Friday, February 21, 2014

If you're fat, it's your fault

This should suffice to shut up all the people who attempt to argue that fatties are suffering from anything but a surfeit of food and a dearth of exercise:
A new study suggests that obese women get just one hour of vigorous exercise a year, while obese men don't do much better at fewer than four hours. The findings startled the researchers, whose main focus was finding better ways to measure how much exercise people get.

"They're living their lives from one chair to another," said Edward Archer, a research fellow with the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "We didn't realize we were that sedentary. There are some people who are vigorously active, but it's offset by the huge number of individuals who are inactive."

The researchers found that the average obese woman gets the equivalent of about one hour of exercise a year. For men, it's 3.6 hours a year.

"The data was there, but no one looked at it and parsed it the way we did," Archer said. In the big picture, "there is a great deal of variability; some are moving probably a fair amount. But the vast majority [of people] are not moving at all."
It's not that hard. Seriously, it's just not. I lead the sedentary life of a lion. For 23 hours of the day, I do nothing at all. Not a damn thing. And for one hour a day, I run, I lift, or I bike. That's all it takes. 4.2 percent of your time. 4.2 percent.

41 comments:

cailcorishev said...

I'd argue that the food is more important than the exercise (if you're already obese and trying to lose weight), but the bottom line is the same: yeah, it's not that hard to start making a change. There's a lot of misinformation out there, but the correct information is available if you look for it. (As in most things, see what the government recommends, then look for people promoting the opposite.) I'm too heavy now, but it's entirely because of my own choices. I know what to do, and when I do it, I lose weight; when I do otherwise, I stall or gain. It's not complicated; it's just a matter of consistently choosing long-term health and fitness over immediate gratification.

Marissa said...

Maybe that hour was composed of 15 Tabata intervals LOL. One every 3.5 weeks! Ok, I doubt that.

Lyle Jantzi III said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Apparently an obese woman's daily exercise regimen consists of one ponderous waddle, from one chair to another. Or, one trip to the bathroom and back. Or, one trip to the cupboard for more Cheetos and back.

Res Ipsa said...

I do nothing at all. Not a damn thing. And for one hour a day, I run, I lift, or I bike. That's all it takes. 4.2 percent of your time. 4.2 percent.

I agree 100%!

This year I started going back to the gym after 20 + years off. I spend 45 min to 1hr each day actually "working out". I'm doing about 80% lifting and about 20% cardo. I'm nowhere near what the 20 something year old me could do strength wise, but the numbers are coming up bit by bit. My weight is coming down, cloths are fitting better. I feel great. It doesn't take that long to do.

Eric said...

I'd argue that the food is more important than the exercise (if you're already obese and trying to lose weight)...

You can't out-exercise a high-calorie diet. That five or six hundred calories you burn off at the gym are going to be replaced (and more) by that Starbucks latte and scone. I have the most trouble keeping my weight down when I exercise, because it stimulates hunger.

I still exercise every day, though. There are too many other benefits.

JDC said...

Unless one increases their activity the pounds will never come off (save surgical intervention). The body has a desire to remain at its current weight, which is why low calorie diets without exercise often fail. I've heard people bemoan the fact that they have poor genetics and/or metabolism - and that certainly is a factor. But one hour? Hood's balls, even a 10 minute walk will make a difference in the beginning. That and less than 50oz of Doritos's in a week.

Athor Pel said...

The dieting is not all in how much you eat. When you eat and don't eat as well as what you eat are just as important. I say this because it is what worked for me.

I only changed a couple of things and over a span of months I've lost 30 or so pounds.

Step away from the carb centered diet and start eating more meat and vegetables. For me that meant mostly proteins for breakfast, eggs and bacon, and no more bowls of cereal, an actual increase in calories and high quality calories at that. I also stopped eating what I describe as gratuitous carbs, meaning that piece of bread or roll that comes with most American meals or the big main dish bowl of pasta.

Don't eat anything or very little after 4 or 5 pm. This is a mini fast, can be a good 14 hours between meals. The hard hunger comes while you are asleep so it don't matter. For me that means I only eat two meals a day. But I do not eat a low calorie diet, I just limit when I eat to a very specific period during the day. No eating late at night, no pseudo-meal snacking.

I also fast periodically for a good 24 to 36 hours, maybe once or twice a month. I only do this on the weekends.


To quote Joseph Mercola, from How Intermittent Fasting Stacks Up Among Obesity-Related Myths, Assumptions, and Evidence-Backed Facts:
"It takes about six to eight hours for your body to metabolize your glycogen stores and after that you start to shift to burning fat. However, if you are replenishing your glycogen by eating every eight hours (or sooner), you make it far more difficult for your body to use your fat stores as fuel."

It is that simple.

Iowahine said...

Societal enabling of being fat is a bad idea . . .

I have several relatives who are very productive women - work 40 hours/week, care for families, do crafts/hobbies, entertain - but are very overweight. I'm a slug by comparison to all they produce, but not fat. I spent some extended time with a couple of them and was truly surprised that anytime we walked for more than a few minutes, I'd turn around to find them sitting (More surprising? That I was surprised). I have a chronic foot problem that hurts like hell almost every day, but walk several miles every day and do yoga regularly. I often have some glitchy this or that, but keep moving as it feels better than not, and when I don't, I feel like crap. I have battled being 10-25 pounds too heavy most of my shrimpo life, but keep at it and am finally on the better side of it, again, for now. Bottom line, it takes a committed, ongoing effort. I hate it, but its criminal to lie to young people, in particular, that even if smooth, young fat is sexier than old, saggy fat, it is in any way, shape, or form desirable. Women "hating" their bodies because we don't look like pictures in magazines or movies is one thing; telling the world we demand to be seen just as desirable as more fit women when we are not is another of the "should" lies of feminism: it's unreality and laziness.

Bill said...

That's enough exercise. Where I fail is pushing away the food. I'm 50 pounds over weight because I eat too damn much, even though I get plenty of exercise.

Marissa said...

Women "hating" their bodies because we don't look like pictures in magazines or movies is one thing

The only reason women want to look like pictures in magazines is so they can attract the type of man that kind of beauty can attract. Amazingly, some women have figured how to blame media executives and men for their own female desire for the power that beauty confers.

e.p. said...

Diet will get you lean, exercise will influence your bodies' composition and physique.

And I agree completely, I work out 45 minutes 4x/week and bike to/from work (7 miles round trip), otherwise sedentary office worker/voracious reader. But I can still pack down 3000+ calories a day and stay lean.

-e.p.

Chris Eastlund said...

It's not necessarily the fatties fault. There was a study on mice (I know mice aren't men) that showed a difference depending on gut bacteria. Two groups of mice, with different gut bactera, same diet, same exercise - one group got fat, the other did not. Read the book 'Parasite Rex' to see how dramatically parasites can affect the host. If a bug wants to live in fatty tissue, the genetic pressure is for it to produce what is required to make the host fat. That would include promoting both hunger and lassitude.

Of course, the fat acceptance meme is bullshit, you might as well have cancer acceptance, it's the same stupid logic.

JayMan said...

See here and here.

tz said...

If you wish to prove it, substitute as much fat for carbs - especially fast carbs like sugar and potatoes, and see if 4.2% still works.

I dropped 10% and more without changing exercise. Also see Karl Denninger.

The theory is if you eat sugar, you will get an insulin spike which will cause internal starvation. You won't have the energy or suffer a lot trying to exercise that 4.2%. 'Working up an appetite".

Meanwhile dietdoctor.com (based in europe!) has many, many, success stories of obese shoggoths getting svelte by switching to a low-carb, high-fat diet.

This is another matter of science (as Gary Taubes would point out). It would be nice if someone would actually do the experiments. But as far as I've experienced, the only deciding factor is diet. Once you are in ketosis it is easy to exercise and more as you always have energy (mostly provided by your fat stores being available). Carbs lock up your fat.

rycamor said...

@Chris Eastlund

The facts are still the facts though. You cut enough calories and the body will burn fat. Or if you keep your diet the same but exercise more, you will burn more fat. There were no fat Nazi concentration camp prisoners. The truth is still the simple truth: literally no one is forced to be any heavier than he or she wants to be. It is choice. The question is quite simply which matters more to you: the instant gratification of eating, or the long-term benefit of health and fitness?

The strategies, such as exercising, fasting, cutting carbs, going paleo, are all good tools to help in that regard, but it still comes down to making decisions and holding oneself responsible. (Although those tools have major health benefits in addition)

Akulkis said...

"That's enough exercise. Where I fail is pushing away the food. I'm 50 pounds over weight because I eat too damn much, even though I get plenty of exercise."

When I got back from my last deployment (never left base, and far too much easy access to all-you-can eat DFAC food, especially pumpkin pie and good, hard-pack ice cream) I had to lose 20 pounds to get back to my normal size and fitness level.
I did the following things: I cut out carbs out of my diet -- rice, bread, potatoes, pasta, corn for all but maybe 2 means per week. (exceptions being on drill weekends with an infantry battalion.).

To keep the hunger at bay, I increased the amount of animal fats in my diet -- primarily by not draining the fat when I would make stir fry or spaghetti.
If you eat a snack consisting of carbs, especially starches (long chains of SUGARS), you'll be hungry in 30-60 minutes ... and then you'll probably go eat ANOTHER dose of sugar-chains. On the other hand, if you leave some of the liquid animal fats in your meals, the consumption of said fats triggers the release of a hormone which triggers the feeling of being satiated.

2. I replaced driving my car for short errands with riding my bicycle as long as SEVERE weather or cargo-capacity was not an issue. Within a year, I found myself spending saturday afternoons riding as much as 20-miles from place to place within a couple miles of the house, getting in a lot of good exercise.

3. During ALL of this, I was still consuming what most would consider to be way to much pop (Coca-cola both for the caffeine, and because milk causes me problems with asthma -- and I can't stand the taste of tea or coffee (although I love the smell of coffee)).

Stannis Baratheon said...

I'm trying to track down the original study, as this seems too low to believe, even based on what I know of people's laziness. Surely they mean hours per week not hours per year?

Ver Ify said...

I would like to invite everyone to read the Success Stories at Mark's Daily Apple, one new posted every Friday:
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/category/success-story-summaries/#axzz2u0cUznHd

The paleo diet, reducing carbs from today's 60-70 percent of your calorie intake to the more natural 15 percent of days' past, works wonders. Without wheat and rice your hunger disappears and you start losing weight easily. You get several positive side effects: you don't feel bloated - you will see the difference. You will have better skin; people with skin problems see them reduced or disappear entirely, and you feel no itching in your skin any longer. If you suffer from migraine, they are often reduced by skipping grains, as one woman with severe migraine her whole life testifies at the MDA website. That's when you start to realize just how bad grains are for your body. Yes, they helped us mass produce food and increase our numbers in the past, but they are still not good news for your body. Avoid grains and rice. Eat vegetables, unprocessed meat, fish, chicken and nuts.

Some say, "Bah! You just need to eat in moderation!" So why do all the middle-aged people who think that's all they need to do still have the large bellies they don't want? When your metabolism slows down with age, you need to learn the actual science here or you will forever wonder why it's impossible for you to lose weight.

Oh, and as Mark writes in the Primal Blueprint: eating right should be combined with walking, sprinting once in a while (four times better for your heart than running for an hour, which your body isn't made for), and lifting heavy things. No goddamn chronic cardio.

rycamor said...

While it is a simple fact of logic that people can choose to control their eating, I do understand that the nature of the temptations has changed over the years, especially in the USA. The simple fact of *availability* of the crap food is a huge problem for most people. It is everywhere, and it is cheap, and everyone shoves it at you at every occasion, and looks at you funny if you decline. And, of course our technological world has made exercise ever less necessary to survive, and our government/healthcare/insurance system enables people to eat themselves into an electric scooter for life. It's a wonder our society has lasted this long.

mina smith said...

I have been exercising and eating well for 35 years. I get real sick of listening to the young, fat feminists talking about how we should love them for their inner beauty. yawn. wake me when you are beautiful outside, too. then I'll be impressed.

Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good said...

I effortlessly maintain a low BMI and eat as much as I want. It's what I eat that keeps me lean. Meat, home-grown vegetables, fruit... no wheat and very little other grains. I made the choice to avoid garbage food... look good... and I can openly disparage the fatties. It's their own danged fault.

Beyond that, I started a regular workout regimen and am now in better shape than most of my peers. It only takes me 5 or so hours a week. Worth it.

Sean Carnegie said...

Lost 80 lbs (closer to 90) two years ago by:

Intermittent fasting at least 16 hours a day.
Often eating only one meal (HF/LC) a day and eating to full.
Walking 4 miles a day three days a week.
Lots of coffee/tea/water. If it doesn't taste like either of those three, don't drink it.
Supplement with 2000mg VitC and 5000IU VitD daily.

I don't get sick, I feel great, asthma is mainly gone, sleep like a baby, f**k like a pornstar. Paleo is probably the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Akulkis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Akulkis said...

Sean Carenegie

You sound like me.

APL said...

"That's all it takes. 4.2 percent of your time. 4.2 percent."

It takes less than that too. I work out perhaps five hours a week. Having said that, I walk most everywhere less than a mile.

The real problem is for people who's lives are so empty, eating is what compensates.

I have just finished working at a company where the extremely large woman co-worker rarely missed an opportunity to complain about her medical condition - no, not obesity, but her 'crumbling' bones. Did she miss an opportunity to stuff her face?

APL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tupla-J said...

I thought so too. Then I read Good calories, bad calories by Gary Taubes, and found out that people have very little idea of what they shoud eat - and that our bodies' ability to use carbs and not storing fat varies a bit like for example our height. Two people can literally eat and exercise the same and the other grows fat and unenergetic and the other doesn't. I can eat practically any shit some folks call food and not get fat or low energy levels, but other people are less fortunate.

Yes, fatties have a moral failure due to eating addictive and fattening junk food. Many of them have no idea how to eat well, though: they eat all fat-free carb bombs and sugary drinks just like the authorities tell them to.

Tommy Hass said...

"Unless one increases their activity the pounds will never come off (save surgical intervention)."

I am suprised how people can be dumb enough to make such claims.

So essentially, if you stop eating all together and don't move, you can't possibly become an emaciated Auschwitz mode skeleton. Homoesthasis is a myth. The laws of physics don't work.

Also lol at the notion that time of eating matters. (it doesn't)

Joël Cuerrier said...

I'd say cars, the introduction of women in the "workforce" (no more cooking at home being done), automation, robotisation, the Green Revolution, technology in general, consumerism, supermarkets in particular, the FDA, almost every single item on the shelves... there's just too much out there.

When women started working is when no more real work existed to be done. So everybody is on the web leaving comments on sites like these...

Now, remember not so long ago: http://i2.wp.com/www.retronaut.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/478.jpg

Rantor said...

Last summer I hit 217 and realized it was time to lose weight. I am now down to 192-194, my college weight, and have stayed there for several months. More protein, much fewer carbs, and relatively light 40-60 minute work-outs three days a week and take the dog on a 20-30 minute walk daily. (Work outs were heavier but then I tore my rotatator cuff). Finally through with physical therapy and starting to increase weightliting and the like. WIll have to have a long stint on the elliptical today as Mrs Rantor made chocolate chip cookies last night and the dough is rising for home made pizza....

Mrs Rantor goes to the gym about three days a week and walks the dog three times a day. She stays in the low 130s and we are happy with that. She is German and just can't get into the lifestyle of less bread and potatoes. Her daily activity levels make up for it I guess.

A few guys at work and church are impressed by my weight loss, but I get the feeling they want me to tell them I found a magic pill. Telling them I eat less and work out more does not seem to motivate them.

Natalie said...

The problem isn't the media. The problem is our moms. My mom is a petite 120 whereas I struggled all through high school and college to keep my weight to 130. This was walking everywhere, swimming, jogging, and lifting weights. Now I have a trainer who says that based on my build and muscle mass 130 would actually be a fairly low weight for me. Looking at old pictures I do kind of want to smack my mom for conditioning me to think and feel like I was fat 'cause (big surprise) I eventually became what I thought I was. That sort of thinking takes years to undo. I really wish I'd spent more time rocking the hourglass instead of worrying about a number.

On the other hand there are moms who vilify scales, can't/won't/don't teach any girl game and encourage their daughters to waste their hot years slouching around. That will do a number on you as well.

tz said...

"if you're fat, its your own fault"... for following the USDA/FDA Ponzi/Madoff food pyramid scheme.

Eat more grains! Corn! (HFCS). Wheat! Rice! Potatoes, like a Ho called Ida.

Let approaches. Decide to give up carbs or fat and see what happens.

Chris Eastlund said...

@rycamor - No, it's not that simple. Healthy folks can cut back, and see weight loss without pain. Unhealthy folks can't. I endured sarcoidosis for 20 years, and in those years dieting made me absolutely miserable. Along with sarcoid comes the fatigue of autoimmune. You are tired, and exercise just makes it worse. Unless you eat more than you should, you don't have the energy to go to work. If you exercise, you don't get stronger, you just get tired and more arthritic.

Cure the sarcoid, and the extra hunger goes, the weight disappears, and going to the gym gives more energy & strength and flexibility instead of less.

Sure, some heavy folks are simply self indulgent, but it's not the whole story.

rycamor said...

Chris, I never said it was the whole story, I just stated a simple fact that transcends all other factors. Regardless of how one feels doing it, calories cut will eventually cut one's weight. In other words, failing all else, there is this brute force method that always works, period. There were even two experiments done where the subjects lived entirely on junk food, but cut their weight via portion control. One of them even ate Twinkies every day. Of course there are much better strategies, and of course there are health problems to address. 3000 calories a day of meat and vegetables will have a drastically different effect from 3000 a day of Snickers and ice cream, but if you tried to live on 1000 calories a day of Snickers and ice cream, I guarantee you would lose weight. Calories aren't the only thing, but they still count..

Point is, people can choose. It is harder for some than others, but choice is still always possible. The smart ones at least research the relevant options to find the easiest and healthiest way to do it, but it still begins with choice.

Awoman said...

While so many eat out of boredom,
Or to replace some empty feeling inside themselves (some eat to do replace this emptiness, others drink to replace the emptiness, still others may smoke or do drugs to do the same...

LibertyPortraits said...

There really isn't any excuse. The data that a clean diet and exercise gets you in shape has been around for a very long time. Every fatty I've known eats 500+ grams of carbs a day (I see fatties drink 2-liter sodas everyday at work) and never lifts a finger, at least not the young ones. I have an uncle who has always been obese. He doesn't work out, but he has always done a lot of physical work. He still should have been dead 15 years ago but is quite literally a walking corpse due to modern medicine. I had a cousin who died in his 30s, he was always tremendously obese. Obesity is a killer, but fat people don't care enough to discipline themselves because knowledge doesn't make people change their behavior.

Jake said...

"calories cut will eventually cut one's weight. In other words, failing all else, there is this brute force method that always works, period."

Starvation, an excellent weight-loss strategy? Not so much. How long can you starve yourself before will-power becomes irrelevant and instinct to eat takes over? They did experiments with conscientious objectors during WW2 where they locked them up and gave them the diet you recommend... 3-6 hundred calories a day IIRC. The results were not pleasant. You may lose weight, but if you're biochemistry is out of balance due to decades of a modern diet (as it is for most fat people) you will loose muscle mass and organ mass much more than fat.

If you have elevated insulin levels burning fat is impossible. The chemical processes by which fat is removed from storage and released into your bloodstream shut down. You can make an obese animal die of starvation (still obese) if you artificially keep it's insulin high, it's organs and muscles will whither away and it will die as fat as ever.

If you want to lose weight effectively, and healthfully, and your part of the vast majority of overweight people who are overweight as a result of a broken metabolism, don't starve yourself, change your diet to one which is compatible with your body's biochemical processes. Quit overwhelming your system with sugars and relying on your body's ability to take emergency measures to prevent immediate catastrophe. Eat fruits in a realistic fashion (i.e. the actual fruit not a juice, and occasionally, not twice a day every day... remember any given fruit traditionally is only around for a few weeks out of the year, it's not dietary stable). Eat veggies, and eat meat and don't fear the fat. The science linking fat to heart disease is abysmal. Avoid grains, sugar, starches, and carbs in other forms.

My wife and I both effortlessly lost significant weight doing this (~20-30 lbs each), not changing our physical activity at all (at least not purposefully). Not only did we lose weight and feel better, but she used to need to eat every 3-4 hours or she'd get extremely irritable (hypoglycemic), she started eating ham, eggs, bacon, etc for breakfast instead of cereal and that disappeared entirely. She got her diabetic mom to do the same thing and (just change breakfast) and SHE lost weight and made her doctor ask "what did you do?" because her next check-up was so much better than the prior dozen or so.

rycamor said...

Jake, I am not recommending anything of the sort. Can people not read? I am stating facts, regardless whether these things are good or bad. I am well aware of all the pros and cons being discussed these days. I myself am on a mostly Paleo regimen.

Amir said...

It's the carbs, particularly the bad carbs (sugar, "whole grains", and other simple carbs) that are the culprit.

Dial back the carbs, slash the sugar, go for green vegetables and low-glycemic fruits, and go higher on the protein and fat.

And yes, get an hour of hard exercise every day.

I prefer to do a fair amount of strength work with anywhere from 30-60 minutes of cardio (elliptical, spin class, or stair-stepper). Body fat is right at 10%, even though I've cut back my exercise time drastically.

Anton Chigurh said...

Akulkis says "When I got back from my last deployment (never left base, and far too much easy access to all-you-can eat DFAC food, especially pumpkin pie and good, hard-pack ice cream) I had to lose 20 pounds to get back to my normal size and fitness level."
Jesus Christ.
Only in modern America--for the first time in the history of the world can a soldier go to war and come back fat.
God Bless Our Chubby Heros
Thank you for your service polishing off all that ice cream.
Only in the modern American military for the first time in all history does a soldier need to lose weight after coming back from a war.
I ain't mad at ya Akulkis, you didn't create the system, you're just doing a job where they offer free (taxpayer) food, but your comment truly blew my mind.

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