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What makes us gain weight? Is it the amount we eat or what we eat?

(33 Posts)
HappyGoGoLucky Tue 02-Apr-19 09:11:35

This is a silly Q I know. I just can't figure it out! When I followed SW, I was eating massive portions and lots of "free" foods and losing weight at the same time. However I've not stopped SW because it was getting too expensive so I've started using common sense, eating homemade foods and just cutting down on snacks. My weight has started to slowly creep back up again. What I've had to do now is cut down on my portion size significantly. So if I have made lasagna with full fat milk, oil, non-lean mince etc., I will only have 1/8th of it & bulk out the rest with salad. I feel like I'm having to eat a lot less than what I did on SW otherwise I will gain weight. Is it my portion sizes I'm going wrong? Calories? Carbs? I checked my metabolic rate and it says for my weight and height and lifestyle, I only need to consume 1700 calories a day to maintain and I was eating way more than that on SW. confused

OP’s posts: |
HappyGoGoLucky Tue 02-Apr-19 09:13:37

I've now stopped SW*

OP’s posts: |
LL83 Tue 02-Apr-19 09:17:16

Look at Richie Howie (rh fitness on Facebook) he explains it very clearly.

Eating less calories than you use = weight loss. If doing 5:2 or 12-8, cutting carbs or SW makes you eat less than you burn you will loose weight otherwise you wont.

Eating sensibly means you can get a bigger amount of food for a lower amount of calories and make it easier not to be hungry but it is all a out figuring out how many calories you use per day and eating less or burning more so you end up in caloric deficit.

MadMillie Tue 02-Apr-19 09:20:07

This is how diet companies make their money and make people feel they need to pay to continue going. I really don't agree with the likes of WW, SW etc.

If you're eating a calorie deficit you'll lose weight, if you eat your normal daily calorie allowance you'll maintain, eat over your allowance and you'll put weight on.

LL83 Tue 02-Apr-19 09:40:56

Also if you are sticking to 1700 every day (no binges at weekend) and gaining weight then that is not the right amount for you. The calculators looking at height/weight/age are based on averages. Or you have not selected the correct activity level.

ragingmentalist Tue 02-Apr-19 12:55:48

It's really simple, unless you have a medical condition. You work out how many you need to maintain, which you've identified at around 1700 calories, which is a great starting point. To lose weight, you have to eat less.it is literally that simple.

No diet, magic pills, fasting, 5:2, eating at weird times is any different from the basic concept of calorie deficit = weight loss.

ChocOrCheese Tue 02-Apr-19 17:09:25

I am basically in agreement with calories in vs calories out, but it is not quite that simple in every case. It is a sensible place to start. But if you were losing weight on SW can you not just continue to follow a protocol that worked for you even if you don't attend meetings any more?

Siameasy Tue 02-Apr-19 20:43:16

Ok I have a different view. I believe it is hormones, mainly insulin which cause weight gain.
When people used to say “I’m fat cos of my glands” (something I remember hearing in the 80s) they were right!
Sugar and starch turn to glucose in the blood which triggers the release of insulin whose role it is to get high levels of glucose out of the blood as high blood sugars are dangerous
Glucose is pushed into your cells
You get fat
Dietary fat, blamed for everything, barely triggers an insulin response in comparison
Unorthodox yes but makes sense to me
The amateur version here (!) but I recommend Taubes’ - Why We Get Fat; it’s a revelation.

SurgeHopper Tue 02-Apr-19 21:19:24

. So if I have made lasagna with full fat milk, oil, non-lean mince etc., I will only have 1/8th of it & bulk out the rest with salad. I feel like I'm having to eat a lot less than what I did on SW otherwise I will gain weight

^^

OK, an 8th of a standard size lasagne I'd say is around 600/700 calories. Maybe more. Plus salad, it could be 800. That's too much for a main meal when on a diet.

I only need to consume 1700 calories a day to maintain and I was eating way more than that on SW.

^

You were eating more than 1700 per day whilst on SW? And still losing?

SurgeHopper Tue 02-Apr-19 21:21:13

And I have to admit I agree with siameasy : different people handle glucose different. No way I'd lose weight on lasagne. Bolognese sauce and a JP instead, no cheese sauce.

GodolphianArabian Wed 03-Apr-19 04:51:12

I've been looking into nutrition and the calories in Vs calories out is clearly too simplistic. We have got fatter over the past 30/40 years and something is wrong but the changes are so significant and worldwide that I think there are likely to be some root causes which will be discovered in the future which will show that our current understanding of diets are flawed. I think fibre will be shown to be hugely important. Our diets show we are eating much less fibre. I think that this is part of the reason for weight gain for many people.

The free foods on swimming world seem to be mainly fruit and vegetables which are really good for you. If you do some research on your gut microbes you'll see why fibre is essential and probably key to losing weight and maintaining weight loss.

Decormad38 Wed 03-Apr-19 05:16:33

Ive discovered from my fitbit that I burn less calories than I thought I did on an average day. It’s actually 1400 not 1750 so if I eat more than 1400 Im going to put on weight.

FiveShelties Wed 03-Apr-19 05:27:20

Where you actually calorie counting on SW?

Oysterbabe Wed 03-Apr-19 06:50:01

Read the Obesity Code, it really helped me understand and therefore address where I was going wrong.

RottnestFerry Wed 03-Apr-19 07:14:52

I've been looking into nutrition and the calories in Vs calories out is clearly too simplistic

Yet, unless the first theory of thermodynamics is wrong, unlikely, it must be true.

Other factors may be at work though. The weight may be retained water rather than fat, for example.

Oblomov19 Wed 03-Apr-19 07:27:48

I find this all fascinating. But not sure what I think is right. We've clearly hit something wrong.

Why is lasagne so bad? But bolognese with JP ok? I don't get that.

Rhubarbisevil Wed 03-Apr-19 07:30:56

I blame Starbucks.

dontdoubtyourself Wed 03-Apr-19 07:37:22

Sw is basically low fat high carb diet. The sw version of lasagne would contain less cals and fat per 100g than your standard lasagne. Therefore, to maintain same level of weight loss you would need to have a smaller portion, else more calories than you need= fat gain

Siameasy Wed 03-Apr-19 07:40:08

Calories in and out is not the full story
It may make sense in a lab but in the human body each macro nutrient follows a different metabolic pathway and has a different role.

For instance one artificial sweetener was found to trigger the release of insulin in rats. Other studies suggest some may do so in humans altho more work needs doing. If raised insulin causes weight gain, which I believe it does, then we have a calorie-free product causing weight gain which flies in the face of conventional wisdom and suggests there is more to it.
Skimmed milk also raises insulin and is apparently used to fatten pigs which again makes no sense on the surface of it.

dontdoubtyourself Wed 03-Apr-19 07:44:53

And were you tracking your calories on mfp while doing sw? If not you might be surprised to find the quantity was all very low calorie. it's possible to eat loads but consume relatively few calories. Take a box of raisins and a bunch of grapes for example.

Drogosnextwife Wed 03-Apr-19 07:48:39

I have always wondered that about artificial sweeteners. I have just switched from sugar as I'm trying to lose weight but sounds like I should just cut it out altogether.

dontdoubtyourself Wed 03-Apr-19 08:01:50

Siameasy how much sweetener?

Oh I know calories in calories out is only one fraction of a complex system. But given the example of full fat oil laden lasagne v low fat lasagne.. If things are eyeballed typically people underestimate calories in and overestimate cals out.

Tbh, I'm not really a scales person hence term fat gain not weight gain. Take pictures and measurements!

cherrytree63 Wed 03-Apr-19 08:14:45

It's not as simple as counting calories.
Digesting a calorie of fat burns more calories than burning a calorie of sugar.
Carbs convert to sugar/glucose.
Artificial sweeteners trigger insulin, your taste buds tell your body that sugar's on it's way!
Have a look on the LCHF threads on here, plenty of information.
My biggest hurdle to weight loss was recognising the feelings of hunger and being full. Not easy after a lifetime of overeating!

RottnestFerry Wed 03-Apr-19 08:53:31

f raised insulin causes weight gain, which I believe it does, then we have a calorie-free product causing weight gain which flies in the face of conventional wisdom and suggests there is more to it.

Insulin converts sugar in blood to fat. More insulin = more fat. Raised insulin causes weight gain by converting sugar in blood to fat. It also blocks the signals to the brain signalling that our bodies have sufficient fat reserves so we keeping eating more food and the insulin, in turn converts that to fat. A vicious circle.

Stop eating the food and the insulin can't convert it to fat.

Siameasy Wed 03-Apr-19 08:59:21

It was Acesulfame K dont doubt (which sounds extremely appetising doesn’t it🙈). It was 150mg/kg body weight and the rats were 300g. I guess that would have to be translated into human terms which I might have a look at over lunch!

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/2887500/

The way I look at sweeteners Drogos it’s not actually food is it? That puts me off. It’s a chemical made in a lab. I got awful mouth ulcers from drinking Diet Coke. They stopped when I gave it up. There are some studies I think that indicate that they may increase appetite

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