Weight, health & body image

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  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,435

    Pross said:

    I guess what I mean is as a public health tool, in aggregate, requiring exercise has not improved the collective overweightness, as people either tend to eat more or don't do enough / are fit enough for it to make a difference.

    I know it's obvious but someone who can only average 23kph and someone who can average 33kph > the amount of calories burned averaging 33kph is a hell of a lot more, even if perceived effort is less for the fitter, faster rider.

    It will depend on the effort the individual is putting in. An unfit person doing 23kph may well burn more calories than a fit athlete doing 33kph for the same amount of time. Obviously the same person doing those two speeds would burn more at the higher speed.
    Maybe I am too ignorant of biology over physics but I think the physics behind that is quite clear that you need to spend more energy to go faster. So it stands to reason fitness is in large part about being able to draw the energy from your body and food and expend as much of it a possible, and unfit people can do that less. They get tired after a much lower energy output.
    There’s been studies into it and it comes down to relative effort. If you were new to cycling, carrying too much weight then rode at 15mph for an hour you would burn more calories than you would if you then came back a year later to do exactly the same having trained consistently and got fitter. Your body gets more efficient, that’s why you are then able to ride faster.

    It also explains the issue you mentioned about not losing weight through exercise, if you don’t increase intensity your body isn’t using the same amount of calories as it was originally but you are probably eating the same amount.
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,594

    I guess what I mean is as a public health tool, in aggregate, requiring exercise has not improved the collective overweightness, as people either tend to eat more or don't do enough / are fit enough for it to make a difference.

    I think this probably sums things up quite well.

    My spin on it is that in theory, all other things equal, if you exercise more then your rate of weight gain will fall. But in practice, people give up on exercise before they've got fit enough to burn off meaningful numbers of calories by exercising.

    There are lots of disincentives to exercise more, particularly if you are overweight.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • focuszing723
    focuszing723 Posts: 7,196
    Is is better to be slim and fit or fat and slower in the advent of a zombie apocalypse?

    I'm just thinking those first couple of months when you are settling into it a few extra pounds would help. Kind of like of the TDF when they carry a bit of extra baggage for the fight.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,706
    But that unfit person”s heart rate and metabolism is going through the roof. This is why seriously unfit people can see huge initial improvements.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • orraloon
    orraloon Posts: 12,663
    This thread has gone narrow focus, exercise vs intake.

    Meanwhile in the big wide world, lardyarses just get fatter. Exercise? Wossat? I find it difficult enough getting off my sofa to get more food out of the fridge, crisps from the cupboard, Dominos from the door.

    Do you recall the WALL-E documentary showing the bulkiness of the humans on the spaceliner?
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,289
    I think Wall-E predicts the future accurately in two ways. Humans becoming too fat to move under their own steam and the world disappearing under mountains of rubbish.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,828
    Pross said:

    I've been emptying the loft recently and came across some old school photos from about 35 years ago. There was one kid (and only 1) in our year that was considered fat. I looked at the photos and realised that he would probably be considered average weight at most nowadays. The problem has really escalated in the last 20 or so years, a combination of less physical education at schools and the volume of fast food consumed. Even at home a lot of kids eat frozen food, full of chemicals and drink caffeine laden "energy" drinks.

    It seems a terrible shame to me that "cheap" food is bad food
    That always feels like an excuse for people who are too lazy. Even with the recent inflation in fresh food you can pick up fruit and veg to make a meal cheaper than fat, sugar and salt laden ready meals. It just takes more effort to make a meal yourself and a lot of people's taste buds have got used to the junk so they don't like the taste of healthier options (I'm guilty of this myself to an extent).

    That's been one very positive outcome of the pandemic for me... not going into the local Co-op (too stuffy & cramped) and picking up easy ready-meals, I went to the local farm shop and buying veg & meat in bulk and doing my own home-made ready meals, in effect. Reckon I've saved a small fortune, and more recently, it's saved on cooking gas bills, as I only cook about once a week, the rest being a quick pingathon.

    Reckon I've relented and bought about five ready meals in desperation since March 2020, and not only felt very guilty when I did, but they tasted pretty disgusting.
  • Jezyboy
    Jezyboy Posts: 2,894

    Pross said:

    I've been emptying the loft recently and came across some old school photos from about 35 years ago. There was one kid (and only 1) in our year that was considered fat. I looked at the photos and realised that he would probably be considered average weight at most nowadays. The problem has really escalated in the last 20 or so years, a combination of less physical education at schools and the volume of fast food consumed. Even at home a lot of kids eat frozen food, full of chemicals and drink caffeine laden "energy" drinks.

    It seems a terrible shame to me that "cheap" food is bad food
    That always feels like an excuse for people who are too lazy. Even with the recent inflation in fresh food you can pick up fruit and veg to make a meal cheaper than fat, sugar and salt laden ready meals. It just takes more effort to make a meal yourself and a lot of people's taste buds have got used to the junk so they don't like the taste of healthier options (I'm guilty of this myself to an extent).

    That's been one very positive outcome of the pandemic for me... not going into the local Co-op (too stuffy & cramped) and picking up easy ready-meals, I went to the local farm shop and buying veg & meat in bulk and doing my own home-made ready meals, in effect. Reckon I've saved a small fortune, and more recently, it's saved on cooking gas bills, as I only cook about once a week, the rest being a quick pingathon.

    Reckon I've relented and bought about five ready meals in desperation since March 2020, and not only felt very guilty when I did, but they tasted pretty disgusting.
    Feel like ready meals are a bit of a habit, I got really "into" ready meals during my placement...didn't fancy cooking for one, made shopping easy, but got back out of the habit once back at uni and sharing cooking. Now I'm out of the habit...they taste disgusting again.

  • verylonglegs
    verylonglegs Posts: 3,954
    I don't see how the obesity trend will slow down let alone reverse for as long as delivery apps are about. I went on a road trip last Autumn and had for me a rare stop at a Mcdonalds for a break. I simply couldn't believe how many delivery drivers were coming and going to collect orders, it was genuinely staggering to see. It wasn't even a weekend thing, it was a Monday night. I was tempted to buy Mcdonalds shares right there and then.
  • orraloon
    orraloon Posts: 12,663
    I'll sometimes (rarely) buy a ready meal if a) I'm feeling knackered and b) there's something possibly interesting in the reduced, out of time sell by date pile. I don't recall ever afterwards going 'well that was good'.

    This week I ran out of fruit, the bowl was empty bar limes and the fridge was devoid. Bugrit, v frustrating. Since rectified.
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,594
    We very occasionally indulge in an M&S ready meal for similar reasons. The taste is fine but on the traffic light labelling absolutely none of them had a green anything and all were high in fat. Add on a desert and you'll be way over the RDA on almost everything.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,828
    rjsterry said:

    We very occasionally indulge in an M&S ready meal for similar reasons. The taste is fine but on the traffic light labelling absolutely none of them had a green anything and all were high in fat. Add on a desert and you'll be way over the RDA on almost everything.


    I'd eat anything in the Sahara.
  • focuszing723
    focuszing723 Posts: 7,196
    edited April 2023
    I like a face full of Mars bars me self topped off with a packet of crips.
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,551
    edited April 2023
    Pross said:

    Pross said:

    I guess what I mean is as a public health tool, in aggregate, requiring exercise has not improved the collective overweightness, as people either tend to eat more or don't do enough / are fit enough for it to make a difference.

    I know it's obvious but someone who can only average 23kph and someone who can average 33kph > the amount of calories burned averaging 33kph is a hell of a lot more, even if perceived effort is less for the fitter, faster rider.

    It will depend on the effort the individual is putting in. An unfit person doing 23kph may well burn more calories than a fit athlete doing 33kph for the same amount of time. Obviously the same person doing those two speeds would burn more at the higher speed.
    Maybe I am too ignorant of biology over physics but I think the physics behind that is quite clear that you need to spend more energy to go faster. So it stands to reason fitness is in large part about being able to draw the energy from your body and food and expend as much of it a possible, and unfit people can do that less. They get tired after a much lower energy output.
    There’s been studies into it and it comes down to relative effort. If you were new to cycling, carrying too much weight then rode at 15mph for an hour you would burn more calories than you would if you then came back a year later to do exactly the same having trained consistently and got fitter. Your body gets more efficient, that’s why you are then able to ride faster.

    It also explains the issue you mentioned about not losing weight through exercise, if you don’t increase intensity your body isn’t using the same amount of calories as it was originally but you are probably eating the same amount.
    I'd be intrigued to see such studies. My internet research a while ago concluded that the efficiency with which the body converted fat to energy didn't vary that much. On that basis I was able to calculate calories burned from repeated hill climbs based the potential energy gain each time.
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,551
    rjsterry said:

    We very occasionally indulge in an M&S ready meal for similar reasons. The taste is fine but on the traffic light labelling absolutely none of them had a green anything and all were high in fat. Add on a desert and you'll be way over the RDA on almost everything.

    There is a school of thought that it is fat avoidance that is one of the causes of the population weight gain.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,435
    edited April 2023

    Pross said:

    Pross said:

    I guess what I mean is as a public health tool, in aggregate, requiring exercise has not improved the collective overweightness, as people either tend to eat more or don't do enough / are fit enough for it to make a difference.

    I know it's obvious but someone who can only average 23kph and someone who can average 33kph > the amount of calories burned averaging 33kph is a hell of a lot more, even if perceived effort is less for the fitter, faster rider.

    It will depend on the effort the individual is putting in. An unfit person doing 23kph may well burn more calories than a fit athlete doing 33kph for the same amount of time. Obviously the same person doing those two speeds would burn more at the higher speed.
    Maybe I am too ignorant of biology over physics but I think the physics behind that is quite clear that you need to spend more energy to go faster. So it stands to reason fitness is in large part about being able to draw the energy from your body and food and expend as much of it a possible, and unfit people can do that less. They get tired after a much lower energy output.
    There’s been studies into it and it comes down to relative effort. If you were new to cycling, carrying too much weight then rode at 15mph for an hour you would burn more calories than you would if you then came back a year later to do exactly the same having trained consistently and got fitter. Your body gets more efficient, that’s why you are then able to ride faster.

    It also explains the issue you mentioned about not losing weight through exercise, if you don’t increase intensity your body isn’t using the same amount of calories as it was originally but you are probably eating the same amount.
    I'd be intrigued to see such studies. My internet research a wild ago concluded that the efficiency with which the body converted fat to energy didn't vary that much. On that basis I was able to calculate calories burned from repeated hill climbs based the potential energy gain each time.
    The article I read on the subject was discussing this research https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(15)01577-8 which I found quite hard to follow to be honest.

    I think I misread the original article to be honest. The report is basically saying the amount of calories burned doesn’t continue to increase linearly with amount of exertion and backs up the ‘you can’t out exercise a bad diet’ thing as Rick had mentioned earlier. It feels counterintuitive to me at first as someone who runs out of fuel around the 18-20 mile point in every marathon but then that is an issue of the body not having the ready sources of fuel it needs and being unable to use fat quickly enough.
  • morstar
    morstar Posts: 6,190
    It’s way more complicated than just calories in / calories out.

    It’s how the calories are taken and how the body processes them. Both sedentary and in exercise situations. See all the recent developments around things like Maurtens gels. Designed to get complex sugars into your body at exactly the rate they can be processed. Even in exercise, you can consume calories you can’t process.

    As mentioned, fat avoidance does seem to be recognised as an issue.

    There is also a lot of correlation between cheap food and obesity which isn’t necessarily a one dimensional relationship of being able to afford more but also the form that cheap food came in.

    And then there’s socio economic factors. Work in 2023 is far more sedentary than Victorian times. Even as an office worker in the last decade, I’ve gone from moving around a large building regularly during the day to moving between rooms on the ground floor of my house. I doubt I’m alone in that.
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,551
    Pross said:

    Pross said:

    Pross said:

    I guess what I mean is as a public health tool, in aggregate, requiring exercise has not improved the collective overweightness, as people either tend to eat more or don't do enough / are fit enough for it to make a difference.

    I know it's obvious but someone who can only average 23kph and someone who can average 33kph > the amount of calories burned averaging 33kph is a hell of a lot more, even if perceived effort is less for the fitter, faster rider.

    It will depend on the effort the individual is putting in. An unfit person doing 23kph may well burn more calories than a fit athlete doing 33kph for the same amount of time. Obviously the same person doing those two speeds would burn more at the higher speed.
    Maybe I am too ignorant of biology over physics but I think the physics behind that is quite clear that you need to spend more energy to go faster. So it stands to reason fitness is in large part about being able to draw the energy from your body and food and expend as much of it a possible, and unfit people can do that less. They get tired after a much lower energy output.
    There’s been studies into it and it comes down to relative effort. If you were new to cycling, carrying too much weight then rode at 15mph for an hour you would burn more calories than you would if you then came back a year later to do exactly the same having trained consistently and got fitter. Your body gets more efficient, that’s why you are then able to ride faster.

    It also explains the issue you mentioned about not losing weight through exercise, if you don’t increase intensity your body isn’t using the same amount of calories as it was originally but you are probably eating the same amount.
    I'd be intrigued to see such studies. My internet research a wild ago concluded that the efficiency with which the body converted fat to energy didn't vary that much. On that basis I was able to calculate calories burned from repeated hill climbs based the potential energy gain each time.
    The article I read on the subject was discussing this research https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(15)01577-8 which I found quite hard to follow to be honest.

    I think I misread the original article to be honest. The report is basically saying the amount of calories burned doesn’t continue to increase linearly with amount of exertion and backs up the ‘you can’t out exercise a bad diet’ thing as Rick had mentioned earlier. It feels counterintuitive to me at first as someone who runs out of fuel around the 18-20 mile point in every marathon but then that is an issue of the body not having the ready sources of fuel it needs and being unable to use fat quickly enough.
    They are looking at total energy used over the whole day. Presumably a super fit athlete needs less energy during rest. I can believe that, but it doesn't support your original statement.

    Rick's view that an unfit person will struggle to burn a meaningful amount of calories is true, but I don't think that should be used to discourage people from doing more exercise. I think I read that people don't eat more now than they used to, they simply do less with the energy (eg less manual labour in the fields and more driving everywhere).
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,551
    morstar said:

    It’s way more complicated than just calories in / calories out.

    .

    I'm not sure it is. A lot of people want it to be.
  • morstar said:

    It’s way more complicated than just calories in / calories out.

    .

    I'm not sure it is. A lot of people want it to be.
    Hard to argue with this!

    Whilst no two individuals will have exactly the same characteristics in terms of how food consumed is subsequently metabolised, if you want to reduce your rate of weight gain, you need some combination of eating less and exercising more.
  • wallace_and_gromit
    wallace_and_gromit Posts: 3,060
    edited April 2023

    rjsterry said:

    We very occasionally indulge in an M&S ready meal for similar reasons. The taste is fine but on the traffic light labelling absolutely none of them had a green anything and all were high in fat. Add on a desert and you'll be way over the RDA on almost everything.

    There is a school of thought that it is fat avoidance that is one of the causes of the population weight gain.
    My layman’s understanding is that the problem is what replaces the fat in the diet. Low fat yoghurts are a good example. The fat is removed, but what’s left tastes like sh*t so something else has to be added which is almost invariably sugar as it is cheap and gives the yoghurt a nice consistency. The resulting low fat yoghurt is similarly calorific, but sugar stimulates the appetite whereas fat doesn’t. (Protein is your friend here as that suppresses the appetite.)

    So eating a low fat yoghurt leaves you hungry again shortly afterwards so you eat something else, whereas a fat boy yoghurt will see you feeling hungry again somewhat later.

    I think the impact of sugar on the appetite is why “carbs” are considered the work of the devil by skinny celebrities which is why they exist on lettuce and fresh air and wouldn’t recognise a loaf of bread even if attacked by one. As complex carbs are metabolised, they end up as simple carbs (sugars) which have the appetite stimulating effect. Thankfully, if you’re reasonably active, you don’t get the “sugar spike” to anywhere like the same extent so pasta is your friend for a pre-ride meal.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,517
    edited April 2023

    morstar said:

    It’s way more complicated than just calories in / calories out.

    .

    I'm not sure it is. A lot of people want it to be.
    Hard to argue with this!

    Whilst no two individuals will have exactly the same characteristics in terms of how food consumed is subsequently metabolised, if you want to reduce your rate of weight gain, you need some combination of eating less and exercising more.
    Sure but I think in reality that set of circumstances doesn’t happen.

    To get to a point where your exercise is using enough calories to make enough of a difference to your weight to stop you being overweight is pretty difficult and not realistic.

    For the average person, a doughnut would take two hours cycling to burn off.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,517
    Being overweight is about diet, not exercise.
  • bonk_king
    bonk_king Posts: 277
    If you go into the science of it all, and bear in mind that we're all different too, then getting even a basic grasp of what's going on is nigh on impossible.

    If you are mindful of what you eat and you exercise regularly I think the weight issue pretty much looks after itself. It works for me.

    Unfortunately not too many people are mindful of what they eat, and don't do any exercise at all. And we all know the outcome of that.
  • Whole grain complex carbs are better than “white” grains too. The former take longer to digest than the latter, thus reducing the peak level of sugar in the system, and thus reducing the appetite stimulation impact. White bread and typical cereals are not great as they have sugar added too. Though a slab of butter on your toast helps redress the balance I guess!
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,594

    rjsterry said:

    We very occasionally indulge in an M&S ready meal for similar reasons. The taste is fine but on the traffic light labelling absolutely none of them had a green anything and all were high in fat. Add on a desert and you'll be way over the RDA on almost everything.

    There is a school of thought that it is fat avoidance that is one of the causes of the population weight gain.
    Certainly I can see a problem where reduced fat is just replaced with more sugar and salt. I think the point about ready meals still stands just as if you ate out at a restaurant for all meals.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • mully79
    mully79 Posts: 904
    My battle has always been correctly fueling for the activity I might do. At 19 stone, calories burned vary between 3000 and 6000 a day depending on training/work.

    I burn almost double the calories for a 10 mile run than my light weight friend.
  • Dorset_Boy
    Dorset_Boy Posts: 6,915

    morstar said:

    It’s way more complicated than just calories in / calories out.

    .

    I'm not sure it is. A lot of people want it to be.
    There's big, big money in making it out to be more complicated.
    At a basic level, if you consume more than you burn you will put on weight.
    At a more complex level, as others have said, what (and when) you eat is an important factor.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,517
    I know it’s a cycling forum but the exercise your way out advice has been found to not affect collective weight.

    You need to eat less and healthier.
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,594
    edited April 2023
    And more complicated by far are the reasons why people are eating poorly and not getting enough exercise.

    Saying it is as simple as calories in minus calories out is overlooking most of the problem: the human behaviour part.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition