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Some Answers About Genes, Environment, Obesity and Maintenance

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Old 01-13-2006, 08:48 PM   #46
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I was always hungry while I was losing, and nothing has changed. I know my body wants to be heavier, but I don't like it heavier. The bodyfat level at which I'm attempting to maintain is low for a woman my age (51).l Aside from personal cosmetic issues, I'm in the fitness and sports nutrition business. I feel like I need to look like I "walk the walk".

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Old 01-14-2006, 01:18 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel
I feel like I need to look like I "walk the walk".
You know what Mel, I actually really LIKE looking like I walks the walk.... Mel, I think you jinxed me, since my body composition is changing, not necessarily the scale moving, I hungry ALL the time lately... Doesn't matter what I eat or how dense and filling it is I am hungry about an hour and a half later ... I think our muscles are just absorbing the food and nutrients, do you think that makes sense??
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Old 01-14-2006, 12:15 PM   #48
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Yes, one of my initial weightloss goals is to lose enough fat so that I actually look like I lift weights.


Regarding genetics and obesity, I think the leptin story shows us that the genetic basis of obesity is much more complicated in humans than in mice, and the ultimate answers are more likely to come from the human genomic projects. I am not sure the US project included any obese individuals, but I am certain the Icelandic project does because they are sequencing ALL of the genes in the Icelandic population.

Decode

I see that they have already found a new "fat gene":

Quote:
*
DeCode Finds A Fat Gene
Matthew Herper, 09.30.03, 1:36 PM ET

NEW YORK - DeCode Genetics announced this morning that it had found a gene linked to obesity, prompting a milestone payment from its partner Merck. The tiny Icelandic genomics company's shares shot up 15% to $4.90 in Nasdaq trading, even though neither the amount of the milestone payment nor much information about the gene was disclosed.



DeCode (nasdaq: DCGN - news - people ) said in its statement this morning that one form of the gene predisposed people to become fat, while another predisposed them to be thin. "Obesity and thinness are two sides of the same coin, and with our partners at Merck we are working to identify the best targets for therapeutic intervention within this pathway, as well as compounds that are effective against these targets," DeCode Chief Executive Kari Stefansson said in the statement. "This is an important step toward developing new drugs that can treat obesity, perhaps by utilizing the body's own mechanisms for promoting and maintaining thinness."

DeCode provided few further details about this discovery. That's not unusual. But more information may emerge at some point in the future. For example, DeCode last week published a paper describing a gene related to stroke in the scientific journal Nature Genetics. A similar paper on the fat gene may be in the works.

Finding the gene would be only the first step. Developing a drug based on genomics is no easy task. Millennium Pharmaceuticals (nasdaq: MLNM - news - people ) and Abbott Laboratories (nyse: ABT - news - people ) at one point were co-developing an obesity drug, but that product, MLN4760, apparently was mothballed. In August the two companies scrapped their alliance, which had been started in 2001 to use genomics to look for drugs to fight diabetes and obesity.

When Merck (nyse: MRK - news - people ) and DeCode announced their partnership in September 2002, the companies said the deal had a potential value of $90 million to DeCode even before royalties with new drugs are included. DeCode also has an alliance with computing giant IBM (nyse: IBM - news - people ) to sell gene-sleuthing software it developed.
Link: http://www.forbes.com/2003/09/30/cx_mh_0930decode.html

Too bad the partner is Merck; I have no faith in their product safety.
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Old 01-14-2006, 04:50 PM   #49
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Hi!

I haven't read the whole thread, but I just wanted to say that I can't relate to the lower maintenance calories for the "reduced obese". Maybe his findings really only apply to former obese people, and not to those of us who were only overweight, like others have pointed out. Personally, I never had to eat that little or exercise that much to maintain my 37-lb loss (I maintained that for 5 years, then regained 10 and have maintained for the past 4, but I swear this year I'll get rid of those 10!). Anyway, I gained those 10 because I ate like a pig, I *cannot* blame my body for it. I maintain easily at 2100-2200 cals/day.

Is it ok for me to post here? Or should I stick to the support forum, since I'm trying to lose again? I'm so excited to post! I've been lurking for years!
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Old 01-14-2006, 05:05 PM   #50
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Of course it's OK for you to post here! We love it when lurkers come out and play and hope to see lots more of you here at Maintainers. Trust me, there are plenty of us looking to get rid of ten bonus pounds!
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Old 01-16-2006, 09:23 AM   #51
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I posted a little bit about this topic here, but here is another tidbit of info from my Neuroscience book.

Apparently, animals have a "desired" weight that they will maintain at. Suppose you have a rat that is at a normal weight. If you force feed the rat, it will gain, but when the force feeding stops, it will voluntarily eat less until returning to its original weight. If you then starve the rat, it will lose weight, but when food is returned it will eat until it gains back to the original weight.

Maybe for some people the "desired" weight is screwed up? (That is entirely my own speculation, not from the book!)

Another interesting thing from the book that has nothing to do with this but was so bizarre that I have to tell you about it. Some rats don't naturally produce leptin (which I know has been discussed here). These rats are so huge they look like spheres. Apparently they can do a surgery where they take one of these spherical rats and fuse it to a normal rat, so they are sharing the same blood flow (BIZARRO I know). When they do that, the spherical rat returns to normal size! (But it has another rat attached to it like conjoined twins, which is really weird.) Anyway, I just thought it was pretty bizarre that they can even do a surgery like that.
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Old 01-16-2006, 10:07 AM   #52
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I read about that in Fat Wars, it's very interesting and Dr Liebel (sp?) gets lots of mentions there. I'm sure they'll get to the bottom of it sooner or later!
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Old 01-18-2006, 08:00 PM   #53
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Thought this thread was really interesting...I am not a maintainer, but it is on my mind a lot and in some ways I now consider myself to be maintaining my loss more adamantly than trying to lose more (losing is fine, but I do not want to go up ever ever again). As as obvious by my ticker, I was never obese, and only about 10-15 lbs into the overweight category (close to "normal" again now, yay). However, I have found in my counting calories that if I constitently go above say about 1400 or 1500 calories a day (averaging over time) that I start to gain weight back. The times 10 analogy for my basal seems to work best, and with a goal weight of 120 I assume I will be eating around 1200 (maybe 100-200 more if I can exercise and increase my muscle mass, I'll admit I'm not on top of that now). I am also quite young so this is not an effect of ageing.

I am not formerly-obese, and while I've been "overweight" probably my whole life (up until now) I wonder if the same thing would apply to people who maybe have a tendency for obesity? I try not to use genes as an excuse, but my mother, father and sister have all been obese at various times (mother had bypass surgery, father diets on atkins now and then, and sister currently obese, though she diets occasionally as well). I'm not saying it's been comparitively difficult to lose weight, it's a whole process I'm still trying to understand and I don't resent that it's "easy" or "easier" for some people, just seems my calories are comparitively low for someone who has never been obese, and I don't think I'm the only one. I wonder if there's something else, maybe genetic, maybe a combination of things (like I said, I've *always* been overweight, even if not by much). Definitely interesting thoughts though, have enjoyed reading the posts and I think Dr. Liebel's work has some merit, even if the full implications aren't understood.
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Old 01-21-2006, 05:11 PM   #54
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Apologies if I am repeating anything as I haven't read the entire thread (just read the first page), but could someone please clarify what 'reduced obese' actually means in terms of weight loss. For example, would I be considered 'reduced obese'? - I weighed in at 154 pounds 3 months ago (which is actually considered to be perfect for my height of 5 feet 8 inches, but way more than I usually weigh as I am a slight build) and now weigh 130 pounds. Does this qualify me as 'reduced obese'?

Many thanks,
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Old 01-21-2006, 05:28 PM   #55
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Good question, Rhapsody, and I'm not 100% certain of the answer.

I've seen the term 'reduced obese' used in medical literature without a clear definition. However, usually 'obesity' is medically defined as a BMI over 30 (with a BMI over 40 considred to be 'morbidly obese'). In a few places, I've read that the metabolic effects of weight loss kick in when one has lost 10% of their body weight - that's the number that triggers the body to go into 'gain back the fat' mode. In the experiments that have been done with leptin, I think the subjects first drop 10% of their weight in order to reduce their leptin levels.

Certainly you weren't obese using BMI but you have lost 10% of your body weight ... I don't know if any of this might apply to you personally -- do you feel like it might?
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Old 01-21-2006, 06:32 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg
Good question, Rhapsody, and I'm not 100% certain of the answer.

I've seen the term 'reduced obese' used in medical literature without a clear definition. However, usually 'obesity' is medically defined as a BMI over 30 (with a BMI over 40 considred to be 'morbidly obese'). In a few places, I've read that the metabolic effects of weight loss kick in when one has lost 10% of their body weight - that's the number that triggers the body to go into 'gain back the fat' mode. In the experiments that have been done with leptin, I think the subjects first drop 10% of their weight in order to reduce their leptin levels.

Certainly you weren't obese using BMI but you have lost 10% of your body weight ... I don't know if any of this might apply to you personally -- do you feel like it might?
Thank you so much for your reply.

I'm not sure if I think it applies to me. I only reached my target weight this week and am hoping to maintain from now on. The thing is that I am naturally slim and only gained weight because I became a complete pig over the past year. I am usually around the 9 - 9.5 stone mark anyway, so for me to be almost 11 stone was out of the ordinary.

I guess I hope it doesn't apply to me in the sense that I would like to keep the weight off, but it wouldn't surprise me if it did.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-21-2006, 06:47 PM   #57
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Please stick around and keep posting with us. We're all dedicated to maintenance here!
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Old 01-21-2006, 07:20 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg
Please stick around and keep posting with us. We're all dedicated to maintenance here!
Thank you for the warm welcome - I like it here
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Old 01-16-2007, 05:52 PM   #59
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Thanks to 3FC. I've been lurking here since I reached my goal weight in September 2006. I started at 224lbs (102kgs) and am now (today) at 142lbs (64kgs). I think I've been fortunate that I've been able to lose weight under a program that suited me. I had tried others, and took advice from nutritionists on how to eat properly, you know, eat 3 meals, 3 snacks daily. This was good for me to maintain at 224lbs, but not to lose weight.

I recall when I put on the weight. I was studying full time with limited income. I ate muesli, bread, pasta, rice - yup - all those cheap filling foods. Well, you know that you can lose up to a kilo (2.2lbs) a week. Well, I know that you can put it on that fast too. I sat down in February at 70kgs, and stood up in September weighting 94kgs. It wasn't rocket science, but it took me about 10 years to work it out.

Now I've lost my 80+lbs, and getting to the world of maintenance was something that I had not been to before, and there was scant information about it - it seemed - anywhere! So, this thread is great for me - and thanks to 3FC.

My experience in the 4 months since I've been maintaining is that my actions and behaviours are no different than when I was losing. I still weigh my food and eat the same amount of foods I lost on. I still only eat 3 meals a day. I don't eat junk, and if I'm going out - I plan for it for the day, and don't go overboard. I find that I just can't eat like I used to as a "formerly obese person". I know that I will gain if I add just a few extra things into my diet.

So, diet and maintenance are one and the same for me. I know now that it will be a life long journey, and one that I hope will become a routine. It helps that I love my fresh unprocessed food diet.

I agree with the other members who acknowledge their lifestyle changes starting the day they commence their "diet". I wouldn't have said that on the day I started my "diet" in October 2005 at 224lbs. It's only now that I'm here, that in hindsight, I can say that it is true.

Start Weight: 224lbs
Goal Weight: 145lbs
Current Weight: 142 lbs
Maintaining since September 2006
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Old 01-16-2007, 06:18 PM   #60
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Welcome Lervly! And yay for your fabulous weight loss!

I see you posted in the Introductions thread ... we hope you join in on lots of the other discussions here.
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