T Nation

Are there Legitimate 'Fat Diseases'?


I keep running into fatties these days telling me that they can't lose weight, because everyone in their family is fat, and that they've done everything they could, tried all the pills etc. and they're fat. I spent 20 minutes in a GNC chatting with a friend, and I saw at least four obesitites walk through saying the same shit.

So I ask

Are there legitimate diseases that can nullify the effects of diet and exercise?


If obesity runs in the family odds are that person may/will unfortunately have an easier time putting on the lbs. People who also have insulin, thyroid, etc. problems could also have difficulty keeping weight down. Everyone is different, some have to work harder then others to loss or maintain weight esspecially as they get older.

With that said I believe that an overwhelming majority of these people who claim that they can't lose weight aren't going about weight loss the right way. Some choose flawed programs, some also may work to hard and burn out and gain lost weight back while other don't make enough personal changes to go about fat loss.

At one point if not always, we think that we know what we are doing and when it doesn't workout we blame genetics.

A friend of mine at 310lbs decided he was to fat, modified his diet and trained like hell for ~9months and lost 80lbs. He burned himself out and bounced back up to about 280, for the past couple months he's been practically starving himself with what would seem as no more then 1200 calories a day and only has maintained his weight. He barely has enough energy to even complete simple and extremely light 3x10 lifts.

Even as I try to help him, as I point him to this site and other for advice, he claims I don't know shit, and "they" can't help me. The point to this experience is that Ego plays a major role in one's failure.


I believe that at least 75% of folks who claim to have "tried everything" , have in reality tried very little


Not a disease, but one thing I suspect is very important is:

Back in either the late 50's or early 60's, there was a study done to determine the effects of linoleic acid (one of the omega-6 fatty acids, heavily present in corn, safflower, canola, sunflower, and other such oils) on the body.

Historically it is likely that these fats were little consumed by man. How much oil is there in an ear of corn? Hardly any. I doubt man was consuming much of these other oils either. Maybe some sunflower seeds, but certainly high-linoleic-acid fats were not a major part of the diet.

They used older people as the subjects. While these sorts of oils were certainly coming onto the market at this time, though nowhere near to the extent of today, older people probably were "sot in their ways" and tended to eat as they always did, so were not high consumers of these oils.

Very importantly, the study actually biopsied the body fat of the subjects and determined the fatty acid content.

Approximately speaking, the subjects averaged about 10% linoleic acid content in their bodyfat at the start of the study.

They were put into three groups: low, moderate, and high linoleic acid consumption and they were tracked for many years.

The moderate, and especially the high, linoleic acid groups experienced increasing levels of LA in their own bodyfat.

If I recall correctly, higher rates (compared to the low LA intake group) of obesity, diabetes or insulin resistance, and other adverse markers started appearing as bodyfat LA content reached 15%. Most certainly that was the case by the time it reached 20%.

In all this, the low LA intake group continued to maintain about 10% LA content in their bodyfat and did not have increased rates of such problems.

Now look at the situation today. People actually think it is healthy to consume all these "healthy vegetable oils" instead of nasty saturated fat.

I would not be surprised if obese people today average much higher LA intake than even the high intake group in that study.

Their bodies are, that study gives reason to believe, loaded with LA to a degree that simply is not natural to man and which this study gives reason to believe leads to problems. Including obesity developing in individuals which would not be obese but for this factor. (If that last were not true, then the study wouldn't have shown markedly higher rates.)

I'm not saying they couldn't lose the fat anyway, but it doesn't help them and quite possibly hurts them greatly that their diet includes so much of this, and ironically, as they try to eat "healthy," they load up on LA. Or even if they are not trying to eat healthy: this stuff is just ubiquitous these days. You really have to make an effort to avoid it.


Is that along the lines that the first competition cut is the hardest if the individual was never lean?


It could very well be.

The same study reported that -- referring to ordinary conditions -- it takes about 2 years for high linoleic acid content in the bodyfat to be lost upon returning to a low LA diet.

So there's no fast reward to cleaning up the diet in this respect.

At least not ordinarily.

Cutting up for contest condition does mean losing the great majority of the LA (and all other fatty acids) in the body.

If the subsequent diet has a good balance of fatty acids then the cutting up for the contest would fix the problem, giving a new start.

So the first cut could well be made harder by high LA content, and the later ones not. I have no proof that high LA content makes the cut harder, but since there were metabolic problems observed in this study from high LA content in the body, it doesn't seem unreasonable that that would make a less favorable situation for cutting.


I bet they've tried all the pills and weight loss supplements known to man. Have they tried good dieting with some goddamn exercise...?
Of course not, that would be some work.


They have tried everything. They just give everything a half arsed approach and they wave the white flag when they don't see huge results in the first 3 weeks.

They want to lose weight without giving up junk food or having to excerise.

As for obesity "running in the family" it is more their eating habbits and lifestyle that get inherited from the family.

I think it's official that Australia now wears the gold medal for obesity and USA has to settle for silver. ( God bless American fast food franchises)

We've gone from the biggest sporting nation of the world, (population ratio) to the fattest and it's got nothing to do with "genes."

People are now too lazy to move and too lazy to prepare a healthy meal.

Quickest results with minimal effort is the way to go.

I get treated like a freak just because I choose to eat only natural healthy foods and are constantly preparing meals in advance.

Blah blah blah sorry to ramble but I'm gutted about being the fattest nation on the entire planet !


That's the core of it, right there.

It's in the same family of bullshit with the skinny guys who claim to eat tons and don't know why they're not growing when they're actually only eating like 1500kcal.


Somewhat related:

I saw this kid's full hour long show on TLC: "600lbs Virgin" or something like that.

Fucking amazing job this guy did, lost 400 pounds man.

(I have no idea how good the youtube clip is, I didn't watch it.)


Real Life Case study:

Day 1

Girl at work "Why are you eating seeds"
Me "Becasue they are high in fibre and natural oils as well as giving me a protein boost for the same relative calories as two packets of potato chips" (for you Americans out there)

Day 2

Girl at work "I have decided to follow your example since you are losing weight (**Authors note this is not following my example of lowering carbs, monitoring protein and calories, supplemeting with flax seeds and fish oil etc etc) so I have got Bombay mix (deep fried spicy chickpeas and pulses) because I dont like seeds.

Day 6

Girl at work" I am not losing wieght fast enough so I have decided to take some diet pills I bought off the internet."

Pretty much sums up the mjority of fat dieases (said Girl stopped swimming because couldnt be bothered)


What is the difference between the linoleic acid you talk about and Conjugated linoleic acid that is used for fat loss? Why does one aid in fat loss and the other cause obesity?


They have different chemical structures and shapes. Specifically, the double bonds are in different positions, and CLA's have the unusual feature that one of the bonds is cis (which keeps the chain straight) and one is trans (which gives it a kink.)

Now ordinarily trans is bad, but not in this case. That is just an aside, since you asked the difference.

As to the reason at the molecular level why one, at abnormally (in historical terms) high levels in the body appears to be a cause of obesity, while the other has some fat-fighting properties, I don't know.

Barry Sears would say it is from resulting imbalance in prostaglandin production but I am not at all confident that that sums it up or is even too relevant at all.

I know of no evidence that it's the case, and don't believe it is, that short term, as in a given meal or for that matter a given month, of high LA intake makes a substantial difference in fatness, where calories are the same and it is replacing another fat. The issue appears to be when the body has accumulated so much of it that its own composition is contrary to what we're built for.


Amazing story.
A guy who had real problem weighing 600-fucking pounds got of his ass and did the fucking work. What's more he had the courage to ask for help and put in the work.

But did he just have to announce that he was a virgin? I think everyone kind of guessed anyways.


Well, there's obviously problems that some folks can have with hypothyroidism and stuff. And some folks are naturally endomorphs vs ectomorphs, etc.

But the time I most often see an entire family of obese people with 'hereditary' weight problems, they're in line together at the buffet getting a third plate of fried chicken. A lot of disastrous lifestyles get taught.