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SHERMOR13 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 516
7/5/12 7:22 A

There are so many different thoughts about this subject....but I do honestly believe it has to do with EACH person's chemical make up. I do not think there is a one size fits all theory that really works here. AND especially with women.

Some women have hormonal issues; some have weight gain at TOM & some don't; so have PMS, some don't - and on those differences go.

I have read a lot by a Dr Dukan who has a totally unique philosophy on how much we should weigh & how to get there & maintain it. IF you're interested in just seeing what he has to say, google the dukan diet. He says that our weight should be based on age, bone size, family history, etc. Very interesting.

Good luck with your search and your journey. I wish you well!


7/5/12 7:01 A

I don't undereat. I eat around 1400-1600 calories per day (I'm guesstimating...I don't track my food anymore, I just weigh myself daily to monitor things). My SP maintenance range is 1600-1900 calories per day and that's with no exercise factored in. I do exercise almost daily. I'm 5'10" so most online calorie needs calculators say I need around 2000-2200 calories per day if I factor in my exercise.

I have a hearty appetite but I keep things in check by eating mostly veggies and fruit (beans, nuts, and seeds, too, but mostly veggies and fruit). Luckily I love the way I eat now and I don't feel tempted to stray/cheat. With the foods I choose I don't have any difficulty eating within the calorie range that works for me. I don't think I could eat larger meals unless I were to go for foods that were less nutrient-dense and more calorie-dense.

I did lose by eating 1200-1400cal/day. I did slowly raise that when I got to maintenance mode. I was just not able to raise it to the degree that online calculators say I should be able to go. I'm fine with that though. Being healthy is my goal and I prefer the most nutrient dense foods for that reason.

Edited by: DANNIELLEMARIE at: 7/5/2012 (07:03)
UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
7/5/12 3:02 A

Whereas I consistently lost 2lb/week eating above my recommended spark range by 100-200 calories daily. I'm an overeater - just can't keep it under 1550, but it didn't matter.

People are unique.

I do see a lot though, of people Danielle's size, who claim they gain weight on very few calories because they're undereating already and don't realise that any transition to a normal intake will pass through a temporary weight gain period. She may or may not fit that pattern ... but if someone is undereating (say 1200 calories), then starts eating a more normal intake of say 1500, they might gain a little weight initially. They can freak out and go "aaargh, I gain weight on only 1500 calories!" but the truth is, if they stuck with it for 8 weeks they'd actually lose that weight and start losing more again. It's the lowered intake that stops them losing any weight - an imbalance between eating little enough to lose some fat, and eating so little the body assumes you're starving and acts appropriately by lowering metabolism and hording all fat you give it.

So ... if you're slight and you think that you just can't maintain on anywhere near as many calories as every calculator out there seems to think, consider whether that might be your case. You could try eating around 100-200 calories per day lower than the recommendations, but higher than you are now, for 12 weeks and see what the results are then - disposing of your scales in between! You might be surprised.

CSROBERTSON621 SparkPoints: (232,430)
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Posts: 3,244
7/4/12 10:53 P

So far, I've been having the same experience as DANILLEMARIE -- I need to eat fewer calories than pretty much any "calculator" says I should have to for my weight in order to maintain. I manage it by eating very cleanly and low-ish calories most days, and allowing myself a couple of meals a week where I'm less strict. I won't say I never ever indulge in high calorie treats, but it has been VERY rare so far. Most of the time, it doesn't seem worth it to me. (I've lost massive amounts of weight before, only to gain it back. I'm determined not to have it happen again.)

I don't know if the need to really watch my calories carefully will change over time. I essentially went into quasi-maintenance last June, but lost an additional 18 pounds to get me to my goal weight last December. Have stayed within my 5-pound maintenance range since then, with the exception of one episode of medicine-related water retention that went away after the meds were completed. So it's either been a year or just over 6 months of maintenance for me so far, depending on what you consider my starting point.

7/4/12 8:53 P

My experience is that I cannot eat as many calories as pretty much any online calculator (including SP) says I should be able to eat and maintain my loss.

CHIHAYA SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 434
7/4/12 5:55 P

I also too highly respect NYT reports, but not their science section. There is a reason why I say this article is a junk.

This problem is, they applied controlled test result to totally different issue "What Really Makes Us Fat". The research is not even intended to explain that issue. It can tell what might be an effective diet while losing weight to maintain target weight, but. It can't explain why US obesity rate is such high, why it was doubled since 1970s (have we suddenly became obedient to government since then?) , and why high carb, low fat eating countries obesity rate is low, etc etc.

The research result is interesting, but that doesn't mean it can be applied to everywhere. I feel it's abusing the research effort and very disrespectful to science community.

Edited by: CHIHAYA at: 7/4/2012 (18:03)
KRISTIN9924 Posts: 952
7/4/12 12:11 P

I agree that you can't trust an article just because it is on the internet. However, I do hold the New York Times to a higher standard than something like Yahoo. The Pubmed abstract sounds interesting. I may just have to spend sometime on and research basal metabolic rates or read more journal articles about it.

Wikipedia often has good information, but I prefer to check the citations to read the original articles if I can.

7/4/12 10:35 A

I agree another annoying article. You don't have to be intelligent to write articles on the internet.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
7/4/12 10:05 A

is a letter to the JAMA by another obesity researcher, adding some perspective. Both Gary Taubes and Mark Bittman, who both wrote in the NYT about this one study, are journalists. Both very successful journalists, but not researchers - Mark Bittman is a food writer and Gary Taubes is a science writer.

The abstract of the study produced by the actual researchers, who are scientists, is here:

There is a wealth of information in the pubmed (NCBI) data base. If you look to the right of an abstract, you see other pertinent studies listed. If the study gains any creedence at all, in the future, there are other studies that include it in their lists of citations. Letters to the JAMA editor (in this case) citing flaws in the study are letters from other obesity researchers or researchers in related fields. is one blogger with a science research background who has been picking apart studies. Warning: she has taken on many carbohydrate issues in her blog!

ALLISONAZ SparkPoints: (27,445)
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Posts: 509
7/3/12 9:44 P

I've heard this before too. I can't wait to see what other people have to say because reading that made me a little depressed.

CHIHAYA SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (8,249)
Posts: 434
7/3/12 9:37 P

I would fire that article author. It's a junk article. I had headache while reading it. Better resource might be wikipedia. It's not perfect but still far better than that.

KRISTIN9924 Posts: 952
7/3/12 8:49 P

I read a NY Times article (
/sunday/what-really-makes-us-fat.html) which restates something that I have read before. A person who once weighed 160, has lost 20 pounds, and now weighs 140 lbs has to eat fewer calories than a person who weighs 140 pounds but has not lost weight to get to 140 pounds. According to the article, this is due to a person's metabolism slowing down as they lose weight.

So my question is, if you have lost weight and maintain that weight for a long time does your metabolism ever return to what it would have been if you had never gained the extra weight?

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