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Old 02-02-2012, 09:37 AM   #1
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Default "Naturally fat"??

We have the "naturally thin" friend post. What about "naturally fat" - the "flip side" of this coin? ? Does it exist?? (this kind of coincides with the post regarding set point theory.)


We know some "naturally thin" people, those who can seemingly eat whatever/whenever they want & never gain weight - is it safe/ok to say that we know some "naturally fat" people? Do we know someone who barely eats at all - EVER! - and still cannot LOSE weight?

This is where the water really gets murky, IMHO. Because really, it makes NO SENSE. You have to create a calorie deficit in order to lose weight (whether thru diet, exercise, or both). This is a proven factual method of weight loss. Then why do some people have bodies that seemingly hang onto every single ounce? Why is it that some people lose weight for awhile, and then get stalled, & then have to INCREASE their calories in order to start "losing again"? That whole thing of the body "thinks it's starving" so it hangs onto all the weight it can. That just doesn't make sense!!

These are the things that baffle the bedickens outta me!!!

And coincidentally, what I'm facing at the moment. Plateaued & can't get off it. Have tried lowering another 250 calories...NOTHING. I have tried increasing calories... and I gain. UGH.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:59 AM   #2
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This is a very good question. My short opinion is yes, I do think there are people who are "naturally fat". I'll come back and write more later - work is calling! LOL.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:19 AM   #3
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"Naturally fat" people usually have a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:19 AM   #4
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I don't think there's really anyone that's "naturally" fat. I think mostly it's dictated by our choices. However, I do believe there are people who struggle to lose weight even in the presence of a calorie deficit. People with health issues such as thyroid, diabetes, insulin resistance. These things play a part in keeping people from losing weight efficiently.

Our bodies are in essence a very adaptable machine. It adapts to the things you do to it. Sometimes you have to break your patterns to keep it from over-adapting. Changing your exercise, calorie cycling, low-carb, carb-cycling, there are a number of methods that can help break them. Finding what works can be time consuming and frustrating. But worth it when you figure it out.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:36 AM   #5
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I'm convinced, after years of trying to get this weight off, that some of it, at least for some people, has to do with food sensitivity. It's *hard* to give up all grains and dairy when that's a large part of the standard American diet, but that's what it takes for me to lose weight. As soon as I add them back in I start gaining again, regardless of the amount of exercise I do.

Does that mean I'm 'naturally' fat? I don't think so. I think it just means that my body doesn't work the way science wants it to, so I have to figure out my own rules in order to meet my goal.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:52 AM   #6
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Two years ago I'd have thrown up both hands and said, "Me, me! I'm naturally fat!" But I was wrong. I was just uneducated about what works for MY body. My body works just a touch differently than others.

I think we all variances in how easily the weight will come off and on how easily we are able to maintain. I hate to say it, but I think for the vast majority of those who might consider themselves "naturally fat", in reality they just haven't found what works for them yet. And that's not easy.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:25 AM   #7
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<<Do we know someone who barely eats at all - EVER! - and still cannot LOSE weight? >>

Personally, I don't believe this is possible, because I trust that the laws of thermodynamics apply to everyone. Everyone uses up a minimum of energy to keep the life processes going, and that minimum can't vary TOO much because we all share the same heart, lungs and basic physiology.

In another thread (a sticky, I think) someone mentioned going to a lecture by a doctor specializing in weight loss, who said that he has NEVER seen an overweight person not lose weight when put on a medically supervised hospital-based calorie-restricted diet.

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Old 02-02-2012, 11:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thistoo View Post
I'm convinced, after years of trying to get this weight off, that some of it, at least for some people, has to do with food sensitivity. It's *hard* to give up all grains and dairy when that's a large part of the standard American diet, but that's what it takes for me to lose weight. As soon as I add them back in I start gaining again, regardless of the amount of exercise I do.

Does that mean I'm 'naturally' fat? I don't think so. I think it just means that my body doesn't work the way science wants it to, so I have to figure out my own rules in order to meet my goal.
So maybe "naturally fat" is the wrong terminology, but I totally agree with this.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:55 AM   #9
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I have a hard time with this theory mainly because I remember what people looked like when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s. And we have all seen pictures and movies from long before that time. It's a fact that people have gotten larger and that that trend continues. And to me that means that the biggest issue is the changing lifestyle and eating habits, not a natural propensity to be overweight.

Does that mean that some people do not have slower metabolisms and other impediments to weight loss for a variety of reasons? No. But, by and large, I do believe that the obesity epidemic is a result of life choices.

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Old 02-02-2012, 12:01 PM   #10
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I don't know about 'naturally fat' but I have a son who is 'naturally big'. Is he overweight now, yes and he could lose some weight. However, he is a BIG boy, I mean tall, big boned, barrel chested, big hands and feet. I knew when he was born he was gonna be a big boy. It's in his genes. He plays football and he is strong but he is still overweight. Can he lose weight? Yes and I hope that someday he cares enough to give it a real shot BUT he is always going to be a BIG boy.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:32 PM   #11
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I'll add to this that if you do have a disease that makes you overweight or makes it difficult to lose weight, you can also have a disease that can keep you skinny (hyperthyroidism, anybody?!).

So, is it natural? Is a disease considered natural?

I think a lot of people don't know what's best for their bodies and the calculation of "calories in versus calories out" is too over-simplified. Being overweight isn't just simply a question of eating less.

If it was -- we would all do it and never be fat/overweight.

Studies are showing more and more that there is a link between how much the combination of fat/carbs rewards the pleasure centers of the brain, the addiction of sugar in on our bodies, the damage that's done after years of being overweight on our adrenal/pancreatic systems, and the result is that even when you ARE ready to lose the weight, you may find it's no longer easy as simply eating less and moving more.

Thus, it may seem like it's natural to be at set point that's higher than what's considered "healthy."

I agree with the concept that you have to find something that works for you, not only physical (i.e. the diet plan and exercise plan that works for you), but the medical and the psychological aspects of weight loss too.

I really think we should all be striving for better health, rather than thinness or a specific weight goal. I struggle to find the right balance of these things too.....
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:41 PM   #12
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Just like the "naturally thin" thread, I think it boils down to mostly lifestyle than anything else.

Granted, there are differences in how people eat, taste and feel full. Would this have an effect on how a person struggles with their weight? I think so! If you like feeling overly full, then you might struggle with your weight vs someone who only likes feeling satisfied. If certain foods do not appeal to you, you may or may not struggle with your weight.

Frame size comes into the equation, certainly, but the weight variances in that are not all that large and can even overlap.

Health issues are certainly another matter entirely! There are issues where people cannot lose weight, but they are few and far between. I think that for the majority weight loss is possible but considering how little information is taught about nutrition and portion sizes (and instead we have smear campaigns trying to shame people thin) is it any wonder that many of us are overweight or obese? Not to mention that the majority of us are sedentary—there are fewer "active jobs" now than 60, 70 years ago—and coupled with increased portion sizes leads to weight gain.

Lastly, we need to remember evolution. We did not always live in such abundance Those of us not wired to pack on the pounds and save for harsher times died out and did not reproduce. Those of us made to last through famine and hard times lived and had children. So now we struggle where our predecessors did not because they left us with the genes to make it through times when food is scarce.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
We know some "naturally thin" people, those who can seemingly eat whatever/whenever they want & never gain weight - is it safe/ok to say that we know some "naturally fat" people? Do we know someone who barely eats at all - EVER! - and still cannot LOSE weight?
If you define "naturally thin" as "Can eat significantly more calories than would be expected to maintain a normal body weight", then yes, I believe there are "naturally fat" people, those who can eat significantly less calories than would be expected to maintain a normal body weight. That doesn't mean that there isn't a level of calories where that individual wouldn't lose weight (just as someone "naturally thin", if they ate 1000 more calories a day, would gain weight), but that the individual's calorie needs are far below what is considered "normal".

I am probably one of those people. My maintenance calories, with about 8 hours a week of solid/intense exercise (2 hours of circuit training strength work, 6 hours of cardio) and another 4 hours of walking the dog, plus lots of NEAT activity (I don't sit well) are around 1500 a day, despite being fairly young and having a lot of muscle mass. Pregnant, with the same exercise routine, my weight gain goes off track if I get over 1750-1800 calories a day. In fact, even at that level, I'm gaining slightly faster than my midwives want (but they don't want me to cut my calories any further, to ensure I get all the nutrients the baby needs, so I'm sort of stuck with whatever my body does at this point).

That doesn't mean I can't maintain my weight loss, or that I can't lose weight by cutting calories - no one gets to defy the rules of thermodynamics. It just means that my body requires far fewer calories to keep itself running, despite exercise and etc, than do typical bodies. If "naturally thin" is defined as someone who eats more than would be expected without gaining, I think it's reasonable to define "naturally fat" as someone who eats less than would be expected without losing. But neither one has a weight that is immoveable (again, if the naturally thin one ate 1000 calories more a day, he or she would surely gain, just as if the naturally thin one ate 1000 calories less a day, he or she would surely lose).
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #14
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I think again, unless you know the persons diet it's hard to tell. I've known friends who ate 3-4 doghnuts in an evening and were very skinny, but all they'd had for breakfast and lunch was coffee and cigarettes.

Likewise, I've never eaten very much in the company of other people due to feeling self conscious, and I probably looked as though I should be 15lbs lighter than I was regarding how I appeared to eat. But then they didn't know that I would eventually wind up binging on my own.

I think there are definitely people who will naturally be a little 'chunkier' than others, but naturally fat is quite ambiguous
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #15
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We have to remember too that a person can "not eat much", but if "not much" is high calorie food, there's a big difference. I dare say people would think I eat quite a lot now, eating 6 mini meals a day. When I was at my heaviest I only ate three meals a day and not a whole lot of food but what I was eating was highly caloric. Breakfast for instance: sugar oatmeal, buttered/jellied toast, glass of OJ. I didn't count drinks as calories and I was drinking 1-2 cans of pop per day. That right there is 846 calories before lunch.
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