Saturday, 7 May 2011

Downward dodge

We all still start from the premise of thinness as the default and calories in calories out (CI/CO). The idea that human energy is a balance of what we eat and how much we use up in being active.

From this many fat people surmise we are efficient at storing calories.

But what if it makes more sense the other way around?

Starting from the very *(link contains weight loss dieting) fattest at over 1,000 pounds. Regardless of the amount eaten-that is part of your metabolic functioning anyway-the fact that anyone can reach that point requires a greater explanation than what someone eats versus their level of activity.

Fat people of all weights can tell you their weight is gained in stages, which means metabolic stabilisation occurs in between without necessarily changing eating or activity. So talk of "blowing up" or "ballooning" are a particular subjective take rather than a more balanced reflection.

No-one continually gains weight as people who've been on a weight loss diet for a while and 'take a break' do. They gain weight at a staggering amount a pound a day is not unheard of.

Rebound after loss often only takes a fraction of the time it took to lose it.

None of the fattest people ever recorded  can have gained weight anywhere near that rate in a sustained manner from day one. To put that rate in perspective, it would take about 4 years for Mr Uribe to have reached his lifetime high.

What an extraordinary thought. That many who may be hardly fat or less have at certain points, gained weight at a rate which if continued would surpass the overall gains of the fattest of all time.

Which suggests the extraordinary pressure on weight is down, not up as we have been taught to think. And that's true for the overwhelming majority of us we are closer to slim than the fattest ever.

Phooey to 3,500 calories = every pound of your weight. Fattening is like the receeding of overwhelming force, rather than people jumping up for heady thrills.

As people get fatter we tend to expend more calories merely existing and in any activity. This seems like putting the lid back down, but not at the same point as when it was lifted.

A lot of fat people's weight reaches a stable point or range.

An explanation is required for why the receeding pressure is not being countered as well as why some bodies don't succumb in the first place. That is equally important and part of the reason why the idea of isolating fatness is unconvincing.

Slimness needs to be explained as much as fatness weight should be seen as a whole, which is why the segregation of 'obesity' requires explanation.

Rather than seeing fat people as efficient storers-we are just storing more, not the same thing-we can see slimness in terms of less upward counter to the overall downward pressure.


  1. I've been reading this book "Good Calories Bad Calories" and one of the things it talks about is this idea of calories in = calories out and how its just not that simple.

    This idea is the foundation of the 'fat is bad' movement because it spreads the thought that being fat is a question of what you eat, and, if you would just eat less, then you won't be fat. Hence if you're fat you over indulge, you're weak, useless, bad.

    The thing is most people overindulge quite regularly and not everyone gets fat. And a lot of obese people report that they didn't/don't overeat so how did they get fat?

    The book puts forth a suggestion regarding difficulties metabolising existing fat as an idea of what could be going on. Everyone stores fat when they eat and the body uses that fat in the day to day running. This book is suggesting that fat people may have difficulty accessing the stored fat hence more hungry, more demand for food, more storage, which again they can't access well.

    The ideas never really been tested because unfortunately obesity research seems stuck in the idea that fat people have issues with their minds that are making them fat - ie they overeat on purpose.

  2. For a weighty tome I really enjoyed that book- called "The Diet Delusion" in it's UK imprint.

    Even though I don't agree with everything Taubes says, I have a profound respect for his obvious intellectual integrity and refusal to just go along with so called "conventional wisdom".

    You can learn a lot from him because he sticks with the facts and refuses to yield to dogma without reasons he can explain.

    My real point was fatness doesn't have to just be explained from thin end up, but you can just as much and I feel should explain it from fat end down.

    It's as much a mystery as why everyone is not superfat as it is why anyone is not slim.