Stronger,
Healthier
in Just 30 Minutes
a Week

My Ideas and Insights
on Exercise and Nutrition to
Better Your Life

212 579 9320

A Calorie Isn’t a Calorie. But Colpo Remains Colpo.

by Fred Hahn on July 17, 2012

See! A calorie IS a calorie - NOT. See! A calorie IS a calorie – NOT.

The above chart is taken from the infamous 1956 study by Keckwick and Pawan. Their paper is just one of the many papers that does a very good job of showing that calories in is not, by any stretch, the total story of how we gain fat.

A recent study by Ludwig and colleagues supports these findings via a different experiment. It is a never before tried experiment according to Gary Taubes and many are singing it’s praises.

However, the verbally colorful personal trainer Anthony Colpo doesn’t agree. He blogged on it and, according to him, the paper doesn’t add to the growing body of evidence that low-carb diets offer a metabolic advantage to fat loss. Or by inference, the ingestion of different types of calories (protein, fat and carbohydrates) do not affect our hormones differently. In other words, to Colpo, there is no advantage to fat loss by eating a low sugar/carb diet over say a low fat high carb/sugar diet. To him, fat loss or gain is essentially a matter of calories in/out and that there is no metabolic advantage to low-carb diets at all.

Talk about living in the stone age.

In the blog, Colpo (referred to as AC from now on) was alerted by a fan of his that Dr. Eades applauded this study by tweeting about it. He poked fun at Dr. Eades by saying that “real men don’t tweet.” I noticed that for some time now, AC hasn’t allowed comments on his blog. I’d like to state for the record that real men allow blog comments.

I won’t get too into how wrong AC is on the entire subject. I do want to point out how incorrect he is with respect to the cortisol/CRP issue in the study which he believes were raised to heart attack, muscle wasting levels in the low carb group. An epic fail in thinking if you ask me.

He states:

If heightened catabolism and inflammation constitute an ‘advantage’, then I’ll give it a miss, thank you. I’ll stick to my highly disadvantageous regimen of intelligent nutrition and regular exercise that sees me maintain with minimal fuss the kind of single-digit bodyfat levels most low-carb devotees will only ever be able to dream about.

How humble. The logical fallacies he commits here boggle the mind. So you’re lean – so what? I have friends who eat crap all day and are lean. It’s entirely beside the point.

And sorry AC, none of the groups experienced any abnormal increases in CRP levels including the low-carb group. CRP is a measure of systemic inflammation. As for cortisol, a stress-related hormone, all levels in all groups were well within the norms.

The researchers state in their discussion (the bolding is my doing):

Although the very low-carbohydrate diet produced the greatest improvements in most metabolic syndrome components examined herein, we identified 2 potentially deleterious effects of this diet. Twenty-four hour urinary cortisol excretion, a hormonal measure of stress, was highest with the very low-carbohydrate diet.

Highest yes, but high? Heck no.

What they don’t say, for whatever reason, is that none of the levels measured for CRP or cortisol reached abnormally high levels. Not even close. The levels in ALL groups were well within the norms. Heightened catabolism AC? Poppycock. In fact, all groups saw a significant improvement in their CRP levels, with all groups falling into the normal range, which neatly tucks them into the low risk category for CRP / cortisol measures.

It’s literally insane for the researchers to say “We identified 2 potentially deleterious effects of this diet…” especially considering the statement that I bolded above. As I see it, the researchers, as well as AC, want to make something big out of absolutely nothing. You can almost smell their disdain for the low-carb hypothesis.

Here are the CRP facts:

Baseline average = 1.75 (slightly elevated)
After:
Low-fat average = 0.78 (normal)
Low-glycemic average = 0.76 (normal)
Low-carb average = 0.87 (normal)

Cortisol (below 100 is considered normal):

Baseline average = 58
After:
Low-fat average = 50
Low-glycemic average = 60
Low-carb average = 71

Frightening eh?

Maybe AC and the researchers should read the study before talking about it.

AC also points to a study by Miyashita and colleagues which he calls the “knock-out punch” to the low carb metabolic advantage hypothesis. Really – the knock-out punch?

Considered by many to be a flawed metabolic study, it actually shows a bunch of metabolic advantages to a low-carb diet. It’s true that it didn’t show significant differences in weight loss. And this is interesting. But in just over four weeks, it’s certainly nothing close to a knock-out punch.

The researchers conclude:

These results suggest that, when restrict diet was made isocaloric, a low calorie/low carbohydrate diet might be more effective treatment for a reduction of visceral fat, improved insulin sensitivity and increased in HDL-C levels than low calorie/high carbohydrate diet in obese subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Hmm. If this paper is what he considers a knock-out punch to the low-carb metabolic advantage, AC must have a glass jaw.

Getting back to the cals in/cals out issue, last I checked our stomachs don’t “burn” food the way calories are burned and calculated by burning food in a calorimeter. The digestion of foods is a complex process. How our bodies manage all that is mind-boggling. But don’t be fooled – it is not nearly as simple as “eat 500 calories less per day than what you need to stay at your current weight and you’ll lose a pound of fat in a week.” No siree.

I’ll use the same pic that AC did:

Enzymes and hormones regulate/control how we gain fat, lose fat, gain muscle, lose muscle, on and on and on.

In this paper, if you look to table 4A, you’ll see excess calories but with low rice protein in the diet as the source of protein. Of the 10 subjects fed excess calories, yet low rice protein, five of them lost weight, two had no change in weight and only three gained weight but the gain was piddly.

In the group fed the amount of calories but less protein than they required, they all LOST weight.

In table 4B, protein was once again lower than what the subjects required, but this time from eggs. Lo and behold, the group fed the amount of calories that was supposed to be a maintenance level, all LOST weight. The group fed excess calories did gain weight as did the subjects in the rice protein group but the gain was not statistically significant. One of the six lost weight with excess calories with low egg protein.

But hey – there must be something wrong with all these papers because, like Anthony Colpo keeps screaming from down under, there is no metabolic advantage to low-carb. All calories regardless of the type will make you fatter or leaner only due to the total amount that you eat or burn off.

Right. Sure. Uh-huh.

In this paper, It demonstrates that as long as carbs are restricted, overfeeding fires up the machinery to burn/use fat in basically the same way caloric restriction does.

Perhaps Colpo would enjoy reading and hopefully understand this blog by Dr. Richard Feinman, a man that Colpo lumps into what he calls the MAD men (metabolic advantage dogma) believers. But it’s not a matter of belief as you can see from the above evidence. It’s a matter of fact.

When ingested, a calorie isn’t just a calorie. Or perhaps it was best said by Dr. Jeff Volek:

You are not what you eat. You are what your body does with what you eat.

Your thoughts?

I've been involved in exercise ever since I became a member of The Charles Atlas Club when I was 10 years old. In 1998, I founded and established Serious Strength on the Upper West Side of NYC. My clients include kids, seniors (and everyone in between), top CEOs, celebrities, bestselling authors, journalists and TV personalities.
my book. my Gym.

in Health/Fitness,Losing weight/diet,Nutrition,obesity · 47 comments

{ 47 comments }

sumoman July 17, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Fred, my personal guru, Dr Doug, says that fruit is the food which is most efficiently absorbed by the body, i.e. that the calories in fruit is that which is most efficiently assimilated by the body.

You seem to be implying that the high fat/protein approach you promote results in less calorie usage by the body, i.e. that the calories in high fat/protein foods is less efficiently assimilated by the body.

Thus the fat/protein approach is that of inefficiency. This ties in nicely with the inefficient HIT approach to training.

Rebecca Latham July 17, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Excellent article, Fred! I loves me some good CICO bashing!

johnny July 17, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Colpo used to be an avid low carber. However, out of the blue he became high carber, carrying what seems like a pathological hatred towards low carbers.

What caused the switch? Sagging sales of his books, got kicked in the head by a kangaroo?

So now he cherry picks studies to “prove” his point. To me it was clear that Dr. Eades blew him away on his response to Colpo’s metabolic advantage criticism.

Yet he keeps writing nonsense, protecting himself from being exposed by banning comments on his site.

I’ve always wandered why there is a dearth of his pics on the internet, 3-4 at the most. And the one he shows shirtless (with pants on) his head and neck seem to be out of proportion to his body. What is a photoshop or was his mother a giraffe?

cancerclasses July 17, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Excerpts from ‘The “Calorie Theory” (i.e. calorie GUESS) is Incomplete’. http://goo.gl/h6om0
“For decades, we have all been told that “calories” consumed minus “calories” expended equals the amount of weight gain or loss. But this overly simplistic view has caused widespread suffering, because when it fails, the dieter feels responsible for the failure. I want to make it very clear that the “experts” have failed YOU.

THE “CALORIE THEORY” WAS DISPROVED BY PHYSICIANS OVER 100 YEARS AGO, IN 1893!

It’s hard to believe, but many nutritionists and physicians have an incomplete understanding of how food is used by your body. Unfortunately, they do not fully understand how your body distinguishes among carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Each of these three different food groups has a different role in the human body. Therefore, the body treats each food group very differently.

Calorie theory proponents ignore the fact that humans eat for (physiological) STRUCTURE – making muscles (cells & cell structures including membranes & mitochondria), hormones, enzymes, antibodies, and bones – not merely to generate energy by “burning” the food. If we must make a comparison, a body is much more like a chemical factory than an heat engine. As a chemical factory, we convert food into complex substances and structures. Furthermore, our body maintains the same temperature throughout. If the heat engine analogy was correct, we would measure a vastly different temperature between our feet and our head. We don’t.

The great news is that certain foods can be eaten that will NOT make you fat – REGARDLESS of calorie content.

No one is eating “calories”. We eat food. “Calories” are merely a measure of POSSIBLE (potential) energy available from burning each food. This measurement doesn’t take into account what that particular food is being used for by your body.

In April 2003, Harvard University found people on a low carbohydrate diet could eat 25,000 MORE CALORIES than those on a high-carbohydrate diet and at the end of the 12-week study, THEY GAINED ZERO POUNDS!
That’s right. No. Weight. Gain.

(The directory of the study was mystified because she too had believed that a calorie is a calorie, regardless of what food it comes from. LOL)”

And none of the foregoing considers the fact that the body often excretes food it can’t use or doesn’t need, in other words food calories are NOT always utilized, either for physiological structure or even as a fuel substrate. Anyone that takes vitamin and mineral supplements knows that and occasionally can even see & smell excess nutrients in their urine.

Finally, if calories in always & forever balanced with calories out, expended as work, you’d never see a high fat content floater in the toilet bowl, even more visible proof that the body doesn’t always burn even all fats as a fuel substrate.

fred hahn July 17, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Juan – Your guru is wrong. The physicists who are trying to send people to mars say its eggs that are best assimilated.

Graham Lutz July 17, 2012 at 3:26 PM

I love to see people with deeply ingrained dogma (AC) ripped apart with science by the people they claim are dogmatic. It’s like a train wreck! just cant stop watching!

My favorite is when they point to the first law of thermodynamics as if the number of calories burned is static and completely independent of every other process in the body.

I point those people to the second law of thermodynamics, which more thoroughly explains how calories are handled.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC506782/

sumoman July 17, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Fred, I wouldn’t want to be in a martian capsule with your egg eating physicists – the atmosphere would be most unpleasant and indicative of poor digestion.

cancerclasses July 17, 2012 at 5:00 PM

@sumoman: High fat/protein diets don’t “result” in less calorie usage because they are less efficiently assimilated by the body, it’s just the opposite, protein and particularly fats are MORE efficiently utilized by the body than carbs. The body ‘requires’ less total calories on High fat/protein diets to produce the same or more ATP energy yield, and not just because fats have twice the caloric density than carbs.

For example the energy content of carbohydrates is **naturally** low compared to fats. ALL carbs digest & are broken down to six carbon glucose molecules, with metabolic inefficiencies & conversion losses 1 six carbon glucose molecule only yields around 30 molecules of ATP, whereas a single 18 carbon stearic acid molecule, although having only twice the caloric density of carbs and only three times more carbon atoms than the 6 carbon glucose, yields 147 ATP for mitochondrial energy, 5 times MORE energy than carbs!!! Some medical & physiology textbooks say six times more ATP, take your pick. Just 4 tablespoons of good butter or coconut oil only has 400 calories, but multiplied by 5 times the ATP energy yield over carbs that saturated fat produces the energy equivalent to 2000 calories of carbs! And doing the math so even AC can understand, that means you can eat 5 times LESS calories of fat than of carbs to product the SAME amount of ATP.

As a pure fuel substrate for metabolic energy you’re even better off having 3 or 4 shots of whiskey than anything made of carbohydrates, since ethanol at 7 calories per gram has almost TWICE the caloric density than carbohydrates. One shot of alcohol equals 28 grams by weight, multiplied by 7 calories per gram equals 196 calories per shot. Just 5 shots of ethanol at 140 grams yields 980 calories, but it takes 250 grams of carbs to yield a similar 1000 calories of potential energy. That’s also the mechanism that explains why hard core alcoholics seem to never eat, they’re getting their ATP energy from a high yield fuel substrate that’s superior to carbs.

Good luck with your fruit & your guru.

fred hahn July 17, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Cancerclasses – nice post. Are you in the field?

Ed July 17, 2012 at 9:12 PM

My favorite comment on Colpo lately has been by “ItsTheWooo”:

I’m trying to read Colpo’s interpretation, but he is so aggressive and abrasive it’s hard to even make it through. TO LAFF, the same people criticize me for being hard to tolerate, ha I am a box of kittens compared to this guy. I sort of want to give him some liquid VPA or an emergency haldol shot. Calm down, buddy, it’s not that serious! You’re going to end up in the quiet room!!

A summary of Colpo’s analysis :

1) GRRRAAAAAH I KICKED EADES ASS IN 2010!!!!

2) OKAY, SOMETIMES BUT NOT ALWAYS LOW CARB DIETS LEAD TO A GREATER EE. BUT THEY DON’T WEIGH ANY LESS! [my note: maybe they are just less fat and more muscular, dummy, sort of like you have replaced your brain with muscle, apparently.]

3) I AM RANDOMLY GOING TO MAKE UP NONSENSE AND SAY THAT THE GREATER VLC EE IS BECAUSE OF HYPERCORTISOLISM IN SPITE OF ZERO EVIDENCE THIS IS THE CASE. I WIN.

4) AND MORE OF A REITERATION THAT A CALORIE IS A CALORIE BECAUSE I AM A BOSS AND I LIFT HEAVY OBJECTS IN AUSTRALIA ALL DAY FUCKER.

It’s hard to top that. 🙂

mike July 17, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Yes, fruit is most well absorbed by the body… That’s why it gives you the runs and turns your poo neat colors!
Stallone should have had Rocky dump a dozen kiwis into that blender and drink it before his workout!

cancerclasses July 18, 2012 at 1:12 AM

Hey thanks Fred, not in the field, I’m at home scouring the web again. Seriously tho, I have been thinking about getting into this on some level, maybe as a certified diabetes educator or something, but am still divining the pathway in and am reluctant to subject myself to the brain damage from the nutritional & medical establishment just for some alphabet soup behind my name. I must say though, the more examples I find of the extremely low level of thinking exhibited by even some PhD’s & medical & nutritional professionals, the more compelled I feel to jump in head first to help straighten out the nutritional & health disaster foisted upon us by the “experts” for the last 80 years.

Sorry to jump in here so abruptly, sometimes it’s hard to restrain myself from throwing in my 2 cents worth.

Alex July 18, 2012 at 5:47 AM

Just a couple of minor corrections to an otherwise excellent post:

A calorie IS a calorie – inasmuch as a kilogram is a kilogram! Calories are just a unit of measure (of heat) just as are kilograms (of mass).

HOWEVER (and it is a BIG however), no-one would argue that a kilogram of lead is exactly the same as a kilogram of gold (other than in mass) – so why do people insist that a calorie or, more accurately, a kilocalorie’s worth of a carbohydrate, like sugar, is the same (and has the same metabolic effect) as a kilocalorie’s worth of protein or fat?

Alex July 18, 2012 at 5:50 AM

Sorry, that should have been – and is – ONE minor correction!

Fred Hahn July 18, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Alex yes – you are correct. But when we say “calories” we are referring to all three at once – protein, fat and carbohydrates. So a calorie of protein is a calorie of protein to be sure (although proteins are different!) but a calorie of fat is not a calorie of protein and the combo is even more different.

That is what is generally meant I think when people, like me, say “a calorie isn’t a calorie.”

Alex July 18, 2012 at 10:56 AM

^Understood!

Another analogy I use, to point out the sheer ridiculousness of the whole CICO argument, is this:

If I was to put 1000 kcals of urine in your petrol tank, would you expect your car to perform exactly the same as if I was to put 1000 kcals of petrol in the tank?!

It’s not the units of energy that mean anything but the composition of the substance and how it interacts with the mechanism that is the most important factor.

No doubt sawdust could be given a caloric value, since it can be burned to ash in a bomb calorimeter, but I doubt you would absorb too many of those calories if you ate a bowlful of sawdust!

It really does boggle the mind how supposedly intelligent people can cleave so strongly to such a reductionist idea that has so little merit if you take it to its logical conclusion!

sumoman July 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM

cancerclasses, I think you are perhaps getting a little confused regarding efficiency and calories (though I applaud your thoughful approach to the subject).

In terms of efficiency of converting foodstuffs to glucose then fruit is more efficient than eating fat or protein. With fruit there is very little conversion necessary, the fruit sugars glucose and fructose are directly absorbed by the gut within a few minutes of ingestion (fats and proteins can take the better part of a day).

Similarly per calorie, fruit sugars are more efficiently converted to glucose (being almost glucose in the first place), whereas fats and proteins lose energy in being converted to glucose. Thus per calorie, fats and proteins are less efficiently converted as they take ages to be absorbed and then go through convoluted chemical processing to end up as glucose (this conversion takes energy, so less is available for you to use in such things as physical exercise).

mike, your experience of fruit is coloured by your eating of too much fat which inhibits absorption of fruit. If you stop eating so much glutinous fat then your digestive system would work properly and process fruit instead of dumping it.

Fred Hahn July 18, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Juan –

You’re missing the point – purposefully it seems to me. And your point, whatever it may be is not what the blog is about.

Go on and become a frutitarian and see how your strength fares.

sumoman July 18, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Fred, my point from my very first comment is that ‘the calories in high fat/protein foods is less efficiently assimilated by the body.’ This is what I elaborated on in my second comment. There is nothing inconsistent or unclear about my point.

Your graph supported this notion as did your comments.

I hardly think this is a point worthy of a silly riposte, or else I might as well say to you ‘Go on and become a meattarian and see how your strength fares.’ – obviously that hasn’t gone well for you as your bones are falling apart and you are constantly fighting beer.

Fred Hahn July 18, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Your definition of “efficient” is what is in question. Food that contain superior nutrient/fuel density require the body to work to obtain these. Fruit is mainly sugar and fiber. Quickly absorbed but so what? It is an inferior substrate.

My graph showed that fat gain or loss is not as simple as cals in/out. That is the point of the blog – which you still don’t get.

I haven’t had a beer in a long time. And my joints are fine thank you save for my knees and back which have been battered by years of martial arts and other physical activities.

The amount of logical fallacies you commit in a very short time is impressive.

mike July 19, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Sumoman, if you think that something that contains high levels of carbohydrate that cannot be digested at all (fiber) and water is an “efficient” way to provide your body with fuel, good luck. Tasty, I’ll give you…
Fred, big fan!

Fred Hahn July 19, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Thanks Mike!

sumoman July 19, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Yes mike, well done.

Fruit is an efficient way to ‘re-carb’ after strenuous physical activity and will provide the body with calories within minutes of consumption.

Obviously if one were to consume lard after strenuous physical activity there would be no effect for many hours which explains why fat eaters are so fat because they still feel hungry for calories after consuming lard – thus they eat until stuffed because this signals that they are satiated.

Fred, I know what your graph shows – I was attempting to explain why this is so. As usual you got all defensive. I agreed with you that eating fat and protein is an inefficient way to take in calories. You have verified this many times, in fact your last comment said, ‘Food that contain superior nutrient/fuel density require the body to work to obtain these.’

Thus we both agree that fat and protein requires work to liberate its energy whereas fruit calories require very little work.

I fail to see why you are getting all worked up when we are agreeing with one another. You are a very emotional person.

fred hahn July 19, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Worked up? ROTFLMAO.

sumoman July 19, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Fred, you have just demonstrated, most excellently, an emotional rather than a rational response.

I have now explained several times that fruit energy is much more efficiently converted to energy for the body both in terms of speed and efficiency compared to lard.

You have not disputed this (presumably because it is scientifically indisputable), rather you have rolled around on the floor laughing madly.

You also said that ‘Fruit is mainly sugar and fiber’, it seems you are also unaware that fruit contains all the necessary proteins and fats you need.

Fred Hahn July 19, 2012 at 6:00 PM

“Fred, you have just demonstrated, most excellently, an emotional rather than a rational response.”

Thank you.

“I have now explained several times that fruit energy is much more efficiently converted to energy for the body both in terms of speed and efficiency compared to lard.”

Your point is moot since, depending on the fruit and the amount, you may be right or wrong.

“You have not disputed this (presumably because it is scientifically indisputable), rather you have rolled around on the floor laughing madly.”

Madly is not part of that abbreviation.

“You also said that ‘Fruit is mainly sugar and fiber’, it seems you are also unaware that fruit contains all the necessary proteins and fats you need.”

I was not the one who said that actually. Mike said that. And fruit does not contain all of the amino acids that a human being requires nor does it contain certian vital micronutrients like B12. Other than the avacoado, most fruits contail little if any fat. Your guru is screwing your head up.

mike July 19, 2012 at 7:51 PM

My point that fruit is not an “efficient” source of energy is mainly because so much of it by weight is not energy at all. How many apples would a marathon runner have to consume to keep his body fuelled? He would have to drag a pretty large sack behind him. This is not efficient. Not to mention, much of the sugar in fruit is in the form of fructose, which has a low glycemic index, and is not well tolerated by the body in large amounts.

Anyway, since we are all debating the relative advantages of one macro-nutrient over another when it comes to providing energy, I think we can all agree that the “Calorie-is-a-calorie” adage is B.S. which makes the point of Fred’s article above true.
Like how I tried to bring it all back to the point..?

Fred Hahn July 20, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Juan likes to argue for the sake of it. He’s not actually serious about what he is saying. He shifts goal posts, creates stramwan arguments, and commits many other logical fallacies just to get my goat.

But he is strong, make no mistake.

sumoman July 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

mike, a marathon runner would not carry anything around with him if he properly carb loaded himself before a race – whereas an HIT marathon runner might well consume a pint of lard before or during the race but he would not finish the race.

Fred, it is true that I am heroically strong however my points are made because when one is convinced one is correct one is invariably wrong. I am not wrong about this.

For example my personal guru Dr Doug is convinced he is correct and you are convinced you are correct. What makes you think you are right given that Dr Doug thinks he is right.

Have you ever wondered why this is so in virtually all spheres of human learning, i.e. why it is that some think they are correct when others think they are correct?

Fred Hahn July 20, 2012 at 1:21 PM

“mike, a marathon runner would not carry anything around with him if he properly carb loaded himself before a race – whereas an HIT marathon runner might well consume a pint of lard before or during the race but he would not finish the race.”

You appear to be completely unaware of the research on how unimportant carb loading is – for any athlete.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Science-Carbohydrate-Performance/dp/0983490716/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

“Fred, it is true that I am heroically strong however my points are made because when one is convinced one is correct one is invariably wrong. I am not wrong about this.”

Well there you go then.

“For example my personal guru Dr Doug is convinced he is correct and you are convinced you are correct. What makes you think you are right given that Dr Doug thinks he is right.”

It isn’t a matter of “right” or “wrong” – it’s a matter of science. You should know this.

“Have you ever wondered why this is so in virtually all spheres of human learning, i.e. why it is that some think they are correct when others think they are correct?”

And that is why we should let current science lead the way. Science as a candle in the dark. FE: If one was to say Pilates is the best way to build superhuman strength, one would need to produce some evidence to support such a claim. If someone says that fruit is the best way to recover from exercise, evidence should be available.

You said that fruit provides all of the needed fats and proteins.

Prove it. If you can’t, you’re wrong.

S Andrei Ostric July 20, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Nice blogpost, Fred. Maybe AC doesn’t believe in metabolic advantage, but he sure knows about media advantage. Eventually, the gimmick wears off…we know you have big muscle and eat carbs…great…NEXT!

mike July 20, 2012 at 6:26 PM

“when one is convinced one is correct, one is invariably wrong. I am not wrong”

Favorite quote ever 🙂

I do feel as though I’m being baited, lol.

Keep up the good work, Fred!

thanks, but no thanks July 30, 2012 at 2:41 PM

I found your blog via a post on Lyle McDonald’s site where I saw this ridiculous statement:

“Simply omit the name Bray and insert the name McDonald:”

What an “intellectually” dishonest thing to say. Talk about putting words in someone’s mouth. And again, right here:

“In other words, to Colpo, there is no advantage to fat loss by eating a low sugar/carb diet over say a low fat high carb/sugar diet.”

“The logical fallacies he commits here boggle the mind. So you’re lean – so what? I have friends who eat crap all day and are lean. ”

Do you have ANY idea whatsoever what a logical fallacy is? You just committed one after having accused Colpo of doing it.

fred hahn July 30, 2012 at 2:49 PM

As far as I can tell, you are creating a strawman argument with whatever I might have said about George Bray. Be kind enough not to pull a Mitt Romney and quote the entirely of what I said if you’re going to accuse me of dishonesty.

Colpo has said time and time again that a low carb diet offers no metabolic advantage to any other diet.

What logical fallacy did I commit? Please name it.

sumoman July 31, 2012 at 1:30 PM

“I have friends who eat crap all day and are lean. It’s entirely beside the point.” – Fred, I believe that is a logical phallacy.

Adam August 2, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Great post, Fred. I’m about to do an SB workout in front of the Olympics. Not that your system has made me an Olympian by any stretch, but I sure have a better body than I did 4 years ago. Weird, huh? Considering that 4 years ago I spent about 5 times as much energy/time “working out” (i.e. running, yoga, other assorted nonsense).

Here’s a little experiment I’d like to see Colpo or any of the other Calorie Wizards try. How about a diet of 2000 kcals a day of pure liquid sugar vs a diet of 2000 kcals of paleo/low carb food. Try that for a month! Would this “Mountain Dew” diet yield up IDENTICAL metabolic and fat loss results to an isocaloric Paleo/LC diet (or even, heaven forfend, a typically prescribed high carb low fat diet like LEARN or whatever)?

Let’s force these f-ers to man up. You say it’s “all about calories”? Then freaking prove it. Eat the worst kind of calories known to man, but feel free to count the bejeezus out of them. Do the Mountain Dew diet for 30 days. If you lose fat/get healthier, then I’ll cry uncle. 🙂

Fred Hahn August 3, 2012 at 7:54 AM

Hi Adam –

Your fictitious experiment is a good one and one that I use with clients and peers all the time but I substitute Twinkies for the liquid sugar.

As far as I can tell, Colpo would say fat loss or gain would essentially be the same for both. A calorie is a calorie, right?

They will never do it.

The sad part for Colpo is, he has shown such vehement criticism against low carb everything he can NEVER EVER allow himself to see and admit the truth or he’ll look like a colossal idiot.

Adam August 3, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Ha! Interesting that you use that idea, too. I like it because it highlights what should be an obvious point (i.e. different foods do different things to our bodies) without getting into the counterintuitive stuff (e.g. guess what? fat is not only not bad for you… but within a certain dietary context, it’s great! etc.)

I’d enjoy seeing one of these guys try that experiment to prove us wrong. I’d be happy to serve as a control. I’ll eat 2000 kcals of bacon; Colpo can eat 2000 kcals of Twinkies.

The tragedy is that guys like Colpo have so much energy and passion for this stuff — I believe they want to help people. It’s just been misdirected to the Dark Side of the Force. Same thing with Gina Kolata, George Bray, the whole rogue’s gallery. Why is it so hard to put aside ego for the good of humanity? What’s wrong with saying “hmm, maybe the ‘eat less sugar and get stronger, safely’ message could have some validity” instead of petulantly spewing bile like a 3 year old whose toy just got taken away?

Sigh.

One day, these Dark Ages shall pass!

Fred Hahn August 3, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Because they are far too tied to their current beliefs. Colpo is odd because he used to see the low carb light and something bumped him off the road of science and onto mainstream madness.

Adam August 3, 2012 at 1:03 PM

True. Call me naive, but perhaps he and others can one day be “re-convinced” a la Veder turning on the Emperor. A (daunting) task for another day.

Meanwhile, been meaning to write you, but I’m starting up a podcast with the help of Jimmy Moore’s producer. Got some good guests lined up (Jimmy, Gary, Peter Attia). Would you be interested in coming on, too, at some point? I’d love to help spread the word about your exercise message.

Fred Hahn August 3, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Sure Adam! Thanks for asking.

Adam August 3, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Cool! Thanks Fred. Will be in touch once this thing gets up and rolling :]

Razwell December 6, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Dear Fred:

You will love these gems by Internet fraud Anthony Colpo:

http://www.lowcarb.com.au/health/common-myths.htm

http://www.lowcarb.com.au/health/Vic-gov.htm

http://www.lowcarb.com.au/health/letter-Pike.htm

What changed? $$$$$$MONEY. His low carb cholesterol book did not sell well at all. So , he came out with a phony argument with Dr. Eades at the SAME EXACT time his Fat Loss book came out to boost sales.

I have never met a more unscientific person in my life. All you have to do is watch Richard Feynman videos about uncertainty and Colpo becomes the ANTITHESIS to science. His ignorance about the essence of science is laughable .

Colpo is unfamiliar with the tentative nature of science. He lacks understanding of the following concept:

In science, BOTH theories AND laws could be shown to be wrong at some time if there are data to suggest so. Both Richard Feynman and Albert Einstein knew this.

Our best genuises in history were ONLY” fog fighters” struggling mightily to understand the natural world. Our very best scientifci theories are ONLY approximations of the truth. Some are outright wrong.

Colpo is a joke. Urgelt of YouTube first set me straight abuot that guy years back. He saw him as a cherry picking charlatan with no understanding of science.

Take care,

Raz

Razwell December 6, 2012 at 7:30 PM

I forgot to add, Fred:

HERE is a very recent study from Penn that showed that mice became OBESE WITHOUT consuming more calories. They ate at unnatural times.

http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2012/11/fitzgerald/

Mice are extremely like us in regard to body weight regulation which is a huge reason they are used. Friedman, Liebel confirm this. Another thing Colpo gets wrong.

There are about 4 others have seen like this on Science Daily over the years where you can make mice fat WITHOUT consuming more calories.

The Caloric Hypothesis is a DEAD HORSE in the world of science. it isvery obvious by now.

bananabender August 16, 2014 at 7:34 AM

All this article shows is that you have no understanding of basic nutrition science:

The high protein group lost weight because protein is diuretic. In other words the subjects lost water weight. This is a short term phenomenon that lasts 1-2 weeks.

Fat, in large quantities, is very poorly absorbed – that is why the high fat diet group lost weight.

Excess carbohydrates are stored as glycogen. Each gram of glycogen causes an extra 3 grams of water to be stored. Carbohydrate also significantly increases the mass of gut bacteria.

Properly controlled modern metabolic ward studies show that their is NO metabolic advantage to low carbohydrate diets.

Fred Hahn August 16, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Bannana Bender said:

“All this article shows is that you have no understanding of basic nutrition science:
The high protein group lost weight because protein is diuretic. In other words the subjects lost water weight. This is a short term phenomenon that lasts 1-2 weeks.”

***Protein is NOT a diuretic. A low carb diet has a short term diuretic effect since you are not storing as much glycogen in the muscles as when on a high carb diet. So you kind of need to eat your own words there my friend.

“Fat, in large quantities, is very poorly absorbed – that is why the high fat diet group lost weight.”

****Please support your claim with science.

“Excess carbohydrates are stored as glycogen. Each gram of glycogen causes an extra 3 grams of water to be stored. Carbohydrate also significantly increases the mass of gut bacteria.”

****Yes primarily the bad bacteria. And excess carbohydrates are also converted to triglycerides and stored as fat.

“Properly controlled modern metabolic ward studies show that their is NO metabolic advantage to low carbohydrate diets.”

****Wrong because ALL ward studies that compare the two diets are always calorie reduced diets. The subjects on the “high carb” diets are always eating far less carbohydrates than they were befroe they entered the study. So BOTH diets are effectively lower carb diets. The lowest carb diets usually perform the best overall both in terms of fat loss, lean maintenance and blood markers.

Razwell August 27, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Hi Fred,

The ” laws” of physics always remain provisional. Colpo does not even understand the basics.

Take care,
Razwell

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: