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Lumifer comments on Open Thread, Aug. 8 - Aug 14. 2016 - Less Wrong Discussion

4 Post author: Elo 07 August 2016 11:07PM

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Comment author: Lumifer 10 August 2016 02:36:11PM *  1 point [-]

In other words, that there is such a thing as "metabolic privilege", which is usually denied or ignored by the "calories in, calories out" proponents.

Huh? The individual metabolism (aka the "metabolic privilege") is what primarily determines the "calories out" part. No one denies that people have different metabolisms.

The CICO theory says that the only way to lose weight is to have a negative calorie balance. You can achieve it in any way you want -- by lowering the CI part, or by increasing the CO part -- but it has to be there for you to lose weight.

The claims that all calories are fungible or that the CO part is stable are just strawmen.

Comment author: Viliam 11 August 2016 11:20:14AM *  1 point [-]

No one denies that people have different metabolisms.

Statements including "no one denies that ..." are usually false.

Regardless, my goal here was to ask people to help me decipher what "calories in" and "calories out" precisely mean, especially where the correct version could differ from the naive interpretation.

Because it seems to me that (a) the naive interpretation is wrong, but (b) most people use the "calories in, calories out" argument as if the naive interpretation is true. ("If you disagree with the naive interpretation, you ignore the laws of physics!") Motte and bailey, etc.

Comment author: Lumifer 11 August 2016 06:42:08PM *  0 points [-]

Statements including "no one denies that ..." are usually false.

Taken literally, yes. However these statements are not intended to be taken literally, they are a shorthand for "it is widely accepted that X is true, most people who deny X are either blatantly unreasonable or have strong incentives to do so. I do not expect sane people to deny X with a straight face".

Regardless, my goal here was to ask people to help me decipher what "calories in" and "calories out" precisely mean

See the grandparent post. In particular, to repeat myself

The CICO theory says that the only way to lose weight is to have a negative calorie balance.

In general CICO posits one-to-one correspondence between net energy balance and gaining/losing weight, regardless of anything else. This is on a time scale where short-term fluctuations (from bowel movements to water retention) are ignored as noise.

CICO also does NOT say anything about the fat/muscle ratio, it does NOT say that different foods with the same calorie content will have the same effect on weight (food you eat generally affects both the CI and the CO parts), it does NOT say that specific levels of CI (e.g. 1000 calories/day) will result in specific gain/loss of weight.