Monday, September 7, 2009

The Sum of Their Equation

Even as a teenager, I knew something was just not right with the equation.

As I grew ever heavier over the years, and would work to get it off, then watch it come back, over and over for over 30 years, I knew something in the equation was off.

They told me, everyone knows it, that it is nothing more than calories in vs calories out when it comes to weight gain and loss.

If that was so true, why, oh why, did I sometimes subsist on so little, and lose almost nothing, even with exercise, and others I knew never bothered to be very active, ate all they wanted, and they never gained an ounce?

Also, they told us over and over that the time of day you ate had nothing to do with it.

Now, comes a new study out of Northwestern University in Illinois.

Researchers put groups of mice that had the exact same genetic background, in other words, bred specially for this kind of test, so you are comparing apples to apples, on the same number of calories a day, and the same exercise regimen. The only difference between the two groups is that one was fed most of their calories during the day. The others were fed the majority of their calories during the hours when they would usually be in a sleep cycle.

Result? The group of mice, fed the same number of calories and getting the same exercise, fed at night, gained twice the weight of the other group.

Translation according to scientists? I can hear it now -- it's just mice, it doesn't matter, it won't translate to humans, calories in vs calories out is the only equation, you just eat too much.

But. The calories in vs calories out equation does not take into account that some people's metabolism is slower than others. It doesn't take into account the fact that your calorie needs vary from day to day, even from hour to hour, depending on how much sleep you got, what your hormone levels are, your current activity level, and a whole bunch of other etceteras.

Everything matters. What you eat. When you eat. Hormone levels. How you eat it (mindfully or mindlessly). How fast. How much. How much your body needs at that hour on that day.

It has always been more than just simple math, because the human body is more than just the sum of an easy equation. No two people react exactly the same to the exact same medications, procedures, or stimuli. Our bodies are more tremendously complex than we could ever imagine.

The study was reported in the journal Obesity, and a report about it can be seen here:

They are starting to see what those of us who gain weight so easily, and take so long to lose it, have known for years.

We are not just the sum of their equation.

Today is:

Carnegie Library Day, Scotland

Carrie Nation Festival

Death Day

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary -- Catholic Christian

Festival of Durga (goddess of Engergy and the World)

Fiesta de Santa Fe

Google Commemoration Day

Grandad's Day

Grandma Moses Day

His Holiness Sakya Trizin's Birthday -- Buddhist

Independence Day, Brazil

Kielbasa Festival

Labor Day

National Napoleon Day

Neither Snow Nor Rain Day

Onam Festival

Snow Ridge Scots-Irish Festival, Turin, NY

St. Cloud's Day

United Tribes International Pow-Wow

Welsh Fairies Nonnet-Hurling Competition -- Fairy Calendar

Birthdays Today:

Gloria Gaynor, 1949
Richard Roundtree, 1942
Cuneyt Arkin, 1937
John Phillip Law, 1937
Buddy Holly, 1936
Don Messick, 1927
Peter Lawford, 1923
Anthony Quayle, 1913
Elia Kazan, 1909
Michael E. DeBakey, 1908
Grandma Moses, 1860
Elizabeth I, Queen of England, 1533

Today in History:

Traditionally, the solar eclipse date that marks the birth of Heracles of Thebes (Latin Hercules), BC1251
The Roman army under Titus occupies and plunders Jerusalem, 70
The "Troy Post" of NY first uses "Uncle Sam" to refer to the US, 1813
Last hold-up of Jesse James, 1881
Edith Eleanor McLean becomes the first baby in the US to be put in an incubator for premature infants, 1888
The first day of the first Miss America Pageant is held in Atlantic City, NJ, 1921
Philo T. Farnsworth demonstrates the first use of television in San Francisco, 1927
Integration begins in Washington, D.c. and Baltimore, MD public schools, 1954

1 comment:

  1. Good afternoon! That's very interesting about the study. Growing up, I was very thin and took a lot of cruel jokes about being anorexic - which I was not. At 30, I had to start being careful not to gain too much! It's a struggle, isn't it?
    I see today is kielbasa day. I did buy some hot Italian sausage to serve with red beans and rice - that's pretty close!!!!