Michael left this interesting personal experience as a comment on the Wheat Belly Blog. It is a tale of weight gained with wheat and carbohydrate intake, weight lost with elimination . . . far out of proportion to calories.
After reading Good Calories Bad Calories and learning about Alfred Pennington and his patients losing weight on his diet at 3000 calories per day I tried losing weight while eating a clear caloric surplus. I had been on a primal diet à la Mark Sisson for a while so I was already lean (effortlessly, I don’t even do low carb anymore) so for those who want to try this keep in mind that your mileage may vary but here’s what I did:
I used the Harris-Benedict formula to calculate how many calories my body needs + the activity multiplier, it gave me 2500 calories. I’ve got some muscles but I’m not very active. 155 pounds.
I completely stopped working out (my average is one and a half 30 minutes session a week) and started eating a lot of little debbie cakes. From Monday to Friday I gained 6 pounds. Saturday I cut sugar to zero, reduced my physical activity to a minimum and ate as much as I could of chicken and coconut milk. I sat on the couch and watched movies all day long and overate protein & fat up to 3300 calories. Next morning I had lost 2 pounds. Next day, same thing; next morning, same result. I lost 4 pounds in a weekend even though I overate 1600 calories and didn’t do much physical activity.
800 calories surplus per day, maybe that’s too close. So I tried it again later with a 2000 calorie surplus in one day.
Day 1 I ate 5000 calories of mostly cakes and I gained 1 pound, the 2nd day 4500 calories of a similar menu and I gained almost 2 pounds, 3rd day I cut sugar to zero but I kept my calorie intake at 4500, I overate chicken, coconut & omelettes all day long and I reduced my activities to watching movies and playing video games. I had lost 2 pounds the next day at noon.
A) it was just water anyway
B) I’m a mutant who can violate the laws of physics when I don’t eat sugar
C) calories don’t matter as much as we believe and trying to willfully create a energy deficit may not be necessary to lose fat (unless you’re aiming for a single digit bodyfat %)
(And BTW I do lose weight when I try the calorie deficit method.)
I laughed when I read a comment from a blogger who wrote that losing 1 pound per day is “calorically impossible.” Some people have their heads stuck inside their theories’ butts.