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    C2H5OH's Avatar
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    A few sandviches and a soup

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    Hi. My friends hear me talkingabout weight loss and health way too much , so I get asked some questions. And some of them are really difficult. Here is the most common one (most questions like that are from high school-age girls): "I eat a few sandwiches a day, and some soup, and I have flabby stomach". After quick examination I can see that the part about belly, or legs is true. Why are not these people losing weight? Looking at their menu I can estimate it at 1000 kcal, or less. Of course I can't tell people living with parents that they must eat steak and bacon to lose a few pounds. What can I tell these people, who are eating really a little and still looking way too soft?
    Last edited by C2H5OH; 07-16-2011 at 07:27 PM.
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    When you eat too far below your maintenance level in a chronic way, then your body thinks it's starving and switches on some survival tactics. One of those is to conserve as much fat as possible and turn metabolism way down. When metabolism gets turned down, the basic functions of the body are compromised. The brain has less energy to spend, and consequently so do the other organs and glands and everything. Lean mass is catabolized for energy before stored fat, which is the opposite of how a healthy body functions. They may not be eating much, but they're not burning much, either. And their thyroids, among other things, are going to pay for it in a few years.

    Note, this is completely different from intermittent fasting. This is eating under 1000 kcal for days and weeks and longer.
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    That was my first thought. But I think some of the people mentioned above are not just that hungry. So can human body be stupid enough to eat too little?
    People I mentioned are not dieting, or no longer than two days in a row
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    Watch the authors@google lecture by Gary Taubes on his book "Why We get Fat". That should explain everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by C2H5OH View Post
    That was my first thought. But I think some of the people mentioned above are not just that hungry. So can human body be stupid enough to eat too little?
    Teenaged girls are usually stupid enough to eat too little. As for the human body, well, have you ever heard of neural plasticity? It's the ability of the human brain to change its own wiring. Stroke victims have taken advantage of it to rewire their brains to use previously paralyzed limbs. I'm sure that when a person undereats chronically (especially as a teenager when the brain is still developing), hunger signals can be lessened, as well.
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    It is possible to be eating a tiny amount of calories and not feel hungry. I remember getting the flu years and years ago, where I couldn't eat anything at all and keep it down. It lasted for about a week, and once I recovered, I could barely eat without immediately feeling full.

    That doesn't mean this is good for you, because eating smaller than normal amounts of food means you're also getting smaller amounts of nutrients, and when you're eating crap, it's even worse because there isn't much to begin with.

    You can also look "thin" and have a higher bodyfat percentage. It's just that so much of it is internal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy Caveman View Post
    When you eat too far below your maintenance level in a chronic way, then your body thinks it's starving and switches on some survival tactics. One of those is to conserve as much fat as possible and turn metabolism way down. When metabolism gets turned down, the basic functions of the body are compromised. The brain has less energy to spend, and consequently so do the other organs and glands and everything. Lean mass is catabolized for energy before stored fat, which is the opposite of how a healthy body functions. They may not be eating much, but they're not burning much, either. And their thyroids, among other things, are going to pay for it in a few years.

    Note, this is completely different from intermittent fasting. This is eating under 1000 kcal for days and weeks and longer.
    The "metabolism turning down" due to excess dieting means that the hormone reverse T3 (rT3) increases and T3 decreases. This is the same rT3 that Dr Kruse is talking about with leptin reset. Leptin resistance can increase rT3 too, so it's nearly the same as excess dieting.

    Tell your nibbling friends about the leptin reset to hopefully undo what eating too little is doing before it is too late. Eating Primal/Paleo is part of it so no bread for sandwiches.

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    Wow, when it comes to theory your response exceeded my expectations at least three times. But what advice can I give to these young people? If they could live primally, they would, but this is not the case unless they live on their own. Is there a quite easy advice to look at least a bit better? Maybe eat more for a time, and then start dieting again?
    I will be normal. I will be NORMAL again
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    Quote Originally Posted by C2H5OH View Post
    Wow, when it comes to theory your response exceeded my expectations at least three times. But what advice can I give to these young people? If they could live primally, they would, but this is not the case unless they live on their own. Is there a quite easy advice to look at least a bit better? Maybe eat more for a time, and then start dieting again?
    It's hard to get specific because we don't know the people you are asking for and if they are being accurate in what they are reporting.

    Assuming what they are saying is accurate- they may be eating too little, but "just eat more" isn't that great if they just eat more sandwiches. If they want to improve, they have to want to and not make excuses like "I still live at home, so..." Eggs are cheap.

    I would tell them eat a big protein breakfast (enough that they are not hungry by lunch) and get as close to Primal as practical...no bread/pasta, no sweets, less carbs. The 50g protein number for breakfast came from a study of teenage girls.

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