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View Full Version : Why did I get fat? I need some help understanding how the body stores fat.



FuriousGeorge
06-24-2010, 01:57 AM
Isn't it true that some people don't overeat but can be heavier, due to genetics, than someone who eats much more?

My whole life people would comment on how thin I was.

This bothered me, so I started at around 18 I started a strict weight training regimen as follows:
1> Lift a lot for 6 months
2> Look in the mirror and admire how sexy I have become
3> Get bored and stop lifting for 18 months.
4> Get skinny again, and repeat.

About a year and a half ago I was briefly on a med that made me hungry. I thought "great", because I was going to the gym and could stand to put on some pounds. I started to notice some chub around my mid section, but I was otherwise pretty jacked so it didn't bother me.

Then I got off the med, and then a few months later I stopped lifting. So what happened? Instead of getting skinnier like I always had, I put on about 20 pounds.

Here is a brief history of my weight

11/08: 135 Lbs. (start lifting)
05/09: 160 Lbs. (stop lifting)
06/10: 175 Lbs (start again)

I get that when we get older we tend to put on weight around the midsection (beer belly). I don't understand why eating the same amount as I always have now causes me to be tubby. I'm no less active then I was when I was skinny and not lifting.

I now understand why weight loss is such a complicated matter. It would be much simpler if there was a linear relationship between caloric intake and body fat. I guess this is just me getting old (I'm almost 30 now).

Or could it be that I've nearly stopped smoking pot and now prefer drinking... at times heavily? From now on it's vodka and seltzer for me, and none of those high calorie juice mixers. Could that be it?

I wonder what I will look like after 6 months of lifting now? I was never much for aerobic exercise to begin with. I fear that I'll put on muscle but not burn fat. As I look down at my beer belly which makes me a few waste sizes bigger I can't help but think that 6 months of moderate weight lifting will not burn that off.

tom183
06-24-2010, 02:31 AM
I don't understand why eating the same amount as I always have now causes me to be tubby. I'm no less active then I was when I was skinny and not lifting.

Are you sure that you were eating the same amount?


Or could it be that I've nearly stopped smoking pot and now prefer drinking... at times heavily? From now on it's vodka and seltzer for me, and none of those high calorie juice mixers. Could that be it?

Drinking will add calories to your daily total which is obviously going to attribute to weight gain.

FuriousGeorge
06-24-2010, 11:46 AM
Are you sure that you were eating the same amount?


I guess I can't really be sure my caloric intake is the same especially since...



Drinking will add calories to your daily total which is obviously going to attribute to weight gain.

... and I drink quite well these days.

Mercuryblade
06-24-2010, 11:58 AM
Getting older is an excuse that people just like to use. Does the body change as we age? Of course.
But I've also known/witnessed some people that have completely changed their lives around in their later years, many people are in better shape at 45 than they were at 18.

This is an excellent article on the subject http://outside.away.com/outside/bodywork/200305/200305_your_life_1.html. The 65 year old is in incredible shape.

Lifestyle changes are going to have a much bigger impact on anything. If you aren't monitoring your caloric intake, or staying on a regular exercise regimen, it's too difficult to say why exactly you are gaining weight.
To put it the most simply, you are consuming more calories than you are burning. Almost all men gain weight around their midsections, there are theories about alcohol consumption and how it makes you put on fat differently, but for the general person there is no reason to overcomplicate things. Just do everything IN MODERATION. I had a beer last night and a glass of wine, I track my calories, so I still fell well within my daily intake. I have about 2-3 nights a week where I have drinks, and I'm probably sub 8% bodyfat right now. I eat my protein, get in my veggies, and if I want a piece of pizza I eat a piece of pizza and make my diet work around it for the rest of the day.

I'm in the best shape of my life and in way better shape then I was when I was in my teens, and that was when I had a high metabolism and played sports.

Behemoth
06-25-2010, 05:16 AM
Your metabolism slowed somewhat + you become more lax with your diet. Do I really need to draw the = symbol out to finish this equation?

You're lucky though, considering when you were younger you had a very fast metabolism and could eat a lot without getting fat that means you still have a pretty fast metabolism. It didn't go from great to terrible in a year. Get back on your horse, be thankful your blessed with what you are, and get on track to looking better than most others your age.

FuriousGeorge
08-31-2010, 05:26 AM
Thanks guys.

I'm coming up on month three of 2x per week at gym (though it's a pretty strenuous work out).

I don't do any cardio, but I've already lost most of my gut (unless I'm sitting), and I'm almost as strong as I was as when I was lean and mean after 6 months of regular lifting in '08.

I'm watching my caloric intake, but I know that either my appetite has increased or my hormonal balance is altered.

I used to wish I could put on weight, drink those 2000 calorie shakes, bench and squat to my heart's delight, and get minimal weight gain. I wished that I could just put on 20 lbs as if it would evenly distribute throughout my body.

Turns out it don't work that way :D

TKisner
09-01-2010, 04:33 PM
There was a study done where they compared the metabolism of people when they were old to when they were young. The people who had the same level activity level had less than a 1% down-regulation in metabolism which is nothing. People use age as an excuse.

Holto
09-01-2010, 05:45 PM
There was a study done where they compared the metabolism of people when they were old to when they were young. The people who had the same level activity level had less than a 1% down-regulation in metabolism which is nothing. People use age as an excuse.

I totally believe this. I'm 33 @ 220 and I'm cutting on 3500. People claim their activity levels haven't changed but just owning a car could be a few thousand calories per week VS transit + walking.

Behemoth
09-01-2010, 07:17 PM
I totally believe this. I'm 33 @ 220 and I'm cutting on 3500. People claim their activity levels haven't changed but just owning a car could be a few thousand calories per week VS transit + walking.

As do I. Since my last post in this thread I have read otherwise than what I stated in said post and now side with your metabolism is pretty much static for life.

Daniel Roberts
09-02-2010, 08:54 AM
I totally believe this. I'm 33 @ 220 and I'm cutting on 3500. People claim their activity levels haven't changed but just owning a car could be a few thousand calories per week VS transit + walking.

very true.

seK
09-02-2010, 10:23 AM
Sounds like a lack of dedication is your problem.

FuriousGeorge
09-04-2010, 03:02 AM
Sounds like a lack of dedication is your problem.

I can't argue with that, but I'm surprised so many of you don't think that age has an effect on fat storage (notice I never said metabolism).

It seemed obvious to me that there is a fundamental difference in body proportions between obese young people and obese older people.

Women tend to get the "pear shape" and men tend to get the "apple shape" as they age, whereas younger people who are obese tend to have the fat more evenly distributed.

I found this (http://agewisemd.com/?p=1008) with a quick google search:


About age 30 to 35, many men and women notice they are gaining weight around the middle. Their pants become tight and at some point no longer fit. The words pot belly, beer belly, or spare tire are sometimes used to describe the medical condition called abdominal obesity. This sort of fat accumulation greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular and other diseases.

As it turns out, there is a scientific explanation for the tendency toward abdominal obesity among middle-aged men. As men age, their levels of free testosterone decline, and levels of estrogen and insulin increase. This is partly because aging men convert much of their testosterone into estradiol, a form of estrogen. Of the remaining testosterone, much is bound to sex hormone binding globulin, a protein in the blood, and is not biologically active. Studies have shown that men with low free testosterone have higher rates of coronary artery disease, depression, and dementia (Tan et al 2004).

I see a lot of older men with relatively thin arms and legs but massive beer guts. Younger guys tend to be fat all over when they're fat.