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If calorie equation is true, is Dave Asprey a liar?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 24, 2013 at 8:08 PM

In an appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, Dave Asprey claimed he ate 4000kcal per day for 2 years and lost weight(nearly 100 pounds). Is this possible?

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 10, 2013
at 06:07 PM

You are incorrect, as temperature regulation plays a much bigger factor than you are giving credit.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 10, 2013
at 03:16 PM

It's all momentum over a distance. Some exercise devices are more efficient than others, and for my purposes over the last 6 years the burn rate per mile biking is about 35 kcal, walking 70 kcal, running 100 kcal, all over and above BMR. I don't swim, but I'd guess that it's around 300 kcal.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 10, 2013
at 03:08 PM

My body does not differentiate climate effects on exercise, but I don't bike or walk in a loincloth. I exercise a lot just not under uninsulated exposure conditions. If I was dancing with polar bears or cacti it might be different than my daily pneumonia wear.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 10, 2013
at 01:50 PM

I agree about not doping up on medications or amphetamines, but the type of calories you take in has a major effect on what your body does with them. Even trying to accurately count calories out is not very accurate. For instance, if I go for a jog at 40 deg, 65 deg and 80 deg, even at the same pace and distance, I will burn substantially different amounts of calories.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 10, 2013
at 01:49 PM

Don't forget the Nazi marching drug amphetamines! A lot more effective for weight loss than putting butter in your coffee.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 10, 2013
at 01:46 PM

I lost 50 lbs in 6 months using cico so I don't consider it useless. A lot of that loss came using the calories-out part, counting exercise, which was my main tool for increasing metabolic rate by up to 1000 kcal/day. You don't need to dope up on thyroid medication or amphetamines.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on August 10, 2013
at 01:38 PM

+1 Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on August 10, 2013
at 01:32 PM

Look at Sam Feltham's latest experiment. He ate around 5700kcal/day for 21 days and gained 1.1kg (if I remember correctly) and lost 1cm on his waist.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on April 25, 2013
at 06:39 PM

He did it with mostly MCT oil and butter. Pop quiz, which hormone do carbs and protein trigger that fat does not, hint: this hormone is used to signal storage for fat cells, muscle cells, and liver cells.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on April 25, 2013
at 05:37 PM

Oops, IIRC haha.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on April 25, 2013
at 01:07 AM

Agreed, also testosterone IRRC.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on April 25, 2013
at 12:28 AM

Another way to manipulate the variables: take thyroid hormone, something Asprey has done.

705e66484ed64fe8e188123de398413e

(1013)

on April 24, 2013
at 11:23 PM

I don't think you're right about the claim. Yes- He lost over 100 lbs. But I think he said the the 2 year 4,000 calorie a day experiment was basically maintenance.

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5 Answers

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4
5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on April 24, 2013
at 09:28 PM

It's not the equation is false, just that there are plenty of ways to manipulate the variables (e.g. activity, cold exposure). In short, it is entirely possible due to the fact that the traditional equation is a vast oversimplification.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on April 25, 2013
at 01:07 AM

Agreed, also testosterone IRRC.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on April 25, 2013
at 12:28 AM

Another way to manipulate the variables: take thyroid hormone, something Asprey has done.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on April 25, 2013
at 05:37 PM

Oops, IIRC haha.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 10, 2013
at 01:49 PM

Don't forget the Nazi marching drug amphetamines! A lot more effective for weight loss than putting butter in your coffee.

3
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 10, 2013
at 02:50 PM

Human digestion is not 100% efficient in extracting nutrients. Particularly when fed abnormally.

SUSTAINEDfitness's 2000 calories of broccoli has 600+ calories of indigestible fiber in it, and that's going to impede the digestion of otherwise digestible material as well, so 2000 calories of broccoli might only have 1000 bioavailable calories. 1000 calories in the toilet, literally.

There was some blogger earlier this year who tried prove that calories didn't count by eating 5000 calories per day and not gaining the predicted amount of weight. Besides his low-balling his TDEE, he was eating 3000+ calories per day of nuts. Nuts also have a high fiber content, almonds are known to be nearly 1/3 indigestible, so nearly 1/2 of his calories from nuts simply got shat out.

As for Aspey: A crap ton of butter and MCT oil, just asking for some nice greasy feces (1000 calories in the toilet, undigested). Probably like the above blogger, he probably low-balled his metabolism (by 1000 calories or more). And when they have a point to prove, I'm sure they make rounding/measurement errors in their favor (500 calories overestimated intake).

No different than Spurlock's Supersize Me! stunts and hidden math.

2
C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 10, 2013
at 01:33 PM

The second law of thermodynamics is not broken, so in the most basic way, the calorie equation is correct. But the equation is so simplified as to be useless. What you eat affects what your body does with that food. 2000 kcal of sugar produces a different metabolic and hormonal reaction than 2ooo kcal of broccoli and beef for example. Foods can upregulate or downregulate enzymes and hormones causing the body to either burn or store fat. There is even a disease where due to certain hormone deficiencies, someone physically cannot store bodyfat.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 10, 2013
at 01:50 PM

I agree about not doping up on medications or amphetamines, but the type of calories you take in has a major effect on what your body does with them. Even trying to accurately count calories out is not very accurate. For instance, if I go for a jog at 40 deg, 65 deg and 80 deg, even at the same pace and distance, I will burn substantially different amounts of calories.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 10, 2013
at 01:46 PM

I lost 50 lbs in 6 months using cico so I don't consider it useless. A lot of that loss came using the calories-out part, counting exercise, which was my main tool for increasing metabolic rate by up to 1000 kcal/day. You don't need to dope up on thyroid medication or amphetamines.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 10, 2013
at 03:08 PM

My body does not differentiate climate effects on exercise, but I don't bike or walk in a loincloth. I exercise a lot just not under uninsulated exposure conditions. If I was dancing with polar bears or cacti it might be different than my daily pneumonia wear.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 10, 2013
at 03:16 PM

It's all momentum over a distance. Some exercise devices are more efficient than others, and for my purposes over the last 6 years the burn rate per mile biking is about 35 kcal, walking 70 kcal, running 100 kcal, all over and above BMR. I don't swim, but I'd guess that it's around 300 kcal.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 10, 2013
at 06:07 PM

You are incorrect, as temperature regulation plays a much bigger factor than you are giving credit.

2
0968275df74a29f1c7d05c27e4618a9c

on August 10, 2013
at 07:43 AM

What is insulin

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on August 10, 2013
at 01:38 PM

+1 Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

2
D1d9b0d839144b72b5f5dae893a686d3

(602)

on April 24, 2013
at 10:30 PM

Different types of food are also metabolized differently. There is no real way to tell if he is lying or not, and it is really irrelevant. I haven't read all of his stuff, but I think he was doing this as an example, to prove a point. It isn't necessarily what he recommends. The point is that people can lose weight (fat) on a high fat diet without worrying about counting calories. You don't have to take it to his extremes if you don't want to.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on April 25, 2013
at 06:39 PM

He did it with mostly MCT oil and butter. Pop quiz, which hormone do carbs and protein trigger that fat does not, hint: this hormone is used to signal storage for fat cells, muscle cells, and liver cells.

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