I was in a discussion today online where somebody actually said that “being thin is possible for everyone because calories in/calories out is just scientific fact” This ridiculous idea needs to die.
In order to continue to believe this, you have to believe that bodies have size diversity in every single way (heights, shoe sizes, elbow shape, finger sizes, hair colors etc.) literally everything except weight. That simply defies logic. But that’s not all.
You would also have to deny the existence of conditions that cause weight to be gained and maintained – lymphedema, lipedema, hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, PCOS, cushing’s, congestive heart failure, edema, and more.
You’d have to deny the well-documented fact that there are medications (some of them life-saving) that cause weight gain, including some anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, seizure medications, steroids, diabetes medications, antihistamines, blood pressure medications, birth control and more.
You’d also have to believe that the human body works with the same complexity of, say, a gas-powered lawnmower, and deny the known effects of dieting. If you give that lawnmower half the fuel it needs to mow a lawn every day for a month, it will stop halfway through the lawn every single day. It won’t adapt – it won’t learn to use fuel more efficiently, it won’t develop ways to store any extra fuel it gets. It just stops. Fuel in, fuel out.
But if you give the human body less fuel than it needs to perform the functions that you ask of it (also known as dieting) it adapts in a multitude of ways – everything from adjusting metabolism to messing with the hormones that drive hunger and satiety.
Basal metabolic rate falls during weight loss, meaning that as someone loses weight they will need to eat fewer and fewer calories to deprive the body of fuel in the hopes that it will consume itself and become smaller. Starvation is not sustainable and has dangerous downsides, even in the short term.
At the end of the dieting process, a body is biologically different than it was before dieting, having turned itself into a weight gaining, weight-maintaining machine, biologically different than a body that has never dieted because it has lived through what it perceives as a famine, (since your body can’t imagine that it’s sending you hunger signals, there’s food around, but you won’t feed it) and now it’s worried that there will be another one.
Finally, if calories in/calories out actually worked, at least one of the many studies that have been done on it would have shown more than a tiny fraction of people succeeding, but that’s not the case.
People are lots of different sizes for lots of different reasons, including the natural diversity of body sizes, diets may result in short term weight loss but the vast majority of people will regain that weight, and many will gain back more than they lost – those are the facts.
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5 thoughts on “I Can’t Believe People Are Still Pushing Calories In/Calories Out”
I wish I had read this post 10 years ago when my ex-boyfriend continued to tell me messages like that until I developed anorexia.
What about pregnancy? Yes, it increases hunger so you tend to eat more, but even if you don’t eat more, you will still gain weight. And while doctors recommend limiting yourself to 25 pound gain, many women with the best of intentions can’t do it.
It would be interesting to see research if babies are actually healthier if the mother gains only 25 pounds or if this is another dimension of fat phobia–what if the mother never loses the weight?
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is a scientific fact and Carnot’s Rule is a scientific fact, but the “fat people can become thin people by routinely expending more calories than they consume” myth that keeps trying to ride their coattails isn’t. People in controlled situations fed the same meals and given the same exercises wind up at different weights. Bodies react differently to calories from different sources, and people can even starve to death while eating full meals if the sources are incomplete (like with “rabbit starvation”). None of this would happen if “a calorie was just a calorie” or if weight loss was “just a simple matter of calories in vs. calories out.” People are still arguing about why, and Ragen’s covered most of what they’re saying in this article, but the end result is always the same: like any other diet, CICO results in short-term weight loss followed by long-term weight gain, even if you do not go off the diet. When you try to apply CICO to real people in the real world, it fails.
Although if they’re CICOing at you in the first place, it’s a safe bet they don’t actually care about science or health and are just looking for an excuse to treat fat people poorly.
CICO really needs to die.
People can think wat ever bs they want, if only it stopped at the edge of their brain matter…
Thoughts cause more harm in the world than just about anything. The way people choose to look at things effects EVERYTHING. But if they already hate you, and need to hate you, re-education is a camel needle level change.
Tori Spelling’s kids get fat shamed 24/7 with social media. She angry, but is she surprised? Boyo bad things are gonna come from that mix, fat hate, social media and children. Very bad things. Life ending things. When is a muffin not a muffin? When a fat kid is seen eating it. ARMAGGEDON!