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MFP Change of Stance?

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I used to log here very regularly months and years ago (keep coming and going) and, when I came to the boards then, most threads were full of people saying that you had to 'eat more to weigh less' and warning of 'starvation mode'. Many people even said that eating too little made them GAIN weight! As someone who had/has an eating disorder I thought it was crazy but there were loads of personal stories appearing to endorse this. The idea of calories in vs calories out was widely decried and people who suggested someone eats less to lose weight were either mocked or told off.

I've just come back again over the last couple of weeks and it seems totally different. Those saying 'eat more to break your plateau' are now in the minority and are being ridiculed by people saying all you have to do is eat in a deficit and you can't help but lose weight.

Has anyone else noticed this change or was I just reading different threads at different times?

Which philosophy do you agree with?
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Replies

  • TheBigFb
    TheBigFb Posts: 649 Member
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    Pulls up a chair :)
  • chivalryder
    chivalryder Posts: 4,391 Member
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    Since the forums changed to this new, and arguably much worse set up, many of the old regulars, the ones who actually knew things about losing weight successfully and were successful themselves, have left.

    Now, the vast majority of people on the forums are people who are here simply out of entertainment and because they don't have anything better to do.

    MFP has dropped a few steps in terms of quality with this change. Quality of the social environment, quality in support, quality in usability.

    It's now best to simply avoid the forums altogether if you want help and support. Try to find a good few people and add them to your friend list, then add friends of these friends when you find that they too are supportive and positive. You will not find this so easily on the forums.
  • thecrushinator
    thecrushinator Posts: 76 Member
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    It's not you. I see it too. Over the years these boards have filled with crazy angry people who don't understand nothing works for everybody and that variety will keep you healthy and continue weight loss.
  • Dave198lbs
    Dave198lbs Posts: 8,810 Member
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    Since the forums changed to this new, and arguably much worse set up, many of the old regulars, the ones who actually knew things about losing weight successfully and were successful themselves, have left.

    Now, the vast majority of people on the forums are people who are here simply out of entertainment and because they don't have anything better to do.

    MFP has dropped a few steps in terms of quality with this change. Quality of the social environment, quality in support, quality in usability.

    It's now best to simply avoid the forums altogether if you want help and support. Try to find a good few people and add them to your friend list, then add friends of these friends when you find that they too are supportive and positive. You will not find this so easily on the forums.

    no need to totally stay away. there are much more frivolous threads and more condescending types but there is "some" good advice to be had. Finding it can take more wading though.
  • jellybaby84
    jellybaby84 Posts: 583 Member
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    Interesting. Thanks. The layout doesn't seem that different to me, I wonder why it drove so many people away.
  • Go_Mizzou99
    Go_Mizzou99 Posts: 2,628 Member
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    I use the search function often before I post. I like to see what was asked and answered in the past. Many times that is all I need....unless I get angry and post because of my need for entertainment value on the forums B)
  • MinnieInMaine
    MinnieInMaine Posts: 6,400 Member
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    As with most things dealing with nutrition, fitness and weight loss, the facts change constantly! Remember how we thought eggs were evil 10-15 years ago? Now we can't get enough of them!

    We now know that starvation mode is a myth and if someone isn't losing at their current calorie goal and activity level that they need to take a closer look at their tracking. Accurate logging of both calories in and out is key whether you're trying to lose, maintain or gain. Unfortnately this can take some time and trial and error which most people don't have the patience for.
  • shadow2soul
    shadow2soul Posts: 7,692 Member
    edited November 2014
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    I'm pretty sure it's the same group of people, but they have just changed their wording a bit.

    Eating at a deficit will cause you to lose weight and at the same time to large of a deficit can be unhealthy/cause binging/ect.

    Eat more to weigh less, simply means eating as many calories as you can to lose weight at a healthy rate. It seems that generally people who use this method are extremely careful when tracking (weighing everything solid/measuring liquids/logging every little nibble) because they have less room to make mistakes. While they have less room to make mistakes, some notice that the smaller deficit gives them more energy and makes them able to workout at a higher intensity. Some don't realise that, when increasing their calories they became more accurate with their logging.

    So essetially it's the same thing. Just the deficit isn't as large. I'm glad I read about the "eat more to weight less" last year when I joined. The above is what I got out of it. I'm also comfortably losing weight (except for 9 months of pregnancy) eating in the 1800-2000 calorie range on average. I attempted to eat a bit less (thus increasing my deficit) a month or so ago and I did notice my workouts suffered. So for me, the concept is right on. However some people might do better with larger deficit.
  • GauchoMark
    GauchoMark Posts: 1,804 Member
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    I still see plenty of regulars responding to posts on the forums. Avoiding them altogether seems a little draconian...

    To the OP - I've been around for a long time and I've never really accepted the eat more to lose weight and break plateaus concept, and I've been fairly vocal about it in the past. The thing is, most of the time "plateaus" are really just poor logging/estimating, so eating more doesn't work. Yes your body can slow its metabolism, but it can't stop it and your metabolism certainly can't reverse (aka create energy aka "I'm actually GAINING weight while on a deficit"). Some people just need an excuse.

    That said, I do believe that your body has the ability to slightly "slow" or "speed" your metabolism. In other words, it can be calorie efficient (slow) or performance efficient (fast) and so you have a 100-200 calorie window that your body can play with. So, you might be able to eat a little more and still be OK in terms of weight loss, but that is a very slippery slope.
  • ILiftHeavyAcrylics
    ILiftHeavyAcrylics Posts: 27,732 Member
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    I know what you mean, OP. I've been here 3 1/2 years and I too have seen a gradual change over. Even the stickies are different-- when I got here the most popular sticky was "700 calories and not losing weight!" in which the theory of starvation mode was supported.

    Personally I do believe in CICO, although I believe in some cases it's a little more complicated than it sounds due to health issues, hormone shifts, etc. But that doesn't mean CICO doesn't work, it just means we may not understand all the variables. Still, "just eat less" isn't always good advice. It depends on the situation.
  • eldamiano
    eldamiano Posts: 2,667 Member
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    "most threads were full of people saying that you had to 'eat more to weigh less' and warning of 'starvation mode'. Many people even said that eating too little made them GAIN weight!"

    These people are deluded and or/in denial. I bet they also believe that the quickest way to get to the supermarket is to walk backwards....
  • WalkingAlong
    WalkingAlong Posts: 4,926 Member
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    In my opinion, EM2WL went away long before the forum upgrade. I came back about a year ago and it was pretty much gone, whereas it was the forum battle cry in 2012, you're right.

    I think it went away because people realized they were wrong. You can't 'eat more to lose more', unless there's something behavioral with you so that when you 'eat less' you binge or track wrong.

    But people still are big fans of the tiny deficit, presumably to retain muscle. But even that is going to change, I think, as more and more research shows it just doesn't make that much difference and there are significant advantages to not losing at a snail's pace as well.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    Since the forums changed to this new, and arguably much worse set up, many of the old regulars, the ones who actually knew things about losing weight successfully and were successful themselves, have left.

    When was this change? You don't mean the very recent one, do you? I haven't noticed any change wrt what the OP is talking about (or really anything) since then.

    I have noticed in older threads that starvation mode seems to be much more frequently taken seriously and warned against in those threads than now.

  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited November 2014
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    Has anyone else noticed this change or was I just reading different threads at different times?

    Which philosophy do you agree with?

    Yes, from reading old threads I've noticed it. I haven't noticed any change in the time I've been actively reading the forums (since March of this year).

    I think starvation mode in the sense that if you eat too little you won't lose, because your body will "hold onto fat" makes no sense, so I agree with the current consensus, if it is indeed a consensus (that's probably too strong).

    However, that doesn't mean that there aren't good reasons to avoid putting your calories too low (with what too low is a separate issue and probably somewhat individual). I believe that bad effects could relate to health, to the sustainability of a diet, to the ability to make fitness/exercise improvements and maintain lean body mass, to metabolism (you can suffer a reduction of metabolism and many or most dieters ultimately do, even if they of course don't stop losing), and by creating a pattern of restriction followed by binging for those prone to it.

    Rather than the advice being to always reduce calories, I think there's a pragmatic understanding by many that there are many reasons why logging can be imperfect (or exercise calories overvalued) and thus when people report extremely low intakes or net intakes and aren't losing that the issue is likely to be logging inaccuracy, with an individual medical problem the next possibility (to be identified in part by logging as precise as possible). The idea that you aren't losing because you are eating too little just doesn't seem to have a scientific explanation or to happen with people actually starving.
  • pepperedmoth
    pepperedmoth Posts: 37 Member
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    I'm like "in again out again finnegan" as far as tracking and participating, so no real insight, just to say that I've noticed it too just in the past two days (since I've been "in again")!

    I'm a CICO kinda girl (acknowledging that "calories out" is a LOT MORE complicated than many think), so I'm happy.
  • Kalikel
    Kalikel Posts: 9,626 Member
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    So many people are happily losing while eating 1400-2000 calories a day. They lose slowly, but it works for them. It may give skin a better shot at keeping up with you, too. I'm really happy for those people and wish I were one of them!

    Too many people have said they were strict with their restriction, then ate some more and dropped pounds...they can't all be lying. There must be something to it.

    I don't personally eat more to weigh less. I do shake it up with the calories, but that's hunger-related and not theory.

    I know there are things yet to be learned. I'm convinced that anorexia isn't solely mental and there must be a chemical part. Obesity, too. I believe there are brain differences and/or chemical contributors to all these things.

    If they could figure that stuff out before I die, I'd be delighted. I don't expect it, though. :)
  • Oishii
    Oishii Posts: 2,675 Member
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    GauchoMark wrote: »

    That said, I do believe that your body has the ability to slightly "slow" or "speed" your metabolism. In other words, it can be calorie efficient (slow) or performance efficient (fast) and so you have a 100-200 calorie window that your body can play with. So, you might be able to eat a little more and still be OK in terms of weight loss, but that is a very slippery slope.

    I agree with the window but have the opposite experience. If I keep my calories towards the high end of my loss window I remain my normal, bouncy self. If my calories go too low, the subconscious bouncing stops and I may need the occasional nap. To lose weight at the lower end of that window I have to make a conscious effort to move which is unnecessary at the higher end of that window. So I'd rather lose slowly at the top end of my window, which I don't see as a 'slippery slope' at all. I'd rather maintain a higher calorie intake than keep going lower and lower.
  • mom2kpr
    mom2kpr Posts: 348 Member
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    I'm pretty sure it's the same group of people, but they have just changed their wording a bit.

    Eating at a deficit will cause you to lose weight and at the same time to large of a deficit can be unhealthy/cause binging/ect.

    Eat more to weigh less, simply means eating as many calories as you can to lose weight at a healthy rate. It seems that generally people who use this method are extremely careful when tracking (weighing everything solid/measuring liquids/logging every little nibble) because they have less room to make mistakes. While they have less room to make mistakes, some notice that the smaller deficit gives them more energy and makes them able to workout at a higher intensity. Some don't realise that, when increasing their calories they became more accurate with their logging.

    So essetially it's the same thing. Just the deficit isn't as large. I'm glad I read about the "eat more to weight less" last year when I joined. The above is what I got out of it. I'm also comfortably losing weight (except for 9 months of pregnancy) eating in the 1800-2000 calorie range on average. I attempted to eat a bit less (thus increasing my deficit) a month or so ago and I did notice my workouts suffered. So for me, the concept is right on. However some people might do better with larger deficit.


    This exactly!
  • dammitjanet0161
    dammitjanet0161 Posts: 319 Member
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    Kalikel wrote: »
    Too many people have said they were strict with their restriction, then ate some more and dropped pounds...they can't all be lying. There must be something to it.

    Anecdotally this happens a lot doesn't it? How many times have you heard people complain when they have been "good" all week or month and haven't lost weight or only lost a negliable amount, and then they'll say they were scared to weigh in one week because they had a blowout for some reason but then they lose more than they have in a while.

    I don't know the science behind it, but I'm glad I found MFP and the people on here who promote finding the level where you can still lose weight while eating a sustainable amount rather than the usual strict 1000 calorie quick fix diets touted in magazines etc