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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: PeteD01 on October 16, 2018, 01:14:11 PM

Title: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 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!
 
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: ketchup 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: JLee 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: DS 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?
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: RWD 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: renata ricotta 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: mm1970 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?

Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: neophyte 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 (https://osf.io/ezg2j/) (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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Imma 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 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!





Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Kyle Schuant 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 you need a "do this" to make it specific,

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/


(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/12/Vendiagram.gif/825px-Vendiagram.gif)
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: NevermindScrooge 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Distant dreamer 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Aunt Petunia 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Raenia 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!
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: magnet18 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. 
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Hula Hoop 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. 
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: StarBright 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: onlykelsey 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:
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: charis 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: talltexan 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

Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 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 (https://osf.io/ezg2j/) (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



Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Gyosho 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).
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Chrissy 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 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
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: OtherJen 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: SilveradoBojangles 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Sibley 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: wenchsenior 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.


Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: catccc 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: mm1970 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.

Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: wenchsenior 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: wenchsenior on October 17, 2018, 11:51:43 AM
mm1970 and I are like food-twins!           
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: mm1970 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. 
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: expatartist 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
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Bird In Hand 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 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!
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Hula Hoop 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. 
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: cerat0n1a 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: BicycleB 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: TartanTallulah 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: OtherJen 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: onlykelsey 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: renata ricotta 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: SquashingDebt 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
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Steeze 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: cerat0n1a 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.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: JenniferW on October 18, 2018, 02:22:51 AM
Some people just aren't tolerant of a diet full of carbs (especially the refined & grain type) -- in fact most people it seems.   I'm one of them.  I was born in a womb of mother with gestational diabetes.  I have obesity and diabetes genes -- lots of them (according to 23AndMe DNA test results).  I was obese since I was an infant.  I was fed refined carbs since I was a baby. We were a poor family and macaroni & cheese, spaghetti, breakfast cereal, bread, potatoes & rice were cheap.

I also had asthma since I was an infant, which I had to take steroid medicine for which causes constant dumping of sugar into blood stream due to increase cortisol.  This boosted insulin resistance, combined with the above.

I"ve been obese my entire life.  But I finally learned about keto & low carb diet to control my diabetes.  I've lost 100 lbs so far on keto / lchf and have kept that off for 2 years now without any effort.  I still have more to lose but its hard because I am extremely insulin resistant (HOMA-IR of 3.65).  [In fact I find the more fat I eat the more my metabolism increases to burn it as long as I keep my carbs down.. as I soon as I eat a few hundred calories of carbs... weight gain begins and can never lose weight.. eating carbs slows down my metabolism to a crawl. I could eat 3000 calories of fat and not gain a pound but as soon as I add in the carbs, then I balloon. ]

All these decades I ate carbs trying to lose weight always wondering why I could never lose weight and keep it off.

Last time I lost a lot of weight, many years ago when I was 21 (I'm 47 now), I was intermittent fasting without realizing I was.. I ate no breakfast, ate a 200 calories microwave tv dinenr for lunch at work and ate a normal meal for dinner not full of carbs.  But then I read the book "Eat to Win" which advocated complex carbs, to lose weight.  I started eating rice and potatoes for dinner (still skipping breakfast and eating that tv dinner for lunch), and for the life of me I couldn't figure why I could not lose anymore weight.  I kept the calories down but it just halted entirely ever since I started eating all those carbs for dinner.  Now I know it was due to insulin resistance and my body was not tolerant of carbs.

I recommend the book "Why We Get Fat" by Gary Taubes and then if interested in LCHF, the book "The Art & Science of Low Carbohydrate Living" by Phinney & volek.  If interested in Keto, the book "Keto Clarity" by Jimmy Moore.  If interested in intermittent fasting:  "Obesity Code" & "The Complete Guide to Fasting" (both by Jason Fung).

EDIT: I should add stress increases cortisol (so you can run form the tiger), which again causes the liver to dump a lot of sugar, which you don't burn because you aren't running.   This increased sugar in blood increases insulin to store it back into your body.  Ever increasing insulin causes insulin resistance which makes your body make even more insulin for the rest of your life.. as you know insulin is fat storing hormone.. you get enough insulin in your bloodstream it becomes almost impossible to lose weight. 

EDIT #2:  I believe the best time to exercise is like 30 minutes to an hour after you eat a meal with carbs in it.  This is because the exercise will help burn the sugar, your body producing less insulin as a result.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: CindyBS on October 18, 2018, 08:22:03 AM
Just curious, how many never overweight folks have ever had a conversation with a medical professional about obesity?
 
To me the idea that a never overweight person who is not medical professional or obesity specialist can give advice on this issue is as absurd as a person who has never had cancer can tell all the folks out there battling cancer what to do. 

Then instead of being supportive, throw in some comments about how it can't be genetics (citation from a peer reviewed journal article on that or just uneducated guess?), it is all your behavior, etc. with no formal training or personal experience in the subject.  All unsolicited advice of course, with a dab of righteousness thrown in.

Pick any other medical condition - cancer, diabetes, parkinson's disease and insert them in some of these posts instead of "overweight" or "obese" and it would be laughable.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: wenchsenior on October 18, 2018, 08:52:46 AM
Just curious, how many never overweight folks have ever had a conversation with a medical professional about obesity?
 
To me the idea that a never overweight person who is not medical professional or obesity specialist can give advice on this issue is as absurd as a person who has never had cancer can tell all the folks out there battling cancer what to do. 

Then instead of being supportive, throw in some comments about how it can't be genetics (citation from a peer reviewed journal article on that or just uneducated guess?), it is all your behavior, etc. with no formal training or personal experience in the subject.  All unsolicited advice of course, with a dab of righteousness thrown in.

Pick any other medical condition - cancer, diabetes, parkinson's disease and insert them in some of these posts instead of "overweight" or "obese" and it would be laughable.

Great point.  There's always going to be some people around who think being thin makes them superior to overweight people and want to tell them how simple it is, or how overweight people are somehow morally inferior, or whatever other offensive crap makes them feel good about themselves.

But that doesn't seem to be the OP's angle, which seems to stem more from naivete or some false assumptions.  And it looks like most of us who commented agree that describing/modeling our lifestyles is at best unhelpful, and at worst condescending, to the vast majority of overweight people because most of us 'got lucky' in terms of physiology, psychology, or whatever.

The reason I commented on this thread, despite my dislike of the original premise, was b/c I thought it might be helpful to the OP to rethink his assumptions about why people are or are not overweight. 
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 on October 18, 2018, 11:18:46 AM
Just curious, how many never overweight folks have ever had a conversation with a medical professional about obesity?
 
To me the idea that a never overweight person who is not medical professional or obesity specialist can give advice on this issue is as absurd as a person who has never had cancer can tell all the folks out there battling cancer what to do. 

Then instead of being supportive, throw in some comments about how it can't be genetics (citation from a peer reviewed journal article on that or just uneducated guess?), it is all your behavior, etc. with no formal training or personal experience in the subject.  All unsolicited advice of course, with a dab of righteousness thrown in.

Pick any other medical condition - cancer, diabetes, parkinson's disease and insert them in some of these posts instead of "overweight" or "obese" and it would be laughable.

Great point.  There's always going to be some people around who think being thin makes them superior to overweight people and want to tell them how simple it is, or how overweight people are somehow morally inferior, or whatever other offensive crap makes them feel good about themselves.

But that doesn't seem to be the OP's angle, which seems to stem more from naivete or some false assumptions.  And it looks like most of us who commented agree that describing/modeling our lifestyles is at best unhelpful, and at worst condescending, to the vast majority of overweight people because most of us 'got lucky' in terms of physiology, psychology, or whatever.

The reason I commented on this thread, despite my dislike of the original premise, was b/c I thought it might be helpful to the OP to rethink his assumptions about why people are or are not overweight.

I am (was, because I’m FIRE’d) actually a medical professional with extensive experience with obese patients.
It is actually very difficult to get people, who happen to be normal weight without effort, to tell what their behaviors are. That’s understandable because they simply do not have the focus on these issues. If you ask them how they keep their weight stable, they typically say things like “I’m just not putting on weight”, “I’m different and cannot possibly be helpful”, “I don’t exercise at all” (typically coming from a woman who just pushed the wheelchair of her obese husband all the way into the clinic). There are some examples in this thread. I’m pretty sure no never overweight people will respond in this thread anymore because they’ve been outed as just being lucky and anything they say would be considered condescending if not accompanied by an apology. So why bother.

The fact remains that as of today about 70% of Americans are overweight/obese and at least 30% have fatty liver detectable by noninvasive means (no biopsy, with biopsy, the rate might be substantially higher). But that leaves 30% normal weight individuals exposed to the same environment unaffected. Preemptively dismissing this still relatively large population as genetically gifted or weird is not really helpful in getting to the bottom of things. First of all, genetics do not explain anything unless there is an associated mechanism.

We know that the normal weight do not glow in the dark or are warmer to the touch than the overweight. There is, however, one small study showing that normal weight self identified couch potatoes move around more than 150 minutes per day more than overweight self identified couch potatoes even after those lost weight. It appears to be genetic and therefore cannot be called a habit. The subjects were not aware of this at all and one could not have found out by interviewing the subjects. Here you have an instance of a genetically determined different response to identical environmental conditions (opportunity of remaining immobile) which can only be overcome by by the genetically disadvantaged by habit formation or change of environment.

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/307/5709/584.full.pdf

(Article is free after registration)

Studying the never overweight is severely neglected for the simple reason that they do not show up in the settimgs where obesity research is carried out - why would they? Right. However, this does not mean that there is nothing to be learned from them. After all, there is not other population to study from which one can learn about different responses to a hostile obesogenic environment and how to preserve non-consciously isocaloric food intake in that environment.

I have to go to the organic food coop meeting to pick up our monthly share and will continue later.








Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Roots&Wings on October 18, 2018, 11:36:06 AM
Just curious, how many never overweight folks have ever had a conversation with a medical professional about obesity?

Yes, the doctors in my family regularly lament the poor diet and lifestyle choices made by their obese patients. Even with coaching, many won't change.

Many companies have health coaching and information sessions with medical professionals that discuss the importance of lifestyle choices, diet, sleep, and exercise for overall health and combating obesity.


To me the idea that a never overweight person who is not medical professional or obesity specialist can give advice on this issue is as absurd as a person who has never had cancer can tell all the folks out there battling cancer what to do. 

This is forum geared towards knowledge sharing, optimization, and DIY. The idea that only specialists can give advice is one of the weirdest things I've seen here in awhile. But yes, unsolicited advice is rarely welcome.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: BicycleB on October 18, 2018, 12:28:20 PM

Great point.  There's always going to be some people around who think being thin makes them superior to overweight people and want to tell them how simple it is, or how overweight people are somehow morally inferior, or whatever other offensive crap makes them feel good about themselves.

But that doesn't seem to be the OP's angle ...

I am (was, because I’m FIRE’d) actually a medical professional with extensive experience with obese patients.
It is actually very difficult to get people, who happen to be normal weight without effort, to tell what their behaviors are. That’s understandable because they simply do not have the focus on these issues...

The fact remains that as of today about 70% of Americans are overweight/obese and at least 30% have fatty liver detectable by noninvasive means (no biopsy, with biopsy, the rate might be substantially higher). But that leaves 30% normal weight individuals exposed to the same environment unaffected. Preemptively dismissing this still relatively large population as genetically gifted or weird is not really helpful in getting to the bottom of things...

There is, however, one small study showing that normal weight self identified couch potatoes move around more than 150 minutes per day more than overweight self identified couch potatoes even after those lost weight. It appears to be genetic and therefore cannot be called a habit. The subjects were not aware of this at all and one could not have found out by interviewing the subjects. Here you have an instance of a genetically determined different response to identical environmental conditions (opportunity of remaining immobile) which can only be overcome by by the genetically disadvantaged by habit formation or change of environment.

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/307/5709/584.full.pdf

(Article is free after registration)

Studying the never overweight is severely neglected for the simple reason that they do not show up in the settimgs where obesity research is carried out - why would they? Right. However, this does not mean that there is nothing to be learned from them. After all, there is not other population to study from which one can learn about different responses to a hostile obesogenic environment and how to preserve non-consciously isocaloric food intake in that environment...

Ok, that's interesting. And I guess flak comes from both sides. In which case, as a fellow truth seeker, I respect your persistence.

While awaiting your return: If the people who are non-obese are not aware of our different behaviors, how would the self reporting requested in this thread be likely to elicit useful data?

Curious now.

PS. Much of my reaction and perhaps others was in response to framing in the original post about the weight loss threads being depressing. Hopefully you can see where the confusion arose.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 on October 18, 2018, 02:26:04 PM

Great point.  There's always going to be some people around who think being thin makes them superior to overweight people and want to tell them how simple it is, or how overweight people are somehow morally inferior, or whatever other offensive crap makes them feel good about themselves.

But that doesn't seem to be the OP's angle ...

I am (was, because I’m FIRE’d) actually a medical professional with extensive experience with obese patients.
It is actually very difficult to get people, who happen to be normal weight without effort, to tell what their behaviors are. That’s understandable because they simply do not have the focus on these issues...

The fact remains that as of today about 70% of Americans are overweight/obese and at least 30% have fatty liver detectable by noninvasive means (no biopsy, with biopsy, the rate might be substantially higher). But that leaves 30% normal weight individuals exposed to the same environment unaffected. Preemptively dismissing this still relatively large population as genetically gifted or weird is not really helpful in getting to the bottom of things...

There is, however, one small study showing that normal weight self identified couch potatoes move around more than 150 minutes per day more than overweight self identified couch potatoes even after those lost weight. It appears to be genetic and therefore cannot be called a habit. The subjects were not aware of this at all and one could not have found out by interviewing the subjects. Here you have an instance of a genetically determined different response to identical environmental conditions (opportunity of remaining immobile) which can only be overcome by by the genetically disadvantaged by habit formation or change of environment.

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/307/5709/584.full.pdf

(Article is free after registration)

Studying the never overweight is severely neglected for the simple reason that they do not show up in the settimgs where obesity research is carried out - why would they? Right. However, this does not mean that there is nothing to be learned from them. After all, there is not other population to study from which one can learn about different responses to a hostile obesogenic environment and how to preserve non-consciously isocaloric food intake in that environment...

Ok, that's interesting. And I guess flak comes from both sides. In which case, as a fellow truth seeker, I respect your persistence.

While awaiting your return: If the people who are non-obese are not aware of our different behaviors, how would the self reporting requested in this thread be likely to elicit useful data?

Curious now.

PS. Much of my reaction and perhaps others was in response to framing in the original post about the weight loss threads being depressing. Hopefully you can see where the confusion arose.

Self reporting has serious limitations and that’s why most of the empirical nutrition science is junk. The request I made asks about habits regarding physical activity, food and sleep. But what is equally, or even more, interesting is how people respond and what they do not say.

For example, although I made a pretty strong effort to elicit responses regarding physical activity, the reported physical activity was underwhelming.

People did not mention particular diets much although one person reportd “Paleo’ish”, which is interesting because Paleo tends to be more about individual real foods than the usual macronutrient diet talk.
Not consuming much processed food is also frequently reported and almost always without much elaboration or emphasis. Most responders refer to actual real foods and do not refer to calories at all. That’s not surprising because many real foods do not come with convenient labels to figure out macronutrients and calories. I do not get the impression that the responders look at food through the lens of “nutritionism”.
All this supports that the reported lower intake of processed food of the never overweight is really lower than average (US average  is around 60% of total energy intake). Of course it doesn’t prove it but it looks like that exposure to engineered food is lower in the never overweight responders.For some reason, the never overweight appear to resist somewhat the constant drumbeat of advertising and the constant availability of engineered food without stressing out about it.

Another interesting thing is that some say they just stop eating when they are full or that they are skipping meals which is really only another way to say that their internal food regulation is working just fine. Restricting food intake is not reported much, probably less than issues with not losing weight unintentionally.

Bottom line, the never overweight seem to have intact internal food intake regulation and have been able to preserve that in an environment that seems to be designed to poison that controller.


Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Ecky on October 18, 2018, 03:11:17 PM
I understand the limitations of self-reporting. That said, here's my self-report:

When I was 21 I weighed 125lbs (5'6"). My diet wasn't great, but neither was it awful. No soda, but often sweet tea. I ate college cafe food, which was often chicken wings, pizza, burgers, etc. It was pretty typical that I'd forget to eat for a while, and would only realize it was time to feed myself when I got irritable and started trembling.

Around age 22 I switched to a strictly vegan diet which was heavy in whole foods - lots of beans, rice, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables. I still forget to eat pretty often until I feel the physical effects of it, but I believe the overall bulk of food I eat increased. Over the following ~12 months I lost around 10lbs, and have remained this weight (~116, give or take 2lbs) for the last 8 years.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: AnswerIs42 on October 18, 2018, 03:31:28 PM
I recommend the book "Why We Get Fat" by Gary Taubes

+1, this is a great book, it does a good job debunking the lies we've been told about fat and carbs over the last 40 years. Read it cover to cover, it will change your life.

For me personally:

"Extreme low carb, but eating as much as I want" diet => 13 stone / 182 lbs
"Eating and drinking whatever I want, within reason" diet => 16 stone / 224 lbs

Usually I'm somewhere in the middle, because I don't have the willpower to do extreme low carb all the time. But, for me, it works.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: CalBal on October 18, 2018, 04:52:10 PM
I'll bite, although I don't know how enlightening this will be.

42yo female, never overweight, in fact, often feel underweight. If you look at photos when I was a child and teen, I was skinny, skinny, skinny. In college I was accused of being anorexic. I have never had any issues with or around food or food consumption. I strongly suspect genetics plus environment with a dash of luck in my situation.

Family

Both my parents and multiple (most?) extended family range from husky to downright obese. My parents are overweight (my mother may be obese at this point). However, my grandfathers and one grandmother were thin, and the one great grandmother I met was also very thin. My sister is more muscular than I am but not husky, so I would consider her on the healthy side of thin. I am extremely slender at ~ 115-118 lb and 5'6" - it's the very bottom of the "healthy" range on charts, and I often feel like I would look and feel better if I gained 5 or 10 lbs. Sometimes I wonder if there is something wrong with my thyroid, but I've never been tested (I sort of avoid doctors).

Diet

I am vegetarian and have been so for ~ 15 years (but was the same body type/weight prior). (My sister is vegan and has been for more than 25 years.) I *love* vegetables, and they probably make up the bulk of my diet. This results in me consuming fewer than ideal calories sometimes because they are filling, generally. I don't limit carbs in any way (although I am considering looking at refined white flour as sometimes I feel terrible and tired after eating a lot of bread/pasta). I don't limit sugar, in fact I won't eat/drink sugar free or fat free stuff because I don't like the way it tastes. When I was younger (high school, college), I drank a LOT of regular soda. Now I drink it only occasionally but I drink a LOT of coffee - with cream and sugar. My sugar intake is probably lower now than when I was younger. I have occasionally tried tracking calories to make sure I am getting enough, which is a little tricky as I, like many people are reporting, only rarely eat processed foods. When I do track, it is pretty obvious I often need to increase calories, which I usually try to do with oils, avocado, cheese, sometimes more carbs, but it can be really hard to hit 2000 calories sometimes. When tracking I often hit around 1500-1700 naturally, and then have to work by adding things to make up the rest. I make a lot of my own food, including bread usually, yogurt (plain), granola, vegetable stock, seitan, sometimes pasta, sometimes ice cream or gelato. I feel like I have a high metabolism, and a small stomach, as I feel full pretty quickly. I do graze, because if I waited for "meal times", I would be starving. The one exception is that I can't/don't usually eat breakfast until 10am or later (except for coffee in the morning) because I am simply not hungry and if I eat earlier I have to really force it. So I probably go 10-12 hours overnight not eating. However, during my daytime hours I do eat regular meals, plus snacks in between, and sometimes dessert or nighttime snack before bed. Also, if I don't eat something every 2-3 hours, sometimes I will feel jittery or shaky. I should probably get that checked out. I don't have a lot of self control when it comes to a few specific things, like kettle cooked potato chips (mmmmmm), so I usually just don't buy them. When they are in the house I can eat a bag in 1 - 2 days, and this wreaks havoc with my digestive system, and also sometimes my skin (which is generally, typically, quite good with no special effort). I do have a sweet tooth, and if sweets are offered I will definitely take advantage. I really enjoy cooking and I like trying new things. I like food from a large range of cuisines and will sometimes settle on one for a while before moving on. Like I said, I am vegetarian, for dinner I eat fish about once a week, a bean-centered thing about once a week, sometimes lentils, tofu about once a week, sometimes seitan. I eat eggs and cheese (not as much dairy as I used to, except homemade yogurt and half and half or cream in coffee, occasionally homemade ice cream). I do not eat peanuts or tree nuts as I am allergic. I do drink occasional alcohol, (maybe 2-4 servings per month on average?) everything from mixed drinks to wine and hard cider and sake. I don't drink beer (don't like the taste).

Note: When I was growing up we also ate *mostly* non-processed foods. My father cooked dinners every night consisting of mostly whole foods (with the occasional boxed scalloped potatoes or shake and bake seasoning). We always had a protein (meat), starch (rice, pasta, potatoes, bread), and vegetable (cooked or a salad). Examples: pork chops with canned pineapple and rice. Italian beef and noodles (ground beef, egg noodles, tomato sauce) and green salad (lettuce, cucumber, tomato, carrot, dressing). London broil with baked potato and cooked broccoli. Shake and bake chicken with mashed potato and cooked carrots. Pasta with meat sauce and garlic bread and salad. You get the picture.) My parents were *not* health food nuts. As kids we usually drank milk with dinner, and often other times (cereal with milk for breakfast on weekdays). Nearly my entire grade school career I took bagged lunches that consisted of a tuna sandwich (because I disliked lunch meat), a fruit (apple or orange), a veg (carrot sticks or celery), and 2 small chocolate chip cookies. My parents would cook breakfast for us on weekends too, eggs, or pancakes, or waffles. My parents had a relatively small rotation of meals they went through (maybe a dozen?) but we rarely ate fast food or out at restaurants. We were not denied things like candy, but we had to buy it ourselves if we wanted it. This likely informed my habits later. When I was in college, I ate in the dorms for 2 years, then I lived off campus for 2 years. I ate a lot of pasta with vegetables, tuna sandwiches, cheap cuts of meat. I occasionally cooked things I had eaten at home. (As an adult I cook a huge variety of types of food, so many more than when I was young. Still, being able to cook decently healthy meals to start was likely helpful.) I did drink a lot of soda in high school and college, like I said. I also ate a lot of chips. We almost always had dessert (ice cream usually). For my own life and eating, I believe everything in moderation (so, nothing in particular is "bad"). I eat butter. I eat full fat dairy. I eat salt (but mostly what I add, because, again, not a lot of processed stuff). One thing I do notice - many people in my extended family say they *crave* bread, and eat a ton of it. I don't have this craving, though I enjoy good bread as much as the next person, and I usually bake my own.

Activity Level

I did dance as a child, 3x a week, and in high school I also did student theater 1/2 school year (including usually being cast as a dancer), but no "sports". Keep in mind this was at a time when computers and smart phones were not so ubiquitous. I'm Gen X - I grew up with computers, but internet was slow and games were not addictive as they are now. I spent a lot of time outside as a kid. I read a lot (introvert), but also we would wander in the woods behind out house. We didn't do a lot of hiking as a family (that came later).

I was a competitive ballroom dancer in college, which meant practice for 2 hours 3x a week - all of that was not dancing though. We also sometimes went to social dances. We competed maybe 8-10 weekends a year - this was a LOT of dancing, but in short spurts. I didn't do sports other than this.

After college I had a lot of jobs that included heavy field work (carrying heavy backpacks, walking miles and miles, physical stuff). I also started doing swing, and at the height I did classes maybe 1-2 times a week, plus social dancing 2-3 times a week. This is also not constant, but I am sure a *lot* more activity than you "average" person.

I've had a 99% sedentary desk job for the past 11 years now. I have recently tapered off dancing to nearly nothing. However, I now have a garden that is a lot of work, and a yard with grass that has to be cut and weeds that have to be pulled. I sometimes joke that I don't understand why people go to the gym, since yard work is really a workout, lol. I also like to hike, but the frequency and amount is rather sporadic. I have a dog (2 years now) that I take for walks usually 2x per day, usually about 30 minutes each time; we only go local now, it's flat, but occasionally fast (she is old but still likes to run a bit; I can't hike with her now as she is too arthritic at this point). Sometimes we skip cold nights.

I *feel* very unfit (like, skinny fat), especially after these many years of the desk job and tapering dance off to almost nothing. I am considering starting pilates maybe for strength and flexability, which I used to have but don't anymore, as I get older. My diet and exercise level have NEVER changed how much I weigh - I might fluctuate a few pounds here and there, but I can't gain weight to save my life. It has only affected how I feel my FITNESS level to be. Even now, I don't *feel* like my activity level is very high, yet clearly it is higher than the majority of people. Oh, also, I pace a lot even when at home, I have a lot of nervous energy. Though minor I'm sure those burned calories add up.

(Also, ancillary data - my sister, the vegan, has a physically demanding job, she is a vet tech and regularly has to lift 50lb dogs. She also takes her dogs on walks and hikes and kayaking on weekends. I'm sure she would say she doesn't exercise (because she doesn't run or bike or go to a gym), yet she does a lot of physical things. So her lifestyle is a lot different than mine, but she (as far as I know) doesn't really regulate her diet aside from being vegan, and I know she doesn't really have a sweet tooth the way I do.)

I'm sure there are things that I've missed, but that's about it.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: mm1970 on October 18, 2018, 05:04:34 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.

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.

National Weight Control Registry.  I used to be a member.  Ironically (or not), they kicked me off.  Apparently I didn't lose the 2nd baby weight fast enough.  One year or you're out!
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: catccc on October 18, 2018, 06:40:57 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.

Yes.  This.  I responded earlier telling everyone about how I do things, but the fact is I was born in to easy mode.  (On this one.  As a female POC there are other challenges.)  But I guess weight wise I was born privileged.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: CindyBS on October 18, 2018, 08:12:59 PM
Just curious, how many never overweight folks have ever had a conversation with a medical professional about obesity?
 
To me the idea that a never overweight person who is not medical professional or obesity specialist can give advice on this issue is as absurd as a person who has never had cancer can tell all the folks out there battling cancer what to do. 

Then instead of being supportive, throw in some comments about how it can't be genetics (citation from a peer reviewed journal article on that or just uneducated guess?), it is all your behavior, etc. with no formal training or personal experience in the subject.  All unsolicited advice of course, with a dab of righteousness thrown in.

Pick any other medical condition - cancer, diabetes, parkinson's disease and insert them in some of these posts instead of "overweight" or "obese" and it would be laughable.

Great point.  There's always going to be some people around who think being thin makes them superior to overweight people and want to tell them how simple it is, or how overweight people are somehow morally inferior, or whatever other offensive crap makes them feel good about themselves.

But that doesn't seem to be the OP's angle, which seems to stem more from naivete or some false assumptions.  And it looks like most of us who commented agree that describing/modeling our lifestyles is at best unhelpful, and at worst condescending, to the vast majority of overweight people because most of us 'got lucky' in terms of physiology, psychology, or whatever.

The reason I commented on this thread, despite my dislike of the original premise, was b/c I thought it might be helpful to the OP to rethink his assumptions about why people are or are not overweight.

I am (was, because I’m FIRE’d) actually a medical professional with extensive experience with obese patients.
It is actually very difficult to get people, who happen to be normal weight without effort, to tell what their behaviors are. That’s understandable because they simply do not have the focus on these issues. If you ask them how they keep their weight stable, they typically say things like “I’m just not putting on weight”, “I’m different and cannot possibly be helpful”, “I don’t exercise at all” (typically coming from a woman who just pushed the wheelchair of her obese husband all the way into the clinic). There are some examples in this thread. I’m pretty sure no never overweight people will respond in this thread anymore because they’ve been outed as just being lucky and anything they say would be considered condescending if not accompanied by an apology. So why bother.

The fact remains that as of today about 70% of Americans are overweight/obese and at least 30% have fatty liver detectable by noninvasive means (no biopsy, with biopsy, the rate might be substantially higher). But that leaves 30% normal weight individuals exposed to the same environment unaffected. Preemptively dismissing this still relatively large population as genetically gifted or weird is not really helpful in getting to the bottom of things. First of all, genetics do not explain anything unless there is an associated mechanism.

We know that the normal weight do not glow in the dark or are warmer to the touch than the overweight. There is, however, one small study showing that normal weight self identified couch potatoes move around more than 150 minutes per day more than overweight self identified couch potatoes even after those lost weight. It appears to be genetic and therefore cannot be called a habit. The subjects were not aware of this at all and one could not have found out by interviewing the subjects. Here you have an instance of a genetically determined different response to identical environmental conditions (opportunity of remaining immobile) which can only be overcome by by the genetically disadvantaged by habit formation or change of environment.

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/307/5709/584.full.pdf

(Article is free after registration)

Studying the never overweight is severely neglected for the simple reason that they do not show up in the settimgs where obesity research is carried out - why would they? Right. However, this does not mean that there is nothing to be learned from them. After all, there is not other population to study from which one can learn about different responses to a hostile obesogenic environment and how to preserve non-consciously isocaloric food intake in that environment.

I have to go to the organic food coop meeting to pick up our monthly share and will continue later.

I agree with and appreciate your post.  I agree there is a role for learning from those who have never been overweight in a research setting conducted by a physician or scientist.  In the same way that cancer researchers can benefit from studying people who never get cancer.  Continuing the cancer analogy, as a physician, I think you would agree that there is not an oncologist out there who would suggest to patients that they take advice on how to treat cancer from a random person who has never had it on an internet board - especially people they have never met IRL. 

My son has cancer and I can't tell you how many people who think they knew what they were talking about offered their advice.  My favorite is when people thought that eating dark leafy greens and fresh vegetables were the way to go (because they eat a lot of veggies and haven't gotten cancer yet!!), despite the fact they can be deadly to a severely neutropenic patient - basically a person who has had a portion of their white cells killed by treatment and are extremely susceptible to infection.

Obese/overweight people should be getting advice from medical professionals, dieticians, etc.   There is way too much unsubstantiated information flying around the general population. 
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: CindyBS on October 18, 2018, 08:21:49 PM

To me the idea that a never overweight person who is not medical professional or obesity specialist can give advice on this issue is as absurd as a person who has never had cancer can tell all the folks out there battling cancer what to do. 

This is forum geared towards knowledge sharing, optimization, and DIY. The idea that only specialists can give advice is one of the weirdest things I've seen here in awhile. But yes, unsolicited advice is rarely welcome.

But this is not an issue like how to maximize credit card rewards, the best way to pay off a debt, or how to drywall.  This is a medical issue that can lead to serious medical complications like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.  Medical issues should be treated by doctors, not random lay people who most likely have zero training in the subject and have never met the person IRL.

Imagine a thread where everyone who doesn't have type 1 diabetes tells people the routine they follow so that all the type 1 diabetics can learn from them on how to treat their condition.  Unsolicited, of course.   That would be considered odd and most likely insulting to the person with type 1 diabetes.  The advice given could make the diabetes worse, or even be deadly. 
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Aunt Petunia on October 18, 2018, 08:50:57 PM
I find this topic interesting and would like to continue to hear other people's stories. I did not find the OP offensive at all. Maybe the discussion about whether or not we should talk about it belongs in a different thread.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: charis on October 18, 2018, 09:56:20 PM
No one is telling anyone to do anything. The OP ask for the habits of never over weight people. Presumably to glean some insight into how their habits might be different from obsese/overweight people. It's an interesting question and not remotely equivalent to telling people how to avoid cancer.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: expatartist on October 18, 2018, 11:12:39 PM
This BBC series had some potential insights (popularized scientific studies included) as to why people gain weight http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/humanbody/truthaboutfood/slim/

Scenarios included a pair of friends who believe they eat identically but one is shown to consume significantly more calories. Another demonstrating how important fluids are to the stomach triggering the brain that it's full (advised to consume broth or water during the meal). IIRC scientific studies as the basis for these. It was reasonably well done.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: FLBiker on October 19, 2018, 07:27:47 AM
I have to assume it's largely genetic.  I'm 6'1", and weigh 185.  I used to be very unhealthy in terms of lifestyle (6-12 drinks per day, most days of the week, lots of fried / meaty food, very little exercise).  I might have weighed 5 or 10 pounds more.  Now I'm vegetarian, haven't had a drink in 12 years, exercise several times a week.  I've commented to my wife how my body just seems to be what it is -- diet and exercise make subtle differences in how I look.  It's good, I suppose, in the sense that I never really think about my weight.  Along the same lines, though, I've never had a six-pack, and I feel like I'd have to work harder than some to get it.  Fortunately, I don't care. :)

Once, when I first got sober, I was down to like 155 pounds.  I was vegan, very depressed, skipping meals, not sleeping.  (Just to be clear, the depressed / skipping meals / not sleeping was not connected with being vegan.)  I looked terrible -- when I see pics from that time, I look haunted.

Other than that, I've pretty much always looked the same.  That being said, I certainly FEEL differently when I eat well and exercise.  Eating well and exercising helps both my mood and my general feeling of health.  When I reflect on how I used to live, it feels like another person.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: wenchsenior on October 19, 2018, 08:56:18 AM
I'd be really curious to now hear from overweight people who might have read this thread.  There have been a decent number of responses so far.  Does anything in the reports from NOW people surprise you?  Is anything about this thread really helpful to you?  I've been assuming all along it would not be helpful, and might be actively offensive, but maybe I'm wrong.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: MrSal on October 19, 2018, 09:00:49 AM
Just curious, how many never overweight folks have ever had a conversation with a medical professional about obesity?
 
To me the idea that a never overweight person who is not medical professional or obesity specialist can give advice on this issue is as absurd as a person who has never had cancer can tell all the folks out there battling cancer what to do. 

Then instead of being supportive, throw in some comments about how it can't be genetics (citation from a peer reviewed journal article on that or just uneducated guess?), it is all your behavior, etc. with no formal training or personal experience in the subject.  All unsolicited advice of course, with a dab of righteousness thrown in.

Pick any other medical condition - cancer, diabetes, parkinson's disease and insert them in some of these posts instead of "overweight" or "obese" and it would be laughable.

Well, if you are into physical activity, you know a thing or two about how your body works.

I see a lot of people either thin or fat saying "oh its genetics" "Oh I can't gain weight because of genetics... my metabolism is too fast" or "I cant lose weight because of genetics my metabolism is too slow"

While genetics have a role on your metabolism, 99+% of cases it doesn't have much of a role... at least to the extent of what most people atributte it to. The difference in genetics for your basal metabolism might be a difference of 5% or so in your BMR.

While my BMR might be 1700 calories, someone with "better" genetics might have it in 1800 calories... considering everything else is equal. Thats probably a difference of 1 french fry.

I would say most of problems regarding obesity is due to mental/habit behaviour and bad dieting. It goes for the same if you have a hard time gaining weight.

Many times I have heard "I eat a lot ... I can't gain weight no matter what" ... and in most cases, this person that eats a lot, calory wise they probably aren't eating that much on a CONSISTENT basis. Especially if this person has a clean diet for the most part - rice, potatoes, fish, meat, etc... it's surprisingly hard to eat a lot of calories if you eat rather "clean".

Example ... 2 lbs of chicken breast only has around 700 calories total (mostly protein which means that also adds a thermogenic effect in decomposing those aminoacid chains).

1 lb of cooked rice is about 500 calories. The same for pasta. Potatoes about 390 calories per lb ...

Vegetables .. pretty much zero calories since they barely have calories in a practical sense and most of calories come from fiber which aren't absorbed for most part.

Now, if you have a normal american diet, with some processed foods, chips, pizza, burguers etc... bacon... soda... Go to any highschool and you see what most people eat. Any outdoor event and/or concerts and you see what most people eat - while i am not saying those foods are your daily standard you can tell a lot from them. But from my now 3 years of living in the US, I see a very strong contrast to what I was used back at my home country.

Sodas alone and or beverages are very easy to gain weight with... heck! I gained a lot of weight myself just by drinking Tropicana Orange Juice - it added a lot of calories to my intake since I was drinking it like I was drinking water.

All this to say, that in majority of cases, it is all about the type of diet and/or size portion that you are consuming on a consistent basis. If it's higher than your level activity consistently then yes you will become overweight ... it's not a matter of genetics. It's a matter of calories and lack of activity. You might even be active but if you are intaking more calories of course it;s a moot point. You can't outrun a bad diet.

Most men should be consuming around 2000 calories or so if you have a sedentary life. I would bet that a lot of overweight people are certainly intaking more than these calories.

I myself have a "tendency" to gain weight. My brother on the other hand is the opposite. Biggest differences in us is... I have a sweet tooth... my brother does not. He is super active, I am not. I do go to the gym and lift weights but not enough to allow to erase my "sweet tooth" adventures.

I have been in both sides of spectrum. I have had a six pack, but also was a bit overweight (for european standards my weight is considered overweight already) at 209 as my max at 20% BF, I'm 6'0. Heck, in my infancy I was always a bit chubby kid, only on my teens when I got interested in sports and sports literature and physical activity I changed. Currently I am 175 lbs and lost these 35 lbs in about 3-4 months because I acknowledged that my intake was off track.

I perfectly understand the spiral effect of sugary/fatty foods ... how one leads to another and then another. Sugar is like a drug. And when I saw I have a sweet tooth I am not kidding. I can eat a condensed milk can in 1 sitting :D ask me how I know. Or a package of butter cookies just like that - cookies are my kryptonite.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: use2betrix on October 19, 2018, 09:03:13 AM

To me the idea that a never overweight person who is not medical professional or obesity specialist can give advice on this issue is as absurd as a person who has never had cancer can tell all the folks out there battling cancer what to do. 

This is forum geared towards knowledge sharing, optimization, and DIY. The idea that only specialists can give advice is one of the weirdest things I've seen here in awhile. But yes, unsolicited advice is rarely welcome.

But this is not an issue like how to maximize credit card rewards, the best way to pay off a debt, or how to drywall.  This is a medical issue that can lead to serious medical complications like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.  Medical issues should be treated by doctors, not random lay people who most likely have zero training in the subject and have never met the person IRL.

Imagine a thread where everyone who doesn't have type 1 diabetes tells people the routine they follow so that all the type 1 diabetics can learn from them on how to treat their condition.  Unsolicited, of course.   That would be considered odd and most likely insulting to the person with type 1 diabetes.  The advice given could make the diabetes worse, or even be deadly.

It’s a “medical issue,” in very, very different ways for people who are obese. Some people it is 100% psychological issues, others it is actual physical issues which cause their obesity.

The problem with posts like yours, is that you relate it so much to a disease that obese people use the “disease” topic to enable them to escape responsibility from it. Basically what you are doing with your post.

I know countless people, myself included, who could EASILY become obese. I LOVE ice cream and pizza. I could easily put down 1000 calories of pizza and 1000 calories of ice cream for dinner, every single night. I could quit weight lifting 3 days a week and running 10-12 miles a week. Instead of struggling through intermittent fasting, I could eat a massive breakfast and lunch every day. I eat around 2000-3000 calories a day, I could easily eat 4000-5000. I’d love the shit out of doing it to, because I wouldn’t need self control.

Instead, I make sacrifices and use my willpower to exercise self control. If I didn’t, and just let myself go, it would be a self control and (to me) a laziness reason for my obesity.

Then we have posts like yours, basically these blanket statements that every obese person has some grave medical condition causing it. Heaven forbid the fix for some (or even most) is simply “eat less shit and exercise more.” I am in insanely good shape. I literally have strangers in public approach me about weightlifting and diets. Happened walking into a restaurant just last week, some stranger stopped me. I’m muscular, super low body fat, abs, veins on veins, and I work my ass off for it.

It’s honestly a bit pathetic and rather insulting to make it sound like every non-obese person just has it “so easily” like it’s not some struggle. Talk about taking away from peoples effort. It’s funny because that’s how a lot of obese people do think (I’ve heard it first hand) the “oh thin people have it so easy” comments, as you sit and watch them gobble down on fast food every day in the break room at lunch.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: MrSal on October 19, 2018, 09:29:16 AM
I understand the limitations of self-reporting. That said, here's my self-report:

When I was 21 I weighed 125lbs (5'6"). My diet wasn't great, but neither was it awful. No soda, but often sweet tea. I ate college cafe food, which was often chicken wings, pizza, burgers, etc. It was pretty typical that I'd forget to eat for a while, and would only realize it was time to feed myself when I got irritable and started trembling.

Around age 22 I switched to a strictly vegan diet which was heavy in whole foods - lots of beans, rice, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables. I still forget to eat pretty often until I feel the physical effects of it, but I believe the overall bulk of food I eat increased. Over the following ~12 months I lost around 10lbs, and have remained this weight (~116, give or take 2lbs) for the last 8 years.

You lost weight mostly because even though you were eating more in terms of volume - those foods weren't as dense calory wise!

Beans, rice, pasta, etc... while they have calories, they don't compare to burguers and such things. again 2lbs of potatoes is 700 calories. A burger at McDonalds, like a Big Mac has 800 calories. If you account the normal standard big mac menu with some coke and french fries, then make it 1600 calories for the meal.


To me the idea that a never overweight person who is not medical professional or obesity specialist can give advice on this issue is as absurd as a person who has never had cancer can tell all the folks out there battling cancer what to do. 

This is forum geared towards knowledge sharing, optimization, and DIY. The idea that only specialists can give advice is one of the weirdest things I've seen here in awhile. But yes, unsolicited advice is rarely welcome.

But this is not an issue like how to maximize credit card rewards, the best way to pay off a debt, or how to drywall.  This is a medical issue that can lead to serious medical complications like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.  Medical issues should be treated by doctors, not random lay people who most likely have zero training in the subject and have never met the person IRL.

Imagine a thread where everyone who doesn't have type 1 diabetes tells people the routine they follow so that all the type 1 diabetics can learn from them on how to treat their condition.  Unsolicited, of course.   That would be considered odd and most likely insulting to the person with type 1 diabetes.  The advice given could make the diabetes worse, or even be deadly.
It’s honestly a bit pathetic and rather insulting to make it sound like every non-obese person just has it “so easily” like it’s not some struggle. Talk about taking away from peoples effort. It’s funny because that’s how a lot of obese people do think (I’ve heard it first hand) the “oh thin people have it so easy” comments, as you sit and watch them gobble down on fast food every day in the break room at lunch.

This last bit of your quote... is exactly the difference for example between my brother and I. While we do have different body types ( he is very lean, long arms, the typical "good genetics, can't gain weight", while I am more bulky, wider frame, wider waist) I do know that his phyisical form - lean, veins, six pack abs... comes from his activity. I wouldn't say that he sacrifices and works his butt off, because it's what he enjoys - he lifts weights, but also likes to practice boxing, and also plays soccer in a amateur league 2x week - that is a lot of activity.

Myself? Probably hit the gym for 3x lifting weights and thats it.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Sailor Sam on October 19, 2018, 09:32:35 AM
I'd be really curious to now hear from overweight people who might have read this thread.  There have been a decent number of responses so far.

I'm fat. I've been fatter, and I've been thinner, but right now I'm exactly the weight I even out to when just cruising along.

Does anything in the reports from NOW people surprise you?
Nope. NOW people tend to, but don't all and don't always eat low on the scale of processed food types. NOW people have a higher level of non-activity exercise thermogenesis than I do, the little fidgeters. NOW people have better non-conscious food regulation than I do. Or perhaps their internal sense of enough food is tuned towards trim, and mine is tuned towards overweight. I do tend to remain a steady weight unless actively intervening. That weight just happens to be overweight on the charts. 

Is anything about this thread really helpful to you?
Also nope. As some have pointed out, it's not like fat people are magically unaware they're fat. Or that they don't simply want to be thin. This thread is the equivalent of a smug MMM-ite telling a debtor that the way to sweet freedom is to simply cease desiring things. "I buy everything that I want, man. It's just that I don't want much," vs "I eat exactly what I want, man. It's just that I don't eat when I'm not hungry." Unequivocally true, and about as useful as a wet fart.

I've been assuming all along it would not be helpful, and might be actively offensive, but maybe I'm wrong.
Eh, I mean, I'm pretty used to society telling me I'm worthless and a waste of human space. Short, fat, female, (almost) forty. I've got some intersectionality goin' ON brah! This thread is occasionally eye-rolling, but hasn't breasted the rage levee yet. Just keep it out of the weight loss support threads. I know it's hard. I myself enjoy a good self-congratulatory MMM circle jerk, but do keep my pants zipped when in other spaces.

edit: fix quotes
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: brute on October 19, 2018, 09:45:21 AM
I thought about typing out an in depth reply, but I don't feel like being shit on. Keep weight off is hard once you've had it on. Even for a competitive strength athlete, it sucks. I can pull a fire truck, lift a 400 pound stone onto a 55 inch platform, lift 800 pounds from the ground on zero sleep and a bad hangover. But after a shitty day, I want comfort food, and I want it in a way that ruins my night if I don't get it. Don't tell me I have a self-discipline problem. If that was all there is to it, I wouldn't be a national class strongman. Food is different, and we need to look at the physical and psychological causes of food addictions if we want to make any real progress.

Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 on October 19, 2018, 11:04:35 AM

To me the idea that a never overweight person who is not medical professional or obesity specialist can give advice on this issue is as absurd as a person who has never had cancer can tell all the folks out there battling cancer what to do. 

This is forum geared towards knowledge sharing, optimization, and DIY. The idea that only specialists can give advice is one of the weirdest things I've seen here in awhile. But yes, unsolicited advice is rarely welcome.

But this is not an issue like how to maximize credit card rewards, the best way to pay off a debt, or how to drywall.  This is a medical issue that can lead to serious medical complications like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.  Medical issues should be treated by doctors, not random lay people who most likely have zero training in the subject and have never met the person IRL.

Imagine a thread where everyone who doesn't have type 1 diabetes tells people the routine they follow so that all the type 1 diabetics can learn from them on how to treat their condition.  Unsolicited, of course.   That would be considered odd and most likely insulting to the person with type 1 diabetes.  The advice given could make the diabetes worse, or even be deadly.

It’s a “medical issue,” in very, very different ways for people who are obese. Some people it is 100% psychological issues, others it is actual physical issues which cause their obesity.

The problem with posts like yours, is that you relate it so much to a disease that obese people use the “disease” topic to enable them to escape responsibility from it. Basically what you are doing with your post.

I know countless people, myself included, who could EASILY become obese. I LOVE ice cream and pizza. I could easily put down 1000 calories of pizza and 1000 calories of ice cream for dinner, every single night. I could quit weight lifting 3 days a week and running 10-12 miles a week. Instead of struggling through intermittent fasting, I could eat a massive breakfast and lunch every day. I eat around 2000-3000 calories a day, I could easily eat 4000-5000. I’d love the shit out of doing it to, because I wouldn’t need self control.

Instead, I make sacrifices and use my willpower to exercise self control. If I didn’t, and just let myself go, it would be a self control and (to me) a laziness reason for my obesity.

Then we have posts like yours, basically these blanket statements that every obese person has some grave medical condition causing it. Heaven forbid the fix for some (or even most) is simply “eat less shit and exercise more.” I am in insanely good shape. I literally have strangers in public approach me about weightlifting and diets. Happened walking into a restaurant just last week, some stranger stopped me. I’m muscular, super low body fat, abs, veins on veins, and I work my ass off for it.

It’s honestly a bit pathetic and rather insulting to make it sound like every non-obese person just has it “so easily” like it’s not some struggle. Talk about taking away from peoples effort. It’s funny because that’s how a lot of obese people do think (I’ve heard it first hand) the “oh thin people have it so easy” comments, as you sit and watch them gobble down on fast food every day in the break room at lunch.

Well, that many never overweight people have it easy is not entirely wrong. We got quite a few examples of people who remain normal weight without counting calories or following any particular diet strategy and not eating much processed food (typically without making a big deal out of something that is a really big deal for a large part of the population), not being physically active (or not being aware of how active they really are). Then there is the study of normal weight self identified couch potatoes who moved a whopping 2.5 hours more per day (without being aware of it), than the obese self identified couch potatoes.

All this points toward a population which does seem to “have it easy” compared to the enormous efforts overweight dieters expend on weight loss strategies with abysmally low long term chances of success.

There are people among the never overweight who preserved their internal food intake regulation (hence they are “having it easy”) in an environment that that is clearly obesogenic for the majority.
The US is the ideal place to look for these somewhat immune people because cultural constraints on feeding behavior have been removed (Breakfast food all day long, adults eating candy, ice cream and cookies all day and all night, extremely large beverage containers and restaurant portions and so on).

One more word about genetics. We are talking about an aspect of  phenotype (body weight) which results from genetic and epigenetic factors in interaction with the environment. This interaction is likely behavioral (behavioral in the broad sense: cognitive, volitional, non-volitional, response to emotion) in nature in this context.
Looking for behaviors, in particular non-volitional behaviors, in people maintaining stable body weight with little apparent effort, might provide information regarding recommendable behaviors which could be introduced via habit formation in the genetically or culturally not so lucky population, with the ultimate goal of preservation or even restoration of internal food intake regulation.









Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: mm1970 on October 19, 2018, 11:17:26 AM
Quote
Eh, I mean, I'm pretty used to society telling me I'm worthless and a waste of human space. Short, fat, female, (almost) forty. I've got some intersectionality goin' ON brah! This thread is occasionally eye-rolling, but hasn't breasted the rage levee yet. Just keep it out of the weight loss support threads. I know it's hard. I myself enjoy a good self-congratulatory MMM circle jerk, but do keep my pants zipped when in other spaces.

Wait till you are  almost 50 and then practically invisible! With gray hair, wrinkles, and pimples - whee!

The psychological difference between NOW, FOW and fat people fascinates me.

I used to be fat.  Technically obese, BMI over 30.  I mean, it was what it was.  I exercised regularly.  Ate healthy food (just too much of it, and I didn't quite realize it at the time).  I was eating like my 6' tall husband - who is naturally slender.  And I am not.

I lost 57 lbs and what happened is what you see a lot.  I became like a cheerleader, almost evangelical.  I've seen it in others in the last 15 years too.  I mean, I went from "I'm just fat and I can't do anything about it" to "you can DO IT.  If I can do it ANYBODY can do it!" 

Of course I'm older and wiser now.  I was able to do it in my early 30s while being incredibly active.  And I had no kids.  My friends who were losing weight at the same time were all 50-70 years old.  So it didn't work as well for them.  Even the active ones, much slower process.

So sometimes I feel like a lot of "NOW" people - they just have never been through it, so they don't understand.  For some of them, it's just easy.  They aren't able to step out of their own experience.  Many of my in-laws were trim and fit until age X (30, 40, 60).  And until age X, they could just "exercise more" and lose weight.  Well, we've all heard that you can't exercise your way out of a bad diet.  I think that for many who gain weight, the age at which it hits is different.  For my FIL?  60.  For me?  24.  After that age I basically had no wiggle room to keep a healthy weight.  The Navy switched to a height/weight chart at some point in here and it was always a struggle for me to diet down to the max weight.

Quote
I see a lot of people either thin or fat saying "oh its genetics" "Oh I can't gain weight because of genetics... my metabolism is too fast" or "I cant lose weight because of genetics my metabolism is too slow"

I think that the area of science is still pretty young, and you cannot discount genetics.  Whether it be running, or lifting or weight loss.  There's CLEARLY a genetic component when you have 2 people who do the same work and have different outcomes.  It takes a LOT longer for some people to get faster, or get thinner.  Plus, as I said many times before - simply by having been overweight, you have changed your body and how it reacts to some foods.  Permanently.  Until you've been there, you probably won't understand.

And then things change too - what worked when I was 31 did not work when I was 37 and trying to lose baby weight #1.  That didn't work when I was trying to lose a few pounds at 41, and that didn't work when I was trying to lose the "I had a baby at 42" weight when I was 44.  I have a small pile of pants and leggings in the closet that are falling off me right now.  Why?  Because menopause is coming, and I've seen what it does.  What has changed over these years?  Mostly I've gotten older.  My activity level hasn't changed much at all (I work out regularly). 

I think that it's people who have SEEN their own bodies change over time who are more likely to be sympathetic to others who are overweight.  Because sometimes: you do everything right and you are still overweight.  Honestly, if you are sleeping, getting regular exercise, and eating a healthy diet of about 2000 cals a day (give or take a couple of hundred) - then what else can you do?  But in this society, it's INCREDIBLY hard to accept yourself for who you are, because we tell people they aren't good enough.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  When I'm out and about running along the beach, and I see overweight people (because most people are), I smile and say hi and think "another exercise junkie!"  Because they are out there walking, biking, jogging, playing vball. 

When I lost 57 lbs I put a ton of work into it.  My husband just stopped eating seconds and lost 20 pounds.  That's genetics.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: okits on October 19, 2018, 11:50:31 AM
I'd be really curious to now hear from overweight people who might have read this thread.  There have been a decent number of responses so far.  Does anything in the reports from NOW people surprise you?  Is anything about this thread really helpful to you?  I've been assuming all along it would not be helpful, and might be actively offensive, but maybe I'm wrong.

@wenchsenior - I was surprised at the number of NOW people who didn't say or insinuate that being overweight is simply the result of moral inferiority and lack of discipline.  I am used to the assumption that I am dumb and lazy.  Actively offensive, but also the status quo.

As far as any surprises in the habits reported by NOW people?  None.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: MrSal on October 19, 2018, 12:05:27 PM
Quote
Eh, I mean, I'm pretty used to society telling me I'm worthless and a waste of human space. Short, fat, female, (almost) forty. I've got some intersectionality goin' ON brah! This thread is occasionally eye-rolling, but hasn't breasted the rage levee yet. Just keep it out of the weight loss support threads. I know it's hard. I myself enjoy a good self-congratulatory MMM circle jerk, but do keep my pants zipped when in other spaces.

Wait till you are  almost 50 and then practically invisible! With gray hair, wrinkles, and pimples - whee!

The psychological difference between NOW, FOW and fat people fascinates me.

I used to be fat.  Technically obese, BMI over 30.  I mean, it was what it was.  I exercised regularly.  Ate healthy food (just too much of it, and I didn't quite realize it at the time).  I was eating like my 6' tall husband - who is naturally slender.  And I am not.

I lost 57 lbs and what happened is what you see a lot.  I became like a cheerleader, almost evangelical.  I've seen it in others in the last 15 years too.  I mean, I went from "I'm just fat and I can't do anything about it" to "you can DO IT.  If I can do it ANYBODY can do it!" 

Of course I'm older and wiser now.  I was able to do it in my early 30s while being incredibly active.  And I had no kids.  My friends who were losing weight at the same time were all 50-70 years old.  So it didn't work as well for them.  Even the active ones, much slower process.

So sometimes I feel like a lot of "NOW" people - they just have never been through it, so they don't understand.  For some of them, it's just easy.  They aren't able to step out of their own experience.  Many of my in-laws were trim and fit until age X (30, 40, 60).  And until age X, they could just "exercise more" and lose weight.  Well, we've all heard that you can't exercise your way out of a bad diet.  I think that for many who gain weight, the age at which it hits is different.  For my FIL?  60.  For me?  24.  After that age I basically had no wiggle room to keep a healthy weight.  The Navy switched to a height/weight chart at some point in here and it was always a struggle for me to diet down to the max weight.

Quote
I see a lot of people either thin or fat saying "oh its genetics" "Oh I can't gain weight because of genetics... my metabolism is too fast" or "I cant lose weight because of genetics my metabolism is too slow"

I think that the area of science is still pretty young, and you cannot discount genetics.  Whether it be running, or lifting or weight loss.  There's CLEARLY a genetic component when you have 2 people who do the same work and have different outcomes.  It takes a LOT longer for some people to get faster, or get thinner.  Plus, as I said many times before - simply by having been overweight, you have changed your body and how it reacts to some foods.  Permanently.  Until you've been there, you probably won't understand.

And then things change too - what worked when I was 31 did not work when I was 37 and trying to lose baby weight #1.  That didn't work when I was trying to lose a few pounds at 41, and that didn't work when I was trying to lose the "I had a baby at 42" weight when I was 44.  I have a small pile of pants and leggings in the closet that are falling off me right now.  Why?  Because menopause is coming, and I've seen what it does.  What has changed over these years?  Mostly I've gotten older.  My activity level hasn't changed much at all (I work out regularly). 

I think that it's people who have SEEN their own bodies change over time who are more likely to be sympathetic to others who are overweight.  Because sometimes: you do everything right and you are still overweight.  Honestly, if you are sleeping, getting regular exercise, and eating a healthy diet of about 2000 cals a day (give or take a couple of hundred) - then what else can you do?  But in this society, it's INCREDIBLY hard to accept yourself for who you are, because we tell people they aren't good enough.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  When I'm out and about running along the beach, and I see overweight people (because most people are), I smile and say hi and think "another exercise junkie!"  Because they are out there walking, biking, jogging, playing vball. 

When I lost 57 lbs I put a ton of work into it.  My husband just stopped eating seconds and lost 20 pounds.  That's genetics.

Women genetically have more body fat than men. That is a fact. I agree that menopause might shuffle things around but only in my opinion on a composition level and not weight level - energy aka calories does not appear from thin air. What I think happens is mostly unawareness of all the calories consumed even when you think you are doing all the things right... be it through behaviour actions, unawaraness and so on - like the couch potato guys that after all weren't so couch potato.

Also with age, your calorie intake decreases. Your BMR at 30 years old vs 43 years old is very very different! 2000 calories for a mid 40's women is actually quite a lot: the maintenace calories of a 45 year old woman weighing 55 kilos and 165 cm tall that has a sedentary life but works out 2x week on light exercise (elliptical or stationary bike) is about 1250/1300 calories.

A man has less BF and more muscle and is also usually taller and more weight, therefore the calorie needs between man vs woman are different if everything else is equal.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: use2betrix on October 19, 2018, 12:06:44 PM
I'd be really curious to now hear from overweight people who might have read this thread.  There have been a decent number of responses so far.  Does anything in the reports from NOW people surprise you?  Is anything about this thread really helpful to you?  I've been assuming all along it would not be helpful, and might be actively offensive, but maybe I'm wrong.

@wenchsenior - I was surprised at the number of NOW people who didn't say or insinuate that being overweight is simply the result of moral inferiority and lack of discipline.  I am used to the assumption that I am dumb and lazy.  Actively offensive, but also the status quo.

As far as any surprises in the habits reported by NOW people?  None.

What is interesting is during the few shorter periods of my life where I was overweight it was 100% due to my moral inferiority and disgusting lack of self control/discipline. It was the result of my own, lazy actions.

I do, and have held myself accountable for it, and can identify that I do find my diet to be a constant challenge, although one I can usually manage.

It appears that my accountability and personal views are not widespread.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: wenchsenior on October 19, 2018, 12:10:20 PM
I'd be really curious to now hear from overweight people who might have read this thread.  There have been a decent number of responses so far.  Does anything in the reports from NOW people surprise you?  Is anything about this thread really helpful to you?  I've been assuming all along it would not be helpful, and might be actively offensive, but maybe I'm wrong.

@wenchsenior - I was surprised at the number of NOW people who didn't say or insinuate that being overweight is simply the result of moral inferiority and lack of discipline.  I am used to the assumption that I am dumb and lazy.  Actively offensive, but also the status quo.

As far as any surprises in the habits reported by NOW people?  None.

Yes, I was pleasantly surprised as well, b/c that assumption fills me with rage.  And only one poster so far (I think) could be read as insinuating that.  Sailor Sam's response was more or less what I expected, as well.

I would never consider posting in one of the weight loss threads in Throw Down the Gauntlet, but I'm thinking that people who are NOW might also do better to just butt out of nearly all future threads relating to weight loss (unless they specifically ask for input from the NOW crowd) b/c the most useful advice is usually going to come from other people who have been overweight and lost weight, rather than people like me.  And people like me, even if we are actively offended at the idea that it just takes 'willpower' to lose weight and all that fat-shaming bs, might still be inadvertently hurtful to participants in those types of threads.

I was very uneasy about this thread at first, but it has given me some fine distinctions to think about.



Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Roots&Wings on October 19, 2018, 12:48:16 PM
The lazy/lack of willpower angle is very unhelpful. At the same time, doctor's can't make people change, and they can find it fairly frustrating too.

It's heartbreaking to watch someone you love engage in self-destructive behavior, whether it's obesity, eating disorders, addiction, financial ruin, whatever. Many people need ongoing support, coaching, etc to figure out the specific habits and routines that will work for them.

My obese dad was just told by his doctor that he needs to eat less and exercise. He knows this. Will he do it? Maybe. I certainly hope so.

Habits/Routines that have been helpful for me:
- Tracking food for a month (via myfitnesspal and Vanderbilt University's free Coursera class - Nutrition, Health, and Lifestyle: Issues and Insights (https://www.class-central.com/course/coursera-nutrition-health-and-lifestyle-issues-and-insights-534))
- Eating mostly whole-food plant based diet (once I hit 30, my weight, blood pressure and cholesterol all started climbing, Eat to Live (https://smile.amazon.com/Eat-Live-Amazing-Nutrient-Rich-Sustained/dp/031612091X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539973690&sr=8-1&keywords=eat+to+live&dpID=51SJyJhDivL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch) especially helped; seeing older family members have horrific health issues from lifestyle diseases)
- Eating light meal in evening, eat same thing for breakfast (nuts, oatmeal, superfood smoothie), big lunch (e.g. beans, rice, avocado, salsa, lentil stew, green beans, veggie burger, etc), mid-morning snack (e.g. fruit, celery and pb), no caffeine after 2 pm
- Having a dog for mandatory daily walks (am and pm)
- Simple exercise routine (morning stretches upon waking, and do parts of the 7-minute workout  (https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/)and 4-minute workout (https://youtu.be/wJaMNcswp_M) at mid-morning)
- Gardening/doing yard work

Figuring out people's motivations and changing habits is very interesting.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: okits on October 19, 2018, 12:59:13 PM
I'd be really curious to now hear from overweight people who might have read this thread.  There have been a decent number of responses so far.  Does anything in the reports from NOW people surprise you?  Is anything about this thread really helpful to you?  I've been assuming all along it would not be helpful, and might be actively offensive, but maybe I'm wrong.

@wenchsenior - I was surprised at the number of NOW people who didn't say or insinuate that being overweight is simply the result of moral inferiority and lack of discipline.  I am used to the assumption that I am dumb and lazy.  Actively offensive, but also the status quo.

As far as any surprises in the habits reported by NOW people?  None.

What is interesting is during the few shorter periods of my life where I was overweight it was 100% due to my moral inferiority and disgusting lack of self control/discipline. It was the result of my own, lazy actions.

I do, and have held myself accountable for it, and can identify that I do find my diet to be a constant challenge, although one I can usually manage.

It appears that my accountability and personal views are not widespread.

Thank goodness the first response to my comment is from someone explaining that their shorter periods of personal experience with being overweight were due to moral inferiority and disgusting lack of self control/discipline.  @use2betrix , you can rest assured that North American society generally shares your personal views that the problem is that overweight people just do not have enough accountability. 
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Sailor Sam on October 19, 2018, 01:09:28 PM
Quote
Eh, I mean, I'm pretty used to society telling me I'm worthless and a waste of human space. Short, fat, female, (almost) forty. I've got some intersectionality goin' ON brah! This thread is occasionally eye-rolling, but hasn't breasted the rage levee yet. Just keep it out of the weight loss support threads. I know it's hard. I myself enjoy a good self-congratulatory MMM circle jerk, but do keep my pants zipped when in other spaces.

Wait till you are  almost 50 and then practically invisible! With gray hair, wrinkles, and pimples - whee!

The psychological difference between NOW, FOW and fat people fascinates me.

I used to be fat.  Technically obese, BMI over 30.  I mean, it was what it was.  I exercised regularly.  Ate healthy food (just too much of it, and I didn't quite realize it at the time).  I was eating like my 6' tall husband - who is naturally slender.  And I am not.

I lost 57 lbs and what happened is what you see a lot.  I became like a cheerleader, almost evangelical.  I've seen it in others in the last 15 years too.  I mean, I went from "I'm just fat and I can't do anything about it" to "you can DO IT.  If I can do it ANYBODY can do it!" 

Of course I'm older and wiser now.  I was able to do it in my early 30s while being incredibly active.  And I had no kids.  My friends who were losing weight at the same time were all 50-70 years old.  So it didn't work as well for them.  Even the active ones, much slower process.

So sometimes I feel like a lot of "NOW" people - they just have never been through it, so they don't understand.  For some of them, it's just easy.  They aren't able to step out of their own experience.  Many of my in-laws were trim and fit until age X (30, 40, 60).  And until age X, they could just "exercise more" and lose weight.  Well, we've all heard that you can't exercise your way out of a bad diet.  I think that for many who gain weight, the age at which it hits is different.  For my FIL?  60.  For me?  24.  After that age I basically had no wiggle room to keep a healthy weight.  The Navy switched to a height/weight chart at some point in here and it was always a struggle for me to diet down to the max weight.

Quote
I see a lot of people either thin or fat saying "oh its genetics" "Oh I can't gain weight because of genetics... my metabolism is too fast" or "I cant lose weight because of genetics my metabolism is too slow"

I think that the area of science is still pretty young, and you cannot discount genetics.  Whether it be running, or lifting or weight loss.  There's CLEARLY a genetic component when you have 2 people who do the same work and have different outcomes.  It takes a LOT longer for some people to get faster, or get thinner.  Plus, as I said many times before - simply by having been overweight, you have changed your body and how it reacts to some foods.  Permanently.  Until you've been there, you probably won't understand.

And then things change too - what worked when I was 31 did not work when I was 37 and trying to lose baby weight #1.  That didn't work when I was trying to lose a few pounds at 41, and that didn't work when I was trying to lose the "I had a baby at 42" weight when I was 44.  I have a small pile of pants and leggings in the closet that are falling off me right now.  Why?  Because menopause is coming, and I've seen what it does.  What has changed over these years?  Mostly I've gotten older.  My activity level hasn't changed much at all (I work out regularly). 

I think that it's people who have SEEN their own bodies change over time who are more likely to be sympathetic to others who are overweight.  Because sometimes: you do everything right and you are still overweight.  Honestly, if you are sleeping, getting regular exercise, and eating a healthy diet of about 2000 cals a day (give or take a couple of hundred) - then what else can you do?  But in this society, it's INCREDIBLY hard to accept yourself for who you are, because we tell people they aren't good enough.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  When I'm out and about running along the beach, and I see overweight people (because most people are), I smile and say hi and think "another exercise junkie!"  Because they are out there walking, biking, jogging, playing vball. 

When I lost 57 lbs I put a ton of work into it.  My husband just stopped eating seconds and lost 20 pounds.  That's genetics.

Women genetically have more body fat than men. That is a fact. I agree that menopause might shuffle things around but only in my opinion on a composition level and not weight level - energy aka calories does not appear from thin air. What I think happens is mostly unawareness of all the calories consumed even when you think you are doing all the things right... be it through behaviour actions, unawaraness and so on - like the couch potato guys that after all weren't so couch potato.

Also with age, your calorie intake decreases. Your BMR at 30 years old vs 43 years old is very very different! 2000 calories for a mid 40's women is actually quite a lot: the maintenace calories of a 45 year old woman weighing 55 kilos and 165 cm tall that has a sedentary life but works out 2x week on light exercise (elliptical or stationary bike) is about 1250/1300 calories.

A man has less BF and more muscle and is also usually taller and more weight, therefore the calorie needs between man vs woman are different if everything else is equal.

Disregard my last. Rage levee suddenly and catastrophically crested.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: mm1970 on October 19, 2018, 01:09:31 PM
Quote
I agree that menopause might shuffle things around but only in my opinion on a composition level and not weight level - energy aka calories does not appear from thin air.

Um okay, just like the hormones are disappearing into thin air?  Peri-menopause and menopause come with major hormonal changes.  Hormones change your calorie needs.  There's a reason why the average woman gains 5 lbs and it's not because she starts main-lining sweets.  It's because in general, your body slows down due to hormone changes.  Notice what the recommendations are to avoid weight gain at menopause: make changes to increase your exercise and decrease your calories because holding steady does not work.

I gather it can be pretty stressful and frustrating for many. One of my running buddies is 62 and trying to lose the menopause weight around her middle.   Note: she must have always been very thin.  Because she's still thin.  And what she sees as extra weight around her middle?  I don't see it.  She's of a normal weight.  She's still having hot flashes.  Her heart rate gets very high during running (much higher than before menopause), which limits her ability.  Her answer lately has been an attempt to do keto while training for a half marathon.  Not really working for her.

(Plus along with all this often comes anxiety and lack of sleep, which affect cortisol...another hormone issue, well associated with weight gain).
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: wordnerd on October 19, 2018, 01:14:28 PM
I don't fit the criteria, but I think my experience may be illustrative. I was obese in high school, overweight in college, normal weight and steady since (about 10 years). I lost about 50-60 lbs over 5 years, so it was slow. My family is all obese/overweight, and when lived with them, so was I. After I moved out, I learned about nutrition and established new routines. My husband is an (almost) never-overweight, and we live that kind of lifestyle now.
*Important caveat: I believe the food system in the U.S. has changed in ways that make it increasingly difficult to eat healthfully. Additionally, our built environment generally discourages movement and active transportation. There's also increasing evidence that how we are fed as infants can affect our microbiome, as well as how we experience hunger cues. Consequentially, I believe we need to stop thinking individuals are responsible for obesity and think about how we can change society to encourage healthy lifestyles.*

With that out of the way, some key differences in my experience:
1) Food as sustenance vs. food as experience. Growing up, we ate to bond as a family, because the game was on, because there was a new restaurant, because we were watching a movie, etc. We ate at weird times for emotional reasons. For a long time, we ate at 9pm every night and had sugary snacks in the afternoon to last that long. Now, I eat when I am hungry and stop when I'm full. I eat at pretty much the same times everyday and a lot of the same foods.
2) Understanding hunger cues. Because of #1, I had learned to ignore my hunger (and fullness) cues. It took YEARS after I started losing weight to truly know if I was hungry and full. Before that I was guessing and probably ate too little sometimes.
3) TV vs. movement. My family watches a ton of TV. We (DH and I) watch almost none. I've always enjoyed long walks as a form of entertainment. Lucked out on that one. My brothers have gone through periods of intense exercise where they lose weight, but eventually gain it back. I've never been big on "exercise" per se (though I did fall in love with yoga a few years ago), but I do love to move.
4) Alcohol. This one didn't affect me as a kid, but certainly plays a role now. Everyone else in my family drinks daily. For us, it's a treat, and we generally don't keep alcohol in the house.
5) Sugar. I've never had a sweet tooth. My dad used to get mad when I didn't eat ice cream and cookies with the family (I guess because I wasn't participating in the experience?), so I did. But it's not something I choose to have around. I also don't like chocolate, which rules out a lot of desserts in any case.
6) Restaurants. We don't eat out almost ever now. My parents eat out at least 2x a week.
7) Food we buy at the store. When I shop now, I tend to get unprocessed foods and a lot less meat than I had growing up.

I can't think of anything else at this point. To be clear, I don't think anyone in my family needs to lose weight unless they want to. I am just very aware of how I had  to change my habits considerably from how I was raised to become a consistently "normal" weight adult (which is what I wanted for myself).
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: mm1970 on October 19, 2018, 01:35:51 PM
Quote
*Important caveat: I believe the food system in the U.S. has changed in ways that make it increasingly difficult to eat healthfully. Additionally, our built environment generally discourages movement and active transportation. There's also increasing evidence that how we are fed as infants can affect our microbiome, as well as how we experience hunger cues. Consequentially, I believe we need to stop thinking individuals are responsible for obesity and think about how we can change society to encourage healthy lifestyles.*

I think we cannot emphasize these points enough.  And some of them, like the microbiome, we are learning about just now.  More and more every year.

Quote
Disregard my last. Rage levee suddenly and catastrophically crested.

Sadly yes.  So. Many. Opinions. 

Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: use2betrix on October 19, 2018, 02:24:18 PM
So let me ask this:

With obesity for many being based solely on psychological factors, which seems totally acceptable, why isn’t spending viewed similarly for some?

I am fairly positive there are studies that could compare peoples impulse purchasing releasing endorphins similar to an overweight person snacking.

Yet - people here spend and they get face punches. Eat too much? Not the same case..
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: DS on October 19, 2018, 02:27:33 PM
So let me ask this:

With obesity for many being based solely on psychological factors, which seems totally acceptable, why isn’t spending viewed similarly for some?

I am fairly positive there are studies that could compare peoples impulse purchasing releasing endorphins similar to an overweight person snacking.

Yet - people here spend and they get face punches. Eat too much? Not the same case..

In the end, you have to eat every day, multiple times per day in order to live. No choice whatsoever.

You don't have to purchase facepunch-worthy items to survive, and don't have to cross that decision so many times so you can actually have a chance to separate yourself and break free from the cycle.

Disclaimer: not a scientist / therapist :)
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Roots&Wings on October 19, 2018, 02:42:18 PM
To be clear, I don't think anyone in my family needs to lose weight unless they want to. I am just very aware of how I had  to change my habits considerably from how I was raised to become a consistently "normal" weight adult (which is what I wanted for myself).

I am very curious about this, as obesity is a disease with serious health consequences. Could you perhaps elaborate? Would you feel similarly if the issue were smoking, or drugs, or alcohol? I understand that no one should be shamed and people have to want to change, but I think there's something important I'm missing. Thank you in advance if you share more!
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: wenchsenior on October 19, 2018, 02:43:14 PM
So let me ask this:

With obesity for many being based solely on psychological factors, which seems totally acceptable, why isn’t spending viewed similarly for some?

I am fairly positive there are studies that could compare peoples impulse purchasing releasing endorphins similar to an overweight person snacking.

Yet - people here spend and they get face punches. Eat too much? Not the same case..

In the end, you have to eat every day, multiple times per day in order to live. No choice whatsoever.

You don't have to purchase facepunch-worthy items to survive, and don't have to cross that decision so many times so you can actually have a chance to separate yourself and break free from the cycle.

Disclaimer: not a scientist / therapist :)

100% agree.  Psychological problems/hurdles in a lot of areas of overindulgence or addiction can be dealt with by simply not exposing yourself to the triggers.  And though food can work this way a little bit (don't keep ice cream in the house, etc), there is no easy way to stop eating (unless you are on a liquid/IV diet).
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: wenchsenior on October 19, 2018, 02:47:36 PM
Quote
*Important caveat: I believe the food system in the U.S. has changed in ways that make it increasingly difficult to eat healthfully. Additionally, our built environment generally discourages movement and active transportation. There's also increasing evidence that how we are fed as infants can affect our microbiome, as well as how we experience hunger cues. Consequentially, I believe we need to stop thinking individuals are responsible for obesity and think about how we can change society to encourage healthy lifestyles.*

I think we cannot emphasize these points enough.  And some of them, like the microbiome, we are learning about just now.  More and more every year.

Quote
Disregard my last. Rage levee suddenly and catastrophically crested.

Sadly yes.  So. Many. Opinions.

OMG, yes, I hadn't even thought of that when I first answered the OP's post.  But I was a very premature baby, and I've sometimes wondered if that plays a role in some of my health issues.  Who knows, perhaps it affects my body's gut biome and weight set-points and metabolism et al. and makes it easier to lose weight and harder to gain. 
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: teen persuasion on October 19, 2018, 02:57:09 PM
I've never been overweight, I hover around 105lb at 5'5", except during my pregnancies when I gained the standard 25lbs or so.

I have no idea how to count calories (because I eat more unprocessed foods than processed).  I don't limit what I eat, I eat what want, but in moderation.  Dessert is almost a given, because I grew up with a mom who loves to bake (she got a culinary degree at age 50), but that constant exposure to sweets means that our family has become selective about them - I'm good with a taste of danish, not 3.  I NEVER eat diet foods (low fat, low sugar, fake sugar, etc.) - its only full fat, made with butter and cream cheese, you get the idea.  I find pop way too sweet, so rarely drink much sweet stuff.  Also rarely eat out - commercial foods are too salty, and I feel yucky and bloated after eating them.  Much prefer home cooked meals.

I don't exercise on purpose, if you KWIM, but I favor doing things the hard way: hand knead dough, mix cookies by hand, line dry clothes, etc.  I do a lot of stairs each day - big farmhouse, kitchen upstairs, fridge downstairs.  At work, too - up to get something out of storage, basement for recycling, repeat an hour later.  I'm hauling stacks or bags of books around all day.

I've come to the conclusion weight gains for us are at least heavily influenced by genetics, and not just calories in/burned, because DH is eating mostly the same things I am (what I buy/cook), but he's struggling with gaining, while I'm not.  The kids are mostly like me, especially the boys.  My sister is another who can't gain weight to save her life type - she had a co-worker bet her that if she ate X for a week (or month?) she'd gain weight.  She took the bet just to shut him up, ate X every day at work for proof, never gained.  Can't recall what X was, maybe pasta?

Sleep - I probably don't get as much sleep as I should, less than 8 hours a night.  I get reading after everyone else goes to bed, and lose track of time, but still have to get up in the morning to get kids off to school.  DH struggles with sleep issues (apnea and insomnia at times).  Wonder if his weight gain could be cause or effect of sleep troubles.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: wordnerd on October 19, 2018, 02:58:51 PM
To be clear, I don't think anyone in my family needs to lose weight unless they want to. I am just very aware of how I had  to change my habits considerably from how I was raised to become a consistently "normal" weight adult (which is what I wanted for myself).

I am very curious about this, as obesity is a disease with serious health consequences. Could you perhaps elaborate? Would you feel similarly if the issue were smoking, or drugs, or alcohol? I understand that no one should be shamed and people have to want to change, but I think there's something important I'm missing. Thank you in advance if you share more!

It was a lousy sentence, and I should've deleted it. :)

I guess what I was trying to say (however inartfully) was that I don't think I'm "better" than them because I changed my habits. Weight is particularly fraught with judgment, and I used to feel that I was a lesser person for being heavy. Then, when I first lost the weight, I got a little self-righteous about it. At this point, I'm aware that we all have different issues that affect our health and lives, and weight is just one. My parents and siblings are all adults and can choose to make changes if they want, but I'm not going to evangelize about it. They think a lot of my habits (including my frugality) are wrong headed. They could probably make arguments about my mental health being poorly affected, similar to some of the health-shaming that goes on with obesity. But I appreciate that they respect my decisions at this point. I want to repay them the same respect.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: use2betrix on October 19, 2018, 02:59:35 PM
So let me ask this:

With obesity for many being based solely on psychological factors, which seems totally acceptable, why isn’t spending viewed similarly for some?

I am fairly positive there are studies that could compare peoples impulse purchasing releasing endorphins similar to an overweight person snacking.

Yet - people here spend and they get face punches. Eat too much? Not the same case..

In the end, you have to eat every day, multiple times per day in order to live. No choice whatsoever.

You don't have to purchase facepunch-worthy items to survive, and don't have to cross that decision so many times so you can actually have a chance to separate yourself and break free from the cycle.

Disclaimer: not a scientist / therapist :)

Also not a scientist - however I would bet people are exposed to more advertising every day than they are food choices right in their face.

It’s far easier to order anything online as a simple “buy with 1 click” than it is to physically go out of your way to the store, gas station, fast food place, etc. and buy food they shouldn’t eat.

While people may have to “eat to live” by eating the “wrong” stuff, it’s far more fatal and detrimental to ones health than “buying shit they don’t need.”


I just find it odd that some people are so sensitive to the subject, yet don’t see any of the same sensitivities needing to be applied to by spending. I lost 40lbs after my brother sent me a picture from my wedding and I was like “holy shit I look disgusting.” If anyone else would have told me that I would’ve gladly agreed because it was true!

I had skin cancer in my 20’s due to my OWN STUPIDITY of tanning too much. If someone told me that I had skin cancer because I tanned too much, how would I do anything but agree?

I dunno, maybe I’m just different, but I feel like personal accountability goes a long ways*

*coming from someone who’s lost 40lbs, so yeah, I’ve been there.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: use2betrix on October 19, 2018, 03:23:05 PM
Does anyone here have the studies to compare the genetic effects of relationships and marriages have on weight gain? I know countless people who, while single, are incredibly involved in exercise, physical activity, and healthy eating while they are single. Then as soon as they are in a relationship, their genetics must change, or they develop psychological issues, because they no longer exercise or eat healthy and gain weight?

I’m really wondering if there’s been studies done one this? I wonder if there is a correlation between longevity, health, and remaining single?
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: booyah on October 19, 2018, 03:24:19 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?
It would have rung more true as a genuine question vs pat on the back if he hadn’t posted as the example to emulate.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: TartanTallulah on October 19, 2018, 03:25:04 PM
Just curious, how many never overweight folks have ever had a conversation with a medical professional about obesity?
 
To me the idea that a never overweight person who is not medical professional or obesity specialist can give advice on this issue is as absurd as a person who has never had cancer can tell all the folks out there battling cancer what to do. 

Then instead of being supportive, throw in some comments about how it can't be genetics (citation from a peer reviewed journal article on that or just uneducated guess?), it is all your behavior, etc. with no formal training or personal experience in the subject.  All unsolicited advice of course, with a dab of righteousness thrown in.

Pick any other medical condition - cancer, diabetes, parkinson's disease and insert them in some of these posts instead of "overweight" or "obese" and it would be laughable.

I'm a medical professional, never overweight, and I talk to myself quite a lot about obesity because it's relevant to my job. Does that count?

I'm a Health At Every Size practitioner. My responsibility is to offer people the best medical care I can irrespective of their body size. I will not nag people to lose weight, and if someone is denied medical treatment because of their weight that would have been offered to them if they'd weighed less I will advocate vigorously on their behalf. I encourage physical activity, adequate sleep, and as nutritious a diet as that person can realistically achieve, but as healthy behaviours in their own right rather than with the objective of achieving weight loss. I'll offer specific advice on nutrition to someone of any size if they ask me or if there's a genuine clinical reason for them to eat one thing rather than another or seek out a particular nutrient, but won't engage in "dieting talk" or engage with food diaries. My own body size is out of bounds for discussion but most of my patients know I do a lot of sport and, I have no doubt, know what goes into my basket at the supermarket.

I work with two obese doctors whose default advice to patients seems to be, "Lose weight." These two individuals have been on slimming diets for as long as I've known them (I have no reason to believe that they go home at night and fall into the cookie jar any oftener than I do), and have gained weight in that time. I can't get my head round them telling people, "Do as I do/aspire to do," when it's obvious that it's not working for them unless "being on a slimming diet" rather than losing weight is an objective in itself.

I might ask someone who was concerned about being over- or underweight, "Would you like to tell me what you think are the reasons for you being the weight you are?" but I don't think I've ever had that conversation with someone for whom weight had never been an issue.

I'm not complacent about my own health. My father was lean until his sixties, but gained weight when he stopped work despite remaining physically active and has prediabetes and has had a heart attack. I'll be keeping an eye on my own cardiovascular risk factors irrespective of what my weight does over time.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: wenchsenior on October 19, 2018, 03:38:17 PM
Does anyone here have the studies to compare the genetic effects of relationships and marriages have on weight gain? I know countless people who, while single, are incredibly involved in exercise, physical activity, and healthy eating while they are single. Then as soon as they are in a relationship, their genetics must change, or they develop psychological issues, because they no longer exercise or eat healthy and gain weight?

I’m really wondering if there’s been studies done one this? I wonder if there is a correlation between longevity, health, and remaining single?

I believe there has been research that indicates that social peers can have an effect on one's weight (presumably via habits around diet and activity), which one would assume includes partners' influence on their partner.  But you seem to think that everyone in this thread thinks that activity and food choice doesn't affect weight outcomes, and I don't think anyone has argued that.

ETA: I've read that marriage has a positive statistical effect on men's health and longevity, but not on women's.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: JKCal on October 19, 2018, 04:37:38 PM
I've read that a lot of the genetics of obesity is that while weight itself might not be totally genetic, appetite is highly genetic (and pretty much fixed for each person). People who were born pre-disposed to having a larger appetite in today's age find themselves in an environment where unhealthy food is plentiful (and can even  be hard to avoid), and that is one of the major factors driving obesity.  You take the same person with the same appetite back when either food was scarce or at least processed food was unknown, and they'd probably end up with a very different body weight.

That lines up with my own personal experience--I've never been overweight (I think my BMI might have been just over 25 in the post-baby period).  I never really watch what I eat, but I don't have a huge appetite.  I enjoy food, but after a few bites, it's like a switch flips on and I'm full and don't want to eat anymore.  I'm also lucky that I don't have a sweet tooth, so I never really eat sweets or dessert or soda, which I am sure helps.

I also think, just based on my experience, there is a lot to be said for differences in body type--some people seem to put on weight more easily and some people put on muscle more easily.  I was a pretty serious athlete through college and still enjoy getting lots of exercise.  During the few times in my life where I wasn't getting as much exercise as I normally do (pregnancy, etc), I found I gained weight rather easily.  But, once I got back to regular vigorous exercise, the weight melted away pretty quickly and my muscle strength came back.  For the record, I walk about 2 miles each way to work everyday and do more vigorous exercise (HIIT, playing basketball, or something similar) four times per week.  (I've also read that if you have a high level of fitness in your teenage years, it is easier to rebuild your strength later in life after an event like pregnancy, but I'm not sure if that is accurate).

My husband is really the type of guy you are looking for though--he is tall (6'4) and has always been skinny (usually skinnier than he'd like), he weighs about 165.  He eats whatever he wants and loves candy, only sleeps about 6-7 hours a night, hates all forms of exercise (opposites attract for us, I guess).  I don't think he's aware of it, but he also has a pretty small appetite -- doesn't eat breakfast, has maybe a sandwich for lunch, and then if we have pizza for dinner or something he'll maybe eat two slices and then have some candy (lol, mature).
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Gray Matter on October 19, 2018, 04:57:35 PM
I'm a medical professional, never overweight, and I talk to myself quite a lot about obesity because it's relevant to my job. Does that count?

I'm a Health At Every Size practitioner. My responsibility is to offer people the best medical care I can irrespective of their body size. I will not nag people to lose weight, and if someone is denied medical treatment because of their weight that would have been offered to them if they'd weighed less I will advocate vigorously on their behalf. I encourage physical activity, adequate sleep, and as nutritious a diet as that person can realistically achieve, but as healthy behaviours in their own right rather than with the objective of achieving weight loss.

I just want to say thank you.  Seriously, THANK YOU.  We need more medical professionals like you.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: wenchsenior on October 19, 2018, 05:12:47 PM
Ironically, this podcast just aired, covering the issue of research into metabolism and weight.

Very interesting, indeed.

https://art19.com/shows/today-explained/embed?theme=light-custom&primary_color=%23636363&playlist_type=playlist&playlist_size=5# (https://art19.com/shows/today-explained/embed?theme=light-custom&primary_color=%23636363&playlist_type=playlist&playlist_size=5#)
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: austin944 on October 19, 2018, 07:39:37 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 went from a moderately obese BMI to a normal BMI over the course of several years, and at no time did I ever feel deprived of food.   I made very small changes in my diet over time, and I did not proceed to the next change until the current change was an ingrained habit.

For example, I never used to eat any fruit.  So I started eating an apple one day out of the week.  I would eat it at a specific time so I would remember ("it's time to eat my apple").   I did that for a few months.  Then I'd increase it to two days out of the week and make that a habit.  Eventually I got to 5 days a week.

Eating the apple helped me to lose interest in the junk food that I had been consuming as a snack, because I was no longer hungry for junk food after eating the apple.  At first I would eat the junk food and then the apple.  Then I switched and ate the apple first.

This progression of apple eating took over a year to incorporate into my diet.  I never would have been successful if I had jumped immediately from eating 0 apples to 5 apples a week, because it was too big of a change in my diet.

There were many other changes to my diet and how I ate food.  But today, I don't really think about the changes because they are all ingrained habits.

I am still making changes today.  Last year I gave up alcohol after drinking almost daily for my most of my adult life.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: use2betrix on October 19, 2018, 08:39:15 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 went from a moderately obese BMI to a normal BMI over the course of several years, and at no time did I ever feel deprived of food.   I made very small changes in my diet over time, and I did not proceed to the next change until the current change was an ingrained habit.

For example, I never used to eat any fruit.  So I started eating an apple one day out of the week.  I would eat it at a specific time so I would remember ("it's time to eat my apple").   I did that for a few months.  Then I'd increase it to two days out of the week and make that a habit.  Eventually I got to 5 days a week.

Eating the apple helped me to lose interest in the junk food that I had been consuming as a snack, because I was no longer hungry for junk food after eating the apple.  At first I would eat the junk food and then the apple.  Then I switched and ate the apple first.

This progression of apple eating took over a year to incorporate into my diet.  I never would have been successful if I had jumped immediately from eating 0 apples to 5 apples a week, because it was too big of a change in my diet.

There were many other changes to my diet and how I ate food.  But today, I don't really think about the changes because they are all ingrained habits.

I am still making changes today.  Last year I gave up alcohol after drinking almost daily for my most of my adult life.

Great post.

I feel like your example highlights a big part of the reason so many diets and exercise programs fail. People go from terrible habits to these life changing 180’s that are nearly impossible to maintain. Or someone who’s never really had good habits and is way overweight, makes this New Years resolution and does everything “right” then gets discouraged that they don’t look like a magazine cover model in 6 months or even a year. Needless to say most of the “magazine cover models” have been making those good habits often for decades.

I’m always a huge proponent of exactly what you mention. Baby steps, make it a habit. You don’t have to change everything at once. Just get used to changing SOMETHING and slowly start implementing new things.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: austin944 on October 20, 2018, 10:06:55 AM
I feel like your example highlights a big part of the reason so many diets and exercise programs fail. People go from terrible habits to these life changing 180’s that are nearly impossible to maintain. Or someone who’s never really had good habits and is way overweight, makes this New Years resolution and does everything “right” then gets discouraged that they don’t look like a magazine cover model in 6 months or even a year. Needless to say most of the “magazine cover models” have been making those good habits often for decades.

I’m always a huge proponent of exactly what you mention. Baby steps, make it a habit. You don’t have to change everything at once. Just get used to changing SOMETHING and slowly start implementing new things.

Yes, I think there could be at least two false assumptions at work in the failure of many diet/exercise programs:
1) Making large changes over a short period of time and expecting those changes to be sustainable over the long term.
2) Expecting that X number of incremental changes will lead to Y incremental weight loss.

In my own personal experience, I had to make a lot of changes before I began to see any weight loss.   It would have been natural for most people to get discouraged after making many changes and see no weight loss.  They might quit making changes, or revert back to their earlier eating habits, and say "that's how my body works", and "I can't lose weight".

Instead of making weight loss my primary objective, I focused on an overall healthy diet and exercise program.  My goal was to develop healthy habits to make myself a healthier person.  I did not get discouraged and give up when my weight was not dropping, but instead I kept making more changes, very slowly over time.  My measure of success was the number of healthy habits that I had adopted.  And eventually the weight slowly came off, which was a great side benefit.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: MrSal on October 20, 2018, 03:26:05 PM
So pretty much the whole discussion has been habits, patterns, behaviors, etc... so in the end it's all about calories. If you intake less calories than what your BMR+activity is, you will lose weight.

This can be done with a healthy diet or with a diet of just marshmellows (although I wouldn't advise anyone trying this). Macros are mostly associated with weight gain and calories while the micros are the healthy part of it. Kinda like gas on a car (calories) and fluids/maintenance is your micros. You can sure run on mashmellows and gain/lose weight but it will probably make you super unhealthy.

I agree that those behaviors might and are be instilled either through peers, culturally, and nurture as in the habits/patterns you acquired while growing up. The food industry in the US is adamant of this and again as I stated before is ridiculous.

Again anyone can observe any food that is offered in most restaurants and/or highschools.

Compare this to the menu of a school in my country for example - it's always been like this ... I am in my thrities and even when I was young it was like this:

(https://cl.ly/4d25922b2302/Image%202018-10-19%20at%2011.19.31%20AM.png)

For translation this is the weekly menu for the school:

Monday:
Cabbage Soup
Fish (real fish) with pasta and romaine lettuce, corn, and beet
Dessert: Pineapple, kiwi or peach

Tuesday:

Soup: Cauliflower and Broccoli cream soup
Entree - Stew of chickpeas and chicken with lettuce, corn and beet
Dessert - Melon, peach or Kiwi

Wednesday:

Soup - White bean cream soup
Entree - Hake fish with boiled eggs with steamed potatoes and broccoli
Dessert - Peach, melon or grapes

Thursday
Soup - Spinach soup
Entree - Sauteed meatballs with tomato sauce and pasta
Dessert - Orange, Melon or grapes

Friday
Soup - Pea cream
Entree - Codfish with tomato rice
Dessert - Grapes, orange or apple

This is the typical menu at a school be it public or private. Good old fashioned food. This contrasts a lot with what is seen nowadays in US highschools for example. I coach highschool kids and I gag at what I see them eat in a typical day, even the ones that are/look healthy. I have seen a lot of my old classmates that were super athletes in highschool in US (I did my senior year in US) that have gained considerable weight. Actually even normal athletes this happens. They stop having the same activity as when they did so much activity but yet eat the same way - even though some might do it healthy way, calorie wise might be a lot ... they never adjusted. Again ingrained habits/behaviours/patterns. I think there needs to be not only a major change in how food diet is explained and taught in schools but also the offers that are made available. And by food diet I don't mean a temporary regime but your lifestyle food choices.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Sailor Sam on October 20, 2018, 06:06:24 PM
So let me ask this:

With obesity for many being based solely on psychological factors, which seems totally acceptable, why isn’t spending viewed similarly for some?

I am fairly positive there are studies that could compare peoples impulse purchasing releasing endorphins similar to an overweight person snacking.

Yet - people here spend and they get face punches. Eat too much? Not the same case..

Yes, I think you're absolutely right. There are huge overlaps between the mental aspects of reigning in your spending and the mental aspects of reigning in your caloric intake. I think we could have a very interesting discussion on the brain science behind the overlap.

The face punches are a matter of appropriate time, and appropriate community. This particular community is built on the concept of financial face punches. Signing up for the forum is (at minimum tacit) acknowledgement that the signee is okay with giving/receiving financial face. No one here gave permission, tacit or otherwise, for face punches based on eating. And handing out face punches that were never agreed to is called bullying and abuse.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: BSL18 on October 20, 2018, 06:19:18 PM
Another never overweight guy here. Currently 6'4, 185lbs or so. I only know my weight once or twice a year, when I weight my luggage with me before a trip!

It is the heaviest I've ever been, back at 18 I was as tall as now but weighting probably around 155lbs. I eat what I feel like, usually a lot, so I get a lot of the "genetics" remarks. I'm not sure if it's true or not, but based on my experience, what brought me from very chubby baby to rather thin adult is sport. I've always played a lot of sports, most days actually for all my childhood and teenage years. Even now I play and coach sports at least 3 days a week. And I gained most of my current weight when I started my current office job. So from where I stand, it all comes down to eat less and move more, but hey... I'm not a nutritionist.

So there you go for my (very personal) recipe, eat whatever the f*** you want, but if it's burgers twice a day, you'll have to be a marathonian to stay slim!
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Slow2FIRE on October 20, 2018, 07:23:03 PM
I have been overweight "on purpose" but never overweight without consciously forcing myself to be overweight.

I typically keep myself at about 195-200lbs (5'11") somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-15% Bodyfat as a male (never done a dexascan or water test, so I don't know my actual bodyfat level).  It actually took quite a bit of learning to discover how to put on weight when I first took myself from my ordinary weight of 175lb to 200lb around a decade and a half ago.  I ultimately took myself up to 225, but retained too much bodyfat and went down to 200 over the following year (225 helped support my powerlifting goals at the time).

On other occasions, I competed in online "wagering" (called healthywage and dietbet) so I took myself back up to 225 for the initial weigh in and then brought myself down to 178 for the final weigh in.  Once I received my cash from them, I went ahead and slowly took myself back up to 195.

Not sure if the above disqualifies me from the statement of "never been overweight" unless you use those silly BMI charts - which I don't like, since they really don't account for the amount of muscle mass you carry.  I could easily maintain 180lbs, but I could not easily do it while maintaining my current lean muscle mass and I prefer to have my current strength and musculature vs just being lightweight.

Genetics plays a role, I'm sure - but I've found habits and purposefulness can account for quite a bit of swing in the mass you carry around whatever your genetic predisposition is.  Any skinny person, with the mindset for being uncomfortable and ability to do hard things can put on a little weight and maintain it just as any overweight person can do the same with the same level of determination, but you probably won't be able to make and maintain a huge change away from your genetic predispositions without an elite level of effort or chemical help (or both).

Some people tend to confuse housework with exercise.  It really isn't exercise and your body will adapt to an activity you routinely do such that the caloric expenditure from often done tasks goes down really, really low...sure, it is better than being completely sedentary, but if you want to do exercise for health, body composition changes, and ability to stave off many health ills you need to do more than chores around the house.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: sixwings on October 21, 2018, 08:34:13 AM
I was overweight for a few years when I started my office job but went back down to normal once I figured out how to stay active with an office job. I am 6'2 and was 215, now I'm 180-185 and 31.

My exercise routine is key in staying healthy, I get up at 5:30am and walk the dog, then I bike to the gym and work out for a hour, then I bike to work, shower and stuff there (we have a locker room with showers and stuff) and am at my desk by around 8. After work I bike home and walk my dog for about  a hour. I found switching to the morning was key for me, trying to exercise after work was just too easy to make excuses. The first few weeks kind of sucked but once I got used to it, it was easy.

The other key obviously was food. When I was trying to lose weight I was counting calories but I don't anymore. I focus on a whole foods diet, basically if my grandmother didnt know what it is or eaten it, then I shouldnt either. Most modern foods are processed with all sort of awful additives so really it's a focus on whole food. Potatoes - yes, potato chips - no, homemade burgers - yes, McDonalds burgers - no, etc.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Cookie78 on October 22, 2018, 10:45:20 AM
It's interesting to me that you find the weight loss threads depressing.

I find them quite inspiring and very helpful (much more so than this thread containing a list of things that people who have never had to lose weight do). Some of the people in those threads are kicking ass! And the ones who are struggling are getting a lot of support and cheers. It's a positive, helpful environment in my opinion.

I find, in general, I get a lot of good advice from people who have been successful at weight loss, and very little helpful advice from people who have never even had to consider losing weight. The two groups are starting from very different places along the striving towards ideal weight line.

As for calorie counting I got really into it when I was successful with weight loss about 7 years ago. I didn't NEED to, but I really enjoyed it and learned a lot about macros and nutrition along the way. It was a hobby, not a depressing requirement.  It was a similar thing as tracking my expenses now. Many people might be depressed by my financial spreadsheet hobby in the same way you are depressed by the calorie counting of others.

Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: brute on October 22, 2018, 10:59:29 AM
Snacking. God damn I hate that word. Maybe I'm some kind of weird fuck, but I don't snack. Here's morbidly obese me (and my 40" waist at 6'4") pulling a 46,000 pound firetruck. Afterwards, I ate 9000 calories of meat, potatoes, and beer. That's why I'm fat, not because i flit from one donut to the next bowl of caramel popcorn. I don't know why I read this shit, all it does is piss me off.

Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: mm1970 on October 22, 2018, 12:34:23 PM
I feel like your example highlights a big part of the reason so many diets and exercise programs fail. People go from terrible habits to these life changing 180’s that are nearly impossible to maintain. Or someone who’s never really had good habits and is way overweight, makes this New Years resolution and does everything “right” then gets discouraged that they don’t look like a magazine cover model in 6 months or even a year. Needless to say most of the “magazine cover models” have been making those good habits often for decades.

I’m always a huge proponent of exactly what you mention. Baby steps, make it a habit. You don’t have to change everything at once. Just get used to changing SOMETHING and slowly start implementing new things.

Yes, I think there could be at least two false assumptions at work in the failure of many diet/exercise programs:
1) Making large changes over a short period of time and expecting those changes to be sustainable over the long term.
2) Expecting that X number of incremental changes will lead to Y incremental weight loss.

In my own personal experience, I had to make a lot of changes before I began to see any weight loss.   It would have been natural for most people to get discouraged after making many changes and see no weight loss.  They might quit making changes, or revert back to their earlier eating habits, and say "that's how my body works", and "I can't lose weight".

Instead of making weight loss my primary objective, I focused on an overall healthy diet and exercise program.  My goal was to develop healthy habits to make myself a healthier person.  I did not get discouraged and give up when my weight was not dropping, but instead I kept making more changes, very slowly over time.  My measure of success was the number of healthy habits that I had adopted.  And eventually the weight slowly came off, which was a great side benefit.
This is fascinating because what worked - for ME - was drastic changes.  Small changes showed nothing, were frustrating, and didn't work.

I have several friends, however, who lost weight with the baby steps way.  It's why I keep an open mind on mustachianism methods of "face punches" vs "baby steps".  Psychologically, it will be different for different people.

Quote
So pretty much the whole discussion has been habits, patterns, behaviors, etc... so in the end it's all about calories. If you intake less calories than what your BMR+activity is, you will lose weight.

Just: no.  For many people calories work that way but for many more they do NOT.  The problem is that when you intake fewer calories your BMR drops.  Plus it's pointless to pick a number that people just don't KNOW.  Many bodies have multiple "set points", so cutting 50 calories a day below BMR + activity does zero.  You have to actually DRASTICALLY cut to make a difference, depending on the individual body.

It's not just calories, it's the TYPE of calories. 
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Sailor Sam on October 22, 2018, 01:18:31 PM
Snacking. God damn I hate that word. Maybe I'm some kind of weird fuck, but I don't snack. Here's morbidly obese me (and my 40" waist at 6'4") pulling a 46,000 pound firetruck. Afterwards, I ate 9000 calories of meat, potatoes, and beer. That's why I'm fat, not because i flit from one donut to the next bowl of caramel popcorn. I don't know why I read this shit, all it does is piss me off.

@brute , I feel I should clap you soundly on the shoulder in firm solidarity. I'm 5'4", so I might not actually reach your shoulder, but the spirit is there.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: RichMoose on October 22, 2018, 04:22:21 PM
Very interesting thread! My wife and I are both a very healthy weight and have been since our mid-teens.

I have never been overweight in my life, although my traditional BMI borders on "overweight" due to muscle mass. I have worn size 32 pants since my mid-teens. My wife was somewhat overweight in her teens, but she adopted most of my habits when we met. She slimmed down easily and her weight has been consistent since.

I don't even think about my weight and I have a job where I sit all day. So my practices might help a lot of people on this forum who are also in sedentary jobs.

I basically live by a few habits:

INTAKE
1. Drink only water, black coffee, green tea, and a single glass of wine most days. I very rarely have soda and I can't remember the last time I had juice. I don't add anything to my water, coffee or tea for flavouring.
2. I almost never eat prepared foods. Everything I eat is fresh. All kids of fresh meat, fresh veggies, fresh fruit, fresh dairy, spices, coconut oil, olive oil, vinegars, nuts, dark chocolate, etc. Aside from a quick dash in and out for whole coffee beans, pulses, and a few staples like that, I skip the interior of the grocery store.
3. I very rarely snack and if I do, it's something like a hand of nuts and dark chocolate, an apple/orange, or some raw vegetables.
4. I go to restaurants once or twice a month. Usually I will eat Asian foods like sushi, ramen, Indonesian, Thai, etc. Not necessarily healthy stuff, but tastes great!
5. I generally stay away from heavy carb meals like pasta, breads, etc. but I don't get too crazy about it. Like most people, I enjoy the occasional lemon garlic capellini with chicken marsala and will indulge. But that works out to once a month or so.
6. I eat full fat everything. Fatty cuts of meat, cream, butter, ghee (very underused in my opinion), and so on.

OUTPUT
1. I walk/hike/bike almost everyday. Usually between 30-60 minutes total.
2. I lift weights once or twice a week. Simple exercises: pull-ups, dips, dumbbell bench presses, dumbbell military press, and leg presses or squats. Usually 5 to 6 sets of 5 reps per set. Lift fairly heavy, but try avoid going to complete failure.
3. If I feel very ambitious, like 10 times a year in total, I will do a plyometric/cardio type workout. GSP RushFit, old Insanity videos, or other timing-based high heart rate workout. Gets a good sweat going!
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 on October 23, 2018, 06:28:07 AM
It's interesting to me that you find the weight loss threads depressing.

I find them quite inspiring and very helpful (much more so than this thread containing a list of things that people who have never had to lose weight do). Some of the people in those threads are kicking ass! And the ones who are struggling are getting a lot of support and cheers. It's a positive, helpful environment in my opinion.

I find, in general, I get a lot of good advice from people who have been successful at weight loss, and very little helpful advice from people who have never even had to consider losing weight. The two groups are starting from very different places along the striving towards ideal weight line.

As for calorie counting I got really into it when I was successful with weight loss about 7 years ago. I didn't NEED to, but I really enjoyed it and learned a lot about macros and nutrition along the way. It was a hobby, not a depressing requirement.  It was a similar thing as tracking my expenses now. Many people might be depressed by my financial spreadsheet hobby in the same way you are depressed by the calorie counting of others.

You were successful with calorie counting and a focus on body weight.
I’m going to take the opportunity to characterize the typical person who would be successful with calorie counting without running into trouble with developing an eating disorder. This is of practical interest because if we could identify individuals for whom the approach works while not putting them in harms way we could recommend calorie counting as a reasonable approach. That of course means that we would still accept weight loss as an appropriate primary goal but that is another question I am leaving alone for now.

Weight control through calorie counting is not easy, particularly when real foods are consumed, and requires a high level of conscientiousness in order to achieve reasonable accuracy. The majority of people does not have the necessary level of conscientiousness (a stable personality trait with probably an important genetic component) for them the whole thing becomes an ordeal and they abandon it.
So why not assess conscientousness and recommend calorie counting in the subset of the population scoring high? We would spare a lot of people from attempting a strategy they are resistant to because the required behaviors do not come naturally to them; at the same time we’d boost success rates of the strategy by targeting the susceptible subset.

The trouble is that the subset containing all individuals rating high on conscientiousness contains the subset of people at risk for obsessive compulsive disorder which in turn is strongly associated with eating disorders. (Some go so far as to characterize OCD as a maladaptive variant of normal high conscientousness)

In other words, even if one excludes all individuals with OCD or manifest eating disorders from the dieting, one is still left with a subset of people at higher risk for developing OCD or eating disorders because the selection criterion conscientiousness selects for higher risk and success at the same time. Conversely, the subset with lower levels of conscientiousness are also at lower risk for adverse outcomes but are almost uniformly resistant to the strategy because they score low on the trait that makes it work.

Of course, this is just an outline of a somewhat more complex analysis but serves well as an illustration of how an investigation of an aspect of an intervention has to proceed in order to determine if the intervention can receive a positive recommendation.

You were succesful with calorie counting and see it as a hobby. I do not have a high enough level of trait conscientiousness to experience it as pleasurable hobby. I also could never derive pleasure from using a spreadsheet for my personal finances but you can. I could never be a good accountant but I’m impressed by the work they are doing. You probably could be an awesome accountant. My approach to personal finance management would drive a person with high trait conscientiousness crazy. You could drive a person with lower trait conscientousness insane with your spreadsheets.

I probably would score high on traits associated with activities where the stakes are high (motorcycling, flying small planes, practicing critical care medicine) and where risk management is a way of life. For me the challenge is not to cross the line into irresponsibility.
If you scored high on conscientousness you might be drawn to activities which might look almost compulsive to others. For you the line not to cross would be the line beyond which compulsion and obsession reign.
Experiencing high levels of pleasure often involves driving right to the edge of insanity with the direction determined by one’s personality traits and once there one might outperform most others to an astonishing degree. But when it comes to relevance to others it hardly ever gets beyond “Look Ma, I’m dancin’”.

What I’m saying is that the fact that you came back from that particular hell of calorie counting, unharmed with the prize in your hands and the impression that it was a pleasant experience, is no basis for judging the merits of the strategy, nor, God forbid, recommending it.


Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Roots&Wings on October 23, 2018, 07:19:29 AM
Of course, this is just an outline of a somewhat more complex analysis but serves well as an illustration of how an investigation of an aspect of an intervention has to proceed in order to determine if the intervention can receive a positive recommendation.

This is fascinating, and of course makes sense that certain personality traits would be more receptive to different approaches for weight management. Do you have more details on this?
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: MrSal on October 23, 2018, 09:01:28 AM
Snacking. God damn I hate that word. Maybe I'm some kind of weird fuck, but I don't snack. Here's morbidly obese me (and my 40" waist at 6'4") pulling a 46,000 pound firetruck. Afterwards, I ate 9000 calories of meat, potatoes, and beer. That's why I'm fat, not because i flit from one donut to the next bowl of caramel popcorn. I don't know why I read this shit, all it does is piss me off.

You are a different case though. You need to be that weight in order to pull off those amazing numbers on what you do. You are in sort of what I consider a power lifter, where weight adds a lot to the leverage process. I don't think you could pull off those numbers of lifting at 8% body fat.

And 9,000 calories? Wholly cow! Literally :D That's just painful ... I remember when I used to eat 2700 calories of clean food in one sitting - dinner - and it was painful at times to eat the whole thing. That;s just badass!
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: MrSal on October 23, 2018, 09:16:35 AM
I feel like your example highlights a big part of the reason so many diets and exercise programs fail. People go from terrible habits to these life changing 180’s that are nearly impossible to maintain. Or someone who’s never really had good habits and is way overweight, makes this New Years resolution and does everything “right” then gets discouraged that they don’t look like a magazine cover model in 6 months or even a year. Needless to say most of the “magazine cover models” have been making those good habits often for decades.

I’m always a huge proponent of exactly what you mention. Baby steps, make it a habit. You don’t have to change everything at once. Just get used to changing SOMETHING and slowly start implementing new things.

Yes, I think there could be at least two false assumptions at work in the failure of many diet/exercise programs:
1) Making large changes over a short period of time and expecting those changes to be sustainable over the long term.
2) Expecting that X number of incremental changes will lead to Y incremental weight loss.

In my own personal experience, I had to make a lot of changes before I began to see any weight loss.   It would have been natural for most people to get discouraged after making many changes and see no weight loss.  They might quit making changes, or revert back to their earlier eating habits, and say "that's how my body works", and "I can't lose weight".

Instead of making weight loss my primary objective, I focused on an overall healthy diet and exercise program.  My goal was to develop healthy habits to make myself a healthier person.  I did not get discouraged and give up when my weight was not dropping, but instead I kept making more changes, very slowly over time.  My measure of success was the number of healthy habits that I had adopted.  And eventually the weight slowly came off, which was a great side benefit.
This is fascinating because what worked - for ME - was drastic changes.  Small changes showed nothing, were frustrating, and didn't work.

I have several friends, however, who lost weight with the baby steps way.  It's why I keep an open mind on mustachianism methods of "face punches" vs "baby steps".  Psychologically, it will be different for different people.

Quote
So pretty much the whole discussion has been habits, patterns, behaviors, etc... so in the end it's all about calories. If you intake less calories than what your BMR+activity is, you will lose weight.

Just: no.  For many people calories work that way but for many more they do NOT.  The problem is that when you intake fewer calories your BMR drops.  Plus it's pointless to pick a number that people just don't KNOW.  Many bodies have multiple "set points", so cutting 50 calories a day below BMR + activity does zero.  You have to actually DRASTICALLY cut to make a difference, depending on the individual body.

It's not just calories, it's the TYPE of calories.

Actually your BMR does not drop, it may drop if you don't eat protein. Protein does have a thermo effect, where the body has to "spend" calories in order to deconstruct the aminoacid chain.

Also, again what I said previously, while BMRs and metabloic rates vary from person to person, they don't have the weight that most people attribute it to! Again, the variability of BMR is within a +/- 100/200 calories.

As for the type of calories, for loss weight it barely matters. I have done it. I have gained weight eating the healthiest possible and I have lost weight eating the worst possible - by just adjusting my macros.

Now of course, what those calories do to you in a "healthy" stand point is another story (kinda like not changing the oil in your car keeps it running up to a point, eating maintenace or below BMR calories of crappy food keeps you thin but hey maybe you'll get some disease from lack of vitamins/nutrients in other areas).

As for what works for me, I have done it all - I have a passion for bodybuilding/fitness/nutrition since I was 14 and have read hundreds of studys, books etc... While in my beginning years, I was trying to practice the whole 5-6 small meals per day, the body can't go without 2 hours without food in order to gain muscle, catabolic state etc to me it never worked - lack of discipline for the most part - who has time for all that!

In the end, what worked for me was pretty much your method - extreme path. I pretty much only eat 1 big meal a day - dinner - after I workout. When I snack is something small and easily digestable like greens, fruit, cottage cheese, nuts.

I usually go longs periods of fasting 24-48 hours easily. I have done this for the past 10 years or so - with some breaks in between which is where I gained weight at a period there. It has enabled me to keep eating the things I enjoy - I have a super duper sweet tooth - and still keep my weight in check and body recomp. This last March I was 209 lbs and as a previous poster had said, it struck a chord in me after I saw a picture of mine and weighed in at a doctor's appointment. While in the mirror everything looked good sort of, when I saw a picture of myself it was a shock.

The next day I was doing fasting and low calories - think 1000 calorie or more deficit. In about 2 months I was down to 180. Currently I am at 175 or so and working towards body recomp.

As a kid I was always overweight, not sure if borderline obese and not to the extent of what I see in USA at least, but I was fat. All due to my super sweet tooth - I could eat half gallon of ice cream, or when my mom got home from supermarket and she brought cookies for the family - let's say 2 packs - there were times where in 1 hour they'd be gone. (Heck even just a week ago I ate 3 peanut butter cream filled doughnuts in 5-10 minutes. That's how much of a sweet tooth I have).  Can't remember what my weights were and age, but I remember my mother always had buy me 16s y/o clothing when I was maybe 12ish or so. All my pants had to go to the sewist because my pants were always longer by huge amounts.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: austin944 on October 23, 2018, 01:27:44 PM

I've lost weight without explicitly counting calories by following these simple rules:

1) Try to wait until hungry before eating a meal.
2) Put only enough food on your plate to make yourself feel satisfied (not hungry), but not full.  It helps to use fixed meal plans so you can accurately judge how much food you will need.
3) If you're still hungry after your first plate of food, then go back for seconds
4) If you put too much food on your plate, then put less food on the plate for the next meal of that same plan.

To avoid wasting food, you can measure out your carbs in a cup or bowl, or weigh them.  If you have excess food, measure out less food in the cup for the next meal, or use it as leftovers.  If you get hungry too soon before the next meal, then measure out more carbs for the next meal.

Eventually you will learn how much food to measure out for each kind of carb to avoid being hungry.

If you start to feel hungry before the next meal, then have a healthy snack on hand.  I've used fruit, nuts, and whole grain cereal.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: MustacheAnxiety on October 23, 2018, 03:51:25 PM
The myriad of different ways people maintain a healthy weight has been enlightening.  While I have never been overweight, I have moved a fair amount within the "normal" BMI category fluctuating between 19 and 23.  To the extent they can be helpful to anyone here are my thoughts an observations on avoiding being overweight:

The number 1 "habit" that has kept me from being overweight is almost always eating with people who have never been overweight.  Eating with others that consume reasonable, healthy portions has always consciously or unconsciously helped to keep my eating habits reasonable.  I think it is a mix of encouragement to eat healthy and avoiding encouragement to eat unhealthy when I am not otherwise thinking about dessert.  I am not well known for my ability to watch other people eat cookies and not have one myself.

As a side not, a close friend and eventual roommate of mine was about 100 lbs overweight and I never understood why from eating meals together.  But after living together I saw the constant stream of prepackaged junk food wrappers in the trash and it really brought home the idea that eating when no one is looking can be deadly.

Growing up we always had heaping plates, but they were usually 75% vegetable and 25% meat/carbs.  There was the occasional pizza or pasta night but probably no more than twice a month. A genuine enjoyment of eating green (and other healthy) vegetables is another helpful habit, even if they are generally enjoyed with a little butter and seasonings or salad dressing.

I was the thinnest when I either:
exercised like a fiend: 15+ hours of vigorous exercise a week, mostly swimming.  Moderate exercise even 5 or 6 hours a week has never had much impact on my weight although it is much better for my health.
Was under such immense stress at work that I was probably borderline anorexic (not recommended)

I was the heaviest when:
I indulged my sweet tooth daily. Mostly in college when dessert was put out with every meal.  After developing the habit I craved junk food pretty intensely every evening.  Breaking the habit of dessert after a meal has been an important part of maintaining a healthy weight.

Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: GoCubsGo on October 24, 2018, 01:24:09 PM
I've read through most of the posts and I haven't seen what I've found to be the main reason I've maintained a healthy weight for 15 years.  I think body type matters as my father is 325 lbs but can lift a car, he could probably never be 185 lbs, two of my brothers are naturally thin and could probably never get to 225 even if they tried.  I was always in the middle.  Could get fat fast, could get skinny fast.

That said.  My biggest revelation was reading studies related to muscle fibers and the more the better (and that you lose the ability to generate new fibers as you age).  I started weightlifting 2-3 times a week and running/biking 2 times a week (not brisk walking).  Since I started and kept to that routine, I not only maintained my weight but changed my body composition/shape to something I never thought I would be (positively).  My lifestyle for 10+ years:

Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: carolina822 on October 24, 2018, 09:05:56 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.

Honestly, I actually do find this helpful. I'm not the OP, but I've always really wanted to know what the hell it is that the NOW people do on a daily basis that is so different from what I do so that I can either A) aim to do that too or B) not feel as horrible about myself because I don't feel like putting in a 24/7 effort to do what is legitimately harder for me than it is for them (or some combination thereof.)

I really appreciate the acknowledgement that is easier for some than it is for others. We all know people that (seemingly) eat whatever, drink whatever, and can't gain weight even if they try. And that's chalked up to "genes" or "metabolism." But just about every overweight person gets judged for being lazy/undisciplined because hey, it's calories in calories out and there's no way you're not just making excuses. Obviously, it's good to make healthy choices and do what is in one's control re: weight, but that doesn't mean we're all going to see similar results or have the same pants size.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 on October 25, 2018, 05:48:19 AM
Here's another data point. I'm a 34 year old woman, have never been overweight (BMI is 20, have been within 5 pounds of the same weight since I was 18).

- Sleep: About 7 hours a night. I'm not consistent about this - sometimes it's 5 hours, sometimes it's 8.

- Exercise: I exercise pretty much every day, either running, swimming, biking, or hiking. I love it. A normal weekend will be about 15 miles of hiking. I used to lift weights but didn't stick to it as I find it a bit boring. I also take a walk every evening after dinner.

- Food: I love to eat and cook. Eating at restaurants is entertainment for me and I do it several times a week. I plan trips around food destinations and have dreams about specific dishes.
After reading about other's exemplary diets, I'm embarrassed to say mine is not great. (Not sure what a "macro" is.) I don't eat much red meat but I do eat tons of carbs (breadmaking is a hobby), cheese, and fried foods. I think my saving grace is that I have a hard time eating anything I'm not excited about, so the overall quantity I eat is usually small. If I'm full, I stop.

- Other: I don't smoke and the only thing I drink is water. I assume genetics are a factor because my mother is very similar. She's slim and active and can live on chocolate croissants.

ETA: My cholesterol/metabolic panels are excellent, so I guess my diet could be worse.

“Macro” stands for “macronutrient” and refers to the categories of carbohydrates, protein and fat.

As far as scientific reductionism goes, the concept indicates that one is talking about the major metabolic pathways, usually in the context of energy metabolism. Its usefulness in science is limited but the terms still serve well as part of a book or article title.

The public discourse, however, goes on and on using macronutrient terminology despite of being of limited use. The food industry has a vested interest to keep the general discussion centered on macronutrients because it helps maintain the myth of interchangeability of foods and food-like substances (engineered foods, also known as Frankenfoods, junk foods, etc.). Nutrition labels were originally introduced to help consumers to make informed decision about their diet. Inadvertently, these labels have raised the awareness of the public of the concept of macronutrients and the food industry uses it in its advertising (low fat, high protein etc.). As long as a discourse about how to eat well focuses on macronutrients instead of real foods, it likely has not left the sandbox set up and maintained by concerns which are not identical with the concerns of an indivdual who wants to learn how to eat well. You can search “nutritionism” to find out more about that and similar issues.

Macronutrients are distinct from food groups which are a different way to categorize food. The elements of the individual food groups are actual foods whereas the elements of macronutrient “groups” are categorized according to the major metabolic pathways used and that comes down to biochemistry. Macronutrient “groups” and food groups contain numerous different elements with the food groups showing a mind boggling variety.

Thinking in terms of macronutrients when dealing with one’s diet has severe limitations.
Even in the case of protein, which is the macronutrient for which it makes most sense to think about in these terms, one has to take a closer look because the biologic value of proteins from plant sources may vary between 0% and 100% depending on what other source protein was consumed concurrently. The reason for that are the essential amino acids contained in some proteins, especially from animal sources, in the absence of which the deficient protein is shunted to carbohydrate pathways via a process called gluconeogenesis.
This is all well and good in the right context, but it is ridiculous when all one wants to know is what to eat. Here, the correct answer is to eat your lentils with a bit of yoghurt, a piece of cheese or meat etc.

Scientific reductionism is extremely powerful in the right context and can be funny when applied in the inappropriate context.

Imagine a food company (FC) trying to sell someone (S) orange juice:

FC: “Drink this orange juice, it is good for you!”

S: “Really? How come?”

FC: “It contains the juice of six oranges. Oranges are good for you. Drink this orange juice, it is good for you!”

S: “I could never eat six oranges all at once!”

FC: “See! Oranges are good for you. Six oranges are even better for you. Drink this orange juice, it”s good for you!”

S: “Are you sure that eating oranges is really the same as drinking this orange juice?”

FC: “It’s exactly the same thing. Drink this orange juice, it’s good for you!”

S: “But how can you be sure that it’s the same thing?”

FC: “We have an expensive laboratory and we analyzed the orange juice to come up with the numbers we have to print on this label you see on the bottle of our healthy orange juice. We also analyzed six oranges and the results are exactly the same. Now drink this orange juice, it’s good for you!”

S: “Fascinating. How did you actually do the analysis on the six oranges? Sounds difficult!”

FC: “Too difficult for you to understand. Basically, we have this expensive machine and our scientists pour the sample in on one side and on the other side it prints out the nutrition label. Drink this orange juice, it’s good for you!”

S: “But how do you get the oranges into the machine?”

FC: “We got this little blender. Drink this orange juice, it’s good for you!”

S: “And how do you make your orange juice?”

FC: “We got this really big blender... Drink this orange juice, it’s good for you!”


(The first step in macronutrient analysis of a food typically involves homogenization (blending). Of course, the main difference between six oranges and the juice is that one cannot have six oranges in one sitting. The other difference is that sugars contained in the fruit are released by breaking up the oranges. These sugars are then free to be absorbed quickly. Fruit juice is a good example for how single step processing can transform a beneficial food into something physiologically not much different from soft drinks.)

What I’m trying to get at is that reductionism has its place and that it is not merely a theoretical abstraction but baked into any analysis.
In the case of the orange juice, all the differences between oranges and the juice are intentionally erased prior to making the comparison at the macronutrient level.
When one compares foods at the macronutrient level, one has to be aware that all other differences have been intentionally stripped away.
The absence of differences is not an artifact or mere oversight but by design.
Suggesting the interchangeability of foods based on macronutrient analysis should be called what it is: a willful deception. The same is true for the suggested interchangeability of calories. The food industry knows all this very well.





Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: wenchsenior on October 25, 2018, 07:29:37 AM
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.

Honestly, I actually do find this helpful. I'm not the OP, but I've always really wanted to know what the hell it is that the NOW people do on a daily basis that is so different from what I do so that I can either A) aim to do that too or B) not feel as horrible about myself because I don't feel like putting in a 24/7 effort to do what is legitimately harder for me than it is for them (or some combination thereof.)

I really appreciate the acknowledgement that is easier for some than it is for others. We all know people that (seemingly) eat whatever, drink whatever, and can't gain weight even if they try. And that's chalked up to "genes" or "metabolism." But just about every overweight person gets judged for being lazy/undisciplined because hey, it's calories in calories out and there's no way you're not just making excuses. Obviously, it's good to make healthy choices and do what is in one's control re: weight, but that doesn't mean we're all going to see similar results or have the same pants size.

So did the responses in this thread cause you to lean toward A or B? Were any of the NOW habits reported surprising or useful?
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: rdaneel0 on October 25, 2018, 10:13:03 AM
I've never been overweight but I have to work pretty hard to maintain my body. When I was younger I was a serious athlete and could eat pretty much anything, but when I got my first desk job I put on a lot of weight (35 pounds over a year and a half or so, and I'm just under 5'2" so that's a lot for me). I was eating like a full-time athlete while sitting at a desk all day!

I was shocked at how long it took for me to lose the weight. I think it probably took me about 10-14 months of hardcore dieting to do it and I have no previous issues around food. I did a combination of calorie counting (what an epic pain in the ass) and whole 30s to reach my pre-office job weight (107-111ish). I've kept off the weight since then (6 years) but I do have to think about what I eat. When I have very low physical activity times I calorie count and restrict quite a bit, but the rest of the time I subscribe to the three meals a day plan, and nothing more (with small portions) to stay in shape.

General habits that allow me to stay at my current weight:

I cook almost all of my own food and rarely eat out.

I have a go-to low-calorie meal plan so I don't have to count calories when I'm less active. I eat 2 eggs and 1/4 avocado for breakfast, a large salad for lunch, and a large bowl of (non cream based) soup for dinner.

I love healthy food. I genuinely prefer healthy food to junk food 99% of the time.

I naturally moderate with little to no effort. If I eat a giant burger and fries and drink a bunch of beer one night, the next day I might not have my first meal until 3:00 pm, and it'll probably be something healthy and light. This isn't even intentional, it's just what I do naturally.

I don't snack very much. This is intentional because when I snack I gain weight. I love snacking damn it!

I splurge when I'm out. When I do go out I indulge in whatever I want which I think helps me stay very healthy the rest of the time. I often get the "you're just lucky" comment about my weight, and I think part of it is because people only see me when I'm eating/drinking atypically. They don't see me eating the same breakfast every single day or calorie counting when I'm inactive or working out like a maniac, lol.

I work out very consistently and always have. I love physical activity and I think that's a huge advantage for maintaining a healthy weight. I aim for an hour a day (4-5 days a week) of pretty serious pushing it to the max working out. It would be much harder to do this if I hated being active. I also think a lot of non-athletes waste their workout time on inefficient workouts/poor form, so they don't see the best results.

This is probably the biggest one: I have no negative associations with food or weight. Food and weight are not loaded topics for me. I don't have bad memories of diets or weight discussions. Food and cooking in my house was always a celebration. I also did not have access to much processed food growing up, and I think this helped form my taste buds. A lot of junk food that's popular tastes pretty disgusting to me.



Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Arbitrage on December 03, 2018, 02:57:28 PM
40M, never had weight problems.  I've often been "overweight" per BMI, due to high muscle mass as a regular weightlifter.  I did probably have one stage in my life where I was overweight due to a life circumstances - studying 12-16 hours/day for a huge examination and eating terribly, but it was temporary. 

I'm actually around both the minimum body fat and maximum strength I've been for my adult life currently. 

I have noticed a drop in metabolism over the past 10-15 years.  I do pay attention to my weight. 

Exercise Habits
Weightlifting 3-5 times per week, fairly heavy weights but not all-out powerlifting.  Mostly in maintenance at this point; my strength fluctuates primarily around whether I have to pause or cut back on my workouts due to work-related travel, vacation, illness, or injury.  Not endeavoring to bulk up further. 

E-Bike commute daily, 13-14 miles round trip: This is a new habit, going on about 6 months.  I don't burn a ton of calories on the trip in, as I'm shooting to arrive at work sweat-free.  I burn a lot more on the way home or on recreational/errand rides.

Weekends: e-bike trips of variable distance for errands or recreation.  Not every day.  Occasional other exercise such as hiking, kayaking, but not as much as I'd like. 

I do have a Fitbit, and it occasionally motivates me to walk more, grabbing an afternoon walk here and there. 

I take the stairs.

In the past, I was more active in team sports, playing ultimate frisbee, basketball, other sports.  Also used to downhill ski several times per winter and have had periods of interest in indoor rock climbing. 

Eating
I don't strictly limit my eating, but try to keep my splurges/cheating limited (e.g. certain times of year, only infrequently, only when near my target weight).  If I need to cut a few pounds - this does happen a couple of times per year - I will generally avoid sweets and limit snacking - my most vulnerable times are before and after dinner.  I try to be more cognizant of portion sizes as well.

I'd say that my most effective habits have been:
(a) Building my day around my exercise - if I have an opportunity to come up with an excuse not to workout, I just may do so.  My workouts are during my lunch period at work.  This does mean that I can struggle to get enough workouts in during long breaks or travel, though I'm usually pretty good during work travel (albeit with inferior workout facilities).  Previous times in my life where I was very diligent about working out were when I stopped by the on-site gym every day straight after leaving the office, and another period where I woke up and drove straight to the gym after waking (when much younger).  It needs to be automatic, with no need to make a real decision to go to the gym. 

Now that I bike to work, there's additional exercise built into every day, though I've added a mini 'biking meal' to compensate.

(b) If needing to cut back, I brush my teeth immediately after dinner.  Cuts out the after-dinner snacking. 

(c) Bringing lunch to work.  Part of my 'working out at lunch' means there's no time to go grab lunch.  I avoid the pitfalls of high-calorie lunches out, save money and time. 

Outside of those strategies, it does come down to willing myself to cut down on portions, cut out junk food, or avoid other snacking.  I haven't had to make any wholesale changes to my diet, though I am now eating out far more at home for monetary reasons. 

I do consume a lot of calories, certainly more than 2000 per day.  I also burn a good number of calories.  Maybe I'm blessed with good metabolism, but if so, part of that is definitely due to a lifetime of building and maintaining high muscle mass. 
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Hula Hoop on December 05, 2018, 05:25:05 AM

Again anyone can observe any food that is offered in most restaurants and/or highschools.

Compare this to the menu of a school in my country for example - it's always been like this ... I am in my thrities and even when I was young it was like this:

(https://cl.ly/4d25922b2302/Image%202018-10-19%20at%2011.19.31%20AM.png)

For translation this is the weekly menu for the school:

Monday:
Cabbage Soup
Fish (real fish) with pasta and romaine lettuce, corn, and beet
Dessert: Pineapple, kiwi or peach

Tuesday:

Soup: Cauliflower and Broccoli cream soup
Entree - Stew of chickpeas and chicken with lettuce, corn and beet
Dessert - Melon, peach or Kiwi

Wednesday:

Soup - White bean cream soup
Entree - Hake fish with boiled eggs with steamed potatoes and broccoli
Dessert - Peach, melon or grapes

Thursday
Soup - Spinach soup
Entree - Sauteed meatballs with tomato sauce and pasta
Dessert - Orange, Melon or grapes

Friday
Soup - Pea cream
Entree - Codfish with tomato rice
Dessert - Grapes, orange or apple

This is the typical menu at a school be it public or private. Good old fashioned food. This contrasts a lot with what is seen nowadays in US highschools for example. I coach highschool kids and I gag at what I see them eat in a typical day, even the ones that are/look healthy. I have seen a lot of my old classmates that were super athletes in highschool in US (I did my senior year in US) that have gained considerable weight. Actually even normal athletes this happens. They stop having the same activity as when they did so much activity but yet eat the same way - even though some might do it healthy way, calorie wise might be a lot ... they never adjusted. Again ingrained habits/behaviours/patterns. I think there needs to be not only a major change in how food diet is explained and taught in schools but also the offers that are made available. And by food diet I don't mean a temporary regime but your lifestyle food choices.

MrSal - this is pretty similar to the school lunches that my kids eat (they are compulsory - no bringing lunch to school) at their public school here in Italy.  It's the traditional food that people eat here and it's real food.  A typical lunch would be pasta or risotto followed by meat, fish or cheese with veggies on the side (things like steamed spinach, broccoli or chard) and fruit for dessert.  Occasionally they get ice cream for dessert.  I think it's good as the kids learn to eat real food not 'kid foods'.  And they learn that food is a part of life to be enjoyed socially - not something to feel guilty about or to restrict.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Unique User on December 05, 2018, 08:35:29 AM
I find it very interesting the number of people that responded are 40 and younger.  With the exception of pregnancy weight (which I dropped with almost no effort) I never had a weight problem until I was around 47 and in my first office job, not surprising since it corresponded to starting menopause.  I've done the small changes, lowering carbs, portion sizes, sugars, adding exercise, but I've come to the realization that I just need to drastically cut calories.  Most of my family is overweight so between that and menopause the small changes have probably made no impact except maybe to keep me just overweight, not obese. 
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 on December 05, 2018, 10:13:42 AM
I find it very interesting the number of people that responded are 40 and younger.  With the exception of pregnancy weight (which I dropped with almost no effort) I never had a weight problem until I was around 47 and in my first office job, not surprising since it corresponded to starting menopause.  I've done the small changes, lowering carbs, portion sizes, sugars, adding exercise, but I've come to the realization that I just need to drastically cut calories.  Most of my family is overweight so between that and menopause the small changes have probably made no impact except maybe to keep me just overweight, not obese.

I’m 56 and have not experienced difficulties maintaining my weight. I’m also way above average when it comes to physical activity.
You did not give enough information regarding the amount of exercise you are doing, nor the type of exercise. In any case, it is impossible to give individualized recommendations in this setting so let me just give you and others some food for thought.

There is a loss of muscle mass with advancing age which starts at around 30 years. Unless someone does regular heavy lifting at work or is exposed to resistance work as part of their leisure activities, there is no other way to prevent that, and it can be prevented, than with weight lifting/resistance training. There is absolutely no risk for women inadvertently bulking up - it’s as unlikely as me inadvertently ending up on top of Mount Everest after taking a wrong turn on my morning walk with my dogs. Proper instruction is required for beginners or they won’t get anywhere.

The second thing is the dose of moderate physical activity. There is this official recommendation asking for 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise (or half of that for vigorous exercise) as the minimum per week. As one can see, the experts are confused, evidenced by them giving a range for a lower limit. That aside, the recommendations are meant to improve the general health of a population for which hiding the TV remote control constitutes an exercise program; and the improvement in public health is to be achieved with the lowest effective dose of physical activity. Within these constraints, the official recommendations are not that bad. However, if one is not almost completely immobilized on an everyday basis and does not see physical activity as something to be avoided to the largest extent possible, these recommendations need to be ignored.
The often mentioned failure of physical activity having an effect on excess body weight is another issue to be informed about. First of all, physical activity of the right kind and dose leads to substantial differences in body composition which are not reflected on the scale, but most certainly in health outcomes. And now we are coming to the issue of dose of physical activity.

So, how much physical activity is necessary for optimal health outcomes? Well, we know that pretty well, just like we know very well what to do to prevent sarcopenia, osteoporosis, back pain and a host of other conditions that respond very well to theoretically modifiable lifestyle factors. Unfortunately, the answer is not the one the average person wants to hear. What we do not have, and probably never will, is the trick, or the pill, that allows us to continue the average American lifestyle without suffering the consequences.

The official recommendations for physical activity ask for 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity, or its equivalent in vigorous activity, per week. Translated into MET minutest makes 600-1200 MET minutes per week. (Brisk walking is approximately a 4 MET activity and walking briskly for one hour is 240 MET minutes)
The authors of the meta-analysis (link below) use MET minutes to make the studies they looked at comparable.

https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/354/bmj.i3857.full.pdf

The systematic review of high quality studies shows that there is a clear dose response to physical activity of at least moderate intensity for a group of diseases associated with sedentariness with the effects of sedentariness disappearing between 3000-4000 MET minutes per week. This translates into approximately 800-1000 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.
This is more than 5-6 times the lower limit of the range of the recommended lower limit (I’m not trying to be difficult here, just working with what the experts decided to give us) and 2.5-4 times the upper limit of the range of the recommended lower limit.

Interestingly, 10000 steps a day plus a couple of weight lifting sessions and an hour of higher intensity exercise per week gets one right where one wants to be from an optimization perspective.
Combine all that with a halfway decent diet and chances are that obesity is not anything one would spend much time thinking about.





Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: CNM on December 05, 2018, 10:30:40 AM
@MrSal Do you live in Portugal?  My brother in law is Portuguese and he has told me many times how fanatical they are about eating soup as a 1st course!  :)  Seems like soup is a strong cultural touchstone!
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: mm1970 on December 05, 2018, 11:30:30 AM
I find it very interesting the number of people that responded are 40 and younger.  With the exception of pregnancy weight (which I dropped with almost no effort) I never had a weight problem until I was around 47 and in my first office job, not surprising since it corresponded to starting menopause.  I've done the small changes, lowering carbs, portion sizes, sugars, adding exercise, but I've come to the realization that I just need to drastically cut calories.  Most of my family is overweight so between that and menopause the small changes have probably made no impact except maybe to keep me just overweight, not obese.
I'm over 40.  So are many of my friends!  I think a lot of it comes down to individual genetics and lifestyles.

I haven't hit menopause yet, but I have been overweight - so I really had to start worrying about my weight in my 20s.  But I found that what worked then, didn't work in my 30s, and that didn't work in my 40s. 

Most of my older sisters have been through menopause, and every one of them gained weight in their midsection. I don't know their eating habits, but they were all (and still are) physically active.

Drastic calorie reduction doesn't even always work.  A good friend of mine, blessed with better genes, was never the slightest bit overweight.  Had one baby - gained 10 lbs with the pregnancy and he was 8.5 lbs.  Until she turned 70...she gained 15 lbs and despite cutting her calories, could NOT take it off.  She gradually cut them till 1200 cals per day.

She complained to her doc who said "you are 70".  In the end, 2x a week she added a boot camp class with HIIT.  That took the weight off.  She was already exercising daily - over an hour of walking, stretching classes, and weight training.

The only over-40 people I know who don't have struggles with weight fall into 2 categories:
1.  The very physically active
2.  The genetically gifted

I have to be careful, but I've maintained my healthy weight for four years now.  (That's when I lost the 2nd pregnancy weight.)  2 ways:
1.  I'm pretty physically active.  I wouldn't say "very", but I did spend most of this year training for half marathons.  So I ran an average of 10-15 miles a week.
- because tracking is awesome, my Garmin tells me I averaged 1280 minutes a month, or 42+ minutes per day of activity
- because tracking is not awesome, my current level of activity is 30 min per day.  Post injury.
2.  I gave up eating wheat because it didn't agree with me, and 8 lbs just kinda dropped off over the year.  I'm guessing inflammation.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Hula Hoop on December 05, 2018, 03:38:41 PM
I'm 47 and a woman. I also have a full time desk job. I'll keep an eye out for weight gain when I hit menopause but so far I've stayed at my usual weight and I eat normally.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: MrSal on December 06, 2018, 06:12:14 AM
@MrSal Do you live in Portugal?  My brother in law is Portuguese and he has told me many times how fanatical they are about eating soup as a 1st course!  :)  Seems like soup is a strong cultural touchstone!

Yes I am. Indeed. Traditional 3 course meal is mandatory at schools... And most family dinners the same. Soup is 1st course and very present. It's a good way to have lots of veggies and rich nutrients in one go. I love soup - spinach soup, carrot cream, and so forth.

It's common, for elderly people, for example my grandmother does not eat much nowadays.,especially at dinner time she doesn't have the hunger for 3 course meal on a daily basis. It's mostly a big bowl of soup and dessert.

Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: MrSal on December 06, 2018, 06:28:36 AM

Again anyone can observe any food that is offered in most restaurants and/or highschools.

Compare this to the menu of a school in my country for example - it's always been like this ... I am in my thrities and even when I was young it was like this:

(https://cl.ly/4d25922b2302/Image%202018-10-19%20at%2011.19.31%20AM.png)

For translation this is the weekly menu for the school:

Monday:
Cabbage Soup
Fish (real fish) with pasta and romaine lettuce, corn, and beet
Dessert: Pineapple, kiwi or peach

Tuesday:

Soup: Cauliflower and Broccoli cream soup
Entree - Stew of chickpeas and chicken with lettuce, corn and beet
Dessert - Melon, peach or Kiwi

Wednesday:

Soup - White bean cream soup
Entree - Hake fish with boiled eggs with steamed potatoes and broccoli
Dessert - Peach, melon or grapes

Thursday
Soup - Spinach soup
Entree - Sauteed meatballs with tomato sauce and pasta
Dessert - Orange, Melon or grapes

Friday
Soup - Pea cream
Entree - Codfish with tomato rice
Dessert - Grapes, orange or apple

This is the typical menu at a school be it public or private. Good old fashioned food. This contrasts a lot with what is seen nowadays in US highschools for example. I coach highschool kids and I gag at what I see them eat in a typical day, even the ones that are/look healthy. I have seen a lot of my old classmates that were super athletes in highschool in US (I did my senior year in US) that have gained considerable weight. Actually even normal athletes this happens. They stop having the same activity as when they did so much activity but yet eat the same way - even though some might do it healthy way, calorie wise might be a lot ... they never adjusted. Again ingrained habits/behaviours/patterns. I think there needs to be not only a major change in how food diet is explained and taught in schools but also the offers that are made available. And by food diet I don't mean a temporary regime but your lifestyle food choices.

MrSal - this is pretty similar to the school lunches that my kids eat (they are compulsory - no bringing lunch to school) at their public school here in Italy.  It's the traditional food that people eat here and it's real food.  A typical lunch would be pasta or risotto followed by meat, fish or cheese with veggies on the side (things like steamed spinach, broccoli or chard) and fruit for dessert.  Occasionally they get ice cream for dessert.  I think it's good as the kids learn to eat real food not 'kid foods'.  And they learn that food is a part of life to be enjoyed socially - not something to feel guilty about or to restrict.

Yup. I assume this type of food is pretty standard in most romance countries (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and other mediterranean countries). Yes very seldom there would be icecream or something but very rarely. Maybe near Summer or so, same for burguers. Even burguers would never be a burguer in a bun. It would just be a standard meal (ground meat patty with rice, spaghetti/pasta and or potatoes).
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Michael in ABQ on December 09, 2018, 07:20:58 PM
5'8", mid-30s, never weighed more than 170lbs in my life. Currently around 160 +/-. A year or two ago I was diagnosed with fructose malabsorption which means if I eat anything with high-fructose corn syrup or lots of fructose in general (apples, pears, a lot of different types of fruits and vegetables) I get severe bloating and burping that lasts for hours. After I was diagnosed I basically cut sugar completely out of my diet to include a lot of grains. I dropped from about 165 down to 150-155. I found myself trying to eat more calories to compensate for the weight loss. I've since been able to expand my diet to include some sugar and a limited amount of fruits and vegetables but I still have to watch what I eat far more than I did a few years before when I basically could eat anything with no problems.

I've worked office jobs since college. Finally got a standing desk a year ago but prior to that I sat 8-9 hours a day.

I joined the Army National Guard at 18 and have generally been in combat roles (infantry and the like) so there's an expectation to maintain a relatively high level of physical fitness. For most of the last 15 years that's meant running a couple of miles once or twice a week and doing some push-ups and sit-ups in the morning or evening. I have spent maybe 20-30 hours in a gym my entire adult life. I'm not a fan of exercise but I do what it takes to get by.

My diet is reasonably healthy. I rarely eat out and my wife or I cook almost all meals from scratch. A lot of meat, grains, and relatively little fruit due to the fructose issue.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: AK_FED on December 10, 2018, 11:54:51 PM
5'10" 30 y/o male.  My adult weight has varied between 165-193.  I've always been active, but the activity level has ranged from "extremely active" to just "active" and my weight fluctuates accordingly.  Given the direct correlation between my weight and activity level I am certain I could become obese (and look like my brother) if I dropped the ball.  After reaching an all time high weight of 193 in late 2017 I decided to get back at it.  In 2018, I started running every day (21 days off this year), and went vegan (although not for ethical reasons. Rather only because I enjoy cooking and want to be like Kyrie Irving and the other plant based NBA stars).  This is the first time in my life I've ever watched what I eat and I've found it to be extremely fun (I ate falafel yesterday). After being vegan for a year and 1900 miles of running I'm back down to ~166 lbs.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: tigersforsale on December 12, 2018, 06:10:35 PM
Early 30s female, BMI 21.0. This is my set point. Never been overweight as per request. I believe it has a lot to do with genetics for me.

Twice when I was younger, I dieted to try and get fashionably slim (near underweight). Both times, after I had lost the weight, I started binge eating like crazy and shot up to over a 23 BMI, the only time my body wanted to go that high. I do wonder if this is a major problem for people with high set points that they try to change. Once, I was very ill for about two months and lost fifteen pounds due to that - oddly enough, I kept it off for almost a year without trying and gradually went back up to 21 BMI. Not sure what the difference was.

Anyhow, here are my normal habits. Was never exposed to fast food, processed food or soda as a child, so don't really like them as an adult. I do love my fatty foods and eat lots of them, particularly when it involves olive oil, cheese or pie. I do not count calories and have no idea how many I take in, just eat until I'm short of being uncomfortably full sometimes, but definitely eat myself near comatose at other times. I try to get a couple servings of fruits or vegetables every day, so that probably takes up space that would otherwise go to less healthy food. I generally don't eat much until dinnertime, that's my main meal of the day. Don't get any exercise currently except about a mile walk 3-4x per week.

Also, I have to add that I've never had a baby. For women around my age, that seems to make the biggest difference.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: Scandium on December 13, 2018, 11:57:33 AM
All you disgustingly healthy people, with your 9 hrs of sleep and 3 hr bike rides.. Pah who has the time!
36 male. 5'11". ~165 lb. Kids 4 & 2 yo.
I'm decently fit, but not a lifestyle to model I think. I can squat 200lb and bench 160, so many will beat me, but they're usually bigger (and can't all do 15 pullups:)

Sleep 6 hrs.
Walk old dog; <15 min.
smoothie in car, plain oatmeal at desk.
PB&J and sardine sandwich lunch (4 slices of bread, ohgod carbs!..)
We make all dinner from scratch. Fish or chicken only, lots of veggies.
Eat lots of fruit (sugar!). Like beer, but usually 1-2/week
kettlebell gym once a week, 1 hour.
Trying to do 20 min set in the morning 1-2 a week. But 5:30 is so early..

I've avoided/minimized fat and sugar since my 20s. So it's yeah somewhat genetic, but hate being told who "lucky" I am to be skinny! Do you know how much butter, sugar, fries etc I've denied myself compared to the average person?! How many hours of reading nutritional labels and comparing sugar percentages?! Over 7 years since I've been in McDonals. Eating salmon and rice for dinner in college.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: PeteD01 on December 14, 2018, 10:06:40 AM
All you disgustingly healthy people, with your 9 hrs of sleep and 3 hr bike rides.. Pah who has the time!
36 male. 5'11". ~165 lb. Kids 4 & 2 yo.
I'm decently fit, but not a lifestyle to model I think. I can squat 200lb and bench 160, so many will beat me, but they're usually bigger (and can't all do 15 pullups:)

Sleep 6 hrs.
Walk old dog; <15 min.
smoothie in car, plain oatmeal at desk.
PB&J and sardine sandwich lunch (4 slices of bread, ohgod carbs!..)
We make all dinner from scratch. Fish or chicken only, lots of veggies.
Eat lots of fruit (sugar!). Like beer, but usually 1-2/week
kettlebell gym once a week, 1 hour.
Trying to do 20 min set in the morning 1-2 a week. But 5:30 is so early..

I've avoided/minimized fat and sugar since my 20s. So it's yeah somewhat genetic, but hate being told who "lucky" I am to be skinny! Do you know how much butter, sugar, fries etc I've denied myself compared to the average person?! How many hours of reading nutritional labels and comparing sugar percentages?! Over 7 years since I've been in McDonals. Eating salmon and rice for dinner in college.

You think that you are not a lifestyle model.
Well, let’s see.

You squat 200lbs - the average person doesn’t even know exactly what a squat is and of course have no idea what squatting 200lbs means in the big scheme of things.

You walk your dog every day - the average American does not walk anywhere beyond couch to car, to job, to store, to fridge.

You do a one hour kettlebell workout every week and try to squeeze in a bit more - that’s so far beyond what the average person is doing that I do not even know what to say.

You do not eat processed food or fast food - the average American obtains about 60% of caloric intake from processed food.

You limit your sugar intake - average Americans ingest their body weight in form of sugar every couple of years or so.

You cook every dinner at home and from scratch - if one considers what the average person is doing, you are abnormal.


Bottom line is that, for a majority of Americans, you can serve very well as a role model:

You are exceeding the official recommendations for physical activity which are aspirational for the majority of Americans.

Just the kettlebell workouts alone give you the muscular development and ability to move vigorously, without even realizing it, during any other activity, putting many of your age peers to shame. If you keep this up for the next 15 years, the difference to your age peers is going to be enormous.

You got your diet under control without dieting. That is a really big deal in a world were the vast majority is at the mercy of food advertising and basically totally out of control.

You are living a very different lifestyle than the average American without having more time for doing it than the average person. If anything, you make perfectly clear that lack of time is nothing but a lame excuse for taking the path of convenience.
Title: Re: Never been overweight? Tell us about your habits
Post by: MrSal on December 14, 2018, 04:05:25 PM
All you disgustingly healthy people, with your 9 hrs of sleep and 3 hr bike rides.. Pah who has the time!
36 male. 5'11". ~165 lb. Kids 4 & 2 yo.
I'm decently fit, but not a lifestyle to model I think. I can squat 200lb and bench 160, so many will beat me, but they're usually bigger (and can't all do 15 pullups:)

Sleep 6 hrs.
Walk old dog; <15 min.
smoothie in car, plain oatmeal at desk.
PB&J and sardine sandwich lunch (4 slices of bread, ohgod carbs!..)
We make all dinner from scratch. Fish or chicken only, lots of veggies.
Eat lots of fruit (sugar!). Like beer, but usually 1-2/week
kettlebell gym once a week, 1 hour.
Trying to do 20 min set in the morning 1-2 a week. But 5:30 is so early..

I've avoided/minimized fat and sugar since my 20s. So it's yeah somewhat genetic, but hate being told who "lucky" I am to be skinny! Do you know how much butter, sugar, fries etc I've denied myself compared to the average person?! How many hours of reading nutritional labels and comparing sugar percentages?! Over 7 years since I've been in McDonals. Eating salmon and rice for dinner in college.

You think that you are not a lifestyle model.
Well, let’s see.

You squat 200lbs - the average person doesn’t even know exactly what a squat is and of course have no idea what squatting 200lbs means in the big scheme of things.

You walk your dog every day - the average American does not walk anywhere beyond couch to car, to job, to store, to fridge.

You do a one hour kettlebell workout every week and try to squeeze in a bit more - that’s so far beyond what the average person is doing that I do not even know what to say.

You do not eat processed food or fast food - the average American obtains about 60% of caloric intake from processed food.

You limit your sugar intake - average Americans ingest their body weight in form of sugar every couple of years or so.

You cook every dinner at home and from scratch - if one considers what the average person is doing, you are abnormal.


Bottom line is that, for a majority of Americans, you can serve very well as a role model:

You are exceeding the official recommendations for physical activity which are aspirational for the majority of Americans.

Just the kettlebell workouts alone give you the muscular development and ability to move vigorously, without even realizing it, during any other activity, putting many of your age peers to shame. If you keep this up for the next 15 years, the difference to your age peers is going to be enormous.

You got your diet under control without dieting. That is a really big deal in a world were the vast majority is at the mercy of food advertising and basically totally out of control.

You are living a very different lifestyle than the average American without having more time for doing it than the average person. If anything, you make perfectly clear that lack of time is nothing but a lame excuse for taking the path of convenience.

Maybe this is why... :D Usually when I say my age people get surprised. I look like I am 22-24 years old (seriously it's what people think I am) and am actually almost turning to 34! So hopeffuly this type of lifestyle keeps it going :D eheh I think never having smoked and other addictions - also helps a lot. Sure I drank lots of alcohol in my teens and into my 20s but nowadays not so much. It gets old :D We do get about a bottle of wine a week or so