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Crazy things people say regarding nutrition


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What is up with all the nutrition myths that are constantly perpetuated on these forums? The creators of this website have plenty of articles here with legitimate information, not to mention google! But instead of actually researching proper nutrition, I keep hearing all of this crazy talk. 

Here are some of my favorites:

"If you eat too little, your body will enter starvation mode and you won't lose weight and you'll also damage your metabolism." I don't even want to argue this point it is so infuriating. Maybe if you were already a healthy weight and eating 500 cals a day for several months your body would go into "starvation mode." My theory for why many people do not lose when they are eating too little is because they are always hungry and therefore more likely to binge.

"You need to do X (usually a crazy diet) to cleanse the body of its toxins." That's not even close to how it works. Your body, mostly your liver, cleanses the body. If you want healthy organs, eat right and exercise. People seem to think that their bodies are full of garbage and if they throw some "toxin cleaner" down the hatch every now and then that they will be clean. This is beyond ignorant, and any legitimate doctor will tell you the same.

"You can't lose weight if you eat bad foods." Calories in, calories out people. If you are supposed to eat 1500 calories a day and you eat that through a healthy diet or you do that by eating oreos, you are still going to lose weight. Now, you might lose weight faster on a healthier diet because you get more bang for your calorie, but that has nothing to do with how your body burns them. 

"My medicine made me gain weight." Ok, yes the side effects for many medicines is, in fact, weight gain. BUT, that is due to increased appetite, not because it is somehow making weight stay on your body. If that were the case they would be sending that stuff over to Africa right now. In other words, you can avoid weight gain if you keep track of your calories and learn how to fight the hunger with healthier foods. 

I could go on and on. I am not trying to be mean, but how are we going to be a healthier society is we just keep making up stuff about nutrition and going along with it because it makes us feel better about ourselves. There is no magic pill, there is no magic diet. We need to eat less, move more and eat less calorie dense foods. That's the bottom line, no one seems to like it. 

32 Replies (last)

krawecj-  That is a very good point, well made.  Prednisone (and various other steriod therapies) is a medication that will definitely pack on the pounds.  And will power has NOTHING to do with it.

As for your other points, when supporting someone that is trying to become healthier, starvation should never be a suggestion.  I don't care if they do lose weight faster, cutting your calories too low and losing weight too fast is simply not healthy.  Neither is downing a bag of oreos or a big mac and just running it off on the treadmill.  You're quite a bit more likely to cause, say, a heart attack if you work it that way. 

They only thing I did agree with was people going on crazy deprivation (no carb, juice cleanse, only drink water, lemon juice and cayenne pepper for 3 weeks) kinds of diets is just insanity.

By the way, don't believe everything you google.

Honestly, I love the forums on this site but I couldn't agree more with homeskillet86.

A large portion of people think of themselves as experts on these topics and are snippy in the tone of their responses.  I find it unbelievebly irritating to read responses as such.  I am surprised by the number of posts I've read in such manner.

This is a forum and the point of it is to ask questions and get people thinking.  No one should be treated as though their question is stupid (which I've seen happen on here a million times as well).

I guess I would be cranky and snippy all day too if all I did was read forum posts and answer questions on this site. 

#23  
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I used to belong to the 'a calorie is a calorie' camp, but it turns out that isn't always true.

My doctor advised me to continue with the same number of calories, but make some significant changes in what I was eating. This was specific medical advice for a specific medical situation, but the end result is--it's working.

So in some situations, it really does make a difference where those calories are coming from.

Original Post by amh042:


So in some situations, it really does make a difference where those calories are coming from.

For health, yes. For body weight, no.

 

A calorie is still a calorie and will always just be a calorie for weight purposes.

Original Post by shsassy:

This is a forum and the point of it is to ask questions and get people thinking.  No one should be treated as though their question is stupid (which I've seen happen on here a million times as well).

But was it presented as a question? It came across as a somewhat ablist, somewhat victim-blaming in tone pronouncement coupled with dismissive attacks towards anyone who's actual working experience with medications was different than what the OP thought.

Another for the med-mix: I know people taking HIV medications who might deal not only with weight gain, but with the medication distributing the weight in different ways on their bodies.

#26  
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Original Post by armandounc:

Original Post by amh042:


So in some situations, it really does make a difference where those calories are coming from.

For health, yes. For body weight, no.

 

A calorie is still a calorie and will always just be a calorie for weight purposes.

For body weight, yes also. Same number of calories (+same activity level, same water and sodium intake), but different foods that aren't triggering a particular response in my body=better blood sugars, lower blood pressure and finally losing weight.

I'm not suggesting that for most people calorie=calorie isn't true, just that in some particular medical situations, such as mine, it really does make a difference what the calories are coming from. Believe me, it surprised me, too!

Original Post by amh042:

I used to belong to the 'a calorie is a calorie' camp, but it turns out that isn't always true.

My doctor advised me to continue with the same number of calories, but make some significant changes in what I was eating. This was specific medical advice for a specific medical situation, but the end result is--it's working.

So in some situations, it really does make a difference where those calories are coming from.

There is more and more research coming out to support that a calorie is not just a calorie. I don't think anyone should be following a fad diet or anything like that, but I believe Dr. Atkin's method proved in practice that a calorie is not a calorie. I am talking true Atkins, not eating a box of sugar free jello with whipped cream.

JAMA published and article in June comparing calorie composition and weight loss maintenance: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?arti cleid=1199154 and there have been many that have looked at the same topic in different ways.

There is also a large body of evidence that supports that weight gain is totally unrelated to calories but is only related to insulin spikes. I don't have time to find the sources at the moment, but if any one wants the info, email me and I can look for it.

No I am not an expert I just read a lot and compare it to real life. If an article references a study, I actual read the study and look at the statistical methodology and any assumptions and compare the copy in the study to the quotes in the article to make sure they weren't taken out of context.

Most hormone medications will affect weight whether calorie intake is increased or decreased.

Original Post by coffincritter:

Original Post by shsassy:

This is a forum and the point of it is to ask questions and get people thinking.  No one should be treated as though their question is stupid (which I've seen happen on here a million times as well).

But was it presented as a question? It came across as a somewhat ablist, somewhat victim-blaming in tone pronouncement coupled with dismissive attacks towards anyone who's actual working experience with medications was different than what the OP thought.

Another for the med-mix: I know people taking HIV medications who might deal not only with weight gain, but with the medication distributing the weight in different ways on their bodies.

HGH is often used for HIV patients to gain weight. That is what HGH does, it makes you gain weight. It is a hormone. Some people on HGH will only gain muscle, some will only gain fat, some a combination. Some will lose fat and gain muscle. There are tons of medications that increase weight in various mechanisms without regard to calorie intake and output.

Original Post by bluffythefoodslayer: There are tons of medications that increase weight in various mechanisms without regard to calorie intake and output.

Uhhh..

 

you can't gain weight (aside from water weight) without a caloric surplus. Starve a child and he won't grow.. Or he'll grow and die from hunger.

 

Matter is neither created nor destroyed. You need calories.

Original Post by homeskillet86:

"My medicine made me gain weight." Ok, yes the side effects for many medicines is, in fact, weight gain. BUT, that is due to increased appetite, not because it is somehow making weight stay on your body. If that were the case they would be sending that stuff over to Africa right now. In other words, you can avoid weight gain if you keep track of your calories and learn how to fight the hunger with healthier foods. 


This upset me a little  (especially how I still have a complex about my weight gain during my medication), and it almost feels it is directed to me since, I am one of the only people here who mentioned most of my weight gain was due to my medication (and it was one of those notorious weight gaining depression meds, which by the way both causes weight gain and increased appitite are on the medication details, not just one that causes the other, as well as another 3 pages of horrible side effects that basically your doctor thinks is worth the risk).

I was so bad I went through periods of under eating, loss of apetite and over exercising and still gained. I was raised in a healthy and (even for quite a few years) vegetarian household, and even during my gaining for a period of time living with a health fanatic mother where I was probablly eating no more than 1200-1500 calories and very healthy food (and little to no proceeded foods). I was unable to lose any weight till a couple months off these meds.

My orignal gain without meds did happen (my original depression/breakdown weight) but I was on at one time up to 3 weight gaining medications and because I was on weight gain meds and already had weight gain I went out of my way to eat less and better and still slowly and steadily maintained/gained in a 1.5 year period, with no loss.

This post really isn't kind and to bash someone who is taking medication for mental health issues just to say 'it is your fault' for gain, is triggering and unsupprotive to those with mental health issues, honestly if I didn't know it was the medication causing most of my gain, I'd problably would have looked for a permanent exit and not go out of my way to stop taking medication to lose weight and try to find a non medicated way to recovery mental health wise (which in my case has turn out to be the better choice).

And for the starving African comment, as one who use to work admin for a relief agency, lots of charitable foods and cargo get taken by customs or destroyed if the consignees can't get the items cleared through customs, corruption in customs and goverments keeps these peopel starving in their countries. Even if there was a magic bulking pill, I am sure not everyone would get because of that.

Original Post by hollowness:

Original Post by homeskillet86:

"My medicine made me gain weight." Ok, yes the side effects for many medicines is, in fact, weight gain. BUT, that is due to increased appetite, not because it is somehow making weight stay on your body. If that were the case they would be sending that stuff over to Africa right now. In other words, you can avoid weight gain if you keep track of your calories and learn how to fight the hunger with healthier foods. 


This upset me a little  (especially how I still have a complex about my weight gain during my medication), and it almost feels it is directed to me since, I am one of the only people here who mentioned most of my weight gain was due to my medication (and it was one of those notorious weight gaining depression meds, which by the way both causes weight gain and increased appitite are on the medication details, not just one that causes the other, as well as another 3 pages of horrible side effects that basically your doctor thinks is worth the risk).

I was so bad I went through periods of under eating, loss of apetite and over exercising and still gained. I was raised in a healthy and (even for quite a few years) vegetarian household, and even during my gaining for a period of time living with a health fanatic mother where I was probablly eating no more than 1200-1500 calories and very healthy food (and little to no proceeded foods). I was unable to lose any weight till a couple months off these meds.

My orignal gain without meds did happen (my original depression/breakdown weight) but I was on at one time up to 3 weight gaining medications and because I was on weight gain meds and already had weight gain I went out of my way to eat less and better and still slowly and steadily maintained/gained in a 1.5 year period, with no loss.

This post really isn't kind and to bash someone who is taking medication for mental health issues just to say 'it is your fault' for gain, is triggering and unsupprotive to those with mental health issues, honestly if I didn't know it was the medication causing most of my gain, I'd problably would have looked for a permanent exit and not go out of my way to stop taking medication to lose weight and try to find a non medicated way to recovery mental health wise (which in my case has turn out to be the better choice).

And for the starving African comment, as one who use to work admin for a relief agency, lots of charitable foods and cargo get taken by customs or destroyed if the consignees can't get the items cleared through customs, corruption in customs and goverments keeps these peopel starving in their countries. Even if there was a magic bulking pill, I am sure not everyone would get because of that.

Just ignore this stuff. The poster didn't back up anything written with personal experience or scientific data.

My son was dx'd with failure to thrive at one year old and stopped growing. He was severely underweight the first year of his life even though he was drinking 45 oz of formula per day. He was underweight due to an underlying medical issues. I had my son on a 2500 + calorie diet from 1 yr to 2 yrs old and he was still underweight. A suitable calorie range for a child of that age is 900 to 1200 calories per day. He was quite smaller than an average child of that age. The first step in FTT (failure to thrive) is nutritional counceling. He's not my first child, I know how to feed a child, but they insisted we try nutrional intervention for a year and not start testing until he was 2 years old. I was able to get him to a functional weight, but still underweight. I logged his food for over a year. We later went through all the testing, found out what condition it was, and he's now on growth hormone. Thanks to growth hormone, my son gained a lot of muscle mass (weight) and a decent amount of fat. He's still underweight but not by a lot (his bmi is 16.5 - that's good for him). Even w/ the GH he needs a significant more calories than other children his age or his height. GH makes you gain weight, whether it's muscle mass and/or fat. It is FDA approved for only a few conditions but is used for many off-label conditions.

Having been on an anti-depressent myself for 6 months during a difficult period in my life many years ago, I can attest to the weight gain side effect. I was not over eating. I gained 30 lbs in 6 months. It did not increase my appetite. I can't speak for others to say whether or not their appetite increased causing the weight gain but that's not what it did for me.

I also have hypothyroid disease. It is hashi and progressive. Not this last time, but the time before when I needed a medication increase but didn't know about it (took a few months to link the symptoms to the disease), I was exercising every day, on weight watchers, etc...doing everything right. I lost the weight nicely and was 8 lbs away from my goal when I started gaining. I kept gaining no matter what I did. I cried so much about it due to frustration. This went on for about 3 months until I was up 15 lbs and went to my doc. They adjusted my meds, it took 3 months for the new dose to build up but by that point I had given up trying to lose.

Point being, someone who doesn't have an advanced training in statistical analysis/research methods (e.g. a graduate degree) can't read the source data of an article to decide if the article is accurate or not or does not have personal experience with the topic being discussed, their opinion should not offend you. You must consider the source when you are reading things; it is the most important aspect of any writing!

#32  
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Thank you for posting this i thought i was the obly one frustrated with this! Every one acts like nutrition experts or something
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