Think Twice About Your Diet

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If you’re like me (and the rest of America), you’ve tried your hand at diets. Back in the fat-free days, I would pride myself on going days without a gram of fat, or sustaining on cabbage soup. I’ve tried: carb free, calorie counting, vegan, paleo, the master-cleanse and more.  Are you with me? I may have lost pounds here and there, but they undoubtedly came back as my old habits set in. It wasn’t until these habits transformed into my lifestyle that I was able to ditch the dieting.

Weight loss is more important than ever these days, as nearly 1 in 3 adults are considered obese (1) with an increased risk for heart disease, type 2 Diabetes, depression, infertility and some cancers. In fact, a 2017 study found that obesity drives more preventable deaths than even smoking (2)!  Understanding weight loss, particularly how to MAINTAIN this weight loss is more important than it has ever been.  

This week I touch on the science behind dieting and what you can do about it.   

Weight loss is not easy, and keeping the weight off over time is even harder. With over $930 million dollars provided for obesity research by the NIH last year, scientists are shedding new light on how to keep it off.

Here’s what this research is showing:

  • Ditch the calorie counting - By itself, calorie counting is not an effective means to weight loss. A calorie is a measurement of energy so it makes sense that if we decreased the amount of calories consumed in a day, we would lose weight; and this does occur in most people. However, when we lose this weight, our bodies respond by reducing the rate in which it uses these calories; AKA decreases our metabolic rate. So now, we have to exercise more to burn the same amount of calories. This response likely kept us alive during times of famine, however, this is why we tend to gain MORE weight when we go off of our diet and the weight becomes harder to lose (3).

  • Composition of diet matters - Our eating habits are regulated by hormones that tell our brain when we are full. This feedback loop can be manipulated by WHAT we are eating rather than how much we are eating. For some, consuming fat makes them eat less and for others, consuming carbs make them eat less; there is not a one-size fit all answer (4).  Anyone can achieve weight loss; they just need to find their best way there.

The National Weight Control Registry:

Looking at over 10,000 people, across 50 states, with an average loss of 66 lbs that has been kept off for more than 5 years, it has been shown that everyone lost weight in a variety different ways (5).  

  • 45% followed various diets on their own

  • 55% used a weight loss program

  • 98% said they modified their diets, most cutting back on the amount of food

  • 94% increased their physical activity

  • 78% eat breakfast every day

  • 75% weighed themselves at least once a week

  • 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week

  • 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day

With all this being said, the findings really are basic: find a diet that works for you and exercise. If you are looking for extra support surrounding weight loss, come in and see me! I would love to work with you.  

References:

  1. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity

  2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170422101614.htm

  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5639963/

  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4424768/

  5. http://nwcr.ws/Research/default.htm