Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's Not Your Fault - Hormones LinkedTo Weight Regain

Puhleezz - quit with the "it's not your fault" rhetoric.  An article in the Denver Post refers to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that suggests that hormones are responsible for regaining pounds after successfully losing them.  I'm not a scientist and don't dispute their findings, however as I read through the article I saw several glaring issues in how they conducted their study.

I suggest you go read the article, and carefully review the data as presented.  Try not to make any snap decisions - instead take some time to read between the lines.  Then come back here to see the problems that I saw with the study.
Here Are The Problems I Saw With The Study:

Rapid Weight Loss - First of all, successful weight loss and long term maintenance are challenges - there is no doubt about that.  Thus, you have to be prepared to use methods that you can comfortably live with forever.  Quick weight loss has proven to be ineffective because you can't maintain the process.  The participants (who survived) lost  almost 30 pounds each in 10 weeks.  CRAZY!  Normal weight loss is in the range of 1-2 pounds per week.  That is a shock to the body and it will naturally fight back, especially in terms of hunger.  Plus its an uncomfortable, unpleasant process which makes the individual long for "getting back to normal".

500 - 550 Calories Per Day - Are you kidding me?  Yeah, that can produce some quick weight loss, but what a nightmare.  I would fantasize about eating non-stop!

Optifast Meal Replacement - Great, force them to starve, then pump some chemicals into their body to trick them into feeling like they are getting a decent meal.  Unfortunately, this is so common in the masses who try to lose weight - replace "normal"with something artificial.  First of all, you lose the pleasure of eating the foods you like.  Second you are taking something that you can't wait to get rid of, meaning its a short term solution.  Once you end such a diet you will gain weight back.

Reintroduced To Ordinary Foods - Here we go again.  Lose the weight quick, then get back to normal, which invariably leads to weight re-gain.

Listen, I don't dispute the facts that our bodies tend to work against us and certainly hormones can have a real effect, but in my opinion this study has too many flaws because it used the wrong approach to weight loss.  Actually, I said that wrong - it used the same stupid approach that most people take (and ultimately fail).

The reality is that weight loss has some challenges and it will always take a high level of mental focus to succeed.  But you simply cannot dump a bunch of weight using artificial methods, then return to normal life and not expect to regain the weight you lost.  Thus you need to carefully, gradually and effectively reshape your normal life in such a way that you don't feel like you are missing out or are burdened things you hate.

I lost 70 pounds, 50 pounds of it in 5 months!  That was almost 5 years ago.  Sure, I fluctuate - usually gaining 5 pounds in the winter when I don't exercise quite as much.  (By spring its gone).  I still eat what I like, but in much smaller quantities and I offset that with exercise, so that I control calorie intake.  I am happy with my new lifestyle and have very little problem maintaining it.  I put together a formula which is illustrated in my book that worked for me.  No big secret - you can figure that out on your own without me - plus I have some details on my website under MY PLAN. 

And please, whatever you do, don't fall for that statement in the article that says "it's better not to gain weight than to try to lose it."

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