— Topics —
How you eat (Way of intake)

2019.11.21

There Are Two Steps to Lose Weight the Right Way

Contents

  1. There are two ways to lose weight
  2. How to lower base weight
  3. What is your specific diet?
  4. Differences from low-carb diets
  5. The meaning of the “two-step”
<The Bottom Line>

Although this blog is not a diet blog, since I’m writing the reasons why you gain weight, naturally, I thought about ways to lose weight, and I felt that I should write about it.

In this post, I will only write about my "theory for losing weight." Please understand this is not based on practice, but I hope this will help someone.
  

1. There are two ways to lose weight

Just like the phrase “gain weight” has two meanings, “lose weight” also has two meanings.
【Related article】 Two Meanings to the Phrase "Gaining Weight"
    

 (1) In the case you rebound

The first way is by eating less or doing more exercise to burn calories, as in conventional diets. This method requires constant hunger.

I consider that humans have an ability to maintain their present condition, and I defined the term "base weight" as the weight to which you always go back.

The rebound effect

When you eat less (fewer calories) and stay hungry over many hours, your body will try to minimize the change by:

  • increasing absorption rate in order to utilize maximum nutrition.
  • decreasing calorie expenditure including basal metabolism in order to suppress unnecessary consumption.

Even if you lose a little weight with your hard work, I believe it is only temporary, and most people will rebound because their base weight value hasn’t changed.

[Related article]  Dieting Doesn’t Work in the Long Run
   

(2) Lower the “base weight” itself

The other way is to lower your “base weight.” As I have mentioned many times, the cause of being overweight, in my opinion, is an increased base weight value.

This means that one's absorption ability is higher than that of the average person, and I assume that the higher absorption tendency is related to symptoms such as high blood pressure, heart disease, abnormal blood sugar levels, and diabetes,etc.

So, I believe that to lose weight correctly, lowering the "base weight" itself is necessary rather than reducing caloric intake.

I will quote the reference related to this.
   

(About rebounding of weight)

"The fundamental biological principle at work here is homeostasis. There appears to be a “set point” for body weight and fatness, as first proposed in 1984 by Keesey and Corbett. Homeostatic mechanisms defend this body set weight against changes, both up and down. If weight drops below body set weight, compensatory mechanisms activate to raise it. If weight goes above body set weight, compensatory mechanisms activate to lower it.

The problem in obesity is that the set point is too high. (*snip)

There are two prominent findings from all the dietary studies done over the years.

First: all diets work. Second: all diets fail.

What do I mean? Weight loss follows the same basic curve so familiar to dieters. Whether it is the Mediterranean, the Atkins or even the old fashioned low-fat, low-calorie, all diets in the short term seem to produce weight loss.

Sure, they differ by amount lost–some a little more, some a little less. But they all seem to work.

However, by six to twelve months, weight loss plateaus, followed by a relentless regain, despite continued dietary compliance.(*snip*)

So all diets fail. The question is why. 

Permanent weight loss is actually a two-step process. There is a short-term and a long-term (or time-dependent) problem. "

(Dr. Jason Fung, “The Obesity Code” , 2016, pages 62, 215 )

  
The “set point” for body weight that Dr. Fung mentioned can be regarded as the same as my “base weight.” I started writing about this concept of "base weight" without any references, and I am glad to know that there were others out there who had the same idea.

2. How to lower base weight

Dr. Jason Fung, the author of “The Obesity Code”, believes that the higher set point of body weight is  relevant to insulin resistance, which is why he has adopted fasting to cure obesity.

My opinion is that we can lower our base weight by eating a lot of less digestible foods, based on a certain rule, rather than by starving ourselves.
This is because I believe that if the root cause of weight gain is due to the mechanism of intestinal starvation,
then by doing the opposite, i.e., eating more indigestible food and not feeling hungry, one should theoretically be able to lower one's base weight and in turn lose weight. ("A lot of undigested food remains in the intestines" = "there is still plenty of food for the body" = "no need to store body fat").

fish and meat

Of all the diets that have been done , the low-carb diet (one which allows you to eat as much meat and fat as you want), the carnivore diet, the Mediterranean diet, and eating more low-G.I. foods and fiber vegetables are all ways that fit my theory.

One might say, "I am just combining those diets.” But since the point is to leave more undigested food in the intestines, I believe they should be combined.

Note that when I say "base weight itself goes down," I don't mean that one's metabolism goes up, but rather that one's absorption ability itself goes down.

As I will explain in the following blog, the increase in the level of absorption due to intestinal starvation means that, by using a plant analogy, "the roots grow deeper in the ground and the area available for absorption expands." In other words, I would speculate that the opposite phenomenon should occur in order to lower the level of absorption.

It may be difficult to understand how eating food reduces absorption rate, but imagine, for example, eating a snack bread and a glass of orange juice.

If you eat it when you are starving, your blood glucose level will jump up, whereas if you eat it three hours after finishing a well-balanced lunch, your blood glucose level will not rise as much.

Blood sugar spikes

Even when you go out for drinks, if you haven't eaten anything for almost ten hours, you may get drunk faster, but if you eat a good lunch and have ice cream two hours before, you will get drunk more slowly. In other words, if you keep eating less digestible food to reduce hunger, the absorption rate should decrease.

3.What is your specific diet?

I think the key is to reduce carbohydrate intake to a certain extent and conversely increase meat, fish, oil/fat, fibrous vegetables, seaweed, nuts, dairy products, etc. to reduce the time you feel hungry.(If you feel a little hungry, eat something. Eat regularly even if you don't have an appetite.) 

Specifically, I believe there are two ways to do this.

Dinner time

(1) The way to actually improve your meal

  • Reduce carbohydrate intake (rice, bread, noodles, etc.) by half to a third. 
  • Eat low G.I. carbohydrates if possible such as brown rice, whole-grain bread, cold rice (starch turns indigestible once cooled down) and al dente pasta.
  • Increase foods other than carbs such as meat, fish, fat/oil, dairy products, nuts, vegetables, seaweed, etc.
  • If you feel hungry between meals, you can eat something.
  • Of course, you can combine this step with some exercise, but make sure you eat balanced meals at least three times a day.

   

<Regarding fat intake>

Fat is a source of energy for most of us, and at the same time a cause of weight gain for some, but I believe that it is a food that can help us lose weight depending on how we eat it.

Fat was originally thought to be fattening because it is "nutrient dense," but in fact, nutrient dense foods take longer to digest, so consuming them every three to five hours can also help you lose weight (Of course, this varies from person to person).

It would not be wrong to say that a person who usually eats less will gain weight if they eat fat/oil along with carbohydrates, but it's only how you eat and cannot be judged by the size of the calorie content.

[Related article]  Eating Fat/oil Is a Deterrent to Gaining Weight
   

(2) Slow down the digestive enzymes

For those who seem to digest food quickly no matter how much they eat, and who always feel hungry, the method (1) may not be effective. Some of them may even gain weight because of the increased calories.

I believe that the reason it becomes more difficult to lose weight as obesity levels become higher, is that they digest food faster and the absorption rate doesn't decrease so easily. In other words, the theory itself is not necessarily wrong.

In a similar case, in addition to improving the diet, it may be helpful to take, for example, enzymes or medication that slows down the digestive process for fats and proteins. By lowering the "digestive ability," undigested food will remain longer in the intestines, which will have the same effect as (1) above. ( Naturally, it must be done under a physician's guidance and It is only theoretical for now).
  

4. Differences from low-carb diets

Even though it is not up to extreme carb restriction (ketogenic), I believe my idea would result in a diet similar to a low-carb diet.

Those who recommend low-carb diets say, "it is the carbohydrates that cause obesity, and instead of limiting these, you can eat protein-and fat-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and butter to make up for the calories.”

In reality, however, it is not "you can eat" but rather "you have to" in order to lose weight.
If you reduce meat, fish, and fats/oils as well, you will feel hungry just like in a conventional calorie-restricted diet, and such diets do not work for long, as studies have shown.

meat,fat,oil

My theory is that carbohydrates are only an indirect cause of weight gain making it easier to induce intestinal starvation. The point is only that we should consume more indigestible foods, slowing down the digestion process and suppressing hunger. So, while carbohydrates are not necessarily bad, I believe that cutting the amount of carbohydrates in the diet will be more effective.

Of course, it is possible that reducing glucose, which provides immediate energy, may speed up weight loss in the short term.
  

5. The meaning of the “two-step”

For those who have been dieting by eating less, their caloric intake may at least increase . So "eat more to lose weight" may sound fishy.

However, reducing caloric intake is not the final point.

  • In the short term, it is also necessary to control the intake of carbohydrates and calories.
  • In the long term, it's more important to lower one's base weight and not store fat by leaving more undigested foods in the gastrointestinal tract so as not to feel hungry.

In other words, a "two-step" process is necessary to lose weight properly.


▽In Japan, there are various ways of dieting to lose weight by eating a lot of foods and many people have their own interpretation of “losing weight by eating a lot.”

  • Raised  metabolism by eating foods. (Thermogenesis effect).
  • Eating a lot of low-calorie foods result in reducing total calories and carbohydrates.
  • Some components in a specific food eaten break down body fat.

Still, I believe that none of these explanations are correct (although there might be some truth in them), since “why we gain weight” is not recognized correctly and people still believe that too many calories and carbohydrates eaten are the causes of being overweight.
   

The Bottom Line

・Just as the phrase "gain weight" has two meanings, "lose weight" also has two meanings. To avoid rebounding, the base weight (set weight) itself must be lowered.

・To lower base weight, one should eat fewer carbohydrates, which speed up digestion, and more indigestible foods such as protein, fat/oil, and fiber-rich vegetables, should be eaten to reduce hunger.

・In Japan, the "eating a lot and lose weight" diet is all around us, but it is not properly recognized, and of course, it is not officially approved as a treatment. If it is proven that intestinal starvation causes people to gain weight, I'd like to believe that the meaning of "eating a lot and losing weight" will be properly understood.

2018.05.30

Why Do We Gain Weight even Though We Eat Small Portions of Food?

Contents

  1. A woman friend who eventually put on some weight
  2. A colleague who gained three kilograms in a year
  3. "Just reduce calories" is a mistake 

It is said that the cause of weight gain is the caloric intake exceeding calories burned through metabolism and activity. For this reason, I see people dieting by only reducing the amount of food they eat, and putting up with being hungry over long hours.

being hungry

For example, they eat only a rice ball and a piece of fried chicken, or a hamburger and a drink for lunch. These people say they are hungry but continue experiencing hunger for long periods of time.

In my opinion, people like this not only do not diet well, but they also tend to gain weight eventually.

1.  A woman friend who eventually put on some weight

When I was working part-time at a restaurant in college, there was a woman who wasn’t that overweight, but she started dieting anyway. 

She wasn’t slim, but she wasn’t overweight, either. To me, she looked healthy and fit. I thought she was okay as she was. But it seemed that she started dieting because she wanted to get slim. 

Therefore, she only ate half of her meal, such as rice and meat/fish dish and never any vegetables. She was always saying, “I’m starving...” but continued experiencing hunger and stopped eating snacks.

As a result, not only did she not lose weight, but she also gained a little weight.

2.  A colleague who gained three kilograms in a year

The same goes for my colleague, T, who worked as a cook in the kitchen at a nursing home. When I first met him, he was a stocky guy (about 170cm tall and 70 kilos).
He wasn’t overweight but he was on a diet, saying he had gained three kilos which shattered his  previous weight level in the last year. 

In his case, he was working before six a.m., but he hardly ever ate breakfast.
For lunch, he only ate a small bowl of rice and meat or fish. He almost never ate vegetable dishes such as salad and simmered vegetables (traditional Japanese vegetable stew).

He gained two more kilos in the following year.

3.  "Just reduce calories" is a mistake 

What's wrong with this is, that the people previously mentioned thought that in order to lose weight, they only needed to reduce calories from carbohydrates, meat, and fat.
Furthermore, they thought they had to be hungry in order to lose weight. 

As a result, they didn’t consume fiber from vegetables, fat/oil, and dairy products, etc. very much so their base weight increased by inducing an intestinal starvation. 

▽There are two ways in which the intestinal starvation mechanism occurs.

(1) Eating an unbalanced meal with a lot of carbohydrates and meat (protein), but not eating as often (e.g., one or two meals a day) and experiencing hunger over long hours. 

(2) Eating small portions, often skewed towards carbohydrates and meat (protein), etc.
Many of them eat three times a day, but often experience hunger over long hours.

In conclusion, whether you eat a good amount of meals or a few, if your diet consists of mostly carbs and digestible protein, an imbalance of food in the intestines remains the same. If you don’t eat anything else and experience hunger over many hours, it leads to the similar effect in view of creating intestinal starvation.

Eating vegetable dishes, dairy products and fat/oil, etc. is important with regards to preventing intestinal starvation, but those people in the previous examples were only conscious of caloric intake, and chose not to eat them.
   

2017.12.07

After Gaining Weight, We Eat Too Much and Do Less Exercise

Contents

Prologue
  1. People don’t gain weight because of eating too much
  2. Example of not enough exercise after getting fat

Prologue

 "The experts who say that we get fat because we overeat or we get fat as a  result of overeating - the vast majority  - are making the kind of mistake that would (or at least should) earn a failing grade in a high-school science class.
They're taking a law of nature that says absolutely nothing about why we get fat and a phenomenon that has to happen if we do get fat - overeating - and assuming these say all that needs to be said."


(Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat, 2010, Page76)

This is the foundation I started writing my blog on. I’m sure that there are at least a few researchers in the world who think the same way as I do.

Even if someone insisted that, “the Earth is going around the Sun” in the sixteenth or seventeenth century where "geocentric theory" was the prevailing thought, no one would have believed him. 

Many should have argued that, “if the Earth is going around the sun, our heads should go around, too.” However, now, it’s common sense that the Earth is going around the sun.

In the same way, many might not believe me when I say, “people can gain weight by intestinal starvation and it is the fundamental cause of being overweight.” However, I believe it’s the truth.
  

1.People don’t gain weight because of eating too much

It is said that, “eating too much and not enough exercise are the causes of gaining weight,” but here is an interesting experiment that is related to it.
 

"In the early 1970s, a young researcher at the University of Massachusetts named George Wade set out to study the relationship between sex hormones, weight, and appetite by removing the ovaries from rats (females,obviously) and then monitoring their subsequent weight and behavior.

The effects of the surgery were suitably dramatic: the rats would begin to eat voraciously and quickly become obese.The rat eats too much, the excess calories find their way to the fat tissue, and the animal becomes obese. This would confirm our preconception that overeating is responsible for obesity in humans as well.

But Wade did a revealing second experiment, removing the ovaries from the rats and putting them on a strict postsurgical diet. The rats, postsurgery, were only allowed the same amount of food they would have eaten had they never had the surgery.

What happened is not what you'd probably think. The rats got just as fat, just as quickly. But these rats were now completely sedentary. They moved only when movement was required to get food.

The way Wade explained it to me, the animal doesn't get fat because it overeats, it overeats because it's getting fat. The cause and effect are reversed.
(*snip*)
The evidence that fat tissue is carefully regulated, not just a garbage can where we dump whatever calories we don't burn, is incontrovertible.
Those who get fat do so because of the way their fat happens to be regulated and that a conspicuous consequence of this regulation is to cause the eating behavior (gluttony) and the physical inactivity (sloth) that we so readily assume are the actual causes."

(Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat, 2010, Pages 89-94)

<1970s>
Words of Bruce Birstrian who conducted a treatment of a low-calorie diet (600kcal/day) to thousands of obese patients at Harvard University of Medicine.

"Undereating isn't a treatment or cure for obesity; it's a way of temporarily reducing the most obvious symptom. And if undereating isn't a treatment or a cure , this certainly suggests that overeating is not a cause."

(Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat, 2010, Page39 )

My experience is a little different from the rats’ story, but I want to tell of my experience that I gained weight not because of eating more.

When I was very thin, under forty kilograms, I couldn’t eat a lot since my stomach always felt heavy. Fatty foods and oily foods were the worst. I tried hard to gain weight, but I couldn’t.

One day, I realized that I could gain weight by eating only easy-to-digest foods (mainly carbs and a little meat) and experiencing being hungry for hours. So, I tried to eat light meals for breakfast and lunch, and I tried not to eat vegetables and fat very much until dinner. By doing so, I gradually gained weight. And when I weighed about fifty kilograms, I had more muscle and less discomfort in my stomach. I was able to eat more than before.

Those who didn’t know my experience told me, “You’re gaining weight because you’re eating more,” but that wasn’t true.
After my body adjusted to my new eating plan, I gained weight by eating and got more muscle and a greater appetite. As a result, I was able to eat more than before. So, the reality was the other way around.
 

▽Maybe it’s easier for you to imagine with an extreme example.
 Let's say there was a man three meters tall who weighed two-hundred-fifty kilograms. If he eats five times more than us, you won’t think, “he became big because he eats a lot” but rather, “he can eat a lot because he is big.”

"European medical researchers (just prior to the Second World War) argued, as I will, that it is absurd to think about obesity as caused by overeating, because anything that makes people grow—whether in height or in weight, in muscle or in fat-will make them overeat.
Children, for example, don't grow taller because they eat voraciously and consume more calories than they expend. They eat so much-overeat–because they're growing."

(Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat, 2010, Page 9)

2.Example of not enough exercise after getting fat

"Some people find it hard to get their head round the fact that aerobic exercise is not particularly effective for weight loss, even when faced with all the facts.

One reason for this is our experience of seeing physically fit and active individuals who are clearly lean.
Look at any elite long-distance runner or Tour de France cyclist and you're probably getting a glimpse of what it's like to have a single-digit body fat percentage.
The automatic thought process is that exercise causes leanness.

However, could it that individuals who are naturally lean are simply more likely to end up as elite long-distance runners or cyclists? In other words, might their natural leanness cause certain people to be more active, rather than the other way round?

There's actually some evidence for this. In one piece of research, the relationship between physical activity and body fatness in children over a 3-year period was assessed. It was found that the more sedentary children were, the more fat they carried.

TV game

This is all to be expected, but because the study was conducted over a prolonged period the researchers were able to gauge whether sedentary behaviour preceded weight gain.

Actually, it did not. In reality, children accumulated fat first, and then became more sedentary.
The authors noted that this finding 'may explain why attempts to tackle childhood obesity by promoting PA [physical activity] have been largely unsuccessful'. "

(Dr. John Briffa, Escape The Diet Trap, 2010, Pages 223-224)

I agree with this opinion, but I’d like to add my own opinion. As Dr. John Briffa said, I think it’s reasonable to think those who are slim aim to be marathon athletes or soccer players. At least, they know that they won’t get fat, even though they eat a lot of calories. So, they eat whatever they want without hesitation.

In other words, by eating balanced foods every meal, intestinal starvation doesn’t happen —by that, I mean their base weight value as I defined it doesn’t change—and they keep their current weight while getting a little more muscle. It’s not that they don’t put on weight because they are burning extra calories they eat by exercising.

▽On the other hand, those who stay in tend to eat less when they are sedentary, such as playing video games or watching television.

Sometimes, they eat light meals such as hamburgers, hot-dogs, or noodles for lunch. Since they don’t exercise, they don’t pay attention to eating nutritious meals.

If their diet leans toward carbs and some meats and they are experiencing being hungry for hours, the intestinal starvation mechanism may occur and their base weight value will go up. They end up gaining more weight. 

To sum up, I’d like to say that not enough exercise or laziness won’t directly make people fat. How many calories you expend by exercising has nothing to do with being overweight.
Rather, physical activity will affect the amount of food you eat as well as food choices.

 

2017.09.28

What Does It Mean to Eat Relatively Less?

Contents

  1. An example of judo
  2. An example of delivery center
  3. An example of food
<The bottom line>

I always felt something was wrong, when I was having lunch with my coworker K, who is about eighty kilograms. He said to me, “You have to eat more in order to gain weight”, because I was so thin. 

However, he was eating the same thing as  I was. It’s just that he had a little more rice than I.

Why It felt odd was that "K was eating relatively less" and " I was eating relatively more " in terms of quality and quantity.

1. An example of "judo"

First, I’d like to explain by using the Japanese sport of judo. There are usually wrestlers of forty-five, sixty, and up to ninety kilograms mixed weight groups at a practice.

The forty-five kilogram wrestler will work with those who are heavier than him, so he will be practicing relatively hard. Especially, if he practices with a ninety kilogram wrestler, there is twice the difference of weight, so it’s difficult to win. 

On the other hand, for the ninety kilogram wrestler, it’s a practice which is relatively easy, since there are only those who weigh less than him. Even if they do the same practice, the level of challenge is different for each wrestler.

2. An example of delivery center

Let’s see it again here by using a “delivery center” example. A delivery center is a place where they sort packages and send them out everyday. There is a delivery center A with a capacity of five hundred packages and a delivery center B with a capacity of eight hundred packages.

When there are five hundred packages being processed, A will be at its limit, but B still has some room.
When there are seven hundred packages being processed, A is over its capacity, so employees have to work overtime, but B still has some room.

That is to say, even if the quantity of packages is the same, the things happening inside differs by its capacity. If this is food, then the package is the “intake amount.”

3. An example of food

I guess you already know what I want to say. Here again, we have three ladies of different weights eating the same thing.
A: 90kg, B: 60kg, C: 45kg

Let’s say all three had the same hamburger set for lunch.
In terms of the external intake amount, all of them have the same amount and calories,
but when we take their weight into account, C, who is forty-five kilograms is eating relatively more, and A, who is ninety kilograms is eating a relatively light meal.

It’s because A who is ninety kilograms has a body twice as large as C, with a thicker chest and a bigger stomach. You can also say that she might have a stronger digestive ability compared to B or C.

Here, when we focus on body size, you can say, “A is eating quantitatively less." When we focus on digestive ability, “A is eating qualitatively simpler than C.

“Qualitatively” means that those with a stronger digestive ability can digest the same amount of food faster, even if they are the same body size. For example, it's been said that Caucasians generally have stronger digestive enzymes for protein and fat, compared to many Asian people.

Now, A orders a large bowl of rice. Regarding intake amount, you might think, “she is fat because she eats a lot.”

However, if we take their weight into account, since rice is a carbohydrate which is easy to digest, it can be said that A is still eating relatively less and eating a lighter meal compared to B or C.

The bottom line

No wonder there are some people who gained weight even though they didn’t eat much.

・Based on my intestinal starvation theory, people who have a bigger body or stronger digestion eat relatively less or lighter meals compared to thin people. Therefore, they are more likely to induce intestinal starvation and gain more weight.

・Also, assuming that European, American, or African people generally have a stronger digestion for fat and protein compared to many Asian people, they are more likely to gain weight than many Asians, even if everyone eats the same. It’s not that they have particular obesity gene.

2017.06.10

Dieting (Eating Less and Exercising More) Doesn’t Work in the Long Run

Contents

  1. It has nothing to do with lack of willpower
  2. What was the long-term effect of dieting
  3. Cognitive dissonance

It is said that exercising and food restriction is necessary for losing weight. However, we rarely meet those who succeeded in dieting using such a method.

Japanese wrestler Bull Nakano (below) has repeatedly dieted and rebounded, but after having knee problems, it was imperative that she lose weight, so she had a gastrectomy to remove part of her stomach.
She said that “cutting the amount of foods and exercising didn’t make her thinner.”

Japanese comedian, Sugi-chan lost seven kilograms with Billy’s Boots Camp diet method, but rebounded to the same weight afterward.

In this article, I would like to introduce how conventional calorie-based diets are ineffective, based on two books: "Escape the Diet Trap" and "Why Do We Get Fat.”
Please note that most of these are quotations.

1.It has nothing to do with lack of willpower

"Ideas about what causes obesity vary. But you'll almost certainly be familiar with the idea that, at the end of the day, the problem is a product of caloric imbalance: specifically, the consumption of calories in excess of those burned through metabolism and activity. No doubt you'll also be familiar with the idea that the solution to your weight problem is simply to redress the balance by eating less and exercising more.

This advice seems to make sense. The trouble is, not only our collective experience but scientific research, too, shows that applying this advice hardly ever brings significant weight loss in the long term.

The usual explanation offered here is that those who fail with conventional tactics lack willpower and self-control. The reality, though, is that calorie-based strategies for slimming not only don't work, but simply can't work, for all but a small minority.

‘Escape the Diet Trap’ explores the reasons why traditional approaches to weight loss are a crashing failure. It reveals how eating less and exercising more causes the body to resist weight loss, and can actually predispose to weight gain over time."

(Dr.Jone Briffa, Escape the Diet Trap, 2012, Pages 1,19 )

2.What was the long-term effect of dieting

"Limiting the studies to those where individuals were monitored for at least two years after the start of their efforts to lose weight allows us to assess the long-term success of these approaches. Many of us will know what it is to get a short-term win from eating less and exercising more but it's the long game we're interested in here.

<Study1>

Individuals with an average age of 36 and average BMI of 35.0 were prescribed a calorie-reduced diet (individuals ate about 1,000 calories less each day than the amount needed to maintain a stable weight).

low-calorie diet

Some of the individuals added exercise to this dietary restriction in the form of brisk walking for 45 minutes, 4-5 times each week.

The intervention lasted for a year, and weight was assessed another year after the end of the intervention.

Two years after embarking on a long-term (lasting at least a year) restrictive dietary regime, average weight loss was in the order of just 2 kg. Even when regular exercise is added, the weight loss still only averaged about 3 kg (about 6 lbs).

These outcomes look even more paltry when put in the context of the weight of many of the study participants. For someone of average height, a BMI of 35 works out at about 16 stone. I'd say it's unlikely that individuals of this weight would view a loss of a few pounds as a satisfying return on investment in terms of their diet and exercise efforts.

Another potential surprise is just how ineffective exercise was for the purposes of weight loss when employed as an adjunct to dietary restraint. The results from these studies suggest an additional loss of a mere 1 kg in those who were exercising regularly."

(Dr.Jone Briffa, Escape the Diet Trap, 2012, Pages 20 to 23 )

 

"Prescribing low-calorie diets for obese and overweight patients, according to a 2007 review from Tufts University, leads, at best, to “modest weight losses” that are “transient” – that is, temporary. Typically, nine or ten pounds are lost in the first six months. After a year, much of what was lost has been regained.

the rebound effect

The Tufts review was an analysis of all the relevant diet trials in the medical journals since 1980.

The single largest such trial ever done yields the very same answer. The researchers were from Harvard and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, which is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is the most influential academic obesity-research institute in the United States.

Together they enrolled more than eight hundred overweight and obese subjects and then randomly assigned them to eat one of four diets. These diets were marginally different in nutrient composition (proportions of protein, fat, and carbohydrates), but all were substantially the same in that the subjects were supposed to undereat by 750 calories a day, a significant amount.

The subiecte were also given “intensive behavioral counseling” to keep them on their diets, the kind of professional assistance that few of us ever get when we try to lose weight.

They were even given meal plans every two weeks to help them with the difficult chore of cooking tasty meals that were also sufficiently low in calories.

The subjects began the study, on average, fifty pounds overweight. They lost, on average, only nine pounds. And, once again, just as the Tufts review would have predicted, most of the nine pounds came off in the first six months, and most of the participants were gaining weight back after a year.

No wonder obesity is so rarely cured. Eating less –that is, undereating–simply doesn't work for more than a few months, if that."

(Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat, 2010, Pages 36-37)

3.Cognitive dissonance

cognitive dissonance

"This reality, however, hasn't stopped the authorities from recommending the approach, which makes reading such recommendations an exercise in what psychologists call “cognitive dissonance,” the tension that results from trying to hold two incompatible beliefs simultaneously.

Take, for instance, the Handbook of Obesity, a 1998 textbook edited by three of the most prominent authorities in the field–George Bray, Claude Bouchard, and W. P. T. James.
“Dietary therapy remains the cornerstone of treatment and the reduction of energy intake continues to be the basis of successful weight reduction programs," the book says.

But it then states, a few paragraphs later, that the results of such energy-reduced restricted diets "are known to be poor and not long-lasting.” So why is such an ineffective therapy the cornerstone of treatment? The Handbook of Obesity neglects to say."

(Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat, 2010, Page 37)