Anyone lost a lot of weight, and kept it off?

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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853guy
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by 853guy

At the risk of repeating myself and continuing to state the obvious…

The title of this thread is “Anyone lost a lot of weight, and kept it off?”

Many here seem content to repeat simple Ockham-esque observations. The problem with this is two fold:

1) Ockham-esque observations hold most true when applied to simple systems where parsimony is a virtue. If we take just the first part of the question, then yes, eating less and moving more has validity. A caloric deficit will generate a first-order effect of losing weight. In complex systems however (such as our bodies regulated by biochemical processes that are only partly influenced by caloric intake) in which variables (age, weight, metabolism, hormonal balance) interact and generate second- and third-order effects that are less able to be predicted ahead of time, parsimony is likely to only lead to a false dichotomy built on first-order effects.

2) The second part of the question defines the first part - the first part is invalid without the qualifier of the latter. Therefore “Has anyone lost weight and kept it off” is not a question of loss but a question of time. That is, while a temporary caloric deficit will allow one to lose weight (given that by adopting a caloric deficit an individual in question will of course be able to lose weight given the laws of thermodynamics), an extended caloric deficit will not because the individual in question will primarily be defined not by the caloric deficit, but primarily by the ageing process. To ignore the effect of time is to misunderstand the nature of the question.

For men, testosterone drops by an average of one percent per year after thirty. Testosterone helps maintain and build muscle mass, therefore increases insulin sensitivity and regulates metabolism. Remember when you were in your early twenties and lost weight at the drop of a hat just by going riding? You can thank the peak of your testosterone levels. That peak then ends. Low testosterone leads to loss of muscle mass, decrease in insulin sensitivity, lower metabolism and will cause the individual to therefore store fat.

Guess what? Extended caloric deficit lowers testosterone, especially in diets low in fat.

Therefore, for an older male over forty - who is only ever going to get older and continually lose natural levels of testosterone (again, reframing the question with regard to time) - an extended caloric deficit will not lead to weight loss. It will lead to weight gain. The first-order effect of caloric deficit will lead to second and third-order effects (lower testosterone, fat storage).

Again, a “calories in/calories out” Ockham-esque heuristic will work. In men who are losing testosterone naturally (1), or women who are post menopause, or have had their ovaries removed, or anyone who has suffered traumatic psychological/emotional events, and especially, are over the age of forty, it is very, very likely it will not, because the variables of hormonal balance and continual ageing will define weight loss/gain more than calories in/calories out.

It’s why I personally, being aged 44, have continually suggested not focusing on caloric deficit as the primary action, but instead focusing on building lean muscle mass via weight lifting, eating a diet high in fibre, fat and protein (all from whole foods) and intermittent fasting. Because I’m contesting that a caloric deficit will not work? No, because I’m a human male who does not have the testosterone levels I once did, and need to do something other than just cut calories and ride more which worked when I was twenty, but no longer does.

Our bodies are not simple systems that are static and are subject to actions. Our bodies are complex systems that are dynamic and subject to interactions. That is, they are constantly changing (degrading) over time, and first order effects while easily observed do not always have the same level of impact as second- and third-order effects. Our bodies are subject to time. We are born to die. And we will. Therefore, if we want to lose weight and keep it off over time, it’s very, very likely we will need to adapt and re-adapt as our bodies age and what once "worked" loses its potency.

Best (and apologies for repeating everything I’ve already said in this thread),

853guy


(1) “The implication of testosterone therapy in management of obesity in men with testosterone deficiency is of paramount clinical significance, as it produces sustained weight loss without recidivism. On the contrary, alternative therapeutic approaches other than bariatric surgery failed to produce significant and sustained outcome and exhibit a high rate of recidivism. These findings represent strong foundations for testosterone therapy in obese men with testosterone deficiency and should spur clinical research for better understanding of usefulness of testosterone therapy in treatment of underlying pathophysiological conditions of obesity.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25105998

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TonyM
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by TonyM

A diet high in fibre, fat and protein?

What kind of fats?
And no carbohydrates at all?

by Weenie


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853guy
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by 853guy

TonyM wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 11:04 pm
A diet high in fibre, fat and protein?

What kind of fats?
And no carbohydrates at all?
Hi Tony,

High in fibre, fat and protein, but not at the exclusion of carbs from fruit and vegetables.

What kinds of fats? Anything that's a whole food (or close to it)... Avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, salmon, grass-fed beef, grass-fed butter, free-range eggs and chicken, bone broth, chia seeds, fermented milk foods (organic if possible, and yes the quality and portion size obviously matters).

Some carbs in the form of the above, but at a lesser portion relative to fibre, fat and protein (relative to weight lifting (1) and intermittent fasting).

At least, that's what's worked for me.

Best,

853guy

(1) See also studies re: endurance training versus high-intensity training for testosterone levels.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23310924

http://www.sportsci.org/encyc/testoster ... erone.html

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TonyM
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by TonyM

So no complex carbs like potatoes, pasta and bread at all?

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TonyM
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by TonyM

So no complex carbs like potatoes, pasta and bread at all?

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853guy
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by 853guy

TonyM wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 2:27 am
So no complex carbs like potatoes, pasta and bread at all?
I cut white carbs out of my diet about six years ago. I found that once I ate (refined) white carbs (i.e. foods with a medium to high glycemic load (1)) my blood-sugar went beserk and I would quickly feel like crap afterwards, with lower overall energy (2). Switching to whole foods (and again, foods high in fibre, fat and protein) had a benign effect on my blood-sugar level, gave me greater energy, and left me feeling satiated for longer (I also lost weight, and kept it off, without needing to spend hours in the gym or on my bike).

I do like pasta and bread (and especially, pastries - we live in France after all), and I will eat them if we're out for a meal or at a dinner party. We will sometimes have sweet potatoe rather than normal potatoes as it's slightly higher and fibre and much higher in nutirents overall. But mostly, it's whole foods as descirbed in previous posts, with green vegetables (green smoothies) and fruit in lesser portions.

Again - these are my personal observations based on what's worked best for me. I'm not willing to extrapolate my own individual experience to suggest this will be the case for the rest of the population, especially apropos those of declining hormone levels and increased ageing. Indiviual data points are no more or less than that.

Best,

853guy


(1) Glycemic load (GL, as distinct from gyclemic index, GI) takes into account the amount of digestible fibre present and then multiplies the grams of available carbohydrate in the food times the food's GI and then divides it by 100. For instance, a watermelon is high relative to glycemic index but low relative to glycemic load, whereas a corn torilla is low relative to GI but high relative to GL. However, that's not the whole story. A can of Red Bull has a calculated GL of only 7 (low), but I can't tell you how horrendous I'd feel within one hour of consuming those bad boys (so I now never drink them). Mostly, I drink water, coffee and wine. Why? Because we have several thousand years of observational evidence to clearly suggest the results of excess from drinking those things (with many known knowns - we have ample data points to draw from over time, with clear first-order, second-order and third-order effects ). We have less than three decades worth of observational evidence apropos Red Bull and its like (with many unknown unknowns - we have fewer data points to draw from over time, with only some first-order effects visible).

(2) See also the relationship between testosterone and insulin:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15983313

https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/90/5/2636/2836773

53cxzero
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by 53cxzero

I want to thank 853guy for update to the topic, fresh wind more thought;

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TonyM
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by TonyM

853guy wrote:
TonyM wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 2:27 am
So no complex carbs like potatoes, pasta and bread at all?
I cut white carbs out of my diet about six years ago. I found that once I ate (refined) white carbs (i.e. foods with a medium to high glycemic load (1)) my blood-sugar went beserk and I would quickly feel like crap afterwards, with lower overall energy (2). Switching to whole foods (and again, foods high in fibre, fat and protein) had a benign effect on my blood-sugar level, gave me greater energy, and left me feeling satiated for longer (I also lost weight, and kept it off, without needing to spend hours in the gym or on my bike).

I do like pasta and bread (and especially, pastries - we live in France after all), and I will eat them if we're out for a meal or at a dinner party. We will sometimes have sweet potatoe rather than normal potatoes as it's slightly higher and fibre and much higher in nutirents overall. But mostly, it's whole foods as descirbed in previous posts, with green vegetables (green smoothies) and fruit in lesser portions.

Again - these are my personal observations based on what's worked best for me. I'm not willing to extrapolate my own individual experience to suggest this will be the case for the rest of the population, especially apropos those of declining hormone levels and increased ageing. Indiviual data points are no more or less than that.

Best,

853guy


(1) Glycemic load (GL, as distinct from gyclemic index, GI) takes into account the amount of digestible fibre present and then multiplies the grams of available carbohydrate in the food times the food's GI and then divides it by 100. For instance, a watermelon is high relative to glycemic index but low relative to glycemic load, whereas a corn torilla is low relative to GI but high relative to GL. However, that's not the whole story. A can of Red Bull has a calculated GL of only 7 (low), but I can't tell you how horrendous I'd feel within one hour of consuming those bad boys (so I now never drink them). Mostly, I drink water, coffee and wine. Why? Because we have several thousand years of observational evidence to clearly suggest the results of excess from drinking those things (with many known knowns - we have ample data points to draw from over time, with clear first-order, second-order and third-order effects ). We have less than three decades worth of observational evidence apropos Red Bull and its like (with many unknown unknowns - we have fewer data points to draw from over time, with only some first-order effects visible).

(2) See also the relationship between testosterone and insulin:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15983313

https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/90/5/2636/2836773

Good thoughts for me...I will give it a try also.
At least try to reduce the amount of carbs. Will see....

zzmkdw
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by zzmkdw

Can't believe i missed the original thread. I am glad someone brought it back around.

I'll spare everyone the backstory on how i got up to 242 lbs, but on May 1st of last year, at 46yrs old, I started eating the following(all of these choices were very deliberate):
Breakfast: 6 egg whites, 1 cup of oatmeal, 1 cup of raspberries, 1 cup of spinich.
Lunch: 6oz of turkey, 5 oz of sweet potatoes, 3 oz of brocolli.
Dinner: Large Salad with 6oz of chicken
I ate a snack inbetween breakfast and Lunch and then again between lunch and dinner. It consisted of either a greek yogurt and 1oz of almonds or a protien bar (I use Quest because they are low in carb) or a protien shake (I use various brands/flavors but only ones that are low in carb).
I drank at least 90oz of water a day.

For exercise i walked briskly everyday, first thing in the morning, always on an empty stomach for at least 30-45 min. I wore a fitbit, tracked everything i ate (about 1500 cal's a day). It also helped to make sure my heart rate was above 100bpm, but below 120bpm. I did this diet and exercise routine every day for 6 weeks. I lost 25lbs.

I started a second 6 week cycle following the same diet/exercise regemine except i started to introduce other foods. I still measured out portion and tried to keep the calorie intake for each meal consistent with the meal plan above. When I made a change I ate it consistently for at least 3-4 days in a row. If my weight started to climb or if i platued, i would remove it and go back to the original plan. I lost 26lbs during the second 6 weeks.

During the 2nd six week period i mostly followed my original meal plan. Not because the new items made me gain weight but because they didn't satisfy my appitite as much as the original plan. During both 6 week periods i also rode my bike about 50-60 miles a week.

By the end of the 2nd six weeks i was starting to feel a little lethargic. I was also pretty sick of eating the same thing every day, so even though i wanted to loose another 10lbs i decided to go into a maintenance mode. I kept the diet basically the same for the next several weeks but increased the amount's slightly using the fitbit to calculate what my daily maintenance caloric intake should be. I allowed myself to eat things like pizza or pasta on occasion, but 95% of the time i stuck to my diet. So fast forward 1yr and a few days i have gained 1 lbs. I still (mostly) measure everything i eat, but i also know that i can let go and i have the tools necessary to level set when need be. During the past year I've introduced weight training and of course I am able to ride my bike longer distances now. My current diet is about 30% carb, 30% fat and 40% protien. I avg about 16000 steps per day. My maintenance caloric intake is around 3500-4000 calories a day.

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TonyM
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by TonyM

zzmkdw wrote: I avg about 16000 steps per day. My maintenance caloric intake is around 3500-4000 calories a day.
Wow you don’t have an office job! 🤪

BTW you may want to vary your sources of protein, fats, fibres etc....so that your diet is more balanced in terms of amino acids, nutrients etc...

AJS914
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by AJS914

It's an interesting approach to eat exactly the same thing every day.

I'm not sure I could do 1500 calories a day without feeling like I was starving. I'm calorie counting right now and my daily allowance is 2400 calories in order to lose 2 pounds a month. The allowance gets bumped if I workout. The app I'm using (Lose It!) syncs up with my Apple Watch and Strava.

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TonyM
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by TonyM

Eating the same same every day will ultimately lead to some deficiencies in terms of nutrients. Easier to get it right is to eat for example the fruits and vegetables of the season etc...and to alternate the sources of proteins as they all have a different amino acid profile.

I am late this year with my diet for my summer weight...instead of having 5 lbs to loose I have almost 15 lbs to loose. 5 lbs are done and I start to feel better. For me the calorie app is essential as I tend to eat to good and much too much...🤪


AJS914
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by AJS914

Honestly, those links posted by 853guy make me want to try a course of testosterone. I'm not competing so it would be 100% legal. I'm thinking short term use for a couple months to try and shed the last 25 pounds I'd like to get rid of. I'm 52 this year. I just want 25 year guy testosterone for a while. If I got a side benefit of performance enhancement I'd take it. :-)

I fear though that it would work too well and I would want to use it again and again...

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TonyM
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by TonyM

AJS914 wrote: I fear though that it would work too well and I would want to use it again and again...
And then more and more...That’s the catch 🤪

by Weenie


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853guy
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by 853guy

AJS914 wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:38 pm
Honestly, those links posted by 853guy make me want to try a course of testosterone. I'm not competing so it would be 100% legal. I'm thinking short term use for a couple months to try and shed the last 25 pounds I'd like to get rid of. I'm 52 this year. I just want 25 year guy testosterone for a while. If I got a side benefit of performance enhancement I'd take it. :-)

I fear though that it would work too well and I would want to use it again and again...
Hi AJS914,

It was Tim Ferris who initially got me thinking about the role of testosterone after reading The Four Hour Body. This was around the time I began eliminating white carbs, eating more protein, fat and fibre (i.e. adopting a whole foods diet), and working with kettlebells, and saw positive long-term results that weren't achieved via caloric deficit and cycling. Shortly after I began experimenting with intermittent fasting (1).

But it was actually seeing Bryan Fogel's Icarus this year that I begun to do more research into T levels. Interestingly, in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session he responded to a question about whether he was off all performance-enhancers since filming stopped. His response was:

"Yes, although I would consider taking testosterone again in the future as it's a natural hormone that occurs in the body and essentially contributes to a lot of the strength, libido, and is the substance of being male. And as we get older in life, your testosterone levels drop and in so doing, a lot of the functions that you have in your younger life—everywhere from metabolizing fat to recovery to strength — become more difficult to manage. So down the line I would certainly consider testosterone again."

While I personally am not interested in taking testosterone via prescription or supplements, I have looked into what can help maintain and/or elevate T levels via exercise or diet, which is essentially high-intensity training and weightlifting (as opposed to endurance training) (2), elimination of sugars (especially refined sugars), consumption of healthy fats, intermittent fasting (3), and sex - with an actual person (4).

Again, all the above, and my preceding posts are simply my data points of losing and maintaining a healthy weight (and body recomposition) for my age via a long-term process of experimentation based on the available research I've seen. I honestly do not want to suggest that my experience will by everyone else's as the variables are too great, and also, I am not a competitive athlete, just someone who loves riding (so I cannot say anything about the likely results for those who are competing either at an amateur or pro level). Were we discussing Rapha vs Pas Normal Studios that would be one thing, but when it comes to other people’s health, I am neither an expert, nor do I claim to be one.

Best,

853guy


(1) This entire process occurred over a five-year period, with gradual changes incorporated over time.

(2) Male sprinters have been shown to have higher levels of testosterone than other athletes, and research suggests shorter bursts of higher intensity training elevate T levels relative to other training methods: http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/45/15/A6.2. This study also found that powerlifters had lower T levels compared to weightlifters (which perhaps makes sense if we look at body composition), here: https://clindiabetesendo.biomedcentral. ... entral.com

(3) Note, intermittent fasting is not about caloric deficit - it's about limiting the window in which calories are consumed. See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?te ... rm+fasting; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl ... 19/?page=6.

(4) See: https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 010-9711-3; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1529008; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7069152 (this one is good news for those over 60); https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15355456 (this one is bad news for those with erectile dysfunction). Also, see how sex stimulates T levels, and elevated T levels stimulate the desire for more sex: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs ... 05.05850.x; https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... l_Response

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