Overeating, Food Addiction, and Obesity

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by maestro55, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. maestro55 macrumors 68030

    maestro55

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    #1
    At work today we were having a discussion on weight loss and getting into the groove of losing weight. My boss is a big guy who has lost a lot of weight and is changing his eating habits. One of the guys I work with lost over 100lbs in the last year. Both of them are trying to encourage me to lose weight. Last time I weighed myself I was 285lbs (I am 6'3). I am certainly a big guy. I am one of those "ugh.. fat kids" who can go to a buffet and eat 3 or 4 plates.

    I work two jobs and so I do eat a lot of fast food and a lot of snacks. I enjoy eating, in fact earlier this month I went to Hut's hamburgers in Austin, Texas and had two large hamburgers and large fries. I love eating. I suppose most people do and there are some people who can eat way more than me and never gain a pound, I haven't gained too much in the last five years but I certainly haven't lost anything.

    We had the thread about fat kids, and really didn't seem to go anywhere. I would be curious to hear other peoples stories. Are their other people that are in my position where they have decided they are big people and that they really have no desire to lose weight or that they don't have the desire to put forth the effort to lose weight. Or those who have decided to take those measure of exercise, portion control, counting calories, diet pills, etc. What are you stories?

    I put this in PRSI because I know that it could go that direction as discussion continues.
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #2
    If you have no desire to lose weight, why post? If you're happy with yourself then I kind of don't see what the problem is. If it's other people who bother you, guess what? People will always dislike you for something. It's best to not worry about them.
     
  3. ivtecDOu macrumors 6502

    ivtecDOu

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    #3
    say bye to your heart, instead of eating try other activities like exercising or other physical activities to keep fit. Who knows maybe you will like them better than eating?? Its only up to the person who wants to better themselves to make that decision.
     
  4. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #4
    As obesity becomes more and more of an health issue, there are an increasing number of studies into food addiction. The sheer quantity of calories in fast food may also be playing a significant role as biologically speaking they may affect the hormones associated with your body's intake regulation. It might not be as simple as "self control".

    While I personally have never been overweight, nearly every member of my family is fat, or has an eating-related health disorder as a result of poor nutrition. I've seen every kind of fad diet come and go with negligible results, and the only people I know who have been successful in losing weight have done so not because they changed their diet, but because they changed their lifestyle. A friend of mine decided a few years ago (before I met him) that he no longer wished to be a fat guy; he swapped Halo for a Bowflex and hamburgers for veggie burgers. 60 pounds later, he's now trim and fit.

    The biggest step towards losing weight isn't Weight Watchers or Atkins; while these things can be successful, if they were worth their weight in book sales, we'd all be thin. The biggest step is not thinking about diets or salads, but changing your life, and changing how you eat and how you exercise.
     
  5. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #5
    has to be a lifestyle change


    case in point, my brother is 6'1 and was like 215 lbs. not terribly fat but not terribly in shape. always lifted weights and was strong but didnt look it

    well he got sick of it and since this May he has ran everyday for 2 miles and has walked an addirional 4 miles along with working out

    i can tell you he has slimmed down a TON, currently at 185 lbs

    i give that kid a ton of credit

    another key thing he did was not eat as bad as he used too, like not eating 5 slices of pizza just because it was there, no non-diet sodas and the like

    if you have any desire, act on it. it will make you feel 1000000x better about yourself:)
     
  6. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #6
    I find it interesting that the word "food" doesn't appear in your post. I love food but the concept of loving "eating" is simply beyond me.
     
  7. furious macrumors 65816

    furious

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    #7

    I agree with both of you. I currently am about 85kgs. My healthy weight is about 70kgs. I am 5' 11".

    I have been trying to lose weight since March this year. It has not been a success.

    I have only in the past to days realised that I need to stop with my current routine and start a new routine.

    So when the weekend is finished it will start.
     
  8. ivtecDOu macrumors 6502

    ivtecDOu

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    #8
    running is the best thing i ever did, i started when i was 17 and two years later at 19 i still go every day weather permitting. I run 12 laps at my local track which equals about 3 miles. i can up it if i like but i just do it to keep in shape, and its a great hobby.
     
  9. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #9
    No. Start now. Right this second.
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #10
    Actually I think things like Weight Watchers and Atkins can be very beneficial because they give people a ready made diet structure to adhere to. Unfortunately, as has been said, people see them as a temporary diet and not as part of a permanent lifestyle change and so they are doomed to failure.


    Lethal
     
  11. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #11
    Neither one provides the dieter with the tools they need to make good nutritional choices, they only provide a system within which those choices can be made. Atkins is especially junky on the science, but neither one really supplies an individual with the knowledge necessary to make self-sufficient choices (except perhaps to eat Weight Watchers' or Atkin's brand nutritional supplements). But don't take my word for it: the proof is in the pudding. The weight loss industry* is worth nearly $4 billion annually, and yet obesity is steadily increasing.


    ____________________
    * commercial chains & medical programs only, not incl. diet foods, drinks, books or surgeries, with coaching, books and diet foods making up billions more, with growth ranging from 8 to 18 percent annually [Marketdata Enterprises market report]
     
  12. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #12
    I believe the pudding is half the problem...
     
  13. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #13
    true that .. on the other side people who believe in the atkins diet as long term eating should totally not get a place on a kidney waiting list ;)

    but it's still funny how every second person i know who is doing sports can't touch their toes without bending their knees and have all sort of health problems while me the slight overweight guy who is just doing random biking when the weather is nice has no problem with touching my toes and haven't been sick since a decade
     
  14. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #14
    Yes, exactly. To the OP- I understand what you're going through, but from the opposite end of the spectrum, meaning I was always super thin and couldn't keep weight on. If you think people are cruel to the obese, try being super thin. At my lightest, I was 6'3" and 135 pounds. :eek: People used to say the nastiest things, like "Are you sick?" or "You don't eat enough". When I used to work in food service, one woman (actually to my face), requested a new waiter because she was sure I had AIDS (which of course, I don't). Then, on a routine doctor's visit, I was told that I was so thin that I was at risk for heart attack! :eek: I always ate normally and I still got that!

    After that, I decided it was time to make some changes. I started a workout regimen that a friend of mine who was in the Navy put me on (I highly recommend finding someone who's been in the military for workout advice, it's brutal but it works). I also had to change my eating habits and drink tons of protein shakes. I'm talking strict adherence to new ways of eating too. It was extremely difficult, and at times I felt like I was getting nowhere and would get frustrated and depressed. It took me two years to put on 20 pounds and I still looked like a heroin addict! Talk about gradual. The body is stubborn and doesn't like change. I stuck with it though. Now I'm 195 pounds and look better than I've ever looked and I'm 41 years old.

    Fun example- about a month ago, I was waiting for a cab after a night out. A carload of drunk blond girls pulled up to the intersection and started cat-calling me. It was unbelievably flattering. Right after they passed, a carload of drunk African American girls pulled up. :) They said, "Oh baby, you want a ride?" I was like, "Nah, I'm OK". Then they opened their car door and said, "Get in! We'll make you feel even better!" :D I must have turned ten shades of red. ;) But you know what? That felt so good. I ended up skipping the cab and just walking home with a big smile on my face. My whole life people used to make fun of me because of my weight. It's nice to be on the other end now.

    The point is, take care of yourself. It's worth more than you think. It's hard at first, but it does get easier. Once it becomes a habit, you'll wonder how you ever lived without doing it. This is a complete change in the way you live, and it's something you do for the rest of your life. And just so you know- once you get into a good routine, you can have those burgers you mentioned, just not every day. ;)

    Whatever you decide to do, good luck to you and remember that you are OK no matter how you look. Don't let others make you feel bad. If you decide to make a change, do it for yourself. That's the best motivation you'll ever get.
     
  15. nplima macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 26, 2006
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    UK
    #15
    Hi


    I have always been the fat kid with glasses (and the goalkeeper :D ) and I remember at age 9 weighing 45Kgs for 1.45m tall. At age 16 I started exercising regularly and I remember weighing 71kgs for a long time. wouldn't gain nor lose weight but would get stronger and fitter.

    Since university was only 2km away I would walk everyday (return home was uphill hehehe). Then I got my first of several desk-bound jobs. I have been gaining weight except on those rare occasions when I went on a diet.
    At some point, weighing 94kgs (for 1.78m tall) I went to a specialist who prescribed a mix of metabolism-enhancing drugs, along with some weird fibres that would fill the stomach and some mild laxative. Lost about 1kg per month for 10 months and reached a plateau. The treatment was encouraging as the stomach would feel full and after just a few weeks it had less capacity. The tablets also had a slight depressive side-effect which was nasty due to other circumstances. I understand that most women who go to that doctor do have serious depressive episodes.

    Still following that doctor's orders I cut back on that treatment until I was taking no tablets at all. The following 2 years I gradually gained those 10kgs again due to my lack of discipline. I exercise regularly and while I don't eat obviously huge quantities of bad food, I tend to indulge myself with small things that add up to a lot of extra calories.
    One of these days I might go back to a serious treatment again, but coupled with a mild antidepressant - it's just too obvious that I can't handle a proper diet without help from the doctor. At 31 years of age I am stronger than ever but it also shows that I need a bigger effort to improve my fitness compared to 5 or 10 years ago. If I wait until I am 40 to do something about these 10kg-15kgs I have in excess it might be a huge sacrifice.
     
  16. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #16
    You don't really need to change what you eat that much though. Look at it this way. It takes an awful lot of energy to sustain someone who weighs 15+ stone. All they would need to do to start losing weight is to do some exercise. Even an increase of 30 minutes a day would result in weight loss as long as they did it to exhaustion.

    If you find your current exercise regime is starting to feel easy then you know it is time to start doing harder exercises. The aim is for exercise regime to always leave you knackered.

    Edit : Don't take drugs to lose weight. Do it naturally, I'm sure you can spare 20 minutes a day to do exercise. Plus exercise makes you feel FANTASTIC :). Really it does once you get into it.
     
  17. okrelayer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    #17
    Simply eat age. You are hungry not when u want food.overweight People eat because they are depressed or bored, not so much hungry.

    In order to loose weight you need desire, waiting till Monday is not a desire it's a lie.
     
  18. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #18
    I disagree with you to some extent. I can't speak about Atkins but I can say that the goal of WW today is to allow you to eat run of the mill food (non-WW branded stuff) and learn how to eat right. It is not the very best program but it is indeed a program that does get into the educational side of weight loss. You learn that you can take a 10" plate and fill it with one 1/4 pound burger with all the fixings or you can take plate #2 where you see this glorious pile of fruits and vegitables, more than any one person could/should consume in one sitting. I am not saying the weight loss industry isn't a huge industry and yes, people are cashing in on our emotions like mad, but as far as education on what is a better choice and how you can change your habits and probably eat more...the proof is also there in the classes WW and other programs teach. There are actually programs ran by hospitals as well that are far better than WW and Jenny Craig (though I don't know how much education JC does), and the likes.

    I do not know your hands-on experience with either diet, based on what you said above I am guessing you have none. There are programs out there that are educating people instead of just selling their branded foods. There are also books out there that are supposed to be tools but due to the mass selection people are often confused.

    I never understood why it took a diet book to lose weight. I disagree with fad diets as they help you lose rather fast and you always regain the weight, and usually wind up gaining more.

    Anyone who said that diets are silly are right. Anyone who said that you should not go on a diet but change your lifestyle is absolutely correct. You don't need to be some extreme sports junkie to really be thin and lean. Just make it a point to move every single day and I don't mean from your car to the restaurant. It is all about getting that heart-rate up and keeping it there for at least 20 minutes a day to start. Then you move onto 30, etc etc.

    I have friends who say they can't work out because they can't afford to go to a gym. I proceed to tell them that there is an alternative for nearly every cardio machine found in a gym right outside their front door and often in their house. I mean, they're paying for their house why not use it?

    I am in no position to discuss what is right and wrong in terms of eating, but I can say with a certain level of comfort that diets don't work because as it was said before, people find diets to be an event not so much just a way to change. If you have to lose weight by "going on" something (going on a diet, going on WW) then you're not ready to lose the weight.

    I believe the OP mentioned being fat and comfortable with his weight. This is a very interesting statement to me as I've said it before. Actually, I never said it until the first day I lost 16 pounds in a week, it was at that point I said, "I feel good, weird but I thought I felt good before." Now, before anyone busts a nut over losing 16 pounds in a week I am female and nearly half of that was water weight. I was also in fantastic hands of qualified professionals who have fancy medical degrees and white coats to boot. ;) I too thought I was ok with things and rest assured size never hindered my lifestyle. That was until I lost 39% of my body mass. For every pound I lost it was said I was taking 4 pounds of weight off my knees (no I didn't have bigger knees than a normal person). Losing 39% of your body mass even if you're still overweight is like giving yourself back a good 10 years of your life. I didn't think I cared much about the weight until I saw what happened when I lost some.

    The problem though is if you think you're going to lose weight because everyone else tells you to or suggests it you will fail. I am sorry but this is something I knew before ever starting to change my ways and since I must do things in my own time at my own pace, I already knew I would be doomed to fail until I woke up one morning and decided that today I think I'm just going to shed a few pounds. It was just like that, actually more or less a feeling I had but didn't really utter those words until I paid the Arby's employee for my sandwich and fries. :) And yes, I still ate that meal, not as a last hoorah (NEVER HAVE A LAST MEAL!), I was actually quite hungry.

    WRONG! Some overweight people as well as average weight people eat because they are depressed or bored. Not all.
    You are right. There never is a tomorrow in weight loss.
     
  19. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #19
    I'd have to disagree w/that as my GF did WW for a while and stopped w/the official program once she'd learned enough to go it alone. Over time I gleaned info from her that she learned while on WW to make better choices in my own diet. While not an end all, be all I think it's a good starting point and then people can make their own choices down the line if they are self-motivated enough. Sure the diet/weight-loss industry is huge, but that doesn't mean there isn't any good coming out of it as long as you are a discriminating shopper.

    Interesting article over on CNN about the Atkin's diet.
    "A low-carb diet and a Mediterranean-style regimen helped people lose more weight than a traditional low-fat diet in one of the longest and largest studies to compare the dueling weight-loss techniques. A bigger surprise: The low-carb diet improved cholesterol more than the other two. Some critics had predicted the opposite.
    .
    .
    .
    However, all three approaches -- the low-carb diet, a low-fat diet and a Mediterranean diet -- achieved weight loss and improved cholesterol."

    How much you need to change your diet depends on what your diet currently is and how much weight you need/want to drop. If you eat fast food for lunch then come home to a microwave pizza for dinner and eat potato chips and candy bars for snacks while popping 2 or 3 cans of soda a day then you'll have to adjust your diet a lot. ;) Being healthy and losing weight aren't necessarily the same thing. And yes exercise is key as well. Changing ones diet and adapting an exercise program doesn't have to happen all at once, IMO. Baby steps over a series of weeks can be easier for some people rather than going "cold turkey" w/the food they are used to eating and jumping right into a rigid exercise routine. Substituting healthy alternatives for the food that you like to eat helps as well. For example, buy ground turkey instead of ground beef or if you can't resist the potato chip isle grab a bag of Baked Lays instead of regular chips.


    Lethal
     
  20. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #20
    IIRC Weight Watchers is less expensive than Atkins, but Jenny Craig is the most expensive. I'm not suggesting that any of these diets are without a modicum of truth or value, but as I've repeated, a lifestyle change is more effective and more educational than any diet.

    That's not correct. Unless those fruits and vegetables are fried or slathered in oils or salad dressings, no single plate of virtually any fruit or vegetable, no matter how high it's stacked, is going to be "too much". You'd have to eat two kilograms of bananas, 28 medium-sized apples, six kilograms of broccoli, or 14 kilograms of green leaf lettuce to eat too much.

    I volunteer at a non-profit nutritional information centre.

    I did not say that the programs are entirely bereft of information or merit, that's a bit of a straw man. What I have been saying is that programs are not as effective as lifestyle changes, and that to look at any program objectively one must also take into account that this is a multi-billion dollar industry that's growing almost as fast as our waistlines.
     
  21. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #21
    That's a straw man, Lethal. I didn't say that WW or Atkins is entirely ineffective or entirely without method. To match your anecdote, my aunt is now +10 pounds three-ish years after Atkins, and a WW co-worker has failed to lose any meaningful weight (and also screwed up a couple of basic nutrition points during the staff BBQ).

    2001 study by Freedman shows that "low-carb dieters' initial advantage in weight loss was a result of increased water loss, and that after the initial period, low-carbohydrate diets produce similar fat loss to other diets with similar caloric intake" Foster: "have found that, compared with the [low fat] group, the [low carbohydrate] group had generally higher lipid values (total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides)" [Obesity Research Journal]. But again, straw man. My statement was that commercial weight-loss programs are less-effective than lifestyle changes.
     
  22. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #22
    Maybe I wasn't clear. Those places educate in order to help you understand how to change your lifestyle. A lifestyle change starts with educating those who are unclear on what are good/bad foods, understanding how you gain weight, etc. Not everyone is aware that some foods that appear good for you aren't. Education = Lifestyle change.

    This is where I know I wasn't clear. I mean, sure you can eat all of that but you may not want to unless you and your toilet would like to start a very long-lasting love affair. ;)

    I was saying "hands on".

    The programs are there to aide in educating those who need it in order to change their lifestyles. Some work and some do not.
     
  23. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #23
    From the previously posted CNN article:
    You are arguing a point that I never made. What I was saying that some commercial weight-loss programs can be a good, easy starting point for people who want to make lifestyle changes. We both *agree* that for the long term people need to make lifestyle changes, not diet for a couple of weeks then go back to their pre-diet eating and exercise habits. I'm just saying that something like WW is a good first step because part of the program is learning how to analyze what you eat so you can make informed decisions regarding nutrition.


    Lethal
     
  24. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #24
    I was seriously overweight, to the point I could no longer do simple things, like tie my shoes. I only had a couple pair of pants I could fit into. My blood-pressure was through the roof. Much of the joy of life had left me. Still, I was living in denial ("I will begin dieting soon"). Then I was looking at some recent pictures at a family BBQ. I was cooking on the grill for the group. I was absolutely appalled at how I looked. I remember thinking, "You should not be cooking on the grill, you should be on it!"

    The next day I went on-line and studied the SB and Atkins diets. They are quite similar, and primarily focus on carb intake. What I did not like about Atkins, was the high amount of fats one eats. SB also had some downside. Yet, I could see what both were trying to accomplish, and how. I purchased a nutrition reference book, so I could come up with the correct meal plans. I am not going to discuss the detail information, but my eating habits were also changed. Starting with a small, but nutritious breakfast, I snacked lightly during the day - mainly nuts, cheese sticks, seeds and such. I ate a light lunch, which encouraged to eat dinner sooner. That way, I was not going to bed with my stomach full of food. The late night ice cream, cake, pie, etc all went good-bye. If I had achieved my <=14 g of carbs, I could allow myself 2 graham crackers. I spent as much time eating those two, as I used to spend eating a whole pack. Over time, I developed a great number of delicious recipes.

    That began ~18 months ago. I began at 235 lbs. For the past few months, I have been maintaining at 165-167. I wanted to go down to 155, but my doctor advised me against it. She thinks I am right about where I should be - 160 would be the limit. When I reached 200, I was amazed at how much more energy I had. That allowed me to get into an exercise routine, which is also critical. But, it is difficult to exercise when packing so much extra weight.

    As others have rightly pointed out, it all starts with commitment. That is half the battle. It will pull you through the tough times, of get you back on track when you stumble (which will sometimes happen). I will be glad to share with you some of my suggestions, and things which really helped me. Send me a PM if you are interested.

    Good luck!
     
  25. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #25
    Which is exactly why I am a very strong advocate for proper physical and nutritional education in school.

    Believe it or not, there are people who eat only raw fruits and vegetables. Fruititarians, raw vegans, I know a couple guys who pretty much eat bananas.

    Well yes, I've personally never been overweight.

    And yet virtually none of them are marketed as educational tools but as quick fixes, reliant on some "new revolutionary discovery" or other gimmick, and have a whole line of "balanced" nutritional supplements available to you. But act now, supplies are limited. I recognize that they can and do work, and I recognize that they are certainly better than no information at all, but I also recognize their absurd failure rate and profit margins. My original statement even includes "these can be successful", but the caveat remains the same; a lifestyle change works, not a diet. You would be better off seeing a nutritionist and developing a stronger grasp of nutrition fundamentals.

    Re-read my original post, Lethal. "Weight Watchers or Atkins ... can be successful". I simply don't believe that they are the best starting point. Which is why I said "The biggest step ... isn't ".
     

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