I’ve been reading, and unfortunately arguing, once again with the nutters who claim the human body is immune to the laws of physics. I found here a nice article which dissects one the more prominent crank arguments and shows how the first law of thermodynamics holds to human diet, weight loss, and weight gain. Put simply, the tissues in your body are made of atoms and they have to come from somewhere, they can not simply pop into existence, and they enter through your mouth. You can’t say, “Insulin, booga booga!,” and dismiss over a century of physics. That weight loss is complex and hard does not invalidate the laws of thermodynamics. That genetics and metabolism determine to a great extent the body’s use of calories does not invalidate the laws of thermodynamics. That there’s a wide range of calorie intakes that can sustain a certain body weight, due to different calorie use, changes in metabolism, and changes in body stores of tissues and nutrients due to those same two factors does not invalidate the laws of thermodynamics.
I’ve lost 100lbs so far, I’ve done it primarily by eating less, and to a lesser extent increasing my activity level. It’s hard, it sucks, it feels like shit a lot of the time. I want nachos and beer. My body seems to be telling me to eat nachos and drink beer. I want bigger portions. My body is a system that is designed to maintain as much tissue as possible, and I put on a lot of it and it’s fighting the loss. However, I am losing, and I am not doing so via any magic means, nor is there any principle being illustrated by this process of weight loss that would redefine physics or biology.
People, you need to face facts, there are no wizards or elves or magic involved in this process. You are not the exception to the laws of physics. You really just need to eat less and exercise more, and concentrate on long term calorie and weight trends. You need to do the former because our ability to measure calories burned and eaten is limited, and therefore long term trends and a strict diary are the only real ways to monitor intake. You need to do the latter because weight loss is not the same as fat loss, and water retention can and does confound daily scale readings and will drive you insane if you try and monitor your weight loss day by day.
For the love of God, people, a healthier life is waiting for you if you would just stop buying into magical bullshit pushed by the likes of Gary Taubes and other attention whores and just accept the fact that you’re likely eating shit, and you’re definitely eating too much of it. Accept the fact that weight loss is hard, not impossible, and the missing ingredient is most likely discipline. The chances that you are suffering from a pathology that allows you to maintain your 400lb plus body weight despite only eating a graham cracker a day are relatively small.