Caloriegate: What if overeating doesn’t make you fat and the “Eat Less Move More” message is wrong?

Calories don’t “count” in the way everyone thinks they do. This changes everything

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Create a Calorie Deficit to Lose Fat, You Say? What About These Rats Who Starved to Death OBESE?

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All diets boil down to calorie control, or so you’ve been told. You need to EAT LESS food, BURN OFF energy through exercise, or, ideally, BOTH. The prize for success? All that nasty excess flab will finally “melt off.”

But perhaps you’ve already played this game. Perhaps you’ve tried and failed to create that holy grail of fat loss — the Calorie Deficit. If so, chances are, you blamed yourself. You lacked the willpower. You lacked the energy. You lacked the discpline. You lacked the self-control. It all came back to you. YOU have been the problem, all along.

Or so they would have you believe.

But does creating a Calorie Deficit always work (if you work it hard enough)? Get ready for a story that will (should) blow your mind and rock your world…

The story comes from my favorite book on diet and nutrition, Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories (p 366):

“[Certain genetically obese mice] will fatten excessively regardless of how much they eat. The obesity is not dependent on the number of calories they consume… “These mice will make fat out of their food under the most unlikely circumstances, even when half starved,” [researcher Jean] Mayer had reported. And if starved sufficiently, these animals can be reduced to the same weight as lean mice, but they’ll still be fatter. They will consume the protein in their muscles and organs rather than surrender the fat in their [fat] tissue. Indeed, when these fat mice are starved, they do not become lean mice… they become emaciated versions of fat mice.

Francis Benedict reported this in 1936, when he fasted a strain of obese mice. They lost 60 percent of their body fat before they died of starvation, but still had five times as much body fat as lean mice (!!!!!!)* that were allowed to eat as much as they desired.”

*[bolded font and exclamation points are mine!!!!!]

“In 1981, M.R.C. Greenwood reported that if she restricted the diet of an obese strain of rats known as Zucker rats… and did it from birth onward, these rats would actually grow fatter by adulthood than their littermates who were allowed to eat to their hearts’ content. Clearly, the number of calories these rats consumed over the course of their life was not the critical factor in their obesity (unless we are prepared to argue that eating fewer calories induces greater obesity)… these semi-starved Zucker rats had 50% less muscle mass than genetically lean rats, and 30% less muscle mass than the Zucker rats that ate as much as they wanted. They, too, were sacrificing their muscles and organs to make fat.”

The moral here, folks? It’s twofold:

1. Don’t be born a Zucker rat in one of these psycho’s labs.

2. Don’t try to “melt off” your Sick, Sad Fat Tissue (SSFT) by starving yourself, unless
you’re also prepared to “melt off” your organs and muscle tissue.

Calorie Deficit, Schmalorie Deficit, I say.

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4 Responses to Create a Calorie Deficit to Lose Fat, You Say? What About These Rats Who Starved to Death OBESE?

  1. That’s it! I was bred to be fat! Okay, that’s not totally it, but it might be on the way to it…

  2. [...] When lipophilia is at work – when the fat tissue wants to suck up and hold onto fat, independent of the needs of the organism — you simply cannot “starve the problem away.” For a graphic, extreme lesson about this phenomenon, see here. [...]

  3. [...] and Alt-Hyp-ers alike, Greetings and good morning. So FYI, I drew up a little cartoon about the rats that starved to death obese (so much for CICO for them) here. Check it out. Enjoy the funny! Also, I have a quick N=1 [...]

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