AIR DATE: October 17, 2013 at 7PM ET
FEATURED EXPERT: Dr. Bill Lagakos
FEATURED TOPIC: “All Things Calories (Calories 201)”
The concept of calories is one of the most controversial and highly misunderstood concepts in the discussion of nutrition and healthy living. Most conventional health experts put forth the notion that weight and health management simply comes down to basic math–eat less calories in your diet and burn off more calories. In their world, it’s all about food quantity. But for many of us in the low-carb and Paleo community, choosing food quality is so much more important as a means for controlling the hormonal and metabolic impact of those calories over how much of that food we are consuming. This is a concept that this week’s guest expert knows a thing or two about. He is nutritional biochemist Dr. Bill Lagakos from the “Calories Proper” blog (listen to Jimmy’s interview with him in Episode 708 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” podcast) and the author of a book entitled The Poor, Misunderstood Calorie. He took on the topic “All Things Calories (Calories 201)” in this fabulous podcast. You might recall we had Mat “The Kraken” Lalonde on the show back in Episode 9 for a Calories 101 discussion. Listen in as we dig a little deeper into this topic to clear up any lingering misconceptions you may have about the subject of calories.
NOTICE OF DISCLOSURE: http://cmp.ly/3
NOTICE OF DISCLOSURE: http://cmp.ly/3
Here are some of the questions we address in this episode:
KAREN ASKS: What role do hormones play when it comes to the amount of calories consumed as it relates to weight loss?
GERARD ASKS: What does Dr. Lagakos think of Lyle McDonald’s energy balance formula? Does it line up with his findings about calories?
DEBRA ASKS: I just don’t trust calories anymore. All I need from them is to do their job. How did the whole calories in/calories out concept gain such a stranglehold on our culture? Aren’t our bodies so much more complex than energy consumed and energy expended?
AMY ASKS: Does Dr. Lagakos think the average person would be better off if we’d never heard the word “calorie” as it applies to food? I’m saddened when I think of all the human potential and creativity that are lost as a direct result of the obsessive behavior of calorie counting, watching the calorie meters on cardio equipment at gyms, and the complex math equation people think they need to perform in order to “balance their calories.” That’s just way too much wasted brain power and emotional energy spent on a numbers games rather than focusing on nourishing our bodies the same way our healthy, lean, robust ancestors did for generations before anyone had ever heard of a calorie.
JAMES ASKS: There have been isocaloric studies conducted where the major difference was the macronutrient composition, but the outcomes tend to differ regarding fat loss and lean body mass retention. Then why do the “experts” still insist that 400 calories of a rib-eye steak is no different from 400 calories of Pop-Tarts? Does Dr. Lagakos think we will ever reach a scientific consensus that embraces the notion that calories from fat, protein, and carbohydrates have different biochemical effects and can’t possibly be lumped together based on their calories?
KARL ASKS: I understand what the strict definition of a calorie is and that is refers to turning potential energy into kinetic energy. But I also know that our bodies don’t utilize calories, but rather ATP. So given a basic understanding of how ATP is generated in the mitochondria, I don’t see how to equate calories with the generation of ATP. Could you explain how the body utilizes energy?
HELEN ASKS: Is there any scientific evidence supporting the timing of when the calories are consumed. For example, if someone eats 2500 calories per day, does it matter if those calories are spread out over 4-5 meals or if they are all consumed in 1-2 large meals as part of an intermittent fasting protocol?
GARY ASKS: There is a common belief in our culture that states when you don’t eat enough calories your body will go into “starvation mode” and accumulate stored body fat. Is there any science behind this, and if so, what exactly is going on inside the body to make this happen?
Speaking of common beliefs on calories, doesn’t the idea that all calories are the same actually violate Newton’s Second Law of Thermodynamics?
KURT ASKS: For years on the SAD diet I weighed 210 and regularly exercised by jogging, biking and lifting weights. Since going 90% Paleo/primal and wheat-free (but not ketogenic) 8 months ago I’ve lost 21 pounds and feel great. I exercise the same as always but I’ve plateaued at this weight for 4 months now. As near as I can tell, at 10% less weight, I seem to need 30% fewer calories than I did on the SAD diet. Have I become more efficient at using calories or are the calories I’m now eating somehow more efficient? This has been driving me nuts lately because I’d like to lose another 15 pounds without losing muscle. I look forward to your insights.
CHRISTA ASKS: I have a question about calorie consumption during pregnancy. The current advice is to eat about 300 more calories per day while pregnant. I want to support my baby’s growth and am eating the most nutrient dense foods I can find. But I also don’t want to gain an unhealthy amount of weight in the process. Do you have any thoughts on how a woman can determine the proper amount of calories that should be consumed when pregnant?