It is just important that people who want to lose weight realize that despite the cleanliness of the source you still can’t free eat whatever you want and lose weight.
. Similarly free eating clean foods, even with zero carbs, can still make you fat. [/quote]
I agree. I’ve said the same thing many times in 11+ years of nutrition writings.
But it’s much, much harder to overeat the healthy stuff. And while it’s technical possible to eat an excess of healthy calories (say, calorically-dense but healthy avocados) it just doesn’t happen all that often in real life. But overeating low-fat carbier foods? Very easy to do, and that in turn causes all sorts of wacky blood sugar/hormone fluctuations, poor thermic effects, low satiation levels, etc. that makes you eat again sooner or overeat later on in the day (second meal effect).
So I see all this from a real-world, big picture, practical point of view, not a microscopic, chemical level, technical point of view. In that sense, you just don’t see anyone getting truly fat if they’re sticking to healthy foods on the lower carb end of the spectrum. Possible? Sure. Does it happen much in real life? Nope. Not many low-carb fatties out there riding electric carts around Wal-Mart, ya know?
To use a ridiculous example, take two people and put them on 3000 calorie per day diets. One eats junk food. One eats the way I generally advise to eat here at V-Life. Only one of them is going to look better, feel better, perform better, and be healthier a year later. In that sense, a calorie is not a calorie. And to say that “a calorie is a calorie” is only encouraging people to make bad food choices since “it doesn’t matter anyway.”
Then there are things like fish oil, that when added to the diet can lead to fat loss. So, adding calories (of pure fat no less) is causing body fat loss. I don’t think anyone would say that adding 100 calories to your diet from white bread is going to be the same as adding 100 calories to your diet from fish oil. So again that’s where I come back to “a calorie is not a calorie.” At least not when it comes to the impact that different calorie sources have on your body.
What about nutrient timing? One guy has 300 extra calories from carbs during and after weight training. Another guy has the same drink but right before bed. I’d bet guy #1 is going to have a better body comp after a year than guy #2.
Anyway, I actually don’t think the two groups on either side of this debate differ all that much. The “calorie is a calorie” folks aren’t sucking down HFCS daily, even if they like to argue that it’s the same thing as sugar and a “cal is a cal.”
(And if it all came down to calories, then dietician school would take about an hour. “Okay, class, tell people not to eat too much. Congrats, you’re a dietitian!” I’m pretty sure it’s more complex than that.)
And the “calorie is NOT a calorie” folks aren’t horking down jar after jar of natural nut butter ever day because nuts are healthy and therefore “free.”
Our diets, assuming we’re all weight trainers or athletes who like to look good and be healthy, are probably pretty close to the same. We just like to wave our dicks around on the internet and debate the details!