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Overweight but doesn't eat apparently - possible?

(345 Posts)
Mozismyhero Fri 07-Oct-16 17:01:20

So, my DM is massively overweight. She is also diabetic. She says she doesn't eat, 'I've only had one piece of toast all day. I couldn't possibly eat all that (when eating out/at our house). And yet she doesn't lose any weight. Is that possible? Surely the weight would be falling off her if she didn't eat? Or do I just not understand diabetes?

AIBU to think that she must do it for attention and that she's secretly eating packets of biscuits and crisps?

instantly Fri 07-Oct-16 17:03:17

Secret eater.

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Fri 07-Oct-16 17:03:35

I know 2 people like this (both men) who pick at their food in public and seemingly never eat but are significantly overweight

I have come to the conclusion that they are probably secret bingers

FlameGrower Fri 07-Oct-16 17:03:57

Possible I suppose but highly, highly unlikely.

SpaceUnicorn Fri 07-Oct-16 17:04:18

AIBU to think that she must do it for attention and that she's secretly eating packets of biscuits and crisps?

Yes, YABU. Perhaps she's embarrassed about her weight so hides the details of what she eats to stop people being judgemental.

specialsubject Fri 07-Oct-16 17:04:40

Every time this kind of claim is monitored, the weight is due to over eating.

FlameGrower Fri 07-Oct-16 17:06:02

I doubt she's doing it for attention. It's more probable that she's a secret binge eater and feels shame about this so lies.

Schmoozer Fri 07-Oct-16 17:06:27

I agree with special subject, and I believe mainly driven by shame, sense of failure, so don't challenge her on it.

ImperialBlether Fri 07-Oct-16 17:07:07

Does she move around much?

JellyBelli Fri 07-Oct-16 17:07:16

Could she have PCOS?

TheColonelAdoresPuffins Fri 07-Oct-16 17:07:55

If her weight is stable then she may have overeaten in the past but be maintaining her overweight weight. She'd need to be eating more than a bit of toast to do that though. It's more likely that she doesn't eat publicly because she is embarrassed than for attention though.

Gmbk Fri 07-Oct-16 17:08:28

Highly unlikely.

Had a family member like this who actually did have a medical condition that made them fat though.

SleepFreeZone Fri 07-Oct-16 17:09:10

I think you know your mum better than us. whwt do you think? Has she s history of disordered eating?

eyebrowsonfleek Fri 07-Oct-16 17:10:57

What does she drink? Sugary drinks can be a lot of empty calories.

lalalalyra Fri 07-Oct-16 17:12:05

Do you think she eats secretly?

I only know one person who genuinely hardly ate who was overweight. She was on a cocktail of drugs for a health condition and pain as well as having very, very limited opportunity for exercise.

hazelnutlatte Fri 07-Oct-16 17:13:06

My mum is the same (well not diabetic but very overweight and claims she hardly eats anything.) I think there are 3 reasons she is overweight. The first is that she is not very mobile so the furthest she walks most days is from the house to the car. She can make it round tesco holding a trolley but that's about it. So she uses hardly any energy. Secondly, she has an under active thyroid and although she is on medication her metabolism is still very slow. The third reason is that she eats too much! She picks at her meals and has small portions but she snacks constantly. It's always weight watchers choc bars or go ahead crisps etc so she thinks she isn't eating much but if you add it up during the course of a day it's a lot.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Fri 07-Oct-16 17:13:35

AIBU to think that she must do it for attention and that she's secretly eating packets of biscuits and crisps?

YABU to think she is doing it for attention.

Do you ask her about her weight a lot? Wondering if she is feeling pressured.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 07-Oct-16 17:14:22

There are conditions that cause this but the vastly more probable answer is secret eating. And she could eat a piece of toast one day and overeat massively on other days.

gunsandbanjos Fri 07-Oct-16 17:15:28

Look for a program called secret eaters, every one of the people on it trots out the same nonsense about not understanding why they're so fat as they live on salad and fresh air.

user1474627704 Fri 07-Oct-16 17:18:21

There is no medical condition that can make you put on lots of weight without eating at all. You can't turn fresh air into fat, you must be consuming food to add fat, its simple physics.
There are medical conditions that can prevent you losing weight, but thats not the same thing.

AuntieStella Fri 07-Oct-16 17:20:20

Perhaps she doesn't realise the calories in what she's eating - that 'bit of toast' is actually 2 slices of bread, with lashings of butter and jam/honey/Nutella and you could be looking at 500 calories.

Then, having eaten infrequently and unsatisfyingly during the day, there's the evening to make up for it - with nibbles (breadsticks and dips can add up way more than you think), an ordinary meal's worth of calories (or higher if portion control is off), some cheese and biscuits and a cheeky magnum as a later snack, plus half a bottle of wine.

You'd easily be consuming enough to maintain overweight, or even creep up a bit. And not really notice.

(My downfall is cheese and red wine. And Magnums)

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 07-Oct-16 17:20:36

Even if it's not secret eating, it's likely to be selective memory eating.

My mum always said she never ate anything she shouldn't - yet we'd see her "just having" a few sweets, or a few peanuts, or a biscuit, or a slice of bread and butter - but these "didn't count" because they were between meals. So any food diary she kept (and she did), these weren't included.

Having said that, yes there are hormonal conditions that affect weight - as well as selective memory eating, and type II diabetes, Mum almost certainly had some kind of Cushing's syndrome (an adrenal imbalance where excess cortisol is produced), as she had that peculiarity of obese body but slim limbs. PCOS too can affect weight, but that can generally be helped by diet.

JeanGenie23 Fri 07-Oct-16 17:25:09

It's impossible for someone to be morbidly obese by just eating one piece of a toast a day.
However there is almost no point you spending any time worrying about her because until she accepts that she over eats nothing will change (says the person who was overweight all the way through secondary school and uni) my mom cooked fantastic healthy meals but I would stop off and eat bars of chocolate, family sized bags of crisps and cans of fizzy pop.

What she means when she says she doesn't eat a lot is probably something along the lines of, she doesn't eat three balanced meals but she constantly picks every hour.

Groundhogday2016 Fri 07-Oct-16 17:25:24

I know someone like this. She wouldn't eat all day at work so I couldn't understand it.

It turned out she would go out regularly for evening meals instead of cooking and it was always to the hungry horse or an all you can eat place.

GreatFuckability Fri 07-Oct-16 17:26:23

do anorexics do it 'for attention'?

she probably does eat in secret, what does being mean about it achieve?

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