Official Weight Loss Thread


Or you can just up your protein intake.

In summary, we determined that consuming dietary protein at levels exceeding the RDA may protect fat-free mass during short-term weight loss.


From your link: “21 d of ED, during which energy intake was restricted by 30% and physical activity was increased 10% above total daily energy expenditure to elicit a 40% ED.”

The 30% might not go below the 1,600 calorie “safe limit” either depending on the person’s starting calories. (e.g. if they were eating at maintenance of 2,500 they’d only go down to 1,750.)

But good to know the protein in Soylent should be enough to prevent muscle loss with “10% more physical activity.” :smile:


Is every system really based on caloric restriction?

Atkins: No carbs, unlimited other foods.
Paleo is more complicated. They want you to eat unprocessed low-starch vegetables, meats (processed or not), and no caloric liquids.

Is it really calorie restriction? There’s nothing about amounts anywhere in there.


Those two stand out in that way, yes… but for every Atkins or Paleo there’s a juice diet or nutri-system out there.

Atkins and Paleo, and I admit to guessing here, probably don’t need to explicitly restrict calories because it’s difficult to get a lot of calories from those diets. Carbs tend to be where the bulk of calories come from in our meals, and for a LOT of people it’s coming from sugar which is just right out. (Although I guess a lot of calories could come from fat in those diets… )


That sounds strange to me. Exercise does not normally mean “all physical activity done for any purpose,” but something more like “physical activity done to improve strength/speed/whatever.” If you’d like to group all physical activity together, that’s fine, but then you’ve essentially redefined BMR and maintenance calories to be identical numbers, and everything else is “exercise.” In which case, okay, but it makes it hard to talk about when using the normal definitions of those words.

Obviously? If you were a construction worker would you say that you “exercise” by constructing buildings all day? I think a native English speaker would say that they “worked” all day, not “exercised,” because not all physical activity is exercise.


When does exercise become work or “normal activity” in your mind? Like my example of walking to the bus stop instead of walking around the block? What about running, Usain Bolt’s job is running so when he practices is it exercise or “normal activity?” Michael Phelps’ Olympic training… normal activity or exercise? Because he is estimated to eat 6,000-8,000 Calories/day during training!

Focusing on the exact meaning of the word “exercise” isn’t very useful. My contention is that it’s safer and easier to intake calories close to your BMR while engaging in enough physical activity/exercise to burn 1,000+ calories more than your BMR. If your maintenance is already close to 1,000 calories over your BMR then it should be even easier.

So what? In terms of losing weight the construction worker wouldn’t need to add much more exercise, but should almost certainly not lower his caloric intake to 1,500 Calories.

For the record, however, while working fast food once, on a slow day, one of my coworkers claimed just standing was exercise.

Really I think the defining factor as to whether something is “exercise” or “normal activity” or “work” is whether it’s what you normally do, something you’re paid for or if you’re just doing it to burn calories/build muscle/improve cardio performance.

But as far as losing weight is concerned, it really doesn’t matter what you call it.


I never said “normal activity,” I said other physical activity. Exercise is a subset of all physical activity, done to improve fitness, build muscle, etc. Although I suppose mental activity burns a lot of calories too, so perhaps I was too restrictive in only saying physical activity. I didn’t even consider other caloric sinks, like wound healing or low ambient temperature.

Anyway, exercise becomes work if you are getting paid to exercise, but it remains exercise in either case. Obviously.

All that is exercise obviously, as well as his job, like you say. “Normal activity” seems to be your thing. Lots of things can be normal activities for someone and not normal for another person. I imagine exercising is a normal activity for Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, so it would be both.

Running to catch an elevator isn’t exercise, for instance. You’re not running to improve your endurance or become faster at running or more fit, you’re just trying to catch the elevator. My friend who runs miles upon miles every week because her hobby is running in marathons: that’s all exercise, because she is running to improve her endurance. But it’s not something she gets paid to do, so it’s not work.

I never said he should. It was an example of how you said one thing when you apparently mean something entirely different. To be clear: a construction worker wouldn’t need to exercise at all to lose weight, nor does anyone else. Reducing calories is sufficient. There’s no need for a huge caloric deficit to lose weight without exercise.

“Normal activity” is your thing, so I won’t touch that. The delineation between exercise and all other physical activity is, as you say, if you’re just doing it to burn calories, build muscle, etc., it’s exercise. Everything else is not. Work is something you get paid to do, and it may be exercise, some other physical activity, or something else entirely.

Sure, you could call it anything, but you will facilitate understanding if you describe things accurately. I could call all rectangles squares in math class, but if I had to explain every time that what I mean by “square” is “squares or rectangles,” it seems strange to not just call them rectangles to eliminate the confusion.


Unfortunately not really…

Would be nice if it did, I’d be a lot thinner.

But you’re still running, and if you’re running for the elevator daily you’ll see the same benefits as if you “exercised.”

The point is, it really doesn’t matter for this discussion. @MentalNomad was arguing that lowering calories below 1500/day is better for dieting than trying to achieve a similar deficit by exercise. But thanks for this exercise in pedantry!

Except… no. That’s not it at all. You’re taking the same thing: walking, and calling it something different based on the intent.

It’s like having two squares and calling one a triangle because you drew it for different reasons.


I love an argument over semantics. So at the end of the day where are we? Calories out > calories in = weight loss?


Yes, to a point at least. Then those pesky hormones get involved and throw everything askew.

To the rest of the debate I’ll simply say this: diet to lose weight, exercise for overall health.


That is such a big oversimplification to the point of being wrong.
People consuming Soylent usually don’t do that (eat more calories than their bodies need). Why?
Whereas people consuming the typical first-world diet do. Why?
I believe the answer is sugar.
I believe it’s a mistake to blame “the people of the world” for their lack of self control. The blame lies with those connected to sugar: sugar and corn growers and the packaged food makers they sell to. Blame also lies with politicians who accept money from these interests.

I’m disappointed that FDA has not set a limit for sugar yet. The only reason is because of lobbying. Specifically by the American Sugar Alliance. The science is there and it’s unequivocal. AHA, which is not the government, has set a limit.

The WHO has set a limit for sugar. WHO says 10% of total calories should be the limit. That’d be 50 grams / day for a 2,000 calorie diet. Sounds reasonable. Current American diet = 80 grams / day.

Soylent has no sugar and never did. The carbs in Soylent are lower in GI and don’t have any fructose, so Soylent is a good way to reduce the impact of sugar in your diet.

Alcohol is also very bad for you metabolically, like sugar is. But the alcohol in alcohol-containing products is an acute poison, as opposed to sugar which is a chronic one. The poisonous nature of alcohol limits our consumption of it to a healthy level, so I don’t feel any action is needed.


Some words, like exercise, have meanings that depend on intent. The difference between murder and killing is another example; you can kill someone without intent (you’ve probably heard the term “involuntary manslaughter” on the news), but murder is deliberate.

Soylent has always had sugar, just no table sugar (sucrose).

Soylent 1.0-1.3: 6 g of sugars per bag (2000 calories)
Soylent 1.4: 44 g of sugars per bag (2000 calories)
Soylent 1.5: 60 g of sugars per bag (2000 calories)
Soylent 2.0: 45 g of sugars per 5 bottles (2000 calories)

I think you’re right that 1.0-1.3 didn’t have any fructose, but 1.4-2.0 all have isomaltulose, which is half fructose and half glucose, just like table sugar. 1.5 added trehalose (double glucose).


There’s a term for this effort we put into our daily lives that is not exercise, non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).

NEAT is the energy used in activity other than sleeping, eating or exercise; for instance, in walking, gardening, cooking, cleaning and shopping.

I think this would be relevant to the above overly long discussion.


Thank you! That article looks pretty damn comprehensive.


Unless you’re walking for fitness, then it’s exercise again…

Now, can we get back to whether it’s a good idea to eat 800 Calories/day under your BMR to lose weight?


Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. I just gave you the scientific definition, nothing more. If you’re walking more than normal for fitness that is exercise, if you’re walking to simply do your daily deeds that would be NEAT. :wink:

As to the 800 kcal question, I’ll quote snippets from the above linked article:

Let’s take an example. BMR for a lightly active average male is roughly 2500 calories per day. Walking at a moderate pace (two miles per hour) for forty-five minutes every day, would burn roughly 104 calories. In other words, that will not even consume 5 percent of the TEE. The vast majority (95 percent) of calories are used for basal metabolism…

Because of the complexity of measuring BMR, NEAT, TEF, and EPOC, we make a simple but erroneous assumption that these factors are all constant over time. This assumption leads to the crucially flawed conclusion that exercise is the only variable in TEE. Thus, increasing Calories Out becomes equated with Exercise More…

Diet and exercise are important, but they are not equally important like macaroni and cheese. Diet is Luke Skywalker and Exercise is an Ewok…

Sure, it’s important for a number of very good reasons. But we can’t expect it to produce significant weight loss. It’s a minor player. Emphasizing exercise detracts from the real issue of dietary problems.

The fact that exercise never produces as much weight loss as we think has actually been well known in research for several decades, at the minimum. Why does actual weight loss fall so far below projected? The culprit is a phenomenon known as “compensation”—and there are two major mechanisms…

First, caloric intake increases in response to exercise—we just eat more following a vigorous workout. (They don’t call it “working up an appetite” for nothing.) A prospective cohort study of 538 students from the Harvard School of Public Health found that “although physical activity is thought of as an energy deficit activity, our estimates do not support this hypothesis.” For every extra hour of exercise, the kids ate an extra 292 calories. Caloric intake and expenditure are intimately related: increasing one will cause an increase in the other. This is the biological principle of homeostasis. The body tries to maintain a stable state. Reducing Calories In reduces Calories Out. Increasing Calories Out increases Calories In…

The second mechanism of compensation relates to a reduction in non-exercise activity (NEAT). If you exert yourself all day, you are less likely to exercise in your free time…

In addition, the benefit of exercise has a natural upper limit. You cannot make up for dietary indiscretions by increasing exercise. You can’t outrun a poor diet…

Exercise, is simply not all that effective in the treatment of obesity—and the implications are enormous. Vast sums of money are spent to promote physical education in school, the Let’s Move initiative, improved access to sports facilities, and improved playgrounds for children—all based on the flawed notion that exercise is instrumental in the fight against obesity.

If we want to reduce obesity, we need to focus on what makes us obese. If we spend all our money, research, time and mental energy focused on exercise, we will have no resources left with which to actually fight obesity. This is NOT to say that exercise is not healthy for you. It is like brushing your teeth. Good for you, do it every day, but don’t expect to lose weight.

We are writing a final examination called Obesity 101. Diet accounts for 95 percent of the grade, and exercise for only 5 percent. Yet we spend 50 percent of our time and energy studying exercise. It is no wonder that our current grade is F—for Fat.


None of that answers the question, it just goes back to the arugment we’ve already had and the belief anti-exercise (or anti-NEAT) people have that exercise must be followed by eating more. (Not to mention the belief that people on severe calorie restriction never binge.)

Once again I am stating that if you eat 2,000 Calories/day, and Exercise or NEAT your way to burning 3,000/day you will lose fat more effectively, be able to do it longer, and with fewer consequences such as muscle loss, than if you eat 1,200 Calories/day and avoid exercise/NEAT such that your calories burned/day is 2,200.

Saying “you’ll eat more” after exercising is essentially a straw man. That’s not what I’m talking about.


Would love to know what they think is a “lightly active average male” is, because frankly none of those numbers sound right. 2,500 calories is more likely the maintenance calories than the BMR, and their calculation for calories burned walking is lower than a 150lb person. (Also 2mph is not a moderate pace in any fitness calculator I’ve ever seen, the average walking speed for a human is 3mph for FSM’s sake!)

I think what I’m saying here is that that article sounds like it’s filled with BS.


Mostly unrelated, @Telos, what is Deadpool saying in your profile picture?


Weird, would have thought you could click to see the whole pic… guess not.

He’s saying: “You have failed me, brain!”