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Monday, February 27, 2006

Fuzzy Math: Eat Less, Weigh More

I’ve been stewing for weeks about the weight loss drug Orlistat. People are always looking to quick fixes, magic pills, and buying into weight loss myths in vain attempts to achieve their “ideal” figure.

One myth in particular really gets my goat: Eating less means you’ll lose more weight.

While portion control and moderation are necessary for all diets, that doesn’t mean you should eat less food than your body actually needs. The major contributor to obesity is not the amount of food we consume. It’s the quality; or rather, the lack thereof.

Most Americans have the idea that simply reducing over-processed and over-refined foods in their diets will solve all weight loss woes. They’re wrong. Eliminating our intake of low-quality foods is the key to long-term healthy weight loss.

If your body thinks it’s in jeopardy—for example, in the midst of a famine—it will automatically go into “store and save” mode, and not burn any fat.

That’s why any diet depravation technique (such as calorie reduction, fat blocking, starch blocking) ultimately does the body more harm than good, because they promote “rebound” fat storage.

Furthermore, the term “weight” isn’t even an appropriate measure of your body composition, since muscle is heavier than fat. Your muscle cells produce energy. The healthier they are, the better the body’s ability to receive nutrients and produce energy is.

Before your body will allow itself to lose fat, it must achieve the proper health, density, and weight of the energy producing muscle cells.

Further, while people usually lose water (and weight on the scale) when they start a diet, there is almost always a subsequent inevitable plateau—or even a weight gain—when the body attempts to improve muscle health and energy production efficiency.

Dieters then get discouraged, and cut their food intake even more. The result: a harsher rebound fat gain. Worse, while everyone re-deposits lost protein at about the same rate, fat people (notice I didn’t say “overweight”) redeposit fat at about three times the rate of their thinner counterparts.

Conversely, when the body is well-nourished with quality foods—fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, low-fat meats, low-fat dairy, etc.—it starts burning off fat.

1 Comments:

  • ~ Anonymous Anonymous said …

    the diet industry is based on failure. they only way they make money is from people who loose, gain, loose and gain the weight back and forth like a yo-yo. It's just like the excercise business. Most of these big chain gyms have a bigger sales staff than they have trainers. They know most people will sign up on a three year contract but hardly ever attend the gym.

    The best way to loose weight id to eat smart and healthy and get off your butt and move around.

    These quick fixes do more harm than good. Thanks Bill for saying what manty of us are thinking.

     

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