Nature vs. Nurture

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esheppard

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 6

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Posted: 30 Aug 2012, 15:24
The question is, if everyone in my family is overweight is it because of genetics or environment? Keep in mind I have friends that can eat whatever and never gain an ounce,me on the other hand if I just smell a cheeseburger I gain 2 pounds.(Very Happy ). Any light on this subject is greatly appreciated.
NCNOLE

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 1,218

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Posted: 30 Aug 2012, 17:52
In reality it doesn't really matter. You have to take control of your own life and make the changes necessary if you want to lose weight. Having something or someone to blame won't get you anywhere. Figure out what caused you to gain the weight - most people find that emotions play a huge role. (bored, fatigue, depression, stress, happiness) Find out what triggers you to overindulge on foods that are not generally healthy and find ways to manage those situations and you will succeed. Keep the cheeseburgers to a minimum and try to eat more natural foods - foods that have not been highly processed. Those friends that can eat whatever they want are probably more active in general. I have had days where I have been running around crazy - cleaning, laundry, then errands that require movement- on those days I have burned 2800-3000 calories. Other days I only burn 2000 calories. Most days I burn 2300-2400. My weight gain came after a 3 year period of sitting more on the couch and getting out less paired with indulging on sugary snacks. I took control of that and have been successful. I only say this to let you know that it can simply be about eating more or less than you burn - that will make you gain or lose.
paperiniko

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 343

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Posted: 30 Aug 2012, 18:38
nobody can eat whatever without gaining an ounce that is a myth almost as common as the belief that many seem to harbour that they gain fat without eating, that is simply impossible.
What is more likely is that naturally thin people can control naturally their portions and appetite better than fat people, whether this is due to genetics or social causes is difficult to say, probably both.
zimri

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 2

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Posted: 31 Aug 2012, 03:36
Are you a doctor Paperiniko? Their are people who can eat whatever they want and not gain and once, and their are people who can eat the same thing as someone with a faster metabolism and gain more weight from it. Some people like to call it a rockin metabolism with a side of genetics or in the case of a slower metabolism; bad joke from God. Jokes aside...Its not "just" about portions..there are so many elements that are involved in that question.
*esheppard* gentics has alot to do with the weight factor in your family but individually there is nothing in science that says you cannot alter or fight for things to be another way.
Its like saying because I am genetically dispostioned to be a drug abuser and an alcoholic because of the mental addictions that my family has struggled with for generations, it may be so but what I decided was to never find out.... It will be hard but you can and will, if the desire is there change or manipulate your genetic dispositions for you and the generations to follow.=)
melissa
jonnybadback

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 321

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Posted: 31 Aug 2012, 03:53
I agree with both zimri and paperiniko as both are right. We do have a genetic disposition to drugs alcohol and food andthe generations that go before us effect how we are effected. I am 50 when i was at school you would have 1 chubby to fat kid in 200. Now its almost reversed( but not quite) . Its how food and exercise lifestyle has changed because food drugs and alcohol are easier to get and cheaper. Its up to us to make the change and its not easy. You don't see fat people in developing nations do you. Fat is the curse of the developed world
paperiniko

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 343

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Posted: 31 Aug 2012, 05:33
no I am not a doctor, but nobody has ever seen in literature somebody who eats "whatever" they want (meaning obviously that they are eating more calories than they are using) and not gaining fat.
It is obvious that a 6 ft man will have a "faster" metabolism than a 5 ft woman since his lean body mass will be much bigger but other than that if two people have a similar build if they eat the same calories, they will achieve comparable results.

In the same way the number of people with metabolic dis-functions so bad that they cannot loose fat when keeping a calorie deficit is enormously smaller than the number of people who claim being fat because of that reason.
Hormones and metabolism certainly play a role but it is not as big as many would love to believe.
People who eat more calories than they consume get fatter, it is as simple as that there is no magic, no macro combination, no hormones that can change that.
riocaz

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 657

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Posted: 31 Aug 2012, 05:49
Paperniko is correct up to a point. (And no I'm not a doctor either, but I have read up on quite extensively)

95% of us (or thereabouts) are within about 200 calories of one another. The other 5% are outside that. But only tiny proportion of those are at the very top & bottom ends of the scale and even then are only 300 or so calories above the average (or 600 from the bottom end)

There are people who have physiological reactions to increasing their calorific intake however. And they are pretty much the very top of the top end of the scale. Their unconscious movements (fidgeting, hand movements, muscle flexing etc etc) actually increases as they consume more. Each movement is negligible, but taken over a full day it compensates for a moderately increased intake. Whether that is a learned response, conditioned or in some-way genetic isn't known)

That said even they will put on weight if they consistently overeat beyond their ability to compensate.

As for someone putting on weight by simply smelling a cheeseburger, I suspect it was hyperbole and not meant to taken literally.

42" jeans(25/01/2013) 40"(28/02/2013) 38"(20/03/2013) 36"(25/05/2013)
Down from 60" waist jeans since June 21st 2012.

Still keeping to my 26" jeans, but they are too tight for comfort. too many tasty things in the US, and over Xmas.

Onwards and Downwards! Smile
http://www.menu52.com/
BlueWaterBot...

Joined: Apr 12
Posts: 78

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Posted: 31 Aug 2012, 07:35
My brother is one of those kinds of people who seem to be able to eat anything he wants and never gain weight. It's shocking how little he actually eats in a day and how much he moves around. I, on other hand, didn't realize until I started tracking my calories here how much more I was eating each day without actually needing it. We are two members of the same family and we have had two very different weight experiences.

Of course, some people are naturally more inclined to be thin or fat, but as some other commentors pointed out, the vast majority of us fall within a common and predictable pattern. I'm guessing that your question might have been motivated by a friend or a relative who thinks your weight loss efforts are foolish because diets never work, so you will never be successful at weight loss. Clearly, every single person on this site thinks weight loss is possible and many have already achieved significant results.

Weight loss is a long, slow process. Many people do give up before they see results. Many people who do achieve results put the weight back on because they treated their diet as a temporary fix rather than a lifestyle change. The kind of obseity we commonly experience today is new. For most of human history, people did not have electonically driven machines to do their work and they did not have food in such cheap and abundant quantities. As a society, we are all still learning how to deal with obesity -- and trying to determine how genetics and environment interact to create the problem and how they can be manipulated to solve it.

The bottom line is this: There are things you cannot control about how your body behaves, but you are as capable as anyone else of making decisions that improve your life. You don't have to be perfect. In fact, it's better if you aren't. If you can learn to make better choices in a real world environment surrounded by all the temptations that mess you up today and change your habits to more healthful ones and stick with them, you will get thinner, you will get healthier, and you will lose weight.
jonnybadback

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 321

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Posted: 31 Aug 2012, 09:47
My better half is on meds which cause the body to put on weight. I put it down to how the meds cause the body to retain the cals in fat. That said since i have been watching my intake she has started losing weight. So its simple less cals to what your body needs equals weight loss.
jann1033

Joined: Mar 12
Posts: 27

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Posted: 01 Sep 2012, 17:07
obviously there is a genetic component. I don't understand why people realize there is genetics at play with height, hair color etc but assume weight is totally different. My father and I were both so skinny growing up we looked sick( the army didn't even want to take him lol). We both started gaining weight around the same time. We both gained weight in the same areas( belly). My sister on the other hand takes after my mother, same shape, same general lbs, etc. As kids ( when this started) we at the same things, about the same amounts( if anything my sister ate much more than me) yet I have the weight problem and look like my father and his mother ( shape, height etc)
paperiniko

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 343

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Posted: 01 Sep 2012, 18:54
if for genetic component you mean that one can control better his/her appetite and be more active through fidgeting or other activities or also by having a stronger more muscular build, hence consuming more calories that is definitely possible.If by genetics you mean that two people eating the same amount of calories and with a similar calorie consumption can have very different fat gaining or loosing patterns due to some sort of genetic or metabolic issue, that is quite unlikely.

The reality is that whenever people are put at a calorie deficit under controlled condition they do end up loosing fat.I do not think there is any case in scientific literature of a person who under controlled condition did not loose weight at a calorie deficit or gained it at a calorie surplus.
In most cases the perception of one's intake and consumption is very different from the reality.

The conception that one can gain fat without eating or not gaining despite overeating, is one of the numerous diet myths that for reasons it is sometimes difficult to understand, people love to believe.

yduj57

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 63

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Posted: 01 Sep 2012, 20:24
Genetics matters. I live with it day in and day out. My husband and daughters are slim, and eat with abandon. My husband's pants size has not changed more than 1 size since high school. He is 59. His mother's brothers had the same build as he does. My 16 y.o. daughter is tall and very slender, and would love to gain weight, but has not been able to do so. Both of my daughters seem to have his metabolism which allows them to not have to worry about what they eat, and how it will effect their weight.

I have struggled my entire life with my weight, but even more so since my husband entered my life. I had maintained a 70 pound weight loss for nine years before I met him. Since I have lived with him, and his more reckless eating, I have been fighting with more or less success, trying to keep the weight under control. I am the only one who exercises regularly. I eat more veggies than the rest of them combined. Until I started to understand more of the science of weight loss, I felt like I was on a sinking ship. I now know how to best eat for my body's chemistry. My family of origin has a predisposition to weight gain...varying from overweight to severely obese.

This is not said as an excuse for my weight. It is an observation.

And there are studies in controlled conditions that demonstrated just what you described Paperiniko...a calorie deficit without weight loss, and no weight gain with a calorie surplus. Check out the work that Ancel Keys did with conscientious objectors during WWII. It showed that the participants bodies had a strong resistance to weight loss after the initial 10 to 12 weeks, in spite of daily exercise. There was another study that showed a resistance to weight gain in a different controlled study. Both are described in detail in Gary Taubes book, "Good Calories, Bad Calories" in Chapter 15 on Hunger.

I have often read that weight loss is 80% diet, and 20% exercise. My opinion is that it is 80% genetics....then after that, it is 80% diet, and 20% exercise. I suppose since we can't do anything to change our genetics, it is irrelevant...except so far as we compare what we are eating to those around us. Then we must embrace/accept the genetics we have, and work with the tools at our disposal to change what we can.
A bad moment does not have to be a bad day, bad week, or a sign that you can't do this. It is a moment. Just that. Pause and go back to the person who really wants to be healthier and happier.
cerobit

Joined: Jul 12
Posts: 80

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Posted: 01 Sep 2012, 20:57
Fascinating topic.

yduj, are you referring to Keys' "Biology of Human Starvation"? 1300 pages, o my!

And do you have references for those studies in Toubes' book?

I prefer to look at the original research articles before I start reading interpretations and arguments.
dx w/inoperable brain tumor 9/12, so nutrition is vital. Dedicated to slaying this beast.

"Keep on swimming" Nemo
fatoldlady

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 296

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Posted: 02 Sep 2012, 00:00
Has there ever been a study of a group of people of the same size, age, and muscle mass on the same calorie intake and how their weight varied, it it did? I do think that genetics do make a diffence but this is only through personal observation.
worm2butterf...

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 93

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Posted: 02 Sep 2012, 04:04
Nature or nurture? I say it is both. Genetics gives you a weakness toward obesity and the environment encourages it. I have a family with some overweight and some normal weight people in it. I happened to get the fat genes. Drive through fast food places don't help me. Obese people (myself included) tend to do themselves a huge dis-service when they start dieting. We skip meals thinking that will help us loose weight and all our body does is slow it's metabolism down more which prevents fast weight loss. If everyone is like me--I get discouraged when I don't see a decrease on the scale. The discouragement usually ends up with me eating bad stuff eventually. It's a mean horrible circle that I find myself in. I trying very hard not to fall in that trap again. We'll see what happens. Julie
Julie

12/09/12-----------------7/22/13
Weight 317-----------------259.7 lbs
Bust 52.5 inches---------47 inches
Waist 55 inches-----------46 inches
Hip 62 inches-----------53 inches
Nimm

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

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Posted: 02 Sep 2012, 08:41
cerobit wrote:
Fascinating topic.

yduj, are you referring to Keys' "Biology of Human Starvation"? 1300 pages, o my!

And do you have references for those studies in Toubes' book?

I prefer to look at the original research articles before I start reading interpretations and arguments.


There is no metabolic ward study that failed to observe a reduction in body mass when measured energy expenditure was greater than food energy consumed.
eKatherine

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 1,286

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Posted: 02 Sep 2012, 10:26
Although there are those who appear to be able to eat "whatever they want and never get fat", the key word here is "want". You don't notice that they may end up skipping the next meal because they're not hungry.

We live in a society where we are constantly surrounded by food that is ready to eat, and constantly told that to experience the least amount of hunger is something to be avoided at all costs.

Some people do have less efficient metabolisms, and need to consume more calories because of that. Some have more efficient metabolisms, or due to stress may find that their required calorie intake is actually less than they might see on a chart.

But for every overweight person, there is a point below which they will lose weight. If you are a person who has never kept a food journal and analyzed calorie intake until you find your natural equilibrium, you might find it to be an eye-opener.
paperiniko

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 343

      quote  
Posted: 03 Sep 2012, 06:38
yduj57 wrote:
Genetics matters. I live with it day in and day out. My husband and daughters are slim, and eat with abandon. My husband's pants size has not changed more than 1 size since high school. He is 59. His mother's brothers had the same build as he does. My 16 y.o. daughter is tall and very slender, and would love to gain weight, but has not been able to do so. Both of my daughters seem to have his metabolism which allows them to not have to worry about what they eat, and how it will effect their weight.

I have struggled my entire life with my weight, but even more so since my husband entered my life. I had maintained a 70 pound weight loss for nine years before I met him. Since I have lived with him, and his more reckless eating, I have been fighting with more or less success, trying to keep the weight under control. I am the only one who exercises regularly. I eat more veggies than the rest of them combined. Until I started to understand more of the science of weight loss, I felt like I was on a sinking ship. I now know how to best eat for my body's chemistry. My family of origin has a predisposition to weight gain...varying from overweight to severely obese.

This is not said as an excuse for my weight. It is an observation.

And there are studies in controlled conditions that demonstrated just what you described Paperiniko...a calorie deficit without weight loss, and no weight gain with a calorie surplus. Check out the work that Ancel Keys did with conscientious objectors during WWII. It showed that the participants bodies had a strong resistance to weight loss after the initial 10 to 12 weeks, in spite of daily exercise. There was another study that showed a resistance to weight gain in a different controlled study. Both are described in detail in Gary Taubes book, "Good Calories, Bad Calories" in Chapter 15 on Hunger.

I have often read that weight loss is 80% diet, and 20% exercise. My opinion is that it is 80% genetics....then after that, it is 80% diet, and 20% exercise. I suppose since we can't do anything to change our genetics, it is irrelevant...except so far as we compare what we are eating to those around us. Then we must embrace/accept the genetics we have, and work with the tools at our disposal to change what we can.



the most likely explanation for that is that both your husband and daughter are more active and muscular than you are and control better their portions.
Genetics as you call it might have a role in it but not in the sense that they can eat whatever they want regardless of what they burn without gaining weight that is simply not possible.

Metabolic deficiencies do happen but they are way less common than people love to believe. It is a fact of life that we tend to underestimate what we eat and overestimate what we do, that is why the journal is such a powerful tool.

As for these studies you mention I have never heard of them, but it would be really surprising if they contradicted what I just said since that would imply that law of thermodynamics do not apply to some people.
NCNOLE

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 1,218

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Posted: 03 Sep 2012, 07:09
Just an FYI, Gary Taubes studied physics and journalism. He is not a qualified person, IMO, to discuss weight, diet, or nutrition... But I will stand by my point - it doesn't matter what "causes" the weight gain, you still have to make changes in order to see a change. Decreased intake and increased output will equal weight loss - it just might be faster/slower for some, but if you are consistent and stick with it, you will be successful.
cerobit

Joined: Jul 12
Posts: 80

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Posted: 03 Sep 2012, 12:37
paperiniko wrote:
It is a fact of life that we tend to underestimate what we eat and overestimate what we do, that is why the journal is such a powerful tool.


Should be considered a FS Maxim!!

For me, I **think** that I do pretty well with the foods consumed, but am often way off on Kcals expended in ativities. It's no big deal, as it's rare for an individual to push oneself as hard as needed. Hence the need for coaches.. one that will keep you driving, hitting hard, sweating and enduring through pain.

For example look at Tom Cruise, in fantastic shape at 50-ish. He can afford to pay trainers to keep him on task and drive him harder than he ever would individually.

Myself, I have found that when I'm working in the field every day, I expend so much energy, that it's difficult to keep weight on!. My field work was intense, I wore an exposure suit in 90-120F degree humid environments, expending a lot of effort. Hard to duplicate that in the gym, or during home exercises.

As I've transitioned to mostly desk work, I can't maintain the energy expended, and I've added 50 pounds. The past few days, I've been working some construction projects working hard again, and I feel it in the morning..it is SO hard to get everything moving again! But my weight is dropping faster, testament to the exercise component of this formula.

I will transition to field work again this fall, the mostly sedentary lifestyle just makes me feel bad. Enough!



dx w/inoperable brain tumor 9/12, so nutrition is vital. Dedicated to slaying this beast.

"Keep on swimming" Nemo



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