Advice / Guidance

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Replies

  • bmeadows380
    bmeadows380 Posts: 3,098 Member
    edited February 2020
    speyerj wrote: »
    Thanks for the reply @NovusDies. A whole month huh? I'll hang on tight then. The worst part was that I was just a pound away from moving from "Obese" to "overweight" on the BMI scale. I know that BMI is a load of baloney, but I was excited anyway for this arbitrary milestone. But that just means, more time to lose even more fat, right?

    I used to think BMI was nothing but hooey too, until I finally got a decent explanation for the way to use it. BMI is a statistical average over a large population and is meant to be a general guideline and rule of thumb for quickly estimating a person's body fat percentage, and for the average population, it actually correlates pretty well. Most Joe Smoes you see on the street who have a BMI over 40 will have a body fat percentage well above the 40's. And statistically speaking, the higher a person's BMI the GREATER THE RISK of serious health problems because statistically, folks that are heavier are more prone to heart trouble, diabetes, etc. Yes, there are outliers-football players, pro athletes, etc - but for the average, general population its not that far off.

    The key, I've found, is to remember that BMI is a general rule of thumb - and was never meant to be a hard and fast rule like it gets mistakenly used for all the time. It's a measure of risk; the higher the BMI number, the higher your risk is for certain medical issues, apart from your typical everyday risk for those things through other factors like genetics. So, if you're family has a genetic predisposition toward heart problems, you already have a high risk; having a high BMI is going to compound that risk.

    What we all need to do is come to terms with how much risk do we want to live with because face it, we can't completely and totally eliminate all risk - even the healthiest people still come down with cancer, etc. Losing weight has been proven to lower risk for those factors, though the less you have to lose, the less of a benefit you get from the effort - and the harder the effort becomes. So it eventually gets to the point where you weigh the effort you will need to expend to achieve the lower body weight against the benefit of reduced risk it provides, and you come to a point of compromise you can live with between the two. That may be within the "healthy" range of the BMI; it may not, because we are all different, and frankly, by the time you get down close to "healthy" BMI the benefit is getting much smaller anyway.

    For instance: if you start at 375 lbs like I did, losing 100 lbs has provided me with a huge benefit - even if I never get the next 100 off like I'd like to do, I've still improved my risk factors for health problems very greatly, hence why my doctor is ecstatic that I've gotten this weight off. The risk may have dropped by as much as 15-20% or more. However, if you are starting at 175 lbs and are trying to get down to 150 lbs to get within that magical healthy BMI range, your risk benefit may only actually be something like 5% improvement. So it comes down to deciding do I want to do all the work that's going to be needed to get those 25 lbs off for a 5% return in better risk, or can I live my life as I want to know and accept that 5% risk? That's an individual decision we all need to make, and no one should be telling you what is best for you; quality of life is up to the individual.

    for me, diabetes runs on my mom's side and heart disease on my dads, so i already have a geneticly higher risk of both; being at 375 lbs was elevating that risk greatly, and losing that first 100 lbs has vastly improved my chances of preventing those diseases. I'd still like to get another 100 lbs off and end up in the neighborhood of 175-180 lbs; that's my pipe dream goal weight. However, 180 lbs will still leave me smack in the middle of the overweight range with another 20 lbs to go to get into "healthy". I can't see myself ever striving for that last 20 lbs. At that point, weight loss needs to be down to 0.5 lb a week and at that rate, you have to be super accurate in your logging and counting. I know myself well enough to know I'd never cope with that sort of effort, especially since water weigh easily masks your progress for months at that rate. So I'll be willing to accept that few points higher risk that being at 27 BMI will give me over being under 25 BMI. Other folks, however, especially if the other factors that are increasing their risk for certain ailments are high enough, may find that few points of lessened risk to be vital to them so they will strive to reach that 25 BMI. It's all a personal decision with no right or wrong answer.
  • bmeadows380
    bmeadows380 Posts: 3,098 Member
    and when I say risk, it's all statistics and probability - so yes, there are folks who can weight 400 lbs and not have any health problems right now, but none of us can count on being one of those lucky few because we know that the chances of not having health problems at that weight are abysmally low.



    On another note: I have noticed that on days that I'm more active, the following few days the scale jumps up, even if I haven't over-eaten. I'm guessing that is being caused by water weight gain in relation to my muscles needing to repair themselves after effort they aren't used to? If a person gets to regularly doing that routine - say walking, for instance - does that water weight gain eventually level out and stop happening?
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    and when I say risk, it's all statistics and probability - so yes, there are folks who can weight 400 lbs and not have any health problems right now, but none of us can count on being one of those lucky few because we know that the chances of not having health problems at that weight are abysmally low.



    On another note: I have noticed that on days that I'm more active, the following few days the scale jumps up, even if I haven't over-eaten. I'm guessing that is being caused by water weight gain in relation to my muscles needing to repair themselves after effort they aren't used to? If a person gets to regularly doing that routine - say walking, for instance - does that water weight gain eventually level out and stop happening?

    Yes. If you continue to work your muscles in a consistent fashion your water weight, at least from that, will stay level until you put enough load on them again to need repairing again. Of course exercise will sometimes result in inflammation so don't forget to ice down any trouble spots (if you have any).
  • maureenkhilde
    maureenkhilde Posts: 850 Member
    I so like using not only ice packs, but something I learned when I went to chiropractic therapy a few years ago. If you have specific trouble spots. Buy some small cups/like dixie size the paper ones. Fill with water/freeze then literally unwrap like a snowcone or popscicle and in a circular motion use on the tight muscles. I have found it works great. Use on my shoulders, neck, and hamstrings the most. Use with towel as lots of water drips.
    Good to use even if using a Tens Unit, ice packs helps with pain and inflammation lots.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    The only downside of BMI that I have come across is insurance related. However it has been a long time since I was in a position where I was close to cheaper insurance. I have never been forced to pay more because I had so much muscle mass it moved me into overweight. I simply paid more or was denied more because I was extremely obese.

    Until recently I have never cared to calculate my BMI or my body fat percentage. I can't imagine what new perspective having that information would bring me. When I first started I looked up what the top of my healthy range was and subtracted 5 pounds only so that it would round up the amount I "needed" to lose to 300 pounds. I have no idea right now if I will even try to get to my "healthy" BMI range but it gave me a broad directional goal and it gave me something to enter in the MFP guided set-up. At the time I had no idea that it didn't matter what I put there.
  • bmeadows380
    bmeadows380 Posts: 3,098 Member
    I've been denied insurance because of my body weight, but haven't had trouble in anything else. But my company has this wellness program going and for a while there, they were hitting BMI pretty hard and heavy; they've at least changed it to losing 5% of your weight from last year and moved on to waist size.

    Sadly, when it comes to waist size, I have 2 different measurements, depending on if you want to go over my muffin top or under it.....I track both because its interesting to see when my body decides to use the fat out of the muffin top and I lose faster there than the actual waistline.

    I think some doctors are finally getting on board with understanding what BMI is telling them; at least, the last few I've seen didn't even discuss BMI, they stuck with losing 5%. Though my doctor is thrilled because I've dropped 30% of my starting weight. Sadly, that's only half of what needs to go *sigh* She's a lot more upbeat than I am, but her encouragement helps! :)
  • maureenkhilde
    maureenkhilde Posts: 850 Member
    The one time I was denied it was Mortgage Insurance after we refinanced, it was weight related so to speak, it was due to my A1C number, diabetes. It was too high, and it was at the time.

    And I agree with bmeadows380, both my Primary care, and Endocrinologist have not really said anything to me about my BMI. They both have focused on losing 5% at a time. Primary Care Dr, went as far to say that even losing 1/2 lb to 1 lb a week she thinks is good, key was consistency. For most part I have been losing faster than that.

    Interesing item in the Primary Care Dr's office, even where they do the weighing, taking temp, blood pressure etc... They have posters up talking about losing 5%, and a poster about height, weight and BMI and increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes. They advertise a program via local YMCA for pre-diabetes, education for food, exercise and so on. My Dr. told me that her rule of thumb is any adult who comes to see her, and is in the Obese category, they do a A1C right in the office. And she will do for people who are at the 4th percentile of being overweight. I said besides sending people to the Y program, you should have a dietician to send them to. Because not everyone really gets it about making good food choices. And being a diabetic or even pre-diabetic they need to have a solid understanding.
    I am not making this up, 21 years ago when I was diagnosed, I was given a diet sheet to follow for a 1200 calorie diet with lists of food on it. Told exchanges and that was it. So grateful that so much of that has changed for the better.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    The one time I was denied it was Mortgage Insurance after we refinanced, it was weight related so to speak, it was due to my A1C number, diabetes. It was too high, and it was at the time.

    And I agree with bmeadows380, both my Primary care, and Endocrinologist have not really said anything to me about my BMI. They both have focused on losing 5% at a time. Primary Care Dr, went as far to say that even losing 1/2 lb to 1 lb a week she thinks is good, key was consistency. For most part I have been losing faster than that.

    Interesing item in the Primary Care Dr's office, even where they do the weighing, taking temp, blood pressure etc... They have posters up talking about losing 5%, and a poster about height, weight and BMI and increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes. They advertise a program via local YMCA for pre-diabetes, education for food, exercise and so on. My Dr. told me that her rule of thumb is any adult who comes to see her, and is in the Obese category, they do a A1C right in the office. And she will do for people who are at the 4th percentile of being overweight. I said besides sending people to the Y program, you should have a dietician to send them to. Because not everyone really gets it about making good food choices. And being a diabetic or even pre-diabetic they need to have a solid understanding.
    I am not making this up, 21 years ago when I was diagnosed, I was given a diet sheet to follow for a 1200 calorie diet with lists of food on it. Told exchanges and that was it. So grateful that so much of that has changed for the better.

    That is not hard to believe. Unfortunately it is improved in some areas of the medical field like diabetes but not in others. Doctors are still either neglecting nutrition completely or giving out bad advice. It is well documented what kinds of food help mend broken bones but I have never heard anyone getting a suggested diet plan for recovery.

    My father and uncle were never taught what to eat for their diabetes. My father finally learned it from a book and was surprised that he could lower his A1C and medication and increase his general wellness so easily. My uncle still doesn't know and I scold him regularly for eating things he should not. He went through a really bad work accident and was temporarily admitted to a long-term care facility. They did not feed him correctly the entire time he was there. I kept asking him if they knew he was diabetic and he kept telling me they did. It did not keep them from serving him a carb heavy meal with a full sugar dessert at the end.

    With diabetes running so heavily on both sides of my family I have educated myself on it in advance. I have even challenged myself to eat accordingly for a couple of months just so if they day ever comes I am not in shock over the transition. I am glad to say it wasn't that abnormal for me but I suspect that may also because it is not the extreme that some people, and even I may have initially, presumed it requires. The people that struggle are the people who resist changing at all like my father-in-law who refuses to bend and will eat the way he eats even though it makes him feel so terrible a good deal of the time he stays in bed.
  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,299 Member
    Diabetes runs in both sides of my family...I was pre diabetic before my 66 lb loss but now I am no longer...my husband and I are extremely fortunate that we have a wonderful family doctor for the past three years...we also had a great doctor when we lived in St Pete area and he was our doctor for about 15 years...in between they were not very good....our doctor now is SO supportive of weight loss and has lost over 80 lbs on MFP...he gets very emotional whenever a patient loses weight...he has also encouraged me to see a nutritionist which I did....he stresses healthy sustainable weight loss with accountability....the area we live in has great medical services...probably because everyone here is old lol...my husbands RA doctor and Cardiologist are top rated....these days you have to shop around for a doctor until you find one that is what you are looking for...I hope you both continue fighting your health issues...
  • bmeadows380
    bmeadows380 Posts: 3,098 Member
    @NovusDies The diabetes thing was a key factor, I think, in what helped me get started with this round of weight loss. It runs on my mom's side of the family - she, her sister, and her brother are all 3 diabetic, as well as several aunts and grandparents. My dad is the only diabetic on his side of the family, but he's also very sedentary and obese. However, like your family, I can't get my dad and sister and mom to change the way they eat. My mom still cooks the way she always has and makes desserts with full sugar, and then complains that she can't understand why they can't lose weight. She doesn't understand where carbs are coming from so she claims they aren't eating a lot of carbs just because they don't eat a lot of pasta or potatoes anymore, and I can't get her to understand portion sizes, either. My sister has flat out stated that she refuses to change how she eats; she thinks that learning to moderate is akin to "starving" herself and whenever another health issue comes up, she just asks the doctor for another pill to take.

    I also had a different idea of what the diabetic diet was like and see now that it wouldn't be quite as bad as I thought, but its still something I'd rather avoid if I can. Right now, my sugar levels are fine; I'd like to keep it there. I am on metformin but that was because of PCOS which was also resulting in insulin resistance, and my doctor claims that metformin has other benefits as well, so she'd rather I stay on a lower dose; I did talk her into lowering a couple of years ago, at least.

    Of course, its real fun trying to get facilities to understand that I'm NOT diabetic even though I am taking metformin......
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    Right now I still have reactive hypoglycemia. My A1C is actually below normal as is my fasting glucose. From what I have read, and it may be bunk but who knows, that it could easily swing all the way to the other direction.

    I am not naive enough to think I could completely undo all that I have done to myself by being so obese and sedentary for so long. I am determined to undo what I can though or in other cases at least slow the progression as much as possible. If diabetes is still in my future I hope I have pushed it off for a nice long time. I am not panicked over it either way. No value to worrying about something in advance. There is value in understanding what it might mean since I am at such high risk and I have done that.
  • tempe987
    tempe987 Posts: 39 Member

    So I thought I'd bump this for the newbies that have come on, and maybe also for the longer term people who have been around a while but are contemplating changing some things, like adding in activity. Meanwhile, I'll try in my own small circle, to keep evangelizing the message concerning sensibility and sustainability; hopefully there will be a few who will listen!

    This is so important to me as a newbie, I need to remember that I don't stick to diets and have binging problems when I try... I am starting this time with portion control and consciously making healthier choices. I know that i am not going to have perfect days.. just keep going!
  • Naz_2020
    Naz_2020 Posts: 77 Member
    I view my disordered relationship with food medically. It's not hard for me to do, as I am already fructose intolerant and have IBS, which is very much affected by my diet. I already eat certain ways to make myself feel the best I can; this is simply a further version of it, and like those, it will be something I will have to do the rest of my life if I want to live my best life.

    I really had to identify the things that would pull me off course. So although we have chips in the house, we only buy them in single serving bags. There's nothing that stops me from having two, but interestingly, I find these days I don't always finish the bag when I have a sandwich. I know I can't accurately portion from a larger bag, so I don't buy larger bags. I don't keep sweets out. If they're on the counter, they sing. If the cookies are wrapped into portions (two cookies is a rational portion. Three people is six cookies in a packet) and sitting in the freezer, they don't sing.

    I also had to do a lot of work on myself. Food cannot hold you when you grieve. It cannot dry your tears when you are sad. It cannot hear you out when you're angry. It can't protect you when you're scared. It can't keep you awake when you're tired, or make you feel better when you hurt. I am learning to let food just do what it can; fuel my body, please my palate, and be a way that I say I care about myself and others.

    I really needed this. Food cannot solve my problems. Food is for nourishment of my body. I need to remind myself that. Again and again.
  • jodibeth5744
    jodibeth5744 Posts: 65 Member
    I’m not sure if this is the best place for this, but I have a question about the app in general. If I’ve missed the answer somewhere else, my apologies.

    At the end of each night when I finish off my diary it says “if everyday were like today, you’d weigh xxx in 5 weeks”. I find this encouraging, as it gives me a glimpse that my habits will pay off long term.

    However lately I notice that at the end of each day the number has been increasing. Tonight it was two whole pounds higher than just a few days ago. I always stay within my calories, and rarely eat back exercise calories. If I do, it is less than 100.

    Any advice on why it would be going up?
  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,299 Member
    I’m not sure if this is the best place for this, but I have a question about the app in general. If I’ve missed the answer somewhere else, my apologies.

    At the end of each night when I finish off my diary it says “if everyday were like today, you’d weigh xxx in 5 weeks”. I find this encouraging, as it gives me a glimpse that my habits will pay off long term.

    However lately I notice that at the end of each day the number has been increasing. Tonight it was two whole pounds higher than just a few days ago. I always stay within my calories, and rarely eat back exercise calories. If I do, it is less than 100.

    Any advice on why it would be going up?

    I think everyone’s goes up and down....I don’t take the predicted weight very serious....trust in the process and the weight comes off eventually....Happy Scale will give you a good moving average of your weight loss....a couple of people on here will run your numbers on here so you can predict what you should be losing but it isn’t always precise....water weight,stress,hormones etc can factor into your rate of loss...
  • jodibeth5744
    jodibeth5744 Posts: 65 Member
    @conniewilkins56

    Thank you. I was worried it was doing it off my food choices, and I try to eat pretty clean. I do use happy scale and find it very encouraging as well! 🙂
  • bmeadows380
    bmeadows380 Posts: 3,098 Member
    The general advice on the main forums is to ignore that "in 5 weeks" thing as it is inaccurate at best. Like Connie said, a trending app will be much more useful though it can be irritating when the moving average goes up on it too-the only weigh in I've had to input is Monday and I was up 8 lbs in water weight so it bumped my moving average back up by 2 lbs and put it back above 230 lbs again. So frustrating! Getting that average permanently into the 220's has been so hard for me!
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    @conniewilkins56

    Thank you. I was worried it was doing it off my food choices, and I try to eat pretty clean. I do use happy scale and find it very encouraging as well! 🙂

    No. Food choices do not matter for weight loss, only calories matter. Food choices need to be reasonably well rounded for a sensible approach to weight loss and life.

    The prediction mechanism is pretty terrible. It takes into account no history and it is based on repeating the exact same day over and over for 5 weeks. It does not even work well doing that.

    Even though my weight loss has been fairly predictable I have always been reluctant to do it. I had to do it for medical reasons last year and I threaded the needle pretty closely. It was a pretty uncomfortable period for me though. I find it better not to feel pressured and those 3 months were my tightest controlled period which resulted in my mental state starting to unravel. I very nearly lost control a few times. It was only because I had been losing for so long that I stayed on top of it.
  • speyerj
    speyerj Posts: 1,369 Member
    @jodibeth5744 - that little message at the end of the day is just looking at the amount of your calorie deficit - what MFP thinks you burned today (based on your weight, selected activity level and recorded exercise) minus your recorded food. Then it multiplies the deficit by 35 (5 weeks x 7 days), divides that number by 3500 (because 3500 calories = 1 pound of fat) and subtracts that number from your weight. It's a simple math equation. But as you know, not every day is like the one before and most likely your weight is not the same as it was the day before. I consider it a fun curiosity. Sometimes it makes me smile. But I put no stock in in at all.