Just a quick a analogical preface of sorts....
You’re a truck driver delivering goods in a vehicle that has 2 gas tanks. Your round trip is typically a total of 400 miles and filling up both
tanks gets you there and back with a gallon to spare, at which point the gas light comes on. After years and years of long hauls, an enormous problem
surfaces. Over the last few trips the gas light has come on 100 miles from your destination.
Upon inspection, you discover each tank to be ¼ full. It then becomes clear to you that the there is a sensor problem. When the 1st tank uses ¾ of
its fuel, a malfunction in the sensor causes it to switch prematurely to the 2nd tank. Once the second tank burns 3/4 of its fuel, the malfunctioning
sensor then indicates to you that you are extremely low in fuel (1 gallon) and need to fill up.
You go to the mechanic and he says, “Duh! You're putting too much fuel in 'er. Start filling up with less fuel and take your truck out for long
drives a couple times a week. That ought to fix ‘er up.”
You’ve consistently consumed 2800 calories a day for the past 5 years of your adult life maintaining a slim physique and days chock-full of
energy(excluding hungover Saturday mornings). Until….one summer you start relying on morning coffee and that afternoon energy drink just to make it
through the work day, and when you get home you’re completely ravenous. And even though your friends tell you that you seem to have gained a few
pounds, you deny it. After all, you haven't changed your diet….This changes when you see pictures of yourself shirtless at that 4th of july party.
It becomes clear that you’re storing energy, in the form of fat, instead of burning it, which is weird because you also know that you’ve been
eating the same amount of food for the past 5 years. Why would you suddenly, within the past few months, begin to put on so much weight. Something
is inhibiting the release of fat from the fat cells.
You visit your doctor and, disregarding the paradox, he says what the vast majority of dietitians, nutritionists and doctors say .. “Son, you need
to start watching what you eat. Eat less fat and eat less food in general. Also, join a gym and start playing basketball a couple days a week, or
maybe yoga if you're a girly guy. You see, if you eat less and exercise more, the fat will fall right off!”
Back to reality……
A sensor malfunction in the truck was inhibiting the release of fuel from the gas tanks. In humans, it’s quite similar, except it’s a hormone
and/or hormone receptor malfunction inhibiting the release of fat from the fat cells.
Doesn’t restricting fuel (dieting) and/or driving the truck frequently (exercise) sound like fallacious reasoning? No! It sounds like complete
Any mechanic suggesting such a remedy clearly has confused cause and effect and should be shot. The fuel tanks aren’t retaining fuel
because you’re filling them up too much (eating too much) or driving the truck too little (sedentary); Actually, you’re having to fill up the gas
tanks too much (eat so much) because the fuel tanks (fat cells) are retaining fuel (fat).
This backwards logic applies to fat metabolism as well.
The idea of restricting calories by dieting and/or exercising to burn calories for fat loss in obese/overweight patients is fallacious. You’re not
retaining fat because you’re consuming too many calories; you’re consuming too many calories because you’re retaining fat. The calories
consumed are being forced into the fat cells, disallowing energy to the cells in need. Fat people are literally STARVING at the cellular
It’s a vicious cycle. Becoming fat makes you eat more, makes you fatter, makes you eat more….and on and on.
Overeating is a symptom, not a cause of obesity
The science supporting this not so PC idea is extremely sound. However, we'll start with the rhetoric revolving around the energy balance side of
Everyone's heard it. Maintaining a caloric deficit will result in fat loss. This can be achieved by consuming less calories than you burn (dieting)
or by burning more calories than you consume (exercise). It's based on thermodynamics:
Energy In - Energy Out = Change in energy stores
Sounds good, right? Sure. But there's one glaring problem with this equation. There is no arrow of cause
. Because the equation simply
states association, it doesn't differentiate between cause and effect. Changes in energy expended can cause a change in energy stores. And it's just
as likely that changes in energy stores cause a change in energy expended.
It's quite obvious that skinny people are more active than overweight people, just as it's obvious that overweight people eat more than skinny people
(generally). Researchers, however, have always assumed that conscious decisions to exercise or eat less are the driving factors in fat gain/loss.
Unfortunately, they've continued to ignore the data...
Self Regulating System
1 pound of body fat is approximately 3500 calories. That's about 30 large apples. So, considering you're weight stable, if you were to eat 1 extra
apple per day for the next year, you should gain 1 pound of fat per month. And, conversely, if you were to eat 1 less apple per day, you should lose
1 pound of fat per month. Right? Well, no. Not really.
Most individuals live their adult lives with little fluctuations in body fat. If the above was true, it would take amazing conscious effort to
calculate the amount of food we need to maintain a stable fat mass. Luckily, we have a perfect system of hormones coupled with brain regions that are
unconsciously devoted to maintaining a stable environment. When this system works correctly, it matches intake and expenditure, resulting in no gain
and no loss. This match in energy intake and expenditure is achieved by influencing hunger, heat exchange and movement.
Researchers in an overfeeding experiment fed subjects 50% more calories than their normal consumption for 6 weeks and observed the
) The subjects gained significant amounts of both fat and lean mass. After
the study, the subjects were told to eat whatever they want and they were then observed for 6 more weeks. The results? Most of them showed clear
trends of returning back to their weight before the study.
Hormones and The Hypothalamus
Puberty, as Gary Taubes puts it, is a great example of just how backwards the health community has it. When a child hits puberty, they begin growing
due to a rush of hormones. As a consequence, the child eats more. Would anyone make the mistake of saying a child's growth is the result of eating
too much? Of course not. Is it such a stretch to say that because of a rush of hormones we become fat and then eat more subsequently?
The difference, however, would be that children grow vertically and obese individuals are growing horizontally.....because of hormones.
Animals that have a lesioned ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) become ravenous and and extremely obese. It was originally thought, and still today is,
that the obesity witnessed in these animals was caused by eating too much, which was caused by hyperphagia (excessive hunger). In the 70's and 80's
when obesity was quickly becoming a problem, some researchers suggested that ALL obese individuals had a lesioned VMH.
What's really interesting about rats with VMH lesions is that they're hyperphagic, lethargic, sedentary, they stop reproducing and they sleep a lot.
These are all signs and symptoms of a starving animal. For some reason, calories were being shuttled into the fat cells instead of being used for
fuel. And to adjust, their bodies did everything they could to burn as few calories as possible.
Why would an animal eating so much be starving? Why is it that fat deposition is occurring independently of food intake? Eventually, researchers
discovered that VMH lesions cause an extreme insulin response to glucose, which would explain the ravenous hunger and the fat deposition.
is a genetic disorder that, like VMH lesions, affects
hypothalamus function. Individuals with this syndrome are almost always obese and hyperphagic. However, feed someone with PWS a high-fat, low-carb
diet and fat will be released from the cells to be used as fuel and hunger will decrease suggesting the real problem is insulin's influence on fat
Obese Zucker rats, a fat lab rat, in many experiments have been fed low calorie diets. It's fascinating because in such cases they begin to show
signs of starvation, lean body mass (muscles and vital organs) shrinks in size and yet every bit of fat mass stays deposited. In many cases, these
rats die obese. Zucker rats are insulin resistant and hyperinsulinemic.
Dieting and Exercise
Changes in energy expenditure resulting from altered body weight.
The director of this study makes an astute observation. Obese individuals react the same as thin people do to caloric restriction. They down
regulate metabolism. (this is because fat isn't being released from the cells)
Maintenance of a reduced or elevated body weight is associated with compensatory changes in energy expenditure, which oppose the maintenance of a
body weight that is different from the usual weight. These compensatory changes may account for the poor long-term efficacy of treatments for
A meta-analysis of the effects of calorie restricted diets
Overall, participants lost slightly more weight on the control diets but this was not significantly different from the weight loss achieved
through dietary fat restriction and was so small as to be clinically insignificant.
Does physical activity prevent weight gain--a systematic review.
Before new methods to improve exercise adherence are found, the role of prescribed physical activity in prevention of weight gain remains
Food intake and body composition in novice athletes during a training period to run a
After 18 months of training for a marathon, the male subjects lost 2.5 pounds and the female subjects lost 0. The difference? Women replaced fat
with carbohydrates (carbs influence insulin levels).
Energy expenditure does not predict weight change in either Nigerian or African American
These data suggest that interindividual levels of energy expended during activity do not have a large influence on age-related trends in
adiposity. In addition, contrary to expectations, these data suggest that mean activity energy expenditure does not vary substantially between
contemporary social groups with low and high prevalences of obesity.
Consuming less calories will typically result in weightloss initially. However, compensatory changes occur and, in the long term, the weight will be
regained. Some of the most famous studies in caloric restriction all showed near identical results. These semi-starvation diets would net a fat loss
initially and participants would almost always gain the fat back...and more. (not to mention the lack of sexual desire, the psychosis, the depression
associated with these semistarvation diets)
What does this all mean? It means your doctor, your dietitian, your personal trainers and your public health authorities have it all wrong. They've
confused associations for causes.
Restricting calories, jogging on a treadmill for an hour a day, walking around the block every evening, avoiding bacon and other fats (because they're
calorically dense), counting calories......None of these things address the problem at hand. They're addressing the symptoms we see. And unless you
fix the problem, which is excessive fat deposition, these things won't make you thin.
If the problem is fat deposition, how do you fix it? You find out what regulates fat deposition. And it just so happens that the hormone insulin
regulates fat deposition. Insulin, through the influence of Lipoprotein Lipase, controls what makes you fat.
If you're fat, you're insulin resistant and you have TOO MUCH insulin in your system....which is driving fat storage. The presence of insulin in the
blood essentially "locks" the fat in the fat cells. If you maintain a negative caloric balance and still have elevated insulin levels...you'll be
starving at the cellular level and hunger will ensue.
Kids don't get fat because they're playing video games all day long. Researchers have found that the kids become fat before they become sedentary.
They stop playing as much because they're fat.
Overeating does not cause obesity; obesity causes overeating.
Laziness doesn't lead to obesity; obesity leads to laziness
Active lifestyles don't make you thin; being thin leads to an active lifestyle
Ask yourself, why is obesity so strongly associated with type 2 diabetes? It's not because obesity causes diabetes....it's because both diseases are
driven by the same metabolic hormone ... INSULIN.
Sorry for such a long thread. Hopefully I made it easy enough to understand. I tend to ramble on with long threads.
edit on 22-9-2010 by DevolutionEvolvd because: I have to go workout now