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Old 05-24-2007, 02:04 PM   #1
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There was an interesting story on "All Things Considered" last night. Hopefully a link to it is ok.
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Old 05-24-2007, 02:31 PM   #2
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Gina, thanks for the link.

I just finished reading the book myself and want to post about it after I get my thoughts together. It's well worth reading, though discouraging about success at long term weight loss. But we all knew the statistics already, right?
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:28 PM   #3
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Hi ladies,

I also just read Gina Kolata's book and would love to talk about some of the things she writes about - the biology stuff fascinates me, but I do admit it is discouraging when it comes to long-term weight loss!

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Old 05-24-2007, 03:46 PM   #4
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Guess I'll have to add this book to my "to read" pile! I read the excerpt and it was very interesting. And information is never a bad thing, IMO.
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Old 05-24-2007, 04:34 PM   #5
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I'm going to listen to it and read the article. Thanks for sharing.

Now I'm also tempted to get the book--and read it, of course. I like to think that somehow, even if it's disheartening, isn't it still better to do something, rather than throw the towel from the start? (Yes, you can tell I'm in my 'eternal optimist' period, right. Maybe I'm wrong, but...
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Old 05-24-2007, 04:40 PM   #6
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How about we do a book discussion like we did with Thin For Life? It doesn't have to be chapter by chapter necessarily. Maybe in 2 - 3 weeks to give people a chance to read the book if they want to?

I think it's got very important information for anyone looking for permanent weight loss.
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:38 PM   #7
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It's called "Rethinking Thin" by Gina Kolata?
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg View Post
How about we do a book discussion like we did with Thin For Life? It doesn't have to be chapter by chapter necessarily. Maybe in 2 - 3 weeks to give people a chance to read the book if they want to?

I think it's got very important information for anyone looking for permanent weight loss.
I'd be very interested in taking part in this, especially now that classes and exams are over (more free time to read, yay). Unfortunately, I'll have to wait until June to order it--the downside of reaching my pre-collapse weight again was that I had to buy a couple more summer pants that wouldn't fall off, so now my checkbook is pulling a long face at me. I hope it'll be quickly delivered, anyway.
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:59 PM   #9
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I love the idea of a discussion thread. I ordered it for the library and it should be here soon.
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:11 PM   #10
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I'd be up for a discussion thread. I've not read the book, but I did read the excerpt published in the NYT a week or so ago, and found it very provocative. I had actually planned to start a thread about that article, but never got around to it.
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:18 PM   #11
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I haven't read the book yet, but as far as losing weight and keeping it off, everyone acts like it's such a big mystery...is it? Seems like if you really change your life and stick to your new healthy habits, the weight stays off too. Anytime I've ever gained any weight back, it's becuase I have backslid and have started slipping back into my previous unhealthy habits that made me heavy in the first place. If I plan my meals, watch my calories and eat whole foods, the scale never goes above 130. If I eat a lot of dinners out and snack on double handfuls of nuts and eat dessert every day for 3 days, the scale goes up 3 lbs.

I just don't think the odds have to be so grim. Pick something you can stick with, stick with it.
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:45 PM   #12
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OK, how does four weeks sound? That way people would have time to round up a copy and read it. And we can let people know we'll be discussing it. So -- around June 21ish?

Glory, the book discusses a lot of the biology and genetics of weight - hormones, receptors and all that stuff. And it discusses the research and studies about weight loss and maintenance. You know I agree with you about lifestyle change, but there are factors at work that can make a lifetstyle change challenging. If you have a chance to check out the book, take a look. I don't agree with her conclusions, but the science is fascinating.
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:49 PM   #13
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This is the book: Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss--and the Myths and Realities of Dieting
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:17 AM   #14
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I've just remembered we have an English books-only library in town! (The one I usually go to, nearer from my home, 'only' has academics books geared towards the class programs in our university, so of course they don't carry it.) I'll either phone or go there next week, and if they have it, I'll have them put it aside for me for the first days of June. That should take care of it.

Can you tell I'm more and more interested by this book, hehe.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:52 AM   #15
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I haven't read the book yet, but as far as losing weight and keeping it off, everyone acts like it's such a big mystery...is it? Seems like if you really change your life and stick to your new healthy habits, the weight stays off too. Anytime I've ever gained any weight back, it's becuase I have backslid and have started slipping back into my previous unhealthy habits that made me heavy in the first place. If I plan my meals, watch my calories and eat whole foods, the scale never goes above 130. If I eat a lot of dinners out and snack on double handfuls of nuts and eat dessert every day for 3 days, the scale goes up 3 lbs.

I just don't think the odds have to be so grim. Pick something you can stick with, stick with it.
The big thing these researchers are finding is that it's not all that simple, at least on a societal level. The current weight theory is that a calorie is a calorie and a body is a body - any given body that takes in too much food will gain weight, and that overweight body just needs to take in less food to lose weight. Fat people are just skinny people who ate too much, and skinny people could be fat people if they overate the same way.

On a person-by-person basis, what you say is true - eat less to lose weight, eat less to keep it off... and that works. But it's always seemed pretty unfair that some of us will have to fight every day to keep the weight off... you can never eat like an "average" person if your body wants you to be fat. And that's not just in our heads.

Someone sent me the NYT book excerpt a few weeks ago that summarizes some of this: basically showing studies that the bodies of obese people who lose weight function similar to the bodies of people who are starving - metabolism drops and the body fights vigorously to go back to its previous weight. The even more striking part was the opposite study: "Ok, so fat bodies have somehow changed by being fat, and want to stay fat.... let's take some average people and have them gain weight" - the argument being that the body somehow adjusts to being fat and wants to be there. Instead, the metabolism of the average-weight volunteers went into overdrive, burning huge amounts of calories given their body size - basically fighting to get back to their normal weights. If you want to read the excerpt directly, it's here (may require free registration).

I've got the book sitting on my desk but haven't had time to crack it due to work, but I'm looking forward to it. It may seem kind of discouraging in some ways, but I'd rather understand the factors that influence my body as thoroughly as I can. Instead of wailing "it's not FAIR!!" and getting frustrated that my 120-pound friend can freely eat 2500-3000 calories a day without ever having to think about it, I can see the scientific proof that, no, it's really truly NOT fair, and my body is fundamentally different from hers. At which point I can choose to a) accept that I'll always be fat and choose to live that way (which is still going to be healthier than yo-yoing and crash diets and such), or b) accept that my body is going to take a considerable amount of effort to get it and keep it where I want it to be, and understand that it's going to be an uphill battle for the rest of my life. (i.e. I CAN do it, but I have to accept that it won't be "easy")

To some it may seem discouraging to see that the genetic deck is stacked against us. But, at least if you KNOW the deck is stacked, you know what you're up against - it's better to know what the odds are and face them head-on, rather than trying to fight those odds blindly and getting frustrated when it doesn't seem fair (which it isn't).
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