Character vs. Chemistry, Part Deux

      131 Comments on Character vs. Chemistry, Part Deux

In a post last week, I wrote about why I believe most New Year’s resolutions to lose weight fail:  those resolutions are based on the notion that shedding pounds is a matter of character … i.e., if you just have enough discipline to eat less and spend more time on the treadmill, you’ll lose weight.

As someone who tried simply eating less and spent many hours on a treadmill (I even bought one for my apartment) without getting leaner, I don’t believe losing weight is about character.  I believe it’s (mostly) about chemistry, which is why weight-loss plans that rely on changing a fat person’s character are bound to fail.

I’ll have more to say on that later.  For now, I just want to share some bits from an old study (1960) that I apparently downloaded some time ago and then forgot to read.

The handful of subjects in the study fell into three categories:  1) naturally thin people, 2) fat people who had previously demonstrated that they could lose weight by restricting calories, and 3) fat people whom the researchers labeled as the “resistant obese.”  They wrote this about the “resistant obese”:

All had very small appetites, and none of these subjects lost weight even during observation in the hospital for prolonged periods of time.

By contrast, one of the naturally lean subjects was described as:

… a twenty-five year-old woman who is healthy, but literally unable to gain weight despite an excellent appetite.

The question the researchers wanted to answer was whether fat people and thin people release and burn fatty acids at similar rates if they’re fasting.   So they had all the subjects fast from dinner until the next morning, then measured the concentration of free fatty acids in their blood.  Then they extended the fast for a full 24 hours and took the same measurement at various intervals.

Here’s what they found:  in the morning, the fat people generally had higher levels of fatty acids in their blood than the thin people did.  But over the course of fasting for 24 hours, the naturally thin people experienced a sharp rise in the level of fatty acids in their bloodstreams.  The fat people who’d previously demonstrated they could lose weight by restricting calories experienced a milder rise in the level of fatty acids in their bloodstreams.  The “resistant obese” people experienced almost no rise at all in the level of fatty acids in their bloodstreams.

The researchers noted that in an earlier study, naturally thin subjects who were restricted to a high-fat diet of 1,000 calories per day showed a sharp rise in blood ketones over the next week, while obese subjects on the same diet showed a much lower rise in ketones.  Ketones, as you know, are a by-product of burning fat for fuel.

So taken together, here’s what those two studies suggest (at least about the subjects who were studied):  when naturally-thin people eat very little or not at all, they release a lot more fatty acids from their fat cells, and they burn those fatty acids for fuel.  “Resistant obese” people, on the other hand, don’t release extra fatty acids when they eat less or not at all, and therefore don’t make up for the calorie deficit by tapping and burning their body fat — at least not to nearly the degree the thin people do.

Remember that in describing the “resistant obese” subjects, the researchers noted that they had small appetites and failed to lose weight even under observation in a hospital.  In a discussion among several researchers included at the end of the paper, the leader researcher makes this statement:

This phenomenon of people who do not lose weight is really the most tantalizing thing that confronts physicians.  There are these people who can live on 600 calories and not lose any weight. On what are they surviving?  If we measure their basal metabolism in terms of calories, we get figures in excess of 600 calories per twenty-four hours.  It would seem that on this diet they are in a caloric deficit all time, but still are not losing any weight.  I am still an admirer of the laws of thermodynamics, but these people seem to be thermodynamic paradoxes.

Small appetites.  Couldn’t lose weight even while under observation at a hospital.  Didn’t release or burn more fatty acids (not to any significant degree) even while fasting for 24 hours.  Able to live on 600 calories per day without losing weight, causing a researcher who worked with them to label them as “thermodynamic paradoxes.”

Meanwhile, the naturally-lean people released lots of fatty acids and burned them for fuel soon after they stopped eating – including that twenty-five year-old woman who couldn’t gain weight in spite of her “excellent” appetite.

Does anyone believe the fat people in this study just needed more discipline and character in order to become thin?  Or does this sound like a problem rooted in chemistry?

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131 thoughts on “Character vs. Chemistry, Part Deux

  1. Elenor

    Beau: “I still drink beer, but I’m down to 3 or 4 on Saturday … will do a liver detox as a last resort before metformin. I’m betting in the end I will be on metformin.”

    ?!?! You’re willing to risk metformin (in the hopes of staving off all the possible horrendous ‘effects’ of diabetes) but you’re not willing to quit your beer drinking for a month? Does that even make sense?

    Are you truly “LCHF for close to 3 years now” — or merely approximating it by-guess-and-by-gosh? Diabetes is nothing to fool with!

    Reply
  2. Rae Ford

    As a science major back in college, people (researchers mostly) talking about the laws of thermodynamics in regard to weight loss really bothers me. That only holds true in a CLOSED system. Human bodies are not closed systems. That we eat, breathe, and eliminate proves that.

    “Experiments” with more than one type of variable are also just as likely to make me scream at the computer screen or whatever I’m reading the study on. That was 6th grade science-fair 101 when testing a hypothesis. More than one variable skews results. Yet, diet is still just categorized mostly as high and low fat with no mention of carbs. OK, end of rant.

    Reply
  3. LyndaF

    I’ve got it! The resistant obese are actually able to do photosynthesis and produce their own glucose with just extra water and CO2 from the air! The researchers should have noticed they were looking a little greener than the other participants.
    But seriously, it is an interesting situation.

    So they’re fat breatharians. Interesting idea.

    Reply
  4. LyndaF

    I’ve got it! The resistant obese are actually able to do photosynthesis and produce their own glucose with just extra water and CO2 from the air! The researchers should have noticed they were looking a little greener than the other participants.
    But seriously, it is an interesting situation.

    So they’re fat breatharians. Interesting idea.

    Reply
  5. CD.UK

    This seems to be conclusive evidence that calorie restricting diets don’t work. One would think mainstream media would send that message across the world, but no, they keep quiet and let patients restrict all their lives, go on the operating table for gastric bypass, then die from complications, commit suicide, or live the rest of their lives eating jelly from a shot glass, while they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

    Certainly calorie-restricting diets don’t work for people the researchers labeled as “resistant obese,” who are the people doctors are most anxious to put on low-calorie diets.

    Reply
  6. Suzanne

    Tom do you have a link/citation for this 1960 study? This is a very helpful post. I occasionally see people (women especially) who are getting a hard time from doctors and others, being bullied into low fat ways of losing weight. When I get them to keep a food diary, I note how little they eat.

    I just found the link again myself:

    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/8/5/740.full.pdf

    Reply
  7. CD.UK

    This seems to be conclusive evidence that calorie restricting diets don’t work. One would think mainstream media would send that message across the world, but no, they keep quiet and let patients restrict all their lives, go on the operating table for gastric bypass, then die from complications, commit suicide, or live the rest of their lives eating jelly from a shot glass, while they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

    Certainly calorie-restricting diets don’t work for people the researchers labeled as “resistant obese,” who are the people doctors are most anxious to put on low-calorie diets.

    Reply
    1. Jill

      What makes you think the mainstream or other media know about this sort of thing anyway? A lot of them are ignoramuses who wouldn’t know anything id it weren’t for the various news feeds playing in their offices.

      how many of them have science degrees? How many of them unbderstand how to read a study let alone spot anomalies or bad study design?
      The media of the last fifty years or so in particular play to their political ideologies and very little else.

      Science news is often presented as weird stuff fit only for nerds anyway.

      Reply
  8. Suzanne

    Tom do you have a link/citation for this 1960 study? This is a very helpful post. I occasionally see people (women especially) who are getting a hard time from doctors and others, being bullied into low fat ways of losing weight. When I get them to keep a food diary, I note how little they eat.

    I just found the link again myself:

    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/8/5/740.full.pdf

    Reply
  9. Lyrra

    Very interesting. I was re-reading Gary Taubes’ GCBC and he wrote of an experiment where Zucker rats were placed on calorie restricted diets and still they were fatter than their lean counterparts who were allowed to eat ad-lib. And when the scientist cut off the food supply, the Zucker rats starved to death – and still they retained more fat mass than their lean peers. The rats lost weight, but in the form of muscle mass.

    Yup, they died fat. That’s how determined their bodies were to hold onto that fat mass.

    Reply
  10. Lyrra

    Very interesting. I was re-reading Gary Taubes’ GCBC and he wrote of an experiment where Zucker rats were placed on calorie restricted diets and still they were fatter than their lean counterparts who were allowed to eat ad-lib. And when the scientist cut off the food supply, the Zucker rats starved to death – and still they retained more fat mass than their lean peers. The rats lost weight, but in the form of muscle mass.

    Yup, they died fat. That’s how determined their bodies were to hold onto that fat mass.

    Reply
  11. Derek

    Well jeez, I think it’s pretty obvious that the resistant obese people just need to eat like 300 calories a day and move a little more, idk like 60 minutes a day and the weight will melt off. Or so the government tells me.

    Reply
  12. Derek

    Well jeez, I think it’s pretty obvious that the resistant obese people just need to eat like 300 calories a day and move a little more, idk like 60 minutes a day and the weight will melt off. Or so the government tells me.

    Reply
    1. Walter Bushell

      I think the Germans showed that works for weight loss during WWII. Troubles are that it’s unhealthy weight loss many of the concentration camp people died and in modern 1st or 2nd world countries one has to watch over oneself like a concentration camp guard to follow that plan, which produces very bad psychological results.

      Reply
  13. Kristin

    I posted this article to my FB feed as it is excellent in terms of demonstrating that we do not all process food the same way and simple restriction is a ridiculously simplistic viewpoint. Clearly as a response my trainer posted this bit (with a note that this was important for any of his clients who wanted results): http://evidencemag.com/calories-count/

    The blogger is Armi Legge. He does a fine job spouting the old party line. He also lists a zillion references on this article which I haven’t looked up any yet. Instead I looked up him. Turns out he used to work for Dave Asprey at Bulletproof Executive. He apparently left there because he thought Dave was using bad studies to support the positions he writes on his site. Now I have indeed found errors on BPE but I’m not too sure that Legge has gone on to do something similar for the other team, as it were. It also seems he is a teenager. Have you run across any of this before? Know anything?

    Never heard of him.

    Reply
    1. Kristin

      That is actually good news. It had looked to me like it could have been one of those rather high profile spats but perhaps not. I dug out my science for smart people hat and went through a couple of his references. First I noticed that most of them were not available online unless I had a pubmed account. Fine. Then the first study I looked at basically said that higher fat diet caused greater weight loss. But since the researchers knew that couldn’t be true more research was in order. In the meantime stick to low fat.

      Second link I found was comparing two lowfat diets, one higher in sucrose the other higher in starch and found the subjects lost weight equally on either diet…over a six week period eating 685 calories a day. So i wonder what happened after the study.

      Two more links were to Lustig’s work. This told me at a glance that there were probably a lot of references buried in there that supported the ideas he was criticizing. I could keep going but I’d had enough. I responded to my trainer with my analysis and let it go.

      Reply
      1. Dave

        My reply to your first comment came before I read this one because Tom has been busy at work. 🙂

        I’m glad to see you were able to check out some of the references in that article by Mr Legge. Nevertheless, Mr Legge may actually believe that his references do in fact support his position because on the surface of things lowering caloric intake actually does ’cause’ weight loss. The more nuanced point of view is that lowering caloric intake _correlates_ with weight loss. Unfortunately, most people are easily satisfied with a simple explanation. To them, we appear to be denying the obvious.

        Reply
    2. Dave

      Kristin, Here are some of my thoughts after a brief look at the article you linked to and a few of the comments below it.

      1. Straw man fallacies. That’s how the article “debunks” the so-called anti-CICO viewpoint. Create a bunch of “myths” that supposedly represent what we’re trying to explain about obesity and calories, and then “prove” those straw men arguments wrong.

      2. As far as the long list of references go… In my copy of T. Colin Campbell’s book, The China Study, Dr Campbell has quite a long list of references too. Of course, that didn’t mean his arguments against animal foods were based on sound science as I later learned. Let’s put the onus of proof on Mr Legge to explain how his list of “studies” prove his point. Might be a good time to rewatch Tom’s video “Science for Smart People”.

      There are a lot of people who are emotionally invested in the idea that it’s all about “character.” All I care about is the science. Chemistry is science. As Dr Robert Lustig pointed out in his Fructose 2.0 lecture (on YouTube), we’re not denying the laws of thermodynamics.

      Reply
  14. Kristin

    I posted this article to my FB feed as it is excellent in terms of demonstrating that we do not all process food the same way and simple restriction is a ridiculously simplistic viewpoint. Clearly as a response my trainer posted this bit (with a note that this was important for any of his clients who wanted results): http://evidencemag.com/calories-count/

    The blogger is Armi Legge. He does a fine job spouting the old party line. He also lists a zillion references on this article which I haven’t looked up any yet. Instead I looked up him. Turns out he used to work for Dave Asprey at Bulletproof Executive. He apparently left there because he thought Dave was using bad studies to support the positions he writes on his site. Now I have indeed found errors on BPE but I’m not too sure that Legge has gone on to do something similar for the other team, as it were. It also seems he is a teenager. Have you run across any of this before? Know anything?

    Never heard of him.

    Reply
    1. Kristin

      That is actually good news. It had looked to me like it could have been one of those rather high profile spats but perhaps not. I dug out my science for smart people hat and went through a couple of his references. First I noticed that most of them were not available online unless I had a pubmed account. Fine. Then the first study I looked at basically said that higher fat diet caused greater weight loss. But since the researchers knew that couldn’t be true more research was in order. In the meantime stick to low fat.

      Second link I found was comparing two lowfat diets, one higher in sucrose the other higher in starch and found the subjects lost weight equally on either diet…over a six week period eating 685 calories a day. So i wonder what happened after the study.

      Two more links were to Lustig’s work. This told me at a glance that there were probably a lot of references buried in there that supported the ideas he was criticizing. I could keep going but I’d had enough. I responded to my trainer with my analysis and let it go.

      Reply
      1. Dave

        My reply to your first comment came before I read this one because Tom has been busy at work. 🙂

        I’m glad to see you were able to check out some of the references in that article by Mr Legge. Nevertheless, Mr Legge may actually believe that his references do in fact support his position because on the surface of things lowering caloric intake actually does ’cause’ weight loss. The more nuanced point of view is that lowering caloric intake _correlates_ with weight loss. Unfortunately, most people are easily satisfied with a simple explanation. To them, we appear to be denying the obvious.

        Reply
    2. Dave

      Kristin, Here are some of my thoughts after a brief look at the article you linked to and a few of the comments below it.

      1. Straw man fallacies. That’s how the article “debunks” the so-called anti-CICO viewpoint. Create a bunch of “myths” that supposedly represent what we’re trying to explain about obesity and calories, and then “prove” those straw men arguments wrong.

      2. As far as the long list of references go… In my copy of T. Colin Campbell’s book, The China Study, Dr Campbell has quite a long list of references too. Of course, that didn’t mean his arguments against animal foods were based on sound science as I later learned. Let’s put the onus of proof on Mr Legge to explain how his list of “studies” prove his point. Might be a good time to rewatch Tom’s video “Science for Smart People”.

      There are a lot of people who are emotionally invested in the idea that it’s all about “character.” All I care about is the science. Chemistry is science. As Dr Robert Lustig pointed out in his Fructose 2.0 lecture (on YouTube), we’re not denying the laws of thermodynamics.

      Reply
  15. Jill

    It doesn’t matter what the reason is. Those resistant obese and obese people will attract patronising talk, abuse, blame, sneers, diet “advice” and hectoring for the rest of their lives, which, being stressful will raise their cortisol levels and make them fatter than ever.

    People (present company excepted) don’t like to think something is chemistry – they prefer to think fat people are lazy sods – because that way THEY get to preen and feel good about themselves.
    I mean you don’t want to expend sympathy or understanding on someone who looks BAD do you?

    Besides, science – even simple science -is hard. We need a Barbie doll for THAT.

    I look at it this way: given how much genetics figures into being fat or thin, deciding you have superior character because you’re thin is roughly equivalent to deciding you have superior character because you were born with a high IQ.

    Reply
  16. Jill

    It doesn’t matter what the reason is. Those resistant obese and obese people will attract patronising talk, abuse, blame, sneers, diet “advice” and hectoring for the rest of their lives, which, being stressful will raise their cortisol levels and make them fatter than ever.

    People (present company excepted) don’t like to think something is chemistry – they prefer to think fat people are lazy sods – because that way THEY get to preen and feel good about themselves.
    I mean you don’t want to expend sympathy or understanding on someone who looks BAD do you?

    Besides, science – even simple science -is hard. We need a Barbie doll for THAT.

    I look at it this way: given how much genetics figures into being fat or thin, deciding you have superior character because you’re thin is roughly equivalent to deciding you have superior character because you were born with a high IQ.

    Reply
  17. Tricia

    Definitely chemistry, genetics, etc. I could have been the 25 year old “naturally thin woman” in the experiment, downing endless pieces of pizza, ice cream, you name it and not gaining weight. My dad was the same way. Now that I’m in my thirties, things aren’t quite like that but it’s still easier for me to lose pounds. Of course the number on the scale was one thing, my health (or lack thereof) was something else entirely different.

    After seeing her naturally-thin father become a type 2 diabetic, Chareva knows that being naturally thin doesn’t give her immunity. So she’s on a good diet even though gaining weight has never been an issue for her.

    Reply
  18. Tricia

    Definitely chemistry, genetics, etc. I could have been the 25 year old “naturally thin woman” in the experiment, downing endless pieces of pizza, ice cream, you name it and not gaining weight. My dad was the same way. Now that I’m in my thirties, things aren’t quite like that but it’s still easier for me to lose pounds. Of course the number on the scale was one thing, my health (or lack thereof) was something else entirely different.

    After seeing her naturally-thin father become a type 2 diabetic, Chareva knows that being naturally thin doesn’t give her immunity. So she’s on a good diet even though gaining weight has never been an issue for her.

    Reply
  19. David

    If, as the article says, they measure the metabolism and more than 600 calories per day are being used and there is no weight loss over a substantial length of time then the only possibilities are that more than 600 calories per day are going in or that the metabolism is being measured incorrectly (or both). I vote for cheating. Talking to medical people in my family I’ve heard that it is very, very common for people on restricted diets to find ways to get food smuggled in. And it’s not very hard. It’s not a prison where everyone is watched all the time and visitors are patted down to prevent contraband Snickers bars from being brought in.

    Reply
  20. David

    If, as the article says, they measure the metabolism and more than 600 calories per day are being used and there is no weight loss over a substantial length of time then the only possibilities are that more than 600 calories per day are going in or that the metabolism is being measured incorrectly (or both). I vote for cheating. Talking to medical people in my family I’ve heard that it is very, very common for people on restricted diets to find ways to get food smuggled in. And it’s not very hard. It’s not a prison where everyone is watched all the time and visitors are patted down to prevent contraband Snickers bars from being brought in.

    Reply
  21. Kristin

    I very much appreciate all the good feedback on this article. I really like having a personal trainer to push me harder than I would myself with respect to HIIT and proper strength training but I do get weary of this naturally slim athletic 30 year old constantly telling me my diet is extreme and I should just be cutting my calories to 1400 a day (!) and eating grains. When he posted this link with a specific reference to needing to agree with it in order to be considered by him ‘coachable’ I found it condescending and irritating. I also know that I’m not the only low carb person on his roster.

    Reply
  22. Kristin

    I very much appreciate all the good feedback on this article. I really like having a personal trainer to push me harder than I would myself with respect to HIIT and proper strength training but I do get weary of this naturally slim athletic 30 year old constantly telling me my diet is extreme and I should just be cutting my calories to 1400 a day (!) and eating grains. When he posted this link with a specific reference to needing to agree with it in order to be considered by him ‘coachable’ I found it condescending and irritating. I also know that I’m not the only low carb person on his roster.

    Reply
  23. Tara

    Another interesting study (using PCOS and therefore androgen/estrogen levels, as well as insulin resistance):

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18678372

    “RESULT(S): Adjusted BMR was 1,868 +/- 41 kcal/day in the control group, 1,445.57 +/- 76 in all PCOS women, 1,590 +/- 130 in PCOS women without IR [insulin resistance] and 1,116 +/- 106 in PCOS women with IR.”

    Even in this small group, women with PCOS had a lower measurable BMR, and those who had PCOS *and* were insulin resistant had (in some cases) as low as ~1000 calorie BMRs. By our known method of BMR measurement, at least.

    If the evidence about the so-named “resistant obese” in the study you reference tells us anything, it’s that there are things going on that we can’t properly measure, and therefore will definitely have trouble accounting for. Sex hormone balance and insulin sensitivity are but two factors that have an effect, but I don’t think for a second that they are the only things. And I don’t think we (collectively, scientifically) have even a clue about what some of the others might be.

    Sorry to write you a novel here, but as a formerly obese person who *did* live on less than 600 calories daily for quite a long span of time (and, in fact, developed a serious eating disorder to cope with the fact that I was fat – and so treated like a fat person – but also with the fact that eating anything close to a normal amount of food put weight on me like crazy) I really think that our culture’s mindset toward the overweight and obese is largely a cruel, victim-blaming attitude. It drives me crazy that some people think that just because it would take THEM a massive, intentional effort to gain lots of weight that others must be doing that themselves.

    And there’s no financial incentive (follow the money!) for any of the manufacturers or producers of food to care, either. See, if it’s all *our* problem, our character flaw, our laziness or lack of willpower that leads us to buy one of those absurd boxes of oreo thin crisps 100-calorie packs and be unable to eat ONLY one, then they are completely without blame or responsibility. I’m not saying the producers of food ARE completely to blame, but the ENTIRE atmosphere surrounding commodity crops, the USDA, food manufacture/production, conventional nutritional “wisdom”, fat-shaming, the fetishizing of inhumanly thin bodies, even healthcare in some cases is like one giant, unintentional conspiracy that wont resolve itself until the big money somehow is in doing the right thing…which it may never be.

    PS: Yes, low-carb is what took the weight off me. From 265 to 145 at my best. Though I’m constantly fighting with the last 15-20lbs. And yes, I had undiagnosed PCOS/IR and lived in poverty as a child/teen on ramen noodles and foodbank mashed potato flakes without even butter and milk to cook them with, without medical care. It has been one of the most agonizing, frustrating experiences of my life to try to explain to people AGAIN and AGAIN that some of our bodies care FAR more about the quality than the quantity of our food, and that I wont participate in fat-shaming because most fat people that I’ve met have tried a dozen things to try and lose weight and have either given up in despair or are still actively trying (and not succeeding).

    Reply
  24. Tara

    Another interesting study (using PCOS and therefore androgen/estrogen levels, as well as insulin resistance):

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18678372

    “RESULT(S): Adjusted BMR was 1,868 +/- 41 kcal/day in the control group, 1,445.57 +/- 76 in all PCOS women, 1,590 +/- 130 in PCOS women without IR [insulin resistance] and 1,116 +/- 106 in PCOS women with IR.”

    Even in this small group, women with PCOS had a lower measurable BMR, and those who had PCOS *and* were insulin resistant had (in some cases) as low as ~1000 calorie BMRs. By our known method of BMR measurement, at least.

    If the evidence about the so-named “resistant obese” in the study you reference tells us anything, it’s that there are things going on that we can’t properly measure, and therefore will definitely have trouble accounting for. Sex hormone balance and insulin sensitivity are but two factors that have an effect, but I don’t think for a second that they are the only things. And I don’t think we (collectively, scientifically) have even a clue about what some of the others might be.

    Sorry to write you a novel here, but as a formerly obese person who *did* live on less than 600 calories daily for quite a long span of time (and, in fact, developed a serious eating disorder to cope with the fact that I was fat – and so treated like a fat person – but also with the fact that eating anything close to a normal amount of food put weight on me like crazy) I really think that our culture’s mindset toward the overweight and obese is largely a cruel, victim-blaming attitude. It drives me crazy that some people think that just because it would take THEM a massive, intentional effort to gain lots of weight that others must be doing that themselves.

    And there’s no financial incentive (follow the money!) for any of the manufacturers or producers of food to care, either. See, if it’s all *our* problem, our character flaw, our laziness or lack of willpower that leads us to buy one of those absurd boxes of oreo thin crisps 100-calorie packs and be unable to eat ONLY one, then they are completely without blame or responsibility. I’m not saying the producers of food ARE completely to blame, but the ENTIRE atmosphere surrounding commodity crops, the USDA, food manufacture/production, conventional nutritional “wisdom”, fat-shaming, the fetishizing of inhumanly thin bodies, even healthcare in some cases is like one giant, unintentional conspiracy that wont resolve itself until the big money somehow is in doing the right thing…which it may never be.

    PS: Yes, low-carb is what took the weight off me. From 265 to 145 at my best. Though I’m constantly fighting with the last 15-20lbs. And yes, I had undiagnosed PCOS/IR and lived in poverty as a child/teen on ramen noodles and foodbank mashed potato flakes without even butter and milk to cook them with, without medical care. It has been one of the most agonizing, frustrating experiences of my life to try to explain to people AGAIN and AGAIN that some of our bodies care FAR more about the quality than the quantity of our food, and that I wont participate in fat-shaming because most fat people that I’ve met have tried a dozen things to try and lose weight and have either given up in despair or are still actively trying (and not succeeding).

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I know you’d like to lose that last 20 lbs (you and millions of others), but if you’ve dropped 120 pounds, you are already an astounding success. Thank you for the thoughtful and informative comment — I’m adding that study to my database.

      Reply

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