My obesity: Finally an answer that makes sense!

I’ve counted calories, i’ve run triathlons, I’ve generally tried to exercise regularly but all my adult life I’ve struggled with my weight. Currently I’m about 28 BMI.

For a while I thought the answer was in high fructose - and I guess it might still be - but I think the penny has finally dropped.

In terms of what goes in my mouth knowing the calories isn’t enough - I need to know the sugar content!!

The point is it seems we’re (or maybe me) starting to properly understand that, at a level way below a daily norm of calorie intake (2500/2000), if we are consuming too much sugar something kicks in (insulin?) and that sugar intake turns to fat…

In other words you can consume below your daily weight maintenance calories and you will put weight on because of what you ate.

So for me now it’s about keeping an eye on overall calories - and I’ve been pretty good at that which has added to my frustration, but I absolutely have to reduce my sugar intake by reading every label - seems I have to aim for 30g a day, and sugar can be called a whole bunch of things on the labelling:

corn syrup
hydrolysed starch 
invert sugar

I had no idea there was so much sugar in takeaway food or ready meals, even some breads - though the real, real killer is soft drinks.

I’m actually pretty excited that I have something to work with that makes sense because there is nothing more frustrating than trying hard and just not understanding what’s going wrong :frowning:

Anyone want to comment on how I’m now thinking about this stuff?

This is physically impossible.


No it’s not! That’s the whole damn point.

I just looked in the cupboard - make your own tomato sauce right, what could be wrong about that?

400g of this particular brand of chopped tomatoes = 14.4g of sugar - that’s half my daily sugar limit right there. I have no idea if there’s added sugar, the labels don’t say.

Shodan, the “daily maintenance” calorie number isn’t a fixed value, because the body has internal metabolic throttles. You can only guarantee weight loss if you restrict calories to the point that the body cannot throttle below your daily caloric consumption. And the sugar makes this harder because the insulin probably makes you feel hungry as fuck, an irresistible urge to eat that consumes every waking moment.

Sorry OP, I eat low carb myself but I’m not subscribing to your way of thinking.

My reason for eating low carb is that I can control my appetite so much better eating a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet compared to a high carb, moderate protein, low fat diet.

That means I can more easily consume less calories each day, allowing me to lose weight or (at the moment) maintain my current weight loss.

I have not seen any evidence that eating below your daily weight maintenace calories can result in weight gain in an otherwise healthy adult. Do you have some research you can cite?

Protein, on the other hand, has always been scarce in the ancestral environment for obvious reasons. You have to hunt and kill animals and eat their muscles or obtain things like eggs or milk that early humans wouldn’t have been able to gather. So your stomach has special sensors for protein and there are other protein level detection circuits. So it makes a lot of sense that it would be easier to diet by eating a high protein, zero sugar diet, such that at a given level of caloric intake, you would feel less hungry.

The evidence is still being collected to prove this hypothesis, however.

Honestly, old thinking. I thought in terms of protein,carbs, fat for years.

Keep your overall calories to the norms and then it’s the sugar, just the sugar - you have to count your daily sugar, and it’s hidden in so many foods you think would be okay. You have to read - and someties - interpret - the labels. I mean I tin of chopped toms …

Here’s some. Daily maintenance calories are not a fixed amount of energy and the body has a wide range of throttle settings. The lowest settings are ridiculously low - below 1k calories a day it seems.

I know you probably know this, but it bears repeating. I wouldn’t put too much into BMI. My BMI is just shy of 30, which claims I’m obese, but I’m around 8-9% bodyfat last I had it measured and I’m in great shape. So, I think lean body mass is a much better gauge, you may still have too much bodyfat, but you may find it’s a different amount than your BMI leads you to believe.

Also, for people I’ve known who’ve counted calories and failed, they gave it an honest good shot, but they still were way underestimating just how many calories were in certain foods or just how large their portions were. What was your method for counting?

To some extent, yes. That is, if you’re cutting calories, but you’re cutting the wrong kind, you’re going to see minimal results. This is one of the unfortunate effects where poor estimation of calorie counts can sabotage your results. Like you point out in another post about just how much sugar is in chopped tomatoes. Intuitively, someone might think that chopped tomatoes are good calories without investigation, and instead end up dropping better quality calories elsewhere. Or, worse, someone replaces something that’s not as bad as they think, with something that’s not as good as they think and actually make their calorie count worse.

Are you saying that someone with a low setting of 1,000 calories a day will gain weight if they eat 800 calories with a high sugar content? Because I didn’t see that in the article?

Indeed, it’s about the insulin response to the sugars you eat. I read a book last year that explained this very well, I’ll have to look it up and link it here. Basically, and way oversimplified, when you eat sugar, your body stores it pretty much immediately instead of burning it and then storing the leftover. And then because of the insulin, you feel hungry again so you eat more. If the “more” is more sugar, that too gets stored instead of burned. By contrast, non-sugar food (fat and protein) gets burned off first, and then excess is stored in fat. This helped me understand better why I could never seem to get the weight off despite eating right and always being hungry when I tried dieting.

Stay away from processed foods. They’re killer.

Right, well I just looked at the soup I ate last night - 600g of lentil dahl purchased from a supermarket, I thought I was being properly health-conscious.

UN-fraking-believable, turns out there was 54 g of sugar in there!! In ready-made lentil dahl.

That’s a pile. Turns out I got fatter and had no clue.

That pretty well sums up the last 20 years.

That’s exactly it. You have a sugar limit independent of overall calories. Got over that and BOOM! fat city.

No, but compared to the calorie content of ordinary food, restricting to 800 is essentially starvation. Most people will feel like they are starving, and it’s not a sustainable diet, as you’ve essentially decided not to eat. And you have to keep that up forever if you want to remain thin.

Can you please link me to some research that demonstrates that?

a link in post #13 is a start

Seriously? Twenty years to figure out that take away food isn’t good for a diet/any diet? I’m finding that hard to believe. And you’re just now figuring out you need to read labels and check sugar content?

Are you pulling our collective legs, by any chance?

I read that article but did not see any cites to research demonstrating that eating low calories with a high sugar percentage results in weight gain. Perhaps I missed it, could you quote the sentence/paragraph?

The label on the soup I ate last night (see above) was green for sugar - green = healthy. That pot was more than my entire daily allowance of sugar.