Friday, July 16, 2010

Why Are Thin People Not Fat?


How do some people manage to stay thin despite eating a lot?

You probably know at least a couple of people who just don't seem to get fat no matter how much they eat. Some of them don't even do much exercise. But is it really true that some of us gain weight more easily than others, or do thin people just eat less calories?

Most of the studies on obesity and weight loss have been done on subjects who are overweight to begin with. A BBC Horizon documentary titled Why are thin people not fat? looked at the obesity problem from a different angle. They chose subjects who were naturally thin and stuffed them with excess calories. None of the participants had watched their food intake before, but their weight had remained roughly the same for years.

The subjects were told to eat at least double their usual calories and to avoid exercise for four weeks. The target energy intake for men was 5,000 kcal and somewhat less for women. The purpose was to find out whether naturally thin people would start gaining weight, given a sufficiently large amount of calories. It was no exercise in healthy eating either: the menu included processed, calorie-dense foods such as cakes and milkshakes. Precisely the kind of thing that should make one fat.

The documentary begins by mentioning a similar experiment done on Vermont prison inmates in 1967. The inmates were grossly overfed with the purpose of studying the hormonal changes that happen when a person becomes obese. The prisoners who signed up were promised an earlier release.

Each inmate was supposed to increase their body weight by 25 percent. However, as the experiment progressed, it turned out that no matter how high the energy intake got, some of the inmates could not reach their targets. Despite eating and eating, they just didn't gain enough weight. One of them could not increase his body weight more than 18%, even though his daily calorie intake reached a whopping 10,000 kcal.

For years, experts argued over the results of the Vermont prison study. According to the classical model of calories in, calories out, such high intakes should have led to a dramatic weight gain, especially since exercise was forbidden during the experiment. So how did some of the inmates stay thin?

This is the question that the BBC experiment tries to answer. I recommend watching the whole documentary, but here's a summary of the results:

  • All participants had trouble reaching their energy intake goals
  • Energy-dense foods such as chocolate made reaching the goals easier
  • Some of the subjects gained more weight than others
  • One of the subjects gained almost no weight but increased his muscle mass
  • All subjects returned to their normal weights after the experiment

These results confirm the observations from the Vermont prison study: despite very high calorie intakes, some people have a harder time gaining weight than others. The documentary also explains how naturally thin people are able to stay thin:

  • Appetite has a genetic basis
  • Age, weight, and diet of the mother during pregancy influence the child's weight
  • Eating habits learned during childhood carry on until adulthood
  • Naturally thin people avoid excess calories instinctively
  • People have a certain "natural weight" towards which the body aims
  • Basal metabolic rate plays a strong role in energy expenditure
  • The feeling of hunger is related to the number of fat cells
  • The number of fat cells can grow but never diminish

There's a lot of debate these days over the importance of basal metabolic rate (BMR) in the calories in, calories out model. It's interesting to note that nobody eats the exact same amount of calories per day, and yet weight remains in a very narrow range (at least in healthy, thin subjects). The one subject who stuck to his 5,000 kcal intake but gained almost no weight supports the idea that there is a kind of setpoint that the body tries to maintain regardless of calorie intake.

It also looks like in some people, the mechanisms to preserve the natural weight setpoint are stronger than in others. Increased heat production is obviously one way to maintain weight during increased energy intake. Some people (Michal Eades comes to mind) have also argued that as the number of calories eaten increases, the body starts to burn them by increasing small, almost involuntary movements such as tapping your fingers, moving your legs, etc. – physical activity which is not considered exercise but still uses up extra energy. I think this theory makes sense.

The last two points of the list are especially interesting. There are two key attributes to fat tissue: the size and number of fat cells. The number of fat cells in your body is typically pretty much determined during adolescence. Thus, eating affects first and foremost the size of your fat cells. As you store and burn energy, the fat cells in your body grow and shrink accordingly.

That's not all there is to it, however. If you keep eating even after the fat cells have grown to their maximum size, at some point the body will begin to produce new fat cells to store all that extra energy. The tendency to produce more fat cells probably depends on the individual.

The problem is that according to our current understanding, the number of fat cells can only be increased, never decreased. This means that any new fat cells produced as a result of (prolonged) overeating will always stay with you. What's worse, as the purpose of fat cells is precisely to store energy, the body will now send more signals of hunger to your brain to keep those fat cells filled up. Obviously this makes following diets that rely only on cutting back on calories very difficult.

The overall message of the documentary is that being naturally thin is a combination of many factors, some of which are genetically determined and some a result of the environment. Of course, individual choice also plays a role, but the studies on small children given unlimited candy show that even before we have the capability to think rationally about our food choices (kids will eat as much candy as they desire), there are differences among people.

For those who have to struggle to maintain or lose weight, things are more difficult – though not impossible by any means. It just means paying attention to your diet, venturing beyond governmental recommendations, and trying on yourself what works. I've had many overweight people tell me how difficult it is to lose weight, and then when I ask them if they've tried for example a basic low-carb diet, they've either tried it for a few weeks and quit, or they've deemed it "unhealthy", because all they can picture is Atkins on his deathbed and slices of bacon clogging their arteries.

Are you a naturally thin person who can eat and eat without gaining weight? Are you the exact opposite? Share your experiences in the comment section!

For more information on diet and weight loss, see these posts:

Alternate-Day Feeding and Weight Loss: Is It the Calories Or the Fasting?
Green Tea and Capsaicin Reduce Hunger and Calorie Intake
A High-Protein Diet Is Better than a High-Carbohydrate Diet for Weight Loss
Low-Carb vs. Low-Fat: Effects on Weight Loss and Cholesterol in Overweight Men



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48 kommenttia:

sandy July 24, 2010 at 6:30 PM  

I am one of the naturally thin who can eat and eat without gaining weight, even when my diet consisted mostly of high GI foods, my weight stayed constant (around the mid 70kg mark if I remember correctly.

The only exception to this was when I was taking the prescription drug Zyprexa for a short time some approximatly 5 years back. It's notorious for weight gain (I've never looked into why that is so). I gained weight bigtime, and gained it very fast. After stopping Zyprexa I lost some of the weight (was still eating the same crappy diet) but some of the kilos stuck around.

I ditched grains, refined sugar and all processed foods two years back and lost the remaining weight VERY quickly, even though I was still eating large amounts of honey at the time which struck me as a bizarre- sugar is sugar, right?

About a year ago I stopped eating honey, reintroduced grains (brown rice and rolled oats) and I am very thin again, thinner than I was pre-Zyprexa, but that is most likely due to an intestinal disorder I've been trying to overcome for some time or maybe it's because I don't eat white flour and sugar in any of it's forms. No matter how much I eat, I've stayed between 64-68kgs for a while now. I'm 6ft 3inchs, so thats very thin for my height.

erzebet July 25, 2010 at 9:12 AM  

I am also a naturally thin person. My parents are also very skinny. I had my junk food period and now i incline towards paleo although I still eat milk products - still my weight has been the same 45 kg at 1,60 m.

Linda July 25, 2010 at 10:46 AM  

What was the outcome of your ashwagandha experiment?

JLL July 25, 2010 at 4:56 PM  

@sandy & erzebet,

Thanks for sharing your experiences, sounds pretty familiar. I was also very thin eating high GI foods like rice, but I did weigh 10kg more than I do now at one point when my diet consisted mostly of instant noodles. Unlike some people thought, it was not impossible for me to gain weight despite being naturally thin.

@Linda,

The experiment is still running, I have a handful of capsules left. I'll post the conclusion when I run out.

- JLL

Anonymous July 29, 2010 at 8:54 PM  

I'm curious what you think about this new study, which claims that having a wide social network contributes as much or more to longevity as not smoking or not getting fat:

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0%2c8599%2c2006938%2c00.html?xid=rss-topstories

If this is true, my first thought is that there is some necessary balance between having as diverse a social network as possible and living optimally in other ways. For example, I have found that unhealthy eating habits are contagious.

Unlike other factors, I can't think of a feasible personal experiment that involves social networks.

JLL July 30, 2010 at 2:18 PM  

@Anonymous,

Having a social network probably alleviates stress levels (things like cortisol) and maybe helps maintain adequate serotonin/dopamine levels in old age. People who are old and alone seem to be both depressed and bored, which can't be good for longevity.

- JLL

Camelia September 12, 2010 at 3:33 PM  

I am 1.75 cm tall and I never achieved to get beyond 52 kg in my entire life, even when I almost doubled my meals.

Since then, I just abbide by the fact that I can't get fatter than that, no matter what.

I learned though, that I can get thinner, especially if I skip 1 or 2 meals, if I smoke or if I get a common cold.

Life is strange. :)

JLL September 12, 2010 at 5:44 PM  

@Camelia,

You're one of the lucky ones then. At 175cm / 52kg you must be quite a sight. How many calories do you typically eat?

It's interesting you mention smoking, as I've been reading up on nicotine's benefits recently. Weight maintenance comes up regularly, but I'm not sure whether it's simply due to appetite suppression or whether nicotine also acts through other mechanisms.

- JLL

mr September 14, 2010 at 1:11 PM  

interesting..
some people can even lose and gain weight as they wished just like that

Camelia September 17, 2010 at 11:16 AM  

I have no idea how many calories I eat, I've never pay attention to that detail.

Some days I smoke, some I'm not. But I eat fairly the same and it's not that I lose weight when I smoke, it's that I gain weight much harder.

Anonymous September 18, 2010 at 12:31 AM  

I'm 30 and have watched most of my friends slowly pack on pounds while a few, like me, have not. As far as I can tell, my chunkier chums either derive or have been programed to expect a great deal of pleasure from food -- more than me, at any rate. I often have to stop to remember to eat, and when I do, I try to find something that looks healthy, not delicious (well, I'm not averse to deliciousness! It's more a matter of priority). Many people that I know, however, seem to desire a "fix" not a meal. Salty, fatty, greasy selections seem to ensue. You can call it eating habits, but I think the essence of the matter lies come from something more akin to addiction. This is the only behavioral difference I've noticed (and in a way, perhaps, that's hard for science to quantify). But I stress that I'm not a scientist, and far from qualified to make such a claim.

Paul October 24, 2010 at 12:21 PM  

I'm 1.8m 63kg. My weight does not change at all, not even by 1 kg for at least the last 10 years.

I don't hold back on how much I eat. In fact lately I have been trying to eat more in order to gain weight.

For an example of what I eat, a typical lunch for me would be 1kg double cream yogurt. I might eat more if I'm hungry.

Mostly I find that the more I eat, the more often I visit the bathroom.

Anonymous November 17, 2010 at 11:59 PM  

I'm also one of the naturally thin who simply cannot gain weight. I've done numerous experiments trying to gain weight, doubling my calorie intake, drowning in fat for months, and I only gained a kilo (2 pounds) during that time. I ate constantly up to a point of getting sick... My father and his brothers are the same. Thin.

Anonymous December 25, 2010 at 4:29 PM  

I am a "naturally thin" woman. For years I could not gain any weight no matter how much I ate. That is what I used to think until I actually measured my calories intake.

Last summer I kept a diary of what I ate. I religiously weighted every piece of food that got into my mouth, meals and snacks, everything. And then I took daily average. And you know what? Turns out I didn't eat enough. For my height of 1.73m I ate only 1500 kcal a day. Turns out that a huge pizza for dinner barely compensates for skipped and forgotten breakfast. And turns out that a big bowl of squid salad is not so nourishing, even if seasoned with mayonnaise. That was such a surprise. It just shows how much someone's perception can differ from reality. I really did believe that I consumed a lot.

After that experiment I increased my calories intake. Basically the diet consisted of anything I usually wanted to eat plus extra nuts, chocolate or chicken legs. After two month I went from my normal 55kg to my new normal 59kg. And my body seems to be totally comfortable with this new arrangement. Next summer I plan to repeat the experiment and hopefully gain another 4-6kg.

Hence my moral of the day: calories and choices do matter. Sometimes.

Gonçalo January 16, 2011 at 5:25 AM  

HI

My name is Gonçalo and I'm from Portugal.

I really like your blog so that's why I thought about asking you a question.

I have struggled with strong chronic anxiety and some depression for a long time. I'm 23.

I would like to ask you if you have any suggestion about what I can do to to try to understand if these syntoms have roots in nutritional deficiencies, infections, inflammation, etc. I have
some history of trauma but maybe some of this is aggravating the problem?

Are there some probable causes? Any tests I shoud do? cost-effective Solutions?

Thanks so much

Warmest wishes

Gonçalo

Louche January 18, 2011 at 7:16 PM  

Interesting, Anonymous! Yeah, when thin people say "I ate a lot," that means they probably "ate a lot" less than weight-gainers eat when they ate a little! A lot for you is when you've eaten as much as your body asks for; a lot for others is, well... never? Overweight people don't say "I ate a lot" so much as "I ate too much." It's good to see you measured this because whenever I hear thin people say they ate a lot, I just think, "Oh, really? And how much was that?"

I'm not a naturally thin person, btw. Is it sad that everyone else who replied to this is one of the naturally thin folks? The point is for those like me to come and learn from the naturally thin, not for naturally thin people to learn how to gain weight or celebrate how they can't gain weight... so, I'm happy to see lots of thin people commenting, but it should be more like half and half?

carters January 19, 2011 at 4:02 AM  

I saw this documentary and it had me screaming at the TV for the dumb pop science used. I found this post because I was looking for a late 70's UK documentary about brown fat. I am sure it was called Horizon! It explained WHY thin people are not fat and this program most certainly did not.
Your Brown Fat (BAT) is how your body maintains temperature and some people have efficient stuff and some less so. The 70's doc illustrated this by numerous experiments. The most memorable was taking a normal weight man and a normally fat man who had slimmed to the same weight. tops off and stood in a cold room. We watched their backs via heat sensitive cameras. The normal weight guy's back became full colour while the others barely changed and he nearly died. Exploding the myth that fat insulates.
They fed these two a big meal. The normal guys body temp shot up for about 4 hours burning off the excess calories. The other guys temp barely rose (0.25 degree) and he would have converted the glycogen to fat. Get it? They ate the same quantity.
There were other illustrations and it is possibly the best documentary I ever saw; over 30 years ago!

Spencer January 19, 2011 at 4:33 PM  

I am 5'10 and weigh 75kg. If I use any scales or type of BMI measuring it claims I am 18% and perfect size. This is not the case I am naturally skinny and look quite skinny. This is only offset by the fact I lift weights. I can lose 6.5kg in 2 weeks if i do not eat propely, amazing as it doesnt appear that mass is there to lose. I have never over eaten for a long enough period to see what happens, I have done a week or so on rediculous calories every day but it makes little or no difference. I can confirm however on a day when I eat a lot (that means eating when I dont feel hungry) I tap my foot on the floor constantly as if burning it off and I do become compelled to be more active, standing up from my desk more etc. I sleep more restlessly and if I take creatin (a type of energy drink athletes use to put energy into muscles) after a few days I wake up in mornings soaked in sweat - I assume my body decides to "heat up". It is my mission to reach 80kg but this is going to require protein and training, fat and calories I believe it is physically impossible for me to ever get there.

Anonymous February 21, 2011 at 5:52 PM  

Spencer, when I was 18 I tried taking weight gain & protein powders to gain weight, they were useless in my goal, not even an additional kg & I had also increased my food intake significantly at the time as I needed to gain weight to pass my physical for the military. The only way I have ever been able to successfully increase my weight was through weight bearing exercises to build more muscle mass. That however, does not make me any less thin, in fact my waist would lose an inch or so even though I was gaining weight. Plus my appetite was out of control, I was always starving even though I would eat as much or more than my overweight friends. So Louche when I say I eat a lot, I can make 5 trips to fill a plate at a buffet & eat it all. I am 5'3" and the only times I have been over 100 pounds is when I was pregnant. I will consume as much food as my 6'3" 280 pound partner & sometimes more. I have however been following a gluten-free diet for the past 10 years as I found that I was having very bad digestion issues then & would actually eat even more (7-8 plates at a buffet) but it would make me quite ill with no weight gain. I also eat lots of fruits, vegetables & whole grains, mostly organic & avoid most highly processed foods although I do love my tortilla chips & certain crackers which I often carry with me just to munch on for additional calories. I seem to be capable of losing some weight, but not of gaining. Being in my 40's I've accepted this & gave up my quest for a "normal weight". I am healthy, so my body obviously knows it's optimal size & I'm not going to fight it anymore for a certain reading on a scale.

Michael March 2, 2011 at 7:43 PM  

I'm not a naturally thin guy but I did a few experiments with excessive calorie intake to see if it was all about the calories or if the type of food made a difference.

I tried to go from thin to overweight by overeating fat and protein (a very low carb paleo type diet with extra fat like coconut oil & milk) for two weeks and the most weight I gained was 3 pounds and I lost them the day after I stopped overeating. Back to square one: overeating fat & protein didn't make me fat.

I tried to go from thin to overweight by overeating refined carbohydrates (bread, cakes, cookies) and I gained almost 10 pounds in 4 days and then immediately afterwards I kept overeating but with zero carbohydrates this time to see what would happen and despite doing no exercise and eating almost twice as much as my normal appetite asks me I lost half the weight I had gained in 2 days.

So if I eat too much refined carbohydrates I easily gain weight but if I eat too much fat on a very low carb diet I tend to either lose the extra weight I carry or add a temporary extra 2-3 pounds if I'm already at my normal weight.

Becka May 6, 2011 at 10:46 PM  

I'm naturally thin, and have been the same weight since hitting my adult height. Unlike one of the anonymous commenters above, who said "As far as I can tell, my chunkier chums either derive or have been programed to expect a great deal of pleasure from food -- more than me, at any rate" I love food and do derive pleasure from it.

And I have seen the opposite pattern - most of the overweight people I know seem to fear food. These are the people who tend to alternate between low-fat, tasteless Lean Cuisine-type meals and hyper-flavoured fast food.

Anonymous July 13, 2011 at 9:51 AM  

I used to be normal weight (48kg)and size (about a UK8). I'm 163cm tall.

Then I went through a period of depression (break up and tremendous exam stress) and from that I lost so much weight I was way too thin as commented by friends and family. I could fit into a UK6 or a size zero.

But currently,life is all good I've put on quite a lot of weight I'm now 56kg! I've been trying to lose a bit of weight by exercising and eating less but to no avail.
:(

Not sure why I can't get back to my normal weight and size. But this article kinda shed some light about that.

TheGnome August 27, 2011 at 12:02 AM  

Becka, you make a good point. Most fat people I've seen do not eat a lot of unhealthy food, and they still don't lose weight. People are perfectly willing to accept that some people can eat and eat and not gain, but it somehow seems ridiculous to not eat and not lose. Why is that?

Anonymous September 28, 2011 at 9:36 AM  

This article does give some insight into the underweight problem.I at 162 cm have maintained a weight of 35-36 Kg since i was 13 years old and now i'm nearing 22 but still my weight hasn't changed. I do not eat much and sometimes i skip breakfast too..and i think it's due to the fact i have less appetite .

Imy October 9, 2011 at 3:39 AM  

I'm also one o fthe really thin people and I have been told all my life (by people who don't know me) that I'm "clearly anorexic". These people aren't around when I'm stuffing my face at every oppurtunity, and if they are I get the "you're bulumic" excuse. These people are usually overweight or striving to lose weight. I'm kinda sick of people telling me I have an eating disorder because I'm thin I eat as much chocolate as possible. Sorry for the rant and if it annoys people, but it just gets a little much sometimes....

Anonymous October 20, 2011 at 7:21 PM  

I am half thai and half french American. Currently 29, female, standing at 5'8 and weigh 93 pounds. It sounds bizarre but I look like a kid who's been pulled long. I have light bones, small head and a tiny body. I have almost no meat on my body but have 20% body fat. For years I watched documentaries and researches on how to gain weight, why I can't gain weight and went to countless doctors. I tried doing what the video did but it was quite money and time consuming. I did it for a week or two and gained 3 pounds but lost it faster than ever once I stopped. I eat about 3000-5000 calories a day depending on time and money. I tried everything you can imagine but my body just naturally gets rid of any fat I have. I want to try Zyprexa the person mentioned above because I would like to look my age and gender. I am not proud of being skinny and no one has ever envied my body shape and type.

JLL October 21, 2011 at 9:23 AM  

@Anonymous,

Well, call me crazy but I don't see any reason for trying to gain weight, especially since you're female. In my opinion thin looks good! 3000-5000 kcal / day does sound like a lot of calories.

- JLL

Haleigh November 16, 2011 at 6:51 PM  

I havent always been naturally thin but since the age of around 11 it became more prominent. I eat loads of cakes and never do any excercise for fear that I'll lose too much weight. When I miss out a meal i.e. lunch, i'll lose weight almost immediately and I become very ill. I eat over 3000 cals just to maintain my weight. I am 19 now and my hands are really bony but my face is normal. my neck is pretty bony too and I hate it. Surprisingly, I was the healthiest person in my class when it came to a dietary measure to see our health, I am completely on my weight target which is 52 kg or 8stones, at height 5ft4.5 and I have pretty big boobs too which is always a bonus but my arms, legs and stomach always remain thin. I'm over it now though, there isnt much I can do, besides I can eat whatever I want and remain thin. I'd probably be obese if I were normal.

JLL November 17, 2011 at 12:49 AM  

@Haleigh,

Yeah, sounds like a real nightmare ;)

- JLL

trouserbonanza January 23, 2012 at 7:47 AM  

Hey - I'm 52, 6' 3", 75kg - the last 2 dimensions unchanged (except for, say, bouts of diarrhoea) for the past 34 years
I've always eaten heartily (often finishing others' plates at restaurants )and have had long periods of indolence.
I've also, though, had periods of fitness seeking - running 10 km (or more) a day for months
(weight unchanged from slothful periods)
You only have to look at me to see I have no real fat reserves - so, what I want to know is...
How come I (and all those marathon runners I used to idolise) can run so far with no "store" of energy?
If it's not 'fat' - where is all that energy stored?
My athletic advantage is in endurance - but how?

jetonce February 29, 2012 at 3:06 AM  

I am 27 years old male, 165cm. My weight is maintained on avg 55kg for years. No matter how much I eat, I can't remember my weight went over 60kg. I eat relatively large quantities and wide range of food to my body size. Even my weight has got to 58kg, it will come down to 55kg without exercising in a short period.

M. May 4, 2012 at 1:32 PM  

I'm a woman and naturally skinny too. I'm not too tall, 5'3 but my weight is always around 110lb. I sometimes eat a lot of food, double what my husband eats, because I have a tendency to snack so much. I am also Asian ,does that influence being naturally thin maybe? I usually have a very good appetite and eat whatever I feel like, but if I'm under stress or am busy, I stop eating properly and in a couple of weeks I lose 5 kg(11lb) or so ad start appearing unhealthy, obviously.

As far as how much I eat, I don't know. I don't calculate calories, but I know I eat a lot. 3 meals a day and 4-5 sometimes more snacks. If I were to guess I think I eat above 2000 calories a day. It sounds ridiculous for someone my height and weight, but it's the truth.I try to not eat too much junk food because skinny folks still need to eat healthily. I don't exercise a lot. If i can fit in 30 minutes of walking each day, I'm happy.

It's not always fun to be skinny because as a woman I feel I don't have enough shape or curves. I have a very flat chest too. That said, I do have my own body image issues too.

Anonymous May 30, 2012 at 1:17 PM  

I'm 35 years old, 178 cm tall, and just 52 kg. I have put on just 3kg in the past 20 years. I have always been tall and skinny, but healthy. I have never been able to put on weight, but will lose a bit if sick, and then it's a struggle to get it back again. I find that I naturally choose healthier food most of the time, but also love my chips and cheeses, and never worry about what I eat. I find I eat frequently throughout the day, but don't eat massive meals.
I am the perfect example of the thin person who can not put on weight.

Anonymous July 5, 2012 at 1:55 AM  

Its a myth guys ... or missinterpretation of words .... Thin people can be fat when they have small amount of muscles in their bodies. Technically you wont see it because they are thin but in fact they can have higher amount of body fat in compare to some bigger guys which are just made of muscles. Its just society accepts thin people as being not fat.

Anonymous August 25, 2012 at 11:53 AM  

i was. still might be but i'm not sure.
i was underweight throughout my childhood. Later on when I had free access to junk food I easily ate over 4,000 calories daily as a 13-16 year girl but I never moved much past the 80 pound mark. also i did virtually no exercise and am only 5'4 to this day.

i've also had at least 3 to 4 periods of extreme overeating and low thyroid from that overeating but my weight never went past the 49kg mark, which surprised all my doctors because hypothyroidism (NOT HYPER)for others meant alot of weight gain.

interestingly when it went away I was eating close to a pound or more of chocolate per day on top of my meals and I went down to 40kg.

unfortunately i've been quite mercilessly bullied by other girls because of this - they don't like that I can do this.

i'm twenty now. my third - and worst - binge occured about half a year ago. i couldn't gain any weight at first, not even from pure sugar.

i think the tipping point was literally drinking down HFCS and aspartarme in horrible quantities. for the first time I actually went past 50kg but seem to be going back to the low 40kgs again.

to support your point I found that the body's "involuntary" compensation for greater energy intake actually is true. when I first started eating even more I think I might've lost a little weight - but for no reason i would bounce up and down, and in general quite hyperactive.

while i'm glad that i have an awesome metabolism it also did make me a target of envy and jealously and that ultimately did wreck my mind and body for a while.

anyhow i hope i haven't ruined it. i'm going to eat healthy now and ignore the stupid fuckers

Anonymous August 25, 2012 at 11:58 AM  

to add:

i don't have a flat chest like the woman above mentioned. I am asian too but i'm curvy enough to have to alter my dresses.

i think it boils down to what you mentioned about genetics.

my entire family tends to eat like buffalos but we're all rather slim and athletic, even if I rarely do exercise. i think we might be mesomorphs.

on the other hand I have friends who don't eat more than a fruit smoothie/ don't eat at all yet are slightly chubby - edema?

Anonymous August 25, 2012 at 12:21 PM  

sorry for spamming but yes i've basically got the same treatment as Imy who posted above!

all my guyfriends are just amused by how much i eat. it's the bitchy/ anorexic/ bulimic girls - my god why is it always other girls - who are usually all three.
i really can't stand them. especially when they hate that I'm obviously far from anorexic or bulimic because my eyes aren't bloodshot like theirs.

i think i got so pissed once i told one of them to her face it was hardly my fault she was fat. i didn't even know what anorexia or bulimia was until i met them lol. they have bonding sessions over their past anorexia- now fat experiences.

hate them

JLL August 25, 2012 at 12:36 PM  

Haters gonna hate ;)

- JLL

Anonymous October 14, 2012 at 3:47 PM  

Im 15 and a girl ~90lb 5ft 3in and I've always been pretty underweight. Since being in highschool I guess I've kinda been a little more worried about how I look. I'm mostly black but mixed with white and I kinda look like a ten year old girl. My friends think I look cute but I want to look more womanish. They have big boobs, i could wear a training bra, and they've certainly got more curves than I think I'll ever have. I guess I'm worried that when I'm finished growing I won't be as developed as I want. I dont get any exsersize until tennis season in january and by then I want to be 120lb. I eat ice-cream all day bacon, cheese, chips, and generally junkfood all the time and haven't gained a pound all month!!! Maybe I'll just give up?

Ioanna November 26, 2012 at 1:29 AM  

I'm female, 177cm and currently weight 56 kilos, having given birth 3 months ago. I was so happy to find this documentary, it explained a lot! I've always tried gaining weight since people kept telling me how thin I look, but no matter what I did, the only time I reached 62 kilos (besides my pregnancy when I reached 65) was at 15 when at some point I couldn't move much because of a problem with my back, but ate extremely much as I was constantly hungry as a teen (no idea how many calories though). It took around 8 months to gain those 4 kilos though that brought me up to 62... When I begun moving normally again I lost all of it and strangely even more, going from 58 down to 52..! It took me getting pregnant and again not moving for 4 months to gain back some weight.
It kind of runs in the family I think, since my parents were always thin. My father even ate as a teen up to 5(!!!) plates of food at each meal, but would never gain a kilo! Also, although now at 80 years old he's gained weight at the belly, he still has a very low cholesterol - something that me and my sisters have inherited too.
At least now I know there is nothing wrong with me, I'm just a thin person!

paras joshi December 28, 2012 at 9:10 PM  

I am the kind of person who will get obese very easily if I go beyond my dietary boundaries. Before when i was in back my home country of nepal, no matter how much I ate, i rarely gained weight, i hardly exercised, coke pizza candies name it i used to eat it graciously. But when i came into america my same feeding habit landed me in trouble, within a year i weighed above 185lbs with just 5'7" height. After rigorous exercise and only sticking to home cooked foods and vegetables i've managed to bring it down to 165 lbs. I think it's the content of the food that makes you fat overwhelmingly. Here in america, rich and processed food is more common, hormonized poultry and cattle, high fructose corn syrup in sodas and candies is the main culprit i believe.

Anonymous January 9, 2013 at 10:55 PM  

It is intresting isn't it i think it quite cool

Paula Henry July 26, 2013 at 1:18 PM  

Both of my parents are very slim as are my siblings, but I have struggled with my weight all of my life. I had the same diet as my siblings but have always been fat, for want of a better word. I have dieted since my teens but always put the kgs back on when the diet stopped. I am also the most active of my siblings; in fact the only one who has exercised regularly. I don't understand this and find if quite depressing. If I ate what my siblings ate I would be morbidly obese......yet despite being active and eating half of what they eat, I still weigh twice as much. ????

Anonymous July 26, 2013 at 7:44 PM  

If I eat anything I gain weight. Whether it be a salad with no meat and no dressing, or a big greasy burger, I still gain weight. Thyroid problems run in my family. The only way I've ever lost weight was by starving myself. I eat like hardly anything ever and never finish my meals and I'm like 200 pounds, and have been since 6th grade. I'm now graduated.

Anonymous August 3, 2013 at 4:03 AM  

I wanted to comment regarding my weight.
I am almost 180cm and currently weigh at 70kg. I used to weight 67kg all this time, but have been on medication and other supplements for the past 3 months and hence the increase. My diet usually consists of 500gms of butter atleast a week, massive amounts of rice with more fatty meat and butter, an average of 4-5 gallons of milk shake with about 0.5 gallons of ice cream a week. I also eat a ton of sugar products, but most are homemade. I am trying to come back to my previous weight, which surprisingly is not easy this time. Before it would take me less than a week to drop 2-3 kgs easily. Maybe my current medication is the problem.

Anonymous April 12, 2014 at 12:14 PM  

Well said, I 1000% agree. I am not naturally thin either but seems a lot of these girls just do it to show off or celebrate.

Anonymous October 10, 2014 at 1:31 PM  

I thought I am naturally thin, until I started eating more and consequently putting on a little weight. I am still thin, but now I realise that the reason I am so is greatly due to the fact that I used to eat healthy and in reasonable amounts.
However I want to write about my brother - he is naturally thin and very tall. He is 190cm tall, and I don't know how much he weights, but he has struggled to put on weight his whole life and he still looks like an electricity pole. And unlike me he really eats a lot, he forces himself, and stuffs himself silly, just to put on weight, and all to no avail. As he didn't manage to put on fat, he tried to add muscle, to add bulk to his body. He is completely ripped, and you can see every muscle protruding through his skin, because there is very little fat to cover it. I know many people would envy his metabolism, but if you know of any scientific way he could add a few pounds please post here, because simply increasing calorie intake does not work for someone like him.

JLL October 10, 2014 at 5:58 PM  

@Anonymous,

"If it ain't broken, why fix it?" It doesn't sound like your brother has a problem - on the contrary, if he can build muscle without getting fat, I would say that's a good thing.

I'm sure (well, pretty sure) there's ways to add fat as well, but I doubt the benefits would outweigh the negatives. A lot of sugar and fat would probably do it eventually, but that's gonna be harmful in the long run.

- JLL

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