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flip86's avatar

How did I gain weight?

Asked by flip86 (5999 points ) April 12th, 2014

A few years ago I weighed 210 pounds. At 5’9” that gave me a BMI of over 30. Technically, I was obese. I decided enough was enough and went on a diet. I cut calories to 1500 a day. I weighed my food. I cut sugar and regular soda. I switched to splenda for coffee and started drinking diet drinks. I was successful. After 6 months I lost 50 pounds. I went from 210 to 160. I have been able to keep it off and I feel great.

My question is, what caused me to gain the weight in the first place? I have gone back to my old eating habits and do not gain anything. I still drink diet soda/drinks though. No sugared or HFCS drinks.

Was it the HFCS in the soda that made me fat? I’m beginning to think it was. What do you all think?

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17 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Be careful….it is most likely a false positive. haha
Once you lose weight you can trick yourself into thinking you are not gaining again, and you might not..for awhile.
Then, one day…BOOM you wake up to 25 lbs. of fat again.
This happened to me a few years ago, kept thinking, “wow, I am maintaining” and started eating a little more and a little more, and then, all of a sudden, practically overnight you gain again.

The trick is to only allow yourself 2 cheat days a week and the other 5 you keep to your routine.

hominid's avatar

I’m similar in my weight (and gain/loss). I’m 6’1” and weigh 163 lbs. About 12 years ago, I quickly starting putting on weight and got up to 207 lbs before realizing that something had to be done. After some unsuccessful things, I ended up realizing that carbs were my problem and went on a modified South Beach diet. In 6 months, I was back down to 165 and feeling great.

After about a year or so, I found myself on a carb-only disgusting diet, yet I maintained my weight around 165 lbs for many months. But then suddenly, the weight started coming back on and I realized that I was in a bad spot having gone back to my crappy habits again.

I would be concerned about this: “I have gone back to my old eating habits and do not gain anything.” How long have you been back on your old eating habits? In my experience, you have a few months before your body will adjust and start packing on the pounds.

More importantly, how did you feel when you were eating better?

Judi's avatar

I’m amazed you have been able to keep it all off going back to old habits. How many regular sodas did you drink a day before? 2200 calories equals a pound and an average, not overly active male needs about 10–12 calories per pound to maintain their weight. I’m assuming you are consuming just under 2000 calories a day now. 2500 calories would maintain 210 so if you had a couple of sugar or corn syrup sodas a day before that would put you right there. Amazing what small changes can do.

zenvelo's avatar

HFCS is an insidious form of sugar. And diet drinks are not much better, the body treats diet drinks as if they were sugar, diet drinks actually contribute to weight gain.

Large weight loss such as yours or mine (I dropped 60 pounds a year ago) isn’t about dieting or sacrifice, but a change in lifestyle. I don’t drink any sodas of any sort except mineral water without any sweeteners at all. (I’ve changed a lot of other things too, but won’t go into it here.)

GloPro's avatar

One theory is that now that you are at a lighter weight you are more naturally active and that is helping to keep it off. Muscle mass has a higher metabolism than fat as well.

flip86's avatar

@Judi I was never really a big eater. Some days I’ll go all day without food and have a big dinner. Other days I’ll eat three meals. Even still, some days i’ll just snack and not eat a meal. It depends on my mood and what I’m doing that day. I did like soda though and would usually drink 3 or 4 cans a day. I’d also drink 3 or 4 cups of coffee with sugar and creamer.

When I went on a diet I didn’t really change much. I just changed the amount I ate and only ate once a day. I also cut out soda and ditched the creamer and sugar in the coffee.

@hominid I went on the diet around July of 2012. I started easing up on the diet end of January 2013 and by March was back to old habits. So it has been a little over a year.

I’m not sedentary. My job is quite physical.

filmfann's avatar

HFCS and Big Fruit are certainly contributors to weight gain. Stay away from fruit juices!

flip86's avatar

I’d like to add that I never went above 210. Once I gained it, I stayed at that weight consistently. That might explain why I don’t gain any now. Which is also what most confuses me.

Judi's avatar

3 cans of Pepsi is 450 calories. That could make a huge difference in your maintenance weight.
450 calories divided by 12 calories per pound maintenance would me 37.5 pounds. If you have permanently removed those calories from your diet you will maintain a 37.5 pound lower weight without any other changes. Of course these numbers are ballpark as everyone had a different metabolism.

Coloma's avatar

@Judi and there is like 10 tablespoons of sugar in a regular soda! I drink diet, maybe one a day, if that.

Judi's avatar

I am in the middle of week two without even my diet sodas! I’m doing a 30 day clean food plan. Lost 6 pounds the first week.

Coloma's avatar

I drink bucket fulls of water too….I have to go pee about 20 minutes, night and day. haha

LornaLove's avatar

@Coloma Does the water help? with what? weight loss or bloating?

I also pee all nite haha

Coloma's avatar

@LornaLove Hydration, flushes toxins from the kidneys. helps remove fat, keeps your brain hydrated so you can do your best, fills you up, is good for your skin. Water is great!

johnpowell's avatar

My mom had a brain tumor that went diagnosed for about ten years. When It was removed it was around the size of a lemon. The only thing that helped with her migraines was Pepsi. She downed at least two liters a day to keep the headaches away. She got up to around 230 and 5’3” inches.

So the tumor was eventually found and removed. By now she had type 2 diabetes. But she cut out the normal soda and lost a ton of weight that is pretty much similar to your weight loss. Now she has a few cans of diet sodas a day and has lost at least over 50 pounds that has stayed off for over five years with no other real changes in her diet.

So yeah, soda is that bad for you.

livelaughlove21's avatar

My question is why would you go back to eating like you did after losing the weight? Do you want to gain it back? Because that’s the only valid reason to revert back to your old diet.

How long have you been eating like you used to? It could be that your body hasn’t “caught up” yet. It could be that you’re not really eating like you did before.

The answer to your question “how did I get fat?” is simple: by eating at a caloric surplus. And how did you lose the weight? By eating at a caloric deficit. If you’re maintaining your weight by eating the way you are now, then you’re eating as many calories as your body is burning.

If your body burns 2000 calories per day, it doesn’t matter if you’re eating 2000 calories worth of lettuce or 2000 calories worth of donuts – you’ll maintain either way. Perhaps you’re eating the same foods you used to, but in smaller quantities.

GarrettHnatiuk's avatar

To gain weight you have to eat more calories than you burn. When adding calories, attempt to stay away from adding too much fat. When you can get fat from eating carbohydrates or protein, the body likes to use carbohydrates as fuel greater than fat. To gain muscle, along with eating more you have to stimulate your muscles enough through strength training that while they recover, they’ll develop and stronger. To get an efficient workout you might like to join a gym if you aren’t already an associate.

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