7

votes

Childhood Fat Permanent?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 14, 2011 at 12:10 AM

First off, I've been paleo for two years, and it's been an outright miracle for me. That said, I find that no matter what I do (LC, VLC, meat-only, IF, calorie cutting, HIIT, strength training, etc.) I can't seem to get below about 12-13% body-fat. I also find that if I eat as much as I want (even while keeping VLC paleo) I can quite easily gain weight. I don't calorie count, but I use daily 18 hour fasts, strict meal times, and smaller servings to keep me from ballooning back up.

My question is, are any other formerly fat children (I first got fat around age eight) having trouble getting the last bit of chub off? And is it really true that excess body-fat gained as a child is somehow more "permanent" than fat gained later in life?

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on April 14, 2011
at 11:05 PM

Your parents gave you a low-fat diet cook book for your *birthday*? Ouch... I hope that you gave them something equally backhanded for their birthday, like a bath product set aimed at reducing BO. ;)

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on April 14, 2011
at 11:05 PM

Your parents gave you a low-fat diet cook book for your birthday? Ouch... I hope that you gave them something equally backhanded for their birthday, like a bath product set aimed at reducing BO. ;)

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on April 14, 2011
at 11:04 PM

Your parents gave you a low-fat diet cook book for your *birthday*? Ouch... I hope that you gave them something equally backhanded for their birthday, like a bath product set aimed at reducing BO.

2e060a5edde44c1fe77abcf8d3997e01

(865)

on April 14, 2011
at 10:27 PM

I wish I'd had that kind of parental support when I was thirteen. Instead I got a birthday copy of one of Jane Brody's horrific low-fat diet books (this was back in the 80s).

2e060a5edde44c1fe77abcf8d3997e01

(865)

on April 14, 2011
at 10:24 PM

Well, I certainly do "identify" with being overweight. After 32 years of being heavy, I'm probably always going to see myself as a fatty.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 14, 2011
at 03:49 PM

What an awesome dad you are!!! I'm at my desk with tears right now - way to go! You really are instilling an eating and work ethic in her that will last a lifetime! Dont' worry about the attention dad - sounds like you are filling her with enough self-confidence that she will know what to do with the attention!!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on April 14, 2011
at 12:24 PM

I just need to find a way to keep her ego in check, she's loving the newfound attention more than this overprotective father is comfortable with.

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on April 14, 2011
at 05:54 AM

you're doing a great job with her! And this happens right as she's coming into 'teenagehood' where weight is soooo important. You've changed her life course!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on April 14, 2011
at 01:49 AM

Meant to add she's been with me a little over a year now.

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6 Answers

7
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on April 14, 2011
at 01:48 AM

My daughter is 13. When she lived with her mother before I got custody she lived on a processed gluten/sugar diet. While her transition is slow(she still cheats at school sometimes and when she visits her moms) she's lost 30+ lbs and looks like a healthy kid now.

I'd say her insulin is still damaged as small carbloads put weight on her super fast, where the same carbs leave me more energetic.

It's a noticeable transition, and her hunger is minimal now, she is able to run on fat, trains fasted with me now too. I expect it's not at all permanent.

Shes on the track team and benefits from being the only kid eating real whole food. It shows.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on April 14, 2011
at 01:49 AM

Meant to add she's been with me a little over a year now.

2e060a5edde44c1fe77abcf8d3997e01

(865)

on April 14, 2011
at 10:27 PM

I wish I'd had that kind of parental support when I was thirteen. Instead I got a birthday copy of one of Jane Brody's horrific low-fat diet books (this was back in the 80s).

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on April 14, 2011
at 12:24 PM

I just need to find a way to keep her ego in check, she's loving the newfound attention more than this overprotective father is comfortable with.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 14, 2011
at 03:49 PM

What an awesome dad you are!!! I'm at my desk with tears right now - way to go! You really are instilling an eating and work ethic in her that will last a lifetime! Dont' worry about the attention dad - sounds like you are filling her with enough self-confidence that she will know what to do with the attention!!

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on April 14, 2011
at 11:05 PM

Your parents gave you a low-fat diet cook book for your birthday? Ouch... I hope that you gave them something equally backhanded for their birthday, like a bath product set aimed at reducing BO. ;)

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on April 14, 2011
at 05:54 AM

you're doing a great job with her! And this happens right as she's coming into 'teenagehood' where weight is soooo important. You've changed her life course!

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on April 14, 2011
at 11:04 PM

Your parents gave you a low-fat diet cook book for your *birthday*? Ouch... I hope that you gave them something equally backhanded for their birthday, like a bath product set aimed at reducing BO.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on April 14, 2011
at 11:05 PM

Your parents gave you a low-fat diet cook book for your *birthday*? Ouch... I hope that you gave them something equally backhanded for their birthday, like a bath product set aimed at reducing BO. ;)

2
5489f67c05ca5fc68f2b984e48b6da5e

on April 14, 2011
at 11:56 AM

Same thing: Overweight/Obese growing up, Paleo for 2 years and I can easily go up and down the 15-20% bodyfat range.

Based on amount of weight training I've done, I've had 3 different set points in the last few years: 200, 180, and now 160-165 (at 5'9"). These are all at similar levels of bodyfat.

It's pretty frustrating seeing before and after photos of people that look like me now and then get ripped. I'm a veteran at paleo eating! =) At times, I've been able to be so strict for long stretches of time that it doesn't even seem like restriction to me!

This would be a great question for Robb Wolf's Paleo Solution podcast.

1
Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

on April 14, 2011
at 03:27 PM

I'd also love to hear this posed to Robb Wolf.

I was fat my whole life, peaked in college at around 220 (female, 5'9", wore a size 22 then). I also hit a few "set points" on my way down -- 190, 170. I recently broke the 170 set point when I went Paleo and started CrossFitting. I'm trying not to obsess over it, but I do expect this last bit of excess fat around the hips and belly to be tough to get rid of. The last bit is tough even if you've been lean before, but I imagine is tougher to convince your body to be lean if it hasn't ever been.

Like I said, I'm trying not to obsess over it. I'm healthy, and I love CrossFitting and eating Paleo, so I'll just stick with it and focus on being healthy and fit. The leanness will come eventually...

I will say that the way I busted past my last "set point" was by doing strict Paleo for 6 weeks. And I mean really strict. No cheats, no alcohol, little to no fruit, etc. It worked. I'm still pretty darn strict, but will have a glass of wine and some dark chocolate once in a while. If it gets important enough to me to get into a bikini this summer, I'll go back to 100% strict. :)

1
1d952d225819b0229e93160a90bf9bf8

on April 14, 2011
at 03:16 PM

Remember that your ancestors diets would have varied wildly by both content and amount of food on a daily basis.Some days it would have been tons of meat,sometimes just a few plants,and then maybe they found a fruit tree or a bee hive the next day.Mix it up a little. My body seems to be happier when I'm LESS strict,as long as it doesn't involve potatoes or large amounts of super sugary modern fruit,nuts,dairy,or grains.The occasional agave margarita,a few tablespoons of cocoa rice cereal in my homemade dark chocolate,or sorghum beer seems to make me less stressed,tighter, and my workouts are better.

1
7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on April 14, 2011
at 01:48 AM

From my personal experience I would say that it is kind of true. I got fat around eight as well and maxed out about sixteen. At sixteen I lost about 80 lbs with high carb/low fat and alot of bicycling, as was the fashion at the time. This got me way too skinny muscle-wise I believe, trying to get enough of the fat off that would not go away. Over the last 20 years or so I have stayed pretty thin/normal, but with a propensity to gain around the middle and love handles. A couple of times my weight has crept up to the 250 range, and then I get it back down to 225 or so.(I'm 6'5"). I can say that paleo plus hard workouts have done me the most permanent good and has done the most to eliminate "childhood" fat, or the chronic, stubborn stuff. I am now under 220 and strong at 35 with pretty perfect bloodwork.

In my opinion, obesity in childhood and during puberty has the potential to skew your hormonal setpoints when combined with SAD vitamin deficiencies (d,k,Mg,Zn). So maybe some hypothalamus and HPA-axis supplementation is in order if you really want to tackle that last little bit. Or maybe hormone therapy could work (I know).

I think the standard party line is that if you are obese as a child, then you grow more fat cells to store the fat, whereas weight gained after development just makes the existing number of fat cells larger. From other people's experience it seems like people who gained weight later in life have an easier time taking it off than grown up fat kids.

0
8274ce9d4bffd8209055e1e34def04d6

(429)

on April 14, 2011
at 08:55 PM

It might be mostly psychological.

You may "identify" with being overweight still, subconsciously.

2e060a5edde44c1fe77abcf8d3997e01

(865)

on April 14, 2011
at 10:24 PM

Well, I certainly do "identify" with being overweight. After 32 years of being heavy, I'm probably always going to see myself as a fatty.

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