My Post #12 – Fat vs Sugar or Calories In vs Calories Out – JRE Podcast Debate #1267



Community Discussion Post – Policy
Posted In: Nutrition – 03/21/2019
Posted By User: 4FR Mike4FR Mike


My Post #12 – Fat vs Sugar or Calories In vs Calories Out – JRE Podcast Debate #1267

Note: This is a casual unedited post in the community, not an edited article. Joe Rogan from the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast interviewed Gary Taubes (Sugar & Carbohydrates Make Us Fat) and Stephan Guyenet about CICO (Calories In vs Calories Out Matter). I have the following thoughts on the podcast and this is not advice.

The interview went 2 hours and 37 minutes and it was quite interesting. Personally, I like to hear both sides of the coin discussed. For decades my diet has kept me lean from lowering sugar, eating foods that had a lower Glycemic Index and sticking to healthier choices. I still do this to a large degree. However, over the past few years I discovered Calorie Counting and boy oh boy is that the “magic bullet” for staying lean and being able to eat “flexibly”.


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I eat a cup of low fat ice-cream every single day and keep a six pack no problem. Yesterday I had 40 pieces of all you can eat sushi while dieting. I eat more sugar now then I did for years and yet I stay lean. I sometimes eat until I am stuffed and I stay lean. Do I do endless cario? No. I really do not enjoy cardio.

So how is this all possible? When I keep my calories lower than I burn in a given day I lose weight, period. How I encourage fat loss over weight loss is another topic.

The other day I had a huge sushi lunch and I was stuffed so I didn’t have my usual afternoon snacks and my dinner was a little smaller. As a result my overall calories for the entire day was lower than my average daily burn rate and I know that I will not lose my six-pack. So am I genetically gifted? I don’t think so. I don’t seem to have particularly good or bad genetics if I use my relatives as a general guideline.

This is what I know. For me.
a) I have a regular weekly activity rate so my daily average burn rate is pretty consistently around 2,750 calories a day.
b) If I eat above 2,750 calories on a regular basis my weight starts to go up. If I eat below 2,750 calories my weight starts to drop.
c) If I eat ice-cream or pizza or some other unhealthy food, my weight still responds the same way.
d) Getting sufficient protein does seem to keep me feeling more full and help me build or keep muscle.
f) I test this theory every year as I slim down for a vacation and summer and gain muscle over the winter. Like flicking a switch, when I decide to change strategies it simply comes down to execution. Without fail, dropping calories drops my weight and increasing calories increases my weight. I have a lot of personal data on this. I track my macronutrient ratios but how much sugar I eat does not seem to matter.
h) I don’t do a lot of cardio. I lift weights regularly with lots of warm up set, lost of rest between sets and seemingly few actual working sets. In a typical workout I may actually do a total of 10 minutes of intense working sets all broken up into small 20-45 second chunks.
i) I have never once done steroids… ever. I’ve kept in shape for over 26 years and I put together a short video to show my consistent, athletic, lean, non vascular, non bulky build over the years.

I really tried to hear convincing arguments from Gary Taubes as he put forth the idea that Energy Balance is not as important as food choices like Sugar and Carbohydrates. He made a decent point suggesting that how fat cells get larger is how people get larger. This point did catch my attention. However, my common sense tells me that fat cells have a mechanism to get larger and smaller as they both use and store energy. However, for fat cells to get larger over time, it must be the energy balance between how much was used (energy burned), and how much was stored (energy eaten) that determines if cells get larger or smaller. It does not seem logical to me that fat cells would get larger if there was not an excess amount of energy (more energy consumed than burned) to store.


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To anyone mentioned in the post, I apologize if I misunderstood something or did a bad job explaining your position. Gary, how do you explain a guy like me? What am I missing when it comes to your theories? Why did I not gain fat when I added a daily cup of low fat ice-cream to my diet? Bodybuilders eat carbohydrates and they are the leanest people on earth. Why? I would love to hear some answers to these questions.

I am not a nutritionist but in my opinion, poor food choices do have negative health consequences and they affect our appetite. However, in my experience, knowledge and common sense tell me that energy balance is the most important factor when it comes to weight gain or weight loss. How to encourage fat loss over indiscriminate weight loss is another topic.


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