Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Here's a theory

I've been doing a little blogsurfing lately, and am reading several diet/fitness blogs on a regular basis. Seems like there are a lot of people out there who are having trouble losing weight, even though they think they're doing everything right.

The following is a comment from Marla, which she posted to Fatslayer:

"I've been thinking about this a lot, because thinking about why I can't seem to lose weight is my full-time job. And while I don't have an answer (if I did I would bottle and sell it), the only thing I ever heard about plateaus and their ilk that made sense is this: we've all heard that when you eat too little, your body goes into "starvation mode" and your metabolism slows down. And I somewhat doubt that theory, because what EXACTLY do people mean by "metabolism"? It's something of a catch-all word. I don't know if I believe one's body slows down on a cellular level when one cuts out 200 or 300 calories. BUT, the thing I read that made sense: with too little food, one's body slows down in its movement and activity. Like, you might be doing your regular workouts and think you're keeping up as normal, but not realize that you're sitting more and longer, walking less, even just washing the dishes less vigorously. Your body is trying to conserve energy, and it's subtle so you don't notice, but it adds up to fewer calories burned. Thus the evil s-o-b m-f equation of "Calories In = Calories Out" does hold true -- you are tweaking the first half of the equation and your stupid body is undoing your work in the second half.

I don't know the answer -- I suppose there is a very very fine balance of creating enough of a calorie deficit to lose weight (slowly) without upsetting your body into resistance."

First, I love that she says "thinking about why I can't seem to lose weight is my full-time job." YES! You both know that's exactly how I feel!

Her take on the issue of eating too little and going into starvation mode is one I hadn't considered before. Anything's possible, and I love looking at an old idea with new "eyes," so to speak.

I didn't get on the scale this morning. Yeah, me! I also didn't stick with the no-sugar plan last night, so I was a little afraid to get on the scale this morning. Sigh, me.

In the interest of full disclosure, and to keep myself accountable to me, anyway, I cruised through a convenience store last night when I had about 20 minutes to kill. I bought a couple snacks with sugar in them and enjoyed them at the moment. After I ate them, I wished I hadn't. Why, oh why, can't I think things through to their logical conclusion? I was in some kind of a trance while I was in that store, and not thinking about the consequences at all.

Next time I leave the house, I'm taking some knitting with me. My Monday evenings are spent at Alderson Federal Prison Camp, teaching a beginning drawing class. Last night I had to stop by the Hospitality House to take some photos for a brochure I'm designing for them, and had to leave early so I didn't end up shooting in the dark. I could have easily sat in the parking lot at the prison and knit for a while. [I also could have sat in the parking lot and twiddled my thumbs for a while. But not easily.]

I hope this kind of situation doesn't come up again, especially in the near future. If it does, though, I'll be armed. With needles!

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