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Obesity-huffington

I want to explain, once again, my arguments on the question of weight, obesity, diet and dieting. I’d like to make some suggestions as well, if only to counter the impression some readers got that I did not realize how difficult many find it to change their diet, and also the impression that I would not give any advice. I do wonder how much advice is necessary, when the main factor is clear, but here goes anyway.

When food eaten and activity undertaken are in balance, few people are fat, though there is some variation around the major factor causing weight gain, which is food eaten. As far as we know, being lean was the norm until recent times for all but the richest people, who could afford to live off the fat of the land. Previously, food was scarce and work was hard. Now, food is plentiful and most work is sedentary.

If physical labour decreases, perhaps because of automation and increased leisure, and food is cheaply and readily available, people, on average, get fatter. They eat more than their bodies need. There is still variation between one person and another. This increased average weight seems to be the pattern in the world since 1950. Pacific islanders top the list, then some Caribbean ones, Arab countries, then in 17th place the US, for which the weight gain has been startling: by 2014 the average BMI was 28.9 This is very high. Americans have gotten fatter, very fast. The UK is in 40th place at 27.3 and this is high and also a relatively recent phenomenon.

Here is an illustrative list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_body_mass_index

Although people vary, they varied in ancient times and they vary now, but the average weight has gone up. This is so recent it cannot be due to generational changes, though some people may be more prone to putting on weight than others, within some narrow limits depending on amount of food eaten. The general increase in weight over the last 5 decades cannot primarily be due to genetics. Eating too much is the strongest hypothesis. We should exclude that before seeking other explanations.

By the way, the general screening indicator of body mass index has to be refined by racial differences: black, Asian and Pacific groups are more at risk, and should probably aim for BMI 22 or lower. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence says: “Limited evidence suggests that a BMI threshold of 23kg/m2 in black and Chinese populations may be approximately equivalent to an overweight cut-off point of 25kg/m2 in white European populations.” That is to say, to reduce their risk of diabetes, these populations probably have to be thinner than the European healthy target.

Either people have to eat less or to exercise very much more. If anyone thinks to the contrary, all they have to do is to show that weight is not linked to calorific intake and energy expenditure in controlled circumstances. Settings in which access to food is carefully controlled reveal the basic relationship: eating too much makes you fatter. Self-report only reveals the capacity for self-deception. Meals are reported, snacks forgotten.

I see this as a practical issue, rather than a moral one. If you are fatter than you want to be, eat less. In most ways this is up to you. You are free to be any weight you like. The broader social impact depends on externalities: taking up more space in public seating and consuming more resources in public health systems. In a community which shares the costs of any excesses, then anything which makes you unwell and unproductive has a negative impact on your neighbours. If you can afford it, it is your business how fat you are. If you can’t, your slimmer neighbours are carrying you. In the UK about 90% of type 2 diabetes is estimated to be due to overeating. This is a heavy burden.

How does one eat less? Really, this should not need any further explanation, but here are some practical suggestions, for those who felt I had none to offer. All diets work, and start working immediately. Inconsistently applied and quickly abandoned diets don’t have a chance to work. Saying that diets don’t work is like saying that computer backups don’t work. If you can discipline yourself to do them, they work very well.

There is no point in going on a diet to lose some weight, if going on a diet is considered to be something which will last a few weeks, to be replaced by the habitual level of eating, because then there will eventually be a return to habitual weight. Diets have to be maintained long term and will consist of a wide variety of good food, so that it can be enjoyed and accepted as normal. It will no longer be seen as a diet once you have trained yourself to eat well. It will not be dieting, but a sustained change in how much is eaten. Not a 12 week diet but a permanent change towards enjoying healthier delicious food.

At this stage you might be seeking a justification for starting to diet. The main function of any diet is to interrupt and restrain eating more than necessary. Diets impose artificial restraints, and if they have any effects they are due to calorie reduction. There is simply no way round the fact that if you eat more fuel than your body needs your weight will increase. The laws of thermodynamics apply to you even if you do not believe in them.

If you want details, see citric acid cycle link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citric_acid_cycle

All food is converted more or less easily to glucose, but fat has more calories per gram. There is little benefit in restricting yourself to one or the other food category, but remember that high fat like butter, cream, and oils produces far more glucose. There are guidelines about the balance of those three, and twice as much carbohydrates as protein seems to be a sustainable plan for weight loss. I leave these blends to you. Nutritionists advise a balanced diet, and can give you their interpretations as to what that means. The percentages of carbohydrates and proteins required tend to be given with rather wide estimates.

You may have a view about the slimming effects of particular mix of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Consider a man eating 2500 calories per day or a woman eating 2000 calories who want to take in an extra calorie of food. Whatever blend of fat, protein and carbohydrate they choose, these will still be digested down to glucose, and they will gain in weight. Better not to have the extra calorie.

How can people motivate themselves to make such a change?

Often a health problem triggers a change, or some event which makes a person note and regret their weight. Without some pressing reason it is unlikely there can be any change in eating habits.

A digression. Some people think that you cannot judge advice about diet unless you know the writer’s personal experience, so here is an irrelevant brief personal history: I have been reasonably thin all my life: skinny as a child, slightly less so in my 20s and 30s. At roughly age 30, though still thin and never above BMI 25, I made some changes to stop gaining further weight: no longer having any sugar in hot drinks and not drinking lots of milk. Things carried on as before. In March 2015 I was at my standard BMI of 24 to 24.5 but found that my blood pressure had been high for six months and decided to drop my weight. University of Cambridge researchers had suggested that the really healthy BMI was 22 or below, but they reluctantly declared 25 as being OK simply because they were advised that the public would not do anything to mitigate their weight if they were set apparently impossible targets.

So, this made me look at my diet again, with the very simple focus of getting to a BMI of 22. By the way, if you feel that the body mass index does not apply to you, congratulations for being in the < 1% of the population with well-developed muscle mass. For the rest of us, BMI is a good enough measure. Yes, you should also measure your waist, and you can get calipers out to measure fat, but those are refinements within the general factor of BMI which works as a useful metric for most people.

The decision has to be taken, and a simple plan made prior to implementing the new regime, which will be permanent. You cannot hope to lose weight unless you change your habits, including how you shop for food. It is difficult to change any engrained behaviour: habits are useful because they minimize the cost of new learning. Repeating a habit is easier than making changes which may lead to future benefits. This is a slow-life-history decision. Your change has to begin with your shopping trolley. If you buy it because it looks tempting, you will eat it.

Although they may be hard to follow, here are some steps you can take.

1 Something has to motivate you to lose weight. Recovering your desired body shape or improving your health or regaining years of life lost to being overweight might be motivators.

2 Anyone you live with must know that you are on a permanent diet, and ideally share in that diet.

3 Learn the rough categories of food types by calories, say to the common metric of calories per 100g. There are many available lists, and also pictures of common foods. Foods with high calorific density should be avoided totally or eaten very sparingly.

4 Foods which are not required for the new diet should no longer be bought, and those already in your house should be given away. Your food shopping must be planned in advance, and you should have alternatives if a particular food is not available. It is a good idea to just buy for 4/5 meals in advance so you do not have too much in store. No impulsive food purchases.

5 If you don’t already have one, buy a good quality weighing machine. It should be precise enough to show small changes. I suggest it should be set on a linear scale: lbs or kilos rather than stones and lbs. Record your weight first thing in the morning, which will give you the most flattering estimate. You can regard it as the true estimate, because it is not exaggerated by the transitory effects of the weight of food and water you will carry in you most of the day. You should also take a measurement of your waist and, as a reality check, note the main mark on your actual belts so as to reveal which notch you find comfortable, and measure that as well.

6 Since your target is to control your weight, from now on measure it every morning. You will soon find out the error range, and begin to note changes week by week. Behaviour can change if you have feedback: your weight is the feedback you need if you wish to lose weight.

7 Since your key route to success is to control calorie input, use a kitchen weighing machine for portion control, again preferably set on a linear scale such as grams. A few weeks should be enough to let you learn the weight and calorific value of your portions. You don’t have to measure every calorie or every bit of food. You should simply keep an eye on the weight of food you are eating, and know what it means in terms of approximate calories.

One simple approach to a new diet is to look carefully at what you like to eat, and simply reduce the portions and cut out the highest calorie ingredients. Although logical, this can be hard to achieve. It feels too much like eating as usual, and good intentions tend to lapse unless you make a change which indicates a new start.

Other approaches are fasting and meal skipping. Most people find fasting hard to do. There are too many temptations in ordinary life. Meal skipping is somewhat easier, particularly if you have had a larger meal than usual earlier in the day. Personally, I think meal skipping is a useful counter-balancing technique after over-eating, rather than a regular target.

Another approach is to make a conscious and well-signaled change in what you eat. This will be your diet, so personalize it. Here are some general guidelines to follow or ignore. Avoid processed foods in the sense of ‘ready’ meals. There is nothing particularly wrong with them other than that they are designed to make you want to eat them again, and you will not know the full list of ingredients, and may come to regard them as the basic core to which you add further things, which will make your total intake go up.

Some foods like pasta are pre-prepared and none the worse for it, but that is OK because you can decide what, if anything, you add as a sauce. Other things to avoid or to eat sparingly are calorie dense foods like sugar, butter, cheese, chocolate, ice cream, cheesecake, nuts, fatty meat, pate, salad dressing oils, cakes and biscuits and sweets. (All these things are good foods in moderation, but it is hard to be moderate when they are readily available in your house).

One behavioural change is to cook from basic ingredients yourself. This gives you absolute control over ingredients, and probably makes you feel far more in control of your eating. It establishes a new ritual.

You can still go out to restaurants but choose sensibly, picking courses as close to your diet as possible. If the dishes are all very tempting, just follow the two-course rule, and decide which option you like best.

The first two weeks of a new diet are difficult. Breaking habits is hard. You need something to fill up your stomach until it adapts to the new, reduced calorie regime. One way is to eat raw carrots and celery and fruit at all times of hunger, before, during or after meals. I never want to see celery again, but carrots are a useful standby. By the way, there is nothing special about carrots and celery. Any other vegetables or fruits will do, according to availability and your preferences.

Another behavioural change is to take particular care of what you eat for your standard breakfast, because if you get that under control then the rest of the day will be easier. It should be good enough to have a fair chance of keeping you satisfied until lunchtime. The following is too specific, but is intended just as an illustration:

For example 40g of cereals, or porridge oats in winter, together with milk and some low fat yoghurt with some fruit; plus some bread, toast or pastries and coffee or tea without sugar should meet the bill. It does not have to be that, just something which you like, can stick to, and provides about 450 calories. That still gives you plenty of leeway for another two meals.

Lunch and dinner can be anything you like, so long as portions are controlled in terms of size and therefore calories: ham, chicken, fish, lamb, pork, steak with salad, vegetables or rice. Rice is a very useful ingredient.

Dessert: always fruit such as raspberries, blackberries or other berries, melon, nectarine, plums, Kiwi fruit, pear, apples, nectarine or other fruit in plain low-fat yoghurt.

Inviting guests home: Give them a light starter; then one of your set meals; and then a very big desert of fruit and berries, with a choice of yoghurt or, for them, some cream or ice cream to go with it. It is up to you whether, and at what stage, you tell them you are on this particular diet which they have just eaten. Alcohol is highly calorific, so if you drink it something else has to go if you want to keep within your limits.

Inviting guests out to eat: Don’t mention the diet. As you look at the menu, say that if they want a starter that’s fine, but that unless you can find something light you will probably skip it. For the main course chose something from the menu which, on balance, is likely to be low on calories. Conversely, skip starter and desert and go for the main meal you most enjoy.

Although not strictly necessary, it might help to do about half an hour of exercise a day. The calories burned up will be very low, less than 200 calories, but it might have benefits for your circulation. Do whatever exercise you enjoy, and that you can fit into your day so that it becomes a regular habit. Since bi-pedalism is one of our greatest achievements, it might be walking. Swimming is also a good idea, if you can easily find a place to do it, because it has very low impact on joints, and involves your whole body. However, even 700 metres of crawl over 22 minutes is unlikely to burn off more that 190 calories, which you can replace with 50 grams of cheddar cheese in about 20 seconds. Short of digging ditches in winter to protect Moscow from invasion, exercise is not a direct weight loser.

The ingredients in your diet are of minor consequence, other than tending towards smaller portions and lower calorie density foods. You can eat all food types at some stages of the week or year, just in smaller quantities, and high calorie density foods very sparingly.

Most people’s weight will go up when their controlled feeding pattern is disrupted. Holidays are good example of losing control. Outside of holidays, parties are difficult because it is easy to lose track of how much food you have eaten, particularly when snacks are available and starters are served on trays. The only hope is to compensate later by reducing your intake on subsequent days.

Will the diet boost your IQ? Probably not, though by keeping healthy you may avoid the effects of ill health on cognitive abilities, particularly so if being over-weight leads to surgery and anaesthetics for long operations. By some calculations you will gain 5 years of life by avoiding being overweight, but since these years, by definition, are at the end of your life, you may wish to discount them.

Happy eating!

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Bmi, Diet 
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  1. JayMan says: • Website

    Diets don’t work. Even something as simple as eat less is doomed to failure en masse. (Of course, any particular diet might work for a given individual, but that’s far different from a general prescription).

    It seems people have a weight set point, primarily driven by genetic factors, as twin overfeeding experiments indicate. Obesity rose over time because the modern environment has driven that point higher for some people. We don’t know, exactly, how the modern environment has done this, but here we are none the less.

    See my page on all things obesity:

    Obesity Facts, by JayMan – The Unz Review

  2. If you don’t think that excercise can lose weight, you’ve never ridden a road bike several hours a week. Not as rewarding perhaps as digging trenches to protect the fatherland, but doable, more doable in my case that dieting.

    And I did not see any reference to drinking. I’ve known people to stop drinking and sharing into nothing.

  3. @donald j tingle

    from the section on inviting guests home: Alcohol is highly calorific, so if you drink it something else has to go if you want to keep within your limits.

    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
  4. res says:

    I thought this was the best part of your post:

    It will no longer be seen as a diet once you have trained yourself to eat well. It will not be dieting, but a sustained change in how much is eaten. Not a 12 week diet but a permanent change towards enjoying healthier delicious food.

    Building up the good habits is key. Another key is choosing to do something which one can maintain long term (e.g. does not require excessive time/expense, works with surrounding people and food environments).

    I think the discipline and intense calorie counting approach can work for some people, and might be a helpful temporary exercise to learn what serving sizes for different foods correspond to what calorie counts (e.g. the calorie counts for fast food, “coffee drinks”, etc. are pretty amazing), but is probably not realistic for most.

    In my opinion it is much better to just focus on eating more satiating and less insulin spiking foods at distinct meals. For people with a dysfunctional insulin response snacks may be necessary at first, but should NOT be high carb, something like nuts or peanut butter is much better for satiation and evening out blood glucose status.

    The single best change one can make is minimizing consumption of processed foods. I think having to do this is one of the reason so many extreme diets work well at first with their liabilities only becoming more evident long term.

    The next best change is to primarily drink water. It is amazing how many calories are in many popular drinks and they often serve in effect as insulin spiking snacks.

    FWIW I think the biggest changes causing the obesity epidemic are:
    - Weaponization of palatability in processed foods.
    - Substitution of insulin spiking and non-satiating carbohydrates for fats, protein, and bulkier vegetables.
    - Breakdown of healthy gut ecosystems. Not sure which causes dominate, but probably a mix of the switch to carbs, artificial sweeteners/colors, and other environmental issues.

    P.S. Regarding high blood pressure, I recommend considering sodium/potassium balance. For most people that means making an effort to consume more potassium. A potassium containing (partial, mixed with salt) salt substitute can be a good solution. I think this book gives an excellent overview of both the how and the why: https://www.amazon.com/Salt-Solution-Herb-Boynton/dp/1583330852

    • Replies: @animalogic
  5. Cortes says:

    Routine and introduction of very gradual changes to diet and exercise worked for me some ten years ago (and are back on the agenda again).

    I lived almost exactly 5 miles from my then workplace and used the bus. Each morning I got off the bus one stop earlier until I was regularly walking half the distance. Then I stopped using the lift at work (going up – no point in stressing joints going down). The extension of the morning walk increased until I made the whole journey on foot, in all weather except ice and snow.

    Between the exercise and adjustment of diet, I lost about three and a half stones in the course of a year or so and kept the programme going for the following five years. Since then I’ve regressed and will have to resume it from a higher base of “Mr Creosotitude.”

    Thanks for the prompt.

    • Replies: @sb
  6. jb says:

    My understanding is that many people who are fat find themselves ravenously hungry if they try to eat less. What is your advice for them?

    I’ve never had much of a weight problem myself. My adult weight has gone up and down within a range of about 20lb (with most of the range being below my high school weight, when I was a varsity athlete). I’m staying in the middle of that range right now, which takes a moderate amount of willpower, but not all that much really, because at no point does hunger ever get extreme. But for many people this simply isn’t true; they do experience extreme hunger if they aren’t stuffing themselves, so the level of willpower that is sufficient for me simply won’t do it for them. I agree for the most part this can’t be genetic; 100 years ago their lives would probably have followed a different course, and they would not have ended up in the condition they are in today. But still, that’s the condition they in fact are in, so what are they to do?

  7. Very informative article. Told me nothing.

    “I have been reasonably thin all my life: skinny as a child, slightly less so in my 20s and 30s.”

    In other words then, you don’t know anything about obesity. You simply assume that what is true for you is true for everybody. Thin people arguments are always the same. Because I am thin, you should be thin too, and if you are not, it is because you are a weak, defective human being.

    It is like a smart person telling a dumb person they would not be stupid if they would just quit doing stupid things.

  8. jb says:

    As an unrelated point: do you have any idea what the justification is for applying the same BMI targets to both men and women? This strikes me as bizarre!

    I’m thinking here of my high school girlfriend, who was the same height as me, but weighed less than two thirds what I did. She was slight but not anorexic; she definitely had a figure. And I was an athlete and in good shape, even if I could have lost a pound or two. At my weight she would have been a total porker. At her weight I would have been a skeleton. How can the same measure possibly apply to us both?

  9. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:
    @JayMan

    When you say “diets don’t work”, what do you mean, exactly? Are you saying that if you, say, locked someone up in a cage and served him lower calorie meals, that he would still be overweight or continue to gain weight despite eating much fewer calories? Or do you mean that people left to their own devices lack the discipline to stick to lower calorie diets? These are two quite different circumstances.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @Tom Welsh
  10. @JayMan

    These days when I walk down the streets in Boston and Cambridge, the vast majority of high school and college age students whom I see would have been regarded as almost grotesquely obese when I was in high school and college, just over a half century ago. (To be fair, an older man of my girth back then would also have been regarded as, shall we say, bulky.) There is no question that people today eat much more than we did back then. One of my meals today probably exceeds the caloric content of my father’s entire daily diet and he was a construction worker while I do sedentary office work, although to be fair my father was regarded as exceptionally thin even back then. Furthermore, today’s diets are full of sugars, fats, and the “empty” calories of junk foods, which are engineered to leave one always craving more. But for nearly thirty years, from the ages of thirty until about sixty, even though I was eating back then as I am now, my BMI remained below 22. Now it’s in the obese range.

    The temporal and geographic pattern of the obesity pandemic in the western world, starting first in the USA about thirty or forty years ago, then the UK and Europe, suggests to me that some environmental factors may be having an impact. One obvious possible villain is that many, if not most, fecund women in these countries are ingesting and then pissing into the water supply vast quantities of powerful. artificial female sex hormones. This began happening in the late 1960s, a decade or so before average weights began an accelerating climb, so allowing for a time lag It’s entirely reasonable to suspect that this might have some impact on how the population, in aggregate, stores and processes fat reserves.

  11. 1. Ketogenic diet (60% importance)
    Next to zero carbs. A piece of green vegetable with the chicken/beef/fish is ok, but not more.
    Drink just water, coffee, tea, etc.
    Optional: The occasional dry red wine.

    2. Intermittent fasting (20%)
    a) Feeding window of 8 hours
    b) Optional: All day fasting once a week

    3. Cold exposure (10%)
    * Cold showers
    * Walk barefoot at home; go underdressed for the local climate
    * Ice baths if you’re hardcore
    * Cheatcode – glass of iced water on waking up

    4. Calisthenic exercises (5%)
    * Bodyweight exercise specifically because it sends the message that your body needs to drop weight as well as bulk up. Weightlifting doesn’t do the former.

    5. Smart weights to provide effortless, instant feedback (5%)

    ==> at least 10 pounds worth of weight drop per month.

  12. @JayMan

    “Diets don’t work”

    True. 99 percent of diets fail. See Jason Fung on this. That’s because of the “conventional wisdom.”

    “Even something as simple as eat less is doomed to failure en mass (Of course, any particular diet might work for a given individual, but that’s far different from a general prescription).”

    Agreed.

    “It seems people have a weight set point, primarily driven by genetic factors”

    Half agree. It’s not “primarily driven by genetic factors”, numerous environmental factors also influence it. Also see Jason Fung on this.

    “Obesity rose over time because the modern environment has driven that point higher for some people. We don’t know, exactly, how the modern environment has done this, but here we are none the less.”

    I agree that modern environment has increased the number of obese people but we do know what it is: obesogenic environments with highly processed, high carb food.

    Intermittent fasting with LCHF diet works for weight loss and as far as I’m aware, intermittent fasting changes the set point (bariatric surgery does too).

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  13. @Anatoly Karlin

    Well said.

    “* Bodyweight exercise specifically because it sends the message that your body needs to drop weight as well as bulk up. Weightlifting doesn’t do the former”

    Do you have a reference?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  14. @JayMan

    Diets work. Sticking to diets is hard. That explains the rise in obesity paralleling the rise in calories consumed, metabolic ward studies that accurately measure and control calorie intake, and the common observation that most fat people stay fat or get fatter.

    The question then becomes– why are people eating more than they used to?

    Well. That’s a more interesting topic..

    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    , @Anon
    , @JayMan
  15. I’ll respond to more in this piece later, but for now:

    “All food is converted more or less easily to glucose, but fat has more calories per gram. There is little benefit in restricting yourself to one or the other food category, but remember that high fat like butter, cream, and oils produces far more glucose. There are guidelines about the balance of those three, and twice as much carbohydrates as protein seems to be a sustainable plan for weight loss.”

    This is really vague. It is true that far has more kcal per gram than protein and carbohydrates (9 kcal compared to 4 kcal), but what you don’t seem to understand is that not everything that is consumed is used to create glucose through the process of gluconeogenesis, nevermind the fat you just consume.

    The body uses the glucose from carbohydrates first, then it uses body fat, then muscle for energy. It’s very very hard for the body to use fat that is just consumed for the process of gluconeogenesis.

    You said “high fat like butter, cream, and oils produces far more glucose”, but I assume, and correct me if I’m wrong please, that you’re assuming that more caloric energy equals more energy converted into glucose via gluconeogenesis? That’s extremely wrong.

    You’re still pushing the “a calorie is a calorie” fallacy, meaning you’re violating the second law of thermodynamics.

    https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-3-9

    I’d advise reading Jason Fung on diet and weight loss, because you don’t have a clue. You’re pushing conventional wisdom that, very clearly, does not work.

    • Replies: @krollchem
  16. @Gardenofaleph

    If “diet” is defined as a prolonged period of time under caloric restriction, then human physiology shows how futile it is.

    “The question then becomes– why are people eating more than they used to?”

    Obesogenic environments.

  17. David JW says:

    What is the point of an article containing humdrum advice everyone knows? There is nothing insightful in this article. All fat people know what food is making them fat and what food will not make them fat — but many or most have stopped trying in life, and that is the aspect that needs to be addressed, not bizarre articles claiming to have discovered for the first the time the idea that chocolate is more fattening than celery.

    • Agree: Stan d Mute
  18. Philip Owen says: • Website

    What you eat does matter. Some forms of calorie are easier to eat in quantity than others. Breakfast cereals, bread, chips, chocolate, cake for those who still like the taste of sugar all seem to me to be more eatable than other foods delivering comparable calorie loads.

    I’ve lost 12 kg in the last 18 months, it’s the third biggest continuous drop of my lifetime. Now on a plateau (?). It happened whn I reduced my daily exercise from a 5 mile round trip walk to work a day to my office in the town centre to a will power driven 20 minutes of walking to the local Tesco, kettle bells or jogging. Latterly, following a heart operation, cardiac rehab twice a week (my genetic destiny). I lost my weight before rehab. In my opinion it was a matter of lunchtime diet. In a typical British market town, lunchtime offers a choice of calorie reinforced carbohydrates and nothing else other than perhap cole slaw. With 5 miles of walking in one’s daily schedule, double egg and chips (Welsh sized chips, no way are they French Fries, in Welsh sized portions: I almost enver finished a full portion) can be a temptation, once or twice a week at least. but really the alternatives on display at Greggs or other baker’s shops are no better. The pubs ae worse and costly. The last meat, potatoes and two veg went out of business three years ago. Even so, my weight was stable and had been for 10 years. Even the hospital and sports centre have Costa Coffee shops where symbolic packs of apple and grapes sit amougst the sanwiches and tea cakes. So, escape to my own kitchen for lunch (usually celery and carrot with a dip) was much more material than a daily 5 mile walk in terms of weight loss (I expected to gain). however sometimes I long for double egg and chips with baked beans or a pork roast.

    Weight gain is clearly environmental. As Prof Thompson says, it is not genetic change and exercise is not that material. The availability of food and the money to buy it is a factor. In the 50′s and 60′s my home town, a very small market town in Wales supported one Fish and Chip shop. Now there are two Сhinese, an Indian and a kebab shop and the pubs also offer food on an unimagined scale. That said, my personal experience is that exercise of the right sort can switch your, let us say, hormonal response and lead to significant weight loss, unrelated to actual calories burned by exercise. But that is a one off setting of the thermostat.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  19. Patricus says:

    In my early fifties I found myself at 245 pounds. I am 6’3″ but that was heavy for me. I determined that I would strive to lose weight. To start I figured it would be a good idea to determine how many Calories I ate and drank. Once the average daily intake was measured I figured I could knock off a few hundred Calories per day. I purchased a scale accurate to grams and the recorded everthing I ate and drank. That averaged 2100 Calories per day. It was interesting that I started losing weight even though I made no attempt to limit intake. I only wanted to know how much I took in while indulging myself. It was such a nuisance recording everything that I would skip a visit to the refrigerator. If I grabbed and measured some cheese to eat with crackers, just the measuring routine caused me to have only a few ounces whereas, in the past, I would gobble 6 or 8 ounces. I dropped 18 pounds in less than two months.

    Measuring became tiresome and I relapsed back to 240. At a routine physical my doctor discovered I had an under active thyroid. A prescription caused me to lose 40 pounds in a few months with no reduction in food or drink. Ideally I should weigh 185 or 190 but I can’t get below 200 for some reason. By the way, I never perceived any sluggishness due to my underactive thyroid and never perceived any improvement when my level was brought to the normal range.

    About exercise, I biked 30 to 50 miles per week as my weight steadily increased. My sister in law and her group biked across the United States averaging 100 miles per day. She told me she never lost a pound. So much for exercise.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    , @Tom Welsh
  20. krollchem says:
    @RaceRealist88

    Correct!

    Other authors who reject the “a calorie is a calorie” fallacy are Dr Lustig and Dr Amen.

    Many obese people are actually suffering from nutritional deficiencies and eat to try to get the nutrients they lack. Other Obese are simply addicted to sugar and simple carbohydrates that give then a dopamine high.

    • Replies: @notanon
  21. I’m with @Jayman (on set-points) @RaceRealist88 and @Anatoly Karlin (especially on bodyweight/calisthenics and IF – I would add some ‘tempo’ cardio as well).

    Eat less” is the worst kind of bullshit broscience imaginable.

    In fact it is such hackneyed broscience that even the gymbros have stopped saying it (not sure what Crossfitters think – doubtless they think that they can kip their diet as well).

    Advocating caloric restriction is also a cruel thing to do to people whose diet has poor compositional characteristics – because it guarantees the types of severe cravings that are a byproduct of a poor diet, and sets them up for failure.

    Eat better” should be the mantra. That means
    zero added sugar;
    minimal refined starches (especially white bread and the like);
    • fibrous vegetables ad libitum;
    • pulses (dal, lentils etc) pretty much ad libitum; and
    • moderate amounts of protein (higher quality=better; more ≠ better).

    The reason ‘eat less’ is such monumentally ignorant horse-shit: dietary composition changes metabolism in very meaningful ways. Two meals that are isocaloric may not be isometabolic. This means that the ‘CO’ part of CICO can differ for two isocaloric meals.

    In fact a simple change to diet composition can actually make white fat (which is metabolically ‘bad’) behave more like brown fat (which is rarer, but is metabolic gold). Getting your white fat to ‘brownify’ will give a 5-10% boost to metabolism (so “CO” goes up even if you don’t move a muscle).

    As I’ve said before,”CI – CO → weight” assumes that all caloric excesses are transformed into the same type of tissue: that’s nonsense. CICO is actually less defensible than ‘WIWO‘ – “weight in – weight out”, which is axiomatic but useless.

    Caloric restriction with poor dietary composition will also result in ‘fat-thin’, where the body sacrifices bone density and muscle mass, and stores fat. It’s perverse, but if you continue to feed yourself SAD but simply reduce calories… you will end up weaker, more prone to fractures, and… fatter.

    That said, even CICO is nowhere near as monumentally ignorant as anyone who thinks BMI is meaningful: BMI was invented by a French nutbar called Quetelet, who thought that ‘average’ was the ideal; to Quetelet, excessive anything was ‘bad’ (he clearly didn’t suffer from a surfeit of IQ points).

    Eat good fresh food, and our system will reward you. It will even permit you to escape (for a while) the consequences of other self-abuse (like drinking WAAAAAY too much, as I do).

    You can amplify the benefits of a good diet by adding some intense exercise (bodyweight moves; bike rides targeting a tempo/sub-threshold heart rate with twice-weekly HIIT; the occasional run; lots of walking).

    I’m a big fan of ‘MISS’ (medium-intensity steady-state) – 50 minutes on a stationary bike, 3-4 times a week – that’s about 150km worth of bike riding. 1000(ish) calories per workout (my average power output is ~260W for those workouts, and HR averages ~135… they are only ‘tempo’).

    inb4 “boring”: it’s not boring in the least if you have
    • a bluetooth or ANT+ heart rate monitor;
    • a bike with a bluetooth or ANT+ power meter (or a smart trainer like the Wahoo KickR – I have both).

    If you have that stuff (which costs ~$300[1]) you can hook it all up to Zwift or FullGaz and have a really fun virtual ride (or race). 50-90 minutes flies by… and you will always ride harder than you would on the road, because on a trainer you’re never not pedalling and you never stop: on the road you’re freewheeling about 30% of the time and stationary for about 8%… plus on the trainer you don’t have to worry about median-IQ short men in insecurity-wagons, trying to kill you (or being sufficiently incompetent so as to risk killing you by accident – frankly I could give a fuck which it is, I’m agin’ it).

    Note to self: find new supplier for weed tincture, for fuck’s sake… that way you can stop drinking so much wine.

    [1] $300 is what you’ll pay for a crank-based power-meter (e.g., Watteam’s PowerBeat one-sided) plus a bluetooth heart-rate monitor. By contrast the Wahoo KickR is a high-end toy at ~$1200. I am an anti-MAMIL.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @res
    , @anon
    , @The Alarmist
  22. PaulS says:

    Maybe Shakespeare had the answer:

    “Let me have men about me that are fat,
    Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights.
    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look,
    He thinks too much; such men are dangerous.”

    Find something more important than food to think about and just eat when you are hungry. Obsessing about diet just makes you think about food all the time.

  23. Anon[226] • Disclaimer says:

    In most ways this is up to you. You are free to be any weight you like.

    This is classical “ghost in the machine” thinking. I’d recommend a close reading of Stephen Pinker’s The Blank Slate.

    The problem is, there is no “you” separate from the brain tissue created by your genome, which is the same genome that makes you overeat. There is no indepentdent “driver” in the Jaeger of your body. “You” don’t have any more choice about how you eat than you do about the existance of any other genetic traits.

    Two thirds of the population are overweight or obese by CDC BMI standards, and it’s safe to assume that few of them are happy about it. That is pretty clear evidence that there is no choice involved. The prospect for maintained weight loss five years out is close to zero.

    People do lose weight more or less permanently if their environment changes radically in some key aspects that can affect phenotype expression, but such environmental changes usually involve separation from close friends, family, a change of job or career, a change of where you live: radical changes that most people will not make.

    In the end, the implications of Emil Kirkegaard’s 5th law of behavioral genetics are that, for many health aspects of obesity, it may not matter what your weight is: that, for instance, cardiac weakness and tendancy to eat are two manifestations of a single underlying genetic influence, and changing one doesn not affect the other.

    • Replies: @Mike1
  24. res says:
    @Kratoklastes

    I’m a big fan of ‘MISS’ (medium-intensity steady-state) – 50 minutes on a stationary bike, 3-4 times a week – that’s about 150km worth of bike riding.

    45 km/h (28 mph) or more is medium intensity?!

    (my average power output is ~260W for those workouts, and HR averages ~135… they are only ‘tempo’).

    You are either BSing or quite the stud: https://www.cyclinganalytics.com/blog/2013/06/heart-rate-vs-power-chart

    More at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877705815014551

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  25. @Patricus

    Your example is a very good case in point: someone who has an undiagnosed endocrine problem, will be harmed, not helped, by “eat less“.

    It would have been extremely frustrating to be trying to ‘get there’ by caloric restriction when your thyroid was ‘in the road’.

    Unless you had Hashimoto’s it might have been helped by supplementing iodine and selenium – fluoride (in water) may hamper production of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), but adequate iodine levels can offset that. (That said, the whole fluoride thing is a tad fraught: we know for certain that it doesn’t actually help kids’ “teef”, though).

    245lb at 6’3″ is not too bad anyway – your body-comp can’t be too terrible if you’re riding 50mi a week even with a shot thyroid. I’m 54, 6’1½” and 221lb (down from 235 six weeks ago) and I’m riding ~80mi (125-130km) a week.

    Point is, even at 235 I wasn’t fat-fat; you’re a half-hand taller so at 210 chicks half your age were probably scoping out your ass. At 190 you won’t have an ass.

    .

    Kudos to your sister, too. That’s an EPIC ride.

    It shouldn’t shock you if her weight didn’t change, though.

    100 miles a day on a normal bike for a woman of normal weight, would translate to about 4000 calories of output (depending on the terrain of course).

    If your sis was already fit – and she would be if she could start such an epic ride – then she would have been consuming fairly large amounts of carbs (gels, electrolyte drinks and so forth) and her appetite would be off the chain at the end of the day. If you’re doing back-to-back centuries on a bike, you have to take in ~250cal/hr or you will bonk (i.e., totally deplete your body’s reserves).

    People who do those super-long medium-intensity endurance events are awesome… one thing that they have in common is that they eat like horses every night.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Patricus
  26. @Philip Owen

    double egg and chips

    Chips with egg are the Devil’s playground… so delicious. Anyone who thinks that bacon and egg is better than egg&chips hasn’t had nice fat chips.

    It might be hard to do in Wales, but if it were me I would go get the fixings for huevos rancheros: black beans (must be home-made), adobe sauce, tomato salsa, green chillis, spring onions, coriander leaf, avocado, manchego, and two lovely fried eggs, on a pan-heated corn tortilla. Takes 5 minutes to make, and I have it for my lunch 3 days a week (had it twenty minutes ago in fact). Like these, but with two eggs… https://www.eggs.ca/recipes/huevos-rancheros

    The Lovely (one of those horrible people who weighs the same at 45 as she did at 20 – i.e., 50kg) is a dedicated egg&chips fiend like me; but huevos rancheros is a very very good substitute, even for her. I won’t eat again until 8pm tonight, and I won’t notice it.

  27. @res

    That chart looks like what you might expect from a 70kg rider.

    That said, I am an absolute fucking beast, yo.

    Here’s some Strava output (not sure how to embed them: I’ll see if they embed as images, and if not I’ll try to figure out how to fix it):

    Ride 1: 40km; 1hr 07m; average HR 135; average power 259W.

    Ride 2: 52km; 1hr 30m; average HR 129; average power 238W (earlier in the training window, so longer, slower and less exertion)

    I should point out that the ‘intensity’ numbers generated by Strava in those images, are calculated base on FTP (funcitonal threshold power) not heart rate; my FTP is 288, but that was achieved in a ride where my pulse was never out of ‘tempo’ for more than a couple of minutes (i.e., I was nowhere near threshold). I target HR, not power.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    , @res
  28. I don’t see mention of extended fasting. It is easier to fast and lose weight in an extended fast because you lose your appetite after the first day or two. I was always concerned about negative consequences of extended fasting because of the myths surrounding it until I read The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung. Your body will preserve muscle and result in more clarity of mind on a fast.

    I fasted 3 days here, five days there (arranging my eating around social occasions, so I wasn’t super strict, but I was losing 15-20 pounds a month. Unlike a traditional diet that requires consistent discipline to see any changes, you can easily offset gorging at Thanksgiving with a day or two of fasting before or after that day.

    There are many additional health benefits to fasting so everyone should do it occasionally even if they don’t need to lose weight. However, if you struggle with weight loss, fasting is really the only way to go: each 24 hours fasted was a pound of fat off my body.

    There’s a reason the ancients and every major religion encourage the practice.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  29. ‘…If you are fatter than you want to be, eat less. In most ways this is up to you. You are free to be any weight you like…

    ..I have been reasonably thin all my life…’

    In other words, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    I find this singularly infuriating. My weight has varied throughout my life. I was fat at three, got thin without thinking about it. Got fat at eleven; stayed fat until I was eighteen, when I went on a determined diet and got thin and stayed that way until I was forty or so. Then the weight crept back on, and now I’m dieting at sixty, and am losing weight, thank you.

    But it’s not easy, and when I’ve been thin, I’ve tended to eat absurdly little. I remember a friend would come down to visit me when I lived in LA — he’d wipe out what I regarded as a week’s worth of groceries in one evening.

    You’ve been ‘reasonably thin’ all your life have you? …and yet you presume to lecture those of us who don’t have that happy facility.

    Why don’t you fuck off?

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  30. @RaceRealist88

    ‘Exercise doesn’t induce weight loss.’

    In my experience it does — and unlike James Thompson, I know whereof I speak.

    My great — and successful — diet at eighteen-nineteen included running two miles a day. I kept the weight off through my thirties without thinking about it — probably because I was running a local moving business, and I was known as ‘the mover who runs up stairs’ (well, it’s less tedious than walking up them).

    As I aged — and went over to doing more long-distance moves rather than local, and quit smoking — I started putting on weight again. I noticed, though, that when I built a deck, I promptly shed four or five pounds. It wasn’t heavy exercise, but just continually moving about seemed to make a big difference.

    Now I’m sixty, and yes, I’m dieting, and yes, I’m losing weight. However, I think the real secret is I bought a two-story house built in 1912 that has a full basement. Fixing this place up keeps me perpetually going up and down the stairs — and I’m losing weight again.

  31. RobinG says:
    @Big Fat Guy

    Very well put. James Thompson comes off as quite the idiot. Is he always such a pompous prick? And why is he writing about weight loss at Unz, anyway?

  32. Anonymous[362] • Disclaimer says:

    Automobile society = obesity society.

    And now we’re burning the last 5 inches of midwestern topsoil through our gas tanks.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    • Replies: @RobinG
    , @Philip Owen
  33. Giuseppe says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    ==> at least 10 pounds worth of weight drop per month.

    But not a sustainable diet for the long term, and as you go on and off the wagon (as you inevitably will), like a great adipose tide the weight will just ebb and flow.

  34. The Tattoos does make her look slimmer ?

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  35. @Big Fat Guy

    In other words then, you don’t know anything about obesity.

    Walter Hudson could say the same thing about you. (Were he alive.) As could Bruddah Iz.

  36. @RobinG

    And why is he writing about weight loss at Unz, anyway?

    He does make it sound like environmental factors play a role, which is heresy around here.

  37. @Kratoklastes

    Pah… try again…

    Nope – embedding them as images didn’t work. Bugger.

    Looking at the my log for workout 2, it turns out that workout 2′s metrics were also affected by the fact that I didn’t do it on Zwift.

    I did that one while watching the All Blacks demolish Australia – so the first 20 minutes was a very lame warmup while the TV bobbleheads did team lineups and all the national anthem govno was on… I never really got going until after the haka (then I turned it over to watch my beloved Collingwood get beat by West Coast in the AFL, so the last few minutes also done at a pace more befitting a cortège.

    Want to see my power curve? If I was 60kg I would be a candidate for Team Sky… but when it’s expressed in W/kg I come back to the pack in a big way.

    • Replies: @res
  38. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Kratoklastes

    People who do those super-long medium-intensity endurance events are awesome… one thing that they have in common is that they eat like horses every night.

    For sure.

  39. @RaceRealist88

    That’s because most people consider a two-mile run exercise, while (at my peak) I considered it a day off. I don’t do well on the Western diet, half my family is fat and I was a chubby kid. About 15 years ago in my 20′s I started running seriously and finished a string of marathons with a 3:15 PR. I ran 40+ miles per week year round and hit up to 60 mpw in preparation for certain marathons.

    Running 50 miles per week does induce weight loss. I ate cookies every day. I drank. I ate like a pig. And I was very skinny. I remember that diet, and without the running I’d weigh 300 pounds.

    I now achieve moderate slimness with intermittent fasting. Maybe I’ll comment more on that later.

    • Replies: @Non-Anon-Jew
  40. utu says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    You forgot about (6) Enema (clyster), (7) Wet cold sheet compress and (8) One aspirin. of dr. Grünstein’s treatment

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  41. Anon[237] • Disclaimer says:

    What about the Penn Jillette Diet?

    My request to Anatoly Karlin: Post your current weight in every post you make from here on out.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  42. Anon[156] • Disclaimer says:
    @Gardenofaleph

    Diets work. Sticking to diets is hard.

    This is so clueless.

    If sticking to diets is hard, diets don’t work.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  43. Anon[393] • Disclaimer says:

    I’d like to expand this movement out to encompass tattoos.

    Just stop getting tattooed. Get the ones you have laser removed. Tattooed people are repellent. I do not care about the meaning of your trashy tattoos. I do not want to eat food prepared by people with tattoos. Women with tattoos come off as retarded sluts.

    There, I got it out. I feel better.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  44. utu says:
    @JayMan

    Jayman you operating on a single subroutine using the same template you use to parse the reality. When was the last time you had an original thought? Kindergarten?

    Jayman’s template:

    Nurture doesn’t work. Even something as simple as reading is doomed to failure en masse. (Of course, any particular learning regime might work for a given individual, but that’s far different from a general prescription).

    (This is what was dictated by the subconscious to Jayman: Jamaican en masse will remain stupid except for few special individuals like Jayman)

    It seems people have a intelligence set point, primarily driven by genetic factors, as twin experiments indicate. Apparently intelligence rose over time because the modern environment has driven that point higher for some people. We don’t know, exactly, how the modern environment has done this, but here we are none the less.

    (This is what was dictated by the subconscious to Jayman:: Flynn effect, goddamnit! Those Blacks may get uppity.)

    • LOL: AaronB
  45. sb says:
    @Cortes

    This is not a British site
    Don’t talk about “stones”
    No other country uses this measure
    Simply bad manners

    • Replies: @Cortes
  46. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    When you wrote about this over the winter, I was doing the 5-2 eat less diet, where you limit yourself to 800 calories 2 days per week. I lost 8lbs almost immediately, and then stalled over the next few weeks. Since I wasn’t losing any more weight, and I had no energy for the gym on fast days, I gave up.

    I started another diet last week, after reading about a Dr. Bernstein on Twitter. This fellow is a diabetic and an engineer who went to medical school in his ’40s and came up with a low carb approach. That seems to be the common factor in a lot of diets — his (aim for under 30 grams of carbs per day), Atkins’s, keto, etc.

    Anyhow, down 10lbs in the first week. In the last few years, I’ve been able to lose about 15lbs, but stalled after that. So I think if I can lose another 10lbs, then I can keep this going and drop a lot of weight. I suspect the stalling comes from gradually getting less strict, so I’m going to try to stay in the 30 gram range consistently, eating the same sorts of salads, meats, cheeses, etc. over and over.

    If I can lose the weight, I think I’ve figured out a simple way to maintain it: weigh myself once per week, and whenever I gain 5lbs, go back on the diet. But first I have to lose the weight. We’ll see how this goes.

    • Replies: @Simon Tugmutton
  47. Dumbo says:
    @JayMan

    Maybe they don’t work for you. And for people who can’t control themselves. Eating less (or just what your body needs and not more) may be hard but not at all impossible. Also, drink more water, don’t stay sitting all day, and avoid sugar. (That said, there are genetic factors too. Being ectomorph helps).

  48. lauris71 says:

    A biochemical correction: fat is not convertible to glycose in human body (except glycerol that is small part of total energy in fat). It still enters citric acid cycle though.
    Fatty acids are broken down in 2-carbon (2C) units. These can only be used either for energy or to synthesize new fatty acids. To synthesize sugars or amino acids organism needs at least 3C units.
    This, of course, is of minor importance because in all normal foods there is enough sugars and amino acids to cover the 3C needs.

  49. Tom Welsh says:

    “…remember that high fat like butter, cream, and oils produces far more glucose”.

    One can stop reading there. The quoted statement is wholly untrue and reveals the author’s gross ignorance of nutrition and biochemistry.

    All carbohydrates are converted to glucose. Protein can, under special circumstances, be converted to glucose but a reasonable intake of around 100 grams per day of protein is used preferentially for creating and repairing all bodily tissues.

    Fat is NEVER converted to glucose.

    • Replies: @alan2102
  50. @Anonymous

    ‘When you say “diets don’t work”, what do you mean, exactly? Are you saying that if you, say, locked someone up in a cage and served him lower calorie meals, that he would still be overweight or continue to gain weight despite eating much fewer calories? Or do you mean that people left to their own devices lack the discipline to stick to lower calorie diets? These are two quite different circumstances.’

    One thing that happens is your body says, ‘okay; famine time. Let’s economize.’

    …and it does, and you lose less weight. Worse, if you do this repeatedly, your body gets better at not losing weight in the lean times.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  51. I like to eat, so losing weight is hard. I like popcorn, bread and butter, potato chips, burgers and fries, ice cream, and Chinese food.
    Exercise is a no-brainer since it allows you to eat more! And it tones you up etc. etc. etc.
    Motivation is important. For me, vanity works. I want to look good so I will get laid and will be seen as more youthful and attractive.
    Food choice: Look for foods you like that are not fattening instead of forcing yourself to eat foods that you don’t like. High-protein foods are better at reducing cravings. A fried chicken breast is not ideal but it’s better than a bag of popcorn. A broiled chicken breast is better and still enjoyable.
    I had a lot of success with “the Drinking Man’s Diet” from a diet bestseller of the 60s. The diet consists in limiting carbs. Eat all the fatty foods you like. On this diet I lost 20% of my weight in a couple months and felt great.

    • Agree: Cortes
  52. One thing that always struck me was a Life spread on the opening day of dove season in Texas in 1960 I saw.

    Almost everyone was thin. Yet they weren’t exercising; they just parked their cars along the road and shot from there. Presumably, they enjoyed lots of coke and chips and barbecue and fries without a thought. They had TV’s; lots of sitting around on their butts watching TV.

    So what was it?

    • Replies: @Sparkon
    , @res
  53. Epigon says:

    BMI is bullshit.
    I was “obese” by BMI when I had 7% body fat.

    Ergometer doing HIIT and longer interval training (up to 12 min intervals) is far better than any steady state, aerobic and low intensity long duration bullshit in building AEROBIC ability, not to mention muscle power when doing max pull low frequency or max power max frequency.

    Racing against a friend is not boring and bland, and presents a challenge.

  54. Tyrion 2 says:
    @JayMan

    It seems people have a weight set point, primarily driven by genetic factors, as twin overfeeding experiments indicate. Obesity rose over time because the modern environment has driven that point higher for some people. We don’t know, exactly, how the modern environment has done this, but here we are none the less.

    My weight fluctuates, always hitting a low point just before I go on a beach holiday and a high point after drinking and eating out too much.

    Thank the “modern environment” for its perpispacious timing!

  55. Tyrion 2 says:
    @jb

    My understanding is that many people who are fat find themselves ravenously hungry if they try to eat less. What is your advice for them

    Take up smoking.

    …!

    Seriously, overeating is usually a form of self-medication. They need other coping mechanisms for the vicissitudes of life. The “hunger” they feel is very often “anxiety”, “loneliness” or other unpleasant emotions that eating temporarily abates.

    They need to address those causes/find a better coping mechanism/recognise that overeating contributes to their negative feelings in the long-run; so stopping it might be its own cure.

    • Agree: Stan d Mute
  56. Tyrion 2 says:
    @jb

    BMI is a simple measure. If you’re muscular yet svelte and over your BMI you won’t be worried about it, because you can look in the mirror/girls will make it very clear.

  57. Franz says:

    Actually the human foodchain DID change in the 1970s.

    Dr Davis’ book, Wheat Belly, noted that the World Health Organization with plenty of Rockefeller cash created a crash program in Mexico to “end world hunger.” We all know how that worked out.

    And as a sort of curse, Mexico is now one of the leaders in world obesity.

    Dr Davis pins the problem to the intensive work done to make the world dependent on dwarf wheat, which was cross-bred till it could be harvested several times a year. In a short period of time, this “new wheat” permeated the whole food chain.

    And “ending world hunger” did what? Apart from an obesity epidemic far more expensive than the Black Death, it was also a green light for all the incontinent breeders of the world to do what they do best. Ending hunger triggered human overbreeding.

    Which means a population/migration explosion that will cost more than all human wars combined and just might destroy one of the planet’s major races.

    An early section of the Davis book mentions a stunning fact: A large number of American triathalon competitors are now considered overweight. These are the Spartans of the fitness world and if they’re having troubles, the rest of us are fikked.

    The notion that the human body is a heat exchange device like the rest of the universe is excellent. But what goes in matters hugely. Nuts, meats, veggies, fine. Wheat anything, NO. All other grains, especially rice, goes in the garbage, not in your gut.

    They make kiddie paste from rice; they use it to glue paperdolls together. You really want to eat paste?

  58. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    3. Cold exposure (10%)
    * Cold showers
    * Walk barefoot at home; go underdressed for the local climate
    * Ice baths if you’re hardcore
    * Cheatcode – glass of iced water on waking up

    Your 4 other suggestions were sensible. This one is pretty silly. It must also be quite unpleasant. Why not just go for a 20 minute walk? Or more. You’ll burn more calories in that short time than you ever will by making yourself intentionally cold.

  59. Tyrion 2 says:
    @RaceRealist88

    Go hiking 8 hours a day for a few weeks and get back to me.

    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
  60. @RaceRealist88

    No. But it makes intuitive sense, and I have seen lots of people with realistic ideas on this topic make this point.

  61. Can we just have surgery to remove excess fat from time to time ?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  62. @res

    Re: high blood pressure. I can recommend garlic (natural & tablet). Garlic also has immune system benefits.

  63. Realist says:
    @JayMan

    Diets don’t work.

    Diets don’t work because people do not stick to them. People do not stick to them because they do not care that they are fat.

    If calories in=calories out weight gain will =0. If calories in<calories out weight gain will be<0.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  64. Tom Welsh says:
    @James Thompson

    Coal and petrol are also highly calorific, but consuming them does not increase one’s weight. This is because the human body did not evolve to metabolize them for energy. Experiment seems to show that this is also true of alcohol, although of course the carbohydrates in alcoholic drinks do count. That’s why beer is extremely fattening – the ancient Egyptians called it “liquid bread” – whereas dry red wine is not.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  65. Tom Welsh says:
    @jb

    The conventional BMI is a scientific absurdity. Why would you assess someone’s health by dividing their weight by the square of their height? As far as I know human beings are three dimensional, not flat.

    See https://people.maths.ox.ac.uk/trefethen/bmi.html

  66. @Big Fat Guy

    Would you regard statements about calories as more valid if they came from someone who was overweight? I put in a personal statement precisely because some people would regard it as unfair if I did not disclose it. Also, do you imagine that I cannot put on weight? I can do so in a couple of weeks. Anyone can do so. I do not under-estimate that many find it difficult, hence some general suggestions.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @AKAHorace
    , @Philip Owen
  67. Tom Welsh says:
    @Anonymous

    “Diets don’t work” means that trying to restrict food intake and increase exercise will, other things unchanged, merely lead to ravenous hunger and physical and mental deterioration. See

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Starvation_Experiment

    If you will take the time and trouble to read, e.g., Gary Taubes’s “Good Calories, Bad Calories” you will learn that different foods have very different effects. Specifically, a diet that as far as possible excludes all carbohydrates will allow weight to be lost without hunger.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @The Alarmist
  68. @jb

    I agree that this is an initial problem. All I can suggest is eating a quantity of low calorie foods for the two or three weeks probably required to adjust.

  69. Tom Welsh says:
    @RaceRealist88

    “Exercise doesn’t induce weight loss”.

    That depends entirely on the exercise. A round or two of golf or a leisurely 3-mile walk doesn’t do a lot to shift weight.

    Running 100 miles a week most certainly does. A handful of pathological cases have been recorded in which no amount of exercise would reduce weight at all, but for ordinary people it’s just a matter of doing enough exercise.

    And no, it doesn’t just make you so hungry you eat a lot more. On the contrary, running 10-20 miles will probably kill your appetite for several hours.

    Of course, all this assumes a good diet with minimal sugar and other refined carbohydrates.

  70. @jb

    BMI is based on height, so sex differences in height are accommodated for. Remember, this is the general case, sufficient for population measures.

    • Replies: @jb
    , @anon
    , @res
  71. Tom Welsh says:
    @Patricus

    “My sister in law and her group biked across the United States averaging 100 miles per day. She told me she never lost a pound. So much for exercise”.

    Is it possible she gained some muscle as a result of all that exercise? Muscle weighs much more than fat.

    It would have been a good idea to compare some measurements as well as weighing.

  72. @David JW

    I am glad that you and I agree that the advice is humdrum. However, it is not generally accepted, it would seem. Some people do not know how many calories are contained in the drinks and foods they eat. It is not necessarily obvious, though it will be well-known to many readers of this blog. Even here, there are many who would question that calorie reduction is a requirement, or the key requirement in reducing weight. I have tried to suggest ways in which someone wishing to reduce their weight should go about it, questioning the much more complicated approaches which have been proposed. I have said, very clearly I thought, that even giving this advice should not be necessary.

    Why are so many people over-eating? Probably because they can, because of the Haber process, and insecticides.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @reiner Tor
  73. @Colin Wright

    Your personal experience illustrates my point. You have successfully dieted, and clearly know how to do so. My weight also increased in middle age, and also increases when I eat more now. I don’t think I have a “happy facility” to stay slim. I have maintained some calorific restrictions since age 30, which later lapsed. Controlling how much one eats is not easy now that food is plentifully available. Also, my point was that it was not easy, even though the basics are simple. In my view there are too many complicated approaches to this problem. If those complicated approaches work for some people, then fine, but they may also distract from the underlying cause of being over-weight.

  74. @Colin Wright

    Er, you make my point. Running two miles every day and moving furniture for a living is much more than the average citizen does now, in the UK at least. For many people the exertion level during the day is only slightly higher than the metabolic level when asleep.

  75. People these days are stressed and lead unbalanced lives. Eating relieves stress initially, but increases it later as weight is gained. That said.

    Weight gain or loss may or may not be the issue. It’s fat gain that people usually dislike.

    As men get older their testosterone levels fall and they begin to lose muscle and increase fat so you might want to look into something like Testolone (Rad-140). Or other form of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).

    Metabolism falls off so you might want to look into Stenobolic (SR9009).

    You may or may not lose weight, but you should be able to recomp (recomposition).

    The girl in the photo should probably use a few drops of Stenobolic three times a day in grapefruit juice and ride a recumbent stationery bike with a build in heart rate monitor 30 minutes per day. She wants to hit her training heart rate and maintain it while keeping her breathing under control. Once she starts to feel better, she could lead a more active balanced life.

    Periodic fasting can also help recomp.

    Stenobolic and Testolone are both experimental substances. Use at your own risk.

    https://narrowslabs.com/products/stenabolic-sr-9009-suspension-25mg-30ml

    • Replies: @Ola
  76. @RobinG

    I have been blogging about weight loss since 2013 because being over-weight causes health problems which are best avoided. It is rated by most health authorities as one of our most pressing health problems. If you put “diet” or “fat” into the search bar for my columns you will find about 10 posts. I picked out these two simply as a start.

    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/diet-is-iq-test/

    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/fat-prejudice-and-slim-conclusions

    • Replies: @clownworld
  77. @Tyrion 2

    Why do you think I made the claim I did?

  78. Bruce says:

    The US Navy’s body fat calculator, while not perfect, is pretty accurate. You can find it online. Men are considered physically fit at 17% body fat or less and this is enough to greatly lower mortality rates compared to the general population.

    You can also use a simple rule of thumb. Your waist circumference, measured at your navel, should be half your height or less.

  79. @Tyrion 2

    Making yourself cold is massively more efficient (and less work ofc) in terms of burning calories than any kind of exercise.

    Excellent solution for lazy people.

    I can try to dig up the numbers if you wish.

    Pleasant/unpleasant – it really depends. Drinking a glass of cold water in the morning is excellent, and not at all unpleasant – quite refreshing, actually. I personally find it perfectly ok to walk in sandals in all but sub-zero temperatures; some people I’ve met on this website can confirm. And I walk barefoot at home by default. Obviously tastes will differ. On the other hand, I do find cold showers rather challenging for some reason. My new apartment has a massive shower area and I plan to finally acclimatize myself to them this winter.

    • Agree: Tyrion 2
    • Replies: @mobi
  80. @utu

    Aspirins are indeed great – one of the extremely few supplements unambiguously found to effectively combat morbidity, prolong lifespans.

    I don’t consume them for medical reasons specific to myself, but otherwise I certainly would.

  81. DanFromCT says:

    If you ride enough the problem is keeping the weight on, not off. I used to climb and train to climb until I started road cycling, and that was that. There’s something very special and rewarding about the pace and effort of road cycling, without the pressure of some impossibly ambitious “training” program, diet, or having to go to a gym. Weight, diet, bad sleep, too much beer or wine, they’ll fall in place by themselves as cycling becomes the replacement that one has to be restrained from doing rather than feeling pressured to do.

    I’m no expert, but I’d offer to say that those just starting out might want to get a good “gravel bike,” which is a road bike but a little sturdier than the racing style and with safer and more comfortable 37 mm wide (1-1/2 inch) tires. The “drop” style handlebars are great but take some time to adjust to. The flat handlebars leave you upright into a wind, which serious cyclists won’t tolerate. Avoid buying a heavy tank sort of bike, unless planning on riding mostly sidewalks or off-road. The refinements of cycling will come from engaging with others out on the road. Newcomers will probably have to go through some discomfort for a short time as their muscles and joints stretch and adjust. Every cycling topic imaginable, including stuff like changing a rear tube in minutes, is available on videos.

    I went from aches and pains for a year riding a bike not fitted to me, which poor fit is the number one mistake newcomers make and cause of giving it up. I then got a decent racing bike that’s properly fitted, never looked back, and just went past 30k mikes on it in 3-1/2 years, enjoying it like no sport I’ve tried in the past. I hope those struggling with whatever it is, if they give cycling a try, will get as much out of it as I have, and I didn’t take it up until my late 60s. And it is true that if I did it, then definitely anyone can. Also, there are clubs for every level for instant socializing, conraderie, and support. I hope I’ve given at least one person enough reason to get riding and stop all the worrying about falling short.

    • Replies: @anon
  82. NotBotero says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Karlin nailed it, his post contains the best solutions to a problem originating with “expert” and government (food pyramid) advice which was to avoid all fats and eat eleven portions a day of bread, grains, pasta, cereals, which of course are all starches that convert to glucose (said glucose spiking the insulin which is the hormone that stores fat).

    The article generally makes sense, but things like this do not:

    “…remember that high fat like butter, cream, and oils produces far more glucose.” No. Starchy carbs will produce glucose, and some portion of protein ingested will be converted into glucose. Fats per se do not produce glucose or generally spike insulin which is why high fat low carb ketogenic lifestyles work so well for both dieters and diabetics.

    Poster JB might note that high fat low carb lifestyles also have the advantage of eliminating the hunger cravings once you go through the induction period which can last a couple weeks or so.

    What is most disconcerting is that the picture of the obese woman posted on this article is an exact reflection of most of the medical team at our local medical centers. When you walk through the medical buildings everyone, from the receptionists to the nurses and doctors, look like models for a Botero painting. And during my check-ups, they invariably ask me for nutritional and exercise advice, then of course send me a fat invoice.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  83. @JayMan

    Diets don’t work.

    I believe on you.

  84. @RaceRealist88

    99 percent of diets fail.

    Jissuss,
    i’m absolutely lucky!!!!!

    My GOD helped me.

    What is behavior*

  85. @David JW

    There is nothing insightful in this article.

    Welcome to the Unz.

  86. @Mr Reynard

    Empathetic levels by Unz boyz…

    Thomp, it’s your sister*

    • Replies: @Mr Reynard
  87. Sparkon says:
    @Colin Wright

    So what was it?

    Artificial sweeteners…

    A rise in the percent of the population who are obese coincides with an increase in the widespread use of non-caloric artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame (e.g., Diet Coke) and sucralose (e.g., Pepsi One),

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892765/

    …along with high fructose corn syrup.

    HFCS was first marketed in the early 1970s by the Clinton Corn Processing Company, together with the Japanese Agency of Industrial Science and Technology where the enzyme was discovered in 1965.
    – Wikipedia

    I have written before under James Thompson’s articles about the obvious connection between obesity and these substances (HFCS and artificial sweetners), so I am a little disappointed Dr. Thompson could not manage to give even a tiny nod to this issue.

  88. jb says:
    @James Thompson

    Sex differences are not accounted for! That was the point of my bringing up my old girlfriend: we were both the same height, so our healthy BMI ranges should have been the same, which would have been complete nonsense. Populations are just aggregations of individuals, so a metric that makes no sense for individuals can’t make sense for populations either. (And of course individuals are often told on an individual basis that their BMIs are problematic, so it’s not like BMI is used only — or even predominantly — as a population measure).

  89. @Anon

    I haven’t been following that advice (the critical keto + IMF part is rather hard to do when living with committed normies).

    But I know it works.

    And I’ll repeat it when I move to my new apartment.

  90. @Tyrion 2

    I think most of your calorie intake goes into keeping your body temperature warm. Am I incorrect? So basically you can burn more calories in a cold bath than by walking a little. (Most calories burnt during a walk are, as far as I know, used to keep your body warm.)

    Taking cold showers actually feels great, once you get used to it. Though I only do 30+ seconds a day (though if I switch to warm shower afterwards, I’ll repeat it to end with a cold shower), or 60+ seconds of a cold water bath, because doing too much might make sleeping more difficult. (Despite doing these only in the morning or early afternoon, never before going to sleep.)

    Anyway, it does burn calories and feels great, and has a number of health benefits. By the way so does sauna (also burns calories, basically a no-impact cardiovascular training).

  91. @Realist

    You cannot realistically starve the whole time. Some people with exceptional willpower can starve for months and never give it up, but then their performance will suffer. If you eat lots of sugar, drink sugary drinks, etc., you’ll crave more. The solution is to cut them out. You’ll crave them for a few weeks, and then the cravings will decrease and even completely disappear over time. Unfortunately it’s difficult, because people will keep eating desserts in your presence. But if you know that that’s what you need to restrict, it’s easier.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @Dave Pinsen
  92. @James Thompson

    As others have pointed out, if you simply proportionally decrease the amount of food you consume, you’ll merely induce ravenous hunger in yourself. If you have enough willpower to keep to the diet, your performance will hugely deteriorate. If you have not the required (exceptional) willpower, you’ll simply get back to eating a lot.

    So the solution is to eat foods which create a sense of fulfillment while containing less calories. This means fatty foods. While pound for pound fat contains twice as many calories, fatty foods (especially if they don’t contain sugar and are low on carbs in general) are so much more difficult to eat in large quantities, that you’ll eat less calories from them. That said, there are individual differences (i.e. some people need more carbs, some no carbs at all, in general I think most people of European descent need to eat considerable amounts of carbs, just less than they normally do, and with very little to no sugar).

  93. @James Thompson

    The best advice you gave was cutting sugary drinks (including beer). I found it easy to follow, and it didn’t result in any increase in hunger.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  94. anon[131] • Disclaimer says:
    @Kratoklastes

    You must be extremely fit or your equipment is lying to you – or I’m missing something. At your approximate size and being younger, I do about 11km in 30 min of outdoor cycling with no hills (while stopping at a red light or two) at what I would consider medium-high intensity. That’s about 22 km/h. Going at more than twice that speed (you said 150 km in 3-4 50 min sessions) would be insane. That’s Tour de France cyclist on EPO and steroids territory.

  95. the keto diet works pretty well…i am zero carb now…lots of fatty meat and some eggs

  96. Tulip says:

    Its not that easy.

    Prolonged calorie deficits create a condition known as metabolic adaptation, whereby young women can end up doing 2 hours of cardio per day and gain fat if they go over 1200 calories. [Your body can naturally adapt to about a 30% calorie deficit.]

    A diet is only going to be effective 3 months, 6 months at the max, and should be 20-25% calorie deficit. Less won’t work because the metabolism quickly adapts, and more will create severe fatigue and risk for binging. It should be followed with a reverse diet gradually adding back the calories to maintenance calories, and then maintenance diet for an equal or greater period before the next diet phase. Your body also freaks out if there is a rapid change over about 10% in body weight.

    This process can take years, and should incorporate cardio and strength training on a weekly basis.

    Just trying to eat less is going to cause metabolic adaptation and possibly set off a pattern of binge eating and purging. [Not to mention people underestimate their caloric consumption and overestimate their caloric requirements, so unless it is quantitative it won't work.]

  97. @Colin Wright

    “Fixing this place up keeps me perpetually going up and down the stairs . . .”

    LOL

  98. @Dave Pinsen

    May I suggest weighing yourself daily, at the same time (i.e. first thing)? Then enter the daily weights in a spreadsheet. They’ll fluctuate of course, but if you also set up moving averages (7-day, 14-day, 28-day) you can see the trend very easily. As soon as you perceive that the moving average is going up, you know you’re gaining and it’s easier then to cut back slightly. 5 lbs is the equivalent of about 17,500 kcal to burn, which is quite a bit.

    Good luck, anyhow. It can be tough these days keeping in trim. Temptation is all around us!

  99. AKAHorace says:
    @James Thompson

    Advice from someone who has trouble loosing weight and/or has been fat and is now thin would be more useful than advice from someone who dieted down from normal weight to being slim.

    How useful would advice on quitting drinking be from someone who never drank ? on quitting smoking from someone who never smoked ? Do we really need another article telling us that it is not a good idea to be fat ?

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  100. @JayMan

    My n=1 sample showed a permanent weight loss of 40 pounds.

    How’d I do it? I replaced beer, snacking, and fast food with a ketogenic diet and fasting. No doubt total energy intake was less as Thompson would point out.

    It was difficult at first, but eventually new habits formed.

    You’re the liberalism of the future. “We can’t blame these losers for being losers because genes.”

    • Replies: @glib
  101. @Big Fat Guy

    Thin people arguments are always the same. Because I am thin, you should be thin too, and if you are not, it is because you are a weak, defective human being.

    It is like a smart person telling a dumb person they would not be stupid if they would just quit doing stupid things.

    Why yes, it’s exactly like that..

  102. Tulip says:

    As far as diet, high protein, high fiber will give you greater saiety.

    I’m not a believer in keto, in my experience, carbs are better for managing hunger in deficit than fat, but it doesn’t matter if you keep the calories down–its just easier with complex carbs.

    Marcos: 40% protein – 10-30% fat – 40-20% carb–and max out the fiber (20-40 grams). I’d be down around 10-15% fat and 45-50% carb.

    And no sugar drinks–its just calories without saiety.

  103. Mike1 says:
    @JayMan

    Eating less obviously does work. If you don’t believe it I am happy to prove it by locking you in a confined space, forcing you to do moderate exercise and feeding you 1,000 calories a day. You will lose weight.
    All you are saying is that most people are crazy lazy.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  104. Mike1 says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I’m trying to find a more kind word than stupid but I’m not finding one. Stupid. Ice baths…
    EAT LESS. Done.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  105. Tulip says:

    2 1/2 years ago I was running at 214 lbs, and about 37% body fat.

    6 months ago I was running at 221 lbs, and about 28% body fat.

    Today, I am just under 200 lbs and probably ~18% body fat on a completely average male frame for size and bone circumference. I spent two years putting on 30 lbs of lean body mass and then three months dropping 10kg.

  106. JayMan says: • Website
    @Gardenofaleph

    Diets work. Sticking to diets is hard.

    It’s useless if people can’t stick to it, right?

    Think about it: does an animal in the wild have to watch what it eats?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  107. Mike1 says:
    @Anon

    ““You” don’t have any more choice about how you eat than you do about the existance of any other genetic traits.”
    I’ve noticed for a long time how nuts blank slaters are but I’ve only recently noticed how crazy genetic determinists are.
    Parental investment matters (genetic fetishists insist it is irrelevant) and yes, you have some choice about how much food to gobble down!

    • Replies: @Anon
  108. anon[193] • Disclaimer says:
    @Big Fat Guy

    “I’ve been 7 feet tall most of my life and have always been able to dunk a basketball. Therefore, you should be able to dunk a basketball with ease.”

  109. res says:
    @Kratoklastes

    That chart looks like what you might expect from a 70kg rider.

    After I posted I figured out you were probably a big guy. Thanks.

    That said, I am an absolute fucking beast, yo.

    Indeed. What’s your max heart rate? VO2max?

    How does your trainer’s measured speed compare to what you see on the road?

    I should point out that the ‘intensity’ numbers generated by Strava in those images, are calculated base on FTP (funcitonal threshold power) not heart rate; my FTP is 288, but that was achieved in a ride where my pulse was never out of ‘tempo’ for more than a couple of minutes (i.e., I was nowhere near threshold). I target HR, not power.

    Thanks for clarifying that. If I calculate correctly that puts your FTP estimate there at about 2.9 W/kg which definitely seems low compared to the other numbers. I sadly don’t have a power meter, but a recent 2.5 min Strava segment estimated me at ~3.4 W/kg at ~90% max heart rate (which I used to be able to maintain for a while, but haven’t done extended high power output recently). When I was fitter I was a bit faster at 8% lower heart rate. Not a beast, but fast enough to have fun ; )

    P.S. To embed image directly try changing dl=0 to raw=1 in the link (worked in initial post at least)

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  110. anon[211] • Disclaimer says:
    @James Thompson

    But well-known sex differences in bone mass and density, muscle mass, etc. are not accounted for.
    A man of the same height, weight, and therefore BMI, as a woman will typically be a lot leaner and stronger.

  111. Realist says:
    @reiner Tor

    You cannot realistically starve the whole time.

    That is just the attitude that causes fat ass. Maintaining your weight or getting to your ideal weight is not starving.

    Unfortunately it’s difficult, because people will keep eating desserts in your presence.

    It’s called willpower. Lots of things in life take willpower. Learn to cope.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    , @reiner Tor
  112. res says:
    @Kratoklastes

    Want to see my power curve?

    Actually, I would if you were being serious. Sounds like you are pretty intense about training. Do you race?

  113. anon[168] • Disclaimer says:
    @DanFromCT

    If the goal is to lose overweight (fat) through energy expenditure, rather than win races, why not buy a heavy, inefficient bike? Efficiency of motion, while more fun, is the enemy of fat loss.

    I’ve biked on a quasi-road bike with skinny tires for years, but now am thinking that a cruiser-type bike with balloon tires is both more comfortable and causes you expend more energy. Another way is off-road biking on an MTB/”fat-tire” bike.

  114. @AKAHorace

    Interesting. How about advice from someone of unknown weight who had conducted relevant studies and surveyed the literature?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  115. res says:
    @jb

    My understanding is that many people who are fat find themselves ravenously hungry if they try to eat less. What is your advice for them?

    Focus on more satiating food. Avoid spiking insulin (which crashes blood glucose and makes one ravenous).

    For more concrete suggestions, taking fiber supplements (e.g. psyllium or ground flaxseed) with water before meals increases the feeling of satiety and slows digestion (and adds minimal calories). Eating more fat or protein and less carbs will do the same (but with a possible increase in caloric intake). Eat more vegetables–especially those which are bulky for the number of calories they contain.

    Stop drinking sweet (sugar OR artificial) drinks.

    The basic goals are to increase the satiety/calorie ratio and even out blood glucose over the day.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  116. nickels says:
    @JayMan

    For once, I have to agree with the JayMan.

    I know that in my own case, there is a set amount of exercise which, If I do it, will result in my weight being stable. Any attempt to go below that and the weight comes on.

    Each body was made for a certain type of activity. Mine was made to roam through the Germanic forests and chase pigs. It is not satisfied by sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen.

    The obvious point being, the metabolism is as important as outright number of calories. Reducing the amount of exercise reduces the metabolism, and an attempt to reduce calorie intake to match that reduces the metabolism even more.

    Also, even though we may have power over eating habits in the short term, the long term is almost purely decided by forces beyond the control of the average mortal, somewhere hidden deep in the glands.

    All of this, of course, changes at different ages. Also, sickness can really mess things up, as the weakness from sickness can lead to an aberrant appetite (I feel weak, I need to eat).

    Its all a very complex mix, but I believe the key is finding the exercise level that your body is tuned to and obeying.

  117. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:
    @Colin Wright

    But the way the body economizes in lean times is by tapping into the body’s energy stores, like fat and muscle tissue, which comprise a lot of body weight, while preserving critical tissue like the brain, organs, etc.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  118. res says:
    @James Thompson

    BMI is based on height, so sex differences in height are accommodated for. Remember, this is the general case, sufficient for population measures.

    I disagree with this. The body composition of men and women of similar heights is typically quite different.

    This meta-analysis indicates that the shape of the binned BMI mortaility curves is similar, but men are more adversely effected by non-ideal BMIs (this roughly supports your statement IMHO): https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320963052_Body-mass_index_and_all-cause_mortality_individual-participant-data_meta-analysis_of_239_prospective_studies_in_four_continents

    But in my own finer grained look at NHANES III data the mortality curves (continuous splines) show women with a much flatter low risk range from roughly 19.5 to 25 while men show minimum risk at about 25, with 22 actually being higher risk than 30.

    So roughly speaking the center of the low risk BMI range for men is about 3 points higher than it is for women. Which seems important to me. Even as a population measure.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  119. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tom Welsh

    I’m familiar with Taubes.

    It’s not true that restricting food intake leads to “deterioration”. In fact there are studies that show food restriction heightens mental awareness and faculties, which makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. When you’re starving, you need your brain working to figure out how to obtain food.

    https://coach.nine.com.au/2016/04/06/17/01/the-mystery-behind-the-207kg-scotsman-who-fasted-for-over-a-year

    Here at Coach, we come across some pretty extreme diet routines on a weekly basis. But nothing – and I mean nothing – comes close to an unnamed Scottish man in 1965 who lost weight by surviving off nothing but his own body fat for over a year…

    After an astonishing 382 days – or one year and 17 days – Mr A B had reduced his bodyweight from 207 kilograms to just 82 kilograms, a massive loss of 125 kilograms.

    Incredibly, when researchers checked back with Mr A B five years after the conclusion of the experiment, he had only regained 7 kilograms, and had no ill effects from the entire year he went without food.

    Almost all of Mr A B’s daily energy requirements were taken from his vast fat stores which, as it turns out, even relatively lean people can survive on for extended periods.

  120. Cortes says:
    @sb

    I must’ve missed your coronation.

    Just as well I didn’t go metric.

    Soccer blew! (as one American fictional character said).

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  121. ronehjr says:

    Only in the dumbest time period in the history of human kind would something like this need to be written.

  122. @JayMan

    Solution: use state power to eliminate our obesogenic environment.

    Indeed, no known population of human hunter-gatherers features obesity.

  123. @Mike1

    As many people have remarked in this thread, this is easier said than done. “Eating less” is 10x easier on a keto diet.

    Telling people to “eat less” without that vital context is useless and misguided at best, which will result in either failure or low performance.

    Keto is (relatively) extremely easy, it just requires you to be a bit of a social autist when going out. But I doubt that’s a problem for many of us on this august webzine.

    • LOL: Philip Owen
    • Replies: @Mike1
    , @notanon
  124. @Thorfinnsson

    Trump needs to make Bronze Age Pervert health secretary in a show of power to intimidate “but muh food pyramid” soycucks into submission.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  125. nickels says:
    @Low Voltage

    Thanks for that. My nurse sister approves of the message.

  126. Anonymous[202] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Building and flying helicopters is hard. Helicopters still work.

    Difficulty of a task does not necessarily negate its efficacy.

    Although there are those prone to never succeeding in certain tasks.

  127. Anonymous[202] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    I agree with you.

    “Tattoos in the current year could be seen as a sort of ‘maimgeld’: the tribute that White women pay in self-disfigurement to a growing Diversitopia they live in that both covets the White women’s exquisite natural looks and hates it to the verge of eliminationist rage. So all these negative body modifications by Whites could be construed as an effort to blend invisibly into the muddying waters of late stage America.” heartiste.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/tattoos-as-maimgeld/

    “the common theme is that they [tattoos] serve as a banner of abuse and neglect”

    http://www.addictiontoday.org/the-psychology-of-tattoo-acquisition/

  128. @Anatoly Karlin

    I would flip 1. and 2. in order of importance as I believe that Intermittent Fasting is incredibly effective for eating less yet feeling satiated. Combine this with a low carb or Keto diet (also increases satiety) and you have a winning formula.

    If one attempts to simply do caloric restriction with out utilizing the above two tools, 99% will fail. Studies have shown that all diets work but all people eventually stop their diets because caloric restriction eventually overcomes your will power. The only way to long term weight management is by hacking satiety.

  129. @James Thompson

    Please research Dr Fung and his hormonal theory of weight gain as others have suggested. There is some truth to the insulin theory, all the while it does not completely throw the CICO theory out the window.

    Regardless of which theory is the correct or more correct model, one thing is almost universally accepted; intermittent fasting once you get past the initial few days makes you feel fuller and it takes less effort to consume less Calories, which is perfectly consistent with CICO.

  130. Insulin is the primary culprit in converting excess fuel, i.e. glucose, into fat. The problem many obese people have nowadays is that they are insulin resistant because their blood insulin levels have consistently been (and continue to be) too high, owing in part to eating too much crap (like carbs) too often throughout the day.

    The advice of the American Diabetes Association and its counterparts in other developed nations seems almost designed to create more obesity and diabetes. Eating small meals throughout the day triggers higher insulin levels throughout the day, leading ultimately to insulin resistance, especially if the frequent meals follow the misguided food pyramid, which places too much emphasis on carbs.

    Try intermittent fasting, where you eat during an 8-hour window and fast for 16: Skip a meal, ideally dinner, but breakfast is probably easiest to skip (it is not the most important meal of the day), and you will easily cut out 600 to 1000 calories from the excess your other meals contribute over the roughly 2000 you actually need per day to maintain your weight, and the extra several hours without eating will allow your blood sugar and insulin levels to settle down to more normal values rather than remaining elevated.

    Eat less often, eat more healthy fats and fewer carbs, and, yes, exercise. Eat real food, like butter and olive oil, which do not trigger as much insulin response as processed crap like sunflower or corn oil. Ignore the advice about limiting dietary cholesterol because low-fat diets, especially when supplemented with carbs or sweetened with sugars, end up being more fattening than actual fat eaten in moderation, and it is your liver that creates serum cholesterol and pumps up production of it when you eat less of dietary cholesterol.

  131. RobinG says:
    @Anonymous

    And now we’re burning the last 5 inches of midwestern topsoil through our gas tanks.

    Good point. “Bio-fuels” are such and absurd fraud.

  132. @Tom Welsh

    The Minnesota experiment was flawed in that participants actually ate too often, which did not allow them to get past the ravenous hunger. They would have fared better if they had done an actual fast for more than a few days (it takes me three days to lose the hunger sensation). My mental acuity remains quite sharp through a fast (i’ve done up to 21 days of water fasting, further putting the Minnesota experiment to be a bit of misinformation). In any case, the re-feeding experience is something to be done with great care, which was a useful learning from the Minnesota study.

    What you are hinting at with low-carb is best described as a ketogenic diet, and a lot of body-builders and some marathoners swear by it.

  133. @Tom Welsh

    Stick to vodka and skip eating.

  134. @Kratoklastes

    HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is easier for the average human to fit into their busy lives, and in some respects is more beneficial.

  135. Who dat beauty? Like to get some da meat! Just kidding. If you want to be skinnier than eat a lot less… it isn’t rocket science!

  136. @Thorfinnsson

    How many fat Cambodians were there in Pol Pot’s day? Now there was a guy who knew how to use state power to get things done!

  137. Tulip says:

    BMI is for anorexic nutritionists. Its all about lean mass to body fat.

    A natural body builder, 5′ 9″ at 10% bf can weight 192, for a BMI of 28.2. If he puts on twelve pounds, he’s 204, “obese” at about 15-16% body fat.

    But its total crap to claim he is less healthy than some soy boy carrying 40 lbs. of fat with at 165 lbs. with a BMI under 25 lbs. and almost 25% body fat.

  138. Seraphim says:
    @JayMan

    Diets do work finely. The real difficulty resides in keeping them. Eating to much is an indulgence (ditto for drinking, smoking, drug abuse) and the hardest thing for people is to give up their indulgences (aggravated in the permissive culture of our days). In the past people were fasting, fasting being a method of curbing the indulgences until it became a habit. It was an ascese, imposed by religion and by the obvious medical benefits, fully understood by all classes of society and consciously followed. It is a truism that the mind is more alert when fasting, the body is more agile, the senses become more acute. There is also a sense of satisfaction that you have broken a dependency, a sense of liberation, a sense that you are (as much as it is possible) in control of your life.

  139. Film recommendation:

    The Greatest

  140. gwynedd1 says:
    @JayMan

    I am about 10% lighter for years just by changing my diet. Weird huh?

  141. Apologies for not reading through all the comments yet, but…some quick points:

    1) Genes or environment, as always and particularly with obesity, is a genotype-by-environment interaction. To reuse my favorite example, my paternal grandmother smoked heavily everyday since she was 14 and sailed past 90 with no cigarette-related illnesses. Cigarettes don’t kill everyone. In our natural (ancestral) environment humans don’t get fat. In our current environment, some will get fat and some will not, and that is a classic genotype-by-environment interaction.

    2) Much of weight gain is related to insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes is an extreme form of insulin resistance. It’s been demonstrated that nearly everyone with Type 2 diabetes can cure the disease by cutting out all high-glycemic foods from their diet. Pretty much everyone losses weight on this diet.

    3) For environment, it’s true that we’re less active, but we’re also eating foods that are not natural to us, and that’s a primary cause of obesity. For most of our existence, 99% of our calories came from wild versions of what we call fruits, vegetables and meat. 12,000 years ago some humans began transitioning to agriculture, but it took thousands of years to spread. For example, Northern Europe probably didn’t fully begin the transition until about 6-7,000 years ago. Even after we switched, most of the grain consumed was whole grain. Refined grain and sugar have only been widely available for about 200 years. That’s not enough time for meaningful selection.

    It’s telling that there’s a correlation between how well people handle the Western diet and how long they’ve had agriculture. Compare peoples that never developed agriculture (Plains Indians, Aborigines) with Eurasians.

    Switching back to our “natural” diet – aka Paleo diet – would solve a lot of obesity problems. Try getting fat on steak, organ meat, some leafy greens and the occasional orange with zero pasta or sugar. Good luck and report back.

    4) Satiation is important. Eat 500 calories of steak salad v. 500 calories of sugary breakfast cereal. Which one fills you up, and how satiated do you feel 2 hours later?

    5) Combining the above points, it’s not just calories in, calories out. All else being equal, a low-glycemic/Paleo diet will facilitate weight loss more than Big Macs and ice cream.

    6) I don’t come from a skinny family and don’t have skinny genetics, yet I’m practically slim by American standards. So far, I’ve only found two effective diets

    1. Intermittent fasting influenced by Paleo thinking. Pure Paleo is simply too hard and takes too much discipline. The research on intermittent fasting is all very positive. First, it helps increase insulin sensitivity/health given equal calories and food. Second, people find it’s easy to stick to. It’s not a magic bullet but it’s damn close. I eat my first meal at around 11:30 am and my last meal around 6:30 pm. I also try to avoid sugar, but it’s more addictive than anything else I’ve ingested in my lifetime, so I have yet to cut it out completely.

    2. Not really relevant, but I used to be a marathon runner and approached close to 50 miles per week year round. Oh man, I ate like a pig and was as thin as a stick. My wife and I both work and we have a baby and a toddler, so that’s not happening again. That said, this was my favorite diet that worked!

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  142. gwynedd1 says:

    The problem is people keep focusing on the fuel instead of the gauge. Of course eating less will cause one to loose weight. People generally have as much water and salt as they crave. Its not a conscious decision.

    The balanced diet is a the real freak diet. Tell me when in history we could have a huge heap of protein and fat? Oh that’s right , thousands of years….. Tell, when could we pig out on fruit and grains? Oh that’s right many people did for thousands of years. Tell me, when could people pig out on fries and a hamburger containing protein carbs and saturated fat? The last few centuries if you were lucky.

    Saturated fats and sugar in the same meal, not separate meals of binge periods caused over eating. People will not over eat honey. They will not over eat butter. Doesn’t happen. They will over eat fries, pies, pizza, ice cream , fried chicken and so on because its both calorie dense and difficult to convert into quick energy due to the rise of insulin preventing fat metabolism and and palmetic acid down regulating GLUT-4 causing the pancreas to go overdrive with insulin. If you do combine carbs and fat then legumes and olive oil tend not to be as problematic given its fatty acids tend not to down regulate GLUT-4 and blood sugar tends to rise more slowly.

  143. @Anatoly Karlin

    BAP’s power level is too high for such a limited role.

    I propose Dennis Mangan:

    http://roguehealthandfitness.com

    https://twitter.com/mangan150

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  144. Max Payne says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Next to zero carbs. A piece of green vegetable with the chicken/beef/fish is ok, but not more.

    Does no one on Unz.com do any form of physical activities? Hockey or Brazilian Ju Jitsu or biking or climbing or anything?

    (If you said “I walk” or “I hike” that is not a physical activity I assure you)

    Only women and queers worry about what they should eat or how much they should work out because they had a bag of M&Ms (to be fair though I don’t think queers care what they put in their mouths).

    Just fucking adopt a physical activity as part of your LIFE. FULL STOP.

    I’d probably kill myself if I wasn’t allowed to eat pasta or pizza or poutine. Why even bother with life at that point…. What next? Stop drinking? Lay off amphetamines? Suck dick?

    And if fasting worked dune coons wouldn’t be the disgusting fat-bodies that they are (have you seen some of those ‘war-torn’ Syrian soldiers? You’d think a KFC opened up at the edge of Idlib). Those fags fast like 30 days a year sunrise to sunset (which I imagine in summer only gives you 8 hours of eating time at night).

    If you ask me it all boils down to boredom really. Gamers generally are bored (and boring) people, so they game and CONSUME to alleviate boredom and then forget to actually do any real activity. Boredom breeds a faux hunger. Don’t get bored and don’t be boring. Sitting on your ass makes you boring. True story.

    • Replies: @Unzerker
  145. @Empire Liquor Market

    Fasting may be useful and safe for many people, but not for people with gout or diabetes.

  146. Philip Owen says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    This is noticeable in Russia. When I first started visiting 20 years ago, the only fat people were in middle age. Now there are many fat people and it seems anecdotaly to correlate with car (automobile) ownership. Of course, if you can afford a car, you can probably afford to stock up at a large supermarket. Meanwhile the poor walk up 5 filights of stairs carrying plastic bags of food from the local produce store. I will guess that exercise holds off weight gain (my experience, I think). It is rarely a route to weight loss. Certainly, if you already exercise, adding a higher dose does little. Some anorexics “cure” themselves by becoming long distance runners or triathletes. They switch the locus of control from food to exercise.

  147. Agent76 says:

    Mar 21, 2017 Here’s How To Detox Your Entire Body To Never Be Sick Or Tired Again

    So, today we have a recipe for full-body detoxification that will remove radiation, heavy metals, and other poisons from your body. This recipe uses an Epsom salt, a potent mineral base that creates reverse osmosis, a process that eliminates the salt and other harmful toxins from of the body, allowing the sulfate and magnesium to penetrate the body.

  148. @reiner Tor

    Yes. My experience has been that when I’m fat, it’s my fault because of poor impulse control and failing to follow rules proven to work for me, period.

    I know what works for me to be at a healthy weight and blood pressure: stay away from added sugars (soda, cake, candy, even tomato sauce or jelly with sugar added), don’t eat late at night, and walk regularly (even fairly short walks).

    If I do those things, I can eat a decent quantity of fatty and tasty meats, as well as rice and pasta, and be at a healthy and attractive weight.

    Also, doesn’t it help to lift weights or do enough physical work to maintain a bit of muscle, because muscle burns more calories when you’re sedentary?

  149. @Realist

    YES. THANK YOU!

    When I’m fat, it’s from lack of willpower. Same for at least most other fat people, certainly morbidly obese people. Not being mean, as I’m including myself in this observation.

    • Replies: @gwynedd1
  150. Philip Owen says: • Website
    @SoyunMoron

    Apparently it doesn’t work as well as as weight loss at rducing metabiloic problems. If the fat is just cut out it does not reduce your risk of T2 diabetes or cardiac problems.

  151. @res

    Yep that could well be one factor.

    In all seriousness, it could be that a lot more people are smoking marijuana these days rather than tobacco. That might be less bad for health in some other respects, but smoking pot isn’t known to moderate the appetite….

  152. @res

    You’re right.

    To put part of that advice simply: no soda and sweets, more filling vegetables.

  153. @Cortes

    To be fair, I had to look up what a stone is as a measure of weight.

    • Replies: @Cortes
  154. Anon[191] • Disclaimer says:

    BMI is for anorexic nutritionists. Its all about lean mass to body fat.

    A natural body builder, 5′ 9″ at 10% bf can weight 192, for a BMI of 28.2. If he puts on twelve pounds, he’s 204, “obese” at about 15-16% body fat.

    But its total crap to claim he is less healthy than some soy boy carrying 40 lbs. of fat with at 165 lbs. with a BMI under 25 lbs. and almost 25% body fat.

    Excellent summary!

    The original author imagined that only 1% of the population isn’t covered accurately by BMI, but I believe a much larger percentage of the population consists of “natural body builders,” who find it relatively easy to gain muscle mass.

  155. Philip Owen says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    Ancel Key’s earliest experiments were about weight gain. (There was a ern about treating starving ex prisnors of war and concentration camp inmates. I’m sure you know). It was challenging to get people to gain weight in a controlled environment. A lot of chocolate was involved. There was considerable variation in weight gained during the experiment. A factor of 6 I seem to recall with most at the lower end. Most experimental subjects reverted to normal quickly after the deliberate overeating stopped.

    Keys was also able to starve his subjects and ensure that they stayed that way by confining them to barracks. Experimentation was less “ethical” then. He demonstrated, unsurpisingly that the subjects developed thought patterns typical of anorexics, as I am sure you know well. Again, they all returned to about their previous weight when the experiment was over, in a military environment with similar access to food. So, while you are undeniably right that the only way to lose weight is to reduce calorie intake, I think individual variation in metabolism might account for some of life’s winners and losers in this. I understand that you have cllinical experience to draw on internal prejudices are set by family acquaintance with anorexia and weight gain both being exhibited by relatives as far back as the 1920′s judging by family photos. Food compostion does matter, not every calories produces satiation at the same rate. Anorexics choose celery – it seems to be part of the culture that celery demands more calories than it delivers. And did you know green peppers ave less calories than red ones?

  156. Cortes says:
    @RadicalCenter

    I admire your pioneer spirit.

    Those long, lonely hours in the dark library. Ruined eyesight. Fighting with ennui. Struggling against the desire to flop down before the teevee.

    Heroic.

  157. headrick says:
    @jb

    I have good luck with this approach. Make a bunch of hardboiled eggs in the fridge. and when the hunger monster comes to call, toss on of those harboiled eggs at it, little hunger hand grenades. Two of them will put down the most severe attack, and they are low in carbs, and will keep you not hungry for a long time. works for me. You can be eating up to 6 day if you are under attack by the I am hungry monster.

  158. glib says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Yes indeed. Fat gives you satiety, specially saturated fat. And fasting requires much less will power than restricting calories (eating less but every day). Refined carbs push you to eat more. The one problem for most is to find sources of high quality fat.

  159. @Santoculto

    & is that on the left, your sister or the one in center ??

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  160. Ola says: • Website
    @Si1ver1ock

    As men get older their testosterone levels fall and they begin to lose muscle and increase fat.

    That has long been the conventional wisdom but I’m not sure I buy it. There are studies showing that rather than reduced levels, there is an increased variation in total testosterone levels with advancing age (after age 40). Also, among hunter gatherers levels don’t seem to diminish by age.

    But mostly I don’t buy it because we know that bofyfat is very detrimental to testosterone levels. Simply, older men get lower t-levels because they allow themselves to get fat. (Lower t-levels, in turn, make it harder to lose the fat, so it’s a vicious circle.)

    Interestingly, t-levels seem to have a much stronger inverse correlation with bodyfat than they have a positive correlation with muscle mass. If you have enormous muscle mass but lots of fat, like world elite shot putters, you’ll still have low t-levels. Skinny people on the other hand, like long distance runners, have significantly higher t-levels. Sprinters who have the lowest bf% among t&f athletes have higher levels still (though race may be a factor there).

    The lower the bodyfat, the higher the testosterone, seem to be the general rule. If you want to raise your t-levels, just lose weight. As a bonus, it will then be easier to keep your healthier weight.

    • Replies: @Si1ver1ock
  161. @Anonymous Jew

    ROFLMAO…40 miles a week with a 60 top? Dude, that’s not even TRYING hard!

    I averaged 50-60 miles per week and when I was peaking before my taper, I’d get up to 120 miles per week.

    My best mary time was a 2:55 when I was in my 40′s.

    No offense, but you’re a fucking pussy if your best mary time was 3:15 in your 20′s!

    I’ve finished several 100 mile foot races.

    Seriously? Really? You think what you did was even CLOSE to elite? What *I* did, isn’t even close to elite!

    Elite runners will peak at over 100 miles per week.

  162. Mike1 says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    There are better ways to do things for sure. But telling people the key to weight loss is to behave like a Spartan preparing for battle obviously is not going to work.
    Someone cutting their order at McDonalds from a large fries to small fries, then when their body has handled the drop in calories moving on to a smaller burger than they usually eat works at cutting calories.
    Someone on a garbage overall diet can definitely slim down if they drop how much they eat.

  163. @Cortes

    My comment wasn’t rude or sarcastic. Your response was. Okay then.

    Nobody cares about the jargon you use in formerly-great formerly-Britain.

    Now run home and suck your muslim husband’s dick like a good little sharia bitch. That IS what English “men” do while the other Muslims are raping your daughters, isn’t it?

  164. @Cortes

    ps we don’t watch tv. I know it’s hard for you to imagine, what with British whites being even more pathetic, ignorant, unsuccessful, and debauched than low-class folks here, but try.

  165. I suspect this is more complex than Thompson would have it. Do some searching on weight change after Fecal transplants. Will power and pushing away from the table is great, but it doesn’t work out well for most. I hold out hope on the the big data sample GWAS front as well.

    Perhaps one day we will have a little brown pill to help fix what ails us.

    https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C23&q=fecal+microbiota+transplant+weight+change&btnG=

    • Replies: @alan2102
  166. @Non-Anon-Jew

    Dude, how stupid do you think I am? I’ve known top ranked ultra runners and have run with many former Division 1 runners. I regularly ran with one in grad school. I think his first marathon was like 2:40. I’m well acquainted with the world of elite running but I’ve never been elite or even close, obviously.

    My point was simply to differentiate myself from the typical chubby runners that go on short runs and make up about 80% of the folks on jogging trails. That’s it.

    2:55 is a great time. But what’s your point? Once you run a certain mileage that’s genetic. There are people that could beat that time drunk, and there are people that train like crazy just to get under 4:00. (Unless you’re truly elite – a tiny fraction of the population in terms of both genetics and training – you’re just racing yourself).

    Again, I was NOT trying to brag, I was trying to say that when you take running more seriously than most people, it DOES induce weight loss.

  167. nsa says:

    Dear old Adolph had it right: go vegetarian for weight loss and disease prevention. Avoid fats and oils, no refined sugars, no dairy, no dismembered animals…..just fruits and veggies, preferably home grown or at least organic to minimize the intake of cancer promoting chemicals and maximize mineral / vitamin content. The typical western diet promotes obesity, heart disease, and cancer.

  168. Anon[640] • Disclaimer says:

    They used to put iodine in bread. Now they don’t. The extra dose of iodine sped up your thyroid a bit and allowed you to burn extra calories. Now they put bromine, which blocks iodine uptake and slows down your thyroid more than normal, which will make you gain weight.

    People who don’t use iodized salt but who do drink water with flouride in it will have a slower than normal thyroid, and will gain weight.

    People who live near the coasts in the US are thinner than those in the interior, and this is not an accident. If you are on the coasts, you are literally closer than the main source of iodine, the sea. Seafood in the interior is very expensive since it has to be shipped. If you buy it in places like Iowa, it’s always frozen and tastes terrible, so it is avoided. Lake fish lack iodine.

    If your local diary farm is near the coasts, the grass eaten by the cows has more iodine in it than grass in the interior, and the milk supplied to the local megaconglomerate will have a higher iodine content. The manufactured products of milk, butter, and cream farmed near the coasts are also sold near the coasts, so it keeps coasties thinner.

    One reason why people are big on Irish Kerrygold butter is not just that it’s grass fed; it also has a higher iodine content because the entire island of Ireland is close to the sea. All you need to give grass a good dose of sea iodine is a hard gale. Water drops from the sea can be carried for miles on the wind.

    • Replies: @gwynedd1
  169. @James Thompson

    But you haven’t. You believe fat is converted into glucose in our bodies. You don’t even know the basics.

  170. mobi says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Making yourself cold is massively more efficient (and less work ofc) in terms of burning calories than any kind of exercise.

    Excellent solution for lazy people.

    I think the problem here would be one of rapidly diminishing returns. Because hypothermia is a much more immediate threat to survival than energy stress, and fat isn’t just a store of energy, it’s also an insulator.

    So, if you routinely threaten the body with hypothermia, you will shock it into holding onto, and even adding, body fat ‘for dear life’. The energy costs of doing so will be paid in other, sneakier, ways, such as by turning up the intensity of the hunger signal, so as to ‘trick’ you into covering the energy deficit by eating more instead of burning vital insulation.

    This very result was found in a large scale study that compared exercising in the form of swimming with exercising at an equivalent level of exertion in room-temperature air. One would expect the swimmers to emerge thinner, because of all the extra heat loss to water, but in fact, the very opposite was found. The swimmers gained weight, and body fat (not just relative to the other group, I believe, but outright).

    The missing ingredient (ha!) was found by weighing the amount of food the two groups were consuming at an all-you-can-eat buffet, provided by the experimenters after the sessions, but actually being covertly monitored by them as part of the experiment.

    The swimmers, unwittingly, threw all their theoretical edge away in the form of elevated appetites.

    Sorry, don’t have the citation at hand right now.

    I’m wagering the opposite would work better – regular, moderate hyperthermia (ie saunas?), causing the body to panic over the imminent threat of death by heat stroke (also a much more urgent threat than energy-stress, ie starvation), triggering it to prioritize shedding insulation – ‘to hell with the energy costs’ – and employing the back-door method of appetite reduction to help it get there.

    Don’t know. Could be wrong. But at worst, you’ve added a daily sauna.

  171. There are a lot of peculiar ideas on this topic. I think there is some cultural differences at play.

    Diet is what you. It does matter whether it’s a lot or enough or barely sustaining. Certain diets work for certain people. The reason they work has a lot to do with individual choices regarding the same and to some extent their biological disposition. If you eat less, depending on how much less you , it doesn’t matter who you are – you will lose weight. But that only brings us to the real question, diet content to physical activity.

    There is absolutely no question that exercise can induce weightloss — and that exercise need not be more strenuous than walking a certain number of yards or meters that exceeds what your body ingests. In fact walking is one of the best exercise. One need not be a marathoner or excel in athletic prowess in anyway for exercise to work. The single best exercise is swimming. When I was preparing for jump school I was in the best shape of my life, I think. And when I considered air assault, before the cut the program, I was a running fool. But that really is on the extreme end and no one who wants to lose weight need be extreme. In most cases it will require a change of dietary habits and should include some exercise. I loved biking and I will sincerely miss it. I may get back to walking if I can trust my crossing the street decision making — and i am not there yet.

    There are plenty of special programs what will for for anyone individual is not written in stone as a one size fits all when it comes to specifics. But there are general rules

    1. food content probably more important than food amount.
    2. food amount
    3. exercise (a plus)
    4. persistence until one has developed new habits
    5. consistence (different than routine)
    6. knowing when to listen to your body and when not to — that can be a real hat
    trick.
    7. be self convinced

    I personally buy the arguments made by the low carb , low processed and less sugar (most popular carb and perhaps the hardest to manage.) And no small amount of credit should be given to Dr. Atkins.

    I have even given to taking certain supplements – all natural. I have no idea if they work because I am taking then in conjunction with changing my diet and continued exercise. I am a moderate rower and i intend to do even less – partly because I am sure I bought a poorly built machine. But it’s exercise that counts. Though finding an exercise you enjoy will make weight loss and attentiveness to overall better health more inviting.

    Some here are advocating such intense exercise routines so as to prepare for events that require intense commitment — if that’s for you — fine. But it is totally unnecessary to lose weight and have better health. The most important competition is you for and against you — I was shocked when I realized that I had ballooned beyond all recognition several years ago. The change was more money, choice of diet and less exercise —

    Both diet and exercise are behaviors within one’s control despite genetics (biology) and changing any one of the two or both can change body weight.

  172. Skinny in youth, got podgy with 25 years of desk work. Calorie counting does work.

    I dropped bread and potatoes, ate meat/fish with beans/pulses and vegetables. You can eat pretty much as much veg as you like which makes life easier.

    Passata/herbs/garlic/chilli/chorizo are your friends for making the beans (pinto, black-eye, broad, cannelini, navy) more interesting.

    Worst thing is dropping that shared bottle of red most evenings.

    Down a stone (two stone from max weight), hope to keep going. But it’s easy to relapse, especially when entertaining people. Watch the scales like a hawk and take corrective action as and when.

  173. If you can discipline yourself to do them, they work very well.

    And if my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle. It is always amazing to me that the readers of an HBD blog have this blind spot when it comes to human weight. Why don’t you yell at a retarded person for not studying hard enough?

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @JackOH
    , @Anon
  174. @res

    Thanks for these links and the associated data. Will look at sex differences in risk ratios re weight.

  175. Anon[264] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mike1

    Parental investment matters (genetic fetishists insist it is irrelevant).

    This originally came from twin studies and adoption studies. What part of that do you deny? There are hundreds of consistent studies and dozens of meta studies. And now GWAS studies are adding confirmation.

    Parents give their genome. They also give their kids, and themselves, memorable experience. They give their kids the possibility of being great musicians or athletes by forcing them to practice from a young age stuff that no kid would spend time on without coercion. And they see to it that kids are properly nourished and don’t lose any limbs in accidents. And they move them to a nice part of town and keep them out of public schools to help shape their peer group when they reach their teens and their peer group puts the finishing touches on their personalities.

    In a way, to the extent that parents come to understand the nature of their contribution, it takes so much pressure off of them and their kids and lets everyone chill out and enjoy the experience so much more and marvel at the wonder of genetics. Just don’t do the stuff that isn’t fun or costs money if it isn’t going to work. Science tell us what isn’t going to work. Smart people don’t do stuff that doesn’t work.

    The parents give their kids random chunks of genome, and then send them off to their peer group to finish the process of molding them. The peer influeence fades over the decades and the kids become more like their parents, or like the mix of their parents genes that they are.

  176. @Realist

    I’m naturally thin, for me the difficulty is building muscle mass.

    But it’s obvious that with high levels of ravenous hunger, either you have willpower and then your performance will drop, or you don’t have willpower and then you just won’t be able to follow the diet. There’s no third possibility.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Realist
  177. @mobi

    Sauna is excellent cardiovascular exercise even for those who are injured or lazy or just hate running and cycling, and it also feels great, so even if it won’t help with weight loss, I’d recommend it for anyone.

    Regarding cold showers, I think in moderate quantities it’s not bad. I take off my pullovers more often since I started them, so somehow I must expend more energy on keeping my body temperature warm.

  178. JackOH says:
    @ScarletNumber

    “It is always amazing to me that the readers of an HBD blog have this blind spot when it comes to human weight.”

    Scarlet–, that is an interesting observation. I’m thinking mischievously about a Web magazine written mostly by athletically gifted Black athletes informed by HBD thinking that argues that Whites’ deficiencies in, say, athletics, promiscuity, and what-not ought to be of little or no concern to policy folks, educators, and the medical establishment because Whites just don’t have the right genetic game.

  179. Here is an illustrative list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_body_mass_index

    Ethiopia is second thinnest country in the world LOL. This needs more study.

  180. @mobi

    Thanks, this is pretty fascinating, and important.

    I may have to reevaluate my thoughts on cold exposure.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  181. RodW says:

    Cutting breakfast and consuming nothing but calorie free liquids until noon has worked very well for me in my 50s. I still carry some fat from my daily drinking, but the really excess fat loss has done wonders for my back pain.

  182. This is a very important discussion, and having it on Unz is helpful where the quality of comments adds to the article’s instructive points

    As some above note, one key issue is that, often, over-eaters are in fact ‘starved’ of some nutritional element in their unbalanced diet, so reducing calories aggravates the deprivation and element-starvation … One big example is people missing what is in naturally sweet fresh fruit, and then driven to sweet foods, sweet fizzy drinks etc which inadequately ape what they are missing

    Another aspect is that in our cultural-marxist-driven social arrangements of recent decades, human relationships have become much more dysfunctional, much less stable and nurturing, and that volcano of inner stress leads people to crave food as a stress-reaction response from their hereditary biology

    A third aspect is that in current humanity’s focus with materiality and objects, including food, we are neglecting the tools of mental power and will which can be accessed by approaching life in a ‘higher spiritual’ way, rather in collision with the world of ‘science’, ‘chemicals’ etc … Instead of that ‘will power torment’ of trying not to eat something one strongly craves, what works better is a comprehensive mental re-set, for example using yoga type tools of meditation, and seeking to go into the higher mental state where the mind will take pleasure in leading the body (honoured as a religious temple) to be more slender … this is of course related to the stress issue above … if you get your mind in the right place, you just want to eat less

    • Replies: @res
  183. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t have any diet advice.

    When I worked at a university that had a big film school I went to the movies at the film school theater. It wasn’t just entertainment movies but all sorts of interesting things one of which was the hydrogen bomb test film on Bikini island 1948 made by the US Navy.

    It was mostly hordes of sailers running around the ships that observed the test.

    Granted they were very young like 17 to 25. Granted they’d been children during the depression and somewhat malnourished.

    But they were so thin!!!!. Like a different race.

    I estimated 5’8 125 130 pds was average.

    • Replies: @Ayatollah
  184. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor

    I like thin men. I don’t like those weight lifter muscles. Gross!!

    I don’t know about other women never asked.

    • Replies: @Tulip
  185. gwynedd1 says:
    @Anon

    Also true, a factor that cannot be ignored. Nocino from unripe walnuts is a classical remedy. And yep, exposure to other halogens is not helping.

  186. res says:
    @Brabantian

    which inadequately ape what they are missing

    I suspect this is true for some salt cravings in reality being cravings for other minerals (e.g. magnesium). Historically the minerals often came together in raw salt, now not so much.

  187. @Non-Anon-Jew

    Since most people (here or elsewhere) don’t run, I thought I should provide some perspective. Also, posters here are probably self-selected for traits other than running talent. The running bell curve, like that of most other human traits, has long tails and a meaty middle.

    I couldn’t find the results from my last big-city marathon because it was too many years ago, so I pulled the results from same course in 2016.

    In the male, 30-34 age group there were 259 finishers. (Note it’s a somewhat hilly course).

    – only 11 finished under 3:00
    – the median time was 4:13
    – My 3:15 time on the same course a decade earlier would have placed me in the 92%

    I ran this particular marathon twice. I don’t remember seeing a lot of fatties back then. The vast majority of guys my age looked relatively lean and fit.

    It actually gets worse for the average White male. The last 10K I ran was in the same city when I was well into my 30′s. I only ran a few seconds over 38 minutes (you could probably run this with a sprained ankle and drunk) but placed 3rd out of over 150 in my age group.

    So yes, there are pretty big differences between the 50%, 95% and 99.7%. Is someone who’s 6-3 tall? Is 1410 a good SAT score? If you’re in an NBA locker room or at Caltech certainly not. It all depends on whom you’re speaking to.

    Anyways, for someone that has the natural build of an Eastern European deadlifter (short limbs, big wrists, even bigger legs and wide feet two sizes larger than expected for my height) I’m amazed that I ran so many half-decent marathons. On a side note, I met Ryan Hall at a charity event in DC and got to go running with him and about 8 other guys (very slowly). His ankles seemed about as wide as my wrists and his thumb about as thick as my pinky.

    In sum, a few 3 mile runs won’t induce much weight loss. Running 50 mpw with a stocky build will induce significant weight loss even if you eat like crap. People that run 31-minute 10Ks, 2:40 marathons, or 100+ miles a week are out there, and I’ve meet a lot of them, but they’re definitely outliers.

  188. gwynedd1 says:
    @RadicalCenter

    How much will power is needed not to drink water when you are not thirsty?

    The problem is the typical diet causes people to eat more calories than they need, but at some point they will be full.

    Its rather difficult to over eat bread with honey even though its loaded with carbs. It will not take long before one has had enough. A meal of 800 calories of it would be quite a lot. Even concentrated carbs are quite bulky and energy will reach the cells quickly.

    Same thing with say butter and asparagus. Few people will over eat it. The reason is because it just follows the existing fasting state in fat metabolism. So the flow of energy to cells is generally just switch from stored fat to dietary fat.

    Imagine a load of cargo that is unpacked quickly and given to customers vs one that is unpacked slowly. Customers will tend to stop demanding it with the former while continue to demand it even if its in port.

    There are other factors of course. If eating carbs then potassium is important because it will allow glycogen to be stored which will tend to make carbs more a sustainable source.

    I still marvel at why the interaction is rarely considered when low fat vegans and keto dieters at least in the short term each show results in controlling weight .

    The balanced diet is generally speaking the fattening one. It will take longer for the cells to get energy and hence the over eating.

  189. @Anatoly Karlin

    Cold exposure is good for the cardiovascular system. I don’t know if it helps you shed adipose tissue, but I’d recommend it anyway based on simply this. Maybe I wouldn’t drink ice cold water, which might not be too beneficial.

    Regarding the swimmers, is there not a case of self-selection?

  190. Ayatollah says:
    @Anon

    I looked at my parents’ yearbook from 1976. Everyone in it was thin. Even the ones that probably would have been considered chubby back then would not be considered fat by today’s standards. And it’s not like they went to school on the West Coast where you would expect people to be thin, they went to school in a poor, Ohio town that today is just horrendously fat. I had the same thought you had- it’s almost like looking at a different race of people.

  191. Seraphim says:
    @Anonymous Jew

    Intermitent fasting is the norm in the Orthodox Church. Adding the prescribed fasting days, two obligatory days every weak (Wednesdays and Friday) all year around, plus the Christmas, Easter, Apostles, Dormition of the Mother of God Lenten periods, you come exactly at half of the year. These are periods when you abstain from meat, fish, eggs, dairy, oil, wine, sex and any pleasurable things like sweets, smoking, entertainment. Notice that allowances are made for oil and wine on Saturdays and Sundays, specifically to alleviate for the dificulty of the fast. There are certain days when ‘black fasting’ (no food at all) is prescribed around some major Feasts. People who take communion are to fast half a day before (communion is not obligatory every Sunday), they have also to go to confession. And most imporantly, fast must be accompanied with prayer. Fasting greatly helps prayer, prayer helps to endure the hardship of fasting. Fasting is a spiritual and psycho-somatic exercise, an ascese which brings untold benefits. Of course, it goes against the consumerist, permissive mentality of the day, where everything must go, and that’s why people are so much against fasting (‘nobody would tell ME what to eat’).

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  192. JumboTron says:

    It’s very simple, folks: you can’t eat what you want all the time. You can’t have eggs, bacon and pancakes for breakfast, then a meatball sandwich for lunch, followed by half a large sausage pizza for dinner washed down by a milkshake and then a bowl of chocolate mousse. I personally would love such a diet, but I realize it’s unhealthy. (Perhaps in my 90s my doctor will say I can eat anything….)

    You have to eat less. Oatmeal and banana and a few walnuts for breakfast. An apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter for lunch. A salad and six ounces of chicken for dinner, with vegetables and no starch three days a week. Cut way down on starch and especially sugar — only 30 grams of the stuff a day. No soda (Coke, etc.). Read the labels of packaged foods and again, watch the sugar. An ounce or so of dark chocolate for dessert four days a week. App. 50 grams of fat (1/3 of which is saturated) per day.

    If you’re hungry during the day, suffer. Use some will power. You’ll appreciate your next meal more. Skip lunch once in awhile and burn some fat. Exercise more. Stop seeking solace from food. You can do it!

    • Replies: @Ayatollah
    , @EliteCommInc.
  193. @Seraphim

    I was a practicing Catholic for most of my life up until i was in my twenties and then I am still attached to the practice.

    But my experience with spiritual fasting is not so confined as to command, as described above. However, fasting meant, fasting and on many occasions that included no water for short fasts and sparingly for longer fasts (more than three days – to a week). Apostles do encourage the occasional fast to bring the body into submission. It’s Christ in the wilderness fasting.

    I agree that it is healthy for body, mind and soul.

    Laugh — though, it is a distant memory as to observation for me.

  194. I guess someone should mention gyms. There are great for the variety of equipment one can use for changing up routines and working specific body groups. If you are social, they provide plenty of similarly situated people that serve as support groups as well as trainers etc for advice, coaching and mentoring. But belonging to a gymn can be expensive and point of fact, it’s an expense one need not have if the goal is to lose weight and improve general health. I miss racquetball and that is a rare sport these days. Doing sets of push-up, squats, knee bends, crunchies, kick sets, lunges, and a host of isometric routines does not require anything save your body, will and time.

    Racquetball a demotion from my stud handball days — is a great sport, but it required belonging to a gymn or taking classes at a college. Even biking costs, once you make that purchase there’s maintenance. And until you learn to do it yourself, depending on how much you ride, a cycle needs regular maintenance at least once a year for an overhaul or check-up: helmut, lights, clothing, spare tubes, portable and stationary pump, first aid kit, portable tool kit, waterpack — laugh — one may go through several ipods or Zunes.

    Jogging and running are great, but eventually most people will experience it in their joints. For a long time after service or in between, i jogged in my boots — only pansies where tennis shoe days.
    But again, jogging and running require not a penny, save a small pack for water and first aid. And neither does walking – if you walk you will shed weight (food intake still matters). But it does not require a misers fortune to get healthier. Nor does it require the intensity of professions, semi-professional or competitive athletes – those levels are a matter of choice, not a requirement.

    My purchase of the rower was in specific response to a car accident while I was biking. Chances are I could have saved the expense and accomplished almost as much (maybe) by engaging isometric exercises.

  195. Ayatollah says:
    @JumboTron

    So you should eat oatmeal and a banana for breakfast, an apple for lunch, but you should also make sure to cut way back on starch and sugar?

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  196. M Edward says:

    Actually you can double your intake of volume, by using the MEVY diet. Meat, eggs, vegetables and yogurt. 200 grams of carbs per day max. You will lose weight. It’s all about calories, not volume.

  197. Morphine1 says:

    One sentence into this article I was already chuckling to myself about the shrieking comments that were certain to follow.
    “You don’t understand diets!”
    “You don’t understand metabolism!”
    “You don’t make a distinction between calories and nutrition!”
    Etc.
    Agreed: Losing weight can be way harder for some than others. Some pounds can be harder to lose than others. My set point weight is 165 lbs. Any pounds above that weight fall off effortlessly. And I have to work like a dog to get below it.
    But his central premises are dead on. Diets fail, the right permanent lifestyle changes work.
    And if you burn more calories than you ingest, you lose weight. It’s called thermodynamics. If you think the iron laws of physics contribute to our misogynist body-shaming culture feel free to take it up with Newton, Einstein, and Gibbs.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  198. glib says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    how easy is it to go keto in Russia Anatoli? all butter-lard-tallow? would that be all grass fed?

  199. notanon says:

    i approve of blind stubbornness so i won’t argue about this any more but

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1768013/

    eat more cheese

  200. notanon says:
    @krollchem

    Many obese people are actually suffering from nutritional deficiencies and eat to try to get the nutrients they lack.

    i think this could be an important factor in people putting on weight over the winter (vitamin d deficiency) especially as “winter” can last all year round for people who don’t get any sun.

  201. I lost weight eating word salads, dilitiou

  202. @JumboTron

    I thought this was settled.

    Some people can in fact have that diet. In fact, lots of people can eat in that manner.

  203. @Morphine1

    I thought this was settled as well
    over stating the obvious.

    Some diets fail some people — there is no definitive diet failure.

  204. @jb

    Get yourself into ketosis by a high fat / low carb diet. Once you get adapted the diet is painless. No raging hunger and no crashes in energy levels. I painlessly dropped over 43 lbs and an within 10 lbs of my goal (15% body fat).

  205. Patricus says:
    @Kratoklastes

    Thanks Kratoklastes for the detailed reply. I will look up Hashimoto’s which I had not heard of.

    At 245 lbs. I felt fine and didn’t appear obese because of my height, 6’3″. Nevertheless I am happy to lose that 40+ lbs. It was like carrying around a heavy suitcase. I was embarrassed when I went to a clothing store and found I needed size 44 pants. When I told the clerks I was going to lose a lot of weight they laughed. Apparently few people succeed in losing weight, from the perspective of clothes salesmen. Shame inspired me.

    These days I don’t diet at all and haven’t regained the weight so it had to be the thyroid condition. I was lean until age 40 but then put on 5 pounds every year for more than a decade. I don’t eat pastries or ice cream etc. but I drink plenty of wine. Wine is not negotiable as I have explained to my doctor.

    My long distance biking sister-in-law was, and is, fit but not lean. Her brothers are all physically strong people so genes probably have something to do with it.

  206. notanon says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Keto is (relatively) extremely easy, it just requires you to be a bit of a social autist when going out.

    keto is very easy for me as butter, cheese, eggs and fatty meat were my favorite foods but i *stopped* eating them (or rather my wife stopped me) cos standard nutritional advice regarding fat and cholesterol.

    so for me it’s coming home to my fave foods.

  207. Wade says:

    You may have a view about the slimming effects of particular mix of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Consider a man eating 2500 calories per day or a woman eating 2000 calories who want to take in an extra calorie of food. Whatever blend of fat, protein and carbohydrate they choose, these will still be digested down to glucose, and they will gain in weight. Better not to have the extra calorie.

    I didn’t read much past this. The “calories-in calories-out” theory isn’t untrue. Was anyone arguing with its truth? From Dr Atkins to Dr. Loren Cordain of Paleo Diet fame, neither of them ever claimed that you can eat more calories than your body expends and not gain weight. Who ever claimed this?! The problem with “calories-in calories-out” is not that it’s untrue, it’s that it’s simply a truism.

    The question is why is it that some people are persistently unable to sustain a diet where calories eaten are equal to or less than calories expended? Those who are able to do this consistently throughout the years of their lives can because, for whatever reason (genetics, environmental factors), their body “wants” to maintain that wait. The body has ways of making you feel hungrier and eat more than you need requiring you to constantly fight it. For many, the body wins out over the will eventually.

    Those who are overweight and restrict their calories in an attempt to lose weight can experience mood issues, insomnia, stress, not to mention hunger.

    If a fat person successfully loses weight and keeps it off long term, which statement do you think better captures the essence how how they did it? 1) Through lifestyle changes (whatever these may have been. Perhaps a change in jobs or the jettisoning of a toxic relationship contributed to a decreased level of daily stress and left them with more recreation time) they managed to overcome the negative impacts of calorie restriction on their sense of well being long enough to lose the weight. Or 2) The Laws Of Thermodynamics!!!

    Of course 2) is “true” but it doesn’t provide a fat person with much useful information about how to go about sustaining a weight loss regimen long term.

    Some people go on the Paleo diet, for instance, because they feel it helps them manage their appetites. When I’m on a paleo-like diet I sleep better, have more energy, all without feeling too hungry compared to when I eat lots of carbs. If a certain diet has these effects on you, well then of course you’ll be more likely to eat fewer calories than you expend.

  208. @res

    The speed/power calcs are spot-on (trainer vs road) for the ‘smart’ trainer (the KickR); a mate of mine who races (of whom, more later) reckons that the KickR measures power 10-15W lower than his $4500 (FFS!!) Powertap G3 wheels, but they match my $295 power meter to within a couple of watts (but I’m operating 100W lower than my mate).

    On the “dumb trainer plus power meter” setup , they’re accurate on the flat, but Zwift measures a wee bit low over a loop (even though a loop is net flat).

    For power-meter-based rides, Zwift alters speed based on the slope of the course and rider weight. It does so pretty well (compared to speed/power from outdoor rides).

    On the dumb trainer, I just ride at a cadence and gear that keeps my HR in the target zone, irrespective of what’s on the screen; the ‘Zwift’ speed adjusts. The speed/cadence sensor on my back wheel (a Wahoo BlueSC) agrees with Zwift on flat areas to within 1km/hr, but over a lap the actual averae speed (based on the number of revolutions of the actual back wheel of my bike) is slightly low on Zwift because Zwift treats its (virtual) hills pretty well.

    At 100-ish kg, Zwift has me slow to ~9km/hr at 300W on a 8% climb, and you don’t get all of that back on the descent – even though on Zwift you go around hairpin corners at 60km/hr on a descent, pedalling at 90-100rpm. Like real life, the downhill advantage never offsets the uphill disadvantage (rolling resistance and wind resistance see to that: a rider’s best time on a hilly ride with zero net rise will be significantly slower).

    .

    My VO2Max (estimated from a Ramp/MAP test) is 46 – which is good for an arbitrary 53 year-old, but barely OK for a 53 year old ‘proper’ cyclist. If I had been able to keep pedalling for another 20sec at 375W it would have rounded up to 47… I have never been big on ‘grit’ or ‘digging deep’, though. (FWIW the MAP test gave me a MAP of 370 and an FTP of 305, but I’ve never got above 288 in an FTP test).

    My estimated VO2Max from the “Max/Resting Heart Rate” formula is 48/49; my RHR is 55 and I’ve had my HR touch 174 on climbs (I can’t get it that high on the flat I run out of legs first).

    As you say, 2.9W/kg is pretty much the lower bound for “trained” cyclists – on the famous ‘Coggan Chart’ it is the top of the range labelled ‘Fair’ (Cat 5; i.e., uncompetitive in ‘C’ grade races).

    The aforementioned mate who races (‘A’ grade Masters; actually racing for small amounts of money and winning ewvery now and then) is a few years younger than me: he’s mid-40s and 72kg, and his FTP is in the mid-5-ish range on a W/kg basis.

    His big-boy story is sticking with the Orica Green Edge chain-gang for two laps during a local crit… about 10% through lap 3 he was too cooked to take a turn at the front, and the pros turned it up a bit and it was all over.

    • Replies: @res
  209. BMI in itself is a flawed measure.

    Body fat percentage against muscle mass is more indicative of health.

    I’m a pretty big guy, 6′ 2″ about 260 lbs, my weight can fluctuate as much as 5 to 7 lbs a day, depending on what or if I eat and drink, and what type of exercise I get. My body fat percentage fluctuates around 20% and most of my weight is bone and muscle mass. I’ve been down to 220 lbs and I get ripped. My BMI now is about 33, when I get really lean it’s like 28 or 29. Right now I have a belly, but my chest is muscular and it’s wider by probably four some inches (like 42″ to 56″) than my navel, and I doubt many people would call me fat.

    I have friends who are monsters, bigger than me, pure muscle. Higher BMI’s than me too, but they can run 5-6 minute miles and tear heads off with their hands.

    People can also have what is supposedly a healthy BMI in the low to mid 20′s but have a high body fat percentage and low muscle mass. “Thin fat people.” That can lead to sub optimal health.

    Some people also have genetically low metabolism and endomorphic body type. They gain muscle easily, but fat easily too. That can suck.

    Some people (often East Asians, for example) are thin with a high metabolism and ectomorphic physiology – i.e., they tend to be thin with low muscle mass. In that case you may want to eat a lot more than you do now, and lift to gain muscle mass. Gaining BMI and weight may be a bit difficult, will be a net positive for you.

    Muscle mass is always good because muscle burns calories, while too much fat – above 25-30% body weight for men – is bad. Fat can be metabolically active in really negative ways. That’s why if you want to lose fat, you should lift to build muscle mass. Google Mehdi 5×5 weight lifting. 3 days a week, 30 minutes a day, lift heavy, you get results.

    So, yes, calorie intake is in fact important, but the quality and type of calories also matters a lot.

    Sugar, especially excessive poor quality sugars, effects your endocrinology much differently than complex carbs, quality fats and proteins. In my experience, privileging good fat and protein intake over carbs – say at 40 or 50% protein calories, 20-30% fat calories, 30% carb calories favoring complex carbs, and shooting for a daily caloric intake of 100 to 500 calories above your resting metabolic rate (for me between 2500 and 3000 calories or so without significant exercise) will lead to consistent fat loss. Sporadic 8 to 30 hr. fasting is also golden.

    Point is it’s not as simple as BMI and calorie intake. Eat muscle, build muscle, you may actually gain weight, but you’ll get lean.

  210. Anon[502] • Disclaimer says:
    @ScarletNumber

    This is a point that Charles Murray makes in Real Education. We have no problem with tracking people by aptitude in athletics and music, but many people think that cognitive tracking is immoral because everyone’s a blank slate that can develop into an Einstein.

    So the dull are sent through algebra I multiple times, rather than being allowed to take shop or a vocational class. But nobody berates someone for not being great in a sport or a musical skill. You try to get them to incrementally improve, but you know they are what they are.

    But obesity just releases rage and hatred in many people. It’s considered a moral outrage, a personal insult to the viewer. If they would just not eat so much, how hard is that! Push away from the table! Body weight belongs in the algebra category: everyone should be good at it, no excuses.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  211. res says:
    @Kratoklastes

    Thanks for all of the information! >5 W/kg! He must scream up hills.

  212. Decades ago, in my thirties when I started gaining excessive weight, I discovered the remedy. You must come to enjoy hunger! It’s easier than you think, involving focus on the positive aspects of the hunger experience, such as a sense of energy.

  213. @Anon

    “But nobody berates someone for not being great in a sport or a musical skill. You try to get them to incrementally improve, but you know they are what they are.

    But obesity just releases rage and hatred in many people.”

    Huge difference. No matter how much I train, I won’t do a marathon in under 3 hours at my age. But if I would just not eat so much – how hard is that?

    It’s true though that some people are naturally better at resisting temptation than others. There’s a loaf of nice granary bread in the larder (needed sandwiches for a hill walk) – and I can hear it calling… calling… saying “wouldn’t I be great with some Wensleydale and tomato?“.

  214. @Ola

    You can argue it’s a chicken or egg situation a which came first? But if you are going to do something about it, elevating your test levels is probably a good pace to start.

    Sarcopenia–muscle loss in old age–causes a lot of problems. Were are not just talking about biceps here, but things like back muscle. Sitting all day causes back muscles to atrophy and leg muscles to shorten this can cause back problems as powerful leg muscles attached to the spine and pelvis pull the spine out of alignment eventually causing back problems (sciatica).

    Nearly all professional body builders use steroids to increase muscle mass. I don’t, because I draw the line at injecting things into my body.

    Modern SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Manipulators) tend to be bio-available orally, a few drops in your grapefruit juice.

    This breaks into two or three distinct areas, physical health, aesthetics and competitive sports.

    Consider the picture of the woman in the article. Our modern aesthetic holds her to be unattractive, but objectively, she really has a health problem. Consider how large her heart is in relation to what it needs to accomplish, pumping blood to all parts of her body under adverse conditions like exercise.

    She is pretty clearly in the danger zone for cardio-vascular health. She needs a controlled increase in her metabolism and exercise regime. Probably a juice diet with SR9009

    RAD-140, Testolone, seems like the least dangerous Testosterone booster, but it is experimental. These things can cause severe acne and increased aggression Rad-Rage. One football player packed on 75 pounds of muscle in one year using Ligandrol (and probably other stuff). Cardarine has been tagged as a potential carcinogenic (may also cause tachycardia).

    Btw, thin people get health problems also. One easy thing you can do is get an automated blood pressure monitor. they are pretty cheap these days.

    https://www.amazon.com/Omron-Upper-Pressure-Monitor-Standard/dp/B00KPQB2NS/ref=sr_1_4_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1538225879&sr=1-4&keywords=blood+pressure+monitor

  215. Unzerker says:
    @Max Payne

    I’d probably kill myself if I wasn’t allowed to eat pasta or pizza or poutine. Why even bother with life at that point…. What next? Stop drinking? Lay off amphetamines?

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/221211.php

    “Risks
    Amphetamine can produce many side effects, ranging from mild to severe.
    [..]
    grandiosity, or an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance”

    Yeah, that seems about right…

    • Replies: @Max Payne
  216. Kathemy says:
    @jb

    I would suggest that those “fat people” who find themselves “ravenously hungry” are just hungry. However they’ve never had to experience that sensation before in their lives, so they have absolutely zero tolerance to starvation. So of course, they think they’re about to die from malnutrition…

  217. jleiland says:

    I think the author needs to do a little more research on the science of weight loss.

    • Replies: @glib
  218. glib says:
    @jleiland

    yes, a little more research. for example the statement that if you eat fat, it will still turn into glucose, is incredibly wrong.

  219. This is all common sense.
    What ISN’T common sense is why our PTB have decided that obesity is fashion. It’s being punted by somebody from a movement called ‘Body Positive’ which is obviously a contradiction in terms.
    50 years ago it was fashionable to be Twiggy, which may also be seen as bad for health. In 50 years we now have a complete reversal, we have fat women holding power. Why? Is it about depopulation? We need to think behind the obvious to the reason it’s flaunted as fashion. Recently a photo of a group of naked obese women on Facebook got 193 heart likes (at the time of looking), this is how susceptible women are to trends and of course it is now taboo to ‘fat shame’. It’s fat fascism.

  220. Max Payne says:
    @Unzerker

    Sure. If you’re some sort of subhuman hippy communist faggot. I guess that might seem “right”.

    I take it you’re a professional at consuming amphetamines or amphetamine-like products.

    Please share with me your personal experiences.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  221. Excellent advice but I would add one caveat- you mention that typical periods of exercise do not burn many calories in comparison to the number eaten in a typical sitting. This is correct, but one must also factor in the effect of exercise on baseline metabolism. The number of calories burned while exercising is not the relevant number- it is that number combined with the cumulative increase in calories burned at rest over the several hours following exercise. In fact, most of the calories burned through exercise are burned after the fact and while you are at rest. This is why high intensity exercise over a short period of time is superior to prolonged low intensity exercise- it increases resting metabolism to a much greater degree and over a longer period of time.

    But your point stands all the same- diet is far and away the more important variable in weight loss and exercise is a distant second. If you can exercise self-control with respect to food then you have made it 80% of the way.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  222. @Vera Causa

    Agree that there is a delayed effect of exercise, but not something which a few snacks will fail to replenish very quickly.

  223. @Max Payne

    White tra$$h muuuh, ”white/me are geniuse”

  224. Bil says:

    For those who have weight issues and need some basics to start with, some can be gleaned here. However, I would suggest the author confine his future advice in this area to his family and friends, as most of this is useless; better to start with experts in the field, not a fact-skimmer.

    Here are some things I have learned in 30 years+ of research and applying healthy living related to the body. I am 76 years old with a BMI of 18.5. I just came within a pound of my weight at 18 on my Selective Service card: 118. I am down from 167 10 years ago, when my business went bust and I was stressed out.

    I had some inspiration from my Mother who was a life-long health proponent, mainly via walking and diet; she lived to 92. For 40 years I have been a moderate runner up to a couple of years ago. Now I walk and bike, plus some weights/stretching.

    The biggest contribution to my efforts has been a rigid focus on keeping on the healthy eating train, though I have not always been a saint, except for recent months when I have it all down pat. Here are some anecdotes:

    To get over an ice cream fix I would envision how many half-gallons I would eat by the time I was 90. You know what, it was the size of a warehouse. Then I realized that I would probably cut 10 years off my life if I kept up that regime, along with other toxic fixes I had.

    My recent regime is to have just one good sized meal a day, sometimes two smaller ones. Plus a cup of fruit. The meal consists only of fresh organic vegetables, a couple of eggs, sardines. Another variation is heated vegetables with a bit of pasta sauce and grass fed beef. All in small portions. And all organic and un-processed.

    When I get up in the morning after just one meal, I can be a bit hungry. However I have found that your appetite goes down with this regime. Also, I understand that if one fasts daily for 12-18 hours, it is better for digestion, sleep and building immune response.

    Recently, I have overcome a life-long desire for sugar & alcohol. Like many people I have struggled to keep them under control, with pretty good success. Now I have very little if any of both.

    As with my experience with ice cream, sugar, alcohol and many other processed foods are the bane of humans, as they are toxic and habit-forming to our bodies.

    I will say, that yes, it is hard to kick these toxins, but it is no different if you eat pasta…one of hundreds of foods that are quite bad to eat. Frankly, as a rule, to be healthy, one must stop eating ALL processed foods, as they have unsafe and unhealthy ingredients.

    In the end, we are all fighting a battle with our bodies to resist those things that are bad for our health. Ultimately, that battle is in our minds, to resist the food desires of our body.

    The stakes are high: the virtual certainty that bad eating and health habits will contribute to much higher healthcare costs and a decreased longevity. Is not the reward for healthy living certainly worth it?

  225. Jim Jones says:

    Re: diet, I am very surprised there are not more posts about paleo in the comments section. I eat a very liberal version of the diet (for example, I eat Greek yogurt and tubers), as do many people I know, and it’s quite easy to maintain an ideal weight on it. And there is no calorie counting; it’s more of a lifestyle choice than a “diet.” It’s very easy to eat 2,500 calories or more a day and develop a six-pack. Typical day:

    Breakfast: 3 eggs cooked in coconut oil and blueberries with Greek yogurt.

    Lunch: Large green salad with lots of vegetables, olive oil, and some kind of protein.

    Snack: Nuts, cheese, pickles, hummus and veggies.

    Dinner: Some kind of protein (chicken, beef, pork, fish), some kind of carb (sweet potatoes or rice). Unlimited combinations are possible with slow cookers.

    Desserts: fruit or dark chocolate.

    If you’ve been overweight before, consider limiting carbs. If you’re looking to bulk, consider dialing up the carbs. Adding fats and acids (such as vinegar) to dishes lowers the glycemic index. A random list of good foods: any kind of unprocessed meat (e.g., avoid deli meats and bacon), eggs, any vegetable, any tuber, rice, any fruit (but it moderation), olive and coconut oils, avocados, dark chocolate.

    Be sure to get a good mix of cardio and lifting. Finally, try to go at least 12 hours in a 24-hour cycle without eating.

  226. FredK says:

    What Is the Optimal Human Diet?

    https://chriskresser.com/what-is-the-optimal-human-diet/

    The Joe Rogan Experience 1175- Cris Kresser and Dr. Joel Kahn
    [debate meat eating vs. veganism and vegetarianism]
    https://bit.ly/2QowEd8

    Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It is a 2010 book by science writer Gary Taubes.Following Taubes’s 2007 book Good Calories, Bad Calories, in which he argues that the modern diet’s inclusion of too many refined carbohydrates is a primary contributor to the obesity epidemic, he elaborates in Why We Get Fat on how people can change their diets.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Why_We_Get_Fat

  227. Tulip says:
    @Anon

    Do you teach in a middle school?

  228. @Ayatollah

    Skip breakfast and have a Bulletproof Coffee if you have to have something.

  229. For a smaller amount of weight loss, some people have success with CLA supplements and maybe eating a couple of apples per day.

    Won’t fix the girls in the photo though.

    https://www.amazon.com/BulkSupplements-Softgels-1000mg-Conjugated-Linoleic/dp/B00HAS5BUY/ref=sr_1_8_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1538565047&sr=1-8&keywords=cla%2Bsupplements&dpID=41DXUThA78L&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch&th=1

  230. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @reiner Tor

    You don’t have to starve to diet. Low carb, high fat, high protein diets tend to satiate. You may miss the carbs, if you like to eat, as I do, but you basically have to decide you want to lose weight more than you want to eat whatever you want.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  231. @Dave Pinsen

    That’s what I wrote. The starvation diet (eating everything proportionally less) is impossible. As I wrote in the comment you replied to:

    If you eat lots of sugar, drink sugary drinks, etc., you’ll crave more. The solution is to cut them out. You’ll crave them for a few weeks, and then the cravings will decrease and even completely disappear over time.

    However:

    Unfortunately it’s difficult, because people will keep eating desserts in your presence.

    Still it’s not very bad:

    But if you know that that’s what you need to restrict, it’s easier.

    • Replies: @glib
    , @Dave Pinsen
  232. What I want to know is this: how did this fraudulent “eat less” theory end up in our heads? Could it have happened the same way the fraudulent “fat is the culprit” theory took over the mind of the unsuspecting for decades: outright scientific fraud?

    (Even the New York Times, no less, rooted out the origin of this fraud, with a story on Ancel Keys and other “scientists” who were paid off by the sugar industry to blame “fat” for widespread health problems).

    So, again: who put the “eat less” diet theory into our heads? Luckily, like several commenters here, I ran into Dr. Jason Fung’s books and videos, which liberated me from this fraudulent theory (I lost 50 pounds fasting in less than a year, after decades trying the “eat less” way).

    Here is a hypothesis: this fraudulent “eat less” theory was put into our heads by none other than… (((the usual suspects))).

    In an excellent, life-changing blog post entitled “No country for fat white men”, Dr. David Duke, who gives credit to Dr. Jason Fung for telling the real truth about fasting, exposes the root of this malignant, virulent “eat less” theory which has taken over the minds of even intelligent men like Prof. James Thompson:

    “This obesity epidemic is a product of an alien owned and dominated Zio-media that seeks the destruction of the European people by every means possible.”

    “The way you lose weight is very simple: you simply stop eating … until you get to your desired weight.”

    Here is Dr. David Duke’s post:

    https://davidduke.com/no-country-for-fat-white-men/

    Suggestion to Ron Unz: invite Dr. Jason Fung to blog on this site and prohibit Prof. James Thompson from ever writing about diets again!

    PS: As a side note, I am an avid reader of Dr. Thompson, to whom I am extremely grateful for changing my worldview on intelligence with a post in which he cites Linda Gottfredson’s remarks on the “carpet problem” (only 4% of Whites, 0% of Blacks and 0% of Latinos correctly answer a question of this type, even with a calculator: “how much would it cost to carpet a room which is 5 feet by 3 feet with a carpet that costs 10 dollars a square foot?”). From here, the rabbit hole went way deeper, into the Dunning-Kruger effect and other such eye-opening studies….

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  233. glib says:
    @reiner Tor

    It is not difficult to wean yourself off sugar. My 21-yrs old daughter who never saw sugar at home does not have any cravings. I don’t either. The only things that I crave are high fat foods (sometime also high salt, since that is good for longevity too).

    • Replies: @res
  234. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @reiner Tor

    It’s still hard to lose weight, and it may require some restriction. I’ve dropped about 12 pounds in 2 weeks, but this is where I’ve struggled in the past, losing the next 10 lbs.

  235. res says:
    @glib

    It is not difficult to wean yourself off sugar.

    Like most things having to do with diets, that probably varies by person, but most seem to find it difficult (remember there are people who can smoke cigarettes occasionally and not become addicted). Especially in environments where there is much hidden sugar in foods. Some controversial research comparing sugar to addictive drugs: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319266735_Sugar_addiction_Is_it_real_A_narrative_review

    My 21-yrs old daughter who never saw sugar at home does not have any cravings.

    Emphasis mine. You realize that says nothing about the difficulty of weaning off sugar, right?

    I don’t either.

    Did you ever eat much sugar? Even if you don’t have cravings now, did you while you were weaning off sugar? I know I did. The cravings are mostly gone now, but they still appear now and then.

    All of that said, I think eating properly (think foods which encourage relatively stable blood glucose) can go a long way to help keep the cravings in check.

    The only things that I crave are high fat foods (sometime also high salt, since that is good for longevity too).

    Sounds healthier to me. One thing to consider is that a “salt craving” might actually be caused by needing a mineral other than sodium (e.g. magnesium). And a “fat craving” might be caused by need for a specific fat (e.g. one or more of the omega 3s).

  236. @Fin of a Cobra

    Answer:

    seems a dubious insight into intelligence. A five by 3 room carpeted at $10 a sqft –

    waste of money and carpet.

  237. alan2102 says:
    @Tom Welsh

    “Fat is NEVER converted to glucose.”

    False. The backbone of all fats is glycerol, a sugar-alcohol readily converted to glucose, and quite glycemic.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  238. @alan2102

    I have read the comments on dieting. It’s nice to know that there is as much variety as I thought on the matter. There are basic formulas, but those get tailored to specific goals.

    The net two weeks are stop gaps for me. Reducing the number of days I exercise and changing the routines to something more reflective of a lifestyle routine. It took more than a month or more to break exercising seven days week.

    It’s been primarily low carb. Past couple of weeks more salads than usual and dark chocolate for my sugar cravings. I have found that the best foods for satiating hunger have been sheratakki noodles/miracle. And also think that smart buns have been helpful.

    I am always surprised at the battles with guilt over reducing the number of days I exercise.

  239. alan2102 says:
    @Bob who is too damn fat.

    “Will power and pushing away from the table is great, but it doesn’t work out well for most.”

    Unlikely that anyone will read this (so late to the party), but here goes anyway, I can’t resist.

    “Will power” indeed does not work out well for most, in spite of gigantic social and economic pressure for it to work out; i.e. the obese are reminded a hundred times a day that they are disgusting, worth less money, much less attractive to potential mates, embarrassing to friends and family, at continual risk of public shaming (subtle or overt), etc., etc., and yet they STILL cannot summon adequate will power to correct their problem. This suggests the possibility of substantial differences in innate will power, or self-control with respect to certain behaviors.

    Those who deny said differences are in a real sense “blank slaters”, in denial as to human biodiversity (and derivative psychodiversity) and the realities of difference. Blank slaters believe that we’re all equal, we all have equal potentials, we can all succeed if given a chance, etc. The blank slate idea is generally associated with the political left. But, strangely, the blank slate idea past a point gets taken up by the political right: we may not be born equal, but we can all succeed if only we buckle down and work hard enough, do enough positive thinking, etc.; and, closely related, the belief in social mobility, meritocratic success and so forth. Of course these latter are rubbish and have been empirically shown to be so. Social mobility exists, but to only a tiny extent of what it is imagined to be. The class you are born in is extremely likely to be the class you die in.

    Now, relating this back to body weight and impulse control: it seems that the anti-blank-slate crowd (HBD and kin, generally rightward) is fond of moralistic calls for more “will power” to combat obesity, seemingly blind to the obvious possibility — strongly suggested by simple observation — that will power might vary a great deal, and if so, that the differences are probably to a significant degree innate and tough (or impossible) to change.* If not, then the enormous pressure placed on obese people to conform to a universal thin ideal would surely have expressed itself in a much larger fraction of obese people successfully controlling their obesity. They, or at least a substantial number of them, would have found and developed ways to strengthen their will power, going on to achieve and maintain thinness. But, overwhelmingly, this is NOT what we see. What we see is near-universal FAILURE of diets and other programs to maintain weight loss over time; failure so consistent that it simply blows away any ideas one might have had about “strengthening your will power”. I’m not saying it is absolutely impossible, but it is so rare that it may not be worth discussing.

    The rightward belief in social mobility is reflected in their belief in physiological mobility with respect to adiposity and weight control: “why, my Uncle Jerry did it, so anyone can do it! you just have to WORK HARD and BELIEVE and use your WILL POWER”. Suddenly all the scientific (?) HBD stuff and critique of the evil cultural Marxist “blank slaters” goes out the window, and quasi-religious faith rules the day. “You can do anything and be anything you choose to be!” “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can ACHIEVE!” Etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseum.

    …………………….

    * All of this, btw, assumes that will power (or personal psychology) has anything at all to do with the issue, and it may not. What has been called the “obesogenic environment” is still in its infancy of scientific investigation, and surprising new findings get announced every year. For example, just recently it was shown that antibiotic administration at critical developmental periods, neonatally, can cause obesogenic alterations of gut microflora that persist into adulthood, even decades after the exposure(s). (Need I mention the now strong scientific evidence that obesity has a microbiological signature that has been roughly identified, and that appears to play some causal role?) There are scores of other novel findings that offer potential pieces of this puzzle, and hundreds more likely to be published in the coming decades. Bottom line: much too early to say for sure that “innate will power” (or ANY kind of “will power”) has anything to do with this problem. We’ll see. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. Better answers will be available in perhaps ~20 years.

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