Thursday, February 23, 2012

What is the diet myth?

If you check back to these past posts, you will see that we began this discussion some time ago - before the popular press started picking out pieces of the research for its headlines.
The original intent for this blog had been and still is to keep a  watch on those headlines and provide better interpretations of research - for your personal consideration.
To paraphrase the work of both Kevin Hall and Boyd Swinburn - the diet advice is misleading and incorrect because it does not consider the implication of weight LOSS.  People are hearing that diets don't work because metabolism changes when people diet - but do you know WHY it changes?  It changes because you burn less calories when you weigh less.  It is a good thing. 
People who have weight loss goals  should keep this in mind (note: I do believe in weight loss - but, I don't endorse "diets" the way people usually refer to them)
The recent studies suggest that our expectations be tempered by these three things:
1) time frame
2) amount of the change(lifestyle)
3) new steady state weight

Dr. Hall explains that half ones goal weight may be lost in the first year but it takes two more years to lose the other half.  It is not a fast process, it is a myth to think so.  Accepting this is important if you don't want to sabotage yourself.  In regards to the second factor, it might be helpful to cut 200 calories instead of 100 or to cut 100 for one year and than an additional 100 the next (individual advice cannot be provided here).  It is wise to add some exercise into the equation for a gazillion reasons.
When you reach your goal - understand that this new body has a new metabolism - you didn't damage your metabolism - you do not have some predetermined set weight that you are destined to return to - you have a NEW body - treat it right and don't give it more food than it needs!

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