Fat and arthritic but needing to live healthier. Help?

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Newlyread, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. Vierran

    Vierran small and sharp

    @Narren How does your infodump tally with the discussion of metabolic changes as a result of weight loss that the article @Ruevian linked brings up? My understanding of exercise physiology, metabolism, and how the body responds to changes in either activity or diet is that losing weight is a lot more complicated than "eat a few hundred less calories than you 'should.'" If you consistently eat less than you need, your body is more inclined to store the calories you do eat as fat. The goal for successfully losing weight is convincing your metabolism to work harder. As far as I understand it, the best way to do that is to try to be consistent about caloric intake, while increasing activity level as much as you can.

    I also have a lot of strong feelings about nutritionism as a field, and how easily manipulated all of the data it produces is, but I think that rant probably goes elsewhere. My best advice is to try to eat enough, try to eat at regular intervals, and focus on eating things that make you feel more energetic and comfortable in your body.
    • Like x 4
  2. Newlyread

    Newlyread Killer Queen

    I don't think I could lose a pound a week even if I were religiously tracking calories. I'd love it if it were that simple and easy, and god knows I'll try it, but if I don't lose weight as easy as other people have, I don't think it means I'm doing something wrong.
    • Like x 2
  3. Mercury

    Mercury Well-Known Member

    Cutting a couple hundred calories per day may work great if you only have ten, fifteen pounds to lose, but beyond that things are usually more complicated! And I gotta say, all strict dieting got me was an eating disorder and a fucked up metabolism. I second @Vierran's advice. (@Vierran, I'd love to see that rant if you want to post a thread about it...)
    • Like x 1
  4. Narren

    Narren Wisdom: -

    @Vierran, so the studies I've read are fairly consistent that eating slightly less (~ 80% of your recommended caloric intake) is the amount you eat to *not* trigger all of the complicated metabolic stuff that makes losing weight more difficult in the future. If you consistently eat too little (or exercise too much for your caloric intake) then things become more complicated. That said, I'm pretty sure I saw something that said "if your metabolism does actually slow down due to dieting, you can pretty much bring it back to normal with moderate exercise". Given that the vast majority of energy spent by your metabolism are processes that are necessary to keep you alive but that you can't influence much (specifically things like osmoregulation), I'm not really sure how you get your body to spend more energy there. I also haven't read much that suggests we're good at increasing metabolic rates (mostly I see things like "Well, this decreased someone's metabolic rate").

    As far as that "Biggest Loser"-related study itself goes, their system (the one on the show) basically flies in the face of all of the nutritional information/evidence I've been mentioning. Unless you're going to do something similar to what they're doing (which is probably not safe and requires more medical knowledge than I have), I'm not sure it really means anything to you.

    The big thing that everyone I've talked to says is that unfortunately weight loss is a slow process. Even in my own experience, it's a slow process. One thing I should have pointed out in the original post that I didn't is that the 'pound a week' thing is really 'best-case'. The goal is to eat in the magic 'there isn't really any slowing of your metabolism' range, which is down to about 80% of your recommended caloric intake. The optimal range gets you down to about a pound a week (a pound of fat is 3500 calories, your diet is usually 2000-2400 calories, 20% of that is ~ 500 calories, 500 calories * 7 days is 3500 calories, is a pound of fat) , but you don't have to do *exactly that*.

    Also, and I probably could have been clearer about this too, I'm really pushing "Figure out how much you're eating and how much you should be eating, and then eat a little less" over a "strict diet" (which is what a lot of people push, and doesn't work, and creates a nightmare). Logically, you are not going to be able to figure out your exact caloric intake (I tried briefly, collected data for one day, and realized that way lead to madness and stopped). You just want to kinda know how much you're eating, because humans are *really bad* at keeping track of this kind of thing.
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
  5. Vierran

    Vierran small and sharp

    Okay, yeah, that makes more sense. I definitely have read stuff about increasing metabolic rate through exercise and training, because if you're active enough that is actually a meaningful percent of your energy consumption. If I'm remembering my exercise Physio right, it's only true that almost all energy goes into maintenence at low activity levels.

    I guess my concern is that 80% sounds low to me on an intuitive level (which is probably wrong), and that it's not a behavior change that supports a healthy relationship with food going forward.
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