There is no meaning in simply calculating calories

1.The human body is not that simple

  Here, I want to show you that “comparing the daily intake of calories and consumed calories to calculate how many calories you stored (get fat)” doesn't really have a meaning.
  Often on TV, nutritionist or doctor say to those who gained weight “you have 120kcal over the line per day meaning 3,600kcal per month. This is 0.5kg body fat. So if you keep like this for 4 month, it will turn into 2kg of body fat” (based on a calculation of 1kg of body fat =7200kcal).

  Calculating the daily calorie intake is useful as a rough standard of “average necessary energy” for cooking on a large scale such as in a school or retirement home. However, it is meaningless to use it as a standard for individuals and for a sense of “overweight / obesity”, that’s another problem.

2.Why a simple daily calorie intake calculation is meaningless

  Though there are several reasons, I would like to explain the following 3 as my own reasons.

(1)  It's the intestinal starvation mechanism that causes your Base Weight to go up.  

  In this case, an absolute amount of calories won’t directly cause a change.

【Related article】2 meanings of the phrase "gaining weight

(It's the B mechanism that people gain weight by eating)

(2) There is no meaning in comparing the amount we eat (calorie intake) and consumed calories

  Not only in calories but in all nutrition, our body can’t digest/absorb everything we eat and digestion ability/absorption ability differs by each person. Also, a calorie label on food products are calculated based on “combustion heat” but actual reaction in our body is chemical. So there is little meaning to calculate displayed calories or a nutrition index.

  What needs to be compared here is “the internal intake amount” which means the absorbed amount in the intestines.

  At least in my case, “low absorption ability” was the hurdle for me to gain weight and it still is. Those who can't gain weight even with eating, it's not that they have good metabolism (*referece1), but they have a limit that can be taken due to the absorption ability.

  In Japan, people sometimes say “it’s inefficient that you eat a lot but can’t get fat” but it really is, the truth, it’s inefficient. If you try to compensate this by intake volume, the absorption rate will decrease relatively, so it just won’t work [refer to (3)].

  On the other hand, there is an expression “a body that gets fat by only drinking water.

  It expresses those who gain weight even though they eat very little. Of course,water” is an exaggeration but it’s true that their tendency to get fat is really that high. This is another example that expresses the “absorption ability”.

(3)Absorption ability is not fixed but improves by hunger or exercise.

  When we are hungry for some time or after doing sports, our absorption ability(rate and absorption amount) improves and when we eat even though we are not feeling hungry, the absorption rate decreases relatively.

  The Intestines do not absorb at the same pace, but controls the absorption rate in order to maintain present condition. It’s much in the same way as the body temperature is always around 98.6°F (or 36℃).
(Also, it has been proved through experiments that the less calorie intake there is, the less basal metabolic expenditure there becomes.)

For example, even if you skip your lunch and eat nothing till dinner, there is still your breakfast in your Intestines. Your Intestines are working hard to take nutrition out of what is left. If there is no nutrition anymore in the intestines, the body will break down protein or body fat temporarily. However, the more hunger continues, the higher the absorption ability after the dinner (and the body fat that was used up previously will recover soon).

  That is to say, the body is working in a sense to maintain constancy of that person. So even if you calculate your reduced calories everyday, the body fat won’t decrease at the same pace.

  If we change our meals from steak & roll (about 850kcal) to a hot dog (one hot dog: 450kcal), the difference by a simple calculation is -400kcal. But it’s only the number and even if you calculate it for a month, there is no meaning in it. Rather it might be the intestinal starvation mechanism occurring between lunch and dinner that is causing the person to get fat.

Let’s see another example of thin person who wants to gain weight and therefore eats a lot. If he keeps eating even though he isn’t hungry, his absorption rate will decrease relatively (of course there are differences in each person). Consider this, after we eat food, it digests for 3 to 5 hours and finally when it is starting to be absorbed, another food comes into stomach. So the body will perceive that “here comes some more food... we can simply absorb from the new food”.

  That explains the old Japanese saying “hunger is the best nutrition”. What improves the absorption ability are hunger and exercise (especially a loading motion to the muscles).

(reference 1)
  October 2016, Professor Osumi’s “Autophagy”(taken from the Greek meaning “cell’s self eating mechanism”) won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.

It clarified, in the case when there is no nutrition in the cell as such as in long starvation, how unnecessary protein is broken down into amino-acid and reused as a nutrition source.

  That is to say, there is no waste in the human (creature) body as it will recycle even unnecessary protein. Logically saying “thin people have good metabolism / easy to break down fat” is a ridiculous theory that neglects the mystery of the human body.

Reality works opposite of what we think

This time, I would like to explain the relationship between “mind” and “mechanism of gaining weight”.

  Many of those who are obese want to do a diet and get thinner. For that, they try to skip meals or eat just a little in order to take “less calories” or do some exercise to consume calories.

  On the other hand, people who are thin think that “if I skip a meal I will get thinner”. So they try to eat foods “with more calories” and try not to skip meals even if they can’t eat a lot.

  Then why is it that obese people can’t get thinner even though they reduce their meals and do exercise? And why can’t thin people gain weight even though they eat a lot? It is possible that they are doing the opposite of what is really needed.

“Reality works opposite of what we think”

  Obese people might get thinner for a while by decomposing protein /fat through food restriction or exercise.

  However, it’s a temporary thing and in a long span, it’s not that effective. By restricting meals as in a diet, intestines improve its absorbing ability in order to get the maximum absorption out of small amount of food. As a result, the intestinal starvation mechanism tends to occur in which the body tries to store fat, which means it is easier to get fat (rebound).

  Most of the diets which people have done so far were either of these two types(meal restriction, exercise).

So it is natural that the success rate of dieting is low since they are doing the opposite of the theory. It’s not because their efforts were not enough.

(Note: Of course, if you don’t eat at all and do exercise, you will get thinner but I don’t recommend it. Because if you don’t have any nutrition in your stomach when the absorbing ability of the intestine is improved, the body will take minerals out of muscle and bone.)

  Also, when thin people skip meals, they soon start to get thinner from the face and get tired easily since they don’t have energy. So they believe they have to eat even though they don’t feel so hungry. This is a natural way of thinking for creatures to live... So, they tend to eat 3 meals a day and also eat some snacks between meals. There are professionals and some websites who recommend they eat snacks to gain weight.

  But by doing so, the function of the body to store the fat based on “intestinal starvation mechanism” will disappear. They eat a lot of calories but they don’t gain weight so they end up saying “it’s my body’s character”.

  Generally, a body that doesn’t get fat, it is said to be caused by “genetics” but since they are doing the opposite of the theory above, it is normal that they don’t get fat.

3(+1) Factors to Accelerate “Intestinal Starvation”

1.An unbalanced diet and irregular eating rhythm can induce intestinal starvation.

  I’ve stated before that what increases your Base Weight is the hunger mechanism (intestinal starvation) and here, I want to talk about 3(+1) factors that accelerate intestinal starvation.

【Related article】→My Definition of “Intestinal Starvation”

(In Japan,) The reasons for becoming obese are often said to be associated with:

・an unbalanced diet

・too much fat/ too many carbohydrates

・eating late at night

・not eating breakfast

・irregular eating rhythm

・lack of vegetables

When there is only one of the situations from above, intestinal starvation mechanism hardly occurs. However when there are 3 and the +1 factor which I will discuss later, the mechanism for intestinal starvation happens more often.

The 3 factors are as follows;

(1) an unbalanced diet(too many carbohydrates and some protein)

(2) the power to digest (stomach acid, digestive enzyme etc.)

(3) the time you stay hungry between meals

  Some say they gain weight from too many carbohydrates, but others won’t seem to gain weight even if they eat the same thing. Some say they got fat by eating too late at night, but others don't gain at all.
  These differences exist since “intestinal starvation” is decided by the composition of various factors.

Explanation of (1)
  Meals with too many carbohydrates (starch) and protein (small amount is enough) and less fiber such as vegetables, makes people fat most easily. It seems with less fat, the more fat you become (* it’s because fat is not easy to digest).

  It doesn’t depend on the “amount” of calories you eat but the “quality and balance” of food you eat. For example, eating a variety of foods and having a good balance vs, a bad balance may lead to gaining weight, even if you eat in small amounts.

Explanation of (2)
  Those with strong stomachs and high digestive ability tends to induce intestinal starvation more rapidly than those with a slow digestion.
  This is because it doesn’t depend on the amount of food intake, but the process of digestion in the whole intestine. It differs from person to person and those who are nervous, have gastric ptosis or a weak stomach might not be able to even induce a starvation mechanism.

Explanation of (3)
  When we say gained weight because of eating late at night, not eating breakfast or irregular eating rhythm, it means the problem is due to the time span between meals. In other words, inducing or experiencing hunger for a long time.
  Eating late at night won’t automatically make you fat, but if you eat some snacks between meals, you may be able to avoid starvation mechanism.

2.This last, but not least important factor, what is “+1”?

  I stated that an important factor other than the above 3 factors is “+1”, but this is based on whether you had a light meal in your previous meal or the meal before that.

  For example, you eat a light meal such as  “a hamburger and coffee” for lunch and then you don’t eat until 9 o’clock that night. If you had also eaten a heavy breakfast with dairy, salad, seaweed, beans or butter, you won’t experience a starvation mechanism. (note: it depends on the person)

The reason for this is that the intestine is as long as 7 to 8 m, so it takes the food more than 10 hours to pass through. Intestinal starvation is determined by the whole intestine, so “the previous meal or the meal before that” also affects it.