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Source: (consider it) Thread: Hell: Why not just have a siren go off? "FAT-so, FAT-so, FAT-so!"
Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by Iole Nui:
It seems undeniably true that if you're gaining weight, then you are ingesting more calories than you are expending (excepting for the sake of argument a few rare medical conditions)

Rare? Find even one and you can probably win a Nobel Prize, and we can all go to Mars.
I thought there was some thyroid thing? And there are some drugs with weight gain as a side-effect, aren't there?

RuthW: Yes, I'm not denying that one efficient way to get fat is to eat loads and loads. That'll usually work [Biased]

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It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

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Telepath
Ship's Steamer Trunk
# 3534

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I don't think one can always take cravings as gospel, because our appetites grow with what they feed on. The more of something you consume, the more of it you're likely to want.

However, giving in to a dairy craving when you have a broken bone seems like a no-brainer to me! Gee, I want to eat larger than usual amounts of calcium-rich foodstuffs, big wonder why [Razz]

Anyway... IMO it only makes sense to talk about "giving in" to a dairy craving if you have medical or ethical reasons to avoid dairy. In the world of me, dairy food is food, and I personally experience food cravings many times a day. By giving in to them, I avoid dying.

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Take emptiness and lying speech far from me, and do not give me poverty or wealth. Give me a living sufficient for me.

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To The Pain
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# 12235

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Hmmm.

My thing is motivation. Wanting to lose weight was just not enough. Even wanting to be fitter/healthier didn't really help.

Then I moved to University and had a very strict food budget. Suddenly 'I can't have that, it's too expensive' overtook ' I shouldn't have that it's fattening/high GI/bad for me' and I lost about 25kg, even better it stayed off until I went on the road as event tech crew and was fed at weird hours by well-meaning Christians while getting very little exercise. Got back to cooking for myself and it's gone again.

Same was true of exercise. I simply can't say 'I need some exercise, what shall I go and do?' So I dance. I go have fun with my friends. I travel around the country to spend four hours with a room full of near-strangers spinning and skipping about! The fact that it's exercise is a beneficial side-effect, go figure.

So I don't think warning people of the dangers of being overweight is any use at all - most overweight people KNOW IT and know it's not great for their bodies. Nothing is going to demotivate a person in that position like pointing it out.

--------------------
Now occasionally blogging.
Hire Bell Tents and camping equipment in Scotland

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WatersOfBabylon
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# 11893

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Instead of craving actual food groups, I find myself craving colors. Last month, I could not get enough orange in my diet. I wanted carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes all the time. This month, he trend seems to be red-- I dump marinara sauce on anything and everything.

Maybe I should just buy a big bag of M&Ms and work through the rainbow that way...

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Gwai
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# 11076

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You'll probably stay healthier with the marinara sauce! [Razz]

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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To The Pain
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# 12235

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Waters, could that be to do with the compounds that give foods their colours?

Someone correct me if I'm way off base (I'm an anatomist, not a nutritionist), but aren't the carotenes that make so many foods orange effective anti-oxidants? I seem to remember that from somewhere? So you *could* have been recognising a need to mop-up some free-radicals only cravings aren't generally as specific as 'I think we need some anti-oxidants today' so they go for 'orange, orange is good'

Hmmm...maybe I better stick to anatomy.

--------------------
Now occasionally blogging.
Hire Bell Tents and camping equipment in Scotland

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saysay

Ship's Praying Mantis
# 6645

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
The "Celebrity Diet" programs on VH1 go pretty damn close: anything that celebrates how someone went from a dress size 12 to 6 (UK size) is downrightright dangerous. These shows advocate every diet fad in the book and quite a few outside it. I don't think I have seen bulimia advocated but it's a close run thing.

As for people being on TV because they are thinner and prettier than the run of the mill, that is horseshit. Most people get on TV because they are prettier or more handsome. Thinner doesn't come into it, in Britain anyway. Failing that they can go into politics, aka "Showbiz for ugly folks".

I have to admit that I haven't seen the celebrity diet programs, so you may be right about that. But I think most crash diets - as dangerous as they may be - as least pay lip service to health, which is different than pro-ana sites which explicitly say that being thin is more important than being healthy. I'm pretty sure most ISPs here won't allow those sites any more.

As for the importance of thinness for aspiring TV stars - it may be a pond difference. Every actor I've ever talked to has a story about an agent or casting director or someone pulling them aside and telling them that if they want to start getting parts, they need to drop 15-30 pounds, which would have made them underweight. And these aren't people auditioning for sitcoms, these are people auditioning for crappy managerial training videos.

quote:
]Originally posted by Iole Nui:
The issue for me is that when official agencies start to give sanction to people's prejudices, and implement policies that feed into people's need for a sense of superiority, offer up a scapegoat on a plate, then things turn a lot nastier very quickly.

The interesting thing that I don't think the article mentioned was that, while reporting kids' BMI scores to their parents may be new, reporting on their fitness levels or lack of it isn't.

Throughout elementary school, once a year we got weighed and measured in front of our peers, and I'm pretty sure that information got sent home. And during all my years of physical education - which mostly consisted of playing kickball or walking around the blacktop/gym - once a year we were given the presidential fitness test, in which you had to do pull-ups, sit-ups, and timed runs of different lengths. Again, all done while your peers stared at you, and the results of which also got sent home. Maybe sometime in the last 15 years that stopped happening, so this really is introducing a new measure that could cause things in schools to get nastier than they already are, but I suspect it's just more of the same red state/blue state shit.

--------------------
"It's been a long day without you, my friend
I'll tell you all about it when I see you again"
"'Oh sweet baby purple Jesus' - that's a direct quote from a 9 year old - shoutout to purple Jesus."

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saysay

Ship's Praying Mantis
# 6645

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
I think a lot of children do not have a safe place to play outdoors. In the inner city many children are parked in front of the TV as soon as they get home from school. If I were a parent living in a dangerous neighborhood, this is what I would do.

In more affluent communities, children are driven to various activities, many of which do not involve much physical excercise.

I don't see the answer.

Moo

I don't see the answer either. But I know that one of the contributing factors to my being overweight as a kid was that, for the first few years of elementary school, someone ran an after-school program. It wasn't much - I think the staffers may have been college kids, and although they occasionally provided structured activities, they mostly just supervised us as we ran around on the playground.

The program got cut - I think as part of Reagan's War on the Poor - and that had a devastating effect on the community. My neighborhood had a lot of single working mothers, so a lot of the kids ended up in various daycares. Instead of just staying at school playing with my friends until five, I went home. There was a huge drop in my activity level because I couldn't play with my friends in daycare without being enrolled in it, and there was nobody left in my neighborhood to play with.

--------------------
"It's been a long day without you, my friend
I'll tell you all about it when I see you again"
"'Oh sweet baby purple Jesus' - that's a direct quote from a 9 year old - shoutout to purple Jesus."

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Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
I strongly believe that one's body does often know what one needs to eat.

Yeah, well, I think my body must be a filthy rotten liar then. It keeps telling me it needs Mars Bars more than broccoli, and this is evidently not true [Disappointed] !

Ans: who's been fighting the voices from within for quite some time now..... [Ultra confused]

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duchess

Ship's Blue Blooded Lady
# 2764

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[Devil]
[oh yeah, keep it going...put this thread out of its misery... [Snore] dang fat thread.]

[ 09. January 2007, 18:37: Message edited by: duchess ]

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♬♭ We're setting sail to the place on the map from which nobody has ever returned ♫♪♮
Ship of Fools-World Party

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The Bede's American Successor

Curmudgeon-in-Training
# 5042

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quote:
Originally posted by duchess:
quote:
Originally posted by The Bede's American Successor:
I'm not going to deny that in many cases, you are right. But, take a look at this.


Great. Something that now I am scared I have! I actually have some of these symptons. I have to now get married so that I can permit myself to have a "bed partner" (like the article says). Then I will know for sure!

[eta: Lightning striking Silicon Valley twice...hell freezing over...and the jackpot in VEGAS suddenly becoming mine.]

If you have medical insurance, go to the Mayo Clinic website and look up signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. Print the pages, and then mark the symptoms you have. Then, go to your doctor with this list. Do not take "no" for an answer until somebody finds out why you have those symptoms.

If you have sleep apnea, you are putting a chronic stress on your system. That is why some doctors believe that sleep apnea cause you to put on weight, no matter what you do. Here is a releated article about stress.

Those symptoms you have may not be from sleep apnea. There are other causes for many of them. (I just had so many of the symptoms that the pulmonologist my family doctor referred me to had no trouble recommending me for a sleep study.) But, those symptoms are caused by something. Find out what is causing the problems so you can treat causes, not symptoms.

If you do nothing about your health, no one else will.

Oh, if you don't have health insurance, good luck. Sleep studies are expensive. I paid around $1000 last year in various fees and payments to doctors and clinics, and I have health insurance. But, since I have central sleep apnea along with obstructive sleep apnea, my life at risk here without my little plug-in companion on a table next to the bed. (And the new CPAP, C-Flex, and BiPAP machines are now quiet. A heating or air conditioning vent in the room is noisier.)

--------------------
This was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride of wealth and food in plenty, comfort and ease, and yet she never helped the poor and the wretched.

—Ezekiel 16.49

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Autenrieth Road

Shipmate
# 10509

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quote:
Originally posted by saysay:
And during all my years of physical education - which mostly consisted of playing kickball or walking around the blacktop/gym - once a year we were given the presidential fitness test, in which you had to do pull-ups, sit-ups, and timed runs of different lengths.

We had those too, in elementary school. They seemed like part and parcel of everything else we did in P.E., which all seemed designed to show what a clutz I was and at the bottom of the heap in everything. No additional embarrassment attached to doing them though, everyone already knew I sucked in gym.

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Truth

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The Bede's American Successor

Curmudgeon-in-Training
# 5042

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quote:
Originally posted by WatersOfBabylon:
As an aside, I've talked to several people who said that the "good" pro-recovery websites aided their disordered eating habits. I even had a friend develop an ED in middle school when someone came in to talk to the young women about EDs. By telling them what not to do, this friend got ideas.

Maybe some people are finding out methods earlier than otherwise, but I have it on good authority that those who have this compulsive disorder will find a way to exercise it, one way or another. You don't need a website to tell you how to stick a finger down your throat for this purpose, or how you feel after Thanksgiving dinner.

So, would you want your friend to suffer with an ED until middle age, making her life and those around her increasingly hellish—or are you happy she is in treatment now (I hope).

--------------------
This was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride of wealth and food in plenty, comfort and ease, and yet she never helped the poor and the wretched.

—Ezekiel 16.49

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
I strongly believe that one's body does often know what one needs to eat.

Yeah, well, I think my body must be a filthy rotten liar then. It keeps telling me it needs Mars Bars more than broccoli, and this is evidently not true [Disappointed] !

Ans: who's been fighting the voices from within for quite some time now..... [Ultra confused]

[Big Grin] Well, yeah, there's that...

Although IME when I eat a more-or-less balanced diet, or take multivitamins, chocolate cravings seem to diminish (they never go away [Big Grin] )

The kind of craving I was experiencing was different, though-- it seemed to have nothing to do with my usual "taste" preferences. It was like "No, not chocolate, not the croissant-- chedder cheese. Lots of it. And meat, too. Hell with the bun"

Or "Apple juice. Not water, not soda-- apple juice."

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saysay

Ship's Praying Mantis
# 6645

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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
We had those too, in elementary school. They seemed like part and parcel of everything else we did in P.E., which all seemed designed to show what a clutz I was and at the bottom of the heap in everything. No additional embarrassment attached to doing them though, everyone already knew I sucked in gym.

I detested them. I wasn't the best on the playground, but I wasn't the worst, either. And that rite of public humiliation descended every spring. And had fuck-all to do with anything we had done in gym/recess all year. I mean, we ran a couple of laps almost every day, but we never did sit-ups or push-ups and rarely even got to play on the monkey bars or chin-up bars (too far away from the school to be an everyday activity). And since they didn't really teach us PE or health, it wasn't like they told us there were things we could do to improve our scores, although at a certain point you could figure that out. It was just this arbitrary yearly evaluation.

Which, no doubt, is what the people now getting BMI scores without context or instruction feel about them. But no one tried to argue that the fact that certain people couldn't do (m)any chin-ups was a good thing.

--------------------
"It's been a long day without you, my friend
I'll tell you all about it when I see you again"
"'Oh sweet baby purple Jesus' - that's a direct quote from a 9 year old - shoutout to purple Jesus."

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Gwai
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# 11076

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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
I strongly believe that one's body does often know what one needs to eat.

Yeah, well, I think my body must be a filthy rotten liar then. It keeps telling me it needs Mars Bars more than broccoli, and this is evidently not true [Disappointed] !

Ans: who's been fighting the voices from within for quite some time now..... [Ultra confused]

[Big Grin] Well, yeah, there's that...

Although IME when I eat a more-or-less balanced diet, or take multivitamins, chocolate cravings seem to diminish (they never go away [Big Grin] )

The kind of craving I was experiencing was different, though-- it seemed to have nothing to do with my usual "taste" preferences. It was like "No, not chocolate, not the croissant-- chedder cheese. Lots of it. And meat, too. Hell with the bun"

Or "Apple juice. Not water, not soda-- apple juice."

Yeah, that's the sort of thing I'm thinking of. I'm somewhat hypoglycemic and I love chocolate as much as anyone, but if my sugar's in the wrong place, chocolate just isn't satisfying. It tastes fine, but the craving for substance is much deeper. Maybe I'm weird and that's just my body self regulating, but it completely changes the way I eat when it's present and taste just isn't relevant at all.

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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Oriel
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# 748

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I have the same thing, and usually it's fruit I'm after. The trouble is that if there isn't any fruit around the craving doesn't go away and I have to eat something even though it doesn't satisfy. So if there's no fruit, but there is chocolate, I'm in trouble.

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Unlike the link previously in my sig, I actually update my Livejournal from time to time.

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Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

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When I was pregnant I was obsessed with apple juice - practically dreamt about it. Weird, because I never liked apple juice before, and don't like it now.

I don't know what apple juice in particular - as opposed to any old fruit juice - might have in it that a body could need, though?

--------------------
It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

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Telepath
Ship's Steamer Trunk
# 3534

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Why not keep some fruit about your person at all times? If it runs out, you'll have to wait until you're totally ravenous.

If totally ravenous and stranded on a chocolate island, well, no harm done, right?

(Assuming you don't accidentally somehow end up stranded on a chocolate island every day.)

--------------------
Take emptiness and lying speech far from me, and do not give me poverty or wealth. Give me a living sufficient for me.

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Gwai
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# 11076

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Iole, some particular vitamin, maybe?

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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CrookedCucumber
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# 10792

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It seems to me that what RooK and others say is undeniably true: there is a level of food intake at which pretty much anyone will lose weight. What's more, even if that level is much lower for me than it is for other people (for whatever reason), that doesn't change the fundamental principle. If I need, say, 1000 calories a day to maintain weight balance, then it shouldn't hurt me medically to consume 1000 calories a day, even though everybody else eats, and maybe needs, 2-3 times as much.

The problem, and the reason that Rook and co. are unhelpful, is that most of us don't live in complete isolation, and our food intake is strongly affected by social and economic factors. The fact that food is readily available, and often consumed in a social setting, is a much bigger problem for some people than it is for others. It's not a huge problem for me, because I'm so anti-social [Smile]

But it's rather unfair to assume that, because you're the kind of person whose idea of losing weight is to eat one fewer bowl of ice-cream, that a person who is already living on celery ought to be able to do it if you can.

Anyhow, if you're the kind of person who needs very little food to maintain reasonable weight, as I am (for various reasons), then maintaining weight has certain costs. These are mine: regular, punishing exercise; never eating socially; weighing and measuring all your food, every meal; no alcoholic drinks except on feast days (yikes!); absolutely no relaxation of the regime, even on holiday, or on business trips, or in periods of illness; absolutely no choccy, sweets, nuts, cheese, cake, etc., even at Christmas.

For me, the benefits of being thin (just about) outweigh these costs. But it's a close fucking call, I can tell you. As I said before, if that stops being the case, I will get fat, no question about it.

Incidentally, and apropos nothing, reading some of the previous posts made me reconsider how I think about sexual attractiveness. I would previously have said (confessed?) that I am not at all attracted to women whom I think of as fat. But it now occurs to me to wonder if I have this the wrong way around: maybe I think of as `fat' those women whose shape I don't find attractive? That's an odd thought for me, because I've always assumed that nature has made us attracted to people who are likely to live long, healthy lives; and being either painfully thin or painfully fat is unlikely to qualify.

Posts: 2718 | From: East Dogpatch | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

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quote:
Originally posted by CrookedCucumber:
Anyhow, if you're the kind of person who needs very little food to maintain reasonable weight, as I am (for various reasons), then maintaining weight has certain costs. These are mine: regular, punishing exercise; never eating socially; weighing and measuring all your food, every meal; no alcoholic drinks except on feast days (yikes!); absolutely no relaxation of the regime, even on holiday, or on business trips, or in periods of illness; absolutely no choccy, sweets, nuts, cheese, cake, etc., even at Christmas.

I think you are right, and this is how quite a lot of people have to live to maintain their weight. Which is why it is terribly irritating when well meaning people say things like 'Oh, just drop the cream cakes and take the stairs occasionally, that's all I had to do to lose weight' or 'Come on, join in, a treat once or twice a week won't do you any harm'.

It is interesting, I think, that I've read a lot recently saying that a strong, active network of friends is one of the greatest indicators of likely good health and good life expectancy. Given that so much eating is social, it makes me wonder whether maintaining a social life at the expense of gaining a few pounds is actually better for your health.

--------------------
It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

Posts: 5285 | From: A dour region for dour folk | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
CrookedCucumber
Shipmate
# 10792

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quote:
Originally posted by Iole Nui:
I think you are right, and this is how quite a lot of people have to live to maintain their weight. Which is why it is terribly irritating when well meaning people say things like 'Oh, just drop the cream cakes and take the stairs occasionally, that's all I had to do to lose weight' or 'Come on, join in, a treat once or twice a week won't do you any harm'.

Yeah, life's a bitch. There are no `treats' of that kind in my life. I don't even eat cake at Christmas.

On the other hand, I find it hard to understand why my students have such difficulty passing examinations. After all, all you have to do is a bit of study, right? That's all I did! In other words, the fact that -- because I am a middle-aged, hypothyroid, desk jockey -- maintaining my weight is such a pain in the arse, hasn't made me any more sympathetic to other people's different problems. Lord, have mercy [Hot and Hormonal]

quote:

It is interesting, I think, that I've read a lot recently saying that a strong, active network of friends is one of the greatest indicators of likely good health and good life expectancy. Given that so much eating is social, it makes me wonder whether maintaining a social life at the expense of gaining a few pounds is actually better for your health.

Maybe; the problem is whether one could limit it to a few pounds. Because I travel a lot on business, social eating and drinking has the potential to be a huge problem for me (and for many others, I guess). If I could eat socially and only gain a few pounds, I would. It's the few stones that worry me more [Smile] My rule is that I just don't do it.

Incidentally, concerning the question ``How do we teach our children about weight management?''...

I think it is important to teach children (and maybe adults) that appetite is a bad indicator of food needs. Since the human body is well adapted to survive periods of scarcity, over-eating when food is plentiful has a survival advantage. We are all descended from people (and maybe apes) who like to eat more than they need.

What this means is that (sadly) for most of us, calorie-counting is a more reliable guide to our food intake than our own bodies are. Once we get past childhood, weight management for many (most?) of us will inevitably equate to a good deal of hunger, a good deal of the time [Frown]

Ultimately, people need to know that weight control is a cost-benefit decision. Both the costs, and the benefits, will vary from person to person and from time to time. It is utterly unreasonable to condemn those people for whom the costs outweight the benefits, and very few of us will get the benefits without the costs,

Posts: 2718 | From: East Dogpatch | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Telepath
Ship's Steamer Trunk
# 3534

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quote:
I think it is important to teach children (and maybe adults) that appetite is a bad indicator of food needs. Since the human body is well adapted to survive periods of scarcity, over-eating when food is plentiful has a survival advantage. We are all descended from people (and maybe apes) who like to eat more than they need.
If that were really true, children would not have to be trained, from the youngest possible age, to ignore their appetites. And yet they are trained to keep eating long past the point of hunger, so as not to "waste food". It seems that most tiny children are trained in this way. It seems to be the norm.

Then, having gone to great lengths to train them to force down their food, we call it "natural". Children do not have to be trained to do things that come completely naturally to them.

This might have made sense throughout most of history, when people could not take an abundance of food for granted. In that context, it made sense to eat as much as possible in one sitting, so you could get through the next indefinite period of scarcity without starving.

It is also certainly the case that the more food is put in front of people, in terms of portion size, the more they will eat.

And yet few people, presented with unlimited quantities of the foods they like, will keep eating and eating until their stomachs rupture. Some animals will do this, but humans won't. What makes them stop? Why is it "natural" to force down your food to a certain point, but not beyond it?

Unusually, my grandmother didn't force her children to eat everything on their plates. In turn, my mother didn't force me. As a result, I'm not tempted to eat more than I'm hungry for. My mother and I are both considered extremely thin by most other people (I'm a UK size 10 above the waist and a 12 below, which most people describe as "stick insect".)

And even people who are tempted, know the difference. My father starved when he was a child, and sometimes as an adult, and a normal portion size for him was two or three meals' worth. He considered it a sin to waste food, and psychologically, also, he needed to overeat in order to feel safe. Quite often he expressed discomfort and stress, and fear that he would not be able to finish every bite of the colossal servings he dished out for himself. He would have to make himself eat it all. Only towards the end of his life did he begin to feel safe enough to leave anything on his plate. Needless to say, he was obese. I would describe his behaviour as a natural psychological reaction to early (and later) life-threatening experience. But if anyone is really going to insist that it was wholly biologically "natural" for him to overeat so grossly, despite great discomfort, I don't agree.

Yes, our appetites are not an infallible guide, because our appetites grow with what they feed on. That doesn't mean our appetites are to be ignored as resolutely as they are. Many cultures - not this one - have customs which regulate when and how to eat, so eating habits are not left to appetite alone.

In those cultures, eating is a social experience - well, in cultures that don't hate and fear food as most English-speaking cultures do, eating really is a social experience. Mealtimes aren't errands to be gotten over with and fitted in between other chores, they are gatherings of family and friends, interacting with each other, eating slowly over a period of time. In this context, mealtimes in company cause people to eat less.

Mealtimes in company also cause me to eat less, but for different reasons. For one thing, I'm usually the only one who waits for everyone else to be served, so often everyone else has gobbled down entire platefuls of food before I get a single bite. I'm also careful not to finish a particular course much earlier or much later than others, so I hardly ever get more than a couple of bites before everyone else is done. I take small bites (stops you choking if you're conversing with others) over against the big chipmunk-cheeked chunks that my companions take. And when they've eaten every scrap and sopped up every last drop of residue from every one of their own plates, my neighbours eye up what's on my plate, and they stake their claim on it. Then they say, "oh I'm stuffed, replete, I feel sick," - implying and sometimes stating that their enjoyment is directly proportional to the amount of food consumed. Quite often, they spend the rest of the evening groaning with discomfort.

Meanwhile, I quite often leave social meals feeling hungry, and have to satisfy my hunger when I get home, because I haven't had the opportunity to eat enough, faced with my companions' headlong rush to stuff down as much and as fast as possible. And this is often despite the fact that the dinner plates are frequently filled right out to the edges, and piled up high in a hillock. It amazes me how enormously most people eat. I realize that no-one wants to hear stuff like that, but the hell with it.

And I don't have similar experiences in France or Italy, just in England. In English-speaking cultures, "loving your food" means eating as much of it as possible. Would anybody accuse the French of not loving food? It's just that their version of loving their food involves actually tasting it, and enjoying it with friends. It involves eating like civilized humans, not feeding like animals. Not coincidentally, they have a much lower obesity rate. Not coincidentally, their obesity rate is increasing as Anglo-Saxon eating habits creep into their culture.

In this culture we don't love food, we hate and fear it. We analyze our mortal enemy and reduce it to its chemical components, trying to find a formula to endure the act of gastronomic unpleasantness[1] without suffering the damage we know in our hearts to be its inevitable consequence. We try to isolate the one chemical in the Mediterranean diet that makes those other people so well and happy, so we can turn it into a pill that we can take instead of descending into the decadence of actual meals. We assume that God and/or nature are cruel, and that what nourishes us destroys us. Like Puritans, we assume that a healthy diet is one utterly devoid of pleasure.

And when we look down at the flabby tummies and load-bearing hips that result from this frenetic merry-go-round of gluttony and neurotic deprivation, we tell ourselves we need to do more of the same! If we just do it all one more time, this time the story will end differently!

[1] Analogous to Harry Enfield's "act of marital unpleasantness" endured by Mr. and Mrs. Cholmondeley-Warner.

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Take emptiness and lying speech far from me, and do not give me poverty or wealth. Give me a living sufficient for me.

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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quote:
Originally posted by Telepath:
In English-speaking cultures, "loving your food" means eating as much of it as possible. Would anybody accuse the French of not loving food? It's just that their version of loving their food involves actually tasting it, and enjoying it with friends. It involves eating like civilized humans, not feeding like animals.

We must move in different circles. I cannot remember being at a social meal conducted as you describe. So which of us is typical/atypical?

Nor is it the case that my ideas have been formed by furrin parts - cooking and sharing food was always been my main mode of socialising, long before I could afford to travel.

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CrookedCucumber
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# 10792

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quote:
Originally posted by Telepath:
[QB]
quote:
I think it is important to teach children (and maybe adults) that appetite is a bad indicator of food needs. Since the human body is well adapted to survive periods of scarcity, over-eating when food is plentiful has a survival advantage. We are all descended from people (and maybe apes) who like to eat more than they need.
If that were really true, children would not have to be trained, from the youngest possible age, to ignore their appetites. And yet they are trained to keep eating long past the point of hunger, so as not to "waste food". It seems that most tiny children are trained in this way. It seems to be the norm.

But my experience is that children don't have to be trained to eat past the point of hunger -- so long as they like the food. My kids need absolutely no encouragement to eat chocolate (or sugary fruit, or pasta), for example. Left to their own devices, they will cheerfully eat it until they are ball-shaped.

On the other hand, it takes some effort to get them to eat spinach. But they need spinach (etc) -- I know that, but they don't. Not yet, anyhow.

This, it seems to me, is just evolution again. We need spinach, but in times of scarcity our need for energy-rich foods is more pressing. A skinny person can survive a long time without spinach, but not for very long without calories. So, historically, people who got the same satisfaction from stuffing their heads with spinach as others did from stuffing their heads with (say) sugary fruit would have had fewer descendants.

quote:

It is also certainly the case that the more food is put in front of people, in terms of portion size, the more they will eat.

I agree, but I don't think that's a result of the way we are brought up to think of proper meal-time behaviour. I think it's the result of a million years of natural selection.

quote:

And yet few people, presented with unlimited quantities of the foods they like, will keep eating and eating until their stomachs rupture.

No -- there is no evolutionary advantage to eating until you're so stuffed that the lions get you. Assuming that food has historically mostly been scare, evolution will favour those individuals who eat enough to survive until the next meal -- maybe days away -- but no so much that they get eaten themselves.

This is why, I think, most people consistently eat somewhat too much. My belief is that people who are overweight don't get that way because they regularly and habitutally eat to bursting, but because they consistently eat just a bit more than they need.

Of course I am aware that there are some real porkers out there. I've certainly seen people put on a single plate an amount of food that would do me for a week. I don't know if this is the result of a healthy (historically healthy) biological drive gone awry, or some kind of pathology.

quote:

But if anyone is really going to insist that it was wholly biologically "natural" for him to overeat so grossly, despite great discomfort, I don't agree.

No: as I said, my feeling is that the ``natural'' thing is to eat somewhat too much, not grossly too much. There may be some other process at work that makes the one thing lead to the other in some people and not in others, or it may be a psychological disorder, as you suggest.

quote:

Yes, our appetites are not an infallible guide, because our appetites grow with what they feed on.

But do they? If they do, then I can see how there would be a natural progression from low-level overeating (which, I have suggested, is evolutionarily determined) to extreme overeating in at least some people.

quote:

Then they say, "oh I'm stuffed, replete, I feel sick," - implying and sometimes stating that their enjoyment is directly proportional to the amount of food consumed. Quite often, they spend the rest of the evening groaning with discomfort.

I know quite a few overweight people, but I know very few who eat like this. Unless you eat like this regularly, it doesn't make you fat. What makes you fat is eating a big sandwich when a small one would do, consistently and over a long period of time.

quote:

We assume that God and/or nature are cruel, and that what nourishes us destroys us. Like Puritans, we assume that a healthy diet is one utterly devoid of pleasure.

Neither God nor nature are cruel, but nature is indifferent. Nature does not care that we live in a time of plenty, with biological drives and metabolic processes that developed in a time of scarcity.

If you don't feel any need to eat more than you need to last you the next eight hours or whatever, I respectfully suggest that you are in the minority.

However, I tend to agree that, in the West, we have distorted a natural drive (to overeat somewhat) into something destructive and degrading. My contention is only that we ought to recognize the evolutionary origin of the problem, rather than exclusively blaming ourselves (except that we don't blame ourselves, we blame everybody else).

I think I want to be clear what I am not saying: I am not saying that, because something is a result of natural selection, it is therefore desirable, or unavoidable. I don't expect to be able to satisfy my natural drives (sex, warmth, etc) whenever I feel like it. So I don't expect to be able to satisfy my hunger whenever I feel like it. That's why I still weigh the same at 40-something as I did at 18.

I think many people find weight control difficult because they are falsely given to expect to be able to do it without cost. My contention is that evolution has not made this possible for most of us. Weight control in the modern world is `costly'. If this isn't the case for you, lucky you.

Posts: 2718 | From: East Dogpatch | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
Shipmate
# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Iole Nui:
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by Iole Nui:
It seems undeniably true that if you're gaining weight, then you are ingesting more calories than you are expending (excepting for the sake of argument a few rare medical conditions)

Rare? Find even one and you can probably win a Nobel Prize, and we can all go to Mars.
I thought there was some thyroid thing? And there are some drugs with weight gain as a side-effect, aren't there?

There are, but only because they massively decrease the calories expended.

Ken's just pointing out the rather fundamental principle of the conservation of energy.

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Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Iole Nui:
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by Iole Nui:
It seems undeniably true that if you're gaining weight, then you are ingesting more calories than you are expending (excepting for the sake of argument a few rare medical conditions)

Rare? Find even one and you can probably win a Nobel Prize, and we can all go to Mars.
I thought there was some thyroid thing? And there are some drugs with weight gain as a side-effect, aren't there?

There are, but only because they massively decrease the calories expended.

Oh, OK. Fair enough.

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It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

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Gwai
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# 11076

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All the small small children I know eat a little of what's on their plate and then get bored. Making them stay at the table and eat until they're full is very hard. My friend's child always ends up eating five bites, going to play and then about as dinner is done he watns to eat again. My cousin does exactly the same thing.

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A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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Doesn't it rather depend on how much they like it? Puttng them in front of a plate of chips gives rather different results to putting them in front of a place of cauliflower.

I drove to the shops to the sound of "No like godidower! Mummy and Daddy like godidower! Like chips." only the other day.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Gwai
Shipmate
# 11076

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With my cousin and my friend's child, both children won't even eat things they like for more than a few bites. With another friend who is a better mother, her child is involved in cooking and knows that she can eat as little as she wants but there are things called meal-times when one eats.

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A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


Posts: 11914 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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That's my experience too, Gwai. There's the occasional kid who stuffs him-herself,and there's certain foods that are "grazeable" if you leave them out (so don't!) but most kids would be more than happy to drop it if the adults in their lives would get off their backs about "finishing" stuff.

At lunchtime,I will actively say to my charges, "You look like you're not hungry anymore; go ahead and pack up if your done." Nine times out of time they will do it, every once in a while one of them will say "I want three more grapes" and stick around to eat their three grapes, then pack up.

Even I, at age 38, have to actively give myself permission to "waste food" I am not hungry enough to eat.
And we haven't discussed the idea of attatching affection to eating. My neph was beginning to put on weight when he was younger, and you could see what was going on:

Neph: I want another slice of pizza.
Sis: No, you've had four, that's enough
Mom: I am the nice one who really loves you,so I will slip you a slice of pizza when she's not looking.

So it really isn't as easy as cutting calories and increasing activity. I'ts slogging through all your decades worth of stuff around food and excercise so you have the perspective and strength to change your eating/ excercise habits. And it's deciding that you are worth the effort in the first place.

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

Posts: 35076 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Telepath
Ship's Steamer Trunk
# 3534

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Originally posted by CrookedCucumber:

quote:
We need spinach, but in times of scarcity our need for energy-rich foods is more pressing.
Not only that: spinach tastes bitter, more so to small children. Since bitter vegetation is the most likely to be poisonous, and sweet vegetation the least likely, more people have a sweet tooth than not. Evolutionary advantage, innit. I'm not as dismissive of these things as I might have appeared to be. What I am saying is that the interplay between biology and culture in the 21st century, does not lead to disaster everywhere.

By pointing out that one of the first things we do to children is to override their natural appetites, I'm not suggesting that giving them carte blanche would lead inevitably to health and happiness. That is why I made what I intended to be a counterbalancing argument about customs and cultures that seem to do a better job of managing appetite than ours does. They may want to do it, but you don't let them, right? And if you were to give them carte blanche in an environment with no junk or fake foods, I do believe that it would take longer for your children to eat enough fruit to become ball-shaped than it would in this one, where snacking, eating confectionery, and eating between meals is particularly widespread. Not because of what you personally would or wouldn't let them do, but because of the presence of fake and corrupt foodstuffs in the environment that alter our tastes unless we make a conscious effort to avoid them.

As we all know, it's only in recent history that refined sugar has become so widely available. Yes, it is only natural that people will want to eat it. And there is more of it in the food supply than there has ever been, what with increased consumption of processed foods, the shelf-life of which is greatly increased by the presence of sugar. Since processed foods contain a lot of sugar, but very few ingredients with much nutritional value, you can easily eat 1000 calories' worth of junk food and be hungry again within a very short time. When this happens, your perception that you need more food is completely accurate - the problem isn't that you aren't taking in enough calories - it's that you aren't taking in enough food! And junk food comes in many fair disguises, often with the fake ID of a "healthier option!" logo.

Not only does this fill us with more calories while making us hungry, it trains us to have a much sweeter tooth than we otherwise would, and to eat food in larger quantities than we otherwise would.

It's plainly obvious that massive unhappiness comes out of the confusion and seeming inevitability that this plunges us into. However, with the right information, it is relatively easy and even enjoyable to attain a healthy weight without sacrifice or misery, outwith physical or psychological illness. I said, given the right information. But because of the miasma of confusion around us, it's nearly impossible for people to hear the right information when it's presented to them. No-one starts out as a glutton for punishment, but when everything and everyone shouts that punishment and illness and sacrifice and misery are the only paths to good health, no wonder people oscillate between saying "sod good health, I'd rather be happy" on the one hand, and submitting to the humiliation rituals of unqualified TV coprophiliacs on the other.[1] Between trying to do something that doesn't work on the one hand, and not trying to do something that doesn't work on the other. Trying to do something that does work would - no, come off it. What planet am I living on? Everybody knows there's no such thing, right?

[1] Camomile tea? Nein danke!!!!

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Take emptiness and lying speech far from me, and do not give me poverty or wealth. Give me a living sufficient for me.

Posts: 3509 | From: East Anglia | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Telepath
Ship's Steamer Trunk
# 3534

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Karl, is it really a dichotomy between cauliflower on the one hand, and chips on the other?

Given a plate of homemade chipped potatoes fried in fresh olive oil, and a plate of shop-bought pallid grubs deep-fried in reheated lard adulterated with crankcase oil, which would your kidlets choose then? Is there any chance they would choose the homemade ones, which contrary to stereotype, actually is healthy?

Plus, there must be something in the vegetable kingdom that is not potato-based and nevertheless would still appeal to your kiddies. I would choose chocolate cake over calves' liver, but I would choose to have my fingernails pulled off over calves' liver so that doesn't really prove much about my overall food preferences.

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Take emptiness and lying speech far from me, and do not give me poverty or wealth. Give me a living sufficient for me.

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Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

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I'm already finding it really difficult not to pass on my conditioning to Little Nui. It is really difficult not to try to force, coax or harrass him into eating whatever arbitrary amount of food I've served up.

Even though I know intellectually that I can't actually force him (at this age), that he was perfectly capable of regulating his own appetite when breastfeeding, and that making mealtimes into a battleground isn't going to help either of us, I almost have to clench my teeth at times and mutter 'It doesn't matter if he doesn't eat it all. He won't starve. He's just not hungry and if he isn't hungry now, he'll be hungry for dinner'.

I am trying my hardest, and getting better, but it is really hard to keep calm and cheerful when inside all your conditioning is screaming that an unfinished plate == failure and an empty plate == a good eater and a good mother.

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It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Telepath:
Karl, is it really a dichotomy between cauliflower on the one hand, and chips on the other?

Given a plate of homemade chipped potatoes fried in fresh olive oil, and a plate of shop-bought pallid grubs deep-fried in reheated lard adulterated with crankcase oil, which would your kidlets choose then? Is there any chance they would choose the homemade ones, which contrary to stereotype, actually is healthy?
<snip>

There's a problem there. Olive oil isn't much use for deep-frying potatoes, because it isn't hot enough. Lard on the other hand fries much hotter which is necessary when making chips.

So they don't like either much. They would prefer home made chips but we haven't done those in years (the deepfat fryer comes out for donuts and puri) lots of pseudo-roast spuds using an absolute minimum of any oil.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Janine

The Endless Simmer
# 3337

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(side note to Telepath : If the others are gobbling everything down and I'm the last to finish a course or a meal -- too bad. I make them wait, or go on without me. It took me many years to learn to eat slowly. I'd probably weigh 400 pounds by now if I hadn't.)

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I'm a Fundagelical Evangimentalist. What are you?
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Bittersweet
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# 10483

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Kids will develop tastes for things that aren't chips if you don't assume they can only have "childrens" food.

Mine love sprouts for some reason...and chips are only really useful for ferrying things like hummus to the mouth, in their opinion...

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Amazing Grace

High Church Protestant
# 95

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quote:
Originally posted by Telepath:
Karl, is it really a dichotomy between cauliflower on the one hand, and chips on the other?

Given a plate of homemade chipped potatoes fried in fresh olive oil, and a plate of shop-bought pallid grubs deep-fried in reheated lard adulterated with crankcase oil, which would your kidlets choose then? Is there any chance they would choose the homemade ones, which contrary to stereotype, actually is healthy?

You know, when I was a kid, I would only eat cauliflower if it was covered in cheese sauce. I might have had better results if it had been roasted with olive oil and lemon, like I eat it now. (It doesn't taste "cabbagey".) Friends of mine report that their kids are ok with the roasties.
quote:
Plus, there must be something in the vegetable kingdom that is not potato-based and nevertheless would still appeal to your kiddies.
Indeed. We ate a lot of carrots (one of my picky nephew's early favorites) and green beans (nephew eats those too) when I was a kid. Since we usually put gobs of butter on them, they weren't low-cal, but we ate them [Biased] (and graduated to less-adulterated veg as we grew). There are also a lot of ways to cook potatoes that aren't fries/chips.

Charlotte

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Memory Eternal! Sheep 3, Phil the Wise Guy, and Jesus' Evil Twin in the SoF Nativity Play

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duchess

Ship's Blue Blooded Lady
# 2764

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I am getting a lot of good ideas for low GI eating. Thx. [Overused]

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Janine

The Endless Simmer
# 3337

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Interesting that a cup of real vanilla ice cream has a better GI rating than a cup of carrots.

So eating by Glycemic Index plans can't be bad.

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CrookedCucumber
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# 10792

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quote:
Originally posted by Telepath:
And if you were to give them carte blanche in an environment with no junk or fake foods, I do believe that it would take longer for your children to eat enough fruit to become ball-shaped than it would in this one, where snacking, eating confectionery, and eating between meals is particularly widespread.

You're probably right. It's not much of a problem for my kiddies right now, because they aren't old enough to buy their own food, and there ain't no junk food in my house, uh-huh. Both my kids are as thin as butcher's pencils.

But it worries me how they will cope when I can't manage their food intake. Both my children have a marked attraction to sugary food; that's not a problem when the most calorie-dense sugary food they can lay hands on at home is an orange, but they have to be watched very carefully when there's chocolate around.

The problem, it seems to me, with letting your kids eat as much or little as they like at mealtimes is that (if they're anything like mine) they will pick the `nice' bits out of food, and leave the rest. What this means is that unless I serve up meals consisting entirely of green veg, they don't eat any green veg. They will eat any amount of pasta, even if it means scraping other stuff off it, and if there's any cheese around they will dissect a meal with surgical precision to find it. But they won't eat green veg except under compulsion.

quote:

Since processed foods contain a lot of sugar, but very few ingredients with much nutritional value, you can easily eat 1000 calories' worth of junk food and be hungry again within a very short time.

Indeed but, although refined sugar is a pernicious substance, the staple food of most cultures is quite calorie-dense too. In terms of calories per gram, bread isn't very different from sugar. And nuts are worse.

My point is that, even though modern processed food is shit -- and I never eat the stuff -- even `natural' food can be a problem in quite modest quantities.

quote:

However, with the right information, it is relatively easy and even enjoyable to attain a healthy weight without sacrifice or misery, outwith physical or psychological illness.

I don't think I suggested that weight control would necessarily be a misery -- merely that it comes at a cost. Whether you call that cost a `sacrifice' or not is a matter of semantics, I guess. I never eat cheese or nuts, for example, though I would like to. Is that a sacrifice? I don't know.

I don't think it's hysterical or alarmist to tell people that weight control might well involve periods of being more hungry than is entirely comfortable for them; or that some desirable foods should rarely be eaten, if ever.

I concede that instilling in people a fear and dread of food is not likely to be helpful. But I don't agree that only lack of information and the crappiness of certain popular foods stands between people and their ideal weight.

Posts: 2718 | From: East Dogpatch | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Telepath
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Originally posted by CrookedCucumber:

quote:
Indeed but, although refined sugar is a pernicious substance, the staple food of most cultures is quite calorie-dense too. In terms of calories per gram, bread isn't very different from sugar. And nuts are worse.
... [Eek!]

but...

Bread is bread... it isn't sugar.

Nuts are... well.. nuts. They are not sugar. They are, however, enormously nutritious and a really satisfying snack. You can get no end of Vitamin D (or is it some other vitamin, I forget) from a handful of yummy almonds. They make a good contribution towards the nutrients we need to build our bodies every day.

That you can run certain numbers against sugar and come up with favourable/unfavourable comparisons strikes me as a very foodophobic attitude. What matters is what you're eating when you're eating n calories.[1]

Cotton wool compares very favourably with both bread and nuts in terms of calorie content, in that it has few or no calories (to my knowledge; I could be wrong). It is also very filling. Some people find it to be an excellent tool for weight management for that reason. That doesn't mean cotton wool is good to eat, or even edible!

My opinion FWIW is that your kids' not liking green vegetables is nothing to worry about. Unless there are no fruits or vegetables that they will ever eat at all, and even then I'd suggest giving it time because tastes change. But what do I know! [Big Grin]

As to your point about people enduring hunger - I wasn't actually thinking of you specifically, it's just that I so often hear people say that the abject wretched sheer bloody agonizing horror of exercise and eating healthfully is Just! Not!! Worth!!! The!!!! ANGUIIIISSSHHHHH!!!!! And I don't think all of them are exaggerating, I think many of them really do experience it that way for one reason or another.

As to your recent point, yes, I agree, there is some hunger involved, especially in the process of rediscovering the appetite. That hunger a) soon goes, and b) is no big deal, frankly. In fact, getting hungry prior to one's next meal frequently enhances enjoyment of said meal! [Roll Eyes]

[1] Yes, I know that eating 3000 calories' worth of yummy nutritious almonds would not be a good idea. So yes, you do have to watch those portions. That still doesn't make sugar a contender in the fight against almonds.

--------------------
Take emptiness and lying speech far from me, and do not give me poverty or wealth. Give me a living sufficient for me.

Posts: 3509 | From: East Anglia | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
ken
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# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Telepath:
Originally posted by CrookedCucumber:
but...

Bread is bread... it isn't sugar..

[Razz]

yes it is!

Its starch which is made of sugar

Takes a little longer to digest of course

--------------------
Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

Posts: 39579 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
ananke
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# 10059

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Takes a little longer to digest of course

Which is the crux - not only does the energy from bread last longer than sugar, it takes more energy to digest. Refined sugar goes high, then crashes.

I get to deal with this daily. All it takes now is to eat a sandwich made in the American way (sweet and refined) and I'll come crashing about two hours later. If it's a nice wholegrain, I'm right. I may get hungry a few hours later, but there isn't the huge blood sugar crash* that comes with sugar. Which is why there's no gummi in my house anymore, or white bread* or white rice or white sugar.

*This is something I've dealt with since I was a skinny little child - probably contributes to the weight because I'm subconciously scared of crashing so I eat more often than I need to. Which makes the problem worse. It's more under control now - particularly because I know what's happening rather than freaking out and reacting badly.
**Unless I'm lumped with oneof the relatives who only consume this shit - usually the ones who chuck tantys about having to eat vegetables.

--------------------
...and I bear witness, this grace, this prayer so long forgotten.

A Perfect Circle - Magdalena

Posts: 617 | From: australia | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rat
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# 3373

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quote:
Originally posted by CrookedCucumber:

quote:
Originally posted by Telepath:
However, with the right information, it is relatively easy and even enjoyable to attain a healthy weight without sacrifice or misery, outwith physical or psychological illness.


I don't think I suggested that weight control would necessarily be a misery -- merely that it comes at a cost. Whether you call that cost a `sacrifice' or not is a matter of semantics, I guess. I never eat cheese or nuts, for example, though I would like to. Is that a sacrifice? I don't know.

It sounds, though, like you are one of the unfortunate people who has to take more extreme measures than most to control their weight. I don't think that entirely invalidates Telepath's points.

It's not so much that losing or maintaining weight doesn't take effort and a certain amount of self-control, of course it does, but that the psychological baggage we currently hang on that effort actually makes it harder. The anglo-saxon determination to link enjoyment of food with sin for instance - in our secular society food is probably the only context in which sin is regularly mentioned - and self-denial with virtue, actually obscures the basic key fact that portion control and amount of calories eaten are the key to weight control. The best marketing tool food advertisers ever came up with was associating their most worthless products with forbidden fruit and guilty pleasures. The second best was painting their least tasty as 'healthy'.

Instead of focussing on calories in\calories out, we embark on unattainable feats of miserable, virtuous self-denial then when we (inevitably) fail, feel worthless and solace ourselves with huge amounts of the nutrition-free cheap crap that we've been taught to associate with pleasure.

If we could break away from the baggage, and enjoy food for what it is instead of hanging all sorts of symbolism on it, maybe we could actually eat sensibly, practise reasonable moderation, accept hunger as good spice, and take pleasure in what we do eat.

And, as an aside, I don't see any reason why for most people reasonable quantities of cheese and nuts can't be eaten as part of a good diet. I wouldn't presume to comment on your particular situation but for most people a stirfry made with cashew nuts, garlic and tasty spices, for instance, would be a healthier and lower calorie alternative to one made with cheap, factory farmed, hormone laden chicken and a sticky shop-bought sauce. If you haven't eaten too much fat in a day, a couple of oatcakes with a small amount of stilton is a perfectly acceptable snack, with more nutritional value than, say, a packet of crisps or a gallon of fat-free yoghurt that tastes of wallpaper paste, and is a lot more likely to leave you feeling satisfied.

--------------------
It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

Posts: 5285 | From: A dour region for dour folk | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
CrookedCucumber
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# 10792

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quote:
Originally posted by Telepath:
Nuts are... well.. nuts. They are not sugar. They are, however, enormously nutritious and a really satisfying snack. You can get no end of Vitamin D (or is it some other vitamin, I forget) from a handful of yummy almonds. They make a good contribution towards the nutrients we need to build our bodies every day.

Well...

Raw brazil nuts: about 6.5 calories per gram
Refined sugar: about 3.8 calories per gram
Raw pasta: about 3.7 calories per gram
Wolemeal bread: about 2.5 calories per gram

I agree that, if you need (say) 200 calories, eating 30g of nuts will be better for you than a Mars bar. But only because the nuts contain some nutrients along with the energy, and the Mars bar doesn't really.

But if I wanted to eat 200 calories, I'd be better off with a proper meal, albeit a modest one, contain a proper nutritive balance and some bulk, than either gnawing on nuts or Mars bars. And, failing that, I'd be better off with a couple of slices of bread, because at least it has some bulk to it, so it feels like I've eaten something.

My point is that, if your calorie requirements are low-ish, you're going to feel pretty empty a lot of the time if you make up your calorie quota from nuts, cheese, and the like, and even bread and pasta are troublesome in any quantity.

quote:

As to your recent point, yes, I agree, there is some hunger involved, especially in the process of rediscovering the appetite. That hunger a) soon goes, and b) is no big deal, frankly. In fact, getting hungry prior to one's next meal frequently enhances enjoyment of said meal! [Roll Eyes]

Quite. But a lot of people really seem to think that they should never experience any hunger. I'm not saying that proper weight management should involve grinding, debilitating hunger, but it should be normal to feel hungry before meals. Here's a converstaion I often have with my kids:

Kid: I'm huuuuuuuungry!
Me: Dinner's in ten minutes
Kid: But I'm hungry noooooooooow!
Me: Dinner's in ten minutes

I know a great many people who would instead say: ``Have an apple'' or ``Have a piece of cheese'', thinking that a healthier alternative to ``Have a Mars bar'' (as it probably is). But surely the `correct' attitude is: you should be hungry before a meal!

Posts: 2718 | From: East Dogpatch | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Ern,no, it's not a dichotomy between cauliflower and chips. It's just what the backslideret happened to be saying that day. Since he doesn't get chips very often, he's ever hopeful that he might get them if he reminds us often enough that he likes them. This is the way toddlers think.

Offered different types, he'd choose whatever looked most like the ones he had in his mind when he was thinking about them. Another way toddlers think is to eat with their eyes. Mine chooses vanilla over chocolate ice cream because the vanilla comes in a blue tub and the chocolate in a brown tub. He likes things to be blue whenever possible. "My have blue one" is one of his stock phrases (he uses "my" for all forms of the first person singular pronoun).

But I digress. My point was simply that kids seem a lot hungrier when they like what's on offer. It's Shepherd's Pie tonight, so he'll eat like a pig. Last night was pasta bake, which got "no like this" and a picking out of the pasta. The stupid thing is that the sauce wasn't that different from the filling of the shepherd's pie he'll eat like he's been started tonight, but as I say, they taste with their eyes.

--------------------
Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Telepath
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Iole Nui, [Overused]

quote:
The anglo-saxon determination to link enjoyment of food with sin for instance - in our secular society food is probably the only context in which sin is regularly mentioned
What follows may seem like a tangent for a while, but it's not. Please bear with me.

As an acne sufferer, I've observed things that lead me to conclude that acne is looked upon as an outward manifestation of inner impurity. When people were still embarrassed about sex, acne was popularly imagined to be caused by too much, ahem, self-love. Now that people are proud of sex and ashamed of eating, acne is popularly imagined to be caused by eating junk food and a variety of non-junk foods. Much of this advice, which is usually couched in terms both specific and vague, implicitly excludes almost everything except raw fruit and vegetables (without dressing), grilled chicken and fish, honey, herbs for flavour, and a few spices thought to have magical qualities.

To my knowledge, only shellfish and red wine have been shown to provoke acne, and you'd have to consume a lot of them. I mean a lot lot. Inconclusive single studies get seized upon and misreported in the press all the time, overlooking the fact that, even if the foods under discussion did worsen acne, that doesn't necessarily mean it would be a good idea to eliminate them from your diet.[1]

I feel sorry for the many bewildered acne sufferers who seek advice from dubious sources, only to be told that they must change what they eat before they can be helped. Parents routinely use this as a way to manipulate children into eating better. Of course the sufferers who submit to this cannot improve their acne for all their strenuous dieting, but since they will inevitably fall off the wagon from time to time, they can continue to take the blame for their condition. All the time they are being blocked from getting any effective treatment, as people who should be helping them look on with satisfaction at a teenager/vain woman/fill-in-the-blank who's only reaping what she sows.

I read one personal account from an acne suffer who became anorexic after following this kind of "advice"; I wonder how many more there are like her.

While on the one hand you have people telling you to diet your disease away, on the other hand you have people picking up on the old myth that a good shag will clear up your skin. The difference is that nowadays people will actually recommend that you do so... indiscriminately? At any rate, there don't seem to be nearly so many conditions attached to the latter kind of advice.

So I think that my adventures in acne have given me a good view of what society considers impure and sinful, as if we didn't know already.

Not that we don't have ample evidence from the existence of TV programmes like "You Are What You Shit", in which human beings are overidentified with their own fecal matter, which is publicly reviewed for its quality, and poor quality feces attributed to impurity in the victim's character as metonymized by their diets... eurgh. [Projectile] I don't think "evil" is too strong a word.


[1] OK, hypothetically if something had been proven to be causing your skin to become infected you would have a stronger-than-usual argument for not eating it... but it's still a decision to be weighed carefully against other factors.

--------------------
Take emptiness and lying speech far from me, and do not give me poverty or wealth. Give me a living sufficient for me.

Posts: 3509 | From: East Anglia | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
CrookedCucumber
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# 10792

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quote:
Originally posted by Iole Nui:
It sounds, though, like you are one of the unfortunate people who has to take more extreme measures than most to control their weight. I don't think that entirely invalidates Telepath's points.

I'm not sure. My calorie requirements are somewhere in the region of 1000 per day. I can't work it out with precision, because my weight isn't perfectly constant, and the amount I exercise varies with the weather [Smile] But it's somewhere in that region.

The only odd thing about that is that I'm 6'4". But I'm hypothyroid and I have a sedentary job, so it's not entirely surprising. My wife needs about 1500 calories per day, so what she eats isn't very different from what I eat.

But I don't think it's any more of a problem for me, eating 1000 calories a day with a requirement of 1000 calories, than someone eating 2000 calories with a requirement of 2000. I get hungry between meals, but I think everybody does (or, at least, should). I mildly regret not being able to have wine with meals, but my life doesn't revolve around the meal table so it's no biggy.

There is potentially a problem for people with low calorie needs, in that they tend to eat less food in general, and so are likely to eat less of stuff that is really essential, but doesn't contribute energy. For example, I take calcium supplements because I know my diet is deficient in it.

So on the whole I feel a bit unsympathetic towards people who claim that their weight problems come from having a low metabolic rate, or whatever. If you have a low metabolic rate, you need to eat less, but you don't need to eat less than you actually need. People in that situation need to be a lot more careful about what they eat, however, to ensure proper nutritive balance.

However -- and this is what pricks my guilt gland a bit -- maybe my restrictive diet is no problem for me because my life is so good in so many other ways? I'm a happily married family man, and I don't lack for friends, companionship, sex, money, or self-affirmation. Food is, and always has been, a very peripheral part of my life. I would miss sex, and even music, a lot more than I miss the food I can't eat. Perhaps if I were more dependent on the pleasures of the table things would be more difficult?

quote:

If we could break away from the baggage, and enjoy food for what it is instead of hanging all sorts of symbolism on it, maybe we could actually eat sensibly, practise reasonable moderation, accept hunger as good spice, and take pleasure in what we do eat.

I couldn't agree more.

quote:

I wouldn't presume to comment on your particular situation but for most people a stirfry made with cashew nuts, garlic and tasty spices, for instance, would be a healthier and lower calorie alternative to one made with cheap, factory farmed, hormone laden chicken and a sticky shop-bought sauce.

Indeed. There isn't a chance in hell of a sticky bottled sauce finding its way into my house. But skip the nuts and you can have a heap of something less calorie-dense. I guess it all depends on how much you need to feel in your belly to find a meal satisfying. I don't know about other people but, although I don't favour being ball-shaped after meals, I need a meal to push on my stomach walls a bit, if I'm not to feel hungry immediately afterwards.

But yes, this is a matter of preference -- physically less of something calorie-dense, or more of something else? I wouldn't presume to tell other people what they should prefer, and I imagine one would only find out by experience.

Posts: 2718 | From: East Dogpatch | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged



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