Obesity - Relax and Involve

Exact calorie approach

Obvious reasons

Everyone knows the reasons for the appearance of excess weight. If you move a little and eat a lot, then obesity sets in. You need to eat less and burn calories so as not to get fat. Everyone knows that.

Also, the cause of obesity is called genes, ecology, stress. To fight, they offer separate nutrition, rejection of sweet or starchy foods, regulation of hormones, transplantation of microflora and suturing of the stomach. But the main thing is to eat less and run more.

Without exaggeration, millions of scientific papers are devoted to the study of obesity. Food and sofas are harmful - this obvious truth is spelled out in billions of heads, illustrations and jokes. It remains only from hundreds of popular options to choose a suitable diet and a set of exercises, a trifle.

The postulates are undeniable, although during the transition from theory to practice, there is often a creak and crackle. However, these strange sounds are easily drowned out with loud arguments: laziness, illiteracy, self-deception.

It is hard to doubt the obvious. The sun revolves around the Earth - evidence is not needed for what is visible with the naked eye.


I didn’t mention much in this article, otherwise the text would be too long. I assume that the reader is well acquainted with the topic, knows a lot, so you can not mention the obvious facts, even available on Wikipedia. For example :
Under conditions of a positive caloric balance, a significant part of the potential energy of food is stored in the form of glycogen or fat energy. In many tissues, even with normal nutrition, not to mention the states of caloric deficiency or starvation, predominantly fatty acids are oxidized, not glucose. The reason for this is the need to preserve glucose for those tissues (for example, for the brain or red blood cells) that constantly need it. Therefore, regulatory mechanisms, often with the participation of hormones, must ensure a constant supply of all tissues with suitable fuel in conditions of both normal nutrition and starvation.

If I didn’t write about something, then one of two things - either I really don’t know, I didn’t meet, or I considered it too common knowledge. I marked the places of greatest interest to me with a request - I could not find it, if possible, tell me, please.

The second important note - I am not trying to refute the influence of known factors on thinness and completeness. I point out the weakness of the rationale, but I am not trying to refute it. The mechanism of fat deposition is influenced by genes, stress, the logic of evolution, and disease. And the quantity, and composition, and even the order of food intake.

Yes, genetic failure, illness, significant malnutrition or overeating - any of the factors can be decisive. But it’s interesting for me to consider not exceptions, but the normal conditions in which the majority of those around me live. When there are no diagnosed diseases, bed rest or increased training, when daily calorie intake does not differ significantly from some average norm.

I begin to doubt when, under ordinary conditions, one of the factors begins to be called decisive, abrogating the effect of all other factors.

And I doubt when the list of well-known factors is called complete, excluding the possibility of additions.

In this article, I talked about my attempt to discover another factor. Which is also not decisive, cannot cancel the action of other factors. And it may well be crossed out upon further study. I am not refuting the existing factors, but I am talking about the opportunity to take a closer look at the next candidate.

Two slats

Often, when speaking about the need to limit the calories consumed for weight loss, reference is made to studies that prove that restricting calories consumed leads to weight loss. If the restriction works, then it is called necessary.

If glass can be broken with a hammer, which has been proven in numerous experiments, then to pass through a glass door, a hammer becomes a necessary tool.

Nearby there is a statement that for weight loss you need to burn incoming calories with active muscle work. This statement only supplements the rule of calorie restriction, helps to balance the balance - so much has come, so much has gone. You can eat less or spend more to end up in the desired minus.

I propose to admit that there are not one, but two boundaries in calorie intake. Two thresholds, two levels, two levels. If the incoming quantity is less than the lower bar, then the person is losing weight. If it comes more than the upper bar, then the person gets fat.

If the gap between the slats is large enough, then a person may not bother with calories. If the gap between the slats is minimal or absent, then the person should shy away from cakes and chops and sweat heavily in gyms, because the slightest deviation in the balance will lead either to obesity or to exhaustion.

Theoretically, both bars can be moved. They are affected by the same many factors: genes, stress, health, and something else. And there can be no evidence that the list of known factors cannot be expanded with something new.

All further text is based on two assumptions: there are two bars, the upper one can be shifted up.

Interpretation of statistics

For me, science is a hobby, not a career, so I allow myself to admit to ignorance when I don’t know something.

Sometimes in different forums I ask for a link to a scientific work that has proved the existence of a causal relationship between excess calories and obesity. If you know about such studies, write to me, please, I have been looking for it for a long time.

Yes, I doubt that they get fat from eating. There is no doubt that it is food that turns into fat, but who has proved that all excess food is necessarily converted to fat?

After waiting out the accusations of lack of education and trolling, sometimes I got links to one or more statistical studies on the forums, which clearly shows that the undernourished always lose weight, and the overeaters usually get fat.

But the statistical correlation, the apparent relationship of several quantities, cannot serve as evidence of a causal relationship. Correlation is not evidence. After - does not mean consequence.

If an increase in one is observed along with an increase in something else, then it is not a fact that an increase in the first leads to an increase in the second. May be the cause, but may not be the cause.

If the growth of events A is accompanied by the growth of events B, then the growth of A can be caused by the growth of B. Or the growth of B can be caused by the growth of A. Overeating causes excess weight, or does the presence of excess weight provoke overeating?

Or there may be event C, which serves as a cause for both A and B. Obesity, a tendency to overeat and reluctance to move - they can all be caused by some other reason, which has not yet come into sight.

In statistics, there is a wonderful example of fire - the more firefighters came to extinguish, the more damage the fire does. This is true, repeated for many years in different cities. Yes, the number of firefighters involved is proportional to the size of the damage. Based on the correlation found, is it necessary to reduce the number of firefighters in cities?

Ice cream sales are directly proportional to the number of drowned (in cities with beaches). The money allocated to space and science is directly proportional to the number of suicides (not during the crisis years). And then you can google “funny correlations” or “false correlations” so that dozens of examples emphasize the main idea - stop using statistics as evidence of a causal relationship.

For the pair “number of firefighters and damage” you need to make out “Ts” - fire. For a couple of “ice cream consumption and drowned” you need to make out the “C” - heat. For a couple of “expenses on science and suicide” you need to make out “Ts” - the power of frustration, which rises along the steps of the Maslow pyramid. For a pair of “overeating and the amount of fat” there can be no “C”, because there are no white spots in science, all processes in the body are documented accurate to the molecule, right?

Yes, there are scientific studies on obesity. Many, very many. For decades, the process of turning food into subcutaneous fat has been studied. If we draw an analogy with pistol shooting, scientists have found out in detail what exactly happens when the trigger is pulled - how the force is transmitted, the striker spring is released, the capsule sets fire to the powder, the bullet leaves the barrel and interacts with the target.

In order for the targets to be intact, it is recommended to buy cartridges less often and change targets more often. Eat less and move more. Sometimes it works. But I'm interested in the reason for the shot - who pulls the trigger, and why does he do it? Studying the mechanism of the pistol and statistics of hits in the target do not help answer questions about the reasons for the shooting.

According to statistics, compulsively or spontaneously overeating more among the fat than among the thin. Yes, but only if there are more fat in the study than thin. If you take the same amount of fat and skinny, then spontaneously overeating will be more among the skinny. Overeating Helps Stay Skinny? Or spontaneous overeating does not correlate with the number of calories consumed?

Statistics is a good tool, but it has a limited scope. Statistical studies are well suited to confirm or refute hypotheses. With a possible alteration of conclusions later, because it is impossible in practice to take into account all the factors.

There are many statistical studies in which the restriction of calories below a certain limit clearly leads to weight loss. There are many studies in which a significant excess of habitual intake leads to obesity. But I would be extremely curious to look at studies that studied normal servings of food for healthy, that is, not fat and skinny people - how their weight is affected by constant and long-term, but small deviations from the golden mean. If you know about such studies, please share a link to them.


I still continue on the forums to ask for evidence of a link between calorie balance and obesity (a recent attempt here ). The funniest answer seems to me to be a reference to the law of conservation of mass and energy.

They say that the number of calories absorbed with food must be equal to the sum of calories spent on actions and calories deposited in fat reserves. What I ate and did not spend goes to fat. Physics, the law.

Thermodynamics refers to science, no doubt, but man is not a closed system. Reread the definition of the principle of conservation from beginning to end to notice this crucial nuance.

Not all calories from the digestive tract that are suitable for digestion will be absorbed by the body. The digestive system does not absorb everything that is available. In addition to using and storing animals, there are other options. The digestive system is a tube, not a dead end.

If in doubt, ask what the sacred scarab eats. And why in the summer it is impossible to throw yeast into the cesspool of a country toilet. In fact, you can’t throw, do not do so.

There are many arguments and counterarguments on this subject. Scarab is about herbivores, they can have it, because fiber. But herbivores have a more specialized and therefore more efficient digestive system. But this is still grass, and a person eats cooked and therefore prepared for digestion food. But a person is still actively advertised with pancreatin tablets when overeating, because the digestive system cannot digest everything and in any volumes, even if it is prepared. But still, the presence of undigested carbohydrates in human tests is a symptom of disease. But this is because the tests are usually taken from patients, take an interest in the analyzes of a healthy person who has moved. Take an interest in such filth yourself, I am eating now and do not want to think about it.

There has been and will be much debate on this subject. Because it is extremely difficult to find evidence that a healthy digestive system will digest and absorb everything that gets into it. Especially with gluttony, which reproach the fat. I did not find such evidence, if you know them, then tell me, please.

The attempts that I know to experimentally confirm this formula are based on not so clean and clear sources of numbers “consumed”, “spent”, “postponed”, “lost”.

The amount of food eaten in numerous experiments is determined by voluntary diary entries, which you can trust only with a very great desire to trust. The survey is taken as a measurement.

The number of calories in eaten and recorded is also determined only approximately. For example, try to determine the number of calories that an average person can absorb from the 200 grams of Greek salad mentioned in the diary. Given the fact that the ratio of components in a particular serving of salad depends on many reasons, starting with the mood of the cook.

Burning a similar portion in the calorimeter should not be offered in order not to mix intestinal microbiomes, which are still poorly studied, and it can be clearly said only that each person’s microbiome is unique, so different people’s microbiomes solve the same problems with different efficiencies.

At the end of the last century, they decided to move away from the simple but inaccurate “4-4-9” method and began to compile tables with a glycemic index (GI), based on which we can make more accurate assumptions about the caloric content of dishes made from certain products. But the glucose level after a certain time after consumption is not the total number of calories received.

Imagine that the car left the gas station, accelerated for half an hour, then slowly slowed down. If you photograph the speedometer half an hour after leaving the gas station, you can calculate the number of liters of fuel that fell into the tank of the car. It is possible, but very approximately.

The most prominent peak on the graph of frequent measurements of blood glucose was taken to measure GI. The graphs for different products are similar, but still different - they are different curves, therefore they do not allow calculating the area of ​​a figure using the same formula. Charts have several peaks and dips, and not smooth growth with one peak and smooth departure. And the schedules change, but not add up, while using different products - the porridge with oil schedule is not the sum of the porridge and oil schedules.

The glycemic index is useful to consider in the presence of diabetes and similar diseases, when it is important to control peak values, but GI is far from perfect in determining the true calorie content of foods.

There are several different classifications of GI. And in GI tables taken from different sources, the values ​​for the same products can differ several times, so the choice of a table for personal use depends on accessibility, authority or sympathy, and not on logic.

Identifying a product by name can also only be very approximate. For example, everyone knows that the glycemic index depends on the processing of foods, 30 GI of raw carrots, 85 GI of stewed carrots - enough for calculations, it seems. Sugar will jump up, insulin will come running, the mechanics are clear, even for the humanities, if you don’t think about what sort of carrot got today, how long it was stewed, and how much the weight of the final dish is diluted with water in order to figure out the calories eaten.

From the criticized but still used concepts of fast and slow carbohydrates, we moved to the glycemic index. Which is replaced by tables with glycemic load (GN). Which is also classified and measured in different ways. Moreover, both GI and GN poorly correlate with the calorie content of products. If only because glucose is not all calories.

In general, calories and kilocalories are not food ingredients. The term has become so commonly used, it is so often talked about in forums and written on labels that I see no reason to refuse to use this understandable word. But still, do not forget that calories are not only glucose. Especially when these same calories are trying to measure.

Not everything eaten will enter the bloodstream. The trapped can only be measured very roughly, even in laboratory conditions. And yet, it will be partially excreted into the bloodstream without use. There is no easy way to determine how many calories a person will eat from work.

And there is no easy way to determine how many calories a person will spend. Calorie intake is determined not only by the amount of work done that can be seen outside the body. The question is, how many calories will be spent on moving a body weighing 80 kilograms along a horizontal line to a distance of 8 kilometers?

My bracelet is always ready to tell me exactly how many calories I spent, having gone through so many thousands of steps today. However, he is not interested in the weight of my body and bag, the number of turns and stops with subsequent acceleration, does not take into account the health of the back and especially the gait - skillful smooth, tired shuffling, joyfully bouncing, walking or afterburner. The bracelet considers something average and beautifully displays on a modern screen, although real costs depend on real conditions.

It is possible to measure the heat released by the body - direct calorimetry. But there are not so many metabolic chambers for people , it is difficult to register for a personal examination. And laboratory conditions are not everyday life.

It is possible to measure carbon dioxide exhaled by humans. A few years ago they again offered to take a closer look at the exhaled one, and pocket gadgets for quick analysis even appeared on sale. It is logical to assume that during oxidation with the release of energy, carbon dioxide is generated. You can even ignore the processes of anaerobic oxidation, the final product of which is not only CO2 and H2O, but also lactic acid and nitrogenous compounds. But indirect methods of calorimetry (alimentary, respiratory) give a significant error.

There is no easy way to calculate the income, there is no easy way to calculate the expense, the numbers go up many times, but for some reason this doesn’t interfere with setting norms and encouraging you to focus on average numbers, use percentages of consumption in diets, and indicate the payload to the nearest thousand steps. And to believe that in the formula “received = spent + postponed + lost” you can ignore unknown losses.

Guesses about evolution

Another argument in defense of a reasonable balance is based on assumptions about the evolution of man - he received food very irregularly, so only those who were able to store calories for the future went through natural selection. The energy system, in anticipation of the dark days, fills the fat stores, formed in this way, presumably.

But the man was formed in conditions that did not require hibernation or fly south. Yes, the seasonal lack of food could be repeated for millennia, entrenched in the genes, but this is only an assumption.

It can be based on assumptions, but assumptions are not proof, they are only assumptions. Surprise?

However, for a long time and successfully there are diets based on assumptions. In order for the “memory of hunger” to disappear, you need to eat often, but little by little. So that the “mechanism for a rainy day” does not turn on, you should always be a little hungry. The controversy in diets, however, does not stop recommending them on the Internet.

Modern ideas about the times of the appearance of man are collected from guesses based on the finds of fragments of household utensils and petrified bones. Too small even for statistical significance. We can always wait for new finds.

And we can make new assumptions with different conclusions when studying existing historical evidence. For example, what is the percentage of fat people among medieval rich people who ate cooked food, didn’t lack food, didn’t strain in gyms, and had a great many reasons for stress?

Stress definition

Throughout my life I was twice chubby and twice was skinny. By puffiness I mean the presence of extra folds and a round belly, by leanness I mean bulging ribs and hollow cheeks. By the way, losing weight was easier than gaining the missing.

My doubts began after serving in the army. The first year of physical activity was the strongest, the food was scarce, and we were constantly hungry. However, on vacation I came chubby.

The second year of service was easy, there was plenty of food, it was possible to sort out, but only lazy exercise once a week remained from physical education. However, in the second year of service I lost a lot of weight.

There was a discrepancy between the observed and the theory - an excess of calories and lack of movement led to a sharp weight loss.

The menu of the soldier’s dining room did not change, the genes were of the same person, the intestinal microbiome did not suit revolutions. Of the “well-known” causes of obesity, stress remains to be considered.

The boundaries of the term are very blurred. The people I interviewed mean the word “stress” different things. Stress is both a great effort and a long load. Strong emotions or the need to restrain emotions. Or an unusual situation.

Unusual with regular repetition becomes habitual. The body adapts, adapts, ceases to rush to extremes, optimally calculates efforts. Can addiction last for years, during which weight is gained?

For efforts, we come to the gym to lose weight. As you train, we increase the load, because of which the body again and again falls into unusual conditions. Do gyms lead to obesity? Increased stress, and unusual, lead to weight loss. Something doesn't fit.

You can mean stress by a prolonged state of anxiety or other reasons to be nervous. Nerve stress. But repeatedly there were examples of very skinny and at the same time very nervous people who, suddenly, grew stout when changing their lifestyle to a calmer one.

When meeting with an unfamiliar word, not all and do not always go to the explanatory dictionary. It is easier to first guess the value by consonance and check the assumption by context.At the first meeting with the word “stress”, we can assume that we are talking about a scientifically looking analogue of the word “shock”, shocks are unpleasant and leave some traces in the body, they are sick from shocks - the guess fits the context, you can remember, you can not touch the dictionaries .

The dictionary suggests that stress is a reaction of an organism that is trying to get used to a changed situation. The body is unbalanced - the body adjusts during stress to achieve a new balance. Does the body's attempt to adapt lead to obesity? But hardening the body with a cold or contrast shower is considered a useful procedure.

The dictionary not only mentions reactions of adaptation, but specifically nonspecific ones that are not peculiar to something specific, universal. If we are talking about the absence of specialized reactions, then under stress the body tries to react creatively, at least somehow adapt to minimize losses. Stress is a beneficial function of the body. Or is stress an unsatisfactory assessment of the performance of a useful function?

If we are talking about the unusual reaction, then when considering stress, we should take into account the training system. What is the harm caused by stress in this case - the conditions change too often or dramatically, so that damage appears and the learning system gets tired, or there is no positive reinforcement that allows you to accumulate experience, or the experience gained contradicts the existing specific reactions, so conflicts adapt to the system Or is there simply no learning mechanism in those parts of the endocrine system that are stressed?

I am sure that when getting acquainted with the word “stress”, not everyone thought about such issues. It’s easier to accept that stress is something bad, the details are not important, they won’t ask at the exam.

When you read the phrase “this is due to stress” in a regular article, you can assume that the author is not interested in the real reason. Whatever he talks about. Ask the author what he means by the term “stress”. It is very likely that the author wanted to add scientific expressions to the expression "this bad is due to something bad."

It is also possible that when using the words “stress” they mean “stressor” - a factor leading to stress. The words are mixed up, sometimes it’s not necessary to find fault. Factors can be harmful, yes.

The list of possible stress factors is long, but a common problem remains for all stressors - the same factors can accompany both obesity and weight loss. The connection is far from obvious, the mechanism of influence is not clear.

Perhaps for obesity you need a combination of several specific stressors and a negative attitude, emotional rejection. Not just the presence of a factor, but the balance of several. Perhaps I do not deny such an opportunity. But has anyone studied the topic of combining or balancing several different factors?

Cross out eustresses in bulk or one at a time? Or, from stresses, only those adaptation processes that reach the stage of exhaustion make people fatten? The pseudo-answers are harmful in that they allow you to calm down and stop the search.

Popular interpretations of stress are far from scientific definitions and do not allow us to discern the cause of the observed processes. The word stress is used as a magic spell, but gives only the appearance of an answer. We do not get the answer to the question “how does it work”.

Fat burning

Apart from the issue of fat, there is the issue of getting rid of excess fat. The popular point of view is that it can only be used up in the process of fasting or active work. The established term “burning” seems to me evil, but I suppose that it seems energetic and therefore motivating.

The most effective method of burning is considered a combination of diet and muscle loads. The calculation of the number of calories consumed and spent has come into fashion. Smart scales, pedometers, programs with a magazine, calculators ... The

question of backfilling, who spends more calories - peppy man, twice a week going to the gym , or little movement, but always tired old man? Ask masseurs or experiment with a thermal imager - body immobility does not mean a lack of work.

And how to measure the work of the brain, taking into account the presence of the subconscious? The brain consumes a fifth of the body’s energy, according to the Internet. Do more calories go into maintaining anxious expectations or in business communication with work colleagues?

I can’t believe the popular articles, which recommend reducing the daily calorie expenditure to any number, because the daily calorie expenditures for people who are outwardly the same and perform similar actions can vary significantly.

And how to measure calorie consumption when performing recommended exercises? Who proved that the work of lifting a load of mass M to a height H in different people leads to the consumption of N calories? The musculoskeletal system is a complex system to which the rules of simple mechanics cannot be applied to justify the norms taken from statistics. By the way, “average”, “normal” and “healthy” are different numbers.

In support of thousands of exercises, a curious postulate lay down - accumulated fat can only be burned, it will not go away. I could not find a scientific justification for the postulate, there are only assumptions.

You need to run for at least an hour every day to exhaust the supply of muscle and liver, only then the fat begins to break down, otherwise nothing. The argument for burning fat - in the body there is no other mechanism for removing fat, there is only a mechanism for splitting with a lack of calories. But the lack of knowledge of the mechanism is not evidence of the absence of a mechanism.

Muscles without loads successfully lose weight, despite the lack of a natural mechanism for the withdrawal of muscle fibers. Stopped swinging - lost shape. The argument for the need to burn fat is that the body spends very little energy on maintaining reserves, and muscle costs are higher, and a different mechanism in general, so muscles atrophy and only burn fat. But it is known that the body does not like loafers, even minor ones. Atrophy with lack of demand can be everything from bone tissue to the brain. Has evolution made an oversight exception for fat?

I cannot and do not want to refute popular versions. On the contrary, I have been trying for many years to find confirmation for them. I want to see evidence, not the credibility of the sources or retelling of the words of the commentators.

I am looking for justification for the postulates. You can try to refute the rationale, but it is not. Popular versions do not meet Popper's criterion (scientific theory needs the possibility of refutation), therefore popular versions are far from the scientific method. I can not argue with the argument "everyone knows."

I can’t give proofs to the fact that I did not find proofs for the well-known statements “excess calories inevitably are deposited in fat” and “fat goes away only with intense activity”.

Therapeutic diets

Yes, if a person limits his diet to some minimum that is no longer enough for normal life, then a person will lose weight. Definitely, no doubt.

You don’t even have to look for absolute numbers of consumption and expenditure, relatively relative - to reduce portions by a dozen or two percent of the usual and increase the number of steps taken per day, adding a trip to the gym. To start. If it does not help, then move the boundaries a little more. And further.Until it helps.

If a person is fed with water, then he will lose weight. If a person is continuously chased by a stick, then he will also lose weight. If a person is tied to a bed and forcefully stuffed with food, then he will begin to get fat. Undoubtedly, yes, it is. But borderline conditions cause abnormal reactions in metabolism, and therefore should not be construed as an explanation of why some get fat or lose weight under normal conditions.

A strict diet not only limits calories. It also causes a feeling of weakness with an unwillingness to strain or fills the body with tension from unpleasant emotions and constant internal struggle. Changes in the functioning of the cardiovascular and many other body systems are also inevitable. Rebuild habits and reflexes. Nevertheless, it is customary to record any effects of a restrictive diet on the account of changes in the calorie balance. Another simplification.

At the end of the diet, a person can remain skinny, go back to normal, or get fat again - this unpredictability of the result allows us to think about the fact that in the mechanism of gaining excess weight, not only the balance of calories can cause changes. And touching on the real cause looks like a side effect of diets and exercise - possible, but not necessary.

If the real cause of obesity was affected and corrected during fasting or exercise, then the person will remain slim after the hunger strike and training are stopped. If in the process of fasting and training the real reason has not been corrected, then a person returning to normal life will begin to get fat again.

I am definitely for dieting when prescribed by a doctor. Diets help to cure many diseases. Be sure to follow the instructions of your doctor.

Obesity treatment must necessarily begin with a trip to the endocrinologist to check the functions of the pituitary, thyroid, adrenal glands and then on the list of possible problems that can lead to the disease. In this article, I consider only normal cases of abnormal obesity - the doctor did not find any pathologies during the examination and gave the general recommendation “eat less and move more.”

It is also curious that as a result of treatment, the digestibility of calories and not only them improves. That is, a fat person will be able to get more, but this will lose weight. I recommend supporters of the theory of a tough debit-credit balance to emphasize that not only income will improve upon recovery, but it will also become easier to spend. However, I still do not know how to link this with attempts to calculate the calorie expenditure for work done outside the body - in gyms and on the screens of pedometers, the visible work does not change with the treatment of digestion or metabolism.

If the diet prescribed by your doctor implies a calorie restriction, then I urge you to carefully follow a diet. I can only advise you to look for pleasant traits in the feeling of hunger. It is associated with anticipation, so it should be enjoyable. Unpleasant sensations during hunger indicate an unhealthy digestive tract or a malfunction in eating behavior - both options require correction, not patience.

I am not against diets. I can even give a hypothesis that when the digestive tract is empty, the body switches to a cleaning mode at the cellular level, which can beneficially affect the health of the skin and internal organs, and for this you can starve on Saturdays. I like this hypothesis. And not only her. But, attention, a hypothesis is not even a theory, therefore, it gives rise to experiments under the supervision of scientists and doctors, and not to idle violence against one’s body.

And with all my approval of diets, I cannot approve of the advice of fitness trainers based solely on popularity, adorned with guesses about the mechanisms involved. And I can not approve of the stories about the results of personal experimentsin the field of diets. And therefore I do not plan to talk about my experiences. I'm not selling another diet, another set of exercises, or another gadget here.

Neither the success of individual experiments, nor the popularity of individual recipes is evidence. Moreover, when there are many very different approaches that in different cases work with different efficiencies - such inconsistency always occurs when struggling with the consequences, treating the symptoms.

It seems to me that the importance of diets is exaggerated. Too much attention is paid to individual products and the sequence of their use.

This general craze for diets is particularly perplexing against the background of the fact that what is happening in the intestine is very far from full coverage by science. Diets are often chosen according to recommendations, and not according to the state of their personal gastrointestinal tract, which directly affects the absorption of certain substances from eaten food.

Excess calories

We digress for a short time from science and work with our hands. Imagine yourself managing a person’s circulatory system.

We have a central pump of the heart in our farm, and there are tubes of blood vessels that run around the body, branch there to the capillaries, then collect and return. In different parts of the system, the contents of the tubes are enriched with oxygen and nutrients. Somewhere there is a conclusion of harmful substances and service depot.

We can control the central pump - to accelerate the heartbeat and slow down as needed. We can also narrow or widen the lumen of individual vessels. But we cannot direct nutrients directly to the consumer. I did not find such mechanisms in the circulatory system, if you know about such, then write to me, please. Just do not offer torsion twists, I already saw this ridiculous idea.

Consumers are trying to keep a supply of nutrients in case of urgent work. Inside the cells. And as these operational reserves are consumed, they begin to signal - I have worked, I need to replenish the reserves, otherwise I will not be able to continue working.

We will uncover the central pump. At the consumer site, we will expand the vessels. On lounging areas, narrow the vessels. But feasible intervention will not change the overall picture - if a thousand tubes-capillaries pass through a starving section, then millions more capillaries will remain that pass through other sections.

In the area of ​​the digestive system, the necessary calories will go into the vessels, run past the central pump and scatter throughout the body. They will go not directly to the consumer, but to all the tubes in a row. The consumer will get only a small part that fell on his site.

We will need to add calories and several times run them through all the vessels, so that in one of the areas the hungry one is satisfied.

The delivery process is not instantaneous, so consumers begin to signal in advance, before the onset of real hunger, so that the digestive and circulatory system has a margin of time for delivery.

While a hungry consumer is saturated, calories pass by all other organs - I don’t want to take it. Someone is always working in the body, so an excess of calories in the blood is the norm for the body.

The device of the circulatory system suggests, conditions, dictates a constant excess of calories. Excess calories in the body is a necessary norm.

It takes a long malnutrition or a serious illness so that the calories in the blood remain exactly as much as the working organs really need. And in this case, an amount sufficient for life will not be enough, because calories will run throughout the body, and not purposefully delivered to the working organs.

The popular version of obesity "excess calories" can not stand the gaze. If there is no excess of calories in the blood, then unpleasant hypoglycemia occurs , and not beautiful harmony. If part of the calories begins to be deposited in fat cells, then there must be some reason for this, and not just the presence of calories.

Purpose of warehouses

The lower bar to “lose weight” is the depletion of reserves in the muscles and liver with continued muscle activity, that is, burning is known to everyone, at least. Plus, maybe some other triggers.

The upper bar “getting fat” is not just the presence of an excess of calories, but some kind of prolonged excess of a certain level of calories in the blood, unknown in time and level, that is, everyone knows about overeating. Plus, maybe some other triggers.

Someone, for some reason, gives the order to create fat reserves. I allowed myself not to brush aside doubts, to move away from the well-known facts and factoids on the topic of balance, and decided to look for a possible customer.

Sometimes calories do not just run around in a circle waiting for consumers, but begin to be deposited in fat reserves. Fat is a supply of nutrients. The energy that the body needs for life.

Consumer organs have an intracellular supply of food, plus they can replenish their supply at any time from the supply of food in the blood. And only if a lot of work is expected, so that the normal blood supply runs out, the glycogen reserve in the liver is empty, and the digestive system cannot quickly deliver new calories, then additional reserves will be needed.

A lot of work, and vital, which can not be postponed until later. In this case, the body will begin to draw reserves from adipose tissue. Fat reserves are insurance for the digestive system.

We draw up a portrait of the customer fat deposits. It can consume a lot, so blood supply can be depleted. His work cannot be delayed until after lunch. It works for a long time, so that the fat has time to break down, release the stored energy for consumption.

Which organs require a lot of energy? The central nervous system loves calories, but with prolonged exertion it becomes numb and strives to fall asleep, but does not wait for the breakdown of fats.

The digestive system also consumes a lot of energy in the process of digestion, but if tired, it will leave the work unfinished, and will not continue to work actively.

Leafing through anatomical atlases, I found only one answer. Muscles are perfect for the description. They can work for a long time, they take a lot of energy. You can not postpone running away from the enemy or the pursuit of prey for later.

If you can find another option, write to me, please. I will be happy to think about the new version.

Location of warehouses

It is curious that fat is not deposited everywhere, but in some places. There are, for example, female and male types of obesity. In women, hips, buttocks, and lower abdomen are overgrown with fat. In men, fat is higher, prefers the waist, the entire abdomen and shoulder girdle. It is customary to explain these differences with genes or hormones, but the popular answer does not fit the question “how does it work.”

There are other types of division of obesity by type. What they have in common is that fat is not deposited everywhere. Although the excess of calories, I recall, runs uniformly throughout the body. Something in the body dictates the place of storage. Different in some different cases. Sometimes the hips get fat, sometimes the stomach sticks out, sometimes the neck gets extra chins.

Since fat is a supply of nutrients, we can safely assume that fat is deposited close to the customer, who may need these nutrients in large quantities. In order not to run around the body once again, but to immediately get closer to the place of consumption.

If you carefully consider all places prone to obesity, it is easy to find that there is some muscle under the layer of fat. Not surprisingly, muscles are present almost everywhere. Here are just fat deposits, as a rule, repeat the shape of individual muscles. This is especially noticeable when obesity is just beginning, when the body has not yet rushed to the shape of a ball.

And one more useful fact can be found by groping. Muscles under a layer of fat are always tense. Even in the absence of visible work, they remain solid, sometimes painfully. Tension indicates ongoing work.

Muscle clamps

Each muscle is controlled by a program - upon the occurrence of such and such conditions, strain, when these conditions disappear, stop tensing and relax.

Programs are constantly being adjusted. If a muscle is often used, it tenses faster and stronger. If the muscle is rarely used, then it atrophies, strains slowly, produces a small force.

As life experience gains, the body masters new movements, calibrates receptors and optimizes muscle programs.

If the muscle does not receive a clear “task completed” signal, it does not fully relax. Remains in good shape, ready to strain again. The program is adjusted, new indicators and conditions are remembered. Voltage is becoming the norm.

A working muscle sends a “work and eat” signal. The body maintains a supply of calories in the blood. The muscle that has not relaxed after work continues to signal “I work and eat.” The signal lasts days and nights, and the body at this time needs to sleep, eat, replenish warehouses, remove surpluses and do a lot of other useful work.

Suppose a large and important muscle is constantly starving with a normal excess of calories. When he needs to really work, he will not have enough regular food supplies in the blood. In such cases, a backup power supply nearby.

Depots of adipose tissue near the muscles in a healthy person are always and everywhere. Subcutaneous fat is favored by natural selection during evolution. It starts to grow ugly only if someone nearby has been voting “work and eat” for many days.

Search term

I do not know the source of the expression “muscle clamp”, which means long-term stress for no apparent reason. The phrase gives away folk simplicity and therefore seems far from science. But the expression is quite common, short and does not require a dictionary, so I choose it.

When describing the same phenomenon, Vladimir Levy uses the term “hypertonicity,” which seems less accurate to me. The word "tone" means the readiness of the muscle to work, excitement without signs of fatigue. And muscle clamps are ongoing work, although without movement, the opposing muscles play a tug of war. In this case, it is quite possible to feel tired, the old people will confirm.

Thomas Hannah describes the same phenomenon with the very precise term sensory-motor amnesia. His work on somatics, as well as the school for eliminating age-related changes and the effects of injuries deserve respect, but the term seems to me too cumbersome for everyday use. By the way, I don’t know how muscle clamps were called Moshe Feldenkrais and Franz Alexander, on the works of which Hannah relied.

Janet Travell and David Simons popularized the term “trigger point”, the pain of which feeds tension with feedback, as well as the term “myofascial dysfunction”, meaning the difficulty in using an overstrained muscle. To me, these terms seem too narrow, muscle clamp is not always accompanied by pain and is not located in the fascia.

You may come across other terms. If you come across a term that is more interesting and accurate than “muscle clamp,” please share with me. Cramp, spasm or muscle stiffness syndrome are other phenomena and therefore not suitable.

The secret of thinness

To exercise muscle tension, we go to the gym. For muscle relaxation exercises, we rely on nature. Perhaps it is somehow. Who cares about relaxed, lounging muscles?

What this approach leads to over the years, we can see in the figures of the elderly. Their shoulders are bent by their own muscles, which have forgotten how to relax. And not by abstract years or sorrows.

However, why aren't all old people fat? There are clearly tense, with a distorted posture, swollen veins in the arms, quickly tired, but still thin, as if dried.

And among teenagers there are enough skinny ones - bones stick out, plentiful food does not go for the future, palpation shows a lot of tense places.

Yes, and in people with normal weight, you can find constantly tense places that for some reason do not grow fat: lower legs, forearms, neck.

As part of the hypothesis, several versions can be devised.

For example, not all muscles are evolutionarily considered equally important. Running depends on the muscles of the hips and lower back, they need to provide a supply of food, so the hips and waist are prone to obesity. And the muscles of the lower legs and forearms are not so important when running, they consume less, so even a strong tightness or hypertonicity is not a reason for storing fats nearby. The facial muscles are not important and weak - wrinkles appear, but not fat stores. Chewing muscles are important and consume a lot - chubby cheeks and extra chins may appear.

It can also be assumed that specialization plays a role. Muscles are made up of so-called white and red fibers. White is responsible for rapid contraction, but quickly tired. The Reds are responsible for the continuous effort that they can sustain for a long time. In different muscles of the same organism, the percentage of white and red fibers may vary. Some muscles specialize in explosive efforts, while others specialize in maintaining position. For example, you can compare the functions of the muscles of the thigh and lower leg - the former are responsible for jumping, the latter for maintaining balance. It is necessary to reserve food only for the first.

And it can be assumed that constriction of some muscles helps prevent constriction of others. For example, if the muscles of the back, neck or shoulders are clamped, then the person is not very comfortable running, pulling up on the horizontal bar and lifting weights. It’s not his first year that his back has been screaming about fatigue, but he is being offered to go in for sports and increase stress. There are no active movements - the muscles of the hips and shoulders do not get a reason to tense up, the programs of strong muscles go astray in the direction of decreasing tone, the muscles atrophy, the signal “I work and eat” is rare, the person does not get fat. Although it does not feel healthy.

Remaining within the framework of the hypothesis “fat grows on top of tension”, other versions can also be thought up, and other assumptions can be made about why not all tense muscles are overgrown with fat.


To refute or confirm hypotheses and versions, you need to purposefully collect information and conduct experiments. As a result, the hypothesis will turn into a theory.

The theory will allow us to make assumptions, verify them, and develop new ways to solve old problems.

The male and female type of obesity is different. Isn't the gait guilty of this? Women tend to keep their shoulders motionless, as a result of which an increased load falls on the hips, they are easier to fasten. Men are bravely afraid of wagging their hips, as a result of which an increased load falls on the waist, it is easier to tighten.

If the features of the gait can lead to local obesity, then a number of answers “due to genes” explaining cases “in their family or in the village are all fattening”, you can think it over again - children unwittingly copy motor habits daily observed in relatives and neighbors.

Women gain weight after giving birth. Is it because pregnancy increases the load on the legs, childbirth is accompanied by severe stress and pain, and after childbirth you have to carry the baby in your arms for a long time and sleep in fits and starts, which directly leads to a change in movement programs?

Diabetes contributes to obesity. And obesity, along with chronic overeating and a sedentary lifestyle, can lead to diabetes. Is it because insulin is required for the penetration of glucose into cells, that is, it is directly involved in the nutrition of internal organs? Obesity in diabetes, even genetically determined, does not refute the muscle clamp hypothesis - a malfunction in the regulatory system is an expected consequence of long-term hunger signals, and constant hunger signals are an expected result of failures in food delivery.

Next to obesity, the topic of cellulite often pops up. It can be assumed that cellulite is not a disease, but a completely natural mechanism for protecting delicate adipose tissue from regular tremors. Like a carriage screed on sofas. And to get rid of cellulite you need not massage or cream, but softening your gait.

It can be assumed that the size of the female breast depends not only on genes or hormones, but also on the tone of the pectoral muscles. After all, the female breast consists not only of the gland, but also of the stores of fat. Is that why the hobby for gymnastics or yoga has repeatedly led to a reduction in breast size?

Opera singers are prone to obesity. Is it because the experience of emotions during singing is accompanied by stillness, and the pattern of breathing is far from physiologically healthy?

Road traffic inspectors are often obese. Is it because they are in the process of working in the noisy and dangerous space of the motorway, and communication with drivers takes more nerves than any sedentary work?

Domestic cats and dogs sometimes begin to suffer from obesity. Is there an excess of calories that is to blame or the lack of reasons and opportunities for active movements? Or something in the home environment leads to unpleasant expectations that are reflected in the body?

A nervous situation leads to obesity. Is it because the anxieties stuck in the subconscious compel you to curl even in the most comfortable chair? In this case, psychotherapy will help to lose weight if it adds calmness and allows you to free posture.

If, as a result of a restrictive diet or training, it was possible to get rid of muscle clamps and change motor habits, then after the termination of the diet and training, a person will remain slim for a long time. If the cause cannot be eliminated, it will again begin to gain weight. It depends on what and how it has changed.

Massage, athletics, gymnastics, which is not only artistic, but also breathing exercises can help in losing weight if they are aimed at restoring mobility, relieving residual stresses and creating the right reflexes. You can increase their effectiveness if you stop guessing by the numbers on the fire from calories, look for valid causes and justify the action with an understandable mechanism.

Reasons for the reasons

So what is better to do to lose weight? Or get fat, in the mood. What is better for removing these “clips” - diets, gyms with pools, massage, meditation?

If the ready-made answers do not suit you, then you might think. I have made it clear, in many letters, that I do not like simple universal answers . I do not sell the next course or a gadget for weight loss, I do not offer ready-to-use answers, on the contrary - I share questions that you can think about.

When they say, for example, that mistakes in eating behavior are to blame for obesity, I begin to look for the causes of failures in eating behavior. He quit smoking or broke up with a loved one, lost a good job, or for some other unknown reason began to eat more and eventually grew fat - why did he start to eat more? Because the struggle with habit reinforces explicit or hidden anxieties that lead to seizing, from which they get fat - but how are anxieties associated with the desire to eat more often? Are anxieties causing the body to contract, working muscles more often signal hunger? Or does the feeling of fullness reduce the activity of the anxious brain and give a feeling of comfort? Or a reward for a delicious snack can compensate for a feeling of dissatisfaction, amid constant discontent, you want to have fun more often? If we are talking about displeasure or tiredness from displeasure, which is also unpleasant, or simply about a permanent feeling of tiredness, then what causes these feelings?

I’m constantly looking for not answers, but questions that allow me to doubt the obvious, which works strangely. I am sure that muscle clamps are not the only factor leading to obesity. And I’m sure that overeating is not the only factor leading to obesity. The same effects may have different causes. And for the reasons you can find their causes.

Muscle clamps, if they are the cause of obesity, also have their own cause. It is it that needs to be eliminated so that the clamp, together with all its unpleasant consequences, goes away and does not return.

In the presence of various movements, individual muscle programs are corrected, errors are corrected. A comfortable house, affordable transportation and the need to work for a long time deprive us of diversity. There is no variety, there are familiar patterns - there are few reasons for correction.

One-time errors in the movements are nevertheless eliminated with time, even with weakly working correction mechanisms. Only trauma, severe pain, or repeated mistakes can leave a deep mark in movement programs.

Injuries and pain do not happen so often, I suggest paying more attention to the daily sources of repetitive distortion. Every day we breathe, walk, hold our posture and sleep - errors in these functions can accumulate and exist for years.

Think about troubleshooting should be after familiarizing yourself with the mechanism. Movement and immobility, breathing and sleep - each of these processes deserves a separate conversation that goes beyond the scope of obesity.

But, of course, you don’t have to think about it or leave the popular formula “eat less and move more”.

It is simpler to say that there is not enough zeal for pumping the press and willpower to refuse cakes than to bother with hyperlordosis of the lower back, anterior inclination of the pelvis, tone of the diaphragm and other possible causes of a tummy tummy. Which still need to find and eliminate their causes. Too complicated, let the coaches study anatomy.

Simple answers are attractive and popular. And they are quite capable of helping someone. If you call a symptom a diagnosis and replace logic with statistics, adding the theory of probability, then there remains a trifle - in a heap of popular recipes that helped someone, find a cure that will help you.


Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/462323/

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