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Old 03-10-2015, 02:29 PM
Location: Chicago
3,275 posts, read 4,749,929 times
Reputation: 4036


Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
it's hard for her because she doesn't really want to do it.
Even when you want to lose weight, it can be very hard.

At least, it is for me. I have to be very careful just to not gain weight. To lose weight I have to add daily exercise onto extremely careful eating. That doesn't make me thin, it just makes me less fat. My friends and family don't understand because they just don't have to go to the same extremes I do to maintain their weight. They think I'm being dramatic, but it's just my reality. If I ever want to wear a single digit size, I have to go to extremes. I've gone to some pretty serious extremes, in fact, and I've never worn a single digit size as an adult (any time after age 10).
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:34 AM
Location: Paranoid State
13,047 posts, read 10,380,070 times
Reputation: 15672
I saw an interesting documentary on HBO on-demand about a year ago on the science of weight loss. I'll probably get the details wrong, but hope to convey the key learnings.

Scientists at Columbia University Medical School in NYC brought in volunteers who were overweight and who wished to lose weight. These volunteers actually moved into & lived at the school - and had supervised exercise wearing facemasks that measured oxygen intake & carbon dioxide outflow, and measured the actual amount of work on the exercise machines. These volunteers ate only the food provided during the study - again, precisely measured quantities of nutritious food with known calorie intake & composition.

The study lasted about a year IIRC. That's right - a year of living in a glass room for the study.

The results were amazing. First, they established baseline diets & exercise regimens that kept the volunteers at their then-current overweight condition. Then, for some, they actually increased the quantity of calories so the subjects gained weight & kept them stable at a higher overweight point for 6 weeks. Then, they reduced the calories so the subjects lost weight, returning to the original overweight condition. Finally, at that original overweight condition, the subjects were returned to the original diet & exercise quantity that originally kept them at a stable weight.

Here is the amazing thing. At that original diet & exercise quantity that previously kept them stable, the subjects now re-gained weight.

It appears the body develops what the scientists termed a "set point." The body attempts to return to the set point -- in this study, with the same amount of food that previously kept them stable, given the new set point the body instead gained weight.

It is clear, the scientists said, that permanent weight loss is not a simple matter of just eating less and exercising more. Somehow, the body adapts - and becomes more efficient to prevent weight loss.

The results are simultaneously discouraging and encouraging. They are discouraging because dieting doesn't seem to work in the real world. They are encouraging because the implication is scientists can focus research on other things. For example, we now know that zero-calorie sweeteners actually trick the body into gaining weight as if they actually had calories.

There is no simple answer - she will need a slow glide path and will battle unwanted weight for the rest of her life.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:48 AM
Location: Austin
12,061 posts, read 6,887,778 times
Reputation: 13320
Why is losing weight difficult for the overweight and obese? Other than medical issues that hinder metabolism, the reasons are weight loss takes the skills of discipline and delayed gratification.

One gains any new skill with consistent practice. There is no magic and easy way to learn a new skill other than to just do it.
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:33 AM
3,311 posts, read 3,533,793 times
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Yup, delayed gratification. Many of us, myself included, are caught up in "I want it now, now, now!"
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:43 PM
798 posts, read 572,757 times
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Well, I think it's important to understand there's different stages of weightloss.

For example when I was at my heaviest and first set about losing weight those first 10-20 pounds just fly off. Then it gets more difficult. Once you're down to a diet that works for you, but you're just maintaining rather than dropping weight...when you plateau in other words, it can get very nerve racking.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:57 AM
14 posts, read 8,354 times
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Yes it is right that gaining weight is easy but losing it is a difficult one. There can be many reasons for it like; hectic schedule, lifestyle, eating habits and others. So you should first keep check on these factors and take strict decision about this. Make some changes to your daily schedule, lifestyle and eating pattern. That would really help you to overcome this difficulty.
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:59 PM
Location: it depends
6,074 posts, read 5,320,278 times
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So here's what I think, based on prior failure and recent success:

If you experience hunger and seek to remedy it or fix it or avoid it or do anything about it at all, it will be very difficult to lose weight.

But if you can experience hunger non-judgmentally, just experience it without doing anything about it, then it is easy to lose weight. You quickly learn that hunger is your friend: merely a sign that you are not taking in enough calories to maintain your current (fat) self.
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:09 PM
Location: San Francisco
16,378 posts, read 5,326,123 times
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That's a very intriguing approach, marcopolo. Most people equate hunger with deprivation or even with not being loved since the cooking and serving of food is a comforting ritual we associate with our mothers, who may have used food to reward us. It's a powerful urge both physically and psychologically, and extremely hard to resist.

I used a similar technique to finally quit smoking after eight unsuccessful tries. The craving was so uncomfortable, even more compelling than hunger, that I would cave in eventually. It felt as if the insides of my lungs were itching, and the only thing that would relieve the itch was to smoke a cigarette.

Then I decided to reframe the way I looked at withdrawal symptoms. I pictured the insides of my lungs trying to heal themselves. I remembered how wounds often itch while they are healing, and that if you scratch the itch, it only makes it worse. That helped me resist the urge, and 33 years later I'm still cigarette-free.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:10 AM
Location: Michigan
3 posts, read 2,003 times
Reputation: 13
Food definitely plays a major role in weight loss! I always say the magic happens in the kitchen. I used to think that I could out exercise my nutrition and I wasn't losing a pound! In fact I was gaining weight. When I cleaned up my nutrition with some pretty awesome recipes and continued working out...the pounds just melted off!
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Old 03-17-2015, 02:20 PM
Location: Westport, CT
18 posts, read 15,353 times
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Originally Posted by mels View Post
It is difficult because everyone who is carrying too much weight is doing so for different reasons. Therefore, there will be no one size fits all solution. Four years ago I lost 30 pounds (that I have kept off!). I already ate healthfully (lots of veg, home cooked meals and very little coming from a package, never liked soda or sugary beverages, etc.) and was relatively active. My issue was eating too much: my portions were too big. Because my only issues was portion control, I was able to figure out how much I should be eating by counting calories. Honestly, it wasn't that hard to scale down portion sizes.

Think about all of the other factors that can be thrown in there: emotional eating (a.k.a. eating your feelings), people who know zero about proper nutrition, people who don't have the support of their family (having to make separate meals if only one person is trying to make a lifestyle change), overeating due to past abuse (VERY common among victims),...and the list goes on. There is no template to lose weight because there are way too many factors involved.

In an ideal world, all of the overweight people would do the following to find success: A. learn proper nutrition B. learn proper portion sizes C. Get professional help for the psychological portion of overeating, if applicable.
I totally agree. I would also add the fact that there is so many misconceptions in the "healthy eating world" that sometimes you do the wrong thing thinking that it is right.

Enough sleep is also very important. Minimum 7-8 hours/night.
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