Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's not all about Will Power!

By Independent Health Researcher Matt Stone of 180metabolism.com

In today’s mainstream health and fitness world, all signs seem to point towards one destination – exercise more and eat less to lose weight and be healthy. If you do that, everything will be just fine. Just use a little willpower. You know, restraint. Stop being yourself you fat, lazy slob and be like an Olympic athlete instead (okay, bad example – they eat a TON of food – a survey done decades ago by a researcher named Schenk revealed that the average Olympian took in 7,300 calories per day).

What does science say?

So far, there have been dozens and dozens of studies performed to see if cutting calories and exercising more works for lasting weight loss. Of those studies, a grand total of ZERO has shown calorie restriction to be effective long-term.

Of course, we all know that we can use some willpower to eat less and exercise more, and if we do that, we will lose at least some weight. Some obese people studied in metabolic wards have used a low-calorie diet to lose not just some weight, but more than 100 pounds! It works! Can I get an “exercise more and eat less!” How about an Amen?

But of those obese subjects, including even the ones who have dropped over 100 pounds, the weight comes back in almost 100% of the study subjects over time. This is because simply cutting back calories or burning more through exercise causes the metabolism to slow down, hunger to rise – particularly for foods that best help the body to replenish its fat stores, and the mechanism in the body that helps store fat and suppress burning it as energy (insulin resistance) to increase.

Sadly, in the words of prominent obesity author Robert Pool, not only does all the weight come back, it tends to “bring some friends along with it.” In fact, in the most thoroughly-done study ever performed on the impact of calorie restriction on actual human beings, after the subjects completed 24 weeks of eating 1,700 calories per day and were allowed to once again eat to fullness, their body fat increased by 40%. 40%!!! That’s a massive increase, and a burden that the subjects were still carrying a portion of 58 weeks after the completion of the diet phase.

In short, dieting made them FAT! Here is a snapshot of the graphical representation of their weight and fat changes including the first 24-weeks of weight loss followed by 33 weeks of weight gain before they once again started losing:

Figure 27 from Ancel Keys’s 1385-page treatise on calorie restriction entitled The Biology of Human Starvation (total time elapsed in the graph: 72 weeks)

Every single one of the 32 subjects was made fatter by going through 24-weeks of dieting. THAT is the human biological response to cutting calories – and in my personal experience I can tell you that using exercise to create a calorie deficit typically has the same fate.

That’s not to say that nothing can be done about a weight problem. Indeed it can, and myself along with a select few researchers (that have been willing to let the “exercise more/eat less” paradigm be cast aside) are in hot pursuit of the hormonal and metabolic factors that lead to one person storing ingested food as fat while another uses theirs as energy – and what can be done to overcome that type of physiology.

So open up. Willpower, discipline, hunger – these are not the paths to fixing the root problem. You can’t heal your body by going to war with it. In fact, the more willpower and discipline you use, the more damage you will do to your metabolism, which is a major health travesty in and of itself, leading to any number of health problems that stem from a low metabolism.

Not only does dieting not work – dieting makes 95% of people fatter in a few years time or less. Don’t diet. There are smarter strategies to use in targeting the root problem of why your body drives you to take in more energy than it is willing to burn.

Visit 180metabolism.com to see a short video on how will power, dieting and metabolism ...

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