In today’s world there are a number of myths. The first myth is simple. If you want to lose weight, you need to eat less and exercise more. The second myth is equally simple, represented best by the TV show, Biggest Loser, with its belief that weight loss is all about willpower. You just have to force yourself to push harder. The third myth is also simple. You just need to buy that next diet book because that is the diet book that will finally work its miracle for you. Well, here is the real truth. All three of those myths are false. The real-life answers for weight loss do not lie in eating less, exercising more, pushing yourself harder. They do not lie in buying that next popular diet book. They also do not reside in the belief in the power of the next miracle pill, regardless of the hype (ala garcinia cambogia).
This group of blogs may appear (superficially) about a new weight loss program. They may appear to offer a blog version of a new diet book. Those assumptions are wrong. Let me be clear. I am not a believer in diets, or diet books. I am also not a believer in the next holy grail pill. Let’s examine our history. Together, we have experienced a steady stream of diets with false promises. The high protein diets. The high (or low) carbohydrate diets. The low fat diets. The sugar free diets. We have also experienced a consistent flow of new diet pills. The results of these diets and these pills are well catalogued by health researchers. Over the last three decades, 98% of all lost pounds — by diets and/or pills — have been regained. You may weigh less for a few weeks, or a few months. However, the pounds will return, usually to a higher weight, whenever you stop the diet or stop the pills. In fact, I am sorry but the more you diet, the heavier you become.
The problem with diets has been analyzed through multiple studies. When you place yourself on a diet, or take a new pill, the changed eating pattern and changed physiology increases your stress hormone, cortisol; and a higher cortisol level blocks the proper functioning of other hormones and other physiologic systems. That impact on cortisol may be initially blocked by some diets and some pills, but it will eventually reassert its control. For example, with every episode of dieting, your eventual, higher cortisol level will negatively disrupt your insulin and its later handling of your sugar and fat storage. Your hunger hormone, Ghrelin, will also be negatively disrupted, causing increased later food urges. Your Leptin and Peptide YY, which determine how satisfied you feel after a meal, won’t work as well after a diet or a new series of pills. The result is obvious. After a diet, your body is less able to control the flow of sugar, less able to regulate fat storage, and less able to control satiety and food urges. Translated, that means that it will be less able to control your weight — after you finish the diet and the pills.
Here’s another unpleasant result of dieting. One of the physiologic systems that is disrupted is the system that controls the elasticity of your skin. When you diet, your skins sags; and when participate in a series of diets, your skin looks older and older. Much of the initial impact is through less hydration because most diets and pills work through water loss, especially at the beginning. Yes, there are many products on the market that can make your skin look better on a temporary basis. But ask any physician. Just by looking at your skin, most physicians call tell if you are a smoker, a drinker, and/or a frequent dieter. The change in the elasticity of your skin is that apparent. So, unless you want to look 10 years older than your real age, do not diet for weight loss. Do not fall for the short-term weight loss results of some new pill, even if it is the highly toted garcinia cambogia. And the older you are (when you diet), the worse the negative impact of your systems.
Clearly, I am against all of the regular diets, even if you are desperate for one more try. I am equally against pills and the use of pills to burn extra calories or fat cells. I am also against the next option for many people – surgery. I have reviewed thousands of charts of people who have received a gastric bypass surgery. For me, it is disturbing how many of those patients later develop psychiatric illnesses (such as depression) or substance abuse problems (such as alcohol dependence). Surgery seems to offer a similar effect as those common specific diets. It works for the first few months, but leads to later problems of greater severity (whenever you stop the diet or stop the pills). In the end, you return to a higher weight, plus you develop a host of new medical and psychiatric challenges. The solution is relatively straight-forward. If you want to lose weight, the best solution is not another diet; it is not another new pill; and it is not some surgical procedure. You need a radically different approach.
Now, there are some of you who may resist this position. So, let me give you one more example. And there are hundreds of other examples. Let’s say you are ingesting sucralose, an artificial sweetener with no calories. Yes, it has zero calories. Many of you would believe that using sucralose instead of sugar would save you calories and lead to weight loss. However, here is how sucralose impacts your body. It changes the activity of your hormones, telling your body to store more, not less, fat. So, as you reduce your calories and hope for some weight loss, your body – on its own – is setting up the program for your body to gain weight. That’s the bottom line. A weight-loss diet works only on paper; and it works only for the short-term. In real life, our weight-loss diets sets up your body to gain later weight with potential medical and psychiatric problems. Your internal computer — your brain — is far too complex for any diet or pill.
So, is there a solution? Yes. But the solution will address more than your eating; and it will address more than taking another pill — no matter how high the hype (as evidenced by the new clamor of garcinia cambrogia). The new solution will address your life – and how to lose weight by changing your life. If interested, try reading the next four blogs, plus reviewing the upcoming Friday Finds. What you learn just may change your life …