2

votes

why diet on a low carb when you can lose weight with a high carb diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 28, 2013 at 12:15 AM

if we look at the first law of thermodynamics, energy can not be created nor destroyed.> extra calories the stored into fat(weather its form fat carbs or protein)

-you have to create a deficit to loose weight.

-so theoretically, creating an energy deficit(assuming you are not deficiant in protein) with a high carb diet would not be inferior to the low carb diet in terms of body composition

-why low carb?

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 30, 2013
at 10:06 AM

@john starvation diet will often promote SLOW metabolisms, and people who eat 3000 calorie will have a higher metabolism, the body is doing everything it can to stay the same weight. but then again it comes but to CICO. for example if the metabolism is slowed down, the individual will burn less calories thus will have to eat less to remain the same. you CANNOT compare 2 individuals. i agree with the other points made though. @james yes you do.

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 29, 2013
at 09:46 PM

no. you can eat donuts and still lose weight... the type of food does not matter. bodybuilders will get down to 5% bodyfat fitting junk into their diets. calories are what really matter rather than what type of food.

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 29, 2013
at 09:43 PM

@ Bill110inf i am quite lean right now, my diet is high carb, i have to say that it is great if you want to bulk up

3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on May 29, 2013
at 02:02 PM

Crightfunnylol, my point is that the type of foods you eat can tell the body whether to store it or burn it. That's when the excess is determined. And yes, athletic people need more carbs in general than more sedentary people. I don't do performance athletics, just a short strength training once a week and sprinting once a week, so I don't need that constant glycogen restoration. This diet/exercise has worked really well for me, but it's not one size fits all, that's for sure.

3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on May 29, 2013
at 01:58 PM

Matt, I agree. I don't even think it should be mentioned at all. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just that it's not the best model to apply to what really happens in the body. I also think that CICO isn't the best model either. They're both sort of applicable, but are really not relevant to health, just (approximately) to weight.

5dd50f78f47b8848d93724d6eb38d4c1

(907)

on May 29, 2013
at 09:35 AM

You don't need excess blood glucose to store fat

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on May 29, 2013
at 04:24 AM

@crightfunnylol Yes I did

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 29, 2013
at 12:08 AM

@albert83BNC did you acuratly track your calories back then and today? you cannot compare two individuals. one's with a slow metabolism cannot eat as much because they simply dont burn as much calories and this goes back to CICO. your argument is invalid

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 28, 2013
at 11:59 PM

lol wtf did i just read

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 28, 2013
at 11:58 PM

i also agree on what you are saying.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 28, 2013
at 08:44 PM

I also need them, I have thyroid issues and need to make sure I don't become more metabolically challenged than I already am. But I know that, personally, freely eating carbs causes many of the negative reactions in my body that were listed above. For me, carbs have an important place - but they must be controlled for me to function well.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 04:01 PM

I would argue equal efficiency dependent on motivation. LC produces the greater initial effect, but over the long haul I lost 2 lbs/week steadily for 6 months eating 50% carbs. I could have sped that up, but was told that that was the fastest safe rate. I was a good lab rat, followed the rules and got the promised results.

9fe086737bdf53b7b1a24f73e0e31da8

on May 28, 2013
at 03:49 PM

Bill: You're right! Except for the word "easily." The ease with which a high-carb dieter can maintain the discipline required to eat under their TDEE will vary from person to person. This is my point. For a very sizeable group of people, low-carb is more effective for controlling hunger. thhq: You're right! On both counts! But none of that is responsive to the question, concerning the relative efficacy of LC and HC for fat loss.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 03:34 PM

Most people aren't going for optimal, just weight loss. Diets featuring bacon on the one hand, and low fat yogurt on the other. Optimizing comes later, if they succeed at the first part. Few get that far.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on May 28, 2013
at 02:53 PM

Despite the other topic regarding calories in and out, I agree with you that we overall overeat, so true.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on May 28, 2013
at 02:34 PM

We are not what we eat, but what we do with what we eat, and what we do with it is very tied to hormones and metabolism, and not everyone's metabolism works as well so that's why CICO affects us in a different way. Please raise your hands someone who has never seen someone that eats a few and moves a lot and still is fat and someone who eats a ton and is ripped to the bones. Anyone? That's proof that CICO alone does not work, metabolism and hormonal status is king, and what can hurt metabolism so bad? Guess what... most likely carb abuse.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on May 28, 2013
at 02:30 PM

I agree you can loss weight either low or high carb. I lost my most on a low-fat high-carb high-protein with grains... I guess you could even lean out by eating just one "junk-food-of-choice" a day and stay in a deficit, ok.. but.. would it be optimal? hell no! My take is some strategies are better than others, as I told you I leaned out in a way I do not anymore, in a 1400 kcal a day high carb diet, ok now I do better on 2400 low-carb... how could it be possible if CICO was really true? Then we wouldn't also be here if it were so simple, there would be no paleo-hacks, no dietitians...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 02:01 PM

Can you say ommmmm? I knew you could.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 02:00 PM

When you HAVE to lose weight it helps to have a plan to follow. Both cico and LC work. Both fail if you're not persistent, and both have high recidivism. Old habits are hard to break.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:54 PM

cico worked for me to lose 50 lbs. It worked. So does low carb. Weight loss isn't a religion. Don't be so closed minded.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:48 PM

It helps to think of cico as a spreadsheet rather than enthalpy equations. It's not exactly right, just approximately.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:42 PM

The 50% carb med diet is eaten by a lot more healthy people than have ever followed Dr. Atkins. Ketosis does not define paleo.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:39 PM

The second set gets caught up in the 'unit' fiasco and tries to argue against CICO because it's simplifying, it's a model, of course it simplifies! And despite being simplified, it still describes the complex human metabolic system quite well.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:38 PM

someone who is active & lean can easily maintain bodyweight and fat % while eating a high carb low fat diet as long as they do not constantly eat more than their TDEE

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:37 PM

Low carb means what? 20 grams a day or 200 grams a day? Our ancestors ate both ways.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:37 PM

Problem with the first article: low-carb does not necessarily mean high protein. The small metabolic advantage only exists while exchanging protein for carbohydrate. What the average person does though in a carbohydrate restriction is increase fat consumption, which makes the whole thing a wash in terms of effective calories.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 28, 2013
at 12:03 PM

Yes, first law of thermodynamics. Now workout the energy/mass equations, they will balance out.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 28, 2013
at 12:02 PM

Folks on both sides of CICO need to stop misapplying the laws of thermodynamics.

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 28, 2013
at 09:23 AM

that is a good question. protein and fats are essential , therefore there is a place them in one's, but you can only absorb so much protein fat in an absurd amount would not be benifical unless it is personal preference. since carbs are non-essential why not get alot of them. i need them for sporsts personaly

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 28, 2013
at 09:14 AM

-yes some the the food you eat gets exceeded i understand but overall, if there is a surplus it will get stored as fat(you get my point) -i am not overweight, i am trying to gaing weight but i like to learn about things like this, and i am very athletic.. i need carbs - i do track my calories and know that and know how much i need to eat to loss/maintain/gain. thanks for the response

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 28, 2013
at 09:05 AM

thanks the awswer!

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 28, 2013
at 09:03 AM

@DH, why his he dumb?

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on May 28, 2013
at 07:42 AM

Why eat food when you can eat Soylent?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 28, 2013
at 03:06 AM

Before quoting the first law, please learn the second.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on May 28, 2013
at 02:44 AM

dumb troll is dumb

3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:41 AM

Plus one for cheese!

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

8 Answers

9
9fe086737bdf53b7b1a24f73e0e31da8

on May 28, 2013
at 01:30 AM

Satiety and hunger control.

Look, I understand your argument. Even in ketosis, a way-of-life to which few have the nerve to commit, the human body has basic daily glucose requirements. These can be met by consuming any of the the three macronutrients in differing quantities, but to the extent that they're able, most people would rather preserve protein for the maintenance and repair of lean tissues. So we're left with fats and carbohydrates. Because only part of the fat molecule (the glycerol "backbone") is convertable to glucose--it takes much more than a single gram of fat to produce a gram of glucose for the brain, and fat is already beginning at a 9kcal:4kcal disadvantage.

And yet, low-carb (high-fat) diets work for an absurdly large number of people, where, for the same people, higher-carbohydrate (lower-fat) diets fail. For these people,

1) Fat is more satiating than carbs, and 2) Consumption of starchy or sweet carbohydrates stimulates appetite for more of the same.

And, as luck would have it, the basic energy needs of your metabolism dwarf your glucose needs, so anyone can set up a significant caloric deficit, with adequate glucose production, on a high-fat, low-carb diet. Even though carbohydrates are more energy-efficient way of meeting the glucose needs of your brain, this advantage is rendered irrelevant in the context of 2000kcal that need to come from somewhere.

The way I'm wired, eating carbs is kind of an all or nothing deal. I'm active and lean enough that I can afford the occasional high-carb day or meal, but not everyone is, and a lot of people have the same kind of binary relationship with carbohydrate consumption. I'm under the impression that this has to do with sensitivity to insulin and leptin, but I'll leave it that topic to someone more well-read. If you want a broader perspective on this issue I'd take a look at J Stanton's current series at gnolls.org, "Why a Calorie Isn't a Calorie." Stanton shows argues that the CICO model is true in a "trivial sense," that gives us little practical insight into dealing with problems like obesity, insulin resistance, and so on.

Also, I like cheese more than rice.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:38 PM

someone who is active & lean can easily maintain bodyweight and fat % while eating a high carb low fat diet as long as they do not constantly eat more than their TDEE

9fe086737bdf53b7b1a24f73e0e31da8

on May 28, 2013
at 03:49 PM

Bill: You're right! Except for the word "easily." The ease with which a high-carb dieter can maintain the discipline required to eat under their TDEE will vary from person to person. This is my point. For a very sizeable group of people, low-carb is more effective for controlling hunger. thhq: You're right! On both counts! But none of that is responsive to the question, concerning the relative efficacy of LC and HC for fat loss.

3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:41 AM

Plus one for cheese!

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 29, 2013
at 09:43 PM

@ Bill110inf i am quite lean right now, my diet is high carb, i have to say that it is great if you want to bulk up

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 28, 2013
at 09:05 AM

thanks the awswer!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 04:01 PM

I would argue equal efficiency dependent on motivation. LC produces the greater initial effect, but over the long haul I lost 2 lbs/week steadily for 6 months eating 50% carbs. I could have sped that up, but was told that that was the fastest safe rate. I was a good lab rat, followed the rules and got the promised results.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:42 PM

The 50% carb med diet is eaten by a lot more healthy people than have ever followed Dr. Atkins. Ketosis does not define paleo.

4
3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:40 AM

First, the law of thermodynamics applies to closed systems, which humans are not. If you've eaten a really fatty meal or corn, you can see that not everything you eat is used for fuel or stored. Also, sugars and ketones are excreted along with other undigested foods and broken down parts of "potential" calories. It's not a lot, but it is measurable.

Second, the biggest issue I have with the whole "calories in-calories out" thought process is that the calories out is difficult to calculate because the types of food we put in and how we process it affects how many calories we actually store or burn (or sometimes neither).

When most people eat higher carbs (in general, not accounting for exercise and other burning factors), the insulin levels increase to a greater degree than lower carbs (and less refined carbs that take longer to break down). Higher insulin leads to greater lipid storage after basic needs and muscle and liver glycogen restocking, as it were. Your body will change your metabolism to accommodate this. If your sugar levels drop too low afterwards, you'll physically slow down as well. If I drank 1500 calories of alcohol a day, I'm quite sure I won't be expending the same level of energy than if I ate other foods.

I think a lot of here are concerned with the negative health aspects of excess blood sugars that you can get with a high carb diet that have nothing to do with weight. I eat this way because of the research I've done on cancer. Cancer cells have ten times the number of insulin receptors as normal cells, for instance. The way sugar breaks down can contribute to DNA damage through the creation of free radicals, and glucose competes with molecular space with Vitamin C (due to molecular binding something or another - I wish I had taken chemistry). Sugar's definitely not the only issue, but it's a big one in a lot of health issues going on today.

So, assuming you can accurately judge how many calories you're going to burn from day to day and your goal is losing weight without concern for the overall effects the food you're eating has on your body and mitochondria and brain health -etc, then you're probably right. Higher carb diets with an energy deficit will lead to weight loss.

By the way, I eat low carb but don't count calories or care anymore, for that matter. This year, I've gained 8 pounds, but lost three pant sizes. Ironically, even though I've haven't looked this good in decades, I'm almost in the obese category again for my height and weight! At my age, I'm supposed to be losing muscle mass, not gain it!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:48 PM

It helps to think of cico as a spreadsheet rather than enthalpy equations. It's not exactly right, just approximately.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 28, 2013
at 12:02 PM

Folks on both sides of CICO need to stop misapplying the laws of thermodynamics.

3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on May 29, 2013
at 01:58 PM

Matt, I agree. I don't even think it should be mentioned at all. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just that it's not the best model to apply to what really happens in the body. I also think that CICO isn't the best model either. They're both sort of applicable, but are really not relevant to health, just (approximately) to weight.

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 28, 2013
at 09:14 AM

-yes some the the food you eat gets exceeded i understand but overall, if there is a surplus it will get stored as fat(you get my point) -i am not overweight, i am trying to gaing weight but i like to learn about things like this, and i am very athletic.. i need carbs - i do track my calories and know that and know how much i need to eat to loss/maintain/gain. thanks for the response

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 29, 2013
at 09:46 PM

no. you can eat donuts and still lose weight... the type of food does not matter. bodybuilders will get down to 5% bodyfat fitting junk into their diets. calories are what really matter rather than what type of food.

3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on May 29, 2013
at 02:02 PM

Crightfunnylol, my point is that the type of foods you eat can tell the body whether to store it or burn it. That's when the excess is determined. And yes, athletic people need more carbs in general than more sedentary people. I don't do performance athletics, just a short strength training once a week and sprinting once a week, so I don't need that constant glycogen restoration. This diet/exercise has worked really well for me, but it's not one size fits all, that's for sure.

3
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on May 28, 2013
at 12:31 PM

high carb diets are so 80 and 90s. low carb diets are so 90s and naughts.

Carb cycling is the way of the future. The way of the future. The way of the future. the way of the future...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 02:01 PM

Can you say ommmmm? I knew you could.

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 28, 2013
at 11:59 PM

lol wtf did i just read

3
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 28, 2013
at 02:09 AM

Correct. Assuming no malnutrition, macronutrient ratio of dietary energy does not matter in the least when it comes to weight loss math.

Why then do folks go low-carb? Preference.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 02:00 PM

When you HAVE to lose weight it helps to have a plan to follow. Both cico and LC work. Both fail if you're not persistent, and both have high recidivism. Old habits are hard to break.

2
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on May 28, 2013
at 06:04 AM

I'd have a look at this two links, no need for me to explain it since I could not do better:

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 03:34 PM

Most people aren't going for optimal, just weight loss. Diets featuring bacon on the one hand, and low fat yogurt on the other. Optimizing comes later, if they succeed at the first part. Few get that far.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on May 28, 2013
at 02:34 PM

We are not what we eat, but what we do with what we eat, and what we do with it is very tied to hormones and metabolism, and not everyone's metabolism works as well so that's why CICO affects us in a different way. Please raise your hands someone who has never seen someone that eats a few and moves a lot and still is fat and someone who eats a ton and is ripped to the bones. Anyone? That's proof that CICO alone does not work, metabolism and hormonal status is king, and what can hurt metabolism so bad? Guess what... most likely carb abuse.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:54 PM

cico worked for me to lose 50 lbs. It worked. So does low carb. Weight loss isn't a religion. Don't be so closed minded.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on May 28, 2013
at 02:30 PM

I agree you can loss weight either low or high carb. I lost my most on a low-fat high-carb high-protein with grains... I guess you could even lean out by eating just one "junk-food-of-choice" a day and stay in a deficit, ok.. but.. would it be optimal? hell no! My take is some strategies are better than others, as I told you I leaned out in a way I do not anymore, in a 1400 kcal a day high carb diet, ok now I do better on 2400 low-carb... how could it be possible if CICO was really true? Then we wouldn't also be here if it were so simple, there would be no paleo-hacks, no dietitians...

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on May 29, 2013
at 04:24 AM

@crightfunnylol Yes I did

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 29, 2013
at 12:08 AM

@albert83BNC did you acuratly track your calories back then and today? you cannot compare two individuals. one's with a slow metabolism cannot eat as much because they simply dont burn as much calories and this goes back to CICO. your argument is invalid

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:39 PM

The second set gets caught up in the 'unit' fiasco and tries to argue against CICO because it's simplifying, it's a model, of course it simplifies! And despite being simplified, it still describes the complex human metabolic system quite well.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 28, 2013
at 01:37 PM

Problem with the first article: low-carb does not necessarily mean high protein. The small metabolic advantage only exists while exchanging protein for carbohydrate. What the average person does though in a carbohydrate restriction is increase fat consumption, which makes the whole thing a wash in terms of effective calories.

1
Fdce058480fb50b092f3ed975c94a2f0

on May 29, 2013
at 05:34 AM

Problem with the calories in calories out hypothesis, is just that. It is a hypothesis that was never tested. Everybody just accepted that it sounded reasonable. Now everybody thinks it is verified scientific fact when in reality it is far from it.

There are diet clinics filled with people eating under 1000 calorie "starvation diets" who cannot lose weight and other clinics with patients eating 3000-4000 calories and losing lots of weight. How can that be?

If the human body were to set the food on fire to get warm by it, then the law of thermodynamics would make sense. That's basically what the calories in calories out hypothesis is based on. Think about it hard and long if you haven't already.

We know that carbs increase your insulin (the fat storage hormone) and suppress glucagon (the fat release hormone) and in a large way. We also know that dietary fat, on the other hand, does not do this. It seems ludicrous, therefore, to think that these different macronutrients are treated identically inside out bodies.

It's pretty simple. You need excess blood glucose to store fat and a lack of it to burn fat. Since carbs raises blood sugar more than anything else, then carbs are what you will need to lower to most effectively reduce stored fat.

5dd50f78f47b8848d93724d6eb38d4c1

(907)

on May 29, 2013
at 09:35 AM

You don't need excess blood glucose to store fat

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 30, 2013
at 10:06 AM

@john starvation diet will often promote SLOW metabolisms, and people who eat 3000 calorie will have a higher metabolism, the body is doing everything it can to stay the same weight. but then again it comes but to CICO. for example if the metabolism is slowed down, the individual will burn less calories thus will have to eat less to remain the same. you CANNOT compare 2 individuals. i agree with the other points made though. @james yes you do.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 28, 2013
at 02:43 PM

Being overweight has more to do with overeating than anything else. You can cut carbs without changing macro ratios just by eating less.

I think a lot of the obesity problem is created by our inherent instinct to gorge when food is abundant. Controlling the urge to overeat is driven to some extent by satiety signaling, but we are equipped to eat far past satiety to survive food scarcity. Control of obesity is not inherent in us, and has to be done as a conscious choice. Rational thinking (eg bad health) or less rational social norming (eg good looks) are very effective deterrents.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on May 28, 2013
at 02:53 PM

Despite the other topic regarding calories in and out, I agree with you that we overall overeat, so true.

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 28, 2013
at 11:58 PM

i also agree on what you are saying.

0
618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 28, 2013
at 12:31 AM

Theory often doesn't hold up exactly as expected in practice. Different things happen when the dynamics of the human body, lifestyle, and environment start playing together. Dogma and rules only go so far, so ... here is my answer:

Because for many people, low carb dieting is the way they can lose weight AND feel good at the same time. For others, it is different. I guess I will now ask you why NOT low carb? All things being equal, as you implied...

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 28, 2013
at 08:44 PM

I also need them, I have thyroid issues and need to make sure I don't become more metabolically challenged than I already am. But I know that, personally, freely eating carbs causes many of the negative reactions in my body that were listed above. For me, carbs have an important place - but they must be controlled for me to function well.

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on May 28, 2013
at 09:23 AM

that is a good question. protein and fats are essential , therefore there is a place them in one's, but you can only absorb so much protein fat in an absurd amount would not be benifical unless it is personal preference. since carbs are non-essential why not get alot of them. i need them for sporsts personaly

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!