Author Topic: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits  (Read 11244 times)

PeteD01

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« on: October 16, 2018, 01:14:11 PM »
There must be at least some people here who have never had weight problems.
Could you please share your habits, regarding sleep, physical activity and eating, with us.

I’ve been reading some of the weight loss threads and find them rather depressing.
I have not counted a calorie in my life and most certainly have not ever spent anywhere near the intimidating efforts the dieters are expending on how much I eat.
I also have not seen anyone who has not ever had a weight problem post in these threads.
I assume that the never-fat have a lifestyle that can serve as an example.

Let me start with today (a typical day):

Sleep: from 10pm to 7AM (I need between 8 and 9 hours most days and make sure that I get them)

Physical  activity: 1:30 minutes brisk hiking with my dogs (moderate to intense in the hills nearby before breakfast, daily activity), 30 minutes brisk walking with my dogs and to the grocery store (daily activity), 40 minutes biking (I ride my my mountain bike about every other day for fun, very intense)
10 minutes kettlebells (5-6 times a week)

Food: dried cranberries, can of melva (small mackerel-like fish) in olive oil, goat cheese and sheep cheese, homemade kefir, pears, plums, macadamia nuts, broad beans with pork cooked in olive oil, bananas, iberian pork loin simmered in olive oil, big mixed salad with tomato, parmesan cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dark chocolate, red wine


Things I don’t do much of:

Drink alcohol in the evening (messes with my enjoyment of sleep)
Use my car (used it three times in the last six weeks)
Eat ultraprocessed food, restaurant food, bread, pasta, sugar (unless I want to bulk up that is)

I have an aversion to most fast food and the sweetness of soda, candy, commercial cookies and cakes and never touch that shit.


I recently found out that I’m an intermittent faster with 12-14 hours of daily fast but that is not intentional.

Please share your habits!
 
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 01:16:47 PM by PeteD01 »

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4020
  • Age: 28
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2018, 01:32:41 PM »
I ate nearly nothing but peanut butter sandwiches, pasta with ketchup, Cheerios, Wheat Chex, and skim milk growing up.  At least 97% of calories.  Oh, and a multivitamin.

Around age 22 I decided at actually give a damn about my health and switched to a paleo-ish LCHF diet with actual food.  Eventually I actually got decent at cooking and added more and more vegetables.

I basically didn't exercise to any real extent until age 22 either, then I started lifting weights a few times a week.  Couple years later I started walking more, including almost every day during lunch at work.  Still lift a few times a week and average about 13,000 steps these days.  Standing desk at work as of a few months ago.  Plenty of random intermittent fasting too (I'm just not picky about when I eat my meals).

Never had a soda/sugar/junk food habit or any of that garbage.

Went from normal weight growing up to skinnyfat late teens to somewhat reasonable body composition in my 20s.  Hairline started receding around 19, and now at 27 I'm well on my way to Larry David hair.

I'm not sure if any of this is helpful.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5642
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2018, 01:45:11 PM »
I think it's genetics/metabolism for me.  I used to have a significant soda habit (switched to diet in the last few years), could / can eat basically whatever I want, and my weight is generally stable +/- 5 lbs.  If I eat everything and go lift (low rep / heavy) weights, I can put on 20lbs+ in a month.  If I go back to my normal lifestyle (which is admittedly lacking in exercise) I will lose that weight over ~3 months.  I dance nearly every week and end up walking and/or running a mile or two (usually trying to catch a train/bus back from NYC), and then realize how much more cardio I should be doing..lol.  I couple years back I was having a few drinks a night on average and that didn't change anything either.

The biggest factor may be simply that I just don't really care about food.  I rarely eat breakfast, don't eat a ton at lunch, and just don't generally eat all that much. I find having to eat mostly annoying and it interferes with the stuff I'd rather do.

DS

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 678
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2018, 02:12:33 PM »
I’ve been reading some of the weight loss threads and find them rather depressing.
I have not counted a calorie in my life and most certainly have not ever spent anywhere near the intimidating efforts the dieters are expending on how much I eat.
I also have not seen anyone who has not ever had a weight problem post in these threads.
I assume that the never-fat have a lifestyle that can serve as an example.

Yikes @ all the unnecessary put-downs. Why would anyone who isn't interested in losing weight post in a weight loss challenge thread?

What is the challenge/ gauntlet you are proposing?

RWD

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3520
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2018, 02:46:59 PM »
I am 6 foot and have never weighed more than 160 lb. I have inconsistent sleep schedules and often don't sleep well. I eat potato chips too often. For meals I eat a lot of pasta, rice dishes, sandwiches, and chicken. Cereal for breakfast every morning. I try to avoid sugar to some extent. I don't drink alcohol, coffee, or soda. I was mostly sedentary for quite a few years after graduating college but the last couple years I've started doing push ups and some other minor exercises at least 3 days a week.

I do weigh myself every day and try to eat a little less when my weight creeps up a few pounds.


I think it's genetics/metabolism for me.
Same here.

bridget

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 599
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2018, 03:23:56 PM »
The reason the "never overweight" crowd doesn't chime in to dieting threads is because we don't have much useful advice.  For me, a lot of the factors are genetic, the natural set of my metabolism, and the fact that I have never been unlucky enough to experience major body changes that affect how mobile I am (car accidents, difficult pregnancies, other injuries, illness, etc.).  I could tell someone who is struggling with dieting that I have a "habit" not to eat more than 1800 calories in a day, but it's not a habit I earned, I'm just not hungry after that.  It's not helpful to tell someone who isn't me to just be like me, so I don't, because it's obnoxious.

While I have never been overweight without much effort (the effort is slowly but surely increasing as I age, funnily enough, regardless of my "habits" or "lifestyle"), I do find it very difficult to engage in rigorous athletic activity.*  Running even half a mile makes me feel like my lungs are on fire and I want to throw up, and it always has.  It would be extremely annoying for someone whose body is naturally athletic and who easily engages in cardiovascular activity to just tell me about their lifestyle as though it hasn't occurred to me before that good runners run a lot.  The problem is that doing what they do is a lot harder for me than it is for them, not that I'm not aware of what they do.  And don't tell me that nobody is a more gifted athlete or more naturally inclined than others - it's been obvious to me I'm just a bad runner and significantly worse than other kids since I was at least four. 

*Since you care about my lifestyle, my exercise habits are more on the yoga and slow hiking side of the spectrum.  When life is busy, or if I'm depressed, I can spend months in a couch phase instead drinking too much alcohol.  I've always been a good sleeper (again, without much trouble), and get a full 8-9 per night, usually asleep by 10:30.  I eat fairly well because I have a taste for vegetables but don't have a sweet tooth.  I do not expect any of this to be helpful to someone who struggles with their weight, it's just trivia about me.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6873
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2018, 03:26:14 PM »
I think a fair bit of it is genetics, some is habit, and some is history.

Plenty of studies have shown that there are certain times in your life when you gain fat cells (as in, the number of fat cells) - particularly puberty/ teenage years.  But there are others.

So it's not much of a stretch to note that if you are fat as a child, a teen, or a young adult - that you will have a MUCH harder time getting and keeping slim - simply because you have more fat cells to start with.  You can shrink them but not get rid of them easily.

Also, simply being fat at any time in your life comes with risks.  I read a book once called "Refuse to Regain", by Dr. Barbara Berkeley - an obesity doctor.  Her research and experience shows that people who are "NOW" (never overweight) and people who are "FOW" (formerly overweight) - their bodies behave differently - particularly when it comes to how they process carbohydrates.  Basically, having been overweight at one time means you could have messed up how your body processes certain foods.  Real bummer.

I've been fat a few times in my life.  I was a chubby kid/ teen (but 80s chubby, different standards back then).  My grandma was obese and type 2 diabetic.  My mom was obese when she died and struggled with her weight.

- I was obese in my late 20s (182 lbs at 5'2.5").  Lost weight with weight watchers.  I was simply eating too much (matching my 6' tall husband bite for bite).  I mean, duh.
- I had to lose weight a few more times - mostly related to having 2 babies.  This required some amount of calorie counting or portion control - it's exceedingly hard to lose weight after pregnancy when you are nursing and not sleeping.

- Eventually, after reading a bunch of books on nutrition, health, etc., I realized that the government recommendations for 6-11 servings of grain a day were bunk, and that was the source of my problems.  Especially over 40.

- So that coincided with losing the 2nd baby weight, and I realized that I do best on 2-4 servings of carbs per day.  More if I'm doing a lot of long distance running, as I've been since March.  Usually I'll have 4 servings a day and this week I'm carb loading so I'm up to 5.

I don't really count carbs or calories anymore.  I eat similarly all the time.  Breakfast: carbs and protein (eggs and tortillas, oatmeal with peanut butter).  Snacks: fruit.  Lunch: a big green salad with lots of olive oil dressing and seeds and olives and vegetables.  More snacks: nuts.  This week because of carb loading: homemade muffins.  Dinner: a carb (rice, tortillas, potatoes, GF pasta), protein (beans, chicken, etc), lots of veggies (roasted, steamed, sauteed in olive oil).  I eat lots of fat (nuts, seeds, avocado, some cheese).  I try to avoid sugar but I've been stressed out lately and running a lot so I've had more of it.  I don't drink much anymore.  Love wine, but need my sleep.

Sleep: aim for 8-9 hours, but honestly only get that about 1/2 the time.  Spouse snores and I get up to run at 5 am 3 times per week.  So it's hard to get 8 hours when the kids don't go to bed till 9 and I can't get into bed until 9:05.

Exercise: lately, running 3x a week about 15-18 miles (will drop down to <15 after this week).  Weight training workout once.  Short swim (15 min) once.  Hour long elliptical gab session once.


In short: I don't eat a lot of processed food. I had to give up wheat over a year ago (wasn't agreeing with me) and dropped another 10+ lbs that I didn't need to lose.  Inflammation?


neophyte

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 560
  • Location: A wretched hive of scum and villainy
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 08:42:22 PM »
I assume you've been reading some of my comments then!

As someone who was an obese child and became a healthy weight adult, I'm the opposite of what you are looking for. Let me tell you my story anyway. Lol.

But first, weight is more genetic than most people believe (figure 3 on page 39 of that preprint).

I was a healthy weight until I started school. My weight gain was so alarmingly fast I was sent to a nutritionist and an endocrinologist. The nutritionist just told me not to drink pop or eat chips a lot which confused me because those were very rare treats in our house, but I knew better than to question her. The endocrinologist sent me for a sonogram of my thyroid. I looked around the waiting room and worried that maybe I was getting fat because I was pregnant. She wrote in my chart that she wanted to monitor me every six months but wires were crossed and my mom was told that everything was good. I started seeing the endocrinologist again 10 years later for PCOS.

Throughout my childhood, my mom struggled with getting my chronically underweight sister to eat enough and didn't worry as much about me. We were both picky eaters and our diets were very similar. High carb, high dairy, low vegetable. Sweets were rare, but we ate a lot off bread and pasta and cereal. Chicken once a week, beef once a week. By the time I was 9 or 10, I was obese.

In middle and high school I played soccer and softball and rode horses as much as I could. My summers were spent in the barn, mucking and grooming and exercising horses in exchange for lessons.

In college I walked a lot and learned to eat a wide variety of foods. And I continued to gain weight. The summer I graduated I had finally had enough. Something clicked. Not on the know-how end, but on the willpower. I lost 70 lbs over about a year and a half.  The physical change I credit the most was giving up cereal and other carbs for breakfast. Of course I made other changes. Way more vegetables, more fat, more protein, fewer carbs, I counted calories. Exercise was walking, a little jogging, hiking, and tequila-fueled dancing.

I've mostly kept it off for the past 6 years. I'm an emotional eater and a sugar addict. I have blips here or there correlating with a breakup or a stressful time at work, but mostly my weight has been relatively steady, and when I gain, I reign it in. Last winter was the worst gain I've had, but I've fought it off now. And I've committed to weightloss round 2: losing vanity pounds and improving my fitness.

I'll never be able to not think about what I'm eating and how much, everytime I stop paying attention, I gain. Counting calories is a part of my life now and that's ok.  It's what I need. Maybe things would have been different if I hadn't been a fat kid, but maybe not.

Oh, and my formerly underweight sister? We weigh the same now. But I'm taller.

Edit:
Thought I'd share some of the main things I believe about weightloss:
-90+% of it is mental
-It's just thermodynamics, energy in vs energy out.  What works for different people to achieve that (im)balance might be different though. Individuals have to find the way that is tolerable and sustainable for them.
-Most fat people (and I'll always consider myself one, just like an alcoholic is never truely 'cured.') don't really need to be told what we are doing wrong. Because. We. Fucking. Know. Earn more, spend less. Move more, eat less. It's really easy, in theory.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 09:49:11 PM by neophyte »

Imma

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2001
  • Location: Europe
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2018, 12:00:36 AM »
I think a fair bit of it is genetics, some is habit, and some is history.

Plenty of studies have shown that there are certain times in your life when you gain fat cells (as in, the number of fat cells) - particularly puberty/ teenage years.  But there are others.



Also, simply being fat at any time in your life comes with risks.  I read a book once called "Refuse to Regain", by Dr. Barbara Berkeley - an obesity doctor.  Her research and experience shows that people who are "NOW" (never overweight) and people who are "FOW" (formerly overweight) - their bodies behave differently - particularly when it comes to how they process carbohydrates.  Basically, having been overweight at one time means you could have messed up how your body processes certain foods.  Real bummer.

This really makes sense to me. I was naturally slim, like most in my family, until I was put on a high dose of steroids in my late teens for about 18 months. The prednisone + being in bed a lot of the time made me gain 10 kg that I haven't been able to lose more than 10 years later. Not even when a severe case of food poisoning put me in hospital for a week.

PeteD01

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2018, 01:14:48 AM »
I’ve been reading some of the weight loss threads and find them rather depressing.
I have not counted a calorie in my life and most certainly have not ever spent anywhere near the intimidating efforts the dieters are expending on how much I eat.
I also have not seen anyone who has not ever had a weight problem post in these threads.
I assume that the never-fat have a lifestyle that can serve as an example.

Yikes @ all the unnecessary put-downs. Why would anyone who isn't interested in losing weight post in a weight loss challenge thread?

What is the challenge/ gauntlet you are proposing?


I find the weight loss threads depressing because they are largely about food deprivation and compensatory exercise. I find this depressing because extrapolating from the diet phase to a lifestyle incorporating these principles is not exactly uplifting.

Consciously controlling food intake in an attempt to control body weight is not something the never overweight typically  do. I think that is so and we will hopefully find out if enough people respond.

The never overweight probably have lifestyles from which the overweight can learn but the never overweight do not believe that they could actually help and therefore do not post.

Being of normal weight and maintaining it is not an objective the never overweight spend much time on but a result of their lifestyle. I also think that the never overweight share some of the erroneous but widespread beliefs regarding obesity. They attribute it to genetics, lack of sufficient interest in food preventing overeating, they underestimate their level of physical activity and don’t realize that they possibly get more and better sleep than average. They therefore think that they are somehow different from the overweight majority but in a way that is not relevant to the overweight majority.
I don’t know if that is true but maybe we can learn something here.

Genetics: do not offer an explanation for the obesity epidemic as genetics did not change during the last fifty years.

Physical activity: the official recommendation for minimum physical activity is 75 minutes of intense or 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week. These numbers are readily achievable with scheduled “exercise”. A physically active lifestyle, which I suspect many of the never overweight lead, is in a totally different category - adding up the minutes spent “exercising” per week is probably several times the officially recommended minimum - and probably unachievable in a gym without going nuts.

Food intake: with genetics out of the way and the little or no attention to portion control many never overweight pay (including myself), there is only one possibility left: autopilot. Autopilot in this context means an intact intrinsic, extremely sensitive and non-conscious regulation of food intake.
Why extremely sensitive? Well, gaining 5lbs a year will make anyone overweight in a few years but requires only 50 calories surplus per day. Conscious control by calorie counting cannot achieve that degree of accuracy and with the bathroom scale providing the feedback will result in so much hysteresis that a never ending cycle of dieting and gaining is virtually guaranteed.
I also supect that the never overweight eat less processed food thereby preserving internal regulation. Last thing I heard was that the average American diet now consists of 60% processed food and one can safely asume that a good part of it is engimeered ultraprocessed food. This is bad food because it is engineered to override internal regulation. Here is some fun reading:

https://jamesclear.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/why-humans-like-junk-food-steven-witherly.pdf?x83440


Sleep: I suspect that many never overweight people sleep more and better than average. We will see.

In summary: I suspect that the never overweight living in the same hostile environment are far more physically active and do more resistance work than many who believe that they are physically active, they eat less processed food (fewer starches?), get more/better sleep, eat less processed food, and do not focus on body weight.

Let’s see if we can get some responses from that population!





« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 12:23:27 PM by PeteD01 »

Kyle Schuant

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 810
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2018, 01:20:21 AM »
The reason the "never overweight" crowd doesn't chime in to dieting threads is because we don't have much useful advice.
Useful, but not startlingly innovative. The following comes from my experience a couple of times being slightly overweight, and also working with lots of people over the years in gyms. Note that none of this will make you ripped, but you won't be obese, at worst in the "overweight" class of BMI25-30. And regardless of bodyweight, most people will be physically and mentally healthier than they are now.


For a long and good quality life,

  • if smoking, stop
  • have friends
  • eat more fresh fruit and vegies
  • eat more beans, fish, dairy and meat
  • do 10,000 steps a day, mostly outside
  • be a member of some larger community and have some purpose beyond yourself
  • lift weights

If you need a "do this" to make it specific,
  • throw away your cigarettes, now
  • call up or meet with a friend or family member every day, and once a week call up someone you've not talked to for 3+ months
  • eat 3 pieces of fruit and 3 cups of cooked vegies (or 6 cups salad vegies) a day
  • eat 1 cup of beans, 1 piece of fish, and have 1 cup of yoghurt a day; once a week have some red meat
  • for trips under 5km, walk; under 15km, cycle; over 15km, public transport
  • join a mosque, synagogue or church; it doesn't matter if you believe in God, you can still believe in the people of the place
  • 3 times a week using barbells, squat, press and pull, and add weight to the bar when you can

I'm not that keen on "don'ts", except for smoking because it's so awful in its effects. "Don't" is a bit negative, and a positive mindset is key to success. As well, I've yet to meet a person who eat 3 pieces of fruit and has 3 cups of vegies a day and who then follows that up with frozen pizza and a jug of beer. Good habits seem to force out bad habits.


I'd independently come up with this list over time, but we've got some similar stuff from studies by the Blue Zone guys. Basically, they looked at the various places where people lived a long and happy life, and then looked to see what those places had in common. Mine is focused on the changes I as a trainer can mostly help you with; their focus is more about wider society.


https://www.bluezones.com/2016/11/power-9/



PeteD01

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2018, 04:16:18 AM »
The reason the "never overweight" crowd doesn't chime in to dieting threads is because we don't have much useful advice.  For me, a lot of the factors are genetic, the natural set of my metabolism, and the fact that I have never been unlucky enough to experience major body changes that affect how mobile I am (car accidents, difficult pregnancies, other injuries, illness, etc.).  I could tell someone who is struggling with dieting that I have a "habit" not to eat more than 1800 calories in a day, but it's not a habit I earned, I'm just not hungry after that.  It's not helpful to tell someone who isn't me to just be like me, so I don't, because it's obnoxious.

While I have never been overweight without much effort (the effort is slowly but surely increasing as I age, funnily enough, regardless of my "habits" or "lifestyle"), I do find it very difficult to engage in rigorous athletic activity.*  Running even half a mile makes me feel like my lungs are on fire and I want to throw up, and it always has.  It would be extremely annoying for someone whose body is naturally athletic and who easily engages in cardiovascular activity to just tell me about their lifestyle as though it hasn't occurred to me before that good runners run a lot.  The problem is that doing what they do is a lot harder for me than it is for them, not that I'm not aware of what they do.  And don't tell me that nobody is a more gifted athlete or more naturally inclined than others - it's been obvious to me I'm just a bad runner and significantly worse than other kids since I was at least four. 

*Since you care about my lifestyle, my exercise habits are more on the yoga and slow hiking side of the spectrum.  When life is busy, or if I'm depressed, I can spend months in a couch phase instead drinking too much alcohol.  I've always been a good sleeper (again, without much trouble), and get a full 8-9 per night, usually asleep by 10:30.  I eat fairly well because I have a taste for vegetables but don't have a sweet tooth.  I do not expect any of this to be helpful to someone who struggles with their weight, it's just trivia about me.

Well, you are actually a perfect example of a never overweight person. You have intact regulation evidenced by appropriate food intake without even trying. You eat vegetables and are not into sweets and consequently have a lower than aberage intake of processed food.

You are probably getting more sleep than average by at least attempting to sleep 8-9 hours per night.

I actually didn’t ask about “exercise” but about physical activity. For some, their physical activity may include athletic pursuits for others not. I’d be interested in things like commuting by bicycle, amount of walking, housework, gardening etc. Physical activity may not be perceived as exercise and there may be major differences between the never overweight and the overweight although they may report similar levels of “exercise”, i.e. 45 minutes in the gym three times per week.

For example, my grandfather would have told you that he does not exercise ever, but every single day he would walk over to the next village to have a beer and a cigar and then walk back. I sometimes joined him when I was a little boy (walking, not beer and cigars...) and I remember that it was a really long and hard walk for me.
With just walking he racked up 15-20 hours of physical activity per week plus puttering around on the farm a bit. In his mind, he was retired and taking it easy.

Maybe you are more physically active as it appears at first glance.

You do not think that your experience is helpful to people who are struggling with weight because you are not struggling with weight. But, in fact, you are somewhat of an expert when it comes to not struggling with weight.

NevermindScrooge

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 98
  • Location: Netherlands
  • At least weird is not boring
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2018, 05:03:35 AM »
Here are my two cents: weight is in my opinion very much a mental issue. As someone said previously, the genetics haven’t changed the past fifty years. There are new discoveries pertaining to stretch receptors in the stomach and leptin-effects. However, that doesn’t change the fact that more and more people are becoming obese. As a child, I had a healthy weight, not fat, not skinny. In my mid-twenties I became heavier than I liked and I started dieting. In my experience, food can be an addiction. I found it very hard to ban the bad habits out of my life. Furthermore, I noticed that for me it is easier to eat/ live healthy when I’m mentally in a good place.
Besides that, I also think there are way too many unhealthy options. It is just too easy to buy/ eat the stuff you shouldn’t want. And, also not unimportant, all the diet options that don’t contain sugars are proven to help very little in losing weight. Your brain registers the sweet taste, but notices it doesn’t get the sugar-energy, so it will keep on craving sugar. Somehow this does not get the (media) attention it deserves. I only drink unsweetened tea (almost by the bucket), tap water and black coffee and I think this helps a lot.
But my main point is ‘habit’. Make healthy eating and drinking a habit, as well as not fretting about weight/ health.

Distant dreamer

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 168
  • Location: Sunny Scotland
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2018, 07:38:41 AM »
As above, it needs to be a habit or your lifestyle rather than a permanent diet. If you see it as a chore then I can only imagine how hard (or impossible) that would be to keep at it.

I have never been overweight and it seems all quite simple to me....burn more than you consume, but I guess that can’t be the case else there wouldn’t be so many overweight folk. I eat three main meals per day plus healthy snacks in between, sleep for about 9 hours a night, get some form of exercise every day even just a walk plus little stuff that I think all helps, for example I always take the stairs never the lift. The majority of my food is fresh, homemade and colourful but if I want chips I have chips and generally live by ‘a little bit of what you fancy’ BUT not everything you fancy every day. I don’t drink fizzy drinks, alcohol or smoke and generally don’t have crisps, biscuits etc in the house.

On the exercise side I would recommend finding something you love to do rather than forcing yourself to go for a jog every day if you detest it.

Aunt Petunia

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 910
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2018, 07:55:43 AM »
I suppose I count as "never overweight", simply because by modern BMI tables I would have to be 145 lbs to count as "overweight", which I have never hit except in advanced pregnancy. I can stay around 120 by just eating reasonably and exercising moderately. If I get much above 120 I start to get terrible heartburn and indigestion, so I temporarily restrict calories until I get below 118 or so. I also feel like shit if I eat anything greasy or fried, or just too much of anything, so most restaurant food is out.

I drink 2-3 cups of black coffee every morning, then only water throughout the day, and maybe a glass of wine in the evening. I try to avoid processed food except for the occasional frozen pizza. I usually eat whole grains such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta as an easy substitute for refined grains. I usually have a fruit or vegetable with every meal. I have dessert more days than not but try to keep the portion small. I don't eat artificial sweeteners or diet foods.

I have posted in weight loss threads while trying to lose pregnancy weight, although I probably didn't need to, but it helped me stay motivated at the time (my babies always needed something as soon as I tried to sit down and eat, so I didn't eat much).

I am not an emotional eater but I tend to overeat due to excessive hunger after a workout or if I have postponed a meal, but I usually make up for it by not being as hungry the next meal. My weight actually starts creeping up if I do a lot of vigorous exercise such as running.

I shoot for eight hours of sleep per night but average close to seven. I really feel bad if I get less than six for two nights in a row. My work schedule is variable so I don't have a set bedtime every night. I didn't have a weight problem even when I worked rotating 12 hour days/nights, but I did engineer my eating/sleeping times backward from when I started work, instead of trying to stay in sync with the family.

Edited to add: my husband is very obese and lives in the same house and eats the same food as me. Some of the difference is genetic and some of it is extra snacks.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 08:08:36 AM by MrsWolfeRN »

Raenia

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1157
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2018, 08:14:34 AM »
I've never been overweight, in fact I've been more likely to struggle with being underweight.  5'7" 120lbs now, was at my healthiest at 135lbs.

Being of normal weight and maintaining it is not an objective the never overweight spend much time on but a result of their lifestyle. I also think that the never overweight share some of the erroneous but widespread beliefs regarding obesity. They attribute it to genetics, lack of sufficient interest in food preventing overeating, they underestimate their level of physical activity and don’t realize that they possibly get more and better sleep than average. They therefore think that they are somehow different from the overweight majority but in a way that is not relevant to the overweight majority.
I don’t know if that is true but maybe we can learn something here.

Genetics: do not offer an explanation for the obesity epidemic as genetics did not change during the last fifty years.
Both my parents are thin, my sister is slightly overweight but not unhealthy, one grandmother was very overweight, one was thin as a twig, same for grandfathers (though reversed sides of the family).  Genetics is definitely a factor, don't know how much of one.

Quote
Physical activity: the official recommendation for minimum physical activity is 75 minutes of intense or 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week. These numbers are not really achievable with scheduled “exercise”. A physically active lifestyle, which I suspect many of the never overweight lead, is in a totally different category - adding up the minutes spent “exercising” per week is probably several times the officially recommended minimum - and probably unachievable in a gym without going nuts.
I never go to the gym or exercise intensely.  I do walk 1-2 miles about 3 times a week.  Absolute minimum of housework to not live in a pigsty.  No gardening or outdoor activity, no sports.  When I was exercising every day (in college), I gained 15 lbs and felt a lot better, but that fell by the wayside after I graduated and I promptly lost the weight.

Quote
Food intake: with genetics out of the way and the little or no attention to portion control many never overweight pay (including myself), there is only one possibility left: autopilot. Autopilot in this context means an intact intrinsic, extremely sensitive and non-conscious regulation of food intake.
Why extremely sensitive? Well, gaining 5lbs a year will make anyone overweight in a few years but requires only 50 calories surplus per day. Conscious control by calorie counting cannot achieve that degree of accuracy and with the bathroom scale providing the feedback will result in so much hysteresis that a never ending cycle of dieting and gaining is virtually guaranteed.
I also supect that the never overweight eat less processed food thereby preserving internal regulation. Last thing I heard was that the average American diet now consists of 60% processed food and one can safely asume that a good part of it is engimeered ultraprocessed food. This is bad food because it is engineered to override internal regulation. Here is some fun reading:

https://jamesclear.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/why-humans-like-junk-food-steven-witherly.pdf?x83440
I have a malfunctioning stomach that fails to inform me when I should be hungry.  I finally realized a few years ago that I was getting all those headaches and dizzy spells because I was forgetting to eat lunch, so I started setting alarms and scheduling meals better.  As far as what I eat, most meals are a base of pasta, rice, bread, or potatoes, with fresh vegetables and beans, eggs, fish, or chicken/turkey for protein.  We go in phases with dessert, especially ice cream, and I love to bake cakes and cookies when I have time.  Breakfast is cereal and milk, hot oatmeal, overnight oats with yogurt, or occasional toast or pancakes.  Overall, lots of starch, no red meat, little to no pre-packaged foods or snacks.  Drink alcohol occasionally, maybe twice a month?  Cider, wine, or mixed drinks, never beer.

Quote
Sleep: I suspect that many never overweight people sleep more and better than average. We will see.
I prefer to get 9 hours of sleep, but rarely do due to a night-owl husband.  Definitely oversleep on weekends to make up for early weekday mornings.

Quote
In summary: I suspect that the never overweight living in the same hostile environment are far more physically active and do more resistance work than many who believe that they are physically active, they eat less processed food (fewer starches?), get more/better sleep, eat less processed food, and do not focus on body weight.

Bolded the things I think do not apply to me, Italicized the things I think do apply.  Honestly, while I don't weigh myself very often or focus on what I'm eating all the time, I do worry about body weight (though as I said at the beginning, more on the underweight side).

Quote
Let’s see if we can get some responses from that population!

magnet18

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2018, 08:21:31 AM »
24M

8-9 hours sleep
Eat when hungry
Don't eat when not hungry
Wish I was better about exercising, but I've never stuck with it more thsn a couple months

When busy, I flat forget to eat, skipping meals is not uncommon. 

Senior year of college I got close to 160lbs, so I stopped drinking beer for no reason in the afternoon, halfass payed attention to what I ate, and it normalized back to 150

Wemt vegan a year ago, no body changes to me, DW lost 50lbs when she went vegetarian 2 years ago, a good thing


I think the biggest thing is not eating emotionally, and not eating out of boredom when you're not actually hungry

Even when hungry, half the time I don't eat, because I'm busy in the middle of something. 

Hula Hoop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1219
  • Location: Italy
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2018, 08:37:15 AM »
I've also never been over weight but and like others have written above have never consciously reduced calories or consumption of certain types of foods.  I never think about my weight but I do try to stay somewhat healthy by avoiding sugary drinks as much as possible, avoiding candy except for rare treats and things like that.  One thing I do consciously that I notice a lot of OW or FOW people don't do is eat exactly what I feel like eating whenever I feel like eating it without guilt (more or less) but then STOP once I'm not hungry anymore.  In other words, I follow my hunger cues/cravings but then don't override them by continuing to eat just because a piece of chocolate cake is yummy even though I'm full.  I just put the uneaten chocolate cake in the fridge and eat it later when I'm hungry again.

I do pilates and don't own a car which also keeps me somewhat fit.

But I agree with others that it's largely genetic. 
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 08:38:53 AM by Hula Hoop »

StarBright

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1417
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2018, 08:38:26 AM »
I have never technically been overweight (except when I was losing baby weight). But I also hang in the weight loss threads because I have to constantly watch my eating or I will gain weight.

I noticed this after the birth of my second child. I had maintained a pretty steady normal bmi my whole adult life without counting calories, but I am a "healthy" eater and moderately active. I was 5-10 pounds over my dream weight, but still well within a healthy weight range, without effort (BMI 22-23). It took too much effort to get my dream weight so I decided to be happy at a healthy, easy weight.

After my second child I found that my weight would start creeping up 10 pounds if I didn't watch it. So I watch it, every day. Because like others have said, once you gain it, your body doesn't react the same way anymore. I have always wondered if my baby weight was enough of a gain to flip that switch for me.

Like many here, I suspect it comes down to genetics. I know exactly how many calories I need to eat to maintain my weight, and it is way less than other people need to maintain their weight. It sucks, but it is what it is.

onlykelsey

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2172
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2018, 08:53:35 AM »
I noticed this after the birth of my second child. I had maintained a pretty steady normal bmi my whole adult life without counting calories, but I am a "healthy" eater and moderately active. I was 5-10 pounds over my dream weight, but still well within a healthy weight range, without effort (BMI 22-23). It took too much effort to get my dream weight so I decided to be happy at a healthy, easy weight.

After my second child I found that my weight would start creeping up 10 pounds if I didn't watch it. So I watch it, every day. Because like others have said, once you gain it, your body doesn't react the same way anymore. I have always wondered if my baby weight was enough of a gain to flip that switch for me.

I've had a BMI of between 18.5 and 22 in my adult life, but also felt a real change after having a baby.  It's not so much that I hold on to weight (current BMI is 19.something) but that I don't hold on to muscle as well as I used to, so I'm sort of "skinny fat".  It's weird coming from a very athletic background to feel more skin and fat than muscle.  Maybe it's partly just entering my 30s, as well.  Or the fact that I'm still nursing.  Bodies are weird.

I'm not sure how useful this thread is.  I've never been overweight, but have had very disordered eating at times.  As an adult, I think the good habits I have are:
  • don't eat bread/pasta/bagels/white rice more than once a week or two.  very little processed food.
  • own no car, walk/bike/subway everywhere (probably about 12,000 steps a day without exercise, including maybe ten flights of stairs)
  • don't eat meat more than once a week
  • eat fish a couple times a week
  • occasional red wine

charis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1742
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2018, 09:03:10 AM »
Wasn't overweight as a child. Sleep 6-7 hours of on average, 8 on the weekends.  Never pay attention to calories but eat small portions, stop when full, and snack throughout the day.  It ends up being a small breakfast, snack mid-morning at work, lunch (sandwich, chips, apple, or leftovers), snack in the afternoon, small portioned dinner (always with veg), snack in late evening.  I have a sweet tooth (drink diet soda and eat small piece of something sugary regularly) and never turn down (well portioned)  french fries.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 03:45:48 AM by jezebel »

talltexan

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2577
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2018, 09:28:42 AM »
I will come forward as one of the lucky people who hasn't had much struggle with this. I cannot make any causal arguments, but I can offer a few areas where I'm quite different than average:

Virtually no consumption of sugary/caffeinated drinks from age 13-age 28
Wife on weight watchers who is committed to cooking "efficient" food for that project (she is very good in the kitchen, makes food prep at home much easier); i'm not on WW officially, but I definitely benefit from this
Car-free for much of my 20's


PeteD01

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2018, 09:36:10 AM »
I assume you've been reading some of my comments then!

As someone who was an obese child and became a healthy weight adult, I'm the opposite of what you are looking for. Let me tell you my story anyway. Lol.

But first, weight is more genetic than most people believe (figure 3 on page 39 of that preprint).

I was a healthy weight until I started school. My weight gain was so alarmingly fast I was sent to a nutritionist and an endocrinologist. The nutritionist just told me not to drink pop or eat chips a lot which confused me because those were very rare treats in our house, but I knew better than to question her. The endocrinologist sent me for a sonogram of my thyroid. I looked around the waiting room and worried that maybe I was getting fat because I was pregnant. She wrote in my chart that she wanted to monitor me every six months but wires were crossed and my mom was told that everything was good. I started seeing the endocrinologist again 10 years later for PCOS.

Throughout my childhood, my mom struggled with getting my chronically underweight sister to eat enough and didn't worry as much about me. We were both picky eaters and our diets were very similar. High carb, high dairy, low vegetable. Sweets were rare, but we ate a lot off bread and pasta and cereal. Chicken once a week, beef once a week. By the time I was 9 or 10, I was obese.

In middle and high school I played soccer and softball and rode horses as much as I could. My summers were spent in the barn, mucking and grooming and exercising horses in exchange for lessons.

In college I walked a lot and learned to eat a wide variety of foods. And I continued to gain weight. The summer I graduated I had finally had enough. Something clicked. Not on the know-how end, but on the willpower. I lost 70 lbs over about a year and a half.  The physical change I credit the most was giving up cereal and other carbs for breakfast. Of course I made other changes. Way more vegetables, more fat, more protein, fewer carbs, I counted calories. Exercise was walking, a little jogging, hiking, and tequila-fueled dancing.

I've mostly kept it off for the past 6 years. I'm an emotional eater and a sugar addict. I have blips here or there correlating with a breakup or a stressful time at work, but mostly my weight has been relatively steady, and when I gain, I reign it in. Last winter was the worst gain I've had, but I've fought it off now. And I've committed to weightloss round 2: losing vanity pounds and improving my fitness.

I'll never be able to not think about what I'm eating and how much, everytime I stop paying attention, I gain. Counting calories is a part of my life now and that's ok.  It's what I need. Maybe things would have been different if I hadn't been a fat kid, but maybe not.

Oh, and my formerly underweight sister? We weigh the same now. But I'm taller.

Edit:
Thought I'd share some of the main things I believe about weightloss:
-90+% of it is mental
-It's just thermodynamics, energy in vs energy out.  What works for different people to achieve that (im)balance might be different though. Individuals have to find the way that is tolerable and sustainable for them.
-Most fat people (and I'll always consider myself one, just like an alcoholic is never truely 'cured.') don't really need to be told what we are doing wrong. Because. We. Fucking. Know. Earn more, spend less. Move more, eat less. It's really easy, in theory.

A few thoughts: of course, humans have a genetic predisposition to becoming obese, some more some less. Without that predisposition there would be no obesity epidemic. However, the difference between the never overweight and the overweight may not be genetic at all because the body weight phenotype is not like eye color but results from interaction of genes, environment and behavior.

Weight maintenance is not easy in theory. It looks only easy in theory when the theory is thermodynamics while physiology and psychology are ignored.
I know very few overweight/obese people who compulsively overeat. The vast majority of overweight/obese people eat normal amounts of food and have gained their weight over long periods of time. The excess calories per meal they are eating over time are so small as to be imperceptible.
CocaCola and Co want you to believe that becoming overweight after ingesting their garbage is simply a mismatch between intake and burn. That’s why their advertising is centered around exercise and their PR hammers the concept of interchangeability of calories regardless the source. Buying into the deception by saying that “fat people do know what to do: move more and eat less”, to paraphrase you, is just singing the industry song without considering the physiologic consequences of ingesting their crap. In other words, thinking that burning off 120 calories after ingesting  a can of coke leaves you unharmed is just falling for the deception. And, like any good lie, the deception comes with some truth attached: thermodynamics. Problem is that you are not a Bunsen burner and the industry blames you for that.
In summary: no, it ain’t just thermodynamics



« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 09:44:52 AM by PeteD01 »

Gyosho

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 150
  • Location: us-west-1
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2018, 09:38:26 AM »
Don't eat anything processed. Cook most of your own food from real meat and vegetables. Eat fruit for snacks.

Don't drink anything other than water (with occasional exceptions for beer).

Chrissy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 947
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2018, 09:43:51 AM »
I'm slim, though I was impatient to lose the baby weight, so you'll see a lot of stuff about that in my journal.  I wasn't heavy, just vain.

I've been through changes:  injuries, weakened by illness, pregnancy, and even been incredibly physically fit (walking 5mi/day and doing yoga or Pilates daily).  I've been stressed.  Sometimes I've slept great, and sometimes poorly for weeks/months/years.  BUT, it really doesn't matter what happens, my weight stays the same.

I eat whatever I want [is around]... mostly foods made of oats/wheat/rice and fruit, and I LOVE chocolate and sweets.  Could live on sweets.  I eat until I'm comfortable:  two slices of pizza is pushing it for me, yesterday I had 3/4 of a restaurant-sized omelette/breakfast potato plate and one of the two pieces of toast.

I don't drink my calories:  water or coffee only.  No more than 1 coffee per day or it gives me a stomachache.

I can drive, but I don't.  This means 15min of walking to/from the train, and walking to do most errands. 

EDITED TO ADD:  I have a very sensitive sense of smell.  Some smells can make me have headaches/feel nauseous.  I eat the same things every day, and don't keep sweets in the house.  I don't love food, it's just something I do to stay alive and conscious.  Hate cooking and the accompanying cleaning up, so it's a lot of sandwiches, cereal, microwavable dinners.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 11:44:20 AM by Chrissy »

PeteD01

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2018, 09:48:29 AM »
I'm slim, though I was impatient to lose the baby weight, so you'll see a lot of stuff about that in my journal.  I wasn't heavy, just vain.

I've been through changes:  injuries, weakened by illness, pregnancy, and even been incredibly physically fit (walking 5mi/day and doing yoga or Pilates daily).  I've been stressed.  Sometimes I've slept great, and sometimes poorly for weeks/months/years.  BUT, it really doesn't matter what happens, my weight stays the same.

I eat whatever I want... mostly carbs and fruit, and I LOVE chocolate and sweets.  Could live on sweets.  I eat until I'm comfortable:  two slices of pizza is pushing it for me, yesterday I had 3/4 of a restaurant-sized omelette/breakfast potato plate and one of the two pieces of toast.

I don't drink my calories:  water or coffee only.  No more than 1 coffee per day or it gives me a stomachache.

I can drive, but I don't.  This means 15min of walking to/from the train, and walking to do most errands.

Could you please specify what you mean with “carbs” by editing your post?
Thanks a lot

OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1608
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2018, 09:55:37 AM »
As a child and young adult, I was always very small, to the point that my parents and doctors were occasionally worried. Some of it was genetics, and some was poor nutrient absorption due to celiac disease that wasn't diagnosed until 9 years ago.

This past May, I hit an overweight BMI (25) for the first time in my life on my 40th birthday. This represented a weight gain of about 20 lbs. over about 7 years, which I attribute to a combo of better nutrient absorption, reduced physical activity, and too-large food portions.

I've been counting calories, measuring portions, and logging all intake since June 1 and have lost 18 lbs (current BMI: 21.9; I am very short). The process has been a good reminder that I can no longer eat as much as my taller husband and expect not to gain weight. I don't really do much other than measure portions and log to make sure that I stay within a reasonable daily average for my height. I already ate a varied, fairly healthy diet with no soda and didn't have a sweet tooth, so most changes involved things like sticking to 1/2-cup portions of rice or potato, not having a second portion of food or glass of wine with dinner, or weighing out only a single portion of potato chips if I have a craving (rather than just grabbing handfuls out of the bag). I take long walks when time permits and the weather is nice, and I generally have trouble sitting still.

SilveradoBojangles

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2018, 10:11:58 AM »
It is not genetics for me. My dad and my sister (and many of my relatives) have had trouble controlling their weight. I started to chunk up in college a bit when I stopped playing sports, but then realized that I needed to change my habits, and since then I've had no problems with weight. I am the same size I was when I was 18.

Sleep - I try to get 7.5-9 hours. If I'm tired I definitely find myself snacking more in an attempt to get more energy (or maybe my will power is lower?)
Food - I live by the Michael Pollan advice - eat food, mostly plants, not too much. I like to garden and cook, and we have a CSA membership that helps ensure that vegetables play a central role in our meals. I don't have any rules about not eating things, and just aim for moderation. For example, I made an apple pie yesterday. But my husband and I split a piece after dinner, and that is fairly common for us when it comes to dessert. I also don't really have much processed sugar during the day. I make my own yogurt (plain) and granola, so that helps limit sugar. I make my own bread, and rarely eat processed foods. I very rarely drink any sweet drinks. But I eat butter and full fat dairy and will eat pizza or junk food or sweets when the occasion calls for it. I try to stop when I begin to feel full.
Water - I drink a lot of water. I read that many people can't tell the difference between being hungry and being thirsty, and I think this is true for me. So I made a concerted effort to drink more water, and now it is habit for me.
Physical Activity - I have gone through many phases of varying levels of physical activity, but at some point it occurred to me that I was thinnest when I had to walk a lot during the day (walking to class, walking to work, etc). So I try to force some walking into my day, but in general I just try and get some kind of movement in each day. There have been times when I have done a lot of more hiking, or running, or biking, or exercise classes, (though I have never been a crazy exercise person) and other times when I've just done a minimum of some yoga and going for a daily walk. Now that I'm in my mid 30s my body starts to ache if I am too sedentary, so that is good motivation to keep moving. As long as I do some kind of movement everyday I feel good.

My sister is a perfect counterpoint. She has struggled with her weight her whole adult life. She has done crash diets like Keto and had points of extreme exercise, and they work for a while but they are impossible to sustain.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3669
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2018, 10:18:51 AM »
Never been overweight. I actually sometimes struggle with being underweight, and am diagnosis-able with disordered eating. Factors for me:

1. I don't like food. Some people live to eat, I eat to live. I don't actually care about food for the most part. Yes, I'm a "picky eater", but that's mostly because of #2. I don't really have favorites, I don't have cravings the same way others seem to. I don't just try new foods, there's a process. You mess with the process, I'm not eating that food. Ever. I don't eat/drink anything pumpkin, and it is directly traceable to my grandmother forcing me to eat pumpkin pie when I was about 5. Also, because I don't actually like food that much, and don't like to cook, making meals/eating is a chore.
2. I have problems with texture. Most of the high calorie foods that people get into trouble with (desserts) - make me gag. I have to be careful with pasta. Soup is a problem.
3. I don't overeat. Even at major holidays, I do not eat until stuffed. While everyone else is groaning from eating too much, next meal time I'm ready for some food.
4. When stressed, I'll often lose my appetite. Heat stress is a biggie here. While this sounds great to many people, it's not so great when you're in danger of passing out.
5. I have problems eating a large amount of food at once. Grazing isn't a choice for me, it's a survival strategy.
6. I don't drink coffee. Don't drink much pop. I do drink a lot of juice and milk, because they're actually an important source of calories for me.

Most of this is out of your control, but the one thing you can control is how much and what you eat. I don't even eat all that healthy. But it's pretty much impossible to be overweight when you simply don't consume that many calories. Yes, it's a lot more complicated than just calories in vs calories out, but calories in matters a lot.

wenchsenior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2190
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2018, 10:54:02 AM »
I’ve been reading some of the weight loss threads and find them rather depressing.
I have not counted a calorie in my life and most certainly have not ever spent anywhere near the intimidating efforts the dieters are expending on how much I eat.
I also have not seen anyone who has not ever had a weight problem post in these threads.
I assume that the never-fat have a lifestyle that can serve as an example.

Yikes @ all the unnecessary put-downs. Why would anyone who isn't interested in losing weight post in a weight loss challenge thread?

What is the challenge/ gauntlet you are proposing?



The never overweight probably have lifestyles from which the overweight can learn but the never overweight do not believe that they could actually help and therefore do not post.

Being of normal weight and maintaining it is not an objective the never overweight spend much time on but a result of their lifestyle. I also think that the never overweight share some of the erroneous but widespread beliefs regarding obesity. They attribute it to genetics, lack of sufficient interest in food preventing overeating, they underestimate their level of physical activity and don’t realize that they possibly get more and better sleep than average.

Genetics: do not offer an explanation for the obesity epidemic as genetics did not change during the last fifty years.

Physical activity: the official recommendation for minimum physical activity is 75 minutes of intense or 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week. These numbers are not really achievable with scheduled “exercise”. A physically active lifestyle, which I suspect many of the never overweight lead, is in a totally different category - adding up the minutes spent “exercising” per week is probably several times the officially recommended minimum - and probably unachievable in a gym without going nuts.

Food intake: with genetics out of the way and the little or no attention to portion control many never overweight pay (including myself), there is only one possibility left: autopilot. Autopilot in this context means an intact intrinsic, extremely sensitive and non-conscious regulation of food intake.

I also supect that the never overweight eat less processed food thereby preserving internal regulation. Last thing I heard was that the average American diet now consists of 60% processed food and one can safely asume that a good part of it is engimeered ultraprocessed food. This is bad food because it is engineered to override internal regulation.


Sleep: I suspect that many never overweight people sleep more and better than average. We will see.


Let’s see if we can get some responses from that population!

I'm uneasy with the entire premise of this discussion and my personal experience contradicts most of your assumptions above.

First of all, I'm not sure what you mean by 'never overweight/never had a weight problem'.  I'm going to assume you mean technically (as in BMI) rather than what 'feels good' to each individual, which is extremely subjective.

I've never been technically overweight in my life, but I've certainly been plumper than liked for my frame during my mid teens and for brief periods in my late 20s/early 30s, and late 30s.  And during those times, I've made efforts to lose a bit of weight.  But mostly, I've hovered within a 5-10lb range for most of my adult hood. But currently, in my late 40s, I am the same weight I was at 20 and have to work to stay over 100 lbs.

So would I count as someone you want to hear from? Unclear, but here goes...

Re: genetics.  Although you are correct the human genome likely hasn't changed, that doesn't mean individual body physiology doesn't influence weight control to a high degree, which I strongly suspect it does.  So perhaps we should change the common 'blaming of genetics' to 'blaming of individual physiology'.

Overweight people already know what habits they should adopt, but doing so can be very challenging for some people and not for others.  And even when those habits ARE adopted, peoples' bodies respond differently and they still might not lose weight or maintain normal weight with anything approaching the ease that I do. I know for certain this is true, b/c I know a few family members with fairly similar habits to mine, that still struggle with weight. It's possible the obese people that I know are all bingeing or eating secretly, but if that's the case, they already KNOW that those habits are unhealthy and this thread is likely to be patronizing and of no help to them.

Physical activity:  My personal experience does not match your assumptions.  My weight is only moderately affected by exercise, but is much more affected by diet.  I am not a naturally active or energetic person and need to structure my environment to force myself to be more generally active.  I have only intermittently maintained regular exercise routines meeting the recommended criteria since I was a teenager.  Also contrary to your assumption, I think 25 minutes of moderate exercise 6 days per week is VERY achievable for most people.  The trick is motivating yourself to do that.  I've had an exercise routine of almost exactly that for the past 5 years, but the vast majority of every day I'm sitting at the computer, totally sedentary.

This is not to imply that I don't think exercise is INCREDIBLY valuable.  I am constantly trying to force myself to be more like the hypothetical 'generally physically active' type person that you assume the 'never overweight' people must be.  I feel FAR better if I exercise more, and there have been times in my life where my routine naturally involved a lot more daily activity, which I liked.  But again, exercise has only ever affected my weight minimally.

Food Intake:  Eh, I guess I match your assumption here.  I don't think that much about food b/c I don't really enjoy cooking/baking that much (though I am fairly competent at it) and mostly b/c I am a creature of habit.

I eat more or less the same general meals, the same portion sizes, at the same times of day.  My appetite has varied WILDLY throughout my life, but I tend to eat the same way regardless of how my appetite 'urges' me to.  I regularly eat when I'm not hungry (not hungry has been my default state for >5 years), and I eat only a little additional food if I'm hungry between normal meals. 

I have NOT found calories in/calories out to be the main driver of my weight gain or loss. For me, type of calorie really matters.  I can gain weight somewhat easily eating sugar and simple carbs.  I can, however, eat a fuckton of fat calories without gaining, esp if doing regular exercise.  Ironically, I SHOULD struggle with my weight, given that I have PCOS and reactive hypoglycemia, but I never have, even when the disease was very 'active' and I was very symptomatic in all other ways.  Again, I think there is a huge amount in variation in how individual bodies handle different macros, and different calorie intake.

My diet:

My standard diet is 2 meals per day, eaten at around 11 am and 9 pm, with maybe a few bites of something around 2-4 pm if I'm trying to gain weight (usually), or if going to work out (regularly), or if hungry (occasionally).   My digestive system simply cannot function fast enough to eat more than this, unless I go to liquid food. 

Typical breakfast 1) 1/2 C whole grain cereal, oatmeal, etc, with 1/4 C fruit and some nuts and protein powder, made with milk,  almond milk, or hemp milk.  Black coffee, sometimes with a slug of coconut oil or ghee to add some additional calories/nutrients.

Typical breakfast 2) 1 C beans and rice, with a bit of additional veggies; or 1 egg with sauteed veggies on a tortilla. To add calories, my sautes are heavy on the olive oil or I add half an avocado.

Typical dinner 1) large mixed salad w multiple types veggies and fruit, vinegar and oil dressing, and sauteed or grilled meat or fish.

Typical dinner 2) one dish meal of mixed sauteed, grilled, or roasted meat and veggies over brown rice, potatoes, or pasta (often whole grain or bean/quinoa).

Snacks: half a power bar/granola bar, a few bites of leftovers, handful of corn chips and salsa/hummus

Dessert: every day after dinner, even if I'm stuffed to the gills (b/c I am a creature of habit). 2 squares dark chocolate, 3/4 spoonfuls of Ben and Jerry's, or a single medium-sized cookie.

What I really don't eat much: processed food/simple carbs/candy/soda/juice/any sweetened drink.

What I eat daily or somewhat regularly, but in limited amounts:  red meat/pork, sugar, alcohol (daily with dinner, almost always red wine).

There is one single area that I DO think I differ from many people I know in terms of food, and that's my mental framing of it: I guess I think in terms of nutrition bang/calorie buck rather than 'what tastes the best'.  E.g, it would never in a million years occur to me to make a meal of, say, spaghetti and meatballs with a side of bread, or creamy tomato soup with cheese and bread.  I like the taste of those foods, but that is FAR too many calories wasted on carbs/sugar/saturated fat where I would normally be eating fruit and veggies.   For me, meals are built around getting my healthy macros and cramming in as many nutrients as possible.  It wouldn't even occur to me to regard a produce-free meal as a 'real' .

I don't find my mental framing of food at all incompatible with delicious and appealing food, but I have overweight friends who insist they only like meat and sweets/carbs, and hate almost all vegetables.  Obviously, this makes weight control challenging for them.

Sleep:  No, I do not match your assumptions at all.  I had problems with disrupted sleep since I hit puberty, due to a mix of the following factors: chronic muscle/joint/myofascial pain; migraines; hypoglycemic related sleep disruption; hormone related insomnia.  Weight did not track with sleep quantity or quality or schedule at all. 

To sum up, I don't match your assumptions anywhere but diet.  I do have good habits around food that I developed over time and partly as a response to having an endocrine disorder.  But I ate a much less healthy diet all through my teens and twenties, and it affected my weight only around the margins.

In the end, I think my weight is primarily due to the weirdness of my personal metabolism, and only secondarily to very habitual eating patterns, and very little to my activity level

So I don't think my experience is that useful to overweight people, and I suspect most other responses in this thread wouldn't be either.



catccc

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1684
  • Location: SE PA
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2018, 11:14:35 AM »
I've never been overweight and I think it boils down to genetics for me.  I eat relatively healthy, mostly vegetarian meals, but I can put away sweets in between those healthy meals like nobody else, and unfortunately, I do.  Like, I'm the one around the office that is known to never turn down a cookie, get seconds of cupcakes, happily eat the expired candy.

I don't drink enough water, I get almost enough sleep.  I go through phases of exercising regularly and then not so much.  I rarely drink calories (very little soda/juice, etc).  I don't drink alcohol because my size (and ethnicity) renders me unable to handle even small amounts of it.  I'm a slow eater, not on purpose, I'm just slow.

Despite my habits, some good and some bad, my weight is relatively constant, hovering between 95-98.  Except when I was pregnant, and both times I was pregnant I never broke 120, delivering healthy big (for my ethnicity) babies.  (Don't worry, I'm light because I'm short, just shy of 4'11".)

This all sounds like a lucky lot, but I unfortunately I am not motivated to eat well or exercise for the sake of vanity, but I know my poorer choices impact my health in other ways.  I have a family history of diabetes & high blood pressure, and sometimes feel like a ticking time bomb, lacking the motivation to be better.

PeteD01

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #31 on: October 17, 2018, 11:36:53 AM »
I’ve been reading some of the weight loss threads and find them rather depressing.
I have not counted a calorie in my life and most certainly have not ever spent anywhere near the intimidating efforts the dieters are expending on how much I eat.
I also have not seen anyone who has not ever had a weight problem post in these threads.
I assume that the never-fat have a lifestyle that can serve as an example.

Yikes @ all the unnecessary put-downs. Why would anyone who isn't interested in losing weight post in a weight loss challenge thread?

What is the challenge/ gauntlet you are proposing?



The never overweight probably have lifestyles from which the overweight can learn but the never overweight do not believe that they could actually help and therefore do not post.

Being of normal weight and maintaining it is not an objective the never overweight spend much time on but a result of their lifestyle. I also think that the never overweight share some of the erroneous but widespread beliefs regarding obesity. They attribute it to genetics, lack of sufficient interest in food preventing overeating, they underestimate their level of physical activity and don’t realize that they possibly get more and better sleep than average.

Genetics: do not offer an explanation for the obesity epidemic as genetics did not change during the last fifty years.

Physical activity: the official recommendation for minimum physical activity is 75 minutes of intense or 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week. These numbers are not really achievable with scheduled “exercise”. A physically active lifestyle, which I suspect many of the never overweight lead, is in a totally different category - adding up the minutes spent “exercising” per week is probably several times the officially recommended minimum - and probably unachievable in a gym without going nuts.

Food intake: with genetics out of the way and the little or no attention to portion control many never overweight pay (including myself), there is only one possibility left: autopilot. Autopilot in this context means an intact intrinsic, extremely sensitive and non-conscious regulation of food intake.

I also supect that the never overweight eat less processed food thereby preserving internal regulation. Last thing I heard was that the average American diet now consists of 60% processed food and one can safely asume that a good part of it is engimeered ultraprocessed food. This is bad food because it is engineered to override internal regulation.


Sleep: I suspect that many never overweight people sleep more and better than average. We will see.


Let’s see if we can get some responses from that population!

I'm uneasy with the entire premise of this discussion and my personal experience contradicts most of your assumptions above.

First of all, I'm not sure what you mean by 'never overweight/never had a weight problem'.  I'm going to assume you mean technically (as in BMI) rather than what 'feels good' to each individual, which is extremely subjective.

I've never been technically overweight in my life, but I've certainly been plumper than liked for my frame during my mid teens and for brief periods in my late 20s/early 30s, and late 30s.  And during those times, I've made efforts to lose a bit of weight.  But mostly, I've hovered within a 5-10lb range for most of my adult hood. But currently, in my late 40s, I am the same weight I was at 20 and have to work to stay over 100 lbs.

So would I count as someone you want to hear from? Unclear, but here goes...

Re: genetics.  Although you are correct the human genome likely hasn't changed, that doesn't mean individual body physiology doesn't influence weight control to a high degree, which I strongly suspect it does.  So perhaps we should change the common 'blaming of genetics' to 'blaming of individual physiology'.

Overweight people already know what habits they should adopt, but doing so can be very challenging for some people and not for others.  And even when those habits ARE adopted, peoples' bodies respond differently and they still might not lose weight or maintain normal weight with anything approaching the ease that I do. I know for certain this is true, b/c I know a few family members with fairly similar habits to mine, that still struggle with weight. It's possible the obese people that I know are all bingeing or eating secretly, but if that's the case, they already KNOW that those habits are unhealthy and this thread is likely to be patronizing and of no help to them.

Physical activity:  My personal experience does not match your assumptions.  My weight is only moderately affected by exercise, but is much more affected by diet.  I am not a naturally active or energetic person and need to structure my environment to force myself to be more generally active.  I have only intermittently maintained regular exercise routines meeting the recommended criteria since I was a teenager.  Also contrary to your assumption, I think 25 minutes of moderate exercise 6 days per week is VERY achievable for most people.  The trick is motivating yourself to do that.  I've had an exercise routine of almost exactly that for the past 5 years, but the vast majority of every day I'm sitting at the computer, totally sedentary.

This is not to imply that I don't think exercise is INCREDIBLY valuable.  I am constantly trying to force myself to be more like the hypothetical 'generally physically active' type person that you assume the 'never overweight' people must be.  I feel FAR better if I exercise more, and there have been times in my life where my routine naturally involved a lot more daily activity, which I liked.  But again, exercise has only ever affected my weight minimally.

Food Intake:  Eh, I guess I match your assumption here.  I don't think that much about food b/c I don't really enjoy cooking/baking that much (though I am fairly competent at it) and mostly b/c I am a creature of habit.

I eat more or less the same general meals, the same portion sizes, at the same times of day.  My appetite has varied WILDLY throughout my life, but I tend to eat the same way regardless of how my appetite 'urges' me to.  I regularly eat when I'm not hungry (not hungry has been my default state for >5 years), and I eat only a little additional food if I'm hungry between normal meals. 

I have NOT found calories in/calories out to be the main driver of my weight gain or loss. For me, type of calorie really matters.  I can gain weight somewhat easily eating sugar and simple carbs.  I can, however, eat a fuckton of fat calories without gaining, esp if doing regular exercise.  Ironically, I SHOULD struggle with my weight, given that I have PCOS and reactive hypoglycemia, but I never have, even when the disease was very 'active' and I was very symptomatic in all other ways.  Again, I think there is a huge amount in variation in how individual bodies handle different macros, and different calorie intake.

My diet:

My standard diet is 2 meals per day, eaten at around 11 am and 9 pm, with maybe a few bites of something around 2-4 pm if I'm trying to gain weight (usually), or if going to work out (regularly), or if hungry (occasionally).   My digestive system simply cannot function fast enough to eat more than this, unless I go to liquid food. 

Typical breakfast 1) 1/2 C whole grain cereal, oatmeal, etc, with 1/4 C fruit and some nuts and protein powder, made with milk,  almond milk, or hemp milk.  Black coffee, sometimes with a slug of coconut oil or ghee to add some additional calories/nutrients.

Typical breakfast 2) 1 C beans and rice, with a bit of additional veggies; or 1 egg with sauteed veggies on a tortilla. To add calories, my sautes are heavy on the olive oil or I add half an avocado.

Typical dinner 1) large mixed salad w multiple types veggies and fruit, vinegar and oil dressing, and sauteed or grilled meat or fish.

Typical dinner 2) one dish meal of mixed sauteed, grilled, or roasted meat and veggies over brown rice, potatoes, or pasta (often whole grain or bean/quinoa).

Snacks: half a power bar/granola bar, a few bites of leftovers, handful of corn chips and salsa/hummus

Dessert: every day after dinner, even if I'm stuffed to the gills (b/c I am a creature of habit). 2 squares dark chocolate, 3/4 spoonfuls of Ben and Jerry's, or a single medium-sized cookie.

What I really don't eat much: processed food/simple carbs/candy/soda/juice/any sweetened drink.

What I eat daily or somewhat regularly, but in limited amounts:  red meat/pork, sugar, alcohol (daily with dinner, almost always red wine).

There is one single area that I DO think I differ from many people I know in terms of food, and that's my mental framing of it: I guess I think in terms of nutrition bang/calorie buck rather than 'what tastes the best'.  E.g, it would never in a million years occur to me to make a meal of, say, spaghetti and meatballs with a side of bread, or creamy tomato soup with cheese and bread.  I like the taste of those foods, but that is FAR too many calories wasted on carbs/sugar/saturated fat where I would normally be eating fruit and veggies.   For me, meals are built around getting my healthy macros and cramming in as many nutrients as possible.  It wouldn't even occur to me to regard a produce-free meal as a 'real' .

I don't find my mental framing of food at all incompatible with delicious and appealing food, but I have overweight friends who insist they only like meat and sweets/carbs, and hate almost all vegetables.  Obviously, this makes weight control challenging for them.

Sleep:  No, I do not match your assumptions at all.  I had problems with disrupted sleep since I hit puberty, due to a mix of the following factors: chronic muscle/joint/myofascial pain; migraines; hypoglycemic related sleep disruption; hormone related insomnia.  Weight did not track with sleep quantity or quality or schedule at all. 

To sum up, I don't match your assumptions anywhere but diet.  I do have good habits around food that I developed over time and partly as a response to having an endocrine disorder.  But I ate a much less healthy diet all through my teens and twenties, and it affected my weight only around the margins.

In the end, I think my weight is primarily due to the weirdness of my personal metabolism, and only secondarily to very habitual eating patterns, and very little to my activity level

So I don't think my experience is that useful to overweight people, and I suspect most other responses in this thread wouldn't be either.

Yes, I want to hear from you, thank you.

Just a couple ofthings: with overweight I mean just overweight in a common sense way, no BMI or other fancy calculations. You know when you see it.
Also, I’m not making assumptions but I have some guesses or suspicions which I would like to see disputed or confirmed and that’s why I appreciate your report. Thanks again.
You also mentioned that 25 minutes a day 6 days a week is achievable. Of course it is, achievability was one of the main reasons why the official recommendation was lowered to that duration. A physically active lifestyle is an entirely different story. I think there may be a misunderstanding here.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 11:41:48 AM by PeteD01 »

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6873
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2018, 11:43:15 AM »

I find the weight loss threads depressing because they are largely about food deprivation and compensatory exercise. I find this depressing because extrapolating from the diet phase to a lifestyle incorporating these principles is not exactly uplifting.

Consciously controlling food intake in an attempt to control body weight is not something the never overweight typically  do. I think that is so and we will hopefully find out if enough people respond.


The never overweight probably have lifestyles from which the overweight can learn but the never overweight do not believe that they could actually help and therefore do not post.

Being of normal weight and maintaining it is not an objective the never overweight spend much time on but a result of their lifestyle. I also think that the never overweight share some of the erroneous but widespread beliefs regarding obesity. They attribute it to genetics, lack of sufficient interest in food preventing overeating, they underestimate their level of physical activity and don’t realize that they possibly get more and better sleep than average. They therefore think that they are somehow different from the overweight majority but in a way that is not relevant to the overweight majority.
I don’t know if that is true but maybe we can learn something here.

Genetics: do not offer an explanation for the obesity epidemic as genetics did not change during the last fifty years.

Physical activity: the official recommendation for minimum physical activity is 75 minutes of intense or 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week. These numbers are not really achievable with scheduled “exercise”. A physically active lifestyle, which I suspect many of the never overweight lead, is in a totally different category - adding up the minutes spent “exercising” per week is probably several times the officially recommended minimum - and probably unachievable in a gym without going nuts.

Food intake: with genetics out of the way and the little or no attention to portion control many never overweight pay (including myself), there is only one possibility left: autopilot. Autopilot in this context means an intact intrinsic, extremely sensitive and non-conscious regulation of food intake.
Why extremely sensitive? Well, gaining 5lbs a year will make anyone overweight in a few years but requires only 50 calories surplus per day. Conscious control by calorie counting cannot achieve that degree of accuracy and with the bathroom scale providing the feedback will result in so much hysteresis that a never ending cycle of dieting and gaining is virtually guaranteed.
I also supect that the never overweight eat less processed food thereby preserving internal regulation. Last thing I heard was that the average American diet now consists of 60% processed food and one can safely asume that a good part of it is engimeered ultraprocessed food. This is bad food because it is engineered to override internal regulation. Here is some fun reading:

https://jamesclear.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/why-humans-like-junk-food-steven-witherly.pdf?x83440


Sleep: I suspect that many never overweight people sleep more and better than average. We will see.

In summary: I suspect that the never overweight living in the same hostile environment are far more physically active and do more resistance work than many who believe that they are physically active, they eat less processed food (fewer starches?), get more/better sleep, eat less processed food, and do not focus on body weight.

Let’s see if we can get some responses from that population!
I knew I'd find wenchsenior here ahead of me!

1. The reason why weight loss thread often involve closely watching calories, which is something "NOW" don't often have to do, is likely because "NOW" bodies perform / behave differently than "FOW" (or currently overweight) bodies.  As mentioned before, once you've been overweight you likely have permanently changed your body.  (Also, interesting, I have a friend with Type 2 diabetes who has had it for 20+ years.  Her identical twin does not have it.  Hm... She was diagnosed after she lost 70 lbs and hit a normal weight.)

2. Often, many NOW people have healthy lifestyles that overweight people can learn from, but not always.  Often, overweight people have very healthy lifestyles also, but their bodies simply do not respond (PCOS, other hormones, medications, etc.)  And this is something that NOW sometimes just can't fathom.  Because you know "a calorie is a calorie" (it's not). And "50 calories a day will make you gain..."  (it won't).

https://www.foodpolitics.com/2010/01/how-many-extra-calories-cause-weight-gain/

Genetics matter from person to person.

Physical activity is very much achievable for 75 minutes/ 150 minutes if you schedule it.  I mean, even with 2 kids and a full time job.  150 minutes is only 2.5 hours.  Divide that up into 4 days.  I've been managing this for years.  What is true is that a lot of people who are NATURALLY physically active don't realize it.  Simply walking to work, or spending your time at home on your feet doing chores, or having a standing desk or active job.  Even just "fidgeting" burns calories.

Physical activity, however, has very little effect on weight.  Health, yes.  Weight, no.

When it comes to food intake, I would gather that often things like processed food and breads can be a big culprit.  I'd say that was the case for me - mostly carbs like bread or pasta.  While it was manageable in my 20s, it became quickly "less so".  And to many people, eating that way is NORMAL because it's how they grew up.  And it's how their families feed them.

By volume, the bulk of what I eat is produce.  I know when I made the shift from 6 servings of "carb" foods (rice, beans, bread, potatoes) to 2, but kept my calorie intake the same (by adding more fat), I lost weight. Further, when I quit eating wheat and subbed rice, potatoes, and corn tortillas, I lost even MORE weight.  A calorie is not a calorie.


wenchsenior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2190
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #33 on: October 17, 2018, 11:49:18 AM »
I’ve been reading some of the weight loss threads and find them rather depressing.
I have not counted a calorie in my life and most certainly have not ever spent anywhere near the intimidating efforts the dieters are expending on how much I eat.
I also have not seen anyone who has not ever had a weight problem post in these threads.
I assume that the never-fat have a lifestyle that can serve as an example.

Yikes @ all the unnecessary put-downs. Why would anyone who isn't interested in losing weight post in a weight loss challenge thread?

What is the challenge/ gauntlet you are proposing?



The never overweight probably have lifestyles from which the overweight can learn but the never overweight do not believe that they could actually help and therefore do not post.

Being of normal weight and maintaining it is not an objective the never overweight spend much time on but a result of their lifestyle. I also think that the never overweight share some of the erroneous but widespread beliefs regarding obesity. They attribute it to genetics, lack of sufficient interest in food preventing overeating, they underestimate their level of physical activity and don’t realize that they possibly get more and better sleep than average.

Genetics: do not offer an explanation for the obesity epidemic as genetics did not change during the last fifty years.

Physical activity: the official recommendation for minimum physical activity is 75 minutes of intense or 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week. These numbers are not really achievable with scheduled “exercise”. A physically active lifestyle, which I suspect many of the never overweight lead, is in a totally different category - adding up the minutes spent “exercising” per week is probably several times the officially recommended minimum - and probably unachievable in a gym without going nuts.

Food intake: with genetics out of the way and the little or no attention to portion control many never overweight pay (including myself), there is only one possibility left: autopilot. Autopilot in this context means an intact intrinsic, extremely sensitive and non-conscious regulation of food intake.

I also supect that the never overweight eat less processed food thereby preserving internal regulation. Last thing I heard was that the average American diet now consists of 60% processed food and one can safely asume that a good part of it is engimeered ultraprocessed food. This is bad food because it is engineered to override internal regulation.


Sleep: I suspect that many never overweight people sleep more and better than average. We will see.


Let’s see if we can get some responses from that population!

I'm uneasy with the entire premise of this discussion and my personal experience contradicts most of your assumptions above.

First of all, I'm not sure what you mean by 'never overweight/never had a weight problem'.  I'm going to assume you mean technically (as in BMI) rather than what 'feels good' to each individual, which is extremely subjective.

I've never been technically overweight in my life, but I've certainly been plumper than liked for my frame during my mid teens and for brief periods in my late 20s/early 30s, and late 30s.  And during those times, I've made efforts to lose a bit of weight.  But mostly, I've hovered within a 5-10lb range for most of my adult hood. But currently, in my late 40s, I am the same weight I was at 20 and have to work to stay over 100 lbs.

So would I count as someone you want to hear from? Unclear, but here goes...

Re: genetics.  Although you are correct the human genome likely hasn't changed, that doesn't mean individual body physiology doesn't influence weight control to a high degree, which I strongly suspect it does.  So perhaps we should change the common 'blaming of genetics' to 'blaming of individual physiology'.

Overweight people already know what habits they should adopt, but doing so can be very challenging for some people and not for others.  And even when those habits ARE adopted, peoples' bodies respond differently and they still might not lose weight or maintain normal weight with anything approaching the ease that I do. I know for certain this is true, b/c I know a few family members with fairly similar habits to mine, that still struggle with weight. It's possible the obese people that I know are all bingeing or eating secretly, but if that's the case, they already KNOW that those habits are unhealthy and this thread is likely to be patronizing and of no help to them.

Physical activity:  My personal experience does not match your assumptions.  My weight is only moderately affected by exercise, but is much more affected by diet.  I am not a naturally active or energetic person and need to structure my environment to force myself to be more generally active.  I have only intermittently maintained regular exercise routines meeting the recommended criteria since I was a teenager.  Also contrary to your assumption, I think 25 minutes of moderate exercise 6 days per week is VERY achievable for most people.  The trick is motivating yourself to do that.  I've had an exercise routine of almost exactly that for the past 5 years, but the vast majority of every day I'm sitting at the computer, totally sedentary.

This is not to imply that I don't think exercise is INCREDIBLY valuable.  I am constantly trying to force myself to be more like the hypothetical 'generally physically active' type person that you assume the 'never overweight' people must be.  I feel FAR better if I exercise more, and there have been times in my life where my routine naturally involved a lot more daily activity, which I liked.  But again, exercise has only ever affected my weight minimally.

Food Intake:  Eh, I guess I match your assumption here.  I don't think that much about food b/c I don't really enjoy cooking/baking that much (though I am fairly competent at it) and mostly b/c I am a creature of habit.

I eat more or less the same general meals, the same portion sizes, at the same times of day.  My appetite has varied WILDLY throughout my life, but I tend to eat the same way regardless of how my appetite 'urges' me to.  I regularly eat when I'm not hungry (not hungry has been my default state for >5 years), and I eat only a little additional food if I'm hungry between normal meals. 

I have NOT found calories in/calories out to be the main driver of my weight gain or loss. For me, type of calorie really matters.  I can gain weight somewhat easily eating sugar and simple carbs.  I can, however, eat a fuckton of fat calories without gaining, esp if doing regular exercise.  Ironically, I SHOULD struggle with my weight, given that I have PCOS and reactive hypoglycemia, but I never have, even when the disease was very 'active' and I was very symptomatic in all other ways.  Again, I think there is a huge amount in variation in how individual bodies handle different macros, and different calorie intake.

My diet:

My standard diet is 2 meals per day, eaten at around 11 am and 9 pm, with maybe a few bites of something around 2-4 pm if I'm trying to gain weight (usually), or if going to work out (regularly), or if hungry (occasionally).   My digestive system simply cannot function fast enough to eat more than this, unless I go to liquid food. 

Typical breakfast 1) 1/2 C whole grain cereal, oatmeal, etc, with 1/4 C fruit and some nuts and protein powder, made with milk,  almond milk, or hemp milk.  Black coffee, sometimes with a slug of coconut oil or ghee to add some additional calories/nutrients.

Typical breakfast 2) 1 C beans and rice, with a bit of additional veggies; or 1 egg with sauteed veggies on a tortilla. To add calories, my sautes are heavy on the olive oil or I add half an avocado.

Typical dinner 1) large mixed salad w multiple types veggies and fruit, vinegar and oil dressing, and sauteed or grilled meat or fish.

Typical dinner 2) one dish meal of mixed sauteed, grilled, or roasted meat and veggies over brown rice, potatoes, or pasta (often whole grain or bean/quinoa).

Snacks: half a power bar/granola bar, a few bites of leftovers, handful of corn chips and salsa/hummus

Dessert: every day after dinner, even if I'm stuffed to the gills (b/c I am a creature of habit). 2 squares dark chocolate, 3/4 spoonfuls of Ben and Jerry's, or a single medium-sized cookie.

What I really don't eat much: processed food/simple carbs/candy/soda/juice/any sweetened drink.

What I eat daily or somewhat regularly, but in limited amounts:  red meat/pork, sugar, alcohol (daily with dinner, almost always red wine).

There is one single area that I DO think I differ from many people I know in terms of food, and that's my mental framing of it: I guess I think in terms of nutrition bang/calorie buck rather than 'what tastes the best'.  E.g, it would never in a million years occur to me to make a meal of, say, spaghetti and meatballs with a side of bread, or creamy tomato soup with cheese and bread.  I like the taste of those foods, but that is FAR too many calories wasted on carbs/sugar/saturated fat where I would normally be eating fruit and veggies.   For me, meals are built around getting my healthy macros and cramming in as many nutrients as possible.  It wouldn't even occur to me to regard a produce-free meal as a 'real' .

I don't find my mental framing of food at all incompatible with delicious and appealing food, but I have overweight friends who insist they only like meat and sweets/carbs, and hate almost all vegetables.  Obviously, this makes weight control challenging for them.

Sleep:  No, I do not match your assumptions at all.  I had problems with disrupted sleep since I hit puberty, due to a mix of the following factors: chronic muscle/joint/myofascial pain; migraines; hypoglycemic related sleep disruption; hormone related insomnia.  Weight did not track with sleep quantity or quality or schedule at all. 

To sum up, I don't match your assumptions anywhere but diet.  I do have good habits around food that I developed over time and partly as a response to having an endocrine disorder.  But I ate a much less healthy diet all through my teens and twenties, and it affected my weight only around the margins.

In the end, I think my weight is primarily due to the weirdness of my personal metabolism, and only secondarily to very habitual eating patterns, and very little to my activity level

So I don't think my experience is that useful to overweight people, and I suspect most other responses in this thread wouldn't be either.

Yes, I want to hear from you, thank you.

Just a couple ofthings: with overweight I mean just overweight in a common sense way, no BMI or other fancy calculations. You know when you see it.
Also, I’m not making assumptions but I have some guesses or suspicions which I would like to see disputed or confirmed and that’s why I appreciate your report. Thanks again.
You also mentioned that 25 minutes a day 6 days a week is achievable. Of course it is, achievability was one of the main reasons why the official recommendation was lowered to that duration. A physically active lifestyle is an entirely different story. I think there may be a misunderstanding here.

Yes, I am a bit confused now.

You had said: The official recommendation for minimum physical activity is 75 minutes of intense or 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week. These numbers are not really achievable with scheduled “exercise”.

I was disagreeing with your latter statement.  I find it much harder to 'structure' my lifestyle to be more generally active than to schedule the officially recommended amount of exercise in discreet amounts each day. 

But admittedly, this has varied depending on what stage of my life I was in.  I didn't own a car in college and walked or took a bus everywhere.  Some of my jobs have required consistent physical activity, but for the past 15 years, my job requires being on a computer 100% of my working time. 

Regardless, level of physical activity hasn't really ever affected my weight much.

wenchsenior

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2190
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #34 on: October 17, 2018, 11:51:43 AM »
mm1970 and I are like food-twins!           

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6873
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2018, 11:53:37 AM »
One more thing - I think the "autopilot" point is a good one, but you'll find NOW, FOW and currently OW people in that category.

My autopilot is:
Monday: 30 minutes weightlifting hip/core at the gym with an instructor
Tuesday: group track (~3.5 miles)
Wednesday: sleep in
Thursday: group run (~4-4.5 miles)
Friday: sleep in.  Go to the pool with the kids and spouse and swim 15 minutes so I don't forget how.
Saturday: long run.  Training for a half, so right now it's long (10+) but generally I'm happy with 6 miles.
Sunday: hour long gab session on the elliptical with a friend.  More weight training, 15 minutes or so.

It's SIMPLE but it's not EASY.  Habits are hard to change. I haven't gotten my spouse to exercise in 2 years because he was stressed and working hard and not sleeping.  I told him to sleep.  Now, I didn't expect it would be 2 years later and he's still not working out.  But: he's an adult.  He's trying to slowly schedule it in, with adding a morning during the week (when I'm sleeping in) and a workout with a kid on the weekend.  Simple =/= easy. 

expatartist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1783
  • Location: The Big Lychee
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #36 on: October 17, 2018, 12:07:35 PM »
I guess I'm NOW, have gone up and down by 10 lbs a couple of times over my adult lifetime. Perimenopause has just started in the past 2 years so I'm needing to be mindful about things to lose a stubborn kilo or 2.

Sleep:
I try to lie down 8 hours/night and sleep 7 but can have difficulty sleeping if stressed, usually ends up being lie down for 7, sleep very well for 6-6.5.

Frequency:
* Avoid snacking, eat 3x/day
* Accidental intermittent fasting, often go 12+ hours without eating

Exercise:
* Never owned a car
* Walk 20-30 mins/day to and from the subway and to social events, 6-7 days/week
* Gentle outdoor activities usually once/week: kayaking, hiking, etc
* Occasional yoga and similar stretching/strengthening using body weight

What I avoid:
* Drinking calories (except homemade smoothies and occasional 100% juices)
* Pale monochrome foods like milk, cream, mayonnaise (huge aversion), visible butter/margarine (completely repulsive). For some reason cream cheese and other cheeses are fine especially if sprinkled with pepper or chili or spinach.

What I consume a lot of:
* Somewhat processed foods
* Naturally colorful foods: colored peppers, tomatoes, greens, fruits
* Sugar
* Chocolate
* Water - often 3 liters/day, I get extremely dehydrated easily and it leads to migraines. Sometimes I add lemon/lime juice
* Quality homemade black coffee, no sugar or other additives

What's helped me a lot, maybe:
* Substituting soy for milk
** Living in Asia**
* Being aware of textures and balance in food, like music and art you've got high and low notes, crisp and creamy, crunchy and smooth, vinegar and oil, starch and veg
* Trying to listen to my body and eat only when hungry

Bird In Hand

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 587
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #37 on: October 17, 2018, 12:12:49 PM »
Just over 6' and ~150lbs here, and have been 145-155lbs for ~25 years (my entire adulthood).  I think it's almost entirely genetics for me, because I have gone through various combinations of diet (ranging from strict paleo to eat-all-the-junk-food) and exercise (ranging from 5x/week workouts to almost completely sedentary) with no appreciable effect on my weight.

After looking at all my skinny-as-a-rail male relatives, and taking into consideration my own experiences, I've given up battling genetics.  Now I focus on eating foods that I believe are good for me, getting as much quality sleep as I can, and I exercise (currently jogging 3x/week + bodyweight training) because I believe it's the most important factor in living a long, healthy life.

PeteD01

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #38 on: October 17, 2018, 12:18:19 PM »

I find the weight loss threads depressing because they are largely about food deprivation and compensatory exercise. I find this depressing because extrapolating from the diet phase to a lifestyle incorporating these principles is not exactly uplifting.

Consciously controlling food intake in an attempt to control body weight is not something the never overweight typically  do. I think that is so and we will hopefully find out if enough people respond.


The never overweight probably have lifestyles from which the overweight can learn but the never overweight do not believe that they could actually help and therefore do not post.

Being of normal weight and maintaining it is not an objective the never overweight spend much time on but a result of their lifestyle. I also think that the never overweight share some of the erroneous but widespread beliefs regarding obesity. They attribute it to genetics, lack of sufficient interest in food preventing overeating, they underestimate their level of physical activity and don’t realize that they possibly get more and better sleep than average. They therefore think that they are somehow different from the overweight majority but in a way that is not relevant to the overweight majority.
I don’t know if that is true but maybe we can learn something here.

Genetics: do not offer an explanation for the obesity epidemic as genetics did not change during the last fifty years.

Physical activity: the official recommendation for minimum physical activity is 75 minutes of intense or 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week. These numbers are not really achievable with scheduled “exercise”. A physically active lifestyle, which I suspect many of the never overweight lead, is in a totally different category - adding up the minutes spent “exercising” per week is probably several times the officially recommended minimum - and probably unachievable in a gym without going nuts.

Food intake: with genetics out of the way and the little or no attention to portion control many never overweight pay (including myself), there is only one possibility left: autopilot. Autopilot in this context means an intact intrinsic, extremely sensitive and non-conscious regulation of food intake.
Why extremely sensitive? Well, gaining 5lbs a year will make anyone overweight in a few years but requires only 50 calories surplus per day. Conscious control by calorie counting cannot achieve that degree of accuracy and with the bathroom scale providing the feedback will result in so much hysteresis that a never ending cycle of dieting and gaining is virtually guaranteed.
I also supect that the never overweight eat less processed food thereby preserving internal regulation. Last thing I heard was that the average American diet now consists of 60% processed food and one can safely asume that a good part of it is engimeered ultraprocessed food. This is bad food because it is engineered to override internal regulation. Here is some fun reading:

https://jamesclear.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/why-humans-like-junk-food-steven-witherly.pdf?x83440


Sleep: I suspect that many never overweight people sleep more and better than average. We will see.

In summary: I suspect that the never overweight living in the same hostile environment are far more physically active and do more resistance work than many who believe that they are physically active, they eat less processed food (fewer starches?), get more/better sleep, eat less processed food, and do not focus on body weight.

Let’s see if we can get some responses from that population!
I knew I'd find wenchsenior here ahead of me!

1. The reason why weight loss thread often involve closely watching calories, which is something "NOW" don't often have to do, is likely because "NOW" bodies perform / behave differently than "FOW" (or currently overweight) bodies.  As mentioned before, once you've been overweight you likely have permanently changed your body.  (Also, interesting, I have a friend with Type 2 diabetes who has had it for 20+ years.  Her identical twin does not have it.  Hm... She was diagnosed after she lost 70 lbs and hit a normal weight.)

2. Often, many NOW people have healthy lifestyles that overweight people can learn from, but not always.  Often, overweight people have very healthy lifestyles also, but their bodies simply do not respond (PCOS, other hormones, medications, etc.)  And this is something that NOW sometimes just can't fathom.  Because you know "a calorie is a calorie" (it's not). And "50 calories a day will make you gain..."  (it won't).

https://www.foodpolitics.com/2010/01/how-many-extra-calories-cause-weight-gain/

Genetics matter from person to person.

Physical activity is very much achievable for 75 minutes/ 150 minutes if you schedule it.  I mean, even with 2 kids and a full time job.  150 minutes is only 2.5 hours.  Divide that up into 4 days.  I've been managing this for years.  What is true is that a lot of people who are NATURALLY physically active don't realize it.  Simply walking to work, or spending your time at home on your feet doing chores, or having a standing desk or active job.  Even just "fidgeting" burns calories.

Physical activity, however, has very little effect on weight.  Health, yes.  Weight, no.

When it comes to food intake, I would gather that often things like processed food and breads can be a big culprit.  I'd say that was the case for me - mostly carbs like bread or pasta.  While it was manageable in my 20s, it became quickly "less so".  And to many people, eating that way is NORMAL because it's how they grew up.  And it's how their families feed them.

By volume, the bulk of what I eat is produce.  I know when I made the shift from 6 servings of "carb" foods (rice, beans, bread, potatoes) to 2, but kept my calorie intake the same (by adding more fat), I lost weight. Further, when I quit eating wheat and subbed rice, potatoes, and corn tortillas, I lost even MORE weight.  A calorie is not a calorie.

You got one error here: 5lbs fat gain per year equates 50 calories surplus per day. The higher numbers in your quoted references result from backextrapolation to the original weight and are due to the imcreasing calorie requirements of a mass gaining body. Corrected for that it would still be 50 surplus calories per day at the actual weight of the subject gaining 5lbs per year. I used the 50 calories example specifically in the context of weight maintenance where basal energy requirements are not increasing. See the original JAMA commentary for details.

https://foodpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/JAMA.pdf


Of course, I agree that a calorie is not a calorie when coming from different sources.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 12:25:14 PM by PeteD01 »

PeteD01

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #39 on: October 17, 2018, 12:22:23 PM »
I’ve been reading some of the weight loss threads and find them rather depressing.
I have not counted a calorie in my life and most certainly have not ever spent anywhere near the intimidating efforts the dieters are expending on how much I eat.
I also have not seen anyone who has not ever had a weight problem post in these threads.
I assume that the never-fat have a lifestyle that can serve as an example.

Yikes @ all the unnecessary put-downs. Why would anyone who isn't interested in losing weight post in a weight loss challenge thread?

What is the challenge/ gauntlet you are proposing?



The never overweight probably have lifestyles from which the overweight can learn but the never overweight do not believe that they could actually help and therefore do not post.

Being of normal weight and maintaining it is not an objective the never overweight spend much time on but a result of their lifestyle. I also think that the never overweight share some of the erroneous but widespread beliefs regarding obesity. They attribute it to genetics, lack of sufficient interest in food preventing overeating, they underestimate their level of physical activity and don’t realize that they possibly get more and better sleep than average.

Genetics: do not offer an explanation for the obesity epidemic as genetics did not change during the last fifty years.

Physical activity: the official recommendation for minimum physical activity is 75 minutes of intense or 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week. These numbers are not really achievable with scheduled “exercise”. A physically active lifestyle, which I suspect many of the never overweight lead, is in a totally different category - adding up the minutes spent “exercising” per week is probably several times the officially recommended minimum - and probably unachievable in a gym without going nuts.

Food intake: with genetics out of the way and the little or no attention to portion control many never overweight pay (including myself), there is only one possibility left: autopilot. Autopilot in this context means an intact intrinsic, extremely sensitive and non-conscious regulation of food intake.

I also supect that the never overweight eat less processed food thereby preserving internal regulation. Last thing I heard was that the average American diet now consists of 60% processed food and one can safely asume that a good part of it is engimeered ultraprocessed food. This is bad food because it is engineered to override internal regulation.


Sleep: I suspect that many never overweight people sleep more and better than average. We will see.


Let’s see if we can get some responses from that population!

I'm uneasy with the entire premise of this discussion and my personal experience contradicts most of your assumptions above.

First of all, I'm not sure what you mean by 'never overweight/never had a weight problem'.  I'm going to assume you mean technically (as in BMI) rather than what 'feels good' to each individual, which is extremely subjective.

I've never been technically overweight in my life, but I've certainly been plumper than liked for my frame during my mid teens and for brief periods in my late 20s/early 30s, and late 30s.  And during those times, I've made efforts to lose a bit of weight.  But mostly, I've hovered within a 5-10lb range for most of my adult hood. But currently, in my late 40s, I am the same weight I was at 20 and have to work to stay over 100 lbs.

So would I count as someone you want to hear from? Unclear, but here goes...

Re: genetics.  Although you are correct the human genome likely hasn't changed, that doesn't mean individual body physiology doesn't influence weight control to a high degree, which I strongly suspect it does.  So perhaps we should change the common 'blaming of genetics' to 'blaming of individual physiology'.

Overweight people already know what habits they should adopt, but doing so can be very challenging for some people and not for others.  And even when those habits ARE adopted, peoples' bodies respond differently and they still might not lose weight or maintain normal weight with anything approaching the ease that I do. I know for certain this is true, b/c I know a few family members with fairly similar habits to mine, that still struggle with weight. It's possible the obese people that I know are all bingeing or eating secretly, but if that's the case, they already KNOW that those habits are unhealthy and this thread is likely to be patronizing and of no help to them.

Physical activity:  My personal experience does not match your assumptions.  My weight is only moderately affected by exercise, but is much more affected by diet.  I am not a naturally active or energetic person and need to structure my environment to force myself to be more generally active.  I have only intermittently maintained regular exercise routines meeting the recommended criteria since I was a teenager.  Also contrary to your assumption, I think 25 minutes of moderate exercise 6 days per week is VERY achievable for most people.  The trick is motivating yourself to do that.  I've had an exercise routine of almost exactly that for the past 5 years, but the vast majority of every day I'm sitting at the computer, totally sedentary.

This is not to imply that I don't think exercise is INCREDIBLY valuable.  I am constantly trying to force myself to be more like the hypothetical 'generally physically active' type person that you assume the 'never overweight' people must be.  I feel FAR better if I exercise more, and there have been times in my life where my routine naturally involved a lot more daily activity, which I liked.  But again, exercise has only ever affected my weight minimally.

Food Intake:  Eh, I guess I match your assumption here.  I don't think that much about food b/c I don't really enjoy cooking/baking that much (though I am fairly competent at it) and mostly b/c I am a creature of habit.

I eat more or less the same general meals, the same portion sizes, at the same times of day.  My appetite has varied WILDLY throughout my life, but I tend to eat the same way regardless of how my appetite 'urges' me to.  I regularly eat when I'm not hungry (not hungry has been my default state for >5 years), and I eat only a little additional food if I'm hungry between normal meals. 

I have NOT found calories in/calories out to be the main driver of my weight gain or loss. For me, type of calorie really matters.  I can gain weight somewhat easily eating sugar and simple carbs.  I can, however, eat a fuckton of fat calories without gaining, esp if doing regular exercise.  Ironically, I SHOULD struggle with my weight, given that I have PCOS and reactive hypoglycemia, but I never have, even when the disease was very 'active' and I was very symptomatic in all other ways.  Again, I think there is a huge amount in variation in how individual bodies handle different macros, and different calorie intake.

My diet:

My standard diet is 2 meals per day, eaten at around 11 am and 9 pm, with maybe a few bites of something around 2-4 pm if I'm trying to gain weight (usually), or if going to work out (regularly), or if hungry (occasionally).   My digestive system simply cannot function fast enough to eat more than this, unless I go to liquid food. 

Typical breakfast 1) 1/2 C whole grain cereal, oatmeal, etc, with 1/4 C fruit and some nuts and protein powder, made with milk,  almond milk, or hemp milk.  Black coffee, sometimes with a slug of coconut oil or ghee to add some additional calories/nutrients.

Typical breakfast 2) 1 C beans and rice, with a bit of additional veggies; or 1 egg with sauteed veggies on a tortilla. To add calories, my sautes are heavy on the olive oil or I add half an avocado.

Typical dinner 1) large mixed salad w multiple types veggies and fruit, vinegar and oil dressing, and sauteed or grilled meat or fish.

Typical dinner 2) one dish meal of mixed sauteed, grilled, or roasted meat and veggies over brown rice, potatoes, or pasta (often whole grain or bean/quinoa).

Snacks: half a power bar/granola bar, a few bites of leftovers, handful of corn chips and salsa/hummus

Dessert: every day after dinner, even if I'm stuffed to the gills (b/c I am a creature of habit). 2 squares dark chocolate, 3/4 spoonfuls of Ben and Jerry's, or a single medium-sized cookie.

What I really don't eat much: processed food/simple carbs/candy/soda/juice/any sweetened drink.

What I eat daily or somewhat regularly, but in limited amounts:  red meat/pork, sugar, alcohol (daily with dinner, almost always red wine).

There is one single area that I DO think I differ from many people I know in terms of food, and that's my mental framing of it: I guess I think in terms of nutrition bang/calorie buck rather than 'what tastes the best'.  E.g, it would never in a million years occur to me to make a meal of, say, spaghetti and meatballs with a side of bread, or creamy tomato soup with cheese and bread.  I like the taste of those foods, but that is FAR too many calories wasted on carbs/sugar/saturated fat where I would normally be eating fruit and veggies.   For me, meals are built around getting my healthy macros and cramming in as many nutrients as possible.  It wouldn't even occur to me to regard a produce-free meal as a 'real' .

I don't find my mental framing of food at all incompatible with delicious and appealing food, but I have overweight friends who insist they only like meat and sweets/carbs, and hate almost all vegetables.  Obviously, this makes weight control challenging for them.

Sleep:  No, I do not match your assumptions at all.  I had problems with disrupted sleep since I hit puberty, due to a mix of the following factors: chronic muscle/joint/myofascial pain; migraines; hypoglycemic related sleep disruption; hormone related insomnia.  Weight did not track with sleep quantity or quality or schedule at all. 

To sum up, I don't match your assumptions anywhere but diet.  I do have good habits around food that I developed over time and partly as a response to having an endocrine disorder.  But I ate a much less healthy diet all through my teens and twenties, and it affected my weight only around the margins.

In the end, I think my weight is primarily due to the weirdness of my personal metabolism, and only secondarily to very habitual eating patterns, and very little to my activity level

So I don't think my experience is that useful to overweight people, and I suspect most other responses in this thread wouldn't be either.

Yes, I want to hear from you, thank you.

Just a couple ofthings: with overweight I mean just overweight in a common sense way, no BMI or other fancy calculations. You know when you see it.
Also, I’m not making assumptions but I have some guesses or suspicions which I would like to see disputed or confirmed and that’s why I appreciate your report. Thanks again.
You also mentioned that 25 minutes a day 6 days a week is achievable. Of course it is, achievability was one of the main reasons why the official recommendation was lowered to that duration. A physically active lifestyle is an entirely different story. I think there may be a misunderstanding here.

Yes, I am a bit confused now.

You had said: The official recommendation for minimum physical activity is 75 minutes of intense or 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week. These numbers are not really achievable with scheduled “exercise”.

I was disagreeing with your latter statement.  I find it much harder to 'structure' my lifestyle to be more generally active than to schedule the officially recommended amount of exercise in discreet amounts each day. 

But admittedly, this has varied depending on what stage of my life I was in.  I didn't own a car in college and walked or took a bus everywhere.  Some of my jobs have required consistent physical activity, but for the past 15 years, my job requires being on a computer 100% of my working time. 

Regardless, level of physical activity hasn't really ever affected my weight much.

I made a mistake. I meant to say “are readily achievable”. I corrected it in the OP. Thanks!

Hula Hoop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1219
  • Location: Italy
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #40 on: October 17, 2018, 01:17:35 PM »
I also avoid processed foods, like many others on this thread.  I think I could be overweight if I ate unlimited amounts of doritos. 

cerat0n1a

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1484
  • Location: England
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #41 on: October 17, 2018, 03:26:55 PM »
I have not counted a calorie in my life and most certainly have not ever spent anywhere near the intimidating efforts the dieters are expending on how much I eat.
I also have not seen anyone who has not ever had a weight problem post in these threads.
I assume that the never-fat have a lifestyle that can serve as an example.

I'm unconvinced that anyone will learn much from my lifestyle. I was born thin and have stayed thin. I run 40-50km in a typical week, walk for around an hour each day and do plenty of physical stuff working in the garden, eat plenty of vegetables, seeds, nuts, rarely eat meat, avoid drinking calories, try to prioritise sleep above everything else. But I think those things mostly promote good health rather than necessarily helping avoiding weight increases.

Other possible factors. We didn't always have quite enough to eat as children. I try not to eat late in the evening - typically have 12-14 hours in each day after evening meal and before breakfast without any food or drink. I like to spend time outdoors, like to get cold. Not clear to me whether any of those things are relevant though.

It seems pretty clear to me that trying to use "willpower" to limit calories works for hardly anyone as a way of losing weight. If I were overweight, I'd probably be looking at intermittent fasting type approaches rather than counting calories.

It's interesting how many of my British friends have ballooned in size after moving to the US.  There is clearly something happening there, but I don't know what.

BicycleB

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1620
  • Location: Live Music Capital of the World
  • Older than the internet, but not wiser... yet
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #42 on: October 17, 2018, 03:33:20 PM »
I agree with the people who imply that the premise of this thread looks like a gateway to fat shaming.  I'm either Never Over Weight or one-time-overweight, depending on viewpoint. I saw the one episode of 15% weight gain I had, I'm not sure which category is right.  I violate most of the OP's hypotheses.

Sleep? Average of 6 hours, few variations in the last 35 years.  Typical night is 5.5 hours sleep.

Exercise/active lifestyle?  My favorite position is prone; most of my life, I spent a large portion of free time on a bed, happily reading books. Most of my jobs have been desk jobs. In FIRE, I sit for hours at a time. I will admit this area is as close to supporting OP's hypothesis as my life gets, because in between stretches of computers/reading, I pace gently in circles for several hours a day while idly daydreaming. I have had streaks of no other exercise, and streaks of running 2-4 times/week. For a few years I lifted weights. My main transport is still a car (screen name still aspirational).

Food? Ok, another mixed bag. I do eat some vegetables and fruits. I do eat whole grain bread rather than pure white bread. A couple of years ago, I replaced my morning Cheerios with a bowl of beans and rice, and my afternoon Cheerios with some bean tacos. But I eat a mind bogglingly vast amount of sweets. I do not want to admit how vast, but...if I buy a pound of cookies, the only question is whether they last one day or two. There are no elves in my home. I eat the cookies by myself. A day without cookies usually means ice cream was gobbled instead. I just got home from buying some. My real diet consists roughly of 2 healthy meals and then 2/3 of a box of cookies. I used to eat 3 or 4 meals, but am 50something now. Currently about 5 pounds below my adult average weight.

I agree with the poster who said there's a logic error in the contention that because weight was lower in the past, genetics should be ignored. Obviously it's unlikely that genetics changed so much at the population level, but that suggests environmental changes. Since different individuals have different outcomes in this new environment, what's likely is that different individuals' genetics responded differently to the new conditions. Therefore even unintentional fat shaming is not in order.

Personally, I think that weight has become the new area for unconscious Calvinistic feelings of good vs evil to be imposed. Skinny people are viewed as smart/strong/holy exemplars of wisdom, fat ones as ignorant/lazy/evil fools in need of correction/education.  #Idisagree.

As has been pointed out, most people are aware that the OP's proposals are supposed to be good for you. Even if this thread, which is by definition a theater of self-selection, were to validly reproduce the findings of the Blue Zone study, it's creating habits and the society to implement them that is the key.

TL;DR: Please don't quote any of my habit testimony at people in the weight loss threads.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 03:51:16 PM by BicycleB »

TartanTallulah

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 553
  • Location: The Middle of Scenic Nowhere
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #43 on: October 17, 2018, 04:26:29 PM »
I'm in my mid-fifties and have never been overweight apart from having put on gigantic amounts of weight with each pregnancy (55lb with each of the first three, and almost 70lb with the fourth) which came off afterwards. Once upon a time, if anyone had asked me my "secret" I'd have said, "I run 60 miles a week, don't watch television and don't eat takeaways." Now, I'm more inclined to say, "Genetic and socio-economic privilege and a dollop of luck." I don't think anyone could determine my lifestyle from my body size, or guess my body size based on knowledge of my lifestyle.

OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1608
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #44 on: October 17, 2018, 04:42:18 PM »
It's interesting how many of my British friends have ballooned in size after moving to the US.  There is clearly something happening there, but I don't know what.

Do they eat in restaurants frequently? Portion sizes here are ridiculous.

onlykelsey

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2172
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #45 on: October 17, 2018, 04:54:34 PM »
It's interesting how many of my British friends have ballooned in size after moving to the US.  There is clearly something happening there, but I don't know what.

Do they eat in restaurants frequently? Portion sizes here are ridiculous.

Do they gain weight when they move other places?  I gain weight every time I move to a different country, whether it's a traditionally "thin" or "heavier" country.  I think stress spikes cortisol levels and makes you gain weight, and moving is stressful.   Plus getting used to another cuisine can take time, and you may default to more comforting bland foods.  I tend to.

bridget

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 599
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #46 on: October 17, 2018, 05:11:40 PM »
My problem with this thread is that people are not idiots.  People who struggle with weight are perfectly aware of the fact that weight is correlated with healthy eating, good sleep, physical activity, etc.  They are also probably very interested in not being overweight, given our society's obsession with body image and conventional attractiveness.   

The only thing NOW people can possibly add to the conversation is to say that maintaining our weight is, for whatever reason (I don't care much whether it's ascribed to luck, history, environment, genetics, personality, what have you), significantly easier for us.  I don't see how that can possibly be productive other than to neener-neener at people who are having a lot fucking harder time than we are.  I'm not a better person, or have more will power, or have a better work ethic than overweight people.  I'm just playing the game on easy mode, and some people have to play it on hard mode, and that's just a shitty thing about life that needs no rubbing in.

SquashingDebt

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #47 on: October 17, 2018, 06:51:07 PM »
My problem with this thread is that people are not idiots.  People who struggle with weight are perfectly aware of the fact that weight is correlated with healthy eating, good sleep, physical activity, etc.  They are also probably very interested in not being overweight, given our society's obsession with body image and conventional attractiveness.   

The only thing NOW people can possibly add to the conversation is to say that maintaining our weight is, for whatever reason (I don't care much whether it's ascribed to luck, history, environment, genetics, personality, what have you), significantly easier for us.  I don't see how that can possibly be productive other than to neener-neener at people who are having a lot fucking harder time than we are.  I'm not a better person, or have more will power, or have a better work ethic than overweight people.  I'm just playing the game on easy mode, and some people have to play it on hard mode, and that's just a shitty thing about life that needs no rubbing in.


This x10000

Steeze

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 356
  • Age: 32
  • Location: NYC Area of Earth
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #48 on: October 17, 2018, 06:54:56 PM »
6'0 @ 165lbs (+/- 10)

Diet is not consistent and was very poor until my late 20s.
I have a sweet tooth.

I used to excersize an excessive amount through snowboarding, skateboarding, hiking, and weight lifting. All in one day on a good day, some times twice.

Now I am chained to my desk and barely active. Still can't gain weight...

My secret? Skip meals to work more hours.

cerat0n1a

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1484
  • Location: England
Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
« Reply #49 on: October 18, 2018, 01:52:35 AM »
It's interesting how many of my British friends have ballooned in size after moving to the US.  There is clearly something happening there, but I don't know what.

Do they eat in restaurants frequently? Portion sizes here are ridiculous.

Do they gain weight when they move other places?  I gain weight every time I move to a different country, whether it's a traditionally "thin" or "heavier" country.  I think stress spikes cortisol levels and makes you gain weight, and moving is stressful.   Plus getting used to another cuisine can take time, and you may default to more comforting bland foods.  I tend to.

This is people who've been in the US for a few years. Could be stress, bigger portions, fitting in with local norms, culture of driving rather than walking, maybe something happens to the gut flora, maybe it's corn syrup. I guess all it shows is that it's not solely down to genetics. Plenty of overweight people here, of course, but the odds seem much worse in the US, especially away from NY/LA type places.

I don't think there's any single factor or simple causes here. To pick an example, sugar gets a lot of bad press. My father grew up in a sweet shop (candy store.) My mother's parents ran a jam (jelly) factory. They're both thin. British people ate mountains of sugar back then compared to now. They had terrible teeth as a result, but there weren't many overweight people.

I don't think the advice of telling people to eat less/move more is really working. Probably more useful to find people who were overweight and now are not (and have kept their lower weight for many years.) If you look at those terrible "biggest loser" type shows, people have a horrible time and lose many pounds - but they almost always regain within a couple of years.