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Hundreds of diet fads

  1. Aug 1, 2005 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    Having probably seen hundreds of diet fads come and go, I remember my mother and grandmother going on low carb diets as far back as the sixties. And here we are forty years later: The Atkins Co filed for bankruptcy today.

    Twenty years ago I was taught that we need high carb diets - high in complex carbs, that is.

    Today the stores were pulling the Atkins book displays down and replacing them with "The Three Hour Diet" - one which my aunt and uncle were on at least ten years ago. And they have probably each gained 50 lbs since.

    Set point theory, which claimed a natural set point based on activity levels, seemed logical, but I haven't even heard this mentioned in at least a decade.

    I did hear of twist on Set Point Theory that claimed that we all have a genetic set point, and that many people are just fighting a natural condition when they try to lose weight.

    But, after spending billions, we find more diet foods, and a nation heavier than ever before. It leaves a person feeling that no one really has a clue how to control weight.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2005 #2
    I do, any one want to back me with funds? the secret is

    eat less exercise more
     
  4. Aug 1, 2005 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    I don't see any evidence that this is true for everyone; that is, short of maintaining a constant state of hunger. I don't have this problem but it sure seems that many people do. This was the motivation for the genetic set point theory. And what are people who can't exercise supposed to do; for example, people prone to repetitive motion problems.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2005
  5. Aug 1, 2005 #4

    Moonbear

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    Well, if someone is unable to exercise, it wouldn't be too surprising if they became overweight from being sedentary.

    One problem I see often is that people only count the calories in the solid food they consume and forget to count beverages. And, generally, people really are too sedentary. I personally find things like going to gyms to work out to be horribly boring and something I can never motivate myself to do, but you don't have to do that. When you're visiting someone only a few blocks away, walk instead of drive. When you have yardwork that needs to be done, do it yourself instead of hiring someone else to do it (you never see a fat landscaper). Instead of taking the elevator at work, take the stairs. Exercise doesn't just mean running on treadmills or going to the gym.
     
  6. Aug 1, 2005 #5
    I gotta say exercise is what keeps getting overlooked.

    Reducing calories doesn't address appetite. Exercise does! So does weight training.

    Interesting about Atkins being pulled, and filing for bankruptcy. I feel badly for the people who have trouble, but most of the ones I know don't bother to exercise. I know that I could spend all day in front of this screen given the chance - and that wasn't an option a generation ago.

    I hate taking the kids out in the heat and UV, but my childhood was all spent outside, almost every minute of it. I think that's the difference.
     
  7. Aug 1, 2005 #6

    Pengwuino

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    You mean scarfing down 5 pounds of meat a day wasnt the answer??? :cry:
     
  8. Aug 1, 2005 #7

    cronxeh

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    Atkins diet is dumb and harmful. I'm gonna stick with high carbs (musli in the morning) and low fat foods (yogurt) as well as fish and fruits and vegetables.
     
  9. Aug 1, 2005 #8

    Pengwuino

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    Maybe the army should setup a program to either kill you or lose a whole lot of weight. Bet you could amke some good income and i bet they would know how to get you excercising :P
     
  10. Aug 2, 2005 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    So the idea of a genetic set point is no longer entertained?

    We know that exercise hardly burns calories, so does the idea of an activity based set point still find favor among biologists.
     
  11. Aug 2, 2005 #10
    I haven't researched it, but I think the idea of a setpoint is still valid.

    Exercise, particularly weights, builds muscle mass. Muscle is denser than fat, and being fit also leads to better posture which can trim one's appearance.

    So your weight can stay the same but if you are denser (more muscle) and carrying yourself better, you will be and appear slimmer. You also get comments from your spouse like "Hey your ass isn't as flabby as it used to be." :biggrin:

    I also am given to understand that muscle is more metabolically active than fat --- in other words a high muscle-to-fat ratio helps burn off extra calories. So, you can actually eat more, and still maintain your setpoint weight.

    I don't know if the actual setpoint can be changed. Oh! I have heard that people who use liposuction to reduce a tummy (for example) end up putting extra weight in other areas. This is consistent with the setpoint idea. It also leads to a very strange appearance!

    (Physiology is nowhere in my training, so the above is all general stuff I've "heard" over the years.)
     
  12. Aug 2, 2005 #11
  13. Aug 2, 2005 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    Thanks. And I guess that you have nailed down part of what I was wondering: Does a natural setpoint exist, and more importantly, can it be changed? If not, then for some people, trying to maintain a "healthy" weight may just like fighting a rising tide.
     
  14. Aug 2, 2005 #13

    Kerrie

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    you can't go wrong with eating plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, along with whole grains, and staying active.
     
  15. Aug 2, 2005 #14
    Where you gain fat is set pretty much before birth, with the placement of your fat cells. We grow relatively few fat storage cells in the course of our lifes. But if your mother/sisters had a fat rump, and your a female, odds are when you gain weight, your rump will expand too.
    I don't believe there is a set weight genetically programed into us. There may be some birth defects that run in families, like not producing leptin/ or its receptors. Leptin is what tells our brain that the fat cells are full.
     
  16. Aug 2, 2005 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    Tell me about it. With my set up here, I walk at least 1/2 mile a day just to go to the bathroom.
     
  17. Aug 2, 2005 #16
  18. Aug 2, 2005 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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  19. Aug 2, 2005 #18

    Astronuc

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    There may be a genetic effect, but I don't believe it is well understood. I am apparently naturally lean like my mother's father. I am essentially the same weight I was 30 years ago when I graduated from high school, and in fact I wear the same size clothing.

    I apparently have a relatively high metabolic rate, which may be related to consumption of caffeine, consumption of certain spicy foods, especially hot peppers, and perhaps genetic effects.

    I generally eat only at meal times, and as a rule, I do not snack between meals. I might skip breakfast, lunch or dinner if my activity level is low, and otherwise eat according to my activity. I minimize consumption of sugar.

    As for exercise, I recently reintroduced running into my morning routine - generally 1-2 miles in hilly country, or walking in the evenings. As for dealing with a boring routine, I find interesting places to run or walk, e.g. nature trails, but the neighborhood is interesting and I vary the path. One can listen to music, or go walking/running with spouse or friends. Walking with a spouse is a good time to talk about whatever, while getting exercise.

    As for diets, one can generally eat complex carbohydrates (e.g. grains, fruits and vegetables) and some amount of protein, and very limited fat and salt.

    My grandfather, who lived to 103, at mostly vegetables and white (chicken) or pink (pork) meats, and minimized consumption of red meats (beef and lamb). Game meats are even better, IMO. My grandfather never smoked, did not drink coffee or alcohol, but did drink tea.
     
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