Taubes - Chapter 07 - Thermodynamics for Dummies, Part 2

- POSTED ON: Jan 01, 2011

Taubes says,

“the energy we consume
and the energy we expend
are dependent on each other….

These are dependent variables, not independent variables.
Change one, and the other changes to compensate.

To a great extent…the energy we expend from day-to-day
and week-to-week will determine how much we consume,
....while the energy we consume and make available to our cells…
will determine how much we expend.

The two are that intimately linked.
Anyone who argues differently is treating an extraordinarily complex
living organism as though it were a simple mechanical device.”

A 2007 article by the dean of Harvard Medical school and his wife,
who specialized in obesity research said

“An animal whose food is suddenly restricted
tends to reduce its energy expenditure
both by being less active
and by slowing energy use in cells, thereby limiting weight loss.

It also experiences increased hunger
so that once the restriction ends,
it will eat more than its prior norm until the earlier weight is attained.”

Taubes says  that the diet advice
given by our Health Authorities is wrong;

“eating less and/or exercising more
is not a viable treatment for obesity or overweight
and shouldn’t be considered as such.

It might have short-term effects…
Eventually, our bodies compensate.”

I believe Taubes is correct in his statements here,
and I know that, in my own body,
my food-intake and physical activity are connected.

After a day, or days, of little food-intake
I feel more tired and sleepy,
and I don’t feel energetic enough to accomplish my normal tasks,
let alone add in extra physical activities
I find that I can “push through these physical feelings” for awhile,
but exhaustion always seems to catch up with me.

After days of a great deal of physical activity,
I find myself ravenously hungry.
I can choose not to eat extra food….although it is difficult,
but eventually if I don’t eat more food
I wind up taking a very long nap….
which, of course, reduces the physical energy I’m using.

I’ve now had 5 full years of maintaining a large weight-loss
by eating less and exercising more.
I can report that this appears to work better in the short-term
than in the long-term for my own body,

During the past 3 years, each year it has become more
difficult to eat only the amount of food it takes to maintain my current weight,
AND, each year, I have found myself with less and less energy
for physical activities.

I am looking for Alternatives,
which is one reason that I am interested in the theories in this book.

Leave me a comment.

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Existing Comments:

On Feb 18, 2011 wrote:
The basic idea here is that caloric restriction leads to energy conservation. That certainly has been true for me in the past: When I'd diet, I'd be less energetic and grumpy! What's interesting is that, for some reason, this does not apply to fasting, at least the short term fasting I'm doing now. I totally agree with Taube's view that it's not a matter of calories in/calories out because we can't gauge calories out very well. If we decided to exercise, we would balance out the exercise with more sedentary behavior when we are not exercising.

On Feb 19, 2011 Karen925 wrote:
I found one site where the low carb dieters were forbidden to exercise before they had lost their weight. Reason- it increases their hunger. I found this true in my wl journey. I became more active as a by product of losing weight (and getting my fat regulation by in order). It is a blast feeling perky, I do not pshyce myself up to walk brisky, it is a by product of feeling compelled to do so.

On Feb 21, 2011 TexArk wrote:
I have always thought that a person must be at least moderately active to lose weight, and I have seen the studies that say that the formerly obese must exercise 60-90 minutes daily to maintain. When I broke my heel last December 1 I thought my weight loss would come to a halt. Since Dec. 1 I have been in hospital bed, wheelchair, and about as sedentary as one could be. I have not been able to walk all this time. Two and a half months later, I have lost

On Feb 21, 2011 TexArk wrote:
oops ...posted before finished...not sure how to edit... Anyway, I have lost 17 pounds with almost zero exercise. Amazing.

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