Czobit said...

I wasted a lot of time following a low carb diet. What was worse was after increasing my carb intake, and seeing good results, I lowered them again because it just didn't seem right.

That was stupid, and I know better now.

Martin Berkhan said...

Anonymous,

that's bullshit. Untreated diabetics do not die of starvation. Low calorie, low carb diets, was one of the first treatments for diabetes before the discovery of insulin.

Nor is the metabolic state in diabetes type 1 comparable to that of healthy individuals.

If diabetics die, it is of complications resulting from ketoacidosis, severe hyperlipidemia, or severe hyperglycemia (which may cause coma, in some cases fatal).

mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Yes type 1 diabetics *usually* die due to other causes; however, it's not unheard of for their body to eventually consume it's own heart muscle (starvation) because it has no other usable energy source. Independent of the number of calories consumed, untreated type 1 diabetics cannot gain fat and eventually wither away; give them insulin and you can easily make them obese. This is not explained by the above post which claims that insulin is unnecessary to gain fat... (and I believe it to be necessary)

lylemcd said...

There is a massive difference between

Zero insulin (untreated type I diabetes)

Basal low insulin as it will occur in normal individuals.

Even in fasting, insulin will NEVER be zero in a non-type I diabetic. It will be very low but never zero.

And, of course, as Martin pointed out, even dietary protein will rise insulin (it won't do that in Type I diabetes either).

Even fasting levels of insulin have metabolic effects. And, of course, the non-diabetic can release insulin as needed. Something else the Type I diabetic can't possibly do.

Consider, for example, ketosis as it occurs in a low-carb diet vs. runaway ketoacidosis as it occurs in Type I diabetics.

One of the blocks on ketone production in the liver is an increase in insulin (which will also inhibit free fatty acid release from the fat cell).

And this will occur on a lowcarb diet if ketone levels get high enough which is why ketoacidosis doesn't develop.

But this can't ever occur in an untreated Type I diabetic since their body can't produce any insulin.

So type I diabetes is a completely useless model here.

Lyle

Anonymous said...

So you agree that insulin is necessary to gain fat?

I guess the larger idea is: no one (even the most stringent 'low carb taliban') thinks that the human body doesn't gain weight in 'positive energy balance' as defined by the first law of thermodynamics. However, Type 1 Diabetics prove that the body is does not have to stuff excess calories into fat cells; it *must* have other mechanisms for releasing excess calories besides burning them off in exercise (it's not as if type 1 diabetics all Olympian athletes or something).

In another example, one side effect of ketosis is unused ketone bodies (read: usable energy) escaping through the breath and urine.

That's just in humans; as far as I understand, animal studies have shown time and again that feeding the exact same number of calories in different compositions can have a marked affect on fat deposition and weight. I don't know if anyone can say for a fact whether or not this is also true in humans - but it's certainly highly plausible.

Its my opinion that 'religion' on this side of the debate is the side that insists there is no other way to lose weight than to lower caloric intake and burn more in exercise. This idea may eventually be proven right, but right now it's a hypothesis with little evidence in support.

Just by saying that Type 1 diabetics 'don't apply here' doesn't mean they don't have to follow the same laws of thermodynamics as the rest of us...

lylemcd said...

Pay attention:

Type I diabetes is a pathological condition. It does NOT apply here.

And the excretion of calories via ketones in pee and breath is insignificant.

Lyle

lylemcd said...

It's also worth noting that another consequence of zero insulin (as per Type I diabetes) is a huge loss of calories in the urine.

This will not occur in non-diabetics.

But it may explain some of the apparent 'thermodynamic' weirdness.

It's still an irrelevant model to healthy dieters.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to completely disagree and suggest that it may be the exceptions that can teach us more the than the normal case.

Maybe we should also ignore weight gain from insulin therapy and all the (type 1 and 2) diabetics that manipulate their weight by manipulating the amount of insulin they inject themselves with.

And all animal studies.

And we'll ignore anything else that doesn't agree with this hypothesis.

And just assume as fact that our bodies must just stuff calories into fat cells. And write blog posts suggesting that anyone that disagrees is akin to religious fanaticism.

In my opinion, any hypothesis of weight change *must* also be able to explain the outlier cases, such as type 1 diabetes - otherwise it is, at the very least, incomplete, if not completely wrong.

Frank said...

Fwiw i've gained weight on less than 30 g carbs/day...some muscle, some fat. But gaining weight without carbs is like having sex with a condom...it just aint that much fun.

Martin Berkhan said...

"Type 1 Diabetics prove that the body is does not have to stuff excess calories into fat cells;"

Yes, it's called hyperlipidemia and it's potentially fatal.

"it *must* have other mechanisms for releasing excess calories besides burning them off in exercise"

It does, but adaptive thermogenesis is certainly not efficient enough to fend off weight gain in the long run for most people. That's part of the reason people are getting fatter.

"Its my opinion that 'religion' on this side of the debate is the side that insists there is no other way to lose weight than to lower caloric intake and burn more in exercise. This idea may eventually be proven right, but right now it's a hypothesis with little evidence in support."

The idea that you need to lower calories to lose weight is a "hypothesis" with little evidence to support? You're joking, trolling, what exactly..?

"I'm going to completely disagree and suggest that it may be the exceptions that can teach us more the than the normal case."

Great logic. Let's look at the outliers and apply that to the great majority. Do you not realize how backwards this is?

"Maybe we should also ignore weight gain from insulin therapy and all the (type 1 and 2) diabetics that manipulate their weight by manipulating the amount of insulin they inject themselves with."

Didn't Lyle just show you the fallacy in this?

"And we'll ignore anything else that doesn't agree with this hypothesis."

What "hypothesis" would that be, exactly? That you need to lower calorie intake to lose weight? How is this a "hypothesis"?

"And just assume as fact that our bodies must just stuff calories into fat cells."

The liver is a great place to store them as well. Though not very healthy.

"And write blog posts suggesting that anyone that disagrees is akin to religious fanaticism."

Or living in lala-land.

Anonymous said...

I'm not trolling, though I admit I did get a bit sarcastic when all of my points were ignored out of hand. You may not have heard of contrary opinions, but Lyle certainly has.

It's a hypothesis because it's never been proven. As I said, there's tons of animal studies that show that feeding the exact same number of calories in different compositions can make a dramatic difference on fat deposition and weight. In a concrete example, feeding a hibernating animal such as a squirrel the same calories all year long will *not* prevent it gaining a significant amount of body fat during the fall. Rat study after rat study show that feeding rats different macro-nutrient compositions with the *exact* same caloric content will show vast difference in how fat the rats become. There are less studies in humans due to the much greater difficulty. But still, the animal studies certainly open the great plausibility that caloric content isn't the only thing that matters in humans as well. So until human studies prove that a calorie causes the same amount of weight gain indifferent of which macro nutrient it came from, I will call it a hypothesis. I personally call it quite a questionable hypothesis.
Here's one comparison of two human studies on the subject (certainly not end all evidence, but a good start)

And no, Lyle did not describe the effects of insulin on a type 2 diabetic, who produce plenty of insulin (and insulin resistance is rapidly on it's way to becoming the 'norm'). And some type 2 diabetics can be hard to convince to take their insulin, because it causes a marked gain in weight.

If you don't believe me, try it yourself: inject some insulin for a week or two, eat the same amount, and watch your weight skyrocket.

Also, I'm pretty sure adaptive thermogenesis has almost nothing to do with why untreated Type 1 Diabetics lose weight rapidly. My point isn't that everyone can be like Type 1 diabetics; but my point was that there's an immediate, indisputable example of a group of people that can eat all they possibly can and still lose weight. My point being, there's a great plausibility for other, significant, mechanisms to rid the body of excess calories. You can't yell 'It's true because of Thermodynamics!' and then shove all the exceptions aside as 'exceptional'. That's not science, it's religion. Fat storage is not possible without insulin, so obviously there is more to the picture than calories in and calories burned.

But thanks for proving my point. Although I did get a bit sarcastic, I'm certainly far from trolling. Yet I'm personally attacked with a vigor that I can only describe as religious fanaticism. 'Trolling', 'Ignorant', 'living in la-la land'? For what, suggesting that what you believe is an unproven hypothesis?

Matt P said...

LOL this anonymous troll doesn't even realize the irony of its own posts

That's the best funnies of all.

Anonymous said...

The title and content of the original post suggests metaphorically that I, because I believe that there is evidence suggesting the author is wrong, am akin to a fundamentalist religious terrorist. But when I suggest that maybe the other side is more akin to religion, then I'm a troll!?

Martin Berkhan said...

It's a hypothesis because it's never been proven. "

It's never been proven that people gain weight when consuming a caloric excess, and lose fat when a caloric deficit is created? That's a new one.

"As I said, there's tons of animal studies that show that feeding the exact same number of calories in different compositions can make a dramatic difference on fat deposition and weight."

And there's tons of human studies showing very little difference in body composition when the very same experiments are carried out. Which studies do you think are more relevant for us, the ones performed on critters, hummingbirds and hibernating bears, or maybe, just maybe, humans?

"In a concrete example, feeding a hibernating animal such as a squirrel the same calories all year long will *not* prevent it gaining a significant amount of body fat during the fall. Rat study after rat study show that feeding rats different macro-nutrient compositions with the *exact* same caloric content will show vast difference in how fat the rats become. "

You seem to lack any understanding concerning the metabolic pathways in humans vs the ones in animals. DNL is, for example, much more efficient in most animals compared to humans. It seems to me that you have no basic knowledge whatsoever of these matters, or are you just making stuff up as you go along?

"So until human studies prove that a calorie causes the same amount of weight gain indifferent of which macro nutrient it came from, I will call it a hypothesis."

Have you actually looked into this topic at all? Here's a few from memory

Joosen AM, Westerterp KR.
Energy expenditure during overfeeding.
Nutr Metab (Lond). 2006 Jul 12;3:25

Lammert O, Grunnet N, Faber P, Bjørnsbo KS, Dich J, Larsen LO, Neese RA,
Hellerstein MK, Quistorff B.
Effects of isoenergetic overfeeding of either carbohydrate or fat in young men.
Br J Nutr. 2000 Aug;84(2):233-45.
PMID: 11029975 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

McDevitt RM, Poppitt SD, Murgatroyd PR, Prentice AM.
Macronutrient disposal during controlled overfeeding with glucose, fructose,
sucrose, or fat in lean and obese women.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Aug;72(2):369-77.


Horton TJ, Drougas H, Brachey A, Reed GW, Peters JC, Hill JO.
Fat and carbohydrate overfeeding in humans: different effects on energy storage.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1995 Jul;62(1):19-29.


James WP, McNeill G, Ralph A.
Metabolism and nutritional adaptation to altered intakes of energy substrates.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Feb;51(2):264-9.

You are doing a very good job of exemplifying what I meant by this

Religious fundamentalists base their beliefs on faith, not empirical evidence.

Anonymous said...

I think said troll is taking the comment "The 'rationale' behind this claim, is that the body can’t store fat without insulin (it can). " a little out of context, or at the very minimum took it this way to build his rather large strawman so he can smash it to pieces.

Martin is not claiming that insulin is not invovled in energy metabolism. But rather levels above basal are not required to store fats.


But strawman troll would rather troll about a people on a short sharp trip to dirtsville.

Anonymous said...

First of all, a number of those studies seem to agree that macro-nutrient composition *does* matter with regard to fat storage (albeit not very much). Stranger than that, after all the talk of low carb / ketosis / insulin, as far as I can tell (I've only read the ones fully online, and the abstracts of the others) none of them even seem to lower carb intake enough to invoke ketosis.

The point of animal studies / type 1 diabetics was to show that invoking 'thermodynamics' is certainly not the full story behind weight control.

I never once claimed it was impossible to invoke weight gain by overeating, nor to lose weight by starving yourself. The 'hypothesis' that has not been proven is: it is solely the number of calories that matter in weight control and hormonal responses to macro-nutrient composition are not relevant. I didn't mean to set up a straw man - but wasn't that one of the main ideas of your initial post? My claim is that is absolutely biologically plausible (almost certain, actually) to invoke weight gain / loss with the same number of calories by changing macro-nutrient composition; especially, but not limited to, by limiting an insulin response. I mean seriously, if you don't believe me, try injecting yourself with insulin and tell me the result. I'd bet a large sum that, unless you seriously starve yourself, you'll gain significant weight independent of the number of calories consumed / burned. If you agree with me here, then I don't see where we disagree nor the point of your initial post... ie that a larger insulin response is more likely to cause more fat storage.

I will admit that most of my information about this subject (besides the completely worthless news and health classes in school) came from Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, and Eades' blog. Taubes claims, and it would be great to know if this is incorrect, that overeating studies that invoke ketosis are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to perform. I know that personally I would have a hard time overeating protein and fat.

TC said...

It's interesting reading these different opinions on this matter. Good healthy debate can shed light on these points - but let's keep it clean and no catty comments gentlemen!

Wazzup said...

I use the diet = religion comparison as well in my daily life. It teaches me to never discuss dietary ideas with God knows who, and also I never have to explain my own dietary guidelines. Some people have a different religulous view on carbs, or fat, well you have the freedom to believe whatever you want, no matte how absurd it is, as long as you let other people free to believe whatever they want.

Also, if I refuse to eat some cake at coffee time I can refer to "It's is my religion" and the discussion is over (well for me it is). IF serves me right as a religion. It helps me through the day, it takes constant worrying away over trivial stuff. I don't understand all of the underlying reasons, but I have a near blind faith in the great religious leaders of this movement (be it Martin, Lyle, Alan, Arthur, or whomever)

Martin Berkhan said...

"First of all, a number of those studies seem to agree that macro-nutrient composition *does* matter with regard to fat storage (albeit not very much)."

Yes. To the benefit of carbs, not fat, which I pointed out in the post. Dietary fat gets stored with very high efficiency in the face of a caloric excess.

"Stranger than that, after all the talk of low carb / ketosis / insulin, as far as I can tell (I've only read the ones fully online, and the abstracts of the others) none of them even seem to lower carb intake enough to invoke ketosis."

And where do you propose excess dietary fat is disposed of when the caloric load is greater than what can be oxidized? Adipose tissue. Energy doesn't just disappear. Diabetics get hyperlipidemia. Same deal in lipodystrophy.

"The point of animal studies / type 1 diabetics was to show that invoking 'thermodynamics' is certainly not the full story behind weight control."

Perhaps not, but in healthy, normal functioning humans it sure aint far from it. You're trying to claim that you can't get fat without carbs and that's pretty much bullshit.

"I didn't mean to set up a straw man - but wasn't that one of the main ideas of your initial post?"

How so? You've pretty much proved my point with what you have written here. You'll make up your own theory, far removed from everything we know about human physiology and metabolism, as long as it let's you blame insulin for why people are fat.

"My claim is that is absolutely biologically plausible (almost certain, actually) to invoke weight gain / loss with the same number of calories by changing macro-nutrient composition; especially, but not limited to, by limiting an insulin response."

And yet we have studies on weight loss and insulin infusions that proves you wrong.

Yes, changing macronutrient composition affects things, but it's mainly % protein, not shuffling and comparing an equivalent amount calories from carbs/fat. Generally speaking, discounting some individual variation and behavioral factors.

"I mean seriously, if you don't believe me, try injecting yourself with insulin and tell me the result."

Inhibiting insulin with diazoxide, on a calorie restricted diet show, show no effect on body fat reduction vs uninhibited. With your rationale, it would seem fat loss would be accelerated in an insulin suppressed environment, yet it is not. As far as weight gain is concerned, I'm not aware of any studies examining this further.

I don't see why you feel the need to bring in exogenous hormones into the equation though. Disrupting the self-regulating mechanisms of the body might skew things, sure, but it's a poor example. I guess it goes in line with your strategy to discuss hibernating animals and type 1 diabetics.

"I'd bet a large sum that, unless you seriously starve yourself, you'll gain significant weight independent of the number of calories consumed / burned."

Do some reading

Due A, Flint A, Eriksen G, Møller B, Raben A, Hansen JB, Astrup A.
No effect of inhibition of insulin secretion by diazoxide on weight loss in hyperinsulinaemic obese subjects during an 8-week weight-loss diet.
Diabetes Obes Metab. 2007 Jul;9(4):566-74.

"came from Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, and Eades' blog. "

That explains a lot. I urge you to check out Bray's (obesity researcher) critique of the book. If you e-mail me, I'll even send it to you. Right now I feel the discussion is on a quite low level and you have just confirmed that you have gotten your "education" on this topic from two highly biased sources. In fact, unless you do read Bray's viewpoint, I see little point in continuing the conversation with you, as it gives me little in return. I am required to quote actual studies on the topic discussed, and you get back to me with hibernating bears, diabetes type 1 and squirells. Not a fair deal.

"I know that personally I would have a hard time overeating protein and fat."

That I agree with. And that's what I pointed out in the post, completey cutting out carbs may have a strong regulatory impact on people (easier to binge on cereal vs bacon and eggs), preventing them from overating and making dieting easier.

Emma said...

Maybe it's just me, but I had NO problem gaining weight with only 10-40 g carbs per day. So I'll have to side with Martin on this discussion. Calories matter...whether you like it or not! :)

Dave said...

Calories matter if you have a properly functioning pancreas that secretes adaquate insulin.

A type 1 diabetic will slowly starve to death regardless of caloric intake in the absence of insulin. You can ignore it all you want but the anon above is making a legitimate point that you all conveniently gloss over because it doesn't fit your hypothesis.

I do enjoy your bog though, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I've had some clients that were convinced they could only do well on low carbs - and it turned out they did just as well, if not better, when I incorporated veggies, fruit and berries as their main carb source.

That's hilarious. Low-carbers are the Taliban, but you're completely ignoring the fact that most low-carb diets call for the same kind of carb intake you just outlined here.

I hear it all the time, about how low-carb is "zero carb," especially Atkins. And when you can produce evidence that that's actually what the majority of low-carb diets call for, I'll believe it. But as I have three editions of the Atkins book and none of them say that, I think you're going to have to dig.

As for ASP, you'll have to enlighten us about this further. It doesn't make sense that people lose bodyfat on low-carb but because they're eating high-fat, they're storing fat? How does that work? How do you lose fat and gain it at the same time?

And as for satiety, I've tested this on myself, and in my experience fat leads to satiety faster than protein does. Maybe I'm a genetic freak. *shrug*

e_Serban said...

I have no problem whatsoever overeating protein and fat...maybe not to the level I would reach if carbs are eaten also but anyway, well beyond my maintenance level

Anonymous said...

Oh, and, your stubborn Taliban-like adherence to calorie theory and the laws of thermodynamics completely ignores the fact that fat is used for other things in the human body besides energy. Ditto for protein. It's nice that you can sling million-dollar words around to prove how much you know about human biology but you kind of missed that part.

What are carbs used for besides energy and laxative action (in the case of indigestible carbs, i.e., fiber)? Nothing.

Protein is used to build physical structures and is a component of hormones.

Fat is used to shore up cell membranes and is another component of hormones.

Simplistic, there are other factors involved, but there you go. And you can't use the same gram of protein simultaneously for energy AND building--if it gets used for one it will not be used for the other. Same for fat.

Have you worked out some kind of algebraic equation for how much of each gets turned into what in an active person? I doubt it, because the eggheads studying this stuff haven't figured it out either, otherwise it'd be all over the Internet. Unless they're suppressing it for some reason I can't fathom.

Martin Berkhan said...

Dave,

"A type 1 diabetic will slowly starve to death regardless of caloric intake in the absence of insulin."

AFAIK, type 1 diabetics are more likely to die of ketoacidosis, not death by starvation (as defined by a severe depletion of lean body mass).

"You can ignore it all you want"

I'm not, perhaps you'd do well to read more carefully before you comment?

Of course, they can theoretically starve to death, that isn't disputed, but in the pre-insulin era, an extremely low calorie diet was the only way to prolong the life of diabetics. This caused them to lose substantial amounts of weight, but they lived (if only long enough to die of other complications related to the disease).

See 'the starvation treatment of diabetes' for more on this.

Perhaps you have a deeper understanding of the topic at hand?

Martin Berkhan said...

Aonymous,

how come you don't post under a proper name before making any further comments?

Because you did have one before you erased the very first post you made, for some reason (why?). It's getting a bit confusing and I'm unsure whom I'm addressing. How about you choose a proper name, else I start erasing your comments, fair deal?

"That's hilarious. Low-carbers are the Taliban, but you're completely ignoring the fact that most low-carb diets call for the same kind of carb intake you just outlined here."

You have a point there, and perhaps I should have used the term zero carb talibans.

"As for ASP, you'll have to enlighten us about this further. It doesn't make sense that people lose bodyfat on low-carb but because they're eating high-fat, they're storing fat? How does that work? How do you lose fat and gain it at the same time?"

This is basic human physiology. Fat loss and fat storage is a continuous process. You store fat after every meal, you lose some in between meals. The net effect, gain or storage, is determined by daily energy balance (or weekly, or whatever time period you want to use).

Martin Berkhan said...

"Oh, and, your stubborn Taliban-like adherence to calorie theory and the laws of thermodynamics completely ignores the fact that fat is used for other things in the human body besides energy.
Ditto for protein."

I think you just reached a new low. Go look up the definition of BMR on wiki.

"It's nice that you can sling million-dollar words around to prove how much you know about human biology but you kind of missed that part."

I think you missed the part where you take your medication each morning. Go look up BMR, and while you're at it, Bray's viewpoint on Taubes book, that you so dearly hold as your nutrition bible.

"Have you worked out some kind of algebraic equation for how much of each gets turned into what in an active person?"

Thankfully, such research is already available.

"I doubt it, because the eggheads studying this stuff haven't figured it out either, otherwise it'd be all over the Internet. "

It is "all over the Internet", or any decent physiology book for that matter.

"Unless they're suppressing it for some reason I can't fathom."

www.pubmed.org. There you go. Not as much fun as reading Taubes or Eades blog perhaps?

Phil said...

LMAO @

I doubt it, because the eggheads studying this stuff haven't figured it out either, otherwise it'd be all over the Internet. Unless they're suppressing it for some reason I can't fathom.

Seriously dude I'm no expert, but get a clue and pick up a physiology book or go visit pubmed liek Martin suggested

e_Serban said...

#What are carbs used for besides energy and laxative action (in the case of indigestible carbs, i.e., fiber)? Nothing.#

brain.if you had one

JB said...

Martin, I always appreciate your views.

ASP will store fat in adipocytes in the absence of insulin, so in a no/low-carb state and one where not so much protein is available to overly stimulate insulin secretion either.

It has to be this way, else all energy from fat would be unused and people would starve. ASP stores fat between meals for people who are either low carbers or intermittent fasters.

The adipocytes release the stored fat as free fatty acids when stimulated by HSL (Hormone Sensitive Lipase). As long as HSL > than ASP, the energy comes out of storage on balance. We burn fat for metabolic needs.

To raise HSL most effectively, one needs to lower insulin, so low insulin = more HSL = release of FFAs from adipocytes = lose fat.

What is needed, and this is where I think your great work on IF comes in to play, is for the body to get "hungry" so that it experiences periods of low insulin which then promotes HSL > ASP and, subsequently, fat loss.

So, I actually agree with your sentiments here, that carbohydrates ARE okay for IFers since we get to the low insulin condition in a slightly different way than low-carbers.

And, since we train with weights, that is we are active, we have a physiological need for carbohydrates that we will soon burn away anyway. We literally burn the glycogen right out of our muscles with brief but intense workouts.

I like the idea of that slow release protein you tout for the last meal prior to the fast, that and a solid carbohydrate source to last one through the duration.

And, since our brains are actually the biggest consumers of glucose, its preferred fuel, the more we "think" about these sorts of things, the skinnier we get.

Moral: Eat a great balanced diet, carb up at the right times for the right reasons, work out, fast, and be thoughtful.

Cheers! Brad Reid

Anonymous said...

Man, the Taubes brigade has really started to hit Lyle's and Martin's blogs hard...

I just want to say that this blog post was a fantastic introduction for people who know nothing about this ongoing debate. I think it puts everything very boldly and succinctly, and with sufficient sarcasm to drive the point truly home with the non-nutrition-nerd types.

Also, Martin has changed my life. Any non-psycho training and eating program can get you lean and ripped, but out of all the ones I've tried, Martin's approach is the only one that allows me to keep my sanity. My strength gains are nuts, my body comp has improved if anything, and I am infinitely happier.

So here's to the "middle road" approach. FWIW, I usually have up to 50-60g of carbs from starchy sources even on rest days (the rest from fruits/veggies/lactose). And it hasn't impacted me. If anything it's given me a real psychological pump that you don't have to feel like an anorexic runway model or have ketone-breath to look SEXAY all the time.

-manscape

TrailGrrl said...

Martin,

Thanks for the great post. I was starting to get a little overcontrolling about my carb intake. What I've found is that IF seems to work well for me for fat loss, and I generally have been unintentionally cycling low and high carb days (usually higher carb on weekends).

For whatever reason, my energy tends to be over the top when I do this. I have noticed my legs being sore a few times and I upped my starchy carbs and that seemed to do the trick.

So thanks for the message to not become too dogmatic and weird.

ps. I miss Sweden! Been to Stockholm twice and to Karlstad.

TrailGrrl

Anonymous said...

Hey martin,

Great blog, can't wait for your book! I had a question for you, I usually keep my window for eating from 11am to 7pm...i was wondering if i could keep it this way for along time and still lose wight and mantain, or should i switch it up randomly sometimes, say a 9am to 5pm window. What i am trying to say is, if i ate between 11am and 7pm for the rest of my life would i be able to keep my leangains the whole time?

troy

troy

Pikku said...

lol @ anonymous guy, i think this line sums him up pretty well: "advocates that cling to a stubborn, entrenched position that defies reasoned argument or contradictory evidence "

good article btw martin

Martin Berkhan said...

Thanks for the positive comments, guys.

"I had a question for you, I usually keep my window for eating from 11am to 7pm...i was wondering if i could keep it this way for along time and still lose wight and mantain, or should i switch it up randomly sometimes, say a 9am to 5pm window."

I would not recommend switching it up just for the sake of randomness. There are benefits in keeping the feeding window fairly constant, such as adaptations concerning the hunger hormone ghrelin (which tend to rise at times you're normally accustomed to eating). Vary it for practicality's sake, if anything.

"What i am trying to say is, if i ate between 11am and 7pm for the rest of my life would i be able to keep my leangains the whole time?"

This depends on a myriad of factors, not solely when you eat.

AS said...

Martin, could you please show us evidence proving ASP production is stimulated with oral fat load in vivo? I searched and searched and searched (the last 2 years to be exact) and haven't found a thing. The studies seem to show that the concentration of ASP in the plasma in the postprandial period doesn't correlate with CHYLO or VLDL conc. (it does not correlate with anything at all really) and it jumps up and down or stays constant during the postprandial period. And don't bother showing some of the oldest papers on ASP, they used a flawed technique for measuring ASP (did not have a specific MoAb - the Ab crossreacted with C3 and certain related proteins which resulted in ASP levels being reported several hundred fold greater; in later studies they found out oral fat load stimulated C3 production in a time+conc-dependant manner but not ASP production which explains the old flawed results).

I don't care what the various dietary studies say - they are simply far from perfect and each study has its flaws. Unless we know HOW fat can stimulate adipocytes to increase TGS and QUANTIFY this effect we cannot say for sure that a second pathway with EQUAL EFFICIENCY as insulin-mediated one exists. You even implied in your article that this second pathway stimulated by fat is actually more efficient with nothing to back up this claim.

I don't want to offend you but it looks to me that you've heard of ASP, read 1 or 2 in vitro studies showing the pronounced TGS stimulating effect (which btw was not confirmed in vivo, ASP at its much higher physiological concentrations is a weaker stimulator of TGS than insulin), then read another in vitro study showing CHYLOs stimulate ASP production in adipocytes and stopped there because it all suddenly made sense to you. You eat fat, intestines form CHYLOs, CHYLOs get into the blood, they stimulate adipocytes to produce ASP, ASP increases TGS and you store fat. The problem is adipocytes in vivo do not seem to be stimulated by CHYLOs (if they are, the effect is much weaker than measured in vitro).

So next time - more research, less bashing.

From my own experience I can say that dietary fat has a tough time getting stored if you won't overdo it with protein. For me it means less than 200g on average. I have experimented with myself and found out that if I don't eat too much protein, don't eat carbs (0-10g) and eat huge amounts of fat, I'm not gaining weight. Tried it by increasing intake from 13000 kJ to ~30000 kJ for a month just by uping fat intake (drank melted butter, ate butter sticks, ate lard with spoon, etc.). To be honest, I felt really bad overeating all that fat. Then I tried it with carbs but I had some bad previous experience with them so just kept them at ~20000 kJ. Gained 8kg in a month. Some of that was water weight and glycogen for sure but not all. At least I know how it works for my body and you telling me it is crazy based on your hypothesis is not going to change that.

Martin Berkhan said...

"Martin, could you please show us evidence proving ASP production is stimulated with oral fat load in vivo?"

I know of plenty studies, but this

"And don't bother showing some of the oldest papers on ASP, they used a flawed technique for measuring ASP"

and this

"I don't care what the various dietary studies say - they are simply far from perfect and each study has its flaws. "

Implies to me that you won't be satisfied no matter what evidence I provide you with. Scientists don't know their ass from their elbow, all research is flawed etc. I heard it all before, and I frankly can't be bothered with such rhetoric. It's a well known strategy of the Taubes brigade.

"At least I know how it works for my body and you telling me it is crazy based on your hypothesis is not going to change that."

Sounds good. I know plenty people that either gained weight or stalled their weight loss, living by the dogma that carbs are evil. By your logic, people should be dropping fat at a rapid rate, as long as they kept carbs to a minimum. This doesn't happen in the real world.

I invite anyone to try your little experiment for themselves and see how that pans out. 7-8000 calories of fat/protein per day without gaining weight? Someone wrote it on the internet, so it's true.

Tom Venuto said...

This a great post. Moreover, it's a very important subject. I couldn't resist chiming in about martin's post as well as some of the comments.

First, when someone says "calorie theory is just a hypothesis with little evidence" I can only possibly respond by repeating what Martin said: You're trolling? you're joking? Or what?

Every exercise physiology and nutritional biochemistry textbook ever published confirms the role of negative energy balance as a requirement in weight loss. I subscribe to numerous scientific journals including all the major obesity journals and I read them every month. Almost every paper that has anything to do with weight loss starts off with an introductory remark along the lines of: "obesity results from a chronic deregulation of energy balance, with energy intake exceeding energy expenditure, leading to the storage of excessive energy as fat." (that one from obesity, january 2009, which was just on my desk).

Countless thousands of such peer-reviewed articles have been published over the years. Except for those fundamentalists of which Martin spoke, the cause of obesity is so unanimously agreed upon in the scientific community it's bizarre to think otherwise. How you prefer to achieve your calorie deficit and how you maintain it consistently, on the other hand, is another discussion; so we should not confuse those issues.

Second, regarding the comment quoting "rat study after rat study?" I couldn't help but chuckle. if you follow rodent research over time, alongside the human research, you'll know that ESPECIALLY in the field of
obesity, rodent studies have virtually no bearing on what happens in humans. If rat research held true in humans, we could all take mega dose fish oil, fucoxanthin and CLA and call it a day. We'd be ripped.

Third, regarding the comment about fat vs protein and satiety: Protein is the clear winner over and over in the research. However, I believe the sense of satiety from dietary fat may be psychological.

Fourth, I think Martin's "why low carb really works" list is right on the money. I've given almost the same list to many people myself. Low carb diets have potential fat loss benefits, especially if high in protein. No question about it. I use a variation on low carb dieting myself for bodybuilding contest prep. So what's wrong with someone saying, "I believe low carb diets are the most effective fat loss diet, and its the method I prefer"?

That's alltogether different than being fundamentalist and saying, "carbs make you fat, insulin makes you fat, and calories in vs calories out is just an unproven hypothesis." The latter causes the demonization of perfectly healthy foods and tremendous confusion among an already confused and frustrated
obese population.

Lastly, anyone who reads Martin or has shared correspondence with him - especially if you have or have had different viewpoints or preferences than he does - knows that he is as far from a nutrition fundamentalist as a person can be. Quite the opposite - he's one of the most flexible minded, so the anonymous comment that he ignores what doesn't agree with his own hypothesis is completely false. Rather, he, as should all of us, merely questions claims for which there is no scientific support.

Even in the same breath as martin shows his preference for his own favorite - the IF approach - the first line in his post says it all, "The best diet is the one you can maintain in the long run."

Anonymous said...

I guess the commenter also wants to ignore modern techniques produced from the leaders in ASP research.

Makes it easier to fit a model if you ignore everything.

Anonymous said...

The "Anonymous" that was doing all of the bitching sounds like one of the CrossFit Nutrition Nazis.

Great post Martin, perfectly put.

alan said...

Martin,

I enjoyed your blog post. Very well done, very important message. Frankly, this stuff SHOULD ruffle the feathers of zealots who have nothing more than anecdotes and personal testimonies to support their stance. A common thread amongst the dissenting responses is a lack of research backing up the contentions.

You, on the other hand, have been quite diligent (and patient!) in providing human research to support your responses, which is 1000x more responsible than your opposition who has little more to offer than, "It works for me, bro." Relying upon anecdotes and inane appeals to authority can only go so far before it might as well be hot rectal wind.

Finally, I agree with your point that the most effective diet is the one that's individualized to maximize adherence.

Keep up the good work, Martin. It's been fun watching you smack around the fairy tales with facts.

-Alan Aragon

Serban said...

Journal of Lipid Research, Vol. 47, 643-652, March 2006
Copyright © 2006 by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Targeting the signaling pathway of acylation stimulating protein

Magdalena Maslowska*, Helen Legakis*, Farzad Assadi1,* and Katherine Cianflone2,*,

* Mike Rosenbloom Laboratory for Cardiovascular Research, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Québec, Canada
Centre de Recherche Hôpital Laval, Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada

Published, JLR Papers in Press, December 6, 2005.

"Altogether, we have demonstrated that the ASP signaling pathway involves PI3K, PLC, PKC, MAPK/ERK1/2, and cPLA2. Together, these interact to stimulate TGS in a manner independent of that of insulin."

John said...

All these studies, all these hypothesis and tests. Great! But the most important studies or test subjects are yourself!

To said troll: What is your experience with dieting? Have you ever been shredded to about 5% fat? I know Martin has! I can tell you that I have and I have never done it by going low carb! I have actually gained weight by low carb, so that throws the "insulin theory" out the window.

I will argue with the top scientist in the land, not with hypothesis or studies but with human experimentation on myself and friends.

At the end of the day Calories in and calories out (surplus/deficit) is the only way to understand gain/loss of weight!

And Martin, you are right, the diet with the best adherence and easiest lifestyle will ultimately be the most successful.

Al said...

Martin,

I'm not interested in propogating the carb argument further but what would you consider a healthy / normal amount of carbs to be comsuming daily? I have a round 100-150g of Carbs per day with the rest of energy requirments coming from protein and fat. This seems to sustain weights and anaerobic work quite well at this level. Thoughts?

XSanguinator said...

"The studies seem to show that the concentration of ASP in the plasma in the postprandial period doesn't correlate with CHYLO or VLDL conc. (it does not correlate with anything at all really) and it jumps up and down or stays constant during the postprandial period."

Unlike insulin which is produced by the pancreas and must travel in the blood stream to reach its target tissues, C3/ASP is produced by adipocytes and acts locally. We shouldn't expect plasma levels of C3/ASP to tell us much about the detailed physiologic responses of the adipocytes themselves. The researchers used in vitro techniques and local adipose catheterization studies (comparing concentrations of various metabolites from venous effluent obtained from an anterior wall vein with those in arterial blood) to determine that. And from those studies we know that chylomicrons stimulate C3/ASP production from adipocytes greater than 10 times the basal level, and that the rate at which chylomicron-triglycerides are cleared and the resultant fatty acids are incorporated into adipocytes parallels the rate at which ASP is generated.

The main purpose of the plasma level studies is to determine if plasma C3/ASP can be used as a marker for certain metabolic problems or disease states, not as a means of elucidating local adipose tissue metabolism.

Martin Berkhan said...

Tom, Alan, and others, thanks for your input.

Excellent contribution re:ASP by XSanguinator.

Al,

"what would you consider a healthy / normal amount of carbs to be comsuming daily? I have a round 100-150g of Carbs per day with the rest of energy requirments coming from protein and fat. This seems to sustain weights and anaerobic work quite well at this level. Thoughts?"

There is no clear answer to this question. A 'healthy' amount of carbs can vary from 0 to 900 g carbs per day depending on if you're sedentary or an elite athlete. Total energy intake/energy balance are also important factors to consider. Not to mention personal preferences, how you do with more or less carbs etc. You seem to have found the sweet spot with 100-150 g. That doesn't surprise me, most people will find that range adequate if training volume is in the low/moderate range. Remember, I'm not anti-low carb, just anti-bullshit.

Bernard said...

I really enjoyed this post Martin. Keep up the good work.

Btw I´ve been using the 16-8 approach since Jan 2nd and I´m very happy (almost surprised!) with the results I´ve been getting. I´ve compiled the diet from your original thread on the "mean" forum. I don´t know how it works but I´ve lost fat and gained 10 kg on my bench and 15 kg on my squat. I feel great. Looking forward to your book.

Bernard.

JE Gonzalez said...

A great post Martin, but a couple of things.

Athletes do seem to do better on a higher carb intake but the evidence seems only anecdotal. there have been anecdotal reports regarding the issue of carb timing on a Paleolithic diet and how it maximizes results, most of these coming from Marks Daily Apple and Arthur Devany. Do you know of any studies like this. The most popular study was how Olympic Gymnasts did better on a Zone-style diet, with carbs used to replenish glycogen.

Do you have a link to Bray's viewpoint. I'm reading Taubes and would certainly love to hear a different side to the story.

So I decided to Google about ASP: The only study I could partially understand was this one: http://adipocyte.co.uk/ASP.htm

The conclusion seems to be that ASP can only be elevated with high insulin levels , but again, I'm not very literate in this material so can you translate for us meatheads?

Lastly, I have seen a forum post of a man experimenting with a hyper-caloric ketogenic diet with 70-80% of calories from fat, and less than 5% from carbohydrates. For 30 days, he was sedentary and what were the results? He remained at a weight of 169 with minimal fluctuation during the 30 days. He should have gained 10-15 pounds of fat from the excess calories. As of this typing, I cannot find the original forum post and while I know it makes me lose credibility, what I really wanted to ask you are for studies like this made on a diverse group of people. Hyper-caloric ketogenic diets effects on weight.

Al said...

Martin,

Thanks for the reply, I agree with what your saying, carbs really should be matched to activity level, plus better top get them from natural sources too then you get the side benefit of the nutrients the fruit and veg contain.

Also, whats the "mean forum out of interest? Is there any plans to have a forum on here once your book is launched?

Martin Berkhan said...

"Athletes do seem to do better on a higher carb intake but the evidence seems only anecdotal. "

Not really. There are tons of studies on this topic, and carbs always comes out on top when it comes to short-duration events. On longer duration stuff, fat is, in the best case, equal to carbs.

"there have been anecdotal reports regarding the issue of carb timing on a Paleolithic diet and how it maximizes results, most of these coming from Marks Daily Apple and Arthur Devany. Do you know of any studies like this."

Here's a few quotes from studies looking into this matter.

In summary, we found that 5 days of exposure to a high-fat, low-CHO diet caused clear changes in fuel substrate utilization during submaximal exercise. At least some of these changes were independent of CHO availability because enhanced capacity for fat oxidation persisted despite restoration of muscle glycogen stores. Despite promoting glycogen sparing during prolonged exercise, fat-adaptation strategies did not provide a clear benefit to the subsequent performance of a TT lasting ;30 min. The results of this study do not support the practice of fat-adaptation strategies by endurance athletes competing in events of 2- to 3-h duration.

Burke et al. 2000 - Effect of fat adaptation and carbohydrate restoration on metabolism and performance during prolonged cycling

In conclusion, this is the first investigation to determine the effects of a high-fat diet and CHO restoration on metabolism and performance during ultraendurance exercise. We found that 6 days of exposure to a high-fat, low-CHO diet, followed by 1 day of CHO restoration, increased fat oxidation during prolonged, submaximal exercise, yet, despite this sparing of CHO, this study failed to detect a statistically significant benefit to performance of a 1-h TT undertaken after 4 h of continuous cycling.

Carey et al. 2001 - Effects of fat adaptation and carbohydrate restoration on prolonged endurance exercise

In conclusion, ingestion of a HFD for 6 days, followed by 1 day of CHO-loading, increased fat oxidation, but it reduced high-intensity sprint power performance, which was associated with increased muscle recruitment, effort perception, and heart rate.

Havemann et al. 2008 - Fat adaptation followed by carbohydrate loading compromises high-intensity sprint performance

In summary, the results of this study suggest that dietary fat adaptation (10 days, fat > 65% by energy) followed by CHO-loading (3 days, CHO > 65% by energy) is associated with improved cycle time trial performance after prolonged constant-load exercise.

Lambert et al. 2001 - High-fat diet versus habitual diet prior to carbohydrate loading - effects of exercise metabolism and cycling performance

"Do you have a link to Bray's viewpoint. I'm reading Taubes and would certainly love to hear a different side to the story."

I'm not sure if it's available for free download, since it was published in a journal. E-mail me and I'll see if I can help you out.

"Lastly, I have seen a forum post of a man experimenting with a hyper-caloric ketogenic diet with 70-80% of calories from fat, and less than 5% from carbohydrates. For 30 days, he was sedentary and what were the results? He remained at a weight of 169 with minimal fluctuation during the 30 days. He should have gained 10-15 pounds of fat from the excess calories. "

A forum post, that's great. Because eveyrthing you read on teh Intrawebz is bound to be true and noone ever makes shit up just to get attention.

"Hyper-caloric ketogenic diets effects on weight."

None that I'm aware of.

Martin Berkhan said...

"Also, whats the "mean forum out of interest?"

I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

"Is there any plans to have a forum on here once your book is launched?"

Not likely. After the book, perhaps.

Donald said...

I feel Gary Taube's views are being misrepresented here.

He speaks more to society at large than the individual. I have his book but have yet to read it, but I feel that he is more about the causes of overeating that then cause obesity than merely overeating causing obesity.

Here is Taubes' response to Dr. Bray's review of his book:

http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/taubes-response-to-bray-ob-reviews.pdf

Seth Ronland said...

Wow, this sure was some interesting reading.
For anyones interest, I've dieted myseld down to 6-7% more than a dozens of times. I have used all the approaches out there ketogenic, termogenic, low carb,high carb, low calori - low training volume, high calorie high training volume, fat diets and all that shit. I get similar results all the time, but with different mental aspects. Intermittent fasting with fairly high amounts of carbs is the easiest way, both physiological and psychological. I calorie balance is the only thing that matters, I don't lose more fat on a ketogenic diet with similar calories. And what is lowcarb? Is there a guidning principle? I think 100grams of carbs on restdays is to be considered "lowcarb".

Half Navajo said...

i finally get what your preaching martin.

cycling low carb with high carb days...it totally works!!! I eat alot of raw milk and cream, coconut oil and eggs, butter, and ghee, and stick with rice, oats, potatoes, veggies, and some fruit on high carb days!!! And the nice eating window works beautifully, unlike the warrior diets 4 hour window which can be hard to follow...and i quit using fish oil and other supplements and feel much better!!! Your diet program is ingenius!!!

Mr Secret said...

Ive also tried different approaches regarding low carb, high carb etc. Im 84kg now and around 12% bodyfat. My goal is 6-8% and i want there now. The reason why im not there now is because of the carb days where i went NUTS and ate 10 000+ calories i think from chocklade and all shit u can imagine. So im done with that now, but im looking for the best approach for reaching my goal but also get the best health possible. I dont want to be any bigger, i just want to maintain my muscles and loose all the fat. Doesnt matter if i loose some muscles in the process. Also i have a soccer background so my legs and ass are big and i want the lean model look so i have to loose the most fat on lower body but also on my stomach. So how should my workout approach be like? when it comes to exersices, rep`s range and how many days? i play soccer 3 times a week aswell. And also as nutrition im following a highfat,low-med carb and protein diet atm. Should i change this approach? im 23y man. I eat like 1g protein of goal kg wich is 70-75g and the same amount of carbs. And fat around 150+

Robert M. said...

Martin:

First, just a little point on polite debate: try not to construct straw-men. It confuses and angers people because you are taring with a broad brush. Naming names forces you to respond to what people actually said and not to what you think they said.

Now, on the topic of conservation of energy, as a physicist I found Bray's argument deeply uncompelling. It is true, but it's a trivial solution, like proving 1 = 1. It's widely known amongst the science and engineering community that the 1st law isn't useful for analysis because it doesn't elucidate the underlying system.

Furthermore the 1st law only applies to a closed system, but the human body clearly isn't one. Energy can take on many forms, but we want to know if the energy performs useful work rapidly transforms to low-grade heat and is shed to the environment. If you want to know how to increase protein synthesis, decrease lipid volume in adipose tissue, etc. the 1st law tells you nothing.

Any serious analysis of the thermodynamics of the human body requires the 2nd law, that is generation of entropy. I'll give you an engineering example on how the 1st law can give confusing results: I want to heat a house (which is an insulated box) with electricity. If I use base-board resistance heaters, 100 % of the electricity I pump through them is converted to heat, so the (1st law) efficiency is 100 % right? Now what if instead I install a heat pump, that concentrates heat energy from outside and then transfers it inside the house, I might be able to get 3 units of heat in the house for every unit of electricity that I expand. Now I have a first law efficiency of 300 %! Now if we analyzed this problem using 2nd law methods (i.e. exergy techniques) we could have learned something, but from the first law, nothing.

The homeostatic mechanisms of the body are what break the utility of the first law in this case. If I'm too hot, my body opens up capillaries near the surface of my skin and I radiate heat from my 38^C body to the 22^C room. If I put on a sweater, am I going to gain fat?

As a counter-example to the conservation of energy argument, let me introduce you to another conservative law in physics: the law of conservation of mass. Unless you have a Mr. Fusion implanted in your stomach, you are not creating or destroying mass. Rather you're just transferring it between your body and surroundings.

I gain mass primarily through eating and drinking. I poop, I pee, I breath air in and expire the remnants of my metabolism, I sweat; these are all ways in which I lose mass. Therefore, if I want to gain mass, I just have to stop going to the toilet. If I want to lose mass I need to pee more. Right?

So yes, everyone reading this says, "Rob that's inane," to which I reply with a straight-face, "no more so than the conclusions Bray is drawing from conservation of energy." Actually conservation of mass is more applicable to dieting than conservation of energy.

Martin Berkhan said...

Robert,

If you think I'm interested in philosophical discourse on the first law of thermodynamics and the errors you found in Bray's analogy to that, think again. I have very little patience for such.

You made it clear that you're a physicist, that's great, but your semantics does jack shit to change the that you'll get just as fat from overating fat, as you would from overeating carbohydrates.

Roelant said...

Re: Crossfitters, I have to say that there are fundamentalists everywhere. It was actually an active crossfitter who rec'd this site to me in the first place, as well as other high intensity athletes, Jow Waguespack to name another one, who was very interested in leangains. Don't let one or two CrossFit Nazis spoil it for the rest of us. A lot of us don't "zone" and we do just fine on our workouts. Thanks Martin.

Anonymous said...

"""Havemann et al. 2008 - Fat adaptation followed by carbohydrate loading compromises high-intensity sprint performance"""

Oh, come on.

10 days (tops, other studies cited less time) of high-fat equals adaptation?

You do realize that's not enough time, right?

- dofus

Spector said...

Martin,

Nice post, and I do appreciate the distinction between low carb and NO carb. I eat a low carb paleo diet myself, which I take to mean less than 100g/day (or <60-70g/day if you subtract fiber) and found it great for controlling my anxiety and I dropped weight drastically. Lately, I've been less concerned with carbs and more concerned with gluten and grains, which do more to ruin my mood, sleep, and appearance than anything else. I'll have bananas and mangoes a few times a week(especially PWO) even if it sends my carbs into triple digits for a given day. As long as the carb sources are from fruit, veg, or honey, I'm ok. Even eating unlimited fruits makes it hard to approach 200g CHO/day, provided you're getting adequate protein and fat.

Interestingly, though, I did an self-experiment a year ago where I tried to gain weight on a low carb diet (less than 80g/day) and I couldn't do it. I counted my calories with fitday, diligently, and even after increasing calories by 250,500, then 700+ cal/day (from fat & protein) my weight didn't budge for 2 months. I was literally drinking olive and coconut oil to push my cals up to really test the theory. After 6 weeks of no weight gain, I swapped about 100 cals of fat for 100 cals of carbs and BAM, I gained a couple pounds over the next few weeks. Is it at all possible that excess fat is simply excreted via the bowel (the same way fiber is) in the presence of certain hormonal conditions? I understand that calories taken in must equal calories taken out, but we can only measure eaten calories, not *absorbed* calories, correct? I know switching to a high fat diet has helped my digestion tremendously and I can't help but hypothesize that some excess fat goes to the intestines - to "grease the skids" so to speak - as opposed to being absorbed as cals.

I'm really torn between the whole carbs/calories debate. Studies say calories matter, but I did this 90 day experiment and for me carbs were absolutely the driver for weight gain.

Any thoughts?

Martin Berkhan said...

Spector,

while the results of your experiment is 'interesting', other people can gain weight just fine even when keeping carbs very low. Yes, it may be harder, from a palatability point of view, to overeat on a low carb diet, but it can be done.

"I swapped about 100 cals of fat for 100 cals of carbs and BAM, I gained a couple pounds over the next few weeks."

I'm sure you realize on some level that swapping 11 g fat for 25 g carbs, didn't magically put several pounds on you in the span of a few weeks, since you sound like a rational person judging by your post as a whole.

There are numerous confounders here;

* Weight gain may not appear linear (similar to weight loss) and can appear as spikes

* Maybe your experiment wasn't as controlled as you make it appear to be (did you forget to mention the wedding, the bitrhday parties etc)

* Did you add/change foods in your diet, particularily sodium rich food items which may cause water retention (canned foods, dairy etc) = will spike weight almost regardless of calorie intake.

You get the point.

Spector said...

Martin,

Yeah, I understand, and I assume it's one of the factors your mentioned. I didn't go to any parties where I indulged on anything crazy (gluten REALLY makes me feel shitty, so I avoid it 99% of the time) and I recorded all the cals I ate, and weighed all my food. I almost never eat canned or processed foods, so I don't think it was a sodium issue.

My excess fat cals came almost exclusively from oil, butter, and liquor (in that order) and when I swapped fat for carbs, I cut back on the oil consumption, and added extra dried fruit (sulphate/preservative free) to increase carbs. Some days I would switch from 95% dark chocolate to 72%, which has a bit more carbs. I wish I still had my FitDay data to show you, but I don't (that was back when I used the software, not the online version)

I was careful not to change the way I worked out, either.

I know it wasn't a super strict experiment, I just thought it was interesting. The most likely explanation you offered is that it was a nonlinear weight spike. My first thought was that it was simply glycogen increasing, but that still doesn't explain why it took me 6 weeks of extreme calorie excess to gain any weight.

What do you think about the possibility of excreting extra fat, though? I found the change in digestion after adding fat to my diet (before I even fully kicked gluten) to be tremendous, as it seems to have a lubrication effect. Is there any merit to this? Is it possible that the body can only absorb a given amount of fat at a time, and it simply excretes the rest?

Also, do you think there is a difference in the role of fat as a macronutrient in LOSING weight vs simply NOT GAINING weight? No reasonable person, to my knowledge, argues that you can lose weight without a calorie deficit. Even low-carb advocate Dr. Eades concedes this point. But many people argue that gaining weight on a low carb diet is tough (in fact, "hard gainers" complain about this all the time...) What do you think about the idea that gaining weight may not always happen on a calorie excess if excess cals come from fat? What is known about the body's limits in storing dietary fat? If there is a limit, is it reasonable to reach with a 60% fat diet? If so, then could that explain the anecdotal (and I fully admit, unscientific) experience of myself and many others who find that weight *loss* doesn't happen without a deficit, but have no trouble *maintaining* a given weight despite eating an apparent surplus of cals?

These questions have been bugging me for a long time - I'd be curious to hear what you think.

Cheers,
Keenan

Martin Berkhan said...

Keenan,

"Is it possible that the body can only absorb a given amount of fat at a time, and it simply excretes the rest?"

No, and I'm not even going to bother quoting studies on this one - if this had been the case, if there would have been even a slightest hint that this was the case, trust that we'd have known about it by now.

Narrowing down your question to 'is it possible that the body excretes excess fat on a ketogenic diet' and it's still highly unlikely. Lyle looked at 600+ studies on this stuff, and he for one would have been all over this if there was a remote possibility that such occured.

"What do you think about the idea that gaining weight may not always happen on a calorie excess if excess cals come from fat? "

Well, this has been studied, but in a mixed diet (higher fat% = slightly greater fat gain due to reduced TEF).

What you're asking is in the context of (hypercaloric) ketogenic diets, I think, which AFAIK has not been examined.

Spector said...

Thanks for the feedback, Martin!

Al said...

Martin, is there any anecdotal evidence (personal experience or other trainers / trainee's experience) that one could gain weight on a Hypocaloric Ketogenic Diet though? Not that I wish to try this route - just interested.

Martin Berkhan said...

If there are people who believe they put on 10 lbs of fat when they touch a carb, there's people who gain weight on a (hypocaloric) keto diet.

Or so they claim. Yet when they put people in metabolic wards, none of these fantastic human specimens show up.

Dietary underreporting and water retention are common phenomenons likely related to these odd weight fluctuations that only show up on teh internetz.

Anonymous said...

I think we can all agree that energy balance causes *weight* loss or gain, however is it fair to say that the macronutients can influence the form of gain or loss. For instance people on a higher carb diet are more likely to utilise sugar as a fuel source, on a hypo-caloric balanced diet the loss of weight therefore is more likely to have a higher % of muscle loss due to conversion of muscle to glucose (gluconeogenises), people on a higher fat diet are more fat adapted & in hypo caloric conditions, with lower insulin levels & higher glucogen levels to boot may well draw on fat reserves rather than muscles. Conversly, in a caloric surplus a higher fat/protein diet through nutrient partitioning could result in a high % of the excess calories being directed to muscle growth rather than fat, but a higher CHD % could result in partitioning towards greater fat accumulation rather than lean tissue. Basically, due to nutrient partitioning a lower carb diet favors fat loss & muscle gain, a high carb diet favors muscle loss & fat gain given a caloric deficit or surplus, ie it's more about the affect on body comp than weight per se, agreed?

Martin Berkhan said...

Anon,

that's called making shit up. There is nothing to support what you just wrote - assuming we're comparing two diets, where protein intake is a constant, and carb/fat is a variable.

Quoting Lyle on keto and muscle gain.

"And the hormonal response to keto is not optimal for muscle gain. "Why would anybody want low insulin, low IGF-1 and all that shit. It's nonsensical."

So, at least theoretically speaking, it may be exactly opposite of what you just wrote.

Anonymous said...

About the argument that fat can accumulate without insulin.

Fat is stored when we eat, fat is released when we fast. Both insulin and ASP play a role but the primary regulator of fat tissue is insulin, not ASP.

Diabetes type 1 serves to teach us that without insulin, fat can't be stored, neither temporarily for in between meals, nor long term to create obesity. It is precisely this pathology that drove us to learn about the nature of insulin, fat tissue and obesity. Indeed, with insulin injection, "a diabetic develops a fair layer of fat, moreso if the diet is rich in carbohydrate."

ASP's function can't replace that of insulin: Without insulin, fat can't accumulate anywhere. Conversely, insulin's function can't replace that of ASP: Without ASP, insulin can still cause fat to accumulate, just not in adipose tissue.

ASP, like leptin, ghrelin and various hormones to be discovered, are downstream from the fat accumulation pathway. The hormone at the top is insulin. It's been called the master hormone and for good reason. It has the power to overcome all other hormones. This is why, for instance, that even if we secrete a boatload of catabolic hormones (which all have for function to release fat from fat cells) hyperinsulinemia will still cause us to grow fat.

The real problem is not fat accumulation, we accumulate fat during a meal, but rather a reduction in the speed of release of fat from fat cells due to high insulin. Indeed, the only requirement for fat to be released from fat cells is the negative stimulus of insulin, i.e. a lower carbohydrate diet.

Can anybody name a single case where somebody ate a boatload of fat, but no carbohydrate whatsoever, and accumulated fat, i.e. grew obese? If not, then is the hypothesis even valid? Have you tested this hypothesis yourself?

See a forum called The Magic Bus Trip, the sub forum Metabolic Ward, the posts with the word "MAM". There's Jeff's and Dean's which are quite consequential to the subject of excess calories, absence of carbohydrate, high fat diet and fat accumulation.

Then there's the forum "hypertrophy research" on which one guy logged his high fat experiment. His username is stevejones.

But before you visit those forums, what do you think would happen to a human who ate a huge quantity of fat meat but no carbohydrate whatsoever? Let's say 1800kcal/day over maintenance for 5 weeks? Write down your answer, then go visit the forums. Who knows, maybe you'll change your mind. If not, then at least you'll have a laugh.


Martin Levac

Anonymous said...

About ASP and the Positive Caloric Balance (PCB) hypothesis.

There's the alternative hypothesis which I'll call the Carbohydrate (CHO) hypothesis.

As soon as we argue in favor of ASP, which is part of a biochemical process, we must refute the PCB hypothesis, which is merely a (mis)application of the First Law of Thermodynamics. Indeed, biochemical processes are what the CHO hypothesis is based on. The PCB hypothesis and the CHO hypothesis are mutually exclusive, i.e. they are opposing and competing hypotheses. We can't argue both sides and win. It's either or.

This is why I can't see why a proponent of the PCB hypothesis would use ASP as an argument in support of the PCB hypothesis. I mean, in the event he wins the ASP argument, he naturally confirms the biochemical nature of the CHO hypothesis and refutes the very hypothesis he's trying to support.

A few questions.

What is the biochemical process that counts calories and determines which will be used and which will be stored? Note: The "First Law of Thermodynamics" is not a biochemical process.

What is a calorie?
It's a measure of heat.
How is it measured?
In a bomb calorimeter, i.e. we set the food afire.
Does the body use the calorie the same way it's measured?
No, the body does not set the food afire.
In light of the answers to the three previous questions, is the PCB hypothesis still valid?


Martin Levac

Anonymous said...

Marn Levac rears his ill-informed head once again to show his complete ignorance of anything related to science.

Calorie is a measure of what?

heat,

I wonder what heat is

oh noes

Anonymous said...

Levac, you don't even realize what you're talking about. Biochemistry doesn't get a free pass to ignore thermodynamics just because you don't like it.

RE: the calorimeter and the body not burning food - no shit. You've just discovered the difference between energy and power (rate of energy release). 10 kilojoules released in 1/10th of a second is a fire; 10kj released over an hour is digestion.

Here's the kicker: it's 10kj in both cases even though the power output is massively different.

Your entire "hypothesis" is nothing of the sort, because it requires that you violate science in the most fundamental way possible.

If you want to "prove" your position, the burden of proof is on you to show that ANY chemical reaction can violate conservation of energy.

I'm not going to hold my breath.

Wazzup said...

Even harvard thinks a calorie is just a calorie...

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/2009-releases/diets-weight-loss-carbohydrate-protein-fat.html

Anonymous said...

wazzup,

'cept the lowcarb group ended up at 43e%. gimme a break.

dashforce said...

"Or so they claim. Yet when they put people in metabolic wards, none of these fantastic human specimens show up."

Is it possible that metabolic wards present a confounding variable by altering a person's activity levels? In other words, if (hypothetically) low carb allowed higher rates of lipolysis to provide more substrate for oxidation and therefore produce better "energy levels" and lead to more activity, could this effect be mitigated by the restrictions of a metabolic ward?

"This is why, for instance, that even if we secrete a boatload of catabolic hormones (which all have for function to release fat from fat cells) hyperinsulinemia will still cause us to grow fat."

What? Reference? Physiological levels or some kind of insulin clamp?

"reduction in the speed of release of fat from fat cells due to high insulin."

Then why do the hyperinsulinemic obese display higher levels of plasma FFA than the non-obese? And why doesn't injection of FFA increase spontaneous energy expenditure?

Here's a quote from PMID: 15181029:
"Obese persons release increased amounts of NEFAs into the circulation (13). NEFAs are derived by lipolysis of adipose tissue triglycerides. The greater the amount of fat in adipose tissue, the more the amounts of NEFAs released will be. This greater release of NEFAs proceeds despite the higher insulin levels that are present in obese persons. Even though high insulin levels suppress adipose tissue lipolysis, they cannot reduce NEFA release to normal in obesity."

"Can anybody name a single case where somebody ate a boatload of fat, but no carbohydrate whatsoever, and accumulated fat, i.e. grew obese?"

Without some EAAs / vitamins / minerals, you would die -- so you probably would never grow obese. If you're going to allow for some protein, it would have to be processed/refined, as even meat has some amount of carb (glycogen). If you're going to go ahead and allow trace carbs (as in meat), then you should remember that meat is as insulinogenic (or more) as many traditional carb meals, so you're kinda defeating the purpose. Don't bring up glucagon, as it's not really lipolytic in humans (activates hepatic glycogen phosphorylase), and it's already been stated that apparently counterregulatory hormones won't matter in the face of insulin anyway.

So with that in consideration, I'm going to guess that the study you've asked about doesn't exist.

Anonymous said...

In reply to dashforce

Without EAA, vitamins, and minerals, we would die even though we ate a boatload of fat? Yes, we would die, eventually. Would we die sooner, or later than fasting? The point is not to show people dying from a lack of nutrients, the point is to show people growing fat from an excess of fat intake. So, is there a single case of somebody growing fat by eating an excess of fat? Anybody?

Obese people may have more FFA in the bloodstream but that's not what I argued. I said, there's more FFA going INTO fat cells than there are going OUT OF fat cells. It's not the bloodstream content that's critical here, it's the difference between in and out. Obese people have more triglycerides in the bloodstream but it tells us nothing about what's going on in fat cells.

The point is to show that overeating fat causes fat accumulation. As of yet, nobody has successfully demonstrated that a human can grow fat by overeating fat in the absence of carbohydrate.

The hypothesis is not that we will die of malnutrition or that there's more FFA in the bloodstream. The hypothesis is that we will grow fat by eating an excess amount of calories. What better way to test this hypothesis than by overeating the most caloric food there is, i.e. fat?

I'm not asking for a study, just a single case. You can test it yourself. I promise, it's quite harmless to overeat animal fat. You might feel ill to begin with but as soon as you ramp up your bile production, which incidentally is driven by cholesterol which is derived from the fat you eat, it's going to be just fine.

As for why doesn't energy expenditure increase with the injection of FFA, I wouldn't know. But I guess it's a problem with oxygen uptake by cells. Instead of taking oxygen, they take up glucose. It's either or. Without oxygen and with a surplus of glucose, it doesn't matter how much FFA is in the bloodstream since cells will use surplus glucose before they will use FFA. The question is, why is it like this and not the reverse? In my opinion, it's like this because glucose is toxic in any quantity above normal but FFA is not, i.e. "glucose disposal". So, FFA/ketones/glucose utilization is controlled by carbohydrate intake. The less CHO we eat, the more FFA/ketones we use. Conversely, the more CHO we eat, the less FFA/ketones we use.

The insulin/catabolic hormones reference is from Taubes' Good Calories Bad Calories. I forget the page but it should be in the Insulin chapter.

Visit the forums I mentioned.


Martin Levac

Anonymous said...

QUOTE:"The hypothesis is that we will grow fat by eating an excess amount of calories. What better way to test this hypothesis than by overeating the most caloric food there is, i.e. fat?

I'm not asking for a study, just a single case."

Since you frequently visit zerocarbage.com, I'm suprised you missed this post titled "+20 lb in 2 months on ZC" (http://forum.zeroinginonhealth.com/showthread.php?tid=1057&page=1)

"In the last two months i've not touched a carbohydrate and I've gained about 15-20 pounds. Granted, I've probably been averaging in the ballpark of 4,000 calories daily, a good 80% of which has been fat, have drastically scaled back on exercise, and have not been getting nearly enough sleep lately.

While I don't presume to speak for others here, and I'm sure the amount of food that I've been eating is atypical, i think my experience clearly invalidates the widely held view that as long as a person isn't eating carbs, he cannot gain weight. As far as I'm concerned, it also invalidates the opinion that zero carb eliminates cravings in all cases. I foresaw having a miserable amount of school work this semester, and knowing from experience that logging in hours behind the desk drives me to eat extreme amounts out of boredom, I figured that perhaps going zero carb could help me overcome this problem, or at least prevent the inevitable weight gain this sort of behavior would ordinarily entail, but clearly the diet has failed in both respects.

I don't mean to discourage others, and I'm people will be quick to point out that I'm just one person, but in the spirit of science and understanding more about how a carb free diet affects the body, I thought somebody here might appreciate some insight into my unique experience."

Anonymous said...

In reply to Anonymous on the subject of the zerocarbage forum post "+20 lbs on ZC..."

Had you read the thread, you'd have noted that I read it myself because I posted in it. Post #56 to be precise.

Quote:
"I'm just looking at reasonable causes for weight gain besides the "overeat and do nothing". I overeat and do nothing yet don't grow fat (thus don't gain weight) because of it. Others do the same and don't grow fat either. The mechanisms of fat accumulation don't allow fat to cause fat accumulation. Unless, of course, those mechanisms are disrupted somehow. By disease, by infection, by carbohydrate, by defect, by prior deficiency."

The original poster, timmypatch, admits in post #76 to having a "casual relationship with the truth when posting online." Would you take him seriously after that?

Visit the forums I mentioned. Try it for yourself. There's nothing to it. Eat fat meat and water for a few weeks and see what gives.

Here's one quote from such an experiment (Dean's):
"Total : Wed Jan 14 - Tue Feb 17

Average Calories: 3720
Average Fat: 84%

Expected: 7.3 kg body fat gain
Actual: 6.7 kg body fat loss"

Anonymous said...

Once again martin asks for some evidence and then dismissing it out of hand (like any evidence that doesnt support his simplistic view of the universe) by replying with commetns surrounding an individual who thinks that BMI=TEE.

perhaps his year long education in everything has created a negative reality infusion.

Perhaps he can bring forth some other hilarious gems like bedrest for the ultimate body.

Martin Levac said...

Perhaps Anonymous will finally find the courage to sign his posts. Or remain anonymous and be forgotten as the inconsequential ant he is.

Anonymous said...

Yes, becuase my name changes my arguement altogether doesnt it.

Why dont you reply about your misunderstanding of energy vs power. Its good to see your understanding of science has not improved over the year long learning curve you have had. Perhaps you could spend a few dollars and get to a biochem 101 course?

But I suppose since Taubes doesnt supply a course for you to take hook line and sinker, its unlikely to happen?

Remember the simplistic view of disease gets us in trouble.

dashforce said...

"The point is not to show people dying from a lack of nutrients, the point is to show people growing fat from an excess of fat intake. So, is there a single case of somebody growing fat by eating an excess of fat? Anybody?"

You stipulated 0 CHO intake, which is a nearly impossible case to find. I am calling you out on the impossibility of your request and challenging you to amend it to a diet that wouldn't kill somebody.

"Obese people have more triglycerides in the bloodstream but it tells us nothing about what's going on in fat cells."

I have yet to mention TGs, I'm simply bringing up the levels of NEFA to demonstrate that there is sufficient lipolysis to allow FFA liberation from the fat cell in order to be oxidized. Obviously, further decreasing insulin would "increase" this rate even further and compound the situation, possibly resulting in dislipidemia. If plasma FFA are already elevated, why in the world would you want to elevate them further? The goal is to increase oxidation rates, thereby clearing FFA, alleviating insulin resistance, reducing hyperinsulinemia, and perhaps at that point permitting higher rates of FFA release. Before that point, it would be pointless and perhaps counterproductive.

Why does it matter what's going on in the fat cell? What evidence can you provide that phsyiological production of insulin can negatively impact an adipocyte's ability to regulate metabolism/intake/expenditure?

"The point is to show that overeating fat causes fat accumulation. As of yet, nobody has successfully demonstrated that a human can grow fat by overeating fat in the absence of carbohydrate."

Refer to above and impossibility of the situation and ambiguity of experimental parameters. If you're serious about this request, provide at least a proposed threshold for maximum CHO/PRO intake, minimum/maximum duration of experiment, and perhaps a preferred method for body comp analysis.

In the meantime,

Kasper H, Thiel H, & Ehl M. (1973). Response of body weight to a low carbohydrate, high fat diet in normal and obese subjects. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 26(2), 197-204.

shows all subjects (n<10 IIRC) losing weight initially with massive oral fat loads and restricted CHO / PRO, then slowly beginning to regain weight.

"The hypothesis is not that we will die of malnutrition or that there's more FFA in the bloodstream. The hypothesis is that we will grow fat by eating an excess amount of calories. What better way to test this hypothesis than by overeating the most caloric food there is, i.e. fat?"

I've got a better idea -- how about we overeat any / all of the macros and see if we gain fat? Guess what -- we do. Much easier experiment to test the hypothesis preceding your (rhetorical) question.

"I'm not asking for a study, just a single case. You can test it yourself. I promise, it's quite harmless to overeat animal fat."

I have. I am. I'm currently on my 3rd run of a keto diet, this time I'm almost 50 days in now, pretty much nothing but trace carbs and occasional broccoli. According to the scale, the calipers (3 point), and the mirror, I haven't lost an ounce of fat since coming off my Christmas sugar and hamburger helper binge. Bummer, eh? Guess I should start counting calories again soon.

"I guess it's a problem with oxygen uptake by cells. Instead of taking oxygen, they take up glucose. It's either or. Without oxygen and with a surplus of glucose, it doesn't matter how much FFA is in the bloodstream since cells will use surplus glucose before they will use FFA. The question is, why is it like this and not the reverse? In my opinion, it's like this because glucose is toxic in any quantity above normal but FFA is not, i.e. "glucose disposal"."

Interesting guess... but the answer is because plasma FFA availability doesn't determine expenditure, it's the other way around. Try PMID: 12671047 and PMID: 17299081.

What do you mean fat isn't toxic? "In any quantity above normal"? Can you clarify that sentence and/or read up on lipotoxicity?

"The insulin/catabolic hormones reference is from Taubes' Good Calories Bad Calories. I forget the page but it should be in the Insulin chapter."

So, let me guess -- you took his word on it without doing any research to back up the claims? Or at least determining how he came up with that conclusion?

"Would you take him seriously after that?"

Will you take anything seriously that doesn't match your confirmation bias? I've been on and argued both sides of the Low CHO wagon, I've tried it myself numerous times, I've prescribed it to clients, and I have read Taubes' book. In the end, in accordance with the published literature, it ends up being a question of calorie balance and not (perceived*) insulin levels.
* since I've already expressed that protein's potent insulinogenic properties compromise the argument from the beginning.

While I'm thinking of it, I've seen multiple studies with confirmed reductions of insulin on a low CHO diet, but without weight loss. What do you make of these? Shouldn't the weight loss be proportional to the reduction of the "master hormone?" Or what about studies showing equivalent weight loss between low CHO groups -- with their significant drops in insulin levels -- and high CHO groups that didn't experience any reduction in insulin at all?

"Expected: 7.3 kg body fat gain
Actual: 6.7 kg body fat loss"
How was the body comp analysis performed?

Anonymous said...

"""While I'm thinking of it, I've seen multiple studies with confirmed reductions of insulin on a low CHO diet, but without weight loss. What do you make of these?""""

That weight loss will not happen until the insulin levels are low enough?

Martin Levac said...

In reply to dashforce.

Find a single case of somebody who overeats fat and grows fat. I looked and couldn't find one. That you believe the diet kills him makes no difference to the outcome we are looking for. The modern diet kills us too but it's still recommended by all the authorities on the subject, i.e. the food pyramid and such.

The scientific method doesn't work by proving something. Instead, it works by refuting something. Thus, overeating indiscriminately won't test the hypothesis. In view of our extensive knowledge of macronutrients (carbohydrate drives insulin, so does protein, etc) the only way to test it is to cut out all carbohydrate and overeat fat.

Indeed, it is thought that cutting fat, which is the most caloric nutrient, is an effective way to cut total calories which is supposed to allow us to shed fat. It's also thought that cutting saturated fat will prevent us from getting, and dying from, heart disease.

The above is precisely what the US population has been doing for the last 30 years. Ironically, the very same US population is growing ever fatter and ever sicker from heart disease. Who knows, maybe the hypothesis is wrong and maybe the advice to cut fat is wrong.

The trace amounts of carbohydrate that meat contains is inconsequential and serve only as an academic argument whether or not there exists carbohydrate in any amount in such a diet. The glycogen stored in muscle is used up almost completely after death anaerobically to fuel whatever last functions cells perform until they themselves die. In principle, the term zero carb means no plant whatsoever, only animal flesh. So when I say no CHO, I mean none from plants.

Such a test was already done before you and I were born. The subjects may not have overeaten but they certainly didn't eat any plant during this test. All the papers done on this are available on PubMed. They all start with the name CLINICAL CALORIMETRY followed with a roman numeral. Peruse at your leisure. One of the two subjects was Vihljalmur Stefansson. He wrote several books on his explorations. Not By Bread Alone is the one where we find all we want to know about a diet of fat meat and water.

In contrast, caloric restriction tests were also done before either of us were born perhaps. One of which is the Minnesota Semi Starvation Experiment. You say you read Taubes' GCBC, the name Ancel Keys should ring a bell then. Keys is the one who did this experiment. The goal was to learn what happened to people in Europe during WW2 with respect to their diet. We learned alright. We learned that a low calorie, low fat, high carb diet causes emaciation and neurosis. Another CR test was done more recently, it's the Biosphere 2 project. They acknowledged the Keys test and tried to remedy the emaciation but still the subjects lost weight and were constantly hungry. But don't take my word for it.

Then there is Jean Mayer. He's the father of the Positive Caloric Balance hypothesis. He made it up then went on a crusade. We can read about that in GCBC as well.

About Taubes' GCBC. There is no reason to doubt whatever is written in that book. It contains about 100 pages of bibliography which is easy enough to verify. If any of it was a lie, it would be so obvious that his opponents would be all over it in a second.

Right back at you:

So, let me guess -- you took his word on it without doing any research to refute the claims? Or at least determining how he came up with that conclusion?

Whether there is sufficient lipolysis makes no difference. What matters is the difference between the fat going into, and the fat going out of fat cells. If there's more going in than there is going out, fat will accumulate. Another way of saying this is, the difference between lipolysis and lipogenesis. If there's more lipolysis, fat will be lost. If there's more lipogenesis, fat will accumulate. You're saying "look there's enough lipolysis". I'm saying "but there's more lipogenesis".

The goal is certainly to increase oxidization of FFA. And we do this by cutting carbohydrate. It works this way because what controls the fuel choice is how much glucose is in the bloodstream and what controls that is carbohydrate intake. The more CHO we eat, the less we use FFA. The less CHO we eat, the more we use FFA.

You say you've done 50 days of a ketogenic diet. You say you did not lost an ounce of fat. The hypothesis says: "we grow fat because we eat too much". Did you eat too much to see if you would grow fat? If not then your experience is hardly a test of the hypothesis. Note: Overeating looks like trying to prove the hypothesis here but in fact it serves to refute it if we cut out carbohydrate and only overeat fat.

Right back at you again:

Will you take anything seriously that doesn't match your confirmation bias? I've been on and argued both sides of the Low CHO wagon, I've tried it myself once and still am doing it for over a year now, and I have read Taubes' book. In the end, in accordance with the published literature, it ends up being a question of carbohydrate content and not of caloric balance.

As for studies that claim to test low carb diets, were they truly low carb or merely lower than control (example: 250g/day vs 300g/day)? In the low carb world, above 130g/day is not low carb by any measure. Why 130g/day? it's arbitrary. But it seems to be a consensus based on the claim that the brain will use 130g/day of glucose if we eat enough carbohydrate. In fact, the brain will use less if we eat little or no carbohydrate. Instead, it will use ketones to a certain extent.


Martin Levac

Anonymous said...

This was the most memorable week of his life, being saturated with the Word of Taube.

Hallelujah!

What a blessing! His great love is the GCBC Bible and the old stories of the faith. Poems often come in the middle of the night, usually after reading Taube's Word or a good Low Carb book, singing hymns of the faith or during his quiet time with Tables. The Holy Eades impresses on the heart what to begin and the lines flow easily. This just has to be written down. His belief in the all sufficiency of Taubes as the Saviour Who lowered Himself to become man causes him to think on these things that burden his heart. What lays heavy on his heart is the peril of the lost, the burden for their souls, and the need for Gods Word to be proclaimed so that revival will come and people respond before it is too late.

This is our hope eternal that Atkins suffered for us, bled and died then rose again. Hallelujah! His desire is to encourage others with the simple gospel of low carb and also, that this ministry in poetry and song will be used for Taube's glory and purpose. The expression of himself through poetry that God enables him to write has been shared with others from the beginning. We never know when we set out to do a required task who it will affect or reach with the message of salvation.

Amen

Nathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nathan said...

Amen, brother.

Matt P said...

Levac dribbled:
"The scientific method doesn't work by proving something. Instead, it works by refuting something. Thus, overeating indiscriminately won't test the hypothesis. In view of our extensive knowledge of macronutrients (carbohydrate drives insulin, so does protein, etc) the only way to test it is to cut out all carbohydrate and overeat fat."

Are you really this ignorant?

Hypothesis: the Sun is yellow. You're telling me science can't prove that? It's pretty trivial to analyze the wavelengths of light.

Science can prove positive assertions simply by ruling out the other alternatives.

Now, that aside - I see you're continuing your Low-Carb Creationist tactics by ignoring the most basic principles of physics and chemistry, trying to find loopholes in the details of the biochemistry.

It doesn't work like that. If you want to postulate a violation of CoE, then the onus is on you to show that any chemical reaction can create or destroy energy within a closed system.

You don't get to demand proof from others when your belief itself is in violation of the most basic science. You have the burden of proof here, not anyone else.

So put up or shut up. Show me a chemical reaction that creates mass, or one that (as you postulate) destroys it.

You won't do that because 1) that data doesn't exist and 2) you're an evangelist that doesn't understand science and uses dishonest arguments to make a point.

Amen.

dashforce said...

"That weight loss will not happen until the insulin levels are low enough?"

What is "low enough"? Type I diabetes? I, for one, would certainly expect some kind of dose-response relationship.

"Find a single case of somebody who overeats fat and grows fat."

Multiple cases have already been presented, both anecdotal and scientifically administered. Perhaps you can provide a counterexamples (overeating fat with loss / no gain of body fat (not weight))? In such a case, what do you figure happens to the excess mass / energy? If the fat is absorbed (which has been shown up to 600g or so -- I'm unaware of any testing of higher levels), where does it go? It will have to be either deposited or metabolized, right? All those carbons end up somewhere... Would your metabolic rate simply rev up to compensate? If so, wouldn't this be indicated through an increase in body temperature? Wouldn't that mean that there would be an upper limit of fat intake at which point one would either quit absorbing it or die of hyperthermia? What exactly happens to all that excess energy?

Can you provide an example of a difference in fat loss (with appropriate body comp analysis) between isocaloric, *isonitrogenous* low CHO and high CHO diets? A few years of Pubmed browsing and I haven't found much.

"The above is precisely what the US population has been doing for the last 30 years."

Wrong. While percent fat has decreased, absolute amounts have increased (PMID: 10376775).

"So when I say no CHO, I mean none from plants."

Now we're getting somewhere, thank you. May I ask why meat is okay, when is equally or more insulinogenic on a gram for gram basis (PMID: 9356547)?

"Did you eat too much to see if you would grow fat?"

No, I am trying to slim down, actually. I am regularly tracking my intake, monitoring blood glucose levels, and checking for urinary ketosis, all of which confirm that my carbs are low enough to permit the purported advantageous adaptations.

"were they truly low carb or merely lower than control (example: 250g/day vs 300g/day)?"

Although many are higher CHO than I would prefer to see, there are several with significantly lower intakes. 250g/day is high CHO by my standards, I try to look for 25% kcal or less.

"About Taubes' GCBC. There is no reason to doubt whatever is written in that book. It contains about 100 pages of bibliography which is easy enough to verify."

Perhaps I'm just skeptical by nature. Although his bibliography is a welcome addition, without specific in-text reference, verifying his claims is an exhausting task.


I feel like Taubes' theory is being slightly misrepresented. From what I gathered in GCBC, his contention was that insulin halted/impaired FFA release from adipocytes, which caused a form of "cellular starvation," which caused compensatory increases in energy intake and decreases in expenditure. In other words, the imbalance of fat flow into and out of cells was due to putting the brakes on FFA exit. We've already established that this isn't the case, that FFA availability is more than sufficient. Therefore it is unlikely that it is a determinant of "cellular starvation," increased hunger, or decreased expenditure.

Do you support his contention of a state of "cellular starvation"?

I enjoy your rhetoric and writing style, though I do find this "blog" format somewhat cumbersome.

I would like to invite anyone interested in this discussion to participate in a few lengthy threads that include references and more technical discussion of mechanisms and such. One of the two is specifically directed at Taubes' ideas, the other at the potential superiority of low carb diets in general.

http://www.mindandmuscle.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=32335

http://www.mindandmuscle.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=31817

Martin Levac said...

In reply to Matt P on the subject of the First Law of Thermodynamics, and the scientific method.

The First Law of Thermodynamics. No energy can be created or destroyed. Easy enough to understand. So the body obeys that Law to the letter? I don't think so. The Second Law of Thermodynamics has a say on what the body does with its energy. It says "no system is perfect". This means, not all caloric molecules can be used with equal efficiency or to the same end. The most obvious example is that for one molecule of fat, we yield 108-126 ATP (only aerobically) while for one molecule of glucose we yield 2-36 ATP (anaerobically and aerobically). Protein can only be converted to glucose at the rate of about 55%. Fat barely stimulates insulin. Protein stimulates insulin but doesn't cause blood glucose to rise. Carbohydrate stimulates insulin and causes blood glucose to rise. I could go on but the point is that it is glaringly obvious that there's something going on that doesn't seem to want to obey the First Law of Thermodynamics but rather tries to obey the Second Law.

A rough analogy is to use diesel fuel in a regular engine, or vice verse, and see what gives. Obviously, the engine won't run the same, if at all, as if it was burning its proper fuel. There's about the same amount of energy in each fuel but only one works properly for each engine while the other fuel works differently or not at all. The human body is even more sensitive to the fuel we feed it.

In order to rule out all other alternatives, don't we have to test them first? Your statement "the sun is yellow" is easy to test. We compare its color to all known colors. The ones that don't match, we eliminate. The one that matches, we confirm. Yet we must test all known colors. This is how it goes with the PCB hypothesis as well. We must test low carb, high carb, low fat, high fat, low calorie, high calorie, etc. Until we find the truth.

Have you seen the latest "study" being passed around in the media recently? It's said to have tested low carb diets when in fact, all the diets were actually high carb with only slight differences in macronutrient ratios. Further, all diets were restricted in calories. The authors' conclusions? It's all about calories.

They did not test the calorie hypothesis. They merely tried to "prove" it. Had they made a genuine attempt to test the hypothesis, they'd have made an effort to distinguish the diets from each other.

They'd have included these diets:
CR = calorie restricted
MC = maintenance calories
EC = excess calories

High carb, low fat, CR.
High carb, low fat, MC
High carb, low fat, EC.
Low carb, high fat, CR.
Low carb, high fat, MC.
Low carb, high fat, EC.
Zero carb, high fat, CR.
Zero carb, high fat, MC.
Zero carb, high fat, EC.

In order to test the PCB hypothesis, we must include all possible combination within reason. With the above selection, we have a genuine chance to actually learn something about calories, carbohydrate and fat. The alternative is that we do the same shit and expect different results.

Why should it include low carb, zero carb and excess calorie diets? Because that's the competing hypothesis: Carbohydrate drives insulin drives fat accumulation. If the CHO hypothesis is true, then excess calories should not cause fat accumulation. On the other hand, excess calories for high carb diets should cause fat accumulation. On the other hand, if the PCB hypothesis is true, all excess calorie diets will cause fat accumulation. See what I meant by we must test all known colors?

Would you happen to have a few million dollars lying around? Metabolic ward studies are expensive.

Matt P said...

In reply to Matt P on the subject of the First Law of Thermodynamics, and the scientific method.

The First Law of Thermodynamics. No energy can be created or destroyed. Easy enough to understand. So the body obeys that Law to the letter? I don't think so.


Then you have to prove it incorrect.

You aren't educated enough on the matter to say "you don't think so" and have it mean *anything*.

Sorry, established science takes precedence over your opinion.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics has a say on what the body does with its energy. It says "no system is perfect". This means, not all caloric molecules can be used with equal efficiency or to the same end. The most obvious example is that for one molecule of fat, we yield 108-126 ATP (only aerobically) while for one molecule of glucose we yield 2-36 ATP (anaerobically and aerobically). Protein can only be converted to glucose at the rate of about 55%. Fat barely stimulates insulin. Protein stimulates insulin but doesn't cause blood glucose to rise. Carbohydrate stimulates insulin and causes blood glucose to rise. I could go on but the point is that it is glaringly obvious that there's something going on that doesn't seem to want to obey the First Law of Thermodynamics but rather tries to obey the Second Law.

It's called heat.

Heat is still measured as a unit of energy, aka the kilocalorie.

Here's a formula they teach in high-school physics:

Energy = Work + Heat

Turns out that this equation always balances.

A rough analogy is to use diesel fuel in a regular engine, or vice verse, and see what gives. Obviously, the engine won't run the same, if at all, as if it was burning its proper fuel. There's about the same amount of energy in each fuel but only one works properly for each engine while the other fuel works differently or not at all. The human body is even more sensitive to the fuel we feed it.

You can still account for all the energy put in, even if it has poor efficiency (i.e., most of it is wasted as heat).

In order to rule out all other alternatives, don't we have to test them first? Your statement "the sun is yellow" is easy to test. We compare its color to all known colors. The ones that don't match, we eliminate. The one that matches, we confirm. Yet we must test all known colors.

No, I sample the sun's light, compare it to the wavelength for the color yellow, and the problem is solved.

I don't need to show the sun *isn't* green to show that it is yellow. That's a non-starter of an argument.

This is how it goes with the PCB hypothesis as well. We must test low carb, high carb, low fat, high fat, low calorie, high calorie, etc. Until we find the truth.

Utterly ridiculous. Your entire premise is based on a flawed understanding of thermodynamics to begin with; we can summarily throw out the rest of your thought process simply based on that alone.

They did not test the calorie hypothesis. They merely tried to "prove" it. Had they made a genuine attempt to test the hypothesis, they'd have made an effort to distinguish the diets from each other.

You seem to misunderstand. There is no "calorie hypothesis" any more than there is a hypothesis that gravity makes you fall.

It is established fact. If you want to point out any exceptions, you have burden of proof. Science does not have any responsibility to prove itself to people that refuse to understand it.

This is the same argument taht Creationists use to discredit biology and evolution, and it's no more convincing coming from you.

You've danced around the point plenty, but you've not actually answered my question: where is the evidence that thermodynamics is being violated?

On the other hand, if the PCB hypothesis is true, all excess calorie diets will cause fat accumulation. See what I meant by we must test all known colors?

No, what I see is someone that doesn't understand what he's talking about, in any remote fashion, and yet somehow still manages to ignore any evidence to the contrary.

Martin Levac said...

In reply to Matt P on the subject of thermodynamics.

You speak of "established science" and "established fact". If you would be so kind as to provide a link or two, I would like it very much to see these "established science and facts" for myself. Who knows, maybe others would find it useful too.

Did you read Gary Taubes, Good Calories Bad Calories? It explains a few things about the science, or more appropriately the lack thereof, of nutrition. It explains, for instance, how physicians used to prescribe low carb diets for fat reduction and type 1 diabetics, how we knew that sugar and flour made us fat, and how the Positive Caloric Balance hypothesis was absurd because it lead to a psychological problem.

That last one is a good one, by the way. Here's how it goes.

Obesity is a disorder of fat accumulation. Yet when we claim that it is caused by overeating, we end up with a disorder of behavior, i.e. from a physiological problem to a psychological problem. We used to know this before WW2. The problem is that most of the knowledge about this was in Germany. You can understand that after the war, we didn't really keep in touch with Germans. And so that knowledge was forgotten and here we are with the low fat dogma and the PCB hypothesis.

If we stick with the thermodynamics argument, we will end up with the problem above. The question is, what regulates fat accumulation?

Let's put the question differently.

Do we grow fat because we overeat?
Or
Do we overeat because we grow fat?


If you will accept my advice, take the red pill.

Matt P said...

In reply to Matt P on the subject of thermodynamics.

You speak of "established science" and "established fact". If you would be so kind as to provide a link or two, I would like it very much to see these "established science and facts" for myself. Who knows, maybe others would find it useful too.


It's called a physics textbook. Virtually every high school and university in the world has them.

Did you read Gary Taubes, Good Calories Bad Calories? It explains a few things about the science, or more appropriately the lack thereof, of nutrition. It explains, for instance, how physicians used to prescribe low carb diets for fat reduction and type 1 diabetics, how we knew that sugar and flour made us fat, and how the Positive Caloric Balance hypothesis was absurd because it lead to a psychological problem.

Ah here we go, ignore the evidence and how shift the argument back to kookiness once you've dismissed it. How quaint.

If you don't want to buy into thermodynamics then we might as well be arguing about how the pink pixies cause you to get fat.

If we stick with the thermodynamics argument, we will end up with the problem above. The question is, what regulates fat accumulation?

Caloric excess.

But you've decided not to believe in conservation of energy and entropy, so I don't imagine that carries much weight in your fantasy land.

Let's put the question differently.

Do we grow fat because we overeat?
Or
Do we overeat because we grow fat?


Does a kettle of water boil because you put heat in it, or do you put heat in it because it boils?

That's the non-sense argument you're making here.

dashforce said...

Doubly labeled water much?

Metabolic ward much?

You grow fat because you intake and absorb more energy than you expend and excrete.

Martin Levac said...

In reply to dashforce.

Yes, that makes sense. According to the PCB hypothesis anyway. But not according to the carbohydrate hypothesis. We all know about calories in and calories out so I'll spare you the lecture.

The alternative view is that we overeat because we grow fat.

As we grow fat, our caloric needs increase, i.e. we spend more energy so we must replenish it with more energy as well. Thus, we overeat. This is just one way to look at it.

As we eat carbohydrate, blood glucose rises, insulin rises. Insulin is a storage hormone. Insulin takes nutrients from the bloodstream and pushes them into fat cells. As this happens, paradoxically cells starve and call for more nutrients. We get hungry, we eat more. The more carbohydrate we eat, the more hungry we are, the more we eat. That's what I used to think. I'm questioning this as I type.

An alternative. As insulin tells all cells to take in glucose for disposal, FFAs are not taken in except by fat cells however FFAs are not oxidized because of the exclusive nature of fuel usage (either/or FFA/glucose). Only after blood glucose comes back down to normal will all cells be able to take in, and oxidize, FFAs again. During this time, since cells can't use their primary fuel, i.e. FFAs, they call for more. We get hungry, we eat more.

The point is that eating carbohydrate causes us both to accumulate fat, and to eat more. I forget which paper I read this but as we cut carbohydrate, appetite is naturally reduced and we spontaneously reduce our total caloric intake even if there's plenty of food free for the taking. I think it was by Jeff Volek or his students. But no matter, the phenomenon is well known.


Matt P, your answer "caloric excess" is not a valid answer. Can you imagine the teacher in front of the class teaching nutrition to the best of his ability and when a student asks that question the teacher answers "caloric excess"? To which the student retorts "Well, I asked you what the metabolic process was. But thanks anyway, prof. I'll look it up on wiki tonight." Is "caloric excess" a metabolic process that regulates fat accumulation, then? You see how the question, and the answer, doesn't make any sense.

But I'll humor you. Let's say it is caloric excess that regulates fat accumulation. So the question now is, what are the hormones, enzymes and processes which are affected by caloric excess in such a way to cause fat accumulation?

Matt P said...

Matt P, your answer "caloric excess" is not a valid answer.

Why, because you say so?

You can't even understand high-school level physics, so why does anything you say matter?

Can you imagine the teacher in front of the class teaching nutrition to the best of his ability and when a student asks that question the teacher answers "caloric excess"? To which the student retorts "Well, I asked you what the metabolic process was. But thanks anyway, prof. I'll look it up on wiki tonight." Is "caloric excess" a metabolic process that regulates fat accumulation, then? You see how the question, and the answer, doesn't make any sense.

You don't get it do you? The process itself is irrelevant. Stop being a dishonest twit and realize that the process of fat accumulation still has to stick to thermodynamics. You can't make that go away.

Do you want to address the point or just keep tapdancing around it?

But I'll humor you. Let's say it is caloric excess that regulates fat accumulation. So the question now is, what are the hormones, enzymes and processes which are affected by caloric excess in such a way to cause fat accumulation?

I'm still waiting on you to tell me how these processes can break conservation of energy.

You seem more interested in putting on a show than providing evidence.

JC Carter said...

Martin Levac,

why do you keep avoiding the question and repeating the same information over and over again. Repeating an idea does not make it correct.

You are looking for a descrete pathway that defines where caloric excess goes, but there is not one, and you already know this. But its a lovely attempt to divery attention from your complete inability to understand the concepts you are talking about.

We can tell this due to your steadfast grasping of the lovely second law of thermodynamics and how this invalidates the idea of caloric balance.
It didnt invalidate the concept when Feinman and Fine tried to raise that flag either. As it doesnt alter the compliance to the first law.
Shame that, but doesnt stop you repeating it. Just like hilarious ignorance around what heat actually is...

Frank J said...

This is Martin Levacs modus operandi

1) ask for evidence against something he claims
2) if somebody actually shows evidence, its dismissed out of hand
3) go off on a tangent
4) reference Taubes
5) ignore any evidence that doesnt fit with his one view of the world
6) complain people are mean
7) run away and cry

Hamish McDonald said...

Martin,

Congratulations on losing 40lbs. If the no carb lifestyle is so great, adn lying in bed helps, why did it take so long?

Mikael Jansson said...

"""
Multiple cases have already been presented, both anecdotal and scientifically administered. Perhaps you can provide a counterexamples (overeating fat with loss / no gain of body fat (not weight))? In such a case, what do you figure happens to the excess mass / energy? If the fat is absorbed (which has been shown up to 600g or so -- I'm unaware of any testing of higher levels), where does it go? It will have to be either deposited or metabolized, right? All those carbons end up somewhere... Would your metabolic rate simply rev up to compensate? If so, wouldn't this be indicated through an increase in body temperature? Wouldn't that mean that there would be an upper limit of fat intake at which point one would either quit absorbing it or die of hyperthermia? What exactly happens to all that excess energy?
"""

The body can only absorb so much fat. Indeed, your body temperature will rise (to the point of being sweaty), you'll get nauseus and the rest will present itself as diarrhea.

That's from my (limited) personal experience during the last week where I've purposefully added 25-50g of coconut oil or butter to each meal. I'm trying to add more fat by eating it as-is between meals, but I get sick to the stomach so I find it very hard to overeat on. Moreover, I'm afraid I'm not getting enough protein and other nutrients because I'm always full and can't eat very much.

But I'm doing my best to overeat.

My weight varies from 0 to 0,5 /less/ than the starting weight, so no significant difference yet.

- Mikael

Conciliator said...

Martin, you raise a good question when you ask "do we grow fat because we overeat, or do we overeat because we grow fat?" Schoeller, an expert on doubly labeled water, recently answered this in a review (PMID: 19136994). His answer, both. He explains...

"Because energy can be neither created nor destroyed, obesity must result from a positive energy balance; yet weight gain increases energy expenditure, but this increased expenditure does not generally result in a return to energy balance and a halt to the slow increase in body weight. Thus, it is apparent that the mechanism underlying this annual weight gain for most individuals does not generally lie in a low energy expenditure in the face of an average energy intake, nor a high energy intake in the face of an average energy expenditure, but rather a continued imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. These differences, as discussed, are very small when presented on an average daily basis. Before weight gain, the energy intake and expenditure can be quite average but after the accumulation of excess fat to the point of obesity, both energy intake and expenditure will be higher than 'normal'."

That said, I hoped you noticed his mention of energy conservation, since your comprehension of the laws of thermodynamics appears to be quite poor. Questions of efficiency are not problems to the law, but an integral part of it. In humans, wasted energy (in the form of thermogenesis) is an integral part of the energy balance equation.

To quote the first sentence of Schoeller's abstract, "Obesity is defined as the excess storage of energy in the form of fat that results from imbalances between energy intake and expenditure." This is not a hypothesis. This is an established scientific theory. If energy intake exceeds expenditure, there will be a surplus that the body stores.

Further, in the first few lines of the full text, Schoeller states "Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. Thus, the change in metabolically usable body stores is the difference between energy intake and energy expenditure, where energy intake is the metabolizable energy from the diet, and energy expenditure is the totality of all energy released as heat."

Now if you want to argue that higher carb intakes are inferior because they have a negative effect on either intake or expenditure (for example, causing rebound hunger), then you have an argument consistent with the laws of thermodynamics for why carbs might lead to fat accumulation.

However, when you talk about one hormone, insulin, and claim that a person cannot gain fat with the levels of insulin that are produced basally and from protein intake, you're off in la-la land.

As I think Matt pointed out well, where does the extra energy go when you have a surplus of calories, but insulin levels that are elevated only from protein (i.e. low carb)? Is the body not able to absorb it? I don't think so. Does the surplus get negated because of an isoenergetic increase in thermogenesis? Again, I don't think so, especially considering that carbohydrates have an even higher thermic effect (TEF) than fat does.

YOU have the burden of explaining how a surplus of fat calories on a low carb diet can fail to result in fat gain. And you must do it in a way that's consistent with the laws of thermodynamics. There's no good reason to think you're right, and plenty of reasons to think you're wrong. Fat can store itself just fine in the presence of basal insulin levels with ASF. As people have pointed out to you, insulin levels are not discrete, but on a continuum. Research clearly shows that when isonitrogenous diets are compared, higher carb diets (with higher insulin levels) do JUST AS WELL as lower carb diets are reducing bodyfat. The same is true when the carbs with a higher glycemix/insulin index are compared to lower GI carbs: fat loss is identical. Why? Because carb intake (or type) and insulin levels are completely unable to account for fat loss. You're very confused if you don't realize that it's all about calorie balance.

"Obesity is defined as the excess storage of energy in the form of fat that results from imbalances between energy intake and expenditure."

Martin Levac said...

In reply to Conciliator.


I do argue that carbohydrate acts differently on the various metabolic pathways to cause fat accumulation. That's the carbohydrate hypothesis.

I am indeed asking for a discrete metabolic process which is involved in this thermodynamic fat accumulation. Matt P says the process doesn't matter, JC Carter says there isn't a process. How can fat be accumulated when there is no process? In this epoch when we have extensive knowledge of our own biology including hormones, enzymes and genes, how can we continue to claim that the process that regulates fat accumulation doesn't matter or doesn't exist? If the process doesn't exist, how can fat even accumulate?

It seems many here think that I implied the Laws of Thermodynamics are broken. I did no such thing. I merely outlined an alternative hypothesis that can explain why cutting carbohydrate causes fat loss and why eating carbohydrate causes fat accumulation. If it looks like it breaks the Law, then maybe we should find out why it looks like it breaks the Law. Who knows, we might even find the process I'm asking for.

The CHO hypothesis doesn't say that fat can't be stored. That's absurd. Normally, fat is stored in fat cells during a meal and is released between meals. Fat tissue is a temporary buffer. There's fat going in and going out of fat cells all day long. The CHO hypothesis says there's a problem with the fat going out of fat cells: It's not going out fast enough, thus fat accumulates. The question is, what regulates all this? Insulin.


A this point we can apply the Laws of Thermodynamics, the First and Second, at the fat cells.

Obesity is a disorder of fat accumulation. It's not a disorder of protein accumulation or bone accumulation or any other tissue. This means, we grow fat only at fat tissue, nowhere else. We can hypothesize that the First Law is obeyed but only at the fat tissue. However, if we eat as much as before, and fat is being accumulated more than normally, it's reasonable to assume that all other tissue are getting less energy, i.e. fuel partitioning, and thus they also obey the First Law.

So how does the Second Law fit in with all that? Dietary carbohydrate is what causes this disorder by causing a rise in blood glucose and stimulating insulin. Without either, fat can't accumulate. This is why dietary fat nor protein can cause obesity. Dietary fat barely stimulates insulin while dietary protein doesn't cause blood glucose to rise. There must be a rise in blood glucose and a rise in insulin to cause obesity. Take one of those out and obesity is impossible.

In other words, carbohydrate disrupts the normal fuel partitioning that would otherwise provide all other tissue their fair share of the energy.


So the idea is to eat just a little more each day and to accumulate just a little more fat each day until we are 30-50-100 lbs fatter after so many years? Let's do the math on this one. Let's say we eat 50 surplus calories per day for ten years. So, ( 50 x 365 x 10 = 182,500 surplus calories, or 52 lbs of fat ). We put this in perspective by comparing to the total calories we ate during these ten years at a rate of about 2500 calories per day. So, ( 2500 x 365 x 10 = 9,125,000 ). The ratio is 182,000 / 9,125,000 = 0.02 or 2%. But the most critical part of this idea is that in order to prevent this, we must control our calorie intake to within 2% for ten years, or take one bite less per day for 3,650 days. That's absurd.

The CHO hypothesis explains this differently. As we eat a high carb diet over the ten years, we grow progressively insulin resistant. I'll spare us the details but the idea is that this growing insulin resistance is what drives hyperglycemia which in turn drives hyperinsulinemia which in turn prevents fat from being released from fat tissue. It's a dose response so the more CHO we eat, the faster this occurs.

Martin Levac said...

In reply to Mikael Jansson.

Take a moment to read these experiments about overeating fat:

http://magicbus.myfreeforum.org/ftopic1484-0-asc-0.php

http://magicbus.myfreeforum.org/ftopic846-0-asc-100.php

http://www.hypertrophy-specific.info/cgi-bin/ib314/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=19;t=14917

http://blog.rifftrax.com/2009/01/31/bacon-stupidity/


You may find a few tricks to help you with your high fat experiment.

Jimmy James said...

Hey Martin,

The point is back over this way, keeping on track woudl be a useful thing

JC Carter said...

JC Carter says there isn't a process. How can fat be accumulated when there is no process?

---

Once again your Intellectual dishonesty rears its head again.

Strange how Martin always gets caugt in the same discussion all over the internet, yet actually fails to substantiate anything. Being a pudgy golfer must not have brought any common sense to your life, and it certainly did not allow you to develop any understanding of science, even at the 5th grade level.

Heres a clue for somebody so dearly missing his. I never claimed there was no a process, I said "descrete process", poorly spelled perhaps, but that has never stopped your challanged ass before.

Conciliator said...

Martin,

I'm a little surprised to hear that you're asking for the metabolic process by which fat can be stored (in the context of a low carb diet). Did you read Martin's article? Before all this discussion began, he explained that "Fat stores itself with tremendous efficiency without insulin, due to a nifty little thing called acylation-stimulating protein (ASP)." I mentioned this in my post as well (misspelled as ASF).

You're very mistaken when you say "The question is, what regulates all this [fat balance]? Insulin." You need to understand that there are a multitude of enzymes that are involved in triacylglycerol synthesis and lipolysis. "Insulin" is not a pathway. It's one of several hormones that have an effect on the enzymes that comprise the actual pathways. What enzymes am I talking about? For fatty acid uptake, there's FAT/CD36, FATP-1 to -6, and FABPpm. For fatty acid synthesis, there's fatty acid synthase. For glucose uptake, there's Glut1 and Glut4. For esterfication, there's GPAT, PAP1, and DGAT1 and DGAT2. For lipolysis, there's HSL, perilipin, and Protein kinase A. What "regulates all this?" It's definitely not just "insulin". That's an incredibly simplistic, insulinocentric view. You know what else has an effect on these lipogenic/lipolytic enzymes besides insulin? There’s angiotensin II, the adrenergic receptor (catacholamines), FoxC2, PTP1B, and last but not least ASP.

ASP stimulates triacylglycerol synthesis more than any other known adipose tissue factor. It's also a potent stimulator of glucose transport [PMID: 9130021]. It works independently of insulin, through a different signaling pathway. It effectively synthesizes triacylglycerol even in the absence of glucose and insulin [PMID: 8492712]. Finally, guess what the primary regulator of ASP production is? Dietary fat (packaged as chylomicrons) [PMID: 9694837]. There's your mechanism for you. Unfortunately, low carb nuts never look past insulin. Just as Martin said, "Fat stores itself with tremendous efficiency without insulin."

Take a look at the broader picture. Fatty acids are taken up into adipocytes via facilitated diffusion, mediated by fatty acid transporters like the ones I mentioned above. You don't need insulin for this. Dietary FFAs will diffuse into adipocytes down the concentration gradient. There may even be passive diffusion. You then need a triacylglycerol backbone and the acylation (esterfication) steps that lead to the production of a triacylglycerol. ASP can stimulate both. After all, it's called "acylation-stimulating protein." This process works just fine with basal levels of insulin or glucose. And as explained before, ASP is produced in response to FAT INTAKE. You're very confused to think that "there must be a rise in blood glucose and a rise in insulin to cause obesity. Take one of those out and obesity is impossible." It's only impossible to those who are familiar with nothing but insulin.

Matt P said...

Levac,

Nice cherry-picking.

You realize that evidence is supposed to dictate the theory, not the other way around, right?

You don't start with an idea then pick out the evidence that makes it correct.

Which is what you're doing with this ridiculous CHO hypothesis.

The simple fact is that caloric excess/shortfall is the ultimate determinant of weight gain/loss; you're not going to find magic beyond that.

You *can* overeat on fat and get fat, just as you can lose weight eating CHO. I've done both, so don't pull this "can't do it" line.

Martin Levac said...

In reply to Conciliator.

I acknowledge the claim that ASP has the potential to cause obesity. I just disagree with it.

You said "After all, it's called "acylation-stimulating protein." This process works just fine with basal levels of insulin or glucose."

Martin Berkhan said "fat stores itself with tremendous efficiency without insulin, due to a nifty little thing called acylation-stimulating protein (ASP)"

Which is it, "with basal levels of insulin and glucose", or "without insulin"?

Anonymous said...

Without insulin you die, so unfortunately Martins wording is not the best.

Conciliator said...

You "disagree with it?" What a pathetic refusal to accept new information about how the body actually works. Your stubbornness highlights the idiocy and inanity of low carb fundamentalists. Seriously. You ask for a mechanism of action with the erroneous assumption that insulin is the only player, you get a well established one with potent effects (ASP), and then you slough it off saying you "disagree with it." Unbelievable.

You ask, "Which is it?" It's not one or the other. It's both. Research shows that ASP can stimulate TG synthesis in the absence of insulin and glucose. I gave you a reference for this. The basal levels of insulin and glucose that would be found in a low-carb state would only potentate the effects of ASP. The bottom line is that fat can store itself just fine when there is an absence of carbs in the diet.

Anonymous said...

In reply to Martin Levac.

I acknowledge the claim that Insulin has the potential to cause obesity. I just disagree with it.




/End of thread

Martin Levac said...

In reply to Conciliator.

[PMID: 8492712] says ASP can stimulate fat synthesis in the absence of insulin and glucose. If this is true, we should be able to make people fat by making them overeat fat. Martin Berkhan seems to imply it, you seem to say it too. So where are these people who overate fat and grew fat?

If this is true, we should be able to make diabetics type 1 fat by making them overeat fat. Where are these obese diabetics type 1?



Matt P, you said "You *can* overeat on fat and get fat, just as you can lose weight eating CHO. I've done both, so don't pull this "can't do it" line."

Did you grow obese? Did you keep records of this?

Anonymous said...

Fuck you are a dumb cunt

Anonymous said...

How do we make type I diabetics fat when they die?

Matt P said...

Matt P, you said "You *can* overeat on fat and get fat, just as you can lose weight eating CHO. I've done both, so don't pull this "can't do it" line."

Did you grow obese? Did you keep records of this?


No, not really. I gained body weight, and it certainly wasn't all muscle.

The diet was ground beef, olive oil, and cheese. Unfortunately I have no records beyond that, only to say that I did gain close to 10 lbs while doing so and little if any of it was muscle mass.

What I want to know is what would have prevented me from becoming obese if I'd kept that dietary habit.

What's the magical physiological mechanism that will kick in and prevent me from continuing to get larger and larger?

Martin Levac said...

In reply to Matt P.

There are many reasons, other than fat accumulation, to gain weight. Illness, water retention, lean tissue growth. I don't doubt that you gained weight. I doubt that the weight you gained was all fat.

In the forums I mentioned, there are experiments with high fat, zero carb and excess calories. They show no weight gain. They show either weight loss or maintenance.

Anonymous said...

and they were the same fucking rejects who do not understand BMR

Matt P said...

There are many reasons, other than fat accumulation, to gain weight. Illness, water retention, lean tissue growth. I don't doubt that you gained weight. I doubt that the weight you gained was all fat.

I've got enough experience to tell when I'm holding water and when I'm not. Low-carb dieting is one of those "not" situations.

You doubt the weight I gained was fat, yet my pants, appearance, and caliper measurements said otherwise. The magnitude of weight gain also argues against inflammation or water, and if it were LBM gains (excepting water), I'd have expected much different results.

Who to believe?

In the forums I mentioned, there are experiments with high fat, zero carb and excess calories. They show no weight gain. They show either weight loss or maintenance.

And yet my own story says these are false.

Occam's razor suggests that they simply weren't eating in a caloric excess to begin with.

Anonymous said...

its because the idiots think their BMR estimate is the ideal measurement to estimate tehri daily energy expenditure

Martin Levac said...

In reply to Matt P.

The scientific method demands that for a result to be valid, it must be repeatable. 1 weight gain. 4 weight loss/maintenance.

The odds are against the PCB hypothesis.

JC Carter said...

The scienfitic method applauds adequate control, all of your examples are individual, uncontrolled anecdotes that do not meet the required quality. The odds are against the "create a model, force evidence to fit or ignore the remainder"

dashforce said...

"They show no weight gain. They show either weight loss or maintenance."

Nobody here gives a rat's ass about weight. Obese people are not obese because they are overweight. Technically (according to the BMI), I am overweight, though I'm carrying ~10% body fat.

People are obese because they are overfat. As you stated, many things can cause weight gain... and many things can cause weight loss (water, glycogen).

Big difference.

Matt P said...

The scientific method demands that for a result to be valid, it must be repeatable. 1 weight gain. 4 weight loss/maintenance.

The odds are against the PCB hypothesis.


No, you're cherry-picking evidence in every way possible to stack the deck against a reality you can't consider.

Anecdotes mean nothing, which was the entire point. You can post examples, I can post mine. When yours violate the science, they're still wrong (or at the very least, interpreted in a sketchy manner).

Your case: some magic violates thermodynamics and these obese people are subject to it.

My/our case: calories in excess of daily needs accumulate over time to make people obese, and your "case studies" are simply not being honest about their intake or their metabolic rate.

Occam's razor suggests the latter.

Martin Lugnut said...

Geez, you guys. Can't I just believe in my magic beans? I may just want to visit the giant, I hear good things about him.

Martin Levac said...

In reply to Matt P.

You said:

"When your [anecdote] violates the science"

You also said:

"you're cherry-picking evidence"

And:

"your "case studies" are simply not being honest"


Now it's you who cherry picks the evidence. You do this by trying to ignore the cases that disagree with your hypothesis. You give the reasons "they violate the science" and "the case studies are simply not being honest".

There's one way to get out of this one: Repeat the test they did. You must overeat a significant amount of calories daily in the form of animal fat, i.e. no plant source. You must keep records of this experiment. Then, you must allow the results to dictate which hypothesis is true.

Martin Levac said...

Let's take a moment and consider the following.

The Laws of Thermodynamics are merely the hypothesis that represents the facts. First, we observed a phenomena, then we tried to explain the observation. We came up with the Laws of Thermodynamics. We could well have called it "The trick with stuff" or "the (un)disappearing apple" or "that's what I think is going on". The point is, it's a hypothesis, an idea.

Some of us decided to consider this hypothesis with a certain naivete, i.e. to only use the First Law. This leads to erroneous conclusions: Observation of phenomena that seems to contradict this First Law will be viewed as doubtful and probably be dismissed outright. But, there are four Laws and the observations must be viewed through all four.

The point is that as the Laws were derived from observation, so should any other hypothesis. So, the experiments who lost weight on a high fat, zero carb, excess calorie diet should be taken as is unless they give us a reason to disbelieve them, and then try to devise a hypothesis that explains the observations.

So far, the only reasons we have to doubt them comes from us, not from them. In other words, we dismiss their story because they don't fit our hypothesis, i.e. the First Law of Thermodynamics, and so we conclude that they must be lying. That is bad science.

But, when we put it through all four Laws, we begin to understand why they record weight loss or weight maintenance but no weight gain.

Anonymous said...

Let's see these experiments then. Anecdotes do not count.
re: thermodynamics: of course the third law about absolute zero changes everything(sarcasm). The first law is the most important factor, since it explains that energy can't just dissapear from a system. All the others laws are based off this fact(yes fact, not hypothesis) and do not contradict with it.
martin levac, I think its about time you re-read the article and the comments without holding dearly to your biased (and wrong) opinion.

Matt P said...

OK, so Levac doesn't understand what cherry-picking means; that's no shock.

PRO-TIP: It's not cherry-picking when you're considering the entire body of data and fitting anecdotes into that model.

Let's take a moment and consider the following.

The Laws of Thermodynamics are merely the hypothesis that represents the facts. First, we observed a phenomena, then we tried to explain the observation. We came up with the Laws of Thermodynamics. We could well have called it "The trick with stuff" or "the (un)disappearing apple" or "that's what I think is going on". The point is, it's a hypothesis, an idea.


So is gravity. If you think it's false, go walk off a 30-story building and see how far "it's just a hypothesis" gets you.

It's called a law for a reason: it's been empirically tested so many times that it absolutely is infallible in any circumstance we can test - just like gravity (which itself was "proven wrong" by Einstein - in situations that Newton could never have imagined).

People don't just make up things and decide they're true. You're trying to strawman the whole goddamn universe, which is one hell of a feat.

Some of us decided to consider this hypothesis with a certain naivete, i.e. to only use the First Law. This leads to erroneous conclusions: Observation of phenomena that seems to contradict this First Law will be viewed as doubtful and probably be dismissed outright. But, there are four Laws and the observations must be viewed through all four.

WTF is this? Who would ever consider looking at fat loss or metabolic processes or in fact any chemical reaction as a property of just one of the laws?

This is what happens when you don't know what you're talking about.

The point is that as the Laws were derived from observation, so should any other hypothesis. So, the experiments who lost weight on a high fat, zero carb, excess calorie diet should be taken as is unless they give us a reason to disbelieve them, and then try to devise a hypothesis that explains the observations.

Does not follow.

What's more likely?

1. Thermodynamics is wrong, therefore magic

or

2. People were mistaken

This is seriously a no-brainer, but you're trying to shoehorn fairies and unicorns up in this.

So far, the only reasons we have to doubt them comes from us, not from them. In other words, we dismiss their story because they don't fit our hypothesis, i.e. the First Law of Thermodynamics, and so we conclude that they must be lying. That is bad science.

No, that's the definition of Awesome Science (TM). This is exactly why we have science, to cut through the bullshit that surrounds anecdotes.

You're just butt-hurt because nobody's buying your line of garbage; this has nothing to do with poor reasoning or poor science.

You just don't like the conclusions.

Anonymous said...

The point is that as the Laws were derived from observation, so should any other hypothesis.

After all this time you still do not seem to understand what hypotheses really are.

5th grade science is calling.

Martin Levac said...

In reply to Matt P.

You said:

"PRO-TIP: It's not cherry-picking when you're considering the entire body of data and fitting anecdotes into that model."

If there's an entire body of data, where are the fat people who grew fat by overeating fat?

Matt P said...

What's the problem Levac? Don't want to lecture me on science any more? Is that why you ignore every single point, so you can move teh goalposts again?

I don't have to show you someone getting obese on fat, because that's a nonsense argument from the get-go.

If you understood science at all you'd realize why that isn't necessary; however your comments here have made it quite clear that you're more comfortable with a coloring book than having any sort of discussion on science.

Anonymous said...

Moving the goalposts AGAIN you fucking jerkwad? Keep on the origonal tangent.

Martin Levac said...

In reply to Matt P.

I understand your frustration. I couldn't find those fat people either.

Anonymous said...

You cant find a clue either.

Anonymous said...

I gained fat without eating carbs. prove me wrong. Oh thats right you cant.. so i guess its back to science, and you being wrong

Matt P said...

I understand your frustration. I couldn't find those fat people either.

What frustration? I tell you it's irrelevant and somehow you read that as frustration?

The entire argument is irrelevant and nonsense; it has nothing to do with frustration.

I could find someone that overfed on beef and olive oil, but if they had a 12oz Pepsi during the day you'd screech that they had carbs and thus the 40 grams of carbs caused them to be fat. That's ridiculous, and if you've got half a brain you'd see it was ridiculous.

This is goal-post moving bullshit; I don't have to find someone that got fat purely on fat to demonstrate that calorie excess causes obesity.

You're a dishonest ass.

JC Carter said...

Dishonesty would imply that he has enough intellegence to actually be doing this purposely. Unfortunate for Martin, this is not true.

Anonymous said...

lol this levac guy is an idiot

can he even read?

Martin Levac said...

In reply to Matt P.

You said:

"I don't have to find someone that
got fat purely on fat to demonstrate that calorie excess causes obesity."

To claim that "we don't need to show evidence" to support the hypothesis is called a strawman argument.

The CHO hypothesis says it's the carbohydrate that makes us fat. In order to refute this hypothesis, we must overeat fat in the absence of carbohydrate. If the hypothesis is true, the person would not grow fat or would even lose weight. If the hypothesis is false, he would grow fat.

In light of the lack of evidence showing that we can grow fat by overeating fat, we can't "prove" the Positive Caloric Balance hypothesis, nor can we refute the Carbohydrate hypothesis, therefore we must acknowledge that the PCB hypothesis and the claim that we can grow fat by overeating fat is dubious at best and must be discarded or at the very least amended to include these facts or lack thereof, i.e. "we think that but can't prove it."

Matt P said...

To claim that "we don't need to show evidence" to support the hypothesis is called a strawman argument.

Oh my. Let's take this one at a time.

1. We've shown evidence to support our position. You just choose to reject it in favor of your "hypothesis" - which is part of your cherry-picking.

2. A strawman is where I invent something I think you said, even though you didn't say it.

On the contrary, what you've said here is quite clear; it's just that what you say is outright rejected because it's nonsense.

The CHO hypothesis says it's the carbohydrate that makes us fat. In order to refute this hypothesis, we must overeat fat in the absence of carbohydrate.

Untrue.

For the same reason I don't need to demonstrate that the sun *isn't* green to say that it *is* yellow.

Positive evidence of a claim is, in this case, enough to disprove the alternatives via parsimony.

Your CHO "hypothesis" has no supporting evidence besides your own belief, and "evidence" cherry-picked to support it.

The concept of calorie balance is well supported not only in nutrition but in all physical science.

You lose simply for lack of evidence.

If the hypothesis is true, the person would not grow fat or would even lose weight. If the hypothesis is false, he would grow fat.

Wrong. If a hypothetical person eats 10,000 calories of fat for a year, he's going to get fucking fat.

Show me where I'm wrong.

In light of the lack of evidence showing that we can grow fat by overeating fat, we can't "prove" the Positive Caloric Balance hypothesis, nor can we refute the Carbohydrate hypothesis, therefore we must acknowledge that the PCB hypothesis and the claim that we can grow fat by overeating fat is dubious at best and must be discarded or at the very least amended to include these facts or lack thereof, i.e. "we think that but can't prove it."

You can't prove to me that gravity is false.

Therefore, I have reason to believe gravity is false.

This is your argument.

Martin Levac said...

In reply to Matt P.

You said:

"If a hypothetical person eats 10,000 calories of fat for a year, he's going to get fucking fat."

Where are the fucking fat people that grew fucking fat by overeating fucking fat?

10,000 calories of fat is over two pounds of fat. Can you eat this in a day? Do you know anybody who can or even tried? Those experiments that overate fat ate a maximum of about 5000 calories per day and just couldn't eat any more than that. There seems to be a limit on the amount of fat we can eat in a given period. Maybe that's why we can't grow fat by overeating fat simply because we can't actually overeat fat? I don't know, I'm just trying to find a reason why we can't grow fat by overeating fat.

XSanguinator said...

QUOTE: "Dietary carbohydrate is what causes this disorder by causing a rise in blood glucose and stimulating insulin. Without either, fat can't accumulate. This is why dietary fat nor protein can cause obesity. Dietary fat barely stimulates insulin while dietary protein doesn't cause blood glucose to rise. There must be a rise in blood glucose and a rise in insulin to cause obesity. Take one of those out and obesity is impossible."

Whether or not insulin needs to be stimulated above basal level in order for fat to accumulate in adipose tissue is an issue worthy of debate IMHO, but the contention that blood glucose needs to rise is not because it's already clear that the answer is no. In 'Good Calories, Bad Calories', Taubes states that the breaking down of glucose via glycolysis is the sole pathway fat cells use to synthesize the alpha glycerol phosphate necessary for triglyceride synthesis (by providng the glycerol backbone). However, adipose-specific GLUT4-deficient mice maintain normal adipose mass despite having marked impairment of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake by fat cells. (Abel, E.D., Peroni, O., Kim, J.K., Kim, Y., Boss, O., Hadro, E., Minnemann, T., Shulman, G.I., and Kahn, B.B. (2001). "Adipose-selective targeting of the GLUT4 gene impairs insulin action in muscle and liver." Nature. 409, pp. 729-733). Also, during prolonged fasting in humans, up to 40% of fatty acids released from white adipose tissue are converted back to triglycerides before they leave the local environment. Because glycolysis in adipocytes is minimal during fasting, glucose cannot be the main source for alpha glycerol phosphate production. (Glyceroneogenesis and the Triglyceride/Fatty Acid Cycle -- Reshef et al. 278 (33): 30413 – J Biol Chem).

This is where a metabolic pathway termed glyceroneogenesis comes into play. Glyceroneogenesis is down-regulated when insulin is high, but up-regulated when insulin is low.

“The metabolic significance of glyceroneogenesis is that any compound that can enter the citric acid cycle and form oxalacetate can contribute to triglyceride synthesis (i.e. this process does not depend on a supply of glucose).” Reassessing triglyceride synthesis in adipose tissue. Nye C, Kim J, Kalhan SC, Hanson RW. Trends Endocrinol Met ab. 2008 Dec;19(10):356-61. Epub 2008 Oct 15.

Glucogenic amino acids are able to enter the citric acid cycle and form oxalacetate and are most likely the main sources for triglyceride-glycerol synthesis during fasting and low or zero carb intake.

Martin Levac said...

In reply to XSanguinator.

Taubes' contention is that obesity is a disorder of fat accumulation. When everything is normal, there is no disorder of fat accumulation. Instead, fat is stored normally during a meal and released normally as well in between meals.

The glyceroneogenesis pathway, like ASP, is merely an explanation of one of the components of this system, not a backdoor to obesity without hyperglycemia or hyperinsulinemia. Thus, it does not refute Taubes's contention. On the contrary, it confirms that obesity is not merely a dumping of excess calories in fat cells but rather a disorder of the systems that control fat metabolism.

Anonymous said...

Martin Levac,

Provide evidence of people getting fat on only eating carbohydrates or shut the fuck up you pudgy golf playing inbred piece of shit.

Matt P said...

10,000 calories of fat is over two pounds of fat. Can you eat this in a day? Do you know anybody who can or even tried? Those experiments that overate fat ate a maximum of about 5000 calories per day and just couldn't eat any more than that. There seems to be a limit on the amount of fat we can eat in a given period. Maybe that's why we can't grow fat by overeating fat simply because we can't actually overeat fat? I don't know, I'm just trying to find a reason why we can't grow fat by overeating fat.

You still don't get it.

Even if I can't provide someone that got fat eating exclusively fat, that is not evidence that your "CHO hypothesis" is valid.

It's not a binary argument where one position can't be proven, therefore the opposing position is right!

A or B
Not B
Therefore A

...is a shining example of a false dilemma fallacy.

Why do you not get this?

Anonymous said...

he doesnt get it cause hes an illiterate fatass that needs something to blame for beign a fatass other than his own laziness

Anonymous said...

Excuse my nosiness, but is Martin Levac a famous golfer? I don't follow golf, but I've seen it mentioned a few times. Or is it meant to be insulting or derogatory in some way?

Also have to say, this is one of the most bizarre but informative internet exchanges I've read in a long time.

Anonymous said...

No, in order to be a famous golfer he would need some talent in something at some point

Martin Levac said...

Martin Berkhan said:

"fat stores itself with tremendous efficiency without insulin, due to a nifty little thing called acylation-stimulating protein (ASP)."

The opposing argument is that fat stores itself without ASP.

That is not what the CHO hypothesis states.

In trying to refute the CHO hypothesis, Martin Berkhan's statement implies that if we can show that ASP can stimulate the formation of triglycerides without insulin, then we can conclude, without actual evidence, that we can create obesity without insulin.

Where are the fat people who grew fat by overeating fat?

Anonymous said...

Levac you ignorant cunt. You are suppling the opposing arguement.

JC Carter said...

Obviously Levac is unaware of the cell level research around ASP and no insulin showing adipose uptake.

Or the magic of teh ASP knockout mouse that inspite of insulin, is lean.

Or that he has yet to provide any evidence backing his claim that eating carbs will cause obesity.

Or any evidence that eating fat alone will prevent obesity

But he will move the goalposts some more, do a little dance, trot out some old anecdotes about some choad 100 years ago, followed by worthless anecdotes about morons who do not understand what BMR is.

Martin Levac said...

In reply to JC Carter.

Did you read Gary Taube's Good Calories Bad Calories? If you had, you would have noted that it contained about 100 pages of bibliography. Do you know what a bibliography is? If you did, you would realize that 100 pages of it is way too bulky to present here on this blog.

From that book, we can follow the trail that leads to all the evidence we want. But obviously, it's easier to just sit there and pout like a high strung critic.

But seriously, the original post is not by me, it's by Martin Berkhan. If there's any statement that needs to be substantiated, it's his.

Anonymous said...

apparently if you can't show that Bob got fat by eating fat, it's rational to assume Bob got fat because of carbs

or in other news martin levac is a retard.

Anonymous said...

Did you read Gary Taube's Good Calories Bad Calories? If you had, you would have noted that it contained about 100 pages of bibliography. Do you know what a bibliography is? If you did, you would realize that 100 pages of it is way too bulky to present here on this blog.

From that book, we can follow the trail that leads to all the evidence we want. But obviously, it's easier to just sit there and pout like a high strung critic.


You know what a bibliography means? It means there's 100 pages worth of studies that were taken out of context.

An abstract doesn't support you just becuase it uses the same keywords you put in Pubmed.

You have to critically analyze things, not just quote useful quotes.

You know, what you do?

Martin Levac said...

In reply to Anonymous.

The actual logic is that if Bob can't grow fat by overeating fat or if he grows lean by overeating fat, then the statement "overeating calories makes us fat" is refuted.

JC Carter said...

Did you read Gary Taube's Good Calories Bad Calories? If you had, you would have noted that it contained about 100 pages of bibliography. Do you know what a bibliography is? If you did, you would realize that 100 pages of it is way too bulky to present here on this blog.

yes, I have. it was one of the funniest misinterpretations of research I have seen in a long time. Far too stupid to bring into this blog.

As anon has mentioned, numbers of references does not make a guru.

But I am sure it impresses you.

From that book, we can follow the trail that leads to all the evidence we want. But obviously, it's easier to just sit there and pout like a high strung critic.

You sound like you are making the same sort of argument that a creationist would give.
its also easy to sit like a critic when you bring such low quality evidence to a discussion.

But seriously, the original post is not by me, it's by Martin Berkhan. If there's any statement that needs to be substantiated, it's his.

Martin is providing coverage of the current state of knowledge.

You are claiming something different. To where the substantiation should fall belongs with you.

Anonymous said...

The actual logic is that if Bob can't grow fat by overeating fat or if he grows lean by overeating fat, then the statement "overeating calories makes us fat" is refuted.

lets try to sink to your level

There are many reasons, other than magic, to lose weight. Illness, water loss, lean tissue loss. I don't doubt that bob lost weight. I doubt that the weight lost was all fat.

Is bob one of these idiots who does not understand BMR?

Martin Levac said...

In reply to JC Carter.

Why don't you like the book? Is it too technical, too long, too many quotes and references? The book is easier to read if we take it one chapter at a time. You do know it's not a diet book, right? There are so many people who bought the book thinking just that and boy were they pissed. Maybe that's what you thought? Anyway, what made you decide it was a misinterpretation?

Incidentally, Charles over at Zeroing in Health gives us a chapter by chapter summary each week of Good Calories Bad Calories for those who don't have the book or just to skim over the hard parts to get at the meat of the text. For those who are interested, he also does a chat each week to talk about this week's chapter.

Here's the address:

http://forum.zeroinginonhealth.com/forumdisplay.php?fid=11

JC Carter said...

Why don't you like the book? Is it too technical, too long, too many quotes and references? The book is easier to read if we take it one chapter at a time. You do know it's not a diet book, right? There are so many people who bought the book thinking just that and boy were they pissed. Maybe that's what you thought? Anyway, what made you decide it was a misinterpretation?

Nice thinly veiled ad hom. just because you may not, some of us have an education.

His book is a painful joke, just like most of his other works. I knew what the book was about before I got it, and it was worse than I expected. I guess quality journalism is less important than fat bonuses for writing.

I am sure it impresses the Rubes, but some of us prefer something of a bit higher quality.

Martin Levac said...

In reply to JC Carter.

Most of those who believed the PCB hypothesis also knew what the book was about (they had read his article in the NYTimes) and wouldn't even look at it nor acknowledge its existence. You should be commended for having read it at least. You are one of the few, so to speak.


By the way, here's the NYTimes article by Gary Taubes for those who would like to know what we're referring to:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F04E2D61F3EF934A35754C0A9649C8B63

If the above link doesn't work:
http://tinyurl.com/yqsfm2

Anonymous said...

if you are going to post his NYT article, then how about we get some quotes from the people he used as supportitive information


http://www.cspinet.org/nah/11_02/bigfatlies.pdf

JC Carter said...

that article from CSPI is part of what turns me off jouralists cum scientists...

Low carb diets are fantastic ways to lose fat. I have been using them on and off for 14years, when they suited me, and my clients.

I have never been able to replicate any magic, but it would be nice if i could. My most successful periods of dieting have included moderate carbohydrates. I have had clients lose fantastic levels of fat off relatively high levels of carbohydrates. They were not magic either.

Martin Levac said...

In reply to JC Carter.

I would have thought you'd embrace that CSPI article. I mean, it clearly tries to refute Taubes and his lies. Isn't there anything you take seriously?

Ah, I see. You don't like journalists. Taubes is a journalist, therefore you don't like him or what he writes. I don't like journalists either. Most of them are just parrots anyway. It's difficult to find one that will actually do the work and report his findings. Taubes worked about 6 years on GCBC. I don't know, maybe he wasted all this time throwing pencils at the ceiling. I mean, that's obviously what you think bout him and his book.

JC Carter said...

reading not your strong point?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone find it hilarious that on a thread about the religious level quackery of the low carb guru's has involved a discussion with one of the quackiest low carb zealots available?

Pikku said...

I quoted this from the article earlier, but it seems all the more applicable now:
"advocates that cling to a stubborn, entrenched position that defies reasoned argument or contradictory evidence"
levac has been doing a stunning job of providing a real world example of that.

Anonymous said...

Or the magic of the ASP knockout mouse that inspite of insulin, is lean.

Yep, 25% leaner while consuming more calories than ASP-producing mice.

Anonymous said...

and yet still obey the laws of thermodynamics.

Silly mice should know better

Anonymous said...

Hello?


hello?


anyone home?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know more about the "MAM experiment" at magicbus website.

It seems it's rather famous around here. Since you seem to know, I'd like to know how they could screw things up so badly that lost weight on what is almost three times their daily caloric requirement?

Anonymous said...

Because the morons on magicbus obviously took too many drugs so they do not understand what their basic calorie requirement actually is.

Anonymous said...

turns out when you ask fat people to tell you what they ate, they don't tell you about the box of donuts and the large pizzas they had.

Anonymous said...

[Because the morons on magicbus
obviously took too many drugs so they do not understand what their basic calorie requirement actually is]

But they consumed 5.000 calories a day and lost weight. Even if they underestimated their calorie requirement, it wouldn't certainly be 5.000 calories a day unless they're 7 feet tall.

Anonymous said...

I claim to have eaten an entire donkey in one go and lost 50kg the following day.


Magic isnt it

Anonymous said...

hahah

one of those tards thinks he has a maintenance of 2200kcals

hahahah

Anonymous said...

Why a maintenance of 2200 calories should be strange? I don't think every male on earth is supposed to have an high maintenance.

I have myself a maintenance around 2400 calories but I'm 5.7 and average muscle mass. Do you know for certain they are very tall and very big?

dashforce said...

Again, weight ~= fat.

Sometimes I add over 2k kcal worth of alcohol to my normal daily intake, and yet I wake up lighter the next day.

Do you think this represents fat loss?

Do you think that if I continued such a diet indefinitely that I would continue to lose weight?

dashforce said...

Should read:
"weight != fat"

Anonymous said...

a maintenance value for a healthy male of 2200 is rather strange. Not quite bed rest strange, but not very far off it.
Claiming a maintenance of 2400 and actually having a maintenance of 2400 are two different things.

Anonymous said...

"Claiming a maintenance of 2400 and actually having a maintenance of 2400 are two different things."

Well, it's probably not 3500-4000 either, though?

Anonymous said...

Those levels are not out of the ballpark levels.

JC Carter said...

This is why in real metabolic wards, not make believe experiments posted on forums, we can measure or control for these types of variables. The worthless anecdote built off guesses of energy requirements and energy intake are worthless trinkets of information.

Anyone who has been around the bbr area for long enough will have heard the claims about "I ate 1904848 calories from carbs, but since it was low fat I didn't gain any fat"

Same stuff, different nutrient. If we want to rate garbage off a forum as evidence, then I shall go forth and find some evidence of the flat earth that you should accept as well.

Anonymous said...

I think it's not that strange for a male to have a caloric requirement of 2000 calories. Not everyone is 6.2 feet tall or workouts 2 hours everyday.

Martin Berkhan said...

Bullshit. It's pretty fucking strange unless you're 145 lbs and don't do shit all day long.

I've had countless clients claiming ridiculously low maintenance intakes. And yet when I put them on that same amount for dieting, they all lose weight in a fairly predictable manner.

Anonymous said...

I think it's not that strange for a male to have a caloric requirement of 2000 calories. Not everyone is 6.2 feet tall or workouts 2 hours everyday.
---
my maintenance is 45000 calories a day.

Claims are easy, reality is a bitch

Anonymous said...

Perhaps magicbus is a safe haven for 90 year old osteoporotic women on full bed rest?

Anonymous said...

Martin said:
Bullshit. It's pretty fucking strange unless you're 145 lbs and don't do shit all day long.
-

Not everyone is an amateur bodybuilder, and several males who are 5.6 (and a lot of adult males are that tall and even way shorter) and lean are 130 to 150 lbs without being underweight and even exercising regularly.

For example I know a runner who is 39 year old 5.6 and 140 lbs and has a maintenance of 2300 calories. A perfectly healthy normal average person.

Martin Berkhan said...

"Not everyone is an amateur bodybuilder, and several males who are 5.6 (and a lot of adult males are that tall and even way shorter) and lean are 130 to 150 lbs without being underweight and even exercising regularly."

I know. I work with these people on a regular basis. Sure, they train, but weight training 2-3x/week doesn't add a whole lot to the energy equation.

What I do know is

1. People very often claim to have a low maintenance.

2. Yet when they start being accountable, they lose weight eating more than they supposedly would be able to eat, according to themselves.

When people claim these low maintenance numbers they have a tendency to not take into consideration the times they overeat, I think.

Eat 2000 kcal/day, binge a day on the weekend, and you're "maintaining" on 2000 kcal. And only a minority tracks intake diligently in the first place.

"For example I know a runner who is 39 year old 5.6 and 140 lbs and has a maintenance of 2300 calories. A perfectly healthy normal average person."

Yeah, sure. I know people convinced they can't lose weight on 900 calories, but that doesn't make it true.

That being said, 2300 kcal would be about right for 7 hrs running/week for your friend. It's not very low, assuming he's not particularily active outside his training.

moonstruck said...

Another post from another fool who doesn't understand metabolic science; Go figure. Blogs with this level of ignorance as well as such a push of misinformation should be banned from the internet.

Martin Berkhan said...

Please enlighten me, Moonstruck. I can't wait for you to tell me about metabolic science and where I am wrong. I am in fact a willing recipient of your wisdom, if you care to share?

Equinox (see lowcarb.ca for my posts) said...

I live low carb (low, by the way,k not zero, few of us cut out an entire macronutrient category (and no, it's not called a food group)). I have sometimes done intermittent fasting while keeping carbs low, and know many others who do so very successfully.

Now, I don't really mind so much being lumped in a group called "fundamentalists" Religiously, by the way, I am not one, but I have friends and beloved family members who are.

As for comparing anyone at all to the Taliban, you should have your head examined. Do you even know who and what they are? The atrocities they commit? 911 was nothing to what they do to their own countrymen. I am insulted beyond belief.

Besides, the contrary evidence you are looking for is certainly available.

I challenge you to read Gary Taubes' Good Calories, bad calories. If you have an open mind, you should be willing.

Equinox (see lowcarb.ca for my posts) said...

Just to add, my post is to all commenters, not just to mr Berkhan. I realize he does not hate low carb, which is good. I don't hate intermittent fasting, carb cycling, low calorie or low fat either.

Mostly, this is to mr Berkhan, I would just like an apology and retraction of the comparison with the Taliban.

How am I, or any low-carber, as evil as they?

Martin Berkhan said...

I've been sending this in response to all the people that took offense by the post (been getting quite a few e-mails wrt this) and I might as well post it here:

You're right - the analogies I made were poor in some cases, and my definition of a fundamentalist was a bit sketchy.

My view of a fundamentalist is in this context more in line of a person who condemns, passes judgement on, and does not tolerate anyone whom does not share their views, and is dismissive of established science/empirical evidence.

I have nothing against religion or people who believe in a higher power, as I stated in the beginning of the post, nor do I think people who preach the benefits of a low carb diet are terrorists.

However, some of them are living in a fantasy world, and we have seen a few examples of this in the comments section. Specifically, I am referring to the camp that clings to the belief of a metabolic advantage, which has no scientific support at all.

Martin Levac said...

Mr Berkhan, your bias is obvious, no need to apologize for that. Because an apology implies that you acknowledge your bias as an error in judgment yet in your apology, you continue to show your bias making your apology meaningless.

Ironically, since you are biased, specifically against those who disagree with you, my opinion is irrelevant, isn't it. So you'll just dismiss it outright without a second thought, i.e. I must be a fundamentalist of some kind.

Let me remind you that you are the blogger who initiated the fundamental argument against low carb talibans. We merely responded to this attack by pointing out the fallacy in your argument. But again, your bias forbids you to even consider the opposite side as even reasonable, i.e. we are low carb talibans.

It's not a problem of who we are, it's a problem of what you perceive us to be.

Martin Berkhan said...

"Mr Berkhan, your bias is obvious, no need to apologize for that."

Levac, I have a bias towards science and research. Not wishful thinking and lala-land physiology, which you so furiously cling to.

Low carb diets are great, but they are not magic. They provide no metabolic advantage over carb based diets if protein is an independent variable in both cases. And you can't prevent weight gain by keeping insulin low, while ingesting staggering amounts of calories from fat above your energy requirements.

Simple as that. Disagree? I'm sure you do. I just don't care, since trying to have a meaningful discussion with you, Levac, is an exercise in futiliy. You are incapable at using scientific discourse and seem incapable of understanding basic physiology, as shown earlier here.

dashforce said...

"I challenge you to read Gary Taubes' Good Calories, bad calories. If you have an open mind, you should be willing."

I've read it. His review of the science is thought provoking. His own attempt at nutritional science is quite poor.

Martin Levac said...

"dashforce said...

"I challenge you to read Gary Taubes' Good Calories, bad calories. If you have an open mind, you should be willing."

I've read it. His review of the science is thought provoking. His own attempt at nutritional science is quite poor."

Good. At least now, you'll have a chance at refuting the other side.

Remember the passage where he explains dyslipidemia, i.e. fat bottom with emaciated face? He does this to refute the idea that the bottom would grow fat because of caloric excess, and the face would grow lean because of caloric deficit. However, it doesn't prove that the bottom is fat because of carbs, and the face is lean because of a lack of carbs. Those who oppose the CHO hypothesis would have a point there.

However, the point Taubes was making was that obesity has a genetic aspect that is not explained by the PCB hypothesis. To wit, if the PCB hypothesis is true, then everybody who eats too much would grow equally fat. The reality is that not everybody who eats too much grows fat. Nor do everybody who eats less grows equally lean. Nor do everybody grow fat, or lean, at the same place or in the same way. By showing this, we establish the foundation, i.e. physiological/genetic/hormonal, for the CHO hypothesis.

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My name is Martin Berkhan and I work as a nutritional consultant, magazine writer and personal trainer.

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