Gary Taubes - The Qualities of Calories: lessons from the front line, Zurich & LCHF in practice

From Low Carb Denver 2019

Gary Taubes addresses Why the Qualities of Calories: matter, LCHF in practice


I didn’t know this was out yet, good to see. Gary Taubes has a wry sense of humor. Plus he’s wicked smart.

There was a lot of great content at the Low Carb Denver 2019. If you like this video, there are likely plenty more where that came from.

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@Terry4 - were you at Low Carb Denver 2019?

Video was published this morning

Yes, this is my third time listening to this presentation. I’m still learning. Taubes is a great teacher. He studied at Harvard, Stanford and Columbia for respective degrees in applied physics, engineering, and journalism.

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@Terry4 - All of the above plus he’s got a great sense of humour :grinning:

Thinking more about what Gary talked about in his presentation. He totally goes after the myth that weight loss is all about calories consumed versus calories burned. He asserts that this theory essentially fat-shames obese people.

He says that there are different phenotypes in the world. He compares his brother’s weight over the years when Gary put on 30 pounds over his brother and his brother ate anything he felt like.

I think anyone who has tried and failed at a diet would appreciate this refreshing point of view.

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I have also always marveled how the body tends to learn to cruise along at a certain rate of calories. We often hear that we need to eat for example 1500 calories a day. When I was younger and without diabetes I could easily consume 1600+ calories a day and never go over 120 lbs. Now in my later years I can’t imagine eating more than 800 calories a day and maintain 125-137lbs depending on time of the year. Something in the body appears to regulate this huge difference.

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@Terry4 & @CJ114

Applying the 1st law of thermodynamics to the human body (Calories in - Calories out) completely ignores the change of entropy (Laws #2 and #3) (from People Who Cite The Laws of Thermodynamics in Nutrition Don’t Understand the Laws of Thermodynamics)

"I think people just oversimplify it and don’t understand how much control our bodies have over the “energy out” side of the equation. They see “energy out” as only being exercise and fail to take into account that 90% of our energy out is controlled by our body. When a person with insulin problems keeps their insulin high, their body wants to hold on to fat and will drop their metabolism and raise hunger signals as much as possible to do so. It also makes them lethargic and tired. You can still lose weight, but you have to restrict calories more and more and you feel hungrier doing so and exercise becomes harder as you feel more tired. When people keep their insulin low, however, their body feels safe dumping fat and will raise their metabolism, drop hunger signals, and give them more energy. This makes weight loss a hell of a lot easier.

In the end, CICO is still true, but the “calories out” part of the equation is SOOOOOO much more complicated than people make it out to be-- especially for people with insulin problems (and the majority of fat people have insulin problems). Our bodies can drop our metabolism down to very low levels or ramp it up based on the type of fuel we’re giving them. Things go much more smoothly if we work with this rather than struggling to work against it.

So the CICO people aren’t wrong, but by refusing to acknowledge that it’s more complicated than “eat less, exercise more”, they’re setting people up for failure by not giving them the tools to work WITH one of their body’s most important metabolism regulating hormones–insulin-- rather than working against it"

If you’re interested in learning more about why it’s inappropriate to apply only the 1st Law of Thermodynamics to nutrition (why Calories In = Calories Out argument doesn’t apply to the human system), here’s a great link:

Thermodynamics and weight loss


I was trying to share the podcast Mike and Corrina did with Gary, but I guess once DHF stopped paying the podcast service we lost access to them. :frowning: