In other weight loss tips today...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    [Forked from In other News Today]

    Well, blow me down with a feather...


  • mod

    @PJH Gastric Bypass isn't nearly as safe or straightforward as people tend to assume. People tend to think of it as "diet didn't work? Oh well, surgery time." when it's actually really hard on the body and comes with a number of serious side effects.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Yamikuronue and if you don't sort out the underlying reasons for overeating, it's not particularly difficult to stretch out the stomach that's still available and go back to your old weight within a few years.


  • mod

    @Jaloopa Correct. Your body will optimize for a given weight that it assumes you need to be in order to survive the frequent famine cycles you've taught it to expect by yo-yo dieting, even after the surgery. I imagine you'd probably be quite peckish but physically unable to satisfy your cravings given your partial stomach amputation.



  • @Yamikuronue said in In other news today...:

    it's actually really hard on the body and comes with a number of serious side effects.

    It's also as close to a set-and-forget weight loss solution as currently exists. I mean, you can't really do the forget part because your body will rebel hideously against any attempt to eat more than teeny tiny portions, but there's no actual willpower required beyond the original commitment - merely endless and unavoidable suffering.

    Also, bodies do eventually adapt. Everybody I know who had bariatric surgery more than fifteen years ago is currently gaining weight again.

    Me and my spreadsheet are still going strong, fwiw. Survived Christmas and everything!



  • @Jaloopa said in In other news today...:

    if you don't sort out the underlying reasons for overeating

    I am 100% convinced that for some of us, the underlying reason for overeating is that we simply inhabit bodies with appetite-regulation mechanisms completely maladapted to living where food in general, and carbohydrate-rich food in particular, is both plentiful and available on demand.

    If I were a mighty hunter who needed to track the elusive woolly mammoth across the frozen tundra before I got a feed, I'm sure my weight would regulate just fine.


  • mod

    @flabdablet There's reason to suspect that intentional dieting causes the body to adapt to what it perceives as famine conditions, increasing your "set point" (your body's ideal weight) to compensate. Add to that beauty magazines which sell us an ideal image of the human form that is well below many people's starting set point and you have the perfect recipe for exactly what we're seeing: a population gaining weight seemingly uncontrollably, full of people praising a particular diet or methodology when they seem to succeed and blaming themselves when they regain the weight later.



  • @Yamikuronue said in In other news today...:

    There's reason to suspect that intentional dieting causes the body to adapt to what it perceives as famine conditions, increasing your "set point" (your body's ideal weight) to compensate.

    Yeah, I've seen that hypothesis before and I'm sure there are people it applies to. I don't believe I'm one of them. I have spent many, many years attempting to allow my body to find its natural set point, and all that's ever happened is an inexorable upward creep.

    I guess it's possible that my set point is somewhere north of 176.5kg but frankly I'm no longer willing to put up with the consequences of that being true :-)


  • mod

    @flabdablet It's definitely a lot of hard work to unpack the mental knots the human brain can get tied up in living in our culture, especially when it's so hard to find good information that isn't coming from the diet industry. I wish you the best of luck with your spreadsheet thing!



  • That said,

    @Yamikuronue said in In other news today...:

    intentional dieting

    is a complete pain in the arse and I'm no longer willing to do that either. So now I have eating days that work pretty much exactly like all my days did before I got my weight under control, and non-eating days where the only thing that passes my lips is plain water and the occasional vitamin C pill, and I leave it up to the scales and the computer to decide what kind of day each one will be.

    Cold-turkey is so much easier than partial withdrawal.


  • mod

    @flabdablet If that works for you, great, but it sure sounds like a lot of mental restricting to me. Are you doing any body-love work to compensate?



  • @Yamikuronue said in In other news today...:

    I wish you the best of luck with your spreadsheet thing!

    Thanks! But I'm 100% convinced that no luck is required; merely an ongoing desire to keep my weight under control, which at 55 years of age I'd have to be pretty suicidal to lose.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @flabdablet said in In other news today...:

    So now I have eating days that work pretty much exactly like all my days did before I got my weight under control, and non-eating days where the only thing that passes my lips is plain water and the occasional vitamin C pill, and I leave it up to the scales and the computer to decide what kind of day each one will be.

    Similar to 5:2, but less rigid then? How often to the fast days tend to be?



  • @Yamikuronue said in In other news today...:

    it sure sounds like a lot of mental restricting to me.

    One of the really surprising things about fasting for a day or two at a time is how much easier it is, both physically and psychologically, than trying to eat "sensibly" all the time. It's such a bright-line rule: if this is a not-eating day, and I eat, that puts my weight out of control; I don't want my weight to be out of control; therefore I don't eat on not-eating days. Simple.

    I like simple.

    I also like the fact that my actual diet remains absolutely unrestricted. I will never again feel the need to be denied a gastronomic pleasure of any kind: at worst, I get a couple days of looking forward to it before it actually happens and that actually makes it better.

    Big feed of fish and chips with no residual guilt whatsoever? Priceless.

    Are you doing any body-love work to compensate?

    Nah. Pretty happy with my body anyway; busted appetite regulation has been its only seriously annoying feature. Also looking forward to wearing skin tailored for the 150+kg version on the 90-kg version - I love loose skin because it feels so gloriously flexible.

    I have embraced my inner Shar Pei :)

    http://www.dogbreedplus.com/dog_breeds/images/white-shar-pei-puppy.jpg



  • @PJH said in In other news today...:

    Problems with red meat, foods high in fat or sugar — even water

    I'm not sure what's in their public water supply...



  • @Jaloopa said in In other news today...:

    Similar to 5:2, but less rigid then?

    Similar to 5:2 (and, I trust, equally physiologically sound) but with the fasting days selected by negative feedback with respect to a control curve rather than being on a fixed schedule. I also find not eating at all to be way easier than eating to a 600 calorie limit, so that's what I usually do. I've had one small snack on a fasting day three or four times in the last month.

    How often to the fast days tend to be?

    Varies a fair bit, as you'd expect. Currently they're running roughly every other day on average. Over the last month there have been six single eating days, three runs of two eating days and one run of three eating days; five one-day fasts, four two-day fasts and one three-day fast, and my weight is dropping at roughly 1kg per week. See the spreadsheet for details.

    The control curve is built to flatten gradually over time, so by the time I've been doing this for a few years and my weight has come down to the extent that I can once again see my feet in the shower without leaning forward, I expect I'll be seeing fewer fasting days on average.

    If you look at the spreadsheet you'll see that I flattened the curve substantially for most of October. That was in response to the first time it prescribed a two-day fast, which I took as a signal that I'd hit the customary three-months-in plateau; gave myself a month to get over that, then jacked the loss rate back up again although not quite to the honeymoon-period extent. I currently intend to leave the rate as it is for as long as I'm still responding to the first day of any fast with a loss of at least 1kg.

    I don't expect I'll ever see the fasting days go away completely. My body runs to fat, and I expect it will continue to do so even when carrying far less of it.



  • @Yamikuronue said in In other news today...:

    people praising a particular diet or methodology when they seem to succeed and blaming themselves when they regain the weight later.

    Also this.

    I think the single biggest psychological breakthrough I experienced over this issue was a framing shift: from seeing what was required as losing a fuckton of weight - a monumental and arduous undertaking that good research and personal experience both show will yield temporary results at best - to getting my weight under control which, although it requires committing to a control process for the rest of my life, is something I can do as of right now.

    Losing that impossible fuckton of weight then becomes an inevitable side effect of having my weight under control rather than this ridiculously daunting thing in its own right.

    As an engineer, I am naturally familiar with control theory. All of it is based on negative feedback. So I designed the simplest, most pared-down process I could think of for applying that idea to this problem, and committed to sticking with it for at least long enough to find out whether I'd need to complicate it more to make it indefinitely sustainable.

    As soon as I'd done that I felt as if a huge weight had lifted off my shoulders, even though my back still hurt and my ankles still hurt and my knees still hurt and I still couldn't walk a hundred metres without being stopped by foot pain or even wipe my own arse properly.

    After four months, the control pattern has already become so close to automatically habitual that I don't even think about it much any more. I like to look at the dots clustering around the control line on my chart, and every now and then I punch another hole in my belt and work out how much I'm no longer carrying around and feel pleased about that.

    I hurt a lot less now, and sleep better; pretty much given up my CPAP. Blood pressure is back down to 120/70. The arse thing works again too.

    I don't need to make it any more complicated. I can easily envisage sticking with this for life. Which means returning to this still-monstrous weight is simply no longer a thing that will happen.

    Knowing that? Priceless.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @flabdablet said in In other news today...:

    @Yamikuronue said in In other news today...:

    it's actually really hard on the body and comes with a number of serious side effects.

    It's also as close to a set-and-forget weight loss solution as currently exists. I mean, you can't really do the forget part because your body will rebel hideously against any attempt to eat more than teeny tiny portions, but there's no actual willpower required beyond the original commitment - merely endless and unavoidable suffering.

    Also, bodies do eventually adapt. Everybody I know who had bariatric surgery more than fifteen years ago is currently gaining weight again.

    Me and my spreadsheet are still going strong, fwiw. Survived Christmas and everything!

    Damn, that is nice. Also, I think I now have a new practice project: turning that into a C#/WPF app (and maybe an android one once I start learning how), that I will then put to use. Thanks for sharing :D



  • @Dreikin said in In other news today...:

    turning that into a C#/WPF app (and maybe an android one once I start learning how), that I will then put to use.

    I also considered making it into an app, but motivation isn't particularly strong because I have such a loathing for touchscreen fondleslabs; and if I did want to use a piddly little screen to update it instead of a nice desktop PC I'd just port it to Google Sheets.

    Thanks for sharing

    More than welcome. If you end up using it yourself, I'd be interested in comparing notes about your experience. If you do a half-decent job of appifying it and it starts to spread, I'd be happy to participate in your support forum :-)


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @flabdablet said in In other news today...:

    I also considered making it into an app, but motivation isn't particularly strong because I have such a loathing for touchscreen fondleslabs; and if I did want to use a piddly little screen to update it instead of a nice desktop PC I'd just port it to Google Sheets.

    "Practice" is my primary motivation for doing it that way, otherwise I'd use the google sheets method like I already do for some personal accounting.

    @flabdablet said in In other news today...:

    More than welcome. If you end up using it yourself, I'd be interested in comparing notes about your experience. If you do a half-decent job of appifying it and it starts to spread, I'd be happy to participate in your support forum

    Cool :) But don't count on the published app portion being any time soon. The personal use ought to start within the next month, though. I'm about...4 months ahead of you, at your current rate.


  • sockdevs

    @Dreikin said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    turning that into a C#/WPF app (and maybe an android one once I start learning how)

    You may be interested in learning Xamarin, which allows you to create an app for iOS, Android, and WinThing from a single codebase ;)



  • @flabdablet said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    Thanks! But I'm 100% convinced that no luck is required; merely an ongoing desire to keep my weight under control, which at 55 years of age I'd have to be pretty suicidal to lose.

    "Suicidal" is indeed the operative word for some people, including me. While mild obesity can easily just be the result of carelessness, changes due to age, stress, and living conditions, or any number of other things, severe obesity is often a symptom of far more dangerous psychological problems. It is not unfair to say that some of us are unconsciously doing slowly what we can't bring ourselves to deliberately.

    Do I actually want to die? That's not as straightforward as it sounds. On some level, yes, there's definitely a drive toward self-destruction. However, I am too much of coward, too curious about the world we live in and doubt that there is any kind of afterlife (I am not afraid that there isn't one, I'm terrified at the possibility that there is), and frankly, too apathetic to do the deed, even though I have the absolute conviction that self-destruction is the only logical response to existence as a sentient being.

    So yes, as I have said before, I am crazy. The proof of this is that I am still breathing.


  • mod

    @ScholRLEA Excuse me? Fuck you.

    You might be passively suicidal, but that's on you, not obese people in general.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Yamikuronue said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    You might be passively suicidal, but that's on you, not obese people in general.

    I'd imagine it's more to do with the natural human tendency to value short term effects (if I eat this chocolate it will taste nice)more than long term (if I keep eating chocolate I will put on weight)


  • mod

    @Jaloopa I suspect it's more that bodies are surprisingly capable of pushing back against attempts to starve them. We're taught to value appearance (if I eat as little as possible maybe I can starve myself down to 0% body fat) over long-term survival (having enough calories to perform day to day actions). Studies have shown that everyone goes on the "willpower" roller-coaster, not just the "weak-minded".

    I wish this video series didn't require emails, it's quite good: http://stopfightingfood.com/?oprid=12009


  • sockdevs

    @Yamikuronue said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    0% body fat

    No-one should be going that low: that can be just as bad as having that figure too high. IIRC, the 'butter zone' is about 10-15% (I'm probably off by a few %, and the value I think differs between men and women, but I don't have my usual reference available to me right now to check).



  • @ScholRLEA said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    severe obesity is often a symptom of far more dangerous psychological problems

    The very same evidence that supports this view would also support the view that dangerous psychological problems are often a symptom of severe obesity. In my own case, the astonishing magnitude of the psychological relief I experienced on finally working out a weight control process I could be confident was both effective and sustainable strongly suggests that the causality was mainly in the obesity -> psychology direction.

    I have the absolute conviction that self-destruction is the only logical response to existence as a sentient being

    I'll go as far as agreeing with "inevitable consequence" but I'm not sure where you're getting "only logical response" from. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

    Also, one of the valuable lessons I learned while recovering from psychosis is that absolute conviction is not a reliable guide to truth, but rather a strong hint that independent confirmation should be sought.

    I am crazy. The proof of this is that I am still breathing.

    If you keep talking that way, I'm raising the missions to 90 :-)



  • @Jaloopa said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    the natural human tendency to value short term effects (if I eat this chocolate it will taste nice)more than long term (if I keep eating chocolate I will put on weight)

    That's definitely a thing. Since starting with this control regime, there have been several occasions where I've been able to talk myself out of eating something moderately delicious when I wasn't actually hungry, on the basis that doing so would make it far more likely for tomorrow to be a fasting day. That concrete short-term negative consequence has proved way more effective than simply knowing I'd be adding some unquantifiable amount of extra weight to a body already ludicrously too heavy.



  • @flabdablet said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    I'll go as far as agreeing with "inevitable consequence" but I'm not sure where you're getting "only logical response" from. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

    Based on what he's posted, it's just who he is.



  • @Yamikuronue said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    @ScholRLEA Excuse me? Fuck you.

    You might be passively suicidal, but that's on you, not obese people in general.

    I said often , not always, and I was talking severe obesity (more than 200% of 'base' weight for height, and with 35% or more adipose). Though I probably am still weighting it too heavily even at that, I'll admit.



  • @ScholRLEA said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    weighting it too heavily

    I see what you did there and I approve


  • mod

    @ScholRLEA Like a BMI of 47?



  • @flabdablet OK, you have my attention with the Catch-22 reference.

    shrug I am conflating 'logical' and 'sane' here, too. As my therapist keeps reminding me, there are a lot of sane behaviors - especially those geared towards survival and reproduction - that are not based on rational thought in the abstract.

    As for why I said what I did... to be honest, I really do think that the suffering that results from self-aware existence cannot be balanced by any amount of 'positive' experiences, assuming such even exist (I've had some zero-sum experiences, and many brief distractions from the suffering, but I don't think I've had any I would consider positive). I literally cannot see sentient existence as being a sum positive in any way.

    And I see creating a new sentient being (e.g., having a child, or creating an AI) as an intrinsically negative-sum action.

    However, I don't see ending a sentient being's existence as a sum positive, as we have no definitive proof of any sentients that are no mortal (I certain am hoping we never do), meaning it is something that would happen eventually anyway - it bears a null weight.

    But as @boomzilla said, this is reflects only my own depression, not reality.



  • @ScholRLEA said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    I really do think that the suffering that results from self-aware existence cannot be balanced by any amount of 'positive' experiences

    At BMI 53+ I had many, many days on which I would have agreed wholeheartedly. But there were a few wonderful years where I managed 30-, and just the memory of how it felt to be alive during those years has been enough to give the lie to that. Currently 46- and counting; should achieve 30- again by early 2019 if all goes to plan.

    Suffering is also remarkably malleable stuff.

    I've had some zero-sum experiences, and many brief distractions from the suffering, but I don't think I've had any I would consider positive

    That sucks. I hope you find your way to broadening your situation. Mandatory melancholy is at least as unsatisfactory as mandatory happiness.

    I see creating a new sentient being (e.g., having a child, or creating an AI) as an intrinsically negative-sum action.

    Given your present point of view I can see how you'd come to that conclusion. However, I'd encourage you to ponder the consequences of the fact that most sentient beings appear not to be suffering anywhere nearly as badly as you are right now, and perhaps allow for the possibility that those appearances might be legitimately taken at face value to some extent.

    Tangentially, I am also opposed to creating new children but this is purely on the grounds that I think seven and a half billion of us is already too many; so that opposition is contingent, not principled. There are plenty of existing kids who've been dealt a completely shitty hand and I'm happy to be raising a few of those instead.

    this is reflects only my own depression, not reality

    You're expressing a level of depression that sounds pretty fucking real to me. I hope it lifts off you some time soon.



  • @flabdablet said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    @ScholRLEA said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    I really do think that the suffering that results from self-aware existence cannot be balanced by any amount of 'positive' experiences

    At BMI 53+ I had many, many days on which I would have agreed wholeheartedly. But there were a few wonderful years where I managed 30-, and just the memory of how it felt to be alive during those years has been enough to give the lie to that. Currently 46- and counting; should achieve 30- again by early 2019 if all goes to plan.

    Suffering is also remarkably malleable stuff.

    Yes, but... well, I was thinner when I was in my teens (I was actually at 'desired' weight for a few years, even) and trust me, I was every bit as miserable then as I am today.



  • @ScholRLEA said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    I was every bit as miserable then as I am today.

    I've read a few things you've written here about your teen years, and I really can't say I'm surprised; you're undoubtedly one of those people to whom a particularly shitty hand has been dealt.

    I still assert, though, that joy and suffering are both contingent, not necessary; both are also matters of degree rather than absolutes. If one is experiencing too much suffering or too little joy, there are ways to shift that balance. I'm glad you're working with a therapist, because that's one of them.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @Yamikuronue said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    @Jaloopa I suspect it's more that bodies are surprisingly capable of pushing back against attempts to starve them.

    Two words: Industrial Agriculture.

    We've spent the last several millennia selectively breeding "fat genes" into the human race as a positive survival trait: those with a bit of extra reserves are better-suited to survive the next famine. (Witness Fiddler On The Roof, set in the early 20th century, in which Tevye proclaims that the well-to-do wife of a rich man would have "a proper double chin"!)

    Then the modern world came along and made famine a thing of the past, and turned our biggest food problem on its head: instead of food scarcity, we have food overabundance. Our bodies are literally not designed to handle that; we're (prematurely?) optimized for a different use case!


  • mod

    @masonwheeler I mean, maybe, but anything diet companies can do to sell you on Weight Watchers and/or surgery, they will, so take all these evo-psyche explanations with a grain of salt here.


  • sockdevs

    @masonwheeler said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    Then the modern world came along and made famine a thing of the past

    But only in about half the world, if that.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @RaceProUK For the same places in which obesity is a societal problem, which was the point I was making.



  • @RaceProUK said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    But only in about half the world, if that.

    FWP: I have food.



  • @masonwheeler said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    Then the modern world came along and made famine a thing of the past, and turned our biggest food problem on its head: instead of food scarcity, we have food overabundance. Our bodies are literally not designed to handle that; we're (prematurely?) optimized for a different use case!

    I agree. Now how to handle that?

    Conventional methods involve encouraging people to behave as though food was scarce and physical exertion necessary. It's of limited success and even when it works it sucks. I want crisps and pizza and I've got so many better things to do than jogging.

    Allowing all the fatties to die young until we evolve some more is probably not acceptable - this is the information age and we demand immediate gratification, dammit. Solve our problem now!

    Speeding up the process of evolution by artificially modifying the human germ line is a whole other can of worms, and artificial selection without genetic engineering an unhappy medium between the two.

    But why modify our genes, when the transhumanist revolution is already getting under sail? I'd rather optimise our use of the bodies we have. What we need is some kind of implant that can extract energy from your body by burning glucose and oxygen in the same way as your muscles. I googled a few numbers a while back and I think a healthy human could run a laptop. We have a problem generating clean renewable power anyway. Let's ameliorate that, at the same time as we get everyone burning calories (and getting their heart rates up for some healthy exercise, and perhaps being more inclined to self-limit tech use because it makes them physically tired), without them having to forgo full use of the wonders of modern technology.

    I'm at least semi-serious here. I don't know if it could be done, but it'd be cool if it could. (Not that it would create a utopia or anything: like any new thing people would find ways to abuse it, themselves, and each other.)


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @CarrieVS Nice idea. It could make an interesting science fiction story even if it's not actually feasible



  • @Jaloopa said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    It could make an interesting science fiction story even if it's not actually feasible

    I've got one in the backlog actually. Kind of dystopian, hope things wouldn't really work out as bad as that. Working title is Juicebox.


  • Impossible Mission - B



  • @Jaloopa said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    not actually feasible

    Oestrogen supplement grows breasts. Prolactin activates them. Microbial fuel cells run on breast milk. Job done.



  • @flabdablet said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    Also, bodies do eventually adapt. Everybody I know who had bariatric surgery more than fifteen years ago is currently gaining weight again.

    Gastric bypass surgery is best reserved for extreme, life-threatening cases. To buy 15 years of life is not a bad tradeoff.



  • @masonwheeler said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    @Yamikuronue said in In other weight loss tips today...:

    @Jaloopa I suspect it's more that bodies are surprisingly capable of pushing back against attempts to starve them.

    Two words: Industrial Agriculture.

    We've spent the last several millennia selectively breeding "fat genes" into the human race as a positive survival trait: those with a bit of extra reserves are better-suited to survive the next famine. (Witness Fiddler On The Roof, set in the early 20th century, in which Tevye proclaims that the well-to-do wife of a rich man would have "a proper double chin"!)

    Then the modern world came along and made famine a thing of the past, and turned our biggest food problem on its head: instead of food scarcity, we have food overabundance. Our bodies are literally not designed to handle that; we're (prematurely?) optimized for a different use case!

    It's not even just that. We have an overabundance of food, yes, but it's also an overabundance of crappy food that's specifically engineered to hack our body's hunger/full mechanisms so that we'll keep eating it even after we should've stopped.

    E.g., there's sugar in everything... added salt and/or MSG also.


  • :belt_onion:


  • sockdevs

    @dse Meanwhile, people who diet and exercise maintain their metabolic rate and keep the weight off.


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