Dave Citing Sources?

I just sat through a med school lecture about insulin and carb metabolism, and the prof said that the one thing we can say with certainty is "increased calories causes increased weight, calories in calories out." Once my shock that this is still being taught as gospel went away, I wrote out an email asking his feelings on people losing weight on a high fat diet even if there are more calories.


 


But when I searched the BP site for the research papers Dave used to claim that calories in calories out isnt true, I couldn't find his citations.


 


Does anyone know what he was citing when he talks about this? In the podcasts that I can remember where he discusses this I don't remember him saying the authors names or anything like that either.


Comments

  • Jason HooperJason Hooper ✭✭✭
    edited October 2015

    Okay, I am going to open up this can of worms.  Here we go:


     


    There is a big difference in "calories-in" vs "calories-out" in sick people and in healthy people.  For instance, if you are insulin resistance, you are more prone to obesity, and if you are obese, you are more prone to insulin sensitivity.


     


    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/1/1/15


     


    A healthy person should be able to metabolize carbohydrate, but for sick people, they have a broken metabolism.  With resistance training and a modification to their macronutrient intake (more fat, less carbs, not no carbs all fat), they should be able to fix it because of thermodynamics:


     


    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/1/1/15


     


    When you do a comparison of diets, obese people can get away with consuming more calories if they up their fat to carbohydrate ratio.  Normal people can get away with more carbohydrates.  It is ridiculous to think that we can consume unlimited quantities of fat and not experience weight gain, or other metabolic disorders.  On the other hand, the fat free diet is equally ridiculous.  


     


    Another problem is that "low carb" is not clear.  Some people eat 450g carbs and call it low carb while others eat less than twenty.  So, which is it?  Then we look at other factors like activity level and metabolic rates and we see why some people can eat a ton of carbs, burn them, and be in ketosis, when others eat a diet of close to 100% fat and only have 0.1 mmol/L BHB levels.  When we dig deeper, it looks like the amount of activity verses their caloric intake has a big effect on the metabolism of body fat.  That sounds a lot like calories in/calories out to me.  It takes a little bit more tracking, but it is possible to get within 100 kcals on a daily basis if you are paying attention.


  • I think Jason (both?) nailed it but to answer your question directly I'm not sure whether he was referencing any studies. I thought he was just suggesting that there have to be more factors involved than just calories in and calories out due to anecdotal evidence.. Unless you can find a study correlating reduced calorie intake and more weight gain in cattle when given antibiotics.. that's the only specific thing I remember him referencing.


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  • There are some isocaloric studies done on low carb vs low fat. They all show low carb gives better weight loss. However, this only covers the calories in, not the out part. In addition, the calories in are calculated from the standard values for fat, carbs and protein. These are not 100% accurate since they are not the same between different types of fat/carbs.


    In essence calories in/out is correct since energy cannot be destroyed nor created. Still, in practical weight loss you diets that does not count calories often wins in benchmark over calori counting diets. Ironicly becsuse they end up being lower in calories.

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  • I was thinking more of Dave's 4500 calories a day for two years experiment, which probably isn't just water weight after two years. And I hear him say all the time on the podcast that calories in-calories out is not gospel because of this n=1 experiment, yet I don't remember hearing any studies to back it up.


     


    Eating more fat and compensating by eating less protein and carbs to even out your calories makes sense, but then what about people like Dave who up their fat AND calories and still lose weight? Is there only anecdotal evidence about this?




  • I was thinking more of Dave's 4500 calories a day for two years experiment, which probably isn't just water weight after two years. And I hear him say all the time on the podcast that calories in-calories out is not gospel because of this n=1 experiment, yet I don't remember hearing any studies to back it up.


     


    Eating more fat and compensating by eating less protein and carbs to even out your calories makes sense, but then what about people like Dave who up their fat AND calories and still lose weight? Is there only anecdotal evidence about this?




    I'm with you, man. Dave cites this 'experiment' all the time (or he used to, at least) as evidence against calories in calories out. 


     


    Dave accomplished this with the diet, testosterone replacement therapy, modafinil,  and thyroid meds. He really should mention that in the article...it would literally take one sentence. 


     


    He should also discuss his methodology for measuring calories, how much non-exercise activity he was doing (walking, playing with his kids, public speaking, manning a booth for Trend Micro, etc.), etc. 


     


    As you can see by the other posters in this thread, most people still think calories matter. Hooper, especially hit the nail on the head: "It is ridiculous to think that we can consume unlimited quantities of fat and not experience weight gain, or other metabolic disorders.  On the other hand, the fat free diet is equally ridiculous."  That sums it up quite nicely, imo.


     


    On a similar note, I love to hear that you are looking for quality data. Data is so important and we have to get the highest quality data we can before we start making hypotheses to explain the data. Part of getting quality data is making sure the 'experimenter' explains their methodology and clearly states confounding factors. Therefore, Dave's n=1 is.... I'll let you fill in the blank. ha


     


    As far as studies that show that 'calories in, calories out' doesn't matter...please let me know if you ever find one! I haven't. There are hundreds that indicate the opposite though. We wouldn't want to be swayed by the data though would we? =)

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  • I've wondered about this too.

    Dave often mentions that he ate over 4000 calories a day for 2 years and that he lost fat and gained a six pack.

    To me, this does not make sense.


    The fact that he was also on testosterone, thyroid meds and modafanil must have had an effect on his metabolism.

    I don't think anyone could actually eat that many calories, including a lot of fat and do no exercise AND lose weight.

    Something else was going on there.

    I've also not been able to find any proper experiments that replicate these results.

    If anyone finds scientific evidence of this, please post it here.
  • RekaReka ✭✭✭
    edited November 2015

    I'm afraid that a big part of Dave's results are nicely explained by the meds mentioned above. Taking them and then saying that the diet was the only responsible for the results is the same as feeding rats with junk food and then claiming that one ingredient in it caused the harm.


    On the other hand, maybe this is what people who neglect their health need to catch their attention, and they are only interested in big magical claims, perhaps he is trying to reach those people. This many health professionals wouldn't make all these outrageous claims if they didn't work on the large scale. Pretty sad.


     


    What do you guys think of this long but very entertaining article, I think this is the first I read by this lady and I like her style:


     


    http://rawfoodsos.com/2015/10/06/in-defense-of-low-fat-a-call-for-some-evolution-of-thought-part-1/


     


    She mentions some interesting studies like people improving lots of markers on a diet of tons of white rice, sugar and little else. These studies are from before the low-fat era. I haven't checked any of them myself because I'm not that interested in the topic, but I'm certain in one thing: insulin is far from being the whole picture.


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  • edited December 2015

    Yeah, I've always found the "4500 calories a day of mostly fat and I grew a six pack" story to be specious and just plain bad science. Those supplements and medications are confounding factors that can't be ignored. 


     


    It's also irked me that in the Bulletproof Diet book he doesn't cite sources for a lot of claims that are considered "edgy"-- particularly his bit on why "calories in calories out" doesn't work because that is the gospel of 99% of weight loss advice most of us have ever heard. When I got Dave's books I was already convinced that the composition of food matters more than the calories, because I'd read Gary Taubes' excellent books (author of Why We Get Fat and Good Calories, Bad Calories) after hearing his interview on BP radio. He focuses a lot on refuting "Calories In Calories Out" and those books are essential, very scientific and dense reads for anyone trying to understand the issue (even if you end up disagreeing). They are all about carbs and insulin metabolism and how Calories In Calories Out ignores certain biological pathways-- so it's interesting your professor concluded exactly the opposite.


     


    For what it's worth, I've personally concluded (as an educated layperson) that carbohydrates (particularly high GI foods--ie refined sugar--when eaten without fat, and high fructose foods) are more fattening than fats, and that your top priority when looking to lose weight is to reduce carbs--but it's not a get out of jail free card to eat 4500+ calories (unless, of course, you're on powerful medications like Dave was).


     


    Edit: Since it's been mentioned, I'd say Gary Taubes' books and Nina Teicholz's book Big Fat Surprise would be the best resources for scientific refutation of Calories In Calories Out. They explain why so many studies appear to be supporting Calories In Calories out, but are actually misinterpreting the causal factors of weight loss. They're both award-winning journalists, too.


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