You nailed it but that is, in fact, the point in contention. I agree that it should be obvious that calories in vs calories out is the only determinant of WEIGHT loss or gain. The composition of that weight loss or gain MAY be affected by macronutrient ratios, timing, etc. But the claims being made here are that eating ad libitum as long as it is healthy fat and natural foods will lead to “not an ounce” of fat gain which is obviously absurd. The idea that eating these types of food will lead to decreased appetite (and therefore decreased overall calories), or will be so voluminous as to be impossible to overeat are certainly possible explanations as to why eating in this way will result in weight loss. It just seems to be quite a leap to assume that these things will happen for everyone. Again, this would just be a way of manipulating overall calorie intake. These foods are, in fact, ridiculously calorie dense. Eating a whole home made pizza is child’s play for just about anyone over 165 lbs. Now, as heretical as this sounds, a regular pizza has fewer calories (regardless of the source) than one made from almonds and would be a better choice for a person trying to lose weight. If caloric needs are met, the body will NOT oxidize an excess of bodyfat for use as fuel. Fat can be stored perfectly well WITHOUT insulin. Therefore, if you eat above maintenance, even with no carbs and all healthy fat/protein, you will get fat. Fat can not be stored as muscle. It may spare the protein calories from oxidation (which isn’t an issue in most cases anyway), but so can carbs.
The real cut of the jib is that there are a lot of roads to Rome. This dogmatic ideology is no different than much of the heretical zealots espousing high carb diets. Guess what, carbs do not get converted to adipose in humans to any appreciable degree (it is possible at very high levels but not under normal conditions). Why do people get fat who eat carbs indiscriminately? Because when they fulfill energy demands with carbs it allows all the fat they eat (which for most is not limited) to be directly stored as adipose. If you would like to get into the biochemistry of all this I would be more than happy to indulge but I don’t think we have to get that pedantic. This is why so many competition bodybuilders (i.e. the leanest, most muscular people on the planet) both juiced and natural (look at Layne Norton’s protocols) have used moderate to low fat and moderate to high carbs. Is that the only way to skin a cat? No, but it works perfectly well. It is not hard at all to utilize the same principle of self control and eating strategies espoused here (pick healthy, voluminous, natural foods) and also include a large amount of carbs. You might even find that you get better results in the weight room with a little glycogen.
I don’t mean to speak for Chris but I believe he may have been slightly hyperbolic in trying to get the message across of adopting healthy eating habits. The more important point, and its where Dr. Atkins also fell, is over-anticipating that calories with take care of themselves due to satiety on any specific type of diet. While the vast majority may find it hard to overeat on a healthier diet, some will, and therefore it can’t be marketed that calories abosolutely dont matter. FTR, I don’t believe Chris is doing that, but he is passionate about his approach and he emphasizes the positive, leading to what you may see as misconstruing facts.
On a related note, I made an Almond Flour Pizza with spinach and shrimp last weekend. Magnificent!