Hi, first of all, I want to thank you so much for the whole podcast, which I'm really looking forward to. I have one question for you. I'm starting a PhD in the fall concerning the pathophysiology of metabolic diseases and I'd like to take some courses that would help me in my research. Since you are in contact with a lot of specialists from different institutions, you probably have more insight than I do into what the possibilities are. Would you have any recommendations or an overview of courses related to metabolic diseases or even methodology and statistics that could help a beginner scientist? Thank you very much Kate
Hi Danny, I'm curious as to your take on this story from today's Washington Post: https://wapo.st/3Jgv61q (hope you can get to that, it's behind a paywall but I've "gifted" it). It appears to be yet another riff on the "it's not about calories in / calories out, it's about the 'quality' of the calories" them. This might be a big ask, but 1) does the Post article accurately reflect the paper (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41430-022-01179-2), and 2) is the paper credible? I have my own opinion on the former but am interested in your take, in part to see whether or not I'm actually learning what I'm trying to learn from you and Alan. So my over-long story, which I promise will have a question at the end of it: The whole calories in / calories out controversy really intrigues me, partly because I'm an engineer by training ;), partly because I've read a fair bit of Stephan Guyenet, but mostly because, I think, I've made it work for me. A decade or so ago my BMI was in the low 30's; it's been very stable at around 24.5 for over a year now. Now I know that different things work for different people, but I swear I've done this with calories in / calories out. I've never bothered trying to count calories because I know that's a mug's game - it's really easy to underestimate what you consume and overestimate what you expend. I just dropped my caloric input (and cranked up my expenditure - I spend a ton of time on my bicycle) until I found myself losing around a pound a week most weeks and, when I hit a weight that I liked, I increased my caloric intake until my weight stabilized. Sometimes I'll overeat on vacation and gain a few pounds, or if I injure myself I have to cut back on the cycling, but I know how to lose a couple of pounds so I don't sweat that. But here's the thing - apart from excluding the flesh of air-breathing animals (okay, so I have a slice of turkey at Christmas and Thanksgiving - if I'm going to go the all the trouble of cooking the thing for my family I'm going to enjoy a bit of it!) I eat pretty much everything, including a fair bit of carbs (one of my new hobbies in retirement is making all my own bread and it's hard to only eat a little bit of that...). So - calories in / calories out seems to have worked for me. But part of my inspiration for writing this is one of the comments on the Post story, something along the lines of "I lost all the weight I wanted to with calories in / calories out but I still have to keep 'dieting' to keep it off" (my quotes on 'dieting'). While I take some issue with the use of the word "dieting" here, I agree with this comment! I still watch - and limit - my caloric intake quite rigorously to keep my weight where it is. I don't measure it or anything, but I've developed a pretty good instinct for when I'm consistently consuming enough excess calories to gain wait and still weigh myself weekly, although I don't call this "dieting". In my experience the deal seems to be this - if you're accustomed to a 400 calorie / day caloric surplus and you establish new eating patterns that give you a 400 calorie / day caloric deficit, you're going to lose weight. But once you've lost all the weight that you wanted to lose, that doesn't mean that you can go back to your 400 calories / day surplus! You can't add back the whole 800 calories / day, you can only add 400 calories / day, and, guess what, you're going to be hungry as a result. This is actually fairly hard - I'm mildly hungry much of the time, but I'm used to that and feel it's worth the minor discomfort for the comfort I get from knowing that I'm doing something good for my health (I'm a cancer patient and have been told many times that maintaining a healthy weight may help keep the cancer away), just as I decided that it was worth enduring the cravings when I quit drinking way back when. In fact, I've actually got to the point where I kind of enjoy this discomfort, in the same way that I enjoy the ache I feel after a long ride or a good hard run. So, another question based on that! It's common knowledge that most people lose weight when they "diet", and that most gain the weight they've lost and more when they stop. Is there any data out there about people's post-"diet" eating habits, i.e. is there evidence that people simply revert to the eating patterns that caused them to gain weight in the first place rather than finding that happy medium where their weight stays constant? Sorry for the long-winded post, and thanks very much for the most sensible and evidence-based podcast that I've been able to find.