6

votes

A perfect question (well, it's about PHD, so....)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 19, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Paul Jaminet at PHD recommends that, for losing bodyfat, one should eat essentially a low(er) fat paleo diet. The idea is twofold: caloric restriction, and demanding that the body burn its own fat stores by not feeding it any. Has this idea been debunked, or is it still "bunked?" Love to hear your thoughts.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on October 20, 2011
at 12:35 AM

I am thinking that both a healthy diet and calorie restriction will mitigate many of these metabolic problems to begin with, so it will be less of a problem in this context.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on October 19, 2011
at 11:39 PM

I suspect this works for more than just "metabolically normal" people. If it didn't, then how would most folks with metabolic issues lose any body fat?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 19, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Sounds like the kicker would be, "As long as there is no serious dysfunction of adipose cells, they will release fat as needed to meet the body’s fat needs." I personally believe that those with a tendency to develop more adipose tissue than is necessary to make it through the winter there must be some dysfunction in that department. So, for metabolically normal people, this would work splendidly.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on October 19, 2011
at 09:50 PM

Link to PHD article: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?cat=104 (Thanks for the quote from it Brad!)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 19, 2011
at 08:17 PM

First of all, you're talking about two different things, the ability of glucose to be made into fat, and the ability of fat from carbohydrate to be stored as excess fat. If cliff believes you can't make fat from beer and tortillas, then I guess he'd better not sleep at night, because there will be nothing stored for him to use as fuel, and he'd better keep a steady stream of glucose coming. As for the second part, the fat made from glucose is not tagged as being different and somehow not useable for storage.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 19, 2011
at 08:10 PM

@abimporh- The average person has the capability to store ~400g of carbs, athletes can store ~900g. Overfeeding with carbohydrates increases carbohydrate oxidation. It would be dangerous to have tons of glucose in the blood stream that's why our body has numerous mechanisms to deal with carbohydrates.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on October 19, 2011
at 07:59 PM

Ambi: Also, how does the fact that adipocytes aren't inert affect what we're talking about here? Are you saying that adipokine secretion is affected by chylomicron docking frequency or something?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on October 19, 2011
at 07:57 PM

Jack: Well, we're talking about 100-150g here with a PHD approach, but yeah you can force it to happen with massive carbohydrate overfeeding of white rice if you want. It's not easy though. Ambi: Your blood glucose does rise for a while and your muscle mitochondria start oxidizing glucose instead of lipids if it's high enough for long enough.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 19, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Brad, I think there is more than one way to do it, but I also do think lower dietary carbohydrate levels are healthier. I actually don't advocate creating a caloric deficit by consciously eating less food at all, though I acknowledge that some people seem to need to do so.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 19, 2011
at 07:54 PM

Travis, it would be dangerous to have more than a small amount of glucose in your bloodstream at any given time. What do you suppose happens to it if you eat a large quantity?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 19, 2011
at 07:45 PM

No one gets fat from drinking just beer and eating flour tortillas plain

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 19, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Jack those foods are all 50% fat... Abimorph its been shown numerous times that carbs do not turn to fat easily, even fructose as long as the diet is low in PUFAs.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on October 19, 2011
at 07:04 PM

Travis - what about someone who doesn't eat fructose, but eats butt loads of grain products like whole grain and white breads, pizza, flour tortillas, beer, crackers, etc? Does the mechanism(s) that would cause fat gain simply come from too many unburned calories?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on October 19, 2011
at 06:52 PM

Dietary carbohydrate absolutely does not turn into fat easily, unless you mean fructose.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on October 19, 2011
at 06:48 PM

Ambimorph, am I right in assuming that you're advocating for creating the calorie deficit by reducing carbs, not fat?

7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on October 19, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Peter at Hyperlipid has made the comment plenty of times that if you get insufficient dietary fat then you will "eat" it off your own butt (and something to the effect that all diets are high in saturated fat because of this).

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 19, 2011
at 06:43 PM

This analogy would be fine, except for a few key details. First, dietary fat is not the only source of deposit. Dietary carbohydrate turns into fat quite easily, for example. Moreover, dietary fat that is burned isn't deposited either. The biggest problem with the analogy, though, is that fat cells are not inert storage depots. They both affect and respond to hormones which regulate "deposits".

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 19, 2011
at 06:35 PM

Good distinction, Brad. Just because lost fat implies you took in fewer calories than you used, doesn't mean that consciously restricting your calories by amount x automatically translates to a caloric deficit of x.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on October 19, 2011
at 06:28 PM

From his website: "So to conserve muscle and reduce fat tissue, you have to eat your normal allotment of protein and carbs while restricting fat intake. As long as there is no serious dysfunction of adipose cells, they will release fat as needed to meet the body’s fat needs. And that’s what you want – fat being moved out of adipose cells to be burned. So your calorie-restricted weight loss diet will be just as nourishing as your regular diet. Only the source of the nourishing fats – adipose cells instead of food – will be different." I suppose I interpreted this incorrectly.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on October 19, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Ben, I wasn't really asking about that part; maybe I was unclear. I was really asking about the idea that if one eats low-fat paleo, it will "force" the body to burn fat stores, more than would a high-fat paleo diet with the same number of calories.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 19, 2011
at 06:02 PM

caloric restriction is not and never has been debunked. there is nothing to debunk. if you take in less calories than you require your body will burn some of its own fat stores. this is basic fact. try it out. easy enough

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2 Answers

9
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on October 19, 2011
at 06:06 PM

He isn't saying that you need to cut out fat so you can burn your own fat, it doesn't work like that, even if you are eating fat you can still burn your own fat, there is no real limit to how much fat you can burn (depends on the person). It is just that he believes that you should have a minimum amount carbs and protein at any given time for health reasons, and so if you are reducing calories it should come from fat, because you don't have anything else to cut.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on October 20, 2011
at 12:35 AM

I am thinking that both a healthy diet and calorie restriction will mitigate many of these metabolic problems to begin with, so it will be less of a problem in this context.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on October 19, 2011
at 11:39 PM

I suspect this works for more than just "metabolically normal" people. If it didn't, then how would most folks with metabolic issues lose any body fat?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 19, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Sounds like the kicker would be, "As long as there is no serious dysfunction of adipose cells, they will release fat as needed to meet the body’s fat needs." I personally believe that those with a tendency to develop more adipose tissue than is necessary to make it through the winter there must be some dysfunction in that department. So, for metabolically normal people, this would work splendidly.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on October 19, 2011
at 09:50 PM

Link to PHD article: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?cat=104 (Thanks for the quote from it Brad!)

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on October 19, 2011
at 06:28 PM

From his website: "So to conserve muscle and reduce fat tissue, you have to eat your normal allotment of protein and carbs while restricting fat intake. As long as there is no serious dysfunction of adipose cells, they will release fat as needed to meet the body’s fat needs. And that’s what you want – fat being moved out of adipose cells to be burned. So your calorie-restricted weight loss diet will be just as nourishing as your regular diet. Only the source of the nourishing fats – adipose cells instead of food – will be different." I suppose I interpreted this incorrectly.

6
Medium avatar

on October 19, 2011
at 06:29 PM

Think of your adipocytes like a high flux bank account with money coming in and out constantly. Let's say your goal (like most people, apparently) is to deplete this account as fast as possible. Clearly, the way to do it is by not making as many deposits (restricting dietary fat) and increasing withdrawals (low-intensity activity).

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 19, 2011
at 07:45 PM

No one gets fat from drinking just beer and eating flour tortillas plain

Medium avatar

(39831)

on October 19, 2011
at 07:59 PM

Ambi: Also, how does the fact that adipocytes aren't inert affect what we're talking about here? Are you saying that adipokine secretion is affected by chylomicron docking frequency or something?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 19, 2011
at 06:43 PM

This analogy would be fine, except for a few key details. First, dietary fat is not the only source of deposit. Dietary carbohydrate turns into fat quite easily, for example. Moreover, dietary fat that is burned isn't deposited either. The biggest problem with the analogy, though, is that fat cells are not inert storage depots. They both affect and respond to hormones which regulate "deposits".

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on October 19, 2011
at 07:04 PM

Travis - what about someone who doesn't eat fructose, but eats butt loads of grain products like whole grain and white breads, pizza, flour tortillas, beer, crackers, etc? Does the mechanism(s) that would cause fat gain simply come from too many unburned calories?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on October 19, 2011
at 07:57 PM

Jack: Well, we're talking about 100-150g here with a PHD approach, but yeah you can force it to happen with massive carbohydrate overfeeding of white rice if you want. It's not easy though. Ambi: Your blood glucose does rise for a while and your muscle mitochondria start oxidizing glucose instead of lipids if it's high enough for long enough.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 19, 2011
at 08:10 PM

@abimporh- The average person has the capability to store ~400g of carbs, athletes can store ~900g. Overfeeding with carbohydrates increases carbohydrate oxidation. It would be dangerous to have tons of glucose in the blood stream that's why our body has numerous mechanisms to deal with carbohydrates.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 19, 2011
at 07:54 PM

Travis, it would be dangerous to have more than a small amount of glucose in your bloodstream at any given time. What do you suppose happens to it if you eat a large quantity?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 19, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Jack those foods are all 50% fat... Abimorph its been shown numerous times that carbs do not turn to fat easily, even fructose as long as the diet is low in PUFAs.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on October 19, 2011
at 06:52 PM

Dietary carbohydrate absolutely does not turn into fat easily, unless you mean fructose.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 19, 2011
at 08:17 PM

First of all, you're talking about two different things, the ability of glucose to be made into fat, and the ability of fat from carbohydrate to be stored as excess fat. If cliff believes you can't make fat from beer and tortillas, then I guess he'd better not sleep at night, because there will be nothing stored for him to use as fuel, and he'd better keep a steady stream of glucose coming. As for the second part, the fat made from glucose is not tagged as being different and somehow not useable for storage.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 19, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Brad, I think there is more than one way to do it, but I also do think lower dietary carbohydrate levels are healthier. I actually don't advocate creating a caloric deficit by consciously eating less food at all, though I acknowledge that some people seem to need to do so.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on October 19, 2011
at 06:48 PM

Ambimorph, am I right in assuming that you're advocating for creating the calorie deficit by reducing carbs, not fat?

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