Energy In = Energy Out? - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Energy In = Energy Out?



      By John Kiefer Flex

      Who would ever have imagined that two diets with an identical calorie count - high-carb and ultralow carb - would have such vastly difering results in terms of fat loss and muscle gain. After all, energy-in equals energy-out, and it all gets balanced in the end, regardless of when we train and when we eat. At least that’s what we’ve been told for decades.

      To the “experts,” this is simply an exercise in the first law of thermodynamics, which states that energy is neither created nor destroyed. In other words, the total energy of the system must be the same, before and after which means that 500 calories of carbs will produce the same result as 500 calories of protein or fat.

      The first law of thermodynamics, however, doesn’t mention anything about efficiency in terms of how the body converts this food into energy. It also tells us nothing about what happens if more or less of this energy is wasted depending on what types of macronutrients we’re taking in.

      LET’S TRY A DIFFERENT LAW

      The second law of thermodynamics is more applicable to the human body, because it allows for the notion of efficiency. Efficiency is a measure of how much work you’re getting done based on the energy you’re putting in. A standard internal combustion engine the one in your car is approximately 33% efficient. This means that about a third of the energy you’re putting in actually does work. You’re losing the rest of it in the form of heat.

      This is essentially how your body works. When your diet consists of 60% carbs, your body wastes about two-thirds of the ingested energy as heat. Some of this helps hold our internal temperature constant, but the rest is lost in other ways. Research on efficiency and wasted heat shows that carbs lead the way in this department when they comprise 55% of the diet or greater. Carbs make you effcient. As you’ll soon see, that’s not what you want.

      AT A DIFFERENT OCTANE

      What happens, however, when we use a different type of fuel? Obviously, the efficiency levels would change, the fuel would burn in different ways, and you’d either increase or decrease your gas mileage. Add ethanol to a car, and your fuel economy decreases. Add other hydrocarbons, like anti-knocking agents, and it increases.

      Try to transfer this logic to the human body, however, and most physique coaches’ eyes glaze over as though, in 2013, it’s still inconceivable that different ratios of macronutrients can cause diferent amounts of energy to be wasted in the human body. A calorie, after all, is still a calorie.

      The body, however, disagrees, and it obeys the second law of thermodynamics. This means it varies in efficiency based on activity, hormonal status, and the type of fuel we provide. That’s why Wilbur Atwater, who introduced the 4-4-9 calorie values for carbs, protein, and fat, distinguished between physical fuel values and physiological fuel values.

      The physical fuel value is the amount of energy you can get out of food by burning it with oxygen. You throw food in an oven, incinerate it, then record the total amount of heat released. The physiological fuel value is the amount of energy an organism can derive from the fuel, which can be higher or lower than the physical fuel value.

      It has been found that the human body, in a growth stage, can get more than 11 calories per gram out of fat significantly more than the 9 grams listed on most nutritional labels. This is because different activities require diferent enzymes or other molecules. Different or accelerated avenues of metabolization can produce different amounts of energy, and a calorie of fat is clearly not a calorie of fat. The same concept holds true for protein, as well, and these values don’t match up there, either. About 2% of your ingested calories of fat, 7% of carbs, and 30% of protein is wasted as heat whenever you eat.

      HOW THIS APPLIES

      If we take our 60% carb diet and invert it so a larger percentage of calories now comes from protein, two 2,000 calorie diets are possible: a high-carb version providing 1,850 physiological calories, and a low-carb one that provides 1,700 (accounting for all the heat loss). By swapping things out, we cut 150 usable calories per day, even though we’re still consuming 2,000.

      If you love food, but want to drop fat and build mass, being inefficient is a good thing. If you’re inefficient, you can eat more and actually drop fat. My diets, the Carb Nite Solution and Carb Back-Loading, manipulate this effect to make the human body as inefficient as possible at the right times. With CNS, the diet has been refined to where your body almost literally can’t store the carbs you’re taking in as fat. You work so hard trying to process them that it releases a ton of heat, you sweat like a faucet, and your vascularity goes through the ceiling. So stop counting calories and start worrying about your body’s efciency and inefficiency. It’s a law of physics, and I’ll take the advice of a physicist over an Internet diet guru any day of the week.

      Source: http://www.flexonline.com/nutrition/calorie-fallacy
      Comments 9 Comments
      1. saggy321's Avatar
        saggy321 -
        I thought the second law was to do with the entropy of isolated system remaining constant? I also thought that the thermic effects of different macro nutrients have already been discussed and not found to be material overall.
      1. iopknuckles's Avatar
        iopknuckles -
        I'm a little confused. Are you saying eat less than 55% carbs and eat more protein so that more of the carbs are wasted?
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Comparing carbs to protein, yes, carbs are more efficient but not by much. It is interesting that he didnt compare carbs to fats. Fats are very, very efficient and do not burn much fuel at all to be processed.

        This is why I've always advocated a low fat diet and a high carb/high protein diet to get ripped. It really works.

        TEF or thermic effect of feeding DOES matter. Saturated fats kill the appetite, take very long to break down and use very little energy to process. Replace fats with carbs and protein and your metabolism shoots way up. The more protein, the faster the metabolism.
      1. audix2359's Avatar
        audix2359 -
        Pure BS.
      1. saggy321's Avatar
        saggy321 -
        Originally Posted by fueledpassion View Post
        Comparing carbs to protein, yes, carbs are more efficient but not by much. It is interesting that he didnt compare carbs to fats. Fats are very, very efficient and do not burn much fuel at all to be processed.

        This is why I've always advocated a low fat diet and a high carb/high protein diet to get ripped. It really works.

        TEF or thermic effect of feeding DOES matter. Saturated fats kill the appetite, take very long to break down and use very little energy to process. Replace fats with carbs and protein and your metabolism shoots way up. The more protein, the faster the metabolism.
        In the grand scheme of things it really doesn't!
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Originally Posted by saggy321 View Post
        In the grand scheme of things it really doesn't!
        There is a mound of evidence that supports this. Just because the studies took place before your time doesn' make it untrue or invalid.

        Explain yourself.
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        It's really not that hard to figure it out either. Let's say your maintenance level with a 50% fat diet is 1800kcals. That assumes you burn 1800 calories a day and you eat 1800 a day. If you switch that over to 50% protein, 30% carbs and 20% fats, you'll still have 1800kcals a day but you are now burning more than 1800kcals since the foods you eat release more heat in the process and because they require more energy to convert.

        MCT's are an example of this which is why it is often known to be "thermogenic". So with this method you can burn fat without cutting calories, which is best since you don't trigger the homeostatic mechanisms in the body causing your BMR to adjust downward. Essentially, you lose no muscle mass in the process of cutting fat.

        I tried this before my show a year ago and I started eating a 2000kcals/day diet @ 11.5% BF and ended up eating 2700kcals/day, 12 weeks later and about 8.5% BF and hadn't lost a single pound of weight. So don't give me hog wash that it doesn't work. It just isn't understood by people who are fixated on calories in/calories out bull crap that maintstream wellness industry preaches.
      1. saggy321's Avatar
        saggy321 -
        Originally Posted by fueledpassion View Post
        It's really not that hard to figure it out either. Let's say your maintenance level with a 50% fat diet is 1800kcals. That assumes you burn 1800 calories a day and you eat 1800 a day. If you switch that over to 50% protein, 30% carbs and 20% fats, you'll still have 1800kcals a day but you are now burning more than 1800kcals since the foods you eat release more heat in the process and because they require more energy to convert.

        MCT's are an example of this which is why it is often known to be "thermogenic". So with this method you can burn fat without cutting calories, which is best since you don't trigger the homeostatic mechanisms in the body causing your BMR to adjust downward. Essentially, you lose no muscle mass in the process of cutting fat.

        I tried this before my show a year ago and I started eating a 2000kcals/day diet @ 11.5% BF and ended up eating 2700kcals/day, 12 weeks later and about 8.5% BF and hadn't lost a single pound of weight. So don't give me hog wash that it doesn't work. It just isn't understood by people who are fixated on calories in/calories out bull crap that maintstream wellness industry preaches.
        So what you're saying is that two isocaloric diets composed of different ratios of macronutrients will result in different amounts of weight loss with all else being equal?
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Originally Posted by saggy321 View Post

        So what you're saying is that two isocaloric diets composed of different ratios of macronutrients will result in different amounts of weight loss with all else being equal?
        Not quite. I'm saying that different macronutrient compositions affect the metabolism by heat discharge & efficiency level. The less efficient the food, the less likely fat storage will occur during digestion of the meal. This isnt about how much weight u lose. Its about what kind of weight u lose. This method can allow u to still eat maintenance level calories while avoiding any sort of fat storage. Performing cardio with such a plan and you have a recipe for fat burning without the lose of muscle or reduction of the metabolism. This article meant well but the author botched it up by not including key points to put the puzzle together. The more calories, the higher the BMR thus more muscle mass. The idea here is to feed the muscle adequate amounts of food while using fat calories to help sustain the remaining activities above ur maintenance level. This diet is an approach to cutting fat without cutting calories to any significant degree. In doing this, your body wont adjust its BMR downward to the caloric intake because u arent cutting any calories.