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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Episode 4: Why Should Anyone Care about the Carbs vs. Calories vs. “Whatever” Debate?

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In Episode 4 of “Escape from Caloriegate,” I shine light on the elephant in the room. Who CARES about all this arcane “diet stuff”? Why does it matter? Why should you – or anyone, for that matter – bother spending more than a few hours thinking about this subject?

Here’s why. The “Caloriegate” phenomenon has ramifications go well beyond questions of “which diet is best.” It touches on vital truths about ourselves and our world.

What I’m saying is… check it out, y’all!

  • Ever since I got interested in diet theory, I’ve been astonished by how little people care about it.
  • I lost 15 pounds and kept that weight off for 4 years eating the opposite diet that most people do; But no one seems to care. Which is weird.
  • The calorie fallacy is the glue holding together the BS that’s made us fat and sick… and that keeps us that way.
  • Even most people in the “low carb/paleosphere” — who eat and think like I do about diet and disease and nutrition — fail to grasp the importance of breaking the spell of the Calorie Wizards.
  • Am I just a shill for Atkins or for Gary Taubes? (NO)
  • Why we get “cankles” and other unfortunate fat tissue growth.
  • Per Julius Bauer: your fat tissue lives for itself and does not fit into the precisely regulated management of the whole organism — read that sentence 17 times until it becomes imprinted on your brain.
  • Are Taubes and Bauer wrong? (In some sense, perhaps – but not in the way that critics suggest!)
  • Studies that bust on low carb or that seem to “prove” that “calories count” in no way disprove Bauer.
  • I suggest that “lipophilia” — a.k.a. “it’s overstoring, not overeating” — is 100% true and immune to typical scientific criticism.
  • Beyond Calories, Carbs, and Insulin — we’re all missing so much (probably!)
  • Eleven percent of Americans over age 12 take antidepressants.
  • Tens of billions spent every year on meds for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, “cholesterol,” etc.
  • Many meds cause fat gain; some cause fat loss.
  • The conventional explanation = meds -> overeating -> overstoring. Thus, if you intervene at the “overeating” part of the equation, you can stop/reverse the fat gain.
  • We’re thus given crackpot advice like the following, from a article on the topic of SSRI weight gain: “If you’re already exercising and not losing weight, increase the workout to 60 minutes. You can also try making the workout more intense. For example, try riding your bike often rather than just taking a leisurely ride through the city streets.”
  • Dumb advice ignores reality that many meds impact the insulin system, increasing/decreasing insulin sensitivity in certain people.
  • Researcher says noradrenergic antidepressants can decrease insulin sensitivity.
  • If so, shouldn’t it be: meds -> mess up insulin system -> overstoring (with “overeating,” if it occurs at all, as a side effect)?
  • Not just academic concern, look at some of these stories!
  • “I gained weight while on Zoloft… after six months, I hadn’t changed my diet, nor my workout… Nevertheless, I gained 20lbs in 6months. ”
  • “I started taking Zoloft about 15 months ago and have gained 20 pounds.  None of my clothes fit me anymore.  My diet has not changed and I exercise more than ever.”
  • “Over the past two years, I have put on a considerable amount of weight (about 15-20 lbs). During that time, I did not change my eating habits or my exercise routine. In fact, I began a step aerobics/kick boxing class three months ago and have only gained more weight.”
  • It goes on and on and on and on like this – hundreds of thousands of similar stories, yet the answer is always the same – “just eat less and exercise more” to counter the effects of the meds.
  • Are all these people lying? Or is something else going on?
  • Another example of It’s Overstoring Not Overeating – also ripped from Good Calories Bad Calories.
  • Nicotine’s effect on lipoprotein lipase, a key fat storage hormone.
  • “Evidence suggests that nicotine induces weight loss, by working on fat cells increase their insulin resistance while also decreasing the lipoprotein lipase activity on these cells.”
  • Are we talking about carbohydrates or diet at all? No.
  • We are at the mercy of very complicated, and in many cases, poorly understood, processes
  • Two positives, though:
  • 1) If you’re struggling to lose the last 5, 10, 100 pounds, breath a sigh of relief. It’s not your “fault.” It’s not nearly as simple as you’ve been told.
  • 2) There may be more than one road to Rome (e.g. metformin?)
  • Nothing’s going to change for you or anyone until we break the spell of the Calorie Wizards and embrace the single 100% true idea about obesity – that it’s a problem of Overstoring, Not Overeating.
  • Say it with me now, folks! It’s Overstoring, Not Overeating!


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4 Responses to Episode 4: Why Should Anyone Care about the Carbs vs. Calories vs. “Whatever” Debate?

  1. Kyle Taylor says:

    Interesting discussion on IONO. Question are there was to combat the bodies inclination to store fat? In an aside, over the last 6 months I have been training for an Ironman Triathlon. Upping my daily exercise regimen substantially and have hardly lost any weight. I had really expected to lose a couple of pounds as a result of my increased activity…. IONO

  2. Callie says:

    Okay thanks. But here is anohter question for you. If early man adhered to a paleo diet, which obviously he did for the most part, since refined carb foods didn’t exist. Then his diet must have included not only red meat and vegetables but whole grains as well. So mixing it up might not be as bad as Taubes seems to suggest.What do you think?

    • Adam K says:

      Thanks Callie. From what I understand, Taubes isn’t saying that whole grains can’t be paleo and can’t be part of a healthy diet for some people. If you can tolerate grains or other carbs or even (shudder) sugar, then great. But it’s hard to know whether you’re truly tolerant over the long term. The damage you do may not show up immediately after you do it :) Whether you can eat grains with impunity depends on a huge # of factors, including your genetic and metabolic history. So the message is more complex than “carbs = bad” — but it’s ALSO (and this is the point of my blog) WAY more complex than the “just eat less” crowd would have us all believe.

  3. David says:

    “If early man adhered to a paleo diet…Then his diet must have included not only red meat and vegetables but whole grains as well…”

    What? Man has only been consuming grains for for the past ~10,000 years. What do you mean when you say “early mean”? The paleolithic man most certainly did not eat “whole grains.” If he did, they were in a VASTLY different form than the way we eat them, and he ate them rarely.

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