Oh, damn.
September 25, 2007 9:11 AM   Subscribe

Why most of us believe that exercise makes us thinner—and why we're wrong.
posted by miss lynnster (125 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've always thought you needed to exercise and diet at the same time. If you just exercise and eat whatever you want, you'll eat more.

If you just diet, your metabolism will go down.

On the other hand, exercise is still good for you, even if you don't lose weight.
posted by delmoi at 9:15 AM on September 25, 2007


Ok fuck this, I'm getting the lipo after all.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:19 AM on September 25, 2007 [9 favorites]


On the other hand, I challenge you to find someone who becomes obese (and I mean actually disgustingly & unhealthily obese, not the BMI definition) while walking a couple miles a day.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:25 AM on September 25, 2007


If you just diet, your metabolism will go down.

Probably, but then you just eat less still. Your metabolism isn't going to stop. (Not that I advocate a starvation diet--just pointing out that the Second Law still applies.)

Exercising is about being healthy. Dieting is about being not-fat.
posted by DU at 9:25 AM on September 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Not sure how the link got borked!

It started out full and fleshy.

Then it began to feel a little bloated and started cutting back on content.

Things escalated as it couldn't loose html fast enough, eventually vomiting entire table tags right out of the buffer.

Eventually it just wasted away to nothing.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:25 AM on September 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


I agree with delmoi.

*pinches self*
posted by Mister_A at 9:27 AM on September 25, 2007


Put simply, it’s quite possible that the foods—potatoes, pasta, rice, bread, pastries, sweets, soda, and beer—that our parents always thought were fattening (back when the medical specialists treating obesity believed that exercise made us hungry) really are fattening. And so if we avoid these foods specifically, we may find our weights more in line with our desires.

As for those people who insist that exercise has been the key to their weight-loss programs, the one thing we’d have to wonder is whether they changed their diets as well. Rare is the person who decides the time has come to lose weight and doesn’t also decide perhaps it’s time to eat fewer sweets, drink less beer, switch to diet soda, and maybe curtail the kind of carb-rich snacks—the potato chips and the candy bars—that might be singularly responsible for driving up their insulin and so their fat.


It took 4500 words to get to this point. Stunning.
posted by prostyle at 9:27 AM on September 25, 2007 [8 favorites]


This piece said remarkably little.
posted by shagoth at 9:29 AM on September 25, 2007


My favorite study of the effect of physical activity on weight loss was published in 1989 by a team of Danish researchers. Over the course of eighteen months the Danes trained nonathletes to run a marathon. At the end of this training period, the eighteen men in the study had lost an average of five pounds of body fat. As for the nine women subjects, the Danes reported, “no change in body composition was observed.”

No changes in body composition? I find that mind-blowing. Seriously, if that is true, then I just don't understand shit about the human body.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:31 AM on September 25, 2007


Amazing what a cocktail napkin and a basic knowledge of physics will tell you.
posted by cytherea at 9:31 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


In my personal experience, in times when I'm getting more exercise my body doesn't want to eat crappy foods.

I've been surprised by that more than a few times -- my head says it's a good time to go get some pizza, but my gut revolts when it's actually in front of me.

I've never seen a study done that explores that phenomenon, but it seems to be something that people tacitly acknowledge.
posted by gurple at 9:31 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Gary Taubes, the author of this article, has been discussed on MeFi before. (My own take on Taubes is that he sensationalizes his claims a lot. But I'm no expert...)
posted by ManInSuit at 9:32 AM on September 25, 2007


Rare is the person who decides the time has come to lose weight and doesn’t also decide perhaps it’s time to eat fewer sweets, drink less beer, switch to diet soda, and maybe curtail the kind of carb-rich snacks—the potato chips and the candy bars—that might be singularly responsible for driving up their insulin and so their fat.

I did that actually, it was freaking great. Lots of exercise, lots of snacks, slow but reliable weight loss. Also, I fixed your link misslynnster.
posted by jessamyn at 9:35 AM on September 25, 2007


i'm taking a nap as soon as i finish this stick of butter.
posted by quonsar at 9:37 AM on September 25, 2007 [21 favorites]


That article made my head smaller.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:37 AM on September 25, 2007


Paraphrasing Dave Barry:
The New England Journal of Medicine announced today that whatever it was they told you last year is wrong.
posted by MtDewd at 9:40 AM on September 25, 2007 [8 favorites]


I'm fat, therefore, I am.
posted by doctorschlock at 9:41 AM on September 25, 2007


Exercise doesn't cause weight loss? If that's true I wonder why bodybuilders have to eat several thousand calories a day simply in maintenance calories? Why is it when I went from 220 to 165 through moderate exercise I had to eat twice as much just to keep up with muscle growth and energy expenditure?
posted by bunnytricks at 9:43 AM on September 25, 2007


The people who needed this article to tell them a half-hour of walking a day meant they could eat anything they wanted and look like someone in Playboy or Playgirl are the reason natural selection exists.
posted by schroedinger at 9:44 AM on September 25, 2007


Nice, two out of three from AL Daily made it to the blue today.
posted by sciurus at 9:45 AM on September 25, 2007


Er, that should say "did not mean" instead of "meant".
posted by schroedinger at 9:45 AM on September 25, 2007


Exercise made me thinner. Not by itself, but with better food choices (though I always eat more frequently when I'm training. This is due to eating more bulk (in the form whole foods) but that adds up to fewer calories than if I ate smaller meals of processed, low-nutrient-density foods.

Anyway. A lot of what we know about weight loss is known through studies, but there's an entirely separate body of knowledge about it that comes from the empirical evidence. No one in my running group is obese, and we end the weekly run with chili, beer, and nachos. In real life, it's not about the single controlled variable, as it is in science. It's about behavior as it falls into patterns over time.
posted by Miko at 9:48 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I tend to eat whatever I want when I want to bulk up a bit, but if I want to slim down, I lay off. Exercise remains a constant. I’m not really clear on how having extra muscle mass doesn’t burn more calories though.
The inference is you eat more to compensate, but obviously if you have more muscle mass and are exercising and eat less, you’ll slim down more than if you merely ate less.
Healthy /= slim.
And yeah, 18 months of marathon training and not the slightest shift in muscle tone or metabolic rate? Pull the other one it plays Jingle Bells.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:48 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's very simple: weight gain is roughly proportional to (calories ingested - calories burned). If the result is negative it becomes weight loss. You can adjust one or both of the two variables, but the math doesn't change.
posted by rocket88 at 9:53 AM on September 25, 2007


If exercise doesn't cause weight loss, I'd like to know how it is i've been eating like a horse, running five miles or riding thirty a day, and have lost seven pounds in the last month.
posted by notsnot at 9:54 AM on September 25, 2007


The Hacker's Diet (a free on-line book from the founder of Autodesk) says the same thing as the study - it's much easier to lose weight through diet than exercise. The point of exercise is to make you healthier, not slimmer.

"Unless you're a professional athlete or obsessed with sports, you're not likely to spend enough time exercising strenuously enough to make much of a difference. Exercise will help you lose weight in more subtle ways. Regular exercise increases your rate of metabolism: the number of calories you burn all the time. Plus, for many people, exercise actually reduces appetite.

But these are side effects: hardly reasons to start exercising. The real reasons to exercise are that you'll live longer and feel better."
posted by zippy at 9:56 AM on September 25, 2007 [9 favorites]


tapeworm, notsnot. Sorry to have to tell you.
posted by gurple at 9:56 AM on September 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


As the Finns themselves concluded, with characteristic understatement, the relationship between exercise and weight is “more complex” than they might otherwise have imagined.

Yeah, muscle weighs more than fat.
posted by dead_ at 9:56 AM on September 25, 2007


Actually, rocket88, the biological systems that help make up our bodies are non-linear to the extreme, so the physics and the kinetics and the thermodynamics don't really end up being that simple.
posted by kalessin at 9:56 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I did that actually, it was freaking great. Lots of exercise, lots of snacks, slow but reliable weight loss.

Me too, sorta. I'm doing it now. A life without beer is no life at all. I'm about 5' 3" and 140, only lost 10 pounds before I stopped dropping weight, but since the "plateau" I've lost 2 more sizes. I'm smaller than I was in high school, but I weigh 15 pounds more. I think it's all boobs.
posted by peep at 9:56 AM on September 25, 2007


Very interesting read thank you.
posted by jackdirt at 9:57 AM on September 25, 2007


Ok, upon a second readthrough, I think the title of this article should be edited to read "Why most of us believe that exercise makes us thinner while still eating like a fat mook—and why we're wrong.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:57 AM on September 25, 2007


... studylinked article ...
posted by zippy at 9:57 AM on September 25, 2007


Well, looks like I won't be starting that rigorous work out routine this month either.
posted by Curry at 10:01 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Gurple, actually, my exercise habits have changed from sedentary to very active.
posted by notsnot at 10:02 AM on September 25, 2007


Sadly, this is total BS. You are going to have to exercise. You are going to have to eat less.

While the article acknowledges that exercise burns calories it claims that we are hungrier for it and this hunger becomes calorie consumption that results in a net energy balance.

We are all going to have to stop eating. This won't make us much healthier, but it will make us a little thinner. We must learn that desire for food should often go unsatisfied, unless celery satisfies it.

Then, we are going to have to exercise. W/O exercise the muscles shrink up, the bones thin and weaken, and the hormonal system collapses. Old people are really just people who don't exercise.

Stop hoping for an easy way out. Get your @$$es on the treadmill, get your bench up to your body weight, and do some pull ups. Eating yourself to death is just ridiculous.
posted by ewkpates at 10:09 AM on September 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Gurple, actually, my exercise habits have changed from sedentary to very active.

I was kidding -- I'm a big believer in exercise helping with weight loss, as you could probably infer from my other comment. But since we're on the subject of tapeworms....

(sorry, all, but I still think that story is the best thing the Internet has ever done)
posted by gurple at 10:11 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Of course you eat more when you're exercising, your body needs more fuel.

I've been working out for months now, in combination of watching what I eat and I keep losing and gaining the same five pounds. Yet my body has gotten a lot leaner, more sculpted and I have energy galore so it's ok.

Good read, thanks Miss Lynnster!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:12 AM on September 25, 2007


I figured as much, gurple, and got a chuckle out of your comment. I meant to write something smartass but hit "send" instead of jumping out of my browser when my boss came in the room.
posted by notsnot at 10:14 AM on September 25, 2007


We must learn that desire for food should often go unsatisfied, unless celery satisfies it.

Bullshit. We should learn to eat better. a lot of the processed food in western diets is complete and utter garbage and does us no good, while doing serious harm over the long term.

Sugar should be illegal, while marijuana should be sold in connivence stores.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:15 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sugar should be illegal, while marijuana should be sold in connivence stores.

Yup. Nothing promotes exercise and eating right more than marijuana.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:19 AM on September 25, 2007 [10 favorites]


Weight loss is achieved through the amazingly simple formula of consuming fewer calories than your resting metabolic rate plus any calories consumed by exercise.

For example, if your RMR is 2,000 calories and you do not exercise at all, you could lose one pound a week by eating 1,500 calories a week sustained over a lengthy period of time.

There is no magic to how this works. It is, in fact, simple math. The person from the example above could eat 1,500 calories of raw sugar a day and still lose weight, though there would be other side effects of such a nutritionally poor diet.

Dieting or exercise alone are recipes for failure. Sure, you may lose weight in the short term, but the weight generally comes back. Sustainable weight loss is only achieved through a lifestyle change. Lifestyle change is incredibly complex and there is no formula that is applicable to everyone.

I could tell you I achieved 60+ lbs of weight loss through changing my diet and exercise, but that would be only partially true. The only reason I've kept the weight off and continue to reshape my body is because I spent a lot of time searching for the cause of my weight gain. Surprisingly, poor diet and lack of exercise were not the cause, but symptoms of the cause. Once I identified the cause, I was able to reduce or eliminate the problems, which, in turn, made sustaining my weight loss incredibly simple.
posted by sequential at 10:19 AM on September 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wow, same dogfight going over at kuro5hin.

My experience is that the article is right. Your body is not a fire. It is perfectly capable of throwing away calories without using or storing them, and it will do this in the right circumstances -- such as when those excess calories are fat and protein, which it can't store, or when insulin levels are low enough that it doesn't want to store them.

Starving yourself will force weight loss because your body can't make energy that isn't there, but if you do this your body will howl at you with hunger pangs, and if you exercise it will howl more and sooner. Most people eat more when this happens, often without realizing it.

Also, not mentioned in the article is a tendency for your body to cling to its stored fat for dear life when it thinks you are starving. You can suddenly find yourself lethargic and sedentary precisely because your body doesn't want to starve. Starvation is exactly when your body wants to extract every calorie from whatever you do eat and save it for those rainy days it knows are coming.
posted by localroger at 10:21 AM on September 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


The key is that among the many things regulated in this homeostatic system—along with blood pressure and blood sugar, body temperature, respiration, etc.—is the amount of fat we carry. From this biological or homeostatic perspective, lean people are not those who have the willpower to exercise more and eat less.

This is ridiculous.

It's demonstrable that exercise and diet can change not only blood pressure, but also blood sugar and respiration. These are not magic parts of the body that lie dormant, unresponsive to even our most vigorous efforts to change them--on the contrary, we are quite good at controlling them and have a broad understanding of how our various systems work. In fact, we can pinpoint what works, right down to the exact foods and types of exercise that will make the most difference.

This article comes off to me like another excuse to skip the gym and reach for a Twinkie: it's not my fault, it's biology! I'm a slave to my genes.

Please. This article is insulting to any obese person who has had the enthusiasm and ambition to make positive changes in their health via exercise and diet--changes that were hard-fought and have had significant life altering and extending impacts.

It’s difficult to get health authorities to talk about the disconnect between their official recommendations and the scientific evidence that underlies it because they want to encourage us to exercise, even if their primary reason for doing so is highly debatable. Steve Blair, for instance, a University of South Carolina exercise scientist and a co-author of the AHA-ACSM guidelines, says he was “short, fat, and bald” when he started running in his thirties and he is short, fatter, and balder now, at age 68. In the intervening years, he estimates, he has run close to 80,000 miles and gained about 30 pounds.

What a great paragraph. First of all, no one is suggesting that exercise will make you any taller or grow more hair--so throw that flowery, bullshit language out.

Look at what this paragraph is telling us: that reasons for exercising are highly dubious because even Steve Blair, exercise scientist, has been a runner his whole life and has now put on 30 pounds as he approaches age seventy.

The man is still running at 68. Don't tell me how much weight he's gained, tell me how many open heart surgeries he's had! Tell me the condition of his kidneys and circulatory system! After you've done that, get back to me on the "highly dubious" reasons for promoting exercise.

We all know that our bodies are different, and that we can't expect them to react the same in every circumstance--some people will always be leaner--but to suggest that our "culture of exercise" amounts to little more than casting pebbles at the massive edifice of biology is
is ludicrous.
posted by dead_ at 10:24 AM on September 25, 2007 [7 favorites]


Excuse that extra line break. Doh.
posted by dead_ at 10:27 AM on September 25, 2007


Nothing has helped me lose weight more than documenting everything I eat and the calories associated with that food on a daily basis on an excel spreadsheet. Talk about perspective. When it's written down in front of you it's kind of hard to justify eating that brownie when it will totally wash out the calorie benefit of the hour long bike ride you just took. It's just that little difference between gradual weight gain and gradual weight loss.
posted by any major dude at 10:28 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately many healthy bodies are just as ugly as unhealthy bodies. If life in America was really about feeling good instead of looking good, more people would try harder and fewer people would give up altogether.
posted by hermitosis at 10:31 AM on September 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


localroger makes an excellent point... the metabolism can vary the efficiency with which you absorb calories and the rate at which you burn them independent of what you eat. This is scary stuff, but a commitment to cardio and resistance exercise together can balance out all this variance in the long term.

Dead is also right - health is about more than appearance. You have to know your blood work numbers and stay out of the hospital.

Exercise can help you be healthier, but if you want to look beautiful you have to do more than run consistently. Arnold didn't just lift alot of weights... shockingly enough he planned his exercise to shape his body.
posted by ewkpates at 10:32 AM on September 25, 2007


For weight loss: despair, angst, and meaninglessness.
I noted on the two Ken Burns shows (WWII) thus far shown that no one--military of civilian seemed overweight at all.
posted by Postroad at 10:35 AM on September 25, 2007


Exercise can help you be healthier, but if you want to look beautiful you have to do more than run consistently.
That's incredibly subjective. There is no shortage of beautiful people who do nothing more than run, walk, bike, or swim (i.e. just cardio) to take care of their bodies. Do they look like Arnold? No, but I assure you there is also no shortage of people who think he's hideous and would prefer to never look like him or his female equivalent.
posted by sequential at 10:37 AM on September 25, 2007



On the other hand, I challenge you to find someone who becomes obese (and I mean actually disgustingly & unhealthily obese, not the BMI definition) while walking a couple miles a day.


I've known two, personally.

Sadly, this is total BS. You are going to have to exercise. You are going to have to eat less.

Really? My wife, on several months-long occasions, has changed her diet significantly, not to reduce the amount of intake, but to eat much healthier foods (and only those foods.) In each instance, she lost at least 30 pounds, without exercising*.

Meanwhile, I eat whatever I want and have only gained twenty pounds since high school -- most of that after my kids were born and I wasn't getting enough sleep (it's dropping off now, and I'm not exercising.)

Weight gain/loss is a strange thing, and not always as straightforward as you'd think.

Unfortunately in each instance, something intervened (significant illness in the family, pregnancy, what have you) and she went back to her old foods and gained that weight back.
posted by davejay at 10:38 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Are you saying, davejay, that your wife ate the equivalent number of calories, but only ate much healthier calories and lost 30 lbs as a result?
posted by sequential at 10:41 AM on September 25, 2007


Oy. It's not magic or rocket science. You eat around 1800 to 1900 calories a day of good food-- protein, tons of vegetables, tons of fruit, some fat, 12 grain bread, etc., cut out the sugar, and work out four or five times a week. I've just lost 6 pounds in 6 weeks doing this. It's simple, and just requires patience and a bit of committment once you've find an exercise regime that fits into your life (not the other way around). If you eat enough high fiber, slow to digest foods (in other words, nothing made of white flour if you can avoid it, and less of things that will spike your sugar levels, you will not be hungry, either).

A pound a week is nice and steady, and slow enough not to stress my body out-- and my muscle tone is of course improved as well. It's simple arithmetic: what goes out is less than what comes in, therefore weight loss. The trick is keeping it off, especially when middle age is conspiring against you.
posted by jokeefe at 10:49 AM on September 25, 2007


Mister Blatcher,

In the US at least, marijuana is sold in connivence stores, in that you've got to be at least a little conniving to find out where they are.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 10:49 AM on September 25, 2007


Dear MeFi, I've been exercising more, and eating better (and less) and have lost 10 pounds in the past 2 months. HOW DO I GET THIS NIGHTMARE TO END?!?!?!?!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:50 AM on September 25, 2007


Oh the irony, I'm reading this while eating pasta in advance of a for a 3-hr bike ride! Diffren't strokes for diff'rent folks.
posted by neilkod at 10:51 AM on September 25, 2007


There is no magic to how this works. It is, in fact, simple math.

Thank god our bodies are not complex biological systems which are difficult to understand completely and rather are exactly like mechanical computers, where 1+1 is always 2 for every single person in the whole wide world.

Someone should start a campaign and send calculators to every doctor who is researching weight issues, since they're wasting their time on what is obviously just simple math.
posted by splice at 10:52 AM on September 25, 2007 [7 favorites]


Nothing has helped me lose weight more than documenting everything I eat and the calories associated with that food on a daily basis on an excel spreadsheet. Talk about perspective. When it's written down in front of you it's kind of hard to justify eating that brownie when it will totally wash out the calorie benefit of the hour long bike ride you just took. It's just that little difference between gradual weight gain and gradual weight loss.

Exactly. When I first started tracking everything, including all the hidden sugar I was getting, what amazed me was not that I had gained weight over the years, but that I hadn't gained more. A couple of cans of soda or juice or a Sobee can add 4 or 5 hundred calories to your daily intake. You have to be aware of what you are eating.
posted by jokeefe at 10:55 AM on September 25, 2007


What are they selling?
posted by Artw at 10:55 AM on September 25, 2007


Dunno. I've managed to lose about 20 pounds so far just following two rules. I watch my sugar intake, and I now acknowledge the difference between being full and being satiated. Unfortunately, due to physical issues and a very weird work schedule, a lot of fitness options are barred to me.

I figured the only way for me to continue weight control would be to build a set of reasonable, sustainable habits and that's what I am doing.
posted by Samizdata at 11:00 AM on September 25, 2007


Or you could get a gypsy to stroke your cheek and curse you, gadje.
...And then avoid eating pie.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:09 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not even gonna RTFA - headline is all the proof I need (read: want).
posted by Kloryne at 11:09 AM on September 25, 2007


I say again, the biological systems that make up our bodies are much more complex than a simple linear model of calories in, calories out will explain.

Enzymes, which are real marvels of biotechnology, can change the kinetics and thermodynamics of any organic chemistry reaction so much that it's very hard to predict how it'll go.

The screeds posted so far about how simple an linear it all is are silly. Just because physics is thought to be the be-all, end-all explanation for anything in the physical world doesn't mean that assertion is true. Biochemistry and biology are at the very least refinements of those understandings of the world that should probably be taken into account when looking at biochemical systems.
posted by kalessin at 11:09 AM on September 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


sequential: For example, if your RMR is 2,000 calories and you do not exercise at all, you could lose one pound a week by eating 1,500 calories a week sustained over a lengthy period of time.

But won't your body react to the fact that you've reduced your caloric intake and lower your metabolic rate in order to conserve energy? Doesn't your body cannibalize energy-expensive tissue (like muscle) both for the energy it contains and to decrease the amount of energy it needs to spend on upkeep?
posted by aneel at 11:16 AM on September 25, 2007


I simply do not believe the marathon running = no change part. I just don't.

In America especially, it is obsession over the scales, what you actually weigh in lbs, that seems to matter more than anything.

I have started working out, and I'm really looking at the world differently. I eat about 2500 calories a day and I am obese. My trainer eats over 4000 calories a day and is built like an action hero, but not a bodybuilder. He is muscular and solid, but not "ripped". He's also in his 40's and only works out a few times a week.

An old boss of mine took up jogging at 50 years old, and lost at least 30lbs and ate like a horse.

The reason my grandfather and great-grandfather were lean, skinny even, and yet ate gravy and biscuits and bacon 4 times a day was because they worked like mules. I sit in a nice air conditioned office sitting almost perfectly still all day. It's pretty obvious why I look differently. I also sleep like shit, have tons of stress, and eat terrible.

I started gaining weight when I quit playing tennis. When I was playing tennis, there was a time I was literally eating everything I could stand to put in my body and still lost weight. I ate when I didn't want to. Another friend of mine was instructed by his doctor to wake up in the middle of the night and eat 2 peanut butter sandwiches because he was losing at an alarming rate.

I am a very particular and peculiar eater, so I am rather intimidated by diet change. I am trying to make some changes, but its going to be slowly and deliberately.

The working out on the other hand, I want to get "used" to it, and I want to make it enjoyable enough that I can make it a regular part of my lifestyle, and so far it's been pleasant. My trainer is very patient and very encouraging.

The way I am built, I'm never going to be 145lbs with a 6-pack. And frankly, I don't want to be. I don't mind being a "bigger" guy. I don't even CARE what I weigh in lbs.

If working out and changing my diet some results in me loosing a little bit of actual weight, but I get to go down a pant size, then I am winning and happy as hell.

Basically, I want rid of my belly and I want to be able to hike 5 miles without having to sit down. If I get there, whether I weigh 195 or 255 I really could care less.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:23 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


oh, beer... why do you have to be so wrong for me?
posted by cgs at 11:37 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


But won't your body react to the fact that you've reduced your caloric intake and lower your metabolic rate in order to conserve energy?
Yes, in fact your body will do this. The point at which your body does this is different for everyone, but anywhere up to 1,000 calories a day is considered safe from this response for most people.

The starvation response that you are referring to is quite natural and healthy. It is easily triggered by endurance athletes. During a half marathon, a runner can burn 2,500 calories or more. If the runner didn't eat properly in preparation and doesn't have easily available stores of energy, the body will naturally turn whatever is available into a fat that is highly dense in water, which can then be accessed easily for energy.
Doesn't your body cannibalize energy-expensive tissue (like muscle) both for the energy it contains and to decrease the amount of energy it needs to spend on upkeep?
As a last resort, yes. Your body doesn't want to do this, so the starvation response kicks in first. Your body will scream for calories before this happens in any significant way.
posted by sequential at 11:42 AM on September 25, 2007


I think this article has a point in that exercise doesn't lead to weight-loss by default, unless there's something else to accompany it, like a sensible diet

The problem is people who start exercising intensely need more calories all of a sudden because their body demands them. That's where the danger comes in: more calories expended but also more consumed. So the weight does not change, and might even go up.
posted by gregb1007 at 11:44 AM on September 25, 2007


I think I misread your point, aneel. Yes, your body does reduce the metabolic rate in response to ingesting less calories, but not in direct proportion. This is one of the primary reasons many doctors and nutritionists will tell you that diet and exercise are key ingredients to losing weight.

That said, you can still lose weight by just eating less. Personally, I don't recommend this method of weight loss. Changes in diet alone tend to indicate some, if not all, of the weight will be put back on at the "end of the diet". Furthermore, weight loss happens relatively slowly through this method, tends to make the dieter more stressed, and the resulting body shape does not tend to be as pleasing to the dieter as those who take a holistic approach to weight loss by combining diet and exercise. In other words, just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be.
posted by sequential at 11:54 AM on September 25, 2007


This article is too fat. Maybe it needs to go on a diet, or do a few laps.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:58 AM on September 25, 2007


Metafilter: a cocktail napkin and a basic knowledge of physics.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:59 AM on September 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


For those who find the implied justification for not exercising a bit tiresome, here are the most sensible diet and most sensible exercise routine on the internet, which I first found at Mefi in a similar kind of thread.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:23 PM on September 25, 2007 [4 favorites]


You exercise so that the dieting works.

That is what worked for me. Exercise keeps the weight off, and it keeps your fat percentage lower, and you take up less room. Muscle does weigh more than fat, too.

I dropped a dress size before I dropped any real weight.
posted by konolia at 12:29 PM on September 25, 2007


Another thing to understand is the brain as the link between exercise and weight loss. As muscles tire they signal the brain to burn calories - but plodding along on a treadmill while being distracted with music or TV, that message wont get through the neural pathway so easily.
I remember reading about a research study on this (sorry I cant find the link) the program had volunteers half of who exercised and half who spent the same time just lying on a bed and imagining themselves exercising - both groups made very similar progress in weight loss and muscle gain. (interestingly the second group found this really difficult - several dropped out.)

It's very likely a similar thing happens when eating quickly - the brain needs time to turn off those hunger signals.
posted by Lanark at 12:55 PM on September 25, 2007


Shovelglove, sensible?

I don't see how waving a shovel around for 14 minutes is particularly sensible, though it might be effective.

Running, on the other hand, is pretty sensible, since at least a few times in my life I've had to run a quarter mile or so at a good clip to get somebody some medical help. I mean, if you want to minimize your exercise activity, at least pick something with both high intensity and high utility.

Weight loss is achieved through the amazingly simple formula of consuming fewer calories than your resting metabolic rate plus any calories consumed by exercise.

That's the absolute truth.
posted by Miko at 12:57 PM on September 25, 2007


Lanark - sorry, but I'm really going to need the source on that assertion.

I've also read that people who visualized exercise made more progress compared to people who did not visualize -- but not that they made more progress compared to people who exercised.
posted by Miko at 12:58 PM on September 25, 2007


I lost 20 pounds just by chopping my dick in half.

High fives, bros! C'MON! WHOO!

No?
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:00 PM on September 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


I once cut my weight seriously & quickly, this involved moderate exercise and extreme dietary changes. I suspect the exercise just kept my metabolism from adjusting to less food. I've also found myself consuming more when I consume lower quality foods.

So the trick is : First get yourself socially embedded into a weekly sports game with friends. Next cut out all the low quality foods : no candy, no tv dinners, etc. Then cut out all non-prepared foods *execpt* fruit : no chips, no granola bars, no cereals, etc. keep the rice but only when cooking. Finally start counting your callories, especially wrt beer.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:07 PM on September 25, 2007


I lost about 15 pounds a few years ago counting calories with an Excel spreadsheet, as recommended earlier by a couple of posters. I lost the weight first, then I started going to the gym. I didn't lose any more weight, but I did look better.

Then about a year and a half ago when I was going to the gym 6 times a week and working out like a maniac, I thought, "Excel spreadsheets? I don't need no stinkin' spreadsheets!" Surely, I thought, I was exercising so much (and I mean sometimes twice a day) that I could eat a little more.

Lo and behold, a year and a half later I've gained back almost all the weight. Time to open that spreadsheet again.
posted by Evangeline at 1:11 PM on September 25, 2007


Anecdote: I had ankle surgery. I was close to sedentary (though I do live in NYC and walk a fair amount) for 6-8 months. I gained 15 pounds. My ankle got better, I got out of rehab, and began playing sports again. I lost 15 pounds. My eating habits remained the same, or, if anything, got worse once I started exercising.
posted by taliaferro at 1:12 PM on September 25, 2007


You can do that on paper, or on Fitday, too.

Recording calories has a subtle effect - when you know you have to sit down in the evening and write everything down, you are more conscious of everything you eat. Do you really need that extra schmear of peanut butter? Not when you visualize those daily numbers ticking up like pennies on a gas pump.
posted by Miko at 1:15 PM on September 25, 2007


Evangeline writes "Time to open that spreadsheet again."

Opening excel makes you lose weight ? Dammit these guys at Microsoft are SMART !
posted by elpapacito at 1:20 PM on September 25, 2007


In America especially, it is obsession over the scales, what you actually weigh in lbs, that seems to matter more than anything.


I realized when people would talk about gaining or losing 5 lbs that, say I sit down and have a hearty 1 lb meal and a liter of water to wash it down. Gained 3 lbs. Pee out the liter of water, lost 2 lbs. Go drinking and have 4 pints, gained 4 lbs. Return the beer, lost 4 lbs. (I'm a big guy - tall, not fat - and yes I do drink water by the liter.)
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:20 PM on September 25, 2007


It's been vaguely known since at least the days of the Greeks that athletes wind up with athletic bodies. This guy actually, seriously plays the causality/correlation game and actually, seriously posits that maybe people start with athletic bodies and just, you know, have to do lots of exercise at that point beca *head explodes*

Gary Taubes is the author of Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease (Knopf, October 2), from which this article is adapted.

Oh good, finally there's a book for sale that dares to challenge the conventional wisdom in this arena! But will anyone buy it?
posted by Bokononist at 1:27 PM on September 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Even moderate physical activity can prevent metabolic syndrome. You don't have to "lose weight" to be healthy, but you do have to be non-sedentary to be healthy. If you exercise regularly- and that includes activity as trivial as, say, walking one mile a day- you're much, much, much healthier than if you were sedentary. Whether you "lose weight" shouldn't be the goal, and indeed, you probably won't lose much weight at all. But you're less likely to die, too.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 1:29 PM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Opening excel makes you lose weight ? Dammit these guys at Microsoft are SMART !

Well yeah, but you have to know the right formula, and I'm not telling.
posted by Evangeline at 1:30 PM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Lanark - sorry, but I'm really going to need the source on that assertion.
OK I found it - here
posted by Lanark at 1:41 PM on September 25, 2007


Miko: I meant sensible in the 'rational, of good sense' meaning, not so much 'designed for practical ends rather than for appearance'. Though when you think about it, you're just as likely to have to dig your car out of a snowdrift or lift something heavy as you are to have to run for medical attention.

The good sense being: exercise should be fun, easy, and effective. The reason most people fail at exercise is because they dislike it, so they don't do it. Likewise with the diet: complicated diets that try to reprogram your eating habits fail because you hate them so you cheat and eventually give up. The 'No S diet' I linked to is refreshing in its simplicity; no gimmicks, no magic ingredients, just don't eat too much. (no sweets, no snacks, no seconds, except on weekends).
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:43 PM on September 25, 2007


This article claims way too much certainty on the science. The Finnish review of studies only looked at "successful dieters who were trying to keep off the pounds they had shed."

Well, yes. Dieting (binge and purge style) is a very shaky strategy, and exercising after your diet might not make it a good one.

Nothing said here challenges the consensus of many studies and near universal personal experience: eat low-fat, whole grain, unprocessed foods. Eat them slowly and moderately, drink lots of water, exercise regularly.

Do this slowly and steadily as a permanent approach to life, not a rush to lose 15 pounds in 3 weeks, and odds are VERY good you will reach a healthy weight.
posted by msalt at 1:45 PM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Anecdote: going through a tough divorce, I started exercising regularly. No real weight loss, but I relieved gobs of stress. I also didn't start drinking heavily, thereby preventing an otherwise very likely 20 lb weight gain.
posted by msalt at 1:49 PM on September 25, 2007


So carbs are bad. Which explains all those chubby, chubby Japanese, with all that rice, don't you know. Congratulations, you've invented Atkins.
posted by darksasami at 1:51 PM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Evangeline writes "Well yeah, but you have to know the right formula, and I'm not telling."

Oh I see, so that's the secret to that breathtaking, warm embracing look of yours , eh ? You naughty adorable liar it's not Excel doing the trick, it's yourself being yourself !

P.s. i am jealous already, nobody should ever EVER visit envangeline profile, nor give a cursory look at her website and notice she acts shakespeare between a spreadsheet and the web.
posted by elpapacito at 1:55 PM on September 25, 2007


Excercise also apparently has a strong placebo effect, so whatever activity you're engaged in benefits your body more if you think it's beneficial.
posted by SBMike at 1:57 PM on September 25, 2007


Lanark - sorry, but I'm really going to need the source on that assertion.

OK I found it - here


Thanks. And if you re-read it you'll find it says only that the researchers measured a strength increase only over people who did nothing, not over people who actually exercised, which is how you had mis-remembered it.

The good sense being: exercise should be fun, easy, and effective

PercussivePaul: I agree that exercise should be fun and effective (but not necessarily that it should be easy - I like it to be challenging). I guess I just don't think waving a sweater-wrapped mallet around is any fun.
posted by Miko at 2:18 PM on September 25, 2007


Man, PercussivePaul, I like that shovelglove workout. Do you get to smash the cats every day or what?
(‘Cause trying to smash cats every day with a sledgehammer would get you in some badass shape. Those suckers are agile.)

And indeed is it ‘weight’ one’s trying to lose or body fat? And in you need at least some body fat (talk to a diver).
Amputees have a hard time losing fat. I mean sure, chopping your dick in half might make for a nice weekend, but lose an arm or a leg, that’s a chunk of calorie using muscle that’s just gone. It’s funny that you never see any fat cyborgs in fiction (the bionic woman, six million dollar man, etc) unless their power cells tap into the body’s metabolic energy, those bionic legs should make them into marshmellows.
Yeah, it’s all about health, not surface.
And you don’t see a lot of fat elderly folks (well, Wilfred Brimley, but he ate an awful lot of oatmeal).
...I keep getting sidetracked.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:19 PM on September 25, 2007


Aw, shucks, elpapacito...thank you. But that picture was taken two years ago by a professional photographer. I'm old and fat now.
posted by Evangeline at 2:25 PM on September 25, 2007


I was disappointed in this articles lumping of exercise into a single entity. Different types of exercise result in widely varied adaptations, which may or may not be best suited for weight loss.

One of the most significant issues that is not addresses is how the body adapts to exercise. Most people find something they enjoy or can force themselves into doing and then do it again and again and again.

Take for example, the man interviewed who ran 50 miles each week and put on weight. After an initial adaptation period, his body was no longer facing a significant stressor from the exercise and the magnitude of adaption shrunk with each workout.
In a more technical sense, his skeletal muscle increased it's mitochondrial density, atp/cp stores, tendon/ligament/fascial strength, neural recruitment/firing patterns and so until the regular exercise performed isn't a big stress anymore. You can do it each day it's so easy, or run 50 miles a week.

You might point out that he may have run hills, run faster, and put on weight as he aged. This indeed is a change in the stressor, but not often enough. Most succesful athletes change their workouts up every few times they are performed.
As a rule of thumb, the longer you've been working out, the more variety you need to elicit adaption, and it generally falls in the range of 4-10 workouts. The more talents you are for athletics, the quicker you will adapt.

An other important factor to look at is the primary energy substrate consumed during exercise. Studies on substrate utilization generally show for most exercise, utilization moves from an initial stage of glucose based substrate utilization to lipid oxidation as the exercise interval increases.

Think about the ramifications of this. If you primarily exercise in a state that derives it's fuel from lipid oxidation, the adaption to the exercise is going to be.... to store more lipids for use next time you exercise!

This is why you see fat aerobics instructors and people in spinning class with huge thighs. The very goal of their exercise is the opposite of one of the significant adaptations.

It's also a common induction fallacy to see skinny marathoners and conclude that running distance makes you thin. It is plausible that people who are gifted at maintaining low bodyfat levels simply excel at running fast marathons.

Anyways anyone who bothers to research their exercise protocols should be able to tell you about a few interesting studies on growth hormone, testosterone production and igf-1(bonus points for knowing about reduction in progesterone) levels after bouts of intense exercise.
For those annoyed I haven't bothered to cite any research yet (I spend 5 minutes on pubmed, read anything Kraemer)
[1, 2, 3, 4]
In a nutshell, anyone who does more than 6-8 weeks of non sport specific aerboic training a year is wasting their time. As the hormonal response elicited by interval like workouts is far superior for losing bodyfat.
posted by zentrification at 2:35 PM on September 25, 2007 [8 favorites]


Peep: I'm smaller than I was in high school, but I weigh 15 pounds more. I think it's all boobs.

This thread is useless without pictures.
posted by The Bellman at 3:18 PM on September 25, 2007


I have to totally agree with this article, there has often been no rhyme or reason to my own weight loss/gain. The only consistent thing is stress. If I am happy and stress free (think vacations in Europe) I can eat, drink and be merry to a truly ridiculous degree and often lose weight, certainly I have never gained a pound. And there have been times I lived off processed junk food when I was broke, so it can't just be the change in diet. I also think this is why I don't seem to gain weight by drinking more. I think it's stress relieving properties, counteract weight gain.

Exercising heavily, may have made me look a little better, but it has rarely lead to more than a pound of weight loss a month.

Obviously, I have no science to back this up at all, but it has been consistently true throughout my life and I have no other way to explain it.
posted by whoaali at 3:47 PM on September 25, 2007


When I lost 30 pounds last year, it was all due to dietary changes. I didn't change anything about my activity level (fairly low). I was kind of shocked that it was that simple but exercise didn't seem to play any part at all.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:31 PM on September 25, 2007


Just some anecdotal for the house: I've been an overweight dude for much of my 27 years, but I've lost about 90 lbs (and turned quite a few more into muscle) in a little less than a year, just by eating less, eating better quality food, and putting in an hour split between weights and cardio, six nights a week.

It's really that easy.
posted by stenseng at 4:36 PM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


There is at least some science to the stress/weight gain connection-- high stress pushes the body to keep on belly fat, which is linked to all manner of problems like diabetes and heart disease.

Weight training has made a real difference for me-- I did cardio for years without particular changes in body composition but when I started doing body sculpt classes with light weights, I lost 10 pounds, got a smaller waist and generally look more toned all over. And have kept it off.

I live on carbs-- don't each much meat, but do eat lots of vegetables, try to minimize non-whole grains, and still eat sugary desserts which I love.
posted by Maias at 4:41 PM on September 25, 2007


I know that the enormous portions of food you see in America developed some time after the exercise cult began -- not immediately or concurrently -- but perhaps this trend began with the high-powered and fit, who exercise a lot and are very hungry (many chefs who want to look like Anthony Bourdain and avoid being stereotypically fat, exercise a lot). It then trickled down to people who aren't triathletes and don't need to carbo-load.
posted by bad grammar at 4:46 PM on September 25, 2007


I got about one third that article and just couldn't take it anymore. It's crap.

Thin-ness is not the goal. Fitness is. It just so happens that most people as they adopt a fit lifestyle tend to lose fat.

And not all "exercise" is created equal. Treadmills and exercise bikes were created to cram as many people into a gym as possible. It has very little to do with being effective.

Here we have another potential sound bite source that will be a justification for the Average American to keep over-consuming, be inactive, and die 20 years before they have to.

Hooray for "science."
posted by tkchrist at 5:03 PM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Treadmills and exercise bikes were created to cram as many people into a gym as possible. It has very little to do with being effective.
Though I get your point, it's just as easy to get the same ineffective work out running on a track or riding a road bike. The problem isn't the treadmill, it's the average individual's understanding of how to exercise. There is, in fact, a science to it and I'd wager that more than half of us here are guilty of committing modern exercise science faux pas that reduce the overall effectiveness of our workouts or that increase our risk of injury - including myself.
posted by sequential at 5:27 PM on September 25, 2007


My vigorous sex life keeps me sleek and lithe.
Incredibly strong wrists and bulging forearms too! Arf.
posted by Abiezer at 5:46 PM on September 25, 2007


Miko wrote:

I don't see how waving a shovel around for 14 minutes is particularly sensible, though it might be effective.

Running, on the other hand, is pretty sensible, since at least a few times in my life I've had to run a quarter mile or so at a good clip to get somebody some medical help. I mean, if you want to minimize your exercise activity, at least pick something with both high intensity and high utility.


If that medical help doesn't arrive on time at least your body will in good shape to bury the body :)
posted by any major dude at 6:05 PM on September 25, 2007


if i go on a diet alone without exercizing i never seem to loose weight , i have to exercize at least an hour a day .
posted by marcellot at 6:38 PM on September 25, 2007


zentrification, it's for that reason that I loves me some Crossfit.
posted by schroedinger at 6:48 PM on September 25, 2007


Who wrote that page? Dr. Wordy McWordington?
posted by The Deej at 7:40 PM on September 25, 2007


However, personal experience: in March, after a checkup, I started biking as much as possible to work, errands, etc. My last checkup, a few days ago, shows I lost 14 pounds. I haven't changed my eating habits. Of course, this encourages me to continue to be active, but also eat better.
posted by The Deej at 7:45 PM on September 25, 2007


This is from way upthread but I really wanted to respond...

Yup. Nothing promotes exercise and eating right more than marijuana.


You know what my favourite thing to do after smoking out is? Cycling for two hours. Marijuana use is much like diet and exercise - as a single factor, it means nothing. It's how it relates to your disposition, your habits, and everything else in your life.

posted by poweredbybeard at 8:26 PM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


He must be an angry baseball fan; I love how he managed to work a completely off-topic dig at Barry Bonds into the article.
posted by who squared at 8:27 PM on September 25, 2007


So he's saying Lance Armstrong isn't slender because he exercises a lot, but instead there's something about him that forces him to go out and exercise, which just happens to keep him thin. If you don't have that inner compulsion to exercise, forget it, you're doomed.

He misses that it's not a matter of "`will power'--whatever that is", but habit. (Reinforced by endorphins, etc., the "runner's high".)

Maybe this particular exercise guru gained 30 pounds in 30 years (par for the course), but my anecdotal hopes are with Jack La Lanne, who was still extremely fit at his 90th birthday...
posted by Schmucko at 8:42 PM on September 25, 2007


I found a relevant article that seems to explain a lot.

http://www.runningnetwork.com/trainingtips/athleteskitchenexercisemythsFeb06.html

It basically says that it's wrong to correlate exercise with weight loss because what really matters with regard to weight is being active all day and not during a limited interval when people exercise.

Supposedly, some people with intensive workouts, get so tired that they become sedentary the rest of their day and therefore end up either not losing any weight or gaining.

Interesting take.
posted by gregb1007 at 9:28 PM on September 25, 2007


Interesting article. I think the point isn't that exercise is no good (it promotes health in other ways), but that exercising does not lead to permanent weight loss. Of course, as The Obesity Myth points out, neither does dieting. I think it is a wicked thing that so many fat (and not so fat) people are told from an early age that they must be lazy gluttons. So we work ourselves more than it is humanly possible to sustain, and starve ourselves, lose weight, gain it back, which messes us up even more. The worst is that in the process, we become more and more disconnected from our own bodies. We lose any real appreciation of food or physical activity. In the end, 90+ percent of dieters fail to lose weight and keep it off. Yet the experts keep on saying "eat less and exercise and you'll succeed". Of course, as the article points out, the more you exercise, the hungrier you become, and most people eat in response to that. The less you eat, the hungrier you become. So eating less makes you hungry and exercising makes you hungry, yet the key to weight loss is doing both of those things and just ignoring your body. Which for most is impossible, and thus they "fail".

I don't know, maybe people who once engaged in regular and/or vigorous activity who stop will gain weight. I've always been low energy. Hated gym as a child, would rather sit on the side and read (no, not eat, I was also a picky eater and I have never been a big eater). I tried, I just didn't have the strength or the energy, while to others it came naturally. And since it was easier and more enjoyable for them, they in turn engaged in vigorous activity more. While I received very little benefit in the way of weight loss (which is what all the teachers and the school nurse wanted for me) and came to dislike it.

I decided to get off the merry-go-round, and I am much the happier for it. I don't and won't exercise to lose weight, but I will engage in physical activity that I find pleasurable and I don't even think about how many calories I'm expending. It's a minimal amount anyway. I do agree that exercise helps against depression, but not when your main goal is to lose weight. Because when the weight doesn't come off, or when you gain it back, you get depressed. I try to eat until I'm full, and take real pleasure in what I eat. I don't ever feel like cheating because I'm not deprived and this is not a test anyway. Even more importantly, I'm not trying to attain some false ideal of thinness. I believe in the "set point" theory, that there is a natural weight and it is different for each person. I don't know what that is for me, although I am positive that it is well above the recommended BMI. Don't care anymore. I want to be healthy but I am no longer trying to lose weight. I feel much better and what do you know, I just weighed myself (first time in a month) and I haven't gained a single pound.

No more will I eat "100 calorie snacks" instead of bananas just because "large bananas are like, 120 calories!" No more will I forego my trusty oatmeal, just because it's full of carbs. I no longer wish to have an adversarial relationship with food, and I'm coming to appreciate it more. Since I know I will eat again when I'm hungry, calories be damned, then I also know I don't have to stuff myself. And when I do eat too much (that ice cream was so good!), I'm not beating myself up or panicking about the pounds I could be gaining. I can also find other things to amuse myself, besides eating. No more "diets" and no more "exercise" (running on a treadmill to nowhere and burning up...what, 50 calories? LOL, no). And finally, NO MORE COUNTING.

I know my lifestyle choice will bother a lot of people. I know my weight bothers people. I have to fight hard right now to keep it from bothering me. But I think this may be the final battle in my lifelong war with food. I kind of knew all along that the food would win, but I've never been happier to let it.
posted by Danila at 10:28 PM on September 25, 2007 [6 favorites]


There is, in fact, a science to it and I'd wager that more than half of us here are guilty of committing modern exercise science faux pas

Oh, for the love of Christ, there is no SCIENCE to WALKING! You don't have to grok "the science to it" to get off your ass and get some exercise.

You might mean well, but saying shit like this just dissuades people from exercising. There is nothing complicated about it, there is nothing challenging about it, and there sure as fuck is no need to understand the "science to it." WALK, humans, WALK.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:44 PM on September 25, 2007


I wonder how many people who are calling bullshit with accounts of their weight loss have lost the same weight before and gained it back.
posted by stavrogin at 10:49 PM on September 25, 2007


Several hundred million people in the world are bitchslapped every time an article like this comes out and brings attention to this "issue."
posted by moonbiter at 11:30 PM on September 25, 2007


I wonder how many people who are calling bullshit with accounts of their weight loss have lost the same weight before and gained it back.

Well, I did, when I stopped exercising.

Then I lost it again when I went back to exercise.

Funny, that's not supposed to work, right?
posted by Miko at 8:16 AM on September 26, 2007


Just some anecdotal for the house: I've been an overweight dude for much of my 27 years, but I've lost about 90 lbs (and turned quite a few more into muscle) in a little less than a year, just by eating less, eating better quality food, and putting in an hour split between weights and cardio, six nights a week.

It's really that easy.


Good for you. I've been doing the same thing for TEN YEARS and lost about 30 pounds.

And I lost 10 pounds in the last month simply because I switched diabetes meds from glimepiride to Byetta.
posted by Foosnark at 8:23 AM on September 26, 2007



I wonder how much AGE has to do with all this. I was very physically active during my youth -- no weight problems. After 40 the pounds just starting adding up. I even upped my physical activity (started surfing at 47), but I just kept gaining weight.

So ... this year I lost 60+ pounds with the help of weight watchers (sorry, not trying to advertise -- it just worked for me). One of the main things my coach has always said is, "eat extra 'points' if you do extra exercise ... OR YOU WILL GAIN WEIGHT!" That sounded crazy, but it is true for me. ("Extra exercise," btw, is more than 20 active minutes a day!)

It is all about balance.
posted by Surfurrus at 9:32 AM on September 26, 2007


ummm, did it take 10 pages for this guy to say "Yay, Atkins!"?
posted by TheLastPsychiatrist at 11:56 AM on September 26, 2007


It's about not intaking a ton of sugar
posted by sjk at 1:03 PM on September 26, 2007


Crap. I guess working out to burn 1000 calories 5 times a week hasn't been working for a reason, except as maintenance and the occasional 2-lb. loss. Sugar is my crack, and food is my porn. I'm going to have to try some kind of gangster-Frankenstein-mind-control device to get my sugar cravings under control instead of spending my life -- frustrated -- at the gym.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:29 AM on September 27, 2007


« Older From Lorrie & Larry Collins - Mercy (1958) HERSTO...  |  10 books every chef, home cook... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments