As a follow-up to What should our FAQ contain?, should "general weight loss advice" be included in the off-topic list? It seems to me that weight control is an essential part of fitness, and applicable to almost any sport. Because the application is so broad, it doesn't make sense to me to have to qualify a question about weight control with applicability to activity X (unless there are very special circumstances like trying to make weight for a wrestling meet).

Specifically, I'd like to get feedback on whether this bullet point should be removed from the off-topic list in the FAQ (I'm not proposing explicitly adding to the on-topic list, just removing it).

  • Could you give an example of a question you'd think we should be allowing, but wouldn't be under the current FAQ? – Ivo Flipse Dec 20 '11 at 16:04
  • @IvoFlipse, you mentioned in chat that it was to avoid food-based weight loss questions. Were there examples of what you meant by that? – Matt Chan Dec 20 '11 at 18:27

Weight loss should be on-topic. I am okay with removing that point from the FAQ as is Ivo after discussing it in chat. I agree with you that it is not something that needs to be explicitly made on-topic.

The problem is historical in that past questions concerning food weren't very good to begin with. Chatty, open-ended questions will be closed since that's explicitly stated in the FAQ. Nutrition unrelated to exercise is also spelled out in the off-topic list. The bullet point in question then becomes redundant.

I can't see a reason to keep it. I don't think the site has had this issue much at all given time and the scope change. That bullet point was meant to address some historical problems with the site.

  • I simply removed it for now, so unless anyone comes along with a great reason to put it back in, this is [status-completed] – Ivo Flipse Dec 20 '11 at 21:27
  • Thanks, Ivo. I got busy & couldn't dig out example questions the other day, but let me know if you still think it would be useful and I can take a look. – G__ Dec 22 '11 at 21:09

Six years later this bubbled up again here, and I'm referencing this q&a that weight loss (and body composition, overall) is a critical component of physical fitness. I'm sure there are some edge cases where weight management is not a part of fitness:

  • "How can I get as fat as possible?"
  • "I'd like to be as skinny as possible how can I do that?"

But in general, if someone is trying to lower their body fat, increase bone density, or increase muscle tissue, those seem pretty squarely in the fitness realm to me.

  • The problem is not that weight loss doesn't have to do with fitness, the problem is that no one has any reliable information about. As I have been saying for years and years, "Show me the study where people keep weight off". Those studies do not exist. All we get are people repeating what is current "common knowledge" and which has no long term studies to back them up. – michael Oct 19 '17 at 16:04
  • Your answer says: "The most successful (pardon the pun) recipe I've seen for weight loss has the same basic ingredients:" Really? where have you seen any diet/lifestyle that does this aside from anecdotes? Show me the study or stop pretending that what you think should be true is actually true. – michael Oct 19 '17 at 16:05
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    There are studies showing strength training increases basal metabolism by a large degree, is that what you're looking for? Couple that with scientific knowledge on how insulin works (to promote adipose tissue), some newtonian laws of energy, and I think it's a pretty clear path to higher fitness by most measures. Lower risk of diabetes, stronger bones, less cardiopulmonary pressure, etc. – Eric Oct 19 '17 at 16:14
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    Regarding diet and lifestyle, I work in medicine and we have a community team where we work with patients with a host of chronic issues, including diabetes, copd, and hypertension. Picking on the first one, it's very clear that weight loss, changes in diet, and regular exercise can make significant changes in someone's life. I'm not sure if you're really making an argument that diet and lifestyle does not promote good physical fitness. In my world, sometimes with medication, it's the only things that do. – Eric Oct 19 '17 at 16:18
  • increase in basal metabolism doesn't necessarily equal weight loss. This is a good hypothesis, but it has not been proven.If it was, we would have studies showing people can keep the weight off, but we don't. – michael Oct 19 '17 at 16:28
  • Saying losing weight helps people's health is a totally different issue from saying "do this, and you will lose weight and keep it off." It is the idea that there is a known way to keep weight off that I have a problem with. You might think you know, and I might too, but there are not studies to back us up. And if there aren't studies, we have no more credibility than the twinkie diet guy (who was paid by coca cola) – michael Oct 19 '17 at 16:31
  • And those weight loss estimates based on calorie restriction are totally, 100% wrong. I have shown in other places that it takes between 7500 and 10000 calories to lose a pound, if you actually do the math where people have restricted calories and (temporarily) lost weight – michael Oct 19 '17 at 16:35
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    I guess I'm missing the practical implications here. I think you're looking for a bullet-proof solution here which has near (or complete) adherence. What I (and I think most others) are offering up are component parts of food selection changes, increases in metabolism, and less sedentary existence. People have freewill and some folks just have unfortunate biologies, but I see no problems in giving people effective options they can combine together for real results. – Eric Oct 19 '17 at 17:54
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    And feel free to start and ask a new question in here laying out how you're seeing things and why things should be addressed differently. I'm hardly an expert on all things and would enjoy hearing from some other health and fitness folks. – Eric Oct 19 '17 at 17:56
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – michael Oct 19 '17 at 19:06

Actually, I find most of the nutrition based question so closely related to fitness topics, that they should have their right to be here. Almost every answer I have given about weight loss/gain was almost entirely about diet. If weight loss is on topic, as a means of getting fit, then the most important part of weight loss, which is nutrition and dieting, should be on topic too.

Someone wants to lose excess punds, you say that he has to adress his diet because exercise alone does not cut it. Someone wants to have six pack ABS, you talk about BF% and how proper diet is necessery to reach it without losing muscle. Someone wants to gain muscle mass, you talk about proper protein intake and other things...

We already are talking a LOT about dieting, but earlier today, when I read a question strictly about nutrition (eating proteins after waking up), I had do flag it as offtopic.

Im aware that nutrition is a vast subject deserving an SE site of its own, but until such a site is created, id say we should allow nutrition questions - every athlete must be familiar with it anyhow.

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    Every athlete must be familar with nutrition. If someone wants to gain muscle mass, you talk about proper protein intake and other things. Some wants to have six pack ABS, you talk about proper diet. These examples you give are all already on topic because they are "nutrition as it relates to exercise", or about "achieving physique milestones". – user4644 Feb 14 '13 at 19:01
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    What about this question: "how much protein does a fried egg have?" – user4644 Feb 14 '13 at 19:03
  • thats the question, or so it seems. How long do we apply the logic "this is an improtant part of something that is an important part of being fit". If diet is crucial to fitness, then preparing a diet shuld be as well. If preparing a diet is crucial, then elements of which we prepare it are also crucial. With this logic, the egg question is fine. Actually any nutrition question followed by "btw im exercising" would be fit for our site... Being healthy and eating right is part of being fit, at least to a big extent. On the other hand, the faq states nutrition offtopic afaik... – K.L. Feb 15 '13 at 16:06
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    If diet is crucial to fitness, it will addressed, if needed, when we answer somebody's fitness/exercise question. The FAQ does not say nutrition is off topic. It says nutrition unrelated to exercise is off topic. Writing "btw im exercising" doesn't relate the nutrition question to exercise. Juxtaposition doesn't equal relation. – user4644 Feb 15 '13 at 16:54
  • I oversimplified. Ill use an example. If I ask "what are the most vitamin B2-rich protein sources" then it will be a strictly nutritional question with no relation to fitness. If I mention that I need this info to develop a diet with enough protein and vit. b2 for my training program (cause say im building mass) then it becomes related. A similar line of logic could be applied to almost any question, thats why im doubting the division between nurtition and fitness. I do recognise the vastness of nutritioning as a topic, but I also recognise the wholeness of the 2 subcejts. – K.L. Feb 15 '13 at 17:15
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    The relation to fitness seems to be strictly contextual for many many a question – K.L. Feb 15 '13 at 17:16
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    Why are you answering a question about weight loss with an answer about nutrition? With your logic we would have to include cooking questions, too, as they are a crucial part of a proper diet, too… where to draw the line? Ivos answer to a related question explains why it was excluded in the first place. Feel free to join the proposal on Area51 for general nutrition advice. – Baarn Feb 15 '13 at 23:42
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    Well, I am on the nutritional proposal. Im not trying to advocate a particular viewpoint here, im trying to point out problems that we are having and we will be having. Why i answer in nutrition about weight loss? because 80% of weight loss is diet control, which is nutritional. Taking the extreme separation viewpoint, we could start sending most weight loss questions away to nutrition. It is as bad as allowing all nutrition questions on fitness. So since both extreme ends of the spectrum are bad, how do we know where the good is between them? – K.L. Feb 16 '13 at 0:43
  • If you really want to discuss a problem you are seeing, it would be best to open your own question to get some proper feedback. You should, however, read the reasoning behind excluding nutrition: Reviewing the site scope: balance between Fitness and Nutrition? – Baarn Feb 16 '13 at 11:37

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