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What is the "other" magic factor in obesity & disease?

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  • What is the "other" magic factor in obesity & disease?

    I've been reading a lot of paleo/primal literature here and in books, as well as papers on gluten, sugar & cholesterol that have been linked to on this site and others and I am left with one question.

    Why am I not fat and full of disease?

    I think the theory behind ancestral eating is far more sound than the theory behind the SAD. It never made sense to me that calories were all that mattered, and it didn't make sense as a teenager that eating low fat was all that mattered (endless jelly beans and twizzlers were okay, but not an egg, lol).

    However. I am in my mid-thirties and ate a SAD diet all my life. In the last 10-15 years, I have exercised semi-regularly and adjusted eating habits as needed to keep my weight in check. But I was never great at this. I'd run or do a weight/cardio routine for 4 months, but then take 4 months off. I swapped out hot pockets for tuna, but it took a while longer to regularly eat vegetables & until recently I always gave in a little to my cookies and candy cravings.

    In spite of my good health, I wanted to change to this way of life because my grandparents lives ended with Alzheimers, Cancer, and Cancer. One is still alive at 86. I had one cousin die in his mid-forties from cancer, another cousin who had cancer in her twenties, and an uncle who has battled colon cancer for 5 years. No heart attacks, no obesity in the family, though.

    I question why I am able to live a CW-type lifestyle without too many side effects while others are overweight and have so much trouble losing the weight? If it was all carbs & sugar, I think I'd be as big as most Americans. Is it all gluten sensitivity? Have my moderate attempts to exercise & control my eating been enough?

    What about environmental factors? I don't see that discussed around here, but the EPA thinks it's a pretty big deal for our health. (As someone working in the power industry, I've found it ironic that we have ever-tightening emissions standards, but it's government-approved to poison yourself with our standard food. I don't support pollution, but I think we've done a pretty good job there and very little with our diets by comparison.)

    I feel like there's still one more missing link. Anyone else have similar questions? I'm interested in any research you can point me to or your opinions.

  • #2
    You've lucked out when they gave out gene responsible for fat accumulation, fat distribution, ability to channel calories to muscle vs fat and satiety switch. You likely can digest and utilize carbs more efficiently than an average person. Your family doesn't seem to be inclined to gaining weight as much as most of the people, so it probably runs in the family as well. Any amount of moving around helps, of course, but it is not as crucial as good genes and appetite appropriate to satiety.
    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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    • #3
      I was perfectly fine til I hit 40, then it all ganged up on me. It was a big death spiral for me...gained weight, got sleep apnea, thyroid shut down, cholesterol, bp, trigs shot up, got gout--couldn't exercise, got depressed--drank a lot, got fatter, sleep apnea got worse, gout got worse, got fatty liver disease, pre-diabetic. Found PrimalBlueprint. Cut out sugar, oil, flour, alcohol. Lost weight, cholesterol, trigs, bp normal within 4 months, no more gout, started exercising, liver better, no more sleep apnea, no diabetes, no meds, feelin' great at 48!

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      • #4
        My weight crept up from mid thirties until fifty, but only a 10kg excess by then. Managed by reasonable lifestyle, including moderate consumption of SAD nasties. Then I had a heart attack. Don't believe that you're not being afflicted
        Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

        Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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        • #5
          I have been the same way. I have been healthy, fit with no major issues and I have at least 10 years ago, going primal has been awesome.
          Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
          PS
          Don't forget to play!

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          • #6
            I do consider myself lucky (genetically speaking, anyway). While I fear the falling-apart-at-40 type thing otzi & peril described, my mom is also disease-free and thin at 60. When I was growing up, she had cookies & a Coke for breakfast most days. It doesn't make sense that she's not huge and diabetic, either.

            Obviously, I support primal eating & living and think it offers benefits for everyone, or I wouldn't be here. Her dad was also thin & healthy, up until his 80s when he developed Alzheimers, so I think the high-sugar diet will eventually catch all of us, it's just a question of when. I am just curious why some people are more susceptible to problems at 25 and others not until 75.

            My husband's father started packing on weight in his 20s and has been in the 300# and up weight range as long as I have known him (over 15 years). He's got problems like high blood pressure & gout, so clearly the effects of his lifestyle have already caught up to him. My husband doesn't have those type of weight issues, but he's much more affected by food than I am. So what exactly is that genetic difference that leads to such variation in who can handle wheat, sugar, etc. and who can't?

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            • #7
              Here's how it was described in a 1950's study, What makes a fat man fat?

              People can be divided into two groups according to the way they deal with the excess food when they eat more than they require for their daily expenditure of energy.

              In 1950 at the Royal Society of Medicine in London, Professor Sir Charles Dodds, who is in charge of the Courtauld Institute of Biochemistry at the Middlesex Hospital, described an experiment he had carried out.

              He took people whose weights had been constant for many years and persuaded them to eat double or treble their normal amount of food. They did not put on weight.

              He showed that this was not due to a failure to digest or assimilate the extra food and suggested that they responded to over-eating by increasing their metabolic rate (rate of food using) and thus burned up the extra calories.

              He then over-fed people whose weights had not remained constant in the past and found that they showed no increase in metabolism but became fat.

              So two people of the same size, doing the same work and eating the same food will react quite differently when they overeat. One will stay the same weight and the other will gain.


              We all know that this is true even without scientific proof and yet the fact has not been taken into account or explained by any of the experts who write popular books and articles about slimming.

              They write as though fat people and thin people deal with food in the same way. Here is the medical correspondent of The Times (11th March, 1957) On the subject:

              " It is no use saying as so many women do 'But I eat practically nothing.' The only answer to this is: No matter how little you imagine you eat, if you wish to lose weight you must eat less.' Your reserves of fat are then called on to provide the necessary energy—and you lose weight."
              The doctor who wrote these rather heartless words may fairly he taken as representative of medical opinion to-day. He is applying the teachings of William Wadd, Surgeon Extraordinary to the Prince Regent, who in 1829 attributed obesity to "an over-indulgence at the table" and gave, as the first principle of treatment, "taking food that has little nutrition in it."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by otzi View Post
                " It is no use saying as so many women do 'But I eat practically nothing.' The only answer to this is: No matter how little you imagine you eat, if you wish to lose weight you must eat less.' Your reserves of fat are then called on to provide the necessary energy—and you lose weight."
                The doctor who wrote these rather heartless words may fairly he taken as representative of medical opinion to-day. He is applying the teachings of William Wadd, Surgeon Extraordinary to the Prince Regent, who in 1829 attributed obesity to "an over-indulgence at the table" and gave, as the first principle of treatment, "taking food that has little nutrition in it."
                Like taters perhaps? Sorry, just couldn't hep meseff.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by otzi View Post
                  Here's how it was described in a 1950's study, What makes a fat man fat?

                  People can be divided into two groups according to the way they deal with the excess food when they eat more than they require for their daily expenditure of energy.

                  In 1950 at the Royal Society of Medicine in London, Professor Sir Charles Dodds, who is in charge of the Courtauld Institute of Biochemistry at the Middlesex Hospital, described an experiment he had carried out.

                  He took people whose weights had been constant for many years and persuaded them to eat double or treble their normal amount of food. They did not put on weight.

                  He showed that this was not due to a failure to digest or assimilate the extra food and suggested that they responded to over-eating by increasing their metabolic rate (rate of food using) and thus burned up the extra calories.

                  He then over-fed people whose weights had not remained constant in the past and found that they showed no increase in metabolism but became fat.

                  So two people of the same size, doing the same work and eating the same food will react quite differently when they overeat. One will stay the same weight and the other will gain.


                  We all know that this is true even without scientific proof and yet the fact has not been taken into account or explained by any of the experts who write popular books and articles about slimming.

                  They write as though fat people and thin people deal with food in the same way. Here is the medical correspondent of The Times (11th March, 1957) On the subject:

                  " It is no use saying as so many women do 'But I eat practically nothing.' The only answer to this is: No matter how little you imagine you eat, if you wish to lose weight you must eat less.' Your reserves of fat are then called on to provide the necessary energy—and you lose weight."
                  The doctor who wrote these rather heartless words may fairly he taken as representative of medical opinion to-day. He is applying the teachings of William Wadd, Surgeon Extraordinary to the Prince Regent, who in 1829 attributed obesity to "an over-indulgence at the table" and gave, as the first principle of treatment, "taking food that has little nutrition in it."
                  That is really interesting. But kind of depressing, lol.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ajb0203 View Post
                    In spite of my good health, I wanted to change to this way of life because my grandparents lives ended with Alzheimers, Cancer, and Cancer. One is still alive at 86. I had one cousin die in his mid-forties from cancer, another cousin who had cancer in her twenties, and an uncle who has battled colon cancer for 5 years. No heart attacks, no obesity in the family, though.

                    I question why I am able to live a CW-type lifestyle without too many side effects while others are overweight and have so much trouble losing the weight? If it was all carbs & sugar, I think I'd be as big as most Americans. Is it all gluten sensitivity? Have my moderate attempts to exercise & control my eating been enough?
                    I don't know WHY some people can seemingly avoid the side effects of their poor lifestyle and diet for such a long time, but it does appear to keep them from seeking for the real answers sooner.

                    Those who do get serious health issues often become motivated to make the drastic changes that are required.

                    But there are always some, like you, who do it because they want to avoid poor health down the track.
                    Annie Ups the Ante
                    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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                    • #11
                      And did you ever notice, you can't judge a book by it's cover? I've seen so many seemingly healthy and strong people get cancer or other diseases you'd think should only hit unhealthy looking people. I've also seen old, fat, slobby people who are fit as a horse and never had so much as a cold.

                      At least adopting Primal Blueprint as your guide makes you feel like you are in control...
                      Find me on Facebook!

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                      • #12
                        Your relative good health on SAD isn't all that much of a surprise. First off...your still fairly young. These are chronic diseases that develop over decades that we are discussing. There is more to life than nutrition. I like the theories of allostatic load when answering what at first seem to be paradoxical questions. Allostatic load - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. And consider that when you have to adapt to any biological stressor to a great degree you lose the ability to adapt to another stressor of a different type.

                        So no its not "one" missing link. Its several. Its the every aspect of your lifestyle that effects your allostatic load and hence the ability to respond new stress.
                        Last edited by Neckhammer; 11-18-2012, 02:52 PM.

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                        • #13
                          You just don't know what the chink in your personal armor is. Most people at least have dental and facial bone structure issues and it's so common as to be unseen because we think it's normal. You probably have that even though you are thin and "healthy." Some people experience the next crack in their health with obesity and metabolic syndrome issues. Elevated triglycerides showed up for me at age 19 and some level of obesity has always been with me. Others get cancer early on. Some may see nothing and live until old age with good health. That doesn't mean they couldn't have had even better health all those years.
                          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                          • #14
                            Also if you're sleeping well, I'd say that's a big factor in keeping the evil munchies away - eating 2000 calories of crap your body may be able to adapt to, but if you eat 4000 calories of crap because your hormones are out of whack and are telling you to eat an excessive amount of crap then you're much more likely to be sick/obese (especially because you won't process those 4000 calories correctly).

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                            • #15
                              I wonder this as well, but have chalked it up to mysteries in our childhoods: imagine all of the different variations on our mother's health while pregnant, whether we were breastfed (and what our moms ate while breastfeeding), whether we ate plenty of crap but also a lot of good stuff, whether our diets were great as toddlers and worse as teens (or poor from the beginning), sleep habits, how much time we spent playing outside, whether our parents/gparents, were or are healthy. Etc. Etc. I think our beginnings set the stage for what happens later in life and how long we swim against the tide. I drank a lot of whole milk, veggies from the garden, and ate a lot of beef as a child, (as well as a lot of pasta, potatoes, and cereal) and we definitely had a limited amount of food around in our big family. Sugar was unheard of until our family had more money when I was in high school. I then was vegetarian for 9 years before I started having pretty bad health problems. I was never overweight, though I think I was headed that way if my health hadn't sounded the alarm first.

                              In the end, though, I can only think of one obese person on either side of my extended families, and really, she's more just plump. That has to be relevant.

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