I am therefore in awe of bloggers like Debra (and a number of her readers) who have both the intelligence and patience to take apart complicated concepts and analyze them for both their strengths and weaknesses. In the field of weight loss/gain/management/maintenance, nothing is as it seems.
As time goes by, I realize that there is no one single way to manage one's weight. Most people never succeed because there is no single method that works successfully for everyone on a long-term basis. The weight-loss success stories I have read belong to people who have made weight-loss at very least a part-time, if not full-time job, filled with strict rules, limits and requirements. That's OK, if that's your choice, but let's not kid ourselves. If all the "normal" weight people we know had to manage their weight the way these success stories do, our society would fall apart: between counting calories, weighing food and exercising obsessively, we simply wouldn't have the time to keep the wheels of the economy moving. People who have never had a weight problem do NOT measure every morsel they put in their mouthes; nor do they count every calorie in and every calorie spent on exercise.
Which leads me to this article, by Dr. Arya Sharma of the Obesity Network. Entitled "Eating More Calories Increases Weight (In Some People - Sometimes - Maybe)", the gist of the article is that while the physics of "calories in - calories out" is unassailable, the biology governing how specific bodies react to the principle varies greatly from one person to another.
According to the laws of physics when [calories in] exceed [calories out] people gain weight.
Unfortunately, when you actually deal with people (read: biological systems), this simple law is anything but simple. This is because, thanks to complex biological feedback mechanisms, designed by nature to keep us alive and thriving, changing caloric intake in turn affects caloric expenditure and vice-versa.
In keeping with my impatient nature, I will simply ask you to read the article (as well as the very interesting comments, ranging from stupid--"duh! fatso: eat less, move more" to thought-provoking--"what about gut flora? what about whether different bodies metabolize fats, proteins and carbohydrates differently and more or less successfully?").
Why do I like articles like this one by Dr. Sharma (and the writings of Dr.Linda Bacon, and Debra's blog, and...the list goes on)? Because they recognize the fantastically extreme complexity of the weight conundrum, rather than reducing it (pardon the pun) to a question of "willpower" and calories in-calories out.