17 Sep Is Eating Less and Exercising More is the Best and Only Way to Lose Weight?
Just look around you – there are so many people on a diet and yet we keep getting fatter and sicker! And a number of studies have proven this approach does not work and actually sets you up for failure.
Obesity specialist Dr David Ludwig had this to say “Attempts to lower body weight without addressing the biological drivers of weight gain, including the quality of the diet will inevitably fail for most individuals……………..This (eat less exercise more) mindset disregards decades of research on the biological factors that control body weight”
Whether your body stores or burns fat is determined by your hormones and other chemical messengers that communicate between different parts of your body – a bit like the postal system.
These chemical messengers need to be in balance for perfect health and maintaining a healthy weight. When certain hormones like insulin are high it puts your body into fat-storage mode so it wants to hang onto fat.
Also, your body’s natural response to cutting your calorie intake is to slow your metabolism down because it instinctively thinks there is a famine going on. This means you burn less energy and fat doing the same activities you were doing before. It’s all about survival! Not to mention that your body is under more stress and that in its self contributes to weight gain and difficulty losing it!
Worse is that when insulin is high after eating certain foods and your fat cells are locked tight, you will break down precious muscle to fuel your exercise. And the less muscle you have, the harder it is to maintain your weight, let alone lose it!
And to top it all off, cutting calories causes your appetite hormone ghrelin to rise, making you hungrier, more likely to give into cravings, and even binge. Even after 12 months of calorie restriction ghrelin levels stay the same, which means your hunger never goes away!
Because one hormone is out of balance it affects other hormones too, and this adds to the problem.
In his comprehensive book on the science of weight loss ‘Maimonides and Metabolism’ Rabbi Herschlag describes how calorie restriction causes an increase in fat cells, fat storing, appetite and raises your fat set point. Ouch! No wonder so many people experience rebound weight gain.
So if you’ve been struggling with your weight following the eat less, exercise more approach, it’s not your fault! Be kind to yourself!