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Old 09-10-2013, 02:11 PM   #1
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Are calories the ultimate say in any of the diets?

Hello,

I'm not trying to bash or challenge any diet. But I'm curious to know if there is a study of that shows comparisons of diets and weight loss but with the same calories?

Like if you tried a Atkins with 1200 calories and a Ornish (higher carb) also 1200 calories will the result be the same?

Thank you
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:27 PM   #2
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Not for me.

I actually eat more calories when I'm on plan (eating very low carb and in ketosis) than when I'm not on plan (eating higher carb and a bit lower in fat) and either gaining or maintaining.

Calories matter, but it's not a one to one thing across all diets.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:56 PM   #3
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Quite a few. Weight loss at the end of a year was just slightly better LC in one study the others pretty much the same. Now in terms of hunger, diabetes control or cholestrol numbers , I'm not sure. Do a search , one was quite recent.

The diets were same calorie level.

Now of course--- when yiu reduce your calories you also reduce your carbs so even I a low fat diet , you probably reduced your carbs .

In a LC diet , you also reduce your calories. Yes you do. People grossly underestimate how much they eat in the SAD. Easily each meal equals 1200-2000 calories. Not each day EACH meal!
I probably ate three times as much before LC. I ate much more meat , fat and cheese when I ate it with stuff.
So verdict is. In order to lose weight, you must reduce your food AND carbs.

Last edited by Spanilingo; 09-10-2013 at 02:59 PM..
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shapeup1 View Post
Hello,

I'm not trying to bash or challenge any diet. But I'm curious to know if there is a study of that shows comparisons of diets and weight loss but with the same calories?

Like if you tried a Atkins with 1200 calories and a Ornish (higher carb) also 1200 calories will the result be the same?

Thank you
Another factor to consider is how easy it is to stick to a diet. That can skew the results of any study. Biologically speaking, say a test subject would lose 50 pounds in 6 months of low carb. But he gets frustrated and quits after 2 months, and only loses 20 pounds. Does that mean that low carb "doesn't work" or that calorie counting is "better?" Not necessarily. Numbers and statisitics can be manipulated in many ways to prove or disprove whatever you want. So personally, I would not use the results of any study to start a specific diet. I believe everybody has to experiment to find THEIR ideal diet.

For me, when I went from Weight Watchers to Low carb for the first time in 2011, my calories went UP and my weight went DOWN. Furthermore, my exercise performance- strength and cardio went UP as well. (I am a workout fanatic regardless of which diet plan I'm following.) So that's just my experience, others may vary.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:53 PM   #5
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Quite a few. Weight loss at the end of a year was just slightly better LC in one study the others pretty much the same. Now in terms of hunger, diabetes control or cholestrol numbers , I'm not sure. Do a search , one was quite recent.

The diets were same calorie level.

Now of course--- when yiu reduce your calories you also reduce your carbs so even I a low fat diet , you probably reduced your carbs .

In a LC diet , you also reduce your calories. Yes you do. People grossly underestimate how much they eat in the SAD. Easily each meal equals 1200-2000 calories. Not each day EACH meal!
I probably ate three times as much before LC. I ate much more meat , fat and cheese when I ate it with stuff.
So verdict is. In order to lose weight, you must reduce your food AND carbs.
That may be true for you, but it is not true for everyone. It is absolutely not true for me, as I clearly said upthread, and jmc305 said the same.

I'm not quite sure why you're so sure that your experience is the only true one.

Last edited by Ntombi; 09-10-2013 at 03:55 PM..
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:01 PM   #6
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No.

The truth is that no one really knows exactly how our bodies use what we consume. There is not a perfect formula for success.

A 3500 calorie deficit per week will not necessarily result in a one pound loss on the scale.

All calories are not equal. The source of the calories does make a difference.

And so on...

Last edited by DiamondDeb; 09-10-2013 at 04:02 PM..
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:56 PM   #7
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There have been tests done that show that the macronutrients (fat, protein and carbs) matter more than the absolute amount of food you eat. In other words, many people can eat more food eating high fat and low carb. If they eat low fat and high carb, they cannot eat as much food without gaining weight.

In these tests, groups of people are put on diets that contain the same amount of calories, and the low carb, high fat group loses more weight than the other group.

Try googling the A to Z research on diet
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:04 PM   #8
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No.

The truth is that no one really knows exactly how our bodies use what we consume. There is not a perfect formula for success.

A 3500 calorie deficit per week will not necessarily result in a one pound loss on the scale.

All calories are not equal. The source of the calories does make a difference.

And so on...
Thanks for the various replies, based on "all calories are not equal" I looked around and it sounds like the body burns more calories while processing protein than calories from carbs and fat.
In a study of 1600 calories between a low carb, low glycemic and low fat ...the low fat did the worst.
The down side of the low carb is that there were higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and C-reactive protein -- an indicator of inflammation in the body.

All Calories Not Created Equal, Study Suggests
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:46 PM   #9
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Thanks for the various replies, based on "all calories are not equal" I looked around and it sounds like the body burns more calories while processing protein than calories from carbs and fat.
In a study of 1600 calories between a low carb, low glycemic and low fat ...the low fat did the worst.
The down side of the low carb is that there were higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and C-reactive protein -- an indicator of inflammation in the body.

All Calories Not Created Equal, Study Suggests
I don't have that particular study available to me right now, but if you do, check the actual study and see what the fats were. If they were vegetable oils and not just saturated fats like butter and coconut, that would most likely account for the increase in inflammation. There has been research on the frankenoils (soy, canola, corn) and they seem to cause inflammation. Also, something niggling in my brain about the actual number of carbs they considered to be "low" for the low carb diet...and did those folks still eat grains of any kind? I don't remember off hand....

In an aside, when I went HFLC and cut out all frankenoils, grains, and carbs, my CRP dropped from 7 (pretty darn high) to <1 (the lab doesn't test levels lower than 1). And that happened in about 2 months. I eat a lot of good fat, and my CRP score hasn't budged from <1 in over a year now.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:58 PM   #10
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Yes, some of it has to do with how a person is eating a LCHF diet.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:00 PM   #11
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I should have been more clear. I did answer for myself as each persona sxperience is individual. the calorie consumption in the general population as a whole that contributes to weight gain is grossly underestimated. Portion sizes are excessive and the SAD is a high fat and carb diet with large portions. That of course is a different topic.

What I meant to say was regardless of the weight loss method , there is "most likely " except in rare cases reduction in calorie before dieting. I did not mean the differnce in calorieS among weight loss methods.

That also is different than which dieting method works "the best". However, at some point there is most likely a drop in calories which is why most people find success initially at most weight loss methods. Peter Attia had some interesting insight on this as do phinney and volek on why you may need to reduce your fat intake in NK when you stall.


Again. if you search LC vs lfat weight loss studies you will find several studies that find weight loss equal if calories remain the same among the subjects studied. Are they sustainable? Not sure... Depends on the person. However the study concluded that equal calories related to equal weight loss but did not indicate any other health concerns nor satisfaction

It also did not indicate what nor how much the test subjects were eating prior to the study.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:24 PM   #12
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I don't have that particular study available to me right now, but if you do, check the actual study and see what the fats were. If they were vegetable oils and not just saturated fats like butter and coconut, that would most likely account for the increase in inflammation. There has been research on the frankenoils (soy, canola, corn) and they seem to cause inflammation. Also, something niggling in my brain about the actual number of carbs they considered to be "low" for the low carb diet...and did those folks still eat grains of any kind? I don't remember off hand....

In an aside, when I went HFLC and cut out all frankenoils, grains, and carbs, my CRP dropped from 7 (pretty darn high) to <1 (the lab doesn't test levels lower than 1). And that happened in about 2 months. I eat a lot of good fat, and my CRP score hasn't budged from <1 in over a year now.
ok.. looking for the study ..but if they used the same oils with the high carb diet why didn't they get also a higher inflammation? I use almost no oil while low carboing...
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:31 PM   #13
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No imatter the diet description, the underlying effect is lowering of carbs through illumination of the worst carbs. Cessation of consumption of donuts, chips, and sugar in general is likely the biggest change in the diet. In other words, the diet is lower carb no matter the calorie intake or meat eaten or not.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:32 PM   #14
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I'm not sure about a low-carb diet, but for raw vegan diets, calories are absolutely, positively not created equal. There are raw vegans who consume well in excess of 3000-4000 calories a day of high-fiber, low-fat fruits and vegetables (fruit heavy, obviously), and weigh what they should. They don't gain weight, and the strict raw vegans might even have trouble consuming enough calories to maintain weight. I couldn't eat that way simply because I don't enjoy eating THAT much.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:37 AM   #15
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The down side of the low carb is that there were higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and C-reactive protein -- an indicator of inflammation in the body.
I know that's what their 'study' says, but talk to just about everyone here who dealt with inflammation pre-low carb and they'll tell you that it was the low carb that got rid of the inflammation. Also, higher carb diets *never* dealt with my belly fat which is related to cortisol.

I don't see any downside to low carb except not being able to eat the carbs and, for me, trading off the carbs for control of my diabetes (without meds), control over my eating and the loss of 170 pounds...yeah, it's a fair trade.

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Old 09-11-2013, 07:43 AM   #16
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In a LC diet , you also reduce your calories. Yes you do. People grossly underestimate how much they eat in the SAD. Easily each meal equals 1200-2000 calories. Not each day EACH meal!
I probably ate three times as much before LC. I ate much more meat , fat and cheese when I ate it with stuff.
So verdict is. In order to lose weight, you must reduce your food AND carbs.
I don't agree with this idea that we lose weight on low carb because we're 'automatically' lowering our calories as well.

Obviously, things are different now that I'm post menopausal, but I lost my original 70 pounds in 3 months eating about 2500+ calories a day. I *never* ate that much food when I wasn't doing low carb. I know because I've tracked my diet even when not dieting and my calories always came in somewhere around 1700 (and that was very gradually putting weight on over the years).

Yes, I think some people do need to reduce their calories and carbs, but there are a huge number of people who've ended up obese without pounding down the calories because their bodies couldn't handle the starches and grains we were all told were 'good for us'. I was one of them.

Now that I'm post menopausal, I do have to watch both my calories and carbs, but I'm still eating 1500 calories per day, whereas on a typical higher carb diet (even the ADA's 140gm per day diet), I'd not only gain weight, but I would become insulin resistant again and be back on insulin on those same 1500 calories.

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Old 09-11-2013, 08:08 AM   #17
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I also eat more calories eating low carb high fat than I do eating high carb low fat.

Everyone would say that the reason I was losing weight was because eating low carb just decreased my calories. Not true. I increased my calories when I went low carb, not the other way around.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:59 AM   #18
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Dr. Peter Attia has a great video that he describes his weight loss journey and he was eating quite a lot more calories and lost very well.

Calories are simply a crude measure of a food's potential energy value. They are not meaningless but they should not be the only measure and in my opinion, their importance should come low in the list of how to eat.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:40 PM   #19
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Thanks for the various replies, based on "all calories are not equal" I looked around and it sounds like the body burns more calories while processing protein than calories from carbs and fat.
In a study of 1600 calories between a low carb, low glycemic and low fat ...the low fat did the worst.
The down side of the low carb is that there were higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and C-reactive protein -- an indicator of inflammation in the body.

All Calories Not Created Equal, Study Suggests
here's what makes me suspicious of this study:

Quote:
This suggests that very-low-fat diets may actually slow a person's metabolism down to a level where it is not burning calories as effectively as it could, says researcher David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, who directs the Optimal Weight for Life program at the Harvard-affiliated Children's Hospital in Boston.

Ludwig has long studied the low-glycemic-index diet and is one of the diet's main proponents.
i'm wondering if this researcher is not unbiased.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:08 PM   #20
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I don't have that particular study available to me right now, but if you do, check the actual study and see what the fats were.my CRP score hasn't budged from <1 in over a year now.
Here is the study apparently it was modelled on the Atkins diet.

JAMA Network | JAMA | Effects of Dietary Composition on Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:09 PM   #21
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here's what makes me suspicious of this study:

i'm wondering if this researcher is not unbiased.
You might be right, don't know. Its just the first thing I came across goggling the calorie issue.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:10 PM   #22
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It is possible to be biased and right at the same time.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:20 PM   #23
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I know that's what their 'study' says, but talk to just about everyone here who dealt with inflammation pre-low carb and they'll tell you that it was the low carb that got rid of the inflammation. Also, higher carb diets *never* dealt with my belly fat which is related to cortisol.

I don't see any downside to low carb except not being able to eat the carbs and, for me, trading off the carbs for control of my diabetes (without meds), control over my eating and the loss of 170 pounds...yeah, it's a fair trade.

.
I guess to know, we would need a blood test to check it. I'm reading around that it is very possible to have cortisol levels increase during LC if insufficient amounts of carbohydrates are consumed, gluconeogenesis will be up-regulated through increased cortisol production.



The downside of LC for me is that I get bored, and start to feel sorry that I can't have some pizza, pasta etc Whats this all about, why can't I have it ? bla bla bla.

Last edited by shapeup1; 09-11-2013 at 05:24 PM..
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:25 PM   #24
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The downside of LC for me is that I get bored, and start to feel sorry that I can't have some pizza, pasta etc Whats this all about bla bla bla.
I think that's what does a lot of people in, but if variety is what keeps you going then there are lots of really wonderful looking recipes in the recipe section of this forum.
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