2

votes

Are all calories equal?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 16, 2011 at 2:00 AM

New to the Paleolithic diet. So a big hello to all. I guess this post is a post of calorie intake. Everyone keeps saying that its calories in vs calories out. Im just so confused and scattered on the topic. I figure that the best people to have an opinion on the subject are people that have lost weight just eating the paleo way and not counting calories in the process. I say this because the paleo people i have spoken to keep telling me not to count calories and just eat when hungry(so long as its protein and low carbs) Apparently excess calories in the form of protein will not cause weight gain due to the way that the body uses protein as a pose to carbohydrates. I keep thinking this is to good to be true. You mean i can eat all i like and not gain a pound so long as its low in carb and high in protein? If thats the case then im laughing. But i wont get my hopes up. Please reply ladies and gents. So curious as to what you guys think. Any experiences and advice i will really appreciate.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:34 AM

Thanx maurile. Very scientific. Great response :-0

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:33 AM

Good one Jeff lol.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:26 AM

not even grass-fed m&Ms?

Medium avatar

(10601)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:03 AM

All calories are equal. But some calories are more equal than others. Especially if you're obese. You might find glycemicindex.com helpful in understanding how bad some calories can be.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2011
at 02:55 AM

jakey thanx for that summary. The Gary taubes book is been mentioned everywhere. I will definately have to get it. Thanx again :-)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2011
at 02:52 AM

Annie what a great testimony. Thanx a million. So motivating. Thanx so much :-)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2011
at 02:25 AM

Thanx miked. This book has been recommended many times. Thank you

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5 Answers

2
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on August 16, 2011
at 02:22 AM

Generally, within reason (for a wide range of reasonable), carbs are significantly more lipogenic (makes you fat) than protein or fat. I don't want to go into all the details and caveats here, but Taubes did an excellent job in his treatise "Good Calories, Bad Calories" or the lite version "Why We Get Fat". Go read those.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2011
at 02:25 AM

Thanx miked. This book has been recommended many times. Thank you

1
E639bc85fd42430285596434a6515ad5

(2226)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:23 AM

Equal how? Compare 500 calories of M&Ms with 500 calories of grass-fed beef liver. They are equal in their energy content. (That's what calories are.) But they are not equal in their palatability, their micronutrient content, their toxic load, or their hormonal effects. Any of those inequalities (in addition to others) can affect fat gain or loss. So on the whole, M&Ms are not equal to liver.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:34 AM

Thanx maurile. Very scientific. Great response :-0

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:26 AM

not even grass-fed m&Ms?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:33 AM

Good one Jeff lol.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2011
at 02:47 AM

hi there. here goes... all calories are equal. by definition, in fact, because a calorie is nothing more than a fixed unit of measurement. the same way that all centimeters are equal or all pounds are equal. a calorie is just a unit of energy, and thus 1 calorie's worth of energy is a fixed amount.

our bodies, however, do not use these units of energy in an identical fashion, because our bodily use is directed by hormones, and some of these units of energy are directed in different ways than others. this can have the effect of making the calories seem unequal, in a manner of speaking. this is what people mean when they say that the 'calories in, calories out' paradigm is flawed.

because once we eat a food, with it's given caloric measurement, the calories are not in fact "in" yet. they are only "in," so to speak, once they've become available to use as energy at the cellular level. just because you eat it, doesn't mean it will be available to burn, and to provide immediate energy to our cells. our hormones may direct it immediately into storage (fat!), and thus we will not derive the energy from that calorie, or at least we won't derive it right away, after eating it.

this is why the "calories in" half of the paradigm is flawed. it's assumed to simply mean, "calories eaten," rather than 'calories made available to our cells for energy.' we're more complex than that...

so what's the functional meaning here? okay, as others have mentioned, the calorie's worth of energy from a carbohydrate will enter our body and spur a different reaction than the calorie's worth of either fat or protein. in order to lose weight in a much more effortless fashion, you will want to compose your diet of mainly fat and protein.

for the nitty gritty on why, i.e. the hormones that cause this effect, do indeed turn to gary taubes. this is just my short & dirty summary.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on August 16, 2011
at 03:03 AM

All calories are equal. But some calories are more equal than others. Especially if you're obese. You might find glycemicindex.com helpful in understanding how bad some calories can be.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2011
at 02:55 AM

jakey thanx for that summary. The Gary taubes book is been mentioned everywhere. I will definately have to get it. Thanx again :-)

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 16, 2011
at 06:06 AM

It has been true for me that the more I eat (Within some reason) the faster I loose weight on a low carb diet.

Do read Taubes Why We Get Fat book. It will explain it well.

The trick is to eat some fat with each meal because low carb and low fat does not work well at all...

0
6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 16, 2011
at 02:30 AM

You will get a barage of conflicting "scientific" and other opinions on this. I will stick to telling you only about my personal experience. It is my opinion that all calories are not equal. While on low-fat, high carb vegan diet, I ate around 1200 calories per day and spent one hour, 5 days per week, doing chronic cardio. I was not able to lose any weight and I was starving most of the time. While on VLC Paleo, I was able to eat up to 2700 calories per day of 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs and I've lost about 22 pounds. I've recently added some carbs to my diet and have stopped losing.

Again, this is my own experience. Congrats on your new lifestyle and welcome!

http://books.google.com/books/about/Good_Calories_Bad_Calories.html?id=Xdm40JUD9HwC

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2011
at 02:52 AM

Annie what a great testimony. Thanx a million. So motivating. Thanx so much :-)

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