Weight Loss Blues? New Hope For A New Year!
Year after year, “losing weight” is the most common New Years resolution. It is pretty safe to say it is also the worst kept resolution. There are a few key reasons why the weight loss resolution almost never sticks.
- Research shows that almost all ‘diets' have little, if any, lasting weight-loss effect
- It's humanly unnatural (if not impossible) to live in a constant state of mild hunger when food is readily available, and,
- We've been told that to lose weight, you need to eat less and exercise more. But, studies show that exercising more stimulates one to eat more, in order to replace the calories burned by the exercise. In fact, for physically active people, caloric intake is very-well balanced by calories burned; almost automatically. Proof of that? Almost all people who have regularly exercised for years maintain the same body weight.
For many, many reasons, exercise and physical activity are good for one's health (elevated mood, better libido, disease prevention, improved functional ability, greater endurance, and the list goes on and on…). So, be physically active by doing the exercise you enjoy most; walk, jog, bike, etc. But, again, exercise by itself does not generally lead to weight loss. What mostly determines weight is, obviously, what one eats.
Old, Outdated Dietary Recommendations
In the 1960's, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) created the Food Pyramid in response to a rise in the incidence of cardiovascular disease. We were told, increasingly, to eat mostly grains and cereals and lower our fat intake. What are the societal health results of those recommendations? Skyrocketing rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The food pyramid is not exclusively responsible for those problems, but in the least, we must question its contribution.
New Research-based Dietary Recommendations
There is more and more research demonstrating that greatly reducing, or eliminating poor quality carbohydrates such as grains (including whole grains), cereals, and sugar, and eating more high-quality protein and saturated fat leads to substantial weight loss. Also, it is very important to note that compared to a USDA recommended diet, eating more high-quality protein and fat has been shown to lower risk of cardiovascular disease (cholesterol, LDL, HDL, percent body fat). And, high-quality protein and fat is filling. Therefore, for extended periods, there is a greatly reduced between-meals craving. On the other hand, poor-quality carbohydrates lead to increased snack cravings, great fluctuations in blood sugar levels, roller-coaster energy levels, and over time, more body fat.
People who switch to a high-quality protein and saturated fat diet tend to report that weight (body fat) is lost, virtually without effort (with the exception of the relative effort of eating differently).
This article is intended to only introduce a different eating plan that when combined with modest and realistic exercise and physical activity levels, can lead to considerable loss of body fat and body weight. Excellent books on this topic are, Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It, by Gary Taubes, and The Primal Blueprint, by Mark Sisson. If you have a chronic illness, consult with your physician before substantially changing your eating pattern.