The role of calories in the low carb plan
The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 02:33 AM


Newbie Low-Carber


Alright, so I've lost about 85 pounds so far, 15 of them coming from switching over to the low carb path. Atkins warned of caloric intake toward the end of any diet, and people apparently stall on their diet due to excess calories. So what exactly is the relationship between calories and carbs? So I know that cutting out carbs opens up the body's fat floodgates, so what do calories do in all of this? If I hypothetically ate 5000 calories of food but only 16 carbohydrates, would I still lose fat at a pound-per-week rate? I've since become worried and now eat at most 500 calories less than my BMR of 2300 alongside 20 carbs or less a day (I eat eggs or meat for most meals and am quite comfortable). When do calories halt weight loss? and why?
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 09:56 AM


Advanced Low-Carber


Good question...I'm interested to learn this too!

Jan
Art Dolls and Folkart




RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 10:09 AM


Expert Low-Carber


As someone who is generally a greedy pig it has perplexed me that I seem to be able to get away with eating more calories daily that I burn off in exercise (not an option for me as I suffer late effects of polio)


I lost 2lbs each week for the next 6 months. I haven't regained it since but I still eat until satisfied and still drink too much red wine.

So something is going on in my metabolism that enables my metabolism to burn up or excrete excess calories rather than store them as fat.

I suspect the fact I came into low carbing with a high Vitamin D, magnesium and omega 3 status has given me an advantage that others miss out on.
I also think the fact I adopted coconut oil and MCT oil as my main fat sources has added to the metabolic advantage.

When you understand that
Low testosterone and estradiol concentrations are predictive for the development of the metabolic syndrome in men and women, respectively
and that
Higher Vitamin D status means higher Testosterone levels
and
supplementation with magnesium increases free and total testosterone values you can see what may be the source of my metabolic advantage.

So I have been Eating More Fat/Protein and Less Carbohydrate. The supplements are vitamin D and magnesium. I've been using these to help maintain Hormone levels and this has led to permanent Weight Loss

My Vitamin d and magnesium levels were pretty good before I started low carbing. So on their own they didn't prevent my becoming obese however as soon as I started low carbing and using coconut oil/mct it was a different story.

To ensure 25(OH)D level are ideal for EACH 25LBS you weigh use 1000iu/daily/D3 preferably in MCT oil (ie Country Life, Vitamin D3, 5,000 I) take once daily with largest meal of day or a high fat meal. Add 2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil if in any doubts about the fat content.
Check with a 25(OH)D test to ensure you get your level to 60ng/ml.

To ensure MAGNESIUM levels are correct use 10mg/dailY per KG a highly absorption magnesium Albion chelate (such as Doctor's Best, High Absorption Magnesium) or magnesium malate. Small amounts through the day are better absorbed so WITH EACH meal of the day take one third of the daily total.

If for other reasons you are taking calcium keep the calcium away from the magnesium, magnesium is a calcium channel blocker so take that at night before bed. Best absorbed calcium is a Calcium citrate calcium malate blend however calcium is best utilized from food sources so try to get most calcium from diet.

A further advantage comes from the higher amount of MCT oil (from coconut and MCT) in my present diet.

From a health perspective, MCT increase fat oxidation and energy expenditure as well as reduce food intake and beneficially alter body composition.

Consumption of MCT oil as part of a weight-loss plan improves weight loss compared with olive oil and can thus be successfully included in a weight-loss diet. Small changes in the quality of fat intake can therefore be useful to enhance weight loss.

While I still am unable to exercise for long there are advantages to energy availability The results support the hypothesis that brain function of aged dogs can be improved by MCT supplementation, which provides the brain with an alternative energy source. This old dog finds that improved brain function enables him to concentrate for longer than previously. The brain is a major calorie burner. Although only 2% of body composition is brain it burns 20% of our calories. Therefore improving the brain energy capacity leads to increased calorie consumption.

Another curious side effect of MCT is that it leads to improved omega 3 status in the brain. and as omega 3 is anti inflammatory it may also be helping brain function.
Similarly Aged dogs receiving MCTs, as compared to age-matched controls, showed dramatically improved mitochondrial function, as evidenced by increased active respiration rates. The fact that lungs and heart when fueled by MCT have greater capacity for work induces increased calorie consumption.
The fact I'm sleeping better, breathing better and have improved heart and muscle function enables me to perform better (albeit to a relatively limited extent, I'm no marathon runner or walker, I'm talking about the difference between having to sit to prepare a meal and wash up and having the ability to prepare and meal/wash up without having to remain seated)

So WITHOUT actually indulging in an exercise regime my body is burning more calories than previously. I accept that MCT/low carb diets do lead to reduced need to eat, so I don't snack like I did previously but that said I still consume more calories DAILY than the calculators suggest are strictly necessary for BMR.

I am not suggesting that overconsumption is desirable or should be encouraged. Merely that if you get your hormone levels optimized they can regulate energy/temperature/activity levels to cope with a modest degree of calorie excess.
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 10:23 AM


Advanced Low-Carber




I lost 2lbs each week for the next 6 months. I haven't regained it since but I still eat until satisfied and still drink too much red wine.

So something is going on in my metabolism that enables my metabolism to burn up or excrete excess calories rather than store them as fat.

I suspect the fact I came into low carbing with a high Vitamin D, magnesium and omega 3 status has given me an advantage that others miss out on.
I also think the fact I adopted coconut oil and MCT oil as my main fat sources has added to the metabolic advantage.

When you understand that
Low testosterone and estradiol concentrations are predictive for the development of the metabolic syndrome in men and women, respectively
and that Higher Vitamin D status means higher Testosterone levels and supplementation with magnesium increases free and total testosterone values you can see what may be the source of my metabolic advantage.
So I have been Eating More Fat/Protein and Less Carbohydrate The supplement vitamin D and magnesium I've been using help maintaion Hormone levels and this has led to permanent Weight Loss

My Vitamin d and magnesium levels were pretty good before I started low carbing. So on their own they didn't prevent my becoming obese however as soon as I started low carbing and using coconut oil/mct it was a different story.

To ensure 25(OH)D level are ideal for EACH 25LBS you weigh use 1000iu/daily/D3 preferably in MCT oil (ie Country Life, Vitamin D3, 5,000 I) take once daily with largest meal of day or a high fat meal. Add 2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil if in any doubts about the fat content.
Check with a 25(OH)D test to ensure you get your level to 60ng/ml.

To ensure MAGNESIUM levels are correct use 10mg/dailY per KG a highly absorption magnesium Albion chelate (such as Doctor's Best, High Absorption Magnesium) or magnesium malate. Small amounts through the day are better absorbed so WITH EACH meal of the day take one third of the daily total.

If for other reasons you are taking calcium keep the calcium away from the magnesium, magnesium is a calcium channel blocker so take that at night before bed. Best absorbed calcium is a Calcium citrate calcium malate blend however calcium is best utilized from food sources so try to get most calcium from diet.

A further advantage comes from the higher amount of MCT oil (from coconut and MCT) in my present diet.

From a health perspective, MCT increase fat oxidation and energy expenditure as well as reduce food intake and beneficially alter body composition.

Consumption of MCT oil as part of a weight-loss plan improves weight loss compared with olive oil and can thus be successfully included in a weight-loss diet. Small changes in the quality of fat intake can therefore be useful to enhance weight loss.

While I still am unable to exercise for long there are advantages to energy availability The results support the hypothesis that brain function of aged dogs can be improved by MCT supplementation, which provides the brain with an alternative energy source. This old dog finds that improved brain function enables him to concentrate for longer than previously. The brain is a major calorie burner. Although only 2% of body composition is brain it burns 20% of our calories. Therefore improving the brain energy capacity leads to increased calorie consumption.

Another curious side effect of MCT is that it leads to improved omega 3 status in the brain. and as omega 3 is anti inflammatory it may also be helping brain function.
Similarly Aged dogs receiving MCTs, as compared to age-matched controls, showed dramatically improved mitochondrial function, as evidenced by increased active respiration rates. The fact that lungs and heart when fueled by MCT have greater capacity for work induces increased calorie consumption.
The fact I'm sleeping better, breathing better and have improved heart and muscle function enables me to perform better (albeit to a relatively limited extent, I'm no marathon runner or walker, I'm talking about the difference between having to sit to prepare a meal and wash up and having the ability to prepare and meal/wash up without having to remain seated)

So WITHOUT actually indulging in an exercise regime my body is burning more calories than previously. I accept that MCT/low carb diets do lead to reduced need to eat, so I don't snack like I did previously but that said I still consume more calories DAILY than the calculators suggest are strictly necessary for BMR.

I am not suggesting that overconsumption is desirable or should be encouraged. Merely that if you get your hormone levels optimized they can regulate energy/temperature/activity levels to cope with a modest degree of calorie excess.

This is great info, thanks.

It's not that easy to find a good calcium alone without magnesium, and even harder to find truly gluten-free supplements. Country Life and New Chapter are usually truly gluten-free.

I've been taking a powdered Cal/Mag supplement and wondering why it hasn't been working that well for me.

I think that I'll also give some MCT oil to my dog. I've been giving her coconut oil, but she might do even better on MCT oil.

Suzan
My blog: Suzan's Spot
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 10:39 AM


Expert Low-Carber


Source Naturals, CCM Calcium, 300 mg, 120 Tablets

The health benefits of calcium citrate malate: a review of the supporting science.

Quote:I've been taking a powdered Cal/Mag supplement together and wondering why it hasn't been working that well for me.
Magnesium (Mg2+) has antagonistic properties to calcium (Ca2+) and has been termed the physiologic Ca2+ blocker. Synthetic Ca2+ channel blockers are extensively used as anti-hypertensive agents. It is hypothesised that when administered in combination synthetic Ca2+ channel blockers and Mg are synergistic in the treatment of hypertension.
the reason magnesium lowers blood pressure is it's natural calcium blocking potential. Take them at the same time and one counteracts the other. A third of your daily magnesium requirement during the day with each meal OR use Transdermal magnesium uptake Dead Sea Salts in bath or foot spa or maybe Epsom Salts.

Quote:I think that I'll also give some MCT oil to my dog. I've been giving her coconut oil, but she might do even better on MCT oil.
Whats good for your old dog's brain/heart/lung function may also help you get more energy and better energy metabolism.
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 11:35 AM


Newbie Low-Carber



Thanks for the information on supplements, unfortunately this doesn't really answer my question. So nobody really knows the limits of calories or their role in the diet?
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 11:57 AM


Advanced Low-Carber


The answer to your question depends on who you believe. There's controversy in the low carb community regarding counting calories. People like Taubes and others don't think calories matter at all.

IMO, I don't think calories matter for many people who are doing low carb, but it is an individual thing. If you are one of those who have a hard time losing weight, especially toward the end, then you may have to watch calorie intake.

To calculate caloric needs according to "conventional wisdom"
http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calcul...weight.php

JMO.

Suzan
My blog: Suzan's Spot
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 12:24 PM


Administrator


I wouldn't say Gary Taubes doesn't believe calories "matter at all," but his position is if you are eating to satiety (as defined so well by Ted above), then your body will naturally regulate the amount of calories you need. At the recent conference I attended in Seattle, MANY of the researchers did an "unlimited" calories study on people and found those that ate high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb NATURALLY controlled their caloric intake because it's almost impossible to overeat fat and protein like you can carbohydrate. So I'm on the side that you don't need to "count" calories...but they do count. That's why these people who say to just eat a pound of bacon for breakfast with heaps of burgers without the bun for lunch and a Porterhouse steak for supper don't know what the heck they're talking about.

Jimmy Moore, "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Discussion" forum owner
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RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 12:54 PM


Expert Low-Carber


As an athlete in high school and college I learned to eat enormous amounts of food. I could easily eat 4000-5000 calories per day without gaining weight. In fact, I had trouble keeping it on. I would get up early on the weekends and eat a big breakfast and then go back to sleep, and I would always make sure I ate before I went to bed. It was fun and enjoyable, but those habits are hard to break.

Once out of college and into the real world with 60 hour workweeks, wife, kids and very little exercise, my eating habits didn
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 03:24 PM


Advanced Low-Carber


Good point Jimmy, about Taubes, eating to satiety, and therefore eating less calories naturally when on LC diets. I should have worded my thoughts a little more carefully.

:-)

Suzan
My blog: Suzan's Spot
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 04:20 PM


Advanced Low-Carber



To answer some of those questions:

Calories halt weight loss when there is no longer a deficit between consumption and output (bmr + physical activity). People's BMR change due to health status (e.g. vit D levels, hormone levels, etc), age, weight change. So you might lose weight eating 2000 kcal for the first 85 lbs, and then this amount no longer creates a deficit and weight stalls. To re-create a deficit, you can tinker with raising BMR by correcting hormone imbalances; increase physical activity; or consume a bit less. These generally have to be permanent behavior changes.

Cutting out carbs reduces insulin. This really helps with consistent portion control. However, 'extra' fat intake can be effectively stored in our fat cells via ASP. Even on a 80% fat woe, I can't escape the need for a energy/calorie deficit for losing fat.

Hypothetically, you can lose 1 lb fat weight/week on 5000 cals absorbed/day if your total energy expense is about 5500 cals/day.
But if you have a LC woe, you'd probably only have enough appetite to eat about 2500 cals/day of LC foods. Throw in lots of LC veggies without extra fat, and you'd absorb a bit fewer fat calories. If you do lots of yardwork or couriered by foot, your output might be 3000 cals/day if hormones are balanced, and then you'd lose your 1-2 lbs/week on a 2500 cal/day.
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 06:08 PM


Junior Low-Carber


sorry...what exactly is MCT oil? Medium Chain...??

also, does optimal VitD intake improve testosterone levels in women as well as in men?
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 07:34 PM


Expert Low-Carber


Medium Chain Triglyceride oil
Here is an article about it
If you use a search engine you will find plenty of suppliers.
Now Foods, MCT Oil, 100 % Pure, 32 fl. oz. (946 ml) should be around $19.11 but watch the postage, it's in a glass bottle so may be expensive.
You may do better with a plastic container. Bodybuilder's suppliers are the most likely source.

another helpful article on Coconut oil and MCT remember that human breast milk is a good source of MCT. That's obviously meant for babies but if it's good for growing brains it may also be particularly useful for aging brains as well MCT not breast milk.

Quote:also, does optimal VitD intake improve testosterone levels in women as well as in men?
~Both men and women require testosterone I don' t think there has been sufficient research yetAdditive benefit of higher testosterone levels and vitamin D plus calcium supplementation in regard to fall risk reduction among older men and women This is quiet an interesting read. Makes you think that DHEA may also be useful.
I'm afraid the research showing male androgen levels were affected by vitamin D status was only published last december. I expect someone is busy measuring hormone levels in women in relation to 25(OH)D status.

Seasonality, waist-to-hip ratio, and salivary testosterone.
Quote:Patterns of seasonal variation in testosterone (T) and T-dependent measures are poorly understood in humans and particularly in women, despite their importance in other animals. We examined seasonal fluctuations in salivary T in women and men, and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) in women. Participants were 220 women and 127 men from central and West Coast North America. Results showed that T was significantly highest in autumn for both women and men, and that WHR in women closely matched the seasonal variation in T, with high values in the fall and summer. This suggests that T does show a reliable fluctuation over the seasons, which may result in meaningful fluctuations in behavioral, cognitive, and somatic variables associated with T.

Mostly when levels are high in summer and fall it's a good bet that increased Vitamin D status is driving them.
I think it would be safest to assume that correcting vitamin d status will improve your hormone balance either male or female.
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 07:56 PM


Junior Low-Carber


Very interesting stuff! Thanks
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-29-2010 11:22 PM


Advanced Low-Carber


I use NOW MCT oil in the glass bottle. I know I can't mention names here but a certain online herb store has free shipping if you order over $40 worth of products.

Suzan
My blog: Suzan's Spot
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-30-2010 10:31 AM


Advanced Low-Carber


Does the MCT oil supplement omega 3's like flax seed or fish oil? It'd be good to kill two feathered bipeds w/ one stone...

Jan
Art Dolls and Folkart




RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 04-30-2010 02:31 PM


Expert Low-Carber


Medium Chain Triglycerides are a saturated fat and omega 3 fish oil is a polyunsaturated fat so they are totally different substances.
However MCT's are present in quite large amounts in human breast milk so it's clear they are the ideal nutrition for a developing brain.
They seem to help the brain use omega 3 oil better.
This study indicates that dietary enrichment with MCT, raises n-3 PUFA concentrations in the brains of old dogs.
And this study shows how using omega 3 with MCT was effective in rapidly and safely lowering plasma triglyceride levels
But one will not replace the other. You need to supplement with an effective amount of omega 3 adding the EPA and DHA numbers together to make sure they total more than 2000mg. With the MCT it depends on how you use it. I make my french dressing with it. I sometimes add to to coffee instead of cream. I'll probably make some mayonnaise as well. But I also use coconut oil (which is a good source of MCT) as well so I don't see the need to use MCT as a supplement separately.

The key point you have to understand with omega 3 is that OMEGA 6 COMPETES with omega 3. So it's MORE important to reduce omega 6 intake than it is to increase omega intake because omega 6 actively displaces the omega 3 from it's place in cells.
So examine your use of industrial seed oils such as corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower and cottonseed oil and try to eliminate them from your diet and then the use of omega 3 will become more effective.
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 08-14-2010 02:03 AM


Newbie Low-Carber


Interesting thread. It makes sense that the body regulates caloric need when you reduce carbs and replace them with protein and fat. I would think that common sense would apply, though. That is, if you're eating low carb cheesecake and bacon all day long without limitations, you'll probably not lose much weight (or feel all that good) at some point, though perhaps not at the beginning.

I can only make a personal observation about myself. I did a basic low carb plan years ago and ate about 1200 calories a day and 20 carbs a day, not feeling the least bit hungry and lost weight and looked great. During the last years I've switched to being a vegetarian (just don't like eating meat, chicken, or fish and never did) and tried to be a vegan for a year. I gained all the weight I lost back plus about 20 more pounds (but not so much because of the vegetarian/vegan diet - a lot of other factors like life changes, 4 moves in 5 years, etc, had a lot to do with it as well). In the past month I've especially gone into the low fat/high carb (very high carb - like 80%) vegan diet (like the kind Ornish and McDougall advocate) and although I was losing weight it was very slowly and didn't enjoy the food at all. I was eating around 1450 calories a day and it was tough to stay at that level, not because I was hungry but because the foods I was eating (the grains mostly) added calories. And this was with absolutely no added fats at all (my fat content was less than 10% a day).

Only this past week I abandoned the vegan diet and went back to eating dairy and eggs. I started South Beach Diet (mainly because I see it as more vegetarian friendly than other low carb plans). I am enjoying my food again . The odd thing is that these vegan doctors ranted and raved against fat from a caloric standpoint (you know the drill: "Carbs have only 4 calories per gram but fat has (gasp!) more than twice that much) but I am eating about 1250 calories a day and struggling to keep the calories that level without going under - and I feel like I'm eating until satisfied and not going hungry! So much for the theory that eating fat makes you fat :lol:

FYI: I was eating a pretty healthy vegan diet before and yet I find myself eating more veggies on SBD - probably because I enjoy salads and stir fries more with a little added oil that the very low fat vegan diet didn't allow

Djuna
RE: The role of calories in the low carb plan , 01-12-2011 07:35 AM


Expert Low-Carber


But the point is that most people who are successfully losing and maintaining weight loss through low carb eating do NOT have the appetite to eat cheesecake/bacon through the day. I enjoy my bacon and eggs fried in coconut oil for breakfast but having enjoyed a good breakfast, I won't need to eat again until lunchtime and even when I get to the main meal of the day my taste/appetite for sweet puddings no longer exists.
When your body has got used to burning ketones through the day going 5 hrs between meals is easy and enables you to use up the calories currently stored in fat cells. By creating a less inflammatory environment lean type gut flora flourish and these are less efficient at extracting calories from what you eat. Exercising, burning ketones and moving towards longer intervals between eating and sometimes skipping meals (intermittent fasting) combined lead to the creation of new mitochondrial cells. This is important because old dysfunctional mitochondria are less good at regulating body temperature or controlling activity levels.
The aim should be to regain the metabolic homoeostasis that enables normal appetite and activity levels to operate without the need for conscious counting of calories or carbohydrates or specific efforts to regulate energy expenditure.
If you feel the need to count anything you still haven't achieved normal metabolic homoeostasis.

Gut Flora: Their Role in Health and Disease
Quote:Can your gut flora make you fat? Perhaps the most interesting of the data he presented were those showing a role for gut flora in the obesity epidemic. The microbes in the gut are extremely active metabolically. However, certain species are more active than others, with the result that in some persons, gut flora may produce 100 kcal per day more than are produced in other persons. Over the course of years, these extra calories add up.
The Human Microbiome: The Undiscovered Country Powerpoint presentation slides that cover the topic and explains some of the other benefits a healthy gut flora creates.