Friday, July 22, 2011


"The truth is, the conventional wisdom about why we get fat is simply wrong. It’s not about energy balance; it’s not about “overconsumption of calories” or “taking in more calories than we burn.” It’s about something else entirely: how the human body regulates fat metabolism and the accumulation of fat in our adipose tissue."
       -Gary Taubes

Even though our understanding of biology has improved and the causes of obesity are better understood, we still have some flat Earthers that can’t get past the overly simplistic and trivial “calorie theory,” aka “eat less, move more.”

Like anything else, reality depends on the frame of reference of the observer. If someone has a minor weight issue, or people around them do, a simple “eat less, move more” more approach does work. This gives one the erroneous conclusion that this is all that matters. It’s like someone that only sees the world as flat-

“The world must be flat, just look at it.”

This is how the world really is. For day to day living, this does not matter to a lot of people. All they need to know is east, west, north, and south. The same can be said for the folks hung up on “eat less, move more.” If this is all they see, and it seems to work, they think that this is all there is.

What the Flat Earthers Don’t See:

Calorie theory ignores hormones. The above quote by Taubes, author of “”Why We Get Fat,” is a quick summary of why hormones drive weight. Calorie theory is simply wrong, but it just appears to be correct if one has limited experience or a limited frame of reference.

People who do lose weight by moving more and eating less have not done enough damage so that hormones matter much. Good for them, but it doesn’t not apply to everyone. Their calorie theory is incorrect in the same way that the Earth is not flat.

Who Cares?

Hormones matter a lot, when they matter. Hormones matter when one is insulin resistant, when leptin signaling is off, when thyroid hormones are out of whack, when their endocrine system is wrecked after taking steroid medications, and for a lot of similar reasons.

Some will say that obesity is the cause of the above, and stop making excuses. This is also wrong. It doesn’t matter anymore once the weight is there and the hormone problem is real. What matters is what to do about it. It’s not a reversible process where you just eat less and move more, and the problem goes away. If this were true, there would be no diet books and no diet websites. Life would be simple, but it just isn’t. The world is not flat.

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