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Old 05-11-2013, 07:20 PM   #1
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A major flaw in thinking....

I used to think the reason I was fat was just simply that I had poor genetics, after all I seemed to eat what all the other kids were eating, and yet I was the only one who got fat. In fact I was considered overweight from grade 3 onward, and I started yoyo dieting when I was a teenager. I guess I was just born to be fat. And I did read Gary Taubes book "why we get fat" when I was a new member here. In his book he talks about research that seems to elude to the fact that fat people seem to have more trouble trying to achieve leanness, than people who were never fat to begin with. But wait a minute, if we believe this aren't we more likely to throw in the towel and give up if we think it is beyond our control? Won't this type of thinking just make it all that much harder to reach our goals? Isn't this a serious flaw in thinking? That poor genetics are what make fat people fat? And I can't lose weight because it is in my genetics to be fat?

I think this mindset is faulty because I used to think I was born to be fat and I am not fat anymore. Nor do I struggle with any of the behaviours that used to make me fat. And yet I do have poor genetics. I guess carbs really are to blame after all!
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:24 PM   #2
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I think he is just saying it's harder, not impossible. Poor genetics are probably a factor, but it isn't the entire picture. Carb metabolism might also be at least partially genetic in nature - so while the issue may be carbs - it's also genetics determining how your body handles the carbs.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
In his book he talks about research that seems to elude to the fact that fat people seem to have more trouble trying to achieve leanness, than people who were never fat to begin with. But wait a minute, if we believe this aren't we more likely to throw in the towel and give up if we think it is beyond our control?
My two cents:

If I think that it's easier for tall people to become basketball stars than for short people, I might give up trying to be a basketball star, because my height is beyond my control.

But that doesn't mean it isn't true that tall people have it easier at basketball. Whether or not I had a bad attitude about having challenges some other people don't doesn't change the facts of the matter, and doesn't mean there's something wrong with pointing out the facts of the matter.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:25 PM   #4
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Right. Life isn't fair. Just because some people have an easier time losing and maintaining doesn't mean we shouldn't try, and that we can't succeed. And it's not a bad thing to look into the physiological differences.

My older brother and I had the exact same birthweight, down to the fraction of the ounce. But he was born long and lean, and I was born short and fat. That hasn't changed from birth until now. He actually has always eaten way way way more junk and sugar and crap food than I. He eats the diet of a twelve year old boy still, down to the sugary cereals and Kool Aid! His metabolism is just different, and even now, when he's in his forties, he's tall and lean, and I'm…not.

But I'm changing it. It's not easy, but it's not impossible either.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:51 PM   #5
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I'm also short and fat, with an older brother who is tall and lean. That doesn't mean I'm doomed to being fat forever, although I'm stuck with being short.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:52 PM   #6
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Though at 5'6˝", I'm not technically short, I just feel that way next to him and the rest of my family.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:54 PM   #7
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that is what Taubes said though, right? that the genetic difference is in how we metabolize carbs.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:22 AM   #8
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I interpreted what he said this way - some people can eat crap and never have a wt problem while others can't. That doesn't mean those folks are going to be fat it just means they can't eat the same diet and remain lean. There is a choice.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:50 AM   #9
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That's how I interpret Taubes' idea too. And extrapolating from that, the recommended WOE these days is all carb based--which is truly poisonous to those of us who can't metabolize carbs very well.

So all of the information we get on how to eat "properly" to lose weight or stay thin in the beginning is what packs the pounds on us. Yikes! If the internet had been around when I started gaining weight a few decades ago, I might have had enough information to avoid it...unfortunately, the original Atkins book couldn't keep me motivated (plus I finally figured out that my body loves NK).

All those wasted years trying to eat a "balanced" diet low in fat and high in carbs...whatta joke! Just made me fatter and sicker.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:00 AM   #10
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I'm the shorty in my family. Both my mom and Dad are taller then me. So is my brother. I'm 5'4 and was told for Ever that I was shaped like my Grandma! Ok Not a good thing to tell a girl who's struggling to lose weight cause my Grandma was short like me But she was Round too. She had an Untreated thyroid problem for 30 + years! So when she did get on meds she slimmed down incredibly! And as much as I Loved my Gran no one wants to be compared to someone who's obese. I never had a weight problem till after High school! The when I got Married it piled on. So now that i'm not Round anymore I want the Only way they compare me to my Gran to be my Green thumb, Love of Christ and being a good Mom!
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:01 AM   #11
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The thought that pops into my mind here is the concern that many people who aren't fat and "can" eat all that junk, still end up with diabetes and heart disease. They fall into the trap of judging the effects of their diet only on how they look. Just because you don't show it outwardly, doesn't mean that the excessive carby SAD diet is healthy for you.

I also see that for some of us, the effects take place at a much younger age, while others may only start to pile on the excess weight as they get older. My big brother was always a scrawny, asthmatic kid who was trying to gain weight. He remained fairly trim throughout his adult life, until recent years. Now he's getting downright paunchy, in spite of his good exercise habits. I guess it just caught up with him later.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:17 AM   #12
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Good post and good replies. And i am thinking there are more life lessons in what is being said here than just about weight!
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:22 PM   #13
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The thing that concerns me on the message board and the reason I posted this as a topic of conversation is because sometimes people post things that sound like they are on the boarderline of giving up, just one setback and it is over for them. The process of reversing fat accumulation and become thin is such a long lengthy process, and you need patience and determination to succeed. You can't believe things like: "you were born to be fat." or "its just too hard" "I can't do it" or "some people just have it easier." These types of thoughts are so demotivating. If I had a penny for every "I've stalled, it is the end of the world" post.....

My point is that I think the people on this board who have been successful are examples of people who can help others get past those negative thoughts. Because they have been successful despite the challenges that Gary Taubes pointed out in his books. It might take hard work, but it IS possible. That was just something I was thinking about the other day, I know how hard it is but I eventually made it myself and would like others to benefit from my experience. I guess that was why I was compelled to post about it.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Weezy View Post
That's how I interpret Taubes' idea too. And extrapolating from that, the recommended WOE these days is all carb based--which is truly poisonous to those of us who can't metabolize carbs very well.

So all of the information we get on how to eat "properly" to lose weight or stay thin in the beginning is what packs the pounds on us. Yikes! If the internet had been around when I started gaining weight a few decades ago, I might have had enough information to avoid it...unfortunately, the original Atkins book couldn't keep me motivated (plus I finally figured out that my body loves NK).

All those wasted years trying to eat a "balanced" diet low in fat and high in carbs...whatta joke! Just made me fatter and sicker.
Yes! I don't think Taubes was saying "give up, there's no hope for you." I think he was saying that the whole low fat/whole grain nonsense doesn't work for us and that we have been hurt by that in terms of both our metabolism and our self-esteem and how others see us (ie, we feel terrible bc we do what "they" tell us to and we just get fatter and fatter). For me it is very helpful to have Taubes, who I find very credible, say that it's not my fault, the way I've been told to handle this all these years was wrong and making it worse. And not only that, but that the way I reacted to it all, by overeating and eating all kinds of crap, can be explained by my biology rather than my character. I find that pretty liberating!

And I think when people say that reasoning is "flawed" they mean it isn't true or right. I don't think you're saying that his arguments are untrue, just that they're unhelpful, maybe, to some people. But if it is true, then I feel like there's no getting around it and it kinda should be said. Like, I think we will all be able to make better decisions if we are acting on the truth.

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Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
The thing that concerns me on the message board and the reason I posted this as a topic of conversation is because sometimes people post things that sound like they are on the boarderline of giving up, just one setback and it is over for them. The process of reversing fat accumulation and become thin is such a long lengthy process, and you need patience and determination to succeed. You can't believe things like: "you were born to be fat." or "its just too hard" "I can't do it" or "some people just have it easier." These types of thoughts are so demotivating. If I had a penny for every "I've stalled, it is the end of the world" post.....

My point is that I think the people on this board who have been successful are examples of people who can help others get past those negative thoughts. Because they have been successful despite the challenges that Gary Taubes pointed out in his books. It might take hard work, but it IS possible. That was just something I was thinking about the other day, I know how hard it is but I eventually made it myself and would like others to benefit from my experience. I guess that was why I was compelled to post about it.
It is super insanely hard to lose a significant amount of weight no matter what. People give up over and over again before they have successes. Like, when I quit smoking, it wasn't on the first try. I think it was probably somewhere around try #15. With losing weight, I wouldn't even venture to guess how many times I've started and failed, gone back to my old eating habits. It's freaking hard. So, maybe it's true that there are some who are hanging their hats on what Taubes has said to justify falling off the wagon or giving up, but they can only do that bc they *need* something to hang their hats on. It doesn't make a whole lotta sense if you think about it. He does give some pretty darned constructive advice. I'm sure I hung my hat on all sorts of inappropriate things back in the day. And I think that's fine. It's a process. I probably wouldn't be having the success I'm having now if I hadn't gone through the failures.

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My older brother and I had the exact same birthweight, down to the fraction of the ounce. But he was born long and lean, and I was born short and fat. That hasn't changed from birth until now. He actually has always eaten way way way more junk and sugar and crap food than I. He eats the diet of a twelve year old boy still, down to the sugary cereals and Kool Aid! His metabolism is just different, and even now, when he's in his forties, he's tall and lean, and I'm…not.

But I'm changing it. It's not easy, but it's not impossible either.
I'm dying to know who this guy is! I'm thinking now, tall lean black man with a name that's not run of the mill. If your parents named you Ntombi, I doubt they named him Jack or something. lol I can only think of one person who it coulda been, but I can't remember his name. I know, though, that it was not Jack or anything of the like. Maybe I will get brave and send you a link to a photo of myself (I am told that I look exactly the same as back then ) bc with a name like Jayne, he's not likely to remember. lol
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:37 PM   #15
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Ooh, please send me a pic! He and his GF (who is a few years older, white and Jewish, but also went to Rindge and hung in the same circle) are coming for a visit on Wednesday! I would love to find that y'all knew each other.

And you're absolutely right: he also has an African first name. Different country, though.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:50 PM   #16
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Ooh, please send me a pic! He and his GF (who is a few years older, white and Jewish, but also went to Rindge and hung in the same circle) are coming for a visit on Wednesday! I would love to find that y'all knew each other.

And you're absolutely right: he also has an African first name. Different country, though.
How funny! Well, I'm white and totally non-descript in ethnicity. Born in Missouri. But my last name (used to be my middle name before I got married, but I took my middle name rather than my husbands name bc, why not?) is Swahili for peace. I was born in 1969, so that explains everything. Well, that and the fact that Jack Parr's lion also had this name. lol But, it also means something similar in Arabic, and every once in a while I get people at my front door inviting me to go to their mosque, which I kinda dig.

I'll have to see if I can stand to send you my most current pic (probably two years old now) or if I need to snap a new one. I think I am about 6 pounds lighter now. lol
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:24 AM   #17
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Once I was one of those that could eat most anything and not gain weight. Tain't that way no more, but that is no excuse to give up. Being fat is a drag and a huge health risk. When we are no longer blessed with easy "thinnisity" we just have to consciously work at it.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:46 AM   #18
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I used to think the reason I was fat was just simply that I had poor genetics, after all I seemed to eat what all the other kids were eating, and yet I was the only one who got fat. In fact I was considered overweight from grade 3 onward, and I started yoyo dieting when I was a teenager. I guess I was just born to be fat. And I did read Gary Taubes book "why we get fat" when I was a new member here. In his book he talks about research that seems to elude to the fact that fat people seem to have more trouble trying to achieve leanness, than people who were never fat to begin with. But wait a minute, if we believe this aren't we more likely to throw in the towel and give up if we think it is beyond our control? Won't this type of thinking just make it all that much harder to reach our goals? Isn't this a serious flaw in thinking? That poor genetics are what make fat people fat? And I can't lose weight because it is in my genetics to be fat?

I think this mindset is faulty because I used to think I was born to be fat and I am not fat anymore. Nor do I struggle with any of the behaviours that used to make me fat. And yet I do have poor genetics. I guess carbs really are to blame after all!
I don't agree with the bolded part at all, for me it's quite the opposite. Reading Taubes' work and other books on low carb gave me hope that I can lose weight.

Forums like this one also keep me going, because I get encouragement and learn from others when we share similar struggles.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:15 PM   #19
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One of my close friends put on 60lbs in a short span of a few years. When he was struggling to lose the weight, he said. It just isn't fair, my brother can eat whatever he wants, and not gain a pound. He got all the good genes in the family. I had a hard time convincing him that that statement just simply isn't true. Guarenteed his brother eats less calories than he over the span of weeks and months. Everyone overeats at holiday time, that is just the way it is. But the calories in vs. calories out equation works the same for everyone. If you overeat at holiday time, you have to undereat at other times to balance it it. It is when you fail to do this that the pounds start to pack on over weeks, months and years. What I like about Gary's book is that it explains why some people overeat more often than others and a solution on what to do about it.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:47 PM   #20
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One of my close friends put on 60lbs in a short span of a few years. When he was struggling to lose the weight, he said. It just isn't fair, my brother can eat whatever he wants, and not gain a pound. He got all the good genes in the family. I had a hard time convincing him that that statement just simply isn't true. Guarenteed his brother eats less calories than he over the span of weeks and months. Everyone overeats at holiday time, that is just the way it is. But the calories in vs. calories out equation works the same for everyone. If you overeat at holiday time, you have to undereat at other times to balance it it. It is when you fail to do this that the pounds start to pack on over weeks, months and years. What I like about Gary's book is that it explains why some people overeat more often than others and a solution on what to do about it.
I don't think it's true that calories in calories out works the same way for everyone. I can promise you that I can eat the same 1000 a day of carby stuff day in and day out (although I would not do it bc it is completely torturous) that I eat of LC stuff now and the loss would come to a screaming halt. Now, it may be true (though I have my doubts) that the calories in calories out thing is still true for me, that my calories out is what has changed. But if that's the way it works for me, then I don't think it is working the same for me as it is for everybody else bc there are some people who would lose beautifully on 1000 calories of low fat/high carb.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:41 PM   #21
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That is absolutely not true. Certain people do have higher metabolisms than others. If they eat over their particular calorie needs, they'll gain, but that doesn't mean they'll gain if they eat more than you.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:07 AM   #22
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One of my close friends put on 60lbs in a short span of a few years. When he was struggling to lose the weight, he said. It just isn't fair, my brother can eat whatever he wants, and not gain a pound. He got all the good genes in the family. I had a hard time convincing him that that statement just simply isn't true. Guarenteed his brother eats less calories than he over the span of weeks and months. Everyone overeats at holiday time, that is just the way it is. But the calories in vs. calories out equation works the same for everyone. If you overeat at holiday time, you have to undereat at other times to balance it it. It is when you fail to do this that the pounds start to pack on over weeks, months and years. What I like about Gary's book is that it explains why some people overeat more often than others and a solution on what to do about it.
I disagree with this as well. The whole point of Gary Taubes' work is it's not just about calories in, calories out. The type of calories matter, as well as the physiology of the person consuming them.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:44 AM   #23
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One of my close friends put on 60lbs in a short span of a few years. When he was struggling to lose the weight, he said. It just isn't fair, my brother can eat whatever he wants, and not gain a pound. He got all the good genes in the family. I had a hard time convincing him that that statement just simply isn't true. Guarenteed his brother eats less calories than he over the span of weeks and months. Everyone overeats at holiday time, that is just the way it is. But the calories in vs. calories out equation works the same for everyone. If you overeat at holiday time, you have to undereat at other times to balance it it. It is when you fail to do this that the pounds start to pack on over weeks, months and years. .
I think this is a common misconception and where many of those skinny people/life isn't fair ideas come from. I only eat twice a day so my meals tend to be bigger and people tell me all the time how lucky I am to eat so much and be so skinny. However, I don't snack, I don't use up calories on junk like whipped cream in my coffees or sodas or milkshakes , and don't eat all day long. If I know I am going to be eating more then I eat a lot less during the day so I can get away with a 1000 calorie multiple course meal with drinks later. This doesn't involve luck or any super fast metabolism.I budget for what I want to eat but people tend to dismiss that and focus on life isn't fair explanations which make them feel better. And, when I say how I track my food, make trade offs, and weigh myself daily, I always hear "that's too much work". And, that's the real answer.

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Old 05-14-2013, 08:04 AM   #24
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Hi all,

I really feel like jumping in on this one because I've just finished reading Why We Get Fat. I had hesitated to get it because I've read Good Calories Bad Calories, but I am so glad I did.

I totally loved his honest, down-to-earth approach and the fact that he is not peddling any particular plan. I can understand why the fact that some people naturally have a harder time losing (or not gaining) may be discouraging to some people.

A number of years ago I did a low-carb diet and I just melted, but then I gradually gained it all back because of carb creep. Then more recently (after having hit early menopause) I tried again and nothing was budging, even though I went very low carb. Reading WWGF really gave me the motivation I needed to stick with a low-carb WOE despite the fact that it is much, much harder for me to lose fat now. It helped me realize that even if I remain EXACTLY AS I AM NOW a low-carb WOE is still much, much better for me than slipping back into higher carb.

If I continue to eat low-carb over the long term, I am sure to achieve the leanest body composition that is possible for me, given my age and genetic baggage (and metabolic damage caused by so many years of high-carb eating). For me that is a very positive message. It releases me from constantly berating myself that I can't lose, can't stay thin and from the constant search for some magic solution. The evidence as presented by Taubes is really very, very convincing to me--so finally I can stop reading freakin' diet books!!
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:46 AM   #25
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Start Date: Dec, 31, 2012
I too enjoyed WWGF, but GCBC just puts me to sleep. I can really identify with your post. I too hate counting calories/carbs. Its like tax time and filling out a 1040 all over again.
I stay with induction to avoid the hassle.

Last edited by Chuck41; 05-14-2013 at 09:00 AM..
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:52 AM   #26
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And, when I say how I track my food, make trade offs, and weigh myself daily, I always hear "that's too much work". And, that's the real answer.
Oh, absolutely. Over the past 3 years, people have been complimentary about my weight and size and sometimes have asked how I did it, but I know better now than to tell them anything much, because their eyes will glaze over once they grasp the boring fact that it's a lot of work and there weren't any shortcuts--and there still aren't.

I can say something very basic like "I do low carb, whole foods, no fast food, very little snacking, home cooked meals..." and they will already start to look judgemental. Like, how can you expect people to stop snacking? How can you possibly avoid fast food? We're all human, after all...Cook most of your food at home? Who has time for that?

Which is fine; people get to make their own choices about what's important or worthwhile to them. I think it's fine if people are willing to be heavier because that is their trade-off for eating how they want to eat and accepting the particulars of their own physiology, and what they perceive as the limitations of their own time schedule. But I do not think it's fine for people to assume I had it easier somehow, or that I wouldn't understand their obstacles or have the same ones myself.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:12 AM   #27
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I think as a whole our society is eating way to many calories. The problem with carbs is that for some people they cause the storage of nutrients (from WWGF) for some people which is the reason they eat more, drink more etc. They get hungry. It seems to have something to do with the fact that some people just have more lipophillic tisses than others (tissues that love to store fat). People that don't store the nutrients, are more active so they burn it off as opposed to storing it, or they just eat less because they don't need fuel. People who haven't known me for very long just think I am a skinny person with no bodyfat, but the truth is that I still have 7lbs of fat on me. That is 21,000 calories of stored energy, plenty for the NA lifestyle. If there was ever a major famine maybe I would be in trouble. I got those extra calories of stored fuel from over-eating. It has just taken me a long time to figure out why I was over-eating. WWGF shed a lot of light on that.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:39 AM   #28
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WOE: Atkins - it's a diet
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Originally Posted by peanutte View Post
I can say something very basic like "I do low carb, whole foods, no fast food, very little snacking, home cooked meals..." and they will already start to look judgemental. Like, how can you expect people to stop snacking? How can you possibly avoid fast food? We're all human, after all...Cook most of your food at home? Who has time for that?
.
This is what kills me- when people talk about wanting to be healthy, improve their blood tests, and lose weight YET they refuse to give up fast food and other convenience foods. We are all busy, we all have lives and jobs and school and taking an hour to cook and clean up a day (how about giving up some tv time) is totally doable.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:56 AM   #29
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Stats: 6'2"-250/213.5/195
WOE: General Low Carb
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Originally Posted by nolcjunk View Post
This is what kills me- when people talk about wanting to be healthy, improve their blood tests, and lose weight YET they refuse to give up fast food and other convenience foods. We are all busy, we all have lives and jobs and school and taking an hour to cook and clean up a day (how about giving up some tv time) is totally doable.
I have known about LC for almost 50 years yet it took something significent to get me to go back on it 4 months ago. People have to be ready to make a change and for me the deaths of a couple diabetic close friends and blood tests that showed me I was headed the same way was enough. Most are simply not to the point of being ready to make the sacrifice of giving up their comfort foods. It is much like other addictions. You can lock up a drunk and get him off the booze, but if he is not ready to go through the pain of a new lifestyle, new friends, new habits, etc. he will grab the first bottle he finds when he gets out of the lockup. Same with us junkfood addicts.
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Last edited by Chuck41; 05-14-2013 at 10:59 AM..
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:02 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Chuck41 View Post
I have known about LC for almost 50 years yet it took something significent to get me to go back on it 4 months ago. People have to be ready to make a change and for me the deaths of a couple diabetic close friends and blood tests that showed me I was headed the same way was enough. Most are simply not to the point of being ready to make the sacrifice of giving up their comfort foods. It is much like other addictions. You can lock up a drunk and get him off the booze, but if he is not ready to go through the pain of a new lifestyle, new friends, new habits, etc. he will grab the first bottle he finds when he gets out of the lockup. Same with us junkfood addicts.
In the cases that I was referring to it was because of convenience, not because of comfort foods. they would prefer to get a wendy's salad and soup (things on their diet) rather than making it themselves.

But, I am glad that you are finally at a place where you are ready for Atkins.
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