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A calorie is not a calorie. Some calories may, for example, make you burn 300 more calories per day (corresponding to 30 minutes of running).
Recommended reading, especially for those who still believe Coca Cola’s favorite argument: There’s no bad food, only bad character.
The truth is that an exaggerated intake of sugary drinks may force you to run an extra 30 minutes a day to maintain your weight. If you don’t get hungrier from all the sugar and eat more (which many do), in which case you could need an extra hour of running – per day – to maintain your weight.
Exercise is great, but for maintaining weight it’s easier to avoid sugar and junk food. Continue Reading →
The latest issue of the science journal Diabetes Care has two articles about sugar. Soda consumption in the US has increased fivefold in the last 50 years, to 200 liters (211 quarts) per person and year.
- In the first article, this gigantic source of sugar gets the blame for a big part of today’s obesity and disease epidemic.
- In the second article, soda is said to be just empty calories, without any harmful effects of its own.
What’s the difference between the articles?
One difference is that the second article is written by a person who is paid by Coca Cola. The author John L. Sievenpiper ….
…has received several unrestricted travel grants to present research at meetings from The Coca-Cola Company and is a co-investigator on an unrestricted research grant from The Coca-Cola Company.
The focus on calories is the junk food industry’s favorite argument. They desperately want to make you believe that obesity is caused by bad character, not bad food.
With this explanation, those who sell (addictive) sugar drinks are automatically innocent.
Coca Cola and other companies pay billions for advertisements to make you believe the calorie explanation. And they are happy to pay researchers who can spread the same idea in scientific settings, to make their advertisement more credible.
The paradigm shift continues. More and more experts stop being unnecessarily afraid of fat. More and more people blame the obesity epidemic on junk food, with added sugar and other refined carbohydrates as culprit number one.
Now there are also new rules proposed for nutrition labels in the US. They’ll make it easier to watch out for added sugar:
Some people take a detour and blame the obesity epidemic on the fuzzy concept of calories. They are right in theory, but wrong in practice. The quality of the calories determines how many calories one wants to eat.
In the past, before the obesity epidemic, nobody knew what a calorie was. They still kept their weight. Requiring calorie counting to maintain weight falls on its own absurdity. It’s as silly as demanding that you count your breaths.
Sam Feltham continues to kill the outdated idea that a calorie is always a calorie. He gained five times more weight (!) on junk food carbohydrates than on the exact same amount of calories on an LCHF diet.
Feltham is now doing a fake food rehab challenge. He’s consuming 3,600 calories daily on an LCHF diet. According to over-simplistic calorie counting á la Weight Watchers, he should maintain his weight on this amount of calories. But after eight days reality once again shows something different: he has lost almost 10 lbs (4.3 kilos).
On day 5, Feltham also offered a greeting in Swedish. Why is that? Watch the video above for an explanation.
Sam Feltham carried out an experiment a few months ago that caught a lot of attention. For three weeks he pigged out on low-carb LCHF foods, 5,800 calories a day.
According to simplistic calorie counting, Feltham should have gained 16 lbs (7.3 kg). But in reality, he only gained less than 3 lbs (1.3 kg).
Now Feltham has repeated his experiment with exactly the same amount of calories, but from carbohydrate-rich junk food. On the same amount of calories he gained more than five times as much weight: almost 16 lbs (7.1 kg)!
The difference in waist circumference was even more significant: 5,800 calories of LCHF food for three weeks reduced his waist measurement by 1 1/4 inches (3 cm). The same amount of junk food led to a 3 1/2 inch (9.25 cm) increase in his waist. And you can see the difference visually. Continue Reading →
What happens if you eat 5,800 calories of carbohydrate-rich junk food every day? This is what Sam Feltham is going to find out in a 21-day experiment that he’s now launching. He’ll also monitor various health markers during the experiment.
You may have seen the results of Feltham’s earlier experiment – 5,800 calories of LCHF food daily for 21 days:
While eating an enormous amount of LCHF food he didn’t gain 16 lbs (7.5 kg) as simplistic calorie counting would predict. He “only” gained 3 lbs (1.3 kg).
What do you think’ll happen when he consumes 5,800 carbohydrate-rich calories daily over the same length of time?
Contest: Estimate the number of pounds of weight gain for Feltham in the comment section below. Please also speculate on what happens beyond weight gain (tiebreaker in the event of several correct answers). The winner will be honored in a blog post.
Is sugar toxic and the cause of the obesity epidemic? Here’s a great new video called Toxic Sugar. It’s a recent segment from the major Australian science program Catalyst, on ABC.
It’s arguably the best 18-minute introduction ever made on the true causes of the obesity epidemic. The program features the #1 enemy of the sugar industry: professor Robert Lustig. Also appearing: science writer Gary Taubes and obesity expert professor Michael Crowley.
See it and then tell your friends. This needs to be seen by a lot of people.
Here’s a few comments: Continue Reading →
Here’s a nice read: How to treat obesity with calorically unrestricted diets. It’s written by the medical doctor, A.W. Pennington, who inspired Dr Robert Atkins to lose weight in a similar way. This paper is dated 1953, ten years before Atkins tested it and two decades before his book “Dr Atkins’ Diet Revolution” was published.
Dr Pennington’s plan is a moderate low-carb diet that still allows for a little bit of potatoes or fruit. Sixty years later it should still work fine for most people. There’s no need to voluntarily restrict calories and starve.
If this is a fad diet it’s weird that it keeps outperforming its competitors, decade after decade.
I have one major objection, I would not recommend restricting salt when on a low-carb diet. It has no benefits and increases the risk of side effects like dizziness and fatigue.
A calorie is not a calorie. There are plenty of studies demonstrating how different kinds of food affect us in different ways – despite having the same number of calories.
Recently another interesting study was published. The participants were served milkshakes that were identical in every way, except how rapidly digested the carbs were.
The milkshakes with rapidly digested carbs quickly resulted in a higher blood sugar. But after 4 hours the blood sugar was lower and the participants were hungrier. They also had increased activity in brain regions connected to cravings for food.
In other words: fast carbs makes you hungrier, increases cravings and makes you want to eat more food.
The findings are yet another reason why a calorie is not a calorie. Another reason why the weight advice to “just eat fewer calories” rarely works long term. Soon the only true believers will be found at the marketing department of Coca Cola.
This is a great post by David Katz, MD. He says that obesity is “much more like drowning than a disease”:
My only problem with his view is the obvious one. He blames surplus calories, but that’s not a problem unless we want to eat too much. Unless our appetite regulation does not work.
Get rid of all refined sugar and starch and most obese people can eat all they want and still lose excess weight. It’s been demonstrated in study after study. The trick? They no longer want to eat too much.
The problem is that our entire food supply is full of sugar and starch – it’s hard to find a processed food item without it – and it’s making us too hungry. Unless we cook our own meals from real food ingredients it’s getting harder and harder to avoid it.
It’s like a giant flood, everywhere. No wonder people are drowning.
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