The problem with science

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Replies

  • Vortex88
    Vortex88 Posts: 60 Member
    lissmayer wrote: »
    The problem with science is all those pesky advanced-degreed researchers who think their peer-reviewed, evidence-based findings have more value than my personal beliefs (which are obviously more valuable because I thought them up with my very own head).

    Honestly, it's a conspiracy to denigrate my personal specialness.

    How clever you are. Sounds like you have it all figured out. After almost 22 years in the fitness game I still have a lot to learn. Hopefully, one day I can catch up with you.
  • MaybeLed
    MaybeLed Posts: 250 Member
    daniip_la wrote: »
    Vortex88 wrote: »
    Some good points here.... and a lot of snarkiness (to be expected). Not going to argue the points because everyone is entitled to their opinion and we are, of course, all at different stages on this journey. Would certainly be interesting to see photos of the bodies on threads like this though. Not that having a great physique is necessarily a guarantee of anything but it's certainly interesting to see the physiques behind the opinions. In the fitness world there seems to be a baffling inverse correlation behind having a great physique and training "scientifically". After all these years, I admit that I still can't figure out exactly why... although I have some ideas.

    I'm not showing off anything but my N7 hoodie, stained with the tears of a chemistry PhD student.

    And possibly acid, but mainly (hopefully) tears.

    Well there should be a strong correlation between sewing skills and chemistry lab time. My sister definately got better at sewing to cover all the acid damage to her clothes. Maybe it's a curve, the better you get at chemistry the less harmful crap you drop on yourself.

    @daniip_la could you confirm? with a graph and some p values? n=1 obviously
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,138 MFP Moderator
    Vortex88 wrote: »
    Thanks for all the replies. There are some great points being made in here. Let me make some additional points too:

    1) the studies are almost all short term. The CICO idea (which I generally agree with - a lot of people missed that I said that) seems to break down over longer periods of time

    2) a bit of background about me: I am 38 years old, male, very active and have been weight training without a break for almost 22 years with the last 8 years as a full time fitness professional. I really got into training to build muscle in my late teens. I never wanted to be really big but just have a really athletic physique. Anyway, YEARS of frustration followed not because I had trouble building muscle (that was relatively easy for me) but because I had massive trouble getting lean (under 10% BF). I thought I had finally cracked it when I learned about CICO and began to track calories and macros. The early results were very promising (I got quite a but leaner) and I felt like I had found the holy grail.... but then something happened. At a certain point (about 12% BF) I couldn't get any leaner. I dropped calories further, I added a little cardio, then a few less calories, then more cardio eventually getting down to 1200 cals per day with 5 weight training sessions per week and 5 cardio sessions (which was crazy, looking back). At this point I was not losing a single pound and looked like absolute crap. It actually seemed like I was gaining fat which is apparently impossible according to science but I wasn't the only one who noticed this. Feeling totally deflated, I hired a female veteran natural bodybuilding coach who gradually brought my cals back up to 2800 at which point I was MUCH leaner and looked pretty awesome (if I say so myself). During this time my waist went from 33.5" to 31.5". How do you explain that? I am completely open-minded and LOVE to be proven wrong because that's how I learn and grow so there is no attachment to my current beliefs.

    3) I currently have a training client who is male, 6'4", 286 lbs, 30%+ bodyfat, very strong, trains 4 times a week as a powerlifter and has a LOT of weight to lose. He gradually reduced his calories all the way down to 1800 and at this calorie intake this huge guy wasn't losing an ounce. I have reverse-dieted him back up to 2600 cals (we are going up to at least 3500) and, although the weight isn't exactly falling off him the scale is finally moving back down. This client is also a close friend and I have a lot of meals with him and I know exactly what he eats and how much. How do you explain these results with CICO? Again, opinions genuinely welcome.

    In highly suppressed calorie environments, a body can down regulate RMR and increase efficiency to decrease expenditure. It doesn't take away that CICO applies. What it means is that you don't have an accurate way of accounting for CO.

    I had a client that did 3 rounds of HCG (1 year protocol), who by the end of it had a maintenance intake of 1400 calories, even with cardio (~ 5'2" 110lbs), I put her at maintenance and had her do a 3 day full body routine. Over a 1 year period, her maintenance increased up to 1700 calories without large sweeping changes in body composition either). What does this mean? Well either she had corresponding increases to NEAT, or that your RMR increased from the weight training or whatever.


    And I already explained why I saw much greater loss at 2300 than I did at 1800.
  • Vortex88
    Vortex88 Posts: 60 Member
    edited September 2016
    Vortex88 wrote: »
    Thanks for all the replies. There are some great points being made in here. Let me make some additional points too:

    1) the studies are almost all short term. The CICO idea (which I generally agree with - a lot of people missed that I said that) seems to break down over longer periods of time

    2) a bit of background about me: I am 38 years old, male, very active and have been weight training without a break for almost 22 years with the last 8 years as a full time fitness professional. I really got into training to build muscle in my late teens. I never wanted to be really big but just have a really athletic physique. Anyway, YEARS of frustration followed not because I had trouble building muscle (that was relatively easy for me) but because I had massive trouble getting lean (under 10% BF). I thought I had finally cracked it when I learned about CICO and began to track calories and macros. The early results were very promising (I got quite a but leaner) and I felt like I had found the holy grail.... but then something happened. At a certain point (about 12% BF) I couldn't get any leaner. I dropped calories further, I added a little cardio, then a few less calories, then more cardio eventually getting down to 1200 cals per day with 5 weight training sessions per week and 5 cardio sessions (which was crazy, looking back). At this point I was not losing a single pound and looked like absolute crap. It actually seemed like I was gaining fat which is apparently impossible according to science but I wasn't the only one who noticed this. Feeling totally deflated, I hired a female veteran natural bodybuilding coach who gradually brought my cals back up to 2800 at which point I was MUCH leaner and looked pretty awesome (if I say so myself). During this time my waist went from 33.5" to 31.5". How do you explain that? I am completely open-minded and LOVE to be proven wrong because that's how I learn and grow so there is no attachment to my current beliefs.

    3) I currently have a training client who is male, 6'4", 286 lbs, 30%+ bodyfat, very strong, trains 4 times a week as a powerlifter and has a LOT of weight to lose. He gradually reduced his calories all the way down to 1800 and at this calorie intake this huge guy wasn't losing an ounce. I have reverse-dieted him back up to 2600 cals (we are going up to at least 3500) and, although the weight isn't exactly falling off him the scale is finally moving back down. This client is also a close friend and I have a lot of meals with him and I know exactly what he eats and how much. How do you explain these results with CICO? Again, opinions genuinely welcome.

    1) The CICO fact is proven, most studies no longer study that. They study factors that affect CICO one way or another like biochemical modifiers or behavioral patterns. If you want examples of how CICO works long term, look no further than the success forum. People who have lost hundreds of pounds, people who maintained for years, people who just trusted this basic process and achieved the results they wanted despite hormonal factors, disabilities and health conditions that can affect CICO.

    2&3) I have witnessed something that blew my mind of a similar nature. When I first stumbled across intermittent fasting I noticed I was losing weight faster even though I was supposedly eating higher calories. When I first started intermittent fasting, I would gorge on food until I could eat no more on fasting days and did not count my calories, as per the diet I started I only counted my 500 calorie fasting days and just ate whatever I wanted on feast days. I would literally eat a slab of cheese and huge bowls of rice... or so I thought. I ate so much I felt too heavy to exercise, so I didn't, yet the weight was falling off in chunks, I didn't even need to pay attention to my steps on fitbit. Why would I when things are so effortless without having to pay attention to the minutiae?

    Instead of running in the streets screaming "Eureka", after my initial awe, I decided to investigate. I started weighing every single morsel of food on my plate and recording every day's steps. At the end of the day I would log all the food I ate that day. Switched back to a regular diet and did the same trying to keep all factors constant like doing the same exercises and eating the same foods I did when I dieted before. What do you know! Apparently my "huge bowls of rice" were only 30 grams larger than my "tiny diet bowls of rice". My big slabs of cheese were actually smaller that my diet portion controlled cheese on some occasions.

    My leisurely no workout days actually had more steps than my diet days. My mind was blown. I was averaging 1800 calories on free eating days, and 1400 on diet days, but my free eating days felt like they were at least 2-3 times as big and bountiful as my diet days, and I wasn't moving any more that usual on days I thought I was crushing it doing 30 minutes of hard interval cardio while dieting. Apparently I down-regulated my non-exercise activities without even noticing. I have since switched to light-moderate cardio since after some experimentation I found it not to have such an extreme down regulating effect.

    So aside from hormones (stress hormones are known for causing brutal water retention and switching to a higher calorie diet reduces stress reducing the retention), my perception was skewed to extents I never thought possible. The persception of ease and no limiting food boundaries created a feeling of satisfaction so everything looked grand and bountiful, while the perception of intense effort created a need, deprivation, a hoarding mentality where nothing is ever enough and everything is smaller and woe is me for having to go through it, especially with the increased appetite caused by intense exercise. I've never trusted my eyes with food and activity ever since.

    Had I not investigated, I would have been scratching my head now wondering why intermittent fasting no longer produces the same weight loss - I'm much smaller now so my calorie allowance to produce the same loss is much smaller too. Understanding how exactly things work within CICO and how you tend to react to certain factors is very important in order to tweak your methods when something no longer works or at least understand why something is happening instead of throwing your hands up in frustration.

    Good insights and thank you for the reply but I have tracked every single detail of my food and training for many years. There is no mistake in there which explains why CICO was right all along.
  • Vortex88
    Vortex88 Posts: 60 Member
    psulemon wrote: »
    Vortex88 wrote: »
    Thanks for all the replies. There are some great points being made in here. Let me make some additional points too:

    1) the studies are almost all short term. The CICO idea (which I generally agree with - a lot of people missed that I said that) seems to break down over longer periods of time

    2) a bit of background about me: I am 38 years old, male, very active and have been weight training without a break for almost 22 years with the last 8 years as a full time fitness professional. I really got into training to build muscle in my late teens. I never wanted to be really big but just have a really athletic physique. Anyway, YEARS of frustration followed not because I had trouble building muscle (that was relatively easy for me) but because I had massive trouble getting lean (under 10% BF). I thought I had finally cracked it when I learned about CICO and began to track calories and macros. The early results were very promising (I got quite a but leaner) and I felt like I had found the holy grail.... but then something happened. At a certain point (about 12% BF) I couldn't get any leaner. I dropped calories further, I added a little cardio, then a few less calories, then more cardio eventually getting down to 1200 cals per day with 5 weight training sessions per week and 5 cardio sessions (which was crazy, looking back). At this point I was not losing a single pound and looked like absolute crap. It actually seemed like I was gaining fat which is apparently impossible according to science but I wasn't the only one who noticed this. Feeling totally deflated, I hired a female veteran natural bodybuilding coach who gradually brought my cals back up to 2800 at which point I was MUCH leaner and looked pretty awesome (if I say so myself). During this time my waist went from 33.5" to 31.5". How do you explain that? I am completely open-minded and LOVE to be proven wrong because that's how I learn and grow so there is no attachment to my current beliefs.

    3) I currently have a training client who is male, 6'4", 286 lbs, 30%+ bodyfat, very strong, trains 4 times a week as a powerlifter and has a LOT of weight to lose. He gradually reduced his calories all the way down to 1800 and at this calorie intake this huge guy wasn't losing an ounce. I have reverse-dieted him back up to 2600 cals (we are going up to at least 3500) and, although the weight isn't exactly falling off him the scale is finally moving back down. This client is also a close friend and I have a lot of meals with him and I know exactly what he eats and how much. How do you explain these results with CICO? Again, opinions genuinely welcome.

    In highly suppressed calorie environments, a body can down regulate RMR and increase efficiency to decrease expenditure. It doesn't take away that CICO applies. What it means is that you don't have an accurate way of accounting for CO.

    I had a client that did 3 rounds of HCG (1 year protocol), who by the end of it had a maintenance intake of 1400 calories, even with cardio (~ 5'2" 110lbs), I put her at maintenance and had her do a 3 day full body routine. Over a 1 year period, her maintenance increased up to 1700 calories without large sweeping changes in body composition either). What does this mean? Well either she had corresponding increases to NEAT, or that your RMR increased from the weight training or whatever.


    And I already explained why I saw much greater loss at 2300 than I did at 1800.

    Great reply. Thank you.
  • medic2038
    medic2038 Posts: 434 Member
    psulemon wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »

    The only thing I would add to this is another panel where 10 years later people smuggly point out that science was wrong all along and new findings show that A doesn't actually cause B like all the scientists were claiming 10 years ago (not realizing that the science never actually made that claim in the first place, the media and general public made that claim).

    And to that, I add this rant I had a few days ago on another post:

    Scientific claims aren't "always changing" the way they're being talked about here; they are in a constant state of refinement. We're not going to find out tomorrow that the sun revolves around the earth. It's just not going to happen. We may find out that it doesn't do this EXACTLY how we thought it does, but it still doesn't revolve around the earth. And that's no support for the idea that because "Science is always changing" that science is somehow unreliable or a waste of time. Science RARELY just up and changes it's mind on a set of facts. When science "changes" what it's doing is refining the statement it has made to be clearer, more correct, more accurate. But the basis of that statement remains true. We knew atoms existed before we could actually see them, and when we could finally see them, we confirmed a few things we believed about them as well as ADDED information that we didn't formerly have. But we didn't find out we were totally wrong and atoms do not in fact exist. We just found out more information about their existence That's what "science is always changing" really means. Not that we're gonna find out tomorrow the earth really was flat after all, but that maybe rather than perfectly spherical, it's a little oblong. Science changes by adding information to already existing bodies of facts, modifying them a LITTLE, not changing their minds entirely. The scientific method is the greatest tool we have for understanding the world around us. If there are errors it is self correcting. The only thing that will ever prove a scientific finding wrong is just better science.

    When you read a "Shocking new discovery made by scientists!" in the paper, you're not hearing the Facts. You're not hearing something that is in line with the current model commonly accepted by the scientific community. You're hearing an over-stated, overblown, exaggerated all to hell HYPOTHESIS. The hypothesis is what the papers and magazines print because it's interesting. When a scientists says "hey I wonder if the coffee is what's killing them? Let's test that" the magazine reports "Coffee is killing us all! A shocking new study says that drinking coffee may be the reason you're fat and gonna die of heart disease!". That article may have NOTHING at all to do with the study, because what sells papers is that headline. The Hypothesis makes for the most interesting read, and science editors gotta make money, so that's what makes it into the article. Not the 30 following studies showing how the first study was totally flawed. Not the actual scientist who ran the study saying "but hey wait, I only tested 30 people, and even then there's a margin of error, and more importantly, I was trying to see if coffee is killing specifically this subset of people who consume fewer calories due to coffee, and specifically, those who are already underweight and at risk for X". When you see "Science is changing all the time" you're seeing *hypotheses* changing. Which they're supposed to do. What changes all the time (again, by design) are hypotheses -- not theories (a grouping of FACTS that describe one model of how X works, in science, theory means something very different from how we use it in the common tongue), and certainly not facts. A hypothesis is, after all, an early part of the scientific method; a tentative explanation for something which is then tested by experimentation and more observation. And science doesn't make claims about hypotheses, it TESTS them. Then, if the hypothesis can be repeatedly, rigorously tested and proven over and over and over again, then and only then, it can be accepted as a truthful statement about reality.

    And most importantly of all, if you come across a "scientific claim" that seems to completely contradict an existing model (body of facts) stop for a minute and nerd the heck out of that claim. It is incredibly rare, so rare we're talking almost never (think back to Galileo), for some single new piece of evidence in some single study to completely change an already existing scientific model of reality. No one is gonna come up with anything tomorrow that will completely disprove CICO. All that will happen is that that portion of thermodynamics might be refined to be EVEN MORE accurate than it already is. We're REALLY SURE the earth revolves around the sun. Positive. If tomorrow something in science "changes" that, it will only "change" it in such a way as to make it more accurate than it already is. "The earth revolves the sun AND... BY... BECAUSE..." Science "changing" is simply the addition of a modifier, and is Frequently the addition of SUPPORTING evidence for the already existing model.

    It should also be noted that the tools and techniques used by scientist continue to evolve which will provide us with more available and more accurate information.

    I think part of the issue is that there are plenty of conflicting studies out there, which has largely to do with the huge publication push in academia. Just about every higher ed job I've ever looked at has had a periodic publication requirement (likely 1 article per semester/year) which is why there's some sketchy stuff out there. Basically every professor is expected to be a unique special snowflake and make novel academic discoveries on a regular basis.

    Which is why "everything is bad for you, and will give you cancer" while simultaneously being "good for you, and make you live longer".
  • Vortex88
    Vortex88 Posts: 60 Member
    queenliz99 wrote: »
    I"m 56 and have a beer or two every night and eat "junk food". whleqpt2c73t.jpg

    Wow - you look incredible! Great work!
  • Vortex88
    Vortex88 Posts: 60 Member
    auddii wrote: »
    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    So we need to post pictures of ourselves (before and after) to prove what exactly? ;)

    I'm actually wondering if this wasn't a ploy for people to post pics for him to creep...

    Damn. You figured it out....
  • Vortex88
    Vortex88 Posts: 60 Member
    mph323 wrote: »
    Vortex88 wrote: »
    Science has added *so* much to the fitness / weight loss / physique world and I feel very grateful that there are people out there publishing some really high quality studies which help us to get results but science is not the be-all and end-all that some people on these forums suggest so I wanted to mention a few points that I think it’s worth keeping in mind:

    For example:

    1) Science has been described as "observing the world around you”. That’s the best definition I have found. Notice it doesn’t say “listening only to people who observed results in laboratories” ;)

    2) Studies, by definition, publish averages. For example: 15 subjects did x and got y result. In reality, perhaps 8 of the subjects got almost identical results, 4 got results which were close to the 8 and 3 got totally different results. Those 3 are *20%* of the test group…. and their results are completely hidden in the averages.

    3) Science is just the latest opinion on a subject, albeit a hopefully very educated one. The "science" of weight loss is totally different today compared to 10 years ago. 10 years from now it will be completely different again. Don’t get *too” attached to the studies we have today ;)

    4) CICO is a great place to start for weight loss but it is definitely not an absolute. I work in the fitness industry and know professional physique athletes who dramatically *increase* their calories to get lean for a show. Now, for an average person with 30 lbs to lose this may or may not apply to them but some people need to eat more to lose bodyfat and some people need to eat less. (I recently came across a great article on this which I will try to find and post below.)

    5) The main problem with CICO relates to hormones. I have seen a few snarky comments on this forum say things like “oh so your body is breaking the laws of physics is it??” when one poster says that they lose more fat on higher calories (which I have observed in myself and others many times). The thing is that the person making the comment definitely isn’t a physicist (and doesn’t really understand the laws of physics) and isn’t a physiologist either (so definitely doesn’t understand how the laws of physics relate the the trillions of processes taking place in the human body every second) so their comment is a case of “a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing”. The confusion with CICO relates to CO. The body is actually very good at down-regulating fat loss when calorie intake is reduced (if you don’t agree, see point 2 ;). You are alive today because a few thousand generations of your ancestors survived on very little food for most of their lives. What often produces the result is the *change*. Moving from a long period of higher calories to reduced calories or moving from a long period of lower calories to high calories. So, when someone tells you they are losing more fat on higher calories, remember that you are not a physiologist; you are a weight loss forummer; and you don’t actually have enough experience to know if someone is absolutely wrong when they are observing their own body right in front of their eyes. It’s very important to keep our minds open in this field. I can guarantee that you will have a different opinion on this subject in 10 years so why assume you are 100% correct today.

    Anyway, these are a few points I wanted to put out there in case someone finds them useful. I’ve been involved in the fitness / physique world for more than 20 years so I have seen a few things along the way and whilst the current trend towards science-based fitness is extremely positive, I personally feel that we mustn’t become a slave to it.

    some people need to eat more to lose bodyfat and some people need to eat less.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but body fat isn't the same as body weight, right?

    Exactly.... and CICO seems to apply better to weight loss than it does to fat loss. I don't think anyone here is looking to lose any lean mass.
  • RavenLibra
    RavenLibra Posts: 1,737 Member
    "science"??? or statistical interpretation of a series of empirical observations made upon a random selection of individuals related to specific demographics? any "study" is just that... NOT a scientific conclusion... merely suggestion... a conclusion could only be made IF you could eliminate the +/- variance until it is virtually zero. and that conclusion would have to be based on an impossibly large sample of the human population.
  • RavenLibra
    RavenLibra Posts: 1,737 Member
    ergo... scientific "studies" should be taken with a grain of salt because we all fall outside the box of average... average being that mathematical illusion where 1/2 the subjects are above it and 1/2 below it.
  • stealthq
    stealthq Posts: 4,298 Member
    MaybeLed wrote: »
    daniip_la wrote: »
    Vortex88 wrote: »
    Some good points here.... and a lot of snarkiness (to be expected). Not going to argue the points because everyone is entitled to their opinion and we are, of course, all at different stages on this journey. Would certainly be interesting to see photos of the bodies on threads like this though. Not that having a great physique is necessarily a guarantee of anything but it's certainly interesting to see the physiques behind the opinions. In the fitness world there seems to be a baffling inverse correlation behind having a great physique and training "scientifically". After all these years, I admit that I still can't figure out exactly why... although I have some ideas.

    I'm not showing off anything but my N7 hoodie, stained with the tears of a chemistry PhD student.

    And possibly acid, but mainly (hopefully) tears.

    Well there should be a strong correlation between sewing skills and chemistry lab time. My sister definately got better at sewing to cover all the acid damage to her clothes. Maybe it's a curve, the better you get at chemistry the less harmful crap you drop on yourself.

    @daniip_la could you confirm? with a graph and some p values? n=1 obviously

    By this logic, my college organic chemistry partner was a genius*. Bet if I could remember his name I'd find out he's a Nobel prize winner or some such.

    *He managed to spill all the nasty stuff on me, including a couple of hundred mLs of boiling sulfuric acid we were using to break down bran cereal. Fortunately, I was wearing nice, heavy-weight and loose fitting jeans at the time. I was unharmed, the jeans and shoes were a total loss.
  • RavenLibra
    RavenLibra Posts: 1,737 Member
    reminds me of that old saw.. "I am special just like everyone else" :)
  • stealthq
    stealthq Posts: 4,298 Member
    Vortex88 wrote: »
    mph323 wrote: »
    Vortex88 wrote: »
    Science has added *so* much to the fitness / weight loss / physique world and I feel very grateful that there are people out there publishing some really high quality studies which help us to get results but science is not the be-all and end-all that some people on these forums suggest so I wanted to mention a few points that I think it’s worth keeping in mind:

    For example:

    1) Science has been described as "observing the world around you”. That’s the best definition I have found. Notice it doesn’t say “listening only to people who observed results in laboratories” ;)

    2) Studies, by definition, publish averages. For example: 15 subjects did x and got y result. In reality, perhaps 8 of the subjects got almost identical results, 4 got results which were close to the 8 and 3 got totally different results. Those 3 are *20%* of the test group…. and their results are completely hidden in the averages.

    3) Science is just the latest opinion on a subject, albeit a hopefully very educated one. The "science" of weight loss is totally different today compared to 10 years ago. 10 years from now it will be completely different again. Don’t get *too” attached to the studies we have today ;)

    4) CICO is a great place to start for weight loss but it is definitely not an absolute. I work in the fitness industry and know professional physique athletes who dramatically *increase* their calories to get lean for a show. Now, for an average person with 30 lbs to lose this may or may not apply to them but some people need to eat more to lose bodyfat and some people need to eat less. (I recently came across a great article on this which I will try to find and post below.)

    5) The main problem with CICO relates to hormones. I have seen a few snarky comments on this forum say things like “oh so your body is breaking the laws of physics is it??” when one poster says that they lose more fat on higher calories (which I have observed in myself and others many times). The thing is that the person making the comment definitely isn’t a physicist (and doesn’t really understand the laws of physics) and isn’t a physiologist either (so definitely doesn’t understand how the laws of physics relate the the trillions of processes taking place in the human body every second) so their comment is a case of “a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing”. The confusion with CICO relates to CO. The body is actually very good at down-regulating fat loss when calorie intake is reduced (if you don’t agree, see point 2 ;). You are alive today because a few thousand generations of your ancestors survived on very little food for most of their lives. What often produces the result is the *change*. Moving from a long period of higher calories to reduced calories or moving from a long period of lower calories to high calories. So, when someone tells you they are losing more fat on higher calories, remember that you are not a physiologist; you are a weight loss forummer; and you don’t actually have enough experience to know if someone is absolutely wrong when they are observing their own body right in front of their eyes. It’s very important to keep our minds open in this field. I can guarantee that you will have a different opinion on this subject in 10 years so why assume you are 100% correct today.

    Anyway, these are a few points I wanted to put out there in case someone finds them useful. I’ve been involved in the fitness / physique world for more than 20 years so I have seen a few things along the way and whilst the current trend towards science-based fitness is extremely positive, I personally feel that we mustn’t become a slave to it.

    some people need to eat more to lose bodyfat and some people need to eat less.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but body fat isn't the same as body weight, right?

    Exactly.... and CICO seems to apply better to weight loss than it does to fat loss. I don't think anyone here is looking to lose any lean mass.

    CICO applies to both. It doesn't imply that the weight you're losing given CI < CO is fat, or muscle, or other tissue. Obviously, it has zero to do with water weight and such.

    If you want to lose mainly fat, that goes beyond counting calories, as you know. You need to have an appropriate deficit and an appropriate diet. According to a few studies, that's sufficient, but if you add strength training in, you have a bit more leeway with the deficit and diet.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,138 MFP Moderator
    Vortex88 wrote: »
    mph323 wrote: »
    Vortex88 wrote: »
    Science has added *so* much to the fitness / weight loss / physique world and I feel very grateful that there are people out there publishing some really high quality studies which help us to get results but science is not the be-all and end-all that some people on these forums suggest so I wanted to mention a few points that I think it’s worth keeping in mind:

    For example:

    1) Science has been described as "observing the world around you”. That’s the best definition I have found. Notice it doesn’t say “listening only to people who observed results in laboratories” ;)

    2) Studies, by definition, publish averages. For example: 15 subjects did x and got y result. In reality, perhaps 8 of the subjects got almost identical results, 4 got results which were close to the 8 and 3 got totally different results. Those 3 are *20%* of the test group…. and their results are completely hidden in the averages.

    3) Science is just the latest opinion on a subject, albeit a hopefully very educated one. The "science" of weight loss is totally different today compared to 10 years ago. 10 years from now it will be completely different again. Don’t get *too” attached to the studies we have today ;)

    4) CICO is a great place to start for weight loss but it is definitely not an absolute. I work in the fitness industry and know professional physique athletes who dramatically *increase* their calories to get lean for a show. Now, for an average person with 30 lbs to lose this may or may not apply to them but some people need to eat more to lose bodyfat and some people need to eat less. (I recently came across a great article on this which I will try to find and post below.)

    5) The main problem with CICO relates to hormones. I have seen a few snarky comments on this forum say things like “oh so your body is breaking the laws of physics is it??” when one poster says that they lose more fat on higher calories (which I have observed in myself and others many times). The thing is that the person making the comment definitely isn’t a physicist (and doesn’t really understand the laws of physics) and isn’t a physiologist either (so definitely doesn’t understand how the laws of physics relate the the trillions of processes taking place in the human body every second) so their comment is a case of “a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing”. The confusion with CICO relates to CO. The body is actually very good at down-regulating fat loss when calorie intake is reduced (if you don’t agree, see point 2 ;). You are alive today because a few thousand generations of your ancestors survived on very little food for most of their lives. What often produces the result is the *change*. Moving from a long period of higher calories to reduced calories or moving from a long period of lower calories to high calories. So, when someone tells you they are losing more fat on higher calories, remember that you are not a physiologist; you are a weight loss forummer; and you don’t actually have enough experience to know if someone is absolutely wrong when they are observing their own body right in front of their eyes. It’s very important to keep our minds open in this field. I can guarantee that you will have a different opinion on this subject in 10 years so why assume you are 100% correct today.

    Anyway, these are a few points I wanted to put out there in case someone finds them useful. I’ve been involved in the fitness / physique world for more than 20 years so I have seen a few things along the way and whilst the current trend towards science-based fitness is extremely positive, I personally feel that we mustn’t become a slave to it.

    some people need to eat more to lose bodyfat and some people need to eat less.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but body fat isn't the same as body weight, right?

    Exactly.... and CICO seems to apply better to weight loss than it does to fat loss. I don't think anyone here is looking to lose any lean mass.

    CICO is the basis for all loss, gain and maintenance. If you look at any metabolic ward study, what is the first variable tested? That's right, energy expended. This is where they modify calories.

    Macronutrients and training effect the outcome of if it's from fat or muscle.
  • Aaron_K123
    Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,121 Member
    edited September 2016
    Vortex88 wrote: »
    mph323 wrote: »
    Vortex88 wrote: »
    Science has added *so* much to the fitness / weight loss / physique world and I feel very grateful that there are people out there publishing some really high quality studies which help us to get results but science is not the be-all and end-all that some people on these forums suggest so I wanted to mention a few points that I think it’s worth keeping in mind:

    For example:

    1) Science has been described as "observing the world around you”. That’s the best definition I have found. Notice it doesn’t say “listening only to people who observed results in laboratories” ;)

    2) Studies, by definition, publish averages. For example: 15 subjects did x and got y result. In reality, perhaps 8 of the subjects got almost identical results, 4 got results which were close to the 8 and 3 got totally different results. Those 3 are *20%* of the test group…. and their results are completely hidden in the averages.

    3) Science is just the latest opinion on a subject, albeit a hopefully very educated one. The "science" of weight loss is totally different today compared to 10 years ago. 10 years from now it will be completely different again. Don’t get *too” attached to the studies we have today ;)

    4) CICO is a great place to start for weight loss but it is definitely not an absolute. I work in the fitness industry and know professional physique athletes who dramatically *increase* their calories to get lean for a show. Now, for an average person with 30 lbs to lose this may or may not apply to them but some people need to eat more to lose bodyfat and some people need to eat less. (I recently came across a great article on this which I will try to find and post below.)

    5) The main problem with CICO relates to hormones. I have seen a few snarky comments on this forum say things like “oh so your body is breaking the laws of physics is it??” when one poster says that they lose more fat on higher calories (which I have observed in myself and others many times). The thing is that the person making the comment definitely isn’t a physicist (and doesn’t really understand the laws of physics) and isn’t a physiologist either (so definitely doesn’t understand how the laws of physics relate the the trillions of processes taking place in the human body every second) so their comment is a case of “a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing”. The confusion with CICO relates to CO. The body is actually very good at down-regulating fat loss when calorie intake is reduced (if you don’t agree, see point 2 ;). You are alive today because a few thousand generations of your ancestors survived on very little food for most of their lives. What often produces the result is the *change*. Moving from a long period of higher calories to reduced calories or moving from a long period of lower calories to high calories. So, when someone tells you they are losing more fat on higher calories, remember that you are not a physiologist; you are a weight loss forummer; and you don’t actually have enough experience to know if someone is absolutely wrong when they are observing their own body right in front of their eyes. It’s very important to keep our minds open in this field. I can guarantee that you will have a different opinion on this subject in 10 years so why assume you are 100% correct today.

    Anyway, these are a few points I wanted to put out there in case someone finds them useful. I’ve been involved in the fitness / physique world for more than 20 years so I have seen a few things along the way and whilst the current trend towards science-based fitness is extremely positive, I personally feel that we mustn’t become a slave to it.

    some people need to eat more to lose bodyfat and some people need to eat less.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but body fat isn't the same as body weight, right?

    Exactly.... and CICO seems to apply better to weight loss than it does to fat loss. I don't think anyone here is looking to lose any lean mass.

    Well....yeah, but who is claiming otherwise? CICO states that if your caloric intake is less that your caloric expenditure then your body will make up for that difference via processing its own macros. If your intake is greater than your expenditure then your body will store those additional macros and/or use them to build mass within the body. That is it. What about that definition do you disagree?

    If you disagree with how people APPLY that and what conclusions they draw from that then fine, but that isn't disagree with CICO...that's disagreeing with people's interpretations of what CICO means for them or for others.
  • tashygolean730
    tashygolean730 Posts: 92 Member
    Vortex88 wrote: »
    Some good points here.... and a lot of snarkiness (to be expected). Not going to argue the points because everyone is entitled to their opinion and we are, of course, all at different stages on this journey. Would certainly be interesting to see photos of the bodies on threads like this though. Not that having a great physique is necessarily a guarantee of anything but it's certainly interesting to see the physiques behind the opinions. In the fitness world there seems to be a baffling inverse correlation behind having a great physique and training "scientifically". After all these years, I admit that I still can't figure out exactly why... although I have some ideas.

    90% of the people (over 12000 in the group) in the Intermittent Fasting Group I follow are in excellent shape. Three of the admins even compete in bodybuilding competition. They all believe in CICO and only allow things to be posted in their group if there is peer reviewed scientific research to back it up.