Recent Studies on Diet and Calories

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 27, 2009 7:18 PM GMT
    Hey everyone,
    What do you guys think about the latest studies that a calorie is just a calorie? That at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what the breakdown of carbs/fat/protein is, in terms of losing weight. That in the end, all that matter is calories in vs. calories out when it comes to weight loss/gain.

    Here's some of the sources:
    AP: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g5nH6bV4fr0ofSKGT8ZjkSVjbM_AD96IS5Q81
    USA: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/weightloss/2009-02-25-diets-calories_N.htm
    CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/25/best.diet/?imw=Y&iref=mpstoryemail
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 27, 2009 8:25 PM GMT
    Yeah, I defo think this.

    However, when it comes to gaining muscle - all, and I mean all the muscular guys I've ever met have eaten a huge amount protein.

    So weight loss - a calorie is just a calorie.
    Muscle gain - get a majority of your calories from protein.

    Thoughts?

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    Feb 27, 2009 10:26 PM GMT
    I agree with this. I just think that you get more stuff to put in your belly for fewer calories if you have high fibre foods rather than high fat foods. Being full of fibre means you feel full for longer.

    And protein for bodybuilding - it's something about the nitrogen that is in eaten protein that we need to make the muscle in our bodies. I do sometimes wonder when I'm bloated and farting everywhere if there's a better way to get that nitrogen.
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    Feb 27, 2009 11:14 PM GMT
    Yeah, it's pretty simple. A calorie is a calorie and you lose weight when you use more calories than you take in. However, that doesn't take into consideration your overall health. A chicken breast, brown rice and salad may have more calories than one twinkie but I'd go with the former, not the latter.
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    Feb 28, 2009 12:17 AM GMT
    http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/diets-reduce-calories-lead-weight-loss-regardless-carbohydrate-protein-or-fat-content-18959.html


    this is a link from a study stating that decrease in calories will result weight loss. I have just heard of a study done though that they gave 2 servings of whey protein shake to a group of average americans and did not get them to exercise or change their diet and they lost weight over a period of 30 days.

    Just from the additional intake of whey protein it cause their body to use additional fat as fuel and not muscle. I dont have a link for it yet, but will keep looking.

    I dont think all calories are equal....I think the influence of protein, consistency and amount can affect the results greatly I believe.

    There was just a thread on here the other day by "tork" that said he couldnt gain muscle like he wanted...many of you told him to increase his calories...I am sure you didnt mean for him to be hitting mcdonalds, haha....

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    Mar 01, 2009 5:05 PM GMT
    Hmmm, yeah, I wonder about the comments of protein and muscle gain. It's true, the study only talks about weight and nothing about the fitness of these individuals. It doesn't say anything about health either as muscles4muscles mentioned.

    Also I guess a more in-depth study about how exercise relates to this all would've been nice, but pretty much impossible on such a large-scale study.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 01, 2009 6:55 PM GMT
    Calories and diet is more complicated then it might appear. When it comes to weight loss, yes in a sense a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. When it comes to weight loss, the bottom line equation is simple, use more calories then you take in, lose weight; take in more then you use gain weight.

    That being said there are definitely optimal methods that vary depending on each person's unique biochemical and hormonal environment. It's undisputed that some people are insulin resistant, in which case a lower carbohydrate diet is going to lead to better fat loss. There are people who's bodies do not process fat as well as others. There are even gender differences in the processing of macronutrients, guys can typically do much better on higher amounts of dietary fat then women.

    Protein definitely has unique properties that involve superior stimulation of anabolism, anti-catabolic properties on low cal diets, thermogenic properties. Additionally, it is an inefficient food source, meaning a third of the calories in protein are used up just digesting it. Protein also has minimal impact on insulin levels which can be beneficial for those trying to lose weight. Therefore high protein diets are often better solutions for weight loss diets, and mandatory for maximum muscle growth plans. A reasonable amount of dietary fat is also necessary for maximum muscle gains, as too much restriction of dietary fat will drop testosterone levels which would hinder both fat loss or muscle gain.

    So while calories are absolute, there are huge numbers of variables as to how the human body responds to the type of calories.


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    Mar 02, 2009 11:47 AM GMT
    The "study" was confined within the boundaries of a DASH diet (roundabout way of saying that it IS a DASH diet, but with certain variables tweaked). In further detail, I see that the protein range for all 4 different diet plans were between 15%-25% of calories, so that is hardly a significant variation in protein composition. The study actually compared two low-fat diets with two high-fat diets so really it doesn't tell us much about protein except that all 4 diets were a low-protein diet. It does try to tell us that it doesn't matter where you get your calories from, either carbs or fats are fine.

    As I understand it, the study simply made the obvious point - to lose weight (fat and muscle), simply EAT LESS. I think everyone knows that. What is contentious is the composition of those calories. For that, we need researchers to actually dare to test the extreme diets and report back to us on their findings. Unfortunately, that is never the case, since they would then NOT be adhering to "heart-healthy guidelines" and risking the health of their participants.

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    Mar 02, 2009 1:16 PM GMT
    raynedog saidAs I understand it, the study simply made the obvious point - to lose weight (fat and muscle), simply EAT LESS. I think everyone knows that. What is contentious is the composition of those calories. For that, we need researchers to actually dare to test the extreme diets and report back to us on their findings. Unfortunately, that is never the case, since they would then NOT be adhering to "heart-healthy guidelines" and risking the health of their participants.



    I will have to look it up but a school did do something similar to what you are suggesting and two of the diets they used were Atkins and Ornish. They found that both had some weight loss but both were so extreme that participants couldn't stay on them for an extended period of time and just fell of the wagon.
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    Mar 02, 2009 2:45 PM GMT
    raynedog saidThe "study" was confined within the boundaries of a DASH diet (roundabout way of saying that it IS a DASH diet, but with certain variables tweaked). In further detail, I see that the protein range for all 4 different diet plans were between 15%-25% of calories, so that is hardly a significant variation in protein composition. The study actually compared two low-fat diets with two high-fat diets so really it doesn't tell us much about protein except that all 4 diets were a low-protein diet. It does try to tell us that it doesn't matter where you get your calories from, either carbs or fats are fine.

    As I understand it, the study simply made the obvious point - to lose weight (fat and muscle), simply EAT LESS. I think everyone knows that. What is contentious is the composition of those calories. For that, we need researchers to actually dare to test the extreme diets and report back to us on their findings. Unfortunately, that is never the case, since they would then NOT be adhering to "heart-healthy guidelines" and risking the health of their participants.


    Hmm, those are good observations. What I'm curious about is the claim that all you have to do is eat less. At one point in time when I was trying to lose weight all by myself, I got frustrated and posted asking for some help. One of the predominant pieces of feedback I got was that I might be eating too little because of this "starvation" mode the body allegedly goes into when you eat too little.

    Any thoughts on this?
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    Mar 02, 2009 3:19 PM GMT
    dr_jackl said Hmm, those are good observations. What I'm curious about is the claim that all you have to do is eat less. At one point in time when I was trying to lose weight all by myself, I got frustrated and posted asking for some help. One of the predominant pieces of feedback I got was that I might be eating too little because of this "starvation" mode the body allegedly goes into when you eat too little.

    Any thoughts on this?


    Two things are being confused here.

    1. Weight loss is going from one weight to another. This will happen by reducing caloric intake. This does not mean you will lose body fat or really change your body composition. You can go form being 200 lbs to 170 lbs and still have 20% body fat at both weights.

    2. Losing body fat. This is chaining body composition. i.e if you are 200 lbs. and 20% body fat and you lose 30 lbs of just fat and go to 170 then your body fat would be just under 6%. (not likely, but i am trying to keep my math simple).

    What people most people want is option 2 and that is not done just by dropping calories from you diet. Sadly, people confuse weight loss with fat loss and shoot for option 1.
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    Mar 02, 2009 3:29 PM GMT
    MonkeyPuck saidTwo things are being confused here.

    1. Weight loss is going from one weight to another. This will happen by reducing caloric intake. This does not mean you will lose body fat or really change your body composition. You can go form being 200 lbs to 170 lbs and still have 20% body fat at both weights.

    2. Losing body fat. This is chaining body composition. i.e if you are 200 lbs. and 20% body fat and you lose 30 lbs of just fat and go to 170 then your body fat would be just under 6%. (not likely, but i am trying to keep my math simple).

    What people most people want is option 2 and that is not done just by dropping calories from you diet. Sadly, people confuse weight loss with fat loss and shoot for option 1.


    At the time, I wanted option 2, and didn't mind if option 1 occurred. I watched that my caloric intake was low, and that I was exercising. Are you saying you can't do 1 & 2 at the same time? Or maybe I should ask, how do you achieve 2?
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    Mar 02, 2009 5:06 PM GMT
    dr_jackl said
    At the time, I wanted option 2, and didn't mind if option 1 occurred. I watched that my caloric intake was low, and that I was exercising. Are you saying you can't do 1 & 2 at the same time? Or maybe I should ask, how do you achieve 2?


    I don't think they are incompatible. I think the other things to consider if you want to add muscle and if so how much. I am more an endurance sport kinda person so my limited knowledge of diet would be mostly useless to you. It has been the discussion on many forums i would dig around.
  • dionysus

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    Mar 02, 2009 5:14 PM GMT
    the reason people take on so much protein to gain muscle is that amino acids are needed to build up the muscle. its near impossible to gain muscle if all you're eating is bread. your best bet to "gaining mass" is just simply getting something that will contain all 20 amino acids within one or two servings and having it daily for your "muscle building" regime. i found this stuff called "musl-blast" at kroeger, basically a standard groccery store, and it has 18 of the 20 amino acids, the final two can be derived from the 18 in the powder, or are simply ingested.

    you can also go with an "amino blast" pill from GNC, amino acid ingestion comes in all shapes and sizes, but id make sure that in order to build muscle you are actually taking at LEAST the required daily dose of amino acids your body needs, if not double (thus the basis of the 1.8grams of protein to 1kg of your body weight per day equation that is best for strength and muscle gains)

    w3rd.

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    Mar 02, 2009 6:42 PM GMT
    MonkeyPuck saidI don't think they are incompatible. I think the other things to consider if you want to add muscle and if so how much. I am more an endurance sport kinda person so my limited knowledge of diet would be mostly useless to you. It has been the discussion on many forums i would dig around.

    Yeah, I've read through all of them. So much I don't know what to believe anymore. Thus is the journey for the search for truth.

    caspervann saidthe reason people take on so much protein to gain muscle is that amino acids are needed to build up the muscle. its near impossible to gain muscle if all you're eating is bread. your best bet to "gaining mass" is just simply getting something that will contain all 20 amino acids within one or two servings and having it daily for your "muscle building" regime. i found this stuff called "musl-blast" at kroeger, basically a standard groccery store, and it has 18 of the 20 amino acids, the final two can be derived from the 18 in the powder, or are simply ingested.

    you can also go with an "amino blast" pill from GNC, amino acid ingestion comes in all shapes and sizes, but id make sure that in order to build muscle you are actually taking at LEAST the required daily dose of amino acids your body needs, if not double (thus the basis of the 1.8grams of protein to 1kg of your body weight per day equation that is best for strength and muscle gains)

    Cool perspective. Always had the mentality that I want to do everything "naturally" but at some point depending on all the other factors on how easy it is for a given individual to gain muscle, I may just have to bite the bullet in the future. Amino acids ... hmmm ... Yeah, it's crazy, I went down to Houston and I was amazed at the supplements section of Kroegers. Like a beefed up grocery store, a Safeway Plus.

    caspervann saidw3rd.

    You thug, you. You so damn thugly icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 04, 2009 2:49 PM GMT
    Last gasp of the dark ages of nutrition
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    Mar 04, 2009 2:53 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidI treat foods like medicine that go into my body. Everything you put in your mouth has it's own unique overall effect. And I don't believe a calorie is simply a calorie.

    I could plan to eat 2,000 calories a day. If I were to get the majority of this food from eating bakery goods, doughnuts, etc. it would be nothing similar to eating a diet high in fiber, lean protein, fruits and fresh veggies.

    There are hormonal influences and biological processes that are greatly affected by what we eat and even when we eat it.

    Even if a person isn't athletic it's a good idea to heed the guidelines for optimum nutrition.


    Captian Crunch and steak anyone?
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    Mar 04, 2009 5:32 PM GMT
    Get up...and get moving!!

    Want that lean look...move...If you want that beefed up look eat more and lift heavy weights.

    I stay fit with protein supplementation, salad lunches and Salmon entrees for dinner....I love it