Synopsis: The author spends a day sealed inside an NIH metabolism measuring chamber and uses the experience to explain how metabolism works and shed some light into common lore about metabolism.
This article addresses multiple times the notion that people have different metabolism rates, but concludes that it doesn't rise to the amount of being a major cause of our obesity.
The author, once overweight herself, subjects herself and her own notions about weight management to the NIH lab and its staff experts on metabolism.
Reading Time: About 15 minutes
Hey folks, I'm the author of the article. One of the members of your group suggested I drop in and say hello. So: hello! A couple of thoughts from your comments:
1) A few of you mentioned wanting to go into the metabolism chamber yourself. You'll notice at the end of the article.. I've linked to where you can join the study. I know that's probably not possible for most people, especially if you're not in and around DC. But just so you know, anyone can join!
2) On the exercise bike — I actually worked pretty vigorously. Less than I do in a spinning class, but definitely not relaxed cycling. So I was surprised by how little I burned. But it demonstrated something we know from the research evidence: exercise is not very helpful for weight loss (what you eat is more important) but it's hugely important for overall health and wellbeing, and for weight maintenance. So that's how I interpreted that.
3) Weight loss is hard! But not impossible, and I agree that "heroic" language in that study suggests it's impossible. I just think that in the US, we tend to emphasize the wrong things and lead people down the wrong paths… make it more difficult for people. Like, joining a gym or working out really hard if you want to lose weight. Or going on crazy diets that aren't sustainable. I think the science is pointing to the fact that much more moderate measures can go a long way. Like … walking a little more… eating more fruits and vegetables, if possible…. drinking more water and less sugary stuff… gradually easing into more vigorous exercise but not inuring and discouraging yourself with really tough workouts out of the gate… Sleeping more!
4) Having said all that, science is also increasingly showing us that where we live, our socioeconomic factors, the stress in our lives, can shape our weight. I found this study, nicely summarized in the tweet, really illuminating: https://twitter.com/BrendonStubbs/status/1009827946322939906?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1009827946322939906&ref_url=about%3Asrcdoc So a little more awareness about that, a little more forgiveness of ourselves, and maybe looking at these factors in our lives, can go a long way…
5) Researchers also increasingly think some people have genetic and hormonal traits that make them more susceptible to obesity. And they see obesity as a complex, chronic disease like cancer, with many causes and subtypes. I have also gone deeply into bariatric surgery and think the body of evidence suggests it's an incredibly helpful option for some people. Not for everybody. But for some people. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/12/7/16587316/bariatric-surgery-weight-loss-lap-band and https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/12/18/16707428/bariatric-surgery-teen-weight-loss-jewel
Okay, that was a brain dump. I hope it's helpful to some!
If you wish to reply, it's probably best to reply from her comment here but I will also link this post from there — so either way.
What a great place /r/loseit is for weight loss information!
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