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Get into a conversation about weight loss, and it’s pretty inevitable that calories will make a starring appearance. Whether you’re counting, restricting or just generally obsessing over them, they’ve become the be-all and end-all of so many diet plans.

But many scientists remain unconvinced of their importance. Another piece of research has been published in a respectable journal showing that many of the current assumptions about how calories impact on our weight are simply not true.

In his research paper Dietary Glycemic Index and Obesity, DS Ludwig explains:

The concept that “a calorie is a calorie” underlies most conventional weight loss strategies. According to this principle, obesity results from an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. The proposed cure is to eat less and exercise more. However, calorie-restricted, low fat diets have poor long-term effectiveness in the outpatient setting. In a sense, these diets may constitute symptomatic treatment that does not address the physiologic drives to overeat. From a hormonal standpoint, all calories are not alike.

Check out the full article here. It makes interesting for anyone interested in health and nutrition; those of us following Go Lower will know that it’s borne out in practice, not just theory.

1 October 2008

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  1. Saying that all calories are not alike is like saying that a kilogram or a mile or a liter or ounce is not always the same thing. A calorie is by definition supposed to be a constant and it should always have the exact same value/effect. The problem is that health experts simply don’t make the effort to look at the definition of what a calorie really is.

    A Calorie is a quantitative heat chemist tool to determine combustion. In other words how much potential HEAT (burning) can be given of by lets say a piece of meat. They determine it inside a lab with a calometer by placing the object in a closed container, raising the water temp until a spesific point and then measuring the difference. (More in the link given below)

    My question is.. where in the human body (that is an open system by the way) does any of this combustion happen ? The answer is nowhere – we simply CANNOT measure energy utilization inside the human body in calories. We utilize free fatty acids for energy, we dont “burn” anything. How exactly does x amount of calories create y amount of atp energy … remember a calorie is a constant therefore it must always do the same thing…

    I think people should simply refrain from using the word calories at all when it comes to human nutrition. Use the word FOOD instead.

    I stronly recommend this post :

    http://www.drjamescarlson.com/content.aspx?idx=44

  2. surprising researches.
    thank you for sharing it with us

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