NATE,,,,...Idea for a diet/nutrition podcast

@Nate the law of thermodynamics is true however it is useless and over simplistic on its description. As you said above calories in Vs calories burned (as opposed to just cico) is a better way to describe it. Explaining why there are more calories in or out is however far more complicated and the reason why it isn’t quite as simple as move more and/or eat less. This is because these two variables are not independent of each other (the cico model that is part of conventional wisdom however assumes that they are) eg: calories out via exercise likely affects your calories in through hunger, what you eat and how much as well as how much you move throughout the rest of the day and many other things which we cannot possibly calculate and the same with ‘calories in’ which simply must affect your calories out again by how much and what you eat as well as timing and all the effects this has on metabolism and energy levels and on and on…

I would love you to get Jason Fung on the show but an even better guest would be Dr Peter Attia, who is a well known for all his n+1 experiments, especially around ketosis, hflc and endurance sports (mostly cycling) and would be an even better fit for the show.

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You’re arguing point #2 still.

I feel like we are having two different conversations.

Let’s all agree that CICO is how you gain or lose weight. (Point #1)

If you disagree on that then let’s have that discussion.

We can then pivot to argument #2; what is the best for long term healthy body composition and health.


If you are arguing for Nate’s #1 point then it CAN be simple. Weigh yourself daily at the same time, ideally when you wake up in the morning. Track your food intake to roughly accurate level, something like MyFitnessPal . If you are losing weight over the course of a couple of weeks then you know you are in a calorie deficit. Adjust you calories by small amounts down/up to increase/decrease the deficit depending on the rate you are losing weight and repeat until you hit target weight. Simple!

The individual benefits of the methods you use to achieve the deficit, be it though IIFYM, Keto, etc can be debated all day without ever getting a straight answer.

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@Tom_Gurden… spot on in you comment I think.
@Nate… my point is this, I believe it’s part of the same argument.

If u watch the first bit of the video I attached the CICO does work short term but due to homeostasis and other things I am not intelligent enough to understand, in the long term it does not.
More importantly it does not address how the body uses/stores those calories. Hence why it’s an innafective model of n general terms. This then effects how lean we can get which for most of us is more important than the actual weight on the scales (i would argue anyway) as then any weight you carry will be useful (muscle) weight and not useless (fat) weight.

The holy grail (as mentioned in "racing weight by Matt Fitzgerald " is about getting to a place where we balance these LONG TERM for a fitter healthier you.

The video explains it much better than me but … I believe rather than being two separate arguments as you suggest it two sides of the same coin

Whoever came up with the idea should be given a raise

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Point #1 and point #2 are separate in that you there is only so much weight you can lose. At some point you HAVE to stop being in a calorie deficit… or you die.

The biggest health benefits come first from being a healthy weight, so losing weight via calories in/calories out until you reach a healthy level is point #1.

THEN point #2 becomes important, what do you do then to maintain a healthy weight, and which approach is optimal?

EDIT: On losing weight to get to a healthy target weight. There are a TONNE of different approaches, but they all pretty much boil down to CICO as I said above.

I’m going to talk about #2 in all of this. I don’t think Dr. Fung is interpreting the data correctly.

1. He uses Biggest Loser contestants as an example

I’ve watched a few episodes of the show, and it seems that they seek out people with deep psychological issues. Yes, they lose weight when they have a full time trainer, are on camera and part of a competition.

I don’t think anyone is surprised that these aren’t the life skills they need and when they go back home they fall into old patterns.

2. Acts like basal metabolic rate going down when you’re smaller is a bad thing

When you lose weight, your basal metabolic rate goes down. When you gain wait it goes up. That’s because there’s less of you to maintain, so it takes less calories. This is the goal, not an unwanted side effect.

He uses Biggest Loser people as an extreme example. Yes, if go from 700 lbs to 150 lbs your basal metabolic rate will drastically drop.

3. He doesn’t address the human psychology or cultural factors

He blames the CICO for why people tend to gain weight after a while. It’s not the diet, it’s the person.

The people on this forum are the .01% of humans go as far as motivation and self-control. Most people don’t want to be hungry.

Couple that with TONS of calorically dense food that is delicious and easily available and you get fat people. It’s so easy to have an extra 400 calories here or 600 there. Then not have to do the hard work of being hungry later to make up the difference.

So yes, most people can’t simple by told to eat less and move more. Most people (not us ya’ll :wink:) don’t have a ton of self-control or motivation.

I don’t know what the best “diet” (we should talk about lifestyle, not diet) is for the average person to change their body composition to something healthy long term.

I do know what is generally agreed upon by the majority of scientists as what/how you should eat to lifelong and have a low disease rate.

  • Eat lots of veggies
  • Eat lots of fruit
  • Eat whole grain over processed
  • Eat beans and legumes
  • Eat some fish
  • Eat minimal meat
  • Eat a lower fat diet
  • Eat a variety of whole foods
  • Don’t overeat
  • Don’t eat fried foods
  • Don’t eat processed foods

The above list is for people with mental willpower. You eat like that and you’ll most likely live a longer life if you were to eat mainly fried and processed foods.

/rantover I think this is a trigger for me :blush:

And in closing “Everyone wants to lose weight but no one wants to be hungry”

Adapted from:


Hey whaddayaknow, that looks a lot like the endurance diet!

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Think Nate hits the nail on the head.
If your body adapts why doesn’t it do that for the victims or famine or the sufferers of anorexia?

It doesn’t significantly. Yes your BMR decreases but for the same reason that a mini needs less petrol than a humvee.

What however changes when people lose weight is that they reach their goal and they lose focus. A lot of the time they see amazing results and their social life increases and that leads to increased calorie intake.

There is clearly no clear way for Nate’s issue two but its very clear that the solution to number one is caloric deficit however you want to get there.

What I never understand is why people who cling to one route over another whether its keto, IF, paleo or vegan when totally disregard any other.


The same thing happens with fitness. Some people advocate for the “one true way”, when there are tons of ways to get fit.


BMR and calories utilized can be determined in a lab. I am fortunate to have Colorado and Colorado State University near by. IMO, the calculators on Garmin, etc. over estimate. I track nutrition with Cronometer. I only lost a few pounds.

I get your point - however it is really difficult to accurately count ‘calories out’. My experience was I thought I knew my BMR, however with prolonged calorie deficit, my BMR dropped and threw off the equation (without me knowing it). You are correct - numbers do not lie…you just have to know the variables you are working with

Read ‘Racing Weight’. It gives strategies for dealing with the calorie out problem. It works.

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There is clearly a lot of misinformation about diet and nutrition that is fueled by pseudo-science in nutritional research (e.g. recent Cornell researcher caught falsifying data). That being said, I would recommend Dr. Benjamin Bikman at BYU. He’s a leading expert on metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. He’s an advocate of a keto diet, and has worked with a number of Ironmen, who swear by him. I believe that he could provide a lot clarity to nutrition and athletic performance…my two cents.

Thanks! I’ll give it a go!

Agreed - that was my logic as well…however, the math should have lead to a 10 pound drop…not the 4 lbs I experienced. I posed this scenario to the physio today, and his response was our body’s are much more complex than your car analogy - basically hormones get involved. He did not feel a few lbs loss would alter BMR in any measurable way - it should take a much greater loss. I wish it were as simple as the car analogy as well!

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Anyone else think this would be good?

I don’t think it would be good for TrainerRoad to do it because it may be out of their scope of practice and they would have to devote an immense amount of resources into it. They are exceptionally good at the training aspects of cycling and the generalities of diet, but I’m afraid what most of us look for is what nutritional needs do I need.

There is a level of personalization and higher level of science that then gets us into the fringes. The level of biomarker testing, genotyping, metabolic testing required to get a good idea of how you are reacting to dietary changes is highly personal. This is another field and profession.

If you only lost 4lb then you were eating too much. You don’t need to calculate calories out. Weigh yourself daily, look for the trend over a couple of weeks, adjust your intake up or down to slow down or speed up weight loss. It’s simple.

Your physio? They aren’t well known for being versed in biochemistry.

The calculations are never perfect but 95% of the population should lie within 2 standard deviations. If you have only lost 4 lbs but you believe you had a deficitt of 35000 calories odds are its a combination of under estimating calories in, over estimating calories out and water weight.


Hard truths…but truth none the less!