Diet


Original Post
David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0

Hi,
Just did a google search and the suggestion seemed to be that as 1 pound of fat contains 3500kcal, to loose one pound you need a deficit of 3500kcal. Is this correct? I'm not talking about some of the complex issues, but this seems to assume that roughly consuming 1 pound of fat which is on your body is the same as consuming 3500kcal of food. I had assumed that there might be large energy costs in extracting energy from food and that shit must have calories in it.

So, is there a rough one-to-one correspondence between food kcal and on-body kcal, or is there a rough multiplier?

Thanks.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15
David Coley wrote:Hi, Just did a google search and the suggestion seemed to be that as 1 pound of fat contains 3500kcal, to loose one pound you need a deficit of 3500kcal. This this correct? I'm not talking about some of the complex issues, but this seems to assume that roughly consuming 1 pound of fat which is on your body is the same as consuming 1 pound of food. I had assumed that there might be large energy costs in extracting energy from food and that shit must have calories in it. So, is there a rough one-to-one correspondence between food kcal and on-body kcal, or is there a rough multiplier? Thanks.
I think it is more accurate to say "one pound of weight," rather than a pound of "fat."
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

The short answer is: emphatically, no. The calorie system is a gross oversimplification of thermodynamics and metabolism that was developed by chemists burning sh!t and measuring how much hotter a cup of water gets. It does correlate fairly well and so is still a useful system (if you're in a calorie deficit, you will lose weight), but due to the fact that everyone's body systems are different, YMMV.

Eric Carlos · · GJ · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 30
FrankPS wrote: I think it is more accurate to say "one pound of weight," rather than a pound of "fat."
Incorrect. I can loose a pound of weight just by taking a dump.
David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0

Ted
Any idea what the multiplier might be?

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

I would suspect that it would vary from individual to individual. Not sure if this has ever been studied, but I'd imagine one could self-monitor to estimate it. It definitely would not be a simple 1:1 ratio, though. Factors such as absorbance (not all of the calories one consumed are even absorbed), loss through thermal pollution, variability in metabolic efficiency, etc make it difficult to predict consistently. This article does a nice breakdown of the issues:
https://authoritynutrition.com/debunking-the-calorie-myth/

divnamite · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 90
David Coley wrote:Hi, Just did a google search and the suggestion seemed to be that as 1 pound of fat contains 3500kcal, to loose one pound you need a deficit of 3500kcal. Is this correct?
In real life, that's correct. Assuming you don't have metabolic diseases, etc.. As in health person trying to lose weight, he can increase daily exercise or reduce caloric intake.

David Coley wrote:I'm not talking about some of the complex issues, but this seems to assume that roughly consuming 1 pound of fat which is on your body is the same as consuming 1 pound of food.
No. 1 pound of lettuce doesn't have 3,500 cals.
jon weekley · · Denver, Co · Joined May 2010 · Points: 0
Eric Carlos wrote: Incorrect. I can loose a pound of weight just by taking a dump.
I'll take the under 16 oz for $1,000.
David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0
divnamite wrote: No. 1 pound of lettuce doesn't have 3,500 cals.
Sorry, that was me not explaining things well, have edited OP to "consuming 3500kcal of food"
David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0

One reason this is of interest in climbing, is whether carrying kcals on your body is more efficient than in your backpack.

Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 25

It's kinda weird that 16 oz of olive oil, for example, is actually over 4K calories. So the 3500 rule is hard to apply even in with a pure fat.

Eric Carlos · · GJ · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 30
Jon Frisby wrote:It's kinda weird that 16 oz of olive oil, for example, is actually over 4K calories. So the 3500 rule is hard to apply even in with a pure fat.
16 oz or 16 fl oz? also, if you are just using the math on the bottle of olive oil, they are allowed a fair amount of rounding.
Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 25

good point on both counts

David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0

So, anyone got any idea of the multiplier?
It has to >1, but that is all 1 can figure out. I understand an exact answer is impossible, but is it 1.1 or 3?

Latro · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 0

The page below gives 2 references supporting 2 numbers: 1.15 and 1.39. In order to decide this kind of question, I would also need

1 - metabolic cost of supporting 1 lb of fat, per day
2 - relative efficiency of carrying on the body vs in the pack
3 - fraction of time/ travel/... with/without food stores in pack
4 - the confidence that after porking myself up for a couple of months, I would cheerfully subsist on a starvation diet

I expect the numbers to show that item #4 is the critical factor.

zoeharcombe.com/standalone/1lb-does-not-equal-500-calories

pkeds · · Redondo Beach, CA · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 5

Pretty sure aleks would recommend a steady diet of fish heads and cheesesteaks. Many a bold flash have been a direct result of this diet.

David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0
Latro wrote:The page below gives 2 references supporting 2 numbers: .....
Thanks for the reference.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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