I think the issue is that we're all coming at it from the far end of a spectrum of understanding. The calories in/calories out mantra is great for people on the other end of the spectrum. For them, dieting is foreign and they believe in things like somatotypes. They believe their morbid obesity or complete inability to gain weight isn't because of diet, it's because of metabolism or a thyroid condition. If you want people like that to make progress, you don't jump to carb cycling and talking about which protein sources have better bioavailability, you make them correctly track their calories and eat more to gain or less to lose. At that point, it doesn't matter if they're eating mcdonalds every day, their bodies are so fucked up from years and years of shitty diet that any change will yield results. For people like us who are basically hacking our own biochemistry, macros and macro timing, protein and carb sources, cheat meals, meal timing and clean eating can make a serious difference in progress and appearance.