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  #1  
Old 02-17-2017, 09:18 AM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
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Overweight due to metabolism/hormones/thyroid etc.

I'm sure this type of thing exists, but I'm curious as to how prevalent.

My wife claims that she knows all sorts of people who fit this mold. Eat ridiculously low amounts of calories per day (e.g. less than 1,000, sometimes by a lot), exercise like fiends, but the weight just won't come off.

OTOH, I've seen people expressing considerable doubt. (I recall an Onion article mocking such claims; the headline was something like Gland Problem Forces Man to Eat Entire Bag of Potato Chips, but I couldn't find it - perhaps I'm misremembering this.)

One skeptic I read claimed that the notion made no sense as a general rule, since if a person had a slow/efficient metabolism, then they just need that much less in terms of calories, and can get away with eating that much less. But I'm not sure that argument holds up, as a person's mind could be programmed to crave more calories than they actually need.
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2017, 10:21 AM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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People who have a slow metabolism may not eat much, but they probably don't exercise much either. That would seem to be part and parcel of a low metabolism. It wouldn't really be their fault that they don't exercise a lot if they have thyroid problems, or some other genuine metabolic slow-down. Getting their crap together to go work out may really be tougher for some people than for others.

Someone who eats 1,000 calories a day and exercises enough to output at least 2,000 calories (which is not "like a fiend") is going to lose weight. It's simple math. They are also eventually going to get sick, because I doubt you can get enough nutrition on 1,000 calories a day, unless you are just drinking Ensure and taking vitamins and fiber supplements. Even then, you might miss a micronutrient.

From what I understand, calorie counting is the best way to lose weight, and slow loss is the key to keeping it off. You just want to cut out about 500 calories a day, or better, cut 300, and add 200 in additional exercise (IIRC, a two mile brisk walk might do it for an overweight person).

I think the "I can't lose weight" comes from people severely depriving themselves for as long as they can stand it-- like a week, and losing little to almost no weight, getting discouraged, and deciding that dieting doesn't work, and they can't lose weight. The fact is, they might have lost some weight, but if you are dealing with someone who weighs 200+ pounds, losing 2 pounds after a week of deprivation may not show up on the scale, because daily fluctuations can be that much or even more.

A very overweight person needs to go the slow route, and not even weigh themselves for a couple of weeks-- maybe use a tape measure to look for loss instead of a scale anyway.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:21 AM
ivylass ivylass is offline
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I think people have a tendency to underestimate the amount of calories they consume, or do not understand serving size (a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, for instance, is four servings.)

I found when I started tracking my nutrition that's when the weight really came off. Certainly conditions like PCOS can affect weight. But unless there's a true medical reason, most of the time it's just eating more than what is burned off.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:35 AM
filmore filmore is offline
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Originally Posted by ivylass View Post
I think people have a tendency to underestimate the amount of calories they consume, or do not understand serving size (a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, for instance, is four servings.)
I agree that this is the case most of the time. Also, that they overestimate the amount of calories they burn during exercise.

I saw a show on PBS about being overweight and they had people on the show who couldn't lose weight even though they were cutting calories. They had a food log which said they ate 1 serving of rice, 1 serving of spaghetti, etc. and the calories added up to a small amount. But when a camera crew followed them around to record what they ate, the serving of rice was a plate of fried rice, the serving of spaghetti was a whole package and bottle of sauce, etc.

So unless the person is only eating carefully measured servings of foods with known calories, there is likely a lot of error in the calories they think they eat. Even if the serving is listed as something definitive like 1 apple, you would need to know the weight since apples can vary in size.

However, people's metabolisms are different and that can greatly affect their weight. It only takes a slight imbalance for the weight to slowly go up and up. Two people can eat the same exact same food per day, but if one has a base metabolism of .9 calories per minute and the other has 1.1, one may be overweight and the other be skinny.

Last edited by filmore; 02-17-2017 at 10:40 AM..
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2017, 10:51 AM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Someone who eats 1,000 calories a day and exercises enough to output at least 2,000 calories (which is not "like a fiend") is going to lose weight. It's simple math.
This is simple math, but only in a tautological sense.

The question is if there are people who eat 1,000 calories a day and exercise enough for a normal person to output at least 2,000 calories, can fail to lose weight, because their bodies are much more efficient at turning consumed calories into energy, such that they need only 1,000 calories for that amount of activity.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:03 AM
filmore filmore is offline
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
This is simple math, but only in a tautological sense.

The question is if there are people who eat 1,000 calories a day and exercise enough for a normal person to output at least 2,000 calories, can fail to lose weight, because their bodies are much more efficient at turning consumed calories into energy, such that they need only 1,000 calories for that amount of activity.
Absolutely. There are no absolutes when it comes to the human body. Unless you're hooked up to an oxygen consumption detector, you don't really know how many calories you're burning. Equations from books and websites can only give an approximation. A marathon runner and a couch potato can each run a mile and the calories each burns will likely be very different.

However, there is one indicator that is correct for your body and that is your weight (body fat). If it's high, then you're eating more calories than you're using. That may be explained by low metabolism or highly efficiency, but the end result is the same. Either you need to eat less or exercise more.

Last edited by filmore; 02-17-2017 at 11:04 AM..
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2017, 11:10 AM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
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Agreed. But this could be a problem if the part of the person's brain which controls appetite is not in synch with their metabolism. So their brain could be telling their body that it's starving at 1,000 calories, even though due to their metabolism 1,000 calories is all they need.

Not that I have factual knowledge of things working that way. But this is the hypothesis being contemplated, anyway.

Last edited by Fotheringay-Phipps; 02-17-2017 at 11:10 AM..
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  #8  
Old 02-17-2017, 11:19 AM
epbrown01 epbrown01 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
This is simple math, but only in a tautological sense.

The question is if there are people who eat 1,000 calories a day and exercise enough for a normal person to output at least 2,000 calories, can fail to lose weight, because their bodies are much more efficient at turning consumed calories into energy, such that they need only 1,000 calories for that amount of activity.
The answer to that question is NO.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:31 AM
SpoilerVirgin SpoilerVirgin is offline
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
Agreed. But this could be a problem if the part of the person's brain which controls appetite is not in synch with their metabolism. So their brain could be telling their body that it's starving at 1,000 calories, even though due to their metabolism 1,000 calories is all they need.

Not that I have factual knowledge of things working that way. But this is the hypothesis being contemplated, anyway.
I have anecdotal knowledge of things working that way.

In order to lose weight, I would always have to put myself on some kind of starvation diet (I once did a serious, measured plan of 800 calories per day -- it was like being in a Gulag). Inevitably, I would be unable to sustain that level of restriction and would end up gaining all of the weight back plus.

Eventually I realized that the problem was in my head, and not my body. I sought therapy to change the way I thought about food, and eventually was able to get to a healthy weight.

I still eat what most people consider ridiculously small amounts of food, but now my brain and my body are in sync, and I feel perfectly fine eating just enough to sustain myself at this size. The people I know who are naturally very small all seem to eat a lot less than what is portrayed as "normal" for Americans. They are the ones who are always buying a salad for lunch, and bringing home half to eat for dinner, or taking a single cookie from the box and not even finishing it.

The funny part is that people are always complimenting my willpower. No one ever believes me when I say that I have zero willpower. If I really wanted to eat more, nothing could stop me. It was only when, through a lot of very difficult mental work, I stopped wanting to eat more that things turned around for me.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:44 PM
filmore filmore is offline
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
Agreed. But this could be a problem if the part of the person's brain which controls appetite is not in synch with their metabolism. So their brain could be telling their body that it's starving at 1,000 calories, even though due to their metabolism 1,000 calories is all they need.
If you eat less, you need to eat more nutritious foods. It would be a challenge to get good nutrition in 1000 calories of the typical American diet. It's easy to get 1000 calories, but it's also easy to not get enough of the protein, vitamins and minerals your body needs along with that 1000 calories. Your body is telling you to eat because it needs nutrition, but that's not satisfied if you have a bag of chips.

Also, sugar addition can be similar to a drug addiction:
Quote:
The studies described above suggest that intermittent sugar access can produce numerous behaviors that are similar to those observed in drug-dependent rats. In this section, we describe neurochemical findings that may underlie sugar dependency. To the extent that these brain alterations match the effects of drugs of abuse, it strengthens the case that sugar can resemble a substance of abuse.
Someone may feel "starving", but it could be more like the way an addict craves drugs. Their body is trying to satisfy the craving as opposed to needing nutrition.

Someone says "I'm starving" and they eat pizza. Someone says "I'm thirsty" and they drink a soda. It's clear they are trying to satisfy their pleasure centers much more than trying to meet their nutritional needs. They are creating reinforcing feedback loops that get them addicted to the pleasurable response from delicious foods.

If instead they ate more nutritious foods which did not activate their reward centers, they would likely not feel that "starving" feeling as much.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:49 PM
SpoilerVirgin SpoilerVirgin is offline
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Originally Posted by filmore View Post
Also, sugar addition can be similar to a drug addiction:

Someone may feel "starving", but it could be more like the way an addict craves drugs. Their body is trying to satisfy the craving as opposed to needing nutrition.
Yes, part of the work that I had to do to reset my brain was to give up most sweets, including giving up chocolate completely. A lot of people think that would be impossible, and at one time I was one of them, but it was eating chocolate that was making me crave chocolate. Once I stopped eating it, I no longer craved it.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:21 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
People who have a slow metabolism may not eat much, but they probably don't exercise much either. That would seem to be part and parcel of a low metabolism. It wouldn't really be their fault that they don't exercise a lot if they have thyroid problems, or some other genuine metabolic slow-down. Getting their crap together to go work out may really be tougher for some people than for others.

Someone who eats 1,000 calories a day and exercises enough to output at least 2,000 calories (which is not "like a fiend") is going to lose weight. It's simple math. They are also eventually going to get sick, because I doubt you can get enough nutrition on 1,000 calories a day, unless you are just drinking Ensure and taking vitamins and fiber supplements. Even then, you might miss a micronutrient.

From what I understand, calorie counting is the best way to lose weight, and slow loss is the key to keeping it off. You just want to cut out about 500 calories a day, or better, cut 300, and add 200 in additional exercise (IIRC, a two mile brisk walk might do it for an overweight person).

I think the "I can't lose weight" comes from people severely depriving themselves for as long as they can stand it-- like a week, and losing little to almost no weight, getting discouraged, and deciding that dieting doesn't work, and they can't lose weight. The fact is, they might have lost some weight, but if you are dealing with someone who weighs 200+ pounds, losing 2 pounds after a week of deprivation may not show up on the scale, because daily fluctuations can be that much or even more.

A very overweight person needs to go the slow route, and not even weigh themselves for a couple of weeks-- maybe use a tape measure to look for loss instead of a scale anyway.
I agree with some of this and disagree with some. First, there is no way you can eat 1000 calories or less and not lose weight. No way. The brain alone uses 500 cal/day (well, maybe not everyone's) and breathing, pumping blood, digestion, etc. will use at least 1000. I know there are people who claim that, but I just don't believe them. Second the way to lose permanently is slowly. I lost about 10% of my top weight over a 2 year period, gained some of it back, then lost about 7% when I started using metformin with no dieting involved, stabilized at that weight and then lost about twice that (for a total of 30%) over a two year period and have kept it off for 5 years since.

In the latter period, I weighed myself every morning. Individual days didn't matter that much, but I kept (and still keep) a weighted average (10% today's weight and 90% yesterday's weighted average) and that is the number I follow closely. And I found that discipline crucial in my weight loss. Finally, according to a Scientific American in the current issue, exercise has much less influence on weight loss than is generally believed. It is very hard to exercise enough to significantly alter the number of calories you burn in a day. This was studied by using radioactive tracers to accurately measure calorie usage and the results surprised the researchers.

Finally, I agree that people's basal metabolism varies and some people do burn more calories than others. But I don't believe anyone uses 1000 calories or less.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:04 PM
Anglachel Anglachel is offline
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If you will accept a canine anecdote, I can definitely attest that thyroid issues affect weight. A couple of years ago I adopted a 5 year-old German Shepherd. He was somewhat overweight. We fed him the recommended portions and he got daily exercise. At the vet visit where he was finally diagnosed with hypothyroidism, he weighed in at 108 lbs. Within two months on synthroid, he weighed in at 93 lbs. We did not change his diet or exercise (although his energy level certainly increased).
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:13 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Women with polycystic ovary disease have a very strong tendency towards obesity, among other problems. A lot of it is due to water retention (really). It's a very frustrating disease that can be extremely difficult to diagnose.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:35 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
Finally, I agree that people's basal metabolism varies and some people do burn more calories than others. But I don't believe anyone uses 1000 calories or less.
My point wasn't that some people use less than 1,000 calories (someone else said something like that, but it was in reference to exercise). My point was that very overweight people who crash diet-- like going on a 1,000 calorie/day diet for five days or a week, won't see much change on the scale. Someone who weighs about 250lbs +/- 3lbs, may not see any change at all on the scale after a week of crash dieting, and is likely to give up on dieting.

I agree that slow weight loss is the only thing that works, but because it also doesn't produce any visible results immediately, some people get frustrated with it-- but at least they don't feel like they are starving, like someone crash dieting will.

According to my doctor, the benefit of exercising isn't so much the immediate calorie burn, but the fact that it builds lean tissue which overall consumes more calories.

My back started aching a lot after I had my son, and I was moving a lot less. I gained 15 pounds that I carried for years after he was born. After a physical therapist finally got rid of the pain, I started walking and biking a lot more (and I could, now that the boychik was older). I lost about five pounds with no changes in my diet. I'm just living with the other 10. Some of it has to do with the annoying fact that my boobs never shrank back down to their pre-nursing size. Anyway, my point is that the weight loss didn't start right away. I was walking more for a few months before I started losing any weight.
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  #16  
Old 02-17-2017, 04:03 PM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
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If you are fat, you are eating too many calories.
How many calories that is depends on a multitude of variables, which can change from one person to the next.

Vigorous exercise is a usually a poor mechanism by which to get skinnier. Makes you hungry. More muscle helps a lot.

Moderate excercise. Fewer calories. Less simple sugar.

But if you are fat, it is highly unlikely the cause is "glandular."

You are not gonna get skinny because you got your hypothyroidism treated...
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:30 PM
Punoqllads Punoqllads is offline
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If you only eat 1000 Calories/day and you're going to lose weight. But one study of six Biggest Loser contestants found that their resting metabolism dropped from 2600 C/d before appearing to 2000 C/d at the end of the show and then down to 1900 C/d six years later. Meanwhile they dropped from 49 percent body fat down to 28 percent body fat on the show, but rebounded to 45 percent body fat after six years.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:31 PM
Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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It is extremely common for a fat or obese person to say something along the lines, "Yes, I am fat. But it's not my fault. I suffer from condition A and disease B." But the cold, hard reality is that anyone can lose weight regardless of any physical diseases or conditions they have (real or imaginary).

The difficulty in losing weight is not due to a physical problem. It's due to a mental problem.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:36 PM
seal_cleaner seal_cleaner is offline
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Originally Posted by Anglachel View Post
If you will accept a canine anecdote, I can definitely attest that thyroid issues affect weight. A couple of years ago I adopted a 5 year-old German Shepherd. He was somewhat overweight. We fed him the recommended portions and he got daily exercise. At the vet visit where he was finally diagnosed with hypothyroidism, he weighed in at 108 lbs. Within two months on synthroid, he weighed in at 93 lbs. We did not change his diet or exercise (although his energy level certainly increased).
I had a special-needs student who was put on synthoid. He went from round to skeletal.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:36 PM
Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
Vigorous exercise is a usually a poor mechanism by which to get skinnier.
Agreed.

Today I was at the gym and I overheard one woman say to the other, "I need to burn off 400 calories." While exercise is a good thing, obviously, it would have been much easier for her to simply not consume 400 calories than to "burn off 400 calories."

If you want to lose weight, and keep it off, you have to permanently change your style of eating.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:32 PM
markn+ markn+ is offline
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There's a very interesting article in the Feb 2017 issue of Scientific American on this topic, titled "The Exercise Paradox". The bottom line is, the number of calories that a person uses has very little correlation to his level of physical exercise. Hunter-gatherers who spend all day on the move use essentially the same number of calories as moderately active Western people, 2600 per day for men and 1900 per day for women. (Actually very sedentary people use about 200 calories less per day than this, but there is no difference between moderately active and very active people.) Apparently human metabolism is tightly constrained to use the about same amount of energy regardless of physical activity, although exactly how that happens is not entirely clear. So indeed, the only way to lose weight is to restrict caloric intake; exercise is beneficial for health but has little effect on weight.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:42 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Originally Posted by seal_cleaner View Post
I had a special-needs student who was put on synthoid. He went from round to skeletal.
Did his mental capacity also increase? That sometimes happens with children.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:44 PM
Nava Nava is offline
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Originally Posted by ivylass View Post
I think people have a tendency to underestimate the amount of calories they consume, or do not understand serving size (a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, for instance, is four servings.)
Yeah, many people have problems wrapping their heads around the different volumetric size of "appropriate portions" of different things.

My mother gains weight when she measures pasta or rice by eye, loses it when she actually weighs the ingredients. In one particularly epic occasion involving pasta dots, the amount she'd guessed as being "a portion" weighed almost 400g. As it was for soup, it should have had one less zero.


I haven't read them completely (it's 3am...) but these two pages on thyroid diseases may be of interest.

Last edited by Nava; 02-17-2017 at 09:46 PM..
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:56 PM
Emily Litella Emily Litella is offline
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If you are someone who diets or has lost a lot of weight in the past, it can slow down your metabolism considerably and probably permanently too.
There was an article in the NY Times - https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/h...ight-loss.html that followed up contestents on the show "The Biggest Loser" and a few years later most of them had regained all of the weight they lost and more.

"Researchers knew that just about anyone who deliberately loses weight will have a slower metabolism when the diet ends.

What shocked the researchers was what happened next: As the years went by and the numbers on the scale climbed, the contestantsí metabolisms did not recover. They became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight."

So it may not be hormones or a disease, but dieting will mess up your metabolism.
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:43 AM
Dr_Paprika Dr_Paprika is offline
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You'd think scientists would have found out everything there is to know about nutrition by now. Seems to change every few years. Of course, it doesn't help that the media and commercial companies exaggerate every small finding.

People are built to get by on any number of different diets. Weight loss is another story. We're not necessarily built to lose weight easily. If you lower the calories you consume, your metabolism can adjust to this. You need to eat fewer calories than you burn; most people can't burn enough calories in exercise to make exercise a dominant factor, though it helps.

Most people underestimate calories consumed number of portions and overestimate calories burned by exercise (the treadmill said I burned 900 calories/hr. No.)

If you eat plenty of vegetables and give up sugar, flour and "white powders" while exercising, you may lose weight -- especially if minimizing alcohol. The biochemical argument for "sugar toxicity" makes sense.

So far, so nothing. How common is hypothyroidism severe enough to make a big difference to weight? Maybe 5% have hypothyroidism, probably only 3 in 1000 have it bad enough to make much difference. Hormones? Insulin and cortisol make some difference. Genetics plays a bigger role, and eating habits learned during childhood may take effort to change.

If the OP asks "can most people change their diet and increase exercise lose weight"? The answer is yes. And it's pretty hard to keep it off. And lots of diets have been studied without much superiority. I'd suggest taking up both HIIT and weightlifting while eating plenty of protein and vegetables and timing sugar and heavy carbs within an hour or two of exercise. And trying not to eat starches and sugars (except moderate amounts of whole fruit) outside this window. It worked for me, time to try it again!

Last edited by Dr_Paprika; 02-18-2017 at 02:46 AM..
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Old 02-18-2017, 12:07 PM
jjakucyk jjakucyk is offline
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I see a fair number of arguments going past one another and missing what I think is the critical piece of the puzzle.

For starters, yes overweight people eat more food than they should. There seem to be only a few very rare cases where that's not the case (like when you see 20+ pound babies born who look like Buddha at 12 months, etc.). The question is why. Sure anyone can technically eat less, that's where the will power comes in. The problem is you need a crap ton of will power to do that because there's millions of years of evolution telling you to "eat this now or you'll die." That's an enormous mental hurdle to get over, because what makes it mental is chemistry. If you're not hungry, you don't eat, the problem is feeling hungry even when you don't need to be, and overcoming that mental/chemical signal is little different than trying to will-power-away the pain from the cut on your finger or the bone you just broke.

Now the real question is, why do some people seem to have no problem with this and others do? What is affecting the chemical balance in our brains that makes some overeat and others maintain a healthy weight? I have a couple personal experiences that make me wonder just how controllable it really is. About 10 years ago after a mostly sedentary youth, I started bicycling seriously, averaging 2,000-3,000 miles per year with no shortage of hills (though not mountains) to climb. I lost 40 pounds in two years an have since put it all back on, plus another 20 pounds, despite consistently riding 2,500 miles a year. It's like my body readjusted to the new level of activity to store away more calories and/or consume more to make up for what was being burned off. That's no good.

I have also observed that amphetamines like pseudoephedrine and Adderall would kill my appetite. What the actual process is I don't know, like is it shifting focus away from being hungry to other things, or blocking receptors that cause hunger, etc.? Either way, that's a powerful indicator of the chemical component of hunger and overeating, but is there some knowledge from that which can be used to reduce appetite without resorting to drugs? How are the foods we eat sending false signals to the brain, or delaying satiety until long after too many calories have been consumed? It's generally known that high-protein foods are more satiating than high-carb, and that our overly-sugared foods, especially the high-fructose corn syrup ones, don't produce the "I'm full" signals they should, and may even make you hungrier.

This is where I think the research focus should be. Not saying "just eat less fatso" because if it were that easy everyone would do it. SpoilerVirgin touched on this upthread, that yes it's all mental, but that doesn't mean it's easy or even possible for a lot of people because it means fighting our own evolutionary instincts.
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:39 PM
DSeid DSeid is offline
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The last two posts are most on point.

Fat tissue IS a endocrine tissue and has a major role to play in controlling its own levels. So yes it is hormonal. The other big player is the brain and not so much conscious will but the hypothalamus and connected drive centers.

Once someone is an obese adult a variety of mechanisms work to prevent long term fat loss including changing how many calories are burned each day (variety of mechanisms) and how hungry one feels. The body has a drive to return to what is has experienced as its normal. Maintaining major fat loss long term is very difficult. Fortunately the health benefits can be gained with more moderate amounts of fat loss (5 to 10% of body weight) maintained with healthy nutrition habits and regular exercise.

Best to avoid obesity in the first place.
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:06 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
I'm sure this type of thing exists, but I'm curious as to how prevalent.

My wife claims that she knows all sorts of people who fit this mold. Eat ridiculously low amounts of calories per day (e.g. less than 1,000, sometimes by a lot), exercise like fiends, but the weight just won't come off.

OTOH, I've seen people expressing considerable doubt. (I recall an Onion article mocking such claims; the headline was something like Gland Problem Forces Man to Eat Entire Bag of Potato Chips, but I couldn't find it - perhaps I'm misremembering this.)

One skeptic I read claimed that the notion made no sense as a general rule, since if a person had a slow/efficient metabolism, then they just need that much less in terms of calories, and can get away with eating that much less. But I'm not sure that argument holds up, as a person's mind could be programmed to crave more calories than they actually need.
One cynical joke goes:
"Doctor, I just can't seem to lose weight; is it my glands?"
"Yes! Your saliva glands!"

But actually what I believe is that for some people the only thing that works is a very low-carb diet. At least in my own case it's always worked when I stayed on it, and nothing else ever has.
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:06 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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I have read both the NY Times article about the greatest losers whose metabolism was permanently depressed after losing lots of weight and the Scientific American article on how exercise really doesn't matter for weight losing (although valuable on general health grounds) and, honestly, they seem to contradict each other. Since they appeared at more or less the same time, they do not take each other into account and I sure wish somebody could resolve the differences.

As I mentioned above, I have lost about 30% of my highest body weight and kept it off for 5 years. I have also become a good deal more sedentary over the years and it doesn't seem to matter.
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Old 02-19-2017, 11:12 AM
DSeid DSeid is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Not understanding why you think those articles contradict each other. Or why you think your personal anecdote informs as to what solid data shows is true for the population overall.

Happy for you that you have lost significant weight and kept it off even while becoming more sedentary. I also appreciate, from your previous posts on the subject, that it was many years process, beginning in 2002, losing about 10% and mostly holding that for years, becoming diabetic and starting metformin and losing another 10%, holding there for years, and then losing more. That is an impressive story and perhaps it suggests that bodies can "reset" to 10% weight loss levels at a time given a couple of years to adapt each time. Or you may just be exceptionally well disciplined or have a different physiology than most. You do I think however appreciate that losing 30% of your body weight in three sets of time over ten plus years inclusive of starting metformin may provoke different physiologic/metabolic/endocrinologic/neurologic responses than losing 30% or more in eight months?
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