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Old 03-25-2014, 05:08 PM   #1
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Hello All,

I'd just like to start a conversation about a trend that I've seen that is (in my opinion) degrading the quality of our community. There is a tremendous amount of infighting occurring between people who advocate different ways of losing weight. There are people who have seen good results from going low carb, eating intuitively, eating low fat, high fiber, etc. ad infinitum. I've seen several threads derailed into fights between people advocating different ways of eating.

This concerns me for a few reasons. Firstly, there are many regulars around here who make posting a routine (and this post is addressed to you folks), but there are also people who come here to ask a single question or have a concern addressed. It doesn't serve them to have a thread turn into a food fight between people who are advocating different lifestyle changes. There are also people who come here who are new to health, fitness, and lifestyle communities. They may not know that much about healthy eating and it can be confusing when the very people who are trying to help them are bickering back and forth about calories and carbs.

I hope everyone who has an opinion will weigh in. Perhaps this is a non-issue, but I feel that our community will be better off if we think before we post about these issues in Weight Loss Support- one of the busiest subforums and the one that seems to be the biggest problem for these kinds of things. I for one think that everyone should be able to share what works or hasn't worked for them. Did cutting out sugar and grain products help your weight loss? If it did then it also might be helpful to someone else- but we need to pay attention to how we say what we think works.

Here is my idea: use language that encourages people to understand that there are different things that work for different people. Let's take a common example: Susie is a new forum member and her first post is about how she is sick and tired of being overweight. She asks for tips about diet and exercise. Instead of saying "You should not eat carbs" or "You should eat foods in moderation" try "Cutting down on my carb intake has worked for me." If we all speak in terms of our own experiences it won't be as confusing or open for argument. I can't argue with the fact that you feel better eating X way, just like you can't argue with the fact that I have lost weight eating Y foods.

Talk about your experiences and direct people to different forums. "I have felt so much better eating intuitively, we have a support thread about that at this link... etc." will direct people to the subforums for different lifestyles. The bottom line is that different stuff works for different people. We don't need to turn Weight Loss Support into a trench war.
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Last edited by Locke : 03-25-2014 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:15 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing this! Let's face it, in a world that's judgmental about a person's weight, the last thing we should be doing is "in-fighting". We all view food & exercise different, our bodies are all unique and react differently. My motto is "Find something that works for YOU and stick to it!" Good luck to all no matter what program you follow!
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:05 PM   #3
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While I understand where you're coming from I disagree.

The "infighting" is important, in my opinion, because this topic of fat loss has a large number of facts that cannot be disputed but unfortunately people are incredibly misinformed and have bought into any number of the myths that surround this topic. People reading these threads deserve facts even if it gets a little ugly.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:12 PM   #4
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I think a good rule, I mean a rule that I try to go by in life and message boards is "take what you need and leave the rest."

It is no one else's job to make sure I'm comfortable with what they post or that they use the right words to not confuse me. It is my job to filter the responses to my post and see what makes sense for me to take in.

There will always be people on a message board who are sure they are right and feel the need to educate everyone, those who get upset at things and those who should take a break from the site but can't help themselves from posting.

Typically when I find myself getting upset at someone's post, I shut the screen get up and go do something else. On the rare chance it is still bothering me, I think about what is going on in my own head that is causing the upset. Because the only person I have control over is me.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:17 PM   #5
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I agree with both the OP & John. I'm new here, but have tried to be a pretty active poster thus far and in my opinion the range of others' opinions & perspectives have been wonderful. Some I've agreed with, others I have not -but for me it's still very interesting/educational to see a topic hashed out from two different sides.

Clearly there are more polite, respectful ways we can express our opinions and this should be something we all keep in mind when writing to another poster - but like John said, there's A LOT of misinformation out there and I think it's important to hear opposing views. If each party remains respectful of the other, why can't they debate the topic maturely?
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:20 PM   #6
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OMG...I couldn't agree more with Locke! That is why I so rarely post here even though I have been a member for over a year. I don't need someone telling me my diet DR Pepper addiction is going to kill me or that the 100 calorie snack bag of cookies is bad!

As Ive said before, the bottom line to losing weight is one has to be in the right frame of mind for it to be successful. Any diet one chooses will work IF he is ready for the change. For example, even WW wont work if one isn't ready.

Yes, we should all be supportive and applaud each other's accomplishments - not degrade them because they didn't do it "right".

Again, kudos Locke for speaking for many of us!!
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:05 PM   #7
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I suggest that people give an example of their own experience and then link to where else they have discussed the benefits of their approach.

As a newer member, I've been turned off the last couple days by the vitriol. I feel like it is coloring my experience and I have stopped recommending it to other friends.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:32 PM   #8
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I find that the ignore button is a lovely function. I ignore negativity that way. If it's a topic you are curious about that the user posted on, you can click view post if you need to. It's been working for me.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:57 PM   #9
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I have never come across any of these judgmental posts....Everyone that I have come across has only expressed their opinions when asked....
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnP View Post
While I understand where you're coming from I disagree.

The "infighting" is important, in my opinion, because this topic of fat loss has a large number of facts that cannot be disputed but unfortunately people are incredibly misinformed and have bought into any number of the myths that surround this topic. People reading these threads deserve facts even if it gets a little ugly.
I think the problem is that one person's "fact" is another person's misguided opinion. There are so many gray areas and conflicting studies that one version of the facts may be more philosophical, logical, moral or opinionated than another person's version. The truth is that it is less about facts and more about trial and error. The study findings are often more about who funded them than finding the truth. I believe this forum is more about shared experiences than facts.

I am not disagreeing with any one here...just saying that dieting is less about facts than about what works best for any particular person. I do see a lot of "spreading the gospel" type of posts for carbs, calories, WW, IE and plenty of the in-fighting that the OP has mentioned. There are hundreds of legitimate ways to lose weight and the fact is the only best method is whichever one will work for you personally on a longterm basis. Whatever works for you may or may not work for someone else for a lot of different reasons not limited to metabolic, medical, hormonal, and philosophical differences.

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Old 03-26-2014, 02:10 AM   #11
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I wholeheartedly agree. I myself have received some questionable responses, but luckily I'm not new to this forum, so I could easily move on. Someone who is new and uncertain probably wouldn't brush it off so easily and may even be discouraged from the process altogether. Besides that, I love the idea of this being a safe place for all of us to, yes, learn about new ways to be healthy, but also feel SUPPORTED. Hard to feel supported when people are chastising you like you are a disobedient pet.

Keep the peace! :P
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:57 AM   #12
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My 2 cents:

Every woman on the planet has tried low carbing at some point in their lives. Works great for men. Women, it works a little, some it works a lot, but mostly you plateau sooner than you'd like.

IFing, the same story. Works great for men, but OK for women to maintain. In general.

Calorie counting works great for most people, but not for me.

Every BODY is different!!

If you think a new or old diet/lifestyle is For Everyone, I think it would be best if it was phrased "(Fill in the blank) might be of interest to you."

That's It!!

Last edited by Inkrid : 03-26-2014 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:09 AM   #13
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Thanks Locke for addressing this issue, it can at times get very ugly especially when the gospel is about science, gosh there is nothing like science to make people go crazy if they can't make their physiology match up to whatever science one is promoting. We are all so desperate to find the right solution to our problems that when we think we've found it we want to shout it from the rooftops and I don't blame anyone for that.

We all come from different places. Some of us want to lose weight. Some of us want to get fit and run marathons. Some of us want to cure our eating disorders or addictions, and build a better relationship with food. Some of us want to address systematic issues of our food supply and our views can be quite political about that. Some of us want to create better habits for our families. Personally I am dealing with an eating disorder so very naturally I am going to reject any diet, treating an eating disorder with a diet is like treating a broken ankle with a bandaid.

There is no one diet that will cure everyone of everything. Insisting on it does not and will not ever make that true. I think it's all well and good to blind yourself to only one set of facts, we all do it in some ways to keep our sanity, but I agree that insisting on it for others is not the best way to create a supportive community.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariposssa View Post

I am not disagreeing with any one here...just saying that dieting is less about facts than about what works best for any particular person. I do see a lot of "spreading the gospel" type of posts for carbs, calories, WW, IE and plenty of the in-fighting that the OP has mentioned. There are hundreds of legitimate ways to lose weight and the fact is the only best method is whichever one will work for you personally on a longterm basis. Whatever works for you may or may not work for someone else for a lot of different reasons not limited to metabolic, medical, hormonal, and philosophical differences.
This

There are quite a few people who seem h-ell bent on "converting" others to their diet plan. Sometimes it feels like someone pushing their Religion. While I value everyone's experiences and advice, sometimes certain people can take it a post or 10 too far. To those people I just want to say. Take it down a notch ok? We are all thrilled that you have found the thing that works for you, but we are not you. Low Carb, WW, IP, IE, or Calorie counting, whatever it may be. I like where Karin suggested that people post links or direct to other threads where they have already stood on their respective soap-boxes so everyone else isn't continuously flooded with the same "preachy" posts over and over again.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:09 AM   #15
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I understand what Locke is saying and agree with her for the most part. In real life I also think that people should be polite and show tolerance to each other. But that often is not the case.

People feel passionate about what works for them. Especially if they have struggled for a long time and found something that eliminates that struggle.

As for agreeing on facts, the experts can not agree on the facts. For example, there is Dr Eric Westman (an MD) from Duke who says that low carb is the best way to lose weight. Then there is Dr. T. Colin Campbell (PhD) who advocates almost the opposite with a low-fat, whole foods, vegan (plant-based) diet. Both men have excellent credentials and have studies that back what they say. However, I think that it would be impossible to meld their opinions into one diet.

If the experts can't agree, how can we?

I really do think that it would be best to be polite but think that, for many people, it is just not their personality in real life or in an online forum. We have to take the bad with the good. I did not appreciate one person telling me in a post that what my doctor told me was "wrong". I thought that was pretty arrogant but I just dismissed their post and did not argue. I was not going to take a stranger's advice from an online forum over my doctor's advice. But there was no point in arguing.

As long as people feel strongly about their point of view, there is going to be some amount of argument. I actually think that it is a sign of an active forum. I would much rather see argument than have a dead forum. Our moderators do a good job of stopping a thread when they see it getting out of control.

Thank you, moderators!
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