To make it more complicated, unless folks are being kept in a controlled environment, they tend to lie about what they’ve done. Famously, for food studies, people have no clue what they eat and how they eat. Thy lie without intending (well, sort of ) because we all want to put ourselves in the best light possible. That skews results.
Add to this the vast variety of our bodies, our genetics, body types and all the other factors that speak to who we are…to wit, years ago when I tried repeatedly to drop the equivalent of small child off my body, I ran. Never worked. When I turned to cycling (and of course, weight work which I have done for 45 years) and overhauled the diet, voila. Thirty years later I am still lean, cut, and athletic- but that’s just one body, one story, and it has no relevance whatsoever for anyone else. I wouldn’t ask anyone to do what I do, for it likely wouldn’t work. I work out like a banshee, swear by both cardio and weights, but I am also very active. These things form the legs of my stool, along with a thoughtful diet that reflects my body’s idiosyncrasies. And therein lies the rub. What works for me, for you, for anyone else is highly individual. Each decade it has changed a bit.
Perhaps a key here is the gentle exploration of the unique ships that you and I have to captain. Looking to others is a fool’s journey. My big brother was so lean he could guzzle bacon grease and never gain. I look at a donut, ten pounds.
Each of us is a universe deserving of exploration and respect. In every way, there is no one size fits all, especially in trying so hard to get to a certain size.