Obesity is now a taboo topic in tech because you might unfortunately step on the toes of a few sensitive people and be labelled a fat shamer. This is not the case.Obesity in tech is a disease on it's own and it needs to be fought with a sharp edged pitchfork. We need to help our colleagues who have lost hope and given up on ever being fit again.
It is never too late to get healthy again. If you're overweight and believe your work schedule cannot allow you to lose weight, give yourself a 6 - 8 month break. Step over to the r/bodyweightfitness Recommended beginner routine and make a big change in your life. You don't need an expensive gym membership. You can use the floor, parks, chairs, tables, doors, ledges, trees etc.
Sustainable weight loss is achievable by everyone, whether you're 40 or 50 years or 400 pounds or 600 pounds.
Consistency over time is the key!
The whole concept of "fat shaming" is outrageous. It is quite hurtful and, if the object is to motivate change, unhelpful anyway. On the other hand, the concept of "fat but fit" is also not helpful. Being fat isn't healthy, period. As one gets fatter one gets even less healthy and it also starts to impact hygiene (which itself negatively impacts health).
Humans do that. We adjust. We assimilate. We make presumptuous about validity based on what we see. That's the disease.
That said, it doesn't help that people like Oprah have led the "love your body" parade. Sure. Do it! It's your body. But that doesn't make it healthy. That does mitigate the broader societal damager you're doing.
Sure. Let's stop fat shaming. But let's also stop being in denial about the personal health implication of carrying too much extra weight.
I don't understand how we can discuss healthcare, the cost of healthcare, but then not talk about (personal) health. We want lower costs and we want to be more and more unhealthy. It doesn't work that way.
I don't know. One of my friends is fat, but she's also an incredibly competent rower (including doing it as a varsity sport in college). If that's not fit, I don't know what is.
One can be extremely strong and extremely competent - world class, even - and still not be fit.
While I applaud those individuals that have kept off weight long term, the science disagrees that is an achievable goal for everyone.(only about 5% of people who successfully lose large amounts of weight will keep it off long term)
For example here is what happened to the contestants on the biggest loser.
The body will fight very hard to get back up the heavier level. It play nasty tricks such as increasing hunger, decreasing metabolism, and nastiest of all physiologically sabotage the part of the brain that is responsible for conscience regulation of food intake(it turns off willpower specifically for food).
More often than not, the cause of the weight gain is because they fall back to bad eating habits. If you can lose it, you can keep it off. Changing to long-term good habits is extremely difficult though.
Here's one that mentions 20%. But that's at a year. The % changes depending on how long you follow up(drops all the way out to 5 years.). This is study uses keeping off 10% of body weight as the definition of success which is far less than the amount that it takes to move an individual from obese into the normal healthy range.
If you can find a study where a majority of the individuals experienced significant and long term(3 yrs+) weight loss I would be happy to see it.
Also here's a study that suggests the exact opposite, that rapid weight loss is correlated with long term success.
I was a pretty experienced athlete in high school/college, so I knew the basics well and knew if I worked at it I'd lose it, so that helped a lot, but I didn't do anything magic.
But the point is, you changed your lifestyle, and stuck with it. I think most who lose weight put it back on because they don't change anything. As if being thinner makes bad food less bad :)
I'm 34, spent the last ~15 years at sedentary desk jobs, and became quite out of shape. I've lost 70lb over the last year doing little more than just logging what I eat in MyFitnessPal, sticking to caloric and macro budgets, and recomputing my TDEE based on moving averages of my caloric inputs and weight readings. I lift for 45-60 minutes 4 times a week, no cardio.
In that same time period, I've started lifting and seen excellent progress (bench 1RM ~260, squat 1RM ~320, deadlift 1RM ~465), again by thoroughly logging my workout data and using that to identify where I'm weak and strong (which lets me select exercises to improve my weaknesses), to help set and adjust training maxes, and to help set achievable goals on a daily basis. Symmetric Strength is a great tool here - it's incredibly gratifying to see my progress presented in several ways, and it helps me understand my strengths and weaknesses, as well as my progression relative to others, which can be very motivating.
I attribute just about all of this to the fact that I adopted eating and lifting plans which were based on data collection and specific goals and targets to reach for and hit on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. I've tried dieting and fitness regimes in the past that were basically coached as "just do this and try really hard", without laying out why, or what I could expect at a granular level, and those become really discouraging once the initial hit of motivation wears off. By contrast, having a year's worth of data to analyze any time I start to feel discouraged provides immediate reinforcement as to what does and doesn't work, and helps keep me on track.
If you're looking at creating an exercise app or community, take a look at what Concept2 do, it's lean yet pretty much well perfect.
Funnily enough though, concept2 have just released an entirely new machine, the BikeErg, which as the name implies, is a mix of bike and rowing machine.
Only downside of rowing is that there are a ridiculous number of ways to do it wrong and seriously ruin parts of your body. Nowadays you can do well with YouTube and a mirror / reflective window or iPhone-with-advance-permission in the gym.
Lifting for me is less about weight loss than it is just about personal improvement, though. I want to be strong (and hey, if I'm losing this weight, I want to look good!), and lifting moves the ball towards that goal. I've found that I really enjoy it, too - it's not something that I tolerate as some grueling price I have to pay to get the body I want, it's a hobby that I genuinely enjoy and derive a lot of satisfaction from. The fact that it helps me lose weight is a great bonus, but I've found that lifting lets me hack my internal tendency to "try for a high score" by giving me a whole suite of metrics that I can rate, rank, and compare myself on. I love it.
Cardio training can burn lots of calories. But you have to take it seriously and should not assume that moving around for 20minutes was already a big workout. My current personal workout is about 10hours of biking on average per week. Calculating with ~500kcal/h of energy consumption that sums up to 5000kcal/h. That's a quite nice number, which can also be interpreted as: Enough to lose nearly 1kg of fat if calory intake stays constant. Or at least enough to compensate for a lot of non-perfect meals. In the end it's a compromise between ones diet and the amount of workout. One can lose weight by increasing consumption or by reducing intake. For some people the first thing works better, for others the second.
I complete agree here. I don't think popular advice seems to be doing a good job of explaining this.
Going on anecdotal data. On my wrist HR monitor I seem to be easily hitting around 500 Kcal per weight training session. Assuming on the worst case that the monitor is off by about half, I have burned 250 Kcal per session. This in addition to a easily achievable cut of 250 Kcal with my diet leads me to ~500 Kcal a day. Which would fall in the realm of the calculation you make with biking. I find this easier to perform than an hour of biking :) Plus an additional goal is to increase muscle mass. So as a tradeoff it seems to work.
As for the specific exercises: HIIT will train fast twitch muscle fibers, which is more similar to weight training than long distance cardio is, but neither is really comparable to weight training (precisely because of the TDEE increase, which you mentioned). Sprinting and weight training complement each other but quickly diverge in outcomes if you do one or the other.
If I understand you correctly, you're talking about the way in which additional muscle on the body increases daily energy expenditure overall, which cardio does not achieve in the same way. But that's (in my opinion) a poor way to calibrate your training - if you're optimizing for weight loss and you find yourself hungrier when you exercise, you're likely going to find yourself hungrier when your caloric needs increase in general. This will happen regardless of which particular exercise you engage in, which means it's a problem to be conquered independent of the exercise.
Controlled weight loss (or gain) is most effectively achieved by understanding what your body actually needs for survival and strategically increasing or decreasing that. Exercise is helpful for altering the composition of your mass, but it's relatively negligible (hundreds of calories per day) for controlling the amount of mass you have.
What I'm observing is that with a cardio session there's an increased craving for food in that moment that is quite intense. While in both cases (weight training and cardio) there is a need for additional energy, its easier to manage through weight training is my point. Building muscle overall would need me to consume additional calories but over the period of a day, which in turn makes it easier to manage what I eat.
Taking one step back, to lose weight I really only need a caloric deficit. What I'm trying to achieve is to follow a diet about 5-10% lower than what I would need to maintain my current weight, and add on weight training on top of this to increase TDEE.
This to me seems more sustainable and something I can easily follow, given that I love weight training and find it easier than monotonous cardio.
> Controlled weight loss (or gain) is most effectively achieved by understanding what your body actually needs for survival and strategically increasing or decreasing that. Exercise is helpful for altering the composition of your mass, but it's relatively negligible (hundreds of calories per day) for controlling the amount of mass you have.
I'm not sure I agree here. A deficit of about 4000 calories a week is healthy for a loss of about a pound. I would think those hundreds of calories would easily help hitting a deficit of 500 odd calories a day.
There isn't really a hard and fast rule here, it depends on the person. If you are obese enough, you can engage in an extended fast with no food whatsoever (just water, vitamins and electrolytes) and lose up to a pound per day in ketosis.
But obviously that should only be done with the supervision of a doctor.
>Grenade Thermo Detonator: A scary name, but essentially a dosage of caffeine from concentrated green tea extract that's meant to be a fat-burner/pre-workout pill. It gives you some energy to focus, and suppresses your appetite. It is not very different from simply taking a packet of coffee. I used these for the first 4 months.
>Multivitamin: Just to ensure you get your vitamin requirements for the day, but there is evidence to show this might not really be necessary.
>Fish Oil: I heard from many sources that omega-3s are good for you so I thought I'd get some
>Whey Protein: If you don't consume enough protein a day and are on a weight loss plan, you will lose muscle with your weight. 1 - 1.5g/lb of body weight is the general recommendation. Because it's not always easy to make sure you get that much pure protein, a protein shake is an easy way to quickly gulp down 50g of protein regardless of how hungry/full you are.
So of the four he takes, one he takes may not be backed by any data, and another he takes because he heard that it's good for you.
Protein tends to be more expensive on a per-calorie basis than other macronutrients, though, so it can be advantageous to not overconsume it relative to fat/carbs, presuming you're getting enough to optimally support muscle synthesis.
Came out to about 1450 calories a day which is a deficit of 1050.
1050 * 7 * 4 * 7/3500 comes to 58.8lbs, I lost 62lbs (I slightly increased my exercise rate), it was almost scary how accurate the 3500 calories to a pound thing was in my case.
It wasn't that hard at the time either, just required a clear goal and keeping at it.
I quite smoking on my 30th birthday (7 years and counting) by just stopping.
No messing with patches, therapy, my mum got ill from smoking related illness, I realised how stupid it was (or more correctly woke up and truly realised) my 30th was a few weeks later so I made a note and stopped cold turkey.
You can do pretty cool things when you draw a line and just go for it.
As for keeping the weight off, I just run a mental tally of what I've eaten and approximate calories, if I get close to 2500 I stop eating for the day, if I go slightly over I go under the next day, 1 day a week I eat whatever I want if I want it (rarely do, I've lost a lot of my cravings for junk over the last couple of years, it always leaves me feeling shitty the next day).
Here's a post from another software developer having similarly spectacular success: http://merowing.info/2014/02/fit-geek/
I lost ~20kg myself by following Leangains loosely over a period of 18 months, but in the end I seem to have worn out something in my endocrine/metabolic system, from which I've been slowly recovering for most of last year (having regained a lot of the weight and suffering from fatigue). So.. just be careful, your body might not like rapid weightloss, everybody is different.
Ah and one tip: If you cannot lose weight even if you try really really hard, inflammation might be the culprit. Lots of fish oil, grape seed extract, magnesium etc should improve this a lot, and as a side effect might also save you from having a heart attack or cancer in your 50s. DHA (eg from fish oil) has a lot to do with mitochondrial function in the body, thus affecting all organs and energy production.
There are two sets of neurons: those that promote feeding and slow metabolic rate, and those that suppress feeding and increase metabolic rate. The former class of neurons is GABAergic (inhibitory in neuroscience) and the latter is glutaminergic (stimulatory). Generally in animal experiments, the gabaergic neurons that drive feeding and conserve stored energy outnumber the glutaminergic neurons by a great deal, and over the lifespan of an organism, they increase in number.
Its been noted in some animal models that weight loss interventions are not permanent because they lead to alterations in this circuit to further promote weight gain and energy conservation. This may be why most humans also regain weight after losing it. If you think about it, it makes sense for most control loops in the body to "fail safe", IE, its much preferrable to gain weight than starve to death. This circuit thus fights to preserve fat mass.
Some "food for thought"
So it's still the case that if you keep your calorie intake below your TDEE, you won't regain the weight, whereas a lot of weight re-gainers like GGP claim some vague 'endocrine/metabolic' thing, when we have no evidence for that.
From my diabetes work, its clear that corticosteroids definitely have a strong role in the development of metabolic syndrome, but I'm not sure about its ties to hypothalamic functioning. In the hypothalamus, the effects can be a lot more direct. Eventually its decision-making feed into the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous systems which directly regulate metabolism and fat release in peripheral tissues. IE, your fat and muscle cells take direct neural firings from the autonomic nervous system as marching orders of whether or not its time to store energy or burn it.
So if the central neurons in the hypothalamus adjust to promote a higher setpoint body weight, that central point in control will direct weight gain via many downstream factors, some of which may be hormonal. Right now a central focus in research is figuring out why the hell the hypothalamus is driving the setpoint higher and higher. It seems like inflammation there might be a strong culprit.
Hopefully someday we will figure out what about our mass produced consumables are gumming up the works there.
For people doing it for health rather than competition weigh-ins or whatnot, no reason to be rapid and risk negative effects. Slow and steady.
For one week, I reverted to my old high carb diet because I was on a camp and could not maintain it. My weight loss plateau'ed, but resumed after that.
Daily calorie max is set to 1250, (I live a sedentary life).
Keto works. Workouts not needed.
I'm struggling to take enough protein though.
When has rapid weight loss ever been sustainable?
I'd love to see follow up article w/ comments in 2 years.
It's not exclusive to older people (teenagers can do it too but it's not recommended)
It's called "having a baby".
My daughter weights 28 Ibs now and I have to lift her a couple dozen times a day. My upper body has definitely improved.
But seriously, I've found staying fit is MUCH harder than it was 5 years ago but still possible. The hardest part is finding the time. I don't know many 30-somethings (especially in tech) that can work out for a half hour uninterrupted, nevermind an hour.
I'm only now starting to have a chance to go to the gym regularly again and am praying nothing changes!
Sounds like a major lifestyle problem that needs to be solved before considering embarking on a fitness program. If you can't find a half-hour for a leisurely self-improvement activity, consider focusing really hard on making that change first.
If you don't have a kid, finding an hour to yourself every day should be no problem. If it is - consider improving your time management or just working less.
I work full-time in tech, have a wife, two kids, two dogs, and work on my book  writing every single day. I still definitely have 30 minutes of free time every day to work out.
What I don't have as much of is will-power/discipline/execute function whatever you want to call it. I workout twice a week and run once a week and with that on top of working and writing I really do feel like I'm at the limit of what I'm able to motivate myself to do.
If I wasn't writing a book, exercising even more would be pretty easy.
Try tracking how much time you spend staring at your phone and/or the Internet. Cut that and you'll be very surprised how much long the day gets.
I didn't say I couldn't find an hour just that most people in their 30s I know in tech can't.
You also lowered the requirement from the hour the author and I said to a half hour. Keep in mind too unless you want to sit in sweat all day that hour does not include changing cloths and showering.
I also didn't say "ever" I said "reliably" and "uninterrupted" which are key qualifiers. One work out day where you have to spend two hours at the doctor's office and there goes you're whole routine.
Edit: autocorrect changed sweat to suite for some weird reason.
I think most people can. What's harder is summoning the willpower to use that hour effectively.
The focus on willpower is almost inherently demoralizing and absolutely not the best strategy. You should focus on building habits, even one at a time, so that you can let the habits take over without expending much in the way of willpower.
The building of habits is what takes energy, but once they've been built, they almost run on autopilot.
And on a different note, there's a difference between exercise and training. Training for a goal can be a much more productive use of your time and will probably get you better results in terms of fitness and body composition depending on the goal chosen.
> There's a famous story about a greek wrestler, back in the 6th century BC – Milo of Croton. He'd train by lifting up and carry around a newborn calf. Every day he continued doing so and as the calf grew into a bull, so did he. This is linear progression.
To give you another data point, I've started a similar exercise routine around 27 and have kept it up until ~29, and while it has gotten harder to maintain the same weights, I still feel great.
Certainly better than my younger self that did no exercise at all and led a completely sedentary lifestyle.
It follows the tree quote: the best time to start exercising was "x" years ago, the 2nd best time is now.
ETA: It can also certainly hurt too.
Can't speak for the supplements, but I'm down 45 pounds in 6 months following the same procedure. Going back to a sugar-based diet is frankly kind of horrifying to me at this point.
The weight loss by itself, with no additional work for the physique, shouldn't take more than about 8-9 months (at a loss of ~0.8kg / week, well within the bounds of gradual weight loss). It shouldn't take 27-39 months beyond that to build lean muscle and lose fat to reduce that level of body fat percentage.
One wouldn't even need to follow the fad diets or take the supplements this guy did.
Or is it that you casually use the word 'narcissistic' only when disapproving of something you don't like?
Addendum: I was wrong with my accusation.
The photo with the line: https://www.dropbox.com/s/v6bxpfedcdeotyg/beforeafter.jpg?dl...
He probably photoshopped his abdomen to make himself appear skinnier, which is a shame. He's made incredible progress, and dishonesty only detracts from the hard work he's obviously put in.
A lot of Westerners are rediscovering amazing gains from the ketogenic diet, a low-carb diet. Foods with a very high glycemic index are the most commonly available foods in the Western world. These foods are largely responsible for health problems in the Western world. One has to go out of his/her way to avoid foods with a high glycemic index whereas it should be the default.
That was debunked recently .
> Weight loss is not practical without some exercise.
Nonsense. Do you have any evidence for that?
It lacked a control for comparison, and while the baseline diet was designed to keep participants at about the same levels of energy burn they experienced outside of the study, the participants started to lose weight on that diet too. So they were already slimming down by the time they started their low-carb month.
And while the study was designed to overcome some of the limitations of real-world diet studies, a highly controlled setting that amounts to confining people to a hospital and lab isn’t exactly representative of how people actually live and eat.
"These points, along with the small sample size and short-term follow-up, prevent the ability to draw conclusions about the effects of a very low-carbohydrate versus usual carbohydrate diet," said Deirdre Tobias, an associate epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Men's Hospital.
What’s more, one of the promises of the low-carb, high-fat diet is that when people start eating this way, they naturally cut back on calories because they’re more satiated (from the protein and fat in their diet). This study didn’t measure that either, since the participants were forced to stick to strictly measured menus.
"According to the insulin-carbohydrate model, we should have seen an acceleration in the rate of body fat loss when we cut insulin by 50 percent," Hall said. But they didn’t, which he thinks suggests that the regulation of fat tissue storage in the body has to do with more than just insulin levels and their relationship with the carbs we eat.
The new results also echo a previous study of the insulin-carbohydrate model, where Hall found that people who cut fat in their diets have equal or greater body fat loss than those who cut carbs. (Here’s Hall’s new review of the literature on the carb-insulin model of obesity.)
"These studies represent the first rigorous scientific tests of the carb-insulin model in humans," Hall added. "The public needs to understand that this [insulin-carbohydrate] model now has pretty strong evidence against it."
(And the so-called 'limitations of the study' according to the article, are that it was a controlled, scientific study apparently, yay journalism).