Sunday, October 6, 2013

Does Food Restriction Promote Fat Deposition? - YouTube

Does Food Restriction Promote Fat Deposition? - YouTube


Kade Storm said...

It'd help if you put up a higher resolution video because at this point, the slides in the video are completely blurred.

Evangelista Nick said...

Thought provoking!

Ken Matesz said...

Hey Don,

Good presentation except it needs to be in higher resolution. Can't read the material; have to depend on your reading.

This may be a silly question, but I have to ask it:

If food restriction promotes fat deposition, isn't it impossible to lose weight without promoting fat deposition?

To my knowledge, the only way to lose weight (and fat) is for the body to be consuming the fat you are trying to lose. But doesn't it only do that when it does not receive enough caloric intake otherwise?

Certainly you cannot lose weight (and fat) by consuming more food than your body needs, can you?

Thanks again for the video?

Don said...

Hey Ken,

Yes, I didn't get the resolution correct. It got lost when I converted the Keynote presentation to a movie. Sorry about that...that's why I provided all the links in the "About" box under the movie on YouTube.

To your first question, that is a problem with caloric restriction. People often lose weight, but a significant portion is not fat, bt lean tissue.

No, you can't lose fat or weight by consuming more food than your body needs. But, since fat mass has virtually no caloric requirement, you can lose fat without depriving your lean tissue of calories. Starve the fat cells, not the lean tissue.

To do that, one should eat less fat than one expends in a day, while feeding the lean tissue sufficient energy with very low fat foods (starches and lean proteins, particularly legumes, beans, and peas which are highly satiating).

Keep in mind, food restriction means eating less than what satisfies your hunger (i.e. going hungry). It is possible to eat less than required to maintain an excess fat mass, yet not be hungry because you are providing sufficient glucose and protein to the lean tissues.

The other aspect which I perhaps did not cover adequately in the video is the amount of time one spends in energy deficit during the day. The study with the gymnasts and runners found that those who spent the most day time under fed (i.e. skipping meals or eating insufficient meals) had a greater body fat percentage. It seems best to eat frequently in appropriate quantities.

The key to fat loss is a negative fat balance. Since the body can store small excesses of carbohydrate as glycogen rather than fat, and will burn those small excesses off in thermogenesis (small increases in metabolic rate), one can eat adequate food, and even small excesses of starch or protein, without contributing to fat stores. If simultaneously fat intake (in grams) is less than fat expended (in grams) there will be a negative fat balance, without lean tissue suffering an energy shortage. Body fat will go down without restricting energy to lean tissue, by restricting fat intake. Most people burn about 50 g fat daily as part of normal metabolism, so if dietary fat is say 20 g, there is a 30 g (~1 ounce) negative fat balance, which will result in a loss of 1 pound of body fat every 16 days.

Ken Matesz said...

Hey Don,

Thank you for that great answer. It makes perfect sense.


Ken Matesz said...

Hey, Don,

Thanks again for the great explanation.

It got my curiosity up and I did some searching around on the web. I found a lot of information that agreed with what you said. But I also found a fair amount that disagrees including this interesting piece:

Quoting from that article:

'The bombshell came from the Council on Health Technology Assessment, which advises the Swedish government. Based on a review of 16,000 studies, it said the best sorts of food for losing weight were the likes of olive oil, double cream and bacon."

16,000 studies is a lot of content review! Of course, I don't know what they reviewed, so I can't claim this is a final confirmation. But it sure sounds convincing.

Any comments?

Don said...


That article did not have a single scientific reference, only claims without direct link to the evidence.

Basically, the author is claiming that carbohydrate, which is not fat, becomes body fat more easily than dietary fat.

How does anyone fall for this?

It is almost like saying that the dollar bills you put in your bank account are more likely to become gold in the bank, than putting gold itself in your safe deposit (????).

If this were true, all Chinese, Japanese, Asians in general should be obese from their high carbohydrate low fat diets, while Americans should be leaner from their fattier diets.

Here is another part of the whole story:

The panel only said that low carb diets produce greater WEIGHT loss in short-term studies, but have no advantage over the long-term, compared to conventional low fat diets.

1) low carb diets always produce greater short term WEIGHT loss because the cause you to lose your glycogen stores (stored carbohydrate and water) plus greater water loss. I don't want to lose glycogen, a precious energy source, I want to lose fat.

2) at least 9 of 10 of these studies comparing low-carb to low-fat diets failed to implement a truly low fat diet in the low fat arm... usually they restrict to ~30% fat and the participants usually don't even achieve that.

3) almost every "low fat" diet study I have seen implements "lean meats" which are all high in fat comopared to legumes, vegetables, fruits, whole grains

4) none of these studies makes any attempt to get people to eat whole plant foods in the low fat arm, instead the carbohydrates are refined and the intake of fruits and vegetables is pitifully low. The low fat dieters are eating things like white bread, refined cereals, and almost never advised to eat more legumes. In one study, the low-fat diet group ended up eating LESS fiber than the higher fat groups !? I blogged about several in this post:

The claim that low carb diets reduce heart disease risk is not supported by evidence either:

"Low carbohydrate-high protein diets, used on a regular basis and without consideration of the nature of carbohydrates or the source of proteins, are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease."

"The optimal diet for prevention of weight gain, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes is fat-reduced, fiber-rich, high in low-energy density carbohydrates (fruit, vegetables, and whole grain products), and intake of energy-containing drinks is restricted."

"Current scientific evidence indicates that dietary fat plays a role in weight loss and maintenance. Meta-analyses of intervention trials find that fat-reduced diets cause a 3-4-kg larger weight loss than normal-fat diets. A 10% reduction in dietary fat can cause a 4-5-kg weight loss in individuals with initial body mass index of 30 kg m (-2). "

"Consuming meats other than those in the VLM category is associated with increased risk of weight gain over time."

"We found probable evidence for high intake of dietary fibre and nuts predicting less weight gain, and for high intake of meat in predicting more weight gain. "

"Total meat consumption was positively associated with weight gain in men and women, in normal-weight and overweight subjects, and in smokers and nonsmokers. With adjustment for estimated energy intake, an increase in meat intake of 250 g/d (eg, one steak at approximately 450 kcal) would lead to a 2-kg higher weight gain after 5 y (95% CI: 1.5, 2.7 kg). Positive associations were observed for red meat, poultry, and processed meat."

Don said...

"During 5 years follow-up, the mean annual weight gain in a health-conscious cohort in the UK was approximately 400 g. Small differences in weight gain were observed between meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans. Lowest weight gain was seen among those who, during follow-up, had changed to a diet containing fewer animal food."

Just a few examples of the evidence for the principles I am presenting. I discuss this in a detail I can't do here in Powered by Plants.

The truth has come to threaten the large industries that produce fatty foods. They have engaged in a concerted effort to combat the truth that might lead people to eat less of those foods. They are the major advertisers and also they provide research funds to 'experts' that sit on these panels to make recommendation. A US Court actually ruled against the conflicts of interest at the USDA

And there is a lot more about this in the book WHOLE:

wherein T. Colin Campbell writes about his experience as a member of the National Academies of Science, and having science suppressed by scientists who have financial interests in enterprises that would be hurt if people knew the scientific truth.

Just follow the money. Is there a national lentil board advertising lentils as 'real food for real people' and financing the National Academies? Is there a Dairy Council or Cattlemen's Association?

Ken Matesz said...

Hi Don:

Okay, I readily agree that the article I referenced did not cite the 16,000 studies that apparently back it.
And I comprehend your arguments about China and Japan, etc. as well as the other studies you cite.

While reading your last post, I started recalling by high-school biology class where we learned how the body stores fat. Then I looked up this article:

This discusses the vary basic mechanisms of fat storage. The author even comments that it takes 10 times more energy to manufacture fat stores from simple sugars than it does to just store excess fat directly. This seems to be part of your argument as well.

But then I noticed that he goes on to talk about how, in fact, the body automatically does the fat storage routine and how fat stores are liberated. He says, "When blood sugar is low, glucagon triggers the release of stored fuel for energy, first from the liver and then from fat cells."

This basic biology lesson seems like it is telling me that if you are consuming lots of carbohydrates - which would tend to keep your blood sugar higher - you would have trouble reducing fat stores. But if you ate few carbohydrates, your blood sugar, on average, would be lower, triggering the fat-burning mechanisms.

Am I misunderstanding?

Don said...

Also, if low fat high carbohydrate foods make people fat, how can we explain the results of Chris Voight, who ate 20 potatoes a day for 60 days and lost 21 pounds doing so:

Don said...

"This basic biology lesson seems like it is telling me that if you are consuming lots of carbohydrates - which would tend to keep your blood sugar higher - you would have trouble reducing fat stores. But if you ate few carbohydrates, your blood sugar, on average, would be lower, triggering the fat-burning mechanisms."

And so Chris Voight should have had trouble losing 21 pounds of fat eating 20 potatoes daily because all those carbohydrates should have raised his blood sugar and stopped fat burning, right?

Carbohydrate is stored in glycogen. A person with healthy insulin function will only transiently have "high blood sugar" from eating carbohydrates because when carbohydrate from food enters the blood stream, the body cells are simultaneously removing the sugar from blood to a) burn as energy or b) refill glycogen stores. Within a short time after a meal, blood sugar will be normal and the body will be burning some fat.

The author of that article also neglected to mention that glucagon also liberates glycogen to raise blood sugar when it is low.

This paper gives the biochemistry of it all:

A low carbohydrate diet mimics starvation: little or no glucose incoming, forcing the body to use muscle and fat, either your own, or that of eaten animals, as fuel. Under these conditions, the body cells become insulin resistant to reserve glucose for the brain. Under either condition (starvation or low-carb diet) the body automatically reduces metabolic rate; the system can't tell whether you are starving/fasting or eating animal muscles, so it attempts to reduce your energy expenditure as if you were starving, mainly by suppressing thyroid function.

Like starvation, the low carbohydrate diet will result initially in a rapid loss of weight including some fat. However, soon the reduction in metabolic rate matches the reduced caloric intake, and weight loss stalls. Now one is eating high calorie fats with a low metabolic rate (similar to a starving person). Guess what happens? You start to regain weight. Eventually you become like all the low carb gurus: overweight. Take a look at photos of the proponents of low carb diets, and you decide if their approach works for them long term.

You surely remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. A slow rate of fat loss that is sustainable for a long long time is in the long term much more effective than a crash and burn approach that gives you quick short term results but is not sustainable. Most people need to lose 20+ pounds and need to look at taking 20-40 weeks to lose that fat. They also need to eat in a way that will keep the weight off. VEry few if any people are going to restrict their carbohydrates to <100 g per day for the duration of their life, and this is acknowledged in every popular low-carb plan which has a very low carbohydrate initial phase, followed by a gradual reintroduction of carbohydrates.

Metabolically and physiologically low carb diets are like fasting and starvation. It is this similarity, which comes down to lack of carbohydrates (when starving, you 'eat' your own meat and fat), that makes them unsustainable. Will the hare or the tortoise win the race?