Saturday, 23 March 2013

Everyone is Different, Part 3.

Cont'd from Everyone is Different, Part 2.

Hat-tip to Bill Lagakos, whose article Missing: 300 kilocalories reminded me of the following graphic from Effects of Dietary Composition During Weight Loss Maintenance: A Controlled Feeding Study.

Lo and behold, even when subjects are bribed to stick to the diets that they are provided with, the effect of eating those diets varies hugely.

So, people like ItsTheWoo and Petro Dobromylskyj (yes, I have to copy and paste the name from his site every freakin' time!) rave about how awful carbs are, while people like Go Kaleo and Matt Stone rave about how awesome carbs are.

Everyone is different for a number of reasons, some of which are unchangeable and some of which are changeable. We can't change our birth weight, what our mums ate when we were in the womb or the chemicals that we were exposed to in the past. We can't change our genes, but we can change the expression of our genes by changing diet, activity and even supplementation. See Influence of Vitamin D Status and Vitamin D3 Supplementation on Genome Wide Expression of White Blood Cells: A Randomized Double-Blind Clinical Trial.

Continued on Bray et al shows that a calorie *is* a calorie (where weight is concerned)


Galina L. said...

You just can write Peter (Hyperlipid).

Bill said...

Hi Nigel,
I really like the point you're making with that graph - some people's TEE plummets on VLC while others do the best on LF. This is biology, not mathematics.

Unknown said...

Gotta' agree with Bill, totally.

I also believe that some of us are more flexible, metabolically speaking and things tend to shift over the course of time depending on circumstances.

I have to say though, with the number of paradoxical 180s that they take over at 180degreehealth, I can't take much of what goes on in that realm seriously. Matt Stone can say that carbohydrates and processed sugar are great but I just can't acknowledge--with straight face--that he's looking the part. For an individual as young as him, he has deteriorated substantially over the course of the last three years.

As for GoKaleo -- she's a very active individual with a quasi-vegan background. I've always found that these types tend to revert back to their cabohydrate based diets after experimenting with carbohydrate restriction. Although even in her case, I've found her a bit off-putting in recent times for all the, almost show-boat, claims about how she can get away with eating ice cream and how it's all about activity and those that make the choice to avoid crap foods are somehow 'limiting' themselves. You don't see me pushing dangerous narcotics just for the occasional fun of it! That is a load of nonsense and I can--as I did on Evelyn's blog--invoke plenty of personal anecdotes of supposedly 'fit' individuals who had developed issues of insulin resistance without the more typical weight issues that are always at the forefront of this one-track discussions.

Personally, despite my biases to the contrary, I can actually take Wooo and Peter seriously. The other two? Not really.

It's not always about weight or the whole, "oh, look what crappy thing I can eat with impunity," rhetoric. That's ultimately wreck less thinking and just because some of us can get away with it, doesn't mean that it is something to aspire towards.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

@Galina: I suppose I could!

@Bill: I expect starting EE to vary from person to person due to age, gender, weight, body comp etc. The trajectory of each curve as the diet is changed is hugely variable. Fascinating stuff!

@Kade: I'm not a regular reader of Go Kaleo & Matt's blogs. I'm guessing that they do a lot more glycolytic activity than ItsTheWoo & Peter and can't function on a low-carb diet.

Andrew Kim is another newbie in the blogosphere and is very pro-carbohydrate. I've asked him a question in a comment, but he hasn't answered it yet.

Unknown said...

Oh, yeah. I saw your comment on Andrew Kim's blog. He'd probably be among the few individuals who I consider reliable members of the camp that gravitates to the Ray Peat school of thought. Unlike most of the others, he does credible research, doesn't just endorse large doses of refined sugar, doesn't recommend coconut oil en-masse. Doesn't believe in seed oils, but also doesn't demonise them and realistically accepts the idea that PUFAs can't be avoided. Basically, the guy doesn't recommend that the base of diet should be a massive amount of milk, followed by half that massive amount of orange juice, with fibre and other stuff being bad.

But going back to your question. I certainly hope that he does produce an answer.

As for Matt Stone. Glycolitic? I don't know what he does since the whole blog is about criticising diets, calorie restriction, exercise and anything else that involves the concept of breaking away from normal routine. I think he favours light exercise and lifting some weights, which seems to be a common trait in that sphere. Not to mention, I saw some video debate about paleo, recently, and he was one of the guests -- he did not look great from a shape standpoint--drastic change from what he looked like in 2010.

Galina L. said...

The more I realize how we are different, the farther I try to keep myself from the diet advise that contradicts my experience, even if it looks like some "good science". Links to research trails are the most acceptable arguments about benefits of diets, but it proves nothing for an individual.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

@Kade: I'll give Mr Kim a few more days before reminding him.

I thought that Matt Stone was a "gym type". I don't know much about him, so I plead guilty to assumption.

@Galina: Studies are done on groups of subjects or populations, so results expressed as an average aren't of much help to outliers. The best that we can do is to find what works best for each of us and carry on doing that until our circumstances change.

Galina L. said...

People often have trouble to understand that their situation changed.My husband still thinks he can eat sweets(luckily we don't have much in our household) if he does enough of cardio. I observe with concern slow but steady middle body fat accumulation and his growing refine carbs cravings. He started to complain that I don't bake while it never bothered him when he was younger.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

I've been lucky in that I was quite IR when I was young and was nearly diagnosed with T2DM a few years ago. I dodged that bullet and now have normal fasting glucose & glucose tolerance.

Unknown said...

Matt Stone does talk about a history in gym and doing long hikes and being sub-10% body fat and suffering from cold extremities and whatnotelse. It's just that many of us can make similar claims and even if generally correct in said claims/anecdotes, none of them validate the universal prescription that Matt Stone is advocating (eat moar food -- saturated fat + loads of starch and sugar = good and get you warmed up; sushi is okay but French toast is real food). I mean, really? WTF?! The latter--including the bit about burning below 98 degrees being a sign of poor health is a load of toss. Almost every endomorph I've met has been a 'toasty' individual. My mother-in-law is type 2 diabetic with zero self-control and even she is toasty. I think it should be about tolerance to extreme temperatures that should count. So yeah, brotastic stuff is brotastic.

Also, Andrew Kim does make a point to distinguish between starch and sugar carbohydrate, recommending that people favour fruits rather than tubers. Etc. I remember him mentioning in that post that 'others' have made better recommendations so he won't spend time on that topic. I was very disappointed to read that part as I consider him an almost lone voice of reason within that sub-culture of folk who hardly supply a decent or general template other than 'loads of milk + orange juice'. Yeah. No.

But on to the real interesting stuff, Nigel. I find your response to Galina about outliers, very telling. You see, this is one of those situation where a confirmation bias and cherry picking can actually help.

For example, an outlier is constantly being harassed by mainstream 'consensus' on how to do things right. Yet, when they do things their way--which is wrong by those very standards--the outlier feels better and achieves better results. So then what does the outlier do? The outlier can read more research that says 'you're wrong'. Or the outlier can find specific evidence and odd studies that actually present contrary results that are more in line with the outlier's experience.

If the outliers are the exceptions that prove the general trend or rule. Then why isn't it possible to consider the idea that outlier studies that present anomalous results, exceptions that apply to exceptional individuals?

Bill said...

I think the nail has been hit on its head in this post and the comments – wrt “the individual.” On the most basic level, it’d be like saying “eat more leafy greens to improve symptoms XY&Z” to someone who already eats 2 pounds of leafy greens per day. On a more complicated level, some people might not be [epi]genetically/biochemically responsive to specific interventions. Tl;dr: many blanket recommendations don’t work.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

I think that the only blanket recommendations that work are:-

Base your diet mostly on foods that haven't been over-refined.

Be as active as possible.

Tony Mach said...

Well, Peter at Hyperlipid is anti-carb (which is kinda right, kinda wrong), but much more he is anti-PUFA (which is dead on). What I think he is showing is how PUFAs (and not insulin or carbs) are responsible for obesity and diabetes, and by what mechanisms PUFAs break carb metabolism and break insulin sensitivity (and not the other way round).

Galina L. said...

Peter is not completely anty-carb. He avoids the deep ketosis on purpose.