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Thread: The energy-balance equation

  1. #31
    JamesKrieger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat View Post
    I think one of the main things that bothers me, is the government's plans to reduce the obesity crisis is actually fuelling it - The demonisation of saturated fat and cholesterol is ludicrous and the intended statinisation of the populous is a worrying prospect.
    I do agree that saturated fat and cholesterol have been unfairly demonized.


    Do we both agree that we should eat food as nature intended and cut out processed food?
    I do agree that whole foods represent much better choices overall than processed food.

  2. #32
    Supermember 2010-14 Marie Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe View Post
    LOL Marie! If only! Done up to Chapter 7 - the book goes up to chapter 16! There's always this evening! Forgot how addictive this club is having been away writing the book for a couple of months!
    Nearly half way, go-on Zoe we want to read it! Although I've just decided not to work tonight so couldn't possibly blame you for doing the same - it is Saturday after all!

    Marie x
    Marie x on my way, size 12's here I come...

  3. #33
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    Hi James! Welcome to our club! Where do we start?!...
    1) I make no apologies for having found The Diet Delusion interesting, refreshing and an excellent account of c. 150 years worth of science in the field of diet. I also understand that people shoot both the messenger, as well as the message, when they feel threatened - that's what you're doing seeking us out and coming into our club to try to ensure that the calorie message prevails. We are more open minded to new ideas and we know, all of us from experience, that calorie counting does not produce sustained weight loss. See Benedict 1917, Keys 1950, Stunkard & McLaren Hume 1959, through to George Bray (we'll come to him next) - by 1970, the outcomes of such experiments were so well known that George Bray entitled his journal article “The myth of diet in the management of obesity.” The Franz study (2007), which we have the picture of in this forum, would be even more depressing to the people who said how depressed they were on your comments board after the weight re-gain article. Mark very kindly gave us a link to a couple of pages from your site and I saw the Leibel article. Rudolph Leibel et al opened their 1995 article with the statement “No current treatment for obesity reliably sustains weight loss.” Colleen Rand did a brilliant study on the human desire to be slim and you and I, working in the field of obesity, will know this desire only too well. It makes no sense to me therefore that, if eat less/do more worked, people would not just do this and achieve what they want more than anything else in the world.

    2) I followed the link on your site to the George Bray critique of GCBC and Bray opened with the quote that Short in 1727 and Wadd in 1810 had each never seen obesity like they did at that time. I am sure that they hadn't. But what they would have observed around them at this time (indeed up to the 1960's) would have been a trace of obesity in the overall population. Although maybe unprecedented for them, this is incomparable with what Short would observe if he walked around America today. 33% obese and some 4 times the size of baby elephants. I simply don't buy that the cause of this explosion and epidemic is under reporting! Something changed and the evidence I have reviewed scientifically (I'm a Cambridge maths scholar) points to one key thing - our diet advice.

    We changed our advice (USA 1977 and the UK 1983/84) and you can see obesity take off like an aeroplane since this date. My book goes into what our advice was, why we changed, what we changed to etc. I have said elsewhere on this site, I'm in that difficult period when PR stories on the book happen in advance and the ideal answer is to give people the 352 pages, 130,000 words and 400 references and say - see for yourself. You can review it in October and I sincerley hope (if you read it) - it is with an open mind rather than one ready to criticise. I didn't warm to your site when you said you were going to go through each chapter of GCBC and critique it - starting with Chapter 14 and I note no further chapters done as yet. It disappointed me that an obesity expert would take that stance - why not go through all 14 chapters and see what you can learn from each of them? I liked your re-gain article - there are many areas in there where we could probably have heated agreement, but likely with different conclusions (I would not encourage people to create the calorie deficit to slow the metabolism in the first place. Even if you care about calories, there are many more ways to get a metabolic advantage without cutting calories).

    3) On the 3500 formula, I wish I could share your belief that it is widely known that it does not hold true. The USA and UK public health authorities quote it as fact, as does the Wardlaw & Smith 'bible' of nutrition and every diet book on the shelf (the Atkins/low carb ones aside). I reproduce reference after reference in the book where it is quoted verbatim and all obesity conferences I attend have it on a slide somewhere. Dieters world-wide think they will lose 2lbs per week, in fat alone, if they cut back by 1000 cals a day and the evidence shows they will be lucky to lose 1/10th of this. This is not a 'marginal' difference but a complete annihilation of the formula. A formula is a formula and this one is used as such in the weight loss world. It is not an estimate and it needs to be removed from the literature.

    4) I am very familiar with the difference between association and causation thank you - interestingly Ancel Keys wasn't, which is one of the main reasons we find ourselves in the mess we are. Keys observed a weak association between fat consumption and heart disease in 7 hand-picked countries (which was in fact, if anything, an association between processed food and heart disease in 7 countries) and hence the demonisation of fat and the concomitant promotion of carbs (we have to eat something) and the unprecedented level of carb consumption, which Taubes documented.

    It would be interesting to see where you and I might have common ground?
    - hopefully, as nutritionists we would both agree that we eat food for nutrition and that high nutrition should be the first principle of eating? (and I would therefore place high nutrition above low calorie)
    - we would also, I hope, condemn the processed food that has become the foundation of our eating in the past 30 years (no coincidence with the obesity epidemic) and not wish any human to be eating anything not provided in its natural form by nature?
    - whatever we each may think of calories, I would hope that we would agree, empty calories are of no good to anyone - least of all in an obese world - and the first calories to cut should be sugar, transfats, white flour, man-made spreads - pretty much man-made anything in my book
    - cravings and any risk of overeating are also then massively reduced when people eat real food with the nutrients that they need for health and they don't eat the processed food that is intended to be more'ish at best and addictive at worse.

    As nutritionists working in the field of obesity, we should be on the same side and our enemy should be the food, drink and drug industries. (You may be aware of the integration of the American Dietician Association with such organisations). It just seems a shame that we waste any energy attacking a scientist like Taubes when the real villains are coco-cola, McDonalds, Kelloggs etc. The same happens in the UK and professionals are battling each other and the sugar pushers are laughing all the way to the bank.
    What do you think?!
    Best wishes - Zoe
    "Those who are enlightened before the others are condemned to pursue that light in spite of others." Christopher Columbus ("1492")

  4. #34
    Club Host Zoe's Avatar
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    Sadly there's an area of difference I can't ignore:

    Guess what happens when you increase your protein intake?
    And I notice the link to the weight loss programme where you used to work sells protein shakes and bars. https://shop.2020lifestyles.com/popu...T/large/13.jpg - that's the ingredients list for one of them. We abhor processed junk like that in this club - we eat food as nature intends. This is just another way of food manufacturers thinking they know how to feed us better than mother nature. As Sally Fallon Morell would say - a high protein diet is the fastest way to fat soluble vitamin depletion - Vitamin A particularly.
    "Those who are enlightened before the others are condemned to pursue that light in spite of others." Christopher Columbus ("1492")

  5. #35
    Club host Andy's Avatar
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    Hi James,
    Thanks for your clarification.
    I would agree with you that the problem is multivariate and that people, quite naturally, want to focus on a single cause. If the problem and solution is too complex, people just wouldn't buy into it.

    I disagree, however, with your energy balance (refer back to the start of this thread), which is pretty fundamental as it it the primary assumption that the calorie theory, as applicable to weight management, relies upon.
    Energy in = Energy out + Change in Body Stores is ok as a definition as it's easy enough to understand. Unfortunately, it's an incorrect application of any of the 'Laws of the universe' and, those laws were developed to explain efficiencies in the steam and internal combustion engines, not the human bodies.

    Not only is the human body far more complex and clever than any internal combustion engine but the evidence supporting the formula, as an accurate predictor of weight management, just does not hold.

    On your personal success, I have no comment other than to say well done you!
    The truth is deafening, no matter how quietly spoken.

  6. #36

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    I'm by no means an expert and have been reading this discussion with fascination. All I can offer is my story as someone who has always been very active and eaten "healthy" all my life.

    As I said, I have exercised constantly in my life and have never been overweight until about 6 years ago. My activity didnt change and my diet didnt change, so why did I put on weight? I can now see that what was happening over the years is that the few processed foods I did eat (and this includes bread & healthy museli) were causing me food intolerances, candida & hypoglycaemia. I didnt know that then. All I knew was that I was suffering from IBS, permit itchy skin (I had to take antihistamines every day) & increasing sinus infections. With this, I put on a stone.

    To try and lose this weight I increased my exercise and reduced my portion sizes. I was getting more tired and my physical complaints got worse but I did not lose weight. Then I read Zoe's book and it made sense to me. I reduced my exercise during this diet as I didnt want to push my body too hard. I cut out all processed foods, reduced carbs significantly & separated carbs from fats. Within 10 weeks I have lost 1 stone. I am eating more than I've ever done and all my medical complaints have completely gone. I can sleep through the night without being itchy or doubled up in pain from stomach cramps. The best feeling is that I have reached my target weight loss and I now know what to do now to keep it off. I will continue to exercise for my general health, but the weight loss I've achieved was done by THD alone.
    "Whatever we are, whatever we make of ourselves, is all we will ever have - and that, in its profound simplicity, is the meaning of life." Philip Appleman

  7. #37
    Club host Andy's Avatar
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    Hi Lizzy,
    and at the end of the day, that's all that really matters.
    People eating healthily and getting to a natural weight and feeling and looking great.
    The truth is deafening, no matter how quietly spoken.

  8. #38
    Supermember 2010-14 Marie Smith's Avatar
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    Arghgh Protein shakes!!!

    Mx
    Marie x on my way, size 12's here I come...

  9. #39
    Club Host Zoe's Avatar
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    I know - check out all the products being pushed on the site - bars, shakes, vitamins and all stuff that no nutritionist should put their name to: http://2020lifestyles.com/
    The ingredients lists are as bad as any other cereal bars and manufactured food that human beings don't need.
    Looks like I was wrong that we would have a basic principle of real food in common! Shame ...
    "Those who are enlightened before the others are condemned to pursue that light in spite of others." Christopher Columbus ("1492")

  10. #40
    JamesKrieger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe View Post
    that's what you're doing seeking us out and coming into our club to try to ensure that the calorie message prevails.
    This is another strawman on your part. I'm not here to see that "the calorie message" prevails. I'm not sure you understand what I'm talking about when I talk about energy balance anyway.


    that calorie counting does not produce sustained weight loss.
    Where have I said that calorie counting produces sustained weight loss? It seems that you only put forth strawmen. This is why I'm here...to correct the strawman versions of energy balance that are put forth by you and others.

    the outcomes of such experiments were so well known that George Bray entitled his journal article �The myth of diet in the management of obesity.�
    Have you seen the long-term (1-3 year) outcomes of low-carbohydrate diets? If Taubes was correct, you would have better long-term outcomes with low-carb diets. But they don't do any better than any other diet over the long term. In fact, in one paper, the low-carbers regained more weight after 3 years than the low-fat group! Now, one might argue that the low-carbers weren't sticking with low-carb. But that's the same argument people make for other diets....they didn't stick with the diet. So if you were to make that argument, you're now arguing willpower...something that Taubes argued against in his very book!

    The fact is....the long-term results of ALL diets are poor....because successful long-term results require long-term adherence and lifestyle change....something that is very difficult for many people, and requires more than just eating in a way that will help with satiety.

    The bottom line is that weight loss requires an energy deficit. You don't need to count calories to be in an energy deficit, but you do need a method of eating that will allow you to sustain that deficit while minimizing cravings and hunger.

    if eat less/do more worked, people would not just do this and achieve what they want more than anything else in the world.
    But this is a strawman again. What I don't understand is why you keep insinuating that I'm saying things that I'm not. I don't just tell people to "eat less/do more". You have to teach people HOW to do it in a way that is sustainable.

    But to tell people that they don't have to eat less or do more...that does people a disservice. For example, I've had people come to me that were on low-carb diets that had stopped losing weight. They couldn't understand why they weren't losing more weight. They had been misled to believe that they could eat ad libitum, and as long as it was high protein and low carb and minimally processed, the weight would come off. They had been misled to believe that energy balance really didn't matter. These people didn't realize that it doesn't matter what you eat...you will not lose weight if you are not in an energy deficit, period. To lose tissue mass, the carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules that make up that tissue mass have to leave the body. If you aren't losing those molecules faster than you are taking them in via food, then you won't lose weight. It's amazing to me how people want to keep dancing around that.


    today. 33% obese and some 4 times the size of baby elephants. I simply don't buy that the cause of this explosion and epidemic is under reporting!
    Another strawman. Who said that underreporting causes obesity? I said that it correlates with obesity.


    it is with an open mind rather than one ready to criticise.
    Actually, one should always be ready to criticize information and keep a skeptical eye. Keeping an open mind does not mean ignoring information that is clearly wrong or false. I will not sit there and read information that is clearly misleading or selectively interpreted, and not say anything in the interest of "keeping an open mind."


    I didn't warm to your site when you said you were going to go through each chapter of GCBC and critique it - starting with Chapter 14 and I note no further chapters done as yet.
    Because the chapters before that don't deal with obesity. My interest is in obesity and that's why I started with chapter 14.

    And why no others yet? Because I have a full-time job outside of my website, and because my site is not "critiquegarytaubes.com". I will get to the other chapters when I'm able to get to them. I even stated in one of my posts that my critiques would be scattered.

    I'm probably already spending too much of my time responding to you right now (probably shouldn't have jumped in the first place).


    It disappointed me that an obesity expert would take that stance - why not go through all 14 chapters and see what you can learn from each of them?
    Learning does not mean suspending critical thinking.


    Dieters world-wide think they will lose 2lbs per week, in fat alone, if they cut back by 1000 cals a day and the evidence shows they will be lucky to lose 1/10th of this.
    But dieters often don't know their daily energy expenditures, and on top of that, dieters are very poor at estimating their actual food intakes. Even dietitians don't accurately assess their own food intakes.


    This is not a 'marginal' difference but a complete annihilation of the formula.
    It's not an annihilation of the formula when you aren't very accurate at measuring energy intake and expenditure in the first place. When you do accurately measure these under tightly controlled conditions, and account for tissue and water loss using a 4-compartment model, weight loss is actually very close to what is predicted by an energy deficit.


    - hopefully, as nutritionists we would both agree that we eat food for nutrition and that high nutrition should be the first principle of eating? (and I would therefore place high nutrition above low calorie)
    I agree with high nutrition, but I'm not going to pretend like calories don't matter, either.


    - we would also, I hope, condemn the processed food that has become the foundation of our eating in the past 30 years (no coincidence with the obesity epidemic) and not wish any human to be eating anything not provided in its natural form by nature?
    I agree that processed food should be minimized, but I don't favor extremist approaches to nutrition to the point where it's completely eliminated.


    - whatever we each may think of calories, I would hope that we would agree, empty calories are of no good to anyone - least of all in an obese world - and the first calories to cut should be sugar, transfats, white flour, man-made spreads - pretty much man-made anything in my book
    I do agree that processed foods should be minimized, but I don't favor extremist approaches like "eliminating anything man-made."


    - cravings and any risk of overeating are also then massively reduced when people eat real food with the nutrients that they need for health and they don't eat the processed food that is intended to be more'ish at best and addictive at worse.

    As nutritionists working in the field of obesity, we should be on the same side and our enemy should be the food, drink and drug industries.
    No, my enemy is obesity. Pointing fingers at the food and drink industry doesn't really help anyone. Do processed foods contribute to the problem? Yes, but it's only one part of the problem, and launching into attacks on the food industry does nothing to help my clients lose weight. What helps my clients is helping them feel empowered with their own choices regarding their lifestyles, and educating them on physiology, appetite, hunger, etc.

    If processed foods were the only cause of the problem, then anybody who eats processed foods would gain weight. But we know that isn't true...there are plenty of people who eat complete junk and never gain weight or even suffer health problems. This shows that the problem is actually multifactorial, and many of the variables are interacting with eachother in complex ways.


    It just seems a shame that we waste any energy into attacking a scientist like Taubes
    I attack Taubes because he also does people a disservice with misleading information. For every person that Taubes has helped, there are probably hundreds of people who can�t tolerate low carb for the long term. These people agonize over falling off the wagon, think that every gram of carb is like ingesting shards of glass or rat poison and beat themselves up to the point of binging and doing more harm. This is what happens when one oversimplifies the problem of obesity and points fingers at a single macronutrient.

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