Monday, 20 February 2012


I was perusing Ragen's blog when a commenter, Anna tickled some brain cells -scroll 4 comments down, I can't find a way to link.
Right, so every body has a more or less “set point” weight that it is comfortable with maintaining, and diets, weight cycling etc mess this up, and potentially slow down your metabolism and artificially inflate this set point. That’s the main reason diets don’t work long term… Am I right so far?

Dieting is of course "weight cycling", maintaining is managing to keep the response part of the cycle at bay. They can and do reset the point where your body settles, sometimes to a substantial degree. She is not alone in being double the weight she started out at. It can also sensitize your hunger and appetite, increase them to a higher setting, create or heighten an eating disoder.

What my question is, is if my body had a natural “set weight” range that it was happy with, and if I have messed that up with diets, is there any way, within the philosophy of HAES, to…reset this, to some degree at least? Seeing as it was what was natural for my body in the first place?
Clever. If weight could be reset back to pre WLD weight could be reset full stop. If anyone could predictably show, to any statistically significant degree a reversal of weight past everyday variance, then you are at least on the road.

This shoud be the province of 'obesity' science.

Anna has pointed up why the idea of destined to be fat essentialism is as suspect as its progenitor "nobody is meant to be/has to be fat". Sometimes that's the case, in the sense that it would be unlikely that x person would avoid becoming fat. Though if you had a means of reversal, I'm not sure it wouldn't be effective on them too. It's important to say it  might not be one method for all, though I wouldn't rule that out.

She wishes to restore closer to her pre disordered eating/weight loss dieting size and everyone recognised the legitimacy of that wish-on their own terms. That of course doesn't make any difference to being able to do it, no-one can reliably do so.

But I'd say someone as bright as she seems should pursue that line herself, experiment do research and see what if anything she can find. FA should be directed in part by the needs of those interested in it. She should apply her own intelligence.

At this rate clever people, fat or otherwise who might be better off forming a network to try and find their own answers. As at least they have the right kind of genuine interest, unlike the hopeless field dominated by the hopelessly self interested.

Rather like HAES is sort of a physiotheraputic impulse that the professionals can barely be bothered with, from fat people's experiences with exercising and dieting to become slim.

Imagine waiting for mainstream professionals to get their act together on that score? Exactly.

This kind of WLD induced weight gain is also one of the many reasons why science or what's passing itself off as such should finally follow through and find answers, as so many have been set and kept on this course by those claiming to act under its ageis. It should also map out how our energy metabolism actually works, so we never have another round of this cals in/out lying.

Because this is hardly the first time. People ought to be able to look up a functional mapping out of how energy metabolism works, using what we actually know; like one can look up the limbic system which isn't a distinct contained system as such, but an illustration of how parts of the brain co-ordinate to produce human emotion.

Those who've led people astray ought to feel a sense of duty to offer remedy to those desiring it. That will teach them and anyone else to use their influence to manipulate others without due regard for consequences.

The clear handedness of Anna's recognition of her position suggests that she kept going like many of us out of positive tenacity, mis applied;

(Numerous diets, sensible ones, never fad diets, over the past 15 years, where I ended up weighing more at the end than I did at the start, resulting in my weight pretty much doubling from my original “comfortable area.”)

Exactly. The speed or make up of diet doesn't matter, they may vary in their effects on health, a lot of that is individual preferences and reactions, but in terms of weight loss though, so called good or slow WLD's makes no difference, the problem is the direct attack on fat stores. That causes the body's defence of them, obviously.

This doesn't mean of course that her body's settling place or point would have remained where it was if she hadn't dieted, not sure how that can be proven definitively either way. But what we can see is that overall, it has definitely been a weight gain strategy.

The reason why cal res is a hard strategy to start, continue, or "maintain" and rebounding past weight prior to that attempt is the same effect, at different stages/ phases.

Unfortunately I have no useful advice except to just continue to do positive things to recover from the WLD/dietary restriction experience, focusing on stabilising and normalizing your hunger-the desire to eat and your appetite-the make up of what you eat.

Weight will only reverse if a) you have an  heightened eating response and b) that heightened response is overall and includes your weight. If it doesn't one will reduce without the other, usually hunger rather than weight.

I was fascinated by some of the responses to Anna, this from Marylin Wann;

From Linda Bacon’s description of our current scientific understanding, in her “Health At Every Size” book, it’s the nature of our bodies to gain weight easily and defend intensely against weight loss (which generally means something dangerous and/or deadly, in body/survival logic).

I find this fascinating. I think the body defends against weight gain just as much as it does against weight loss. You only have to look at he fattest people to see that is what most people aren't.

Looking at it purely from the POV of slim upward, reflects the thincentric way we've been taught. It is misleading and has a distorting effect on the significance of levels of fatness/weight amonst fat people. If we are talking about fatness why do we not start from them and go down?

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