Low Carb Diet and Thermodynamics

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Gluconeogenesis and energy expenditure after a high-protein, carbohydrate-free diet

"Forty-two percent of the increase in energy expenditure after the H diet was explained by the increase in gluconeogenesis. The cost of gluconeogenesis was 33% of the energy content of the produced glucose."

Abstract: Veldhorst et al, Gluconeogenesis and energy expenditure after a high-protein, carbohydrate-free diet. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul 29.

Thermodynamics of weight loss diets

"It is commonly held that "a calorie is a calorie", i.e. that diets of equal caloric content will result in identical weight change independent of macronutrient composition, and appeal is frequently made to the laws of thermodynamics. We have previously shown that thermodynamics does not support such a view and that diets of different macronutrient content may be expected to induce different changes in body mass. Low carbohydrate diets in particular have claimed a "metabolic advantage" meaning more weight loss than in isocaloric diets of higher carbohydrate content. In this review, for pedagogic clarity, we reframe the theoretical discussion to directly link thermodynamic inefficiency to weight change."

Full Text: Fine EJ, Feinman RD, Thermodynamics of weight loss diets. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2004 Dec 8;1(1):15.