The Flaws and Harms of Weight Loss Treatments
Blunder of Counting Calories for Weight Loss
First published in 2002 - Last edited in May 2022 by Luka Tunjic. © All rights reserved.
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When created the model of counting calories as a method for weight loss or to prevent weight gain, the weight loss scientists and the entire weight loss industry didn't know that metabolic waste (faeces, urine, sweat, breath, etc.) contains calories.
It is difficult to comprehend how is possible to make such a blunder but a little analysis will explain what caused such a blunder.
The undisputed fact is that certain people are naturally thin regardless of what they eat or exercise. With the abundance of food, many people stay thin irrespective of what they eat and how they are physically active.
Still, examples of naturally thin people are ignored in any approach to understanding obesity, but the examples of starvation are a basis for any approach to treating obesity like dieting, increased physical activity, diet pills and weight-loss surgeries- bariatric surgeries.
The fact overlooked or ignored by examples of starvation is that during a starvation period not all people will survive long enough to lose any significant amount of body weight. Whether they are obese, overweight or naturally thin before starvation, during the starvation period just a small percentage of them came to the point of reaching skeletal proportion body weight.
Many people died from starvation before they lost any meaningful amount of body weight. They starved to death before they lost any significant amount of body weight.
Another fact is, that even during starvation not everyone loses weight at the same rate. An article in the British Medical Journal concludes that those who are of normal weight will lose a higher percentage of their body weight and muscle tissue faster than those who are obese when starving during the first three days. Weight loss will be much faster in lean than in obese hunger strikers - U.S. National Library of Medicine
Since ancient times humans knew that for all people whether they were obese, overweight or naturally thin, and whether they are in process of gaining or losing body weight, a regular food intake is an essential factor for optimal work of the internal organs. (The pseudoscience bourn out of great academic blunder twisted nowadays human reasoning.)
Prolonged starvation can cause organ failure.
Popular weight-loss drugs Alli and Xenical may cause kidney and liver damage and organ failure,
Anorexia, Bulimia and Other Eating Disorders ... have the potential to cause long-term damage to the body's organs and organ failure.
Instead of trying to understand why some people are able to come to the point of skeletal proportion they build the entire science of weight gain and weight loss on just one fact of starvation and ignore all the other facts of starvation.
The obesity scientists have picked up just one fact which is that starvation causes weight loss for everyone and inspired by the knowledge of how the internal combustion engine works like a petrol engine and diesel engines they have come to the theory that the balance between calories in food intake and calories spend for basal metabolic rate, plus calories spent through physical activity determines weight gain or weight loss
The “counting calories” as a scientific method to understand and control the weight of the body was introduced at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century and quickly was accepted as an unquestionable scientific truth by the medical establishment and the rest of the population.
For almost one hundred years, the scientists involved in research, prevention and treatment of obesity believed that every single calorie in food intake, if not spent, will be converted into fat mass and stored in fat tissue. This belief was in line with the anabolism and catabolism theory.
In reality, calories are just a measurement of the heat produced when food is burned in laboratories to dry powder ashes. In living organisms, this kind of process (burning) never happens, because the metabolic waste (faeces, urine, sweat, exhaled breath etc.) is not dry powder ashes and on the other side, some food leaves the body before it is fully metabolised and some food leaves the body after it is metabolised. “The counting calories” is the wrong method to determine how much of the food uptake is fully metabolised.
The difference between the energy intake and the energy discarded and excreted as metabolic waste is the amount of energy that is fully metabolised.
Even if we know how much energy is fully metabolised, we still cannot predict the exceeded number of calories that the body will use because some absorbed calories (metabolized food) body excretes through the skin and hair.
One sort of energy (matter) the body does not fully metabolise but excretes mainly through the digestive and urinary system (faecal matter - faecal energy), and another sort is the energy that the body first metabolises and later excretes as metabolic waste through the skin and hair, (for example some people have greasier skin and/or greasier hair than others).
a) The reduction in food intake doesn't always cause weight loss.
b) Under certain circumstances, (in some cases) a reduction in food intake causes weight gain. (Undernutrition causes sluggishness - Sligishnes cause weight gain).
c) The reduction of food intake always causes a decrease in metabolic waste.
The examples of medically unexplained weight loss are further arguments against the “Calorie In - Calorie Out” theory.
Unexplained weight loss when a person doesn’t eat less or exercise more usually happens among people affected with certain conditions. It is called unexplained weight loss because it can’t be explained with the model-theory Calories In-Calories Out.
Despite the fact that they called it unexplained weight loss, they still try to create theories like in the case of weight loss among people affected with cancer. The pseudoscientific explanation of weight loss which can be found on many reputable medical institutions' websites is: “The weight loss is partly due to the increased activity of cancer cells in the body that requires nutrition. That is an example of how the pseudoscience of one biological process (which is in this case the biological process of weight gain and weight loss), negatively affects the ability to understand another biological process (destructive biological process).
One other pseudoscientific explanation of unexplained weight loss relates to people affected with Type 1 diabetes before they start insulin therapy, and weight gain after insulin therapy. They have out of hand created the theory that insulin causes weight gain.
This explanation is not only pseudoscience, but it is the only cause for the epidemic proportion prevalence of diabulimia among people affected with Type 1 diabetes. (Diabulimia is an eating disorder in which people with type 1 diabetes deliberately give themselves less insulin than they need or stop taking it altogether for the purpose of weight loss.)
Apart from the theory Calories In-Calories Out there are countless other theories which their creators and their followers believe explain weight gain and weight loss. Most popular are: Good Calories-Bad Calories, The Carbohydrate-Insulin Model of Obesity - Beyond “Calories In, Calories Out”, etc.
In reality, all those new theories are created by just slightly modifying the theory of Calorie in – Calorie out. Those theories are products of a rich imagination guided by pseudoscience.
Here below are just a few more examples that show that obesity scientists didn't know that faeces contain calories.
(evidence number 5) - Fidgeting theory is further evidence that obesity researchers did not know that the human body excretes “calories” (they didn’t know that metabolic waste contains calories).
“Using sophisticated techniques, they were able to precisely measure the fate of the additional 1,000 calories in each subject. Overall, they found the following:
Fate of Extra 1,000 Calories:
Deposited as fat: 39%
Deposited as other body tissue: 4%
Burned by BMR: 8%
Postprandial thermogenesis: 14%
Burned by NEAT: 33%
The 16 volunteers gained an average of 10 pounds during the two months of the study. However, weight gain varied from two pounds to almost 16 pounds. Those with the greatest increase in NEAT (maximum number of calories burned per day: 692) gained the least amount of fat.
The moral of the story is:
If you want to avoid extra body fat, move around like a little child with ants in his/her pants. Constant fidgeting could be the secret to weight loss revealed by top medical researchers.”
COPYRIGHT 1999 Aerobics and Fitness Association of America
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group
(evidence number 6) - The study that was done by “A Swedish University” is just another piece of evidence that up to the date 7 September 2006, the scientific establishment did not know that metabolic waste contains calories.
“A Swedish university has replicated Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me junk food binge under lab conditions.”(Marten Blomkvist
The Guardian, Thursday 7 September 2006)
”Indeed, Nyström claims that for some people, eating 10% more will lead to their metabolism increasing at the same level. The extra energy will be burned off as body heat during sleep. "If that was not the case we would all have to keep track of every last calorie," he says.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/health/story/0,,1866485,00.html
They think that they track every calorie but they did not know that some energy in food intake leaves the body as metabolic waste, which could be the only reason for the conclusion that the extra energy will be burned as body heat during sleep.
(evidence number 7)
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Gut microbes help the body extract more calories from food." ScienceDaily, 12 September 2012.
... A new study from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine reveals some gut microbes increase the absorption of dietary fats, allowing the host organism to extract more calories from the same amount of food. ... The study was carried out in zebrafish, ... (read full-text article)
(evidence number 8)
According to the Mayo Clinic website, "Brown fat, also called brown adipose tissue, is a special type of body fat that is turned on (activated) when you get cold. Brown fat produces heat to help maintain your body temperature in cold conditions. .. Brown fat contains many more mitochondria than does white fat. These mitochondria are the "engines" in brown fat that burn calories to produce heat. (read full-text article)
For almost one hundred years, the scientists involved in research, prevention and treatment of obesity believed that every single calorie in food intake, if not spent, will be converted into fat mass and stored in fat tissue.
The blunder is immensely embarrassing for academics involved in obesity research, and it is in vain to expect academics to admit it.
The following evidence shows that obesity scientists didn't know that faeces contain calories.
(evidence number 1) -The article published in The New York Times By Jane E. Brody on Feb. 4, 1992, under the title
"Why the Body May Waste the Calories From Alcohol" is just one of many pieces of evidence of how weight loss and obesity scientists at that time didn't know that faeces contain calories.
- (abstract) - This observation baffled nutritionists, who long believed that every calorie that entered the stomach could eventually turn itself into fat. Alcohol researchers, too, wondered how so many alcohol calories could be wasted by the metabolic system, which millions of Americans knew to be highly efficient at storing extra calories as fat. ... (Read the full text of the article in The New York Times.)
(evidence number 2) - London School of Hygiene & Tropical MedicinePRESS RELEASE - 17 March 2003
"100 calories a day enough to stop obesity epidemic in its tracks, advises US nutritionist" ... "It only takes a few small lifestyle changes to achieve this. Anyone pursuing an activity which burns 100 calories a day - say a 15 or 20 minute walk - or reducing their daily intake of food by just 100 calories would be able to head off the steady weight gain which is responsible for much of the adult obesity are seeing today." ... (Read the full text of the article on the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine website.)
(evidence number 3) - Doubly Labelled Water Method to Assess the Dietary Intake study done by scientists from the Medical Research Council - Human Nutrition Research ( MRC Human Nutrition Research) is evidence that scientists involved in the research of obesity did not know that a significant amount of energy in food intake leaves the body as metabolic waste.
“In the 1980s, people did not understand why obese people put on weight. Professor (Dr at the time) Andrew Prentice, at the MRC Dunn Nutrition Unit in Cambridge, worked with Dr Andy Coward to develop the ‘doubly-labelled water method’. This measures how much energy a person expends, using a harmless tracer that tracks the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the body as a by-product of energy generation.” ... “Professor Prentice found that obese people had a higher metabolic rate than their lean counterparts, reflecting their larger body size – dispelling the myth that their obesity was caused by a metabolic or behavioural defect that resulted in reduced energy expenditure1. The team demonstrated that reports of low energy intake were spurious and obese people were eating more calories than previously thought.”
http://www.mrc.ac.uk/Achievementsimpact/Storiesofimpact/Obesity/index.htm Note! Recently I realised that the link doesn't work, which is likely because Medical Research Council - Dunn Nutrition Unit in Cambridge was closed in December 2018. Source: Wikipedia ... (abstract) MRC Human Nutrition Research was the largest research institute in the UK for human nutrition, and was based in Cambridge ... Closed in December 2018.
The scientist involved in this study deserves the credit for proving "that obese people had a higher metabolic rate than their lean counterparts, reflecting their larger body size. Thus dispelling the myth that their obesity is caused by a metabolic or behavioural defect that resulted in reduced energy expenditure."
The negative consequence of that study is it strengthened the wrongly established belief that obese people eat more calories than previously thought. On the other hand, this study is one more piece of evidence indicating that, at that time, the scientists on obesity did not know that metabolic waste (faeces, urine, sweat, breath etc.) contains calories.
(evidence number 4) - The headline from 1995, "Eating too much makes you fat – official", is evidence that scientists involved in the research of obesity did not know that a significant amount of energy in food intake leaves the body as metabolic waste. (They didn't know that faeces contain calories.)
Eating too much makes you fat - official
Metabolism is bunk: Hester Lacey meets the scientists who can prove it
Sunday, 22 January 1995
(abstract) ... And what about all those best-selling diets? In fact, yes, they all work ... "but they all involve calorie reduction ...(read full-text article)
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