Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Calories still matter

In all the discussion of the composition of diets - low fat or low carb etc - and the potential for "metabolic advantage" we can sometimes forget the simple fact that calories still matter.

If you are eating too much, you are not going to lose weight no matter how low your carbs are. Dr Eades had a post on this today: Low carb and calories

Although the lowered insulin and elevated glucagon open the doors to the fat cells allowing fat to come out to be burned, the fat comes out only if it’s needed. If you are meeting all your body’s energy needs with the food you eat, the body doesn’t need the fat in the fat cells. On a low-carb diet your body burns fat for energy. But it doesn’t care where this fat comes from; it can come from the diet or it can come from the fat cells or it can come from both. If you are consuming enough fat to meet all your body’s requirements, your body won’t go after the fat in the fat cells no matter how severely you restrict your carbs. You will burn dietary fat only and no body fat. And you won’t lose weight. It’s that simple.

The low-carb diet is a wonderful, healthful way to lose weight quickly, but you do have to watch your calories as well to a certain extent. If your plugging along losing away, keep doing what you’re doing. But if you quit losing, take a look at your cheese and/or nut consumption. Cut those out, and I’ll just about guarantee that your weight loss will pick up again.


Shaf said...

A complete about-face.

Chris said...

Hi there Shaf

an about face from me or Eades?

I admit I flip about a bit on diet - am generally low carb-ish but read a lot of Lyle's stuff and know it is not quite as simple as the low carb community sometimes presents it.

Dave Clary said...

I read that at work today while munching some almonds from a can I keep in one of my desk drawers! I've gone from some fairly rapid weight lost (10 pounds a month) to a very, slow but steady pace now. I eat a lot of nuts and fruit that I could back off on; however, I'm getting within range of my eventual goal so I'm content to keep eating the way I plan on eating once I get there!

Shaf said...

Eades has done a complete 180° and probably hopes no-one notices.

Eugene Thong said...

Actually, he hasn't.

I heard the same thing over at Colpo's board; that Dr. Eades has conceded; there is no metabolic advantage; he was wrong, etc.

He's just clarified a point that apparently got lost in the brou-ha-ha over the existence (or not) of a metabolic advantage - that calories count. He never said that if you eat 10,000 calories a day you'd lose weight so long as your total intake of carbs was 10 grams or less. To boot, he explicitly said that he believed the metabolic advantage to be no more than a couple hundred calories' worth (give or take).

Anonymous said...

"Actually, he hasn't."

Except for the fact that in his book, he claimed that obesity and weight gain were more about insulin and less about calories, which is why it's impossible to take anything that guy says seriously