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CALORIES... Do you REALLY know what you're talking about?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm not sure I did before, but I do now, LOL!

I'll be really interested to hear all of you chime in with your take *AFTER* reading through all of this... yeah, yeah, yeah... I know it's long, but it really is worth the read!

You'll find my own commentary in the... comments!





SOURCE (and thanks to my GUEST BLOGGER):
Eathropology... Eat what you want. Get the facts.
by Adele Hite, RD MPH
eathropology.com/2012/08
/29/calories-again-already/



Calories? Again? Already?

Are we not sick of this subject already?

There have been some excellent articles and lots of "food for thought" on this topic recently.

Robb Dunn did a guest post at Scientific American about "The Hidden Truths About Calories,"
blogs.scientificamerican
.com/guest-blog/2012/08/27
/the-hidden-truths-about-c
alories/

which—to summarize in a way that does no justice to the article at all—basically boils down to the fact that most of the hidden truths about calories are so hidden we simply don't know much about them at all.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~


(I second this: Why Calories Count Fo' Shizzle.)
eathropology.com/2012/04
/22/why-calories-count-fos
hizzle/#C11


Calories are the Radical Terrorist Plot of food. We don’t really know what they are, where they are, or how to successfully avoid them, but they affect all aspects of our lives: how much we eat, how often we exercise, whether or not we feel good about ourselves (our notions of “good” and “bad” behavior frequently revolve around how many calories we’ve avoided/consumed/burned/sat on). Like the Radical Terrorist Plot thing, sometimes it means our lives can get a little weird.

We do know one thing about calories though. According to Marion Nestle, [“. . . many people in the world are consuming more calories than they need and becoming overweight and obese.“]
www.theatlantic.com/heal
th/archive/2012/03/why-cal
ories-count-the-cause-of-p
ublic-health-nutrition-pro
blems/254887/

Simply put, we’re fat because we eat TOO MANY CALORIES—whatever that means.

So—exactly why do calories count?

Luckily, Nutrition Expert Marion Nestle has now written a whole big book to help us understand the mysteries of calories. She very thoughtfully posted an interview of herself being interviewed about the book on her website so we could all see [what she thought about her own book].
www.foodpolitics.com/201
2/04/another-q-and-a-on-wh
y-calories-count/

But she’s such a smart person, being a Nutrition Expert and all, I was concerned that some folks would have trouble figuring out exactly what she was saying. I hope this helps clarify things.

• Calories count because they are easy to understand
• Calories count because calories are very confusing
• Calories count because we don’t count them
• Calories count because we do count them
• Calories count because we can’t count them
• Calories count because we can count them
• Calories count because we should count them
• Calories count because counting calories is the only way to keep track of how many calories are in your food
• Calories count because they are the only thing in your food worth counting
• What can we do about the “calorie” problem?

emoticon
Calories count because they are easy to understand.

According to Marion Nestle, “Calories are a convenient way to say a great deal about food, nutrition, and health.” This is true. For instance, calories can tell you a great deal about how many calories are in your food, without having to take into account anything about nutrition or health.

Marion Nestle explains that the idea behind calories is abstract, but simple: “They are a measure of the energy in food and in the body....” This is also true. In addition, calories are a way to measure the guilt quotient (lotsa calories) and marketability (teensyweensy amounts of calories) of food, making calories an exceptionally useful concept to both [food manufacturers]
www.caloriecontrol.org/a
bout-the-council

and those working on developing an unhealthy relationship to food.

Calories—as well as guilt and marketability—in food can be determined directly by using a [bomb calorimeter],
www.chem.hope.edu/~polik
/Chem345-2000/bombcalorime
try.htm

which measures the exact calorie content of food by igniting and burning a dried portion of it. In case you’re wondering, this is EXACTLY how your body measures calories too!

Marion Nestle explains that “Calories measure energy to keep bodies warm, power essential body functions, move muscles, or get stored as fat.” I would add that I don’t really know what calories do either, but if you use calories to keep your body warm, I guess my hot flashes make me “da bomb (calorimeter).” [I so crack myself up]. Hey, but then wouldn’t menopause turn us all into skinny bitches instead of fat ones?

emoticon
Calories count because calories are very confusing.

Marion Nestle explains that the reasons we haven’t been able to grasp the whole calories in-calories out thing is that “Even talking about calories is difficult. For starters, calorie counts are given in no less than five different units — calories, Calories, kilocalories, Joules, and kilojoules (along with their abbreviations cal, Cal, kcal, J, and kJ).” These concepts are so confusing to regular folks that only Nutrition Experts like Marion Nestle and Michael Pollan actually KNOW how many calories people should really be eating; the rest of the country is just guessing.

And when Americans “self report” on how many calories they eat? Well, let’s just say they are [“underreporting,”] shall we?
eathropology.com/2012/04
/13/big-fat-liars/


emoticon
Calories count because we don’t count them.

Government-Approved Nutrition Experts—not unlike Marion Nestle—MUST make a Big Statement about the Plight of Fat Americans, oh, about every year or so (it’s in their job description). When Slender Motivated Upper-class Gainfully-employed (code name: SMUG) Americans who read the New York Times need to know why we just can’t seem to get those fat stupid Americans to stop being so fat and stupid, they can call on Nutrition Experts–not unlike Marion Nestle–who KNOW the problem is that Americans eat too many calories—whatever that means. By keeping the focus on calories in-calories out, Nutrition Experts and food writers know that they can [count on Americans to continue not counting calories],
yourlife.usatoday.com/fi
tness-food/diet-nutrition/
story/2011/05/Study-Few-Am
ericans-accurately-monitor
-calories/46811626/1

just as they have not counted them for hundreds of thousands of years, thus guaranteeing job security and future book contracts all around.

emoticon
Calories count because we do count them.

According to Nutrition Expert Marion Nestle, “The U.S. diet industry is worth about $60 billion a year.” Clearly Americans are willing to shell out for just about anything if they think it will help them figure out [why they can’t lose weight when they are doing everything they’ve been told to do for the past 30 years, including eating less fat, eating more carbohydrates, and exercising.]
eathropology.com/2012/03
/09/americans-dont-follow-
guidelines-or-do-they/


As long as Nutrition Experts can keep Americans counting calories, the food industry, the diet industry, the exercise industry, and the Nutrition Expert industry can keep counting the Benjamins. No calories in a Benjamin—it’s all fiber, baby.

(A high fiber Benjamin)

emoticon
Calories count because we can’t count them.

According to Nutrition Expert Marion Nestle, you can’t see, taste, or smell calories. This means calories are like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. You would have no way of knowing they even exist if there weren’t a giant academic-scientific-industrial
-media complex devoted to the worship of calories and keeping them alive in our hearts and minds!

emoticon
Calories count because we can count them.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to keep track of your calories even though you can’t see, taste, or smell them.

Marion Nestle says that the best way to measure calories is to step on a scale. So, lessee. I stepped on the scale and I weigh 160 pounds. If I’m 55% water (hooray, no calories there!), and 4% minerals (wait, does calcium have calories?), and then 13% protein (4 calories), 24% fat (9 calories) and 4% carbohydrate (4 calories), well then, hmm multiply by and convert and carry the one and—got it!—I’m exactly 206112.371 calories.

That means if I decrease my calorie intake by 500 calories a day (this where all that helpful calorie information on the side of the box of [low-fat, high-fiber, individually calorie-control portion food]
gatton.uky.edu/faculty/s
cottm/Scott%20Nowlis%20Man
del%20Morales%20JCR.pdf

comes in handy) and increase my activity by 500 calories a day (which I understand I can do simply through [insanity],
www.myfitnesspal.com/top
ics/show/287481-insanity-c
alorie-burns

which—according to my children—should not be much of a stretch), that means that on November 10, 2012, sometime around noon, I will disappear altogether because all my calories will be gone. See how easy that is.

emoticon
Calories count because we should count them.

Because counting calories is sooooo easy, anybody should be able to succeed at maintaining energy balance. There are lots of ways to demonstrate to the world that YOU have the intelligence, willpower, stamina, time, money, and Fine Upstanding Moral Character to keep your calorie balance in check.

• Eat Twinkies, but not too many.
articles.latimes.com/201
0/dec/06/health/la-he-fitn
ess-twinkie-diet-20101206


• Exercise.
www.time.com/time/magazi
ne/article/0,9171,1914974,
00.html

But if you get hungry after you exercise—
[and I don’t know why you would]—
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.lib
proxy.lib.unc.edu/pubmed/2
0826629

whatever you do, don’t eat any food with calories in it. Turns out many Americans are making this serious mistake. [We seem to be exercising more than ever, but we’re also eating more than ever.]
www.cbsnews.com/8334-504
763_162-57413337-10391704/
why-calories-count-10-comm
on-myths-busted/?pageNum=2&tag=next

If you get hungry after you exercise, you’re probably not really hungry, [you just think you are.]
www.wikihow.com/Know-You
're-Hungry-(and-Avoid-Eati
ng-when-You're-Not)

Drink some water, take a nap, or go for a walk. Or you could just suck it up and quit your whinging.

• [Throw up after you eat] (Hello? Calories out?)
www.helpstartshere.org/m
ind-and-spirit/eating-diso
rders/eating-disorders-cur
rent-trends.html


• [Don’t eat if you’re going to drink.]
www.sciencedaily.com/rel
eases/2011/10/111017171506
.htm

After all, despite the fact that vodka tonics look like water, they STILL have calories and CALORIES COUNT.

• [Eat eggs for breakfast.]
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pub
med/20226994

Protein for breakfast creates the intelligence, moral fiber, character, and willpower that will allow you—for some magical reason—to not eat about 400 calories a day. Of course you’re likely to be [dead from a heart attack] within a week, so you might want to rethink that.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pub
med/16596800


emoticon
Calories count because counting calories is the only way to keep track of how many calories are in your food.

As with most other important things in life, if you can’t count it, it doesn’t count.

According to Marion Nestle, calories are derived from food. This is true of course, but only if you actually eat it. If you do decide to eat food, it’s really important to know how many calories are in your food.

This is why accurate calorie counts on everything we eat are so important! [Turns out that your 500-calorie Leen Quizeen entrée may really contain—brace yourself—540 calories!]
www.time.com/time/health
/article/0,8599,1951798,00
.html?cnn=yes

With such inaccuracies in the calorie labeling of food, it’s no wonder Americans are fat.

According to Marion Nestle, this gross inaccuracy of calorie counts means that, “it works better to eat smaller portions than to try to count calories in food.” Lucky for us, food manufacturers make handy little portion-controlled packages of healthy whole grain food for us. And thoughtful Exercise Experts have given us [calorie counts] for every activity you can think of!
www.nutristrategy.com/ac
tivitylist.htm


For example: An hour of coal mining equals 5 bags of 100-calorie whole grain goldfish, but since those food companies probably snuck in some extra calories in just to mess with us, if you’re coal mining for an hour, you should probably only eat 4 bags.

emoticon
Calories count because they are the only thing in your food worth counting.

Marion Nestle says, “Although diets with varying proportions of fat, carbohydrate, and protein may be easier for you to stick to or be more satiating, the bottom line is that if you want to reduce your body weight, you still need to consume fewer calories.” In other words, [whether or not you feel full or satisfied has nothing to do with whether or not you’ll consume fewer calories.]
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pub
med/16129086

The reason we consume too many calories is because portion sizes are bigger, soda is cheaper, TV shows are more interesting, and couches are more comfortable than ever before. Plus the intelligence, moral fiber, character, and willpower of the American people are in serious decline.

emoticon
What can we do about the “calorie” problem?

According to Marion Nestle, “many groups have a stake in how calories are marketed, perceived, labeled, and promoted”—with the obvious exception of Nutrition Experts writing books about calories. They have NO dog in this fight.

Food manufacturers want Americans to eat a lot of calories, which totally explains why they sneak extra calories into our food for free without telling us.

This is why efforts to do something about obesity must focus on eating less of the foods that don’t come from food manufacturers—like eggs and meat—and focus on eating more foods that come in boxes and bags and cans that have a CALORIE count on them! Of course, Americans should also consume less soda, fast food, snacks, and other highly profitable items. That is, unless these are highly profitable items [that Nutrition Experts really like!]
www.telegraph.co.uk/cult
ure/tvandradio/8180156/The
-Foods-That-Make-Billions-
BBC-Two-review.html

And really, it would go a long way towards solving our childhood obesity problem if we could only get calorie counts on beer for goodness sake! Darn that alcohol industry.

As Marion Nestle says, “On the societal level, we need measures to make it easier for people to eat less.” We need to work to change the food environment to one that makes it easier to eat healthfully, because—just between you and me—most Americans are just not willing to take charge of their own health.

Things YOU can do to “make the healthy choice the easy choice” for all those poor stupid fat people:

• Support labeling laws—those poor stupid fat folks need accurate calorie counts on their movie popcorn, darn it!

• Insist on more Government Approved Information about Nutrition (code name: GAIN)—because it’s been such a smashing success so far!

• Support controls on food advertising to children. The current childhood obesity crisis clearly demonstrates that parents can’t be trusted with complicated decisions like how to feed their children. This is where Nutrition Experts–not unlike Marion Nestle–can advise the FDA, the FCC, NASA, and NASCAR about the nutritional differences (i.e. calorie counts) between a whole grain bagel (OK! @330 calories)* and a frosted donut (Oh no you don’t! @270 calories)** so parents won’t have to worry their pretty little heads about it anymore.

• Support agricultural policies that encourage consumption of fruits and vegetables (but not eggs and pork chops) from local food systems. Everyone knows that 90 calories of kale and kohlrabi are less fattening–and even more importantly, many times more virtuous–than the 90 calories in an egg.

• Help create environments that encourage physical activity, like cities without public transportation. Those fat people standing in line for a bus would burn a lot more calories if they were WALKING to work!


SMUG Americans must remember: those stupid fat people are not just fat and stupid. In the face of our “obesogenic” environment, they are helpless. You need to be the change you want to see—especially in the seat next to you on an airplane.

That right, SMUG Americans, only YOU can prevent fat people.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~


Go Kaleo has a great post on this topic called "Putting the (Calorie) Pieces Together."
gokaleo.com/?p=646
"Tracking calories is NOT about restriction, and reaching/maintaining a healthy weight is NOT about being hungry and denying ourselves proper nutrition. Quite the contrary, it is about feeding ourselves adequate amounts of nutritious foods that support health, energy and vitality.... The only true dietary bad guys are refined sugars and starches and trans-fats, and by reducing processed food consumption you will be reducing your intake of those."

A very precise metabolic calculator:
www.health-calc.com/diet
/energy-expenditure-advanced


A basic energy counter:
www.womenshealthandfitne
ss.com.au/energy-counter




And Regina Wilshire has a puzzle for us at Weight of the Evidence called "Working Through A Stall."
weightoftheevidence.blog
spot.ca/2012/08/working-th
rough-stall.html




Sooooooo - do calories in general matter, or is only the "kinds" of calories (i.e. the "good" kind vs the "bad" kind) that matter?

I think Go Kaleo said it very well: "All that black and white thinking has got people believing a [false dilemma]: It's EITHER 'calories in vs. calories out' OR 'the kind of calories you eat' that matters!" She's right in saying that it is a false dichotomy.
yourlogicalfallacyis.com
/black-or-white

"black-or-white: You presented two alternative states as the only possibilities, when in fact more possibilities exist.

Also known as the false dilemma, this insidious tactic has the appearance of forming a logical argument, but under closer scrutiny it becomes evident that there are more possibilities than the either/or choice that is presented. Binary, black-or-white thinking doesn't allow for the many different variables, conditions, and contexts in which there would exist more than just the two possibilities put forth. It frames the argument misleadingly and obscures rational, honest debate.

Example: Whilst rallying support for his plan to fundamentally undermine citizens' rights, the Supreme Leader told the people they were either on his side, or they were on the side of the enemy."



Neither approach comes close to acknowledging the complex interplay of factors that is human metabolism. I'm down on the calories in/calories out paradigm because it is so limited in scope, but I am equally down on any paradigm that says they don't matter at all.

There are far too many unknowns about how the energy content of the food we eat interacts with the energy needs of our bodies to insist upon a singular health-maintenance paradigm based on "calories in, calories out." At the same time, there are far too many unknowns about insulin metabolism (we currently don't even have agreed-upon ways to measure and discuss insulin dysregulation) to create a new singular health-maintenance paradigm based on "fat in, carbohydrates out."

One thing that complicates the picture is that we equate the metabolic situation that causes fat gain with the metabolic situation that will induce fat loss. My understanding of the biochemistry is that there are two necessary aspects to weight gain: excess calories to store (although we seldom know how to measure or even estimate what we mean by "excess") and the insulin signal that provides the mechanism for storage to take place. Remove one of these factors—again with the caveat that we have a limited understanding of what "excess calories" means—and you won't have weight gain.

Weight loss may be a different matter entirely. For weight loss to take place, we have to figure out NOT ONLY how to not create a metabolic situation where these two factors are at play, we also have to figure out how to convince our body to reverse the fat-storage process. This may involve processes which go beyond just one eliminating insulin-stimulating carbohydrate foods because—unless someone has Type 1 diabetes—some basal levels of insulin (and we may or may not know what they are or if they are "normal" or how that matters) are always present. This may also involve processes which go beyond just eliminating "excess" calories because, as I hope I've made clear, we don't really even know what that means.

Some people can reduce overall calorie intake and lose weight (this usually also involves a lowering of carbohydrate foods that stimulate insulin release) ; some people can just reduce their carbohydrate food intake and lose weight (this usually also involves lowering calories available for storage); some people have to do both–deliberately and carefully—in order to lose weight.

The trick is how to do this without
1. inducing willpower-withering hunger pangs
2. depriving the body of essential nutrition
3. creating other metabolically-unfortunate side effects/consequences.

The answer will not be the same for everyone. Reducing the number of nutritionally-empty carbohydrates gets at both the calorie and the carbohydrate issue--so that's sort of a no-brainer, but carbs and calories are not all that matter.

Like what?

Metabolism matters. Nourishment matters. Information signaling—provided by your body's encounters with the environment, including food encounters--matters.

Do calories affect these things? YES!!! Do carbs affect these things? YES!!! Are there about a bazillion other things that affect these things? YES!!!

When the clinic doors at the Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic open, the first two patients through those doors were both very much alike and radically different.

Both were "obese" adult white males, but that's about where the resemblance ended. One gentleman, who was almost as big around as he was tall, was actually pretty healthy. Most, if not all, of what we think of as meaningful or predictive health biomarkers (blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, etc) were normal. His problems were primarily orthopedic; i.e. his weight was impacting his hip and knee joints.

The other gentleman was far less obese, but his weight (as you may guess) was concentrated in his abdomen, his predictive health biomarkers were in the toilet, and he had a bag of prescriptions meant to normalize those biomarkers to prove it.

I (now) think of the first gentleman as having "simple" obesity and the second gentleman as having "metabolic" obesity. Such fat patterning has also been referred to as gynoid obesity ("pear") and android ("apple") obesity, and the different health consequences of each have been recognized, but even these differences are over-simplified concepts.

Android obesity (Gentleman #2) has been associated with excess insulin and with more metabolic derangement than gynoid obesity. It has been fairly well explained at this point that, aside from its role as a fat storage mechanism, excess insulin causes other metabolic problems.*

Is gynoid obesity (Gentleman #1) primarily associated with "excess" calories or "excess" storage of calories, rather than insulin dysregulation? We don't know. Can "excess" calories cause other problems besides those leading to fat storage? We don't know that either. One of the problems with asking these questions is—again—how we define "excess."

Either way, the next step is to recognize that how we address different types of obesity may also need to be different. One type of obesity may be best addressed by a focus on reducing carbohydrate intake. The other type could be addressed by a focus on decreasing calories in and increasing calories out—however you want to do that. (As above, either approach involves some aspects of the other.)

But even differentiating dietary approaches based on fat-patterning must acknowledge that if there is a spectrum—with simple obesity on one end and metabolic obesity on the other—that any individual can be located anywhere along that spectrum and thus a combination of approaches would have to be used to address the needs of the individual, which may need to go beyond both carbs and calories.



It is crucial to remember that our bodies are not really designed to either "gain"or "lose" weight, but to respond to our environment by small shifts in-- up-regulating and down-regulating—the production of proteins, enzymes, and other biomolecules to meet the pressures of the environment. We are adapted to adapt. Food is one of the primary signals our bodies get about our environment. Food lets the body know what the conditions are like "out there" so that we can make appropriate adjustments "in here." These adjustments, we know now, can be passed on from one generation to the next, so that our offspring are also prepared for what is "out there."

What the body is looking for—all the time, without exception—is essential nourishment and adequate energy (and again our definition of "adequate" is as problematic as our definition of "excess"). Note to paleo-thinking readers: the origins of the paleo diet emphasize acquiring essential nutrition, rather than forbidding non-essential foods. This point may be the most important aspect of ancestral nutrition. (And thanks to Katherine Morrison for calling this to my attention.)

An eating pattern that conveys to our body that the environment is lacking in either of these things is going to result in metabolic adjustments to this information. What the adjustment looks like is going to depend on genetic factors (What food environment were your ancestors adapted to?), and epigenetic factors (Did you have an adequately-nourished mom?), and previous adaptive adjustments (Does your body regularly have to respond to caloric highs or lows? to regular bouts of intense energy expenditure? to reduced nutrition?), in addition to those other bazillion things we don't know about yet.

So what are we going to do about it?

(Stay tuned... Adele is working on her answer to the question!)





(FOR SHIZZLE!!!!!)





So, what did you think?




Low-carb humor (Hitler spoof)

Calories In, Calories Out
www.youtube.com/watch?v=
MlCQ664cvnk


Hitler's Subway Rant
www.youtube.com/watch?v=
R8gU3yS09d0&feature=related



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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_RAMONA 9/2/2012 11:54AM

    Call me crazy (on second thought... don't... I've been getting too much of that lately... I'm starting to feel a tad fagile), but I REALLY loved ADELE'S masterful treatment of calories above!


Besides the fact that I learned a lot, it all makes sense in light of my own experience my whole lifetime:
• being skinny, yet being told I was fat
• eating cr@p and staying thin and 'healthy'
• eating better and exercising but starting to feel really unwell
• being unwell - eating extremely well - but having trouble controlling my weight
• eating super well and getting fat and sicker
• doing everything I am being told and can possibly do to get well and lose weight, but getting fatter and even sicker (even though this didn't seem possible)
• and NOW - FINALLY - eating well but counter to conventional wisdom, addressing my metabolic issues, and slowly eliminating fat while getting stronger and HEALTHIER

I finally feel like a sane person, with some degree of ability to positively impact my own life, health AND weight. What I hate most about the the whole 'calories in, calories out' business is that it has a 'victim blaming' aspect to it.

I've read 10 blogs alone since Monday where the writer (and these are people who are doing everything 'right') is beating themselves up (they need to do more, they need to focus, they need as new plan, they regret the ONE cookie and a piece of pizza on two different days cheats, they were 6 glasses short on water this week, they need to exercise two hours more each day) all because the scale refused to budge, and in some instances, the scale went up. I know wonderful human beings who have left this site because, no mater how well they work their chosen program, they can't lose weight and they reach a point where they are unable to hold their heads up in the midst of the WHOO HOO party being held by the comparative few for whom this works as conventional wisdom promises.

Yes, everyone who is overweight likely has some bad habits to address which contribute to and exacerbate their weight issues.

Yes, quality of calories DOES matter (because if you don't get the appropriate nutrients for your body to function efficiently and effectively, your body will rebel), as does calories in/out *to a degree*... everything has it's limits... so don't go getting all extreme here to prove an obvious point.

... But someone has to start reassuring people who are doing everything right, or who have struggled with fat all of their lives, that it isn't entirely their fault, that a seeming inability to lose weight is not a character flaw, AND start addressing the actual problems... as opposed to fueling a multi-billion dollar industry that depends on 'an obesity problem' for their meal ticket.

My favourite part:

"Neither approach comes close to acknowledging the complex interplay of factors that is human metabolism.... It is crucial to remember that our bodies are not really designed to either "gain"or "lose" weight, but to respond to our environment by small shifts in-- up-regulating and down-regulating—the production of proteins, enzymes, and other biomolecules to meet the pressures of the environment. We are adapted to adapt. Food is one of the primary signals our bodies get about our environment. Food lets the body know what the conditions are like "out there" so that we can make appropriate adjustments "in here." These adjustments, we know now, can be passed on from one generation to the next, so that our offspring are also prepared for what is "out there.""
emoticon

"Marion Nestle says that the best way to measure calories is to step on a scale. So, lessee. I stepped on the scale and I weigh 160 pounds. If I’m 55% water (hooray, no calories there!), and 4% minerals (wait, does calcium have calories?), and then 13% protein (4 calories), 24% fat (9 calories) and 4% carbohydrate (4 calories), well then, hmm multiply by and convert and carry the one and—got it!—I’m exactly 206112.371 calories.

That means if I decrease my calorie intake by 500 calories a day (this where all that helpful calorie information on the side of the box of low-fat, high-fiber, individually calorie-control portion food comes in handy) and increase my activity by 500 calories a day (which I understand I can do simply through insanity, which—according to my children—should not be much of a stretch), that means that on November 10, 2012, sometime around noon, I will disappear altogether because all my calories will be gone. See how easy that is."
emoticon

HA!

My most fervent prayer these days... God save us from nutrition experts (and in particular, a registered dietician who shall remain nameless) and conventional wisdom and, please... create in us new hearts and understanding... hearts a lot like Adele's... with the wisdom to empower everyone to create the lives they deserve!

Oh! And please, STOP the INSANITY!!!
(Sorry... I couldn't resist!)
emoticon

Your turn!





Comment edited on: 1/31/2013 1:09:02 PM

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-LINDA_S 9/2/2012 7:09AM

    I think Adele is great--and she's just up the road from me! Wish I could pick her brain in person. If i read right, she's not in clinical practice right now. Sigh. I have never believed in the simplicity of "calories in/calories out, eat less and move more". It's waaaay more complicated than that, which is why I have resorted to a very controversial (around here, anyway) means of improving my health and losing lots of weight fast along the way. I'm doing the HCG protocol under the guidance of a functional medicine doc who's done it himself. He concludes that, at least for him, calories DO count to some extent. I saw him the other day and he's thrilled with my progress. I came away with a bunch of graphs from the bioimpedence analysis that indicate I have made many changes for the good. And my knees don't hurt anymore. I am learning how to know when I am really hungry and to eat accordingly. By next week, I can go back to a largely Paleo-type diet with no sugars or starches. And I now know that being fat was really not my fault. It was crazy hormones for the most part.

So thank you for all this food for thought. It's such an interesting, complicated subject. I feel for those doing everything "right" and not progressing. The hard part is deciding what's right for YOU, which is maddeningly different from person to person. I'm quite convinced that "conventional wisdom" is the worst of oxymorons and am waiting for something to happen to bring it down. I fear I'm in for a long wait, but I'm glad to have people around here who recognize the insanity.

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SALONKITTY 8/31/2012 11:50AM

    HAAAAAAHAAAAAAAA! Ramona, I just adore you and your brain. You're so smart and funny! Love your sarcasm, too. This particular blog is great because it exposes all that calories in/out nonsense for what it is...plain NONSENSE! The so-called experts are clueless as well, and you've detailed that rather well here. You made so many great points. One of them that particularly resonated with me is that the calories in/out carries with it a sense of blame and shame if you're one of MANY people this myth just doesn't work for. I know I sure felt that every time it was repeated to me, and when I repeated it to myself. I felt like there MUST be something terribly wrong and dysfunctional with my body that I can't lose weight like everyone else.

I've found that I'm one of those people who has to track and watch carbs and exercise etc. Don't ask me why, just it is! But ok, I will do it if that's what it takes.

I also really liked this: "Note to paleo-thinking readers: the origins of the paleo diet emphasize acquiring essential nutrition, rather than forbidding non-essential foods. "

I know many people here on SP think paleo and other ancestral diets are "fad diets", but they really aren't set up that way at all. Obviously these negative nellies have never read the books, but I think that's a great quote to repeat when these sorts of discussions come up.





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EGALITAIRE 8/31/2012 6:39AM

    Your blogs are always a journey of learning. Thanks for posting - lots to chew on (pun intended, but low calorie, whatever those are).

So much info so little time - how many calories does research and reading burn? Or does it matter?

Have a great day Ramona, burn baby burn.

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CHRISTINASP 8/31/2012 4:21AM

    Hmm.... what do I think?
To be honest the article is too long and too complicated for me (not being a native speaker of English and not being all that 'into' this type of topics) to be able to follow it.
What I do get is that you're angry! (Am I wrong?).

I decided a long time ago that counting calories doesn't work and probably messed up my relationship with food and with my own body. I wish I'd never started counting them, at the ripe age of 15.

I'm also thinking about something a Dutch author wrote: the idea that 'burning more calories than you eat will lead to weight loss' is not correct, she says that 'burning more calories than you eat will lead to * temporary* weight loss'. Because we can only focus on 'dieting' and 'facts' for so long and then life takes over.



Comment edited on: 8/31/2012 4:22:51 AM

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DIET_FRIEND 8/30/2012 10:50AM

    I think you were the source of another blog that referenced Scientific American. I appreciated that article about how whole foods and raw foods don't break down as much so they don't release all their calories to us despite how many are listed on the side of the container. I have kept that in mind and have tried to eat more raw veggies in the form of salad. Feels good to me! I read a lot of what your wrote up there as well as the comments that followed. I think I'm going to have to print it out to really read it though. Thank you for being a source of important information. I still like to eat my boiled eggs!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 8/30/2012 7:36AM

    Lots of material here to go through and think about. Thank you for taking the time to relay it to us. I speak for myself here .............. I have increasingly felt that calorie counting is not the way to go. I also have felt that the scale is not the best measure of progress.



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WATERMELLEN 8/29/2012 9:37PM

    I think this is brilliant. I think you crack me up too. I "liked" it. A lot!!

"Note to paleo-thinking readers: the origins of the paleo diet emphasize acquiring essential nutrition, rather than forbidding non-essential foods. This point may be the most important aspect of ancestral nutrition. (And thanks to Katherine Morrison for calling this to my attention.)"

And re Paleo -- it's absolutely the case that we evolved to get the nutrition we needed . . . and that essential nutrition included items that were difficult to obtain such as salt (long walk to the salt flats) and protein/fat (running down the mastodon!) and sugars (climbing trees after honey and fighting off bees and bears). And then in Neolithic times, we evolved a bit further and developed new tools used in farming grains which involved clearing land and ploughing and planting carefully gathered seeds and weeding and hoeing and watering and harvesting and flailing and winnowing and grinding and gathering wood and building fires and baking . . . and like that. So these essential nutrition items involved the expenditure of a lot of energy. But now salt, protein, fat and sugars (paleo hunting) and neolithic carbs (further refined) are all easily and cheaply obtainable in the grocery store to be hurled into the cart . . . with very little energy expenditure. In excess, they are "non-essential" and beyond that, damaging. Our metabolisms and our cravings/appetites evolved in response to the environmental scarcity of these items.

Gonna come back and read all your links . . . but you've got me thinking that's for sure. And it's clear: there is no one "right answer", although there are plenty who think they have it. "The best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity."

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JUNEAU2010 8/29/2012 9:12PM

    Calories count because....simplisitic list, but, oh, so rich in detail and profound in thought. It will take me a while to digest this.... emoticon
I appreciate you taking the time to share!

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BERRY4 8/29/2012 7:17PM

    "Neither approach comes close to acknowledging the COMPLEX interplay of factors that is human metabolism."

today, where I'm at in what I've learned, the above statement kind of summarizes for me my own personal stance. Which is why the statement that we are each an "experiment of one" makes some sense.
And it is referred to in the book, "Primal Body, Primal Mind." -- The microbiology within our bodies is unique (partly, I believe, because we are each designed by a Maker to be w/ unique characteristics!).

I personally refuse to play the calorie counting game. It has always seemed like INSANITY to me. -- A serving size on the other hand, is something that has been helpful to understand.

If I were to go back to when I was young and healthy and relatively fit, I would remember that food was NEVER the focus. Living life and learning was what was far more important. ...That's where I want to land for now and the future!

As always, THANK YOU for taking the time to do the research and put it all together for the benefit of others!!
emoticon

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