Wednesday, January 4, 2012

calories in = calories out = unnecessary torture

i stumbled upon this article today, again, its been all over facebook. but now it was quoted on a blog i like and respect and i read it. it was monstrous (both literally and figuratively speaking). it left a very miserable and anxiety inducing impression.

some months ago i wrote how i feel about the calorie is a calorie theory (i feel its nonsense of a highest grade). and this article shows how true that is. the story of a woman, Janice Bridge, in this article is such a horror story. I mean a woman maintains her 135 lbs weightloss (her current weight is still 195lbs) by measuring every gram she eats, counting every minute of exercise she does. a quote from the article:

She has decided to try to maintain this higher weight of 195, which is still 135 pounds fewer than her heaviest weight.
“It doesn’t take a lot of variance from my current maintenance for me to pop on another two or three pounds,” she says. “It’s been a real struggle to stay at this weight, but it’s worth it, it’s good for me, it makes me feel better. But my body would put on weight almost instantaneously if I ever let up.”
So she never lets up. Since October 2006 she has weighed herself every morning and recorded the result in a weight diary. She even carries a scale with her when she travels. In the past six years, she made only one exception to this routine: a two-week, no-weigh vacation in Hawaii.
She also weighs everything in the kitchen. She knows that lettuce is about 5 calories a cup, while flour is about 400. If she goes out to dinner, she conducts a Web search first to look at the menu and calculate calories to help her decide what to order. She avoids anything with sugar or white flour, which she calls her “gateway drugs” for cravings and overeating. She has also found that drinking copious amounts of water seems to help; she carries a 20-ounce water bottle and fills it five times a day. She writes down everything she eats. At night, she transfers all the information to an electronic record.

the woman is 66, she has had a lifetime full of dieting since she was 14. and when she adheres to the lowfat diet she was put on but didnt lose weight she was accused of cheating:

“No one would believe me that I was doing everything I was told,” she says. “You can imagine how tremendously depressing it was and what a feeling of rebellion and anger was building up.”

sounds familiar much??

i cant even begin to explain how bad i feel for this lady. she has endured this shit all her life. what for???

my feelings are so conflicting. a part of me sees my own mum in her (even though she has no weight issues - not really maybe a 10 lbs extra), im just a softy when it comes to older ladies. a part of me wants me to give her a swift kick in the arse and yell at her something along the lines of :" so calorie counting and lofat hasnt worked since you were 14... but you keep at it religiously??? what does that make you??? maybe you deserve the hell of caloriecounting you call life."



  1. They're so wrong anyway. It's not about burning more calories than you take in. It's about the amount of calories you *store in your bodyfat* versus how many calories you burn. Very different equation. NOT governed by the amount of food you eat, but instead by the *type.* Also your hormonal status. Grandma was right--obesity IS about your glands.

    Starving yourself will only make your glands wonky and make fat loss more difficult. And so many of these people have "lost weight" but too much of the weight was muscle and bone. Like the Twinkie Diet guy. Eight or nine pounds of lean mass gone in just a couple months. NOT a result I would want.

  2. It's a sad story. The problem for that generation is the access to information was/is limited. They rely largely on convential wisdom and really, most people nowadays want to find things out for themselves and thanks to the advent of the internet this has never been easier.

  3. funny, Dana, how i remember my grandma saying exactly the same. so true.

    Shaker, thats why i get so easily irritated with ignorance nowadays. i mean the information is out there and its no rocketscience either. so if you care enough about yourself you should be able to get there. i guess it takes an open mind though. closemindedness also irritates the hell outta me :O

  4. Dana, lean mass includes water. You make it sound like Haub lost eight or nine pounds of muscle and bone! haha.

  5. Aha, but when you see people like Jimmy moore still struggling with gain unless he's doing an egg fest or something, it does show that changing your diet primal or low carb or whatever is not necessarily the solution either. Let's not pretend to have all the answers is all I'm saying.

  6. What would you have her do, eat ad libitum and gain it back? If you think she can just quit eating carbs and she'll lose 50 more pounds and keep it off effortlessly, I will also point out previous comment on JM, regaining again. I just found you from WHS, so I don't know if or how much weight you've lost, but I'm down almost 60, and while I don't weigh, count, or measure anything, I too will gain very easily if I'm not somewhat vigilant.

  7. You say you will remove offensive or X-rated content? What about your own offensive content? Why the F word on the above picture?

  8. anonymous, its my blog :) thats the point

  9. BHI, if you mention Jimmy Moore, you must know that his brand of lowcarb is very "Atkinsy" including everything from lowcarb breads and pastas, to atkinsbars. if you read the page "what is primal" you will notice that i make a point of changing the interplay between the foods we eat. cutting down on your carbs is one thing - a very important thing for a insulinresistant/leptinresistant person. but what is much more important is reversing these resistances and paying attention to what is really important. I.E the problem with grainconsumption is not the carbcontent per se, but the proteins (glutens etc) and plant toxines (lectines, phytates). when you ingest those and get a leaky gut you subject yourself to much more than just obesity. adding in the high inflammatory omega 6 from all the vegetable oils plus high fructose consumtion you are in a deadlock. add the soy and all processed crap and you really are in a bind. Justjuliebesn, Id have her go on a Kruse style leptin reset for the beginning and then drop all grains, omega 6 and processed foods. id get her on a high dose D and K2 and magnesium. id give her body some time to recoup and i think we would see a weightloss. you have done a huge job with that 60. congrats are in order. there are good successstories on marks daily apple you might enjoy and find inspiring. Me myself have just reversed my MS with this lifestyle - the poundage - about 20 lost in fat and 12 gained in lean musclemass.

  10. another very important issue with easier weight maintenance is gaining lean mass - and im definitely NOT talking about the so-called calorieburn-advantage to leanmass (bullshit) but the fact that lean mass is necessary for longterm health in so many ways. there are a couple of good articles touching upon the "fat trap": by Paul Jaminet and Gary Taubes, that are worth a read


On this blog any comment is wellcome, but i will remove offensive or X-rated contents, so dont bother.