4500 calories a day and no exercise? Is that possible?
So Dave Asprey says he lost all his weight on his diet without exercise and eating 4,500 calories a day? I just don't get it.
Why does this work?
asked bypseudopaleo (211)
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on June 21, 2012
at 12:04 AM
Here we go. A few readers will think they can follow this advice, and in 3-4 weeks they will be in here complaining they have gained 10 pounds. However, the only way to learn is through mistakes.
So be my guest and try to eat 4000-5000 calories per day keeping carbs low and fat high, and report back your results.
on June 20, 2012
at 10:38 PM
I maintain my weight on 5,000. I know this is a hard concept for people to grasp, but the whole calories in, calories out thing is wrong.
It's not so much that it's wrong, but that people don't understand what they really have control over. First, these are true statements:
The net energy (calories) gained or lost by a system (i.e., your body) is the difference between the energy (calories) that went in minus the energy (calories) that went out.
One pound of fat contains about 3,500 calories
The only thing you really have direct control over is calories in. People think they can control calories out by exercising but it doesn't work that way. You body uses hormones to signal many things, some of which is your metabolism and digestion, and that's what controls calories out.
Lets look at two extremes as a (simplified) thought experiment. If you're diet was 100% sugar, your body would release insulin whose job is to (quickly) get sugar out of the blood and into safe storage (fat, glycogen, etc). So there you had calories in, but no calories out, it was all stored. You also had few calories burnt. Since all the energy is stored away your body signals your metabolism to slow down, and if you exercise, your body will freak out more and more and slow your metabolism down (even to where you feel cold all the time).
The other extreme is a 100% fat diet. In this case, since there will be no sugar and no insulin, you won't be storing anything. The fat will either be burnt or it will come out the other end (pooping counts as calories out!). If you keep cramming more and more fat in, more and more will come out plus your body will turn up the metabolism to try and burn the excess, you'll want to exercise just to use up the fuel, you'll get hot, etc.
So the main control on calories out is the KIND of calories in. You have a little (very small) control based on activity, but KIND of calories in is the major (by a large margin) control on calories out.
That's why it's possible to lose weight on 4,500 calories in. If they're the right kind of calories, your body will adjust the hormones such that you end up burning more than storing.
So calories in, calories out is true, you just have much less control over calories out than you think (well you have lost of control, it's just not exercise that counts)!
EDITS TO ADDRESS COMMENTS BELOW
The answers to the comments below are too long to put in a comment myself so I'm editing the question itself here.
Typical day for me: I took a day a while ago and ran it through fitday. Here's the result of that: https://sites.google.com/site/themikelinks/figures/sample-food/ This is a typical day for me. On a heavy metcon day I may up the carbs with 1/2 of a baked potato, but that's the only change. Lots of meat and lots of fat everyday. No dairy, it makes me sick.
I realize that some of the 100% fat diet may be stored, but it will be very little. Insulin is the main nutrient storage hormone and without it little fat will be stored. Read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Taubes for the full treatment or "Why We Get Fat" for the shorter summary. There is lots of nuance, but you can get 90% of the story by knowing that that carbs drive insulin and insulin drives fat storage.
There indeed is energy in poop. First go read this answer I gave a long time ago that goes through the thermodynamics of what a calorie is: http://paleohacks.com/questions/41372/calories-combustion-versus-digestion/41533#41533. Now if there was no energy in poop there would be no co-generation plants at waste treatment facilities that burn poop (or methane that comes from it) for energy. Or in the midwest people will burn cow patties in their stove for heat in the winter. That's energy in poop! If it was completely devoid of energy it wouldn't be a good fertilizer. Or if there was no energy there would be no bacteria in which is what makes it "dirty". Here's an article about making a toilet into a generator: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1678292/the-toilet-of-the-future-will-turn-poop-into-power. This wouldn't be getting off the ground if poop had no energy in it. (I'm not commenting on the efficiency of getting energy out of poop, but it does indeed contain energy.)
on June 20, 2012
at 11:46 PM
Using the Zone Diet with only Paleo foods you will be eating non-stop. I lost alot of weight doing that but had to stop because I was eating nonstop.
It definitly works I can gurantee that
on June 20, 2012
at 09:01 PM
He created a consistent calorie deficit for an extended period of time.
he probably means he didn't do purposeful exercise like go running or lift weights. He did probably walk places, carry things around, run a little bit, etc.
He is a big guy, so 4500 may seem like a lot, but if his body was used to eating 6500 a day , and it was suddenly cut to 4500, it's going to take a while for his metabolic rate to slow down and adjust.
I don't know but from what I hear about when people come of SAD, his bowels could have been pretty plugged up, and I wouldn't be surprised if 10 or so pounds of that was just internal cleansing. Also, if he ate VLC, high fat, about 10lbs lost could be water as well.