By Matt Stone
Girl: I need to lose?40 pounds?in the next 3 months. Anybody have any ideas?
Random Internet?Guy: Exercise fasted. You’ll thank me later.
I’saw a conversation on Facebook recently that went almost exactly like’that. At the post office, I overheard a postal worker telling a guy that eating more fruits and vegetables and exercising every day was a surefire ticket to?lasting weight loss. A friend of mine once told his fat older?brother that all he needed was a stationary bike, and he could?kiss that unsightly blubber goodbye.Ask any low-carber what fat Joe should do.He just needs’to enter ketosis. Freaking carb addict.In my early 20’s, all my mom needed to do’to lose weight was stop drinking Coke. In 2012, fat people just needed to cut out the gluten. In 2013 they need to spend most of the day fasted and eat foods with low palatability and lots of resistant starch. Who knows what fat people will need to do next year? Probably hop on one foot and tape their mouths shut while in ketosis on a raw food diet.
Trends may come and go, but one thing is always consistent… Everyone knows what’s best for a fat person.
Seriously. If you are with a friend or family member, ask?him what he thinks your fat Aunt should do to slim down.He will have a definitive answer. It may change from year to year, but it will be consistently cocksure. Yes, it’s okay that you snickered when you read that word. I’snickered when I wrote it. The?real problem is what happens when you read the word “snicker.” You think of Snickers and have a cephalic insulin release and a big bump in appetite.That’s just more fatness for you fatty fathead.
In?reality, even though everyone has a definitive?answer,’there are no actual, definitive answers. I think the most reasonable obesity solution, considering a wide, all-encompassing view of all the scientific literature and?personal experience and testimony of real, living, breathing people who have struggled with excess weight, is to travel back in time.
If you travel back in time, you can get to the root of the causes of storing excess body fat: low metabolic rate, excess polyunsaturated fat storage,?poor infant diet, excess fat cells, fat cell hypertrophy, disordered eating behavior,?dieting at an early age,?and many?others.If you don’t, you won’t, and will have to resort to various starvation tactics (food restriction, macronutrient restriction, excessive exercise, laxatives, purging, fasting, “cleansing,”?ice water baths)?and dietary and lifestyle extremes to lose fat and keep it off, unless you are one of the lucky ones who respond to long-term maintenance of a high metabolic rate by’spontaneously losing fat. That happens for some who raise their metabolic rate through the dietary and lifestyle measures advocated in my books. For others, it doesn’t.
Anyway, I’m calling you out, everyone. I’m sick of your absolute confidence and certainty. Certainty is the result of an inability to see contradiction. Inability to see contradiction is a side effect of idiocy.
Instead, think of a problem that you have been unable to solve your entire life, physical or otherwise. Then humble yourself to the point of recognizing that obesity is as complex, if not more complex, than the problem(s) you’ve been unable to solve. You don’t have all the answers. The answers you provide aren’t as effective as you wish they?were.
Hey, everybody wants to be helpful to others, be in possession of the answers, and give good advice.But few do, and are. Those who are the most eager to?dish out advice are typically those who are the most certain, wrong, and in the greatest need of being right and helping people to feel good about themselves?(insecure).
So’stop it?everyone. You don’t know what’s best for?fat people. Fat people are not simpletons who are’too stupid to?have come up with the amazing solutions that you have devised from the?eight books and four blogs that you read. They don’t need?you to miraculously heal them with your advice. Unless you’ve got a flux capacitor hanging around in your garage, they need you to shut the hell up and worry about your own problems.
Biggest Dietary Change Ever Made
Yeah, indeed. And probably first.
Haha great article Matt!
I’ll make sure to use “cocksure” in my everyday talking as much as possible.
SO true. 1. we know we’re fat. 2. we know all about all the different types of diets and exercise plans and have probably tried more of them than you can imagine. 3. maybe we’re just fine the way we are and don’t want your Concern Trolling.
I rarely comment anywhere but FB, but I wanted to let you know you made me laugh out loud with the fatty fathead paragraph. Thank you.
+1 on exact paragraph mentioned….WITTY BEYOND.
Exactly! But only you can say it like you do. Good job.
Cool, like the intensity :)
You are the most honest health writer I know of. You’re the only one out there who tells it like it really is instead of saying that they have THE solution (though I don’t read a lot of other health blogs or books these days, so if there are others out there like yourself, please recommend them). Respect.
Chief still claims he has the answers, and is holding them for ransom… I’ll see if he wants to comment ;)
Thank you for directing me here Franz. I have been doing/going through alot IRL and haven’t read much lately but BOOYAH I’m loving this post.
I agree with matt wholeheartedly about the state of affaires… in the same breath I maintain my cock-sureness about what I hold for ransom.
these 3 points stick out in badassness
1.) “You think of Snickers and have a cephalic insulin release and a big bump in appetite.” Word up!
2.) ” If you travel back in time, you can get to the root of the causes of storing excess body fat ” couldn’t have said it better.
This can also be done in your mind without a flux capacitor with equally awesome results. Jumping back in time would be 100% effective for more than 90 % of the population if you put em’ in the Delorean at birth. Even with the genes stacked against them it would be epic win all the way.
3.) “humble yourself to the point of recognizing that obesity is as complex, if not more complex, than the problem(s) you’ve been unable to solve.” (ADD… for a large part of your life… )
Yep its mad complex and by studying its complexity it becomes insanely simple. So simple most people can’t wrap their heads around it. They need to see it to believe it. if people approached it as a complex thing instead of a simple don’t eat carbs/eat less type of thing they would have it licked already looking at the big picture. calories or carbs are not to blame eat as many as you want and hit the buffet while your at it.
P.S. I will continue to hold it for ransom
OMG! Could his be the return of Chief!!? Yay!
What if it’s as simple as this – people got fat when they started restricting food and/or worrying about perfection, counting calories or macronutrients or points, and other stress-inducing unnatural nonsense? I’ve lost 20 pounds so far in maybe 10 weeks and relieved numerous health problems by drinking more sugar sodas, eating lots of salt and saturated fat, whole milk, half & half, cheese, meat and eggs, sprouted flour-less bread, potatoes, ice cream, fruits, juices, V8, peanut butter pretzels (Trader Joe’s), etc. I ate pork like 5-7 times in the last week or so – and convinced myself that my previous problems were psychosomatic. I’ve been to a few buffets and tried a little of everything. I constantly change things and experiment with new things. I have no cravings. I can eat all the food that used to make me binge or gain weight and am losing rapidly (pounds a week). I feel better than ever in almost every way.
It’s 10 steps forward, 1 step back, though. A couple new problems came – being thirsty and frequent urinating and having tired/sore eyes upon waking. But I am very warm almost always and the water balance is improving. I think I can fix it by just drinking a little less fluids & eating less water-rich foods, but things are constantly changing and getting better. I’ve been doing a lot of other things like sun bathing frequently (without sunscreen), hot-and-cold “contrast showers,” et cetera. Those might be partly to blame for a seeming tendency to overhydrate like Matt says, but I think following the Primal Diet (2nd edition) with no water or fluids except milk and green juice put more stress on my kidneys. I react to a lot of things weird and can’t see a pattern. Sometimes spring water & club soda hydrate me well and gatorade makes me urinate frequently. Other times sugar sodas or juices hydrate better. Other time milk or half-&-half.
I think everybody has their own “health Rubik’s cube,” as I have called it in the past (and I think Matt did once or twice too). You know you’re making progress when things constantly change and the number of problems and/or the severity of problems decreases. I agree with a lot of this article, esp the last few lines: “What improves our health may come in the form of nutrition but it may also come in the form of remembering a forgotten dream, taking up a new hobby, spending less time on the computer, or volunteering somewhere. The goal with health problems is to feel better. If we just feel a little better than the day before, then that is a good sign we are in movement, that we didn’t get stuck in a religious position with something? that we are coloring, thinking and healing outside of the lines.”
There was an article in the newspaper a while back profiling a woman who ate whatever she wanted and never starved or deprived herself and was thin and had great health numbers. Of course all the experts say she just has good genes but there is another possibility that is much simpler – dieting and diet foods do your metabolism in. I do avoid certain things generally, like high fructose corn syrup, corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil, hydrogenated oil, and other PUFAs, but when you balance those foods and don’t eat them habitually in large amounts I think a healthy metabolism can handle them and thrive and get better. Eating like a bad-ass as Chief says and ignoring all absolutist rules what to eat and not eat (or combine) has taken me to a higher level of health, IMO, and I believe that I will keep becoming stronger and more flexible as I have.
I’m excited for you Merc, but also a bit scerrd. You might want to grab hold of a glucose meter.
I second the glucose meter advice. and I would add a bit of enjoyable exercise in your shoes.
What made you guys think of the glucose meter? The frequent urination?
Thirst, frequent urination, and rapid unexplained weight loss = Beetus.
Chief lost weight rapidly and talked about the same freedom that I spoke of 4 years ago with the HED. I got derailed when forced to take drugs that you admit are fattening. I’m drinking a lot of fluids and you don’t approve of that, either, but your approach didn’t seem right. I am doing exercise. I won’t stick needles in my body, ever. Is there is a non-invasive test? I’m pretty sure I heard of that from you or one of the comments. Anyway, how about the fact I feel higher more stable energy and mental clarity? I’ve been mowing a huge lawn every week or two all summer with a push reel mower and every time it’s easier to push and I can go longer and harder. It’s not extreme thirst or unusually frequent urination, given the fact I drink 16 ounces or more of milk, juice, tea, water or soda at a time. I think I’m just overhydrated a little. I went about 5 hours last night without fluids, then drank a small glass of milk before bed. I slept all night without urinating and my eyes were not sore for the first time in a while, but I bad leg cramps for the first time in years. So, two steps forward, one back.
It’s not unexplained weight loss, any more than Chief’s, IMO.
I feel thirsty more when lying down in bed, not standing up or sitting down. Any ideas? I am experimenting with many things at once. Less fluids, more solid foods and salt would probably help, but I’m eating intuitively as much as I can and going for variety and not restricting anything. I have one or two drinks some days, fruit, 100% juice or juice with sugar, bread, rice, potatoes, meat, eggs, veggies, high cream ice cream, 60-70% chocolate, butter cookies, occasional blanched almonds and dry roasted pistachios or macadamias, pork/chicken (usually lean or uncured bacon). Many problems have resolved and I am continuing to make progress gradually.
I’ve read Eat For Heat and Diet Recovery 2. Some of the EFH advice did help me for a while, but I got tired of it and didn’t want to be stuck eating that way for life. Sometimes I simply need more fluids, IMO, maybe to dilute toxins or something. I can just sip on water and barely drink anything at other times when I eat. Chief was probably urinating frequently after 4-5 large sodas at a meal. I’m not fasting like him, but I am eating with more freedom and looking, feeling, and functioning way better than I was several months ago. the body adapts. I was having to urinate several times a night a month ago, now I’m sleeping through the night. Don’t try to bring me down.
Um, seriously, please check your blood sugar. You don’t want to go into diabetic ketoacidosis because you don’t like needles.
Not trying to bring ya down mercury, just concerned.
Sometimes I read comments that I swear where written by medical professionals in an attempt to trip me up because they sound like textbook symptoms thrown into a story. Sometimes you can fix one thing while another problem creeps in so definitely look out for the dia-beeetus possibility.
I have easily rocked ten such sodas at supper without urination. it all depends on how much water I’m in need of beforehand.
I do see rapid weight loss in my experiments but its all fully explainable and is not seen in conjunction with sore eyes, frequent urination, persistent thirst and peeing frequently after a little gatorade but not after a bit of spring water.
keep in mind my tone is happy and helpful :) just concerned about ya. :)
Just no- I was 9 when I started to get fat, I wasn’t restricting calories, and I wasn’t worried about it. Bogus.
Agree heartily. I’m not fat and have never been fat, however, when I was eating processed crap I felt like crap. For some people, certain foods will make a positive mindset irrelevant or impossible. Mindset is sometimes dictated by the status of the body.
Well my weight has shifted between 56 & 61 kilos over the years. I could ‘diet’ and lose – reach my target & then forget the necessary maintenance. The problem? Lack of discipline – eating crap, glass of wine & beer every night; huge platefuls.
Now at 60 years finally can’t expend energy Init any more so 2 meals a day, exercise 3 times a week & best it’s been since I was a teenager. I’m probably about to get a load of ‘stick’ for using the discipline word … Hmm leaves a nasty taste in your mouth.
Well, I’ve lost 20 pounds so far in about 10 weeks (give or take) by eating all I want. Look better and feel better than ever. A few new minor problems, but it’s 10 steps forward for every step back basically. Numerous food sensitivities went away, used to make me feel itchy, inflamed and sleepy feeling and badly needed a nap. Now it causes no reaction or vastly less severe. Dieting and then going back to eating junk, naturally, doesn’t work and makes things worse – usually quickly. That doesn’t mean you have to continue the losing battle, which will probably get worse with age. It’s not wine and beer and platefuls of food, but something about the diet as a whole which was inappropriate. You are not thinking holistically – unless you exhaustively list every food you ate, your whole lifestyle, sleep, sun, exercise, etc. Like Matt is saying, you would need a time machine. Then, you would need to have the logical mind of Spock, the observation and deduction powers of Sherlock Holmes, and the patience of God to sort out all the variables and isolating them. Left-brain thinking won’t solve the problem. We don’t have time machines and no matter what we do we can’t figure out one thing in isolation, we have to look at a whole mess of stuff mixed together using intuition and imagination, not just logic and deduction or the scientific method, because the world is not a laboratory. Sorry.
Nice, my friend.
So I just searched your site for metabolic typing and didn’t find any views on it. I’m talking about the Metabolic Typing Diet idea where some people are Sympathetic dominant so do better with more carbs, some are Parasympathetic dominant and do better with more protein/fat, and some are in between. I read the book The Metabolic Typing Diet but there are others like The Nutrition Solution, and Paul Chek, Mercola and Dr. Nicolas Gonzales are proponents of it. I would love to hear your thoughts on the idea, or if you can point me to one of your posts that address it I’d appreciate it.
I think there is some validity there to the sympathetic/parasympathetic balancing idea. In MT though, your only options are to eat high protein or super high protein. Instead of messing with diet, it’s probably better to balance those two systems with exercise. Parasympathetic dominant people would probably do better to add in a ton of exercise, sympathetic dominant people would take a break and try to sleep more.
I did not get from The Metobolic Typing Diet at all that sympathetic dominants should eat high protein. He basically says to pay attention to how you feel after eating and keep adjusting to dial it in. The sympathetic dominants are basically vegetarians.
Referring more to Paul Chek’s Eat, Move, and Be Healthy which is my primary exposure to it.
What if said parasympathetic person doesn’t have energy or desire to exercise? Add it in anyway using willpower to rebalance?
I don’t know. Forget I said anything. MT is a lame system if you ask me. To subdivide people into two types is ridiculous and limiting. Whether a person should be more or less physically active at any given time should be based on a dozen different factors.
“Certainty is the result of an inability to see contradiction. Inability to see contradiction is a side effect of idiocy.” – This is a classic quote!
That reminds me of another quote: “Certainty is the mother of fools.”
Nice article, Matt.
I conquer! Loved that quote… Wicked
Matt Stone for Frickin President! Who seconds that?
Also Matt Stone for my lover! I know you have a girlfriend, but still.
never mind snickers, you had me at coke
How about snickers AND coke! Nom…nom…nom…
And we can start with our twisted definition of what is considered “fat” these days. Just stop. Stopit! STOP IT!
By the way, I just spent ALL SUMMER barely hobbling around with a cane (after a bad sprain + rib injury) and more sedentary than a pet rock, culminating in a 30lb weight gain. I’m going to poke the first person in they eyeball who says it must be “all that sugar I’m putting in my coffee.”
Amen to that! Can’t we all just be people? Enough with the labels.
I look forward to the day when people stop judging health by what you look like on the outside. I’m overweight but don’t have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar yet I know plenty of lean people who do. I sleep like a baby, rarely get sick and have enough energy to do what I need to and use it on things that benefit myself and others rather than using it all at the gym. I’d love to lose the extra 30 Kgs I’m carrying but nothing seems to work so fuck it and if people want to judge me fuck them too.
I have a dream that someday our children will be judged not by the numbers on a scale, but by the content of their character. I agree with you Jen, but sadly the trend seems to be going in the other direction until we start standing up to be heard. Matt is a really helpful voice here…..everyone want to blame and shame the fat guy or girl……Schools in our state are sending out fat letters to kids – F***king them up forever……
I have a dream that people will be judged on their ability to recite 80’s movie lines and trivia.
That’s my dream too, Matt.
“Do you realize it’s snowing in my room, g*d-dammit?”
…and not by the content of their character
Great article, Matt. But, I wish there were some better answers for those whose obesity and health problems do not respond to an increase in metabolic rate, or whose bodies are resistant to the increase. There has to be more to the story, and a way to turn the tide for the next generations if not our own. I’m not convinced that “eat the food” is enough for the hole we’ve got ourselves in.
I would like to see obesity addressed as a medical and possibly an environmemtal problem without the bias towards a simple calories in/calories out system. Why do people overeat and store fat in the first place? Unfortunately the medical system is just as biased and hellbent on telling fat people what to do.
You might be surprised to learn that some researchers, like Linda Bacon or Paul Campos, don’t even think obesity is a disease or a problem. I strongly recommend you, based on what you just said you would like to see, to read The Gabriel Method and The Obesity Myth. All the best
I’m familiar with The Gabriel Method, but I’ll look into the other one you mentioned.
I actually don’t think obesity is a disease so much as a symptom of disease or an underlying problem. And I’m not talking about BMI or our societies warped view of what a healthy weight is. I’m talking about obesity and the accompanying symptoms that affect quality of life.
I think it’s very easy to address for future generations. I feel pretty confident I could take 2 obese wannabe parents and help them create a lean kid.
Why?… “What happens to us in the future? Do we become assholes or something?”
In the midst of reading Bruce Lipton’s “Biology of Belief” and I reckon you could with ease!
Ginger I’ll toss in an Integrative Health perspective. This is a possibility and by no means declaring Certainty… rabbit hole of the body and all! But from a mental/emotional standpoint and how closely these aspects of our health & body intertwine and interrelate in regards to our cravings and energy levels, as well as unconscious components, I’d suggest investigating when did your weight issues begin?
What was going on in your life at the time?
Was food ever used to numb or comfort emotions that didn’t want to be felt?
What stress was aided by food?
Is there possible protection as a secondary gain from having weight issues … For women this can be a big one for boundaries and self-protection….which requires a new conscious strategy in agreement with the unconscious.
If the body is storing weight or retaining water there can be the mental and emotional stress components at play.
Self-healing the stress associated or in conjunction with weight gain can support the body to repair tremendously. After all the unconscious mind is about a million times more powerful than the conscious mind … Wise to investigate where weight and unconscious issues intertwine.
Great stuff Matt. Remain humble and remind yourself you will never have it all figured out. Nobody does. Not even Ray Peat.
Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.
– Mark Twain
I doubt Mark Twain ever said “cocky”.
So what’s your solution? I have read your books and am still freezing cold and discouraged trying to balance salt, water, sugar, fat and starch. I know it is different for everyone and I am trying to figure it out but this post was quite discouraging.
Great one Matt, thank you! The older I get the more I hope we can all learn to live *well* despite our illnesses, disabilities and traumas (as far as I can see they aren’t going away anytime soon).
I know I have gone through a metamorphosis in my own life and practice because of my mistakes. It seems to be the way I learn (more to come LOL).
Matt: First off, I love the way you write. You crack me up AND you are smart! So, thank you for sharing those qualities with us. And, secondly, I was just thinking today that there are more Diet books (and blogs) today than ever before in the history of mankind, AND there are more fat people today than ever before in the history of mankind, ergo: Diet books and blogs make people fat. (Just as you’ve been saying all along!)
+1….Brilliant synopsis of the “logic”…Agreed!
What’s even better is when a fat person loses weight, keeps it off for 6 months (through strict diet and exercise) and decides to start randomly commenting on other people’s fat issues.
‘All they need to do is…’
I’m like ‘wait for it’ because I know that it will take one change in their organized existence(New job, a break up, moving in with someone, getting a pet, someone’s death) that they haven’t planned around, and the fat will be back by Christmas. I see it all the time.
Am I the only one that thinks some people try TOO hard to be slim.
If you’re doing spin classes, kickboxing, marathons and Bush walking, how do you have time to chill out and appreciate your healthy body?
Fat seems to be linked more heavily to lack of time and money than to laziness or lack of determination.
To one of the above posters. Discipline is only one of many tools you need and everyone’s toolkit is different (mine is decorated with unicorns).
Matt, the tool I need is a good way to deal with these irritating, cocksure pricks.
Is there a socially acceptable way of poking someone in the chest while saying ‘My problem is you. My priority isn’t my weight, it’s just one of my goals. My overall health is more important. But that being said, the stress of dealing with know it all’s like you, means I have a better chance of bumping my ass against the moon than experiencing overall health and well-being! Now please, shut the hole that makes the words.’
FYI, I am serious. My social skills resemble a dead leaf.
What do we say to these… People?
Interestingly enough this week is –according to the Binge Eating Disorder Association– “Weight Stigma Awareness Week” (Sept 23-27) and they stated: “Scientific study of 170,000 people: feeling fat is worse for your health than actually being fat. Why does our culture promote making people feel that way?”
The tides are turning….slowly but surely…we seem to be in the creating awareness stage.
Great comment. Love the Unicorns.
I lost a bit over 100 lbs. I know what worked for me, but that may not work for everyone. If asked I may share it, but usually don’t. Just happy that it’s easier to move around.
You don’t always have to share opinions, after all, they are like assholes, everyone has them, and few or none are worth looking at!
Please share Max. And how long ago was that?
Yes, please do share. I’m struggling post 4 months of antibiotics for what turned out to be a food sensitivity (possible leaky gut) with 45 lb weight gain, and I feel /look like garbage.
The biggest joke of all is that resistant starch will likely make you fatter, but healthier. There’s actually a term for it in the studies: ‘MHO’, Metabolically Healthy but Obese.
So true but my impulsive nature won’t allow me to raise my metabolism and see what happens. I wany the weight off now so it’s under the knife I go. :/
Like the article…thank you Matt!
What adds to the Mr-Know-It-All judgmental attitude is all these fat-bashing TV shows like The Biggest Loser. Ripped, toned fitness instructors screaming at obese competitors as they slog their guts out on a treadmill to the point of nearly throwing up. The problem with these shows is that they get into the psyche of the skinny people and then they look at us fatties and think “why won’t they help themselves?” Somehow, they think it gives them the right to judge us and shame us into losing weight.
“Calories in, calories out” is what has been driven into people’s heads, I even had a gym instructor say those exact words to me back in the early 90’s when my father bribed me into trying to lose weight because he was so embarrassed and ashamed of me. Nobody knew then that I had PCOS and that was causing my rapid weight gain and even now they don’t understand.
Thank you Matt, for sticking up for us blubber guts.
All of my life I have done the work, the dieting (probably began in utero), exercise – weights, always walking, biking. At first I lost weight and then got fatter and fatter – it as if I was training my poor body for the fat Olympics. I struggled with idiot doctors and others, I didn’t want to have children so that we not be fat like me. All this insanity in my head and the belief that I must have been insane to keep doing everything right and getting the wrong results!!! I read your post today and it makes me want to cry. How is it that you this?? Thank you from the bottom of my heart for confirming that I am not crazy…..
Not very nice is it?
As a petite person, I am sick and tired of “concerned” people speculating about my size. I hate the way people feel free to grab me so that they can cop a feel for how bony they think that I am under my clothes. >:-(
Even more than that, I hate the way “curvy” women tell me that “real women” are fat and assume that I must be throwing up all that food I am eating. If they are so content with themselves, then why are they so hostile and bitchy to me?
Most people don’t have an opinion from 8 books and 4 blogs. Most people think it’s just as simple as eating less and exercising more. And they think fat people’s problem is simply that they don’t care or are weak willed. It validates their own ego, thinking they must be mentally better. Or perhaps they just don’t want to face that nature is cruel.
Anyway, I’m not fat, but I can see that it’s pretty much just a genetic issue. Some people manage to lose weight and keep it off (Ryan Seacrest). I don’t know why it works for some and not others, but for some people, I believe it actually damages their health trying to do so. So we as a society need to lay off the fat people and stop blaming them.
–or rather, nature *can be* cruel (don’t want to be too negative, sorry)…
(And it’s not like fatness is a bad thing for everyone anyway.)
Oh, I just love the way you write, Matt. Thanks so much.
About 8 yrs ago I lost weight on a lowfat low cholesterol diet. This was all about my cholesterol, not about losing weight, although that was a nice side effect. After reading Nourishing Traditions I started wapf. I had lost around 35 lbs & I have to say it felt good! Since I’ve been on wap I have been gaining weight. The 1st 2 yrs of eating wap I stayed at 110. The next yr I had gained 3 lbs. The yr after that I gained another 3-4 lbs until last yeat I was up to 120. I had really lost too much weight on that diet, again, not trying to go that low. Everyone said I looked good last yr but I was concerned why I was gaining when I wasn’t trying to. I thought I was eating healthy, wap you know, & exercising regularly.
Then I started reading other bloggers talking about metabolism, signs of a low one & mentioning Matt’s ebooks, which is how I got here. I took the plunge last Feb with refeeding, warming foods, etc. & really gained weight. I really would like to know why I kept gaining weight on the wap diet. I don’t really want to call it a diet because it’s meant to be forever & the word diet has die in it. My doctor said I am eating too much saturated animal fat. Sally Fallon said fat doesn’t make you fat.
Talk about restricting, I stayed away from all those healthy fats for years & years because of the high cholesterol in my family. When I switched to wap I was afraid of overdoing butter. And coconut oil was unheard of. Now coconut oil is my oil of choice for cooking & after 7 years of eating this way I think I have satiated (sp?) my need of butter. I mean I don’t have to overdo it. I know there has been some criticism of wap on this blog, but I just don’t get why I was gaining weight on it. I thought the lowfat diet messed up my metabolism.
Are you under 4′ tall? If you’re anywhere near average height for a woman, then 120lbs doesn’t seem like something to worry about.
I am 5’5″ and now over 150. I would be thrilled to get back to 120 and stay there.
“Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads”
88 miles per hour!!!! Ahhhoooo
I agree that people should not be going around offering unsolicited weight loss advice/tips/encouragement (whatever you want to call it). However, it does not necessarily mean the information being shared is necessarily wrong or flawed in some way. True, there are a myriad of variables that effect each of us differently, but that also doesn’t mean that people people who have lost weight don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s important to acknowledge that in general most people focus on the weight, which is only a symptom of the underlying cause. All this to say that if someone is really serious about making changes they will need the advice and encouragement of trusted individuals who are achieving success with their own health.
REALLY would appreciate it if Matt or someone else would help me out with these severe symptoms I’m having ever since going low carb.
I was only low carb for two months, keto/Atkins for about a month a Primal carbs the next. When I switched to low carb I began experiencing severe reactive hypoglycemia and fatigue. When I switched over to higher carb diet (natural sources, gluten and refined sugar free) which included plenty of starch and fruit (and salt) my symptoms just worsened and my energy levels depleted. Now that I am eating more junk food, gluten and refined sugar foods my energy levels have deteriorated, my mental acuity has declined, and I have little everyday motivation. I have been refeeding for about 3-4 months, and experienced little benefits other than satiation (still obsessed with organising and experimented with my diet to overcome the stressful reactive hypolgycemia and poor energy). All these symptoms triggered by a low carbohydrate diet.
I am only 22, depression has hit me hard out of no where (I am certain it is diet associated), I can barely eat a meal without feeling like a total zombie and I am unable to have a basic intellectual conversation. My college academic performance is deteriorating before my eyes and I’m suffering because of a short low carb stint that has basically destroyed my metabolism…
Any suggestions appreciated.
Not sure, based on what you just said, where you should turn next. But I’m sure you’re just a small step away from starting to climb out of the pit so don’t give up yet. Have you tried displacing a lot of fat and protein out of your diet and carbing up really big? Like 60-70%+ of dietary calories?
Only thing I can think to ask about is sleep. Are you getting enough? 2 nights ago I only got 6 hours of sleep and I had hypoglycemia all the next day. Didn’t matter what I ate or how much I ate. Next night I got a little over 8 hours and I felt completely fine and even.
Since eating like a seminormal human being again, I have gotten fatter, but my cocksure is happier.
I agree – the problem with most advice is it doesn’t take into account said complexity. So many subtleties affecting health/fatness and so different from person to person….
I wish there were more writers/bloggers/speculators out there that grasped this because what I don’t see being talked about much really is a deeper discussion of meaningful interpretations of subtle things that go on in one’s body and the psychology of it all. In my experience its a deepening of awareness that has the potential to solve complex issues like obesity and other health challenges.
I think there is a whole world of strategies for dealing with issues like obesity that aren’t even talked about. Its just like in politics how the most fundamental issues are completely ignored by 99.99% of the population. There’s a million elephants in the room that no one can see. Its like even the best thinkers with the most subtle grasp need to take into account more things. A new space for meaningful discussion could potentially emerge if the mind could expand. It almost seems like its on the level of an honest rigorous philosophy that these problems could be solved, but real philosophy is unfortunately boring to most people or beyond their ability to grasp.
For example I don’t have much of a weight issue, but I do pay attention to my body and I notice all sorts of subtle things that I’m not entirely sure how to interpret much less talk about. Its like the lingo is missing.
Kudos to Matt for breaking new ground in the search for better health. I like his ideas because they are new and at a higher level and spawn from a deeper understanding of all the factors affecting health. I used enjoy coming here regularly expecting to have my mind blown with enlightening nuggets of wisdom. I suspect however that even Matt has reached his limit. Not a whole lot of new insights here. This blog has lately been reduced to (and I’m aware this is probably entirely by design) mostly an ongoing pep talk about the dangers of any sort of dietary restriction. I’m not knocking the message – there’s probably a real need for it. I just suspect there are lots of discussion that could really benefit people regarding health, fatness, etc. I reiterate though that such discussions require a level of analysis that bewilders and bores most people.
This is great!
I’m struggling as someone who has been obese mostly my entire life. I was mildly obese until age 11 when I starved myself and went down to the low end of “overweight.” But I rapidly gained it back, especially after my mom passed away when I was 12. By 16, I was 240ish. By 18, I was 260ish. My highest weight was about 370 or so. I actually had weight loss surgery 4 years ago and got down to only 250, but was starving all the time. After having my second child and going through significant stress, I am up to almost 300 again. My temps are around 98.5-99.1. I have Hashimoto’s and take both synthroid and armour (1/2 dose of each). Without the armour, I feel cold and sluggish. With only armour, I have heart palpitations, etc.
I am so confused why I am gaining weight. My temps are great. I know WLS sucks and I shouldn’t have done it, but I did. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. I don’t feel comfortable at this weight. I’m tired and achy. I don’t feel like exercising at all. I walk my daughter to and from school some days, which is about 15 minutes each way. That’s about it. I don’t get winded or anything. I work full-time also (as a physician assistant).
Anyway, I just love all the advice I hear from people. None of it works for everyone.
By the way, regarding kids: My daughter is a pretty healthy weight after being off the weight chart as a baby and she has two morbidly obese parents. Now, she is only 5, so she may still get big (though both her father and I were quite heavy at her age). However, her relationship with food is stellar. I usually make her a big breakfast at home (this morning was an egg and cheese on grilled sourdough with fruit and whole milk). I asked if she had breakfast at school (because she didn’t eat much of her lunch) and she said, “It was banana bread, so if I were hungry, I would have eaten it. But I wasn’t hungry.” I pray she continues to listen to her body.
Right on with this point of view! Matt you are making me have “Aha” moments daily. Sadly I have been at fault for telling people how to lose weight. Even tonight I was telling my husband that he had a slow metabolism (ha ha). I just finished Diet Recovery 2 and felt like the entire book was written for me. I am currently on day 4 of RRARF and feeling rather nervous about it. It is so hard to purposely gain weight, even though I have a low temperature and an irregular/long menstrual cycle.
Why does it have to be such a big deal to be skinny? I had a somewhat tough day today because my clothes were feeling a little tight, the lighting in Nordstrom dressing rooms is horrible and the sales girl was so cute, young and skinny. Just venting! I wish that it didn’t matter at all! I really love the parts of the book that talk about how to spend new free time with the important stuff…and yet in my down time at night I am still on the computer, reading blogs and “researching” health related topics. I am contemplating paying for the “Get Help” session but I really need to ditch the health and nutrition obsessing once and for all. A serious time suck.
Anyway, sorry for that little rant. I am so happy to have found some positive role models when it comes to overcoming disordered eating. I hope to truly one day just, “eat when hungry, finish when full” or something like that.. :-)
“What if it’s as simple as this ? people got fat when they started restricting food and/or worrying about perfection, counting calories or macronutrients or points, and other stress-inducing unnatural nonsense”
I lost weight counting calories and macros it works well for me
?Calories in, calories out? is what has been driven into people’s heads,
actually it is based in calories in calories out… when you eat an excess of calories you gain weight (we are designed to store fat in a caloric surplus) and we are designed to lose weight in a caloric deficit..
It’s an over simplification of a very complex matter and there is no “one size fits all” solution. To be told that we should “just” expend more energy than we consume has set the foundation for fat bashing and being labelled too lazy to help ourselves.
If it was a simple matter of calories in, calories out, people would be able to lose weight easily every time.
Great article Matt
As some one who has a fat issue after illness I see this all the time. What is worse though is that I got this even before I was fat. As an adolescent I was around 75kg which was”too much” and was at weight watchers and all that and felt terrible about myself, yet when I look back at photos I was actually ok.
My body shape is solid and I carry a lot of muscle and now my daughter has the same shape she is beautiful her legs are lean but solid her torso is twice as thick as most of her school friends yet she has almost no baby fat left. I am terrified that she will see herself as fat because of this ridiculous idea that twig thin is beautiful and that ripped is healthy.
It actually took me gaining 30kgs to realize I wasn’t over weight to begin with, so thanks to all those who wanted to help me lose weight when I actually wasn’t fat
Very good post. I recently lost quite a bit of weight (30 pounds) and went from squeezing into my “fat pants” to where I was in my 20s (I’m 48). I am eating better, exercising regularly, lifting weights and advising everybody within earshot how they too can reach this healthy, awesome existence. Some people who are really interested in their own wellbeing will ask how I did it. They really want to know. As for the others: Well, I’m just trying to drop a few pointers in a friendly sort of way during our conversations. How annoying. Just because it’s my passion and has made me feel so much better (inside and out), doesn’t mean everyone else in my social/family sphere would feel the same. And just because I have 14 different “health” websites bookmarked on my laptop, doesn’t mean everybody wants to discuss wheat/no wheat/primal/paleo/fat/no fat/carbs/no carbs – you get the picture.
You’re right Matt, I need to shut the hell up and worry about myself. Lordy knows there’s always work to be done on that front.
Matt, you’re probably right about giving people advice, but sometimes your messages here sound so hopeless. I’ve seen too many people’s weight change long-term to feel that there’s nothing they can do to correct issues that led to the gain. I would say the things that will help your body pack on weight are going on weight-gain-inducing medications (antidepressants are probably the biggest offenders, and the pill and antibiotics are definite offenders as well), getting really stressed, living an unhappy life, being in an abusive relationship, not sleeping, too much beer, dieting, eating erratically, ignoring hunger signals and eating crap. The things that can only help your weight are eating good balanced meals on a consistent schedule, tuning into and obeying your hunger signals, getting adequate nutrition, working out any emotional stressors (including ones remaining from childhood), keeping stress low, sleeping, being happy, meditating and doing some moderate exercise. I think happiness is probably the biggest factor here. Is all this going to radically change someone’s genetic predispositions? No, probably not. But I bet it will help them achieve the lower end of their range. That’s some advice, lol, but I stand by it.
That’s exactly what I say in Diet Recovery 2, basically. And in the post. Those are not easy things to perform though. Not everyone succeeds with lasting weight loss. In fact, very few do. That is reality. But even the day I wrote this I received an email from someone who has lost weight, and was down 10% in bodyweight even weighing herself right after a big pile of French toast and syrup. It can happen when people get all the pieces put together correctly. But even I wouldn’t want to give anyone false hope.
I didn’t get that at all from your post. It sounded pretty much hopeless, like unless you have a time machine, your only option for weight loss is starvation, and that won’t work beyond short-term, so unless you are lucky enough to lose weight after healing your metabolism, you are screwed.
I think the only people for whom weight loss is pretty much impossible are the people currently on weight-gain-inducing meds because that is a chemical issue essentially impossible to overcome, or someone trapped in a very unhappy situation that they can’t escape. Or someone who has unrealistic expectations of where their weight should be based on genetics, etc. Otherwise, it might take a long time and some trial and error but it’s not hopeless by any means.
Oh, and those weight loss stats about longterm maintenance are based on dieters. It’s not necessarily the same when people are making lifestyle changes like sleep, stress reduction and mealtime consistency. The weight loss is very different that way. Or, for example, someone who was a thin teen and young adult, gained weight in an abusive marriage, finally got out and got divorced and lost weight naturally (not via a diet). There is no way that is in the same category.
I met a cat last night (well, its owners, but the cat was there). They found her about a year ago. She had obviously had owners in the past but for whatever reason ended up on the streets. They adopted her, and when she first came to live with them, she ate everything that was left out because she was used to having to scrounge. They couldn’t leave out dry food like most people do for cats because she would eat it all. She got fat for several months. But then, according to the owners, she figured out that plenty of food was available and she felt safe, and so her appetite normalized and the weight came off. They never put her on a diet, but they never let her really gorge either, although she ate more than she does now. The cat looks a perfectly normal, healthy cat weight now and has a lovely disposition. It was a nice 180-story I thought, and a good example of what happens after a stressful, food-scarce situation.
The post says the time machine is needed for those who do not lose weight when mastering self care.
Great post – I know exactly when I would need to travel back to in my time machine. Will someone let me know when it’s been invented?
But I have a question – what about sleep apnea?
I am a happy, healthy, fat girl who has just worked out that I have sleep apnea (confirmed by husband). I woke up one morning recently with a horrible combination of sleep apnea and apparent sleep paralysis where I knew in my dream I wasn’t breathing and was desperately trying to wake myself up, and it happened twice. Frightening.
Although my energy levels are good enough to do just about everything I want to in a day, it sometimes surprises me that I don’t have more energy, considering I get minimum 8 hours sleep a night and generally eat and look after myself well. (Should mention I have some PCOS symptoms too, don’t know if it makes a difference.)
So what am l to do? Sleep apnea is related to obesity but if trying to lose weight is futile and/or detrimental to one’s metabolic health (and something I’ve done enough times in my previous ‘unhappy fat girl’ life to know it just makes you fatter), where do I go from here? I’d rather avoid medication or wearable gadgets that make you look like Hannibal Lecter.
Thanks for any suggestions
I was recently reading about Dr. Melvin Page’s work and his use of minute amounts of glandulars, such as posterior pituitary, whole pituitary, thyroid. He has developed a way to measure inherited glandular pattern and also used Ca/P blood ratios to undertand what glandulars need to be supplemented.
What if there is a malfunction or some kind of deficiency in hypothalamus and pituitary glands of those who have harder time losing unwanted weight? Especially if there are other symptoms involved, such as excessive urination, thirst, depression, bipolar and what not. Wouldn’t it be more logical to supplement diet with small amounts of glandular that are found to be inefficient?
I didn’t read through all the comments, but would just like to add:
Rather than wasting time trying to not be fat, we could just accept ourselves and others in whatever shape and size we happen to be. The credible research shows that it’s actually not a health liability to be fat. Dieting however, will often make one fatter than their natural set point, and cause health problems.
In my mind, there’s nothing wrong with being fat except that you’re subjected to cultural prejudice. So better to focus on out attitudes than try to find a “healthy” way to reverse being fat.
One more thought:) for those of you trying to restore metabolism through eating enough and consistently, but keep gaining weight, not
Losing,or feel like shit, it can take a hell of a long time and feel terrible too. Especially if you’ve had an eating disorder or have been dieting a long time. The damage is more insidious than you know, and it takes patience.
I have been reading this blog for a few months now. Definitely has changed how i think about health. I have a huge history of over exercising and dieting(very strict low carb and paleo for many years plus some intermittent fasting). Only to now be unable to lose weight at all no matter what i do and also have hormonal disfunction from all the years i spent way to lean. Anyways, my question to Matt is how in the hell do all the fitness competitors remain lean for so many years and dont get metabolic damage( I know some of them do)? I have watched several for many years now stay very lean and not suffer any ill consequences. Are they just genetically blessed or are they just super amazing at controlling other stressors that would cause damage? I dont get it. Its not fair! LOL
They’re not going to shut up, they’re going to continue. You need to read a book called The Fourth Turning to understand why.