I just drank a pint of heavy whipping cream and will continue to do so every day this week and report back with my results. Apparently a pint has 1600 calories in it. For that many calories, I expected it to be a lot thicker. I'm sure it will decrease my appetite, but I doubt that it could displace all that much in the way of solid food. To be scientific, I suppose I should drink it with a meal and eat about the same amount. I'll keep you guys updated with the results.
To make this actually a question...has anyone ever tried this?
Edit: Well, I really wanted to give this experiment a try, but I noticed immediately after downing the pint that I had the kind of mouth tingle I get from eating nuts or something else I'm allergic to and a few hours later I had some bad stomach pains, so I think I must have some kind of milk allergy. I eat tons of butter, but this is different somehow. I would have expected fewer milk proteins. To be fair, I usually cook with the butter (although cooking with coconut oil doesn't denature those proteins). So yeah, consider yourselves lucky if you can eat all of this fat and not have a bad reaction. I'm really hoping that in time these allergies will fade and I can give this another try. In the mean time, I'm thinking about cramming even more butter and lamb fat into my diet to see if I can still test this without that whole anaphylaxis thing. The pasture butter I buy is about two sticks and weighs in at 1600 calories or so as well, so I think it should work the same.
asked byTravis_Culp (39821)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on January 24, 2011
at 11:28 PM
Yeah, I did this once. A lot of people have done this in various forms.
I gained about 20 pounds or so over the course of two months of dedicated overeating (zero carb over-eating, so I pounded hamburgers and heavy cream). You will have to keep track of and maintain your intake or you will start compensating for the massive dose of extra calories by eating less without realizing it. Overeating a zero carb diet is very hard, and depending on where your carb levels are you might run into the same problem. Just a heads up. Spreadsheets are helpful for that.
Calories in == calories out is an axiom of thermodynamics. The fact that Taubes managed to mangle his own message so badly as to convince people that it was incorrect or questionable is a damned shame. If you deliberately overwhelm your body's homeostatic mechanisms with conscious overeating, you'll start storing fat. Unless you have a serious metabolic problem, this is just a reality of human physiology.
The beauty of a good diet is that it allows your normal regulatory systems to do their job, and then you don't have to do their job for them. If you eat a good diet, you don't have to count calories because your body does it for you, and does it better than you could consciously because it has a better idea (and control) of your passive calories out than you do. I wish that Taube's main message was that by avoiding terrible foods, we can allow our endocrine systems to function properly and maintain health without our conscious intervention beyond the initial food screening, but I guess I should resign myself to the fact that his main message has become (fairly or not) "calories in == calories out is wrong!". Ah well.
on January 25, 2011
at 04:05 AM
It is not a paleo tenant that calories don't count at all. It is only a paleo tenant that caloric intake is not the only part of the story and should not be considered in isolation of other issues like fat deposition vs muscle gain, activity and energy level, and effects of types of food on appetite regulation. It is the paleo contention caloric intake is usually more of a symptom of appetite and the way to control weight is to look at what influences appetite. Looking at caloric intake is a mistake as the typical driver of caloric intake is appetite. However, if you deliberately attempt to fight your body's natural appetite and caloric intake balance by stuffing down excessive calories that you do not actually want to eat, yup, you will probably get fat and become less healthy, unless your body manages to beat your willpower by sucking away your desire to eat other foods, something which it is already trying very hard to do by the sound of it. Plus you will not really have proved anything to the paleo crowd either way.
on May 28, 2011
at 05:29 AM
Taubes never argued that one would not gain weight by eating more calories than one expends. Rather, he argued that CICO is a trivial truth with little explanatory power. Despite this, researchers were using it as a hypothesis. Despite the necessary truth of CICO - which Taubes recognizes - it is neither insightful for persons looking to lose weight nor for researchers trying to understand why people are getting fatter.
For example, if we wanted explain why a restaurant was so busy, we wouldn't hypothesize that more people are walking in than exiting; this is a trivial truth about busy restaurants that doesn't do any explanatory work.
Taubes alternative, which we can call the GCBC hypothesis, says that some calories (carbs) are more likely to contribute to the growth of adipose tissue (fat), spiking insulin and emptying the bloodstream of nutrients, resulting in more hunger (more CI) - to replace those lost nutrients - or less energy (less CO) - because the energy is converted to fat rather than burned as energy.
So, if you eat 1600 more calories a day, then yes, you will gain weight, assuming that nothing else changes (such as larger expenditure of energy). In both underfeeding and overfeeding studies, however, Ss report finding the experience unpleasant, and after the experiment their weights quickly restore to, or close to, their previous levels.
This suggests that you will probably experience your body fighting back during the experiment. This might be a valuable self-experiment, but it won't really be a test of CICO. Everybody agrees that CICO is true in the trivial sense, and some of us - especially those in the LC and paleo communities - believe that it is false in the senses that matter, i.e., vis-a-vis our understanding of weight gain, fat accumulation and burning, hunger regulation, and bodyweight setpoint manipulation.
on January 24, 2011
at 11:48 PM
I have never tried this and I'm going to be very curious to see what your results are. I've always assumed that the reason why ci/co is considered a fallacy is that it's more just an incomplete concept rather than being wrong in and of itself. Taubes talks a little bit about this before he turns the conventional wisdom of "you get fat because you eat too much" on its head: "you eat too much (or just "more") because you're getting fat". It's the explaining why we actually do get fat that sort of makes the ci/co argument moot, if not entirely false. You can't lean out and cure metabolic derangement by simply cutting your calories. There's a lot more to the equation than that. Which is, in my opinion, the major point of his book.
Here's what I do know: cream is the most calorically dense part of a fluid that is designed to grow baby cows into ginormous adults cows. I suspect that if you drink that much cream - and keep with the rest of your normal diet - every day for a week you're going to gain some weight. That's my bet, and I'm sticking to it. :P And if you do gain weight, what does that prove? It could be argued that, well, you increased your calories so you gained weight, so ci/co must be true. Is it? Is thermodynamics all there is to our weight balance?
My experience tells me that an important aspect of eating paleo or primal, in addition to the eschewing the grains, sugars, dairy, etc. is that you learn to tune into your body's elegant feedback signal (no pun intended) called "hunger" that tells us when and how much to eat. Meals without Math! Beautiful. So we learn to eat what we want to eat. Period. No more, and no less. Some days we're hungrier, some days not to much. Miss a meal? No problem. Body's going to start cranking on the stored fat for energy. And the beauty of not being on the insulin roller coaster is we get to delay mealtime without too much stress or annoyance.
I only bring this up because it seems to me that this kind of test will require you to ignore that and chow down on probably a lot more food than your body really wants. Am I offbase with that assumption? I will guess that you are going to end up a little nauseous from your cream binge. (Now that I'm thinking about it though, if you have to binge, might as well be cream!)
I'll be really interested to see what happens. I don't think if you gain weight that it will disprove how inadequate ci/co really is for addressing obesity. Just my opinion. But I'm telling you one thing, if you lose weight on this? I'm drinking more frickin cream!
on March 19, 2011
at 08:31 PM
I don't usually post, but I was searching the archives for something and saw this. I am far from an expert when compared to 99% of the people that post here. But I will share a personal experience with the calories in/out theory. I'm extremely thin (6'2'', 180 lbs currently) and I've always been a hard-gainer (I weighed 145 when I graduated high school. Not good for a dude). Anyway, in my gym phase and still following the SAD diet I tried a diet that was called the ABCDE diet from a now defunct magazine. Basically, the tenet of the diet was you can gain weight (mostly muscle) with a massive calorie dose in a short window (two weeks) before the body caught on, you'd then drop off and be calorie-deficient and you'd lose some body fat for two weeks. You could do a couple of cycles and most people would see gains. After that it was mostly useless. It worked for me. I went from weighing 175 lbs eating more or less 5500 to 6500 calories a day and gained 12 lbs in 10 days (the last for days of the feeding phase, I gained zero). It's hard to say what my caloric needs were. I worked construction and hit the gym 3 times a week. I'm guessing 2800-3000. Calories in/out says I would have had to consume 4200 more calories per day to have gained that weight. I didn't go that extreme (yet). Then I went to a low-calorie phase (2800 cal/day) and I lost around 4 pounds in 12 days ( I couldn't make that last two days). The next high-cycle I did 6500 to 8000 calories per day (not easy) for the 14 days and gained another 12 or 13 lbs. I was 196 at that point with still very little body fat. I base this on the fact that I've always been able to see ab definition and still could at that point. When I dropped to the low calorie phase, I kept it high at 3500 calories and still lost 5 lbs (most of it the first week). In short, in my experience I've gained weight far faster that the calorie in/out theory can explain and I lost weight when it said I should not have. My experiment of one tells me its bulls**t, or I'm an anomaly.
on January 24, 2011
at 11:35 PM
I posted this before, it was my self test.
I was eating 3 large meals a day, and I had to force myself to eat one of those meals.
Aproxx around 6000 cals/day for 2-3 months. Around 1500 cals from carbs, the rest from Protein and fat.
In a 3 month time frame I maintained my normal weight of 180-185, other things kicked in however for example.
Over excessive sweating and lots of it....
Those 3 months were horrid on my metabalism.
If I eat non paleo foods I can jump my weight up in no time.
Some days I was around 5% carbs, other days maybe 20% max. Didn't try it with heavy whipping cream. Just real food.
As for your specific results, one way to find out. Good luck and I hope your metablism does shoot up like mine did, but a lot my calories came from protien not fat.
on August 07, 2011
at 02:42 PM
I recently ate about 1000-1500 calories per day (average about 1400) for 3 months and lost 20 pounds. I really just didn't have much appetite and naturally ate a lot less, skipping either breakfast or lunch most days.
After losing the weight, my appetite increased and I'm hungry every morning and have to watch it in order to stay below 2000 calories. My weight went up a couple of pounds and has stabilized there.
The simple explanation is that I lost weight by running a calorie deficit, then my body increased my appetite to stabilize at the lower weight.
If you really did eat 1600 calories every morning and then ate another 2000 or whatever calories over the rest of the day, and kept that up, I'd guess that you would gain a bunch of weight. One caveat is that I am not sure if your body would really absorb 1600 liquid calories, i.e. you would probably absorb some of that and the rest would just pass through. So counting all of those calories is probably not accurate.
on January 25, 2011
at 02:47 PM
I was wondering, can you overeat and still remain in Ketosis? Like maybe eat 5000 cals of fat with some protein thrown in? Would that be possible or is there a point where ketosis stops because of excess food? I think this would be the optimal state in which overeating fat would be shown to be non-lipogenic...
on January 24, 2011
at 11:34 PM
I can't wait to see your results!
For me, the calories-in/out hypothesis was bunk. I tried losing weight all last semester, dropping my calories lower and lower...and a couple weeks into paleo -- after increasing my calories back up to above my starting calorie target AND being sedentary (going from being a college student walking across campus all day to a college student sitting on her arse all winter break) -- and several pounds just sorta vanished. :)
on August 07, 2011
at 07:32 AM
Were you talking about forcing yourself to eat beyond what you were hungry for? I've never tried that one, but I have tried eating very high calorie foods to see how my body responds. Basically I just have less appetite later and it all evens out. In other words, you can't accidentally gain weight by eating super high calorie foods. You have to force yourself to eat more than you really want because your body has mechanisms in place to prevent it. When people become obese it's not because they are eating too much fat, contrary to what conventional wisdom tells us. It's because they've become insulin resistant and are now producing more insulin. Insulin drives fat storage.
on August 07, 2011
at 04:14 AM
hey, any updates re. this experiment??
on May 28, 2011
at 02:27 AM
i think you flaw it using dairy...as its not really paleo and should almost always stimulate growth hormone artifically...
you could do the experiment but use something more paleo...alergic to tree nuts...hmm...
avocados? damn, thats hard to do with that allergy unless you make some egg/butter custard stuff...pork belly?
also, i started my weight gain(from anorexia) on a keto diet, but it got to the point that i had gained weight and couldnt stand the site of fatty meat any longer and started craving lean protein, lost weight, relapsed and then regained weight with primal. anyways... i have been thinking of delving into the metabolism spark again as when i was gaining weight, after the intial about 2 weeks of weight piling on rapidly(i was malnourished and underweight) my metabolism kicked in and i had to eat craploads. now i maintain give or take pretty much the amount of food in me(or soon to exit) and give or take water weight from exercise/salt etc
my problem is affordability. i cannot afford to flippin feed myself 5000 calories a day again. it is so damned hard first of all to WANT to eat that much, second to do it, and third to keep the variety high enough that you ever actually want to eat. so, IMO, the experiment sucks when you have to do it, but if your curious and have the money my guess is youll initially pack on some water weight, but given you dont go to extremes in lifting or trying to work off the calories, your metabolism will shoot up as well
on March 19, 2011
at 10:42 PM
Similar to others who have already posted, I will be very curious to hear your results. Good luck finding a fat source that allows you to actually perform the experiment. While I have not tried this personally, I have previously (in another "diet life") tried the Rippetoe GOMAD approach to weight gain and read plenty about expecting fat gain to come with the caloric increase, noting that there are carbs and protein in whole milk in addition to the fat.
My hypothesis would be that adding 1600 fat calories a day without increased activity level will result in some moderate weight gain, but not much, and certainly not as much as if some of those calories were carbohydrate. A pretty bland hypothesis, yes, but "it is what it is." I personally have put on about 10 pounds in the last three months by overeating, mostly grassfed beef. I've also changed my workout regime to eliminate a CrossFit WOD or two a week and replace them with pure strength training days.