Coworker insists she can't lose weight through calorie restriction -- info wanted

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Okay. Someone fill me in on the most common medical reason/s someone may be unable to lose weight. I have a coworker who absolutely (angrily, really) insists that she cannot lose weight through calorie restriction. She claims that she will actually gain weight when restricting calories.

I am trying to keep the peace, so I don't grill her about how this works -- how her body makes fat without an excess of calories. And perhaps she has a real condition. But, I'm no medical expert, so I don't know what that might be.

So, if you'd like to help me understand this gal, fill me in.

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Replies

  • HeySwoleSister
    HeySwoleSister Posts: 1,938 Member
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    I suspect she is sailing on a river in Egypt, either in regards to how much she takes in or how much she uses for fuel. Most likely both.
  • Liftng4Lis
    Liftng4Lis Posts: 15,150 Member
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    Not happening! She is eating more than she thinks. Does she weigh and measure everything?
  • crazydogladyjess
    crazydogladyjess Posts: 128 Member
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    If she does a huge calorie deficit her body will go into starvation mode and store body fat. It is also possible last time she dieted she had high sodium and had a lot of water weight. I have not heard of anything else... but I am not expert either. I do find some people hold on tight to false ideas for a variety of self motivated reasons
  • eric_sg61
    eric_sg61 Posts: 2,925 Member
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    jessaha wrote: »
    If she does a huge calorie deficit her body will go into starvation mode and store body fat. It is also possible last time she dieted she had high sodium and had a lot of water weight. I have not heard of anything else... but I am not expert either. I do find some people hold on tight to false ideas for a variety of self motivated reasons

    How is that possible? How can a deficit of energy lead to a storage of energy
  • DjinnMarie
    DjinnMarie Posts: 1,297 Member
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    jessaha wrote: »
    If she does a huge calorie deficit her body will go into starvation mode and store body fat. It is also possible last time she dieted she had high sodium and had a lot of water weight. I have not heard of anything else... but I am not expert either. I do find some people hold on tight to false ideas for a variety of self motivated reasons

    Starvation mode is a myth that you need to stop perpetuating.

    Yes, limited calories over a long period of time can cause the metabolism to slow down. key word is slow down, but it doesn't stop. And the slow down is slight.

    To OP. There are few conditions where low calorie doesn't result in weight loss. Cushing's syndrome is one. But it's because their maintenance calories are so low that they never truly eat at a deficit.

    As for gaining more weight while on calorie restriction... Not buying it. My only guess is maybe fatigue from lower calories is causing her to be lazy and therefore expending less energy than she normally would? More likely scenario is that she binges or isn't honest with herself about her true caloric intake.
  • feralX
    feralX Posts: 334 Member
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    Is there a small broom closet at work where you could accidentally lock her in with nothing but water for a week or so...might settle the argument.
  • dfargher
    dfargher Posts: 37 Member
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    DjinnMarie wrote: »
    More likely scenario is that she binges or isn't honest with herself about her true caloric intake.

    Probably this. I gain weight when I restrict too far as well - because it causes so much hunger that I binge after a few days and eat back everything I restricted and then some.

  • Coolhandkid
    Coolhandkid Posts: 84 Member
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    There are a multitude of medical issues (and accompanying meds) that lead to weight gain. Quite a few of them are things I wouldn't discuss with co-workers.

    But almost certainly she is making excuses for her inability to lose weight.
  • sofaking6
    sofaking6 Posts: 4,589 Member
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    The vision in my head:

    -She goes from eating 2500+ calories per day to less than 1000
    -Those 1000 calories are mostly frozen/processed foods containing lots of sodium
    -The sodium causes her to retain water
    -Her weight goes up the next day
    -She concludes that she cannot lose weight by reducing her intake
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,867 Member
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    If I were you, I'd just not waste my breath...some people just don't believe in science and stuff...
  • JUDDDing
    JUDDDing Posts: 1,367 Member
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    She's been on MFP forums too long?
  • jdhcm2006
    jdhcm2006 Posts: 2,254 Member
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    sofaking6 wrote: »
    The vision in my head:

    -She goes from eating 2500+ calories per day to less than 1000
    -Those 1000 calories are mostly frozen/processed foods containing lots of sodium
    -The sodium causes her to retain water
    -Her weight goes up the next day
    -She concludes that she cannot lose weight by reducing her intake

    OP, this is probably what your coworker is doing. If it was me, I'd leave her be.
  • Sued0nim
    Sued0nim Posts: 17,456 Member
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    Leave it alone

    Smile and nod ...and walk away
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,488 Member
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    Has this person ever kept a food diary before? And I am just implying that a logging of everything eaten for just a week to see how many calories in. If after logging this person may be eating maintenance and not losing. For me it takes a couple of weeks for my body to adjust to eating less calories, controlling salt, drinking more water to avoid water retention.

    As far as medications and these are just a few - like corticosteroids, prednisolone methylprednisolone, some antidepressents and some birth control pills do react to metabolism lowering but not stopping. Some make a person hungrier or crave certain things like sugars.. I can vouch for the methylprednisolone because I have been on it for the past three weeks...

    Usually serious medical issues cause decrease appetite but take into consideration medications the person may be on and some can decrease metabolism and/or increase in hunger/appetite.

    But to learn what is going on, I would keep a diary for a week of all food eaten and log activities. This is the only way I knew just how much of a deficit I needed to loose and my maintenance is 1150 to 1200/day (not very much as I am already a small person).
  • IsaackGMOON
    IsaackGMOON Posts: 3,358 Member
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    jessaha wrote: »
    If she does a huge calorie deficit her body will go into starvation mode and store body fat. It is also possible last time she dieted she had high sodium and had a lot of water weight. I have not heard of anything else... but I am not expert either. I do find some people hold on tight to false ideas for a variety of self motivated reasons

    Yeah about that, it's not possible. How can your body retain fat, if there are no excess calories? You can't retain fat you already have, because it's already retained.

    Sorry.
  • NoelFigart1
    NoelFigart1 Posts: 1,276 Member
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    Losing weight is not a moral imperative. Let her manage her body in her own way and concentrate on your own goals.
  • marinabreeze
    marinabreeze Posts: 141 Member
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    This is why I don't get into these in-depth conversations at work.

    FWIW, there are conditions that make it more difficult to lose weight, but in almost all of them, if you eat at a calorie deficit you will lose weight.
  • Mr_Knight
    Mr_Knight Posts: 9,532 Member
    edited January 2015
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    7elizamae wrote: »
    Okay. Someone fill me in on the most common medical reason/s someone may be unable to lose weight.

    There aren't any. If you eat at a deficit, you will lose weight. Period, full stop, no exceptions. There is no medical condition that exists - or that even can exist - that can change that.

    She claims that she will actually gain weight when restricting calories.

    egypt_aswan_nile_river.jpg
  • MariMcKeon
    MariMcKeon Posts: 46 Member
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    don't feed the crazy!
  • hamo1987
    hamo1987 Posts: 65 Member
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    7elizamae wrote: »
    Okay. Someone fill me in on the most common medical reason/s someone may be unable to lose weight. I have a coworker who absolutely (angrily, really) insists that she cannot lose weight through calorie restriction. She claims that she will actually gain weight when restricting calories.

    I am trying to keep the peace, so I don't grill her about how this works -- how her body makes fat without an excess of calories. And perhaps she has a real condition. But, I'm no medical expert, so I don't know what that might be.

    So, if you'd like to help me understand this gal, fill me in.

    Thyroid condtions absolutely cause excessive uncontrolled weight hain withoutu a jump in caloriesu because it severely kills the metabolism... one hundred percent possible... with calries restriction AND. Medication she may be able to lose weight. In time but usuallyu at a much slower rate than most people.