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Thread: calorie loss

  1. #1 calorie loss 
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    When the body starts receiving less calories than it normally does, can it somehow become extra conservative of calories and actually cause a person to gain weight?


    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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    The word 'normally' would need more definition. you can't gain weight (other than water) by consuming less calories than your body needs to maintain it's functions....especially heat regulation. That's about 2500 calories for an adult male. 'If' one is overweight then more calories can be necessary to function....the body mass is larger and body functions less efficient.

    It's no different than gas in a car. You can't have more gas in your car after driving than you had before...but, your car can get a tune up, etc. (a human being fit) and be more efficient. An obese person might 'normally' consume 3,000 calories and not gain weght but their weight is stable for the wrong reason...poor health. If they cut back to 2,500 calories they might lose weight until their body is more efficient and then, if they went back to their 'normally eaten' 3,000 calories, gain weight back until they become unhealthy (less efficient).

    It's a myth that folks can't lose weight because of some built-in starvation protection. One needs to be emaciated for that to happen and then the body performs triage and withdraws or diminishes some body functions. The reality is that overweight people have a misconception (or self-denial) of what 'normal intake' is. That one extra cookie actually does make a difference.....and no, one doesn't need to 'splurge' once in a while....bad nutritional habits are always bad and one needs to recalibrate the taste buds to appreciate healthy food and a resulting healthy body.


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    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    Isn't it possible that the body of an underfed / starving person becomes more efficient in the sense of being able to extract as many calories as possible from a given food source? Or in other words, that the body of a fat person simply wastes a lot of calories, which it obviously doesn't need? For example if 10 persons are given a 1500 calorie hamburger, some may actually extract 1500 calories from it and use it / store it as fat, while others may only extract some percentage of it (let's say 80%) and dump the rest as waste. Is such a reasoning possible, or doesn't the body work this way?

    If this is possible then the body of a fat person may extract less calories from the same food sources, being able to eat more than a healthy person before gaining additional weight.
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    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon
    If this is possible then the body of a fat person may extract less calories from the same food sources, being able to eat more than a healthy person before gaining additional weight.
    That made me think of this... Will a body horde all the calories it can get to facilitate survival, or is there a process by which the body attempts to prevent obesity?
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon
    Isn't it possible that the body of an underfed / starving person becomes more efficient in the sense of being able to extract as many calories as possible from a given food source? Or in other words, that the body of a fat person simply wastes a lot of calories, which it obviously doesn't need? For example if 10 persons are given a 1500 calorie hamburger, some may actually extract 1500 calories from it and use it / store it as fat, while others may only extract some percentage of it (let's say 80%) and dump the rest as waste. Is such a reasoning possible, or doesn't the body work this way?

    If this is possible then the body of a fat person may extract less calories from the same food sources, being able to eat more than a healthy person before gaining additional weight.
    A fat person can eat marginally more calories than a healthy person and not gain weight. I've never read that they were less likely to extract calories but rather that there is more stress on the various organs to process food, use the energy and deal with waste product. An efficient system (digestive, circulatory, etc.) within the body needs less calories to achieve the end results. Your question is an interesting one: the body declaring 'I have a lot of fat storage and don't need to put more pounds on'. I don't think we've evolved with that luxury. Instead we have a body that tells us our stomachs are full and to push away from the buffalo carcass. When we digest the food in our stomach then the hunger kicks back in. I'm 'guessing' that eating too much and obesity are relatively recent phenomena and imminenet starvation was the norm until the last few tens of thousands of years.
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