The Fat Trap

The Fat Trap – NYTimes.com:

The research shows that the changes that occur after weight loss translate to a huge caloric disadvantage of about 250 to 400 calories. For instance, one woman who entered the Columbia studies at 230 pounds was eating about 3,000 calories to maintain that weight. Once she dropped to 190 pounds, losing 17 percent of her body weight, metabolic studies determined that she needed about 2,300 daily calories to maintain the new lower weight. That may sound like plenty, but the typical 30-year-old 190-pound woman can consume about 2,600 calories to maintain her weight — 300 more calories than the woman who dieted to get there.

[This article seems spot on to me. I know I can’t eat like a typical person does. If I do, I will put on weight. For me, the path has been a stair stepped. I lose 10% or more, keep it off for a while, then gain some of it back, then refocus and continue. A times along the way my weight has stabilized and the living is easy. Other times, it hasn’t and I have to work harder and focus more attention. Right now is one of those focus times. But I’m certain that it can be done because I’ve done it. I’m not the hyper vigilant, food logging, portion weighing type, but I am very aware of what I eat, when I eat it, and it’s composition. It’s not always fun or easy, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay for what I hope is increased health. The really hard part is not knowing whether all this work pays off. I hope so.

Makes me wonder about determinism. Namely, I wonder if hiking and biking appealed to me because their long distance nature was “easy” for my body because of that efficiency… so it wasn’t that I like them and as a bonus their effect as exercise is beneficial, but I like them *because* I’m well suited to the slow twitch efficient nature of my body and those activities.]

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2 thoughts on “The Fat Trap

    • Everything plays a role… but I seem to recall you being fairly careful about what you eat as well, despite the calorie burning. Besides, what are you using to estimate the calories burned? For some of us it seems to be a lot less in actuality than one would is led to believe. Might be for you as well.

      While the difference might not have been so large when I was an inner city yout… it is now, and exercise in the form I currently practice has a role only in the overall, not in the specific. (i.e.. I tend to put weight on during century rides when I give myself a pass on “watching” what I eat despite the large calorie burn. It’s clearly not as simple as calories in/out for me. That sort of one to one correlation doesn’t seem to work for me. But the cumulative effect does seem to impact my weight. So this year, when I rode 50% of the miles of the previous year I struggled all year keeping my weight stable (and ultimately failed). Guess what I’m changing for next year? :) It wasn’t the only factor (weather, stress levels, family gatherings, all had an impact too no doubt).

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