SpyderEdgeForever wrote:What are your opinions on crash diets
Generally negative, however if your goal is to qualify for Junior Nationals in Olympic Weightlifting, and your lifting total is only good for the weight class down from your current weight, I would say that a drastic diet change for a short time for a specific effect is a good idea. So, as usual, context is everything.
SpyderEdgeForever wrote:and diets in which the person eats one or two types of food, and alot of water, with the idea that they will:
1 lose weight quickly
2 save money on food because they are only purchasing a restricted amount of food types
An example: The Subway Sandwich diet that was advertised some time back. That guy Jared Fogle who lost weight on the Subway diet is an example.
I knew of a situation where someone tried that particular diet, and lost like forty pounds in a relatively short time (few weeks) but gained it back because they were unable to stay on that diet eating those sandwiches only.
I'll start off by saying that Americans don't drink enough water, so feel free to get up and get a glass of water now. Also, drinking "a lot" of water will likely displace other things that are bad to drink, such as soft drinks or sweet tea, so in general drinking water is a good thing. [takes water break]....[/water break]
Second, I would say that people often confuse fitness with "weight loss." Of course, IN GENERAL, Americans are probably too heavy. However we're also too slow, weak, inflexible, and mentally soft, but Subway Sandwiches aren't sold to cure those ills. I would say a more accurate goal would be to IMPROVE BODY COMPOSITION which is to increase your muscle and lose your excess fat. When viewed this way, it's obvious that you can attack the problem in multiple directions and hopefully frees you from just looking at the scale as your ultimate report card (just because it's easy to measure). Again, though, this doesn't sell sandwiches.
But to stop dodging the question, the real issue is this: for health and fitness, a diet is just what you eat all the time, not something you "go on." Kind of like when a weatherman says "we have some weather coming." The weather is here all the time, just like your diet. Crash diets don't (generally) work, because the person is just riding willpower to severely restrict calories, not actually learning to make good sustainable choices and habits. Of course, it's possible that a person latches onto some "fad diet" at the outset, which spurs them on to actually care about their health in the long run, so far be it from me to categorically condemn Jared and Subway, but it's certainly not the recommendation I'd make for anyone looking to improve body composition.
As far as the "saving money" thing. An old saying: pay the butcher, or pay the doctor. It's actually FAR more true today than whenever someone first said that. For reasons dating back to the great depression, our government policy has been fixated on creating the most calories for as cheap as humanly possible. Ever wonder why you can get 1,000 Calories of Pepsi cheaper than you can get 100 Calories of green pepper, and Pepsi still has enough money to run Superbowl ads? It's the same reason that in America, the poor people are the fat ones. For a good documentary on the subject, I recommend watching King Corn
SpyderEdgeForever wrote:Second question:
From your experiences and knowledge, are weight loss and weight gain more about the genetic-metabolism and genes someone is born with, or, more about lifestyle and calorie consumption and exercise?
A real life example of this: I knew a man who in high school would eat four entire trays of highly-caloric food, and never gained a bit of extra weight. Ofcourse, he was also on the football and wrestling team, so that helped, but he claimed he was born with a metabolism able to do that.
Other people I have seen can eat a little bit and put on weight easilly. So is it more of a physical activity and calorie consumption issue, or, a genetic issue, or both?
This one is quite a "rabbit hole" to go down, as one of my mentors would say. Obviously the nature v nurture debate is a hot one and one that may never be fully solved, and certainly won't be solved here. First I'll address the calorie thing, then the genetic thing.
There is another old saying: you are what you eat. This one is actually wrong. You are what your body does with
what you eat. A Calorie of fat isn't going to the same place as a Calorie of carbohydrate as a Calorie of protein. Eating is a hormonal event! By the composition of what you eat, you're telling your body what to do: release insulin, glucagon etc. The reason I get into all of this is that yes, everyone's body does respond differently. HOWEVER! The real difference is that the people who don't gain excess fat are just the people who intuitively know what they need to eat. From speaking with coaches who work with elite athletes, they all say exactly the same thing. Various athletes have wildly different diet, workout, and sleep habits, but one thing's for certain: it works for them.
As far as the genetic thing, the human body is the most incredibly malleable thing. You know what the difference is between an ultra marathon runner and a Olympic weightlifter (besides 50lbs of muscle)? The difference is the decision
to be an olympic weightlifter or an ultra marathon runner! Now, of course there are genetic components to what we call "innate ability" or "talent" and I'm not saying if you were born very short you can be in the NBA, or that people don't have abilities that lend more to one athletic pursuit than another. However, a while back they declared that they had found the "elite sprinting gene" and goodgollygosh only half of elite sprinters actually had the gene! I'm **** sure that every single one of them had the "determination to be an elite sprinter gene" that we haven't yet discovered.
In my late 20's I was playing Aussie rules football at a bodyweight of 168# and could easily run a 6min mile but could only squat about 200#. 2 years later I squatted 468# at a bodyweight of 210# on my way to becoming a state champion powerlifter, but it would have taken a cattle prod to get me to even attempt a full mile run. Now 2 years later I sit at a much healthier than either of those 188#, and can squat almost as much as I could at 210 and run almost as fast as I could at 168. I can tell you that at each of those stages, my diet and training looked completely different. I was cut from my high school soccer team, twice, and I ran cross country and was excited to break 30min for my final 5k of the season. To call me "nothing special" as a natural athlete would be generous. Now I ask you: which of those performances were my genes responsible for, and which ones was I responsible for? I don't expect you to have an answer, as I don't know it myself, but I tend to think that we choose our own path.
I'll also say this, the mind is a powerful thing. Your high metabolism friend BELIEVED that he had that high metabolism, that is how he identified himself. How often do the other type of people you describe, the "easy gainers," say: "look at you with that hamburger, if I even look at that burger I gain weight." That's how they identify themselves as well, so we have a chicken and egg problem, which came first? My dad always said: whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right. You can't discount how big of a part the mind plays.
So in the end, both, but I tend to think lifestyle and personal choices play the larger role. And it's abundantly clear that you aren't a slave to your genes. There's a whole field of study called epigenetics (literally: above genetics) that is concerned with how our bodies activate or deactivate certain genes depending on the environment/our actions/etc.
Leave it to SEF to throw out a doozie! I know I barely even scratched the surface of these topics but I hope some of that was helpful.