Search Results for "running-down-the-up-escalator"
As the year is rapidly growing to an end, time for a review of my favourite posts of 2013: Running Down the Up Escalator (Part 1) Running Down the Up Escalator (Part 2) Running Down the Up-Escalator (Part 3) Are Dog Owners More Physically Active? Can Gene Tests Benefit People With Obesity? @DrSharma Edmonton, AB
As not everyone may have a chance during the week to read every post, here’s a roundup of last week’s posts: Running Down the Up Escalator (Part 1) Running Down the Up Escalator (Part 2) Running Down the Up-Escalator (Part 3) Does Browning of Adipose Tissue By Heart Hormones Promote Weight Loss? Have a great Sunday! (or what is left of it) @DrSharma Edmonton, AB
In the last couple of posts, I used the analogy of running down the up-escalator to describe the challenge of weight management. I also noted that trying to run down that escalator without first addressing the reasons you ended at the top in the first place, may make the descent even harder. But why use the escalator analogy at all? Why is the escalator moving up? Why does it get faster as you get further down? And why is there no bottom, where you can simply get off? Let’s start with the upward moving escalator – most of us are on it to start with as most of us tend to gain weight with age – unfortunately, some people faster than others. Very few of us manage to keep our teenage weights into late adulthood. There are many reasons for this – for one, our metabolism “slows down” as we get older, so do our levels of physical activity. Then there are other drivers of weight gain that tend to accumulate as we get older – stress, lack of sleep, arthritis, medications, to name a few. This means that for most of us, to not be carried higher on that escalator, we already have to take the occasional step down – the faster our personal escalator is moving up, the more effort we will have to put into simply “marking time”. But that’s the easy part (preventing weight gain is always easier than treating obesity). To lose weight, you have to actually start moving down the escalator faster than it is moving up. Depending on how fast your personal escalator is moving up, the more effort this will take. The tricky part comes when the escalator starts speeding up as you make your way down – this is what is often referred to as the “starvation response” – a complex series of metabolic and behavioural responses aimed at preventing further weight loss and promoting weight regain. In previous posts I have discussed some of these factors – leptin, ghrelin, sympathetic nerve activity, body temperature – the net result is that as you get lower down on the escalator, the fewer calories you need and the greater your hunger and appetite gets. This is why, keeping weight off gets harder and harder rather than easier and easier the more weight you lose. (Many people think that if I can only lose… Read More »
Yesterday, I noted how losing and keeping weight off is like trying to run down an escalator that is moving up and, the minute you stop running, will take you back to the top. I also shared the rather depressing analogy that as you get further down the escalator, it speeds up so that the lower down you get, the more effort it requires to simply maintain your place on the escalator. Finally, I noted that there is no real bottom – or in other words, no matter how much effort you put into getting lower down the escalator, you never quite reach the bottom or the point where you can simply get off. Today, I want to add a couple of important points to this analogy. Firstly, it is important to remember that whatever took you to the top of the escalator, if not addressed, will make the descent even harder (if not impossible). In the simplest case – to use an analogy that a reader sent in – imagine trying to run down the escalator on one leg – it’s going to be so much harder than with two legs. So if arthritis in one knee took you to the top of the elevator in the first place, trying to get back down while your knee is still killing you is going to be so much more difficult that if your knees were OK. Similarly, if depression or binge eating took you up the escalator, trying to get down that escalator while still depressed or still not in control of your eating is going to to be so much harder that if these problems were resolved. It may help to think of whatever took you to the top of that escalator as additional baggage that you have to lug along as you try to run down – the heavier the bags, the harder it is going to be. As readers will realise, those excess bags could be anything – from a genetic predisposition to medications that you might be on to lack of sleep to high stress levels to intimate saboteurs to relationship issues to loneliness to body image issues to childhood trauma – the list goes on and on…. This is why it makes a lot of sense to first deal with what took you to the top before beginning your journey down that up-escalator. clearly, simply… Read More »