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But that does NOT mean that their body is in any way free from the paradigm - LESS INPUT & MORE OUTPUT = MASS LOSS (mass of course not including something like water, which may be retained and hide the weight loss one has experienced)

I think you're right about this. All anybody that wants to lose weight has to do is sufficiently decrease their calorie intake and/or increase their calorie usage. Eventually the discrepancy will be enough to cause weight loss.

But here's the point you're missing, over and over and over. (Seriously, dude, you're becoming a little cattleman-esque around this point.) All that stuff has a sometimes permanent effect on how your body processes calories. So if I drop down to 700 calories a day, with 2 hours of exercise, I would no doubt lose weight. Soon I would be a thin, happy, svelte 110-lb knockout.

Of course, all the the research shows that I would most likely have done permanent damage to my metabolism so that now, in order to maintain my newfound svelte figure, I would now have to exercise a mininum of an hour and a half a day, and could take in no more than 800 calories a day. Not to mention the possible damage I could have done to various important internal organs (you know, like the heart).

And then, God forbid, we, say, have a baby and need to lose weight again. Well, now 700 calories a day isn't low enough. In order to have any kind of meaningful loss, we have to go to, say, 400 calories a day. That's ... let's see, two hard boiled eggs, a cup of broccoli, a glass of milk and one slice of toast. Per day, mind you, not for a single meal.

So when we "whiners" complain about the difficulty of finding a diet that "works", we often mean more than just "makes me lose weight". We all know that starving ourselves would cause weight loss. But we're looking for a way that is sustainable, and not going to muck up our future ability to lose weight, should the need arise.

Capturing a snapshot of one moment in a person's life (your friend eating strawberries with fudge) and making assumptions about that person's entire life is, IMO, dangerous business. For all you know, that guy is on a very strict diet/exercise regimen that includes a "free" day. There are a lot of people who know about these things, that think that a free day is an excellent idea. It gives you a mental break, something to look forward to, and shakes up your routine a little. Or maybe he'd been saving up WW points all week in order to be able to splurge, as is totally acceptable, according to the plan. Or maybe he eats like a disgusting pig every single day. The point is ... you don't know.

I would respectfully suggest that you're wasting an incredible amount of energy on your anger/annoyance/frustration at the people that you perceive are not trying their hardest or the right way. And I also think (she said in the gentlest possible way) that you might be stepping on some toes on this board with your rants about "the whiners".

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