Carbs, not dietary fat, cause obesity? (A discussion of fat loss/gain and not total body weight)

  • I hate that argument, that everyones body is different, its just BS. from a physiological everyones body is almost identical,i mean if it were true that everyones body is different ,there wouldnt be any medical docters, however it is true that people will have different goals which will require sutle differences to a training and nutrition program

  • Once again, fightingfit / 6packmission, I believe you have taken something to an extreme and in a way it wasn't originally meant.  

    It's true that we are all mostly physiologically the same.  It's also true that doctors see one medicine work with one person and not another.  

    I agree that some use the "we are all different" argument badly.  It's not uncommon to hear that from someone who is on a very low carb diet or an extreme Paleo.  They'll tell you how they lost the weight and have kept it off.  They'll accurately tell you about when they did try more carbs and they gained and bloated.  The thing is that if they had given their body time to adjust they would have seen more energy, better nutrient retention, more muscle growth and actually more weight loss, assuming all else was aligned.

    If someone had been obese, for instance, they might now be insulin sensitive and therefore need to eat differently, at least until the body resolves that sensitivity.  

    Metabolisms vary, as does insulin response and the ability to take on muscle.  These variations, although small in comparison to our overall physiological make-up, are actually quite significant.

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • fightingfit, I am not saying that everyone's bodies are physiologically different. I am saying that a woman who currently weighs 300 lbs and is obese who does not exercise has a different body (and different goals) than a fit woman who weighs 110 lbs.

    Perhaps a more accurate way to say this is, different people have bodies in different stages of dietary need.

    As such, you may read an article in a fitness magazine targeted at athletes, not overweight people. Some obese people would read that article recommending more carbs or more fat or just more calories in general to get that athlete more training time in. Along comes the overweight person who interprets that article as "Hey i can eat more because it helps me do my training", when in reality they dont train at all and its just an excuse to justify behavior they already exhibit.

    It is important to understand the unique needs of different people and ensure their dietary and fitness plan makes sense for their current physical state. You cannot write a single dietary plan and expect it to work for everyone at every stage in their life.

    I really like the BFL plan because it is not so specific that it cannot be adapted to the needs of different people. However, it is clear that the dietary plan is part of a fitness plan, so it would likely not be appropriate dietary advice for someone who is not exercising at all.

  • When I said "Carbs = Energy" and "Unused energy gets stored" this meant I am speaking of excess carbs. I am not trying to keep the debate simple at all. I want quite to opposite.

    “"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out..." - Robert J. Collier”

    http://thisisbryanok.blogspot.com/

  • I believe you were clear, Bryan.  

    Oh, I need to do that blog about the link you provided on the Coffee Crew.  I'm so glad to see this post.  

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Jessica - Mighty Max

    The thing is Jacium, that your theory is essentially that it's all about calories and if that were the case, simply counting calories would work.  We will assume for this moment that the 4 calories per gram of carb and 4 per gram of protein and 9 per gram of fat is accurate.  We will assume 3500 for a pound.  Those are now being called into question, but for the sake of simplicity, let's assume it's at least nearly accurate.  Doesn't assuming it's all about in versus out basically nullify BFL, where the argument is that it matters what you have, in what proportions, in what combinations and when?  I'm not in this case saying you are wrong (or right), just trying to better understand your position.

    Orrin: I would agree about all that processed crap.  It's killing us!

    In the terms of pure weight loss, calories in vs calories out does in fact work. The laws of thermogenics hold true in that regard. If you create a state of persistent caloric deficit you will lose weight. If you ate 1000 calories a day of only twinkies, you will lose weight provided you are burning more that 1000 kcals a day.

    Now, we all know that would not be healthy weight loss, and you would be losing as much (or more) muscle as fat resulting in a "skinny fat" if continued long enough. You would be probably sick from the lack of vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function properly. You would be hungry and irritable all the time and weak, but you would lose scale weight

    Calories in vs calories out does not nullify the principles that BFL are based on because BFL has never been about losing weight. It is about losing fat, building muscle,body recomposition and obtaining a fit and energetic body. To achieve those goals you have to look beyond simple thermogenics. You need a proper balance of macro Kcals, protein,carbs and dietary fat to nourish the body to meet those goals. 

     

    Now regarding Brians original statement:

    Carbs = Energy

     

    I would change that to Calories = Energy because that is the case no matter where you get those calories from. If you intake more "fuel" than the engine requires, it stores the excess energy as fat. 

    Protein is essential to building or maintaining muscle. It is the most important macro if your goal is losing fat and gaining or maintaining muscle.

    Dietary Fat: I have never read anywhere that eating or restricting dietary fat causes your body to change where it gets it's stores from to burn for energy when in a caloric deficit.  Eating good dietary fat at an appropriate level is essential to maintaing overall health. There are essential vitimans and fatty acids our bodies need that are fat soluble. After protein, a proper level of dietary fat is the next most important macro. 

    Carbs: Carbs are basically the "filler" in the diet. After you get your protein, essential for building and maintaining muscle, and fats for the essential vitamins and fatty acids, everything left in your daily caloric intake is carbs. 

    As an example: For simplicity your daily caloric burn is 2500 Kcals. To achieve a reasonable caloric deficit you set your kcals to 2000. 

     

    Standard protein intake is .08-1.5g per lb of Body weight. Take a 180lb guy 1.1g of protein per lb =198g of protein x4kcal/gram =792 kcals 

    Recommended Dietary fat = 20-25% of your calories. 2000*20% = 400calories from fat.

    So we have 792+400= 1192 kcals of 2000 daily. The remainder is your carb intake= ~800 grams.

     

    Oddly enough that breakdown, taking the essentials calories to a healthy body first, protein and fat, then "filling" the remainder with carbs gives a 40%/40%/20% breakdown. Hmm where have I read that before?

     

    Carbs don't make people fat, and abundance of calories does. The obesity epidemic is a bit of a chicken/egg scenario. People eat to much and get fat. The majority of that abundance tends to be carbs in our society. Soda, cake, cookies,bread etc etc etc. People then equate carbs with fat because, at least in my experience, you really have to work at it to get enough protein on a daily basis where as it is very very easy to over intake carb calories. Add to the over abundance of calories, most people are not exercising to channel those extra calories to building muscle so instead it gets stored as fat.

    BFL works because lets face it, when we and most start it we are very out of shape. Eating properly and adding intense exercise can only have positive effects of both shedding fat and gaining some muscle mass, but things get more complicated for trained individuals.

    Lets take Orrin or Jacium for instance. Both these guys are very lean. In the trained state they are in, if they for instance wanted to add 10lbs of pure muscle in a year, they would have to ingest a surplus of calories and a hefty surplus at that.  Because of the training, that surplus of calories goes into building muscle instead of building a belly like a sedentary individual would.

     

     

     


  • I agree with you BCBill (it is good to see you around here to BTW) but I want to add that, as far as I know nothing spikes blood sugar like processed carbs. Yes excess calories, whatever the source, will be stored as fat, but when we continulaly splike our blood sugar and cause our bodies to produce more and more insulin to deal with it we are going store a lot more fat. Highly processed carbs are an addiction. They are consumed poeple feel temporarily good on a sugar/carb "high" then comes the crash and the desire for more highly processed carbs. This is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken if healthy weight loss is to occur. Othewise, I think, people consuming highly processed carbs, will run the risk of becoming insulin resistant. And this is not a good place to be.  

  • BCBill, Orrin,

    I think the big problem is the no-fat diets didn't produce consistent results, so emphasis shifted to no-carb diets (e.g. Atkins, Medifast, Paleo to an extent). These no-carb diets DO produce results in almost everyone, but the controversy is that they aren't healthy and put the body in "starvation" mode.

    However what is happenning is people are reverse-extrapolating that if depriving the body of all carbs produces results, then those carbs must have been the thing making people fat in the first place. This is incorrect logic, but to the masses it is how things are being interpreted.

    All types of food have problems if eaten in excess. A balance is what is healthy.

    A few points

    - Fat is 9 cals per gram and protein/carbs are 4 cal per gram, so fat is more calorie dense. You dont get to eat as much of it. This leads people to think "FAT BAD, CARB/PROTEIN GOOD!"

    - Fat signals your brain that your satisfied, carbs with a high-glycemic index cause over-production of insulin which actually makes you crave more carbs so that the extra insulin gets to do its job.

    - Some vitamins are fat-soluble, so you need fat in your diet to absorb them.

    - You will actually die a painful death if you have all protein and no fats or carbs in your diet (see rabbit starvation): en.wikipedia.org/.../Rabbit_starvation

    The bottom line, fat/carbs/protein are all vitally important, none of them cause anyone to become obese. Excess calories cause people to become obese and particularly processed foods with artifical nutrient to calorie density are responsible for fooling the body into thinking its in the wrong state.

    In some cases modern food thought to be healthy is still somewhat unnatural. Consider how many oranges go into a glass of orange juice. Imagine if you had to cut open and suck the juice out of all those oranges in one sitting, you would be done long before you ever reached a full glass worth. In this case there is no processing or bad stuff, however the modern pattern of consumption causes an intense amount of carbs to be consumed in a short period of time.

  • Bill

    That's not actually true about calories in versus calories out.  They keep testing it and keep not being able to prove it.  There are variables, like how your body processes each.  It's just too oversimplified to say that in vs out is weight loss or gain.  It would work for a bit and certainly in general theory, but it's not as black and white as it's been made to seem.

    Your body will only release so much fat if it doesn't have enough essential fatty acids so it is accurate to say that you need dietary fat to release fat. 

    Also, although yes, excess calories make us fat.  The one that really gets people is excess insulin, from carbs.  Carbs, however, are not just a filler.  Without enough carbs we cannot use the protein to build muscle and regardless of how much water we drink, will be dehydrated.

     

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Interesting y'all. I have read about so many "diet fads" and seen most of them in action (I lived with a very sick (head) woman with very sad and very detailed life long eating disorders who tried every diet that ever came out).

    In the military on "survival" course I followed what is now known as the "Warrior Diet".. it has gained popularity amongst some young body builders but like most low carb or low fat or starvation or Paleo/South Beach/Atkins dogs bollocks ideas they are usually pushed by SOMEONE TRYING TO SELL YOU SOMETHING. I only followed that due to necessity.. if I saw food I ate as much as I could because I didnt know when the next eat was coming from and guess what I lost weight but maintained muscle as my body adjusted to the low insulin state/s etc.... Anyway,

    In 2004 I had cancer.. I survived but the sheet they gave me to survive put my CNS and immune system into total tatters.... my solution was to eat and eat I did, going from 140 lbs (very sick) to 170 lbs (super fit using BFL principles) to obese at 220 a few years later... I got sicker and sicker... every cold or flu' would be caught by me, pneumonia, blah blah blah.. y'all get the drift... I panicked and signed up for a 3 month cleansing in Budapest with a German doctor... in actuality what I learned is that;

    American processed food is the cause for obesity and our addiction to it... genetic modification of meat and dairy, real crappy fast food, sugar in everything is the cause. Some think even problems such as the exponential growth in autism, ADD, cancers etc are linked to the processed food problem...

    BLOODY EVIL processed SUGAR (Corn Syrup etc)

    So the German doc told me just eat real food, organics chicken whenever possible in USA (steroids have destroyed the normal produce)... so I followed that for a few years, got healthy.. then had a brain fart and went back to my bad ways..

    My only solution is to follow what healthy people eat and do like my missus. She works like a dog and eats large amounts of good fats (fish, fish oils), salads, organic everything, good fruits and she celebrates with just one addiction real Italian gelato. She is 5 6" and has weighed 103-108 in the 6 years I have known her... she never gets ill, doesn't eat fast food, keeps processed crap to virtually zero etc etc...

    It is lifestyle choice not a 12 week or 12 day solution that is the key

    I went out walking through the city center, it happened just the other day. Sometimes Sydney Harbor in the winter, blows a little luck my way.

  • Orrin

    I agree with you BCBill (it is good to see you around here to BTW) but I want to add that, as far as I know nothing spikes blood sugar like processed carbs. Yes excess calories, whatever the source, will be stored as fat, but when we continulaly splike our blood sugar and cause our bodies to produce more and more insulin to deal with it we are going store a lot more fat. Highly processed carbs are an addiction. They are consumed poeple feel temporarily good on a sugar/carb "high" then comes the crash and the desire for more highly processed carbs. This is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken if healthy weight loss is to occur. Othewise, I think, people consuming highly processed carbs, will run the risk of becoming insulin resistant. And this is not a good place to be.  

    There is no question all carbs and food in general are not created equally in regards to the effect on the body, but at the macro level a carb is a carb and 1 gram of carbs =4 kcal.

    The problem with highly processed carbs is the density of the calories vs how full they make you. 

     

    For example:

    1 twinkie = 150kcals- 27gs of carbs (+ some fat etc)

    1/2c of cooked broccoli= 27kcal 5.6g of carbs. 

    1/2c cooked brown rice = 108kcals 22g of carbs

    Comparing the above you would need 3 cups of broccoli to ingest the same kcals as that one twinkie. I'm guessing that a person would be fuller longer after that than 1 twinkie. The density of calories in that twinkie just does not provide the satiety eating that much broccoli would or conversely a nice 5oz chicken breast. That to me is the vicious cycle most people who eat highly processed carbs fall into. They have to eat more to feel full, then get hungry faster and eat even more etc etc etc.

     

    Say again the goal was 2000kcals a day.

    One guy eats 6 5oz chicken breasts, 2 cups of broccoi and 3 cups of brown rice in a day +maybe a salad with olive oil, . ~2000 calories.

    Other guy eats 13 twinkies ~2000 calories

    Which person is more likely to end up over eating due to feeling hungry? Is it because of insulin spikes or just the fact he is going to be constantly hungry due to the density of calories vs actual volume of food taken in? Probably a mix of the two but goes back to my original point..

     The processed high carb, high caloric density of the food ingested in our society  vs the volume of that food results in people eating an over abundance of calories (mostly carb calories) combined with sedentary lifestyles = obesity. But, that does not mean carbs make people fat. That is as faulty as the fat makes people fat thinking of the 80's and 90's which resulted in all that craze of high processed "fat free" food, which did nothing but make people fatter because they thought "hey it's fat free I can eat as much as I want". 

     

     

     

  • The reason why people got fat during the no fat craze isn't because they ate more.  It's because they didn't have enough healthy fat and because when you take something out, you put something in.  What they put in was highly processed carbs instead of the fat.  

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • “"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out..." - Robert J. Collier”

    http://thisisbryanok.blogspot.com/

  • That made me smile.  I'm not even positive if I agree with it.  I just love that Bryan never fails to amaze with his mad chart skills.  

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Thanks but I can't take credit for making this chart. Also the numbers listed are approx just like saying a 2000 cal diet is approx.

    “"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out..." - Robert J. Collier”

    http://thisisbryanok.blogspot.com/