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Is It Insulin or Calories that Make Us Gain Weight?


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What really matters for weight loss? Calories in and calories out, or are our bodies’ weight carefully regulated by hormones, such as the fat-storing hormone insulin?

In this presentation from the 2015 LCHF Conference in Cape Town I describe why the second explanation – about hormones – makes much more sense. And why the first one – about calories – is a simplistic description that completely fails to address the cause of obesity.

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Watch a new 2-minute highlight above (transcript). The full 36-minute presentation is available (with captions and transcript) with a free trial or membership:

Weight Control: The Calories vs Insulin Theory – Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt

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Obesity – Solving the Two-Compartment Problem

Calories in, calories out – it's not that simple

One of the major mistakes made by the Calories In/ Calories Out (CICO) hypothesis is the presumption that energy is stored in the body as a single compartment. They consider that all foods can be reduced to their caloric equivalent and then stored in a single compartment in the body (Calories In). The body then uses this energy for basal metabolism and exercise (Calories Out).

This model looks something like this:

1compartmentmodelAll energy is stored in that one compartment. However, this model is a known to be a complete fabrication. It does not exist except in the fevered imaginations of CICO zealots. Food energy is not stored in a single compartment, but two compartments (glycogen and body fat).

According to this incorrect model, simply reducing calories going in, or increasing the amount going out, reduces the amount of body energy stored as fat. Of course, this Eat Less, Move More (or Caloric Reduction as Primary) strategy has a known success rate of about 1% or a failure rate of roughly 99%. After all, we’ve all tried it. It just doesn’t work. Study after study proves the futility of this advice, based on a flawed understanding of physiology. This does not deter any of the medical or nutritional authorities to question the sagacity of their advice, though.

To better understand how energy is stored in the body, it is more accurate to use a two-compartment model. Continue Reading →

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Why Fasting Is More Effective Than Calorie Counting

Counting calories – probably not the best way to lose weight

Perhaps one of the most common questions we get is what the difference is between calorie restriction and fasting. Many calorie enthusiasts say that fasting works, but only because it restricts calories. In essence, they are saying that only the average matters, not the frequency. But, of course, the truth is nothing of the kind. So, let’s deal with this thorny problem.

deathvalleyThe weather in Death Valley, California should be perfect with a yearly average temperature of 25 Celsius (77°F). Yet, most residents would hardly call the temperature idyllic. Summers are scorching hot, and winters are uncomfortably cold.

You can easily drown crossing a river that, on average, is only 2 feet deep. If most of the river is 1 foot deep and one section is 10 feet deep, then you will not safely cross. Jumping off a 1-foot wall 1000 times is far different than jumping off a 1000-foot wall once.

In a week’s weather, there is a huge difference between having 7 grey, drizzling days with 1 inch of rain each and having 6 sunny, gorgeous days with 1 day of heavy thundershowers. Continue Reading →

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Lose Weight on Twinkies? Big Soda‘s Strategy to Make Us Believe That It Is All About Calories

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Coca-Cola loves to promote the Calories In/ Calories Out (CICO) model. As one of the leading purveyors of sugar sweetened beverages, it constitutes a significant portion of the added sugars in the American diet.

coke1Do you remember the story of the Twinkie diet? In 2010, Mark Haub, a researcher at the Kansas State University achieved notoriety as a follower of the Twinkie diet. For 10 weeks, Haub ate a Twinkie every three hours instead of a regular meal. He also ate Doritos, Oreo cookies and sugary cereal. The catch was that he would only eat 1800 calories per day of some of the most fattening foods on the planet.

In those two months, he lost 27 pounds, his LDL cholesterol got better as did his triglycerides. This gained the attention of every mainstream media outlet, including CNN. This supported the view that it was all about the calories. You could eat whatever you wanted, but as long as you reduced calories, you could still lose weight.

The hidden caveat

There was only one thing missing from this story. One glaring omission. Continue Reading →

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The Calorie Debacle

Apple with Skinny Waistline and Tape Measure

Eat Less. Cut your calories. Watch your portion size. Those form the foundation of conventional weight loss advice over the last 50 years. And it’s been an utter disaster, perhaps only topped by the nuclear meltdown of Chernobyl. This advice is all based on a false understanding of what causes weight gain.

Why don’t we ever consider the critical question of “What causes obesity?” We believe that we already know the full answer. It seems so obvious, doesn’t it? Continue Reading →

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Isn’t Weight Loss All About Calories?

Isn't Weight Loss All About Counting Calories? – Answers to Common Questions4.7 out of 5 stars5 stars75%4 stars15%3 stars9%2 stars0%1 star0%33 ratings3303:14

Isn’t weight loss all about counting calories? That’s what most people believe, but what do some of the top low-carb doctors in the world think? Check out this new 3-minute video, that so far has a 4.8 out of 5 rating:

Isn’t Weight Loss All About Counting Calories?

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Do you have any other questions that you’d like answered in a similar video? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

PS

Do you want to check out a similar video without signing up? Check out the “Is Saturated Fat Bad?” video below. Or check out this preview: Continue Reading →

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The Top Videos About Calories

“Calories in, calories out” – do we really get fat because we eat too many calories? Is it useful to count them? And if it’s not very useful to care about calories, then what exactly determines weight gain?

Here are our top videos about calories, with the answers to those questions and more.

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The Common Currency in Our Bodies Is Not Calories – Guess What It Is?

Currency (money) is useful because it represents mutually agreed upon means of measurement and exchange. That is, if we all accept American dollars as our currency of exchange, then items as disparate as a bus or an onion can be all measured in the same units.

The bus is expensive and costs more dollars and the onion is cheaper and costs fewer dollars. But everything is measured in dollars and both parties accept dollars as the currency of exchange.

If one party decides to deal in dollars and the other accepts sea shells (as used historically in some primitive cultures) or salt, then it is impossible to deal. There is no common currency. The buyer wants to use dollars and the seller wants sea shells. No deal.

Both parties need to agree on how to trade. That is the value of a common currency, whether it is dollars, sea shells, Bitcoins or gold. There is only power as long as the two parties agree.

It is just like a common language. English is particularly useful because many people speak it. Therefore, in the United States, it is very likely that you can speak English and somebody understands you. In China, Mandarin is more useful than English, again because both people are able to speak it.

BobMicrosoft dominated the software wars because it was the most popular, which automatically made it the most useful. It sure wasn’t the blue screen of death, or Microsoft Bob that made it useful. Man, I hated that stupid paperclip. Made me want to poke my own eyes out. But Microsoft was the common standard, which made it useful.

The common currency of weight gain

But this post is about nutrition and obesity. So, what is the common currency of weight gain? Continue Reading →

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What to Do Instead of Counting Calories?


4.8 out of 5 stars5 stars90%4 stars4%3 stars1%2 stars1%1 star2%72 ratings3,323 viewsMost people know that counting calories doesn’t really work. But what should you do instead then, to lose weight?

Jason Fung explains it in a simple way in this interview from the Low Carb Vail conference 2016, giving you useful tips to start implementing right away.

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Watch a section from it above (transcript). The full 16-minute interview is available (with captions and transcript) for members:

What to Do Instead of Counting Calories? – Dr. Jason Fung

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Here’s what our members have said about the interview: Continue Reading →

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New Study: Even a Liberal 130 g/Day Low-Carb Diet Beats Calorie Restriction For Type 2 Diabetes

Even a very “liberal” low-carb diet with 130 grams of carbs per day still beats a calorie restricted diet for controlling blood glucose in type 2 diabetes. This according to a new study.

Clinical Nutrition Journal: A Randomized Controlled Trial of 130 G/Day Low-Carbohydrate Diet in Type 2 Diabetes with Poor Glycemic Control

The low-carb diet in the study, where the carb count didn’t even get close to a strict low-carb regimen, still lowered both HbA1c and BMI significantly more than calorie restriction did.

So what’s the lesson? Stop giving bad advice. Stop obsessing over calories. That is simply not helpful.

People with type 2 diabetes do better by instead avoiding foods that raise blood sugars, i.e. carbs. Period.

Continue Reading →

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