First article in english – comment in Carbsane’s Blog

Well, everyone needs a start 🙂

I’m just a french blogger, it’s not very obvious or easy to write in english (which can bring me a larger audience), but after translating some articles, I feel the need to try something different. I will probably write about french paradox, for instance, and other topics that lacks in the paleo/realfoodist/low carb sphere.

I will try to debunk french clichés…world needs to know the truth !

I just wrote a comment in Carbsane’s Blog, here it is.

TWICHOO : it’s an acronym that refers to Carbohydrate Hypothesis (as defined by Gary Taubes), wich stipulates the more insulin spikes you have, to more fat you get (to briefly summarize)
CICO : Calories In, Calories Out, the mainstream cause of overweight and obesity.
NAD : neolithic agents of disease (see Kurt G. Harris blog, Archevore)
Food-reward hypothesis : supported by Stephan Guyenet (but not the first one to theorize it)

(sorry for my english, not my mother tongue, I’m french)

Hi Carbsane,

First, let me tell you even I don’t like your agressive tone, I appreciate the efforts you make to give a lot of informations. Then, I learn a lot from your blog.

But I still wonder why you refer to CICO as the main explanation of overweight/obesity. It seems obvious to me that CICO (I mean : CI > CO, so positive energy balance) is not an explanation of obesity, just a physical/thermodynamical translation. It’s just a simple reformulation. No more no less.

Even if I finally disagree with TWICHOO, I still consider CICO as useless and meaningless too. That’s what I learnt and understood from Taubes, despite his controversial and surely wrong hypothesis.

In real life, we need to understand why such imbalance. TWICHOO fails to explain that : I’ve read another version of TWICHOO, that emphasizes on vicious circle : you get fat once, then you are insulin-resistant. Once you are insulin-resistant you are prone to get fatter by eating more. Then you are more insulin-resistant…well…seducing. But I’m not even sure our body works in this way, and if it does, it’s probably not the dominant factor.

To make possible imbalance, you can overeat (ceteris paribus…Ok just CO stay the same), or you can expend less. You agree, I think. It’s not observational, just pure logic.

Let’s forget about CO. Ok there are thyroid issues, but it seems that a rise of CI is the most recognized fact in overweight. And I know lots of fat guys that really do exercise, despite I think without this exercise they would get fatter than they already are.

It’s more interesting to see why. Why some overeat, some don’t. Naive interpretation of CICO cannot explain that. It’s not just gluttonous or sloth.

That’s why TWICHOO seduces me. But I’m not convinced anymore (due to your blog, thx, Krieger/LyleMcDonald’s or Colpo fails, partly, because less incisive, too much blablabla) by this theory. But I don’t rely on positive CICO as the best explanation.

I think there are not a root factor. Just plenty of them. Emotional binging ? It can probably explain 10 or 20% of overweight people (if we don’t forget that an inadequate diet, a lack of o3 by instance, can, by itself, create this emotional state). Addictive foods (refined flour, sugar) in some cases too. Empty calories brings you too few nutrients and can lead you to partial starvation, and so lead you to eat more (your body is quite smart and decides to force you to eat). Food-rewarding (thx to SG) is another factor too. NAD probably too (thx to Kurt)…I forget other factors… I also find that these factors are codependent, and can be confounded with TWICHOO, that doesn’t mean TWICHOO is true, indeed.

And I agree, to get thinner, we need a negative energy balance 😉 Choosing an adequate diet (everyone is different) that leads you to eat less without making you hungry. If you are hungry, you will be angry. Oh…I just mean, this will lead you to eat more, a day you fall, and you mindlessly overeat. That’s why most diets fail. Not lack of willpower : a bit willpower is useful to choose good food, and starting to move more, and things come easily. We still need to change the quality of food, to help lowering the quantity. If you choose to keep your bad food (that led you to get fatter), you will probably get hungry. And then…pure counting calories without changing nothing…fails. Regulation of hunger via statiating (real)food is the primary key.

By the way, there are still some efforts to make to get disciplined in the long term, even a pure wapfer can eat pure crap in quantity. It’s just human…and our modern world don’t facilitate things (that’s what you call obesogenic environment if I remember). Talking to others about good food and nutrition helps assuredly. Once you are obsessed by food…you easily avoid mindless-eating (oh crap, another cause of overeating !). After all, (gathering) food or cooking, was one of the favorite topics among cavemen…

Sorry for the typical paleo conclusion 😉 This was just « my two cents », after reading books, papers, and a lots of nutrition blogs.

Please keep writing articles. Even if I don’t agree with all I read here, it’s still interesting. I hope this post isn’t boring or useless,  it’s just because I sincerely think that there are things that precedes or causes overeating, and you know that : CICO must be abandoned 🙂


Unfortunately I cannot publish this comment ! I don’t why (fuckin’ blogger ?)…but I let it in my blog.

sorry for my usual french readers !

2 commentaires sur “First article in english – comment in Carbsane’s Blog

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  1. Bien écrit Sylvain! Je suis d’accord avec toi que calorie in calorie out n’explique en rien l’épidémie d’obésité. Pour moi les deux causes principales sont la nourriture modernes déprivées de nutriments et l’abondance de toxines. Mon expérience avec les patients démontre que fort probablement la cause principale est l’accumulation de produits chimiques dans le corps qui perturbe le système hormonal.

    1. Well, well thanks !

      That’s what I said, it’s just a healthy human living a healthy life would never get fat : he has to force himself consciously, ignoring the satiety signals, and then he can get fat. Like the old statuettes or women’s representations in paleo times : they choose to get fat, probably to endure pregnancy or winter. Or both ones. Women get fat more easily than woman too.

      C’est ce que je disais : c’est juste qu’un homme en pleine santé, qui vit une vie saine ne deviendrait jamais gros : il doit se forcer de manière consciente, en ignorant les signaux de satiété, et alors là il peut grossir. Il y a les vieilles statuettes que l’on a retrouvées, des femmes pendant les temps préhistoriques : elles devaient choisir de grossir, probablement pour faciliter leur grossesse ou pour passer l’hiver. Les femmes prennent aussi plus facilement du poids.


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