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  • Pebbles67
    started a topic Biggest Loser Study-Opinions?

    Biggest Loser Study-Opinions?

    The NY Times has reported on a study of a group of Biggest Loser contestants. The gist of the study shows that most gained the weight back, but that their metabolisms also slowed down and never recovered. They also showed very low levels of Leptin which causes cravings and bingeing.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/he...4&ref=cta&_r=0


    I am a person who has been obese since childhood. In June 2014 I hit 80 lbs lost on the Primal Blueprint. That loss took 3.5 years. In a year and a half, I regained 60 lbs. I have re lost about 10 of that.
    A lot of my regain was due to a resurfacing of my binge eating disorder. Maybe there are some answers in Leptin research.

    What do you guys think? What else can we Primal people who have a long history of obesity and disordered eating do to avoid the metabolism slow down and the weight regain?

    Give me some hope here guys: talk me down from the ledge.

  • noodletoy
    replied
    Originally posted by CAlexRose View Post
    Professional athletes train all day when "in season" but they also eat large amounts of food to sustain it, they don't fast and stave as the Biggest Loser contestants.
    great point! i remember during the olympics all the reports about what phelps ate, but he trained like a demon, so yeah, he got plenty of fuel.

    Leave a comment:


  • bcbcbc2
    replied
    The BL protocol is terrible for the reasons mentioned in the thread but the metabolic problem is still nasty and unfair even when things are done much more sensibly.

    Normal weight people who were obese almost always have a lower metabolism and more trouble staying down.(Sorry Pebbles, hope you're not near the ledge)

    I think the same applies proportionally to those of us who have been well overweight but not obese.

    Leave a comment:


  • John Caton
    replied
    There are at least two related hormonal issues that are not addressed by the "starve and work your ass off" dieting plans; leptin and cortisol. The hormonal issues were likely bad before the weight loss started and were worsened by the protocol they followed. Once away from the limelight the unresolved hormonal situation overrode whatever willpower they maintained during the show. Recipe for failure, but their exploitation provided entertainment for the masses.

    Leave a comment:


  • CAlexRose
    replied
    Originally posted by noodletoy View Post
    i have never watched this show and, sorry, but i don't see the attraction. these people torture themselves using methods that the geneva convention would condemn. how is any of what they do supposed to be sustainable? they starve on super low-fat/low-cal and many of them quit their jobs so they can exercise all day. that's ok if you're michael phelps or lebron james and your job is to train all day -- not so much if you're joe blow.

    here's an interesting look at the minnesota starvation experiment that was conducted during ww2.

    http://joyproject.org/overcoming/starvation.html

    men of normal weight, lived in a lab on a severely calorie-restricted diet. they went from healthy to bags of skin and bones that obsessed and dreamed about food. one man cut off several fingers with an axe!

    but this is relevant to the biggest loser "phenomenon", i think:



    these guys entered the experiment at an average of 156 pounds, so quite slim by modern standards, and their minds and bodies did everything they could to get back to stasis. same thing happens to the loser contestants, but their mechanisms are already deranged by the time they get on the show.
    Professional athletes train all day when "in season" but they also eat large amounts of food to sustain it, they don't fast and stave as the Biggest Loser contestants.


    Sent from my iPhone using Marks Daily Apple Forum

    Leave a comment:


  • coolrain
    replied
    Originally posted by Rig D View Post
    As far as binge eating is concerned, I'm there. Even now, after several years of Primal living, I absolutely can not resist doing what the potato chip guy did. For me, I'd occasionally "test my will" with something like his 5 chip thing, and I'd always fail. Still true today. The only solution for me is to never, never eat the first one. I joke today about the "see food" diet, but in my case it was true. If I saw it, I'd eat it. At least now, I can see it and I can make myself avoid it, but if I'm talked into trying "just one" it is all over, I'll clear the table.
    To be fair, I actually don't care much for chips. My weak point is chocolate. I don't test my will. I plan my indulgence. If I really crave chocolate, I will buy about 500 calories of dark chocolate and that is my lunch. No guilt and no regret. I don't buy a big box of 3000 calories of chocolate and test my willpower.

    Leave a comment:


  • noodletoy
    replied
    i have never watched this show and, sorry, but i don't see the attraction. these people torture themselves using methods that the geneva convention would condemn. how is any of what they do supposed to be sustainable? they starve on super low-fat/low-cal and many of them quit their jobs so they can exercise all day. that's ok if you're michael phelps or lebron james and your job is to train all day -- not so much if you're joe blow.

    here's an interesting look at the minnesota starvation experiment that was conducted during ww2.

    http://joyproject.org/overcoming/starvation.html

    men of normal weight, lived in a lab on a severely calorie-restricted diet. they went from healthy to bags of skin and bones that obsessed and dreamed about food. one man cut off several fingers with an axe!

    but this is relevant to the biggest loser "phenomenon", i think:

    One of the most notable implications of the Minnesota experiment is that it challenges the popular notion that body weight is easily altered if one simply exercises a bit of "willpower." It also demonstrates that the body is not simply "reprogrammed" at a lower set point once weight loss has been achieved. The volunteers' experimental diet was unsuccessful in overriding their bodies' strong propensity to defend a particular weight level. Again, it is important to emphasize that following the months of refeeding, the Minnesota volunteers did not skyrocket into obesity. On the average, they gained back their original weight plus about 10%; then, over the next 6 months, their weight gradually declined. By the end of the follow-up period, they were approaching their pre-experiment weight levels.
    these guys entered the experiment at an average of 156 pounds, so quite slim by modern standards, and their minds and bodies did everything they could to get back to stasis. same thing happens to the loser contestants, but their mechanisms are already deranged by the time they get on the show.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pebbles67
    replied
    My big take away from the article is the Leptin piece.

    I am hoping that their large downturn in metabolism was a direct result of the extreme stress that the BL program puts on contestants bodies.

    Thanks for the great responses.

    I am starting the general Leptin Protocol today (High protein breakfast, low carb etc.). I'll be reporting results in my journal if anyone is interested.

    Leave a comment:


  • oxide
    replied
    Originally posted by coolrain View Post
    Why did he buy a bag of chips in the first place? I have not bought that kind of junk for years.
    He bought a bag of chips because life is hard and he needed chips dammit, and we're (almost) all just mere mortals. In this aspect, we may have it harder than Grok ever did. Grok had the strength to avoid junk food because, well, there wasn't any junk food to avoid in the first place.

    The researchers in the article get things *very* right in making the connection that drastic weight loss could be a body-breaker, and I like the emphasis on leptin. However, all of the medical professionals in the article spout wall-to-wall CICO. We get fat on 15 calories because of 15 extra calories each day? I find it hard to believe that humans are *that* sensitive to calorie numbers. And, unfortunately, the article even strengthens the CICO theory by concluding that the weight gain is all about basal metabolism.

    This area is ripe for a lot of interesting research. If these folks had lost the weight on CICO, only more slowly, could they keep the weight off? If they had lost the weight on Primal relatively quickly, could they keep the weight off? Would Paleo, or Primal, help them now, or are they permanently broken?

    Leave a comment:


  • Rig D
    replied
    I've been a B.L. watcher over the years. The show is idiotic, and best enjoyed by recording it and playing back later, where you can skip most of the "filler." The people on it go through an insane regimen of exercise and diet, and it does not surprise me at all to learn that many of the contestants screw up their body chemistry with the regimen they do. The physical transformations are remarkable, but the speed at which they grind off the weight is, in my opinion, so fast that their bodies are never given an opportunity to recover and adjust to what is going on. Some of the bigger guys lose 10+ pounds for weeks in a row, and the show winner each season is always somewhere around 50% the size they were at the start.

    I can only speak from my n=1 regarding weight loss. My bottom line is that if you want to get it off and keep it off, you have to lose it at a slower pace. That is what initially attracted me to Primal, the idea of losing 1-2 pounds per week, and to maintain that pace until you arrive at a weight destination. If you can lose 1 lb/week, you will lose the excess much faster than you put it on, and your body has the opportunity to adjust to things as you go. I'm currently having a similar rebound to Pebbles, but I attribute most of that to reduced physical ability due to my bad knee acting up since around year end. I'm working on it and it is slow going.

    I've always been heavy, in high school as a football lineman, through college when I had a bad eye injury that curtailed my physical activity for a year and saw a lot of pounds add on. I have a cartoon drawing of myself in college, waiting for mealtime outside the dining hall 4 hours before dinner, holding a burger in one hand and a bag of chips in the other with my shirt not quite covering my pot belly. It was so true. After college, I steadily gained weight. My chosen career in information systems was very sedentary, but I was athletic, jogging, playing in various company and community leagues, playing racquetball, etc. Even so, over the years I steadily gained. I tried a variety of diets. They all worked to some degree. I'd drop pounds but it wouldn't last. The quicker I lost the weight, the harder it was to keep it off and the faster it would come back and go higher. This was my life pattern for most of my adult life. The net was I gained steadily for over 30 years, reaching a peak of nearly 300. I did get that down to around 230, doing pretty much a BL type program--intense, grinding exercise, mostly cardio, and a lot of it, eating as low cal as I could. It was an excruciating experience. I reached 230 and then couldn't maintain and rebounded rapidly to around 270 before stabilizing. My son introduced me to Primal, it made sense to me, and I've been there ever since. The weight dropped slowly but steadily, averaging just about 1 lb per week. I reached a low of just under 200, and decided I felt better being a little heavier, so got back to about 210 where I've been until the recent knee problems.

    As far as binge eating is concerned, I'm there. Even now, after several years of Primal living, I absolutely can not resist doing what the potato chip guy did. For me, I'd occasionally "test my will" with something like his 5 chip thing, and I'd always fail. Still true today. The only solution for me is to never, never eat the first one. I joke today about the "see food" diet, but in my case it was true. If I saw it, I'd eat it. At least now, I can see it and I can make myself avoid it, but if I'm talked into trying "just one" it is all over, I'll clear the table.

    Leave a comment:


  • coolrain
    replied
    One of the "losers" in that NYT article said he had a bag of chips and intended to eat 5 chips but ended binge-eating the whole bag. I was amazed at reading this. Why did he buy a bag of chips in the first place? I have not bought that kind of junk for years. (I very occasionally eat one chip when it is offered in the supermarket as a "sample." That is my limit.) I bet he would not binge eating greens.
    Last edited by coolrain; 05-02-2016, 09:31 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pebbles67
    replied
    GoJenGo I have. I think that i will try it again. The problem is that while I may have had healthy Leptin levels and leptin response two years ago, I think the system back to severely broken down. I saved my old journal on a stick drive. Maybe I'll go take a look and see how the LR worked for me.

    ElliotOne plus in my column is that I lost the weight in a healthy manner. Instead of Biggest Loser style. Unfortunately, that didn't stop me from regaining even though I fought it and didn't want to return to old eating patterns.

    WestCoastFire That could very well be true, life stress increased immensely in the last two years.

    Leave a comment:


  • GoJenGo
    replied
    Pebbles, have you ever tried the leptin reset? (My memory just needs refreshing, I knew the answer at some point!)

    Leave a comment:


  • WestCoastFire
    replied
    While I used to watch that show and admire their determination, there is a bit of a flaw, in what Elliot pointed out, it's a temporary solution.

    On one hand, they do what they do to lose the weight quick, but on the other hand, they probably just go back to their old habits when done. This compounds the effect they probably drastically elevated their cortisol, which in turn slowed their thyroid down, reduced circulating T3 levels, which basically brought their metabolism to a standstill. Take that situation, and now revert back to their old diet, and voila, they gain the weight back.

    Whatever long term weight loss solution is implemented, it needs to be sustainable, which is why primal/paleo works for many people.

    In your case Pebbles, it may very well be from cortisol. Elevated Cortisol (stress hormone), basically stops the conversion of T4 to T3 in the body. Your thyroid produces T4, but in the presence of elevated cortisol, it slows down T4 production and slows/stops the conversion to T3. T3 is basically the switch that allows the body to burn off carbs and fats for energy. It also may convert to what's called reverse T3 which slows the metabolism down even more. So for someone wanting to lose weight, cortisol is basically a kill switch that's stopping it.

    Number 1 thing that tends to elevate cortisol is lack of sleep, poor sleep quality, and poor sleeping habits. Other stressors will do it as well (job stress, money stress etc..). Diet wise, caloric restriction, low carb for too long, intermittent fasting, all raise cortisol and lower the circulating T3 levels. It's a balancing act; get your T3 levels up high enough, then employ some intermittent fasting to melt the fat off. For most people though, it's simply a matter of getting their sleeping habits under control, and listening to their body when they are actually hungry.

    Leave a comment:


  • Elliot
    replied
    I think the problem is people looking for a temporary solution. Once they lose the weight, they go back to their old habits, which puts the weight back on. People need to find a strategy they can maintain for the rest of their life, which is definitely not the Biggest Loser's strategy of "eat almost nothing, train as hard as possible."

    Leave a comment:

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