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Old 03-15-2014, 05:59 AM   #1
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Energy partitioning... ever think about this?

I find this another perplexing topic of human biology but I think it is also very interesting. Clearly it involves the basic needs of living.

We are all subject to changes in energy needs on a daily basis and they are constantly fluctuating. The reasons can be as simple as small virus to fight off or run to catch the bus. Maybe just something like keeping our core temperature steady in extreme cold or heat.

How does the body meet these needs of energy and how would those needs impact the need for dietary energy. When I think about the changes that occur simply due to season, it makes me wonder how the body can be so stable?

For instance, I am a 'walker'. In good weather and when I have the time, I can and do walk for up a to an hour and a half. On those same days, I also do heavy gardening (i.e. dig sod and move dirt etc.) and yet my body weight is unaffected. Certainly I was using more energy and the energy was being provided fairly easily (i.e. I was able to without too much effort) and yet doing this for a couple of weeks.

Winter arrives and my walks are 10- 20 mins. and no gardening at all. I continue my eating plan pretty much to a 't'. and no change in scale weight or it varies minutely.

The only thing I can think is that it has to do with energy partitioning. But just how this works is a bizarre mystery. One can find many papers on the subject and the minute detail of how it all works but it never seems to answer the question of how it does not appear to effect adipose tissue in some people. I am flummoxed. Again.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:39 AM   #2
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I like it when you're flummoxed - it brings up great topics.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:50 AM   #3
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I like it when you're flummoxed - it brings up great topics.
Oh then, there should be lots more!!!
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:27 AM   #4
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Homeostasis. I read about it somewhere, in something recently (helpful huh?). Maybe GCBC or WWGF, or Rethinking Thin. I don't think there were exact science-y details. Just that it happens and has been pretty well-documented.

Mainstream nutrition tells us that if we eat X number of extra calories a day (usually with the visual of half of an apple or something) we will gain X pounds in a year. And if we just eat that much less, we can lose the same amount. I don't believe it. I know people that have been a stable weight all of their adult lives and pay no attention to it. They have never counted calories, let alone carefully enough to maintain a consistent 1800 per day for 20 years.

The body definitely has processes to regulate itself, that's why it is so hard to lose weight and keep it off.
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:27 AM   #5
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I wasn't intending to go down the 'calorie in/calorie out' model but I see that it really is a fantastic example of why that strategy is not productive. Energy partitioning also closely relates to dietary fat metabolism.

I guess one of the questions on the topic is how to manipulate the energy partitioning or is it manipulate-able?
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Old 03-16-2014, 10:41 AM   #6
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Cathy, I, too, very much like your questions. I've read some comments and opinions about hormone changes in the fall for hibernation mode in the winter, and fat storage in the winter, etc., but I have yet to read anything that seemed relevant to my own experiences. I have been re-reading Stefansson's book on Cancer: Disease of Civilization, in which he notes again (as in his earlier books) that the older Inuit women ate fairly constantly during the winter, including much seal fat and oolichan grease, and were quite sedentary, and did not gain weight.

I notice that at a certain level of movement, fresh air and sunshine, keeping a slightly restricted food plan, that I can control my weight in the cold months. Without those daily walks, Callanetics, senior yoga, etc., I would need to eat a very limited amount of food. It also seems to me, that digestive enzymes, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, and L-Carnitine have made a marked improvement in how much nourishment my body actually takes out of what I eat. It seems as marked an improvement as I noticed in switching to grass-fed hh, butter, and meat.

Thanks for another interesting subject.
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:43 PM   #7
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This is an interesting discussion.

I wonder if it takes that much more energy to keep the body going when it is cold?

Honestly, part of the reason I am doing NK is because my body has proven to me that the calories in/calories out approach does not work, at least for me. Not Because I am not determined and disciplined, I am one stubborn cookie, the concept is just no good.

I think there is so much going on with metabolism that we people do not really understand.

Another seasonal example is that when the weather is nice I bike instead of drive when possible. My weight also remains stable. I do not know why that is, but I do think it is very interesting to think about.
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:51 PM   #8
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Great topic! Calories don't matter. I have tried the low cal thing but it didn't make me lose weight. I did it for health purposes. I might have misspoken there... I meant low fat doesn't work for me. I am still exploring but the only thing that seems to make me feel healthy whole and productive to the best of my ability is whole natural protein, low carbs and fat. But where we get these nutrients from should from no processed foods. Just my opinion! Lol
Eve canola oil veg oil can be stored in our bodies making us gain weight despite being low carbs. I think it is highly individualised. Sorry to ramble
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:58 AM   #9
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Since my two children I have not been able to lose weight by calorie restriction either Peace. Before having them my body responded ok to that kind of thing. I think the change was probably a combination of the hormonal changes that occurred during my pregnancies and getting older.

I often wonder if the last 5 years of effort has done more harm than good. In "why we get fat" Gary Taubes talks about mice cannibalizing their organs etc. rather than losing weight.

Through all my efforts I just got sicker and sicker. My skin got gross and dry and even though it was dry I was getting breakouts, I was always tired, my athletic performance suffered, my memory/cognitive function was getting worse... I could go on... Now all of these problems are quickly going away... and I am finally starting to lose the extra weight. Some days I am not sure if I want to laugh or cry! lol.
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:00 PM   #10
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Erica, what you report may speak to proper nutrition and cell repair. I think the younger a person is in many instances, the more likely and quickly they can effect a change and it may be at the cellular level. And that of course means everything! The skin improvement is a great example because I believe those cells turn over faster than many others. Most people who have exercised a low carb woe for even a couple of months discover their dry elbows, knees and hands are greatly improved.

In my case, these things happened fairly early on but some things on the outer layer (i.e. my skin) are continuing to improve. This winter has been brutally cold and I have been pretty pleased to find that I have not needed to use any moisturizers on my hands. I remember years with this type of winter and I would have cracked and raw hands. I would be constantly trying to sooth them with the usual remedies. No longer an issue!

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Old 03-17-2014, 10:24 PM   #11
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Thanks, it is pretty amazing... I feel better... healthier, younger and more vibrant every day. My husband (who is naturally fit looking) is also doing it because I really think it is a healthy lifestyle and-being a man- is starting to sprout a 6pack, lol (not that I mind!) but he is also looking younger and feeling healthier. I am glad I found this at 31, old enough to feel the difference that I would not have noticed in my twenties but young enough to have escaped too much damage from the diet we have been trained to eat for so long.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:11 AM   #12
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Sounds like you are doing well Ericka. Good for you. I have been low carb for 15 years but the last few have been a struggle when I try new plans. Sooooo happy you are doing this now.

Cathy- I luv all your comments and posts. Thanks for the inspiration. I do thnk my body is changing since I am reaching 40! However, due to low carb.., people think I am 25! Yep.. And I do feel more energised as long as I stay focused. This doctorate program is taking me on a whirlwind. Anyhow, thanks again!
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:39 AM   #13
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Peace, My husband is 40 too, and he is trying to convince his mother to go this way because she has been disappointed by weight gain and other ailments that I think would clear up.

I hope I manage to keep it up for 15 years, that is awesome!

Before this we did a lot of home made green juice, raw veggies, a little friut and lean protein... It was low fat/low calorie, restrictive, and I felt awful (and was GAINING even eating fewer calories!) which is why I knew I needed to change. Right now I expect this to be a lifestyle change, but that is easy to say 4 weeks in
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:54 PM   #14
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You will do it because you are going to feel amazing.. for sure. as you already reap the benefits, and just believe that this is for life

So glad you are doing this.. and today I was out and about and did not even think about food.

are you keeping carbs under 20 as well?

Thanks for the compliment, I feel like I made a choice years ago to not let celiac destroy me, and then it went uphill. I am from NY and lived on a vegan lifestyle for 12 years with bagels galore!!! There is hope.. trust me
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:21 AM   #15
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Yes, I have been able to stay under 20 carbs every day since I started, transitioning was even pretty smooth. I can't even say I am really craving anything high carb since this food is so satisfying.
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by EricaHV View Post
Yes, I have been able to stay under 20 carbs every day since I started, transitioning was even pretty smooth. I can't even say I am really craving anything high carb since this food is so satisfying.
Wonderful! Have a good day.
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