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  • Don't get the distance running reference. It's very catabolic. Ie horrible for losing weight. You're literally training your body that you're going to be going on long runs with no energy source. Why wouldn't it store fat? Distance running is literally the worst thing for your body if trying to lose fat.

    Compare to a sprinters body. Short bursts, much more ideal body composition.

    Not sure when jogging became national cardio past time or whatever but that was definitely bad for public health.


    • Sorry to add to this thread...I know most people probably just want for it to die a quiet death...

      But have you guys considered that both sides can be right?

      Caloric equilibrium matters, but it is very difficult to maintain caloric equilibrium when your "neurohormonal" (does using that word make me sound smart?) state is making you want to eat everything in sight.

      You can train for distance events and lose weight (I have done it) but it takes a lot of attention to appetite management.  Matt Fitzgerald's book Racing Weight provides some insight into this, although I have had to tweak his advice to find what works for me.  Distance running is not the etiology of our nation's obesity epidemic.  Look at Meb, Mo, Paula, Shalene.  But I digress...I agree that exercise needs to be decoupled from food intake, both in one's mind and in one's daily habits.  It is too easy to go for a 10 mile run and then eat a 2000+ calorie meal because the running increased your appetite and you didn't concentrate on appetite management.    It is also much easier to eat 2000 calories of processed junk food with added sugars than 2000 calories of fruits/veg/natural fat and protein sources.

      I have learned that eating closer to the way described in the e-book the OP posted (with my own personal tweaks and digressions to make it work for me and be sustainable for me) works for my own appetite management, as does getting adequate sleep.  Being comfortable with passing waves of hunger (which IF promotes--i.e. it trains you to notice the hunger, say "I'm not going to eat right now because I only eat between x and y hours" and then notice the hunger waxes and wanes with you doing nothing) also is helpful.  I think the best way is to figure out what works for you, but many people don't want to put that that level of thought/effort into it, they just want to be told what to do.

      Either way, willpower is important.  However, the willpower to follow some guidelines to better manage one's appetite is arguably more attainable than having the willpower to say "no" to your body's relentless drive to quell the feeling of being hungry all day long.

      Since this thread has already diverged so much, I will share a rec for one of my favorite photojournalism books:  "What I Eat:  Around the World in 80 Diets" by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio.  Check it out!


      • OK that’s it. I couldn’t sit here and not respond to this. In order for me to lose weight by the calories in calories out theory, I had to be on a 1200 KCAL diet, and exercise almost two hours a day, and I WAS gaining weight. that is not a lie, that is a fact, and the less calories I ate, the more miserable I became that is a fact (for me) I know you do not know me, but if you did, you would see that I am a disciplined person, as disciplined as they come. I was working 3.5 jobs plus an MBA. I was documenting EVERYTHING I was eating into my fitness pal (even half a walnut). Morning, wake up, go to job one, drink plenty of coffee with milk and fake sugars – 50 calories. as leaving job one to job two, I would swing by the doctors lounge for more coffee, and fruit — melons (50 calories) .. it took me thirty minutes to drive to job two. by the time I reached job two around 10am, I was starving!!! I would round on my patients, and eat a 100 calorie snack pack of something or other… still dying of actual hunger, so I would need to eat my lunch as early as possible. this lunch consisted either of chicken or beans with white rice 1/2 cup of beans about 100 calories, 1/2 cup of rice 100 calories, and the chicken was 200 calories. (I switched back and forth on this) THEN, I would finish my notes, and after that I would “exercise” around the hospital, usually consisted of an hour of walking while I waited for my new patients to come in. done by three.. again, I am still hungry, drive home. and I liked to wash the hospital away by going for a swim in the lake, I would drink a cup of green tea before doing it to get my energy level up, swim for almost an hour taking breaks to answer pages.. come back in, have a 100 calories of popcorn waiting for my husband to get home as he does our cooking. that didn’t help, ate another 100 calories of cookies/chips/nuts whatever we had that was easy for me to get into. and I was ready to bite my husbands head off if he was even a minute late. and we would eat largely what we eat now (meats, vegetables, maybe some extra carbs of rice, or pasta, which I would measure out each calorie and make sure that it was 600 to get to my 1200) anyway, at the height of my “obesity” I was 136 pounds, miserable, with mood swings. So, I took a break from work as per this post, and started listening to business podcasts mainly James Altichur and he has top performers of the world on his podcast, anyway, one of them was about health and nutrition and I became VERY interested as what was said on the podcast was not what we were taught in school. Anyway, I decided to test the theory, first I started with getting rid of ALL processed food. That got me down to 126, and I was just hovering around there, but would start to creep back up to 130 with no real changes. And technically I was kind of intermittent fasting anyway because I never enjoyed breakfast, but now I got rid of the calories in my coffee, and skipped eating that fruit… my calories on this “diet” have actually increased to WAY over 1200 and I was losing weight. I couldn’t believe it, and I was feeling great. My husband thinks that my personality has completely changed, I’m more serene, understanding, there’s no yo-yo moods. To your second point: I believe it, I lived it!!! There’s someone on here that mentioned that if they ate 3000 calories of avocado they’d gain weight. I dare you to try it for a week! I can almost guarantee that you will lose weight, specifically belly fat as you’ll be in nutritional ketosis. Your bowel movements will be excellent! your energy level will be up, and because of the fat content, I seriously doubt you will be hungry, in fact, i think you’d be forcing yourself to eat those ten avocados. do it to prove it to yourself, you already know what happens when you eat 3K cal of junk. And if you don’t want to use yourself as a guinea pig, there’s a film on Netflix called “that sugar film” in which a man tested the calorie theory by eating foods that touted to be “health foods” with no change in calories, and the results between the diets was dramatic. I am now 121 pounds (lost about 15 pounds of body fat) do NOT feel deprived, exercise habits have changed somewhat, as I do the HIIT training, walk on the treadmill, jump on the trampoline, swim, and do my bodyweight exercises. I “fast” for about 18 hours every day, and for about 90. % of the time I follow my recommended diet. I eat pasta, I eat bread, I have desserts, but it is not every day, and is not a major part of my diet, but I have become metabolically flexible with ultra-sensitive insulin that I can handle the sugar loads, and I do know when I fall off the wagon, I most definitely gain the weight. I believe the set point theory. your body likes to be in equilibrium, so it gets used to eating 1200 calories a day, and then in order to lose more weight your metabolic rate slows down, you have to go even lower to get the same result. so I absolutely believe my patients when they say they have been good (they will admit when they have been bad) and that they’re not losing weight. If I needed to prove it to myself, I can see in the results that I’m getting from the nursing staff, they are following the diet (even more anally than I anticipated) and they are getting amazing results and sticking to it! And I am NOT saying they weren’t skeptical, because they really were, but people have been trying and failing to lose weight for YEARS (myself included, or struggling to maintain) I’m posting some pics of my food, so you can see there is no deprivation and the calorie content has got to be higher if not equal as you say, those are just pics of our dinners. in addition to that, I also eat a huge salad every single day with walnuts, lots of olive oil, and avocado. also share a bottle of wine almost every night with my hubs. Fasting BG is 70s. TGs are 48. HDL is 85.
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        1.  The way you made the post I responded to it sounded like you were quoting Fung.  My mistake.  It his hard to tell you apart.  Not that it makes much difference.  It's you making up stuff rather than him, I guess.

        2.  So first of all, cite a source for this "dogma".  What source actually says a ~135 lb female who is apparently extremely active needs 1200 kcal to lose weight?  Plugging your stats into a TDEE calculator like this one ( shows that you could go higher and still lose weight.  So the fact that you were able to lose weight with calorie consumption > 1200 and exercise as much as you claim is perfectly reasonable and not contrary to anything that I'm saying.

        3.  So the only mystery is how did you gain wt on 1200 kcal while swimming like an hour a day?  I'm sorry, but that's impossible.  But for fun, let's' flesh this out a little bit.  How long was the period of wt gain and how much did you gain?  What do you think your TDEE was during this period of wt gain?  How is your claim thermodynamically possible?  What precisely does "metabolic rate slowing down" mean?

        4.  Your described diet change makes no sense.  You say the first thing that you did was get of "all processed food".  But if you look at the description of what you posted during your 1200 kcal/day weight gain,  you were almost not eating any.  All I saw was a 100 kcal snack pack and maybe another 100 kcal of cookies or chips.  I suppose you could be counting other stuff.  If so, please specify.    But if not, do you really expect us to believe that that small quantity of "processed food" turned your diet into something that violated basic thermodynamic principles.


        • But have you guys considered that both sides can be right? Caloric equilibrium matters, but it is very difficult to maintain caloric equilibrium when your “neurohormonal” (does using that word make me sound smart?) state is making you want to eat everything in sight.
          Click to expand...

          It depends on what you mean by both sides.  It would be one thing to say that neurohormonal stuff makes you eat more.  That's at least plausible.  But we have someone claiming that neurohormonal changes can make you gain weight despite eating 1200 kcal/day and swimming an hour a day.   I'd love to hear even an imaginary mechanism that would explain that.


          • But have you guys considered that both sides can be right? Caloric equilibrium matters, but it is very difficult to maintain caloric equilibrium when your “neurohormonal” (does using that word make me sound smart?) state is making you want to eat everything in sight.
            Click to expand…

            It depends on what you mean by both sides.  It would be one thing to say that neurohormonal stuff makes you eat more.  That’s at least plausible.  But we have someone claiming that neurohormonal changes can make you gain weight despite eating 1200 kcal/day and swimming an hour a day.   I’d love to hear even an imaginary mechanism that would explain that.
            Click to expand...

            I don't understand why you find this implausible. Hormonal state could absolutely affect metabolic efficiency by stimulating certain proteins to increase and others to decrease, by shutting down the non-essential metabolic processes to minimize basal caloric expenditure and utilize it only for the most essential processes.

            The human body is not a bomb calorimeter, which is how those caloric values were determined. There are numerous steps between ingestion and final breakdown that could determine efficiency of energy extraction. And that doesn't even address the hormonal question of variability in basal metabolic rate. You would do well to introduce some open mindedness about this rather than categorically denying anything but calories in vs calories out, although I understand how it can appeal to basic logic.


            • “I was working 3.5 jobs plus an MBA.” Plus swimming with hubby doing the cooking. Common sense tells me the definition of a job, MBA study time, exercise needs a little more clarification. Common sense tells me there are 24 hrs in a day. Common sense tells me that my SIL has all types of “reasons” and “medical issues “ why she is obese and poor. All these reasons disappear when it’s time to see her obese daughter’s children play a soccer game on the weekend. Boy can that lady cook and party.
              Common sense tells me that there are a whole lot obese people than before. Their actions and will power got them there. Their actions and will power are the only thing to get them out. Very few cases of obesity are “caused or continued” for medical reasons. That is on them taking the steps needed. I once lost 20lbs in a day to “make weight”. That is not safe, healthy or advisable.
              Poor results but I made weight. You can force you body to change. Are you willing to pay the price short term and long term? Have you ever heard of a medical reason to advise a patient to STAY obese?


              • This thread needs some hardcore moderator intervention.  Isn't there already one or more calorie/weight threads that this can be dumped in?


                • Others on this post stressed sleep/stress management (wholeheartedly agree!!)

                  I'm going to have to do the research for CordMcNally, since he is not willing to do it himself.

                  Lets just use one HORMONE. And for the sake of this discussion, I'm talking about visceral fat (not sub cu, not beige and not brown fat)


                  Fat likes to come back after losing it off your body. When you lose fat, you lose leptin (if you have any of your old endocrinology books you can easily read about this process). Remember, fat produces leptin. Leptin is the hormone that binds with our brain and lets us know that we're "full," satiated. So when we lose some fat, we lose leptin, and our brains over-react to that and it makes us more hungry. (I think even Cord can agree that when someone is hungry all the time, it is difficult to maintain willpower, and fight the urge to eat?)

                  And so, we get more obsessive of food. there are MRI images of patients that have lost some weight, they are shown images of food, and their brains light up far more than patients that haven't lost any weight.

                  There's a caloric penalty as well, our bodies start to change. they start to get very good at making more fat. our metabolism changes once we start to lose some weight. Once we lose 10% of our weight or so, we get very efficient at storing fat (this is a natural response to leptin dropping, remember our bodies like to be in equilibrium)

                  The studies show that if somebody has lost 10-20% of their body weight they will have to eat 22% fewer calories compared to someone who's never had to lose weight to be at whatever their baseline weight is.

                  ex. someone 150 lbs gains 25 lbs to 175, they are able to lose that to get back to 150, they're now having to eat 22% fewer calories than someone who was at 150 pounds naturally to begin with and never gained the weight and came back.

                  This effect lasts a LONG time (about six years according to the research) so that's why it's so hard to maintain the weight loss and has a lot less to do with willpower, although I agree being disciplined helps, but it's not the whole story, and certainly wasn't in my case.

                  Our muscles become more efficient during this weight loss time, they burn less calories so, even at rest we burn about 15% fewer calories once we've had that change in leptin.

                  During exercise, that's around 25% less calories that we burn after yo-yo dieting. and what woman hasn't yo-yo dieted? I often felt I was gaining and losing the same 5lbs over and over again, and I couldn't fight that pattern.

                  so, once you've gained weight, and lost it, you will be at this caloric penalty for years, and hence the weight regain.

                  another one that maybe CordMcnally can research and bring back to the group is our gut microbiome ?

                  Women are different than men, if you don't believe that, then you're definitely deluding yourself.

                  Another hormone: ghrelin (the hunger-producing hormone), women produce 33% more after exercise than men (probably a bioevolutionary design to keep some fat on our bodies to make babies)

                  Fat also produces estrogen (another hormone!!!) helps when women stop producing there own, so naturally would want to have fat hanging on to "our" bodies.

                  there's also an FTO gene, and IRS1 gene (look this one up, I need to get to work this morning) so yes, our genes have an effect on our behavior and have an effect on how we're metabolizing.

                  Testosterone/estrogen - declines as you age, they are both fat-burning hormones, so older people have a harder time losing weight than younger people.


                  so what does Intermittent fasting do to help these hormonal issues?

                  1) increases glucagon

                  2) increases growth hormone

                  3) decreases appetite (decreases ghrelin!!!)

                  Most of the information obtained in this post is "from the secret life of fat" written by PHD Sylvia Tara



                  • mods redirect or close please.