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Good calories, bad calories

Thursday, February 02, 2012

okay, i'm doing it. i'm wading through this tome...good calories, bad calories by gary taubes. i have sworn off my usual lightweight reading material (fiction, detectives, animal subjects) and i am going to get through it.

certainly helps me drop off to sleep much faster than a cliffhanger suspense story emoticon
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  • TXLADY110
    May you get great amounts of sleep.
    To bad sleeping on the book or with the book on you does not help the information absorption rate.

    2756 days ago
  • GLC2009
    nope, you gals have explained it all in a concise fashion, but, i am still going to read this monster, every goll darn page!!!!
    2758 days ago
    I remember a chemistry test that was better than a sleeping pill during my freshman year. Some books are like that.
    2759 days ago
    *nods* The part that gets difficult is that, yes, the "calories in" have to go somewhere, but where they go depends on what they're made of and how your particular body reacts to them.

    So, for example, if I eat 2000 calories and need 2000 calories of energy to maintain body temperature and basic cell functions, but 1200 are carbs, my body might decide to STORE 600 of them as fat and only burn 600 of them for fuel, which leaves my cells with a shortfall of energy, which creates hunger, which makes me eat more calories.

    If I give in to the hunger, I eat more calories, which might (or might not) take care of the shortfall) and I feel OK, though I've now added a few ounces of stored fat to my overall weight.

    If I resist the hunger and DON'T eat the extra food, my body will have to balance the equation another way and will make me feel lethargic and/or sleepy, thereby using less energy. It still won't burn the stored fat from the "excess calories."

    Makes sense, but not an easy concept to get across in casual conversation!

    2759 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2759 days ago
    That is so true!
    His new book, Why We Get Fat, is easier to read, but it doesn't include all the stuff about what all those "scientific studies" I put so much faith in years ago were not really "studies" and not even remotely scientific.
    He's also all over YouTube with short discussions and hour-long lectures, covering lots of the same information.
    I still think GCBC is the Mother Lode, though. Hang in there. It's worth the effort.
    2760 days ago
    Woubbie, good question about what would be a better description. I don't know. Maybe a car analogy. The same amount of different types of gasoline result in different gas mileage from the same engine because different gases are used more or less efficiently depending on makeup of the gas, additives, etc. Tweaks to the engine can also change gas mileage, so you go further or less far on the same amount of gas. External factors -- heat, mountains, city driving, age of the car -- ALSO affect gas mileage.

    It's not as simple as "Put fuel in your car, and you will get x miles per gallon." MPG can be estimated, but it's only an estimate, and if you track it over time, keeping careful track of all the different factors, you'll see MPG varies quite a bit.

    The variance of how our bodies use calories is going to be even greater, because we're a living system, not a mechanical one, and the variable are much, much, much greater.
    2760 days ago


    It's an excellent book, but yes, it can be a snoozefest at times!

    I just finished it this past week and am still "digesting" a lot of the concepts. The toughest one to really get an understanding of, for me at least, is: if "calories in/calories out" is not truly descriptive of how our metabolisms work, what IS? I think I finally "get it" but it's really hard to summarize for other people in less than 5 minutes. :)

    Hang in there. It's a tough read, but I found that it really boosted my understanding of my own body and also boosted my confidence in sticking to a low carb lifestyle for good.
    2760 days ago
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