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  #1  
Unread 11-06-2016, 01:29 AM
Sarcomeres Sarcomeres is offline
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Default Lower Limits of Bodyfat Question

Hello, everyone!

I understand that getting to the lowest levels of bodyfat has profound downregulation of hormones in order to give us the best chance of survival for famine. Lyle mentions testosterone reaching castration levels and the overall hormone profile being very poor, so I understand why this is unhealthy and very unrealistic to maintain without drugs. My question is whether there are any known permanent effects, even when returning to a healthy bodyfat, at or above set point for a healthy, drug free, individual. Does it just come down to different amounts of recovery time based on genetics, time spent at the lower limits, time spent under set point, time dieting down, and so forth? I understand it is an adaptation but have heard people saying that there may be permanent effects as well. I ask for those interested in competing and might even do so myself.

Thank you!
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  #2  
Unread 11-06-2016, 03:07 AM
semipartial semipartial is offline
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I'm not sure about permanent effects per se, but there can be a few 'long-term' effects. How long these effects hold up vary from person to person. Think about irregular or postponed menstruation, no sex drive, lethargic, hunger, poor NEAT, etc.

If you reverse the question and think about gaining weight, there are permanent effects. Set-point may change, number of fat cells will change, excess skin will be obtained, etc.

Anyway, interesting question. I'm curious about all other answers.
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  #3  
Unread 11-06-2016, 08:30 AM
lylemcdonald lylemcdonald is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcomeres View Post
Hello, everyone!

I understand that getting to the lowest levels of bodyfat has profound downregulation of hormones in order to give us the best chance of survival for famine. Lyle mentions testosterone reaching castration levels and the overall hormone profile being very poor, so I understand why this is unhealthy and very unrealistic to maintain without drugs. My question is whether there are any known permanent effects, even when returning to a healthy bodyfat, at or above set point for a healthy, drug free, individual. Does it just come down to different amounts of recovery time based on genetics, time spent at the lower limits, time spent under set point, time dieting down, and so forth? I understand it is an adaptation but have heard people saying that there may be permanent effects as well. I ask for those interested in competing and might even do so myself.

Thank you!
I have never ever ever seen any permanent effects remaining if body fat returns to normal levels.
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  #4  
Unread 11-06-2016, 09:31 AM
Sarcomeres Sarcomeres is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semipartial View Post
I'm not sure about permanent effects per se, but there can be a few 'long-term' effects. How long these effects hold up vary from person to person. Think about irregular or postponed menstruation, no sex drive, lethargic, hunger, poor NEAT, etc.

If you reverse the question and think about gaining weight, there are permanent effects. Set-point may change, number of fat cells will change, excess skin will be obtained, etc.

Anyway, interesting question. I'm curious about all other answers.
That's a good point. Another hormonal instance with negative effects. Also, I didn't even think to look at the other extreme with excess fat. Thanks, semipartial

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Originally Posted by lylemcdonald View Post
I have never ever ever seen any permanent effects remaining if body fat returns to normal levels.
I'm glad to hear that coming from you! Much appreciated, Lyle.
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  #5  
Unread 11-06-2016, 09:48 AM
lylemcdonald lylemcdonald is offline
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The system is very assymetric with weight/fat loss and wight/fat gain working differently. at least some evidence suggests that if you get very fat and maintain it, setpoint may go up

None suggests that it ever comes down if you get and stay super lean. If people have an easier time staying lean it's due to habits IMO.

I'm sure there is some occasional oddity where people who are very lean (probably anorexics) who regain weight have long-term problems. But not in the typical dieter.
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  #6  
Unread 11-06-2016, 10:11 PM
Sarcomeres Sarcomeres is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lylemcdonald View Post
The system is very assymetric with weight/fat loss and wight/fat gain working differently. at least some evidence suggests that if you get very fat and maintain it, setpoint may go up

None suggests that it ever comes down if you get and stay super lean. If people have an easier time staying lean it's due to habits IMO.

I'm sure there is some occasional oddity where people who are very lean (probably anorexics) who regain weight have long-term problems. But not in the typical dieter.
This really shows how well we have evolved for survival. It amazes me how complex the human body is with so many mechanisms.

When you mention some possible exceptions like anorexics, for long-term problems, do you think it would mainly come down to how long they were in the starved state before they eventually recover? Would this be similar to the speed skating study you have talked about, where it took a proportionately longer amount of time to recover than expected? Probably even more exaggerated?
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