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Old 04-07-2012, 07:57 PM   #67
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,383

S/C/G: SW:394/310/180

Height: 5'6"


I suspect that more research will find that there's a great deal of variability between thel pre- and post- weight loss metabolisms (and in how much metabolism f unctioning is lost) based on the degree of obesity and the number of weight loss attempts the individual has made. The person who lost 50 lbs and did it in one try may have a very different post-metabolism that the person who loses 150 lbs and took thirty years of yoyo dieting to do it.

There are much older studies that have found similarly (that repeat dieters, on average, end up with much slower metabolisms than people who've lost the same amount of weight but who have a history of many previous failed weight loss attempts.

I'm only an experiment of one, (and I'm not yet one of the completely reduced-obese), but my metabolism is a much different animal than it was in the past.

For more than thirty years I have read the theory and the research supporting the theory that repeated dieting erodes metabolism. This intuitively makes sense, because when I returned to old eating habits, I didn't just regain to my old weight, I regained to a higher weight. Now it's possible that I didn't really return to old habits, I returned to eating "intuitively" and the dieting may have causes hunger increases not only (or instead of) metabolism decline.

I know "this time around" my metabolism is the lowest it's ever been (far less than a 20% decline). It's so shocking to me that I don't share the information with anyone but my doctor, my TOPS (taking off pounds sensibly) and 3FC, because I don't think anyone else will believe it:

The calorie level I'm on now (about 1800 calories, though I've recently droppped it to 1500 of relatively low-carb) is the same calorie level that I once routinely lost 5 to 8 lbs per week (and up to 11 lbs the first week).

I noticed gradual declines over the 41 years I've been dieting, but this current attempt is by far the worst.

As a young person (under 30), I couldn't blame my metabolism. I ate huge quantities of food, and I knew it. It was an appetite problem because I was always either uncomfortably hungry or I was gaining weight. To even maintain my weight I've always had to drastically curtail calories. And the pms week was the hardest. I felt as desperate as an animal caught in a trap, willing to chew it's foot off to escape.

I didn't start truly succeeding without the constant threat of relapse until I found ways to manage the hunger (rather than ignore it, like everyone in my life and in the medical community advised). Birth control and low-carb dieting are the only ways I've found to reduce the "rabid hunger" that has plagued me for as long as I can remember.

I don't know how common my experience is, but I'm still shocked by it. My experience doesn't seem plausible even to myself. When I was younger and heard older women complaining about how they couldn't lose weight on much less than I was eating (and losing on) I thought "yeah right," and imagined them "forgetting" to document what they were "reallly" eating. It was easier to believe that they were lying (at least to themselves) than to face the possibility that weight loss could be that difficult.

There's still an ingrained cultural belief that "weight loss is easy" and that those who find difficulty with weight loss have a defect of character that makes them lazy, crazy, stupid, or at the very least, careless.

The research (for thirty years) has been finding more and more proof not only that weight loss is difficult, but some of the reasons why... and yet it's all treated as "controversial" because it's assumed that the results "take the blame" off the obese or overweight person. As if blame were more important than the truth.

I don't care whether my weight is all my fault or none of my fault, I'm stuck being the only person who can be responsible for it, so I've got to do what I've got to do, but I'm more than a little tired of people telling me how "easy" it is or should be to lose weight.

I've done some incredible things in my life and all of them combined (including my bachelor's and master's degree in psychology and my work as a probation officer and substance abuse counselor and then retraining as a computer programer) were a snap compared to sustained weight loss/maintenance.

Ironically the message I've gotten since I was a kindergartener was that hunger was irrelevant and I had to learn to ignore it. I couldn't ignore it, and I thought THAT made me defective. Instead, I had to learn to see hunger (especially what I have come to call "rabid hunger" the hunger associated with pms and high carb intake) as a forbidable adversary. Hunger is my enemy and I need to have a wide range of weapons to fight it.

Hunger isn't irrelevant, and sometimes beating hunger means outsmarting it (eating high-fiber low-calorie foods with lots of bulk, avoiding the flavor and food triggers that increase hunger like very sweet foods, the sweet/salt/fat combination talked about in the book The End of Overeating...

I think one of the main reasons weight loss success statistics are so dismal, is that as a culture we don't take it seriously enough. We assume weight loss failulre is due to defects in character and lack of effort rather than the truth "this stuff is damned difficult." It's especially difficult to do alone, and there's been a culture of shame that results in few people seeking help (at least not until the problem has gotten exponentially worse).

I would love to see TOPS and similar weight loss and weight loss maintenance groups in the grade schools, and every single currently or formerly obese or overweight person in such a group and not ashamed of it.

I'd love for weight issues to stop being connsidered "dirty little secrets" (especially since they're not really secret at all).

And now I'm really getting off topic, but I do think that the best thing to happen in the field of weight loss is for the subject to be less taboo. I think the weight loss research lags behind other fields of study because of the controversy.
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