Why It Might Be Better To Temporarily Gain Weight After Diet Improvement

Discussion in 'Weight' started by Kelj, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Kelj

    Kelj Member

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    I have given my experience here of incorporating many Ray Peat suggestions and generally eating enough calories. I gained weight, went through some bad symptoms, but persisted because I believed the science said those consequences were normal. I expected them. I believed the science pointed to recovery on the other end. I am now completely well and normal weight. It took about a year to eighteen months, depending on what weight I consider normal.

    From the Eating Disorder Institute, I recently found this very good explanation of why the weight gain is a good thing:

    Symptom Questions — The Eating Disorder Institute

    "Although we cannot predict which patient will or will not temporarily overshoot his or her optimal weight set point during a recovery process from an eating disorder, we do seem to have some scientific evidence that an overshoot is necessary so that the body might eventually return to its optimal fat mass to fat-free mass ratio."

    (The idea of "optimal fat mass to fat-free mass ratio" is an important one in the references to studies that follow in this Eating Disorder Institute article. Fat is not just a storage unit. It is an organ.)

    "Abdul Dulloo and his colleagues carefully assessed the comprehensive data from the Minnesota Starvation Experiment [AG Dulloo et al., 1990, 1996, 1997 and 1998], and found that in re-feeding the body preferentially restores fat relative to lean tissue, contributed by reduced thermogenesis, to support further adipose organ restoration; that there appear to be distinct signalling mechanisms in re-feeding from both fat mass and fat-free mass to trigger hyperphagia (extreme eating); and that we can surmise from these findings that the return to an optimal fat mass to fat-free mass ratio will be curtailed should a patient fail to refeed fully and allow for a possible temporary overshoot in weight to occur."

    (Notice: to regain the normal, optimal "fat mass to fat-free mass", the subjects of this famous study had to allow themselves the extreme eating behavior and extra weight gain. They later returned to their normal weight. If they had allowed the disdain of those who like to call the mouths of those who eat enough calories "gobs" or "pie holes" to dissuade them from refeeding fully, they would not have attained such a happy outcome.)

    "Because a recovered state from self-imposed starvation in clinical trials often refers merely to a return to BMI 18.5 (rather than a cessation of all weight gain and weight stabilization as a result of unrestricted eating), we see a large body of literature that indicates many 'recovered' patients that fit the clinical criterion of BMI 18.5 have disproportionately high levels of visceral fat compared to lean (fat-free) mass [L Scalfi et al., 2002; M Helba et al., 2009; J Hebebrand et al., 2007; MT García de Álvaro et al., 2007]."

    (Notice: When subjects weight restore to an intellect-imposed number instead of letting their bodies reach their full restoration, the result is still an abnormal amount of fat. They are TOFI. The goal is to be able to eat as many calories as you want without ever gaining excess weight in the future.)

    "If you just restore to a specific weight either by half-restricting throughout the recovery process or as soon as you reach a "target weight", then you set yourself up for disproportionate layers of visceral fat. That is known to correlate with negative health implications for you over your lifetime. [MI Goran et al., 1999; T Cascella et al., 2002; JL Kuk et al., 2006]

    Conversely, in the very few trials where recovery was identified with both extended inpatient and outpatient review and a criterion of "achieved maximum weight gain", then patients achieved average fat mass to fat-free mass ratios and returned to average gynoid (female) shape [CI Orphanidou et al., 1997]."

    ("Achieved maximum weight gain" means these subjects ate until their bodies naturally stopped gaining weight. These subjects were able to return to a normal fat mass to fat-free mass and normal shape.)

    "Here's the deal: No one can predict your final optimal weight set point. It's unwise to assume anything about the process of recovery. While overshooting your optimal weight set point may occur, it may not. And it's probably even unwise to hope that, if you don't like the weight at which your body decides to settle in after several months of dedicated rest and re-feeding, you can simply await tapering to a weight you find acceptable, because that can simply keep you locked into eating disorder focus on your weight defining your very existence."

    (I call doing it this way success and freedom.)
     
  2. Jib

    Jib Member

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    Very interesting article. Thanks for sharing. As someone who used to be anorexic that is very fascinating.

    I've been at 195lbs for a while now. At 5'11", was 115lbs at my worst. I felt like I was on the verge of death and was barely eating anything every day. It took me a couple years of practically force feeding myself to start getting back on track. But I gained all the weight after getting a manual labor job. I wonder if the junk I ate during that period, while also being in a general sub-optimal calorie intake, is why I got mostly visceral fat.

    "If you just restore to a specific weight either by half-restricting throughout the recovery process or as soon as you reach a "target weight", then you set yourself up for disproportionate layers of visceral fat. That is known to correlate with negative health implications for you over your lifetime. [MI Goran et al., 1999; T Cascella et al., 2002; JL Kuk et al., 2006]

    I didn't do this on purpose, but because of the lack of sleep, generally feeling awful, and the physical demands of my job for 5 years, I was half-restricting. I just felt too sick to eat much of the time and got used to taking large amounts of caffeine pills while barely eating anything just to get through the day.

    My weight hasn't fluctuated much from that 195, no matter what I eat. I've learned to be okay with this, and focus only on feeling healthier. I'm at a point now where I can wake up, have coffee, do a strength training workout, then recover with a sizeable meal and/or protein shake. Avoiding PUFA is the main thing I'm sticking to now, and it's pretty much open season on everything else, though fruit and meat make up the majority of my diet.

    The visceral fat may be permanent. It's possible. I've also just accepted this. I may have to live with this for the rest of my life. Oh well. The best we can do is to not consciously restrict, and maintain as low a PUFA intake as possible. Strength training, I believe, is very good, as well as general movement every day.

    In any case, even though I'm nowhere near the health I want to have, I'm light years ahead of where I was when I had an eating disorder.

    This reminds me of the Minnesota Starvation Experiment as well, where the subjects, upon recovery, seemed to all become "skinny fat," or preferentially storing a large amount of body fat purely as visceral fat. I think this is an emergency response as visceral fat is readily available to the body as energy if needed.
     
  3. Ron J

    Ron J Member

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    When I try this, I hope to burn all the fatty tissue the same day that it's produced by consuming low fat. From what I understand, the fatty tissue is an emergency energy source as a response to prolonged starvation.
     
  4. OP
    Kelj

    Kelj Member

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    The subjects of the Minnesota starvation experiment demonstrated this effect, as quoted above:
    "the return to an optimal fat mass to fat-free mass ratio will be curtailed should a patient fail to refeed fully and allow for a possible temporary overshoot in weight to occur."

    They returned, eventually, to a normal amount of fat mass as a ratio to fat-free mass by eating as much as they wanted for as long as it took. Fat storage is the emergency response, as Ronj says, to starvation, but it doesn't have to be prolonged starvation. If the body didn't turn down metabolic rate and store fat pretty nippily when there seems to be even a short term lack of calories, the body would burn through its resources to a dangerous degree very quickly. Consistent high calorie eating, which means daily is how we convince our bodies that fat storage isn't necessary. No fat restriction is necessary as the energy availability will repair or maintain a good functioning liver and the liver can process fat for elimination. The body has so many ways to use our calories for repair and maintainance there is no need to purposely try to burn calories. Our body can make us feel more energetic to burn calories through movement, as well. Consistency in eating the calories our body wants is the main thing to prevent excess fat storage. When people, at least in the U S. where I have been observing for a long time, ate regular family meals together and not the erratic way we do now, people were slim.
     
  5. ecstatichamster

    ecstatichamster Member

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    this site is full of people who followed this advice (as I did). I gained 30 pounds and losing that has been SO hard...
     
  6. Ron J

    Ron J Member

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    When I first tried to follow Ray Peat's guidelines, my fat consumption was too high, so I gained weight. Then I tried no fat, but many of the calories were empty from table sugar, so I did gain some more weight. If I remember correctly, at first I may have lost some weight on no fat and maintained for a while, but I think empty calories don't work in the long run, even with B-vitamin supplements. Perhaps this is why many people are having problems with the Randle Cycle, as fat calories are usually empty, coupled with more empty calories from carbs.
    My next attempt will be low fat with only nutrient dense foods. Assuming that works I'll experiment with fat intake.
     
  7. OP
    Kelj

    Kelj Member

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    The words consistent and persistant are the ones to keep in mind. Also, enjoy. Live your life, eat your food, and enjoy it. Don't make rules. Just eat what your body wants. It will want salad one day, Whoppers from Burger King the next. It will often want calorie dense food. Becoming healthy is a high energy enterprise. Staying healthy is too. A man needs 3000-3500 calories minimum. Eating "highly palatable" "junk food" can really help you get over the low energy phases. They helped me get healthy. Fat is a nutrient. Glucose is a nutrient.
     
  8. milkboi

    milkboi Member

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    Yeah but if one follows this strategy to healing I think he should still make his own "highly palatable junk food". It will both have more nutrients and less "anti-nutrients" (first and foremost PUFA ofc) and therefore be much more conductive to healing. Otherwise might replace one problem (undereating, restricted eating) with another one (accumulation of PUFA etc.), which then might make future weight-loss and overall vibrant health much harder.
     
  9. OP
    Kelj

    Kelj Member

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    I completely agree with Ray's concern about the excess PUFA in the American diet through packaged food containing oils. I agree that homemade is best, especially to avoid too much PUFA and my other concern, gums, especially carrageenan. However, I will make two points.

    1. It is better to eat packaged food than no food. Energy from calories is of primary importance.

    2. I still lost weight and healed, though I often ate packaged food or fast food, especially when too fatigued to cook much. And I've worked as a chef, so I am highly motivated to cook.

    The funny thing about PUFA is...you are not going to store it if you are not storing fat because of high daily calorie intake, especially in the context of eating saturated fats.
    Glucose and sucrose for diabetes.
    "Stress and starvation lead to a relative reliance on the fats stored in the tissues, and the mobilization of these as circulating free fatty acids contributes to a slowing of metabolism and a shift away from the use of glucose for energy. This is adaptive in the short term, since relatively little glucose is stored in the tissues (as glycogen), and the proteins making up the body would be rapidly consumed for energy, if it were not for the reduced energy demands resulting from the effects of the free fatty acids."

    Starvation is the great stress.
     
  10. ecstatichamster

    ecstatichamster Member

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    I’m not convinced.

    It depends on your body and your history.

    I’m finding moderate calorie reduction helps me lose fat. I went the other way and I could easily gain all the fat I lost back again simply by over eating.
     
  11. YamnayaMommy

    YamnayaMommy Member

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    Is this refeeding thing a joke? Aside from anorexics, virtually all adults and probably most children need to eat fewer calories. Americans eat like 300-600 calories more on average than they did 50 years ago. The relationship—probably causal—between increased calorie intake and increased BMI has been established in the medical literature for a long time.

    Also, everyone here has probably experienced personally gaining fat when increasing calories as losing fat when decreasing calories. I have bounced back to my lean, pre-pregnancy size three times now through intermittent fasting. in the last pregnancy, I gained almost 70lbs through “refeeding” with calorie-dense foods all day long for 9 months. Lol.

    I believe people are not intentionally lying when they claim they or someone they know is obese even though they eat 700 calories a day, but I assume they have massively underestimated their intake and/or overestimated their TDEE. studies have shown that this distortion is normal and skews a lot of diet research based on self reporting.
     
  12. ExCarniv

    ExCarniv Member

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    Is your n:1 against the entire America who got fat and sick eating whatever they want, specially fast laden pufa foods.
     
  13. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    The No Diet Diet - Eating Yourself Slim & Healthy

     
  14. ExCarniv

    ExCarniv Member

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    "or eating false foods in which their they might be calorie dense but they remain low nutrient (i.e you're body becomes malnourished which means despite the apparent volume you're actually under-consuming)"

    So even if that equation is true (I doubt it) you can't be slim eating fast and junk food you need metabolic, nutrient dense and easy to digest foods to raise your metabolism and then we can talk about more calories and lose weight, till then I stick to science and if you overeat you get fat.
     
  15. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    We'll see. I am actively doing the Billy Craig experiment on myself. I doubt Kelj is some magical n=1 miracle.

    I am pretty sure I know how it works now.

    But, waiting until I've proven it to start a thread on it on how it all works. Until then, Kelj indeed has gotten it to work, so direct your questions to her for now.
     
  16. OP
    Kelj

    Kelj Member

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    Obesity Basic Facts I — The Eating Disorder Institute

    "So your ancestor who lived at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution likely had all sorts of hidden potential for being taller and heavier that was not realized due to sub-clinical starvation and socio-economic stressors from gestation onwards.

    In the past 25 years alone, teenagers have increased overall 1% in height and 4% in weight on average. In that same time period, life expectancy increased on average by 6 years in most developed nations, which in Canada translated to a 7% increase in life expectancy from 1980 to 2005 (National Statistics). Rather interesting correlations, no?

    And why did our populations remain thinner and shorter than today, despite improved nutrition after the Second World War? Smoking rates— that coincidentally began declining 25 years ago.39,40,41 Smoking suppressed reaching optimal weight and generated massive spike in disease states. In fact cardiovascular disease and mortality rates have dropped with smoking rates despite the questionably touted correlation of weight and heart disease.

    The majority is just getting too much optimal, early and good nutrition, care and safety to stay stunted, thin and short-lived.

    Are we heavier than 25 years ago on average? Yes, and we are also taller and we live longer on average too. Poor us.

    A fat organ that is capable of increasing in size in response to various stressors is more health and life protective than a fat organ that is less capable of increasing in size. This fact is wrongly referred to as the “obesity paradox*”.

    *obviously there is no “paradox” when you understand that obesity is not a life-limiting condition or disease of any kind.

    Restriction of food intake is a monstrous stressor. However, although the time span is variable, the fat organ will usually return to its optimal heritable size when the stressors that caused it to have to work harder (and increase in size) resolve.

    Fat is the largest hormone-producing organ in your body. The size or increase-in-size of the fat organ is not correlated to food intake or activity levels. You'll need to read Weight Gain Correlates in Literature Part 1 and 2 if you need the definitive science on those facts.

    Yet we still cling to the idea that we just need to “eat healthy” and “get out more” and that’s that.

    fat people with metabolic chronic illness are less likely to die than average-weighted people with the same metabolic chronic illness. 57,58,59"

    Obesity Basic Facts II — The Eating Disorder Institute

    "The individuals who are critical, dismissive and angry at the information presented in Basic Weight and Obesity Facts believe that I am misleading individuals. For them, obesity is not just a disease, but it also causes disease and the cure is weight loss and exercise.

    There was a time when I would disinterestedly agree with them. Let’s be honest, obesity has no bearing on my life and so I was as lazy as the next person and simply assumed that people are obese because they eat the wrong foods, eat too much of those wrong foods, and fail to get out and move around enough too.

    The advantage I have over everyone who has a vested interest in believing that obesity causes illness is that I have no vested interest. As I started researching the hard data I discovered that my mainstream and unchallenged assumptions were dead wrong.

    To address the metabolic conditions in our populations that cause the fat organ to have to increase in size would negatively impact the juggernaut of transnational shareholder return on investment.

    the term “obesity paradox” refers to experimental data that suggest those with various chronic health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, are less likely to die or suffer more serious complications when they are obese and have these conditions than when they are average-weighted and have these conditions 2,3,4,5

    Fat is not a storage unit; fat is a major hormone-producing organ in the body. 6,7,8

    So when you have a friend e-mailing you ‘proof’ of how deadly obesity is, know that were you even diagnosed with Type II diabetes at a BMI of higher than 35, the chance of you dying of an eating disorder still blows the slightly increased risk of dying of complications associated with Type II diabetes right out of the water. I provide the SMR for eating disorders later on in this post.

    And furthermore, obesity does not cause diabetes. Whether the fat endocrine organ is taxed directly by unknown environmental stressors, or other organs or systems in the body are stressed by environmental stressors causing the fat organ to respond by becoming larger to try to modulate the impacts of those stressors elsewhere in the body, is unknown.

    The chance of not dying of anything at all in 2011 was staggeringly high in the United States. I think I’ll call that the Get Over Yourself Risk Score (GOYRS). And GOYRS is even higher in most other OECD countries when compared to the United States as well.

    Dieting has a 99.97% failure rate four years from its inception. Persisting with the prescription of weight loss for ‘obesity’, or its supposedly tenuously correlated and completely uncorrelated chronic conditions, is like prescribing decapitation as a treatment for headache.

    when did we lose all perspective such that we wring our hands over ridiculously overblown mortality rates for numerous chronic conditions as though they were equivalent to what real pathogens can do to us as a species?

    Smallpox had a mortality rate of somewhere between 30-35%. 27 And the worst mortality rate you can find by country for diabetes is Mauritius at 1.7%. 28

    There is one chronic condition that has a mortality rate pretty much on par with smallpox and that’s eating disorders— somewhere between 20 to 25%.

    And calculating a GOYRS is easy to do: do you live in an impoverished developing nation, have smallpox, or have an eating disorder? If your answer is no, then stop shaming yourself and others with misconceptions of so-called healthy living and just go live your extremely favorable odds of a long and well-lived life.

    I don’t have smallpox, an eating disorder and I live in a wealthy and developed nation, so I have the luxury of knowing I have a fabulous GOYRS.

    If you do have an eating disorder, or suspect you do, then you have a genuinely deadly chronic condition and not the fauxpocalypse-inflated mortality rates associated with most other chronic conditions present in our society today."

    Obesity Science In Context — The Eating Disorder Institute

    "given that hundreds of researchers have so valiantly poured their souls into “obesity = disease” with ostensibly nothing to show for it, maybe it’s time to start some new lines of inquiry by applying new testable theories into the mix.

    Fast-Food Consumption and Weight Gain
    The systematic review on fast-food consumption and its correlation to weight gain included 16 cross-sectional studies, seven prospective cohort studies and three experimental studies. Given that the researcher was forced to admit defeat in the summary, I’ll leave it to readers should they want to actually look out the entire paper, but here’s the executive summary:

    “Whether an association exists between fast food consumption and weight gain is unclear.” 9

    As a bonus systematic review, I’ll include a monstrously thorough review on the childhood predictors of adult obesity:

    “Studies investigating the role of diet or activity were generally small, and included diverse methods of risk factor measurement. There was almost no evidence for an influence of activity in infancy on later fatness, and inconsistent but suggestive evidence for a protective effect of activity in childhood on later fatness. No clear evidence for an effect of infant feeding on later fatness emerged, but follow-up to adulthood was rare, with only one study measuring fatness after 7 y. Studies investigating diet in childhood were limited and inconclusive. Again, confounding variables were seldom accounted for.” 10

    Obesity Science In Context — The Eating Disorder Institute

    As for the attempted prevention of obesity, it is likely exacerbating health outcomes across our populations. Weight loss efforts, as well attempting to maintain a weight level below inherited set point, fail. Studies that suggest health screening markers improve in patients with metabolic chronic conditions if they lose weight always avoid the punchline: 0.003% rate of success in maintaining significant weight loss out five years. And there are no longitudinal studies to show whether these attempts to lose weight actually worsen quality of life and mortality incidence in patients who repeatedly attempt to lose weight, as directly prescribed by their physician, because it will ameliorate markers that denote the presence of a risk factor for future onset of disease. And shifting markers is not the same as improving either quality or length of life either.

    Obesity is not a risk factor for disease. It is most certainly not a disease. And in those who are dealing with an adipose organ increase in size, then that change might be a response wherein the enlargement is occurring as a way to buffer the body from the damage associated with the underlying condition in question.

    those with eating disorders cannot indulge in accepting sociocultural myths that are avidly supported by the financial interests of the medical industrial complex for their wars on cancer, obesity, diabetes, high-blood pressure, bad cholesterol and the like. The morbidity and mortality outcomes for an eating disorder are often hotly disputed. Nonetheless, the eating disorder spectrum is considered the deadliest of the mental illnesses out there no matter the mortality statistics you might care to use.

    It’s one of the great misunderstandings of human evolution that we believe we are optimized for famine. The vast majority of us is not. If you take a look at the middens (garbage heaps) of Paleolithic cultures throughout Europe and pretty much anywhere except sub-Saharan Africa, the Arctic, and the deserts of North America, we positively gorged and had access to endless supplies of sea and river-based foods. Famine was a relatively recent experience "

    Gaining Weight Despite Calorie Restriction — The Eating Disorder Institute

    "The fact that the body can increase in mass when ostensibly too little energy is being introduced into the body (through dieting) has to do with the balance between catabolism and metabolic suppression.

    There are obvious and observable variations in how calorie restriction impacts individuals both metabolically and in the form of overall reduction of mass. Metabolic changes and efficiencies for maintaining energy balance are not equal from one individual to the next. The efficiency of metabolic suppression appears to be maintained up to six years beyond the point of original calorie restriction. 5 The metabolic suppression also appears to be more aggressive in some than the actual deficit would require. 6 That means restrict a bit and the metabolic response will not only match that deficit, but it will also overcompensate such that excess energy is now available within the system. Some individuals may release that excess into the greater environment (carbon dioxide and water) and others may partition the energy within the system (growth, repair and chemical bonds).

    You can therefore gain weight during calorie restriction. This is particularly the case for those with a history of calorie restriction.

    Not surprisingly, fattists will attribute this predilection to gaining weight as a lack of control over binge eating and completely overlook metabolic efficiencies noted in the review from LM Redman et al., that I referenced above.

    And as for controlling binge behaviors, Dr. Jane Wardle has made the following assessment of this misguided tactic for maintaining weight:

    “…craving for food, preoccupation with eating and loss of control over food intake represent natural psychobiological adaptation to sub-optimal weight and food deprivation. Compulsive eating is therefore best understood in terms of a conflict between a biologically derived drive for food and a culturally derived drive for thinness. Both of these processes have their parallels in the maintenance of dependency disorders. The crucial difference however is that the urge to eat is biologically adaptive, and recovery from compulsive eating depends upon relaxing restraint. 11 [emphasis mine]."

     
  17. Cirion

    Cirion Member

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    Damn, savage! LOL!


    100% yes and 100% true!

    Yup and yup. We are seeing this even in this very thread.
     
  18. lampofred

    lampofred Member

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    I think high estrogen/iron/PUFA (glutamate) can cause either gauntness or obesity. Progesterone/GABA = health and balance.

    Exercise and glucose restriction lower magnesium and cause a frail, unhealthy thinness, but overeating unhealthy foods floods you with toxins and heavy metals and clogs your system in the long-run.

    Maybe the main reason dieting doesn't work for most people is that they diet with the wrong foods because mainstream dietary recommendations are backwards due to their focus on blood sugar levels and cholesterol as opposed to cellular respiration. Obesity is caused by prolonged cellular hypoglycemia & hypoxia (aka biological stress) so worsening the hypoglycemia with PUFA + iron rich foods (basically most of the entire Western food supply), exercise, glucose restriction makes things worse.

    In certain situations like eating disorders it definitely could be better to eat ad libitum though. I guess the best route to take is always different for each person and circumstance.
     
  19. ExCarniv

    ExCarniv Member

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    Good luck, I was following your journey and you seemed into a rabbit hole, I hope this approach works and finally you find health and well-being.
     
  20. Randle Cyclist

    Randle Cyclist Member

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    The infantile CICO equation aka "eat less move more" works... Until it doesn't. I lost weight restricting calories until I not only stopped losing weight but started gaining despite eating only eating 2300 calories and working out 2 hours a day 6 days a week. And don't tell me I underestimated my food intake because I measured it to the gram. I don't even want to talk about how I felt physically and mentally during that time but my experience mirrored that of those in the Minnesota starvation study.

    If calories are the only thing that matters then why am I maintaining my weight eating over 3k calories daily while exercising much less than before? Granted I never eat junk food but still... Those daily calorie calculators all say I should eat 2300-2400 calories.

    The metabolism is far too complex to dumb it down to a simple equation. There have been so many changes in the past century that have coincided with the rise in obesity it's unreasonable to pin the blame solely on a supposed increase in calories per capita.
     
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