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I think there's some truth to the "macronutrients magically supersede calories" meme. Hear me out.
Weight loss or gain isn't actually calories in vs. calories out. It's more accurately calories absorbed vs. calories burned. In other words, (a) the human digestive system doesn't run at optimal efficiency, and probably varies in its absorbtion abilities between individuals; and (b) certain types of energy-spiking foods probably lead to increased burn rates through mechanisms like NEAT and changed sleep patterns.
Now, scientifically, I have no idea what I'm talking about. This is a hypothesis distilled from observed empirical evidence: I did a LCHF ketogenic diet for about 18 months while meticulously tracking food and exercise.
My normal BMR is about 2800 calories. During the keto diet, I ate 3100-3400 calories per day with a breakdown of 60-70% fat, 20-30% protein, 10-20% carbs. I lost weight and could not get above a certain weight threshold, regardless of extra lifting or meals. I slept less, got heartburn/GERD more, and fidgeted more.
Then I added white rice back into the equation and cut the fat, to a 2600-3000 calorie, 30/30/40ish diet. I gained ten pounds more or less immediately with no other changes.
Currently I'm eating even less, with more carbs - not tracking now, but I would estimate 2400-2800 calories. Weight is staying put despite heavy surf sessions.
So, either I don't absorb fat well, or my body upregulates and increases metabolic function when I eat an overload of it.
all i ever wanted in life was a consistent 6-10 foot righthand barrel