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Basic theory of gaining weight


There Are Two Steps to Lose Weight the Right Way


  1. There are two ways to lose weight
  2. How to lower base weight
  3. What is your specific diet?
  4. Differences from low-carb diets
  5. The meaning of the “two-step”
    The bottom line

Although this is not a diet blog, since I’m writing the reasons why people gain weight, naturally, I thought about ways to lose weight, and I felt that I should write about it.

In this post, I will only write about my theory for losing weight. Please understand this is not based on practice, but I hope this will help someone.

1. There are two ways to lose weight

Just like the phrase “to gain weight” has two meanings, “to lose weight” also has two meanings.
【Related article】 Two Meanings to the Phrase "Gaining Weight"

 (1) In the case you rebound

The first way is done by eating less and exercising more, as in conventional calorie-restricted diets. This method requires constant hunger.

I consider that humans have an ability to maintain their present condition, and I defined the term "base weight" as the weight to which you always go back.

The rebound effect

When you eat less (fewer calories) and stay hungry over many hours, your body will try to minimize the change by:

  • increasing absorption rate in order to utilize maximum nutrition.
  • decreasing calorie expenditure including basal metabolism in order to suppress unnecessary consumption.

Even if you lose a little weight with your hard work, I believe it is only temporary, and most people will rebound because their base weight value hasn’t changed.

[Related article]  Dieting Doesn’t Work in the Long Run

(2) Lower the “base weight” itself

The other way is to lower your “base weight.” As I have mentioned many times, the cause of being overweight, in my opinion, is an increased base weight value.

This means that one's absorption ability is higher than that of the average person, and I assume that the higher absorption tendency is related to symptoms such as high blood pressure, heart disease, abnormal blood sugar levels, and diabetes,etc.

So, I believe that to lose weight correctly, lowering the "base weight" itself is necessary rather than reducing caloric intake.

I will quote the reference related to this  from the book, “The Obesity Code.”


(About rebounding of weight)

"The fundamental biological principle at work here is homeostasis. There appears to be a “set point(*1) for body weight and fatness, as first proposed in 1984 by Keesey and Corbett. Homeostatic mechanisms defend this body set weight against changes, both up and down. If weight drops below body set weight, compensatory mechanisms activate to raise it. If weight goes above body set weight, compensatory mechanisms activate to lower it.

The problem in obesity is that the set point is too high. [1](*snip)

There are two prominent findings from all the dietary studies done over the years.

First: all diets work. Second: all diets fail.

What do I mean? Weight loss follows the same basic curve so familiar to dieters. Whether it is the Mediterranean, the Atkins or even the old fashioned low-fat, low-calorie, all diets in the short term seem to produce weight loss.

Sure, they differ by amount lost–some a little more, some a little less. But they all seem to work.

However, by six to twelve months, weight loss plateaus, followed by a relentless regain, despite continued dietary compliance.(*snip*)

So all diets fail. The question is why. 
Permanent weight loss is actually a two-step process. There is a short-term and a long-term (or time-dependent) problem. "

(*1)The “set point” for body weight is the same as what I call “base weight.”

2. How to lower base weight

Dr. Fung, the author of “The Obesity Code”, believes that the higher set point of body weight is  relevant to insulin resistance, which is why he has adopted fasting to cure obesity.

My opinion, which is quite different, is that instead of starving ourselves, we can lower our base weight by eating a lot of less digestible foods according to certain rules. This is because I believe that if the underlying cause of weight gain is due to the mechanism of intestinal starvation, then by doing the opposite, one should theoretically be able to lower one's base weight, and in turn lose weight.

fish and meat

Of all the diets that have been done , the low-carb diet (one which allows you to eat as much meat and fat as you want), the carnivore diet, the Mediterranean diet, and eating more low-G.I. foods and fibrous vegetables, etc. are all ways that fit my theory.

One might say, "I am just combining those diets.” But since the point is to leave more undigested food in the intestines, I believe they should be combined.

Note that when I say "base weight itself goes down," I don't mean that one's metabolism goes up, but rather that one's absorption ability itself goes down.

It may be difficult to understand how eating food reduces absorption rate, but imagine, for example, eating a snack bread and a glass of orange juice.

If you eat it when you are starving, your blood glucose level will jump up, whereas if you eat it three hours after finishing a well-balanced lunch, your blood glucose level will not rise as much.

Blood sugar spikes

Even when you go out for drinks, if you haven't eaten anything for almost ten hours, you may get drunk faster, but if you eat a good lunch and have ice cream two hours before drinking, you will get drunk more slowly. In other words, if you keep eating less digestible food to reduce hunger, the absorption rate should decrease.

3.What is your specific diet?

I think the key is to reduce carbohydrate intake to a certain extent and conversely increase meat, fish, oil/fat, fibrous vegetables, seaweed, nuts, dairy products, etc. to reduce the time you feel hungry.(If you feel a little hungry, eat something. Eat regularly even if you don't have an appetite.) 

Specifically, I believe there are two ways to do this.

(1) The way to actually improve your diet

  • Reduce carbohydrate intake (rice, bread, noodles, etc.) by half to a third. 
  • Eat low G.I. carbohydrates if possible such as brown rice, whole-grain bread, cold rice (starch turns indigestible once cooled down) and al dente pasta.
  • Increase foods other than carbs such as meat, fish, fat/oil, dairy products, nuts, vegetables, seaweed, etc.
  • If you feel hungry between meals, you can eat something.
  • Of course, you can combine this step with some exercise, but make sure you eat balanced meals at least three times a day.


<Regarding fat intake>

Fat is an important energy souce for the body, and at the same time a cause of weight gain for some, but I believe that it is a food that can help us lose weight depending on how we eat it.

Fat was originally thought to be fattening because of its high energy density (9 kcal/g), but in fact, since it takes longer to digest, consuming it every three to five hours can also help you to lose weight (Of course, this varies from person to person).

It would not be wrong to say that a person who usually eats less will gain weight if they eat fat along with carbohydrates, but it's only how you eat and cannot be judged by the size of the calorie content.

[Related article]  Eating Fat/oil Is a Deterrent to Gaining Weight

(2) Slow down the digestive enzymes

For those who seem to digest food quickly no matter how much they eat, and who always feel hungry, the method (1) may not be effective. Some of them may even gain weight because of the increased calories.

I believe that the reason it becomes more difficult to lose weight as obesity levels become higher, is that they digest food faster and the absorption rate doesn't decrease so easily. In other words, the theory itself is not necessarily wrong.

In a similar case, in addition to improving the diet, it may be helpful to take, for example, enzymes or medication that slows down the digestive process for fats and proteins. By lowering the ability to digest food, undigested food will remain longer in the intestines, which will have the same effect as (1) above. (Naturally, it must be done under a physician's guidance and It is only theoretical for now).

4. Differences from low-carb diets

Even though it is not up to extreme carb restriction (ketogenic), I believe my idea would result in a diet similar to a low-carb diet.

Those who advocate low-carb diets say, "it is the carbohydrates that cause obesity, and instead of limiting them, you can eat as many protein-and fat-rich foods as you like to make up for the calories.”

In reality, however, it is not "you can eat" but rather "you have to" in order to lose weight.
If you reduce meat, fish, and fats/oils as well, you will feel hungry just like in a conventional calorie-restricted diet, and such diets do not work for long, as studies have shown.


My theory is that carbohydrates are only an indirect cause of weight gain making it easier to induce intestinal starvation. The point is only that we should consume more indigestible foods, slowing down the digestion process and suppressing hunger. So, while carbohydrates are not necessarily bad, I believe that cutting the amount of carbohydrates in the diet will be more effective.

Of course, it is possible that reducing glucose, which provides immediate energy, may speed up weight loss in the short term.

5. The meaning of the “two-step”

For those who have been dieting by eating less, their caloric intake may at least increase . So "eat more to lose weight" may sound fishy.

However, reducing caloric intake is not the final point.

  • In the short term, it is necessary to eat more indigestible foods so as not to feel hungry while controlling carbohydrate intake, etc.
  • In the long term, it's more important, by continuing to do so, to lower one’s base weight and get the non-rebound body you desire.

In other words, a "two-step" process is necessary to lose weight properly.

▽In Japan, there are various ways of dieting to lose weight by eating a lot of foods, and many people have their own interpretation of “losing weight by eating a lot.”

  • Raised metabolism by eating foods.
  • Eating a lot of low-calorie foods result in reducing the total caloric intake daily.
  • Snacking results in a decrease in appetites, and as a result, reduced caloric intake at meals.
  • Some components in a specific food eaten break down(/decomposed) body fat.

Still, I believe that none of these explanations are correct (although there might be some truth in them), since “why we gain weight” is not recognized correctly and people still believe that too many calories and carbohydrates eaten are the causes of being overweight.

[1]Dr. Jason Fung, The Obesity Code , 2016, page 62.
[2]Page 215.

The bottom line

(1) Just as the phrase "to gain weight" has two meanings, "to lose weight" also has two meanings. To avoid rebounding, the base weight (set weight) itself must be lowered.

(2) To lower base weight, one should eat fewer carbohydrates, which speed up digestion, and more indigestible foods such as protein, fat/oil, and fiber-rich vegetables, should be eaten to reduce hunger.

(3) In Japan, the "eat a lot and lose weight" diet is all around us, but I think it is not properly recognized, and of course, it is not officially approved as a treatment. If it is proven that intestinal starvation causes people to gain weight, I'd like to believe that the meaning of "eating a lot and losing weight" will be properly understood.


Gaining Weight by Intestinal Starvation; What Does It Mean?


  1. Hunger in Africa and hunger in the modern era
  2. Why do we gain weight during periods of starvation?
  3. What happens when one’s base weight is elevated?

Let me explain something about the core of this blog.
Perhaps for most of you it is hard to believe me, but I’ll just write the facts as they are, as I experienced them. I did not write this from my imagination, but based it on my own analysis of what actually happened to me.

When I got into college, my total body weight fell down to the thirty-kilo range, so I knew exactly why I gained almost five kilos so rapidly in a few days, even though I didn’t eat much.

1. Hunger in Africa and hunger in the modern era

The idea of storing fat in the body as a reserve against starvation is something every researcher considers at one time or another.

However, it is said that this theory is an idea that has been rejected by researchers throughout history. This is because many overweight people often eat more, and many African refugees are thin and malnourished. 

One might say, “If starvation makes us fat, then African refugees would be obese.”

However, please understand that this is a true state of starvation (malnutrition) in which the people can’t eat even if they want to, and I’m stating that it is different from what I call “intestinal starvation.”

African refugees do not have access to digestible food, and malnutrition even diminishes their ability to digest food and nutrients.

In contrast, many of us in developed countries are more likely to eat westernized foods made from wheat, meat, eggs, etc., which provide good nutrition and are easier to digest. Therefore, if we focus on the inner workings of our intestines, we are more prone to inducing intestinal starvation.

The reality is that being overweight has become a problem even among the poor populations in the world. The common denominator there is not an excessive intake of calories or carbohydrates (sugar), but a poor balance of food (cheap carbohydrates, lack of nutritious food including vegetables, etc.).

2. Why do we gain weight during periods of starvation?

In my blog, I mentioned that one’s base weight value goes up by inducing intestinal starvation, and I want to explain what it means here. For the sake of explanation, I will use plants as an example.

(1) For plants, eating food and gaining weight is done by adding "fertilizer." This fertilizer is the equivalent to our diet, and of course, we need to use fertilizer periodically for growth.

However, using too much fertilizer doesn’t usually result in producing a bigger plant, and if we use it  too often, it may sometimes have a negative effect.

The same goes for humans, and just eating a lot of calories doesn’t necessarily mean we all gain weight and become overweight. Even if we eat only one meal a day, as long as it’s well-balanced, there will be enough nutrition left in the intestines to be absorbed.

(2)Using an example of a plant, weight gain by inducing intestinal starvation and an increase in base weight could be explained in the same way as a plant that is extending its roots and taking in more nutrients. (See figure below)

When there is not enough nutrition, plants grow their roots deeper into the ground seeking more nutrients, and the same phenomenon occurs when we humans digest all the food in our entire intestines (or it may be the small intestine only),  and intestinal starvation is induced.

(It is said that “the small intestine is the second brain” or that “it has a will,” and I clearly felt the will of my small intestine.)

Actually the villi (folds) of the intestines do not grow, but the absolute level of absorption goes up by expanding the surface area over which nutrients can be absorbed(*1).
(I will explain this in greater detail to the researchers.) 

So even if you eat the same amount of food as you did before, you will gain weight instantly. (For some, it might be three kilos in a year, for others, it might be ten kilos in just a few days.)

This, I believe, is the fundamental difference between obese and thin/lean people. 

(*1)The small intestine is said to have a surface area of more than a tennis court when all its folds(villi) are spread out. This is because it absorbs more nutrients. 

the roots of weeds

(a:intestinal villi)

(b:The roots of a weed. They grow large without fertilizer)

There is an old Japanese saying: "You have a body that gets fat even by drinking water."

Of course, water alone does not make you fat, but I don’t think it is totally wrong. It indicates that the absorption ability of that person is that high.

3. What happens when one’s base weight is elevated?


(1) Once you gain weight, it becomes more difficult to lose weight

When your base weight goes up and you gain weight, it means that the balancing point, in terms of "energy- in, energy-out," has gone up, which can generate a more positive energy cycle and make it more difficult to lose weight.

When dieting, temporarily reducing the caloric intake to lose weight means reducing the "fertilizer" in the example of a plant. However, it is only a temporary weight loss, and you will likely return to your original weight when you start eating a normal diet again (the rebound effect).

Moreover, the reason why each time some people diet, they rebound and gain more weight than before is that skipping meals or eating light meals (not enough vegetables) can lead to intestinal starvation, which can further increase your base weight.

(2) More muscle, too

It is not that after you get fat, you gain muscle to support it. I believe that muscle is built at the same time you gained weight, at least up to a certain weight, because overall nutritional intake, including protein, has increased.

When a fat person loses body fat, the chest and thighs are thick and very muscular. After body fat is gained, would the muscles around the chest and neck thicken to support that weight?

(This varies widely from person to person.)

[Related article]
Can Thermodynamics Explain Why We Gain Weight?

(3) Cause-and-effect reverse phenomenon

The increased intake of nutrients as a whole, including protein, creates a positive cycle of energy, which leads to the following phenomena. Digestive enzymes, hormones, etc. are also made from proteins (amino acids), which may increase the ability to digest food and increase the appetite. So, it is no wonder that people with larger bodies or stronger stomachs generally eat more than others.

There exists a cause-and-effect reversal phenomenon: people do not gain weight because they eat more, but because the bigger they are, the  hungrier they become, and in turn, they eat more.

(4) Those who are overweight are prone to gaining more weight

Even if everyone eats exactly the same amount, people with big bodies-big, meaning large with some extra body fat or muscularly built-, or obese people, are more likely to feel hungry, which means that they eat relatively less, and they tend to gain more weight little by little.

It may be a vicious circle where a person eats modest amounts and gains weight, and if they skip meals or eat less to lose weight, they gain even more weight in the long run.  

【Related article】→What Does It Mean to Eat Relatively Less?

On the other hand, if a lean person eats balanced meals three times a day, every day, he or she doesn’t induce intestinal starvation. And there is a good chance they will stay the same weight and have the same appearance for the rest of their life, regardless of caloric intake.

Therefore, "fatness" and "non-fatness," in this regard, are not obesity genes

Also, for people like me who are very thin, being thin itself can reduce the amount of protein and other nutrients that can be taken in, thus a negative energy cycle continues. In turn, the muscles that support the stomach and intestines become weak and droopy, and the ability to digest food is also diminished by not secreting enough digestive enzymes.

This is a vicious circle where thin people can’t gain weight and remain thin.


Is Obesity a Multifactorial Disease?


  1. The view that obesity is "multifactorial" 
  2. Various factors intertwined...
    The bottom line

1. The view that obesity is "multifactorial" 

It is said that obesity is related to many factors, but why? I will quote an interesting description that is relevant to my blog.

“What causes weight gain? Contending theories abound:

・Calories ・Food reward・Food addiction
・Sugar・Sleep deprivation ・Stress
・Refined carbohydrates・Wheat
・Low fiber intake・All carbohydrates 
・Genetics・Dietary fat ・Red meat
・Poverty ・All meat
・Dairy products・Gut microbiome
・Snacking・Childhood obesity 

Childhood obesity

The various theories fight among themselves, as if they are all mutually exclusive and there is only one true cause of obesity. For example, recent trials that compare a low-calorie to a low-carbohydrate diet assume that if one is correct, the other is not. Most obesity research is conducted in this manner.

This approach is wrong, since these theories all contain some element of truth.[1] (*snip*)

Foods that make us fat

THE MULTIFACTORIAL NATURE of obesity is the crucial missing link. There is no one single cause of obesity.

Do calories cause obesity? Yes, partially.
Do carbohydrates cause obesity? Yes, partially.
Does fiber protect us from obesity? Yes, partially.
Does insulin resistance cause obesity? Yes, partially. Does sugar cause obesity? Yes, partially. 


What we need is a frame work, a structure, a coherent theory to understand how all its factors fit together. Too often, our current model of obesity assumes that there is only one single true cause, and that all others are pretenders to the throne. Endless debates ensue.

Too many calories cause obesity. No, too many carbohydrates. No,
too much saturated fat. No, too much red meat. No,
too much processed foods. No, too much high fat dairy. No,
too much wheat. No, too much sugar. No,
too much highly palatable foods.No, too much eating out. No

It goes on and on. They are all partially correct.  (*snip*)

All diets work because they all address a different aspect of the disease. But none of them work for very long, because none of them address the totality of the disease.
Without understanding the multifactorial nature of obesity-which is critical -we are doomed to an endless cycle of blame.


I think the author provides a keen insight into the multifactorial nature of obesity. We must first understand that being overweight is not as simple as "it happens when we consume more calories than we expend," but is caused by a complex interplay of various factors.

However, what I want to say is that based on my intestinal starvation idea, the various factors can be aggregated to some extent, which means that obesity can be complicated and intertwined with factors and theories we can see, and cannot be completely explained, but when we focus on the unseen workings of the intestines, the cause of weight gain would be mostly specific.

[1] Dr. Jason Fung, The Obesity Code, 2016, Page 70.
[2] Pages 216-217.

2. Various factors intertwined...

As I’ve already explained, please understand that the phrase “gaining weight” has two meanings.

【related article】
Two Meanings to the Phrase "Gaining Weight"

The mechanism that many people refer to as “get fat by eating a lot” is in the range of (A) in the graph below. I think that most of the Intervention studies on obesity so far have only been comparative studies that involve reducing the intake of calories, regulating the amount of carbs or fat, or increasing exercise, etc. The experiment  they are doing is also in the range of (A). 

Two meaning to the phrase 'gaining weight'

Of course, everyone will lose some weight if they reduce their caloric intake and incorporate exercise, although individual differences may vary.

However, that is not the fundamental way to deal with being overweight, as Dr. Fung mentioned, so regaining weight (the rebound effect) is inevitable if you eat as before.

In contrast, when (B) the base weight value goes up by intestinal starvation, there are various interrelated factors.

For instance, it is said that the following affects weight gain:
・Skipping breakfast  ・Late dinner ・How many meals you eat
・Refined carbohydrates ・Processed food 
・Lack of fiber intake  ・Unbalanced diets

These are some of factors that are related to part (B) of the graph.

The important thing here is that each of these factors seems to be linked to weight gain, but there is no causality between each factor and outcome. Rather, they are related to inducing intestinal starvation. (In this case, some may say intestinal starvation can be “confounding factors.”)

As I’ve already explained in another article, a combination of some of these factors below (from  category 1 to 4 of the table) happening simultaneously or overlapping, can cause intestinal starvation, and the occurrence of intestinal starvation may be pinpointed in the unseen workings of the entire intestinal track (or it may be the small intestine only).

[Related article] Three (+one) Factors to Accelerate “Intestinal Starvation”

3 factors +1

The bottom line

・Many theories that are believed to make us fat fight among themselves, as if there is only one true cause of obesity, as Dr. Fung mentioned. Researchers may be well versed in their own areas of research (e.g. resistant starch, the value of eating breakfast, the effects of carbohydrate restriction, hormones, gut bacteria, etc.), but that does not necessarily capture obesity as a whole, so each theory can stand alone.

What we need now is a framework for how each theory is intertwined, and I'd like to believe my theory can be helpful in that regard.

・The root cause of being overweight, I believe, is the increased base weight value, which is caused by intestinal starvation. Intestinal starvation is caused by a combination of at least four factors, and since "what kind of food we eat" and "how we eat them (lifestyle)" are such important factors, many things seem to have something to do with weight gain-intestinal starvation can be a "confounding factor."

In other words, I believe the causes of weight gain would be mostly specific in the unseen workings of the intestines.  


Three (+one) Factors to Accelerate “Intestinal Starvation”


  1. An unbalanced diet and irregular eating rhythm can cause intestinal starvation
  2. This last, but not least important factor, what is “+one? ”

1. An unbalanced diet and irregular eating rhythm can cause intestinal starvation

I’ve stated before that what increases your base weight is the hunger mechanism (intestinal starvation) and here, I want to talk about three(+one) factors that accelerate intestinal starvation.
【Related article】→My Definition of “Intestinal Starvation”

In Japan, the reasons for gaining weight with the exception of calories are often said to be associated with:

an unbalanced diet
・fast food/junk food
・too many carbohydrates
・lack of vegetables, etc.

irregular eating rhythm
・eating dinner late at night
・skipping breakfast or lunch
・snacking or not

When there is only one of the situations from above, the intestinal starvation mechanism hardly occurs. However, when there are three and the +one factor which I will discuss later, the mechanism for intestinal starvation happens more often.

The 3 factors are as follows :

  1. What you eat (quality and balance of food);
  2. the time you stay very hungry between meals;
  3. the ability to digest (stomach acid, digestive enzymes, etc).

Some say they gained weight from eating too many carbohydrates, but others won’t seem to gain weight even if they eat a lot of carbs.
Some say they gained weight by eating junk foods late at night, but others don't gain at all, even if they eat in the same way.

These differences exist since intestinal starvation is decided by the composition of various factors.


Explanation of (1)

1)What you eat (quality and balance of food)
・Low fiber intake  ・Refined carbohydrates   ・Digestible protein
・Processed food  ・Fast food   ・Junk food, etc.

Meals with mainly refined carbohydrates (starch) and some good protein (a small amount is enough) and less fiber intake from vegetables, make people fat most easily. It seems with less fat in the diet, intestinal starvation is more likely to be induced. It’s because dietary fat slows digestion.

It doesn’t depend on the amount of calories you eat but the quality and balance of food you eat.

For example, eating a variety of foods and having a good balance vs a bad balance may lead to gaining weight, even if you eat in small amounts.

In contrast, balanced meals including vegetable fiber, dairy products, low G.I. foods, meat, and fat, etc., prevent inducing intestinal starvation.

*Eating speed, how many times you chew your food, or hydration during the meal, are also related to the above.

Explanation of (2)

2) The time you stay very hungry between meals
・Skipping breakfast or lunch    ・Late dinner
・Number of meals per day   ・Snacking or not

When we say we got fat due to an irregular eating rhythm such as late dinners or not eating breakfast,  it means the problem is because of the time span between meals.
In other words, experiencing being hungry for a long period of time.

Eating late at night won’t automatically make you fat. If you have to eat a late dinner, you can snack (milk, chocolates, or  sandwiches, etc.) between meals in order to prevent intestinal starvation.

Explanation of (3)

3) Digestive ability
・Strong/weak stomach    ・Gastroptosis
・Difference of digestive enzymes

Those with strong stomachs and high digestive ability tend to induce intestinal starvation more rapidly than those with slow digestion.

This is because intestinal starvation doesn’t depend on the amount of food intake, but how fast the food is processed in the entire intestinal tract (or it might be a small intestine only).

It differs from person to person, but Individuals with a droopy stomach, or poor digestion might not be able to even induce intestinal starvation.

If there are genetic factors, the difference of digestive ability will be the first thing I will bring up as the factors. And it may vary between races as well as between families. (Of course, it may change after birth.)

2. This last, but not least important factor, what is “+one ?”

I stated that an important factor other than the above three factors is “+one,” but this can be explained by a “continuity,” which is whether you had an unbalanced diet (or a light meal) for your previous meal and the meals before that.

(Japanese typical breakfast we used to eat)

For example, you eat a light meal such as a hamburger and coffee for lunch, and then you can’t eat until 9 p.m. that night.
If you had also eaten a heavy breakfast with dairy, salad, seaweed, beans, or butter, you won’t experience a intestinal starvation (it depends on the person).

The reason for this is that the intestines are as long as seven to eight meters, so it takes the food more than ten hours to pass through.

Intestinal starvation is determined by the entire intestinal tract (or it might be the small intestine only), so the previous meal or the meals before that also affect it.


My Definition of “Intestinal Starvation”

If you haven’t read these articles below, please read them first.

Base Weight; The Precondition Regarding the Rebound Effect

Two Meanings to the Phrase 'Gaining Weight'

In my previous article, "Two meanings to the phrase 'gaining weight' ," I wrote that your base weight increases by the hunger mechanism-strictly speaking, intestinal starvation. I would like to explain it simply.


Of course, in order to gain weight, you need nutrition such as carbohydrates, protein, or fat.

However, it’s what happens later on...because there is a time lag between the emergence of the cause of gaining weight and the actual gaining of weight by eating.

What I mention here as “intestinal starvation” is different from the situation such as when you don't eat anything over a few days.


(1) It happens when you eat and when your gastrointestinal tract is working.

(2) It refers to the situation between meals, such as between breakfast and dinner, or lunch and late dinner, or dinner and the next lunch, where every substance in the entire intestines from a range of seven to eight meters has been digested.(It might be small intestine only.)

In other words, the stomach and intestines are working to nourish the body, but all the food eaten has been digested, and the body perceives it as “there is no food.” It’s different from simple hunger in that:

 (a) basically, everything, including protein, fat, and even water, is digested;

 (b) there is no fiber or anything close to it (※This is why it is said refined carbohydrates make you fat).

▽Over the course of evolution, humans stored nutrition in the liver, bones, muscles, and fat cells in order to prepare for cases of starvation. This is because they didn’t know when they could eat the next time.

From this aspect, getting fat should be the mechanism of the body trying to store energy. Then this mechanism of storing nutrition should work strongly with those who don’t eat a lot.

However, in this era with an abundance of food, it seems like those who eat a lot are obese and those that don't eat much are thin, and this tends to lead to a misunderstanding.

There is a reason for this, and  it is my own theory based on my personal experience.
The question here is :
"In what way do our bodies perceive starvation ?" Starvation is not decided by the amount of how much we’ve eaten, but rather, how the digestion process in the intestines proceeds.

That is to say, even if you eat a lot, if your diet is skewed toward easily digestible carbohydrates and some protein, and you end up being very hungry for hours, you will be close to a starvation situation.

On the other hand, even if you eat a little, if you eat a well-balanced diet including vegetables, dairy, meat, and fat  every five to seven hours, then your body won’t perceive you as being in starvation mode. When there are some undigested substances in your intestines, your body perceives them as "there is still food." In other words, your intestines decide everything.

A long time ago, our ancestors had nuts, meat, or root vegetables, and then, even if they had nothing after that for a whole day, their bodies didn’t perceive it as starvation.

On the other hand, our current bodies sometimes  perceive us in starvation mode depending on what we eat for as little as seven to eight hours

This is an important message to convey that the increase in obesity that has been occurring worldwide since around 1980 is not necessarily due to increased caloric intake, but rather is related to (1) refined carbohydrates and easily digestible food, and (2) irregular eating habits-skipping breakfast or late night meals, etc.-associated with lifestyle changes.

[Related article] Why Does the Body Perceive That It Is More Starved than in the Past?


Two Meanings to the Phrase "Gaining Weight"


  1. When your weight goes back to your base weight  (A)
  2. When your base weight itself increases (B)

Please check out my blog below before reading this one.

→ Base Weight; The Precondition Regarding the Rebound Effect

I would like to define this term first. There are two meanings of the expression "gaining weight" which we use daily. I think the confusion of these meanings causes a lot of misunderstandings.

For example,  “you'll gain weight if you eat a lot of calories” or “even with diets when you rebound, you might weigh even more than you did before you did the diet,” etc.

I realized this when I got really thin, but I think the confusion of these two meanings results in various misunderstandings and false information, and most people are dieting in the wrong way.

1. When your weight goes back to your base weight  (A)

The first one is “gaining weight” meaning to go back to your base weight based on the mechanism of maintaining your present condition. 

Two meaning to the phrase 'gaining weight'

Many of those who are overweight try to  keep their weight low by reducing their daily caloric intake and/or doing some exercise, because they do not want to gain weight.

In such cases, the body will always try to go back to its base weight, so as soon as you eat, naturally, you gain weight.

When people say, “I will get fat if I eat cake ” or “I gain weight when I eat a lot,” they are mostly talking about this meaning.

I often meet women who say, “My body tends to get fat when I eat a lot” but it means that the body is repeating a “mini-diet” and a “mini-rebound” by the mechanism to preserve its current stasis.

▷Toru Watanabe, a Japanese actor, used to be heavy, but with a diet, he weighed around seventy kilograms (70kg) when he appeared on a television show.

However, when he got married at twenty-six, he couldn't maintain his diet anymore and ate a lot and he went back to one hundred and thirty kilograms (130kg). (It is said that he made a new record for his weight change every time he dieted.)

Again with the help of his wife’s home cooking, he succeeded in losing forty kilograms (40kg).

However, in the end, he repeated rebounding. It’s quite a famous story in Japan.
(You can imagine a glass in which water is increasing and decreasing.)

2. When your base weight itself increases (B)

On the other hand, the second “gaining weight” expression means that your base weight itself increases.
Though I have reduced the amount of my food intake, I shattered my previous weight level and gained three kilograms in the last year which means I’ve gained ten kilograms in the last three years... meaning my maximum weight has increased.  

This is not due to the amount of food eaten or caloric intake, but by the mechanism of hunger (strictly speaking, I have defined it as “intestinal starvation” ).

I believe that this makes a fundamental difference between fat people and thin/lean people. (You can image a glass itself is becoming big.)

[Related article] 
My Definition of “Intestinal Starvation”

For example, someone who has never been more than sixty kilograms has become sixty-three kilograms in the last year. In this case, it means that his/her base weight itself increased from sixty to sixty-three kilograms.

When you gain weight to your base weight from a rebound after a diet, it's the (A) mechanism, but if you gain weight naturally more than your base weight, it is the (B) mechanism. This is because the diet creates a situation of starvation.
It is generally believed in Japan that eating when your metabolism is slowing down makes you gain more weight, but it has already been proven that fat people have a higher basal metabolism[1].

■Japanese Sumo wrestlers are famous for eating a lot of rice and being fat, but I believe that, to put it in extreme terms, they will gain weight because of a mix of (A) and (B). Although it looks like they eat more and are gaining weight, the mechanism should be the same as that of people who try dieting, but in the end, they gain more weight than before due to the rebound effect.

[1] Dr. Jason Fung, The Obesity Code, 2016, Pages 62.


Base Weight; The Precondition Regarding the Rebound Effect


  1. Each person has the ability to maintain their present condition
  2. What makes the difference of each person’s base weight value?

1. Each person has the ability to maintain their present condition

First of all, I want to explain the most important point. It's the assumption that each person has the ability to maintain their present condition, also known as preserving current stasis in the body.
I recognize that this is the precondition of everyone regarding weight control.

For example, there are three women:

(A) 48kg・・・who can't gain weight even if she eats a lot.
(B) 57kg・・・who can gain weight until she reaches 60kg if she eats a lot.
(C) 85kg・・・who can gain weight until she reaches 90kg if she eats a lot.

All through the year, we get thinner when we are busy, and we gain a little fat when we aren’t active and eat a lot. Although everyone repeats such things, even if we don't calculate calories strictly, the body shape of person won't change so easily. Fat people are fat and thin people are thin.

So, here, I want to define the term “base weight” as the weight to which you go back when you continue eating a lot for three to five days doing nothing such as during the long holidays. Usually in most cases, you won't go beyond the base weight and will usually come back to it.

In this example, the base weight of A is forty-eight kilograms(48kg), that of B is sixty kilograms(60kg) and that of C is ninety kilograms(90kg). There is the mechanism to maintain their present condition working in their body to bring them back to their base weight.

So, it’s difficult to assume a person’s body and weight condition only with caloric intake.

Consider the example above, that if A continues an intake of 100kcal over her recommended daily caloric intake every day for several months or years, the assumption is that it will accumulate into fat and she will eventually gain weight up to the eighty-kilogram level. This is wrong (She might gain weight but that is a different mechanism).


Base weight-2
Base weight-2.1

In general, people who are overweight are living with caloric restrictions, so their present weight is lower than their base weight.

On the other hand, thin people don't have caloric restrictions, so their present weight and their base weight are often close. Therefore, thin A won't gain weight even if she eats a lot, and B and C will gain weight as soon as they eat.

▽Example of Hozumi Hasegawa, the professional boxer who defended his title ten times as the twenty-sixth Champion of WBC World bantamweight class.

The Bantamweight limit is fifty-three-point-five kilograms(53.5kg). As his body got older, losing weight became harder. For a defending match, he had to lose more than ten kilograms in a month. 

But, as soon as the match was over and he started to eat, his weight increased ten kilograms in a few days. The rate of going back to his base weight was fast. Those who have tried diets and eat less than usual might have experienced this. Often, it's called the rebound effect.

2. What makes the difference of each person's base weight value?

I arrived at this idea of "base weight" through my own experience and by observing people around me, but according to Dr. Jason Fung, the author of “The Obesity Code,” in 1984, two researchers, Keesey and Corbett, first proposed that there is a "set point" for body weight and fatness. 

According to this idea, homeostatic mechanisms in the human body work to defend this body set weight against changes. 

Set weight

When caloric intake is reduced and weight drops below body set weight, the basal metabolism begins shutting down to conserve energy and appetite is increased, which causes body weight to return to its base.

When caloric intake is increased and weight goes above body set weight, the basal metabolism activates and the appetite decreases to lower to the original body set weight[1].

However, I have a different view about it.

It makes total sense that when the body has less energy available, it lowers its metabolism to conserve energy expenditure, and that when you eat a lot, your basal metabolism conversely increases, but isn't that a consequence of what happens in the body when you increase or decrease your intake of calories? That idea may explain the rebound effect after dieting, but it does not explain the fundamental difference between fat and thin people-the reason why some people gain weight. 

I believe that each person's base weight (set weight) value is determined by the absorption ability of the   intestines (the small intestine is also known as the "second brain”). This is my conclusion from my own experience, and I believe I can prove that theory with the help of experts.

[1] Dr. Jason Fung, The Obesity Code, 2016, Page 62